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Lagos Assembly Purchase Of N2.4bn Vehicles Insensitive, Irresponsible- Banire

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…Says Quality Of Elected Lawmakers Worrisome

…Confirms Exit From APC, Doubts Party’ll Survive Beyond 2023

By Augustine Akhilomen

Former National Legal Adviser of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Muiz Banire has described the purchase of N2.4billion cars by the Lagos House of Assembly as insensitive and irresponsible, especially coming at a time the State is grappling with many challenges.

Banire, in an interview with The Punch, queried the attitude of the lawmakers, noting that progressive-minded politicians would not contemplate such reckless spending when the State has other pressing needs to meet.

“How progressive-minded are they? If they are part of this government and they know what the government is going through, will they buy N2.4bn vehicles? I remember that for a long time when we first came into government during Asiwaju’s period, he refused to buy even official vehicles for us.

“It also happened during Rauf Aregbesola’s tenure as the governor of Osun State, when he didn’t appoint commissioners early, and he said the amount he would use to pay them, he could use it fix a few roads. That is the way progressive-minded people should be thinking. It’s not in the face of this hunger in the land that you would be parading fleet of cars all over the place,” Banire questioned.

The former chairman of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) also questioned the quality of lawmakers elected into the House, noting that he has since lost interest in following the developments as the House now parades politicians not capable of successfully managing businesses but rather choose to remain in the political space all their lives.

“I’m not interested. The quality of some of the people there is worrisome, and I do not agree with the quality of some of the people they are putting forth. For that reason, in order not to continue to injure yourself, it’s better to look away from them.

“The allure of office is part of the problems we have. Political offices are too attractive. That is why people don’t want to do anything than be a politician. That is why they want to die there. Somebody would serve as a councillor and for the rest of his life he wants to remain in the political arena.

“They (many politicians) don’t have jobs; that is why they are not performing because most of them are not even competent. Some have never run a business successfully, yet we are entrusting the affairs of all of us into their hands,” he said.

Speaking on the recent crisis that enmeshed the House leading to the removal of two principal officers and suspension of two other members, Banire said the Speaker may have acted without the knowledge of the National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, whom he said is rarely given to such decisions.

“I have not taken any interest in the Assembly or this issue. If I know Asiwaju very well, it will be extremely difficult for him to say go and remove somebody. What you can accuse him of is that he might not be that categorical or forthcoming in reinstating such persons, but in saying go and remove the person, it’s remote.

“And that’s his (Tinubu) nature; give that to him when it comes to being magnanimous, except he’s spurred by some charlatans to hurt anybody. He’s substantially harmless and generous. That is his nature,” Banire explained

Sharing his thoughts on the crisis engulfing the APC at the centre, Banire who confirmed that he has since officially exited the party, said it was unlikely that the party would survive beyond 2023.

“Honestly, I’m not too sure the party can survive it. And the reason is simple. In recent times, there has been no unity; they do not have a united front; there are so many contending forces, there are many aggrieved persons and the foundation is shaky.

“The party has continuously experienced shocks, particularly poor compliance with the party’s constitution, and when that happens it means you are in a jungle and anything goes. I don’t like to associate with such groups. As far as I’m concerned, I have left the party officially, because I’m a man given to the rule of law. Once I don’t see rule of law exist anywhere, I quickly take my leave because I won’t wait till the house collapses on my head,” he said.

Banire, who noted that he had warned the party in recent times that deviating from rule of law would crumble the party, said that the current leadership of the party had not done enough to salvage the situation, which according to him would have dire consequences.

“I had predicted rightly what is happening to them now. I told them verbally and in writing that this would happen if they didn’t change their style. The only way to sanitise that party is to return to the rule of law, whereby nobody is above the rules and the constitution is followed to the letter. It’s as simple as that. Once you fail to follow the rule of law, you are inviting anarchy, and that was what eventually happened,” he said.

Noting that the two previous chairmen of the party whom he worked with were not authoritarian in nature but carried members of the executive along, Banire said the current chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole had consistently been accused of running a one man show, which has caused more harm than food for the party.

Asked if the solution to the crisis rocking the party would be for Oshiomhole to vacate his position, Banire submitted, “It looks so to me too, but you can’t say conclusively that it will resolve all issues.”

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Breaking: 2023: Hayatu-Deen Withdraws From PDP Presidential Race

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…Says Primary “Obscenely Monetised”

A former Managing Director and Chief Executive of FSB International Bank, Mohammed Hayatu-Deen has withdrawn from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential race.

PDP National Convention to elect a 2023 Presidential candidate out of the 15 aspirants is slated for today, in Abuja.

The foremost Economist and Banker, in a letter addressed to the PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, said interacting with Nigerians from all walks of life had reinforced his resolve that Nigeria must be saved, otherwise the future is doomed.

