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Why Nigeria May Remain World Poverty Capital – Emir Sanusi

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The Emir of Kano and former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi II, has said except proactive steps are taken to change the current trend, Nigeria may still remain the poverty capital of the world for many years to come.

Sanusi said this after his induction as an honorary member of the Sigma Club of the University of Ibadan over the weekend.

His words: “If every country continues its present trajectory, by 2050, 80 per cent of all the poor people in the world will live on the African continent. But, that is not the frightening thing. One half of this 80 per cent will be in Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Two countries will account for 40 per cent of all the poor people in the world and Nigeria will, therefore, remain the poverty capital of the world.

“This is a country that has produced many great people. This is a country that has boasted of best professors, greatest intellectuals, and the most educated people. “In 1960, the per capita income in Nigeria was higher than what it was in South Korea, and China. My father was the first ambassador of Nigeria to China in 1972. In 1972, he had to go to Hong Kong every two weeks to buy essential commodities because they were not available in Beijing. He could not find milk, sugar and cornflakes in Beijing; he had to go to Hong Kong in 1972, not 100 years ago.

“In 1974, when Deng Xiaoping started opening up in China, there were 700 million Chinese living in extreme poverty. Today, that number is down to only 30 million people in one generation. In 1974, China had only 8million university graduates.

Today, China has more than 300 million university graduates, more than the entire population of the United States of America. Yet, China did not have direct foreign investments; in fact China stopped it.

“We talk about miracles, ancient miracles. I don’t like the word miracles because miracles are associated with angels with wings that you do not see, coming from the sky. The Chinese are human beings like us and they did it.

“When we say miracle, it sounds like something supernatural that has some certain powers to it. Every time you think about it, the only deficit we have is a policy deficit.

“We have elections in 2019, I read the papers, I look at the television, and listen to the discussions, who is talking about education? Who is talking about nutrition? Who is talking about basic health? As a country, what are our priorities? We don’t have enough money for education. We don’t have enough money for health. We don’t have enough money for nutrition. But we have N1 trillion or N2 trillion to spend on petroleum subsidies. Where is our sense of what is important, and where is our investment in the future? “So, for all Nigerians, who care about this country, the real task before us is to know that we have 30 years on the outside in which we need to make sure that we do not become the poverty capital of the world, and slum of the world.

“The earlier we realise that countries like Taiwan, Hong Kong in China, Singapore and Israel have become what they have become, not because they have found oil or diamond or gold, but because they have realised the values of human beings. The earlier we begin to take the path that will change this very sad trajectory, the better for us.

“We should keep those numbers at the back of our minds because that is the future of our children and the future of our grandchildren. And this generation can take decisions that are necessary to make sure that crisis in the future is averted. I am sure everyone here is committed to this. I certainly will remain committed to it.

“I hope we can all work together and build this country, and make it a country that we all know it can be. We know that Nigeria can be great. We all know it.

“All those seeking political office, we hope will begin to join us, and we will continue to urge those outside politics to exert the right pressure on those in government to give us these policies, these thinking because that is the future of this country.

“If you take Kano alone, today 58 per cent of all children under the age of five in Kano State suffer from chronic malnutrition. Out of that, 17 per cent has acute malnutrition. Globally, nine per cent is a crisis, but we have 17 per cent. Forty-eight per cent of the children of all women of reproductive age suffers from anaemia, iron deficiency. We have almost four million children out of school. We have one of the highest infant mortality and maternal mortality rate in the country.

“These are the kinds of things that are not even featuring in political discourse. These are issues that confront us and these are the issues we must address to avert that future that has been so very tragically by Bill Gate and other economists.

“Within Africa, we are having countries that are becoming excellent examples of what we can do with just a little bit of good thinking, combined with the right values. Our people have the ability, they are resilient, had working and intelligence to do it.”

