Categories
Federal government Infrastructure Letters News PDP Politics South South

THANK YOU OUR DEAR PRESIDENT.

OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR OF RIVERS STATE.

THANK YOU OUR DEAR PRESIDENT.

I wish to on behalf of the Government and people of Rivers State appreciate and most sincerely thank you for graciously approving the refund of the sum of 78.9 billion naira to Rivers state Government, as cost of the execution of Federal Government Road projects in Rivers State.

2. Let me also through you thank the vice president, His Excellency professor Yemi Osinbajo GCON as well as other members of the Federal Executive Council for the support they provided for our request.

3. Mr President has by this remarkable and heart-warming gesture shown not only your love for the Government and people of Rivers State, but also demonstrated expressly that you are indeed a President of every state of the Federation and Nigerians.

4. I assure you that Rivers State Government is willing and ever ready to cooperate and partner with the Federal Government to advance the development aspirations of Rivers State in particular, and our nation in general.

5. I wish to therefore appeal to Mr President to kindly obliged us a State visit, when invited to see what we have accomplished for the state and our people with the money.

6. Once again, thank you Mr President, and please, be assured of our profound esteem, as always.

Sign,
Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, CON, GSSR POS,
Governor, Rivers State

Categories
Abigborodo Abuja Africa Aghalokpe Ajamikawa Alaka community America Amukpe Anambra State Anioma Anthony Village APC Arts Asia Australia Auto mobile Banking Beauty Ebireri Book Review Business Catering and Hotel Management Charles Ebireri Christianity Citizens City News Contact The Publishers Culture David Ebireri Delta Central Delta North Delta South Delta State Discourse Economy Edo Edo State Education Eku Elume District Encounter Environment Ethiope East Ethiope West Europe F. O. and Sons Fashion Federal character Federal government Festus Omajemite Ebireri Financial Crime Government Hausa Health Henry Ovie Ebireri Igbimidaka Igbo Ijaw Ikpera Sawmill Industries Institution Interest Group International Iponri Islam Issues and Ideas Itsekiri Ken Ochonogor Kokori Lagos Lagos Central Lagos East Lagos West Lamonde Kevwe Ebireri Law Leadership Letters Local government Marford Close Media Media Watch MediaGate Management and Consulting Limited Military Monica Ochu Ohwavborua National Assembly National Security Ndokwa East Ndokwa Nation News Niger Delta Nigeria North Central North East North West Novena University Obituary Oghene Ochuko Ogume Oil and Gas Okpara-waterside Ondo State Oyabewei Dieghwolo PDP Police Affair Political Institutions Political Parties Politics Port-Harcourt Power and Energy /Electricity Presidency Public Administration Reclamation Road Religion Rivers State Sapele Security Society South East South South South West Sport's Sports Gate State governments Stock Market Watch Surulere Telecommunications The Veterans Theatre Ugbeku Ugbimidaka Ukwuani Uncategorized University Urhobo Veronica Ikpera Ebireri Victor Oki Victor Okpako Ebireri Victoria Ebireri Unubreme Viewpoint World Yoruba

Novena University Admission

Categories
News Power and Energy /Electricity

N’Assembly leadership halts planned hike in electricity tariffs

PRESS STATEMENT

N’Assembly leadership halts planned hike in electricity tariffs

The leadership of the National Assembly on Monday waded into the controversy on the planned hike in electricity tariffs from July 1st, 2020 and succeeded in convincing the Distribution Companies(DISCOs) to defer the plan till the first quarter of 2021.

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila and other principal Officers of the two Chambers met at the National Assembly with the Chief Executives of the government electricity regulatory body and DISCOs across the country.

Also in attendance were the Chairmen of the Committees on Power from the Senate and House of Representatives.

The National Assembly leaders were emphatic at the meeting that the timing of the planned hike was wrong even though they had not much issue with the need to introduce a cost reflective tariffs for the power sector to attract the much needed investment.

In the course of the meeting, the DISCOs too admitted that they were not well prepared for the planned hike in tariffs even though they so much desired the increase.

The meeting agreed to defer the planned hike till first quarter of next year while the leadership of the National Assembly promised to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari on the issue.

“The agreement here is that there is not going to be any increase in the tariffs on July 1st,” Lawan said at the end of the meeting.

“The Speaker and I, we are going to take appropriate action and meet with the President.

“We are in agreement here that there is no question on the justification of the increase but the time is simply not right and appropriate measures need to be put in place

“So between now and the first quarter of next year, our task will be to work together with you to ensure that we put those blocks in place to support the eventual increase in tariffs,” Lawan said.

Lawan said the government has been doing a lot as part of its obligations to provide some form of Intervention.

“I’m quite aware that for this year, probably starting from last year, over N600 billion was earmarked for this sector to improve.

“The potential increase in the tariffs is definitely something that will be of concern to us in the National Assembly.

“There is too much stress in the lives of Nigerians today and indeed across the world because of the challenges imposed by COVID-19 pandemic and even before then, we had issues that would always make it tough for our people to effectively pay the tariffs.

“One way or the other, for this business to flourish, for this sector to be appropriately fixed, for it to attract investment, something has to give way, there is no doubt about that but it is also crucial that we look at the timing for any of our actions,” Lawan said.

In the same vein, Rt. Hon. Gbajabiamila said the National Assembly is on the same page with the DISCOs on the issue of cost reflective tariffs.

“There is time for everything. A well intended programme or policy of government can fall flat on the face and never recover if you do it at a wrong time. I think we all agree to that.

“There cannot be a time as bad as this for us to increase anything. Forget about electricity, anything. Whereas, even in time of decreasing revenue, we are even reducing the pump price. I don’t know how we can justify an increase in the cost of electricity at this time in Nigeria.

“The good things is that we have agreed that we need to do something about the cost,” the Speaker said.

Gbajabiamila posed some questions to DISCOs and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission(NERC): “How did we arrive at the tariffs or costs. Who were the stakeholders that were present. What was the role of the National Assembly. More importantly, is the President aware of this because the President is perhaps the biggest stakeholder of all, apart from the Nigerian people.

“Whatever will affect his government is something that should concern all of us. I think this will affect his government. This timing. Not the increase. The timing. I think it will affect his government and if it is going to affect his government, we should all rally around our people, our president and the government to make sure we do the right thing,” Gbajabiamila said.

The representatives of the DISCOs said if the planned hike is eventually deferred till next year, the government should continue to bear the difference in the present tariff and what was considered as the appropriate tariff.

In attendance at the meeting were the representatives of NERC, Kano Electricity Distribution Company, Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company, Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company and Eko Electricity Distribution Company.

