Magnus Eze, Enugu
Lawrence Ezeh, a prince in Nkanu land in Enugu East Senatorial District was hopeful of becoming the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), until suddenly the name of former Governor Chimaroke Nnamani surfaced as an aspirant.
Nnamani eventually won the party’s ticket. Now, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC); Ezeh said his people need effective representation and therefore would not vote for a man with baggage like Nnamani.
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Enugu people knew you with PDP; now you are APC senatorial candidate, what happened?
What happened was very simple; when a party reneged on its original ideology and decides to jettison the party manifesto and go ahead with the personal manifesto of an individual; then obviously that is what you will expect. We had a party that was actually rooted on internal democracy and when the new leadership of the PDP came on board, they preached to every one of us that internal democracy was
the new order but it appeared that the internal democracy that was preached at the national level didn’t water-down to the state’s especially in Enugu; of course, the whole country witnessed what transpired at the Port Harcourt convention. The convention was breathtaking in the sense that nobody actually could predict the winner; it was evenly contested primary and people came out in their numbers and voted according to their conscience; that was how Alhaji Atiku Abubakar emerged the winner that nobody expected him to win against certain names that were trumped up.
But in the state here, we discovered that we were working tirelessly day and night trying to garner support from party delegates so that they would be able to support us to win the primary and all the things were going on until one week; and all of a sudden party stakeholders decided to draft into the race, a man that is not in Nigeria; form was purchased for him at the last minute and taken to America, and was purportedly filled that at some point even affidavit was sworn for him by some other proxies, screening was done for him in absentia and it was established that he was screened and cleared as well. After that also, we went into the primary, and also he was not there and organs of the party worked very hard for him and stampeded all the delegates into voting for someone who is basically thousands of miles away from the shores of Nigeria, why because they were threatened, they were coaxed and at the end of the day that was how someone who never took part in any of these processes; turned out to be the PDP candidate against all odds.
These were basically the conspiracy of one or two persons in the party and the number of the entire delegates that converged to vote was in the neighbourhood of I, 500 people from Enugu East senatorial zone. The big question is; someone expecting me to mortgage my political future just because a group of 1,500 decided not to vote for me when we have a whopping over 480,000 voters that are waiting to vote for a candidate of their choice in Enugu East senatorial zone? And of this number 70 to 80 per cent of them are waiting to vote for me and that is why I keep thanking God that today we have an alternative platform.
What could have possibly make APC settle for your candidature?
It is no longer business as usual, where people said when once we push you down from PDP you will not have any alternative to land. So, today is quite different and all the things they did were done within 24 hours to the primary to make sure that one wouldn’t have any other opportunity to be able to cross to another party. But God in his infinite mercy who has always been fighting the battle of his own children made a leeway for me and today by the Grace of God; the APC found me worthy to fly their flag because they had taken time to check my popularity and when we were doing all these in the PDP; they were checking my popularity that truly speaking this man is the top man for this job and everyone in Enugu East is yearning and waiting to vote me in.
What’s your prospect in the election; facing a candidate of Nnamani’s status?
I think somehow people who had this calculation got a lot of things wrong, something told them ‘look, you just come up with the name Chimaroke, even if he is not going to step his foot into this country, he will win election.’ The answer is no. They think that they can play with the intelligence of people of Enugu East zone but it is not going to work because as we speak right now; they are setting up campaign council and they are going to run the campaign council by proxy or in absentia. Do they think that Enugu East senatorial district people are all deaf? The answer is no. You have someone you don’t know whether he is lying critically ill in the hospital, you don’t know whether he is alive or dead, you don’t know whether he is even going to get back even if you vote for him, you don’t know whether he is going to sit at the Red Chamber to be able to fit into that his position.
Only few people will buy into this project and be deceived; those politicians that have already subjected themselves to the whims and caprices of their pay masters. Thank God that about 80 to 85 per cent of the people out there that are apolitical; those who’re not politicians and most of them even detest politics and politicians; these are my support base. These set of people, what they are after is, are you the man running for this job, yes, do you have the capacity, prove to me, tell me why you are the best man for this job and you begin to explain. They are not the type somebody will go and tell of a man who is not here.
If you have someone who wants to marry your daughter, and that man is sending people all the way, every time he is sending people, you don’t know whether he has one eye or whether he is cripple, you don’t know whether he is deaf and dumb and they are sending you photograph of the man like posters that he wants to marry your daughter and you have another man that has everything far more better than him going for him physically, he comes around, you interact with him, you know that he is mentally sound and you know that he is okay to be able to take up the responsibility of being your son-in-law; who will you go for? Our people are not fools. You are talking about Chimaroke, nobody has seen him, nobody knows where he is; he’s got a whole lot of baggage. Let me be very honest with you; when you talk about Chimaroke; he means so many things to so many people even to Nkanu land where we hails from because you know the things that characterised his administration when he was there. Is this supposed to be the right man for this job?
Are you saying that Nkanu people will prefer you to him to go to the senate?
Yes, we wouldn’t do that. Nkanu people have seen me as a man who has been able to use his resources
to develop our people and you are talking about a man who milked our resources dry which one will you choose?
The post 2019: Enugu people don’t need absentee senator – Ezeh, APC candidate appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.
Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump – CAN fumes
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s revelation of his conversation with United States President, Donald Trump, on the massacre of Christians in Nigeria, saying President Buhari was economical with the truth.
