The All Progressives Congress, APC, in Lagos State has said the fear of a crushing defeat in next year’s governorship election stares the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the face, causing it to raise false alarms and allegations against the ruling party.
Spokesman of the APC in Lagos, Joe Igbokwe, stated this in a news release sent to newsmen on Saturday in reaction to claims by the PDP that its campaign posters and signage were pulled down by APC agents in the state.
Igbokwe, who described the claims as unfounded, reminded the PDP of an incident in 2014 in which mercenaries suspected to be on its payroll destroyed the campaign posters of the APC on Ikorodu road up to Funsho Williams Avenue.
While vouching for members of his party, Igbokwe cautioned them against falling into the temptation of repaying the alleged wrong done to the APC four years with a similar coin.
The statement reads: “The attention of Lagos APC has been drawn to the claim by PDP Lagos that its campaign materials are being pulled down in Lagos by people suspected to be APC Members.
“Our initial reaction when the statement was brought to our notice was to ignore the story because it is not the character of APC members to engage in acts of brigandage and political recklessness. But on a second thought, we decided to issue this statement to put the records straight and put lazy politicians in PDP on their toes.
“Lagos APC is made up of committed, disciplined and well-behaved followers who do not need to go the way of the rudderless and uncoordinated brunch known as members of PDP in Lagos and that of Nigeria as a whole. We do not need the help of anybody to thrash whatever that is remaining of PDP in Lagos if at all they still exist.
“Even though we suspect that miserable PDP followers can deliberately pull down their posters and push it to APC, we passionately appeal to all our members not to take laws into their by tampering with PDP campaign materials in the name of helping our party. You have no right to do so and you cannot do so. We do not need such help from anybody. It is undemocratic, primitive, illegal and unacceptable. Please do not bring shame to our great Party.
“It is too early for Lagos PDP to start throwing its hands up in total surrender when the game is just about to start. Morbid fear of another crushing defeat is staring them in the face and they think what we call ‘whispering in the dark’ will help the dying party to save its ugly and battered face.
“While we appeal to millions of Lagos APC members not to play into the hands of the weak and totally decimated political enemies, we are quick to remind Lagos PDP of the events of November 2014 when It worked in tandem with the Police, SURE-P, FERMA, Army, Civil Defense, and some other groups to unleash terror on Ikorodu road up to Funsho Williams Avenue and others pulling down APC Campaign materials and Billboards in the full glare of member of the public. We cannot forget this in a hurry.
“Henceforth, Lagos APC will ignore the rumours of the marketplace and the poor antics of the opposition and concentrate on the real issues-based campaigns ahead of February and March 2019 Presidential and Governorship elections. We will not continue to waste our precious gift of time to talk about a non-existing party that is at the crossroads.”
Ex-Gov. Abubakar Spent N2.3bn To Buy Burial Materials, Bauchi Governor Alleges
As the blame game continues in Bauchi State, Governor Bala Mohammed has alleged that his predecessor, Mohammed Abubakar spent a whopping sum of N2.3 billion to buy materials for burying dead bodies in the state.
The governor who spoke through his spokesperson, Dr. Ladan Salihu, in an interview with newsmen in Bauchi over the weekend, alleged that the said funds were spent between January and May 2019.
Ladan Salihu explained that over N900 million of the money was spent in buying white cloth materials used for wrapping dead bodies while over N1.4 billion was used to buy the wood for lacing the graves for the burial.
According to him, the government discovered various issues of corruption, venality, daylight robbery of the commonwealth of Bauchi State where billions of Naira were syphoned illegally.
The spokesperson further alleged that: “These monies which ought to have been appropriated by the Assembly before expenditure, all of a sudden emanated from our treasury books.
How could you imagine that a state government, within five months that is between January and May, 2019, spent well over N2.3 billion on funeral materials, the clothes that are used in wrapping dead bodies and the woods that you lace the graveyards with?
“The immediate past government spent N2.3 billion, that government did not spend a quarter of that amount in our own hospitals and clinics. They have the temerity to want to put up a show of shame,” he lamented.
When asked if the government has any proof to substantiate its claim, he said that there is no iota of doubt on the matter saying that there are documental evidence to prove it.
“All these are captured in the report of the Transition Committee and these were gathered from documents and vouchers and payments made from our treasury books. There is the Freedom of Information law, go there and find out for yourself from those documents.
