A former Minister of Aviation, Mr Femi Fani-Kayode, says the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will inflict ‘fire and fury’ on the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) when Nigerians go to polls in 2019.
Fani-Kayode said this, when he appeared on Channels Television’s Politics Today, a day after United States President Donald Trump threatened to unleash ‘fire and fury’ on North Korea.
He explained that with the Supreme Court judgement which ended the leadership tussle in the PDP, the party will go on to reclaim power from the APC.
“Thank God for the rule of law, thank God for the Supreme Court. We are back on course, we have our party back, it’s now left to us to manage the success and ensure that we inflict what I would call ‘fire and fury’ like Donald Trump on the APC in 2019, and I am sure that we will actually do that,” he said.
The former minister, who said the PDP is becoming stable and is determined to regain the trust of the people, accused the APC of being responsible for its crisis.
Stressing that the leadership of the party would ensure its members remain united, Fani-Kayode said Nigerians were dissatisfied with the APC.
He said, “I think it’s fairly obvious that the Nigerian people are no longer happy with the APC; the honeymoon is over and now reality has set in and clearly, people want to change the change.”
Fani-Kayode also accused the APC of immorality and condemned what he described as ‘lies’ that the PDP did not develop the country.
“If you see what is happening in the last two years, I think the question of morality or decency should be put to the existing APC government rather than those of us that were in power before. We did a lot in 16 years regardless of the lies they are telling. PDP achieved a lot of things, we have nothing to be ashamed of; we have everything to look forward to,” he said.
On the PDP’s plans to convince Nigerians to vote it back into power in 2019, Fani-Kayode said it would assure citizens that it would be “changing the change” and ending “the rubbish”, which, according to him, has left many Nigerians – majorly from the southern region, disappointed in the last two years.
“The First song they (PDP) will sing is ‘get rid of the rubbish and get rid of the rot’; the second thing will be ‘changing the change’. Let’s get down to specifics, when we ran the 2015 elections, President Goodluck Jonathan lost by only two million votes, according to their INEC, not our INEC.
“I believe that probably up to 50% – 60% of the people that voted for the APC in 2015, particularly those in Yorubaland and throughout the South and Middle Belt were completely and actually shocked by what has happened in the last two years, and really wished they had voted the other way.”
Also, he expressed confidence that the PDP’s non-elective convention would be a success.
He said, “Our convention will come on August 12, and I’m sure we’ll do very well and from there, we’ll begin the process of pushing the APC out of power.
“If we could have survived one and a half years of ‘ruthless and relentless’ onslaught from the APC Federal Government and their agents who try to come into our party and hijack the party and come out united and stronger, speaking with one voice and one chairman, I really don’t think that we will be unable to manage great success that we’ve just had.”
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the 2017 PDP Special Non-Elective National Convention and Governor of Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, has said that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was set to take over power at the national level in 2019.
Okowa stated this, last Wednesday, at the meeting of the Convention Planning Committee at the party’s National Secretariat, Abuja.
The committee chairman noted that the party has realised areas they didn’t meet up with the expectations of Nigerians and has vowed to make corrections and provide Nigerians with good governance, anchored on accountability, rule of law and improved welfare of the citizenry.
“Yesterday, we were inaugurated with the task of organising a successful National Convention for our great party, it is our hope that the various committees will set out to work immediately as we have barley few days to go.
“As an organised party, I have confidence in our leaders of the various sub-committees that we will be able to deliver a successful National Convention that we can all be proud of.
“I trust in your abilities because I have seen a good number of committed party members who are dedicated to the cause of ensuring we return back to power in 2019”.
“Our party is back alive and with the National Convention, PDP will send a very strong message that will make Nigerians to realise that we are very much ready to take over power come 2019,” he said.
Members of the planning committee include, Barrister Kelechi Igwe, John Jonah, deputy governors of Ebonyi and Bayelsa states, and chairmen, deputy chairmen, secretaries and deputy secretaries of all the sub-committees attended the meeting.
In a related development,ahead of Saturday’s non-elective convention of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), immediate past President of the Senate, David Mark, has called for a hitch free convention that would further strengthen the party.
According to a statement signed by the Media Assistant to Senator David Mark, Paul Mumeh, in a goodwill message to delegates to the convention, the senator called for a peaceful outing.
Mark, who expressed optimism about the future of the party after the convention, however, warned that the party could not afford to make another mistake.
The PDP just survived a protracted leadership tussle which lasted about two years and was only settled by the Supreme Court barely two months ago.
The former president of the Senate is one of the PDP members who promised no stand with the party and remained steadfast throughout the period of the trial.
The said that having just survived the phase, he was impressed by the renewed enthusiasm and commitment of members towards rebuilding the party after the protracted leadership tussle.
Mark, therefore, tasked the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa-led special convention committee not to leave any stone unturned to guarantee a hitch free exercise.
“We have come this far through a tortuous journey. We cannot afford to make another mistake that could affect the fortunes of the party in the days ahead,” he said.
Mark recalled his earlier pledge never to dump the party after the PDP lost to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2015 election.
He restated: “Even if I will be the last man standing in the PDP, I will remain in PDP. I have no reasons whatsoever to leave the party.
“I have risen to where I am on the platform of the party. The PDP has a manifesto and I believe in it.
“Those who are decamping from PDP to APC are fair weather friends of the party.
“So, the point I want to make is that I remain in PDP, and I will work hard with other faithful members to bring it back.
“This is democracy; there will always be a winner and a loser in every election. Both parties must accept the outcome in a free and fair contest and move on,” he said.
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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