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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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Nigerian Girl Tobechukwu Phillips Shatters American School’s 125-year Academic History, Earns 6.9 GPA

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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.

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Minimum Wage: FG Increases NYSC Allowance To N30,000

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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.

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Stop Eating Foreign Rice, It’s Poisonous — Customs Comptroller-General Warns Nigerians

Peter Okunoren

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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.

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