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2019: Ezekwesili Takes Campaign To Abuja Streets, Meets Residents One-On-One

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The presidential candidate of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili, on Sunday took her campaign trail to the streets of Abuja.

During a one-on-one interaction with Abuja residents, she hinted them of her aspiration to become the next president of Nigeria in 2019.

She also informed them about the need for to vote for her so as to save Nigeria from economic strangulation and other social ills.

The former Minister of Education, who distributed booklets containing her policy action to people she met on the streets, said she was the best candidate among those parading themselves for the job.

Expectedly, she challenged them to only cast their votes for her in the forthcoming presidential election so as not only to change their fortunes in particular, but that of the country in general.

Speaking during the campaign that kicked off at Shoprite in Apo, Ezekwesili said Nigeria was facing slow pace of progress due to mismanagement of resources by the people that were entrusted with leadership.

Ezekwesili explained that she adopted the street campaign strategy because it was a disruptive strategy that would make money unnecessary in campaign and during.

She said that she adopted the strategy to prove to people, who had been asking her about her structure, that she had it in the streets.

The convener of Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) said: “What we are doing is distribution because a lot of people do say, ‘where is your structure?’

“The issue is that it is the distribution problem that we need to tackle; get the message to the people, who then get the message to any other people. That is what we are doing and you can see how successful it has been so far.

“This is a disruptive strategy; it is a strategy that is going to make money unnecessary to the extent that it (money) will no longer matter in elections.”

Ezekwesili further said: “My entry into politics is to change a lot of things. The idea that you go and embezzle so much money and then you use it to buy an office through politics in order to embezzle yet another round of money must end.

“So, we are a low budget campaign. You see what I’m doing? Some of the people who are used to the old traditional system will not understand it. But wait and see. Just wait and see what is going to happen.

“This strategy is working. It is going to work well because the person with the message is superior to the person with the money. The strategy that we have adopted is a very solid strategy.”

The former minister added: “It is not going to be about me, it’s going to be about the Nigerian people sustaining it. This is the movement of the Nigerian people and I’m the candidate of the Nigerian people. I’m not the candidate of the political class. So, my campaign has a strategy to it and just keep waiting and seeing how it is going to unfold.”

BIG STORY

Restructure Your State Before Calling For Restructuring At Federal Level —- Lawan Knocks Southern Governors

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Ahmad Lawan, Senate President, has cautioned Governors calling for the restructuring of the country.

Lawan, who spoke to State House correspondents on Thursday, said although he was not against those calling for restructuring, elected officials must not be among those advocating such.

According to him, state governors must ensure that they restructured their respective states first before calling for restructuring at the federal level.

He said: “The call for secession or the call for restructuring, many are genuine calls even though I never believe that someone who is calling for secession means well or is a misguided person.

“But I believe that when somebody calls for improving the structure that we have is a genuine call.

“But I want to advice here, I believe that as leaders those of us who were elected must not be at the forefront of calling for this kind of thing because even if you are a governor you are supposed to be working hard in your state to ensure that this restructuring you are calling for at the federal level you have done it in your state as well.

“This is because what you may accuse the federal government of whatever it is, you may also be accused of the same thing in your state.”

“So, we are supposed to ensure that we have a complete and total way of ensuring that our systems at the federal, state, and even local government work for the people and that we allow people to participate in governance so that whoever feels that he has something to offer to make Nigeria better does so freely without any hindrance.’’ NAN quoted him as saying.

Lawan also said Nigerians must come together regardless of their religious, ethnic, or political persuasions to find lasting solutions to the nation’s challenges.

He called on all elected leaders across the three tiers of government to always avoid primordial sentiments capable of creating division and social discontent among Nigerians.

“We should avoid partisanship, we should avoid regionalism. We are all leaders and we are in this together. The solution must come from us regardless of what level of government we are – whether at the federal, state, or even at the local government level,’’ he added.

Lawan, who also frowned at the way the local government system was relegated to the background in the country, noted that for the nation to address its security challenges the local government system must be functional and efficient.

“I want to take this opportunity also to say that we have diminished the local government system. I think we can attribute some of the security issues to the lack of a functional local government system.

“For me, I think the time has come for us to take up the challenge to ensure that the local government system functions. This is in keeping with looking for ways, for means, for solutions to the security challenges that we face. We must never neglect the local government system.

