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Reasons Why Gov Yahaya Bello Should Be Re-Elected, By Abdulrahman Yakubu

Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello

If there is anything that has endeared Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello to the people of Kogi state and beyond, it is his pragmatic leadership disposition in restoring peace and security in the hitherto restive state in the central part of Nigeria. This is even more commendable, considering the increasing wave of insecurity across the country in recent times, with the central region as the hotbed of these vicious circle of violent conflicts, armed robbery, and kidnapping. There is no doubt, that the 44-year-old chartered accountant has brought to bear, an exceptional leadership quality that requires every Nigerian to pay serious attention to without prejudice.

Of course, for some of us who have been diligently following his administration’s footsteps identified unique technique he has deployed in governing the state that has so far witnessed tremendous achievements in the last about four years of his stewardship as governor. It’s noteworthy that while some state governors relinquished some of their responsibilities and ran to Abuja for helps as a result of the increasing cases of insecurity across the country, Governor Yahaya Bello, however, confronted the challenge with grip despite several distractions within the state.

On assumption of office in January 2016, Governor Yahaya Bello identified security as a priority in achieving any meaningful development. He quickly put in place security architecture, ranging from equipping security agents to empowering traditional institution and personally led a team to dislodge perceived criminals’ hideouts across the state.

Governor Bello’s proactive response to security breaches in any part of the state was complemented with his undisputable inclusive leadership style, by giving equal opportunities to all sections of the state. As a matter of fact, this is the first-time such exceptional leadership disposition is exhibited since the creation of the state in 1991.

While a short piece of this nature cannot sufficiently enumerate the Governor’s landmark achievements, it’s however, germane to mention some few of them dotted across the state. These include construction of township roads across the three senatorial districts; revitalizing the state health care centers (including renovation of state’s school of nursing and midwifery); building from scratch, the largest rice processing plant in the whole of northern Nigeria; revival of the dearth rural water supply; building and equipping of army operational forward base and outposts; construction of about three hundred classrooms for schools; building and renovation of several religious worship centers; construction and renovation of several state government buildings, including traditional rulers’ palaces amongst other numerous achievements.

There is no doubt that Governor Yahaya Adoza Bello’s exceptional leadership has won him not only local commendations but also international recognition. Just recently, President Buhari was reported to have enjoined other governors with security challenges to learn from Kogi state on how the state was able to draw the curtain against the criminals and achieved peace and security in the state. It’s also on record that several international organizations including the United Nations have recognized Yahaya Bello and his government to the extent of inviting the state to the 72nd UN General Assembly to make a presentation. On several occasions, the National Hajj Commission and some Civil Society organizations have commended and awarded Kogi State Hajj commission for its excellent performance in the management of the commission.

Furthermore, it is gratifying to note that, Kogi state which was classified by the U.S government among the high risk states up to 2015, was at a time during new direction government of Yahaya Bello, hailed as the 2nd most peaceful states in the country. Indeed, these and among others several examples are clear testimonies of the giant strides of the state government in the last three and half years.

However, no human is perfect and Bello is not an exception as he has personally acknowledged to do better if given another opportunity. Of course, there are some decisions or actions he might have taken that may be considered wrong. Indeed, that is his human side and that is where every sincere and committed stakeholder of the state is expected to render supports by advising him and praying to God to guide him, not by derogating and abusive statements on his personality. After all, government is not a one-man business. As such, when a government failed, it is attributed to the entire people that made up that government. His ability to identify and appoint some good hands in his government no doubt has helped him to record the landmark achievements we celebrate today. By and large, when compared to the situation of the state before he assumed office in 2016, he has done excellently well and surpassed all his predecessors that had governed the state.

Without mincing words, as Kogites heading for another important election in the next few weeks from now, we must, with the utmost sense of responsibility ensure that, a man who has mustered the courage to weather the storm and navigated the hazardous political terrain to restore peace and security, launched infrastructural revolution across the state and exhibited exceptional leadership quality cum political will, be compensated by voting him en-masse to continue his developmental strides, in not only repositioning the state to an enviable height but also solidify the bond he has erected among all divides in the state which will, in turn, guarantee a more united, prosperous Kogi State for generation to come.