Signed:

Ola Awoniyi

Special Adviser (Media)
to President of the Senate

Monday, 29th June, 2020

Categories
Environment Health MediaGate Management and Consulting Limited News Niger Delta Nigeria PDP Rivers State Society South South

Again, Obuah Warns Against Dumping Of Wastes Into Water Channels

Press Statement

Again, Obuah Warns Against Dumping Of Wastes Into Water Channels

The Sole Administrator, Rivers State Waste Management Agency (RIWAMA), Bro. Felix Obuah has renewed his call on people living and doing business in the State not to dispose of their wastes into gutters and other water channels, to avoid blockage of water channels which is the major cause of flooding in the State.

Bro. Obuah who stated this shortly after monitoring the popular Nta Nwogba water channel in Port Harcourt today, Monday, June 29, 2020, said the call became necessary following consistent heavy rainfalls being witnessed in the State, marking the onset of raining season.

At Ikokwu, he enjoined mechanics and those doing business there to desist from throwing wastes into the gutters.

He recalled that Rivers State is among 13 states listed by the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET) that will witness heavy flooding this year.

The RIWAMA Sole Administrator regretted that flooding signs have begun to manifest in some states just as predicted by the NIMET because people failed to heed the warnings issued by the Agency.

Bro. Obuah said the situation called for collaborative efforts by residents across the 23 Local Government Areas to ensure that the State is not caught up by the possible flood disaster, stressing that this would only be avoided if residents and those doing business in the State regularly clean their gutters and other water channels of wastes.

The RIWAMA boss also noted that the Agency had often warned residents and those doing business in the State to adhere to environmental rules by not throwing garbage into the gutters and other waterways, as these would impede the free flow of water.

“The flood disaster which devastated several parts of the State in 2012 is still very fresh in mind and should serve as a wake-up call for all residents and people doing business in the State to take appropriate steps to avoid a repeat”, Bro. Obuah advised.

The Sole Administrator further called on residents to see themselves as partners in the crusade for a clean and healthy Rivers State, urging them to play a pivotal role by ensuring the implementation of the government’s effort to return Port Harcourt, the State Capital and its environs to its Garden City status.

He appealed to them to make it a routine exercise to properly bag their waste and dump same at approved government receptacles only, and to also observe the RIWAMA approved dumping hours of 6 p.m. to 12 midnight.

Signed:

Jerry Needam

Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to

Bro. Felix Obuah, Sole Administrator,

Rivers State Waste Management Agency (RIWAMA).

Monday, June 29, 2020.

Categories
Anthony Village APC Lagos Lagos Central Lagos East Lagos West

SANWO-OLU UNVEILS COWLSO’S 5,000 TRANSISTOR RADIOS TO IMPROVE ACCESS TO LEARNING

PRESS RELEASE

SANWO-OLU UNVEILS COWLSO’S 5,000 TRANSISTOR RADIOS TO IMPROVE ACCESS TO LEARNING

…Says Innovation Critical To Address Challenges Thrown Up By Covid-19

…Radio Station Solely Dedicated To Education Underway – Commissioner

Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Monday unveiled 5,000 transistor radios, 5,000 face masks and cash donation by the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO) to improve access to educational contents by pupils and students in the State in response to the challenges thrown up by Covid-19 pandemic.

The transistor radios and face masks, which were donated by COWLSO in partnership with the Office of Lagos State First Lady to the Ministry of Education, would be distributed across the State, especially in the hard-to-reach areas including riverine areas.

Speaking at event, which was held at State House, Marina, Sanwo-Olu commended COWLSO for the laudable initiative to play up the education of children in the State, expressing optimism that it would enhance access to educational contents on radio.

“What COWLSO is donating this morning is to improve and enhance the learning capability of the children and so we are excited that they have been able to put this together for the students.

“I understand that this is the first batch, others will come in. This is a new norm and so we need to adapt to the new realities of where we found ourselves and so this is part of adaptability and innovation has to come to learning.

“What we are doing now is as much as possible, learning can be done offsite and so it is just something to make our children get themselves busy, have a tool, have an app, have a phone and have a radio and whatever it means to communicate such that at the agreed time and in the comfort of their learning environment, they can tune in, they can listen, they can take notes, they can interact and be in tune,” the Governor said.

He said the donation by COWLSO would greatly help students to be abreast of all of the things happening as far as their education was concerned since schools are physically not operating for now.

On her part, the First Lady and COWLSO Chairman, Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu said the initiative to donate the transistor radios was borne out of the desire to ensure that no child is left behind in the access to quality education in the State, while the 5,000 face masks and the cash donation would help to ease the burden of parents and guardians and the students in this era of the new normal.

She said statistics confirmed that there are over a million children at home during this pandemic period not going to school for the past three months, while students preparing for WAEC and Jamb exams had equally been affected.

“In this new normal, Ministry of Education has gone ahead to improve on e-learning, loading the Nigerian curriculum on to some platforms and in a bid to reach out to more students in the rural and riverine areas numbering about 200,000 across Lagos State in the primary and Secondary schools in Ibeju Lekki, Epe, Ikorodu, Badagry, Agege, among others, COWLSO is coming on board to assist with transistor radios so that our students will have access to educational programmes on radio.

“During the first phase of the lockdown, COWLSO took part in distributing palliatives. We distributed food items, hand sanitizers and everything that needed to be distributed. However, we were still worried about the education of our children now that they are not going to school.

“We just don’t want to stop at giving palliatives; we wanted to move further and so we decided to donate radio transistors with batteries to ease the leaning of the children since we learnt that the Ministry of Education had perfected partnership with some radio stations,” the First Lady said.

She urged corporate organizations, religious bodies, human rights activists, among others to come to the plight of the children by joining hands with government to play up education with the view to engender a better future for students in the State.

While thanking teachers for the time invested in education, she charged students to reciprocate the efforts of government to scale up their education by coming out with better grades.

Earlier, Commissioner for Education, Mrs Folasade Adefisayo commended the First Lady and COWLSO members for the donations, saying it would perfectly key into efforts to improve access to education for pupils and students considering that some radio stations have signed on to the learning programmes initiated by the Ministry to engage students throughout the pandemic period.

She also disclosed that the Ministry was working on establishing a Radio Station that would be solely dedicated to education to expand time for airing of educational contents and improve access for students.

