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PDP Charges DSS to Invite Pantami for Questioning over Alleged Affiliation with Al-Qaeda, Taliban


April 18, 2021
Press Statement
PDP Charges DSS to Invite Pantami for Questioning over Alleged Affiliation with Al-Qaeda, Taliban
…….. Asks Buhari to Sack Minister

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) charges the Department of State Services (DSS) to immediately invite the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, for questioning over alleged affiliations with the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
The party also demands that President Muhammadu Buhari should immediately sack the minister, given the sensitivity of the issue at stake.
Our party’s position is predicated on the heightening concerns in the public space and in the international arena of possible compromises by the communication minister, who has access to sensitive government documents and information, in addition to data of all individuals including high profile personalities in the public and private sectors as well as the traditional and faith-based circles.
The PDP is particularly worried about allegations in the public suggesting that the minister compromised the NIN registration exercise by giving room for the registration of aliens and invaders from other countries as our citizens.
The party tasks the DSS to investigate the allegation, which has created apprehension, particularly given the rise in banditry and other terrorists activities in our country.
The PDP urges Nigerians to remain at alert and very sensitive to their environment, while not hesitating in providing useful information to our security agencies in the interest of our nation.
Signed:
Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

April 18, 2021
Press Statement
PDP Savours Sweeping Victory in Rivers LG Polls
…Says Victory Signposts Repositioning For 2023
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says its sweeping victory in the 23 local government areas as well as the 319 wards in Rivers state, is a further demonstration of its political supremacy and repositioning to take back its dominant position in the affairs of our nation at the center, come 2023.
The party asserts that the overwhelming victory in a state like Rivers, with its egalitarian population and political exposure further confirms that parties like the fizzling and shambolic All Progressives Congress (APC) and its leaders have lost all footholds not only in the state but also in the South South region and the nation at large.
The PDP says the election has shown that the APC only exists in the empty boasts of their few disoriented leaders, who have lost credence in the sight of the people and are only hanging around waiting for President Buhari to complete his second and final term in office.
Moreover, the PDP’s wholesale electoral victory is a reaffirmation of the popularity and acceptance of Governor Nyesom Wike in his unprecedented development of the state in all sectors in line with the manifesto and ideology of the PDP.
The PDP congratulates Governor Wike, the newly elected local government chairmen and councilors as well as the people of Rivers state for the triumph of democracy in the state.
The party urges the newly elected council officials to emulate Governor Wike and hit the ground running in the development of the state in line with the vision of the governor and the PDP.
Signed:
Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

April 18, 2021
Press Statement
PDP Debunks Purported Suspension of Kwankwaso, Babangida Aliyu
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) debunks claims in misleading documents being circulated by some mischievous individuals purporting that former Kano State Governor, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, has been suspended from the party.
The PDP states clearly that Senator Kwakwanso is not suspended from the party adding that any claim of suspension by any individual or group, purporting to be representing any organ of our party at any level, is mere fabrication and should be discountenanced.
The PDP stresses that the provisions of the constitution of the PDP are very clear on the suspension of a member of the National Executive Committee (NEC), if and when such occasion arises, and cautioned those behind the misleading claims to desist henceforth.
The PDP strongly cautions that it will not accept such reckless adventure by such misguided individuals, which its notes, is capable of destabilizing our party and bringing it to public disrepute.
Similarly, the PDP states that the former Niger state governor, Dr. Babangida Aliyu, has not been suspended by the party as mischievously published in certain quarters.
Our party frowns as such fabrications aimed at subverting the stability of our party and trigger disagreements and suspicions within our ranks.
The PDP urges our leaders and teeming members in Kano and Niger states to be at alert, resist distractions and continue to work together as Nigerians earnestly look up to the PDP for solution and direction at this critical time.
Signed:
Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

40th Wedding Anniversary: My Crossing the Niger worth it- Ondo First Lady

.charges couples to understand each other, communicate, give room for compromise

It is forty solid years today that the number one citizen of Ondo State, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN tied the knot with his heartrob, Betty-Anyanwu.

Narrating her experiences so far, the wife of the Governor, Arabinrin Betty-Anyanwu Akeredolu affirmed that marriage is not a bed of roses but they were able to come this far by making use of Communication tool and by understanding each other.

Betty-Anyanwu, a bonafide indigene of Emeabiam in Owerri Imo state, noted that despite the fact that herself and the Governor are from different tribes, she enjoyed total support from her spouse, saying, “I couldn’t have asked for a better husband. Infact, my crossing the Niger was worth it”.

She explained that for different people from different background to survive the storms of marriage, there’s a need for them to identify each other’s likes and dislikes, while advising young couples to give space to each other to grow in the union, saying: “Marriage MUST not be a master and slave relationship”.

She lamented a disheartening situation where an educated woman is being subjugated in marriage due to her husband’s lack of support in her career advancement, while appreciating her late father and the Governor for giving her voice and the liberty to explore her potential in life.

