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I will continue with Nigeria where Buhari regime stops: David Umahi

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Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi has vowed to carry on from where President Muhammadu Buhari would have stopped by the end of his tenure if elected president in 2023. 

“This is my conviction and that we can also build from where Mr President (Buhari) would stop,” Mr Umahi said. “I am also close to Mr President. I know his heartbeat for the country, and I know what he desires for this country. So, I think that I understand his programmes and his policies and his integrity, coupled with what we have done in Ebonyi state, and it can add and help the country.”

Mr Umahi disclosed this in an interview on Channels TV on Tuesday night, shortly after declaring he will run for president in 2023. 

Speaking further, he stated, “I feel within me that the country is passing through a phase and I believe strongly that the miracles that God helped us to do in Ebonyi state by reason of all the successes we made in all the economic indices and all our programmes, that if given the opportunity, we can replicate it at the national level.” 

Mr Umahi’s statement came barely 24 hours after APC national leader Bola Tinubu announced that he would contest the presidency in 2023 to build on Mr Buhari’s legacy. 

Mr Buhari’s regime has been characterised by gross violation of human rights abuse, insecurity and economic hardship. Under his regime, Nigerians witnessed the massacre of Shiite protesters in Zaria in 2015, with over 300 members of the Islamic group killed by Nigerian soldiers and buried in shallow graves. 

Similarly, in 2016, Amnesty International condemned the Buhari regime after soldiers killed over 150 unarmed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra. On October 20, 2020, soldiers fired shots on #EndSARS protesters, mostly youths remonstrating against police brutality and extortion. 

Though Mr Buhari promised to combat insecurity during his campaign in 2015, under his watch, insecurity has taken a more dreadful trajectory with bandits, Boko Haram, kidnappers, and unknown gunmen killing and kidnapping for ransom across the country. 

Mr Umahi, who is banking on the APC zoning its presidential ticket to South-East, had maintained a public perception of a performing governor until January 2021, when Peoples Gazette, in a report, exposed how he massively diverted state funds into his personal company account. 

According to bank documents, between 2011 and 2019, Mr Umahi has diverted about N3.6 billion into his Brass Engineering, a company he has owned since 1993, since after he became deputy governor to Martin Elechi in 2011, in brazen disregard for extant code of conduct regulations precluding senior public officials from conducting private businesses, except subsistence agriculture, while in office.

Angered by The Gazette’s report, an aide of Mr Umahi in a phone call threatened to kill the online newspaper’s reporters, fuming that The Gazette’s exposing of Mr Umahi’s corruption “could cost lives.”  

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Nigerians are now seeing the positive outcome of my government’s policies, says Buhari

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President Muhammadu buhari 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday said the economic policies of his government are achieving good result.

The president said this at the commissioning ceremony of BUA Cement’s new three million metric tonnes per annum cement line in Sokoto.

According to Buhari, “In the past two weeks, I was in Ogun and Kaduna states where I commissioned projects. Those ones, with this project undertaken by BUA Cement, show that our policies are working.”

The president then called on private sector operators to take advantage of the opportunity provided by the policies to grow their businesses and also create employment opportunities. Buhari said the responsibility of growing the economy rested squarely on the shoulders of both the public and private sectors.

He therefore called for the collaboration of both for the nation’s economic development. While noting that each of the states in the country is endowed with resources that could be converted to wealth, Buhari said his government was ready to introduce policies that would facilitate the exploitation of the nation’s abundant natural resources.

The president called on building material manufacturers to do all in their power to bring down the prices of the items.

Earlier in his address, Chairman of BUA Group of Companies, Alhaji Abdul Samad Rabiu, said the company was resolute to make cement available and affordable to Nigerians irrespective of their location.

He said this was the rationale behind the construction of four new cement lines in the last five years.

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Electing Tinubu as president for Nigeria’s good, says Sanwo-Olu

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Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu says All Progressives national leader Bola Tinubu, is the most qualified Nigerian to be president in 2023.

The governor said Mr Tinubu’s qualification rested on his demonstrated capacity in deploying a mix of genius and statecraft to nurture a city on the brink of a flourishing economy.

”Tinubu’s practicable ideas in governance makes him the most qualified successor and saleable choice for the job. Our country is the most populous black nation in the world and the responsibility that comes with that is enormous. No doubt that the destiny of the entire black race is tied to the greatness of Nigeria,” stated Mr Sanwo-Olu during the formal inauguration of the Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu (ABAT) movement’s working committee in Ikeja.

“If our country must be great, we have the responsibility to choose the leadership that will bring about true transformation across every facet of our national life,” the Lagos governor added. “Who is that rallying figure that should lead us in this journey? The answer is deeply connected to our mission and purpose here today. That person must be a detribalised Nigerian and a bridge-builder, who has been tested and trusted.”

