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APC Extends Nationwide Membership Registration

APC Extends Nationwide Membership Registration

The All Progressives Congress (APC) Nationwide Membership Registration and register update exercise began on Tuesday 9th February, 2021 across the 36 states of the federation.

The feedback across the states have been overwhelming and beyond projected success level; with a massive turnout of intending registrants beyond the expectation of the party.

This development is responsible for the shortage of registration materials recorded in many states across the country and thereby warranting an extension of the exercise to give every interested Nigerian the opportunity to officially identify with the ruling party, the APC.

On behalf of the National Chairman Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC) His Excellency, Hon. Mai Mala Buni, I wish to use this opportunity to appreciate the good works of His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi state led Youth, Women Mobilisation and Persons with Disabilities’ Sensitisation Committee, The National Registration, Revalidation Committee led by Governor Sani Bello of Niger State, the states steering committees for the exercise and all party officials who have been both directly and indirectly involved in the exercise from the outset.

We have received a nationwide acknowledgement of the increasing popularity of the APC, and most especially in states that are being governed by the opposition party. Biases in some sections might have made attempts to rubbish the good works of the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration, but the strong, impressive response of the public in the ongoing registration exercise has spoken the true minds of Nigerians and has put paid to the false narratives of party’s critics, cynics and the opposition.

In response to the demands across the states for an extension to allow accommodation of all prospective members, the Party has therefore extended the nationwide membership registration exercise by a period of three (3) weeks.

This extension will shift the end of the exercise to Wednesday 31st March, 2021.

Additional disbursement of registration materials to meet up with the demands reported in most states has however commenced and will continue until the material needs of all the affected states are adequately met.

Finally, and again, our appreciation goes to all who have made this exercise successful up to date; and a broad welcome to all new members into the party.

Sen. John J. Akpanudoedehe Ph.D
National Secretary
Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC)
All Progressives Congress (APC)

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*As GDP grows by 0.11% in Q4 2020 & Nigeria exits recession*

Nigeria’s prompt exit from recession is a key indicator of the success of the ongoing Economic Sustainability Plan approved by the Federal Government and Nigerians should expect more as the implementation of the Plan is gathering even greater momentum.

This indication was given over the weekend by Mr. Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity in the Office of the Vice President while updating the media on ESP progress and reacting to the latest GDP figures for the last quarter of 2020.

The President and the Federal Executive Council had approved the Plan last June and the Vice President was asked to lead the implementation of the Plan. The plan is aimed, among others, at preventing a deep recession and putting cash in the hands of Nigerians after the economic fallouts of the pandemic.

Akande notes that right from the 2020 third quarter, the economy was already on a rebound adding that the latest fourth-quarter figures show that indeed, the recovery of the Nigerian economy is a steady one.

“Like we explained late last year after the release of the third-quarter figures, the Economic Sustainability Plan, which was a calculated intervention by the Buhari Presidency, is driving the Nigerian economy in the right direction-upwards, and Nigerians can expect more because the administration is unrelenting in its determination to pursue the steady recovery and growth of our economy,” Akande noted.

The Presidential spokesperson said the Economic Sustainability Plan is entering into an even more potent phase with the revving up of plans to install 5 million solar installations across the country and the social mass housing plan that will result in hundreds of thousands of affordable houses for ordinary Nigerians. Both aspects he noted, will yield several hundreds of jobs besides giving the national economy a significant spur like never before.

He explained that so far, the Survival Fund is making waves with MSMEs, artisans, transport workers, hundreds of thousands receiving cash stimulus, and the payroll support where an equal number of people running into hundreds of thousands employed by businesses are collecting N50,000 monthly. He said the payroll support covers three months’ salaries for beneficiaries.

Already about 311,000 employees have received the payroll support coming from 64,000 businesses nationwide and over 165,000 artisans have also benefited from the Survival Fund. In all, the Survival Fund is on course to safeguard at least 1.3million jobs

Underway also, according to him, is the Government Off-take Scheme, GOS, where the Federal Government will pump an additional N15billion to support Nigerian-owned businesses by off-taking a number of products in a bid to keep businesses alive and create jobs.

The GOS will cover products such as facemasks, liquid soaps, disinfectants, hand sanitizers, and other processed foods and spices. Altogether, the GOS will benefit 100,000 MSMEs, while an additional 100,000 Nigerians will also be benefiting from a one-off N50,000 MSME grant different from those already paid to artisans, transport workers and separate from the payroll support.