Her words: “There is nothing more depressing than for an educated woman to feel suffocated in marriage due to husband’s lack of support in her career advancement or in some extreme cases, outright stoppage of a wife pursuing a career for fear of a woman having a voice in her home or being in control of her wealth.

“This state of mind leads to frustration and unhappy home. Its ramification is better imagined.
“My case is different. My husband and I believed in building our home together and from the scratch. With love and understanding, we feel fulfilled, today, 40 years. While my father gave me the wings to fly, my husband oiled the wings for me to soar. I have a supportive husband in all my endeavours”.

The First Lady of Ondo State who asserted that one cap fits all does not apply in marriage, further enjoined young couples to see marriage as partnership where both sides should contribute to make it succeed.

“There will be quarrels and fights but once you understand yourselves, each other’s likes and dislikes and give room for compromise, your marriage will last”.

According to the mother of four and grandma, it is a beautiful thing to fall in love before marriage. She noted that her union with Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, was love at first sight which could have been a physical attraction but it endured the test of time.

“Ours is, indeed, a true love. As love leads into marriage, you do not rest on your oars. You have to work on it to keep the flame aglow. It requires understanding each other and the handy tool is communication. Once you can communicate with each other, it becomes easy to iron out your differences. Make no mistake, marriage is not a bed of roses. Roses after all have thorns”, she noted.

PRESS RELEASE
SANWO-OLU: WE’LL PROVIDE SUPPORT FOR DIGITAL SWITCH OVER IN LAGOS

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu says his administration will support the Digital Switch Over (DSO) being embarked by the country, saying it would enhance job creation and content development.

Governor Sanwo-Olu who acknowledged that the DSO would be of immense benefits to residents said Lagos State would be providing publicity support for the rollout.

Speaking on Saturday when the Ministerial Taskforce of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture on Digital Switch Over led by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, paid him a courtesy visit at the Lagos House, Marina, Governor Sanwo-Olu said the DSO will provide job opportunities for youths and many businesses, especially those in the entertainment and tourism industry.

He said the DSO will also provide opportunity for government to use the content to inform and engage the citizens as well as bring governance closer to the people.

Governor Sanwo-Olu who advised the Ministerial Taskforce on the Digital Switch Over to make the FreeTV box and after sale support easily accessible, said making the FreeTV Set Top Box a one-off payment with a yearly renewal, will provide opportunity for millions of Nigerians who cannot afford to pay the subscription fees being charged by the PayTV platforms to enjoy the benefit of digital television.

He said: “The movement from analogue set up that we currently have to digital is apt and it speaks to reality of what we have today. Everywhere in the world, technology is now a fundamental and critical deliverable of government. It presents an opportunity for citizens to have access to local, national and international space.

“As a forward looking state, we are in partnership and we see it as bringing the future to our citizens, so we do not have a problem with it at all. Even for us as a state, we have been developing our metropolitan fiber optics to provide fiber connectivity as one of the solutions for our citizens to have access to cheaper data.

“We will support the DSO. We want Lagos to continue to set the pace for the nation. We will help our people to be exposed to modern and international best practices. We will be willing to work with you and ensure that we deliver jointly on April 29.”

Speaking earlier, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said the proposed rollout in Lagos would be a critical milestone for the DSO and the creative industry as over one million jobs would be provided nationwide.

He said with the FreeTV of the DSO, Nigerians would have opportunities to watch over 60 channels with great contents at a cheaper rate and without subscription to pay TV.

Mohammed who presented Governor Sanwo-Olu with the Set Top Box for the DSO said it would also enable government to get the data of every household with television, thereby making the collection of television and radio licenses easier, adding that the Nigerian Broadcasting Code (NBC) had been amended to make provisions for the switch over from analogue to digital.

The Minister of Information and Culture also disclosed that six months after the rollout of the DSO in Lagos, the NBC would ask television stations to shut down their analog broadcast equipment, thereby making more spectrum available for data and other telecommunication services.

Mohammed who noted that the DSO is relevant to the Lagos Smart City Project and the Lagos Broadband initiative, urged Governor Sanwo-Olu to direct the Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA) to provide out-of-home boards, lamp post and other publicity support for the DSO launch for at least three months.

He said: “The rollout in Lagos reflects our decision to take the DSO to commercial centres across the country. With a population of over 20 million, and projected TV Households of over five million, the launch of FreeTV in Lagos State will be a critical milestone for the DSO and for Nigeria’s broadcast and creative industry.

“Lagos State, which is the hub of the Creative Industry, will take a large share of the 1 million jobs to be created. Since FreeTV helps to provide Value Added Services, the 20 Local Government Areas and 37 LCDAs in Lagos State will be supported in the collection of Television and Radio Licenses from residents. With FreeTV’s push system for information services, the FreeTV platform can be used to broadcast information on Lagos State activities to all viewers.

