As Nigeria clocks 61 years on Friday, October 1, Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, has raised an alarm over alleged plans to rig the 2023 general elections.
He made the allegation on Sunday during an interdenominational church service in commemoration of the nation’s Independence Anniversary at the Saint Paul’s Anglican Cathedral in Diobu, Port Harcourt.
“Other countries are talking about how their elections will be transparent, we are talking about how we will plot to rig an election in 2023,” the Governor said.
He also raised concerns over why Nigeria is yet to adopt the electronic mode of transmission of election results.
He believes Nigerians should have had a good reason to celebrate the country at 61 if the electoral system is made a little stronger by introducing electronic transmission of results.
“Transmit a result electronically to show the transparency, to show that really the person you are declaring won the election is the problem,” he said.
“I thought by now, we should be talking about how this country will be competing with other developed nations.”
The governor also lamented the societal ills in the country, blaming poor leadership for Nigeria’s challenges.
Wike, therefore, charged Nigerians to take personal responsibility to ensure that the values that will entrench better society are strengthened as the country marks 61 years of independence amid the socio-cultural problems and ethnoreligious intolerance.
According to him, it feels disappointing that Nigeria at 61 years is yet to have truly independent legislative and judicial arms that can check the excesses of the executive, especially in the management of finances.
Speaking further, he lamented that the legislature is not playing its role of holding the executive to account.
He took a swipe at the National Assembly for not checking the excesses of the Federal Government, especially with respect to excessive borrowings.
Wike added, “what are we celebrating about 61 years old? We have a congress (where) anything goes. Where is the legislature? A legislature that cannot speak, a legislature where anything they bring is right?
“A legislature that cannot say that Nigeria has gotten to the age of conducting a free and fair election, a legislature that will close your eye anytime they bring money, borrow you borrow.
“Where are the courts? The courts have been intimidated; the judges have abandoned their responsibilities out of fear of what will happen,” Wike said.
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2023: Tinubu Visits Minna, Says IBB ‘Gave Me His Prayers’
A presidential aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2023 general elections, Bola Tinubu has visited Minna, the Niger State capital.
Addressing journalists on Thursday, Tinubu said he met with former Military President, Ibrahim Babangida who prayed for success for his presidential ambition.
The APC chieftain and former Lagos State Governor said his mission to the North-Central state was part of his consultations to brighten his chances of succeeding President Muhammadu Buhari, whose tenure will expire next year.
According to him, consultations were still ongoing and he wouldn’t stop seeking extensive consultations before the 2023 general elections.
“Generally, I came to Niger State to commiserate with the Governor and the people of Niger State. I can’t stop by without paying a courtesy call to the enigma General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, Retired,” Tinubu said.
“So, he gave me his prayers. You want to know the outcome of the consultation? We are running a democracy, I took my decision voluntarily and I am running for the Presidency of the country, we are running a democracy, thank you very much and God bless you.
“When I made the declaration, I told you that I am still consulting and I will consult as widely as possible.”
Before visiting the former Head of State, he was at the Niger State Government House where he donated the sum of N50 million to families of victims of the recent killings by bandits on communities in Niger State this month alone.
Speaking with Governor Bello Abubakar, he decried the security situation in the country and said it can be fixed with prayers and self-belief.
He equally asked Nigerians not to see the nation’s security challenges as a hopeless situation.
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No Decision Yet On Petrol Subsidy, Says Obaseki
The National Economic Council in Nigeria says deliberations on the issue of subsidy on premium motor spirit are ongoing and that no decision has been taken on it.
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, Southern Nigeria, stated this while briefing State House correspondents on Thursday after the meeting of the Council presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Obaseki says the NEC ad-hoc committee headed by Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, North West Nigeria, has been working on the issue, but insisted that the Council has not taken a decision yet.
“The issue of subsidy has been one matter that NEC has deliberated on for more than a year now.
“There was an ad-hoc committee which was set up by NEC, headed by Gov. El-Rufai that included members of the executive arm of government that worked on recommendations as to what we should do about the cost of PMS locally because as has been told us the cost of pms in Nigeria today is about N162 for a litre whereas every other country surrounding Nigeria is selling the product at more than 100% of the cost in Nigeria.”
According to Obaseki, the huge amount Nigeria spends on subsidy could have been put on the provision of amenities in the country.
“The country as at last year spent in excess of—we must have the exact figures—but we must have spent almost N2trillion subsidizing petroleum products.
“That is money that could have gone into building roads; money that could have gone into healthcare and education.
“So, for NEC, the argument has been put out: should we continue this regime of spending money that we do not have to subsidize the living standard of mostly those who have vehicles.
“When NEC looked at some of the analysis last year, we then realized that less than 1/3 of the states in this country consume 2/3 of the subsidy.
“So the issue of equity also came up. All of these findings were presented to the NEC and NEC has had deliberations on still ongoing.
“So, NEC has not come up with any decision yet and I think has also been made to the president.”
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How I Narrowly Escaped Being Killed In Bomb Blast On Kawo Bridge, Buhari Narrates Ordeal
President Muhammadu Buhari has said he narrowly escaped being killed by a bomb near the Kawo bridge, while travelling to Katsina State in July 2014.
The president dropped the hint while he was commissioning the multi-billion naira project in Kaduna on Thursday.
Recall, the Kawo bridge had attracted many tourists to Kaduna since its completion.
The president had said, “they wanted to blow me. But my escort somehow stopped them. Before we came to this bridge they became so desperate and there was a small market or something like this here.
“They detonated the device. God protected us and here I am again. Thank you very much your Excellency and remarkably you became my governor. I don’t think I have any input. Zainab became my minister of finance. I didn’t know you’re from the gentleman I respect and go to his house. This is a fabulous coincidence and I thank God for it. Therefore I have taken your loyalty for granted.”
As part of the visit to Kaduna, President Buhari also commissioned the ultra-modern sports and shopping complex at Murtala Square Kaduna, where he reiterated the likelihood of staying in Kaduna after he leaves office.
Earlier, President Buhari who arrived in Kaduna on Wednesday was in Kafanchan, Southern Kaduna where he appreciated the numerous projects he commissioned and thanked the governor for building good roads and other infrastructural projects in rural parts of the state.
Buhari and his entourage led by Governor El-Rufai are expected to be in Zaria in continuation of the project commissioning.
The president’s visit to Kaduna is expected to end on Friday.
1,445 total views, 363 views today
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