A political support group, PDP New Generation, has blasted the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, for urging parents to beg the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to return to the class.
This is even as the group described the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as a political party without empathy for Nigerians. The youth group within the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) spoke in a statement sent to journalists in Abuja on Saturday in reaction to Keyamo’s comment on the ongoing ASUU strike.
Keyamo, who also doubles as the interim spokesman of the 2023 APC Presidential Campaign, had advised Nigerian parents to beg the striking university teachers to call off their strike.
The minister, who spoke on Friday night on Channels TV political and current affairs programme, ‘Politics Today’, added that the federal government had no money to meet ASUU demands.
But, reacting to Keyamo’s stand, the Director-General of the PDP New Generation, Audu Mahmood, in the group’s press release, said: “The unfortunate comments by Keyamo who is also the spokesman of the Bola Tinubu Presidential Campaign Organisation shows that the ruling party has no empathy.
“It was indeed painful to listen to the minister defend the action of this failed government after students in Nigeria have spent six months at home. Keyamo’s comments suggest that the Buhari-led government is not interested in what happens to our universities.
“Nigerians, especially University students on strike and their parents must take note of the insensitivity that has become the hallmark of the APC administration”.
Empathy is a construct that is fundamental to leadership, but with the APC, we have seen a government that is not interested in the feelings of the people.
“We call on Nigerians to use their PVCs to respond to the APC’s wickedness by voting them out in the 2023 general elections.
“More alarming is Keyamo’s comments that the APC presidential flagbearer, Bola Tinubu, will preside over Nigeria like the outgoing disastrous government of President Buhari. We urge Nigerians to resist this kind of backward leadership with their votes in February 2023.
“To say the Buhari-led administration is the worse Nigeria has ever witnessed is to put it mildly. We cannot afford another four years of misgovernance that has shaken Nigeria to its foundations.”
Mahmood urged Nigerians to vote for Atiku Abubakar, the PDP presidential candidate, adding that his passion for education was unrivalled.
He added: “Atiku in partnership with some public-spirited individuals offered full scholarships to 15 out of the girls abducted by the Boko Haram insurgents from Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State.
“He has been consistent in his investment in education and has not waivered in his continuous advocacy for governments at all levels to prioritizs the educational sector.
“We assure Nigerians that if he is voted into power in 2023, the consistent ASUU strike witnessed under the APC government will be a thing of the past.
“We empathise with those affected by the ASUU strike but we assure them that through deliberate and progressive policies in the educational sector, Atiku will make sure parents, students and indeed, the lecturers are happy.”
Obi: You Can’t Speak For Afenifere, Tinubu Campaign Slams Adebanjo
The All Progressives Congress APC Presidential Campaign Council has slammed Afenifere leader, Pa Ayo Adebanjo for attempting to turn the pan-Yoruba sociocultural association into his personal estate and using same to canvass support for the Labour Party LP presidential candidate, Mr Peter Obi.
Director, Media and Publicity of the council, Mr Bayo Onanuga in a statement on Saturday titled “Our Reaction to Baba Ayo Adebanjo and his new Ohanifere Venture”, said “Papa Adebanjo does not speak for Afenifere”.
According to the council, Pa Adebanjo is free as an individual to support anyone he likes, in furtherance of his democratic rights.
“We know for a fact that Baba has turned Afenifere into his personal estate as Acting Leader. We are also certain that there was nowhere Afenifere, as we know it, met and took a decision to adopt Mr. Peter Obi as a candidate for 2023 presidential election.
“We respect the age of Baba Adebanjo but he can not turn Afenifere into his personal franchise for any political alliance.
“We are very much aware that Baba Reuben Fasoranti, the real leader of Afenifere had stated clearly that Pa Adebanjo has always been speaking for himself on many national issues using the name of the group.
“It is our well considered position that Pa Adebanjo cannot appropriate Afenifere. Baba is just an individual who is free to support any politician of his choice. As an individual, he cannot equate himself with the socio-cultural and socio-political organisation”, the council stated.
2023 Polls: IPC Begins Training Of Media Monitors
The International Press Council (IPC), last Friday began the training of 12 Media monitors in Lagos to prepare them for the monitoring of the coverage and reportage of the electoral processes and the 2023 elections by the print and online media.