May Almighty Allah guide, protect and elevate him to do more good things in our dear state and Nigeria at large. Amin.

  • Abdulrahman is a concerned Kogi citizen wrote in from Okene. He can be reached via: abufudeil50@gmail.com

Mercy Johnson’s Father Buried In Lagos

The remains of late Daniel Ametuo Johnson, father of a popular Nollywood actress, Mercy Johnson Okojie have been buried in his residence in Lagos.
This followed the wake-keeping and Service of Song that were observed for him yesterday.
A family Tribute by his Cousin, who is a Pastor in Lagos, Apostle Mike, Olu Alabi. Apostle Johnson is from Oboroke Ihima in Kogi State.
Late Daniel Ametuo Johnson, a retired Naval Officer hails from Osikoyi in Ihima.
He died on 5th May 2023 without any diagnosed ailment.

The tribute was posted on a Facebook group by Johnson Ochiji Obojo.

Sokoto Govt Clears Deposed Sultan Dasuki Of Wrongdoing 7 Years After His Death

The Government of Sokoto State has cleared the deposed Sultan of Sokoto, late Ibrahim Dasuki, of any wrongdoing that could warrant his deposition.
Dasuki was deposed in 1996 and was banished from Sokoto Sultanate during the regime of late military Head of State, General Sani Abacha.
Dasuki, who was the 18th Sultan of Sokoto, died while still in exile in November 2016, 20 years after he was deposed. He died at the age of 92.
The State government, in a white paper on the high-powered enquiry into his activities, asked that all the entitlements of the late Sultan should be settled immediately.
Led by the late Muhammadu Jega, former secretary to the military government and head of service, the committee conducted a comprehensive study and investigation into the circumstances surrounding the government’s action against the late Sultan.
They concluded that there was no evidence to support any incriminating acts that would justify his deposition.
The committee highlighted the denial of the Sultan’s right to defend himself, as required by the laws of the land.
Announcing the decision on behalf of the state government, the state commissioner for information, Akibu Dalhatu, and the Sttorney General and commissioner of justice, Barrister Suleiman Usman (SAN), said that the white paper had adopted the committee’s recommendation.
“The white paper adopts the committee’s recommendation, stating that the late Sultan Ibrahim Dasuki should be officially exonerated and cleared of any wrongdoing for posterity. He will also receive all entitlements for the years he served as Sultan of Sokoto, in accordance with the laws pertaining to such entitlements.”
The committee said that Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal approved the white paper during the sitting of the State Executive Council on May 25, 2023, demonstrating empathy and recognition for the late 18th Sultan of Sokoto.
The announcement has been met with widespread relief and satisfaction among the people of Sokoto, who closely followed the developments of the case.
Supporters of Sultan Dasuki, who steadfastly maintained his innocence, feel that their unwavering faith in his character and integrity has been unequivocally justified.
The news of Sultan Dasuki’s exoneration is reverberating throughout the state, bringing a renewed sense of hope and closure to his family and well-wishers.
The government’s commitment to securing his legacy and addressing the suffering endured by his loved ones through the provision of long-overdue benefits is seen as a significant step towards healing and reconciliation.

Source: PRNigeria.

Hike In Fuel Price: Labour Declares Nationwide Strike Next Wednesday

The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has declared a nationwide strike starting from next week Wednesday over withdrawal of fuel subsidy and the consequence hike in the price of fuel across the country.
NLC President, Joe Ajaero, who made the announcement after an emergency meeting of the union’s National Executive Council (NEC) today , June 2′ in Abuja said that the government, particularly the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited had up until Wednesday next week to revert to the old price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise referred to as petrol.
Ajaero said that failure of the Federal Government to meet the ultimatum would attract an indefinite protest across the country.
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu said during his inauguration on Monday in Abuja that the era of subsidy gone, adding that with the 2023 budget making no provision for fuel subsidy, further payment was no longer justifiable.
He said that his government would instead, channel funds into infrastructure and other areas to strengthen the economy.
The presidential pronouncement led to an almost instant resurgence of fuel queues across the country with Nigerians foraging for the premium product.
Though Tinubu’s decision received backing from the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) and House of Representatives, it has since been resisted by the NLC and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC).
According to the organised labour, the President cannot unilaterally take a decision on subsidy removal.
TUC President, Festus Osifo, said that there was a reason the immediate past administration of Muhammadu Buhari pushed the “sensitive issue” to the new government.