BIG STORY

No Defection, I Stand With Buhari — Amosun

Peter Okunoren

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Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, has debunked the rumours making the rounds that he plans to defect from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to another party on account of the recent primaries in the state.

He described the news report in a segment of the media as a figment of the imagination of the writer(s).

In a press statement issued on Tuesday and signed by the state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Otunba Dayo Adeneye, Amosun wondered how he could be expected to quit a house he jointly built with other patriots.

“It is true that enormous pressure was brought to bear on Governor Amosun to move to another party because of the glaring injustice meted out to some party members at the recent primaries, but the governor maintained his stand that he would not decamp, especially on account of President Muhammadu Buhari, whose judgement and sense of justice, as the leader of the party, he cherishes and values immensely,” the statement said.

Adeneye further stated: “For those who know Amosun over the years, his struggles are usually not about his own person but equity, justice and fairness for all, especially the downtrodden masses. President Buhari represents this spirit and Amosun will stand by him and with him at all times.”

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BIG STORY

Osun Election: Adeleke Challenges Oyetola’s Victory, Asks Tribunal To Declare Him Governor

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The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke, has asked the Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Osogbo to declare him the winner of the governorship election in the state.

Senator Adeleke made the prayer on Tuesday when he filed a petition at the tribunal to challenge the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate and governor-elect, Mr Gboyega Oyetola.

He was represented at the tribunal by his running mate in the poll, Mr Albert Adeogun.

The 593-page petition was filed by one of the counsels to the PDP and its candidate, Mr Kanu Agabi.

The lawmaker and his party asked the tribunal led by Justice T.A. Igoche to nullify the victory of the governor-elect in the September 22 election.

They also asked the tribunal to declare the senator the winner of the poll because he polled the highest number of lawful votes cast and met other requirements of the law.

The PDP chairman in Osun, Mr Soji Adagunodo, and other party members were among those who stormed the tribunal in the state capital.

Mr Adagunodo told reporters that he was confident that his party would reclaim its mandate.

Senator Adeleke filed the petition at the tribunal barely three weeks after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Mr Oyetola as the winner of the Osun governorship election.

The APC candidate had trailed the senator by 353 votes before going into a supplementary election which held in seven polling units in the state on September 27.

However, his votes from the supplementary poll were enough to help him overturn the deficit and be returned as winner of the keenly contested election.

INEC consequently declared Oyetola the winner of the election.

The final votes announced by the electoral body showed that Oyetola got 255,505 votes, while Adeleke polled 255,023 votes.

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Edo Speaker Raises Alarm Over Influx Of Sex Workers In Legislative Quarters

Peter Okunoren

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Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly, Honourable Kabiru Adjoto, (Rtd) on Monday raised the alarm over the influx of commercial sex workers around the Legislative Quarters, in Benin City, the State capital.

Adjoto raised the alarm during the ministerial briefing by the State Commissioner for Youth and Special Duties, Mika Amanokha, at the House of Assembly.

The Speaker noted that the teenage commercial sex workers hang around the legislative quarters and hotels around its environs between the hours of 9 pm till dawn.

According to Adjoto; “Between Royal Marble [Hotel] and the gates of the Legislative Quarters, you find youths between the ages of 17 and 18 going naked.” He explained and urged the Commissioner to put machinery in motion to check the ugly trend.

Responding, the Commissioner who said it was not the jurisdiction of his ministry to stop the commercial sex workers from the area, however, added that information available to him indicated that they are business people and that he has no right to stop them.

“Mr Speaker, that control does not fall in the purview of my ministry. Yes, they are youths; it appears that the people I see or the people am told that goes around there are business people. I do not have the right to stop them…I haven’t gone around there at night to see what’s going on.”

At that point, the Speaker, Adjoto, was forced to ask; “what kind of business are they transacting, youths going naked, between the ages of 17 and 18, you say they are in business?”

Amanokha responded: “Mr. Speaker, I take very strong note of that, I will drive around the area to see what’s going on there.”

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