The All Progressives Congress (APC), Ekiti State chapter has described a press statement issued by the state branch of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in which it alleged that the state Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi has budgeted the sum of 1.2b for his travelling expenses as the height of imbecility, adding that it has finally dragged itself into a level of shameless that will finally consume it and drive a wedge between it and the few members who still maintain any form of association with it.
Contained in a statement issued on Tuesday by the Director of Media and Publicity to the party, Mr. Sam Oluwana, the party wondered why a party will descend so low to attack an individual who is trying so hard to clean up the gargantuan mess it (PDP) has left behind after four years of looting and mis-rule.
On the allegation of the N1.2 billion travelling expenses, the APC spokesman said the statement did not come as a surprise.
“This is a party that was in the saddle for years in the state during which the people were pauperized to the extent of celebrating each time a ‘kongo of rice’ was served to them.
“In its four years of misrule in the state, the PDP, through its prodigal governor, Ayo Fayose, turned the state and the people to beggars that picked crumbs from the table of self-styled master, whose profligate and corrupt practices were of constant embarrassment to the people of the state and Nigerians who are familiar with his moral deficiency .
“The present administration is just settling down to find a way of settling seven month unpaid salaries of civil servants, while contracts awarded in dubious circumstances are being corrected.
“According to reports in the debt management office, made available on its websites. Fayose took the debt profiles of the State from N30 billion in December 31, 2014 to N117.6 billion in December 31, 2017.
“This is a party that found it impossible to pay salaries of workers for 8 months even when it was N18,000, now accusing a state governor of not paying N30,000 minimum wage, which implementation has not commenced in any state in the country.
“Pretending that they are lovers of people, the party in the statement lamented that Dr. Fayemi should be shopping for funds to pay N30,000 minimum wage”, he said.
Oluwalana, who doubled as the SSA (Party Matters) to the Ekiti State Governor, in the statement wondered while PDP is crying more than the bereaved.
He continued, “were they involved in the decision by Dr. Fayemi to pay outstanding salaries/allowances left behind by the PDP government?, were they involved in the decision that led Dr. Fayemi to pay the outstanding pension left behind by the PDP government? Did they force him to increase the pension paid from N10 Million to 100 million Naira monthly.
“During their four year of mis-rule, their master who was inept and ignorant of the workings of a government treated Ekiti people and its workers with scorn and indignity in a brazen manner.
“PDP lacks the moral justification and decency to now turn itself to an advocate of the masses, which they once abandoned and neglected.
“The Ekiti State 2019 budget, which is a total of N129.8billion does not in anywhere show travelling expenses of all workers as anywhere near N1.2billion. Like their stock in trade, they are bandying around fictitious figures. They have only succeeded in confusing themselves.
“The people of Ekiti State have come to appreciate Dr. Fayemi as a trust worthy, prudent and dignified personality who sees himself as servant of people unlike the former PDP governor, who lord it over the people and strust them like the master of manor for the four least years.
“It is as a result of his dignified and sensitive nature that endears him to his peers (fellow Governors) in the country that made them elect him as their Chairman.
“On the issue of SUBEB, the state lost over 2billion Naira during the regime of Fayose due to his refusal to pay the counterpart funds for the project but laundered 500milion Naira paid by Dr. Fayemi during his first term in office.
Few days after his resumption as the State Governor, the same PDP claimed that Dr. Fayemi collected 31 Billion Naira as Paris Fund, now the figure has been lowered to 11 Billion Naira, just like they have lowered their political value in the estimation of the people of state with their latest ranting.
“Another claim that Dr. Fayemi increased his security votes to N250 Billion Naira can only be the thinking of deranged set of people with blocked brain that lack capacity to think rightly”, Oluwalana concluded
Obasanjo not a democrat – Presidency
The Presidency has insinuated that former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, was not a democrat, following his latest letter to President Muhammadu Buhari on the state of the nation.
Obasanjo, in his latest letter had cautioned Buhari on the need for drastic action to tackle insecurity if the nation must remain a united one.
The former president also called for a gathering of various ethnic groups in the country to deliberate on how to live peacefully with one another.
Reacting, the senior special assistant to President Buhari on media and publicity, Garba Shehu said those aggrieved with the present structure of the nation should approach the National Assembly.
Featuring on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, he said: “To call for a national conference when there is a sitting Parliament in place, whoever is making that call is not a democrat.”
Shehu also insisted that the government in which he serves, was on top of the security situation in the country.
Obasanjo raises alarm in another open letter to Buhari [Full text]
Former President, Dr. Olusegun Obasanjo, on Monday wrote another open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari.