Why Odds Favour Abbas, Kalu As 10Th Reps Speaker, Deputy

Barely two weeks to the inauguration of the 10th National Assembly, there are inescapable signals of victory that points in favour of Honourable Tajudeen Abbas and Benjamin Kalu as lawmakers who will emerge as the two lead principal officers of the House of Representatives when the legislators meet to elect their leadership on 13th June, 2023.

While Abbas who hails from Kaduna State north central is seeking to be elected as the next Speaker, Kalu who represents Abia State southeast is contesting for the position of Deputy speaker in the Green Chamber.

At the center of the race for the next leadership of the National Assembly are issues of competence, ranking, and zoning, already agreed by the lawmakers as set criteria for the election of the principal officers to guarantee justice in terms of balancing the political equation of the country and ensure a peaceful tenure for the current administration.

With Bola Tinubu as Nigeria’s President from the South-west and his running mate, Kashim Shettima from North-east, the thinking of political stakeholders is that the presiding offices in the parliament should be shared among the remaining four geopolitical zones – a reason why Abbas and Kalu also threw their hats in the ring.

Bfore President Tinubu was sworn-in on 29th May, himself, and the APC leadership at a meeting, precisely on Monday May 8th this year, reportedly endorsed Abbas and Kalu as speaker and deputy speaker respectively. For the Senate, the party was said to have announced Senator-elect, Godswill Akpabio and Senator Barau Jibrin as preferred choices for Senate President and Deputy Senate President respectively. This development obviously ignited stiff opposition from a few ranking APC lawmakers who vowed to challenge the party’s decision.

As things stand, especially with the current Speaker of the House of Representatives Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, now appointed as Tinubu’s Chief of Staff (CoS), both Abbas and Kalu could be smiling home in strong hope for victory when the Green Chamber meets on June 13th. The reason is not far-fetched. They now have a dependable ally on the corridors of power to lobby and influence issues in their favour. At the vantage point and with presidential backing, the current speaker could seamlessly reach out to several colleagues, mobilize them, even across party lines to get their buy-in on the Abbas, Kalu project.

Reliable sources also confirm that President Tinubu’s handlers are not taking anything for granted in galvanizing support for these two lawmakers who remain the APC preferred choice. This is in realization that President Tinubu is already comfortable with the candidature of the duo whom he believes have noteworthy track records to lead the House in such a manner that will help achieve the objectives of his government’s “Renew Hope Agenda.”

When the two frontline candidates for the House of Representatives plum jobs met with President Tinubu at the Presidential Villa on Thursday, no one was left in doubt of their mission. After two hours of a closed-door session, the legislators told reporters that they were in the Villa to congratulate Tinubu on his inauguration as the 16th President of Nigeria.

Responding to specific questions on their ambition to lead the Green Chamber, Abbas explained that himself, Kalu, relevant stakeholders of caucuses in the House and the APC were working hard for unity of purpose. According to him, having served Nigerians in the ninth National Assembly which is the best that has had harmonious relationship with the executive arm of government, himself and Honourable Kalu intend to lead the 10th House in the interest of Nigerians to help address some national issues challenges such as insecurity facing the country. We have always had autonomy in the National Assembly and that will continue under our leadership,” Abbas noted.

A member of the House of Representatives who does not want to be quoted in print explains that aside presidential support, this is first time that opposition lawmakers are openly supporting a ruling party’s candidate in selection of leadership in the National Assembly. “It what has never happened in the history of the National Assembly. There is the joint task made up of members elect from all the eight political parties that will be in the 10th Assembly. Majority of these group is working to support Abbas and Kalu”, he added.

