A political pressure group, Citizens Network for Peace and Development in Nigeria (CNPD), has called on the All Progressives Congress (APC) to adopt former President Goodluck Jonathan, as the party’s candidate for the 2023 presidential election or forget victory at the poll.
The National Coordinator of the group, Mr Ralph Okorie, made the call on Monday at a news conference in Abuja, urging President Muhammadu Buhari, to endorse the Jonathan project.
“There is a need for experience and continuity. The two enjoy the most cordial relationship that had ever existed between an incumbent and his immediate predecessor,” he said.
Okorie said the call for Buhari to endorse Jonathan was to ensure that candidates without a clear cut vision do not emerge as the party’s flag-bearer in the 2023 presidential election.
He said that allowing candidates without a clear cut vision to get into the Presidential Villa in 2023, would not only be suicidal but would be like aiding and supporting incompetence over competence.
According to him, the persistent calls from different parts of the country for Jonathan to contest the 2023 presidential election indicates that Nigerians have genuinely and passionately joined the support for Jonathan.
Okorie said, “We acknowledge that the ripple effects of good governance are multi-generational, hence, the CNPD for Jonathan call on all Nigerians to support this agenda.
“We strongly believe that this administration is working round the clock to address the two major problems of security and economy bedevilling this country.
“It will be counter-productive to bring an amateur to take over from President Muhammadu Buhari at this material time.
“As vanguards for Nigeria’s development, peace and unity, we want to reiterate that, our beloved country cannot afford to have a regional champion as a flagbearer.
“It is imperative that Dr Abdullahi Adamu as the National Chairman of APC will use the best man for the job to win this election bearing in mind that anything short of a Jonathan ticket will cost APC the presidency in 2023.”
He noted that his achievements of Jonathan stood him out among all the aspirants that have so far indicated an interest in the presidential election and described him as one of the most outstanding presidents the country had produced.
“For instance, within two weeks, Jonathan grounded the activities of Boko Haram insurgency and gave Nigeria a credible election adjudged by domestic and international observers as free and fair.
“Nigeria’s economic trajectory under his presidency was globally recognised as his national economic prowess earned the country the status of the largest economy in Africa.
“Today, some of the talented people who worked under his government are championing global economic transformations.
“Nigerians have not forgotten the glorious days of GEJ with Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala as the minister of Finance, Olusegun Aganga, Akinwumi Adesina, Mohammed Pateh, to mention but a few.
“We are still yearning for the immense contribution of Akinwumi Adesina who was the brain behind Jonathan’s agricultural transformation agenda that saw the increase in agriculture produce, value chain and foreign exchange earnings from the sector.
“In terms of foreign policy, Nigeria under Jonathan saw huge foreign direct investment, FDI, and infrastructure developments due to his economic liberalist and friendly dispositions,” Okorie added.
The CNPD coordinator also said that the Nigeria policy on diaspora recorded over $24 billion in remittances under Jonathan which made Nigeria and Nigerians the pride of Africa and the world.
He added that Jonathan’s return to power would not only enhance the economic, foreign policy and security situation but would provide a favourable environment for national engagement and dialogue.
Okorie, however, called on Jonathan to listen to the numerous calls and observe the political mood across Nigeria as he would give impetus to APC’s victory in the 2023 presidential election.
Adeleke freezes government accounts, reverses state name
The newly inaugurated Governor of Osun State, Ademola Adeleke, has frozen all government accounts in the state.
Adeleke directed this in his first executive order upon inauguration on Sunday.
Adeleke, in his speech delivered at the inauguration, alleged that the erstwhile governor of the state, Adegboyega Oyetola, carried out some actions “maliciously” after he (Adeleke) won the July 16 governorship election, including “hurried” employments without provisions to sustain them.
He claimed these actions were roadblocks channeled at making things difficult in his administration.
Adeleke also reversed the state name from ‘State of Osun’ to ‘Osun State’, saying the former was alien to the constitution.
“My good people of Osun, since you elected me as your governor on the July 16, 2022, which the Independent National Electoral Commission announced on July 17, 2022, the former Governor, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola, maliciously started putting road blocks to make things difficult and almost impossible for the new administration to serve you.
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“Mass employments were carried out without budgetary provisions for salary payments for the new employees; even when the state was struggling to pay salaries and deliver other services. Various hurried and criminally backdated contracts were awarded and again without budgetary provisions.
