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BIG STORY

Nigeria Decides: Full Text Of Buhari’s Campaign Speech To Nigerians [MUST READ]

Gbemileke Ajayi

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President Muhammadu Buhari has urged Nigerians to vote right in Saturday’s presidential and national assembly elections.

He also assured Nigerians of free, fair and creddible polls.

The president gave the assurance during a live broadcast on Thursday and monitored by PorscheClassy News.

His Full speech below.

“ Fellow Citizens,

“On Saturday, February 16, 2019, you will, once again, be called upon to choose the leaders who will pilot the affairs of our great nation for the next four years. This is a constitutional right which should be freely exercised by all eligible voters.

  1. I wish therefore to start by assuring all Nigerians that this Government will do its very best to ensure that the 2019 elections take place in a secure and peaceful atmosphere.
  2. It was indeed such free, fair and peaceful elections that made it possible for our Government to emerge, despite the fact that we were contesting against a long-standing incumbent party.
  3. And as your president and a fellow Nigerian, I ask that you come out and queue to fulfill this important obligation you have to yourselves and your fellow citizens – and to our common future.
  4. Let me at this point, reaffirm the commitment of the Federal Government to the conduct of free and fair elections in a safe and peaceful atmosphere. Just yesterday, I signed the Peace Accord alongside 72 other presidential candidates.
  5. I want to assure all Nigerians, the diplomatic community and all foreign election observers of their safety and full protection. Any comments or threats of intimidation from any source do not represent the position of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
  6. As Government has a critical role in maintaining the democratic traditions, so do citizens. I therefore urge you all, as good Nigerians, to take a personal interest in promoting and maintaining peace in your respective neighbourhoods during the elections. This is certainly not a time to allow personal, religious, sectional or party interests to drive us to desperation.
  7. At this point, I want to make a special appeal to our youth: Do not allow yourselves to be used to cause violence and destruction. The people who want to incite you are those preparing the ground for discrediting the elections. Having lost the argument, they fear losing the elections.
  8. When you elected me in 2015, it was essentially in consequence of my promise of CHANGE. We committed ourselves to improving security across the country, putting the economy on a sound footing and tackling rampant corruption, which had in many ways become a serious drawback to national development.
  9. Our Government spent the last 3 years and 9 months striving faithfully to keep this promise, in spite of very serious revenue shortages caused mainly by a sharp drop in international oil prices and an unexpected rise in the vandalisation of oil installations, which, mercifully have now been curtailed.
  10. We nevertheless pressed on in our quest to diversify the economy, create jobs, reduce commodity prices and generally improve the standard of living among our people.
  11. The damage that insecurity and corruption have done, over time, to our collective livelihood is incalculable. However, it is pleasing to note that our frontal attack on these twin evils is gaining momentum and bringing about visible progress.
  12. The recovery of the economy from recession is complete and Nigeria is back on the path of steady growth.
  13. The key to creating more jobs lies in accelerating this momentum of economic growth. Happily, we have succeeded in making the fundamental changes necessary for this acceleration, and we are now beginning to see the efforts bearing fruit.
  14. Our ease of doing business policies and programmes are already impacting medium, small and micro industries, as well as Manufacturing, Mining and Agriculture, among other key sectors.
  15. Our commitment to critical infrastructure – that is Roads, Rails, Bridges, Airports and Seaports – will create more jobs, improving the efficiency and competitiveness of our industries.
  16. Many of these projects are at different stages of completion, and those who use them regularly will attest to the fact that even while construction is ongoing, they are beginning to see reduced travel times. This will ultimately translate to reduced costs and greater convenience, making transportation, and business in particular, much easier.
  17. The economic recovery that we promised is well underway, as demonstrated by the recently released statistics. In 2018, the economy grew by 1.93%, with the Fourth Quarter growth being 2.38%, up from 1.81% in the Third Quarter.
  18. Remarkably, the strong economic performance was driven by the Non-Oil sector, which grew at 2% as at full year. Indeed, Non-Oil growth rose to 2.7% in the Fourth Quarter of 2018, up from 2.32% in the Third Quarter. These results further underscore our commitment to diversifying the economy away from the past dependence on Oil.
  19. Other indicators confirm the economy’s steady recovery. Our monthly food import bill has declined from $664 million in January 2015 to $160 million as at October 2018. Inflation fell from 18.72% in January 2017 to 11.44% in December 2018. Our External Reserves have risen from $23 billion in October 2016 to $43.12 billion as at 7th February 2019.
  20. Now that the recession is well behind us, our next task is to redouble our efforts, accelerate the growth and use it to create even more jobs for our people.
  21. The Executive Orders, No. 5, and No. 7 issued by me, and the recently approved National Infrastructure Maintenance Policy demonstrate our commitment to accelerated job creation and infrastructure development.
  22. We believe that Governments cannot simply proclaim jobs into existence. Job creation will only expand as a result of economic policies that enable the private sector to flourish, and this is the approach our Administration has taken.
  23. Executive Order No 5, which Promotes Nigerian Content in Contracts, as well as Science, Engineering and Technology, will preserve and prioritize job creation for our citizens.
  24. Executive Order 7, on the Road Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit Scheme, seeks to mobilize private capital and capacity for infrastructure development.