Commenting on the quarter 4 GDP figures, Akande quoting a Presidency review on the latest GDP figures, said that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 0.11% in Q4 2020 following two consecutive quarters of negative growth, “showing an exit from the pandemic induced recession. This positive quarterly growth in Q4 2020 contributed to overall GDP, which contracted by -1.92% for the full year in 2020.”

“This GDP report is important for a number of reasons. It is a reflection of the growing importance of the non-oil sector, as its contribution to GDP has increased from 92.68% in Q4 2019 to 94.13% in Q4 2020. The non-oil sector performance was mainly driven by growth in Information and Communication, as the pandemic meant greater use of ICT services.

“Growth in Agriculture, Manufacturing, Mining, Construction, and Real Estate also contributed to the improvement of the non-oil sector.

The Presidency review noted that however “in contrast, the oil sector fell by -19.76% in Q4 2020 (6.36% in Q4 2019) as average oil production declined to 1.5 million barrels per day (1.5mbpd). This can be attributed to Nigeria’s compliance with OPEC+ quotas.”

It was observed that the “report indicates that Nigeria’s response to the COVID-19 induced shocks, the Economic Sustainability plan and the timely revision of the Federal Government budget, were effective.”

Besides, Akande explained that “the Nigerian Economy outperformed various analysts’ expectations like the IMF and World Bank. In addition, Nigeria’s quarter on quarter growth of 9.7% surpassed China (2.6%), USA (4%), and Japan (3%) despite these countries having larger stimulus packages.”

In conclusion, it was stated that “the Nigerian economy performed reasonably despite the earlier lockdown, trade disruptions, #EndSars protests, and oil price volatility. There is optimism as oil prices continue to stabilise, COVID-19 cases reach a plateau, success of an imminent vaccine rollout, and continued effective implementation of the Economic Sustainability Plan.”

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Abuja Air Crash: Senate President condoles with NAF, families of victims


Abuja Air Crash: Senate President condoles with NAF, families of victims

The President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has expressed his shock and sadness over the tragic news of the crash of a Nigerian military aircraft in Abuja on Sunday.

Lawan sends his condolences to the families of those killed in the accident and prays that Allah would comfort them in this time of grief.

He also commiserated with the Nigerian Air Force and charged the authorities to reinforce their safety measures against future occurrence.


Ola Awoniyi
Special Adviser(Media)
to President of the Senate

Sunday, 21st February, 2021

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President Muhammadu Buhari is deeply saddened by the fatal crash of Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Beechcraft KingAir B350i aircraft on Sunday in Abuja that claimed the lives of seven personnel.

On behalf of the Federal Government, President Buhari extends heartfelt condolences to family members, friends and colleagues of those who died as a result of this tragedy.

The President joins the Nigerian Air Force, the military and other Nigerians in mourning the unfortunate loss of the dedicated and courageous personnel, who died in the line of duty.

President Buhari notes that while investigations into the cause of the crash are ongoing, the safety of the Nigerian airspace remains a key priority of the government.

He prays that God will comfort the bereaved families and nation, and grant the souls of the departed peaceful rest.

Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
February 21, 2021

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Pulling back from the Brink —– Remarks by Malam Nasir El-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State, at the national conversation; The Fierce Urgency of Now: Tactics and Strategies to Pull Nigeria from the Brink, held in Lagos on Friday, 19th February 2021

Pulling back from the Brink

Remarks by Malam Nasir El-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State, at the national conversation; The Fierce Urgency of Now: Tactics and Strategies to Pull Nigeria from the Brink, held in Lagos on Friday, 19th February 2021

1. It is an understatement to say that Nigeria is in one of its most difficult moments. The genuine fears for their lives and property felt by many citizens across the country need to be assuaged, along with urgent steps to stop the attacks, relieve human misery and rebuild collective trust and will to jointly confront and defeat the criminals that menace us all.

2. This moment of peril is compounded by an avalanche of extreme rhetoric, ethnic profiling and fake news that only ignite passion without comforting the afflicted, nor offering a way out. Leaders and all responsible persons must show compassion to our compatriots that have been affected while calming nerves. Banditry is a national problem, with victims from all parts of the country, and we should address it with a common resolve and not further delight the felons by letting them divide us.