He further stressed that the person must be a thinker, who must sustain the legacy “our current president is leaving behind.”

“That person is the reason we are inaugurating this movement for the actualisation of his presidential ambition,” explained Mr Sanwo-Olu. “That person is our great leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.”

The ABAT movement was conceived and set up by members of the Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC) in Lagos to actualise Mr Tinubu’s presidential ambition.

The Lagos governor stated that the indisputable capability of Tinubu to effectively manage human and material resources for visible progress stood him out as the most qualified Nigerian to be president in 2023.

He added that the progress in Lagos remained a visible experiment initiated by the APC leader. Mr Sanwo-Olu said Nigeria had continued to shoulder the burden of the black race, and the country’s transformation into a stable economy would be a source of pride to the black man.

According to Mr Sanwo-Olu, in 2023, the country needs a capable leader with progressive ideas to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari and build on the progress recorded by the current administration.

Mr Sanwo-Olu also noted that Mr Tinubu’s name was synonymous with growth and development and possessed a Midas touch to positively turn around the resources of the country for the general good.

He said the event was to raise foot soldiers, team leaders and cheerleaders, who would pursue the movement’s objectives and cascade down its messages to every voter at the ward level, with commitment and passion.

The governor charged all selected for leadership roles in the movement to reflect Tinubu’s political ideals of openness and tolerance in their engagement and mobilisation.

APC stalwart James Odumbaku said the forthcoming general elections presented another opportunity for Nigerians to make the right choice, to keep the country on the path of development.

GAC leader Tajudeen Olusi described Mr Tinubu as “a genius” in statecraft, adding that the APC leader was a saleable article in the political market.

”We have to be prepared and determined because the contest would be a battle of might and strength,” Mr Olusi said.

(NAN)

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‘There was peace in the Niger Delta before you came’, Edwin Clark tells Buhari in open letter

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Pa Edwin Clark, the leader of Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), has written an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, accusing him of being the cause of the renewed restiveness in the Niger Delta region.

In the open letter seen by Ripples Nigeria on Friday, Clark expressed his opinion to oppose President Buhari’s claims that his regime had fostered lasting peace in the oil-rich region.

Clark, who is also a leader of the Ijaw Nation, said Buhari’s predecessors like the late President Musa Yar’adua and Goodluck Jonathan, should be the ones claiming credit for any peace enjoyed in the South-South.

“There is no doubt that a good amount of peace has come to the Niger Delta in the past few years. However, your claim as having been the main architect that brought the peace does not properly convey what transpired,” the PANDEF leader said in the letter.

“If you will recall, your excellency, before your government came on board, insecurity which had reduced substantially during the tenure of your predecessor, resumed at a very alarming rate.

“The period saw the emergence of a new group, the Niger Delta Avengers, which virtually held your government hostage, oil production went down to as low as about 800,000 barrels per day.

“Your government adopted a military approach to quell the agitations, by deploying the so-called ‘Operation Crocodile Smile’ in August 2016, which did not in any way solve the problem.

“Mr President, may I make it very clear to you that the area is sitting on a keg of gunpowder, and any attempt to scrap the amnesty programme may produce unpleasant consequences to all.”

Accusing the President of marginalising the Niger Delta region and fanning the embers of agitations, Clark said:

“Our people are very conscious of the developments that your government is carrying out in other areas of the country with monies derived from oil exploration in their area.

“We repeat, our agitation against the use of money looted from our area by the late Gen. Sani Abacha, which was recovered from the United States of America, exclusively for the construction of the so-called mega projects by the Federal Government and the illegal confiscation of 2.4 million pounds from the British Government as loot recovered from the former governor of Delta state, Chief James Ibori, under the flimsy excuse by the attorney-general of the federation, Abubakar Malami, SAN, that it was the federal government, which as a nation, negotiated with the British Government, and that it was an agreement between the two governments that the money should be used for federal projects; this is not true.

Read also: In open letter Obasanjo fires back at Clark over accusation of hate for Niger Delta

“Meanwhile, federal roads in the Niger Delta region have mostly collapsed and applying these funds to rehabilitate these collapsed roads, would have gone a long way to solving some of our problems.

“Mr. President, you have failed to deliver on different promises, including building modular refineries to replace the local refining carried out by youths, relocation of the operational headquarters of the oil companies to the Niger Delta, and the Ogoni clean-up.

“Please, Mr President, I respectfully wish to state that your claim of bringing peace to the South-South geo-political zone, is untenable, untrue and without foundation. The deliberate neglect of the South-South, can lead to the explosion of the keg of gunpowder upon which we are sitting in the Niger Delta.

“I strongly advise you to listen and heed to the various open letters I have written to you,” he said.

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