Let me start by congratulating President-to-be, Atiku Abubakar, for his success at the recent PDP Primary and I took note of his gracious remarks in his acceptance speech that it all started here.
Yes, when it started, it was meant for Atiku to succeed Obasanjo.
In the presence of these distinguished leaders of goodwill today, let me say it openly that we have reviewed what went wrong on the side of Atiku. And in all honesty, my former Vice-President has re-discovered and re-positioned himself. As I have repeatedly said, it is not so much what you did against me that was the issue but what you did against the Party, the Government and the country.
I took the stand I had taken based on the character and attributes you exhibited in the position you found yourself. I strongly believe that I was right. It was in the overall interest of everyone and everything to take such a position.
From what transpired in the last couple of hours or so, you have shown remorse; you have asked for forgiveness and you have indicated that you have learnt some good lessons and you will mend fences and make amends as necessary and as desirable.
Whenever or wherever you might have offended me, as a Christian who asks for God’s forgiveness of my sins and inadequacies on daily basis, I forgive and I sincerely advise you to learn from the past and do what is right and it will be well with you.
Obviously, you have mended fences with the Party and fully reconciled with the Party. That’s why today, you are the Presidential Candidate of the Party. In addition to appreciating all that the Party has done for you, may I advise you to work together with all those who contested for the Party’s flag with you as a team for your campaign.
There are still areas, nationally and internationally, where you have to mend fences and make amends. You will know how to handle what is already out and what may yet be put out by the opposition. But, I am convinced that if you continue with the attitude that brought you here with these distinguished leaders of goodwill, with remorse and contrite heart, the rest of the coast within and outside the country can be cleared. And if there is anything I can do and you want me to do in that respect, I will do.
I am sure with the right attitude for change where necessary, and by putting lessons learned by you to work, you will get the understanding, cooperation, support and mandate – all at the national level. With Nigerians voting for you, it will mean that you secure their forgiveness and regain their confidence. It will be with the hope or assurance of a Paul on the road to Damascus Conversion. After all, change and conversion are of man. I believe that with a contrite heart, change is possible in everybody’s life and situation.
For me, relatively and of all the aspirants in the PDP, you have the widest and greatest exposure, experience, outreach and possibly the best machinery and preparation for seeing the tough and likely dirty campaign ahead through. From what I personally know of you, you have capacity to perform better than the incumbent. You surely understand the economy better; you have business experience, which can make your administration business-friendly and boost the economy and provide jobs.
You have better outreach nationally and internationally and that can translate to better management of foreign affairs. You are more accessible and less inflexible and more open to all parts of the country in many ways. As Pastor Bakare, one-time running mate of the incumbent President, said, “You are a wazobia man.” And that should help you in confronting the confront-able and shunning nepotism.
As you know, along the road to where you are today, many leaders and ordinary people cooperated and overtly and covertly worked hard. On your behalf, I thank them all. May their coast continue to be expanded. And when you become Nigerian President which, insha-Allah, you will be, remember what we did together in government – we ran an administration by Nigerians for all Nigerians where merit and performance count more than blood relationship, friendship or kith and kin. Although some time and ground have been lost, you should endeavour to start from where we stopped and recover some lost ground, if not time.
Please uphold truth, integrity, principles, morality and fight corruption, crimes and insurgency. The fundamental law of the land, our constitution must be scrupulously defended. I make one demand and one demand on you today, I need you to say before God and man that you will always remain irrevocably committed to upholding ALL the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the whole country will remain your single indivisible constituency.
Constitutionalism, popular participation and inclusiveness are pre-conditions for reversing the deficits of the past three and half years. They will ensure abiding faith in our indivisibility, oneness and faith in the survival of all against none.
The fundamentals of our development, economic growth and progress are hard and soft infrastructure. Remember to always give adequate places in your administration to our youth and women.
All the authorities involved with the preparation, all processes and conduct of the election must ensure that the election is free, fair and credible.
Once again, congratulations and I wish you well. My distinguished brothers and leaders of goodwill, thank you for making this happen. I will now count on you to encourage all hands to be on the deck to take Nigeria to the level God has created it to be – autopilot level.
. Being a statement by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, when he endorsed former Vice President Atiku Abubakar for the 2019 presidential election on October 11, 2018.
Nigerian Girl Tobechukwu Phillips Shatters American School’s 125-year Academic History, Earns 6.9 GPA
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.
Minimum Wage: FG Increases NYSC Allowance To N30,000
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.
Stop Eating Foreign Rice, It’s Poisonous — Customs Comptroller-General Warns Nigerians
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.