He lamented the state of the nation, while calling for urgent actions to tackle Nigeria’s challenges.
The letter released by Kehinde Akinyemi, his Special Assistant on Media, reads:
OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT, GENERAL MUHAMMADU BUHARI
I am constrained to write to you this open letter. I decided to make it an open letter because the issue is very weighty and must be greatly worrisome to all concerned Nigerians and that means all right-thinking Nigerians and those resident in Nigeria. Since the issue is of momentous concern to all well-meaning and all right-thinking Nigerians, it must be of great concern to you, and collective thinking and dialoguing is the best way of finding an appropriate and adequate solution to the problem. The contents of this letter, therefore, should be available to all those who can help in proffering effective solutions for the problem of insecurity in the land.
One of the spinoffs and accelerants is the misinformation and disinformation through the use of fake news. A number of articles, in recent days, have been attributed to me by some people who I believe may be seeking added credence and an attentive audience for their opinions and view-points. As you know very well, I will always boldly own what I say and disown what is put into my mouth. But the issue I am addressing here is very serious; it is the issue of life and death for all of us and for our dear country, Nigeria. This issue can no longer be ignored, treated with nonchalance, swept under the carpet or treated with cuddling glove. The issue is hitting at the foundation of our existence as Nigerians and fast eroding the root of our Nigerian community. I am very much worried and afraid that we are on the precipice and dangerously reaching a tipping point where it may no longer be possible to hold danger at bay. Without being immodest, as a Nigerian who still bears the scar of the Nigerian civil war on my body and with a son who bears the scar of fighting Boko Haram on his body, you can understand, I hope, why I am so concerned. When people are desperate and feel that they cannot have confidence in the ability of government to provide security for their lives and properties, they will take recourse to anything and everything that can guarantee their security individually and collectively.
For over ten years, for four of which you have been the captain of the ship, Boko Haram has menacingly ravaged the land and in spite of government’s claim of victory over Boko Haram, the potency and the activities of Boko Haram, where they are active, remain undiminished, putting lie to government’s claim. The recent explanation of the Chief of Army Staff for non-victory due to lack of commitment and lack of motivation on the part of troops bordering on sabotage speaks for itself. Say what you will, Boko Haram is still a daily issue of insecurity for those who are victimised, killed, maimed, kidnapped, raped, sold into slavery and forced into marriage and for children forcibly recruited into carrying bombs on them to detonate among crowds of people to cause maximum destructions and damage. And Boko Haram will not go away on the basis of sticks alone, carrots must overweigh sticks. How else do you deal with issues such as only about 50% literacy in North-East with over 70% unemployment?
Herdsmen/farmers crises and menace started with government treating the issue with cuddling glove instead of hammer. It has festered and spread. Today, it has developed into banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery and killings all over the country. The unfortunate situation is that the criminality is being perceived as a ‘Fulani’ menace unleashed by Fulani elite in the different parts of the country for a number of reasons but even more, unfortunately, many Nigerians and non-Nigerians who are friends of Nigeria attach vicarious responsibility to you as a Fulani elite and the current captain of the Nigeria ship. Perception may be as potent as reality at times. Whatever may be the grievances of Fulanis, if any, they need to be put out in the open and their grievances, if legitimate, be addressed; and if other ethnic groups have grievances, let them also be brought out in the open and addressed through debate and dialogue.
The main issue, if I may dare say, is poor management or mismanagement of diversity which, on the other hand, is one of our greatest and most important assets. As a result, very onerous cloud is gathering. And rain of destruction, violence, disaster and disunity can only be the outcome. Nothing should be taken for granted, the clock is ticking with the cacophony of dissatisfaction and disaffection everywhere in and outside the country. The Presidency and the Congress in the US have signalled to us to put our house in order. The House of Lords in the UK had debated the Nigerian security situation. We must understand and appreciate the significance, implication and likely consequences of such concerns and deliberations.
No one can stop hate speech, violent agitation and smouldering violent agitation if he fans the embers of hatred, disaffection and violence. It will continue to snowball until it is out of control. A stitch in time saves nine, goes the old wise saying.
With the death of Funke, Chief Fasoranti’s daughter, some sympathetic Nigerian groups are saying “enough is enough”. Prof. Anya, a distinguished Nigerian merit Laureate, has this to say “We can no longer say with certainty that we have a nation”. Niger-Delta leaders, South-Eastern leaders, Middle-Belt leaders and Northern Elders Forum have not remained quiet. Different ordinary Nigerians at home and abroad are calling for different measures to address or ameliorate the situation. All the calls and cries can only continue to be ignored at the expense of Nigerian unity, if not its continued existence.