SIGNED

OLUBUKONLA NWONAH

ASST DIRECTOR, PUBLIC AFFAIRS

OFFICE OF LAGOS STATE FIRST LADY

JUNE 29, 2020

Categories
Abigborodo Abuja Africa Aghalokpe Ajamikawa Alaka community America Amukpe Anambra State Anioma Anthony Village APC Arts Asia Australia Auto mobile Banking Beauty Ebireri Book Review Business Catering and Hotel Management Charles Ebireri Christianity Citizens City News Culture David Ebireri Delta Central Delta North Delta South Delta State Discourse Economy Edo Edo State Education Eku Elume District Encounter Ethiope East Ethiope West Europe F. O. and Sons Fashion Federal character Federal government Festus Omajemite Ebireri Financial Crime Government Hausa Health Henry Ovie Ebireri Igbimidaka Igbo Ijaw Ikpera Sawmill Industries Institution Interest Group International Iponri Islam Issues and Ideas Itsekiri Ken Ochonogor Kokori Lagos Lagos Central Lagos East Lagos West Lamonde Kevwe Ebireri Law Leadership Letters Local government Marford Close Media Media Watch MediaGate Management and Consulting Limited Military Monica Ochu Ohwavborua National Assembly National Security Ndokwa Nation News Niger Delta Nigeria North Central North East North West Novena University Obituary Oghene Ochuko Ogume Oil and Gas Okpara-waterside Ondo State Oyabewei Dieghwolo PDP Police Affair Political Institutions Political Parties Politics Port-Harcourt Presidency Public Administration Reclamation Road Religion Rivers State Sapele Security Society South East South South South West Sport's Sports Gate State governments Stock Market Watch Surulere Telecommunications The Veterans Theatre Ugbeku Ugbimidaka Ukwuani Uncategorized Urhobo Veronica Ikpera Ebireri Victor Oki Victor Okpako Ebireri Victoria Ebireri Unubreme Viewpoint World Yoruba

LAGOS TO BUILD INTERNATIONAL INFECTIOUS DISEASE RESEARCH CENTRE AT YABA – SANWO-OLU …As CACOVID Hands Over 150-Bed Isolation Centre

LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT

OFFICE OF THE CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNOR

PRESS RELEASE

LAGOS TO BUILD INTERNATIONAL INFECTIOUS DISEASE RESEARCH CENTRE AT YABA – SANWO-OLU
…As CACOVID Hands Over 150-Bed Isolation Centre

Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu Sunday disclosed that plans are in top gear by the State Government to construct a purpose built International Infectious Disease Research Centre at the Mainland Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba as part of Lagos COVID19 response and other infectious disease preparedness in post COVID19 era.

Sanwo-Olu who disclosed this today at the official launch of the 150-bed Mainland Infectious Disease Isolation Centre donated by Private Sector Coalition Against COVID19 (CACOVID) to Lagos State for COVID19 response added that the State government would also erect a purpose built Doctors’ Quarters and permanent isolation wards to ramp up capacity for any infectious disease outbreak in Lagos as part of the global master plan for the Mainland Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba.

He said: “Our Infectious Disease hospital is seeing a lot of brand new things coming up and we are have committed that this hospital post COVID19 would see a purpose built international infectious disease research center; the designs are out already. We will also be building a purpose built isolation wards, we will ramp up our infrastructure and capacity and not wait for a pandemic to come on us again. We will be building doctors’ quarters in this facility as part pof our global plan for the Yaba Infectious Disease Hospital”

While commending CACOVID for donating the state-of-art 150 bed Isolation centre to Lagos for COVID19 response, Sanwo-Olu noted that the facility will certainly add to the State capacity and enable it do a lot more in the war against COVID19.

“This is the sixth or the seventh dedicated isolation centres that we have. Several other facilities we are using for quarantine and holding bay but this is the sixth or seventh structured isolation centre. I want to on behalf of the people and government of Lagos State coalition for this facility”, the Governor said.

Sanwo-Olu however noted that beyond putting up isolation facility for COVID19 case management, it is important for citizens to understand that the need take responsibility against the pandemic.

“It is not a function of how many isolation bed that is built but a case of ourselves taking responsibility, understanding that this virus knows no race, colur or age. Indeed we need to take responsibility because of our loved ones. Covid19 is real and we owe it a duty to tell our people to be very cautious and take precautionary measures and ensure that it is only when we do all of this things that this pandemic can be defeated”.

“When we say that if you feel unwell and you’ve been tested that you isolate yourself even if you don’t have severe symptoms, it is really so that you can protect your loved ones and the vulnerable in your family and vulnerable in the society so that we can slow down the morbidity and fatality that might come out from a raging pandemic such as this. That is why we cannot lose this opportunity to reiterate the importance of wearing your face mask at all times, practicing hand hygiene and physical distancing”, the Governor stated.

Earlier in his remarks, Lagos Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi explained that the 150-bed isolation facility has a fully contained PCR laboratory, a routine laboratory, a bouquet of administrative and ancillary facilities, a water treatment plant, a waste management system and three power generators for case management.

“Today we are opening the 6th of our isolation centres in Lagos specifically committed to COVID19. This isolation centre is donated by a consortium known as CACOVID and we have been working together now for almost four months to design, to build and to complete this fabulous structure which is going to add 150 more isolation beds to our central isolation capacity”.

“This is an extension of facilities at main infectious disease hospital at Yaba where we have about 120 isolation beds and well established intensive care unit (ICU) for patients with severe to critical case. The dobated facility by CACOVID will serve as an additional 150 beds for us to manage the more moderate to severe cases of COVID19 and if any of them needs intensive care, they would be moved across to our ICU”, Abayomi said.

The Commissioner noted that the new policy shift in Lagos is that patients who test positive and require close monitoring will be managed at the State central isolation facilities.

In his remarks the Managing Director Access Bank PLC, Herbert Wigwe commended the State government and the Governor for the timely and good response against the COVID19 pandemic. He noted that a lot has been done by Lagos State in its response against the disease that deserves commendation.

“We are proud to have worked very closely with a very strong team to set up what is a model state-of-the-art isolation centre here in Lagos. I must commend the State team with the level of transparency, painstaking attention to detail which we have to go through to make sure that the facility we have here is what can be compared to any other in other parts of the world.

“I must commend you for the leadership you’ve shown and commend you for manner with which you have tackled the pandemic. When we compare what is happening in Lagos to other part of Africa and other part of the world with similar demography, we must say that a lot of work has been done out here and we are extremely proud of the great job that is coming out of here particularly in Lagos.”, he said.

