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Finally, Atiku Returns To PDP – Says Three Million Job Lost Under Buhari In 2 yrs – No Better Alternative To PDP, Wike Insists – As Jostle For National Chairmanship Hots Up

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Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar has rejoined the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which he helped found some years ago, saying he took the decision after due consultations with party leaders and stakeholders nationwide.
In a live Facebook chat with Nigerians, Atiku said rather than the promise to create three million jobs annually, no fewer than three million Nigerians have instead lost their jobs in the more than two years of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
“Hello, my name is Atiku Abubakar”, the Wazirin Adamawa had begun.
Going further, he said; “I am speaking to you today on Facebook Live as I want to reach as many of our young people as possible as I have an important announcement to make about the future of Nigeria. As it is you, our youths, who represent the future of our nation.
“I have found in my travels across the country that whenever I get into conversations with young people, their number one concern is whether they will be able to get a job for without a job they have no means of sustaining themselves or begin a family. And without the security of a job, we cannot have security in our country. So without jobs, there is no future for you or for Nigeria.
“And I also know as a parent that the older generation is also concerned about jobs for their children and, too often today, for themselves as well.
“Creating jobs is something I know about as I have created over 50,000 direct jobs and 250,000 indirect jobs in my own State of Adamawa. And I also know how the Government can help create the right environment for businesses to create jobs. When I was Vice President in 1999, I was responsible for liberalising the telecommunications sector which enabled us to increase the number of people who could access a phone from less than 1 million then to over 100 million today.
“This transformation resulted in the creation of hundreds of thousands of new jobs from the top-up card vendors you see on every street corner to the many new businesses that fed off the mobile phone revolution”.
Recalling how he was “elected Vice President under the banner of the PDP, which is the political party I had helped to found some ten years before”, Atiku said he had left the PDP based on principle and the excitement created by the APC’s promise of creating three million jobs annually.
“And some of you may also know that I left the PDP four years ago when I believed it was no longer aligned to the principles of equity, democracy and social justice upon which we had founded it.
“I joined the APC as I had hoped it would be the new force that would help improve life for our people and I was excited about the party’s manifesto to create three million new jobs a year.
“The result has not been the change people had been promised or voted for, as in the last two years almost three million Nigerians have lost their jobs.
“And today, with a record 25% of people aged 18-25 unemployed, I can see how difficult it is for our youths to find a job.
“The key to creating jobs is a strong economy and that is what we are currently lacking. So today, I want to let you know that I am returning home to the PDP as the issues that led me to leave it have now been resolved and it is clear that the APC has let the Nigerian people, and especially our young people, down.
“But rather than giving a long political speech on this matter, I thought it would be more helpful to invite you to ask me questions and share with you my answers”, Atiku ended his speech. .How I will tackle challenges facing the youth asked about how he would deal with the challenges facing the Nigerian youth as an old man, Atiku said; “I meet young people every day. I have children and grandchildren and most of my employees are youths. The key to knowing what young people want is to listen to them. I’m good at that. Sometimes when I am on the phone with my kids, they ask me are you still there, because I just listen to them without interrupting. Young people are on social media and so I go there. They tell me that their number one challenge is jobs. Terrorism, militancy, kidnapping, and other forms of exuberance that may lead to criminality are a symptom of the disease of joblessness. Once you can get Nigeria working again and get Nigerians working again, youth restiveness will ease and gradually disappear”.
On how he intends to focus on leadership while also managing his vast business concerns, the former APC chieftain said leadership must be separated from management. “I lead my businesses. I do not manage them. I have qualified managers managing them including some in their early 20s. As a leader, you provide direction and then you bring in skilled people and inspire them to implement your roadmap to getting to the destination of your direction. So in answer to your question, I am more into leadership and this gives me the clarity I need to take in the larger picture”, he said.
When he was asked to react to a recent declaration by the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed that the PDP will not be returning to power anytime soon, the Wazirin Adamawa said only arrogance makes people say such things.
“Nobody knows the future other than God and to dictate what the future will be is not within man’s purview. But it is about Nigeria not about power. Power for power’s own sake breeds arrogance and arrogance makes men say things like that. All I am saying is that we need a party that speaks to national sentiments not regional ones. We need a party that can make all Nigerians one till we can boldly say that we are all brothers and sisters with only one mother Nigeria”, he stated.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has declared that the emerging strength of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was built on the people who are enjoying the benefits of good governance from PDP governors and lawmakers despite the economic downturn.
Wike said: “Nigerians should know that the only hope for the country is the PDP. Nobody should deceive you. I want to tell you that you should not be intimidated.
“The time for intimidation is over. They have done everything in my state to intimidate us, but we told them, no way. We will continue to tell them, no way”.
He added: “I have always told them that our own soldiers are the people. It is your work that will speak for you. I am proud that I was elected on the platform of the PDP”.
Wike said that it is now obvious to Nigerians that there is no alternative to the PDP.
Similarly, as the December 9 National Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) draws nearer, former and present heavyweights in the party have intensified lobby for their respective candidates.
Top contenders for the national chairmanship include former Acting National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, ex-Minister of Education, Prof Tunde Adeniran, former Deputy National Chairman, Chief Olabode George, former Minister of Sports, Prof Taoheed Adedoja, former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, ex-Governor of Oyo State, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, Media Mogul, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi and former governorship candidate in Lagos State, Jimi Agbaje.
The Tide learnt that most of the national chairmanship aspirants are allegedly been supported and sponsored by party bigwigs and members of the Board of Trustees (BoT)
Political analysts say that the jostle for offices at the national convention was going to be battle royale because the godfathers in the party and some serving governors were already squaring up to slug it out by deciding who controls the delegates at the convention.
It was believed that if the party fails to get it right this time around, the party may as well say goodbye to its chances in 2019 presidential and other elections in the country.