3. It is regrettable that banditry has been allowed to develop a nationwide footprint. In 2015, we in Kaduna State inherited a crime mix of mainly rural banditry, cattle rustling and kidnapping, along with the menace of urban gangs. In parts of the southern senatorial district of the state, communal clashes with ethno-religious complications have been the norm for over three decades. Many livestock holders and farmers had abandoned their farms, either because the bandits had stolen their assets or out of fear for their lives.

4. We identified the Kamuku-Kuyambana forest range, running from Niger State through Birnin-Gwari in Kaduna State and across most of the NorthWest states, as the major bandit enclave. We initiated discussions with our neighbours and the governors developed a shared appreciation of the problem and decided to try and solve it. With remarkable unanimity, the governors of the North-West states and Niger State jointly provided the funding of a military operation for which the Federal Government committed its military assets.

5. The military operations in the Birnin Gwari axis decimated the bandits and heralded a massive reduction in cattle rustling. But the relief proved sadly momentary. With the military operations not becoming continuous or simultaneous in all states, the bandits regrouped and intensified kidnappings in rural communities, highways and on the fringes of major population areas. Banditry is badly hurting our rural economy, driving farmers off the land, stealing their cattle, kidnapping them and their families for ransom, and often killing them.

6. About a third of our 23 local governments are affected by these crimes. The locus of banditry in the last 15 months has been in the northern and central senatorial districts of our state. Bandits have also complicated the communal clashes that blighted lives in parts of the southern Kaduna senatorial district in the latter half of 2020. Thanks to some courageous leadership at the grassroots, a community-based peace process in Zangon-Kataf and Jema’a local government areas is helping to reduce communal tensions and incline the communities towards exclusively peaceful way of resolving differences.

7. I am telling the story of our experience in Kaduna State to remind everyone that our people are victims of these criminals and illustrate that we feel the pains of victims in other parts of the country. Our experience also teaches us a few things which should inform our responses:

i. The Nigerian state has not jealously and consistently protected its prerogatives and status as the leviathan, the ultimate guarantor of security, the protector of rights and the promoter of the rule of law. That is why its power is being challenged, in a frighteningly sustained manner by a phalanx of armed non-state actors.

ii. Our national level security response to these challenges has been uncoordinated and ineffective in wiping out the threats. None of the military services nor other security agencies has been suitably expanded in numbers and equipment for over a decade since the insurgency in the North-East pushed things to a new low. This country does not have enough soldiers, uniformed police and secret police to project state power across its vast swathes, particularly the forests. The limited number of boots on the ground are not well equipped and are significantly lacking in the technology that can make their limited numbers matter a lot less.

iii. The justice system operates with ethos and at a pace that do not reflect the fragility of the situation and the urgency to demonstrate that the rule of law is meaningful. Prosecutions take so long that many citizens assume that the criminals have long been released, encouraging criminal conduct, and raising the dangerous appeal of illegal self-help.

iv. The subnational levels – that is the states and local governments combined – have limited hard power but considerable options and scope for the exercise of soft-power which require for its effectiveness the looming shadow of credible coercive power;

v. Notions of a common humanity, not to talk of a common citizenship are not as widely or deeply shared as it would appear. Identity politics holds sway. This reflects the absence of an elite consensus about who we are and how we should live together.

8. We can overcome these debilitations. Nigeria is not the only diverse country in the world; neither are we the only federation. We are not the only country cobbled together by accidents of history. We are more integrated than we think, and there are many shared stories of triumph and tragedy. There are fault-lines, but we can be rational about managing and navigating them; we can be conscious and deliberate about overcoming some of them while rendering those that remain less toxic.

9. In Kaduna State, we are implementing a project that conceives livestock production as a viable business, rather than a culture. We are working with a global dairy giant Arla of Denmark to deliver a project that sedentarises herders, in a community with roads, veterinary clinics, schools and health facilities. Arla of Denmark is the commercial and technical manager of this project, called the Damau Milk Project, based in one of our 14 grazing reserves located in Kubau local government area. This project would deliver better life chances for the herders, create new businesses and remove a perennial source of conflict. We hope to replicate this project across more of the grazing reserves in the state.

