President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated the former Vice President Joe Biden on his election as 46th President of the United States “at a time of uncertainty and fear in world affairs.”
The Nigerian leader said “your election is a significant reminder that democracy is the best form of government because it offers the people the opportunity to change their government by peaceful means.”
According to Buhari, “the most powerful group are not the politicians, but voters who can decide the fate of the politicians at the polling booth.”
He noted that “the main benefit of democracy is the freedom of choice and the supremacy of the will of the people.”
According to him, “I am thrilled by the fact that you are an experienced politician who had served as Congressman for 40 years, and Vice President for eight years. This is a remarkable track record that gives us hope that you will add value to the US presidency and world affairs.”
Buhari also noted that, “with your election, we look forward to enhanced cooperation between Nigeria and the United States, especially at economic, diplomatic and political levels, including especially on the war against terrorism.”
The Nigerian leader further called on Mr. Biden “to promote greater engagement with Africa on the basis of reciprocal respect and common interests.”
Similarly, the former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, said that the US Vice President-elect, Senator Kamala Harris has Nigerian blood in her.
He offered the opinion while congratulating Harris and the President-elect, Mr Joe Biden, on their victory in the United States presidential election, last Saturday.
“I felicitate with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris as the first female Vice-President of the U.S. We in Africa are proud of her success.
“The first African-American President of the U.S., Barrack Obama, has Kenyan DNA in him, and I am reasonably sure that the first African-American female Vice President-elect of the U.S. will have some Nigerian DNA in her as most of those taken to the Caribbean from Africa went from Nigeria of today,” Obasanjo wrote in the letter to Biden.
The letter, titled, “Message of Congratulations to U.S. President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris”, reads, “I join millions in the United States of America and in the rest of the world who felicitate with you, President-Elect Joe Biden, for your victory.
“It is victory of good over evil and it is not victory for you and the people of America alone, but victory for most people of the world, majority of whom watch helplessly as the world that had been steadily and painstakingly built since the end of the Second World War was being pulled down.
“Not that the world was perfect and equitable but it was reasonably predictable with some measure of rule of law and respect for international agreements and treaties.
“President-Elect Joe Biden must restore confidence in the role of America as the largest economy in the world which has a very significant responsibility for the peace, security, stability and progress of the world.
“I felicitate with Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris as the first female Vice-President of the U.S. We in Africa are proud of her success.
“The first African-American President of the U.S., Barrack Obama, has Kenyan DNA in him and I am reasonably sure that the first African-American female Vice President-Elect of the U.S. will have some Nigerian DNA in her as most of those taken to the Caribbean from Africa went from Nigeria of today.
“Congratulations, once again, and please accept the assurances of my highest consideration”.
Also, the former President Goodluck Jonathan has congratulated Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, on their victory at the United States 2020 Presidential Election.
The ex-Nigerian leader, in a statement, yesterday, gave his expectations of a Biden presidency.
Jonathan said he believes that the president will further tackle Covid-19 and also work towards global peace and prosperity after the pandemic is over.
The statesman noted that the emergence of Biden and Harris is not just historic, but a glimpse of what the future where race, gender and religion do not matter as much as competence and capacity.
“The best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour, and based on his tenure as Vice President of the United States of America, between 2008 and 2016, I am fully persuaded that as President, Mr Biden will provide national and global leadership that will set the post Covid-19 world on a path of peace and prosperity.
“In a nation much in need of healing, I urge the incoming administration to look beyond party, and be magnanimous in victory, despite the contentious election, and to take all Americans, even those who were against their election, as brothers and sisters from the womb of one mother, the United States of America.”
He advised Biden to partner with African nations to overcome the vicissitudes of the pandemic, by building on existing trade and expanding on new frontiers for cooperation.
Jonathan acknowledged that Harris would make history as the first woman and first person of African American ancestry to be elected as Vice President of the United States.
The former Bayelsa State governor described her emergence as one big step for her, and one giant leap for the Black Race and the female gender.
“I pray that God will bless their joint tenure, and that in four years from now, we will have a better world because of their administration”, the statement added.
Nigeria Needs Effective Leadership To Be Great -Wike
Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has said that Nigeria needs effective leadership for the country to achieve the dreams and aspirations of its founding fathers.