To be explicit and without equivocation, Mr. President and General, I am deeply worried about four avoidable calamities:
1. abandoning Nigeria into the hands of criminals who are all being suspected, rightly or wrongly, as Fulanis and terrorists of Boko Haram type;
2. spontaneous or planned reprisal attacks against Fulanis which may inadvertently or advertently mushroom into pogrom or Rwanda-type genocide that we did not believe could happen and yet it happened.
3. similar attacks against any other tribe or ethnic group anywhere in the country initiated by rumours, fears, intimidation and revenge capable of leading to pogrom;
4. violent uprising beginning from one section of the country and spreading quickly to other areas and leading to dismemberment of the country.
It happened to Yugoslavia not too long ago. If we do not act now, one or all of these scenarios may happen. We must pray and take effective actions at the same time. The initiative is in the hands of the President of the nation, but he cannot do it alone. In my part of the world, if you are sharpening your cutlass and a mad man comes from behind to take the cutlass from you, you need other people’s assistance to have your cutlass back without being harmed. The mad men with serious criminal intent and terrorism as core value have taken cutlass of security. The need for assistance to regain control is obviously compelling and must be embraced now.
A couple of weeks ago at a public lecture, I had said, among other things, that:
“In all these issues of mobilisation for national unity, stability, security, cooperation, development, growth and progress, there is no consensus. Like in the issue of security, government should open up discussion, debate and dialogue as part of consultation at different levels and the outcome of such deliberations should be collated to form inputs into a national conference to come up with the solution that will effectively deal with the issues and lead to rapid development, growth and progress which will give us a wholesome society and enhanced living standard and livelihood in an inclusive and shared society. It will be a national programme. We need unity of purpose and nationally accepted strategic roadmap that will not change with whims and caprices of any government. It must be owned by the citizens, people’s policy and strategy implemented by the government no matter its colour and leaning.
Some of the groups that I will suggest to be contacted are: traditional rulers, past heads of service (no matter how competent or incompetent they have been and how much they have contributed to the mess we are in), past heads of para-military organisations, private sector, civil society, community leaders particularly in the most affected areas, present and past governors, present and past local government leaders, religious leaders, past Heads of State, past intelligence chiefs, past Heads of Civil Service and relevant current and retired diplomats, members of opposition and any groups that may be deemed relevant.”
The President must be seen to be addressing this issue with utmost seriousness and with maximum dispatch and getting all hands on deck to help. If there is failure, the principal responsibility will be that of the President and no one else. We need cohesion and concentration of effort and maximum force – political, economic, social, psychological and military – to deal successfully with the menace of criminality and terrorism separately and together. Blame game among own forces must be avoided. It is debilitating and only helpful to our adversary. We cannot dither anymore. It is time to confront this threat headlong and in a manner that is holistic, inclusive and purposeful.
For the sake of Nigeria and Nigerians, I pray that God may grant you, as our President, the wisdom, the understanding, the political will and the courage to do what is right when it is right and without fear or favour. May God save, secure, protect and bless Nigeria. May He open to us a window of opportunity that we can still use to prevent the worst happening. As we say in my village, “May God forbid bad thing”.
July 15, 2019
APC blame governors, supports NASS on Edo, Bauchi Assembly crisis
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has reiterated its support for the decision taken by the National Assembly to resolve the crisis in Edo and Bauchi State Houses of Assembly.
Its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Lanre Issa-Onilu, confirmed this while addressing a news conference on Sunday in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
Issa-Onilu explained that the real issue at stake is the alleged deliberate violation of the rule of law by the governors of the affected states.
According to him, ”There was supposed to be a proper proclamation of the House of Assembly in Bauchi and Edo and in both cases, what happened has fallen short of the expectation.
“So, do the right thing. You can deal with whoever you think is your problem; that is a different issue.
“Our only concern here is wherever – Edo, Bauchi, anywhere else, rule of law must guide whatever we do. Enough of impunity in the country, and we will not take it,” he added
The APC spokesman said the party has demanded that the governors of Edo and Bauchi states obey the rule of law by ensuring that their State Houses of Assembly were properly inaugurated.
He maintained that the National Assembly was constitutionally empowered to take over the functions of any State House of Assembly found not capable of performing its functions.
Issa-Onilu averred that the APC aligned itself with the position of the federal lawmakers, stressing that their intervention in the crisis was in line with the Constitution.
“What should happen is the National Assembly is clearly empowered in a situation where it is clear that a particular House of Assembly is incapable of conducting its business.
“The law is clear on what should be done and we are glad to know that the respective chambers are already doing what they need to do”, he concluded.
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