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Obasanjo, Okonjo-Iweala, Others Seek $44bn Debt Relief For Africa

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Obasanjo, Okonjo-Iweala, Others Seek $44bn Debt Relief For Africa

Former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo and erstwhile Managing Director of the World Bank, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala have joined other world leaders in demanding a debt relief in the sum of $44 billion that will enable African countries have enough fiscal room to combat COVID-19.

Alongside world leaders numbering more than 100, the two are requesting “immediate internationally coordinated action–within the next few days–to address our deepening global health and economic crisis from COVID-19”.

The leaders noted in a letter addressed to the G20 nations that the economic crisis of 2008 to 2010 was less difficult to handle than the current pandemic experienced by the whole world.

“In 2008-2010, the immediate economic crisis could be surmounted when the economic fault line—under-capitalization of the global banking system—was tackled.

“Now, however, the economic emergency will not be resolved until the health emergency is effectively addressed: the health emergency will not end simply by conquering the disease in one country alone, but by ensuring recovery from COVID-19 in all countries,” the letter says.

The leaders similarly requested the international community to “waive this year’s poorer countries’ debt repayments, including $44 billion due from Africa, and consider future debt relief to allow poor countries the fiscal space to tackle the health and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Okonjo Iweala, who spoke at an interview on AIT Thursday, envisaged that economies in Africa will generally experience slow growth because of the outbreak while many may slip into a long recession if the situation worsens.

She stated that the push for a debt relief was necessary in order to forestall hunger, death and to resuscitate the economies.

“The recession will depend on the extent of the lock-down in many of our countries and maybe the COVID19 may start accelerating in a number of cases.

“If this continues to accelerate and there are many more deaths, it means that it might be wise to keep the lockdown for longer.

“The longer you lock down, the more the economy is impacted because there is no economic activity and the more likely you are to go into a very deep recession or even a depression,” Mrs Okonjo-Iweala said.

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2023: You Need Wike For Your Rescue Mission, Mimiko Tells PDP

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…Says Rivers Gov Has Been The Party’s Solid Rock

Olusegun Mimiko says the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) needs Rivers State governor Nyesom Wike for its rescue mission in the next general elections.

The former Ondo State governor spoke on Wednesday at the flag-off ceremony for the construction of the Azikiwe -Iloabuchi Road in Mile 2 Diobu, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

“Your Excellency, our Party, the PDP, a Party for which you have laboured so much, seems saddled with the historical duty of forging this unity, a unity premised on truth, equity, and justice, a unity upon which rescuing Nigeria from the far from satisfactory performance of the past seven years will be built,” he said during the event.

“It is a mission that must be accomplished. A mission for which you are specially positioned and favoured to play a major role. A mission that must be subscribed to by all lovers of our country.”

He explained that when some forces tried to destroy the PDP, Wike was a bulwark that resisted such attempts.

“Beyond the self-evident physical transformation, you (Wike) have stood as a bulwark against those sworn to emasculate the main opposition party, all in their bid to force a one-party State down the throats of Nigerians,” Mimiko added.

“You were at one point virtually a one-man countervailing force, defending and protecting our dear PDP. You have also, through bold legal challenges, deepened the national consciousness on the defects in the running of our defective federal system.”

Mimiko’s comment came amid speculations that the Rivers Governor may dump the PDP following a fallout with the party after its presidential primary.

Wike lost to former Vice President Atiku Abubakar in the exercise, a development that has since caused a rift between him and Adama-born politician.

The PDP is making reconciliatory moves but Wike’s recent invitation of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos (a state governed by the leading All Progressives Congress, APC) to commission a project has generated further speculations that he may leave the PDP.

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I Never Demanded N50bn Monthly From Ambode, Tinubu Reacts As He Warns Peter Obi’s Supporters Against Promoting Fake News

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…Says Lies, Misinformation Won’t Take Ex-Anambra Gov Anywhere

The presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has debunked reports circulating in the social media alleging that he demanded N50 billion monthly from the former Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode during his administration.

Recall that Ambode who emerged governor of the state in 2025, had only four years in office as his attempt to secure a second tenure failed after he lost the APC primary election in 2018.

A report recently emerged online alleging that part of his inability to secure the APC governorship ticket in 2018 was his refusal to remit the said amount to Asiawaju.

Debunking the report, a statement by the Director, Media and Communications for Tinubu Campaign Organisation(TCO), Bayo Onanuga said Tinubu could not have made such a demand.

“A content analysis of the site clearly showed that it is a Biafra news platform. The fake news was reposted on Facebook by the Peter Obi Support Group, the same day – clear proof that Biafra campaigners and Peter Obi supporters are the same.

“Both the Facebook account and the website are replete with fake stories about Bola Tinubu, including a fake story credited to former governor Akinwunmi Ambode, alleging that Tinubu demanded N50 billion monthly payment from him.

“The spuriousness of the statement is in the evidence that Lagos did not begin to clock N50 billion revenue until after Ambode left office. Tinubu could not have demanded N50 billion monthly payment from Ambode when the state government didn’t make such in a month throughout the tenure of Ambode.

“There is also the most wicked of all headlines: ‘When I become president, I will build more prison (sic) for Igbo’s and IPOB members – Tinubu’.

“The big surprise in all of these is that all the headlines have no supporting stories, and clicking them may bring a virus to your computer.

“We have come to a point where it becomes imperative to tell Mr Obi to show leadership and disavow his supporters who are employing fake news and disinformation as deliberate tools to deceive and poison the minds of unsuspecting Nigerians,” Onanuga reiterated.

The statement revealed that the site where some of the fake news emanated from has been identified as World of News with URL as world news.

According to Onanuga, “A content analysis of the site clearly showed that it is a Biafra news platform”.

He also stated that Nigeria will be better for it and the electoral process enriched if the 2023 presidential campaign sticks to issues of good governance that will lift millions of Nigerians out of poverty rather than being dominated by the ravings of guttersnipes, who do not wish the country well.

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Muslim-Muslim Ticket: Pope Has Not Told Me I Am Wrong – Lalong

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Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau state on Wednesday criticised Christians who oppose his acceptance to serve as the Director General of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Organization, stating that as a Catholic with the highest Papal award, the Pope has not told him what he is doing is wrong.

Since the emergence of Bola Tinubu as the APC presidential candidate, the ex-Lagos governor picked former Borno Governor, Kashim Shettima as his running mate.

The development has since generated controversy, especially among the Christian folks including the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) who have since rejected the Muslim-Muslim ticket.


Despite defending his choice of Shettima as his running mate, critics have remained adamant considering the religious beliefs of Nigerians.

But Governor Lalong backed the idea of the Muslim-Muslim ticket after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House in Abuja.

In a question and answer session, Lalong noted that as an awardee of Knight of Saint Gregory, he remains a staunch Catholic despite his new responsibility to market a Muslim-Muslim presidential ticket.

Governor Lalong maintained that he has enormous respect for his faith as a Christian, noting that he was elected governor for people of all faiths and non-believers as well.

The Plateau leader said he is therefore not sure where those who claimed to be Christians and stand in opposition to his appointment are from.

He reminded that when upon his return to Jos after his recent appointment as the DG, the APC Presidential Campaign organization, the state chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), welcomed him.

Governor Lalong also disclosed that he met with the President to thank him for the presidential pardon granted to former Governor of the State, Joshua Dariye and his Taraba State counterpart, Jolly Nyame who were recently released from incarceration, as well as the approval of several projects cited in Plateau State.

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