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June 12, a History We Can’t Forget – Atiku, Tinubu

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  • June 12, a History We Can’t Forget

A former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, and a former Lagos State governor and All Progressives Congress national leader, Bola Tinubu, have described the June 12, 1993 elections as a part of Nigeria’s history that could not be forgotten.

This is just as the Lagos and Ekiti state governments on Sunday joined Oyo, Ondo, Ogun and Osun states to declare June 12 a public holiday.

In a statement issued by his Media Office in Abuja, on Sunday, Atiku said June 12 and the events that brought it “are part of our country’s history and cannot be forgotten, especially because of the unity and comradeship displayed by Nigerians on that Election Day in 1993.”

Atiku, who described the late Abiola as a businessman, philanthropist and patriot, noted that the events of June 12, 1993 remained a watershed in the history of the nation.

It partly read, “The Waziri commended Nigerians for moving beyond the challenges thrown up by June 12 and putting in place a democratic system of government that has lasted for 18 years.

“He said that it is a testimony to the innate democratic nature of Nigerians that today, democracy is flourishing in the country, adding that the restructuring of the country as being demanded by some well-meaning Nigerians would further consolidate democracy and give greater impetus to the unity and development of the country.

“According to him, restructuring of the country would lay a solid foundation for prosperity and self-reliant development across the country by introducing healthy competition among the constituent parts of the federation based on the principle of comparative advantage.”

The former Vice President described the late MKO Abiola as the leading personality of the June 12 struggle as a national “Hero and Patriot” deserving of accolades and honour by Nigerians.

He called on the Federal Government to pay the necessary tribute to the late chief Abiola of blessed memory by naming a befitting national institution after him.

Tinubu, in statement on Sunday to celebrate the 24th anniversary of June 12, said that without “the uncompromising resistance to military rule engendered by the annulment of the June 12 election, there would most probably be no 4th Republic today and we would still be groaning under military dictatorship.”

Tinubu described the late Abiola, the winner of the election, as an embodiment of “the eternal Yoruba adage, which says that death is better with honour than life without dignity.”

In the statement titled, ‘What June 12 Taught Us,’ Tinubu said, “The blood of those who gave their yesterday and sacrificed even their lives for the democracy and freedom we enjoy today was not shed in vain. The truth is June 12 is the mother of May 29.

“The annulment was a bitter pill to swallow, especially for the millions of people who expended so much time, energy and material resources to help ensure victory for Chief MKO Abiola. The late MKO selflessly committed so much of his substantial fortune towards ensuring his victory at the polls. In doing this, he was not motivated by personal, selfish or pecuniary considerations.

“Twenty-four years after its annulment, the spirit of June 12 lives on in the hearts and minds of millions of Nigerians.

“This year’s commemoration of the anniversary of June 12 coincides roughly with two years in office of the All Progressives Congress at the federal level. Some critics are already writing off the government as a failure. However, the vast majority of Nigerians are aware of the immense mess inherited by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.”

Tinubu added that the APC Federal Government had successfully contained the challenges, and was turning the corner with “light discernible at the end of the tunnel.”

Also, in a statement by the Secretary to the Lagos State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello, on behalf of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, the state government said it had perfected arrangement for the annual public symposium in Ikeja to celebrate June 12.

In a statement issued on Sunday in Ado Ekiti, Fayose – a member of the Peoples Democratic Party – said he took the decision to join his other colleagues in the South-West to celebrate the late Abiola in the spirit of the unity of the region

In a related development, the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, said on Sunday that June 12 was the harbinger of peaceful, free and fair electoral process in Nigeria, adding, “It is thus worthy of celebration.”

Also, the Osun State House of Assembly has said the current Nigeria democracy must be protected with all diligence so as not to encourage the incursion of military rule in the country again.

A statement by the Chairman, House Committee on Information and Strategy, Olatunbosun Oyintiloye, on Sunday, to commemorate the June 12 struggle, said the change in the Nigeria political landscape was not a coincidence but a consequence of sacrifice made by courageous gladiators who led from the front to entrench democracy in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, a socio-cultural Yoruba group, Afenifere, on Sunday advocated the implementation of the last national conference as a way out of the challenges facing the country.

The group, in a statement its National Publicity Secretary, Yinka Odumakin, pointed out that all southerners were at the risk of attacks by northern youths following the quit order issued to Ndigbo.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Government

SERAP Urges FG to Slash Politicians’ Allowances

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The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged the Chairman of Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), Elias Mbam, to urgently review upward the remuneration, allowances, and conditions of service for Nigerian Judges, and reduce the remuneration of President Muhammadu Buhari and other political office-holders in order to address the persistent poor treatment of Judges, and improve access of victims of corruption to justice.

The appeal came on the heels of a nationwide industrial action by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) to press home their demand for financial autonomy for the judicial arm of government, and the federal government silence on the judiciary workers’ strike that has grounded court activities across the country.

In a letter dated April 10, 2021, which was signed by SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said Judges should get all they are reasonably entitled to, and that it is unfair, illegal, unconstitutional, and discriminatory to continue to treat Judges as second-class people, while high-ranking political office holders enjoy lavish salaries and allowances.