He stated this during the Juma’at service in commemoration of the 62nd Independence Anniversary of Nigeria, held at the JIBWIS Directorate Headquarters, Central Mosque, Bonny Street, Port Harcourt, yesterday.
The governor, who was represented by the Special Adviser on School Sports, Dr Okiri Mohammed, said despite the numerous challenges bedevilling the country, Nigerians must collectively resolve to make the nation great.
“Remember we have one country Nigeria, and we must make it great. For us to make it great, we must see it as our duty.”
The Rivers State governor said the task of nation building was the responsibility of every citizen of the country, and the 62nd Independence anniversary celebration should be seen as a time for stocktaking.
He emphasised that Nigerians must collectively continue to demand for probity and accountability from the leadership in order to move the country forward.
“Let us continue to ensure that there is probity and accountability in this country. We need effective leadership in this country before it will go forward.”
The governor charged Muslims to continue to preach the message of peace and join hands with other Nigerians to reduce crime and poverty in Nigeria.
”As Muslim you are charged to preach peace in your various homes. We have to make sure we collectively reduce poverty and crime. We have to make sure that this country is better.”
The governor pointed out that the country is at a critical juncture, and charged Nigerians to participate effectively in the 2023 general election.
“We don’t have another country apart from Nigeria and so, all of us collectively and individually have a duty to make this country better.”
Delivering his sermon, the Imam of Bonny Island, Yusuf Lamis, charged Nigerians to be patriotic and contribute to the development of the nation.
He said the earnest prayer of every Muslims in the country is for God’s intervention in the emergence of credible political leaders in the 2023 general election.
Wike Intervenes In Ula-Ehuda, Julius Berger Dispute
Hope for the speedy completion of the dualisation of Ahoada-Omoku highway has been rekindled, following the intervention of Rivers State Governor, Chief NyesomWike, in the face-off between Ula-Ehuda community and the Julius Berger, the construction company handling the project.
Wike, who visited Ula-Ehuda, yesterday, to assess the progress of the ongoing construction work and to settle the disagreement between the community and Julius Berger, advised youths in the community to learn how to channel their problem appropriately to the government.
The governor, who was accompanied by the Rivers State Commissioner of Works, Dr. Dakorinama George-Kelly; former Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Chibudum Nwuche; Deputy Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ehie Ogerenye Edison; the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) standard bearer in Rivers State, Sir Siminialayi Fubara; and others, said his administration takes exception to disruption of construction work in any part of state.
He admonished community leaders in the state, irrespective of their political leanings, never to politicise the issue of development, as this could be detrimental to the progress of their people.
“I tell people: don’t be a curse to yourself. And I’ve always told people too: don’t bring politics in the development of a place. If you bring politics, you’ll suffer it. None of you put pressure on us to say we must dualise this road.”
The governor explained that his administration took the decision to dualise the road in recognition of the fact that it would promote access to economic and social services, generate increased agricultural incomes and productive employment opportunities and reduce poverty in the state.
Wike, who urged the community to support the state government’s effort to improve infrastructure in the area, cautioned that government would, henceforth, not tolerate any disruption of the ongoing dualisation work.
“If you have problem, channel your problem appropriately. But don’t come and begin to use your young boys and young girls to stop the road construction.”
The governor assured the community that the concerns raised would be adequately addressed, adding that the government would not allow anyone or group of individuals to derail the progress of the area.
“We have come to open up your community to be like a city, and you want to send your community backwards, it will not work. Support us to do what we are doing.”
Earlier, the Chairman,Ula-Ehuda Community Development Committee, Monday Princewill Evergreen, thanked Wike for the project, and appealed for the inclusion of drainage in the Ula-Ehuda section of the Ahoada-Omoku highway.
“We are grateful that you brought this project to our community, not just our community, Ahoada East. For long, we had envisaged that this road will be dualised and constructed. It was until you came that that dream was realised, and the community and the entire people of Ekpeye are eternally grateful to you.”
Earlier, the Rivers State Commissioner for Works, Dr. George-Kelly D. Alabo, had advised some protesting youths at the Ula-Ehuda axis of Ahoada-Omoku Dual Carriageway to shun obstructive means of demonstration at the project site, because if the project,was not completed as a result of their actions, the people of the area would be the ones to lose and not Julius Berger.
George-Kelly advised them to allow the construction giant to continue with their work while he makes an arrangement for a round-table talk between all parties involved to find an amicable solution to the contentious issue on drainage before the end of the week.