“A major advantage of the DSO is that viewers will not pay subscription fees. Once they have acquired the Set Top Box and pay the once-a-year access fee, which is a token, it is free viewing all the way. Millions of Nigerians who cannot afford to pay the rising subscription fees being charged by the PayTV platforms can now enjoy the benefits of digital television. This is the meaning of bridging the digital divide.”

SIGNED
GBOYEGA AKOSILE
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY
APRIL 18, 2021

SERAP writes Buhari, seeks probe of ‘missing N106bn in 149 MDAs in 2018’

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to “direct the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, and appropriate anti-corruption agencies to investigate allegations that N106bn of public funds are missing from 149 ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), as documented in the 2018 annual audited report by the Auditor-General of the Federation.”

SERAP said: “Anyone suspected to be responsible should face prosecution as appropriate, if there is sufficient admissible evidence, and any missing public funds should be fully recovered.”

SERAP also urges him “to direct Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning to create a system of public announcements to name and shame the indicted 149 MDAs, including those that reportedly failed to remit over N55bn of their revenue; awarded contracts of over N18bn for services not rendered; and spent over N23bn without any supporting documents.”

In the letter dated 17 April 2021, and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said: “The reported missing public funds reflect the failure of the indicted MDAs to ensure strict compliance with transparency and accountability rules and regulations, and the failure of leadership of the MDAs to foster institutions that uphold the rule of law and human rights.”

According to SERAP, “Recovering the alleged missing public funds would reduce the pressure on the Federal Government to borrow more money to fund the budget, enable the authorities to meet the country’s human rights obligation to progressively realize Nigerians’ rights to quality health care and education, as well as reduce the growing level of public debts.”

The letter, read in part: “SERAP urges you to ask Mrs Ahmed and Mr Ahmed Idris, the Accountant-General of the Federation to explain why they allegedly failed to ensure strict compliance with relevant legislation, rules and regulations across all MDAs, despite the warning and recommendations by the Auditor-General.”

“SERAP also urges you to direct Mrs Ahmed to publish full details of the yearly budgets of all MDAs, and issue regular updates that accurately detail their expenditures, including by making any such information easily accessible in a form that can be understood by the public.”

“The Auditor-General stated that the alleged infractions by the 149 MDAs could have been prevented if the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, and the Accountant General of the Federation had heeded his warning to ensure strict compliance with relevant legislation, rules and regulations across all MDAs.”

“SERAP is concerned that the alleged missing public funds have hampered the ability of the MDAs to meet the needs of average citizens, as the missing funds could have helped your government to invest in key public goods and services, and to improve access of Nigerians to these services.”

“Investigating and prosecuting the alleged grand corruption documented by the Auditor-General would improve the chances of success of your government’s oft-repeated commitment to fight corruption and end the impunity of perpetrators. It will improve the integrity of MDAs, as well as serve the public interest.”

“Any failure to promptly investigate the allegations and prosecute suspected perpetrators would breach Nigeria’s anti-corruption legislation, and the country’s international anti-corruption obligations.”

“We would be grateful if the recommended measures are taken within 14 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, the Incorporated Trustees of SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions to compel your government to comply with our request in the public interest.”

“SERAP has carefully analysed the recently released 2018 audited report by the Auditor-General of the Federation and our analysis reveals the grim allegations that N105,662,350,077.46 of public funds are missing, misappropriated or unaccounted for across 149 MDAs in 2018.”

“According to the Auditor-General, 35 MDAs failed to remit N48,551,274,468.35 of generated revenue, and N5,418,780,747.23 of statutory deductions including value added tax, withholding tax, and stamp duties in 2018, thereby ‘depriving the government of the much-needed fund to pursue its agenda.’”

“Similarly, 25 MDAs awarded contracts amounting to N18,369,595,564.47 in violation of the Public Procurement Act (PPA), 2007, including disregard to due process, irregularity in payment for contracts, excessive pricing of procurements, payment for services not rendered, and payment in full for uncompleted projects.”

“Another N23,486,881,920.49 was spent by 48 MDAs without following the rules and regulations relating to spending procedures and policies, and without any documents to support such spending. Furthermore, 11 MDAs paid N8,389,842,637.88 for store items that were not taken on store charge. The Auditor-General fears that the items may be ‘missing/misappropriated.’”

“In addition, 18 MDAs paid N354,223,774.67 as cash advances to staff without duly retiring the money, contrary to the Financial Regulation 1405 and Financial Regulation 1420. According to the Auditor-General, ‘unretired cash and personal advances may be a deliberate attempt to divert public funds for personal use.’”

“Moreover, 12 MDAs spent N371,750,964 as cash advances, above the approved threshold of N200,000.00, contrary to the Treasury Circular Ref. No. TRY/A2&B2/2009OAGF/CAD/26/V, which requires all local procurement of stores and services costing above N200,000.00 to be made only through the award of contracts.”

