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President Yar’Adua And Second Term Agenda

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The lid over political campaign moves to get President Umaru Yar’Adua re-elected in 2011 has been blown open. The president recently halted all shades of campaign, citing the need to concentrate on governance as motive behind his decision. In defiance of this presidential directive, promoters of this project, mostly the president’s henchmen and chieftains of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), have commenced campaign for his re-election. Nwife, one of the arrow heads of the initiative denied an on-going campaign for re-election of the president, but confessed: “But if you ask me whether I want Mr. President to be re-elected, I will say, yes, because Nigeria has never had it so good. This is despite denials by those involved that their moves are not tantamount to re-election campaign for the president”. The political antecedents of these men, and the style adopted are reflective of the regular deceptive pastern of the president’s friends, super rich businessmen and political jobbers in the past at the corridors of power.

The re-election campaign is very hypocritical and an attempt to unduly outsmart the opposition when the political campaign whistle has not been officially blown. Curiously too, we are concerned within why (PDP) must push the president for another term, when nothing had worked in the country, more than two years after the president came on board.

In the first place, why we think President Yar’Adua is qualified to rule the nation if not for his imposition on Nigerians by President Olusegun Obasanjo who manipulated the votes of Nigerians in 2007. the president acknowledged this by admitting publicly in the early days of his administration that the election that brought him to power was flawed; hence his setting up of the electoral reform panel headed by retired Justice Mohammed Lawal Uwais.

So far, there is nothing on ground to show that president deserves a second term. His seven-point agenda merely exists on paper and appropriation, infrastructure level is zero, the roads are in a shambles, unemployment is soaring to high heavens, potable water remains elusive while insecurity looms large across the country.

Under developed democracy, the president’s poor performance would have attracted his resignation. He has travelled abroad on many occasions to put his health in shape, sometimes when the nation is facing challenges.

With a leader like president Yar’Adua, Nigerians don’t need anybody to remind us that we have remained too long in the comity of under developed country. With the huge lot left unattended to in the country due to leadership incompetence, allowing the president another term of four years, though legal, will not augur well for the country.

Dr. Charles Anosike a lecturer at Obafemi Awolowo University, said, “We now have more impoverished people walking on the streets today than in the past. Everything points to the fact that this administration does not have the panacea for remedying the country’s anomalies”.

“For running an incompetent government that has inflicted pains on the people and distress, the president does not deserve a second term. He should call his Lapdogs that are behind his re-election campaign to order”, he said.

“Take a look at the president’s Democracy Day’s address. It is instructive that half way into his four year tenure none of his promises in his seven point agenda have concretely materialised, they all seems to remain in the pipeline. The promised to generate or boost electricity supply, improvement of the road network, resuscitation of the of the moribund rail system and dredging of water channels, and the reinvigoration of the agricultural sector to ensure food scarcity, security of lives and property and rampage by criminals. “You could say that isn’t for lack of noble intention on the president’s past but, as have been often said, because the decay is deep-rooted and requires prolonged gestation in planning and effecting a remedy”. But the citizens in the interim are getting the raw deal and wondering what impact governance has. It marked the second year and of the administration of President Umaru Yar’Adua at the federal level and more than two-thirds of governors at the state level. Given our historical antecedents, these represents a testimony that our people have clearly shown their preference for democratic governance and an abiding faith in its transformative power.

You could say that this country earned in the last 10 years from her crude oil resource more than she did in all the previous years of independence, but this hasn’t rubbed off much on its citizenry. Prof. Dora Akunyili, has vigorously carried on with a campaign to rebrand Nigeria but how much of a bad product can you rebrand by changing the package without improving the content? But we have every cause to celebrate and defend this rule and ultimately grow it into a true democracy. Is it time to 2011 in order to roll out the drums and celebrate concrete accomplishments in national development, or time to complain about the published failure and wastages of the past or time to persuade masses loss of memory (amnesia) and simply look forward to deferred promises of the gains of nationhood.

Ucheonye Onyekachi is IT student from Anambra State University.

