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Presidency To Obasanjo: Your Atiku Will Be Defeated Comprehensively

Peter Okunoren

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The Federal Government says though it is the constitutional right of the former President Olusegun Obasanjo to support a candidate for an election, his endorsement does not guarantee victory.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who spoke on behalf of the government on Monday in Abuja, said Obasanjo’s candidate for the presidential election, Atiku Abubakar “will be defeated roundly and comprehensively’’.

“With due respect to former President Obasanjo, it is his constitutional right to support any candidate of his choice and we urge him to go out and campaign vigorously for any candidate he wants to support.

“He has not hidden his preference for the PDP candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, and we wish him very best of luck.

“However, I want to assure you that his candidate will be defeated roundly and comprehensively. It is not about endorsement, endorsement does not win election,’’ he said.

The minister also responded to a statement credited to the former President that, “only a fool will sit on the fence when his or her country is being destroyed with incompetence, corruption lack of focus, insecurity nepotism and brazen impunity’’.

Mohammed said he held Obasanjo in high esteem and probably he was not properly briefed on the development in the country to have made such conclusions,.

“The facts are all there that this government has done more than any other governments in three and half years.

On corruption, the minister said that the government had put in place institutional reforms which had confirmed its sincerity and commitment to fighting the menace.

“It is not about putting people in Jail but what are the things put in place to address this endemic problem.

“Take the example of Treasury Single Account TSA, which was not initiated by this government. It is only the Buhari administration that has the political will to implement it.

“Before we came in, there were over 22,000 government accounts in various banks.

“Since we came, we reduced it to one account and from 2015 to date N8.9 trillion has passed through the TSA which is as a result of transparency and accountability,’’ he said.

The minister said that even with lean resources, the Buhari administration had spent more on infrastructure than the 16 years of the PDP administration.

He said there was no state in the country without one or two infrastructure development being embarked upon by the federal government.

The minister said the Administration had commissioned the Abuja to Kaduna standard rail gauge while the 156 km Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge would be ready for commissioning in March next year.

He said the government had made fund available for five critical infrastructure projects including the Mambilla power project, the East-West Road, the second Niger Bridge, the Abuja – Kano and Abuja-Lokoja-Okenne highways.

Mohammed said the efforts of the administration in diversifying the economy away from oil had yielded fruits with achievement recorded in agriculture, particularly in rice production and solid mineral sectors.

On power supply, the minister said the administration had improved on generation, transmission and distribution than it met them in 2015, while Nigerians are benefiting from its numerous social investment programmes. (NAN)

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BREAKING: Senate Approves N30,000 Minimum Wage

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The Senate on Tuesday approved N30,000 as the new national minimum wage.

This decision was reached after the upper chamber’s ad-hoc committee on new minimum wage headed by Senator Francis Alimikhena submitted its report.

The Senate then went on to request the Federal Government to submit a supplementary budget to cover the new wage structure for consideration and approval.

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Delta Government Suspends Head Teacher Over Success ‘No Be Say I No Go Pay’ N1,000 Viral Video

Peter Okunoren

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The Delta State Government has suspended the Head Teacher of Okotie-Eboh Primary School in Sapele Local Government Area, Vero Igbigwe, for allegedly collecting unauthorised fees, including examination levies, from pupils.

The suspension notice was handed down on Monday by the Delta State Commissioner for Education, Chinedu Ebie, who visited the school following a viral video that showed a schoolgirl, Success Adebor, protesting the decision to send her home over her parents’ inability to pay her second term examination fee, which she put at N1,000.

Ebie said: “There is right to fair hearing.

“So, what will happen is that a detailed investigation would be set up to look into the issue in details.

“Like I did say, I conducted a preliminary investigation, but in the interim we have to suspend her (Igbigwe) as the head teacher of this school pending the outcome of the investigation.

“That suspension will take effect as from today (Monday).

“Obviously, there are contradictions in her story because everybody was there when they talked about school fees.

“It was obvious that Success was sent home because of her inability or her parents to pay the supposed fees, which is not in any way part of the 2018/2019 levies.

“Education at the basic level is free.

“However, it is not unusual that levies are imposed.

“Even at the unity schools, we have levies but these levies must be for specific purposes and must also be very minimal for the children or their guardians can afford.”

Ebie said the Administration of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa would not tolerate any form of extortion by state officials.

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Why We Visited President Buhari In Aso Rock — Sanwo-Olu

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Lagos State Governor-elect, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has revealed that he visited President Muhammadu Buhari at his office in Aso Rock on Monday in the company of his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, to congratulate the nation’s number one citizen for winning his second term election in the just concluded presidential election.

The elated President Buhari who received Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat also felicitated with the duo for their victory in the gubernatorial election.

Speaking to journalists shortly after the meeting, Sanwo-Olu said: “It is important for the deputy Governor-elect and myself to have a one-on-one short discussion with the Commander-in-Chief, and it’s a rare privilege. It was a short one, just to say congratulations to him on his own election and he also said the same thing to us. So it’s a very short courtesy visit to Mr. President.”

The incoming Governor, who gave an insight into what his government will do, said Lagosians should expect a lot of solutions to many of the challenges they face in areas of transportation, housing, waste management, health and education adding that his deputy and himself have the competences and capabilities that will bring good governance as soon as they are sworn in.

His words: “We are actually very excited. We are excited because we’ve seen all the challenges ahead of us and we know that given all the plans and strategies we are putting in place for execution, we will certainly be bringing about solutions that will solve various challenges in Lagos very quickly.

“We know that with a mega city of our status, it comes with a lot of challenges but we are lucky that we have been part of it before now and we are excited that the solutions we are bringing up – many of which we told our people on the campaign trail, we are sure we will very quickly, be able to bring about positive development that will improve the quality of lives and ease all of the challenges that we currently have in Lagos.”

On the recent building collapse in the state which he described as unfortunate, the Governor-Elect said the current government in the state is doing all that is possible to ensure building codes are strictly adhered to and that his administration will strengthen the existing codes and also apply the rules without pandering to sentiments.

“It’s an unfortunate incident. I used to be the Vice Chairman of the Committee on Building Collapse. That was about ten years ago which was what led to us create an agency called Lagos State Building Control Agency (LABCA). It was meant to identify structures well ahead before issues like this begin to happen. But it’s an unfortunate thing, extremely very unfortunate and it also means that we expect it would happen again if nothing drastic is done to check it. Our administration will strengthen the agency and apply the law without sentiments.

“Lagos truly really needs regeneration especially Lagos Island and that was part of the things we promised on the campaign trail. So, it’s to have a conversation with all of the families on the Island and we’ll see the kind of redevelopment that is important as it is being done by a lot of other big cities like Lagos,” Sanwo-Olu said.

Speaking on the issue of urban renewal, Sanwo-Olu said proper enumeration of properties is the ultimate solution to achieve success. He said once properties are properly enumerated and the owners see the government’s sincerity of purpose, they will key into it and regeneration can take place.

“Well, it’s really not that regeneration has been a challenge, but because we have not been able to see it through to the end. When you want to take people’s properties and you want to regenerate, they must first see the sincerity of purpose – what are the additional plans that you have for them? Before you could regenerate, there must be a stop gap – in the next two to three years what are the plans you have for them? And you need to do what we call proper enumeration. Once you can enumerate properly and determine who the original owners are, and you sit and have an agreement, then the regeneration will start.

“But like I have said, the major thing is sincerity of purpose knowing full well that you are not out to circumvent them or to shortchange them. Once that is put on the table very clearly and transparently, I believe that as it’s also done in other jurisdictions, we will make success of it,” Sanwo-Olu stated.

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