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Saraki bemoans Nigeria’s fragile unity, consults with Obasanjo, Ogun PDP delegates

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Former President of the Senate and presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has declared that the development and progress of Nigeria were being hampered because of the country’s fragile unity.

Saraki spoke in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, when he addressed PDP delegates at the party’s state secretariat.

This comes ahead of the forthcoming presidential primaries of the party.

Saraki said Nigeria requires a leader who has both legislative and executive experiences and imbued with the capacity to unite the people for the country to move forward.

Saraki, who was former two-term Governor of Kwara State, had earlier held a closed-door meeting with former President Olusegun Obasanjo at his residence located within the expansive Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library complex in Abeokuta.

According to him, he is the only presidential aspirant with the energy and capacity to carry the workload of the office of the president among those jostling to succeed incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari.

He pointed out that only a president that is up and running can address the worsening insecurity, bad economy and disunity in the country.

Saraki said: “We need a president that will stand, that is bold and courageous.

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“We all know four years as the Senate President, I stood for this country, I stood for what I believed was in the interest of this country.

“Let us find that person who has the energy because the work of a [resident is not part-time, especially now that the country is very bad.

“Nigeria needs a president that is up and running, not a president that will be giving instructions because when you give instructions and you don’t check, nothing will happen.

“You need somebody that has the energy to do it.

“I believe that I have that energy and capacity to do it.”

The former president of the Senate observed that Nigeria is in a very delicate situation now, adding that any wrong choice of leadership could spell doom for the country.

“We are in a very delicate state as a nation and we need somebody who has the experience, somebody who can unite us because without unity, we cannot go anywhere,” he added.

At the PDP secretariat, Saraki explained that a highly knowledgeable leader can address the much talked about restructuring of the country towards enabling it to overcome its challenges.

He bemoaned the rising rate of youth unemployment and wanton loss of lives occasioned by the daily activities of suspected bandits, kidnappers and insurgents in the country.

The PDP presidential aspirant recalled that under the Obasanjo administration, Nigeria was much safer, a feat he attributed to the strong and decisive nature of the country’s leadership then.

Saraki said: “We cannot say we want to vote based on sentiment.

“This country needs a president that has the capacity and knowledge, not a president that desires people to guide him on what to do.

“We need a president that can unite Nigeria because the unity of this country is very fragile now.

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“There is nothing we can do without unity in this country.

“Let’s look for a leader that can unite Nigeria.

“When I was S.A. to President Obasanjo, you saw what Nigeria was, how investment was coming in.

“We need a courageous president, we need a president that understands medical services.

“If you elect me, I will ensure that primary health care is free for all.

“I am a man of words and actions.

“I have the capacity to do what could not be done for over a decade if given the chance to unite Nigeria.

“We need a president that is courageous and strong.

“You all know that my four years as Senate President, I stood for this country.”

Saraki assured that if elected as president, he would leverage on his experiences in the legislature and executive arm of government to successfully restructure the nation without contravening its Constitution.

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Adeleke freezes government accounts, reverses state name

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Ademola Adeleke

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.”

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Ebonyi INEC office set on fire, PVCs, ballot boxes burnt

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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.”

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We haven’t endorsed Peter Obi, Dogara, aggrieved Northern APC

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Former House of Representatives Speaker, Yakubu Dogara

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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