10. In my view, we must approach organising our country as a deliberate task, beginning with a collective decision regarding what sort of society we intend to be and the means of attaining it. That collective decision manifests in elite consensus, and it would include an understanding of the medley of measures required to make it happen. It may involve a set of drastic actions to signal a firm direction and some more medium to long term measures that require patient nurturing. Based on elite consensus, managed under the leadership of Deng Xiaoping, China went in 40 years from poverty to first world status, lifting hundreds of millions out of poverty and making the country the second largest economy in the world.

11. Nigeria does not have to remain mired in an identity bind. Rather than leaving its peoples moored to the past, we can create a shared vision of a new future. We require an elite consensus to take the poison out of identity politics and emphasise personal qualities, including competence, application and responsibility. We must be pragmatic in economic and political choices, choosing what is efficient above what is popular, caring more for results than the drama of ethno-religious entrepreneurs.

Elite consensus must include agreement on the following:
i. Commitment to the Rule of law and quick dispensation of justice;
ii. Common citizenship;
iii. Meritocracy and equal opportunity
iv. Prioritisation of human development;
v. Respect for diversity and protection of citizenship rights guaranteed by the Constitution;
vi. Devolution of powers to return the nation to the true federation of our founding fathers.

12. The APC Committee on True Federalism proposed significant devolution of powers between the national government and the 36 States. We recommended that about 10 items be transferred from the Exclusive to the Concurrent List and therefore fall under the control of both the states and federal government. I will dwell on three of the issues that I believe are critical to the immediate needs of the country to pull back from the brink:
a. Imperative for Federal, State and Community Police;
b. Vesting control of Oil and Gas, Mines and Minerals (other than offshore in the Continental Shelf and Extended Economic Zone) in the States with royalties and taxes payable to the Federation Account, and
c. Rectifying the anomaly of a federation that has a more or less unitary judiciary.

13. I am firmly convinced that restructuring on the lines proposed by our committee is a nation-building opportunity. It would allow states that states to exercise consequential powers, assume more responsibilities and control resources to enable them deliver better outcomes for those they govern.

14. In addition to, and in line with the foregoing points, I will conclude by recommending the following immediate decisions and actions by the federal and state governments, with the support of our civil society and all well-meaning Nigerians:

i. Implement the three key devolution proposals outlined above. Give us state police now. Vest all minerals in the states now, and decentralise our judiciary now, not later.
ii. Be emphatic about the right of every citizen to security, freedom of movement and rights of residence, and that the choice of livelihoods must conform to the laws of the land;
iii. Identify, focus on and deal decisively with all state and non-state actors engaged in conduct that amounts to challenging the supremacy of the Nigerian state and our Constitution without ethnic profiling or discriminatory treatment;
iv. Provide immediate and enhanced funding to acquire advanced equipment, armament and ordinance for the armed forces, police, security and paramilitary agencies by drawing down from various ‘rainy day’ federation funds;
v. Implement the national livestock transformation plan already produced four years ago to enable accelerated investment in modern animal husbandry incorporating the rapid sedentarisation of herders in known locations;
vi. Aggressive reduction of the cost of governance at federal, state and local government levels through merger of MDAs with similar mandates and functions, and a nationwide freeze on creation of any new administrative, regulatory or executive bodies for the foreseeable future;
vii. Forge national consensus now, not later, to collect more taxes at both Federal and State levels to be viable. This means we must stop pretending that the regulated levels of monetary policy rates, exchange rate, prices of petrol and electricity, and salaries of the public sector are realistic, sustainable and will lead us to the promised land.

15. As leaders, our obligation is to turn Nigeria’s moment of peril into a breakthrough moment, a time to stand together and drag the Nigerian state to modernity, imbued with a capacity to exercise robust control of security, that is uncompromising in its prerogatives and has an ability to protect rights, lives and livelihoods. Let us make a rational decision that we would be defined by what we achieve in common.

Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai, OFR
Governor of Kaduna State
Lagos, Nigeria

February 19, 2021

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President Muhammadu Buhari condoles with family and friends, the government and people of Katsina State on the demise of Abdullahi Dikko Inde, the immediate past Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS.

The President took note of his past services to the nation, and prayed to Allah to accept the good deeds and forgive the sins of the late Dikko Inde and grant his family the fortitude to bear the loss.

Garba Shehu

Senior Special Assistant to the President

(Media & Publicity)

February 19, 2021

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President Muhammadu Buhari sends warm greetings to former Senate President, Anyim Pius Anyim, on his 60th birthday, February 19, 2021, joining family members and friends to celebrate with the political leader, whose rise in public service remains commendable.