SIGNED
GBOYEGA AKOSILE
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY
JUNE 28, 2020

Categories
Abigborodo Abuja Africa Aghalokpe Ajamikawa Alaka community America Amukpe Anambra State Anioma Anthony Village APC Arts Asia Australia Auto mobile Banking Beauty Ebireri Book Review Business Catering and Hotel Management Charles Ebireri Christianity City News Culture David Ebireri Delta Central Delta North Delta South Delta State Discourse Economy Edo Edo State Education Eku Elume District Encounter Ethiope East Ethiope West Europe F. O. and Sons Fashion Federal character Federal government Festus Omajemite Ebireri Financial Crime Government Hausa Health Henry Ovie Ebireri Igbimidaka Ijaw Ikpera Sawmill Industries International Iponri Islam Issues and Ideas Itsekiri Ken Ochonogor Kokori Lagos Lagos Central Lagos East Lagos West Lamonde Kevwe Ebireri Law Leadership Letters Local government Marford Close Media Media Watch Military Monica Ochu Ohwavborua National Assembly National Security Ndokwa Nation News Niger Delta Nigeria North Central North East North West Novena University Obituary Oghene Ochuko Ogume Oil and Gas Okpara-waterside Ondo State Oyabewei Dieghwolo PDP Police Affair Political Institutions Political Parties Politics Port-Harcourt Presidency Public Administration Reclamation Road Religion Rivers State Sapele Security Society South East South South South West Sport's Sports Gate State governments Stock Market Watch Surulere Telecommunications The Veterans Theatre Ugbeku Ugbimidaka Ukwuani Uncategorized Urhobo Veronica Ikpera Ebireri Victor Oki Victor Okpako Ebireri Victoria Ebireri Unubreme Viewpoint World Yoruba

Even in the best of times, Nigeria is beset by myriad challenges. Poverty and economic inequality, insecurity, lack of infrastructure are longstanding obstacles that have blocked our access to national greatness for too long.

Tinubu speaks:

I wish to begin my remarks by commending members of the National Working Committee. Under their collective stewardship, the party earned great and important victories, not least the vital second mandate handed to President Buhari. President Buhari’s victory, and the overall electoral success of APC speak highly of them. Our task as a party is to build upon the progress thus made so that both nation and party may advance to their better future.

Yet, we must acknowledge that something important has gone off track. For some months we have experienced growing disagreement within the leadership of the party. This unfortunate competition had grown so intense as to impair the performance of the NWC, thus undermining the internal cohesion and discipline vital to success.

Some people have gone so far as to predict the total disintegration of our party. Most such dire predictions were from critics whose forecasts said more about their ill will than they revealed about our party’s objective condition. Predictions of the APC’s imminent demise are premature and mostly mean-spirited. However, an honest person must admit the party had entered a space where it had no good reason to be.

The trouble is not that we would forfeit our collective existence but whether we were in danger of losing our collective purpose. In some ways, this possibility is of greater concern. A political party that has lost sight of the reason for its existence becomes but the vehicle of blind and clashing ambitions. This is not what drove the APC’s creation.

Those who believe Nigeria can be forged into a better nation and deserves good governance must harken back to the establishment of our party. Those who were there and contributed the most to the party’s genesis embraced a common vision. Not only did we believe the venal, purblind PDP was leading the nation into a pit, we sincerely held a common vision of progressive good governance. This was the overriding reason for the APC.

Those most intimately involved in founding the party remain faithful to this benign, timely assignment. Sadly, many members have lost their balance. Their personal ambition apparently came to greatly outweigh the obvious national imperatives.

Even in the best of times, Nigeria is beset by myriad challenges. Poverty and economic inequality, insecurity, lack of infrastructure are longstanding obstacles that have blocked our access to national greatness for too long.

Through no fault of our own, we now live in a moment of heightened difficulty. We did not ask for COVID-19 but it has found us. We must deal with it and navigate its rude economic consequences. At the same time we must grapple with the violent insecurity caused by increasingly desperate terrorists and criminals. People need concrete help from us. We must focus on building roads and creating jobs. For the average man, watching politicians wrestle for position is a poor substitute to seeing politicians working for the benefit of all.

Yet, such intramural fighting has come to occupy the attention of many high ranking party officials and members.

The National Working Committee, itself, became riven by unnecessary conflict. Those who disagreed with one another stopped trying to find common ground. Attempts were made to use the power of executive authority to bury each other. I must be blunt here. This is the behaviour of a fight club not the culture of a progressive political party.

Some members went against their chairman in a bid to forcefully oust him. In hindsight, his fence-mending attempts were perhaps too little too late. I believed and continue to believe that Comrade Oshiomhole tried his best. Mistakes were made and he must own them. Yet, we must remember also that he was an able and enthusiastic campaigner during the 2019 election. He is a man of considerable ability as are the rest of you who constituted the NWC.

It had been my hope that the disagreements could be resolved. After all, a political solution should not be beyond the ken of leaders of a major political party. But such resolution has failed to materialise. It was as if some unseen but strong force continued to stoke the embers. Instead of calling a prudent ceasefire, too many people sought more destructive weapons against one another.

Order, party discipline and mutual respect went out of the window. Members instituted all manner of court cases, most of them destructive, some of them frivolous, none of them necessary. In the process, a dense fog fell upon our party.

When this matter first came to a boil a few months ago, I issued a statement against this litigious tendency. President Buhari and former interim chairman Akande published strong words against this misuse of the courts as being contrary to the spirit of the party and the letter of its constitution. Each of us knew nothing good would come of such conduct. Instead of listening to this counsel, party members increased their trips to the courts. While busy providing ample livelihood for a gaggle of lawyers, these actions cast the good of the party to the wind.

After the fusillade of lawsuits and countersuits, two NWC members laid competing claims to the chairmanship. One legitimately elected at our national convention; the latter whose claim was based on the questionable suspension of the former.

With lawsuits so numerous one needed a spread sheet to keep track, President Buhari has reasonably decided that he has seen enough.

I do not lament his intervention or its outcome. I lament that the situation degenerated to the point where he felt compelled to intervene.

President Buhari is much more than a mere beneficiary of the party. He is one of its founding fathers. The APC does not exist in its current form without his singular contributions. That is not opinion; it is undisputed fact.

Given these antecedents, he cares about the condition of the party as any parent would care for its offspring.President Buhari has done what any parent in his position and with his authority would do. The more troubling consideration is that so many trusted people acted in such a way as to force the president to put aside the issues of statecraft in order to address these problems.

The President has spoken and his decision has been accepted. It is now beholden on all of us, as members of the APC, to recommit ourselves to the ideals and principles on which our party was founded. While we recognize that people have personal ambitions, those ambitions are secondary, not sacrosanct. Members must subordinate their ambitions to health and well-being of the party. Never should our party be defined by one person’s interests or even the amalgam of all members’ individual interests. A successful party must be greater than the sum of its parts.

In this vein, I appeal to all former members of the National Working Committee and all members of our party to sheathe their swords and look to the larger picture.

