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I’ll Keep Contesting For Presidency As Long As My Health Permits — Atiku Abubakar

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Nigeria’s former vice-president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, says he will “keep contesting” for the Nigerian presidency as long as he is hale and hearty.

He made this known during an interview on the Hausa service of the Voice of America in Abuja.

77-year-old Atiku was the standard-bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 election.

The politician will be 81 by the time the next presidential election comes around in 2027.

“Of course, I will keep contesting again and again as long as I am alive and healthy,” Abubakar said.

Abubakar has run for the number one office six times but has been on the ballot as a presidential candidate on three occasions, 2007, 2019, and 2023.

Abubakar said he is consoled by the fact that former United States President Abraham Lincoln did not win the presidential vote on the first time of asking.

He also spoke about the crisis in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), saying the party needs to be united and forge alliances with other political groups to win the presidential election in 2027.

“Even the former US President Abraham Lincoln contested seven times before finally winning,” he said.

“However, given the current state of the PDP, it is clear that a single-handed effort will not suffice to win the election. Strong support and collaboration with other parties are required.”

Last week, Abubakar said he was engaging Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 election, on the possibility of a merger.

“This is to anybody that thinks there is going to be a misunderstanding between me and Obi, let me assure you that not even a small issue is going to happen between us,” Abubakar said.

“Also, we are going to be behind anybody that will be chosen to represent us in the forthcoming elections.

“I have made it clear in my previous speeches that if our parties are going to merge to agree on a candidate from the south-east, as long as he is qualified, we will allow it.”

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Nigeria’s Foreign Reserves Now $37bn, Up By $2bn In 18 Days — CBN Governor Cardoso

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The country’s foreign exchange reserves have surged to $37.05 billion as of July 18 according to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

CBN Governor Yemi Cardoso announced this development during a press briefing on Tuesday, following the 296th Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja.

The reserves experienced a significant boost, rising by $2.35 billion from $34.70 billion at the end of June to $37.05 billion in just 18 days.

“As of July 18, 2024, external reserves stood at US$37.05 billion, compared with US$34.70 billion as of June 2024. This represents 11 months of import cover for goods and services,” Cardoso said.

However, according to data published by CBN and seen by TheCable, Nigeria’s foreign reserves stood between $35.93 billion as of July 18, and $36.23 billion as of July 22, less than what Cardoso presented.

On July 18, CBN approved the sale of foreign exchange (FX) to eligible bureau de change (BDC) operators at N1,450 per dollar to meet the demand for invisible transactions.

Days after, CBN said foreign currencies worth $106.5 million were sold to authorised dealers.

CBN said the aim is to improve supply in the FX market in tandem with its price stability mandate.

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President Tinubu Signs South-East, North-West Development Commission Bills Into Law

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President Bola Tinubu has officially signed into law the South-East and North-West Development Commission bills.

The South-East Development Commission bill was sponsored by Deputy Speaker Benjamin Kalu, who represents the Bende Federal Constituency of Abia State.

After passing through the Senate and House of Representatives, the bill was transmitted to the President in June for his assent.

With the signing of the bill into law, the Commission will now receive funding to execute various projects in the South-East geopolitical zone.

The allocated funds will be used to address environmental challenges such as erosion, as well as reconstruct and rehabilitate roads in Abia, Enugu, Ebonyi, Imo, and Anambra states.

This move is expected to bring significant development and infrastructure improvements to the region.

In a statement issued by Levinus Nwabughiogu, his chief press secretary, Kalu expressed appreciation to the president for signing the bill into law.

The deputy speaker said the commission will “rehabilitate Igbo land” and foster unity among the people.

Tinubu also signed the north-west development commission bill into law.

Jibrin Barau, deputy senate president and sponsor of the bill, said the signing of the proposed legislation is a “testament” to Tinubu’s “commitment to addressing the challenges facing the north-west geopolitical zone and indeed all parts of the country”.

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Wike Urges Nigerians To Be Patient With FG, Says Planned Protest Political

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Nyesom Wike, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), has dismissed the upcoming nationwide protest as a politically motivated move.

Speaking to journalists on Tuesday during an inspection of the Karshi to Apo Road construction project, Wike expressed his views on the planned protest.

The youth-led protest, scheduled to begin on August 1, aims to draw attention to the country’s economic hardship and soaring inflation.

However, Wike believes that the protest is driven by political interests rather than a genuine concern for the welfare of Nigerians.

According to Wike, the government is actively working to address the country’s challenges, implying that the protest is unnecessary and potentially disruptive.

His comments suggest that the government is making efforts to mitigate the economic difficulties faced by Nigerians, and that the protest may be an attempt to undermine these efforts.

“Let’s tell ourselves the simple truth. If we are playing politics let’s say we are playing politics; if we want to be sincere to ourselves, let’s be sincere to ourselves and help our country,” NAN quoted Wike as saying.

“The country is rotten. You know that the country is rotten, and a government has just come to see what it can do to at least, move it from where we are to a certain level, and you say that miracle must be performed within one year.

“You are here now, we are talking about a project that was awarded 13 good years ago, what has happened? Nothing.

“Now a government has come to see how it can fix all these things and we are in too much of a hurry demanding that it must be done now.

“It is not possible. The protest is a political protest.”

The minister acknowledged that people are unhappy due to hunger and unemployment.

“So, let’s not listen to political protesters and political jobbers who just want to be popular. You know there are some people who believe that if they don’t criticise, they will not be popular,” he said.

“We are going to elections very soon; these are political gimmicks.

“Just know that the government is a serious government and working to solve the problem.

“We believe that things will turn around, but we should be patient with the government.”

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