  25. It responds to the demands of manufacturing and industrial complexes which wish to construct access roads without waiting for government, so long as they are allowed to recover the cost from taxes they would have paid to government.
  26. We expect that this approach will boost industrial expansion and rural development, consequently creating more jobs for our people.
  27. Similarly, our recently issued Maintenance Policy targets artisans, carpenters, welders, tailors, painters, bricklayers, electricians, plumbers, landscapers and many more Ordinary Nigerians at the base of our economic pyramid who will get regular and large-scale opportunities to improve themselves.
  28. It is an economic solution that also brings the relevant artisans and professionals into long term sustainable employment to maintain our Schools, Court Rooms, Hospitals, Police Stations, Federal Secretariats and other Public Buildings.
  29. Human Capital Development has also been a key priority for this Administration, which has increased investments in health and education. Innovative measures have been introduced to complement the traditional budgetary allocations to the relevant Ministries.
  30. For instance, Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority has invested US$21 million in three healthcare projects as a Public Private Partnership with three Federal medical institutions. These include two modern Medical Diagnostic Centres located at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano and the Federal Medical Centre, Umuahia; as well as one outpatient Cancer Treatment Centre in Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos – which I commissioned on 9th February 2019.
  31. Of course, our radical commitment to developing Critical Infrastructure is the foundation upon which we will deliver an all embracing national prosperity and a shared commonwealth.
  32. There is no country that aspires to greatness without spending massively on its Critical Infrastructure. Rather than the discredited policy of ‘stomach infrastructure’, which could only benefit a few for a little while, we are focused on real infrastructural development for the growth of our economy and the long-term benefit of all Nigerians.
  33. When you voted for our message of CHANGE, you invited us to assume office and depart from that bad and most regrettable choice. We have responded by making a choice for real infrastructure of Roads in every State, Housing in 34 States, Power Stations across Nigeria, Rail from Lagos to Kano.
  34. The choice that now confronts us is whether we want to continue with real infrastructure development, which is the road to prosperity and jobs or return to the era of ‘stomach infrastructure’.
  35. Agricultural Self-Reliance and Food Security is also a choice we made in fulfilment of your mandate for change.
  36. Our Presidential Fertiliser Initiative has resulted in savings of US$150 million in foreign exchange due to local sourcing of inputs at 16 Blending Plants. It has also conserved N60 billion in Subsidies as well as supported tens of thousands of farmers and agro-dealers nationwide.
  37. Our Anchor Borrowers’ Programme has substantially raised local rice yields from as low as two Metric Tonnes per hectare, to as high as eight Metric Tonnes per hectare.
  38. Through this programme, the Central Bank of Nigeria has cumulatively lent over N120 billion to over 720,000 smallholder farmers cultivating 12 commodities across the 36 States and Abuja. Targeted crops and livestock have included cattle, poultry, fish, cassava, soybeans, ground nut, ginger, sorghum, rice, wheat, cotton and maize.
  39. As a result, we have seen a remarkable rise in the production of key agricultural commodities. I am pleased to note that in major departmental stores and local markets, there has been a surge in the supply of high quality Nigerian agricultural produce.
  40. Behind each of these products, are thousands of industrious Nigerians working in factories and farms across the nation. Our interventions have led to improved wealth and job creation for these Nigerians, particularly in our rural communities.
  41. Again, these outcomes have been a major departure from the previous focus on consuming imported food items, which literally exported our children’s jobs to food-exporting nations, whilst depleting our precious foreign exchange reserves. This, of course, caused a closure of our factories while keeping open other peoples’ factories.
  42. The choice made by this Administration to assist farmers directly and promote agriculture in every way possible has gone a long way to enhance our food security while enabling us to tackle poverty by feeding over nine million children daily under our Home-Grown School Feeding Programme. It also puts us clearly on the road to becoming a food secure and agriculture exporting nation.
  43. Next to Agriculture, we are focusing on Manufacturing Sector. The Purchasing Managers Index, which is the measure of manufacturing activities in an economy has risen for 22 consecutive months as at January this year, indicating continuous growth and expansion in our manufacturing sector.
  44. I will conclude by going back to where I started: that our choices have had consequences about employment and cost of living.
  45. In making your choice this time, please ask yourself whether, and in what ways, others will do anything different to address the issues of Agriculture, Infrastructure, Security, Good Governance and Fighting Corruption.
  46. If they are only hoping to do what we are already doing successfully, we are clearly your preferred choice.
  47. Think carefully and choose wisely. This time, it is a choice about consolidating on growth for Jobs and Prosperity.
  48. February 16th is all about a choice. But it is more than a choice between APC and the opposition. It is a choice about you, it is a choice between going back or keeping the momentum of CHANGE.
  49. The road to greater prosperity for Nigeria may be long, but what you can be assured of is a Leadership that is not prepared to sacrifice the future well-being of Nigerians for our own personal or material needs. You can be assured of my commitment to remain focused on working to improve the lives of all Nigerians.
  50. Thank you very much for listening. God bless you, and may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