There is a group called the Minority Parties Forum – led by a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from Ebonyi State that is also drawing support for the APC’s preferred choice. This is another plus for the Abbas, Kalu team. Many lawmakers on the opposition side have also openly shown support for the Abbas, Kalu project. In the middle of the race, some candidates for the House contest withdrew from the race to support these two lawmakers, a further indication that they may have a smooth sail during the election on 13th June.

Fielding questions from reporters, Honourable Kalu said, his emergence and that of Abbas as leaders of the House of Representatives on 13th June will bring about balancing of the inequality that exists with the country. Nigerians should rest assured that innovation, transformation, and reforms are going to be introduced by us. We believe that nation building should a joint task involving the input of the executive and the contribution of the legislature,” he said.

Unlike former President Mohammadu Buhari who did not show interest in the composition of the 9th National Assembly leadership, President Tinubu, as a core politician and a parliamentarian himself, obviously seems to have taken the Abbas, Kalu ambition as his personal project and may only be working for their emergence behind the scenes.

Whether the election of Honourables Abbas and Kalu will further enhance the democratic principles of the separation of powers or not, is a question on the lips of many Nigerians as they await Tuesday 13th June when the lawmakers cast their ballot on the floor of the Green Chamber.

President Tinubu Picks George Akume As SGF, Gbajabiamila As His Chief Of Staff

Sen. George Akume

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has named former Governor of Benue State and immediate past Minister of Special Duties, George Akume, as new Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).
The President also named the peaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila as his Chief of Staff and Senator Ibrahim Hassan Hadejia, a former Deputy Governor of Jigawa State, as Deputy Chief of Staff.
The announcement of the officers was made at a meeting by the President, with Progressives Governors Forum (PGF) today, June 2, according to a statement by the
Director, Information, Abiodun Oladunjoye.

Court To Peter Obi: You’re Too Unprepared Against Tinubu

The presidential election petition court has criticised the Labour Party (LP) and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, for exhibiting a lack of preparedness in the petition filed against the victory of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The court resumed the hearing of Peter Obi’s petition against Tinubu today , June 1, having adjourned the proceedings yesterday, due to the illness of two key staff of the petitioner.
At the resumed court session today, one of the senior lawyers in the petitioners’ legal team, Emeka Okpoko, sought to tender electoral documents as exhibits before the court.
The documents, however, were said to not have been properly filed and scheduled before the court.
Consequently, the court stepped down the hearing for 10 minutes and asked the legal team to re-file the schedule of documents in line with the provisions of the pre-hearing report.
But after the court reconvened, the petitioners’ legal team still seemed uncoordinated.
Displeased, Haruna Tsammani, who led a five-member panel of the court, advised the petitioners to seek an adjournment to enable them properly arrange their documents.
“What we have done today is a waste of time. I think you underrated the kind of job you have to do,” one of the justices said.
Responding, Awa Kalu, another senior lawyer in the petitioners’ team, said they won’t be taking the adjournment suggested by the court.
“I took an adjournment yesterday and I would not like to do that today,” Kalu said.
Issues were later resolved and the petitioners tendered electoral documents (form EC8As) from six states.
In the petition filed by Obi and the Labour Party, a total of 83 witnesses would be called by both the petitioners and the respondents.
The petitioners indicated that they would call 50 witnesses, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) listed five witnesses, Tinubu and Shettima listed 21 witnesses and the APC listed seven witnesses.
The court fixed May 30 to June 23 for Obi and LP to prove their case, June 24 to June 29 for INEC, and June 30 to July 5 for Tinubu and Shettima, while the APC would present its case between July 6 to July 10.
August 5 is fixed for the adoption of final addresses. So far, only one witness has been called by the petitioners.

