A former Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, on Tuesday, countered President Muhammadu Buhari’s stance on the restructuring of the country, saying there was no alternative to restructuring if Nigeria must make progress.
Atiku stated that he remained resolute in his support for the restructuring of the country, positing that there was “too much power” in the hands of the Federal Government, a situation he said had made governance in the country less competitive particularly among the states.
President Buhari had on Monday told a delegation of Urhobo Traditional Rulers and Urhobo Progress Union, who visited him in Abuja, that the calls for the restructuring of the country was parochial and laced with self-interests, hence discussions and arguments on the matter failed to capture his attention.
But the former VP disagreed with Buhari, saying that the country must be restructured for Nigeria to rapidly move forward.
Atiku spoke in Asaba, the Delta State Capital, during his consultative visit to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state on his presidential ambition ahead of the 2019 general elections.
He stated that he had been in the forefront of the calls for the restructuring of the country since 2004 while still serving as VP because restructuring would bring out the best among the federating units and lead to economic development across the board.
The PDP presidential aspirant also called on the Federal Government to review the current security architecture to meet the emerging security threats in the country, adding that he would always support any cause that would move the country forward.
Atiku, who also vowed to tackle unemployment in the country when he becomes President, noted that he was in the presidential race because of his burning desire to ensure that Nigeria made progress and was united irrespective of its religious and ethnic diversity.
He decried the situation where security agencies didn’t take orders from the state governors, saying “as an individual, I don’t think this is true federalism, we must restructure the security architecture.”
He said, “I will have a very small Federal Government with powers and resources devolved to the states to manage the affairs while they pay taxes to the Federal Government. With this, each zone can survive on its own without leaning on oil money.
“I’ll create jobs; you must liberalise the economy, support the private sector, create incentives to make the private sector boom and open up the economy to foreign direct investments. The security architecture of the country must be reviewed and decentralised to meet modern-day security challenges.”
He, however, thanked the people of the Niger Delta region, particularly Okowa, for the return of peace which in turn had led to increase in oil production, appealing that the peace in the area should be sustained.
Also speaking in a similar vein, Okowa stressed that restructuring would help to resolve the myriad of challenges currently confronting the country.
“I strongly believe that the way out of the challenges of the country is to have stronger states, stronger federating units,” he stated.
Buhari ‘Begs’ Saraki Not To Leave APC
During his meeting with Senate President Bukola Saraki, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and some All Progressives Congress (APC) governors on Thursday, President Muhammadu Buhari begged the nation’s number-three man not to leave the ruling party, THISDAY is reporting.
Kayode Fayemi, the soon-to-be Governor of Ekiti State, attended as well.
In its report on the meeting, THISDAY said the President appealed to Saraki, believed to be the arrowhead of the impending mass movement, to stay back in the party.
The paper reported that Saraki’s meeting with Buhari at the Presidential Villa was set up by APC governors, including Alhaji Aminu Masari (Katsina State), Senator Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun State) and Senator Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi State), who, after initial discussions with the Senate President at his Abuja residence on Wednesday night, prevailed on the President to meet with him and persuade him not to defect from the party.
It said Adams Oshiomhole, the APC National Chairman, also spent much of Monday at Saraki’s house trying to straighten things out, followed by another meeting with Saraki in Ilorin on Wednesday by the Deputy National Chairman (South), Chief Niyi Adebayo, who led a delegation on a fence mending mission.
Buhari is also expected to meet with Yakubu Dogara, Speaker of the House of Representatives, around the weekend.
Saraki is still expected to join the PDP next week. Expected to move with him are Governors Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State and Ahmed Abdulfatah of Kwara State.
Samuel Ortom of Benue State, who was looking good to defect as well having already announced his departure from APC on Monday saying he had been “red-carded”, made an about-face on Thursday after meeting with Oshiomhole.
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Fearless Dino Melaye Shuns Threats, Commissions Various Projects In Kogi State (Photos)
After receiving threats from thugs not to enter Kogi state, Senator Dino Melaye has shunned their words to storm the state for commissioning of projects.
The Senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye, shunned threats from thugs as he stormed his constituency yesterday to commission some projects.
The senator inaugurated the two blocks of four classrooms be built at LGEA Primary School, Tawari, and LGEA primary School, Manyare, the 10- kilometre Manyare-Gegu Beki road and the 15-kilometre Orehi – Irovomi road, all in Kogi Local Government.
Melaye, who also inaugurated a borehole he built at Felele area of Lokoja, said other projects to be inaugurated in the next few days include classroom blocks, rural roads, boreholes, skills acquisition centres as well as rural electrification schemes.
He further charged the people of the communities where the projects were located to protect them from vandals and make the best use of them.
It was reported that some constituency projects meant for commissioning on Wednesday (yesterday) by senator Dino Melaye, were set ablaze by persons suspected to be arsonists.
This happened after some unidentified political thugs warned the senator not to enter Kogi State or else he will be attacked.
The government of Kogi state condemned the burning of projects executed by the lawmaker in the state while reacting to the news.
‘He’s Not Going Anywhere’ — Oshiomhole Insists Ortom Won’t Join ‘People Deceiving People’ (PDP)
Adams Oshiomhole, National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has insisted that the ruling party will not let Samuel Ortom, Governor of Benue State, out of its sight.
In the middle of a power tussle with George Akume, a serving senator and former Governor of Benue, Ortom announced on Monday that he had been red-carded from the APC and was standing outside the pitch ‘like a free man” waiting to join another club.
On Wednesday, he met some Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders, ahead of an anticipated defection to the erstwhile ruling party.
However, after a closed-door meeting with Ortom at the party secretariat in Abuja on Thursday, Oshiomole said that the APC does not have a red card, and therefore cannot give what it doesn’t have.
“Senator Akume is a very respected leader of the party; he is former Governor, a current senator, and he will recognize the need for peace and we have what it takes to make peace,” Oshiomhole told journalists after the meeting.
“In Benue, we are going for a win/win solution. Governor Ortom is not going anywhere. He is a very prominent member of our party and we appreciate his leadership in Benue and we will do everything possible to help those who have issues to have these issues resolved. The only thing will we not accept is anybody leaving the house we have toiled to build together.
“APC does not even have a red card, so we can’t give what we don’t have and we recognize that there could be legitimate legal issues like agreement, disagreement and contestation, and these we are familiar with. They are the evidence that we are a democratic party. When leaders have disagreements, it is to help them and find a common ground and issues in Benue are not so fundamental that they cannot be resolved. We are very confident that we will resolve them.
“For the PDP hovering round, they must know that only people without honor will vomit in the morning and in the afternoon they convert it to lunch. People like Ortom who have honour cannot leave PDP three and half ago with his eyes open and then two, three years later there are some tension in his master bedroom and he is thinking of returning to ‘People Deceiving People’.
“I mean, that cannot be an option. He is a man of honor, he knows that once you make one step forward you take the second step to consolidate the first step and that is the way to go.”
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