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Plot To Stop 2015 Polls Thickens, APC Alleges …PDP Reacts

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Nigeria’s main opposition party, the All Progressives Congress has claimed that Stop-Buhari-At-All-Cost campaigners are working tirelessly to scuttle the 2015 general elections next month.
National Publicity Secretary, APC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, stated this during a press conference at the White House Hotel, Joel Ogunnaike Street, Ikeja GRA, Lagos, yesterday.
Mohammed explained that with just a little over two weeks to next month’s general election, a rash of court cases have been instituted in an unrelenting effort to stop our presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari.
“At the last count, at least four cases have been filed by those who are undoubtedly fronting for the PDP and the Presidency, and all are working towards the same goal: Stop Buhari, Scuttle next month’s elections. We expect more cases to be filed in pursuit of this ignominious objective.
“Not knowing what to do next, they procured a forged medical certificate from the ‘Ahmadu Bello University hospital’ of their warped Imagination, that our candidate is suffering from prostate cancer, but their 419 certificate had barely been unveiled before it was disowned by the authentic Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital. Again, the web of lies woven by the PDP and the Presidency unraveled before their very eyes.
“Not knowing what next to do, they turned their campaign rallies to a Buhari-bashing event, pushing issues to the back burner. Those who lacked even a scintilla of integrity, those who an embodiment of incompetence and cluelessness, and those who need reformation in the aftermath of their self-inflicted, indulgence-induced phrenic impairment all went into a frenzy in an attempt to demonize a man whose integrity, decency and honesty are legendary. They produced and aired documentaries that are based, 99 per cent, on lies and twisted facts. But this too boomeranged. The more they pound him, the higher Gen. Buhari soars.
“Now they have moved to the last frontier in their stop-Buhari-at-all-cost campaign: Using the courts. After manipulating some elements of the judiciary workers to embark on strike to stop the courts from hearing cases that could be detrimental to their presidential candidate, the same puppeteers again manipulated the elements to end the strike, so they can kick-start their last strategy. As I said earlier, at least four cases have been filed, all aimed at one and one objective only: Stop Gen. Buhari.”
“Suffice it to say that this stop-Buhari-at-all-cost campaign is being pursued simultaneously with the push to postpone next
Reacting, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the allegation by the All Progressives Congress (APC) that the Federal Government was planning to declare a six months state of emergency throughout the country to force the postponement of the general elections as spurious.
The Director of Media and Publicity of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, said this yesterday in a statement in Abuja.
The allegation, Fani-Kayode pointed out, was aimed at whipping up sentiments and inciting violence ahead of the scheduled February 14 and 28 general elections.
Fani-Kayode said the PDP was ready for the February 14 presidential elections and all subsequent elections and is therefore not party to any imagined ploy to postpone or cancel the election.
He said at no time has the PDP ever had the power to postpone or cancel elections, adding that the party has been consistent in stating its readiness for the forthcoming elections.
Fani-Kayode added that the forthcoming election should not be a do-or-die affair, adding that the PDP was battle-ready and confident of victory in a free, fair and credible election on February 14 and 28.

Member, Rivers State House of Assembly, representing Okrika Constituency, Hon Belema Okpokiri (left) explaining a point to Amayanabo of Ogoloma, HRH Emmanuel Obudibo, during the commissoining of ultra-modern market in Okrika, recently. With them is Chief E. A. Inimgbatuboni.Photo: Ibioye Diama

Member, Rivers State House of Assembly, representing Okrika Constituency, Hon Belema Okpokiri (left) explaining a point to Amayanabo of Ogoloma, HRH Emmanuel Obudibo, during the commissoining of ultra-modern market in Okrika, recently. With them is Chief E. A. Inimgbatuboni. Photo: Ibioye Diama

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Ogoni Youths Give FG 14 Days To Fix East-West Road

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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

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Rising Prices Push 7m Nigerians Below Poverty Line -World Bank

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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.

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Inflation Dips To 17.93% In May, NBS Confirms

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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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