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President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday admitted that Nigeria has been turbulent since he took over power from the previous government 2015.

The president made this known while inaugurating the Food Security Council chaired by him.

At the inauguration, the president spoke about Nigeria’s “very turbulent” journey in the past three years, the period of his administration.

Read the full speech below.

“Two weeks ago, I announced my intention to establish and chair a presidential level committee that focuses on food security, I am happy that today it has become a reality.

“Nigeria’s journey in the last three (3) years, has been a very turbulent one. The country’s need for critical job creating sectors which has been ignored for decades is now beginning to yield results.

“We introduced the National Social Investment Programmes targeting millions of Nigerians who are living from hand to mouth.

“We launched agricultural programmes focusing on import substitution, job creation and rural development thereby bringing socio-economic transformation to the millions of citizens living in some of the most remote rural parts of our country.

“We commenced the long term Pollution Remediation Projects in the Niger Delta with the hope of restoring dignity and normalcy to the millions of Nigerians impacted by decades of pollution in their communities. Fishing and farming will resume once blighted areas are rehabilitated.

“We intensified our participation in the Lake Chad Basin Commission with the goal of reversing the shrinkage of the lake, which impacts the livelihoods of over 45 million farmers, herdsmen and fishermen in the LCBC countries.

“We issued the first ever green bond that will act as a catalyst for investments in renewable energy and afforestation projects. This was oversubscribed, sharing market confidence in the country and our government.

“We established the Agro Rangers Unit within the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps to protect the billions of naira of investments recorded in Nigeria’s agricultural sector across the country.

“We continued to equip the Nigerian Navy and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency to fight maritime criminals such as pirates and sea robbers who adversely impact offshore and inland fishing activities in our waters.

“These programmes and many more, have started yielding results and if sustained, will transform the lives of millions of Nigerians across the country.

“We are well aware that the full results will not be felt or seen overnight. The journey is long. It is therefore our collective duty to ensure the actual and potential positive impacts of these programmes are sustained, improved and expanded.

“A key mandate of the Food Security Council is to continuously assess and enhance these infant, but impactful programmes, thereby guaranteeing they achieve their full potential.

“We shall also develop new programmes and projects that will protect and indeed, create more jobs in farming, fisheries, animal husbandry and forestry.

“As we all know, land is use for farming, grazing and forestry, Water is used for irrigation, livestock sustenance and fishing.

Therefore, any strategy for land and water management must take into account the interconnectivity of all these key sectors to ensure equity and sustainability.

“We will also not lose sight of the other issues that will impact our food production ambitions such as; Population growth, Urbanisation, IndustrialisationRural Infrastructure Development andClimate Change.

“These factors will also stress and stretch our land and water resources.

This means we must invest in research and development to enhance yields and outputs.

“Moreover, we are not insulated from Global and Regional events. Accordingly we develop local programs, but not lose sight of events from a far and their impact on us.

Specifically, issues such as smuggling and dumping, which is our responsibility to ensure we develop and enforce strategies to protect Nigeria from these illegal and unhealthy imports.

“The Council includes Governors representing the six (6) geopolitical zones. Some geopolitical zones have similar Eco climatic conditions.

The council is therefore a platform to further enhance the collaboration between the federal and state governments. We shall share success stories and collaborate to address common threats.

“We will also engage key stakeholders representing the core sectors of the Food Value Chain.

Regular consultations will be held with investors, development partners, financiers, academia and our friends and allies abroad.

“ Our deliberations will look into all the issues and our decisions will be implementable and impactful.

We shall stay focused, first and foremost on securing our food requirements and employment for our people, especially the youth.

We shall feed ourselves and build an inclusive Nigeria for ourselves and for future generations.”

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POLITICS

PDP Asks INEC To Declare Tambuwal Sokoto Gov-Elect

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Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday, urged Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to save its time and resources by declaring Aminu Tambuwal winner of the election held on March 9.