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No Party Can Win Election Fighting Itself, Wike Warns …Inaugurates Government VIP Lounge For FAAN

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Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has described as inconsequential confession of support by some politicians for Atiku Abubakar, if they are not working to mobilise grassroots voters to secure electoral victory for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Wike said it was the quantum of individual votes from units, local governments and states that would determine victory for the presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubukar, in 2023 and not rumour peddlers.
He spoke, yesterday, at the inauguration of the new Government VIP Lounge at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa in Ikwerre Local Government Area, built by the Rivers State Government.
Wike said it was unfortunate that some politicians now based in Abuja, derive pleasure insinuating something against him to curry favour from the PDP presidential candidate.
“We are busy campaigning with our projects on how our party will win election in the state. Other people are busy in Abuja carrying rumours and gossips. We are busy here (Rivers) from Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. We’ll start Monday again, flagging off projects, commissioning projects that will sell our party.
“Every day in the newspapers, Wike did this, Wike did that, then, they will call the candidate, you see what I said about Wike today. Rent seekers. No job. Instead of you to do something that will make your party to win 2023 elections, you’re only busy, everyday Wike said this. When you heard from Wike I do not know. Maybe in your dream.
“You want to support the candidate, you’re not at home, and you’re in Abuja. Come home and campaign and work for the party. Stop this Abuja politics of carrying rumours to the candidate.”
Wike, who asserted that he was a practical and practicing politician, admonished that any party that wants to win election cannot be fighting itself.
“I think a party that wants to win election cannot, on their own, be causing problem for themselves.”
Wike pointed to how his administration has continued to flag-off and inaugurate projects that serve as evidence of fulfilled electoral promises, which have sustained the trust that the people have for the PDP in the state.
The governor expressed the belief that it is the services and projects that his administration has done that would sell the PDP to the electorate.
“We have said that whatever promise we have made, we are going to fulfil them before we leave office on May 29, 2023.
“And let me say; only one person can be a minister from the state. I would not be a minister. I am not a liability. Rivers State is an asset. If you don’t want to win election it is your business.
“I am not running for election. He who wears the shoe knows where it pinches. So, allow Rivers State to continue to do what they are doing by using our projects to campaign to our people.”
Wike explained that though the Port Harcourt International Airport is owned by the Federal Government, his administration decided to build the VIP lounge in order to offer Rivers people the best.
He assured that the Rivers State government would cater to the maintenance of the building so that it can serve the people for a long time.
Wike also commended the indigenous contractor that handled the project for the tasteful structural work that was accomplished.
“And let me commend the contractor. Of course, he is an indigenous contractor from Rivers State and of Port Harcourt Local Government Area. This is a good job well done. See the quality of what has been done. You can see that the difference is clear.
“We are willing to support our own. But you must also give us that assurance that when the job is given to you, you will complete it without any problem.”
Wike directed the Commissioner for Works to ensure the immediate arrest of a contractor handling a road project for the Rivers State Government in Trans Amadi Industrial Layout in Port Harcourt.
The governor accused the contractor of having collected 100percent of the project sum, but has failed to deliver the job.
In a brief, Rivers State Commissioner for Special Projects, Deinma Iyalla, said the edifice depicts the detribalised nature of Wike, and also serves to market the state positively.
According to him, the entire project comprises of a one storey building that has main lounge, bar, kitchen and administrative section on the ground floor.
He added, on the storey floor, there are Presidential Lounge, Governor’s Lounge and Executive Lounge.
Iyalla further added that there was a screening building that has installed screening and scanning machines with office space for FAAN, and a security house that would serve as waiting place for drivers.