“Appointments of several Obas were hurriedly done without following due process, just to mention a few.
“All efforts to get the governor set up a Transition Committee and submit hand-over notes in line with best practices proved abortive.
“It is therefore my desire to ask for your patience and understanding to give my administration a few weeks to review and sort out all the actions and malicious confusions which the immediate past administration has created since July 17, 2022. Those actions were indeed vindictive measures against the people of Osun State for voting them out of office,” Adeleke said.
Giving new orders, he said, “Consequently, I hereby issue the following directives which will be backed up with appropriate Executive orders:
“Immediate freezing of all government accounts in banks and other financial institutions;
“Immediate establishment of a panel to carry out an inventory and recover all government assets.
“An immediate establishment of a panel to review all appointments and major decisions of the immediate past administration taken after July 17, 2022.
“An immediate reversal to the constitutionally recognised name of our state, ‘Osun State’. All government insignia, correspondences and signages should henceforth reflect Osun State rather than State of Osun which is unknown to the Nigerian constitution.”
Ebonyi INEC office set on fire, PVCs, ballot boxes burnt
Hoodlums on Sunday set ablaze the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) office at Iboko in the Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
This was disclosed by the National Commissioner and Chairman Information and Voter Education Committee, Festus Okoye, in a statement.
He said the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Ebonyi State, Mrs Onyeka Pauline Ugochi, reported that that the incident occurred around 10am.
Although he said no casualties resulted from the attack, the main building and all the movable and immovable items inside it were destroyed.
“These include 340 ballot boxes, 130 voting cubicles, 14 electric power generators, large water storage tanks, assorted office furniture and fixtures and yet to be determined quantities of Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs),” Okoye said.
According to him, this is the third attack on INEC local government office in less than three weeks having earlier recorded similar attacks on the commission’s offices in Ogun and Osun states.
He said that the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies had commenced a full investigation into the incident.
The statement read, “The Resident Electoral Commissioner for Ebonyi State, Mrs Onyeka Ugochi, reported that our Izzi Local Government Area office located in Iboko, was set ablaze this morning.
“The incident occurred around 10.00am when some unidentified persons set the entire building ablaze.
“Although no casualties resulted from the attack, the main building and all the movable and immovable items inside it were destroyed. These include 340 ballot boxes, 130 voting cubicles, 14 electric power generators, large water storage tanks, assorted office furniture and fixtures and yet to be determined quantities of Permanent Voters’ Cards.
“The attention of the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies has been drawn to the incident and have commenced investigation.
“Sadly, this is the third attack on our Local Government office in less than three weeks following similar attacks on our offices in Ogun and Osun States on 10th November 2022.”
We haven’t endorsed Peter Obi, Dogara, aggrieved Northern APC
Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, and other members of the aggrieved Northern All Progressives Congress, APC camp have dismissed speculations that the group has endorsed the Obi-Datti presidency ahead of the 2023 general elections.
The group made the dismissal in a statement jointly-signed by Simon Achuba, Hon Albert Atiwurcha, Prof Doknan Sheni, Mela A. Nunge, SAN, Gen Ishaya Bauka Rtd, Prof Ibrahim Haruna and Mrs Leah Olusiyi.
Recall that the Chairman of the group and former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, had said the group has endorsed the Labour Party presidential candidate, Obi and his running mate, Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed.
According to him, Obi was endorsed, after painstakingly reviewing and analysing the alternative candidates.
But, Dogara and other members of the group have distanced themselves from the endorsement, saying they are yet to conclude consultations and that their position will be made public.
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He said, “We want to draw the attention of the general public to the recent position canvassed by our Chairman, Engr B D Lawal as the position of our Group. We wish to state that necessary consultations have been concluded, and based on manifestly unassailable empirical data, the group is poised to adopt a position that will be made known to the public at an interfaith event to be held very soon.
“Suffices to say that no one in the group including the Chairman has been mandated to speak to the public about our position at this material time. Based on our modus Operandi, our position was meant to be presented to the general public at the event above referred to. That has not changed.
“Consequently, the decision to endorse a particular candidate and the statement credited to the chairman are solely the decision and views of the Chairman which he is absolutely entitled to but not that of the group. We hope this statement clears all the queries most of us have been inundated with on this all-important subject matter,” he added.
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