Residents of Ula-Ehuda in Ahoada East Local Government Area were addressed by the commissioner, who was accompanied by the Chairman of Ahoada East Local Government Council, Hon. Ben Eke, to inspect the Ahoada-Omoku Dual Carriageway project, last Tuesday.
“I am not here to blame anybody but to solve a problem. I am here to provide a solution that will be good for the community, the government, and the contractor. If we must tell ourselves the truth, stopping them from working will not solve the problem, it would even put you at the disadvantaged end because if this project is not completed, it is the people of this area that will lose, not Julius Berger.
“Please, do not make the mistake some youths of a particular local government area made. They stopped two projects of the state government in their area over frivolous demands, the state government made several attempts to persuade them to allow the construction of the projects to continue, like I am doing now, but they refused. Contractors left sites, and the projects were abandoned. Two years after, the contactors are yet to resume work for excuses of community disturbances. When the contractors eventually go back to sites, the projects may become more expensive for government, given the current fluctuations.
“The best thing to do now is to allow the contractor to finish the initial scope of the project first.Maybe, before the commissioning, you can make this other demand, and we will forward same to the governor. Please, realise that even in your demands, due process has to be followed.
“I am appealing to you to allow them complete this work on schedule so that it can be commissioned by or before December. By Friday this week (yesterday), I’ll be having a meeting between the ministry, the council chairman, representatives of Julius Berger, the project CLOs, and Ula-Ehuda community leaders. I will like the community to include, at least, two indigenous civil engineers in their delegation so that they can understand and interprete to you some technical details that would be discussed in the meeting,” the commissioner added.
Also, the commissioner inspected the 8.020km Akpabu-Itu-Omudioga Road project, phase 1 in Emohua Local Government Area.
Checks show that asphaltic binder course had been completed for the entire road length and 700m asphalt wearing course had been done so far.
The project is 75percent completed and in progress.
Catholic Bishops Vow To Work For Credible Polls In 2023
Bishops of the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja have pledged to work with relevant stakeholders to ensure free, credible and transparent general elections in 2023.
The commitment is contained in a communiqué jointly signed by Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, the Archbishop of Abuja and Very Rev. Fr. Sam Tumba, after the 3rd General assembly of the Archdiocese.
In the communique issued on Saturday in Abuja, the bishops enjoined Parishes, families, Church societies and groups to dedicate special moments to pray for a hitch-free election.
“We call on Catholics and indeed all Nigerian citizens to be consciously and actively involved in the electoral processes at all levels.
“Voter registration, collection of Permanent Voters Card, casting votes on election days with a firm and clear conscience to elect credible leaders who will bring about the true dividends of democracy”, they said.
The bishops commended President Muhammadu Buhari for signing the Electoral Act into law to enhance the sanctity of the electoral process.
“We task the Independent National Electoral Commission to ensure political fairness and transparency, to consolidate the trust reposed in them by Nigerians.
“Parishes and Catholic institutions within our Archdiocese are encouraged to arrange and organize voter awareness programmes, seminars and workshops guided by the Justice, Development and Peace Commission, to better equip our people for greater political responsibility.
“We remain open and willing to collaborate with relevant government agencies, electoral bodies and security operatives to ensure peaceful and credible election processes in the coming year,” the communique added.
The bishops cautioned politicians not to regard the election as a ‘do or die’ affair, adding that they must also refrain from money politics, manipulative and divisive practices along ethnic, social and religious lines to win elections.
“Even though we decry the hard economic situations in the nation, we strongly discourage all Catholics and especially our youths from lending themselves as easy recruits for political thuggery and other criminal activities to enthrone selfish and incompetent aspirants into electoral offices.
“We discourage and condemn any form of vote buying or selling and other electoral malpractices during the elections,” the bishops said.
The bishops advised catholic politicians from all political parties within the Archdiocese to participate in Church activities, so as to be better known by the faithful.
They called on all people of goodwill to cooperate with security agencies to root out criminal elements within communities.
The bishops, however, urged security agents to remain professional in discharging their duties and resist any attempt to be used to intimidate the people by corrupt politicians.
The communique called on Catholics across the country to match work with prayer, for peaceful electioneering process.
They called for sustained prayers for the country, adding: “Nigerians should take courage and be of ardent hope, for the storms will soon be over.”
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