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Buhari: My Kano Visit, Reception is a Clear Message to the Opposition

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  • Buhari: My Kano Visit, Reception is a Clear Message to the Opposition

In a clear pointer to his popularity in the most populous state in Northern Nigeria and with an eye on contesting the 2019 presidential election, President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Kano disclosed that the overwhelming reception accorded him by the people of the state was a clear message to the opposition in the country.

Speaking at an interactive session with community leaders held at Coronation House in Kano, Buhari expressed his satisfaction with the massive reception he was given, saying: “Definitely, since this is partisan politics, I think it has sent a clear message to the opposition.”

Buhari, who was in Kano on a two-day visit, said the reception accorded him was impressive, while conveying his appreciation to the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammad Sanusi II for the horse parade for him at the palace, which he reiterated was an affirmation that Kano State remains his stronghold.

He noted that during his drive around the city to inaugurate projects, he observed that many of those who thronged the streets to welcome him were young people who tried to get a glimpse of him.

The president pointed out that his administration has focused on major issues that will foster development in the country, stating that in the last two years, fighting corruption was a major challenge in the country.

He also said plans were afoot to ensure that the properties of corrupt persons are sold and the proceeds go into government coffers.

He assured his audience that his administration would not relent in its efforts to ensure that corrupt persons are prosecuted.

In the area of agriculture, Buhari said rice imports had dropped by 90 per cent through the land borders, pointing out that he would continue to do his best to ensure that the country attains greater heights.

On the trans-border relationship with ECOWAS countries, the president said his government was working to establish a cordial relationship with neighboring countries.

The president also spoke on the issue of drug abuse, stating that his government will check the proliferation of hard drugs in the country, adding: “Many people have talked to me about this. That is why I have assigned a retired military officer to handle this. You all know about the performance of Hameed Ali (Comptroller General, Nigerian Customs Service). He is doing a good job and by God’s grace we will do more.”

He said his administration would continue to accord priority to education, so as to empower youths and enable them to contribute their quota toward the development of the country.

“If you educate people, you empower them. So we have to make sacrifices to prepare the youths for the future,” Buhari said.

Earlier in his remarks, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State said his administration was able to execute a number of projects, in addition to initiating various empowerment programmes for women and youths.

He said as part of efforts to address unemployment challenges, the state government had awarded contracts worth over N2 billion for the construction of a skills acquisition training centre which would soon be completed and put to use.

During Buhari’s visit to Kano, the state’s All Progressives Congress (APC) also endorsed him and Ganduje for second term in office come 2019.

The party’s stakeholders, in a meeting with the president yesterday at the Kano Government House, had in attendance Ganduje, his deputy, Professor Hafizu Abubakar, the APC state chairman and members of the party’s state executive committee.

Also in attendance were two of the state’s senators, members of the House of Representatives from the state, and the speaker and 34 members of the Kano House of Assembly, among others.

Others included Governor Muhammed Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa and other leaders of the party in the state.

Buhari, however, did not accept or decline the endorsement in his speech, even after the party leaders promised to procure the nomination form for him and threatened to sue if he refused to contest in 2019.

The president merely beamed with smiles and went on to underscore the need for unity in the party and among the diverse peoples of Nigeria.

The Kano State chairman of the APC, Alhaji Abdullahi Abbas hinged their endorsement of the president on his achievements in the last two years, especially in the area of security, the war against corruption and, the restructuring of the economy.

“Security is important for everyone, not just for Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States, it is even more so for us as a commercial and industrial state.

“We are convinced that you are the best for these times when the country has begun to muster energy and resources to develop agriculture, infrastructure and empower younger citizens,” Abbas said.

On a humorous note, Ganduje said the party was prepared to drag the president to court to force his acceptance of the second-term ticket.

In his response, Buhari said he understood the clamour by the ordinary people on the streets who had raised four fingers on each hand, meaning four plus another four years.

He also stressed the need to sanitise party politics by ridding it of vote buying and violence.

“What I saw in the elections in Kogi, Bayelsa and Rivers, the use of money and those things really upset me. I don’t wish to see that anywhere. I would not have won if money and killings were the mode of operation. That is my view of politics,” the president said.

Atiku to Declare for Presidency

But as Buhari luxuriated in the endorsement of the Kano APC, it emerged that a possible rival in the presidential race in 2019, former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar was likely to formally declare his intention to contest the presidential election after the National Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) holding in Abuja today.

A source close to the campaign organisation of the Waziri Adamawa said in Minna, Niger State, yesterday that all arrangements for the declaration had been completed and the former vice-president would declare for the presidential race after the convention.

“Atiku will formally declare his intention to contest the presidential election on the ticket of the PDP after the convention of our party,” the source said.

It was also learnt that one of the prominent leaders of the party is expected to play a major role in the 2019 presidential campaign of the former vice-president.

Atiku was in Minna thursday on what the PDP described “as a purely private visit”.

The former APC chieftain who recently defected to the opposition PDP, arrived Minna in his private aircraft at 12.15 p.m.

He was received at the Minna airport by the state deputy governor Alhaji Ahmed Mohammed Ketso and a team of PDP leaders in the state, including former governor, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu, state chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Tanko Beji, his deputy, Alhaji Aminu Yussuf, Senator Shem Zagbayi Nuhu and the secretary of the party in the state, Alhaji Umar Santali.

From the airport, the former vice-president drove straight to the Minna hilltop residence of former military president General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida.

Immediately after some formalities, Atiku went into a closed-door meeting with Babangida at 12.45 p.m.

