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Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has resigned from the All Progressives Congress.

Abubakar confirmed this in a statement he personally signed on Friday.

He also gave reasons for quitting the party.

However, he did not state which party he intends to join, but said he is pondering on his political future.

The statement, titled: “Statement of resignation of His Excellency Atiku Abubakar (Waziri Adamawa) Vice President of Nigeria, 1999-2007 from the All Progressives Congress,” reads in full: “On the 19th of December, 2013, I received members of the All Progressives Congress at my house in Abuja. They had come to appeal to me to join their party after my party, the Peoples Democratic Party, had become factionalized as a result of the special convention of August 31, 2013.

“The fractionalization of the Peoples Democratic Party on August 31, 2013 had left me in a situation where I was, with several other loyal party members, in limbo, not knowing which of the parallel executives of the party was the legitimate leadership.

“It was under this cloud that members of the APC made the appeal to me to join their party, with the promise that the injustices and failure to abide by its own constitution which had dogged the then PDP, would not be replicated in the APC and with the assurance that the vision other founding fathers and I had for the PDP could be actualized through the All Progressives Congress.

“It was on the basis of this invitation and the assurances made to me that I, being party-less at that time, due to the fractionalization of my party, accepted on February 2, 2014, the hand of fellowship given to me by the All Progressives Congress.

“On that day, I said “it is the struggle for democracy and constitutionalism and service to my country and my people that are driving my choice and my decision” to accept the invitation to join the All Progressives Congress.

“Like you, I said that because I believed that we had finally seen the beginnings of the rebirth of the new Nigeria of our dreams which would work for all of us, old and young.

“However, events of the intervening years have shown that like any other human and like many other Nigerians, I was fallible.

“While other parties have purged themselves of the arbitrariness and unconstitutionality that led to fractionalization, the All Progressives Congress has adopted those same practices and even gone beyond them to institute a regime of a draconian clampdown on all forms of democracy within the party and the government it produced.

“Only last year, a governor produced by the party wrote a secret memorandum to the president which ended up being leaked. In that memo, he admitted that the All Progressives Congress had ‘not only failed to manage expectations of a populace that expected overnight ‘change’ but has failed to deliver even mundane matters of governance’.

“Of the party itself, that same governor said ‘Mr. President, Sir Your relationship with the national leadership of the party, both the formal (NWC) and informal (Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Atiku Abubakar, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso), and former Governors of ANPP, PDP (that joined us) and ACN, is perceived by most observers to be at best frosty. Many of them are aggrieved due to what they consider total absence of consultations with them on your part and those you have assigned such duties.’

“Since that memorandum was written up until today, nothing has been done to reverse the treatment meted out to those of us invited to join the All Progressives Congress on the strength of a promise that has proven to be false. If anything, those behaviours have actually worsened.

“But more importantly, the party we put in place has failed and continues to fail our people, especially our young people. How can we have a federal cabinet without even one single youth.

“A party that does not take the youth into account is a dying party. The future belongs to young people.

“I admit that I and others who accepted the invitation to join the APC were eager to make positive changes for our country that we fell for a mirage. Can you blame us for wanting to put a speedy end to the sufferings of the masses of our people?

“Be that as it may be, after due consultation with my God, my family, my supporters and the Nigerian people whom I meet in all walks of life, I, Atiku Abubakar, Waziri Adamawa, hereby tender my resignation from the All Progressives Congress while I take time to ponder my future.

“May God bless you and may God bless Nigeria.”

BIG STORY

Nigerian Girl Tobechukwu Phillips Shatters American School’s 125-year Academic History, Earns 6.9 GPA

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A Nigerian-born teenager, Tobechukwu Phillips has shattered the 125 academic history of her high school in Texas, US.

Phillips, a student of Alvin High School boasted a 6.9 GPA, after she earned A’s throughout her stay in the school. She emerged the first Black valedictorian in the school’s history.

Alvin High School was originally established in 1894. African-American students were allowed to join the school in 1965.

Speaking to Because of Them We Can, Phillips said, “Maintaining the highest GPA in my class is a difficult task. It truly takes time management but more importantly acknowledging what you do it for. I know that I am no longer just representing myself.”

