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Buhari Has Done More For South-East Than PDP’s 16-year Rule—Governor Umahi

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The Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, who is also the Chairman of the South-East Governors’ Forum, has said the region has benefitted more from the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government than from the Peoples Democratic Party’s rule of 16 years in the country

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Umahi claimed that the Igbo had a fair play in terms of economic and infrastructural development under Buhari which was missing under the PDP

According to Vanguard, Umahi stated this in Lagos while speaking through his Commissioner for Information and State Orientation, Uchenna Orji.

The governor argued that the N10 billion airport rehabilitation, the 2nd Niger Bridge, the Enugu-Port-Harcourt Expressway and other infrastructures are pointers to the benefits the South-East states got from the Buhari administration.

“These are indications that this administration is helping the South-East a lot more than ever. We believe in constituted authorities, we believe in establishments. That is why we still have the Federal Republic of Nigeria under the able leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari. We also believe in the leadership of governors and so, our various shades of opinion will not be a barrier to governance.

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“The South-East has abiding faith in Nigeria as a nation. The labours of our heroes past shall never be in vain. One of our most respected founding fathers, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe was in the frontline of championing the cause of one Nigeria, the cause of an independent Nigeria and we cannot for any reason renege from that vision. People express opinions based on a lot of factors. There have been issues of marginalisation and under-development.

“You would recall that the 16-year rule of PDP did not give the South-East any progress. So, these accumulated issues made people to share different opinions but the majority opinion goes. Our leaders believe in one Nigeria where there is peace and I think it is high time Nigerian government considers the issue of conceding presidency to the South-East, no matter the political party.

“It is important to give everybody a sense of belonging, no matter the party. We should fight for the corporate existence of Nigeria.”

Asked if Umahi is interested in running for Presidency, the commissioner said the governor had not said so.

“I know the governor does anything when he is inspired. For now, he is content and really saddled with how to deliver the dividends of democracy in Ebonyi State. So far, so good, we have seen in him a man of extraordinary ability, a performer, a pace-setter and God’s instrument and a vessel of honour in Ebonyi State. There is a great difference. Before he came on board, we had no confidence as a people but all that has changed.

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“I want to say that despite our emotions, despite our sentiments, despite some encounters we must have had in the hands of criminals or bandits, whether they are of herdsmen or of kidnappers, that should not derogate from the fact that we can get criminals anywhere in any part of Nigeria.

”But essentially, government of every state under this federal system that we operate, including the federal government has a primary responsibility under the constitution to secure and protect the lives and property of the citizens.

“That is not negotiable. If any government does compromise that, that government will fail in its responsibility. Having said that, I want to say that the South-East governors are doing very well. In Ebonyi State, we have a strategic blueprint on how to tackle insecurity comprehensibly. On the issue of criminals, we have fortified security and we have put in place necessary facilities to checkmate criminals including making Ebonyi a smart city state whereby CCTV cameras were installed in different junctions in the state to monitor the activities of these criminals.”

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Obasanjo condemns call for Nigeria’s disintegration

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Wednesday described calls for the disintegration of Nigeria as unmindful and insensitive to the plight of the minority groups in the country.

Obasanjo made the observation when he received the Tiv Professional Group (TPG) from Benue State, who paid him a courtesy visit in Abeokuta.

The former president recalled a discussion between him and “a military friend”  who, according to him, has described major tribes in the country as selfish and not sufficiently caring for the minority groups.

Obasanjo, who aligned with his friend’s opinion, expressed worry over what would become of the minority groups if the major tribes decided to secede and begin to operate as separate countries.

“If the Yoruba can stand as a country if the Igbos and the Hausa/Fulani can stand as separate countries, where do we want the minority groups to be?

“Now, by virtue of the present situation, they are a little bit protected, but if Nigeria breaks up, they will be oppressed and exterminated,” he said.

He recalled the meetings he had with a number of socio-cultural organizations in September 2020 and noted that nobody at such meeting talked about disintegration or breakup, saying that “all they clamored for was a change for good”.

The elder statesman stressed the need for Nigerian leaders to be mindful of the ethnic diversity of the Nigerian nation, adding that the country would not make any meaningful progress without such consideration.

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Obasanjo, who expressed hope that the rough times that Nigeria was going through would not last forever, urged Nigerians to be patient while the country gathered her goodwill and moved in the right direction.

The leader of the group, Prof. Zacharys Gundv, in a paper he presented to Obasanjo, highlighted the challenges of the nation, including insecurity, poverty religious intolerance, kidnappings, and banditry, among others.

He explained that the Tivs were worried about the skewed narrative of insecurity in Nigeria

Proffering a solution to Nigeria’s challenges, Gundv called on well-meaning Nigerians to be united in serving the country.