SERAP expressed concern that the remuneration and allowances of Judges have fallen substantially behind the average salaries and allowances of political office-holders such as president, vice-president, governors and their deputies, as well as members of the National Assembly.

The letter read in part: “According to our information, the last review of the remuneration, allowances, and conditions of service for political, public and judicial office holders carried out by RMAFC in 2009 shows huge disparity between the remuneration and allowances of judges and those of political office holders.

“Judges’ work is very considerable but they cannot give their entire time to their judicial duties without the RMAFC reviewing upward their remuneration and allowances, and closing the gap and disparity between the salaries of judges and those of political office holders such as the president, vice-president, governors and their deputies, as well as lawmakers.

“We would therefore be grateful if the recommended measures are taken within 14 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, the Incorporated Trustees of SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions to compel the RMAFC to comply with our requests.”

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COVAX Delivered 38m Vaccine Doses To Over 100 Countries, Says WHO

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) yesterday announced that more than 100 countries have received life-saving COVID-19 vaccines from COVAX, the global mechanism for equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.

It said the milestone comes 42 days after the first COVAX doses were shipped and delivered internationally, to Ghana on February 24th.

In a statement, the United Nations’ Agency revealed that COVAX has now delivered more than 38 million doses across six continents, supplied by three manufacturers – AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech and the Serum Institute of India (SII).

Of the over 100 economies reached, 61 are among the 92 lower-income economies receiving vaccines funded through the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC).

It, however, said despite reduced supply availability in March and April – the result of vaccine manufacturers scaling and optimising their production processes in the early phase of the rollout, as well as increased demand for COVID-19 vaccines in India – COVAX expects to deliver doses to all participating economies that have requested vaccines in the first half of the year.

According to the CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Dr. Seth Berkley, “In under four months since the very first mass vaccination outside a clinical setting anywhere in the world, it is tremendously gratifying that the roll-out of COVAX doses has already reached 100 countries.

“COVAX may be on track to deliver to all participating economies in the first half of the year yet we still face a daunting challenge as we seek to end the acute stage of the pandemic: we will only be safe when everybody is safe and our efforts to rapidly accelerate the volume of doses depend on the continued support of governments and vaccine manufacturers. As we continue with the largest and most rapid global vaccine rollout in history, this is no time for complacency.”

The WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said: “COVAX has given the world the best way to ensure the fastest, most equitable rollout of safe and effective vaccines to all at-risk people in every country on the planet.

“If we are going to realise this great opportunity, countries, producers and the international system must come together to prioritise vaccine supply through COVAX. Our collective future, literally, depends on it.”

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Approved Ibom Deep Sea Port, Proposed $1.4B Fertilizer Plant Will Change Akwa Ibom’s Economic Status – Gov. Udom

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Akwa Ibom State Government has said the approved Ibom Deep Seaport and the proposed $1.4 billion Fertilizer and Ammonia Plant are expected to change the economic status of the state.

The State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, made the assertion in an Easter message to the people of the state.

He maintained that with the recent approval and take off of the federal government’s approved Oil and Gas Free Zone and the ongoing construction of the Sterling Petrochemical Plant at Eastern Obolo, the state would be ready to dump its status as a civil service state.

The governor said the fertilizer and ammonia plants should be supported by all indegenes and residents irrespective of political affiliation because of its capacity to change the economic fortunes of the state.

The governor who commended President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the industrial projects in the state said construction work on the Ibom Deep Seaport would commence very soon.

“In recent past, we have been blessed with life-changing projects such as Sterling Petrochemical Plant in Eastern Obolo, where construction is in an advanced stage.

“Two months ago, the Federal Executive Council, (FEC) approved the license for us to commence the construction of our long desired Ibom Deep Seaport. Work would soon commence on this gigantic project. These are huge achievements for our State and our people.

“Ibom Deep Seaport will open up our economic fortunes; create employment and wealth opportunities for our people and throw open our State as a major maritime hub in our nation.

“We thank the President and the Commander in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) for this kind approval,” he said.

Continuing, Emmanuel said: “About three weeks ago, we signed a $1.4 billion Fertilizer and Ammonia plant with our Moroccan counterparts. The plant will again create huge employment and other supply chain activities for our people, which will transform us from a civil service oriented state to a fast industrialising one.

“These are huge achievements that should gladden the hearts of every Akwa Ibomite irrespective of political affiliations.”

He reminded the people of the state that the essence of Easter would be lost if the resurrection of Christ is not allowed to illuminate their souls through love and sacrifice to one another.

“Let the fishermen in the ocean fronts of Mbo, Okobo, Eastern Obolo and Ibeno love one another. Let the farmers in the rice plantations at Ini, Ikono, Ika, Onna and Nsit Ibom love one another.

“Let the civil servants and public servants, politicians in all political parties, members of all denominations, preachers of all faiths, love one another.

“When we let love drive our every action and every thought, when we let it drip from our lips and from our hands, then shall the joy of Easter be complete, and our State shall surely attain the lofty height set for it by our ancestors when they named it Akwa Abasi Ibom State.” the Governor stated.

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