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PDP scared of APGA in Abia – Ajaegbu

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PDP scared of APGA in Abia – Ajaegbu

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PDP members are going to vote APGA come 2019 and the leadership of the PDP in Abia State is aware that they won’t be there come 2019.

Onyedika Agbedo

Former President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) Mr Chidi Ajaegbu is the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Abia Central Senatorial District for the 2019 general election. In this interview, he speaks on why he joined the race, his chances and other issues.

READ ALSO: Anambra lawmakers dare APGA
Why did you join the race for Abia Central Senatorial seat in the 2019 general election?

At a point in your life you decide whether you want to continue living in your small space or try and impact on the society. For me, I think I have actualised as an individual; my needs are not that massive. God has blessed me and to a large extent I think I have actualised. So, what is left for me is to see how I can impact on my society and possibly leave a positive legacy. Secondly, the events in my state in the last 20 years have been very pathetic. The state of infrastructure in that state is unbelievable. You need to go round the state, especially Abia Central to be able to appreciate what our people are going through. That is in the face of allocations that are over N1 trillion in the last 20 years. Essentially, they don’t have anything to show for such massive amount of money. The more you analyse what is going on the more you realise that the people that control this money believe that it belongs to them. They see it as their personal money and if they are giving out contracts (where they do) they see it as a favour to the people. They forget that the mandate that they are holding is actually that of the people and that they are holding it in trust for the people. So, essentially, I think it’s about time we challenge the status quo because we can’t continue doing the same thing over and over again and expect a different outcome.

How do you intend to address some of the challenges facing your people given that as a member of the Senate, you won’t have executive powers?

First and foremost, you have to make yourself very relevant in the Senate. And the only way you can do that is to make yourself very important, especially in your area of core competence. For example, if you are talking finance and accounting, I’m an accounting and finance professional. If you make yourself relevant, then you will be in a position to also attract projects through the committees you are going to chair or be a member of, because appropriation is a committee based system. You know that politics is about interests. If you want to build a bridge in your village, for example, and I want a road, and you are in another committee while I am in a committee that can approve bridges, we can horse trade. Now, because you are relevant, because you are there to represent the people, you will be able to horse trade your critical projects like the erosion problem in Umuahia and Ikwuano. You can talk to people in the Ecological Committee and Works Committee. Projects just don’t drop from the sky; it’s about how relevant you are; it’s about your negotiation skill. Aside from that, you have what is called constituency projects, which is about N700 million which people do all sorts of things with. N700 million times four is actually N2.8 billion. In Abia Central N2.8 billion can go a long way if optimally applied.

APGA reportedly had very rancorous primaries in your state and is now factionalised.  It is believed that the development will negatively impact on the chances of the candidates in the elections. What is your take?

First of all, we didn’t have any faction in Abia State. What we had was a PDP sponsored group of people who they gave money consistently and they went to the press all the time. So, the so-called faction or crisis we had in Abia was basically a media thing. As we speak today, APGA is one family in Abia. We did our primaries; of course, there was one issue or the other, which was not peculiar to APGA, but which has been sorted out because the names of the candidates are now with INEC. The key problem why people felt we had issues was because the PDP was scared and they are still sacred of the APGA team. Our team is very formidable. We have Alex Otti as the gubernatorial candidate, Chief Bourdex as Abia North Senatorial candidate, myself as the candidate for Abia Central and Chris Nkwonta for Abia South. You can’t have a better team than that and they know it cannot be business as usual. So, what they did was to become disruptive; they wanted to make sure that the best candidates did not emerge by fuelling crisis upon crisis. But, of course, the people know who will truly represent them. And that is our team. So, at no point did we ever feel that the party structure in Abia State was threatened; we never felt that way. We knew the ultimate outcome of all of these noise and we have been vindicated. So, we are now focusing on how to liberate the state come 2019 and all hands are on deck. Even people the PDP and other parties are clamouring for a change, not the APC change though, but the real change for our people. PDP members are going to vote APGA come 2019 and the leadership of the PDP in Abia State is aware that they won’t be there come 2019.

You will be contesting against a former governor and incumbent senator, T. A Orji. What makes you think you will emerge victorious?

I actually think that is going to be the easiest one. He is the most unpopular governor ever in Abia State and obviously he didn’t perform. He knows he didn’t perform. Besides the man is quite old. It is about time for him to retire. Everything that has a beginning must have an end. You can’t be about 80 or even marginally above 80 and you are still not retired. You have done four or eight years as Chief of Staff, eight years as governor, four years as senator-super governor and you want to do another four years. You left civil service after serving 35 years, rising to the position of permanent secretary or whatever it is. So, effectively this guy is over 80. When they are electing a 31-year-old in Finland or thereabout in Europe as prime ministers and presidents, somebody who is 80 wants to continue after spending 20 years in government. What is it that you want to do that you have not been able to do in 20 years? What do you want to offer the people that you have not been able to offer them in 20 years?

READ ALSO: My constituents want me back to Senate because T.A Orji has failed – Senator Nkechi Nwaogu

The post PDP scared of APGA in Abia – Ajaegbu 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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