I’m Determined To Reverse Security Misfortunes, President Tinubu Vows

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has vowed to reverse security misfortunes that have bedeviled Nigeria for a long time now and “turn the tide in our favour.
“As far as I’m concerned, this country should not be on its knees struggling while other countries are walking and achieving greater heights.”
Asíwájú Tinubu, in his first meeting with service chiefs, made up of leadership of the armed forces, the Inspector General of Police and intelligent community at the Presidential villa, Abuja today, June 1, said that in moving the country forward, he would count on the full support of the security agencies.
The President, who appreciated and commended the level of commitment the security agencies have put up do far, asked them to redouble their efforts.
The President also paid tribute to those who died in defending the country, from the great big menace of terrorism, insurgency, banditry, Oil theft, sea robbery, piracy and others.
He said that his own philosophy is one of contemporary security measures dealing with the requirements of the time, saying that he will not accept a situation in which the nation’s fortunes keep declining. The president advised the national security to coordinate, adding: “there has to be wherever, whatever it says, whether it is a basket system, but there must be a clearing house.
He asked the agencies to, a a matter of must, work to achieve one single purpose.
“Working at cross purposes and colliding with each other is not something that I will condone.”
He has made it very, very clear that all the security agencies must comply with the demands of coordination, with the demands of frequent consultations and also timely reports which must be acted on.
President Tinubu declared that he would embark on a lot of reforms in terms of the security architecture, promising to take a closer look at the nation’s misfortunes in the maritime domain, focusing particularly on the issues of oil theft.
“Wherever the problem is coming from it must be crushed as soon as possible.”
He mandated the security agencies to come up with a blueprint on the best way to tackle all the security challenges.
“And whatever changes will be made have to be done as soon as possible.”
He directed soldiers in the theater of battle must be well fed, well kitted, motivated and given all that they require, saying that he would do whatever is within his powers to enable the operational elements perform to the fullest.
He asked the intelligence agencies to make their work easy for them by providing the type of intelligence that they require to carry out the assignment.

We’ve Been Productive More Than Any National Assembly Since 1999 – Senate President

Sen. Ahmed Lawan

The Senate President, Ahmed Lawal has boasted that no National Assembly since the beginning of democracy in the country has performed more than the ninth Assembly he has been presiding as chairman.
Answering reporters’ questions at the Presidential villa, Abuja today, June 1, Senator Lawal said: “we have been productive, much more productive than any National Assembly. We have worked very closely with the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, and of course, that helped the administration also.”
The Senate President prayed that the 10th National Assembly would go through a peaceful transition and continue to unite everybody in the National Assembly.
“We want to have a leadership in the senate that will unite senators to work so well, regardless of their political parties, the same thing in the House of Representatives.”
Senator Lawal who said that he had no ambition of running for the Presidency of the 10th Senate, said that he regarded it as responsibility to the Senate, the National Assembly to ensure that functional leadership is put in place.
According to him, for 24 years now, this is the time 70 percent of members in the National Assembly, especially in the Senate are new, saying: “those of us who have been there longer, owe everybody that responsibility to at least, help to mentor those who are new, if we are not going to be presiding officers or principal positions.
“I don’t really wish to be one. I have played my part and I am happy that we have played our part; we have made positive impact but of course, we have had our fair share of shortcomings but I can hold my head high on behalf of all my colleagues in the Senate and the National Assembly that this National Assembly have contributed to national development in no mean measure and have succeeded in getting very critical legislation passed and assented to by the former President.”

Rampaging Youths Harass Private Motorists In Kogi, Forcing Them To Part With N38,000

Youths, claiming to be working on the instruction of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, are harassing private motorists in Lokoja, capital of Kogi State.
They force the unsuspecting motorists, especially private car owners to pay between N36,000 and N38,000 before they are allowed to continue their journey.
Information gathered showed that the youths, who operate apparently under the influence of intoxicants, line up the express way, on Lokoja by-pass in large number, stopping and asking drivers of cars that are passing to the East and those passing to Abuja, to pay the money.
One of the victims, who happens to be the Editor-In-Chief of Greenbarge Reporters online newspaper and hardcopy magazine, Y O. Usman was forced to pay the sum of N35,500 on May 25, into the Union Bank of Nigeria, on the account belonging to one Abubakar Mohammed Tenimu for vague charges.
The receipt issued to him by the youths who were obviously high on drugs reads: “received from DBT – 3+2 GN, the sum of thirty five thousand five hundred naira, being payment for Emblem Stickers, State and Local Government papers for the year 2023.” The receipt has as it’s title”Local Government Council, Kogi State,” and is subtitled MOBILE ADVERT REVENUE.
The Greenbarge Reporters online newspaper boss, who was traveling with his wife, identified himself as a private motorist and a Journalist, but the youths would not listen.
One of them said: “it is your brother that put us here to be collecting the money for the state government. There’s no exception.”

