Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has decried the failure of President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the Africa Continental Free Trade Area agreement, expressing hope that he will change his mind before it is too late. Obasanjo poured out his mind on the AfCFTA during a presidential panel, titled: “When Leaders Make History at the Africa CEO Forum in Abidjan, Cote d’ Ivoire on Tuesday. He was joined by the President of Zimbabwe, Emerson Mnangagwa.
Obasanjo said, “That President Buhari didn’t sign the free trade agreement in Kigali is disappointing; I hope he signs it before it is too late. “Egypt started the discussion on the formation of the Organisation of African Unity but didn’t conclude it and Nigeria took over. Nigeria was also central to the discussion of the free trade agreement, but I am surprised that the country withdrew from signing.”
The AfCFTA treaty is one of the flagship projects of the African Union Agenda 2063, and is aimed at creating a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business persons, investments and a single currency. Also, the agreement commits countries to removing tariffs on 90 per cent of goods and to liberalise services, while items identified as sensitive, which make up the balance 10 per cent, will also be phased out later as tariff-free.
But the President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Dr. Frank Jacobs, said the government’s enforcement mechanism in the area of enforcement of rules of origin needed to be clearly defined before local producers could support the agreement. It is believed that the AfCFTA treaty would improve intra African trade and enhance economic growth and sustainable development.
The Federal Government had delayed the signing of the treaty to allow for more deliberations and input from stakeholders and had set up a committee on the issue before the President would sign the treaty. Speaking on the need for increased youth and women participation in politics in Africa, Obasanjo, who zeroed in on Nigeria, stated, “In our own part of the world, we have not done enough in this regard. Since independence, we have never had any woman as president and VP; no woman has contested governorship election and won.
“In the coming dispensation, all organs of political parties should have 30 per cent slots for women, 30 per cent for the youth, and 40 per cent for the others. ”He said it was disheartening that the number of the women in the National Assembly was still very insignificant.
Bayelsa Decides: INEC Declares APC’s David Lyon Winner With Over 200,000 Poll Margin To PDP’s Flag Bearer
The All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate David Lyon was, early this morning, declared Bayelsa State governor-elect by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Lyon, 49, will succeed outgoing Governor Seriake Dickson, who has ruled the state since 2012
The APC thus ended the 20-year political dominance of the oil-rich Bayelsa State by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Returning Officer Prof. Faraday Orumwense, the vice-chancellor of the University of Benin, declared Lyon winner with 352,552 votes in Saturday’s election. He won six of the eight local government areas
PDP’s candidate Senator Duoye Diri, who came a distant second, polled 143,172 votes. He won in two local government areas.
There was jubilation in Yenagoa as soon as the Returning officer declared Lyon winner at the Prof. Mahmood Yakubu Media Centre, INEC Office, in Yenagoa.
Many people trooped to the streets of the state capital in celebration.
Southern Ijaw which is fondly called the Kano of Bayelsa state, gave the APC candidate the boost with 124, 803 votes as against the 4,898 recorded by the PDP.
The APC got 21,489 votes in Ekeremor Local Government Area of the state, while PDP scored 18344.
Senator Douye Diri, also recorded massive win in the home council of former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, Ogbia Local Government Area of the state with a total of 58,016 as against the vote of PDP of 13,763. The outcome according to political analysts is based on the open disrespect by the Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson against the former President.
Also massive was the 83,041 votes recorded by the APC in Nembe Local Government Area as against the PDP votes of 874. But the PDP had its share of massive vote at the home council of the State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson in Sagbama with 60,339 votes and APC recorded 7,831.
At the Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Council, where the PDP flag bearer hails from, the PDP defeated the APC with 15,360 votes as against the 8,934 votes recorded by the APC.
In Brass Local Council Area where the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva hails from, the APC defeated the PDP with 23,831 as against 10,410 votes.