He lamented that for years he observed with great concern and sorrow the recent rapid deterioration of all aspects of Nigeria’s national life characterised by increasing poverty, religious intolerance, banditry and kidnapping, monumental oil theft, corruption, mismanagement of national assets, communal and religious strifes and near collapse of public services and public institutions.

Hayatu-Deen said he planned to ensure that the great potential that had become the hallmark of Nigeria’s development paradigm should be actualized during his presidency.

He alleged that the primary had been “obscenely monetised”.

The renowned economist said he planned to make Nigeria the continental economic powerhouse, which would guarantee high quality of life to most Nigerians.

The foremost Banker said his ambition was driven by passion and commitment to rescue Nigeria which is on the verge of collapse.

He said “My exposure locally and internationally and contributions to the nation’s economic and political well being positioned me to take up the challenges facing our dear nation and the courage to participate in this gruelling exercise which most of our elites have shunned away from. Regrettably, the political system has proved to be acrimonious, corrupt and self-serving.

“I joined the contest as a democrat, with an open mind to keenly contest and accept the result of a process that is fair, credible and transparent

“We have endeavoured to forge a consensus which would have facilitated a seamless emergence of a candidate which unfortunately could not be achieved.

“I wish to reiterate that I did not join party politics and to contest for the presidency because of personal gains and inordinate ambition, but to serve our country.

“It is, therefore, based on personal principles and with great humility that I have decided after wide consultations to withdraw from this contest which has been obscenely monetized”.

Hayatu-Deen assured that as a very loyal party member and believer in the democratic process, he’ll continue to avail himself and his teeming supporters at all times to ensure the victory of the PDP.

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2023: Peter Obi Blows Hot, Insists He’s Not Desperate To Be President

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…I’m Not A Saint, But Go And Check My Records, Ex-Anambra Gov Blasts Wike Over Integrity ‘Attack’

 

Former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, on Friday said he is not desperate to be President.

Mr Obi made the comment while appearing on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

According to Mr Obi, he left the Peoples Democratic Party for the Labour Party because the former did no longer align with his political values.

“I’m not desperate to be President or anything,” he said. “I’m desperate to see Nigeria work. Especially for the youths of this country.

“I’ve moved to where I think the process might allow me.

He also retorted that no one can question his integrity over management of public funds/office as he did his best and the records show it.

Obi in a statement on Friday submitted that leaving the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) does not bring his integrity into question or disrepute in any form.

Obi made the submission as a response to Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike who had earlier on Thursday during a TV interview stated that Obi’s decision to dump the PDP a few days to the presidential primaries shows a lack of character and integrity.

But replying Wike’s statement, Obi during an interview on Channels Television Politics Today on Friday said his only offence while in office was refusing to mismanage public funds, hence no one can call him out for lack of integrity.

Obi added that even when has was offered some ‘juicy packages’ while in office, he rejected them and opted to live within his means.

According to him, the politics of sharing money has never been a part of him.

“Wike talks about the issue of integrity. He said my leaving the PDP questioned my integrity, I don’t know how that came about. When we talk about integrity, we talk about it in the management of public assets.

“That is what we should be talking about in this country and when such things are mentioned about me, I feel maybe there is something missing somehow. Go and check my record as a governor, I was impeached for three reasons, one, my office had an approved budget for renovation for N298m and I renovated everything with N43,2m.

“My lodge, to renovate where I live, I got a budget of N486m, I did everything with N81m. Number three is that I was saving money without the approval of the House. From day one I said we must save money, for 8 years I was governor, go and ask any contractor that sat with me whether I inflated any contract,” Obi declared.

He added that the evidence of his integrity and character in managing public funds is the N75 billion he left behind when he left office after eight years as Governor.

“When I left office, I left N75bn as at that time because it is public money and I am managing it on public trust. For me when you talk about integrity, it questions your management of public funds and resources.

“Go to Anambra State today, I have no land given to me by the Anambra State Government, My managing director of my housing authority, Mike Nwafor, is still alive, he gave me land and two houses and I rejected them. Nobody has ever seen me in my political life sharing money at any time. I am not saying I am a saint, but I did things which I believe were right,” Obi added.

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Presidential Primaries: APC Afraid PDP Will Pick Northerner As Candidate – Adeyanju

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Deji Adeyanju, an Abuja-based rights activist, has suggested why the All Progressives Congress, APC, is yet to conduct the screening of its presidential candidates 48 hours to the party’s primaries.

Adeyanju said APC is waiting for the outcome of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP primaries.

He alleged that the APC is afraid that the PDP may pick a Northerner as its presidential candidate; hence the delay.

In a post on Facebook, Adeyanju wrote: “48hrs to APC primaries, no screening of candidates or any single direction because they are so afraid PDP may pick a Northern candidate.

“That’s why they are waiting and going round and round. They are just waiting for the outcome of PDP primaries then in hours they will act.”

APC convention for the presidential primary will be held as scheduled from Sunday, 29th to Monday, 30th of May, 2022.

The PDP presidential primary will be held at the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja on May 28 and 29.

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