BIG STORY

Ajimobi’s Family Knew I Was At The Gate, Says Oyo Deputy Gov

Peter Okunoren

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Oyo Deputy Governor, Rauf Olaniyan, has insisted the family of the late Governor Abiola Ajimobi was aware of his presence at the gate of the residence contrary to its claim.

Olaniyan was denied access to the Oluyole Estate residence of the late Governor on Sunday during the 8th day fidau prayers for Abiola Ajimobi.

Though the family, on Saturday in a statement by Bolaji Tunji, who is the spokesman for the late governor, explained the fidau was going to be a private affair, Oyo State Government took out newspaper pages to console with the family on Sunday.

The Deputy Governor was, however, denied entry to the building when he visited to join the prayer. He waited for between 10 and 15 minutes at the gate before leaving. He was told that the key to the gate was with Mrs. Ajimobi, who was attending the fidau prayer held in the compound.

Tunji, in a statement, had denied that Olaniyan was deliberately denied entry because the family was not aware of his planned visit and arrival at the gate.

He added that that on making efforts to facilitate access for him later, they discovered that he had left. The family offered apologies for the incident.

But in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Omolere Omoetan, Olaniyan countered the explanation that the family was unaware he was waiting at the gate.

He said it was another act of rebuffing hands of fellowship being extended to the family of Ajimobi by Governor Seyi Makinde.

The statement reads in part: “Again, some members and aides of the former Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi continue to rebuff the hand of fellowship extended to the family of the late governor by the government of Oyo State led by His Excellency, Engr. Seyi Makinde.

“Today at the 8th day Fidau Prayers of the former Governor Oyo State Isaika Ajimobi, the Deputy Governor, Engr Rauf Olaniyan, was denied access to the venue of the event.

“The Deputy Governor, who led the government delegation comprising himself and some commissioners, on the approval of the governor, was kept waiting at the gate for over 15 minutes. Even when security men at the gate went in to tell them he was at the gate, no directive came back to grant his Excellency access.

