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PDP accuses Buhari of embarrassing Nigeria in America

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has claimed that President Muhammadu Buhari embarrassed Nigeria by his actions and utterances during his recent four-day state visit to the United States of America.

The spokesperson of the PDP, Olisa Metuh, who addressed a press conference in Abuja on Sunday, said Mr. Buhari’s visit has been anything but successful.

Mr. Metuh said the PDP restrained itself from embarrassing the President by not raising, while he was in the U.S., issues of “harassment of citizens, interferences in the activities of the National Assembly and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), total disregard for tenets of democracy, resort to sole administratorship as well as other violations which have become the order of the day in Nigeria since the inauguration of his administration”.

He said the PDP remained calm, while hoping and praying that the visit would afford Mr. Buhari and his party leaders reasonable “tutorials” on the respect and application of the tenets of democracy and fundamental rights of citizens under the rule of law.

Mr. Metuh said the PDP and all Nigerians looked forward to gains in terms of policies by the Federal Government aimed at stamping out corruption, ending insurgency and promoting economic growth, which formed parts of the publicised agenda for the visit.

“However, now that the visit has come and gone, our fear is that nothing whatsoever has been learnt or gained. What we continue to receive as a nation have been embarrassing disagreements, accusations and counter accusations, blames and denials on very important issues due to lack of tact and skill in the management of state matters by the APC-led administration.

“It is disheartening that rather than secure any sort of tangible gain for the fight against terrorism, which has lost steam under the APC watch, with insurgents, who were pushed to the verge of surrender by the Goodluck Jonathan administration, now surging back and spreading into the country, we get nothing but exchanges and disagreements between the Presidency and their American hosts.

” This is not only embarrassing but also worrisome indication of crass ineptitude in the handling of international affairs on the part of the present administration,” he said.

The PDP spokesperson advised the APC-led administration to settle down, put its acts together and get determined to face the fight against insurgency with every sense of seriousness especially given Mr. Buhari’s promise in his April 2, 2015 CNN interview to end the scourge two months after his inauguration.

Mr. Metuh also said while Nigerians waited for reassuring words to promote the nation’s democracy and unity , they were shocked as they watched Mr. Buhari unfold to the world “his decision to administer the country on the basis of the voting pattern in the last general elections rather than on equity as stipulated by the constitution and his oaths of office as the President of Nigeria”.

He said Mr. Buhari told a stunned audience in the US that “constituencies that gave me 97 per cent cannot in all honesty be treated, on some issues, with constituencies that gave me 5 per cent”, signifying, according to the PDP, that Mr. Buhari’s government will be discriminatory.

“Never in the history of our nation has a president made such a divisive and vindictive declaration.

“Never in the history of Nigeria has a President made such tendentious, biased and partisan statement, a blade on the chord of unity of his own country and people,” he said.

He added that Mr. Buhari as a respected leader and the father of the nation whose “I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody’ inaugural speech brought great hope to Nigerians, must therefore note the enormous damage and danger his recent partisan declaration brings to the polity.

“We demand that the President come clear on this matter. Would this form the basis of government appointments rather than adherence to merit and the principle of federal character as enshrined in the constitution? Would this be a basis for termination of appointments, promotions and key policies in the service circle?

“Would it form the basis for distribution of infrastructural development projects and other essential interventions rather than the principle of equity and equality of federating units as stipulated by the constitution? Is this a deliberate policy by the APC or his personal stance? Are we expecting the same discriminatory policy from APC state governors?

“May we remind President Buhari that his declaration to run a discriminatory government is in clear violation of his oath of office as President wherein he publicly swore “that in all circumstances, I will do right to all manner of people, according to law, without fear or favour, affection or ill-will; …”

“Our fear however is that the President’s stance has further divided the people along sectional and religious lines and may trigger a return of quest for ethnic and sectional self-determination. The burden therefore lies squarely on him to moderate the political ambiance in the nation and do the needful in reassuring all sections of the nation of his commitment to be fair and just, in keeping with the oaths and demands of the highly respected office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria” he said.

