Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state has said that the presidency of Nigeria should return to the South in 2023 in the interest of fairness, equity, and good conscience.
The Governor, who stated this at the weekend when the Governor of Ekiti State and All Progressives Congress, APC, presidential aspirant, Dr Kayode Fayemi paid him a courtesy call in Makurdi, however noted that he would queue behind anyone his party nominates as its candidate ahead of the general election.
Governor Ortom said: “Some of us have made our position clear, we are from the North but we believe in Southern President for fairness, equity and justice. That is why myself and Sen. Gabriel Suswam are working for southern President.
“The truth must be told to the people who have conscience that the Presidency should be given back to the South. But we will queue up behind any candidate that emerges.”
The Governor commended his Ekiti State counterpart for joining the presidential race saying, “you have capacity, charisma and education to lead the country.”
He called on Nigerians to put religious and political differences aside and work together to save the country from its current security and economic challenges.
He said: “We need divine intervention in our country today. Our country has been taken from top to bottom. Just look at the challenges we are facing today. It requires PDP, APC and non-partisan people to change.
“Political parties are not the problem. In politics it is a matter of interest, no permanent enemy or friend because the fence is not tall. Our interest must be about the country. Today, we are challenged whether APC or PDP.
“Look at the issue of insecurity which has never been witnessed in the history of our country. Today, the economy of this country has gone down.
“It is not about President Buhari, PDP or APC, it is about Nigerians. We used to be called the Giant of Africa, I do not know whether we are now the grasshoppers of Africa.”
Earlier, the APC Presidential aspirant who stated that it was customary for him to visit his colleague before moving to the APC State Secretariat to meet with delegates in continuation of his consultations, identified retooling of the armed forces, effective intelligence gathering and strengthening the use of technology to tackle security as some of his core areas of interest if elected President.
He also said: “We need to restore the confidence of our people so that they can return to their own economic opportunity. We must stem the tide of insurgency, banditry and criminality of all kinds.
“That is in the short term. In a more sustainable term, we must address the triggers of insecurity. And what are these triggers, there is extreme inequality in our society, there is poverty in our society, there is youth frustration in our society.
“And if we do not address these sociological underpinnings of society over the long term, we will not be able to fully and comprehensively respond to challenges of the moment. So if the party chooses me as its candidate and Nigerians invest with their support, you can be sure that this will be my number one priority.”
Protest Rocks Kano Over Appeal Court Judgment
Protests erupted in Kano city and its environs on Monday afternoon with the demonstrators denouncing the recent judgment of the Court of Appeal that sacked the state Governor, Abba Yusuf.
The Tide’s source reports that uneasy calm pervaded the state capital following a contradictory Certified True Copy of the Appeal Court that affirmed the prayers of both the appellant and the respondent in the contentious Kano governorship, though the judiciary had since cleared the air.
In what appeared like a coordinated action on Monday, huge crowd of protesters had stormed strategic positions in the city as it visited temporary hiccups on commercial activities.
Kano- Zaria Road, Maiduguri Road by Muhammadu Buhari’s interchange, and Kantin Kwari (Kano textile market) were taken over by hundreds of youths who called for justice for Abba Yusuf.
Some of the placard read: “Kano my city my state”, “Justice for Kano”, “ Justice for Abba”, “Abba’s mandate was stolen in 2019, we will not allow it happen in 2023″.
The protest came on the heels of discovery by the Police that “some faceless group are bent on unleashing violence in Kano”, stressing that the police were on top of the situation.
Cp Hussaini Gumel told newsmen in Kano on Monday that already 7 suspects had been arrested and would be arraigned soon.
Gumel revealed that “we have the understanding with the leadership of the contending political parties, and they have signed a peace pact. In view of that, therefore, any one found outside this arrangement will be treated as common criminal”.
However, normalcy had since returned to the ancient city following the peaceful protest that lasted several hours.
NASS To Receive Tinubu’s 2024 Appropriation Bill, Today
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu will today, present the 2024 budget to the joint session of the National Assembly.
Secretary, Research and Information of the National Assembly, Dr Ali Barde Umoru, confirmed this on Monday to journalists while requesting the list of those to be allowed into the chamber during the budget presentation.
This will be the first budget estimate President Tinubu will present to the National Assembly in person.
He had earlier transmitted two supplementary budgets, 2022 and 2023, to the National Assembly, which the parliament speedily approved.
President Tinubu had, weeks ago, also forwarded to both chambers of the National Assembly, the 20224-2026 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) where the sum of N26.1 trillion was proposed as the total expenditure for the 2024 fiscal year.
The Senate, following the recommendation of its joint committee, which scrutinised the document, approved the MTEF/FSP.
It approved the N26.1trn proposed as the 2024 budget and other parameters as proposed by President Tinubu.
It approved the new borrowings of N7.8 trillion, pegged the benchmark of oil price for 2024 at $73.96, and oil production volume per day at 1.78 million barrels.
Other parameters approved are a GDP growth rate of 3.76%, an inflation rate of 21.40%, an exchange rate of N700 to $1 dollar, and a projected budget deficit of N9.04 trillion.
Muslim Clerics Offer Prayers For Tinubu, Kwankwaso In Kano
Over 1,000 Islamic clerics have offered special prayers for President Bola Tinubu and the NNPP national leader, Rabiu Kwankwaso, for peace, progress and political stability in Nigeria.
Abdulmumin Kofa (NNPP-Kiru/Bebeji) hosted the ulamas at Kiru for the success of Governor Kabir Yusuf of Kano State at the Supreme Court, according to a statement by the lawmaker’s media aide, Sani Paki, on Monday.
During the prayer session, the clerics recited the Qur’an 1,101 times and prayed for peace, progress and political stability in the country.
Mr Kofa said his relationship with the president was no secret, noting that Mr Kwankwaso is his mentor. He said he would continue to support and promote a harmonious relationship between Messrs Tinubu and Kwankwaso.
Mr Kofa described NNPP as a promising party open to collaboration, alliance and merger with the APC and even with the People’s Democratic Party, Labour Party or any other party that showed interest, so long as it is for the good of Nigerians.
He also promised to deploy his modest political network to reach out to gladiators in Kano politics towards resolving all resolvable issues and to de-escalate the current tension in the state due to the Kano governorship seat.
Also, after the prayer session, the legislator hosted 5,000 primary school kids across his constituency, as he often does, and provided them with school kits.
According to the statement, Mr Kofa assured the pupils of the good plans of the federal and state governments, especially on free education and free school feeding programmes.
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