The President congratulates the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) on his many milestones, particularly becoming Senate President at a relatively young age, and handling the responsibility with maturity and wisdom.

As the former SGF turns 60, President Buhari urges more commitment to nation building with the wealth of knowledge and experience gathered from many years of serving in government.

The President prays that the Almighty God will bless Sen. Anyim with good health and longer life.

Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
February 18, 2021

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Prudence, Novelty in Governance: Ebonyi under Umahi as a case study

Presence’s, Novelty in Governance: Ebonyi under Umahi as a case study

By Senator Anthony Agbo

Several national, societal and individual factors infringe on the burden of leadership in Africa and our nation, Nigeria in particular which combine to deny us the classic record of achievements which the western nations and other developed nation-States have recorded over the centuries which compulsively draw the rest of the world to them to directly and indirectly continue to feed their economies and assuage their national propaganda yearnings.

Among these numerous toxic factors that impede our development, two of them shall form the subject of my discussion here; namely: our incurably loose procurement practices that tragically erase prudence in government expenditure, as well as absence of novelty of ideas in the conception, design and execution of projects.

Contract and contract financing has consistently been weaponized by the privileged “business” cum political class, as well as the heartless bureaucrats in the salacious alters of Nigeria’s high echelon civil Service to feed the bottomless pit of greed and white collar thievery. It is an unabated whirlwind that has for decades blown away the huge resources of this nation into the deep pockets of individuals of privilege and advantaged class.

A co-victim to prudence in the challenge of governance in Nigeria is novelty of ideas in our conception, design and construction of projects that produce finished works which possess uniqueness of concept, high durability index and exceptional aesthetic appeal.

Among the developed and ambitious nations of the world, every piece of public and private infrastructural project is strictly guided in design and construction to emerge as an enduring time capsule and imperative instrument of national propaganda which must add something novel to the attraction of the city and the nation to visitors and citizens. Hence, buildings, roads, bridges and flyovers etc, are not just utilitarian public facilities alone, but also elements of co-ordinated artistic embellishment and ornamental totems to the nation. And when a nation makes this a rigid national policy with permanent regimentation and control, the whole nation with its component cities becomes a giant piece of irresistible art work, which when combined with whatever imperative transactional services, such nation can render to others make it an unavoidable attraction to the outside world whose nationals throng there for investment, business, holidays, tourism and for pleasure. Through this, foreign capital from ceaseless traffic of foreigners robustly feed the economy of the nation to make her an indispensable economic power.

Great leadership requires bold and courageous decisions and actions which yield landmark projects whose utility value last for generations. And to achieve this, extreme prudence in management of resources must be a guardian angel of the leader.

Among whatever number of leaders in Nigerian’s political landscape that has recognized the above truisms and have put same in practice, Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State stands out.

Before going ahead, the reader is invited to look up the position of Ebonyi State in the Federal Revenue allocation among the 36 States and Abuja. The State which was carved out of the rural tail of the South-Eastern Nigeria which decades-long agitation for its creation was predicated on total absence of all indices of development, virtually receives the least among the 36 States.

But curiously, Governor Umahi seems to have discovered a secret and magical element of prudence unknown to others which seem to conjure up the mightiest of works out of the least financial resources.

In the border town of Inyere in Afikpo South LGA, as one heads to the boundary between Ebonyi and Abia State, a traveler encounters Ebonyi State version of the historic, notoriously deadly Enugu Milken Hill. Here, an undulating range of ferocious hills has created a forbidden landscape in which the mother earth seem to have opened a deep, dark and angry mouth to swallow up whatever man or machine that may mistakenly tip from the precarious narrow road that snake round the delicate slope of the foothills. This old road was long ago constructed by expatriate contractors to carefully avoid a deep and wide gorge created by pre-historic geological convolutions that formed the hills. This wide, deep and fearful gorge sits at a depth close to 100 metres below sea level. As I passed through this road over 3 months ago, I had beheld a stunning sight of a majestic forest of high density steel rods sitting on massive decorative columns, shooting out solemnly from the dark depth of the great gorge to announce a multiple-step flyover bridge that will beam across this fearful gorge to permanently nullify the pathological fear and horror associated with travelling the precarious road that dangerously circle the edge of the hill range.