We have governorship elections around the corner in Edo and a primary and elections in Ondo. On these important events we must concentrate our immediate energies. In the longer run, we must restore the collegial nature to the party so that it should be in the practice of coming to support the President instead of him having to rescue the party from itself.

In Edo, we must rally round our candidate Pastor Osagie Ize Iyamu. In this, Comrade Oshiomhole has a crucial role to play. I congratulate him for his equanimity and loyalty to the party and our President in accepting the dissolution of the NWC. I encourage him, now, to return to Edo State to energise the campaign for the election of Pastor Ize-Iyamu.

In Ondo, we must set the procedures for primaries and conduct that exercise in a fair, transparent manner that shows the Nigerian people the party has left turmoil behind.

In addition to the daily operation of the party, the Caretaker Committee has the mandate to prepare for a mini national convention within six months. We must give the committee the support needed to fulfil this assignment in an impartial manner.

As I understand it, no one has been precluded from seeking any party office to which he is otherwise eligible. Former NWC members are free to seek re-election to the NWC. Provided they have the support of party members, they will have an opportunity to return to serve the party in a leadership capacity. This reflects our overriding desire to restore and maintain internal democracy not subvert it.

To those who have been actively bleating how the President’s actions and the NEC meeting have ended my purported 2023 ambitions, I seek your pity. I am but a mere mortal who does not enjoy the length of foresight or political wisdom you profess to have. Already, you have assigned colourful epitaphs to the 2023 death of an alleged political ambition that is not yet even born.

At this extenuating moment with COVID-19 and its economic fallout hounding us, I cannot see as far into the distance as you. I have made no decision regarding 2023 for the concerns of this hour are momentous enough.

During this period, I have not busied myself with politicking regarding 2023. I find that a bit distasteful and somewhat uncaring particularly when so many of our people have been unbalanced by the twin public health and economic crises we face. I have devoted these last few months to thinking of policies that may help the nation in the here and now. What I may or may not do 3 years hence seems too remote given present exigencies.

Those who seek to cast themselves as political Nostradamus’ are free to so engage their energies. I trust the discerning public will give the views of such eager seers the scant weight such divinations warrant.

Personally, I find greater merit trying to help in the present by offering policy ideas, both privately and publicly, where I think they might help. I will continue in this same mode for the immediate future. 2023 will answer its own questions in due time.

I have toiled for this party as much as any other person and perhaps more than most. Despite this investment or perhaps due to it, I have no problem with making personal sacrifices (and none of us should have such a problem) as long as the party remains true to its progressive, democratic creed. Politics is but a vehicle to arrive at governance. Good politics promotes good governance. Yet, politics is also an uncertain venture. No one gets all they want all the time. In even a tightly-woven family, differences and competing interests must be balanced and accommodated.

My fellow party members who now feel aggrieved by the NEC meeting I urge you to accept the sacrifice you have been asked to make so that the air can be cleared, the party can assume its proper role of helping this government lead the nation toward enlightened improvement, and the party itself can grow and firmly establish itself as the best, most democratic party in the land.

Categories
Abigborodo Abuja Africa Aghalokpe Ajamikawa Alaka community America Amukpe Anambra State Anioma Anthony Village APC Arts Asia Australia Auto mobile Banking Beauty Ebireri Book Review Business Catering and Hotel Management Charles Ebireri Christianity City News Culture David Ebireri Delta Central Delta North Delta South Delta State Discourse Economy Edo Edo State Education Eku Elume District Encounter Ethiope East Ethiope West Europe F. O. and Sons Fashion Federal character Federal government Festus Omajemite Ebireri Financial Crime Government Hausa Health Henry Ovie Ebireri Igbimidaka Igbo Ijaw Ikpera Sawmill Industries International Iponri Islam Issues and Ideas Itsekiri Ken Ochonogor Kokori Lagos Lagos Central Lagos East Lagos West Lamonde Kevwe Ebireri Law Leadership Letters Local government Marford Close Media Media Watch Military Monica Ochu Ohwavborua National Assembly National Security Ndokwa Nation News Niger Delta Nigeria North Central North East North West Novena University Obituary Oghene Ochuko Ogume Oil and Gas Okpara-waterside Ondo State Oyabewei Dieghwolo PDP Police Affair Political Institutions Political Parties Politics Port-Harcourt Presidency Public Administration Reclamation Road Religion Rivers State Sapele Security Society South East South South South West Sport's Sports Gate State governments Stock Market Watch Surulere Telecommunications The Veterans Theatre Ugbeku Ugbimidaka Ukwuani Uncategorized Urhobo Veronica Ikpera Ebireri Victor Oki Victor Okpako Ebireri Victoria Ebireri Unubreme Viewpoint World Yoruba

Celebrating Fashola at 57: The ‘BRF Way’ by Hakeem Bello

Celebrating Fashola at 57: The ‘BRF Way’
by Hakeem Bello

“BRF is a genius at breaking it down, laying it all out. When he goes on project tours, he stops to ask the artisans and food vendors on the site about how the project has touched or is touching their lives. And that’s what government communications should really be focusing on: telling and showing the actual impact / outcomes. Not just the contract sum (input) — which is what tends to make the headlines, the media love these numbers — but also the “stimulus” effect on ordinary people and communities and neighbourhoods.”
– Tolu Ogunlesi, Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Digital Communications, on “Lessons in/from public sector communication”

Right on the money.

The stories told by these Nigerians – Abu, Sunday and others during BRF’s tours, can fill a book, but much more than that, they tell a story: Impact.

In 2017, Mallam Abu, a labourer at the site of the Gombe State National Housing Programme, told Fashola that he had worked at the site for about eight months and had been able to pay the dowry of his new wife and they were expecting a baby.

In February, Sunday Echekwu, a mason at the site of the Anambra State National Housing Programme in Isiagu Community on the outskirts of Awka, the State Capital, told the minister he and his colleagues earned N4,500 daily for their labour at the site. Prior to getting the job, he said he was doing odd jobs here and there but idle most of the time. At the same site, Mrs. Isaiah Eberechukwu, a food vendor, told him that she supplied food to the workers on the site daily, including Sundays, at N250 a plate. Her husband, Mr. Eberechukwu was also a bricklayer at the site.

Again at the site of the Delta State National Housing Programme in Asaba, the State Capital, Emmanuel Ogochukwu who spoke glowingly of the Buhari administration for giving them a source of making a living through the NHP and other people oriented initiatives which, according to him, “is impacting positively on the population, especially the unemployed youths across the country”.

For Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, there’s really no going about it any other way.