“There are several other infractions documented in the report, a copy of which can be obtained from the Auditor-General’s office. The 2018 audited report therefore suggests a grave violation of the public trust. These damning revelations also suggest that the indicted MDAs lack effective and credible internal processes to prevent and combat corruption.”

“Our requests are brought in the public interest, and in keeping with the requirements of the Nigerian Constitution 1999 [as amended]; anti-corruption legislation, and the country’s international obligations including under the UN Convention against Corruption; and the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption to which Nigeria is a state party.”

The letter was copied to Mr Malami; Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, Chairman Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC); Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa, Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC); Mrs Ahmed; and chairmen of the Public Accounts Committees of the National Assembly.

Kolawole Oluwadare
SERAP Deputy Director
18/4/2021
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 us on: +2348160537202

April 16, 2021
Press Statement
Currency Printing: PDP Calls Out President Buhari
…Demands Finance Minister’s Sack

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) condemns the attempt by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to deny the printing of N60 billion by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at its behest.

The PDP asserts that the admission by CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, that the apex bank has been printing money at the bidding of government, has vindicated its earlier stand that the Buhari-led APC administration is characterized by concealments, deceit and falsehood.

The PDP flays the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, for attempting to mislead Nigerians by denying the revelations by the Edo state Governor, Godwin Obaseki, that N60 billion was printed in March to support federal allocation to states.

Governor Obaseki, as a financial expert, who is not known for flippancy, must be commended for his act of patriotism in exposing the dire economic situation our nation has been plunged under the Buhari administration.

A situation where the Federal Government cannot articulate and implement policies favourable to wealth creation but resorting to borrowing and indiscriminate printing of currency notes, only goes to further confirm that the Buhari administration lacks the credibility and capacity to run a nation.

Indeed, the admission by the CBN governor that “Nigeria is unfortunately in a very bad situation” further justifies our position that the Buhari-led APC administration has wrecked the economy of our nation.
Our party is worried over the huge negative impact of indiscriminate printing of currency which has led to the unprecedented rise in inflation rate to 18.17% as disclosed by the Bureau of National Statistics (NBS) on Thursday.

This situation has led to further economic hardship with surging prices and fallen purchasing power throwing millions of families in distress and unable to afford the basic necessities of life.

The PDP calls out President Buhari to come clean on the amount that has been printed so far by the CBN to finance the deficit caused by the financial mismanagement of his government as well as what the funds had been used for.

Furthermore, for failing the full disclosure test, the PDP demands that the Minister of Finance should immediately be relieved of her position, while the President accepts responsibility for the indiscriminate printing of currency in our naira.

Our party implores President Buhari to save our nation by allowing better hands to manage and salvage our economy before it is too late.
Signed:
Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

April 15, 2021
Press Statement
Twitter: You Have A Poor Understanding of Governance, PDP Replies APC

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) describes the declaration by the All Progressives Congress (APC) that the by-passing of Nigeria by Twitter to cite its African Headquarters in Ghana is “a non-issue” further confirms APC and Buhari Presidency’s poor understanding of governance.

The PDP asserts that the statement issued by the APC in a desperate bid to justify its manifest misrule and abuse of human rights, shows that the APC and Buhari administration are not ready to end their policy inconsistency and the fettering of our youths through suppression of free speech, stifling of online freedom and open internet, for which Twitter shunned our nation for Ghana.

This disposition by the APC and the Buhari Presidency has further strengthened the widespread view among Nigerians that this administration suppresses every vocation in which our youth demography has shown interest.

Their statement also validates apprehensions in the public space that the APC deliberately worked against the citing of Twitter headquarters in Nigeria because of their plot to forcefully regulate the use of internet in our country.

A more responsive government and political party, who have the interest of the people at heart, ought to device all means possible to attract the Africa Headquarters of Twitter to our country given the huge benefits such would have served in the face of grinding unemployment which the APC administration has imposed on our nation.

It is indeed saddening that rather than devise means such as this opportunity to create wealth and revamp our economy, the APC and the Buhari Presidency are mortgaging the future of our nation through all manner of foreign loans which they cannot account for.

Now that they have borrowed from all corners of the world and turning our country into a debtor nation, with nothing to show for it, the APC and the Buhari administration have resorted to primitive printing of naira notes not minding the huge inflation as well as devastation such would trigger in our economy.

From the arrogant disposition of the APC, it is clear that it has no regard for Nigerians and as such has no business being in governance.

Signed:
Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

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Youths restate Niger Delta support for Buhari, Akpabio


Youths in the Niger Delta region on Tuesday endorsed the current drive by the Federal Government to eradicate corruption in the country.

They also said the Federal Government had started well in the Niger Delta region by approving auditors for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC)

‘’It requires time to complete the forensic audit’’ the youths said.

At a meeting of the Niger Delta Youth Forum (NDYF) in Calabar, the youths praised President Muhammadu Buhari for opting to entrust the affairs of the Niger Delta Ministry on Chief Godswill Akpabio.

