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Buhari Defends Tinubu’s Victory At International Forum, Says There Was No Plan To Annul Presidential Election

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  • Calls for support for the incoming Tinubu government “so that Nigeria will continue to be the beacon of hope and prosperity in our continent.”

Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari has risen in stout defense of the recent election of the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

He also disclosed that no plan was ever hatched to annul the 2023 presidential poll as was the case during the June 12, 1993, presidential election won by the late Bashorun M K O Abiola.

Presidential spokesperson, Mallam Garba Shehu,  in a piece put together on Thursday as a takeaway from President Buhari’s recent visit to Doha, Qatar, said President Buhari used the opportunity of the Fifth United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries in Qatar to drum up support for Tinubu.

Speaking to Nigerians in the diaspora about the ongoing political transition, President Buhari called for support for the incoming government of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, “so that Nigeria will continue to be the beacon of hope and prosperity in our continent and an example for other African countries to emulate.”

In addition to other things, this trip, more than any other, speaks to the courage, political stamina, and statesmanship with which the President has managed the nation’s affairs.

In the buildup to the trip, he was faced with orchestrated attempts to poison public opinion against national institutions, particularly the presidential election and its conduct by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC as an institution, against which vile and unsubstantiated allegations were hurled. The clear intent of this was to create an atmosphere of fear, polarizing the public and demonizing the administration of the President. The wishful thinkers appeared to assume that the June 12, 1993 election crisis, the worst ever since the Civil War could be recreated. Those who sought to do this forgot what the President said at the palace of the Gbong-Gwon Jos when he went to the city to inaugurate the Tinubu-Shettima campaign:

“This election will not be annulled; whoever is the winner will be president.,’’ he said.

President Buhari not only muted himself following the cacophony, but he also picked up international travel: “Bola Tinubu’s election stands. If you are aggrieved, and you have the locus to do so, go to court.’’

The presidential spokesperson further wrote:

President Muhammadu Buhari just returned from the 5th United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in Doha, Qatar.

The Conference featured an opening ceremony, the Fiftieth Anniversary Commemoration of the Establishment of the Group of LDCs, a General Debate, Eight (8) High-level Thematic Roundtables, and a series of side events on priorities of the Doha Programme of Action (DPoA).

The objective of the Conference was to primarily mobilize political will, solidarity, action, and solutions to transform the LDCs, by finding sustainable solutions to the challenges of poverty, food insecurity, hunger, weak or nonexistent infrastructure, inadequate health facilities, and climate change, among other things.

Expectedly, Nigeria participated in the general debate in which President Buhari delivered a national statement while the Ministers of Environment, Education, Humanitarian Affairs, Industry, Trade and Investment, Finance, Budget, and National Planning participated in the main Thematic Roundtables relevant to the policy of the Federal Government of Nigeria. These thematic issues were: Addressing Climate Change and Supporting the Environment; Investing in People in the least Developed Countries to Leave no One   Behind; Enhancing the Participation of Least Developed Countries in     International Trade and Regional Integration; and Resource Mobilization and Strengthened Global Partnerships for Sustainable Development in the least Developed Countries.

Nigerians saw much of it on TV, with great visuals of accomplishments and possibilities from there.

While in Doha, the President held a series of talks on the sidelines, meeting the Chairman of  ECOWAS and President of  Guinea-Bissau, Oumarou Sissoco Embalo who brought the good news of the forthcoming Icon of Democracy Award to President Buhari; the Transitional President of Chad, General Mehmet Idris Deby-Itno who got assurances of support for the democratic transition going on in their country, with both leaders appreciating the sustained momentum in the transition, and another meeting with the Vice President of Iran, Mohsen Mansouri.

Here, both leaders discussed ways to further strengthen economic cooperation, especially in the sectors of energy, infrastructure, and culture.

President Buhari told the Iranian Vice President that he fully supports “the strengthening of relations between our countries, as we have complementarities, especially in energy production.”

The President also had another important meeting with the father of the current leader of Qatar, the host country, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani.

The two leaders discussed ways to increase commerce, make people-to-people ties even stronger, and cooperate in areas of energy, culture, and other important issues.

President Buhari used the opportunity of the visit to speak to his guests about the recent election in Nigeria and the fact that a new President would be taking over in less than three months. He hoped that the strong relations he had built between those countries will continue to endure in the new administration. The highlight of the conference for Nigeria was the national address on the theme of this year’s event “From Potential to Prosperity”, a speech that observers described as strikingly activist. In it, the President criticized the current structure of the global financial system which, he said, “places an unsustainable external debt burden on the most vulnerable countries.”

He warned that such debt burdens would make it extremely difficult for LDCs to meet the 2030 Agenda for Seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

‘‘In 2015, the world came together to endorse the 2030 Agenda for Seventeen Sustainable Development Goals. There was no doubt that it was highly ambitious and would require leaders around the world to be fully committed to the SDGs to be achieved within the projected timeframe.

‘‘Eight years on, the possibility of achieving the SDGs remains bleak for many countries, particularly, the Least Developed Countries. The difficulties in achieving the SDGs are numerous and were further compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, the continued threat of Climate Change, and recently the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

‘‘The Least Developed Countries are often faced with developmental vulnerabilities and challenges that are not always of their making. These pose huge obstacles to their development efforts, hence the need for urgent and robust assistance to help unlock their potentials and build socio-economic resilience.”

