Chairman, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum, Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, has described the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as a rickety vehicle that cannot take Nigeria to any destination.
Speaking at the PDP retreat in Abuja, yesterday, the Sokoto State governor accused the APC of destroying the nation’s economy.
Tambuwal said Nigeria cannot survive another four years under an APC-led Federal Government.
“Can Nigeria survive another four years of APC? The answer is a resounding NO. It is too frightening to contemplate,” he said.
The governor stated that it is time to rescue and rebuild Nigeria.
He said: “A rickety vehicle cannot take Nigeria to its destination as the nation with possibilities for greatness and progress. PDP is now once again a well-oiled, serviced vehicle that will midwife the Nigeria of our dreams.
“It is, indeed, time to Rescue and Rebuild Nigeria. Nigeria is in an urgent need for a surgical operation. Nigeria is in a permanent emergency.
“We all know what the problems are. They are man-made. And is, therefore, resolvable. It requires a focused, determined, knowledgeable and patriotic organisation of like minds to build the critical mass necessary for a great leap forward. Yes, it requires leadership, with vision and discipline.”
The former speaker of the House of Representatives stated that Nigeria is suffering from the crisis of governance.
According to him, “We suffer from a crisis of governance. The unity of Nigeria is facing unprecedented challenges. Life in Nigeria is increasingly becoming brutish and short as insecurity ravages the land. Poverty is the forte of the ordinary Nigerian. The health and education of our people has not improved.
“Our people are in want. The economy is in dire straits with the exchange rate now about N540 to a Dollar from the N150 to a Dollar when PDP left office. Prices of food stuff and essential commodities are unsustainable. Clearly beyond the reach of the average Nigerian.
“Between 35 to 40% of Nigerians are unemployed. And women and youths bear the main brunt. Bandits, kidnappers, terrorists are having a field day almost unchallenged. Our children are not safe even in their schools.
“Corruption still stalks the land. Nepotism, ethnic and religious bigotry reign supreme in today’s APC’s Nigeria. Our infrastructure is still comatose.
“Trust and hope in Nigeria is at its lowest. Our lamentations can go on, ad infinitum. But the test of leadership is the ability to solve problems. What solutions will PDP offer? What is the way forward?”
Tambuwal stated that the PDP is ready to change the fortunes of the country.
“Well, this is why we have gathered here, to brainstorm and offer policy options for Nigeria. We cannot only criticise; we must provide workable solutions and clear policy alternatives. This will be presented to the Nigerian people. A sharp contrast must be drawn with the ruling incompetent and rudderless APC administration.
“PDP has shown that it has learnt its lessons. It is ready for power in 2023 to provide hope where ineptitude currently exists.
“Where APC thrives in excuses, PDP will take responsibility. Where APC thrives in propaganda and deceit, PDP will be transparent with Nigerians. Whereas APC government thrives in insecurity, PDP will secure Nigeria. Whereas APC presides over Nigeria as the poverty capital of the world, PDP will make Nigeria prosperous. APC has wrecked our economy, but PDP will salvage it. Where APC focuses on selective anti-corruption fight, PDP will fight corruption with appropriate institutional reforms,” he said.
The governor stated that Nigeria must embrace restructuring to survive.
“It must restructure its polity, economy, security and ways of doing things. It must embrace relative autonomy and decentralisation of power. This will unleash the energies of our people, especially, the young. It is time to allow Nigeria blossom. It is doable with all hands on deck.
“We must embrace innovation and technology as a way of life. Technology will solve the youth unemployment time tomb. Technology will improve our agriculture, health, industralisation, education and indeed, it has implications and impacts on all facets of our lives. It is in this respect that we continue to condemn the twitter ban as a retrogressive action that should never have happened,” he said.
The Tide’s Deputy Editor Loses Mother In-Law
The burial of the mother in-law of the Deputy Group News Editor of The Tide Group of Newspapers, Rev. Igbiki Benibo, is scheduled for Saturday, November 27.
According to a statement by the bereaved family, the Late Madam Fabiawari Nicholas died on May 29, this year at the Larosa Specialist Hospital, Port Harcourt following a protracted sickness.
The statement signed by Mr. Goodluck Nicholas on behalf of the families, said a transitional Service would be held at Second Market Eneka in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the State on Saturday by The Redeemed Christian Church of God from 9:30am to 11:30am.
Interment, the statement added, would take place at the Port Harcourt Cemetery by 12noon.
Speaking on the development, the Deputy Group News Editor of The Tide Group of Newspapers, Rev. Benibo described his late mother in-law who hails from Bukuma in Degema Local Government Area as selfless, conscientious and humane.
Rev. Benibo extolled the qualities of his late mother in-law, saying “when a mother in-law is selfless, marriage is made easy”.
