Following the recent attacks on judicial officials in Ekiti State, and arsonists’ attacks on the secretariat of the All Progressives Congress (APC), by alleged supporters of the state’s governor-elect, Ayodele Fayose, the APC has accused the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), of planning “fresh insurrection” in the state.
The Publicity Secretary of the APC in the state, Taiwo Olatubosun, in a statement yesterday, alleged that the planned unrest was aimed at intimidating the residents of the state and subverting the decision of the election tribunal towards the October 16 handover date.
The tribunal is expected to rule on the eligibility of Fayose to contest the gubernatorial election, which he won following his impeachment from office on allegation of corruption in 2006.
“We have our facts that beginning from tomorrow, Wednesday, October 8, 2014, Fayose and the PDP leadership will take to the streets again to forment trouble, using some thugs brought in from the neighbouring states and Ibadan,” said Olatubosun.
“The plan was hatched in a meeting held at the Spotless Hotel belonging to the governor-elect. Barring a last minute change of heart, they will start another round of protest and attacks on opposition leaders in the state capital to prevent the Judiciary from ensuring smooth dispensation of the cases before it following the resolution of NJC.”
Describing the plan as “anti-democratic”, Olatubosun said the “clandestine” move showed that Fayose was proving to be above the law.
“There are provisions in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that qualifies one to vote and be voted for. The issue of election is not complete until the election tribunal dispenses all the cases or petitions emanating from such election or electoral process,” he said.
Olatubosun said the APC was not perturbed by the threat. He said the party’s only worry is that supporters of Fayose and the PDP usually resorted to unleashing mayhem in their bid to take over by force thereby giving the star a bad name.
He said the state may be heading for “a session of one week one trouble.”
“We have it on good authority that anytime from now, Fayose and his PDP goons would start causing civil unrest in our state. We have it on good authority that they have been importing new set of thugs into the state to harass innocent people. We have it on good authority that they have been inciting some people to start protesting against the system,” he said.
He wondered why Fayose was worried and resorting to violence if he had the legitimate right to be governor.
He called on the people of the state to give peace a chance and allow things be done “legally and orderly.”
“Even Fayose should realise that whatever action he is taking today will become a sword in the hands of his perceived followers tomorrow when they are tired of his usual high-handedness. The earlier he follows the path of honour to power, the better,” he said.
He said the APC would not allow itself to be dragged into a campaign of violence but allow for the issue to be resolved legally.
“No one can build legality on illegality. If they have nothing to hide, they should go through the legal hurdles and come out clean. Then and only then can they reign in peace,” he said.
Olatubosun called on security agencies to be alive to their responsibilities and make sure that peace reigned in the state.
Reacting, Ekiti State Governor-Elect, Mr Ayodele Fayose, faulted the opinion of the Lagos-based legal practitioner, Mr Femi Falana (SAN) that some people are planning to relocate from the state after the inauguration of the governor-elect.
In the statement made available to newsmen by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Idowu Adelusi, in Ado Ekiti, yesterday, the governor-elect described the claim by the lawyer as baseless and out of place.
Fayose was apparently reacting to a statement in a publication in one of the national dailies in which Falana was quoted as saying some people in the state are planning to relocate from the state after the inauguration of Fayose in October 16, saying Ekiti State is gradually gaining the status of terror- state.
Adelusi, who expressed doubt over the claim of Falana, noted that only those who have skeletons in their cupboards may decide to move out of the state to other state.
He noted that the overwhelming people of Ekiti State that voted Fayose as their governor on June 21, this year are eagerly awaiting his inauguration as their governor.
“Ekiti people who elected Fayose and preferred him over and above Falana’s lackey, are waiting for his coming and for the four years he will lead the state.
“We know for sure that as our Lord lives, that expectation will not be cut short.
“Ekiti is as peaceful as any other state, it is people like Falana who are beating the drum of war and propaganda that are having nightmares and sleepless nights over the return of Fayose as the governor of the state.
“Those causing trouble in the state in the last two weeks are leaders of the All Progressives Congress and their thugs. If people like Jaruu and Apase, who have murder cases hanging on their necks, are leaving the state, security agencies know how to handle their cases.
“If trouble makers and people that the Bible calls ‘the troublers of Israel’ are relocating, then, it is good riddance to bad rubbish.
“If those who have looted the state’s treasury and are afraid of probe have decided to relocate, they should know that the long arm of the law will catch up with them.
“It is common sense that it is only the guilty that are afraid. Anybody who does not have any skeleton in his cupboard will not be running helter skelter when nobody is pursuing him.
“Falana and his cohorts should know that they are not in any way better than thousands of Ekiti teachers, artisans, bike riders, businessmen, council workers, professionals and others who cast their votes for Fayose to lead them for the next four years,” he added.
Adelusi urged the people of Ekiti and Nigerians at large to take Falana’s claims and others that could still be fabricated with a pinch of salt.
“The good people of Ekiti and Nigerians do not need to exert pressure on just a cell in their brains to think about such claims.
“They have better things to think about. We only hope APC and its sympathisers will come back from their dream land and face the reality on ground,” he added.