He was also firm on his pet topic, Climate Change, in the speech warning that climate change remains one of the biggest existential threats facing humanity today, posing challenges to lives and livelihoods, and manifesting in different negative forms, including an increase in temperature, rise in sea levels, flooding, drought, and desertification.

‘‘It has also led to significant loss of biodiversity. Worst still, climate change has exacerbated conflicts and led to unplanned migration, causing untold hardship in places like the Lake Chad Basin region.

“The Least Developed Countries, therefore, continue to suffer disproportionately from the effects of climate change, despite contributing the least to its causes. Deaths from climate-related crises are higher in the most vulnerable countries, with projections that there will continue to be an upward trend.”

Whenever the President travels abroad, he meets world leaders but doesn’t miss the opportunity to talk to our citizens there, who proudly tells him about the achievements of the Nigerian community settled in those countries. The group he met with in Doha was made up of very outstanding professionals.

In putting together those meetings, the Nigerian Diaspora Commission under Abike Dabiri has been showing a remarkable aptitude.

The trip to Qatar was yet another successful outing by the President and it will be on record as such.

BIG STORY

UBA Takes Centre Stage At 2024 ECOWAS Mining Forum In Cotonou, Benin As Elumelu Gives Keynote Address

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Africa’s Global Bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, has been announced as the official sponsor of the 4th edition of the ECOWAS Mining and Petroleum Forum (ECOMOF 2024) scheduled to take place at the Palais des Congrès in Cotonou, Benin from February 22 to February 24, 2024.

The regional event is expected to see a large gathering of key players and stakeholders in the mining and petroleum sectors of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and as the financial institution of choice, with presence in 20 African countries and active involvement in major continental development projects, UBA is the preferred partner for the event, underlining the bank’s commitment to the growth of mining and Petroleum industry in the sub-region but to the whole not African economic development.

UBA Group Chairman, Tony Elumelu, would give the keynote address during the opening ceremony of this all-important event.

Elumelu who doubles as Chairman of Transcorp Group, with extensive interests in energy and power, will be speaking on the theme: “Geo-extractive Resources and Technologies: what pooling strategies for Value Creation in West Africa”

His speech is expected to highlight UBA’s increasing effort to support and develop the African continent through strategic investments in the key sectors of mining and petroleum.

Under the esteemed leadership of the President of the Republic of Benin, His Excellency, Patrice Talon, and the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and current President of ECOWAS, His Excellency Mr. Bola Tinubu, UBA Group will at the forum aim to restate its commitment towards supporting economic and social development across the continent.

The focus of ECOMOF 2024 underscores the significance of transforming the mining and oil sectors into economic pillars by formulating attractive policies for investors, essential for the sectors’ substantial contribution to the Gross Domestic Products (GDP) of ECOWAS member states.

The Transnational Corporation Group (Transcorp Plc) – a diversified conglomerate with strategic investments in various sectors, including power and energy – will also actively participate in the forum.

Key officials from UBA Group and Transcorp Plc, including the Chief Executive Officer UBA Africa, Abiola Bawuah; UBA’s Group Head, Corporate and Energy Bank, Ebele Ogbue, and President/ Chief Executive Officer, Transcorp Group, Owen Omogiafo will be actively involved in discussions and panels on the sidelines of the event.

Anticipated to attract over 2,000 participants from diverse sectors, including representatives from mining and oil industries, government officials, international and national investors, industry experts, ECOWAS delegates, and international organizations, ECOMOF 2024 promises to be a significant platform for collaborative dialogue and partnership building.

United Bank for Africa is one of the largest employers in the financial sector on the African continent, with 25,000 employees’ group wide and serving over 35 million customers globally. Operating in 20 African countries and in the United Kingdom, the United States of America, France and the United Arab Emirates, UBA provides retail, commercial and institutional banking services, leading financial inclusion and implementing cutting edge technology.

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BIG STORY

JUST IN: FG Working To Reduce Rising Food Prices Inherited From Past Government — Finance Minister Wale Edun

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Wale Edun, Nigeria’s Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, said that President Bola Tinubu’s administration inherited a surge in food and general commodity prices from the previous government.

He, however emphasized the government’s commitment to reducing food prices and tackling the nation’s high inflation rate.

Speaking at the Public Wealth Management Conference in Abuja on Tuesday, February 20, the finance minister acknowledged the hardships faced by Nigerians and outlined measures taken to alleviate their suffering.

He revealed that, as part of these interventions, the government has released 42,000 metric tons of grains, with an additional 60,000 metric tons scheduled for release soon.

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BIG STORY

JUST IN: State Police Bill Passes Second Reading At House Of Representatives

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A bill proposing the establishment state police has passed second reading at the house of representatives.

Sponsored by Benjamin Kalu, deputy speaker of the house, and 14 others, the bill proposes to transfer the term “police” in the 1999 constitution from the exclusive legislative list to the concurrent legislative list.

The bill, which comprises 18 clauses, seeks to amend sections 34, 35, 39, 42, 84, 89, 129 153, 197, 214, 215 and 216 of the constitution.

 

More to come…

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