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‘Atiku’s Exit Signals End Of APC’ – As Seven Govs, Ministers, Lawmakers Conclude Plan To Decamp – Move Divides North, Presidency

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Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State has expressed delight at the exit of former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), saying that it was the beginning of the ruling party’s end in 2019.
Publicity Secretary of PDP in the State, Samuel Nwanosike, who spoke in Port Harcourt yesterday on the development said it was a clear indication that APC was a “dead” political party particularly in the state.
Nwanosike, who said the PDP was ready to welcome him and his likes to the party, blasted the APC-led Federal Government for leading Nigerians to the hardship they never imagined.
He said: “To PDP, the decision of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is a welcome development. In fact, it is the beginning of the end of the All Progressives Congress in the country. His decision has shown clearly that leaders in the APC have seen that their political party has failed Nigerians. You can see the reasons he gave for leaving the party.
“It has shown clearly that APC, as a political party, does not have the capacity to manage the economy of the country. And the party is leading Nigerians into doom. The former vice president believes that, as pragmatic democrat, he cannot stay and watch somebody truncate the hard-earned democracy.
“They made lots of promises during the campaign and today, they cannot fulfill those promises or even work hard to achieve most of those promises. Virtually all the promises they made including restructuring of the economy, have not been achieved.
“They are making excuses, playing blame games from one position to the other. Worst of it all is that, we are not even seeing who is in charge of the government. The DSS and EFCC are drawing guns against each other. A situation where people are sacking and employing Maina shows that President Buhari is not in charge of the government”, PDP spokesman stated.
The resignation of former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has caused a fresh division among the political forces in Northern Nigeria, with major political blocs in the APC and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the region returning to the drawing board to plan fresh alliances.
Though Atiku, who in a letter made public last Friday, said he was resigning from the ruling APC, which he joined in 2013, is yet to declare for any other party, political forces in the North have begun a scamper to redraw strategies to either contain the ace politician or attract his interest.
It was gathered that already, no fewer than seven state governors, serving ministers, several lawmakers in both chambers of the National Assembly, as well as others holding key positions in the government and the APC have concluded plans to dump the party to follow the former vice-president, who is believed to be heading to his former party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
A close source to the former Vice-President told our correspondent in Abuja, last Saturday, that barring last-minute change, Atiku has concluded plans to storm the National Secretariat of the PDP in the first week of December 2017 along with his supporters after he must have declared for the party in Yola, Adamawa State.
This was just as a barrage of reactions, last Saturday trailed the resignation of the former vice-president from the APC, with prominent Northerners, including former Presidential Aide, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai; former member of the House of Representatives and critic, Alhaji Junaid Mohammed, among other individuals, groups and associations, giving divided opinions on the exit of the Adamawa-born politician from the APC and his reported 2019 presidential ambition.
The Tide gathered that some power brokers in the various camps held a series of consultations at the weekend, with the sole aim of forging fresh alliances, while more consultations were said to have been planned for different locations in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja on Tuesday and Thursday this week by the arrowheads of a medley of politicians and professionals from varying backgrounds.
A source told one of our correspondents that Atiku had been chosen to speak at a public forum being put together by another coalition to set the tone for his presence at the national convention of the PDP on December 9, 2017 in Abuja.
Reports from Kaduna, the political headquarters of Northern Nigeria, indicated frenzied moves by some power brokers to review some plans on the ground before now following the likelihood of realignment of forces in the political circle, especially in the light of the PDP convention.
Findings also confirmed that Atiku indeed reached out to some key politicians of Northern extraction to apprise them of his decision to quit APC and seek another political platform to pursue his presidential bid.
A reliable source at the secretariat of PDP, Kaduna State, who spoke with our correspondent on a condition of anonymity, said the former VP had met with some top stalwarts in the state over his presidential ambition.
Though the source could not say who and who the former number two man met with, he was said to have consulted some chieftains of the party secretly before he made his resignation known.
This claim was also confirmed by the state’s chairman of the Atiku Care Foundation (ACF), Alhaji Ibrahim Dahiru Danfulani, who told newsmen that consultations with various interest groups and individuals “are currently ongoing.”