Needless embarrassment of Nigerian businessmen

The PDP also chastised Mr. Buhari over his reported public disgrace to some Nigerian businessmen in the US.

Mr Metuh said the business community in Nigeria and across the world noted with “utter dismay the disgraceful treatment meted out on some Nigerian bankers and captains of industries by President Buhari during his US visit”.

He said whereas the President has the right to decide who makes his entourage on such an important official visit, which, he also said, “visibly excluded National Assembly leaders, economic experts and had no woman”, he said the manner with which he “shamed and walked out” Nigerians businessmen sends very wrong signal to international investors and poses great threats to inflow of direct foreign investment into the country.

“These Nigerian businessmen were rejected by their President only for them to be valued by other Presidents of African nations who led them into a meeting with President Barrack Obama in their own countries on account of their investments in those nations,” PDP said.

PDP said it would for now reserve comments on the “numerous blunders and gaffes” in the presentation of ideas, during the visit. It, however, said, it has noted the embarrassment caused by the absence of an economic team for healthy and informed discussion at the meeting with officials of the US government.

“Whereas President Obama came to the meeting with a formidable team of experts and key federal officials, our President had three APC governors with questionable performance and who owe salaries and billion of naira in debts, thereby robbing our nation the benefits and gains of the discussions,” Mr. Metuh said.

Render account

The PDP spokesperson added that since Mr. Buhari has insisted on running his government as a “sole administrator”, making important decisions on national affairs without recourse to relevant statutory arms and organs of government, his party is compelled to demand that the administration comes out clear on its expenses since assumption of office in May in keeping with its much harped stance on transparency.

“We make this demand because since the APC took office, the nation’s financial system in the absence of statutory functionaries has been enmeshed in confusion, controversy and fertile atmosphere for financial sleazes.

“Recall that when it assumed office, this administration raised the issue of empty treasury only for the nation to learn few days later from the Accountant General of the Federation that about $2.1 billion was left in the Excess Crude Account (ECA). When the PDP demanded credit for the ECA savings, the nation was suddenly made aware of huge sums from the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas dividends from which the APC-led Federal Government announced financial bailout for states.

“It is interesting to note that whereas the Presidency has gone ahead to unilaterally deplete the funds without recourse to appropriate statutory arms of government, state governors are on air announcing that they have not received any form of bailout whatsoever from the centre, raising serious questions on the handling of national resources.

“This is more so as we have information that the Presidency acting alone, has gone into discussions with the World Bank for a loan of $2.1 billion for purposes unknown to Nigerians. What is the loan for? What are the terms and who are those working the papers? Who are the people to decide on how the money will be spent? Is it true that the $2.1 billion loan is meant to pay back huge contributions for the APC Presidential campaign expenses? If truly this government is transparent, it should come out clear on this loan as well as publicize details of its expenditure in the last two months,” Mr. Metuh said.

He also said the PDP is worried that the “ineptitude, avoidable inactivity, lack of policy direction and absence of ministers to coordinate government affairs have left the nation’s economy sour with continued slide in the naira which has fallen from under N200 to the dollar in May to an all time low of N240, in addition to the excruciating loss in the capital market which has lost over N1.1 trillion in the last two months.

“With the recent display of insensitivity in deciding that ministers would be appointed in September, a reneging on the earlier promise to unfold a cabinet two weeks after inauguration, Nigerians should brace up for more economic loses ahead, a development which spells doom for the gains earlier achieved by the PDP administration in growing our economy to the biggest in Africa and one of the fastest growing in the world.

“Indeed, Nigerians are no longer in doubt that they have been scammed with long list of empty promises. This government has failed to articulate any policy direction in any sector.

“What we see is a smart attempt at cosmetic governance, loud propaganda and artful move to appropriate the achievements made by the PDP-led administration; such as the effort in ending polio, the improvement in power supply which is a dividend from numerous investments by the previous administrations, the return of the railways among others.