On assuming office in November 2015, as Minister of Power, Works and Housing one of his first moves was to invite, in batches, the over 200 Federal Government contractors – many of whom had abandoned their projects for lack of payment – for a chat. The outcome of those meetings was the re-mobilisation back to sites of the contractors, leading to the recall of over 750, 000 workers. Effect: resuscitation of the economy. As many got their jobs back, so did suppliers of materials as well as providers of food and drinks on the various sites; not to forget compensations to people whose lands were acquired to make way for roads’ construction.

Of course, while doing these, the eyes of this football-loving minister are firmly on the ball.

Currently, for him, it is work for the delivery of President Buhari’s Mandate of using infrastructure to transform Nigeria’s economy and lift millions out of poverty. Those millions would include Peter, the Painter met by the Hon. Minister at the site of the National Housing Programme(NHP) in 2019; Mrs Folake Emmanuel the Food Vendor at the site of the NHP in Oyo State and her husband, Mr Emmanuel, whose hitherto idle concrete mixer roared into action at the site fetching N20,000 daily ; Rilwan Adamu from the NHP site in Jalingo ; Fidelis the Carpenter at the NHP site in Gwagwalada , FCT ; and Engr. Obosi , the enthusiastic youth met at the site of the NHP in Ikot Ntuen /Affa Nsit , Uyo , Akwa Ibom State among so many others.

And he is on the way.

For example, out of the 643-kilometre SUKUK-funded roads which the President wants finished, a total of 411.96 kilometres have been completed from February 2019 to date.

As at February 2020, all the piling works of the 2nd Niger Bridge project had been completed while the deck is being launched and the approach roads to the bridge from Asaba and Onitsha are simultaneously being constructed. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2022.

In the Housing Sector, the Ministry has delivered a significant number of houses through the National Housing Programme and in collaboration with its parastatals – the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) and the Federal Housing Authority (FHA), as well as by synchronising the deliverables of the Ministry and its parastatal with those of the Public Private Partnerships.

FMBN alone completed 43 Housing projects between 2015 and 2019, delivering a total of 5, 542 housing units while currently implementing 15 projects that will deliver 581 housing units when completed. The bank also issued 5, 301 mortgages totaling N38.2 billion within the period while in the last one year up to May 2020, 331 mortgages totaling N2.9 billion have been issued. It is supposed to do more with the National Cooperatives Housing Partnerships. It also granted Home Renovation Loans totaling N34.85 Billion to 42, 037 people between 2015 and 2019 and in the last one year N5.7 Billion of the loan has been granted to 6, 675 people. The FHA also has delivered 461 housing units while 1, 407 housing units are under construction.

Through road construction and rehabilitation alone, 201, 719 direct and indirect jobs were generated while 15, 158 jobs were also created through road maintenance by FERMA.

The multiplier effect of the roads’ construction can be felt in increased agricultural productivity and food security through easy evacuation of farm produce to markets across the country. This has also reduced travel time and complemented other infrastructure along the alignments where roads are constructed. Improved road infrastructure has also impacted positively on security by way of reduced crime rate on the roads.

The Sector has also contributed to the growth of mining for road construction materials such as limestone, granite, sand and laterite.

The Housing Sector has not done less either. The Sector has created 516, 998 jobs since inception of this administration, greatly impacting on the fight against poverty through empowerment skills acquisition.

Property values have appreciated between 30 and 40 per cent with approval/issuance of Certificates of Occupancy and Consents as well as provision of Road Transport Infrastructure.

The BRF Way also manifests in how he reacts to criticisms, particularly from those he considers “right-thinking and well-meaning: redoubling his efforts. “Criticisms inspire and challenge me,” he told an interviewer on a TV programme recently, “because I believe the critic…has entrusted our government, through President Muhammadu Buhari, to me with the responsibility to serve him. So in the same way that I could go to a restaurant and if the quality of food is not good, I am entitled to complain. I see critics in that light. Really and truly what I used to say is that if critics ask more of us we must feel proud that they are asking more of us because they actually believe we are capable of doing it. If they don’t believe in our ability to do more, they won’t ask us. So now that they are asking us I am inspired.”

Doing more is the BRF Way to make the other class of critics – those “who make comments about things they are not aware of” and “those who do not believe anything” recant. When in February, he was inspecting the 2nd Niger Bridge project, one of the journalists on the tour went to him and apologised profusely for writing uncharitable and unconfirmed things about the project. By way of response he took the journalist to the top of the bridge where decks were already being laid. They took photographs there and in his excitement the journalist posted the photograph on his medium’s online platform.

The BRF Way sure works.

And, as Fashola clocks 57 today, one can’t but pray to the Almighty to keep giving him ideas to perfect The BRF Way for the greater good of mankind.

• Mr Hakeem Bello, FNGE is Special Adviser
Communications to the Hon.Minister.

Categories
Abigborodo Abuja Africa Aghalokpe Ajamikawa Alaka community America Amukpe Anambra State Anioma Anthony Village APC Arts Asia Australia Auto mobile Banking Beauty Ebireri Book Review Business Catering and Hotel Management Charles Ebireri Christianity City News Culture David Ebireri Delta Central Delta North Delta South Delta State Discourse Economy Edo Edo State Education Eku Elume District Encounter Ethiope East Ethiope West Europe F. O. and Sons Fashion Federal character Federal government Festus Omajemite Ebireri Financial Crime Government Hausa Health Henry Ovie Ebireri Igbimidaka Igbo Ijaw Ikpera Sawmill Industries International Iponri Islam Issues and Ideas Itsekiri Ken Ochonogor Kokori Lagos Lagos Central Lagos East Lagos West Lamonde Kevwe Ebireri Law Leadership Letters Local government Marford Close Media Media Watch Military Monica Ochu Ohwavborua National Assembly National Security Ndokwa Nation News Niger Delta Nigeria North Central North East North West Novena University Obituary Oghene Ochuko Ogume Oil and Gas Okpara-waterside Ondo State Oyabewei Dieghwolo PDP Police Affair Political Institutions Political Parties Politics Port-Harcourt Presidency Public Administration Reclamation Road Religion Rivers State Sapele Security Society South East South South South West Sport's Sports Gate State governments Stock Market Watch Surulere Telecommunications The Veterans Theatre Ugbeku Ugbimidaka Ukwuani Uncategorized Urhobo Veronica Ikpera Ebireri Victor Oki Victor Okpako Ebireri Victoria Ebireri Unubreme Viewpoint World Yoruba

COVID-19: SERAP asks court to order FG, CBN to name beneficiaries of cash payments, donations

COVID-19: SERAP asks court to order FG, CBN to name beneficiaries of cash payments, donations

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has filed a lawsuit asking the Federal High Court, Abuja to order the Federal Government and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to “publicly identify and name Nigerians who have so far benefited from any cash payments, cash transfers, food distribution and other reliefs and palliatives during the lockdown in Abuja, Lagos and Ogun states because of COVID-19.”