“I want to assure you that these groups and individuals have given us their words. We are waiting to see the party that our mentor (Atiku) will join and we will follow him there,” he said.
However, renowned political critic, Dr. Junaid Muhammed, has said that the resignation of the former vice-president from the APC was not a big deal, saying as far as he [Junaid Mohammed] was concerned, “the former vice -president is an expired politician, who is in politics to make money and not to contribute positive quota to nation-building.”
According to Mohammed, “this is not the first time the former vice-president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, will leave a party on the claims of being sidelined or for whatever reasons. If he could leave the PDP and go to contest on the platform of the Action Congress when he was the immediately past vice-president of the PDP; that shows you the kind of character we are dealing with.”
Former Special Adviser on National Assembly Matters to former President Shehu Shagari, Yakassai, said he was not surprised that Atiku resigned his membership of the APC, saying it would be an eye-opener to the APC, “as many people who made it possible for the APC to become the ruling party in 2015 are not happy about not being carried along.”
He said the others would sooner or later leave the party.
Speaking with our correspondent in Kano, the elder statesman noted that the body language of APC, its leaders and the former vice-president had been showing that there had been unfavourable conditions among them.
His words: “There had been disagreement among the APC, its leaders and Atiku for a long time and anybody that is familiar with partisan politics, would realise that there was total disconnect between the APC and the former vice-president. So, I am not surprised that he left the party.”
Yakassai noted that the character of Nigerian politics today “is that people move to political parties that would be convenient for them or accommodate their aspirations,” berating all political parties in the country for being the same and without ideologies.
Meanwhile, former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode has tackled the Governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir el-Rufai, who said that “God has decreed that this is President Muhammadu Buhari’s time. As long as he remains in politics, he sees no Nigerian who can match him”.
Fani-Kayode while reacting to the governor’s statement said that ‘that is what they said about Goliath until David came along! For every Goliath, there is a David. Hubris leads to nemesis.’
Fani-Kayode, in a series of tweets on his Twitter handle, also said “As a party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is now at a crossroad: the moment of truth has finally arrived.”
According to him, if the PDP makes the right choices, the party shall excel and overcome her common enemies.
“If we make the wrong choices, we shall suffer defeat and never recover again. The choice is ours. May God guide us”, he stated.
Fani-Kayode also used the opportunity to beg the former vice president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who just left the All Progressives Congress (APC) to return to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Similarly, an author and ex-aide to former President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, Reno Omokri, has said that President Muhammadu Buhari may have been jittery over the news of the dumping of All Progressives Congress (APC), by a presidential contender and former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar.
Atiku had, last Friday, announced his resignation from the APC, saying the party has failed Nigerians and has equally instituted a draconian regime that has continued to clamp down on democracy in the country.
He also accused the APC of having no regard for the youth, especially as he said the party has no single youth in its cabinet, wondering how the leaders of tomorrow are not a priority for the party.
Omokri also stated that Buhari must be very jittery that he quickly set up a committee to increase minimum wage, a ploy he said was being used by the president, perhaps, to bribe Nigerians.
According to him, “On the same day that Atiku resigned from the APC, President Buhari decided to set up a committee to increase the minimum wage. Coincidence or signs that the President is jittery over his impending 2019 defeat and wants to bribe Nigerians with a salary increase”.
Former Nigerian vice president Atiku Abubakar who last Friday announced his decision to leave APC, has arrived in Yola where he is now engaged in series of meetings with Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) officials at all levels who keep trooping to his house to woo him back into the party.
Our correspondent reports that the former Vice President had so far met with Adamawa PDP executives at all level as well as state chairmen from the six states that constituted North East, including the National Vice chairman North East of the party.
Commenting on the meeting between Atiku and the state executives of PDP, the State Secretary of PDP, Alhaji Abdulllahi Prambe, said the meeting was fruitful.
“Our meeting with him has been fruitful and from his body language he will soon return to PDP,” Prambe said.
Prambe said that it would be a big boost to the party at the state and national levels when Atiku finally returned.
“With Atiku, the party will carry more weight and more people will also troop in,” Prambe said.
When contacted about developments, Atiku’s spokesman, Mr Paul Ibe, declined to comment.