While Usman was still trying to make them understand that as a private motorist, no law that compels him to pay any revenue, they made to remove the plate number of the Sienna car he was driving.
They threatened that they would take the car to their office thereby leaving him and his wife stranded.
After being forced to pay the money, he was handed with several papers, receipts, stickers and pamphlets all of which are meant for commercial vehicles and trailers.
The documents were enclosed in a file which is titled: “National File Coverage, Mobile Advert Operators of Nigeria, in conjunction with Bushara Global Concept Solution…2023 Annual Mobile Advert Permit.”
The revenue, according to the file, is for Hackney permit, Gaseous Emission, Signage, Driver/Conductor Badge, Mobile Waste Basket for State Government and Mobile Advert Permit, Loading and Offloading permit, Environmental sanitation/Waste Disposal permit and Radio/TV permit for Local Government.
This was even as another victim, wife of the retired senior manager at the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mohammed Amuju was similar harassed and forced to pay N36,000 before she was allowed to drive pass Lokoja.

Chairman of the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Alhaji Sadiq Abubakar also narrated how the same set of youths stopped him in Lokoja, demanding the payment of N38,000.
“When I identified myself as chairman of Road Transport Owners, they (the youths) allowed me to pass, but still asked me to give them something, and I gave them N5,000.”
Alhaji Sadiq, who is a traditional title holder of Onobobanyi, said that he was not aware of any legal framework under which the rampaging Youths in Lokoja are operating.
Reacting to the development in a telephone chat, the officer in charge of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) branch, Ebele Nwokocha, popularly known as General, expressed shock that the youths in Lokoja have turned a well thought-out unified revenue generating venture into attacking private motorists that are passing through the town.
The programme, he said, is a joint venture between the 366 local government councils of the country and private firm to stop double taxation for commercial vehicles, including trailers and other heavy duty vehicles.
“The programme has nothing to do with private motorists, and any of the boys who collect money from private motorist in the name of the programme is committing illegality.”
He promised to investigate the matter, saying “I will get to the bottom of this matter.”

It’s Not Tinubu That Removed Fuel Subsidy — Keyamo

Festus Keyamo

Immediate past Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo (SAN), has said that it is not the government of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, that ordered the removal of fuel subsidy.
Keyamo, who served as Director of Media and Publicity to All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council, in a statement on his Twitter handle, said that it is a section of the press that mischievously twisted what the President said during his inaugural address on May 29, 2023.
“A section of the Press is mischievously twisting the narrative to read that TINUBU’s GOVERNMENT HAS REMOVED SUBSIDY.
“TINUBU’s govt has merely inherited a regime where there was no provision for subsidy in the 2023 Appropriation Act as from June, 2023 and the Petroleum Industry Act which is now extant has no provision for subsidy. President Tinubu merely acknowledged this state of affairs in his inaugural speech at the Eagle Square.
“So any advocate of subsidy should convince the Nigerian people why President Tinubu should start on a note of illegality by promising to reintroduce something which the law has taken away.
“They should also convince the Nigerian people why President Tinubu should embark on a present illegality that gulped $10 billion of our scarce or unavailable resources in 2022 alone.
Those claiming to defend the right or welfare of workers should convince the Nigerian people that $10 billion injected into the economy yearly will not jumpstart the economy enough as to create massive jobs and even increase the same minimum wage they complain about.
“That is the conversation the Nigerian people are prepared to have now.”

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