‘’We are grateful to Mr. President for the perspicacious judgement’’

Particularly, the youths praised the Federal Government for giving the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) new and strategic direction aimed at achieving viable development in the oil rich region.

‘’President Muhammadu Buhari and Chief Godswill Akpabio deserve our commendation for the changes so far in the oil rich Niger Delta region’’ the youths said.

The youths in a statement signed by NDYF Chairperson, Dr. Roseline Umoh, defended the administration’s role in appointing a sole administrator for the interventionist agency.

The youths explained that the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs had a minister who is committed to doing things right.

They underscored Akpabio’s long trail of legacies in Akwa Ibom State, his inspiring leadership in the Senate and the effort he was making to develop the oil rich region.

The youths enjoined South-South governors to cooperate with the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and give him the needed support for success.

They advised the governors to be patient with the Federal Government.

The youths also called for greater understanding amongst all stakeholders in the region.

‘’We must not set roadblocks before ourselves. We must unite. The harmony which has now been achieved between the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and the National Assembly is here to stay’’

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ARFSD2021: Africa not on track to achieve zero hunger by 2030

ARFSD2021: Africa is not on track to achieve zero hunger by 2030

Brazzaville, Congo, March 03, 2021 (ECA) – Africa is not on track to achieve zero hunger by 2030, Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) Regional Representative for Africa, Abebe Haile-Gabriel, told a meeting reviewing progress made by the continent towards attaining that goal so far.

Co-organised by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the World Food Programme (WFP), in collaboration with the Government of the Republic of Congo, the meeting is part of the Seventh Session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD) that is underway in Brazzaville.

“The results remain unsatisfactory and there are many challenges due to climate change, the poor economic situation and the negative impacts of COVID 19, as well as the lack of public investment,” said Mr. Haile-Gabriel.

He, however, said the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) was a unique opportunity for the transformation of the continent’s food system.

To address the issue of hunger in Africa, Mr. Haile-Gabriel said political will and commitment at the highest level was key, adding national and local level actions and investments were also critical. He said there was an urgent need for the continent to build back and forward better after the COVID-19 pandemic, with governments being called on to invest in social protection measures to save the most vulnerable in society. The transformation of the African food system is crucial to help end hunger, he said, adding the adoption of holistic multi sectoral approaches was needed.

Chris Toe from the WFP said African countries need to prioritize and scale up investments in rural transformation, sustainable infrastructure and human capital development as they work towards eliminating hunger and food insecurities. This, he said, will not only help to sustain ongoing progress, but also assist in the continent’s quest to achieve zero hunger as espoused in the SDGs and Africa’s 2025 commitment to end hunger and Agenda 2063 aspirations.

A Congolese government official, M. Mukena Bantu, an adviser in charge of cooperation and projects, speaking on behalf of Agriculture Minister, Mr. Joseph-Antoine Kasongo, said the new administration was determined to accelerate the development of agriculture to end hunger.

“We have declared that the soil must take over the subsoil,” he said, adding, “There is political will to carry out all the actions necessary to achieve food security.”

The side event provided a platform for member States to reflect and share on transformative actions and investments that will facilitate the building of Africa’s food systems better towards meeting the aspirations and goals of the 2030 Agenda and the African Union’s Agenda 2063.

 

-Ends-

 

Issued by:

Communications Section
Economic Commission for Africa
PO Box 3001
Addis Ababa
Ethiopia
Tel: +251 11 551 5826
E-mail: eca-info@un.org

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THE LION THAT CANNOT BE CAGED

THE LION THAT CANNOT BE CAGED

Over the last one week millions of Nigerians have expressed concern about which direction I am going politically and much has been said.

Some have gone out of their way to reach out to me and offered their counsel out of genuine love and concern.

Others have not reached out to me and have written or spoken out of ignorance, hate and malice imputing the worst motivations for actions which they claim I have purportedly taken.

This contribution is an attempt to provide answers to just a few of the oftentimes asinine and absurd assertions and observations that the latter group have made.

Some say they warned me and that I have fallen into a trap whilst others say my voice has been silenced, I am a spy and that this signals the end of my political career.

My response to them and others who have conjured up even stranger motivations and conspiracy theories when it comes to FFK is as follows.

To whom it may concern: spare me your crocodile tears and be rest assured that I am too big, too intelligent, too experienced and too forthright to fall into any trap.

It is impossible to castrate a lion, render it impotent or silence its roar.

I stand on all my beliefs, core values and principles. I am the voice of the voiceless, I am a warrior, I fear nothing, I fear no-one, I am as constant as the northern star and I will ALWAYS stand against evil.

Speaking to other leaders across party lines in order to build bridges, engender peace, foster stability and enhance national unity ought not to create such national and international rage, panic and pandemonium.

Are we so divided that we can’t even talk to one another and take pictures together without causing a public stir and setting the Internet on fire?

You insult me and say I am scared of prison because I had a meeting with two APC Governors?