President Buhari had on Tuesday, revealed that at the heat of the bloody clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria, the United States President, Donald Trump, unequivocally accused him of killing Christians.
Buhari said these in his closing remarks at the two-day ministerial performance review retreat held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.
At a point, the President digressed from his prepared speech and narrated his encounter with Trump on the bloody clashes.
He said he managed to explain to the American leader that the clashes were not about ethnicity or religion.
He said, “I believe I was about the only African among the less developed countries the President of United States invited.
“When I was in his office, only myself and himself, only God is my witness, he looked at me in the face, and asked, ‘Why are you killing Christians?’
“I wonder, if you were the person, how you will react. I hope what I was feeling inside did not betray my emotion, so I told him that the problem between the cattle rearers and farmers, I know is older than me not to talk of him. I think I am a couple of years older than him.
“With climate change and population growth and the culture of the cattle rearers, if you have 50 cows and they eat grass, any root, to your water point, then they will follow it. It doesn’t matter whose farm it is.
“The First Republic set of leadership was the most responsible leadership we ever had. I asked the Minister of Agriculture to get a gazette of the early 60s which delineated the cattle route where they used meager resources then to put earth dams, wind mills even sanitary department.
“So, any cattle rearers that allowed his cattle to go to somebody’s farm would be arrested, taken before the court. The farmer would be called to submit his bill and if he couldn’t pay, the cattle would be sold, but subsequent leaders, the VVIPs (very important persons) encroached on the cattle routes. They took over the cattle rearing areas.
“So, I tried and explained to him (Trump) that this has got nothing to do with ethnicity or religion. It is a cultural thing.”
However, CAN’s Vice President and Chairman of the association in Kaduna State, John Hayab, was not impressed with Buhari’s submission, saying “Buhari and his government will never stop from amusing us with their tales by moonlight because what is happening in Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Birnin Gwari, Southern Kaduna, Taraba, Plateau and others cannot be described as a cultural thing.
He told Punch correspondent in an interview: “President Buhari’s weak story about his conversation with President Donald Trump further confirms why his government does not care about the killings in our country by calling them cultural things.
“Just this (Tuesday) evening, I received a report from the Kaduna Baptist Conference President about the number of their members that have been killed by bandits in Kaduna State from January 2020 to date to be 105 and our President will call it a cultural thing? All we can say is may God save our Nigeria.”
CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers
The Catholic Bishop of Nsukka, Most Rev. Godfrey Onah, has blamed Christians in the National Assembly (NASS), for the passage of the 2020 Companies and Allied Matters Bill (CAMA), signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari recently.
Bishop Onah, said in a remark during the Sunday Mass that if Christians in NASS had opposed the bill, it would not have been passed into law.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on Aug. 7, signed the CAMA bill into law, giving provision for religious bodies and charity organizations to be regulated by the registrar of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), and a supervising minister.
“The question many Christians have been asking is, where were Christian legislators during the debate of this bill and its passage in the National Assembly?
“Because, if they had opposed this bill on the floor of the house, it would not have been passed and sent to the president for assent.
“I blame Christian legislators for doing nothing and allowing the passage of the 2020 CAMA Act,” he said.
“When I say that Christians are too divided and too selfish, don’t forget that the second in command in this country is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, a professor of Law and a pastor.”
Onah, however, wondered what the Federal Government wanted to achieve in monitoring how the finances of churches in the country are managed when it contributed no dime to the church, NAN reports.
“Government should focus and monitor its ministries, agencies and other government institutions where it budgets billions of Naira annually and not church offerings.
“Had it been that the government gave allocations to churches and decided to monitor its usage, nobody will question the government,” he said.
Nigerians spit fire over fuel, electricity prices hike
Anger and condemnations, across the country, have continued to trail last week’s take off, of new increases in pump price of petroleum products and electricity tariffs, as directed by Federal Government.
Recall that the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) official, D.O. Abalaka announced on Wednesday September 3, on behalf of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that the new price of petroleum is now N151.56k per litre instead of N149 – N150 per litre which it was previously.
The new electricity tariff which the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) tagged “Service Reflective Tariff” has also come into effect. It requires consumers to pay N53.87 – N66.422 per kwh of electricity.
Outraged consumers of fuel and electricity have therefore warned government to get ready for collision with the masses if it fails to rescind these new prices.
Those who have expressed outrage over the new prices regimes include, the Organized Labour, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Nigerian main opposition political party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) and the Major Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN).
Others are: Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce (NACCIMA).
The NLC said, “The frequent fuel price increase will no longer be accepted. We will not allow Nigerians fall victim of government ineptitude and negligence to make the country self-sufficient in terms of refining petroleum products at home.”
On its part, the PDP has described the price hike as “callous, cruel and punishing” and demanded an immediate reversal to avert a national crisis.
The All Industrial Global sees the incessant increase as a confirmation that deregulation means just price increase.
“This is unacceptable! Under a pandemic, we should put money in the pockets of citizens to revive collapsed livelihoods and preserve lives.” In its reaction, NECA said it has always urged Federal Government to adopt deregulation policy in the oil and gas downstream sector.
The MOMAN in its statement insists that monthly price variation of fuel was no longer sustainable. It urged PPRA to adopt quarterly price mechanism which would save the market the hassles of price volatility. The statements by IPMAN and NACCIMA also followed along the same line that the hike “…serves only to increase the severity and duration of the looming economic recession.”
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