The three most influential socio-political groups in the southern part of Nigeria – Afenifere, Ohanaeze N’digbo and the Pan Niger Delta Forum – have indicated their resolve to mobilise support for the presidential candidate of any political party that is ready to restructure Nigeria.
The groups, in separate interviews with also said they would make their support for the candidate of their choice public as soon as the Independent National Electoral Commission lifts the ban on campaign activities.
Afenifere, who spoke through its spokesperson, Yinka Odumakin, told one of our correspondents that the country could not develop unless it was restructured.
The group lamented that all efforts to engage the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration on the need to restructure the country since 2015 had been futile.
Asked whether any political party had so far demonstrated commitment to the restructuring agenda, Odumakin said the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, had been consistent in that regard.
He said, “Atiku has been very strong on restructuring and he has also picked a running mate (Peter Obi) who has also expressed very strong opinion about the issue of restructuring. Obi is from a zone where the people are clamouring for restructuring.
“We have reached out to the Presidency through some of the governors who are close to him (Buhari) from the South-West.
“We drafted a list of leaders across Nigeria that the President should summon across Nigeria to discuss the issue of restructuring. Many months after, the governors did not get across to us probably because they met a brick wall.
“There is a consensus among leaders of the South-West, South-East, South-South, the Middle Belt and Arewa. We have said we will wait for the consensus candidate that would be produced by the CUPP to enable us to make our choice among the candidates.”
In a similar vein, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the apex socio-political body of the Igbo, also said it would vote for any presidential candidate who showed a “sincere” intention to restructure Nigeria on assuming office.
The Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the group, Mr. Chuks Ibegbu, who spoke with SUNDAY PUNCH in Enugu, said the body planned to meet the candidates ahead of the elections.
The Ohanaeze spokesman added that besides restructuring, a presidential candidate who is ready to address the age-long marginalisation of the Igbo, would enjoy the backing of the pan-Igbo association.
Ibegbu stated that the Igbo were also interested in a presidential candidate who would implement the recommendations of the 2014 national conference.
He said, “Ohanaeze is not a political party but we are going to support and identify with anyone that will restructure Nigeria. Any of the presidential candidates that is genuinely and sincerely ready to restructure Nigeria will have our votes.
“Besides restructuring, there are other demands. Our youths are agitating for Biafra and that is due to the marginalisation of the Igbos over the years. We are politically, economically and infrastructurally marginalised and we want these issues addressed effectively.”
Also, the Pan Niger Delta Forum said it would support any presidential candidate who showed strong commitment to the restructuring of the country ahead of the 2019 general elections.
PANDEF, an umbrella body for elders and leaders of the various ethnic nationalities in the Niger Delta region, maintained that its position on restructuring of the country had not changed.
Speaking with SUNDAY PUNCH, the National Secretary of the group, Dr. Alfred Mulade, noted that topmost on the reasons the region would support any of the presidential candidates would be his commitment to restructuring.
Mulade disclosed that PANDEF, after due consultations with leaders and people of the region, would publicly endorse one of the candidates contesting the nation’s number one seat in 2019.
He said, “PANDEF met with 16 presidential aspirants before the parties concluded their primaries. What we put on the table is that we will support any candidate that has restructuring as the backbone of his administration.”
The PANDEF secretary added that such candidate must also agree that restructuring would be carried out within a specific timeline.
The ACF Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Muhammad Biu, who asked one of our correspondents to see him in the office on Friday for an interview on the issue, called to inform the reporter that he was on his way to Katsina State.
He demanded that the questions be sent to him which was done. He had yet to respond as of the time of filing this report.
KW-IRS Holds First Ever Virtual Meeting With Over 900 Staffs
The Kwara state internally generated revenue service Executive Chairman Holds First Virtual Field Feedback Meeting With All Staff.
This was disclosed via the officer page of the group on Twitter, The statement reads:
“The Executive Chairman, Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KW-IRS), Shade Omoniyi, held a multiple channels Virtual Field Feedback meeting on Wednesday 26th of August 2020 with all Staff of the Service across the State. The first of its kind meeting with over Nine Hundred (900) of her staff since the outbreak of COVID-19, became imperative to discuss and re-address some matters arising from operations of the Service and other general issues concerning activities of the Service and staff.