Ucheonye Onyekachi

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Group Urges NASS To Veto Electoral Reform Bill 2021

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The Organisation for Community Civic Engagement (OCCEN) has said that the National Assembly must veto the Electoral Reform Bill 2021 if President Muhammadu Buhari refuses to assent to it.
The group accused Buhari of applying delay tactics in signing the bill just as he did in 2019 which compelled the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to use the 2010 Electoral Act in the conduct of the election, despite its deficiencies.
Speaking to newsmen in Kano, Monday, the Executive Director of OCCEN, Abdu Razak Alkali, said, “the National Assembly has done a wonderful job and this is the first time that the legislature, the CSOs and the generality of Nigerians are on the same page.
“Unfortunately, with two weeks left until deadlines, the President is yet to assent to the bill and has been foot-dragging and unjustifiably delaying on the bill, this should be worrying to every Nigerian because it appears the President is listening and giving priorities to some powerful and selfish categories of politicians.
“Sadly, this issue is taking a similar approach to how the President behaved pre 2019 elections which made INEC to use the 2010 Electoral Act despite all deficiencies in the Law”.
According to him, the President needs to do away with the selfish interests of some Nigerian politicians and focus on what is in the best interest of Nigeria and its citizens.
The director of the civil society said it is very clear to all peace-loving Nigerians that the conduct of the party elections through direct primaries in Nigeria remains the most transparent mode of nominating candidates.
“While the current system of indirect primaries has handicapped women and youths from achieving their political leadership, the direct primaries would surely give them that chances and opportunities,” he said.

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PDP Criticises Ondo Gov On Varsity Award

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The Ondo State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, has again criticized the state Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, over an honorary doctorate degree conferred on him by the Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo, on Saturday.
Akerodolu was conferred with a Doctor of Law (Honoris Causa) Degree, amid fanfare by members of the All Progressives Congress.
State Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Kennedy Peretei, in a statement titled, ‘Akeredolu’s misrule in Ondo State (7): it is shameless to receive award from a university when yours are under lock and key’, issued in in Akure, on Sunday, condemned the governor for receiving an award when universities in Ondo State were in crisis.
The statement read in part, “…It beats common sense and logical reasoning for a governor whose song is paucity of funds to mobilise almost everybody in the political circle of Ondo State to Oyo for an award. The list is simply endless.
“If the Governor attached so much importance to this award, is it then not an irony that all the state owned-universities which he is Visitor to are under lock and key? Could he receive this award if Crowther University has been closed down like the universities he presides over?
“A cursory look at the footage of the ceremony engenders nothing but pity for a man that can shut down the government of Ondo State for the purpose of a personal award that brings no single benefit to the people of the state.
“Every passing day, the APC government under Rotimi Akeredolu demonstrates that the suffering of the people means nothing to him.
“Otherwise, he should have quietly gone to Oyo to receive his award without putting a strain on the resources of the state. I need not add that in the fullness of time, some of these frivolous spending will be refunded to the Ondo State treasury.”
In response, the state APC Spokesperson, Mr. Alex Kelaniya, said, “The award, no doubt, is in recognition of Arakunrin Akeredolu’s selfless contributions to the development of jurisprudence in Nigeria, enhancement of human rights, and his avowed commitment to good governance.”

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‘Nigerians’ll Reject APC Over Hardship’

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Deputy Chairman, Senate Committee on Defence and Senator representing Plateau North, Istifanus Gyang, said Nigerians would reject the All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2023 elections following the hardship and pains the government have inflicted on citizens.
He described the APC as a failed political party due to it insensitive in addressing insecurity, economic woos and skyrocketing prices of foodstuffs and cooking gas in the country.
Sen.
Gyang stated this on Monday during the distribution of trader moni to 512 widows and scholarship to 611 students in Plateau North Senatorial District, held in Jos, Plateau State.
“As we go towards 2023, we in Plateau State will have leadership that will prove that what we are seeing now is a total failure, what is going on now is a total failure.
“A government that has no respect to the rule of law, no respect for constitutionality and insensitive to the plights of Nigerians. I challenge the Governor of Plateau State to an open debate”.
Gyang explained that his empowerment programme captured strategically 512 widows and  611 students drawn from the 6 Local Government Areas that make up Plateau North.
“We are empowering 512 widows and 611 students are given scholarship. We are giving the widows N20,000 each and each student will go with N10,000.
“The assistance as empowerment of our constituents is something that has been ongoing, the widows and students are special category that is dear to my heart, knowing what my mother faced following the demise of my father and the difficulties that I went through in school and the challenges of indigent students are what prompted this intervention.
“It is not just something that came without concept; it is a product of personal experience. These two groups deserve attention much more than I am doing but with greater capacity, I will do more to this particular group.
“For the widows, this empowerment is for the petty trading. Recall the Federal Government through the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbanjo, went to the market and distributed N10,000 as trader moni and I am giving N20,000 which I believe will enhance their businesses and those who don’t have to start one.
“For the students, the state government is giving them N5,000 scholarship and I am giving my constituents N10, 000 to alleviate their challenges.  I have experienced what it means to be in school without financial support.
“The little I am providing can help the students to get a book and pen and to even have a lunch from it and so that is going to create greater impact, which can better imagine.”

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