The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has pledged the completion of the Second Niger Bridge and the resuscitation of the three seaports in Delta State, if elected.
He made the pledge in his address to the people of Delta State during the PDP presidential rally, yesterday, at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba, the state capital.
Atiku said, “I want to commend the good people of Delta State for their loyalty to PDP over the years.
“I have come here today to seek your mandate in my quest to serve our great country Nigeria.
“Let me assure you that if you elect me as your president, I will do three major things for the people of this state.
“First and foremost, I will ensure the resuscitation of the three seaports in Delta State that have been left dead over the years.
“Secondly, I will complete all abandoned Federal Government projects in the state.
“Thirdly, my administration will ensure urgent completion of the second Niger Bridge that the present government is playing with.
“I urge the people to vote for the PDP.”
The National Chairman of PDP, Prince Uche Scondus, also urged the people of Delta State to ensure they have their voter cards.
He appealed to the people to go out on Election Day and vote the PDP at all levels “for a progressive Nigeria.
“I want you all to make sure you have your voter cards because that is the only way you can effect the change we all need.
“I urge you to vote for the PDP at all levels, that is the only way we can effect the change we all need for our nation to move forward.”
Secondus called on the Independent National Electoral Commission to be above-board in the conduct of the elections.
In his remarks, the Director-General of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, Dr Bukola Saraki, also urged the people to vote for PDP.
“The most important thing to us as a people is that we are seeing the future, a future which the PDP will bring peace to our entire country; we are prepared for the elections and from the crowd we have today, you (Alhaji Abubakar) will be encouraged to know that Deltans will vote PDP in large numbers, and we will defend our votes,” the governor said.
Director-General of the Campaign Organisation, Senator Bukola Saraki, who danced to the admiration of the people, congratulated Governor Okowa for his developmental efforts, especially, for constructing the Stephen Keshi Stadium, noting that the governor “understands the act of governance.”
Saraki who is the President of the Senate said it was important for Nigerians to vote for Alhaji Abubakar because, such will boost the confidence of investors, boost the economy and create job opportunities for the people.
“Investors do not go to countries where there is no rule of law, countries where security of lives and property is not guaranteed; don’t waste your votes for the APC, don’t be afraid, we will monitor the votes so that they cannot rig, a vote for Alhaji Abubakar is a vote to boost our economy, provide jobs for our people; vote for the PDP,” Senator Saraki said while the National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus warned that any attempt to rig the elections would be resisted and spell doom for the country.
“We are aware that there are patriotic Nigerians in INEC, if the election is rigged, there will be war because, everybody is ready for the elections; the security agencies should obey the constitution and be neutral or else, there will be crisis,” Prince Secondus said, adding, “Nigerians should come out and vote and defend their votes because, the votes must count so that we can vote out someone who has brought disgrace to the nation.”
He continued, “we need digital President and Atiku is that digital President; Alhaji Abubakar can interact and engage the youths, he will be in charge and the government would not be in the hands of cabals.”
Others who spoke at the rally include, Chief Benjamin Elue, Prof. Sam Oyovbaire, and Senator Stella Omu.
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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