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Be Obedient To God’s Instructions, Oyedepo Tells Congregants

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Wife of the Presiding Bishop of Living Faith Church (LFC) Worldwide, Pastor Faith Oyedepo, has urged winners to be obedient in the affairs of the Kingdom (of God).
On his part, the husband, Bishop David Oyedepo, said obedience was better than sacrifice.
The couple spoke at this at the church’s monthly leadership conference at the weekend.
Oyedepo’s wife, while citing Isaiah 1:19-20, stressed the need for Christians to be obedient to spiritual instructions to enjoy the good of the land.
She said: “If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it” (Isa. 1:19-20).
She urged the church to pray for God’s Spirit to serve and be obedient.
In his sermon, Bishop David Oyedepo, while unravelling the mystery of the covenant of obedience, said: “To be obedient is better than sacrifice. Obedience may be costly but the end result is always priceless.
“When you live your life as a seed, its impact lives for generations after you”.

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RSG Unveils, Flags Off 15 Key Projects In 15 Days …Kick-Starts Two New Flyovers, Azikiwe-Illoabuchi Road Dualisation …Opens Orochiri-Worukwo Flyover, Ogbunabali-Eastern Bypass Road, Two Others For Use

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Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital and other urban centres will witness major activities from today, as the state government begins another round of strategic infrastructure projects’ commissioning and flag off across the state, with the unveiling for public use of the Orochiri/Worukwo (Waterlines) Flyover in Port Harcourt City Local Government Area by the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu at 11am.
Similarly, the Governor Nyesom Wike-led government will inaugurate the Ogbunabali-Eastern Bypass Road, also in Port Harcourt City Local Government Area, tomorrow.
According to a schedule of events made available to The Tide by the government, last Friday, the former Sokoto State Governor, Senator Aliyu Wamakko will perform the ceremony at Ogbunabali Junction.
Also to be commissioned on August 11, by the Director-General of NYSC, Brig.-Gen. M.K, Fadah, is the 5,000-capacity NYSC Auditorium; while the new State House of Assembly Quarters will be inaugurated by the Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila on August 12.
However, on Wednesday, August 10, the former Ondo State Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, will flag off the dualisation of Azikiwe-Iloabuchi Road in Port Harcourt City Local Government Area.
Between August 16 and 26, 10 more projects would either be commissioned or inaugurated across the state.
These include the Government VIP Lounge at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, in Ikwerre Local Government Area on August 16; unveiling of the remodelled Waterlines Building on Port Harcourt/Aba Express Road by Waterlines Junction in Port Harcourt City Local Government Area on Wednesday, August 17; flag off of the construction of the 11th flyover at Ikwerre Road by Rumuokwuta/Rumuola Junctions in Obio/Akpor LGA on Thursday, August 18; and the flag off of the 12th flyover at Mgbuoba-Ozuoba/Ada-George Road by Location Junction in Obio/Akpor LGA on Friday, August 19.
Other landmark projects lined up for special commissioning or flag off are the construction of Omagwa internal roads on Saturday, August 20; and flag off of Igwuruta internal roads on Monday, August 22, both in Ikwerre Local Government Area; as well as unveiling of land reclamation, shore protection, road network, drains, power station and water reticulation, and housing complex at Ogbum-Nu-Abali sandfill, Port Harcourt City Local Government Area on Tuesday, August 23.
The rest are the unveiling of a police station at Ogum-Nu-Abali sandfill-Eastern Bye-pass area on Wednesday, August 24; Eneka internal roads in Obio/Akpor on Thursday, August 25; as well as Community Secondary School, Obuama (Harry’s Town) in Degema Local Government Area, Friday, August 26.
Meanwhile, a statement by the Special Assistant (Media and Documentation) to the state Commissioner for Works, Dornubari Kiinee, last Saturday, indicated that following plans to commission the Orochiri/Worukwo (Waterlines) Flyover, both ends of the flyover had been consequently closed on Saturday, August 6, 2022 at 12 noon to enable the ministry prepare for the commissioning ceremony.
The statement explained that “Vehicular movement from Garrison will be diverted through Oroworukwo; traffic from Hotel Presidential Junction will be diverted through GRA Junction. The flyover will be opened for use immediately after the ceremony on Monday”.
The statement further said that “The Ogbunuabali axis will be temporarily closed and traffic diverted accordingly until after the ceremony” on Tuesday.
Kiinee said that, “Furthermore, the dualisation of Azikiwe-Iloabuchi Road will be flagged-off on Wednesday, 10 August, 2022 by former Ondo State Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko. That road will be closed also and traffic diverted to neighbouring streets for the period of six months”.
According to the statement, “As preparation for the commencement of the construction of the 11th and 12th flyovers reaches its final stage, the Commissioner for Works, Rivers State, Dr. George-Kelly Dax Alabo, wishes to use this medium to inform residents of Rivers State, particularly motorists plying Ikwerre Road and NTA Road that there will be road closures around the axis of Rumuokwuta/Rumuola Junction, and Location Junction by Ada-George, where these projects are to be sited.
“This new development will last for the period of 10 months, which is the stipulated duration of the construction work.
“Motorists are kindly advised to use alternative routes to be outlined thus: Vehicles coming from NTA axis will pass through Farm Road to Ben Wosley along Ada-George Road, or through Ohakwe Street.
“As for Rumuokwuta/Rumuola flyover project, traffic will be diverted to Psychiatric Road; those coming from Wimpy Junction will be diverted to Road 1 through Kala Police Station”.
The commissioner appealed to the people of Rivers State to show understanding and patience with the state government, whilst the meaningful projects are flagged-off and commissioned in record time for traffic decongestion in the metropolis.