Phillips had a word of advice for other students. She said, “My biggest advice to other scholars of colour is to truly adopt the mindset of Rosa Parks — ‘No.’ Do not conform to the stereotypes that have held us under thumbs for so long,” she explained. “Do not be discouraged when someone speaks out against you, simply allow what they say to fuel your fire. But more than anything, do not remain tight-lipped. Stand up for what you believe in and take it upon yourself to be the change you’ve always wanted. Say ‘No’ to the ways of the world and stick out.”

Phillips will attend the Nursing School at the University of Texas on full scholarship later in the year. Her plan is to one day own her own clinic as a pediatric nurse practitioner.

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BIG STORY

Minimum Wage: FG Increases NYSC Allowance To N30,000

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The allowance of members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has been increased to N30,000 by the federal government.

The disclosure was made by the minister of finance, Zainab Ahmed, who however, noted that the federal government is still working out modalities before the implementation of the new allowance for corps member, The Nation reports.

PorscheClassy News gathers that the minister made the disclosure in Abuja on Thursday, May 16, during a press conference where she added that the total sum of N649.434 billion was verified by the ministry as the outstanding balance to be refunded to the state governments.

She said: “The other aspect that should be clear is that there is an increase for the NYSC as well because NYSC, by its Act, is designed that they earn the minimum wage.”

“So, NYSC allowance also has to increase to N30, 000. So, I cannot give you projections right now because the negotiations are not yet concluded.”

Recall that we had previously reported that the former director general of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Major General Suleiman Kazaure, said that the increment of allowances for corps members would be considered as soon as the minimum wage increment was approved.

Kazaure stated this in Abuja on Friday, March 29, during the swearing-in ceremony of 3,022 Batch A corps members into the FCT orientation camp.

The NYSC ex-DG said all hope was not lost as the scheme was waiting for the federal government to sign the minimum wage into law.

He urged the newly sworn in corps members to conduct themselves properly while in camp and shun drug abuse.

The NYSC ex-boss advised them to remain patriotic after being posted to their communities of primary assignments and ensure that impacts were made in their host communities.

Declaring the orientation camp exercise open, the minister of the FCT, Alhaji Muhammad Bello, who was represented by the director of administration and finance of the ministry, Hajiya Safiya Umar, also urged the new batch of corps members to be hard working.

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BIG STORY

Stop Eating Foreign Rice, It’s Poisonous — Customs Comptroller-General Warns Nigerians

Peter Okunoren

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Col. Hameed Ali (Retd), the Comptroller-General, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), has urged Nigerians to stop consuming foreign rice because it is poisonous.

He said this on Thursday in Abuja at a news conference organised by the Ministry of Finance.

Ali said that the Federal Government had not issued license for the importation of rice and that any rice seen on the streets that was not produced in Nigeria was smuggled, NAN reports.

He said that the imported rice was poisonous because before coming into the country, it must have spent a minimum of five years in the silos.

“A chemical must have been added to sustain its freshness and that chemical is harmful.

“Also, it has been re-bagged with a new date given as the production and expiry date and that is what we consume here which causes diseases.

“So, I appeal to Nigerians to please patronise our own rice, it is available, more nutritious and if you do that you will assist customs by making sure these people are put out of business.”

The Customs boss said that rice importation was one of the biggest challenges the NCS was encountering, adding that it still happens because Nigerians consume the imported rice.

He added that Nigerians were not helping matters as they help the smugglers bring in the product.

According to him, if Nigerians stop buying the imported rice, smugglers will go out of business and there will be no need to bring it in.

“We always ask for assistance from Nigerians to apprehend these smugglers but up till now there is no private citizen that has walked up to us to give us information, the only people giving us information are the rice millers.

“We are working very closely with them to make sure that the rice that comes into this country is validly processed.”

According to him, there is no smuggler that is too big to be arrested, and that the NCS has in custody three big rice smugglers.

He said because of the smugglers, the NCS enlarged its task force specifically to fight the rice problem, especially in the season of fasting, a celebration period which smugglers would try to import rice.

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