Do you know how many PDP and APC Governors and leaders I interact with and meet regularly? Do you know how many I talk to on a daily basis?

Do you know that I was prosecuted for 7 years by PDP Governments who tried to jail me simply for speaking out against them yet it did not deter me? Ask those that were in the Yar’adua and Jonathan administration.

After a while they got tired because the more they tried to intimidate me into silence or make me flee the country the more I stood my ground and fought my corner till they gave up.

Does that sound like a man that is scared of death or prison?

You insult me and say I am broke because I had talks with two APC Governors.

Do you know that I spend more on my monthly salary bill in one month than some of these people that are claiming I am broke earn in 5 or 10 years.

I have 55 domestic staff in my house alone. Not one of them gets below 70,000 naira per month which is higher than the national minimum wage.

I do not owe salaries and I feed each of them three square meals every day. I do all this just to help them and to ensure they can look after and feed their families. Does that sound like a broke man to you?

That is my little contribution to the welfare of our people because I certainly do not need so many staff. I employ them just to keep them off the unemployment line.

Apart from that do you know how many people I give scholarships to and how many peoples children I feed and educate? Do you know how many other families I am responsible for in terms of day to day living?

The Bible says be your brothers keeper and I do these things unto the Lord. I do them and I will never stop even when my good is repaid with evil.

The Lord has always provided for me and given me the fat of the land. He has always caused me to be a blessing to others though I do not make noise about it.

For the last 60 years of my life He has been good to me. He has caused me to excel, prosper and flourish and from beginning to end He has always been with me and mine.

You say I make money through politics meanwhile I left public office in 2007 which is 13 years ago! Does that make sense to you? In any case is politics my only source of income in the world?

Am I your conventional politician who craves for elective office? Do I even attend their meetings? I have been in this game since 1990! Do you know that?

I have been making my contributions to current affairs, political discourse and politics for the last 31 years which is long before most of today’s Governors or Ministers even knew the meaning of the word.

And it was always a struggle which involved sacrifice. Where were my detractors when I was in NADECO and fought against military rule?

The records are there and so are the essays and some of the people I worked with.

Where were they when we set up September Club in 1989 and some of the nations greatest leaders and elder statesmen and top politicians over the last 30 years, including Presidents, Governors, Ministers and legislators across party lines, were members.

Where were they in the days of NRC, SDP and Choice ’92 when politics was real, when the greats held sway and when men honored their word.

Where were they when we risked all for MKO Abiola’s stolen mandate and June 12th and even had to go into exile for years because of it?

Where were they when we stood against the annulment of June 12th and fought against the Government of General Sani Abacha?

Where were they when we formed the Progressive Action Movement in 1999 and some of the nations brightest and best young stars and minds made their contribution to national affairs?

Where were they when we fought against Senator Ali Modu Sheriff who was sent to high jack and destroy the PDP?

Where were they when I led President Goodluck Jonathan’s presidential campaign in 2015 and took the battle to the gates of the enemy?

Where were they when I stood behind President Olusegun Obasanjo and faced down ALL his detractors?

Where were they when I was targetted and almost assassinated om two separate occassions during the Obasanjo Presidency simply because I was the President’s defender in chief and armour bearer and was totally committed to his cause?

I did all this in the past and present and you say I am making money from it? Do you know the risks involved in these things?

Do you know I could have been killed together with members of my family long ago and most certainly would have had it not been for God?

Can my detractors give up so much and risk so much just for politics? Honestly it really is the deepest insult.

Some of us were born into wealth and have never lacked it. We were born into politics too. We were born into the circles of power so nothing moves us.

For us politics is a noble calling and not a profession. It is about proferring solutions to complex national issues and not about the acquisition of primitive wealth.

We gave up all for the struggle for democracy and the opportunity to help to develop our country and move her forward and now we are insulted and mocked and told we did it for money? Which money?

How much can I be bought or bribed with? All the money in the world could not move me because I have never lacked it.

What have I not had or enjoyed in life from a very young age? Where have I not been?

I came to the conclusion long ago that all is vanity and that material wealth means nothing. I would never sacrifice my principles or integrity for it.

Mallam Abba Kyari, the President’s late and powerful Chief of Staff, was my brother for over 40 years and we interacted regularly whilst he was in power.

I never asked him for ANYTHING from his Government just as I never asked or got ANYTHING from any of the previous Federal Governments between 2007 and 2021.

If I had done so I would not have been able to criticise those Governments publicly and I would have been exposed. You cannot criticise where you eat from.

I did not join APC when Abba was in Government and I did not compromise my principles when I could have asked him for anything I chose in return since he had the ear of the President.

I respected and loved him for who he was and NOT for the position he held and the feeling was mutual.

I opposed his Government in spite of our friendship and did not share his views yet we remained friends because our friendship was well above politics.

That is what civilised people do. They agree to disagree and respect each others views. They never let it come between their friendship.

