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Restructuring: Atiku hits back at Osinbajo

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Restructuring: Atiku hits back at Osinbajo

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Former Vice president Atiku Abubakar and presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has warned Vice President Yemi Osinbajo against attempts to distort history for political expediency.

Atiku said this in reaction to Osinbajo’s comments on restructuring.

READ ALSO: Restructuring: ‘Atiku leaves out the elephant in the room’ – Osinbajo

Osinbajo had fired the first salvo on Saturday, at the University of Ibadan, where he spoke at the ninth public lecture of Sigma Club, when he said some of those clamouring for restructuring were those who opposed his and others efforts years back when they were in government.

“Let me explain my position clearly. I am not just an advocate of restructuring, there is no other government in Nigeria that has actively pursued restructuring such as we did when I was Attorney General in Lagos State.

“People talking about restructuring, if you ask them what they meant by restructuring, they won’t even know what it means and that is the problem we have to face.

“We started with fiscal restructuring, which is more of resource control. Should states control their own resources? We went to the Supreme Court. They argued that each state should control its own resources.

“The states that argued in favour of autonomy for states to control their resources were the oil producing states and Lagos State, while some others argued on the other side because they want to share oil money.

“We lost at the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court said no, that you cannot control your resources. If you are an oil-producing state, take 13 per cent extra, which is derivation.”

He said Lagos State further argued that it had ports and they served the entire nation, so the state should also take 13 percent derivation which the Supreme Court objected.

“All this time, this was 2000, some of those people, including the presidential candidate of (the) PDP, who is talking about restructuring, (and) was the vice president then, they opposed every step we took. Of course, we were taking the Federal Government to court then. They opposed every step.

“The next thing we did was that the states should be able to create their own local governments, which is autonomy of states.

“So, we created 37 new local governments in Lagos. The president then, Chief (Olusegun) Obasanjo, seized our local government funds and said we could not create new local governments.

“If you ask those people now talking about restructuring, none of them has done anything compared to what we have done. So, I am not a latter day convert to restructuring.”

But in his response, through his Presidential Campaign Organisation, Atiku said: “Given that restructuring has become the major issue in the 2019 elections and given that Prof. Osinbajo and his boss have been speaking discordant tunes on restructuring, we can understand their desperation to revise history. However, it is impossible to revise documented history.

“Professor Osinbajo needs to be reminded that there are well documented accounts in the Nigerian media chronicling Atiku Abubakar’s support and struggle for restructuring.

“To set the records straight, we recommend to Professor Osinbajo the article, ‘Nigeria: 6-1 Onshore-Offshore Jurisdiction Verdict’ written by Jide Ajani, then the Political Editor of Vanguard Newspapers and published on July 13, 2001.

In that piece, which is still available online (see Nigeria: 6-1 Onshore-Offshore Jurisdiction Verdict), Vanguard newspapers chronicled Atiku’s successful efforts to restructure the revenue allocation formulae; to allow littoral states of the Federation benefit from offshore oil proceeds. Ironically, it was precisely Osinbajo’s boss, Muhammadu Buhari, who, as military dictator, cheated these states of their just due by military fiat.

READ ALSO: Buhari inherited $63bn, borrowed $10bn in 31/2 yrs – Osinbajo

“It is also common knowledge that the six geopolitical zones structure which all parts of Nigeria benefit from today is the fruit of the collaborative efforts of His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar, the late Alex Ekwueme and other patriots. Their efforts at restructuring Nigeria are captured in the Hansard of the 1995 Constitutional Conference, which is a public document and

is still available at the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation. Professor Osinbajo may want to familiarise himself with that document.

“The question we want to ask Professor Osinbajo is this–why do he and his boss constantly resort to rewriting history? Why can they not campaign on their achievements? Is it that they are forced to campaign on subterfuge because they have no achievements to campaign on?

“President Buhari and vice president Osinbajo promised to make one equal to $1. They vowed to create three million jobs per annum. They promised to pay the unemployed “job seekers allowance.”They said subsidy was a scam. They also said they would defeat Boko Haram.

“Nigerians want to know if these promises have been kept. They are not interested in fairy tales about how Atiku Abubakar did not support restructuring because they know that he is and was and will always be an active promoter of restructuring.

“Everywhere he goes to campaign, Atiku Abubakar has used temperate and respectful language on both president Buhari and vice president Osinbajo. He has campaigned on his record of achievements, which include the 50,000 jobs he has created in his private capacity and on his policies and plans to Get Nigeria Working Again.

“We recommend this form of decent politicking to Prof. Osinbajo, even as we urge him to remember that as vice president, his words matter.”

READ ALSO: How elite, religious leaders scuttle corruption fight – Osinbajo

The post Restructuring: Atiku hits back at Osinbajo 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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