The meeting between Babangida and Atiku lasted for almost two hours, after which he left for Abuja, declining to speak to the press.

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

COVID-19 Vaccine: African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) to Purchase 270 Million Doses for Nigeria, Other African Nations

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African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) Approves $2 Billion for the Purchase of 270 million Doses for African Nations

African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) said it has approved $2 billion for the purchase of 270 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for African nations, including Nigeria.

Prof. Benedict Oramah, the President of the Bank, disclosed this at a virtual Africa Soft Power Series held on Tuesday.

He, however, stated that the lender is looking to raise more funds for the COVID-19 vaccines’ acquisition.

He said: “The African Union knows that unless you put the virus away, your economy can’t come back. If Africa didn’t do anything, it would become a COVID-19 continent when other parts of the world have already moved on.
“Recall that it took seven years during the heat of HIV for them to come to Africa after 12 million people had died.

“With the assistance of the AU, we were able to get 270 million vaccines and financing need of about $2 billion. Afreximbank then went ahead to secure the $2 billion. But that money for the 270 million doses could only add 15 per cent to the 20 per cent that Covax was bringing.

He added that this is not the time to wait for handouts or free vaccines as other countries will naturally sort themselves out before African nations.

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China Calls for Better China-U.S. Relations

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China Calls for China-U.S. Relations

Senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi said on Monday the United States and China could work together on issues like climate change and the coronavirus pandemic if they repaired their damaged bilateral relationship.

Wang, a Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, said Beijing stood ready to reopen constructive dialogue with Washington after relations between the two countries sank to their lowest in decades under former president Donald Trump.

Wang called on Washington to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and abandon what he said was an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector, steps he said would create the “necessary conditions” for cooperation.

Before Wang spoke at a forum sponsored by the foreign ministry, officials played footage of the “ping-pong diplomacy” of 1972 when an exchange of table tennis players cleared the way for then U.S. President Richard Nixon to visit China.

Wang, a Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, said Beijing stood ready to reopen constructive dialogue with Washington after relations between the two countries sank to their lowest in decades under former president Donald Trump.

Wang called on Washington to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and abandon what he said was an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector, steps he said would create the “necessary conditions” for cooperation.

Before Wang spoke at a forum sponsored by the foreign ministry, officials played footage of the “ping-pong diplomacy” of 1972 when an exchange of table tennis players cleared the way for then U.S. President Richard Nixon to visit China.

Wang urged Washington to respect China’s core interests, stop “smearing” the ruling Communist Party, stop interfering in Beijing’s internal affairs and stop “conniving” with separatist forces for Taiwan’s independence.

“Over the past few years, the United States basically cut off bilateral dialogue at all levels,” Wang said in prepared remarks translated into English.

“We stand ready to have candid communication with the U.S. side, and engage in dialogues aimed at solving problems.”

Wang pointed to a recent call between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden as a positive step.

Washington and Beijing have clashed on multiple fronts including trade, accusations of human rights crimes against the Uighur Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region and Beijing’s territorial claims in the resources-rich South China Sea.

The Biden administration has, however, signalled it will maintain pressure on Beijing. Biden has voiced concern about Beijing’s “coercive and unfair” trade practices and endorsed of a Trump administration determination that China has committed genocide in Xinjiang.

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U.S. Supreme Court Allows Release of Trump Tax Returns

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President Trump Signs Executive Order In Oval Office Of The White House

U.S. Supreme Court Allows Release of Trump Tax Returns

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday paved the way for a New York City prosecutor to obtain former President Donald Trump’s tax returns and other financial records as part of a criminal investigation, a blow to his quest to conceal details of his finances.

The justices without comment rebuffed Trump’s request to put on hold an Oct. 7 lower court ruling directing the former Republican president’s longtime accounting firm, Mazars USA, to comply with a subpoena to turn over the materials to a grand jury convened by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, a Democrat.

“The work continues,” Vance said in a statement issued after the court’s action.

Vance had previously said in a letter to Trump’s lawyers that his office would be free to immediately enforce the subpoena if the justices rejected Trump’s request.

A lawyer for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Supreme Court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority included three Trump appointees, had already ruled once in the dispute, last July rejecting Trump’s broad argument that he was immune from criminal probes as a sitting president.

Unlike all other recent U.S. presidents, Trump refused during his four years in office to make his tax returns public. The data could provide details on his wealth and the activities of his family real-estate company, the Trump Organization.

Trump, who left office on Jan. 20 after being defeated in his Nov. 3 re-election bid by Democrat Joe Biden, continues to face an array of legal issues concerning his personal and business conduct.

Vance issued a subpoena to Mazars in August 2019 seeking Trump’s corporate and personal tax returns from 2011 to 2018. Trump’s lawyers sued to block the subpoena, arguing that as a sitting president, Trump had absolute immunity from state criminal investigations.

The Supreme Court in its July ruling rejected those arguments but said Trump could raise other objections to the subpoena. Trump’s lawyers then argued before lower courts that the subpoena was overly broad and amounted to political harassment, but U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero in August and the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in October rejected those claims.

Vance’s investigation, which began more than two years ago, had focused on hush money payments that the president’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen made before the 2016 election to two women – adult-film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal – who said they had sexual encounters with Trump.

In recent court filings, Vance has suggested that the probe is now broader and could focus on potential bank, tax and insurance fraud, as well as falsification of business records.

In separate litigation, the Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives was seeking to subpoena similar records. The Supreme Court in July sent that matter back to lower courts for further review.

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