Declaring the winner, the returning officer of the 2019 gubernatorial elections in Bayelsa state, Mr. Faraday’s Orunmwense, stated that with the power bestowed on him, David Lyon, after scoring the highest number of votes is returned as the winner of the election.
But the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in a press briefing earlier on Sunday night addressed by its flag bearer, Senator Douye Diri accused the Nigerian Army of conniving with the All Progressives Congress (APC) to rig the polls in parts of the state.
According to Senator Diri, though results collated by the party agents showed that the PDP has won the Governorship election, ”members of the PDP were terrorized and arrested by soldiers on the orders of the General Officer Commanding the 6th Division of the Nigerian Army, General Sarham Jamil”.
Senator Douye Diri, who spoke in company of the National Chairman of the PDP Campaign Council and Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed and National Vice Chairman of the Party, Elder Emmanuel Ogidi, noted that what is playing out in Bayelsa confirms the earlier red flag the PDP had raised days to the election about plots by the APC to use Gen Sarham, who had since been transferred to the Nigerian Defence Academy to defy his posting to supervise the state election.
According to the PDP candidate, critical stakeholders of the party were harassed and prevented from accessing the collation centre in Ogbia, which is former President, Goodluck Jonathan’s Local Government Area.
Senator Diri said the Chairman of the Council, Hon Ebiyon Turner and a serving member of the state House of Assembly representing Ogbia Constituency Two, Hon Gibson Munalayefa were all arrested and detained by the Army operatives up till the time of the briefing.
In Southern Ijaw, he noted that PDP members who were travelling to their communities for the election including Dr Michael Amaegberi were also apprehended by soldiers at Ogboinbiri while their APC counterparts were allowed to go scot-free.
Senator Diri who commended the Independent National Electoral Commission and the media for their show of professionalism in the conduct and coverage of the election, however, urged them to maintain the tempo for the sake of democracy.
He called on the international community and lovers of democracy to prevail on the Nigerian Army to respect the rule of law and for democracy to thrive in Bayelsa and Nigeria in general.
His words, “The collation centre in Ogbia is under siege by the Nigerian Army and as we all know, this is against the laws of our land. It is an anathema because the Army has no business in determining who goes into a collation centre.
“Information available to us indicates that the General Officer Commanding, GOC, 6th Division has ordered officers and men from 6 Battalion, 343 Artillery, 5 and 29 Battalions were carrying out certain security functions to withdraw from the venue in Ogbia because they have failed to rig the election in Ogbia for the APC. It is totally unacceptable. For there to be peace, there has to be justice.”
BREAKING: APC Has No Candidate In Bayelsa, Court Rules 2 Days To Guber Election
BREAKING: APC Factions ‘Suspend’ Oshiomhole, Obaseki, Others
The crisis in rocking the Edo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress got messier on Wednesday as factions of the party rectified suspension of Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, Governor Godwin Obaseki, and others.
At a meeting of APC leaders at the party secretariat, the suspension of Oshiomhole and some party local government chairmen were upheld.
The suspension of Obaseki, his Deputy, Philip Shaibu and others were carried out at the residence of General Charles Airhiavbere by the Edo Peoples Movement, a pressure group within the APC.
BIG STORY1 day ago
Thugs On Rampage In Kogi, Burn PDP Woman Leader Alive In Her Home
BIG STORY2 days ago
INCEST: My Father Is A Pastor But He Demands Sex Before Paying My School Fees, 20-year-old Girl Tells Police, Says She’s Aborted Thrice For Him
BIG STORY2 days ago
Security Lion Tranquilized, Moved From Victoria Island Home Of Indian National [PHOTO]
BIG STORY2 days ago
[PHOTOS] Two-Year-Old Lion Discovered At ‘Indian National’ Residence In Lagos
BIG STORY2 days ago
Nigerian Army Begins Operation Crocodile Smile In Lagos, Ogun
BIG STORY2 days ago
Lagos Govt Seals Churches, Mosques Over Noise Pollution