The party, which stated this while reacting to claim by the umpire that it was under pressure to declare the governor winner of the polls, said given the margin of victory recorded on the first ballot, there was no reason not to declare Tambuwal duly elected.

Spokesman of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, said: “Our position has not changed and we insist that His Excellency, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal should be declared winner of the governorship election in Sokoto State.

“If we go by the figure of votes collated so far, the governor has satisfied the provisions of the law because he won clearly in almost all the local governments of the states.

“What are they waiting for to declare him duly elected? We are a party that has respect for the laws of the land. So, we advise our members and supporters to remain calm because at the end of the day, victory is ours.”

Meanwhile, barely a week to the March 23 date for the supplementary governorship election in some states, pressure continues to mount on INEC to declare Governor Aminu Tambuwal the winner of the March 9 guber poll in Sokoto State.

There were indications over the weekend that the tension in the seat of the Caliphate may worsen if the incumbent governor who was enjoying a clear lead in the poll is denied victory.

A top politician from Sokoto who spoke on condition of anonymity, said tension was building up in the state over fears of plans to undemocratically stop Tambuwal for another term in office.

Our source alleged that though the governor appears to be the popular choice of his people as shown in the collated result of the guber poll, the power brokers of All Progressives Congress, APC, were bent on taking the state which they consider strategic to the party’s future political plans.

The source said: “The powers that be should declare Tambuwal as the authentic winner of the March 9 governorship election in Sokoto State. The collated result showed that he won the election by the simple majority, which is what the constitution provides. They should not set the seat of the Caliphate on fire.

“Remember that even President Muhammadu Buhari won his election by the same simple majority. He was declared winner, even when elections were yet to be conducted in areas where the exercise could not hold because of one reason or the other.

“A common man on the street of Sokoto knows that Tambuwal won the election. There were so many hurdles the APC which controls the centre put before him ahead of the election but he surmounted them all.

So, what they could not get democratically, they want by all means through the back door in collaboration with INEC.”

Over the weekend, this newspaper gathered that there were fears in the PDP, of a plan by the ruling party and INEC to repeat what happened in the Osun governorship election where the PDP lost to the APC under controversial circumstances.

A video recording between the INEC Admin Secretary in Sokoto and a collation officer which trended over the weekend further escalated fears of interference in the coming supplementary election.

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BIG STORY

Twenty-Four Hours After Quitting Politics, Gbenga Daniel ‘Agrees’ To Lead Supporters To APC

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A former Governor of Ogun State and the Director General of the Atiku Presidential Campaign Organisation, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, has agreed to lead his supporters to the All Progressives Congress.

Daniel, who announced his decision to quit the Peoples Democratic Party and partisan politics on Saturday, revealed his latest decision on Sunday after a meeting with his supporters in his Aseludero Court in Sagamu, Ogun State.

Available reports have it that Daniel’s loyalists at the meeting with him on Sunday kicked against his decision to quit politics.

Led by his Special Assistant on Youth, Ifedayo Kayode, the supporters asked him to lead them to the APC instead of quitting politics.

They hinged their request on the fact that they had worked towards the emergence of Dapo Abiodun of the APC as the governor-elect in Ogun State.

Indeed a few days before the governorship election on March 9, 2019, Daniel had asked his supporters to vote for Abiodun instead of the candidate of the PDP, Senator Buruji Kashamu.

Speaking after the meeting on Sunday, Daniel said: “Basically, they (supporters) said I could resign from PDP.

“They said I must lead them to APC.

“And they also said I cannot retire from politics.

“That is the summary of what I heard.

“Now we have to take a look at it.”

Asked what his position is on the demands of his supporters, Daniel said: “What else can I say?

“My people have spoken.”

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POLITICS

BREAKING: Gbenga Daniel Retires From Active Politics, Gives Reason.

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Former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, has quit partisan politics.

He has also resigned from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

In his letter to the national chairman of the party, Uche Secondus, Daniel said he decided to leave the scene to “rejuvenate my charity based organization, the Gateway Front Foundation (GFF) which will literally continue to dispense succor to our people in need, address and assist in the areas of some of their health challenges.