Towards Hitch-Free Poll In Anambra
Barring unforeseen negative circumstances, the indigenes and residents of Anambra State will, tomorrow, November 6, turn out in their number from every nook and cranny of the state to elect a new governor that will take over from the incumbent, Willie Obiano, whose second tenure expires on March 17, 2022.
The off-season election has been generating so much anxiety among the people of the South-East following the wanton destruction of lives and property in that region by heartless and criminal elements in recent times. The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) has been spasmodically named in connection with the orgy of violence, particularly because of its professed undertaking to make certain that the November 6 election does not hold.
In one of the most uncertain elections in Nigeria’s history, 18 candidates are lobbying the hearts and votes of the Anambra people. As a bargaining chip, IPOB has vowed that unless its leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, is released from detention unconditionally, on or before November 4, the entire South-East will be on lockdown from November 5 (a day before the Anambra governorship election).
Kanu is being tried on an amended seven-count charge of alleged treason, secession and terrorism for which he had pleaded “not guilty”; and the trial at the Federal High Court in Abuja has been adjourned to November 10, 2021, when his lawyers will be expected to raise objections to the charges.
IPOB has also warned the people of Anambra to remain indoors throughout the sit-at-home order for their safety. It is pertinent to note that the organisation has been enforcing the Monday sit-at-home directive in the South-East with ferocious venom since it became public knowledge that Kanu had been arrested by the Federal Government.
Although the body has denied directing a boycott of the governorship election in a statement issued by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, the proscribed group is too clever by half as it reiterated its warning on lockdown if Kanu was not released from custody. “For the sake of clarity, what we said was that the entire Biafraland would be locked down from November 5 to November 10, 2021, if the Federal Government failed to release our leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, unconditionally”, he said.
INEC had expressed concerns about the Anambra gubernatorial election and warned against the constitutional crisis that might engulf the state if the situation persisted. Its chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, affirmed the fears during a meeting of the Inter-Agency Consultative Committee on Election Security (ICCES) in Abuja recently. Recall that last May, the INEC office in Awka was attacked wherein non-sensitive materials and vehicles were wrecked.
Both the voters and the candidates are in a panic. The buildup is so unseemly that even contestants cannot openly campaign or make “empty or substantive” promises to voters. Some candidates held election campaigns in faraway Lagos, hoping that the information would spread more than 407 kilometres to reach people in Akwa and other areas. This is the dark atmosphere in the most important political and economic capital of the South-East.
Regardless, INEC has restated its commitment to go on with the election as scheduled. The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba Alkali, has ordered a major overhaul of the security landscape in Anambra ahead of the election. Consequently, 34,587 police personnel, including two DIGs, five AIGs, 14 Commissioners of Police, 31 Deputy Commissioners of Police, 48 Assistant Commissioners of Police as well as three helicopters have been deployed to the state to ensure adequate security for the conduct of the poll.
It is worth noting that at this critical moment, the impact of IPOB cannot be quelled, because the group’s problem is pervasive in the South-East for the past few years, trying to discredit governance and authority in the whole area. This group of agitators, hastily proscribed as terrorists by the Federal Government, has consistently carried out violent protests in the entire region against Kanu’s incarceration. Hence, for peace to reign, the Federal Government should dialogue with the group to ensure a smooth election.
This ill wind will blow no one any good. A militarised Election Day by IPOB or the state is inharmonious with free and fair election and public interest. The tense atmosphere will only benefit dubious politicians, waiting to use the apathy of voters to seize the whole process and impose an unpopular candidate on the state. It has also set dangerous priorities for the entire region. IPOB and Anambra should not succumb to this hushed attempt to set the country back.
Contrary to the blanket iron-fit approach of the Biafran group and its probable effect on the election, the body should subject its campaign for a fair deal for the Igbo Nation and Nnamdi Kanu within the Nigerian corporate existence to the judicial process for peace sake. Bloodletting and crude aggression are neither in the interest of the group nor of the region at large.
Also, IPOB and its supporters should be more cautious and trust the judiciary, because it is the last hope of the ordinary person. The continued siege of the people they vowed to defend has been socially and economically counterproductive, and the political turn of events is waiting to destroy their beleaguered fortunes for the worst.
Without a doubt, the Anambra election is a test case for the 2023 general election. This should not be a matter of life and death. It must be free, fair and credible, and the results must reflect the will of the people. Therefore, every effort must be made to ensure its success. Citizens must ensure that they come out to vote or live with the consequences.
Voters must exercise their privileges freely and fearlessly without intimidation. Politicians, their agents and supporters must maintain order and peace during the election. We believe that if all parties concerned follow the rules, the election will be successful. Most importantly, let the INEC ensure that the votes count.
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