By: Nelson Chukwudi

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Nigeria’s Economy On Brink Of Collapse, NECA Alerts

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The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association, NECA, Sunday in Lagos, raised the alarm that the nation’s economy is on the brink of collapse, warning that spiralling inflation, rising energy cost (scarcity of FOREX, the dwindling value of the Naira among others, are bleeding the economy.
Speaking in Lagos, the Director-General, DG, of NECA, Mr Wale Oyerinde lamented that the economy is under the weight of an almost comatose aviation sector, stuttering education system, rising debt, depleting Foreign Reserve and rising fuel subsidy expenses among others.
The newly appointed D-G of NECA advised the federal government to employ a holistic and multi-pronged approach toward resolving the challenges faced by the nation.
According to him, “The nation is currently faced with multiple challenges. With a dire combination of spiralling inflation, rising energy costs (aviation fuel, diesel, etc.), scarcity of FOREX, dwindling value of the Naira and an almost comatose Aviation sector. Also, with a stuttering education system, rising debt, depleting Foreign Reserve and rising fuel subsidy expenses among others, that threatens to lay bare the country’s economy, there is no better time for Government to reappraise current economic policies and deepen its engagement with the Organized Private Sector. While Government’s effort to salvage the economy is commendable, there is, however, a need for a more holistic approach to resuscitate the stuttering economy.
“Being dependent on Crude oil for about 90 per cent of its Foreign Exchange earnings and 80 per cent of its budgetary revenues, Nigeria has always lived dangerously on the precipice, with a major chunk of its revenue dependent on the complexities of global Crude demand and supply. A dangerous blend of self-destructive tendencies, insecurity and fiscal and monetary policy inconsistencies have also conspired to make the situation worse. While revenue continues to shrink, the nation continues to dig its feet deeper into debt.
“At different times over the past few years, various international bodies including the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization have warned about the excessive nature of the country’s borrowing. While some Stakeholders have canvassed that the revenue to GDP ratio of the country is healthy, a recent announcement by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning that the revenue to debt service ratio is in the negative calls for urgent concern.
“In April, the World Bank warned that the rising cost of fuel subsidy could significantly impact public finance and pose debt sustainability concerns. Alas, this projection is almost happening. The Fiscal Performance Report released recently by the Federal Government confirmed the accuracy of these projections. The combination of a struggling aviation sector and roads taken over by bandits have also conspired to fuel the situation, leading to rising inflation at 18.6% (according to the NBS). These have continued to worsen the promotion of Commerce and the increase the rate of de-industrialization of some regions of the country.”
The DG of the umbrella body for employers in the country, while recommending how to deal with the multi-face challenges, called for “a deliberate and economic priority influenced approach and wide consultation with Stakeholders should commence, with the view of harvesting alternative policy options to re-energize all sectors of the economy. While the challenges of revenue shortage are acknowledged, burdening businesses with new taxes or levies will be counter-productive and self-destructive action. Over-burdening already burdened businesses will only lead to business closure and an escalation of job losses with consequential effects on our social and economic stability. Government should, in the short-term widen the tax net, reduce wastages in governance, and focus on economic projects that will stimulate the Nigerian economy and guarantee an enabling environment for businesses to operate. An enabling environment for local businesses will create the platform for new foreign direct investment, which could increase FOREX inflow into the country.
“In the medium term, the Federal Government should, as a matter of urgency, fix the four national refineries and encourage the development of Modular ones as a precursor to total removal of fuel subsidy. With over N5trillion budgeted for subsidy payment in 2022, an amount larger than the budget for education and agriculture, this is unrealistic and unsustainable. Economic interventions aimed at improving living standards (to stimulate consumption) and Enterprise sustainability (to promote job creation) should be implemented. While FOREX scarcity persists, allocation of the available FOREX to manufacturing and other productive sectors of the economy should be given priority.”

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