“At a point, the security personnel in uniform and mufti at the gates became very hostile and the ADC to the Deputy Governor was manhandled by men of the police force. It was at this point that the Deputy Governor decided to leave the scene that was becoming tense while waiting in his car.

“Having waited for a while to see if the situation would change to no avail, he proceeded to take his leave.

“It should be noted that the Deputy Governor put a call through to Alhaji Kunle Sanni, Chairman of Oyo State Muslim Council, who was among the officiating ministers, that he was at the gate and was being denied entrance. Alhaji Sanni responded that his hands were tied. This is a clear indication that what transpired was premeditated.

“There was no truth in the family saying they were not aware that the state government delegation was at the gate because Mr Bolaji Tunji was severally called by men of Civil Defence at the gate.

“Even if the Deputy Governor arrived when the prayers had started, it is a well-known fact in Islam that when prayers are on-going and a male walks in, it’s an indication that the prayers have received Allah’s acceptance.

“However, Engr Raufu Olaniyan wishes to re-iterate that the visit of the government delegation to the 8th day Fidau Prayers of His Excellency Senator Isaika Ajimobi was a clear demonstration on the part of His Excellency, Engr Seyi Makinde, that the late governor is held in high regard. He stated that it was only fitting for the state government to show respect to the late governor at the Fidau prayers held in his honour.

“The Deputy Governor also wishes to put it on record that despite the way he was treated by the Ajimobi family, which he refuses to hold personal, he has displayed maturity as required of the public office at this level. He holds no grudges and he will continue to pray that Allah grants the departed former Governor Al-Jana Firdaus.

“Engr. Raufu Olaniyan will also like to draw the attention of the Oyo state Commissioner of Police to the highly unprofessional and unruly conduct of the police personnel at the premises.”




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BIG STORY

LASTMA Official ‘Stabs’ Lover, ‘Kills’ Self Over Alleged Infidelity

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Homicide detectives of the Lagos State Police Command have commenced investigation into an alleged attempted murder and suicide by a Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Emmanuel Mekuri, 47.

Mekuri, a resident of Araromi area of Morogbo allegedly stabbed himself to death after stabbing his live-in lover, Patricia Ogunshola, 37, on the right thigh.

It was gathered that the incident occurred around 1am in front of Ogunshola’s 13-year-old daughter.

The Nation reports that this incident is the second spousal homicide in two weeks on grounds of alleged infidelity.

Trouble was said to have started between the couple after Ogunshola accused her partner of infidelity.

The duo was said to have had an arguement that degenerated into physical fighting around past midnight.

Although it was unclear which of them introduced a knife in the fight, The Nation gathered that Mekuri stabbed the woman on her thigh and aimed for her head but she fled the room.

Mekuri allegedly stabbed himself on the stomach such that his intentines came out and he died on the spot.

The teenager, said to be the man’s stepdaughter, was said to have raised alarm and attracted neighbours’ attention who called in the police.

Detectives were deployed to the scene immediately and a knife covered in blood was found.

Confirming the incident, police spokesman Bala Elkana, a Superintendent (SP) said investigation was ongoing, adding that the woman was in stable condition.




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BIG STORY

632 Students Fail Law School Final Exams, No Date Yet For Call To Bar Ceremony

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A total of 632 students failed this year’s Law School final examinations out of the 2,515 students who sat for the examinations held in January.

The Director General, Nigerian Law School (NLS), Professor Isa Hayatu Chiroma (SAN) said, in a statement on Sunday, that the Council of Legal Education (CLE) held a virtual meeting last week to consider and approve the release of the results.

Chiroma said a breakdown of the results showed that five students got First Class and were placed under the category of ‘”outstanding performance,”constituting 0.2 percent of the total students that sat for the examinations.

He aded: “Candidates graded in Second Class Upper: 77 (3.06 %).

“Candidates graded in Second Class Lower Upper: 633 (25.17 %)

“Candidates in Pass: 1,067 (42.42 %)

“Candidate with Conditional Pass: 82 (3.26 %)

“Candidates who failed: 632 (25.12 %)

“Absent: 17 (0.7 %)

“Withheld: 2 (0.08%)”

Chiroma said the dates for screening and call to bar would be communicated to the affected students in due course.




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