He called for intensified advocacy against nomadic pastoralism and an “All Nationalities Summit” to discuss and proffer solutions to Nigeria’s challenges.

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Buhari haunted by his coup plotting past- PDP

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What began as a rumour or idle talk – whispers of a putsch – yesterday gathered a life of its own as state actors kept giving life to the notion, which is turning and turning in the widening gyre.

First was the pledge by the military that it would not overthrow President Muhammadu Buhari, a former army general and head of state whose government has come under strident criticisms over growing insecurity in the country.

In a statement issued by Acting Director, Defence Information, Brigadier-General Onyema Nwachukwu, the military said it has no intention of taking over power again in Nigeria. This, it said, is because it believes that despite tough times, democracy is the way to go and militarism is no longer fashionable. The army also warned politicians nursing ambition of ruling Nigeria outside the ballot box, saying it would continue to defend the country’s democracy.

“We shall continue to remain apolitical, subordinate to the Civil Authority, firmly loyal to the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari and the 1999 Constitution as Amended. We shall continue to discharge our constitutional responsibilities professionally, especially in protecting the country’s democracy, defence of the territorial integrity of the country as well as protection of lives and properties of citizens,” the statement said in part.

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This statement was in reaction to agitation by some secessionist and opposition figures for a restructuring of the government, coming two days after the Department of State Services (DSS) also issued same warning.

Immediately after the army’s pledge of loyalty, the Presidency, yesterday, raised the alarm, warning of a subliminal plot by some past leaders working with foreigners to forcefully sack President Buhari from office. However, it did not provide names of the leaders and their cohorts.

The Presidency predicated its conclusion on what it described as ‘unimpeachable’ evidence made available to it by DSS operatives. It, however, warned of dire consequences of such plot, especially where the citizens have opted for democratic rule, saying the only accepted way to change a democratically elected government is through elections.

In a statement issued by Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the Presidency said: “The Department of State Services (DSS), on Sunday alerted on sinister moves by misguided elements to wreak havoc on the government, sovereignty and corporate existence of the country.

“Championed by some disgruntled religious and past political leaders, the intention is to eventually throw the country into a tailspin, which would compel a forceful and undemocratic change of leadership.

“Further unimpeachable evidence shows that these disruptive elements are now recruiting the leadership of some ethnic groups and politicians round the country, with the intention of convening some sort of conference, where a vote of no confidence would be passed on the President, thus throwing the land into further turmoil.

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“The agent provocateurs hope to achieve through artifice and sleight of hands, what they failed to do through the ballot box in the 2019 elections. Nigerians have opted for democratic rule, and the only accepted way to change a democratically elected government is through elections, which hold at prescribed times in the country. Any other way is patently illegal, and even treasonable. Of course, such would attract the necessary consequences.”

In response to the salvo fired by the Presidency, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the allegation that some Nigerians were plotting a forceful and undemocratic change of leadership, as a resort to blackmail in the face of failure. The PDP, in a statement by its national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, asked Buhari to look closely at his past before accusing it of plot to overthrow democratically elected government.

“Perhaps, the Presidency has forgotten that in 1983, Brigadier Muhammadu Buhari, as he was then known, led a military coup to truncate a democratically elected government thereby causing our nation a huge drawback on democratic governance.”

The PDP said rather than live up to the responsibilities of office by taking charge and securing the nation, “the Presidency is busy engaging in frivolous allegations against Nigerians.”

DESCRIBING the alarm as false and signs of a jittery administration pushing the panic button, a civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has asked Buhari to quit immediately if the “kitchen has become too hot for him.”

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Bloomberg removes Bill Gates from billionaire list after divorce

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A few hours after announcing his divorce from wife, Melinda, Bloomberg has delisted one of the richest men in the world, Bill Gates, from its billionaire list index.

Gates had, on Monday, announced that he and Melinda who are the co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, were splitting after 27 years of marriage.

“After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” the duo had shared on Twitter.

“Over the last 27 years, we have raised three incredible children and built a foundation that works all over the world to enable people to lead healthy lives,” they added .

Immediately after making the announcement, Bloomberg, an international media conglomerate that provides financial news and information, research, and financial data, yanked Gates off its top billionaires’ list where he usually sits in the top four spots.

On May 2, 2021, Gates was fourth on the index with a net worth of $145 billion, having gained over $13 billion in 2021 alone.

Gates became the youngest ‘American Billionaire’ in 1987 and has been on the Bloomberg’s list ever since.

He has also been a permanent fixture on the Forbes billionaire index, often making the real-time billionaire list

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Gates and Melinda got married in 1994, after he was already named the richest man in America.

The divorce is expected to affect their wealth, but the extent to which this will happen is yet to be known as Forbes is also expected to make its position known in due course.

By Isaac Dachen…

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