The kind of defiant courage required to tackle this kind of fearful project considering the factors of the enormous financial resources involved, extra-ordinary feat of Engineering required, including fear of sinister natural forces; is approximately similar to the ones exhibited by President Muhammadu Buhari in confronting the 2nd Niger Bridge (which every leader in this country since Independence had ran away from) as well as criss-crossing the wide and wild landscape of Nigeria with rail lines and rail transportation, not to talk of transnational gas pipelines, among others.

Hence, from the Ebonyi State International Hospital/College of Medicine, which the like of it cannot be found anywhere in the African Continent; to the hundreds of kilometers of novel, imperishable concrete roads that transverse and connects virtually every community of the state to the state capital; through Ebonyi State International Airport project; to the new State Olympic Stadium; to the dizzying State Ecumenical Centre, with the intricate network of classic road tunnels that lead to it; then to the new state of the art Government House Complex that incorporates Governor’s Lodge and offices, Presidential Lodge, House of Assembly and other facilities; to the State’s International Shopping Mall, which is a marvel to behold; and then to the spectacularly Custom-made Ebonyi designer flyover in every busy and semi-busy intersections all over the state; through the dualization and rehabilitation of Federal roads in the state up to the boundary with sister states; among several other projects. Each and every of these projects are conceived, designed, constructed and finished with calculated strength and durability, delicate refinement of taste and spectacular ornamental appeal.

All these put together staggers the imagination and defies common sense, in the context of meager resources available to the state.

A question may then be asked by a curious and objective enquirer; as to what previously unknown, critical and high-yield procurement formular and advanced principles of prudence has Governor Umahi discovered that can yield projects which ordinarily are beyond the capacity of the state resources to deliver?

Speaking from outside the platform of eulogy, I can make bold to say in succinct terms that Governor Umahi’s governance style and the unique consequent infrastructural accomplishments that result from it as narrated above stands out as a veritable school of leadership that has so much to offer in the troublesome areas of prudence in the management of resources, as well as novelty of ideas in the conception, design and execution of projects.

Since Umahi defected from PDP to the ruling APC, a multitudinous flurry and volleys of incendiary attacks, blackmail as well as outright machinations have ceaselessly rained upon him and woven around him from those who feel wounded or threatened by his bold and courageous decision.

The most curious and outstanding of these attacks have come in the manner of wilde and factless accusations of looting the treasury of Ebonyi State; as well as that of accusing the Governor of building white elephant projects that have no direct relevance to the needs of Ebonyi people.

The accusation of looting the treasury of the state could be the most absurd, pathetic, wicked and treacherous which any bonafide, sane-minded citizen of Ebonyi State could make against Umahi who has simply done the impossible with the little revenue that trickle into the coffers of the state, by putting in place unique models of infrastructure that shall last for generations. Outside fictional, politically motivated accusations, insidious blackmail and deliberate destructive machinations; naked and obvious facts point to the truism that Umahi is a towering reference totem of prudence and fiscal discipline to a level that is rarely seen in African leadership landscape.

The accusation of the Governor investing on white elephant projects that do not benefit the masses as pitiable and pathetic as it is, squarely borders on the same primitive mindset and lack of cultural literacy which has kept African Continent in retrograde motion for several decades.

It is such primitive mindset and absence of cultural literacy that makes even the educated critics not to understand how concrete roads; street lights; International Hospital, farming grants to farmers, civil servants and public officers; International Airports, Olympic Stadium etc, all impact on the lives of the people.

In enlightened climes, and among visionary and ambitious regimes all over the world, leaders don’t work or build for the present and near future in order to just assuage the ephemeral elementary appetite of some restless stakeholders. No! Rather civil works and other infrastructure are conceived, designed and constructed as imperishable time capsules that stand as mute witnesses to the distant and endless mist of time.

The Anglo-Saxon heritage that formed the foundation of western nations of Britain, Europe and America, for instance had from day one of their nationhood set out to build cities and infrastructure which for centuries have remained as historical masterpieces of human accomplishments. They did not wait to first conquer hunger, or to first accomplish a besotted state policy of “stomach infrastructure” before going ahead to build enviable cities.