“We are talking about the principle behind it. You have bought these materials for funerals in graveyards, what have you done to the Christian cemetery? But we are saying that it is wrong completely, it is not the duty of government to buy burial materials for anybody.
“It is the responsibility of the family, the community and people of goodwill. It has never existed in our history books that the government bought those materials in the first place.
“So, you know that these things were bought for a reason, you would not see the materials, because they have disappeared into or out of ballot boxes,” he alleged.
Ladan Salihu further vowed that: “Government will take very, very stern measures, we will recover every kobo that has been looted or stolen by the immediate past administration and in fact, the administration before it. Where it is established that there is a clear case of misappropriation or outright stealing of public funds. It is an obligation, you don’t allow criminality to run roughshod on the rest of us because these are public funds.
“We must take steps, there’s no factor of fear or favour or ill will, it is just the way the business of government must be conducted. We will take every measure, we use every institution and go after everyone that has stolen Bauchi State’s money.
“We will pursue this case in the relevant institutions of recovery whether it is EFCC, ICPC, the constitution of a Special Recovery Mechanism within the state, I can assure you, we will pursue these issues vigorously, rigorously and without let,” he added.
When our correspondent contacted the Special Adviser to the former Governor Abubakar on Media and Strategy, Ali M. Ali, on phone, he simply said, “that is very ridiculous, I cannot make further comments on the issue because I am not aware of such allegation.
“I’ve not heard of anything like that, so I will speak on it when I make my findings but this is laughable. I will get back to you on that when I have done my findings from my principal,” he added.
Presidents of Rwanda, Senegal And DRC To Speak At The Largest Annual Gathering Of African Entrepreneurs
The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), Africa’s champion of entrepreneurship, has announced the line-up of speakers and activities for the 5th Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Forum — the largest annual gathering of African entrepreneurs and the African entrepreneurship ecosystem.
For the Forum’s Presidential Dialogue, the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), H.E Félix Tshisekedi will join previously announced President of Rwanda, H.E Paul Kagame and President of Senegal, H.E Macky Sall, in an interactive, charged plenary session that opens Day 2 of the Forum. The Presidential Dialogue will be moderated by TEF Founder, Tony O. Elumelu, CON, and will feature all three presidents engaging directly with an audience of 5,000, comprising of entrepreneurs, policymakers, investors and business leaders, with thousands of people interacting live online, through TEFConnect.
The Forum presents the largest single annual opportunity for entrepreneurs and policy makers to interact directly and all sessions at the Forum have private sector and public sector leaders anchor panel discussions, masterclasses, and a dynamic pitching competition that will engage an audience of start-up entrepreneurs, development institutions, and policymakers.
The speakers expected for this year’s Forum include Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of African Export-Import (AFREXIMBANK); Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of African Development Bank (AFDB); Dr. Awele Elumelu, Trustee, Tony Elumelu Foundation and Founder, Avon Medical; Kennedy Uzoka, Group CEO, UBA Group Plc; Mrs. Djene Kaba Conde, First Lady, Guinea; amongst other notable global business leaders.
Every year, the Tony Elumelu Foundation hosts the largest gathering of African entrepreneurs, policymakers and business leaders in one location. This year’s Forum, themed “Empowering African Entrepreneurs”, will take place at the iconic Transcorp Hilton Hotel, in Nigeria’s capital city of Abuja. The Forum will also include the UBA Marketplace, where UBA, Africa’s global bank, brings together businesses from across the continent.
At the 2018 forum, TEFConnect, the largest digital platform for African entrepreneurs was launched to connect entrepreneurs to the opportunities they need for business success. TEFConnect will take centre stage at this year’s Forum as global debates move to technology as a key driver of economic development in Africa.
For more information: https://www.tonyelumelufoundation.org/forum2019
Jim Ovia Advocates For Disruptive Technology To Scale Businesses In Africa
According to Zenith Bank Founder/Chairman, Jim Ovia, businesses stand a chance to triple growth rate and earnings through innovation and technology.
The options are to “innovate and transform or die”, he said. It is the technology age and businesses operating out of Africa should continually adopt technology to experience exponential scale in their business development.
He made this statement while chairing the launch of the PwC Experience Centre. Mr. Ovia added that the Experience Centre is a forward-thinking way to disrupt the over $1tn consultancy service industry yet to be digitized.
Therefore, the Experience Centre is an effective move towards expanding PwC’s innovative solution services across West Africa.