In the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/657/2020 filed last week, SERAP is seeking: “an order for leave to apply for judicial review and an order of mandamus to compel Ms Sadia Umar-Farouk, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disasters Management and Social Development, and Mr Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor, to publish spending details of public funds and private sector donations to provide socio-economic benefits to the country’s poorest and most vulnerable people.”

SERAP is also seeking “an order to direct and compel Ms Umar-Farouk and Mr Emefiele to publish up-to-date list of donations and names of those who have made payments as per their publicly announced donations; spending details of the N500 billion COVID-19 intervention fund, and the names of beneficiaries, and whether such beneficiaries include people living with disabilities (PWDs).”

The suit followed SERAP’s Freedom of Information (FoI) requests dated 4 April, 2020, expressing concern that: “millions of the country’s poorest and most vulnerable people have not benefited from the announced palliatives, donations, reported cash payments, cash transfers and other reliefs.”

SERAP is also seeking: “a declaration that the failure of the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disasters Management and Social Development, and the CBN governor to provide SERAP with the requested information on spending details of public money and private donations and to publish names of beneficiaries amount to a fundamental violation of the FoI Act and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.”

The suit filed on behalf of SERAP by its counsel, Kolawole Oluwadare and Joke Fekumo, read in part: “By a combined reading of the FoI Act and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ms Umar-Farouk and Mr Emefiele ought to be directed and compelled to make public details of those that have benefited from COVID-19 funds and donations.”

“Any perception that the reliefs, funds and donations are not reaching intended beneficiaries would undermine public trust and the integrity of the entire processes and modes of distribution of reliefs/benefits to these Nigerians.”

“Both the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disasters Management and Social Development, and the CBN governor have a legal duty to ensure that information on the details of those who have so far benefited from COVID-19 funds and donations is released to SERAP upon requests, and that the information is widely published. Yet, both have completely ignored SERAP’s requests.”

“SERAP and indeed the general public have a legitimate interest in ascertaining and scrutinizing the veracity of the claims of how the COVID-19 funds and donations have been spent, and to know that the intended beneficiaries actually received any benefits.”

“Ms Umar-Farouk and Mr Emefiele also ought to be directed and compelled to make public details of any plan to provide social and economic reliefs to the over 80 million of the country’s poorest and the most vulnerable people, beyond the 11 million targeted by the Federal Government across 35 states.”

“Democracy cannot flourish in the absence of citizens’ access to information, no matter how much open discussion and debate is allowed. This suit would ensure transparency and accountability in the spending of COVID-19 money and donations.”

“SERAP submits that the principle of disclosure of information in overriding public interest has been internationally reaffirmed, including in the Joint Declaration adopted by the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media and the OAS Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression.”

“The Joint Declaration states that the right of access to information should be subject to a narrow, carefully tailored system of exceptions. Exceptions should apply only where there is a risk of substantial harm to the protected interest and where that harm is greater than the overriding public interest in having access to the information.”

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

Kolawole Oluwadare

SERAP Deputy Director

28/06/2020

Lagos, Nigeria

Emails: info@serap-nigeria.org; news@serap-nigeria.org

Twitter: @SERAPNigeria

Website: www.serap-nigeria.org

For more information or to request an interview, please contact Kolawole Oluwadare on: +2348160537202

Categories
Abigborodo Abuja Africa Aghalokpe Ajamikawa Alaka community America Amukpe Anambra State Anioma Anthony Village APC Arts Asia Australia Auto mobile Banking Beauty Ebireri Book Review Business Catering and Hotel Management Charles Ebireri Christianity City News Culture David Ebireri Delta Central Delta North Delta South Delta State Discourse Economy Edo Edo State Education Eku Elume District Encounter Ethiope East Ethiope West Europe F. O. and Sons Fashion Federal character Federal government Festus Omajemite Ebireri Financial Crime Government Hausa Health Henry Ovie Ebireri Igbimidaka Igbo Ijaw Ikpera Sawmill Industries International Iponri Islam Issues and Ideas Itsekiri Ken Ochonogor Kokori Lagos Lagos Central Lagos East Lagos West Lamonde Kevwe Ebireri Law Leadership Letters Local government Marford Close Media Media Watch Military Monica Ochu Ohwavborua National Assembly National Security Ndokwa Nation News Niger Delta Nigeria North Central North East North West Novena University Obituary Oghene Ochuko Ogume Oil and Gas Okpara-waterside Ondo State Oyabewei Dieghwolo PDP Police Affair Political Institutions Political Parties Politics Port-Harcourt Presidency Public Administration Reclamation Road Religion Rivers State Sapele Security Society South East South South South West Sport's Sports Gate State governments Stock Market Watch Surulere Telecommunications The Veterans Theatre Ugbeku Ugbimidaka Ukwuani Uncategorized Urhobo Veronica Ikpera Ebireri Victor Oki Victor Okpako Ebireri Victoria Ebireri Unubreme Viewpoint World Yoruba

BECOMING THE PARTY WE WERE INTENDED TO BE- Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu

TINUBU ON NWC DISSOLUTION

BECOMING THE PARTY WE WERE INTENDED TO BE- Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu

I wish to begin my remarks by commending members of the National Working Committee. Under their collective stewardship, the party earned great and important victories, not least the vital second mandate handed to President Buhari. President Buhari’s victory, and the overall electoral success of APC speak highly of them. Our task as a party is to build upon the progress thus made so that both nation and party may advance to their better future.

Yet, we must acknowledge that something important has gone off track. For some months we have experienced growing disagreement within the leadership of the party. This unfortunate competition had grown so intense as to impair the performance of the NWC, thus undermining the internal cohesion and discipline vital to success.

Some people have gone so far as to predict the total disintegration of our party. Most such dire predictions were from critics whose forecasts said more about their ill will than they revealed about our party’s objective condition. Predictions of the APC’s imminent demise are premature and mostly mean-spirited. However, an honest person must admit the party had entered a space where it had no good reason to be.

The trouble is not that we would forfeit our collective existence but whether we were in danger of losing our collective purpose. In some ways, this possibility is of greater concern. A political party that has lost sight of the reason for its existence becomes but the vehicle of blind and clashing ambitions. This is not what drove the APC’s creation.

Those who believe Nigeria can be forged into a better nation and deserves good governance must harken back to the establishment of our party. Those who were there and contributed the most to the party’s genesis embraced a common vision. Not only did we believe the venal, purblind PDP was leading the nation into a pit, we sincerely held a common vision of progressive good governance. This was the overriding reason for the APC.