Hence, in such environments, you see stunning masterpieces of classical architecture, quaint designer bridges and flyovers, historical monuments done in spectacular vibrancy of style; you encounter centuries-old stone-cast roads snaking through some thickly wooded forest that lead into medieval Castles nestled on top of seemingly inaccessible mountains; you encounter iconic city landmarks and structures erected as far back as the historical infant days of the nation and city; all standing to decorate the high metropolis of these nations and bear testimony to the towering vision of iconic leaders of past era. These are cultural inductions and elevated governance baptism which Governor Umahi is a proud initiate.

In 1904, the United States under President Theodore Roosevelt began the construction of Panama Canal, to create a man-made waterway over an 80km stretch of mountains and plains that will link the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans, across the Isthmus of Panama, the objective of which was to shorten the navigation distance between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. This project engaged over 75,000 workers, engulfed $350 million and took the lives of 5,609 workers. But it removed 8,000 miles from the ocean trip between Atlantic and Pacific Oceans; and currently employs 9,000 workers and generates annual revenue of about $2.5 billion. If the $350 million spent on this “white elephant” project was shared to desperate stakeholders and opportunistic citizens for ephemeral satisfaction to draw cheap and brief applause for the leader, the problem this project solved for America and the world (8,000 miles less of sea route) will still be there, and the nation will be $2.5 billion poorer annually with extra 9,000 unemployed workers.

What critics of visionary governments in Nigeria call “white elephant” project is what civilized, and well-guided governments all over the world do every other time: Projects that will serve the interest of successive generations of citizens, and capture the imaginations of visitors. The great pyramid of Giza, in Egypt, built by Pharaoh Khufu, 6,000 years ago is still one of the frontline sources of revenue (in tourism) for the Egyptian governments of today. The Eiffel Tower designed and constructed for French government by the French Engineer, Gustave Eiffel in 1887, has remained the number one tourist attraction in France and a major source of revenue for the French government. Underground railway tunnel that is a common phenomenon in all civilized nations of the world would have been a “white elephant” project here. And other innumerable bold and visionary projects all over the world.

I would kindly advice the honored critics of Governor Umahi to kindly begin to think like Umahi in order to hasten the greatness of our country.

With appreciative solemn opinion, I must offer my reverential acclaim of Umahi’s family members; his wife and children, his brothers and sisters and relations, all of whom are highly cerebral, very successful, cultured and exceedingly accomplished set of human stock; who at all time and in all ramifications have exhibited the highest principles of civilized conduct and cultured bent, that is rare in the circumstance of their position. I adore and reverence this family because, in a society like ours, families pull down governments, destroy visions and sway the noble intentions and focus of their own person in power, that it is their turn and opportunity to chop. But Umahi’s family has been different. At the background you see them offer copious, valuable and complimentary ideas, gratifying encouragement and delightful helping hands.

Also deserving of my reverential acclaim is Umahi’s team of appointed and elected officials, particularly the young, patriotic, sharp and witty speaker of the House and his members.

Governor Umahi’s illustrious ethos of prudence and novelty in governance and his consequent achievements represent imaginative giant leaps in Nigeria’s leadership landscape. And I am persuaded to aver that his biggest story has not been heard.

Jesus Christ is Lord.

Senator Anthony Agbo, an astute politician and author, is a Chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC) from Ebonyi State

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Tambuwal, Matawalle call for collective effort to solve Nigeria’s insecurity

Tambuwal, Matawalle call for collective effort to solve Nigeria’s insecurity

Sokoto State Governor, Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal and his Zamfara counterpart, Alhaji Bello Matawalle, on Sunday said the nation’s insecurity challenges requires concerted effort to resolve them.

They stated this while speaking to journalists at Boji-Boji Owa, Ika North East Local Government Area, shortly after a condolence visit on Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta on the demise of his father, late Pa Arthur Okorie Okowa.

Tambuwal who is Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governor’s Forum said there is the need for all leaders to come together and work hard to save the situation.

“Without security there cannot be any development and there cannot be peace and you need peace and security to govern and you also need peace and security for you to carry out business transactions and even worship so its key and very fundamental for development in any society.

“So my charge is that all of us as leaders must come together irrespective of whatever views we may have in terms of approach to how the insecurity should be resolved.

“We should all be seen to be working together in coming up with a synergy and a template for resolving all of these conflicts,” he said.

On the new Service Chiefs, Tambuwal said they should be given a chance to show their capacity to resolve the lingering insecurity issues in the country.

“They have just resumed and i think they should be given a chance to work.