“In her opening remarks during the maiden virtual meeting, the Executive Chairman emphasized that the Virtual Zoom enhanced meeting became the best option to meet with all staff and at the same time, comply by the Covid-19 protocol of maintaining social/physical distancing; a safety measure to further curb the spread of coronavirus in the State.
“The Executive Chairman at the interactive meeting appreciated and reassured staff of her relentless attention and concerns over their welfare and other observations raised from various quarters since she assumed office.
“She appealed to staff to share the understanding that the world as a whole is facing unprecedented challenges and setbacks which have also inflicted negative effects on the KW-IRS, following an inevitable downward review of the State’s 2020 fiscal budget.
“She however urged staff to remain steadfast, work assiduously, and as a formidable team to overcome the harsh and ripple effects of the Covid-19 Pandemic on both the State and the KW-IRS as a revenue generating agency.
“Staff who contributed during the interactive virtual meeting expressed their expectations, demanding quick-fix approach for more achievements to be recorded, and also shared sincere appreciation to the Executive Chairman for her consistency in revenue … drive in the State since the beginning of the year 2020 despite the unpleasant fallout from the rise of the Pandemic.
“The Staff also recounted their unquantifiable joy over the Executive Chairman’s consistency in the payment of salaries as and when due and the reassurance of better days ahead, while pledging continuous support to her and the State in full commitment and the drive towards an enhanced revenue generation and in building an enviable State Internal Revenue Service and Kwara as a whole In her closing statements, the Executive Chairman noted that she looks forward to a more dedicated work environment, imploring staff to desist from unfounded rumor peddling and being confrontational; instead, staff should be more engaging, seek clarifications on matters and be better informed on every issue, while she assures her speedy consideration of all pending matters raised during the virtual meeting especially those bothering on Staff well-being.
Your Grace Is Unique, Comrade Liman Celebrates 9jaParrot Publisher On Birthday
Your Grace Is Unique, Comrade Liman Celebrates 9jaParrot Publisher on Birthday
As you step into your new age today, I would like to wish you a life time full of success, happiness, healthy, that won’t ever change.
Someone as amazing as you, deserves all of their dreams come true. Your birthday deserve to be a *national holiday* because you are unique and special, may your birthday and everyday be filled with warmth of sunshine, the happiness of smile, the sound of laughter, the feeling of love and care.
I pray success shall be your way,may this new year comes with blessing and wash your worries, sorrows away. May this new year be full of grace and blessings, awaiting you right away.
May you have the reasons to keep smiling and shining like a star that never fades away.
I wish you Happiness and fulfilment in a better way.
I also pray for Almighty Allah’s protection, guidance over you, may HE cleanse your heart of hatred, envy, greed, pride, and fake life. May you always be guide to see the good in others.
My wish for you forever is to keep making astounding strides in life.
Words cannot describe how much I believe in your ability to succeed.
Thank you for being so truly great with the amazing personality you portrayed. Your grace cannot be snatched as it’s unique in every way.
Your heart cannot be snatched as you give love freely anyway.
Once again, Happy Birthday Mal. SAEED TIJJANI
Notorious kidnapper, Evans, Sentenced To Death By Hanging
Lagos High Court has sentenced notorious kidnap kingpin, Chikwudubem Onwuamadike, also known as Evans, to death.
The court gave this judgement on Monday.
Evans was arrested in June 2017 and arraigned on a two-count charge of conspiracy to commit kidnapping and kidnapping.
The Lagos State Government had said Evans conspired on February 14th, 2017 at about 7.45pm at Ilupeju, Lagos, to kidnap one Donatus Dunu and collect €223,000 for his release.
According to the police, Evans managed to escape arrest for seven years.
He was, however, arrested after a police special squad caught up with him at his No. 3, Fred Shoboyede Street, Magodo, Lagos home.
The kidnap kingpin then confessed to being responsible for many high-profile kidnap cases in many states of the country, especially Lagos State.
He also confessed to earning money running into billions of naira from his unlawful activities, having charged some of his victims up to $1 million each as ransom.
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