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Buhari Signs Bills On Electoral Act, Money Laundering, Terrorism, Others

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President Muhammadu Buhari has given assent to some major bills. The bills include: Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2022; Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Bill, 2022, repealing the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended; Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Bill, 2022, which repeals the Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2011 as amended in 2013.
Others are, Deep Offshore and Inland Basin Production Sharing Contracts Act, 1993 (Amendment) Act, 2019, for increased revenue; Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) Amendment Acts of 2019 and 2021; Proceeds of Crime (Recovery and Management) Bill, 2022, which approves the seizure, confiscation and forfeiture of properties derived from unlawful activity.
The rest include, Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) Bill, the first legislation focused on curbing anti-competition practices, establishing the FCCPC; Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Establishment Act, 2018; The Plant Variety Protection (PVP) Act 2021; Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Bill, 2019.
The bill facilitates the identification, tracing, freezing, restraining, recovery, forfeiture and confiscation of proceeds, property, and other instrumentalities of crime as well as the prosecution of offenders in criminal cases regardless of where in the world they might be;
The president also signed an Act establishing the Police Trust Fund, which will improve funding for the Nigeria Police Force (2019). “ Nigeria Police Act, 2020 – the first comprehensive reform of Police legislation since the Police Act of 1943.
He also signed the Repeal and Re-Enactment of the Companies & Allied Matters Act (CAMA), 2020, the first comprehensive reform since 1990; Not Too Young to Run Bill (2018), a Constitution Amendment Bill to reduce the age of eligibility for running for elective office in Nigeria; Nigerian Correctional Services Bill, 2019, the first comprehensive reform of prison legislation in close to five decades; Suppression of Piracy and other Maritime Offences Bill, 2019 – the first anti-piracy legislation in West Africa.

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TCN Begs Electricity Workers To Suspend Planned Strike

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The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has appealed to the electricity workers to suspend their proposed strike billed to begin, today.
The Managing Director, TCN, Dr Sule Abdulaziz, made the appeal in a letter to the workers, yesterday, following their threat to embark on strike to drive home their demands.
The workers under the aegis of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) had on August 15 directed its members to picket TCN offices nationwide on August 16, after which they would embark on strike on August 17.
The General Secretary, NUEE, Comrade Joe Ajaero, had in a statement, said the picketing was to protest the directive by the TCN board that all principal managers in acting capacity going to acting general manager must appear for a promotion interview.
Ajaero said the directive was in contravention of the workers’ conditions of service and career progression paths and alleged that it was unilaterally done without the relevant stakeholders.
Other issues raised include stigmatisation of staff from the office of the Head of Service of the Federation from working in other areas in the power sector and non-payment of the December 2019 entitlement of ex-PHCN staff.
Abdulaziz said: “We are pleased to inform you that management has suspended the said proposed interview for those on acting appointment of assistant general managers and general managers while we conclude discussion with the board.
“On the other two issues: circular from the office of Head of Service on the stigmatisation of the defunct PHCN staff; payment of entitlement of ex-PHCN staff by market operator, the management has contacted the Honourable Minister of Power for his further action.
“In view of this development, we appeal to your union to stay in action; please accept the assurances of our highest regards.”
Also, the Federal Minister of State for Power, Mr Goddy Jedy-Agba, in a letter dated August 15, 2022, to the union, said that the ministry was committed to proffering solutions that would be acceptable to all parties concerned.
“May we appeal to your great union to allow us two weeks from the date of this letter to address the issues and come up with proposals toward acceptable resolution of all issues,” he said.

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