I opposed Abba’s Government and risked losing an old and loyal friend and brother because I believed passionately in all I said. I believed all that I said then and I still believe it today.

All that and now you dare to question my resolve and consistency? It is laughable.

You say I am inconsitent. Meanwhile I have been more consistent in my views over the last 30 years than 95% of Nigerian leader and I have stuck to my guns despite all manner of persecution and suffering!

You say I have no relevance meanwhile millions all over the world read my words avidly every day and follow my actions religiously because I inspire them due to the fact that I have always had the courage of my convictions and I have always spoken truth to power.

Unlike most politicians I actually inspire people and give them hope. And most important of all they trust me and trust my judgement.

They have also acknowledged the fact thst more often than not my words are prophetic and I have displayed remarkable insight and foresight when it comes to national affairs.

How many of your so-called “relevant” leaders have done that? How many of them have displayed such courage under fire for years on end?

How many of them can have their newspaper columns in three national dailies closed over the years due to threats to the publishers from the Government and yet keep writing his essays on social media with millions of people all over the world still reading them and receiving the message?

How many of them can be blacklisted by the nations newspapers and television stations with threatenjng orders from above and still keep talking?

How many of them across party lines can mould the thoughts and guide millions in this way with their counsel, words, actions and thoughts?

First 7 years of persecution under PDP then 5 years of persecution under APC! HOW many of your leaders can stand such fire and pain and still fight on?

Almost all of them ever do is sell you down the river, tell you lies, ignore your pain, deceive you, mock you, use you and give you crumbs in return for your acclamation, support and loyalty but you love them for that.

You say I am scared of even more persecution. At the age of 60 you believe I am scared?

What more can they do to me that they have not done already? And what more am I looking for in life that I have not enjoyed over the years?

Yet you say I am scared! And those that say so can barely endure one tenth of what I have endured.

Some of them make noise from the safety of other countries and stay away from Nigeria out of fear of being locked up yet they mock those of us that live on the doorsteps of our oppressors in Nigeria and dare them to their faces.

Some of them have not been able to face hardship or deprivation and neither can they bear it when their rights are being violated.

Yet to many of us this has become the norm ahd we are used to it yet we still continue to struggle and fight the system regardless. Let me give you just one example.

Do you know that I have not been able to travel out of Nigeria for the last 13 years because my passport was first seized by a PDP Government for 8 and then by an APC Government for 5?

Do you know that I could not even go for medical check ups outside the country because of that?

Did you ever hear me complain or did this ever stop me from speaking truth to power, standing firm against injustice or speaking up for the weak, the persecuted and the voiceless?

Do you know I was locked up by both PDP and APC Federal Governments for no just cause?

Do you know I was even locked up in Boko Haram detention centers with Boko Haram suspects and convicts?

Do you know that only terrorists were kept in the facility that they kept me? Do you know that that place is worst than Gauntanamo Bay and that it was built by the British Government?

Do you know how terrifying that was and that I could have been killed or maimed whilst there?

Yet did you ever hear me complain about it, submit, compromise, give up or back down from criticising the Government or previous Governments because of these trials and tribulations?

How many of your so-called “relevant” and “great” leaders can bear such torment and injustice without cracking? Did you ever see or hear me crack? Did I ever break?

Do you know what horrors my first wife Regina and my daughter Remi were subjected to by a PDP Government? Do you know why they had to go into exile and live abroad?

Do you know what hell my ex-wife Precious and first son Aragorn were subjected to by the APC Government?

Do you know the tears we shed secretly and the number of times we suffered and were forced to go underground for no just cause?

Do you know the kind of stress and torment this put us through? Do you know that all our bank accounts have been frozen for five years?

Did all that stop me or stop us from standing? Did we not endure and bear it all with dignity for years and still continue to make our contribution to national affairs with zeal and passion.

Yet leaders like me that make these sacrifices and speak truth you describe as having no relevance, no consistency and you hate.

You mock, ridicule, insult and believe the very worst about us at the drop of a hat. Some even have the nerve and effontry to say we are not politicians simply because we have not run for elective office.

It is those who speak truth and that are courageous enough to expose and confront evil that you hate, judge and always think and assume the worse of at the drop of a hat.

Do you know that despite facing the most vicious persecution and prosecution for 7 long years the court found me not guilty of corruption whilst I was Minister of Aviation and Minister of Culture and Tourism and acquitted and discharged me?

How many of your leaders can endure going to court for seven years before 4 different judges and in the midst of a vicious media witch hunt in which most people who knew nothing about the case had declared me guilty?

How many of you could have survived that without capitulating, cracking, begging and bending the knee?

Do you know that I have been facing prosecution for the last 5 years in two separate courts for doing absolutely nothing wrong except leading a presidential campaign against Buhari and for Jonathan in 2015 and as a consequence of politically-motivated and malicious charges which were filed only because of my bitter and vicious opposition to the Buhari Government?