“They know the issues and they know why all of us and many Nigerians came out to say that the other Service chiefs should give way for new hands to come in and they should listen to the people and do what is required of them by securing Nigerians,” Tambuwal stated.

He commiserated with Governor Okowa on the death of his father, saying the late Pa Arthur Okorie Okowa lived a very impactful life and would be long remembered for raising children that have made great impacts in the society.

He said that the late Okowa was a great inspiration to his family members and a great patriarch and torchbearer.

On his part, Matawalle said Zamfara had been the epicentre of bandits in Northern Nigeria.

He said his administration has recorded a lot of successes using the kinetic and non kinetic approach.

“As a person I couldn’t just fold my hands and watch my people being killed. We have been fighting that battle using two approaches, the kinetic and non kinetic and we have recorded some successes.

“We are all together, we are the same as one and we have been preaching peace because we want Nigeria to remain one.

“The security of the nation is not just for us as government but for all of us and we have lots of roles we can play as individuals so that we can be at peace as a nation,” Matawalle said.

Responding, Okowa thanked his Sokoto State and Zamfara counterparts for coming to condole with him.

He said his late father inspired him a lot in his political career.

“My dear brothers, I must truly thank both of you for coming because I know how far Sokoto and Zamfara is to Delta.

“I also know that you have security issues in both states but despite that you still found time to come and condole with me on the death of my father.

“Despite the age he passed on, its still a lot of pain to us. In the last two weeks we have received a lot of condolence messages and visits and my siblings and I are truly grateful.

“Upon retirement as a teacher, he went into politics and God used him to guide me when I eventually entered politics years after.

“We missed him a lot but we are further consoled by the love from Nigerians.

“I know what insecurity is to any Governor and I pray that God will enable us to handle the various challenges we have in our various states,” Okowa stated.


SANWO-OLU, ANOTHER ‘ACTION GOVERNOR’ IN LAGOS, SAYS FASHOLA …As Minister, Governor Canvass Investment in Abattoir Business





…As Minister, Governor Canvass Investment in Abattoir Business


The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), has described Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu as ‘Action Governor’ of Lagos.


He said Lagos State has always produced Action Governors since the days of the first civilian governor of the State, Alhaji Lateef Jakande noting that Governor Sanwo-Olu, based on his quest to bring development to the people of Lagos State is another Action Governor.


Speaking on Friday during the commissioning of the new semi-mechanised abattoir for cows and goats under the Public-Private Partnership in Bariga, Fashola, who was a former governor of Lagos State, commended the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration for providing an enabling environment for Small and Medium Enterprises to thrive.


He said: “From Alhaji Jakande’s time till today, when a governor of Lagos State gives his word in public, you can take it to the bank. And that is why from the time of Alhaji Jakande to this time, they have always been called Action Governor. So, this is another Action Governor (Fashola pointing to Sanwo-Olu).


“I have nothing but commendation for your (Sanwo-Olu) government for providing an enabling environment for SMEs to thrive and for ensuring that the dream of turning a small butcher’s area into a semi-mechanised abattoir become a reality.”


Fashola while commending the facilitator of the semi-mechanised abattoir, Alhaji Olayiwola Niniola, said the essentials of progressive politics is the improvement of the human conditions, noting that the operations of the new abattoir will provide employment for about 800 persons.


In his address, Governor Sanwo-Olu said his administration is committed to agriculture, adding that all the plans for the sector would be implemented.


The Governor while commending Alhaji Niniola for turning a small butcher’s area into a semi-mechanised abattoir, called on more private investors to contribute to the red meat value chain in Lagos State.


He said: “This is a clear example of ‘can-do’ spirit and I must commend Alhaji Niniola for transforming this place. Looking at the state of how this abattoir was years ago, it was such an unpleasant sight but now it is looking good.


“Lagos consumes over 50 per cent of animal production in the country. Lagos State has about 16 abattoirs, and about 11 of them are owned by Lagos State Government This is a clear demonstration of how small SMEs can grow into big ones.”


Governor Sanwo-Olu also promised that more road construction and other additional infrastructure would be carried out by his administration for development of Bariga and its environs.


Also speaking, Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya, while stressing the need for more abattoirs in the state to cater for the needs of the people, canvassed for more private investment in the abattoir business.


Speaking on need for hygienic processing and marketing of meat, the commissioner warned that illegal slaughter slabs will not be allowed in the state.





FEBRUARY 14, 2020