“The only achievements and change brought by the APC government are the curbing of the fundamental human rights of citizens; engaging in selective application of war against corruption, interfering in the activities of the National Assembly and eroding the independence of INEC. The order of the day has become the crass victimization and harassment of officials of the immediate past administration,” he said.

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POLITICS

Why I won’t congratulate Oyebanji as Ekiti gov-elect – Oni, SDP candidate

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Segun Oni

The candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the just-concluded governorship election in Ekiti State, Chief Segun Oni on Saturday said he would not congratulate the winner, Biodun Oyebanji, because the election was not free and fair but marred by many irregularities.

Oni, a former governor of the state, said he would challenge the outcome in court.

 Oyebanji of the ruling All Progressives Congress(APC) secured 187,057 votes to defeat Oni who polled 82,211, and Bisi Kolawole of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who scored 67, 457 votes.

Speaking in an interview with Punch, Oni described Oyebanji’s victory as daylight robbery.

He said he does not agree with the election results as declared by INEC.

“If I agreed, I would have congratulated the winner. That is why I am withholding my congratulations. If investigations show that it was won fair and square, I will not need any persuasions before I will congratulate everybody that needs to be congratulated.”

He, however, thanked the people of the state for their support during the election.

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Tinubu denies meeting with Wike

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e presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for the 2023 election, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has denied media reports that he met with the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, in France.

Tinubu in a statement through his media aide, Tunde Rahman said although he is presently in France, he didn’t have any meeting with Governor Wike whether in that country or anywhere whatsoever.

The Special Adviser to the Governor of Lagos State on Drainage and Water Resources, Mr Joe Igbokwe, on his Facebook page on Thursday said Wike was having a meeting with Tinubu in France.

Igbokwe, a former spokesperson for the APC in Lagos State, wrote, “While they are on social media abusing everybody, Governor Wike goes to France to meet Asiwaju. Abuse, calling names, hate and bigotry are no strategy. They hated and abused PMB (President Muhammadu Buhari) since 2015 and now they have transferred the aggression to Asiwaju. We wait and see.”

But in his statement on Friday, Rahman dismissed Igbokwe’s post.

He said, “We have seen a viral social media post made by one of the chieftains of All Progressives Congress in Lagos State and media reports emanating from same about a supposed meeting in France between APC presidential standard-bearer, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and His Excellency, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State.

“It has become imperative to set the record straight. Although Asiwaju Tinubu is presently in France, he didn’t have any meeting with Governor Wike whether in that country or anywhere whatsoever. This, however, does not detract from the fact that the APC presidential candidate holds Governor Wike in high esteem. And given the national and across-party lines appeal of Asiwaju Tinubu’s candidature, he will not hesitate to meet any important national leader when desirable.”

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INEC extends PVC registration, issues warning to APC, PDP, others

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INEC insists APGA won’t participate in Anambra guber poll

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has told political parties in the country that it would not extend the July 15, 2022 deadline for nomination of governorship and state assembly candidates.

Festus Okoye, National Commissioner in charge of Information and Voter Education Committee, made this known in a statement on Thursday.

Okoye also stated that Continuous Voter Registration (VR) will continue nationwide.

According to him, the Resident Electoral Commissioners and Electoral Officers have been directed to continue with the exercise pending further directives from the Commission.

”The Commission has consistently reiterated its resolve to continue to provide electoral services to the Nigerian people and register all eligible Nigerians that are interested in registering. The Commission has yet again deployed additional machines to areas of pressure and will continue to serve the people of Nigeria.

“By the Timetable and Schedule of Activities released by the Commission, Political Parties that conducted valid Governorship and State Assembly primaries shall upload the list and personal particulars of their nominated candidates between 1st and 15th July 2022.

“Political parties are advised not to wait until the last day before uploading the list and personal particulars of their candidates. The Candidates Nomination Portal will shut down at 6pm on 15th July 2022.”

He therefore urged political parties who have challenges with uploading documents to contact the Commission’s Help – Desk, through the dedicated telephone lines or contact the candidate nomination centre at the Commission’s headquarters.

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