The National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Ahmed Bola Tinubu, has resolved to ensure free and fair elections in the country in future.
Tinubu who stated this on Saturday after his meeting with the leader and defeated presidential candidate of the Congress For Progressive Change (CPC) Gen Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd) in Kaduna said the ACN is working on how to bring about positive change to the country in 2015 and beyond,explaining that it was necessary and important to promote the cause of free and fair election as well as rule of law to ensure national development
He said: “We must promote, at any cost, the cause of free and fair election and rule of law because it is so critical to our national development and growth. This is the area that we can conquer poverty and fight so many things. It is not all about politics; it is all about progress and collaborative efforts that will result in free and fair election in this country.
“That change may be about us to form the government of our own. Every democrat must be able to work hard and sacrifice for a free and fair election. Any democrat must be able to accept and celebrate the result of a free and fair election in order to deserve the joy of victory. Every democrat must resist the abuse of power, manipulation and irregular victory in elections,” the ACN leader stated.
Tinubu noted that : “Politics is not a darkroom event; it is about openness, transparency and about how to work with one another to sell a common agenda. And that is the purpose that brought us here. We are still looking for how we can help our nation. Patriotism is defined by putting national interest above self interest.
“If we have security agencies that are charged with the protection of the sovereignty of the country at the expense of their own lives, then the leaders must be able to make sacrifice and must be flexible enough to help redirect the country. Not anybody can steer the ship of a nation but it takes exceptional leadership to chart the course to take the country to a proper destination.”
While answering questions from journalists, Buhari said; “I’m satisfied with what Senator Tinubu told you people, thank you.”
Buhari, had sometime in May, paid a similar visit to the ACN leader at his Lagos residence where the two leaders were said to have laid the foundation for collaborative political effort ahead of the 2015 election.
Sources in the ACN and the CPC said yesterday’s visit was a reciprocal gesture by the ACN leaders, and that the meeting built on discussions earlier held in Lagos.
“The meeting built on the earlier discussions held in Lagos and other meetings in Abuja. It is about the planned alliance that would include other opposition parties too,” a source said.
The ACN delegation comprising Bola Tinubu, Ogun State governor, Ibikunle Amosun, his Ekiti State counterpart, Dr Kayode Fayemi, Chief Audu Ogbe and Alhaji Lai Mohammed arrived at the Kaduna international Airport at about 5:40pm and drove straight to Buhari’s residence along Sultan Road in Kaduna metropolis.
Immediately on arrival at Buhari’s residence at about 6:44pm, the ACN team was received by Buhari himself in company of many CPC stalwarts including former FCT minister, Malam Nasir el-Rufa’i and Senator Abu Ibrahim from Katsina State, former Minister of Works, Alhaji Hassan Lawal and the party’s gubernatorial candidate in Kaduna State, Haruna Sa’eed Kajuru.
Enugu Assembly Approves N200m Virement For Auditor-General Offices
The Enugu State House of Assembly has approved the virement of N200 million for the offices of the State Auditor-General and Auditor-General for Local Government.
The Tide source reports that the house also passed the 2021 State Audit Amendment Bill at an emergency plenary session.
The Leader of the House, Mr Ikechukwu Ezeugwu, said the approval of the virement became necessary to provide funding for the two newly created offices, which were not envisaged during the 2021 appropriation bill.
Ezeugwu said the funding would include capital and recurrent expenditures, adding that the N200 million would be provided by the office of the governor.
According to him, the virement would give the offices the needed independence to effectively discharge their statutory responsibilities.
Also contributing, the member representing Awgu South Constituency, Mr Johnson Chukwuobasi, said the new offices would be redundant without funding.
The Speaker, Chief Edward Ubosi, said the fund was meant to perfect the Audit Amendment Bill passed by the Assembly.
Ubosi said it would be an irony to create the offices without approving funds that would make them functional.
He said such a development would amount to building something on nothing.
In another development, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has forwarded a list of nominees for the State Civil Service Commission (SCSC) and Local Government Service Commission (LGSC) to the House for confirmation.
