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Nigeria nowhere close to failed state, says APC

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The All Progressives Congress has Nigeria is nowhere close to a failed state.

The party stated this in a statement by the Secretary of its Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee, Senator John James Akpanudoedehe.

It was in reaction to Peoples Democratic Party’s earlier statement that the APC-led Muhammadu Buhari administration should accept the pronouncement of Financial Times that the country was close to a failed state.

Part of the statement read, “While naysayers and opposition partisans chorus their doomsday wishes for Nigeria, our dear country is nowhere close to becoming a failed state.

“The President Muhammadu Buhari government is not oblivious to the country’s challenges and is visibly and frontally addressing them.

“From the economy to security, it is easy to sum up Nigeria with some recent recorded security incidents and the economic downturn. However, this government has displayed the political will and capacity to contain any criminal/terrorist activity and return the economy to growth.

“President Buhari’s administration which sees the urgent need to have a better policing system for the country and is embarking on sweeping police reforms and supporting community policing, is definitely not governing a country close to becoming a failed state.

“Amid the COVID-19 induced economic slowdown, President Buhari’s administration which is stimulating the economy by preventing business collapse; supporting labour-intensive sectors such as agriculture; creating jobs through infrastructural investments in roads, rails, bridges; promoting manufacturing and local production at all levels to attain self-sufficiency in critical sectors of the economy, is definitely not governing a country close to becoming a failed state.

“President Buhari’s administration which is implementing one of the world’s largest and far-reaching social investment programmes targeting the very poor and other vulnerable groups, including women and persons living with disabilities through pro-poor spending, is definitely not governing a country close to becoming a failed state.

“Nigerians will recall the ignoble pastime of past administrations which will rather bury its head in sand and spin conspiracies in the face of insecurity and engage in voodoo economics to hoodwink Nigerians while national resources were stolen and diverted to political cronies. Those days are gone.

“While the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and their hirelings engage in their unfortunate and apparently orchestrated attacks on the Armed Forces and other security services, the APC will rather support their efforts and charge them to do more to further degrade the capacity of terrorists and other criminal elements to attack soft targets.”

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Governors have limited power to tackle insecurity, says Lalong

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Simon Lalong, governor of Plateau, says there are limits to what state governors can do about insecurity in the country.

He lamented that governors don’t have full authority over the security operatives in their states.

Lalong spoke on Friday during the Good Morning Nigeria programme on Nigeria Television Authority (NTA).

He said even though the constitution makes the governors the chief security officers of their states, there is a limit to the orders they can give security personnel.

Lalong called on the national assembly to intervene, adding that the federal lawmakers have a role to play in ensuring that governors are empowered to tackle insecurity.

“We have also cried and said the constitution provides that we (the governors) are chief security officers in our state,” he said.

“But there are limits to what we can do, the command that we do. If I am the general officer commanding, I should be the general officer commanding. Not the general officer that will command, and the person you command will say I need to get command from somewhere. All these are very important.”

Lalong said it is time for the federal government to address security issues and to implement all the security reports that have been drafted and submitted.

“We can’t be talking unless we address these issues. Let us be addressing these issues, not only talk-shop, because by the time we continue to talk without coming back to implement, we will still be talking of the same issue,” he added.

 

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Buhari meets Chad’s interim leader, promises support

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President Muhammadu Buhari has held a meeting with President of Chad’s Transitional Military Council, General Mahamat Idriss Deby, in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Buhari at the Friday meeting made his visitor a promise that he would help Chad to stabilize and return to a democratic government.
A statement issued by a presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, recalled that Marshal Idriss Deby  President of the country, had died in a battle last month, while leading troops to confront insurgents, who had come in through Libya.
“The country set up the transitional council, headed by the son of the deceased, and a return to democratic order is expected in 18 months,” the statement added.
The President, while speaking to his visitor, said: “We are bound together by culture and geography, and we will help in all ways we can.
“Nigerians know and appreciate the role Chad played in helping us to combat terrorism, and we will continue the collaboration,” said the president.
Buhari said Chad should not hesitate to ask for help in areas it deemed necessary as the late Marshal Itno “was a personal friend, and a friend of Nigeria, and Chad has been very steadfast in defending Nigeria.”
The President, who said Nigeria would help strengthen the Lake Chad Basin Commission and the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), added, “We will also help you to ensure a smooth transition in 18 months, as you have promised your people.”
Lt. Gen. Itno, who thanked Nigeria for the solidarity shown after the passage of the former President, noted that the main objective of the Transitional Military Council “is the security and cohesion of our country.”
He recommitted to democratic, free, fair polls in 18 months, telling President Buhari: “You were very close to Marshal Itno. I’m here to reaffirm that relationship, and for you to support our transition. We rely on our brother country Nigeria, as we have shared history, culture and geography. We are ready to be guided by you in our journey to constitutional rule.”

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I’ll always be mayor for all Londoners, says Sadiq Khan

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Newly elected London major, Sadiq Khan has said he is humbled by his election for a second term, promising to always remain a mayor for all Londoners.

Labour’s Sadiq Khan won the election by beating Conservative rival Shaun Bailey.

He won 55.2% of the popular vote, after entering a run-off with Mr Bailey when neither managed to secure a majority in the first round of voting.

The former MP became the first Muslim mayor of an EU capital city when he was elected to the role in 2016.

He spoke at the City Hall, pledging “to strain every sinew to help build a better, brighter future for London”.

The Green Party’s Sian Berry came third, while the Liberal Democrats’ Luisa Porritt was fourth.

The Lib Dems lost their deposit, as Ms Porritt failed to win more than 5% of the vote.

Elsewhere on Saturday evening, Labour lost overall control of Durham County Council while the Tories continued to make inroads in their traditional heartlands.

Sadiq Khan: ‘I never wanted to be a culture war poster boy’

Mr Khan was seen as the favourite throughout the campaign, with some pollsters predicting he would win more than half of the first-round votes.

The 51-year-old failed to reach his record-setting vote total of 2016, but won with a 228,000-vote majority.

Khan’s closest rival was Mr Bailey, who received 44.8% of the first and second-round votes, and increased the Conservative vote share by 1.6%.

Speaking after the results were announced, Mr Khan said, “I will always be a mayor for all Londoners, working to improve the lives of every single person in this city.

“The results of the elections around the UK show our country, and even our city, remains deeply divided.

“The scars of Brexit have yet to heal. A crude culture war is pushing us further apart.”

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