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Elections 2019: Osinbajo Writes Open Letter To Nigerians, Begs Citizens To Vote APC [ FULL TEXT]

Peter Okunoren

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Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, on Friday urged Nigerians to return the All Progressives Congress (APC) government.

He said though the postponement of 2019 Presidential and National Assembly polls came unexpected, the electorate must not discouraged.

This was contained in an open letter he wrote, titled “A time such as this!”.

Osinbajo thanked the people for their support in 2015 and appealed for more during Saturday’s pills.

The letter reads: “In the past weeks and over the course of my time in office, I have interacted with everyday Nigerians not only to give account of our stewardship, but also to listen. Across the length and breadth of our great country, I’ve seen and heard passionate Nigerians who work hard to earn a decent and dignified life.

Working closely with President Muhammadu Buhari, we have had the privilege to share our vision of a country where all Nigerians, regardless of tribe, class and background can aspire to a viable future and dignified existence. This belief is something that President Buhari has borne and demonstrated for decades as a soldier, public servant, candidate, and now, as President. Now more than ever before, we feel we are truly at the cusp of greatness.

In 2015, on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), we undertook to tackle insecurity, corruption and an economy characterised by extremely deficient infrastructure and the sheer abundance of poverty.

Despite extenuating circumstances, we have worked hard to actualise our mission. A nation at war, we delivered on our commitment to secure our territorial integrity by liberating 17 Local Government Areas from the grip of insurgency.

We halted the march of the insurgents to Kaduna, Kano and Abuja where they had bombed churches, mosques, government buildings including the UN building and Police Headquarters in Abuja before 2015. Today the activities of insurgents and the new ISIS West Africa (ISWA) are largely restricted to Northern Borno.

I, like many other Nigerians, have believed, all of my life, that our nation has sufficient resources to provide a dignified existence for most of our citizens.

Our curse has been the character of leadership that has often advanced personal gain as the underlying motive for public service. I know that has changed since 2015 and many can see that as well. We are doing far much more with lesser resources than prior administrations.

Corruption is the singular reason why for many years before 2015, uncompleted or non-existent infrastructure littered the landscape just as poverty alleviation schemes were additional vehicles that enriched only a handful at the expense of a growing and aggrieved population. Inevitably, the inequality gap is the underlying cause of insecurity and social tension.

Over the last three and a half years, we have laid the foundations for a stable and prosperous country for our people. The nation’s wealth is now being invested in capital projects to expand infrastructure and connect people, goods and opportunities by rail, road and air.

We have introduced several measures to ease doing business in Nigeria, and also ensure that micro, small and medium businesses can access government services and loan facilities. We also took an unprecedented step towards creating a fairer and more equitable society by implementing Africa’s biggest social investment programme.
Through the National Social Investment Programme, we are providing direct support to over 13 million Nigerians who need it by giving relief and assistance to unemployed youth, our children, the weak and vulnerable as well as small and medium businesses. We are directly providing the majority of our people a path out of poverty.

We know that building a compassionate nation under the rubric of social justice, led by the Federal Government, is not only desirable to right-thinking Nigerians, but is a national imperative. This is why the Federal Government did not hesitate to support state governments with bailouts that enabled them to pay unpaid state workers, as well as taking on the responsibility of settling decades of unpaid pension liabilities to retirees of moribund federal enterprises.

While we continue to believe that the primary role of leadership is to advance good for the people of Nigeria, there are many challenges that still beset the nation. For decades, not much was done by way of focused human capital development.

Our priorities for the next four years, if elected, are set out in our Next Level Roadmap document. We believe that the gains in providing free meals for children in public primary schools must now be deepened with our plan to revamp education through a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM); prioritising digital literacy; retraining all teachers in primary and secondary schools, and also remodelling and equipping our classrooms.

Our Next Level Roadmap also outlines our plans for employment, skills development, health, power, agriculture, industrialisation, inclusion in governance, among others.

We are clear in our minds that many of the APC’s programmes are designed to give Nigerians a lift and make them successful. A lot of thought, rigorous analysis and governance experience went into the development of these programmes and we know that they are feasible once we put our mind to them.

We are running for a second term in office because we believe things will improve significantly than they currently are if we stay the course. We are faced with a choice to keep building a Nigeria where conscience drives the ship of state- making a break from a tainted past which widened the inequality gap. Our choices will shape us – our economic security and our future prosperity. Nigeria, more than ever before, needs a stable and people-focused government to move the agenda for our country forward.

The task of laying a foundation is hard and tedious work. It’s neither glamorous nor exciting for the builder or the observer. Yet without it, the pleasure of a completed building remains a dream. The Buhari administration has spent the last three and a half years laying the foundation. We are asking you to join in putting up the building over the next four years. May I respectfully request you to perform your civic responsibility by going out to vote and I’m confident that by the grace of Almighty God, we will all go to the next level of growth, prosperity and peace.

Let’s join hands to create a nation we can be proud of. God bless you.”

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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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