The nominees for the SCSC included Mrs Eucharia Offiah (Chairman), Mr Nathaniel Anike, Mrs Chinenye Odike and Mrs Stella Ekweremadu (members).
Also nominated for the LGSC were Prof. Ossy Okanya (Chairman), Mr Frederick Ugwu, Mrs Florence Igboji, Mr Peter Nnaji and Mr Eugene Odoh (members).
The Speaker directed the nominees to submit 25 copies of their Curriculum Vitae on or before Monday, August 2 to the House.
Saraki Was Not Arrested – Aide
Former Senate President Bukola Saraki, has broken his silence on his repeated invitation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, stating that as a free citizen, he has nothing to hide.
Saraki in a statement by his Media aide, Yusuph Olaniyonu, said he visited the office of the EFCC on his volition to clarify an issue that the commission may have to raise with him.
He clarified that he was not arrested but he made himself available to show he has nothing to hide.
Saraki in the statement wrote: “It will be recalled that following the order of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on the Fundamental Human Rights case filed by Dr. Saraki during the period of the former chairman of the EFCC which precluded the commission from investigating him until the matter is dispensed with, the commission at the last hearing on July 14, 2021, pleaded with the judge that the order was preventing them from doing their job.
“Following this complaint, Dr. Saraki, as a responsible citizen, on his own volition approached EFCC that at the earliest convenient date, he was willing to visit the commission’s office and clarify all issues they might have to raise with him.
“He, therefore, visited the commission’s office on Saturday (31st July) afternoon and also answered some questions.
“He is back home. He was not arrested,” Part of the statement read.
Saraki also assured EFCC that he has nothing to hide and will always make himself available to clarify any issues that may require his attention.
Jegede: PDP Lambasts Akeredolu
The Ondo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party has reacted to the statement credited to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, inviting Mr Eyitayo Jegede to join him in moving the state forward.
Akeredolu, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the October 20, 2020 state governorship election had his victory in the election upheld by the Supreme Court last Tuesday.
Shortly after the judgement of the apex court, the governor called on Jegede, the candidate of the PDP to join him to move the state forward.
In a statement issued by the Publicity Secretary of the PDP in the state, Mr Kennedy Peretei, on Saturday, the PDP described the Akeredolu’s invitation as a laughable one.
According to the statement, the PDP said the current administration in the state is a failure and Jegede will not be part of such administration.
The statement read, “Our party and its candidate cannot be part of a government that has thrown out many students of tertiary institutions in the state because their parents can no longer pay the astronomical school fees charged by the Akeredolu Government.
“Our party and its candidate cannot be part of government that has crippled the health care system in the State. We cannot be part of a government that has withdrawn free shuttle buses for school children.
“It is unthinkable that Akeredolu can ask our candidate to join a government that has pauperised civil servants in the state through the payments of 30 per cent salaries that are not even regular. Civil servants now have to take loans to be able to pay house rents or send their children to school. The Academic Staff Union of Universities of Olusegun Agagu University of Science and Technology, Okitipupa Chapter has just embarked on an indefinite strike. What has been the government’s response to all these myriad of problems?
“It is important to stress that, before the October 2020 election, Eyitayo Jegede, SAN and the PDP drew up a well-articulated manifesto on education, health care delivery, agriculture, industrialization, welfare of civil servants and much more in contradistinction to what is obtainable now in the state. To this extent, there is no meeting point between what was designed by the PDP and Akeredeolu’s score card.
“The Supreme Court verdict has also exposed the impunity which is the trademark and the foundation of the APC and its government at all levels. All the seven Justices of the Supreme Court agreed that, Mai Mala Buni acted in clear violation of Section 183 of the 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria (as Amended). This has become the talking point of the political space since the judgement was delivered. Our jurisprudence on election matters has been enriched and everyone is grateful to Eyitayo Jegede and the PDP for not allowing the APC to drown our democracy in the sea of their impunity.”
The opposition party advised Akeredolu to channel his energy to improving the welfare of Ondo citizens instead of “grandstanding and clicking of wine glasses over the Supreme Court judgement”.
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