Do you know that under my tenure as Minister of Aviation there were no plane crashes whilst the year before I came in there were 5 and 453 died in those crashes?

Do you know that I put a stop to those crashes and that I am the only Minister of Aviation in Nigerian history under which there were NO plane crashes?

Do you know that despite all the challenges and persecution I was recently polled by 85% of the readers of Vanguard Newspaper that I was the loudest and most consistent voice of opposition against the Buhari Government over the last five years?

All this yet you label me a coward and someone that has achieved nothing?

Do you know that most of those leaders you rever and love so much are cowards who are unable and unwilling to risk all and speak truth to power.

All they are able to do is to mislead you and their followers to hate and insult those of us that really care for you.

Honestly some people need mental health checks and medical attention!

And for anyone to say I will not be welcome in a party that I have not publicly expressed a desire to join amazes me.

The joker that claimed I was rejected by the APC needs to tell me where and when I applied to join them and what my registration number was!

Did I tell you I am leaving PDP for APC? Or did I tell anyone that I will stay in PDP forever no matter what happens or no matter what they do to me or to the country?

You see unlike most I am a one man army and riot squad and I am accountable to no man or party. I am only accountable to God!

Unlike most I do not do things in the dark and I do not shy away from speaking the truth or my mind once it is set.

When and if I ever choose to make a move I will be clear and categorical and I will let the world know so hold your hate fire till we get to that bridge.

Yet know this: I owe no-one any explanation for what I will do or will not do tomorrow, I will gladly live with the consequences of my actions and decisions and I will defend myself and explain my actions when I choose to do so if I believe it is ever necessary.

I do not know what the details are yet but before 2023 there WILL be many realignments and new alliances. Both parties will see many shifts and many individuals will change sides.

This is because we must get it right in 2023 and we must ensure that whoever takes power at the center, regardless of party affiliation, restructures our country and takes our nation to the promise land.

We must build bridges and secure the peace, unity and progress of this country and most important of all we must avoid civil war and do all we can to save our nation from armed conflict and fratricidal butchery.

That is the challenge before us today and that is the reality of Nigerian politics.

Whilst others meet secretly and hide from the cameras in their quest to achieve these objectives, I will not. I am the beloved of the Lord and I am a LION!

No man born of woman can silence my roar!

I am who I am. I am FFK.

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Mrs. Akeredolu Shares BRECAN’s Journey, Urges Vaccination Against Cervical Cancer

Mrs. Akeredolu Shares BRECAN’s Journey, Urges Vaccination Against Cervical Cancer

*As All Saint’s College Wins BRECAN’s Inter-School Arts Competition

The wife of Ondo State Governor and founder Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN), Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, shared her breast cancer story. She said hers was a lone voice in the wilderness as nobody wanted to be associated with BRECAN at its formative stage.

Mrs. Akeredolu stated this while addressing student participants drawn from different schools across Oyo State during the Inter- School Arts Competition held at the Law Hub, Ibadan organized as part of activities marking 2021 World Cancer Day by the Oyo State Chapter of BRECAN.

Arabinrin Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, who acknowledged the contributions of individuals, groups and most especially volunteer students who through advocacy raised funds for BRECAN’s activities, said the journey has been tortuous and rewarding as more lives have been impacted.

While noting that the Arts Competition was the second of its kind in the history of BRECAN in promoting breast cancer awareness, Mrs. Akeredolu said BRECAN is now set to help eliminate incidence of Cervical cancer which she noted can be eliminated one hundred percent.

On why women have continued to die needlessly because of the disease, Mrs. Akeredolu identified ignorance as one of the major causes, saying, “it is shocking that some still assume it is a spiritual attack and only present when it is too late.”

Mrs. Akeredolu, while stressing that cervical cancer can be eliminated through vaccination, said it’s high time parents are educated on the need to give consent to the vaccination of their children against Cervical Cancer. She also urged the students to be breast aware and be breast health advocates wherever they find themselves.

In her Goodwill Message, Olori Adejumoke Adeleye, Olori Olubaka of Oka land, commended Mrs. Akeredolu for initiating BRECAN. The Olori said Arabinrin Akeredolu’s committment to the cause is laudable and will remain a ray of hope to many. She prayed for wisdom and grace for survivor of 24 years to continue in her service to humanity.

The climax of the event was the presentation of prizes to winners. All Saint’s College came first in the competition followed closely by Seed of Life College which came second and the third position went to Lead City International College.

Earlier, Promise Ihieze while speaking on the theme of the program: “Hope” said the Arts Competition was their own way of sending the message of hope across to survivors and bringing attention to the cause.

Earlier, the state Chairperson for Oyo State BRECAN, Tolu Taiwo, in her Welcome Address, acknowledged all those who have been pillars of support to BRECAN over the years, noting that there is still more grounds to cover.

Other dignitaries in attendance include Bashorun Arogunjo and his wife, BRECAN members from across the state among others.