“I also plan on resuscitation of the non-partisan Political Leadership Academy (POLA) which I established some years ago as a platform of political education to our citizens.”

Full text of letter below

The National Chairman,
Peoples Democratic Party,
Wadata Plaza, Michael Okpara Street
Wuse Zone II, Abuja

Attention: Prince Uche Secondus

Mr. Chairman,

Resignation from Partisan Politics

This is to inform you of my intention to resign from active and partisan politics with effect from today, the 14th day of March, 2019.
My decision in this regard is entirely personal to me and having served in various capacities, including as Governor of Ogun State, I have resolved to immerse myself in some other vocations and take on some new challenges.

Preamble
My Political Journey so far

I joined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ogun State on Sunday, the 9th of September, 2001 at an event which was described as one of the most ceremonial political rallies in our recent political history in the South Western part of Nigeria. We rose from that rally to create a highly robust and effective political campaign machinery which resulted in an electoral victory for the Peoples Democratic Party in Ogun State in 2003; this movement and vibration affected the politics of the region positively with a victory in five (5) states of the South West.

  1. I served as Governor of Ogun State for eight (8) years and our administration till today remains a point of reference in terms of physical, social, economic, educational and human capital development since the State was created in 1976.
  2. Notwithstanding these widely acclaimed achievements however, our party, the Peoples Democratic Party ran into trouble waters towards the end of our administration (about the year 2009) which led to the sad loss in the election of 2011, and regrettably ten (10) years after the party has been unable to resolve those internal disputes and challenges.
  3. Meanwhile, the PDP in Ogun State was confronted with a very difficult situation in matter of choice. Whereas the national leadership of our party, recognized one candidate for the 2019 election, by court pronouncements another candidate, and in compliance with those court orders, which the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) recognized was on the INEC list. The candidates recognized by INEC were not acceptable to the national leadership of the party. Our situation was then compounded because the candidate which the court and INEC recognized and accepted as valid has also been expelled by the party. This was the dilemma we found ourself as we approached the March 9, 2019 Governorship and State House of Assembly elections.
  4. Going forward, we have responded to the yearnings of our people and joined others in emplacing an administration that we believe will better serve the interests of our people than what currently exists. The rest they say is now history.
  5. I must say that looking back, I do not have any regrets over that patriotic choice and decision, especially as several of our citizens, leaders and stakeholders in the state and outside have commended that singular action. Many stakeholders within and outside Ogun State feel fulfilled, excited and grateful about our decision to join others in putting a stop to a regime that was believed to be against the collective and general welfare of our people.
  6. Let me also add, that in the last few months, I have had one of the rare privileges of traveling round the entire length and breadth of our great country on at least two occasions; the first being during my campaigns to become the National Chairman of our great party, and later as the Director General of the Atiku Presidential Campaign Organization (APCO).
  7. I must sincerely admit that in the course of all these travels, I have built a network of contacts, of friends and associates in a mutually rewarding relationships which I cherished most and greatly too. I am therefore persuaded that I have fewer points to make and prove in my Political journeys in partisan politics.
  8. My decision to quit partisan politics notwithstanding, I have decided to rejuvenate my charity based organization, the Gateway Front Foundation (GFF) which will literally continue to dispense succor to our people in need, address and assist in the areas of some of their health challenges; I also plan on resuscitation of the non-partisan Political Leadership Academy (POLA) which I established some years ago as a platform of political education to our citizens.
  9. Without doubt, I will miss the company of my friends and associates and all those relationships I built in the course of the years all over the country..
    While I crave for your kind understanding, accept assurances of my highest regards.

Yours faithfully,

Otunba (Engr.) Gbenga Daniel, FNSE, FNAEng
Governor of Ogun State (2003-2011).

Cc:
His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar GCON
Chairman, Board of Trustees (PDP)

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