Those most intimately involved in founding the party remain faithful to this benign, timely assignment. Sadly, many members have lost their balance. Their personal ambition apparently came to greatly outweigh the obvious national imperatives.

Even in the best of times, Nigeria is beset by myriad challenges. Poverty and economic inequality, insecurity, lack of infrastructure are longstanding obstacles that have blocked our access to national greatness for too long.

Through no fault of our own, we now live in a moment of heightened difficulty. We did not ask for COVID-19 but it has found us. We must deal with it and navigate its rude economic consequences. At the same time we must grapple with the violent insecurity caused by increasingly desperate terrorists and criminals. People need concrete help from us. We must focus on building roads and creating jobs. For the average man, watching politicians wrestle for position is a poor substitute to seeing politicians working for the benefit of all.

Yet, such intramural fighting has come to occupy the attention of many high ranking party officials and members.

The National Working Committee, itself, became riven by unnecessary conflict. Those who disagreed with one another stopped trying to find common ground. Attempts were made to use the power of executive authority to bury each other. I must be blunt here. This is the behaviour of a fight club not the culture of a progressive political party.

Some members went against their chairman in a bid to forcefully oust him. In hindsight, his fence-mending attempts were perhaps too little too late. I believed and continue to believe that Comrade Oshiomhole tried his best. Mistakes were made and he must own them. Yet, we must remember also that he was an able and enthusiastic campaigner during the 2019 election. He is a man of considerable ability as are the rest of you who constituted the NWC.

It had been my hope that the disagreements could be resolved. After all, a political solution should not be beyond the ken of leaders of a major political party. But such resolution has failed to materialise. It was as if some unseen but strong force continued to stoke the embers. Instead of calling a prudent ceasefire, too many people sought more destructive weapons against one another.

Order, party discipline and mutual respect went out of the window. Members instituted all manner of court cases, most of them destructive, some of them frivolous, none of them necessary. In the process, a dense fog fell upon our party.

When this matter first came to a boil a few months ago, I issued a statement against this litigious tendency. President Buhari and former interim chairman Akande published strong words against this misuse of the courts as being contrary to the spirit of the party and the letter of its constitution. Each of us knew nothing good would come of such conduct. Instead of listening to this counsel, party members increased their trips to the courts. While busy providing ample livelihood for a gaggle of lawyers, these actions cast the good of the party to the wind.

After the fusillade of lawsuits and countersuits, two NWC members laid competing claims to the chairmanship. One legitimately elected at our national convention; the latter whose claim was based on the questionable suspension of the former.

With lawsuits so numerous one needed a spread sheet to keep track, President Buhari has reasonably decided that he has seen enough.

I do not lament his intervention or its outcome. I lament that the situation degenerated to the point where he felt compelled to intervene.

President Buhari is much more than a mere beneficiary of the party. He is one of its founding fathers. The APC does not exist in its current form without his singular contributions. That is not opinion; it is undisputed fact.

Given these antecedents, he cares about the condition of the party as any parent would care for its offspring. President Buhari has done what any parent in his position and with his authority would do. The more troubling consideration is that so many trusted people acted in such a way as to force the president to put aside the issues of statecraft in order to address these problems.

The President has spoken and his decision has been accepted. It is now beholden on all of us, as members of the APC, to recommit ourselves to the ideals and principles on which our party was founded. While we recognize that people have personal ambitions, those ambitions are secondary, not sacrosanct. Members must subordinate their ambitions to health and well-being of the party. Never should our party be defined by one person’s interests or even the amalgam of all members’ individual interests. A successful party must be greater than the sum of its parts.

In this vein, I appeal to all former members of the National Working Committee and all members of our party to sheathe their swords and look to the larger picture.

We have governorship elections around the corner in Edo and a primary and elections in Ondo. On these important events we must concentrate our immediate energies. In the longer run, we must restore the collegial nature to the party so that it should be in the practice of coming to support the President instead of him having to rescue the party from itself.

In Edo, we must rally round our candidate Pastor Osagie Ize Iyamu. In this, Comrade Oshiomhole has a crucial role to play. I congratulate him for his equanimity and loyalty to the party and our President in accepting the dissolution of the NWC. I encourage him, now, to return to Edo State to energise the campaign for the election of Pastor Ize-Iyamu.

In Ondo, we must set the procedures for primaries and conduct that exercise in a fair, transparent manner that shows the Nigerian people the party has left turmoil behind.

In addition to the daily operation of the party, the Caretaker Committee has the mandate to prepare for a mini national convention within six months. We must give the committee the support needed to fulfil this assignment in an impartial manner.

As I understand it, no one has been precluded from seeking any party office to which he is otherwise eligible. Former NWC members are free to seek re-election to the NWC. Provided they have the support of party members, they will have an opportunity to return to serve the party in a leadership capacity. This reflects our overriding desire to restore and maintain internal democracy not subvert it.

To those who have been actively bleating how the President’s actions and the NEC meeting have ended my purported 2023 ambitions, I seek your pity. I am but a mere mortal who does not enjoy the length of foresight or political wisdom you profess to have. Already, you have assigned colourful epitaphs to the 2023 death of an alleged political ambition that is not yet even born.

At this extenuating moment with COVID-19 and its economic fallout hounding us, I cannot see as far into the distance as you. I have made no decision regarding 2023 for the concerns of this hour are momentous enough.

During this period, I have not busied myself with politicking regarding 2023. I find that a bit distasteful and somewhat uncaring particularly when so many of our people have been unbalanced by the twin public health and economic crises we face. I have devoted these last few months to thinking of policies that may help the nation in the here and now. What I may or may not do 3 years hence seems too remote given present exigencies.

Those who seek to cast themselves as political Nostradamus’ are free to so engage their energies. I trust the discerning public will give the views of such eager seers the scant weight such divinations warrant.

Personally, I find greater merit trying to help in the present by offering policy ideas, both privately and publicly, where I think they might help. I will continue in this same mode for the immediate future. 2023 will answer its own questions in due time.

I have toiled for this party as much as any other person and perhaps more than most. Despite this investment or perhaps due to it, I have no problem with making personal sacrifices (and none of us should have such a problem) as long as the party remains true to its progressive, democratic creed. Politics is but a vehicle to arrive at governance. Good politics promotes good governance. Yet, politics is also an uncertain venture. No one gets all they want all the time. In even a tightly-woven family, differences and competing interests must be balanced and accommodated.

My fellow party members who now feel aggrieved by the NEC meeting I urge you to accept the sacrifice you have been asked to make so that the air can be cleared, the party can assume its proper role of helping this government lead the nation toward enlightened improvement, and the party itself can grow and firmly establish itself as the best, most democratic party in the land.

SIGNED
Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu

27 June 2020.