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Akwa Ibom: Why I should be elected governor – Nsima Ekere

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Akwa Ibom: Why I should be elected governor – Nsima Ekere

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Ekere said when he first indicated interest to contest the 2019 governorship election, it was founded on the need to offer the state a new vision for prosperity

Joe Effiong, Uyo

The All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate for Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Nsima Ekere, has given reasons why he should be elected governor of Akwa Ibom State in 2019.

READ ALSO: 2019: APC should forget Akwa Ibom – Essien, ex-minister

Ekere, who is also managing director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), said about 1.8 million, out of the 3.3 million people in Akwa Ibom, representing 54.5 percent of the entire population in the state, are unemployed.

Ekere said this when he presented his manifesto titled: “The new vision for our collective prosperity,” at his campaign secretariat, to officially kick of his governorship campaign in Uyo, the state capital, yesterday, said for the past three and half years, the state has experienced the slow deterioration of its best and left with mounting poverty and second worst state in the Niger Delta.

He said: “According to the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) ranking, we are today, the second worst state in the Niger Delta region in education, the 20th poorest in Nigeria, including Abuja. Our children now study under trees and are sitting on bare floors, daily exposed to physical and health risks.

“Our teachers are frustrated, they are not properly remunerated, lack motivation and cannot perform optimally.

“Today, infant mortality is at 6.9 percent, meaning that 69 deaths are recorded in every 1,000 births. Our aged ones have not retired well because they are owed their pension. There is limited social infrastructure, poor security of collective prosperity property, deterioration of physical infrastructures assets, our rural areas are increasingly abandoned and ignored, our farmers receive little or no incentive and the cost of living is rising. Our people are unhappy. In many cases, angry, and are keen for a prosperous tomorrow.”

He promised to reverse the trend with his five-point vision areas of economic prosperity; infrastructural and rural development; education, health and social protection; security; and governance and infrastructural reforms.

Ekere also said when he first indicated interest to contest the 2019 governorship election, his desire was founded on the need to offer the state a new vision for collective prosperity.

“Our government will launch a N20 billion to fund and raise a critical mass of transformative entrepreneurs (TEs) who will use and innovation to grow the private sector and create wealth.

“Best practice Indian models of TE development will be put in place. About 3,000 TEs will be produced and empowered every 6 months in the State.

“In four years, we would have created 24,000 TEs who in turn will stimulate the economy and create no less than 120,000 jobs.

“We will improve food security in the state by harnessing the value chain for major food and cash crops such as oil palm, cassava, fruits, and seafood. Our goal is to create policies, implement the Graduate Farmers Scheme to enable us to be self-sufficient in food production by 2023. For this purpose, government will promote the participation of 15,500 Akwa Ibom Youths per annum in farming and as extension agents. Extension services will be revived and made an important unit of the Ministry of Agriculture

He appealed to Akwa Ibom people to vote for him as he would work wholeheartedly for the state when elected governor, just he has been working as the managing director of the NDDC.

Meanwhile, APC in the state has appointed former military administrator of Ogun and River states, Capt. Sam Ewang (retd) as its campaign chairman for the 2019 elections.

Also, President Muhammadu Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang, has been elected as director general of the campaign while Chief Don Etiebet has been appointed chairman of the Advisory Council.

The various committees and subcommittees were inaugurated, yesterday, by the state chairman of the party, Mr Ini Okopido, assisted by Ekere.

In his acceptance speech, Ewang said the APC has all the human and material resources to win the election.

He said the party would not support any violence in the course of the campaigns.

READ ALSO: Hate campaigns: INEC, Abdulsalami group read riot act to political parties

The post Akwa Ibom: Why I should be elected governor – Nsima Ekere appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.

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CATHOLIC WORLD

Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump – CAN fumes

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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.”

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NATIONAL NEWS

CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers

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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.

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NATIONAL NEWS

Nigerians spit fire over fuel, electricity prices hike

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Increasing Fuel and Electricity Prices

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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