Ogoni Youths Give FG 14 Days To Fix East-West Road
No fewer than 400 youths under the aegis of Ogoni Youth Federation (OYF), yesterday, staged a peaceful protest at the Eleme axis of the East-West Road, giving the Federal Government 14 days ultimatum to mobilize to site and fix the road or have economic activities in the area grounded.
The protesters, who carried various placards with inscriptions to press home their demands, trekked from Akpajo Junction to Refinery Junction in Eleme LGA, chanting solidarity songs to register their discontent over the neglect of the road.
Addressing newsmen during the protest, President General of the Ogoni Youth Federation, Comrade Legborsi Yaamabana, said it was regrettable that the road, which was a major route to the economic hub of the nation, has remained in a deplorable state, only becoming a death trap that has terminated the lives of innocent Ogonis.
Yaamabana, who described the mass action of the youths as a ‘warning protest’, said if the contractors handling the road were not immediately mobilized to site, then, the youths will have no option than to shut down all economic activities in the area.
He said, “we cannot continue to watch our people being killed on daily basis by tankers because of the poor state of Eleme axis of the east west road, we are calling on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency fix the road and save our people from untimely deaths as a result of the sorry state of the road, the only bridge on the road at Aleto has collapse but nothing is being done to avert the disasters faced by our people daily”.
Yaamabana also called on the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio to constitute a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission to address the development needs of the Niger Delta region, noting that the use of interim management for NDDC was “diversionary, self serving and not in the interest of the development of the Niger Delta region”.
The OYF president general also called on the Federal Government to exonerate Ken Saro-Wiwa and his compatriots who were extra-judicially murdered by the late Gen Sani Abacha military junta, and given post-humours honour as martyrs of democracy in Nigeria, while the ideals of justice they stood for should be upheld.
Also speaking, the immediate past secretary of the Ijaw Youth Council, Eastern Zone, Comrade James Tobin, who joined the protest in solidarity, decried the neglect of the East—West Road by the Federal Government, and called the immediate fixing of the road to save the teeming road users from untold pains and death.
By: Taneh Beemene
Rising Prices Push 7m Nigerians Below Poverty Line -World Bank
The World Bank has said that rising prices pushed about seven million Nigerians below the poverty line in 2020.
This was contained in a press statement titled, ‘Critical reforms needed to reduce inflation and accelerate the recovery, says new World Bank report,’ released by the World Bank’s Senior External Affairs Officer of Nigeria, Mansir Nasir.
The press statement was released, yesterday, in line with the latest World Bank Nigeria Development Update.
It was acknowledged that the Federal Government “took measures to protect the economy against a much deeper recession” but it was recommended that certain policies should be set for a strong recovery.”
The statement read, “The NDU, titled ‘Resilience through Reforms,’ notes that in 2020, the Nigerian economy experienced a shallower contraction of -1.8 per cent than had been projected at the beginning of the pandemic (-3.2 per cent). Although the economy started to grow again, prices are increasing rapidly, severely impacting Nigerian households.
“As of April, 2021, the inflation rate was the highest in four years. Food prices accounted for over 60% of the total increase in inflation. Rising prices have pushed an estimated seven million Nigerians below the poverty line in 2020 alone.”
Quoted in the statement, the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, identified some of the challenges faced by the country and recommended a way forward.
“Nigeria faces interlinked challenges in relation to inflation, limited job opportunities, and insecurity.
“While the government has made efforts to reduce the effect of these by advancing long-delayed policy reforms, it is clear that these reforms will have to be sustained and deepened for Nigeria to realise its development potential,” Chaudhuri said.
Also quoted is the World Bank Lead Economist for Nigeria and co-author of the NDU, Marco Hernandez, who also gave a recommendation.
“Given the urgency to reduce inflation amidst the pandemic, a policy consensus and expedite reform implementation on exchange-rate management, monetary policy, trade policy, fiscal policy, and social protection would help save lives, protect livelihoods, and ensure a faster and sustained recovery,” Hernandez said.
Inflation Dips To 17.93% In May, NBS Confirms
Nigeria’s inflation rate dropped to 17.93 per cent in May, 2021, from 18.12 per cent recorded in April, 2021.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed this in its monthly Consumer Price Index report released, yesterday.
The drop in the headline inflation in May was the second consecutive month this year.
The report indicates that the consumer price index (CPI), which measures the inflation rate increased by 17.93 per cent (year-on-year) in May, 2021, which is 0.19 per cent points lower than the rate recorded in the preceding month.
According to NBS, food inflation dropped in the same month from 22.78 per cent recorded in April, 2021 to 22.28 per cent in May, 2021.
The report reads, ‘‘All items less farm produce which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce stood at 13.15 per cent in May, 2021, up by 0.41 per cent when compared with 12.74 per cent recorded in April, 2021.
‘‘The highest increases were recorded in prices of pharmaceutical products, garments, shoes and other footwear, hairdressing salons and personal grooming establishments, furniture and furnishing, carpet and other floor covering.
‘‘Others include, motor cars, Hospital services, fuels and lubricants for personal transport equipment, cleaning, repair and hire of clothing.
“Other services include personal transport equipment, gas, household textile, and non-durable household goods,” the NBS added.
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