The essence of the 18-month monitoring that will commence on October 1, 2023, is to assess the level of compliance with professional and ethical standards by newspapers, including online ones, being selected for the exercise.
Among others, the monitoring will be done within the context of the expectation of the Nigerian Media Code of Election Coverage, which spells out the responsibilities expected of journalists and other media professionals at elections.
The Media Election Code was endorsed by umbrella media professional bodies and associations, and close to 300 individual media outlets in 2018.
It enumerates what journalists and media management should do to ensure social responsibility and integrity; equitable access for parties and candidates; media access for disadvantaged groups including women, persons with disability and youths; conflict sensitivity and the avoidance of hate speech.
The training of the monitors is one of the activities under component 4 (Support to media) of the European Union Support to Democratic Governance in Nigeria-Phase 2 (EUSDGN II) project, being implemented by IPC, along with its partner, the Institute for Media and Society.
The overall goal of the media component is to “Support the consolidation of democracy in Nigeria with the media (broadcast, print and online media) helping to facilitate the key ingredient of credible elections through engagement and professionalism in coverage and reportage of the electoral processes.”
The specific objective is to ensure that, “The Media, including New and Social Media, provides fair, accurate, ethical and inclusive coverage of the Electoral Process.”
The two-day training , the first day of which was facilitated by Mr. Edetaen Ojo, Executive Director of Media Rights Agenda (MRA) and Mr. Sanmi Falobi, Project Manager of IPC, aimed to build the skill of the monitors on the processes and methodologies of media monitoring.
“Against the background of the prevalence of misinformation and disinformation especially by political actors, all we are seeking to achieve is for the Nigerian media to contribute to the credibility of electoral information before, during and after the 2023 elections”, said the Executive Director of IPC, Mr. Lanre Arogundade.
2023: ‘Same-Faith Ticket, Blunder Laced With Hidden Agenda’
The Christian Awareness Initiative of Nigeria, CAIN, last Saturday night, said no amount of blackmail would stop a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, and an erstwhile Secretary to Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, from publicly condemning the decision of the All Progressives Congress, APC, for fielding a same-faith presidential ticket.
The Spokesman of CAIN, Yusuf Kanhu, who said this in a statement he personally signed accused supporters of the APC of hiring mercenaries to tarnish the image of the duo.
Kanhu in the statement made available to journalists in Abuja described the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the APC as a “blunder”laced with “hidden agenda”
He explained: “The decision by Nigerian Christians through the umbrella Association to reject the same faith ticket was not against any particular party but advice to all political parties. Sadly the presidential candidate of APC ignored the advice and picked his vice from the same faith.
“The Christian Umbrella body came out in the first place to reject the idea and challenge Christians in APC to tell their party and Candidate to do what is right and good for the unity of the country.
“Hon Yakubu Dogara and Babachir Lawal respected the call of their leaders and proved that they are not going to betray the position of CAN just to satisfy their belle.
“Interestingly, the APC candidate and some of his supporters instead of making an honest effort to convince Christians and especially those Christians in their party about the reason for their action have chosen to recruit faceless people and are creating unknown groups with funny names to castigate the Christian body and the courageous Christians from their party that are telling them the danger and implication of their ill advised decision.
“We wish to inform the APC candidate that blackmail will not stop Dogara, Babachir, and others from telling them the truth.
“Nigerian Christians know the difference between fake Christian groups from genuine groups such as Northern Christians Youth Initiative with her faceless coordinator Hon. Mike Msuaan Msuaan.
“We can go on to name many hungry people who have not attended any church service in the last 10 years but are cashing on the desperation of the APC candidate to show that he has Christians’ support to start none existing Christian groups to enable them to get their share of the cake in circulation.
“The church in Nigeria and especially in the North knows the voices and names of their genuine leaders fighting for justice which is different from the newly born and newly introduced names that are only speaking to get money from their sponsors.
“Sponsoring fake people and groups to insult others will not correct your big blunder and will only make more Christians accept the fact that the decision has a hidden agenda.”
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