“I believe that this is one system that had worked even though in a different name. When it was Native Authority it was very effective, very efficient.

“So, we must go back to our local government to ensure that the local government continues to be autonomous, continues to be functional in order to complement whatever the States and the Federal Government would be doing.

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BIG STORY

Buhari Will Soon Deal With Criminals, Sponsors, We Won’t Play Politics With Human Lives —- APC

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The All Progressives Congress on Monday said the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), and his regime, will soon deal with those behind Nigeria’s growing insecurity.

It said the current security challenge was real, as such, the APC as a political party would not play politics with human lives.

This was contained in a statement titled, ‘We must unite against insecurity – APC,’ signed by the party’s National Secretary, Senator John Akpanudoedehe, in Abuja, on Monday.

Akpanudoedehe said, “The issue of insecurity in the country has found expression in terrorist and criminal activities of Boko Haram, bandits, kidnappers, rustlers and recently the highly condemnable attacks on security formations in some states.

“These are current realities and the APC will not play politics with matters of life and our collective wellbeing as a nation.

“As a progressive party in government, we are fully focused on identifying and bringing to book the perpetrators and sponsors of this hydra-headed insecurity monster and consolidating on our visible development strides.”

The party condoled with all those affected by the security incidents and appealed to Nigerians to unite against insecurity and criminality.

The statement further read, “Only in safety can we enjoy the current infrastructure revolution that has witnessed the rehabilitation, construction, and reconstruction of over 13,000 kilometers of critical federal roads, construction of thousands of affordable and acceptable housing and of course, the ongoing national railway projects gainfully connecting cities and towns across the country.”

In an earlier statement titled, ‘APC Condemns Attack on Governor Uzodinma’s Residence, Police Formations,’ Akpanudoedehe condemned the attack on the country home of the Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma, by unknown gunmen.

He said, “The party equally condemns the wanton attacks on police personnel and formations in Abia, Imo, Ebonyi and Anambra states as well as Rivers State.

“We stand with the Nigeria Police Force and families of the victims in this difficult time as we mourn the deaths of innocent and dedicated security personnel simply carrying out their duty of protecting life and property.

“In Imo state, the attack on the Governor’s residence is an attack on democracy and constituted authority serving the interest of the good people of Imo state.”

It also charged security agencies to fish out the perpetrators of these attacks and their sponsors and ensure that they face the full weight of the law.

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BIG STORY

JUST IN: PDP Member, Kassim Afegbua Drags Party National Chairman, Uche Secondus, To EFCC Over Alleged N10bn Scandal

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A member of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, and former Aide to Adams Oshiomhole, Prince Kassim Afegbua, has made true his promise to subject the leadership of the Uche Secondus-led PDP to financial scrutiny by submitting a petition to the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

Afegbua, who stormed the EFCC and ICPC offices on Monday at about 10.30 am handed over his petition asking the EFCC to look into the financial transactions of the National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, in the spirit of transparency, accountability, and book-keeping in line with the existing anti-corruption laws, noting that much of the financial transactions of the PDP under Prince Uche Secondus has been shrouded in mystery, accusing the leadership of deliberate attempt to shortchange the party in the build-up to the 2023 general elections.

In the petition, Afegbua is asking the anti-graft agencies to look into and scrutinize close to N10bn that allegedly accrued to the party’s purse from 2017 till date especially those that were as a result of sales of nomination forms for Presidential, Gubernatorial, House of Assembly and Senatorial elections, saying as an opposition party, the leadership should lead by example by ensuring that there is transparency and accountability.

He specifically accused the National Chairman, Uche Secondus of not living up to the expectations of strengthening the party to play its formidable role as a virile opposition party, adding that, avoiding the use of the party’s bank accounts and resorting to the use of one MORUFU NIGERIA LIMITED allegedly as a conduit pipe for financial mismanagement in the sales of forms in 2019 was an aberration.

He called on the EFCC and ICPC Chairmen to urgently ensure that due diligence is carried out to safeguard Nigeria’s democracy and guarantee the interest of the party’s overwhelming members, adding that in the event that the anti-graft agency delays in carrying out its investigation, he would have no option but to seek legal redress in the law court.

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