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Buhari/Osinbajo ticket easiest route to Igbo presidency – Okoye

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They need to know that the easiest route to actualise Igbo presidency is through Buhari/Osinbajo second term in office…

Dickson Okafor

Abumchukwu Okoye is a lawyer and National Coordinator, Take Back Nigeria Initiative (TBNI). He speaks on 2019 and 2023 Igbo presidency project.

All eyes are on the South-East geopolitical zone, as some see the PDP’s ticket as the easiest route to actualising Igbo presidency in 2023. What do you think?

No doubt, the combination of former Vice President and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for next year’s general election, Atiku Abubakar and his running mate, Peter Obi is good, but I doubt if the ticket can guarantee Igbo presidency in 2023. As a proponent of Buhari presidency in 2015, my support for the president and the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration remain unshaken. Atiku’s choice of Obi without due consultation with leaders of PDP in the South-East has made the 2019 presidential contest, a ride for Buhari to victory, considering the performance index of Mr. President. Like I said earlier, even though I endorse Buhari’s re-election bid, the configuration of Atiku/ Obi ticket is good as well as Buhari/Osinbajo ticket. But the bitter truth is that the Yoruba won’t prefer Peter Obi to Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo.

READ ALSO: Osinbajo preaches hope, as Villa chapel holds end-of-year thanksgiving

I doubt if the Yoruba will sacrifice their chance of producing the next President of the country on the altar of sentiment. The South-West is well positioned to clinch the presidency in 2023 because of their unflinching support for President Buhari. So, Ndigbo should do deep thinking because if Atiku wins next year nobody can stop him from doing second term if he wishes in 2023 and Yoruba won’t wait till 2030 for power to return to the zone.

Most Nigerians see President Buhari as being incompetent, as such want to try Atiku. What do you make of this view?

It is unfair for anybody to say President Buhari is incompetent just because Mr. President put his feet down that Nigeria must be self-sufficient in food production through agriculture. The will power of Buhari is what these set of Nigerians are against. We have taken time to explain why it is no longer business as usual through the introduction of TSA and we cannot continue to make the explanation because it is the reality and every Nigerian is expected to key into this policy to restore our lost glory.

On whether Nigerians will not vote for APC, I want to remind you that the last thing Nigerians will do is to return PDP to power. The concern of Igbo is for power shift to the South-East geo political zone; they don’t see any need to change Buhari even though Obi hails from the region.

Atiku and Obi may be doing well in private businesses, but the electorate doesn’t think the best thing to do in 2019 is to replace Buhari. Instead, they would prefer President Buhari to restructure his cabinet and move on with the job he is doing. President Buhari has delivered on his campaign promises which include diversification of the economy, security and fight against corruption. We are all aware that terrorism is international problem right from the time of President George Bush of United States as every nation is trying to counter terrorism.

Do you think the reasons you gave are enough to stop Atiku/Obi presidency?

With the way PDP is going about their campaign, Buhari has gained public sympathy from Nigerians. The opposition is not dwelling on an issue driven campaign, but has concentrated on criticising Buhari and they end up popularising Buhari. So, I warn the APC to desist from criticizing Atiku destructively because they will end up popularising him. It is a pity that the people are migrating from the principle of partisan politics to hate speech. As a youth leader in the era of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN), I saw Alhaji Maitama Sule and former President, Alhaji Shehu Shagari came to Dr. Alex Ekwueme during their campaign to seek support and they did it without confrontation which don’t happen anymore. There must be handshake across the Niger as well as handshake across the rock and it must be done through negotiation and not about any tribe or region trying to show they are superior. I call on Igbo to vote Buhari/Osinbajo ticket because Atiku/ Obi ticket is not viable. They need to know that the easiest route to actualise Igbo presidency is through Buhari/Osinbajo second term in office and Ndigbo must vote for Buhari to have a stake at the end of Buhari’s administration in 2023.

Recently, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola said the presidency will return to the South-West after Buhari and here you are, so sure the South-East will grab it if the people vote for Buhari, what makes you so sure?

If Ndigbo have a stake in Buhari’s re-election bid that can earn South-East the number one position in the country and that can make President of Igbo extraction achievable if they vote for Buhari. In politics there is no permanent enemy but permanent interest. My major concern is that I want to see Igbo President in my lifetime and not when I’m gone and it is possible in 2023 if we vote for Buhari in 2019. The Minister is entitled to his opinion and every zone is free to seek for the number one position in the land.

Many expect you to suggest ways the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) perceived to be Igbo party, should rally Igbo support in 2019. Why are you not thinking in that direction?

Power is not given, but taken. Igbo Presidency is unrealisable under PDP. An Igbo person won’t be President of only Igbo, but the country, so there is a need for corporate community. I’m happy over APGA has a presidential candidate for next year’s election even though it was a political decision. Any political party is free to negotiate with the APGA because this move by APGA will boost the chance of the party in 2019.

I commend Governor Willie Obiano for strengthening APGA through the enthronement of internal democracy within APGA because whatever APGA does to Obi is political and welcomed since he dumped the party for PDP.

READ ALSO: Obiano, 2 Anglicans to be honoured by Catholic Church

The post Buhari/Osinbajo ticket easiest route to Igbo presidency – Okoye 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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