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Tinubu Hails Direct Primary



  • Tinubu Hails Direct Primary

Lagos State All Progressives Congress (APC) stalwart Asiwaju Bola Tinubu yesterday said the party rejected Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s re-election bid because he has failed the leadership test.

He said while a governor is expected to perform in office and fight the infrastructure battle, he is not expected to turn his back on the platform that brought him power.

Tinubu described the party as the major backbone of the governor and the architect of his victory at the poll, stressing that he should have carried the members along in his activities.

He spoke shortly after participating in yesterday’s open direct governorship primary at his Ward C, Ikeja Local Government Area.

Hailing the adoption of the direct primary, the former Lagos State governor said the method was superior to the delegate system.

Tinubu applauded the huge crowd of members that came to vote, describing it as democracy in action.

He said he surrendered to the generality of party members who demanded the direct primary and rejected the governor’s second term bid.

The former governor said while the delegate system could be hijacked by rich aspirants, the direct system is insulated from corruption because it is open and promotes inclusiveness.

Tinubu said: “Seeing is believing. You have seen the people. You have seen participatory democracy. You have seen transparency. As a leader, I had to surrender to these people. It is their wish to participate in the exercise and determine who will be the next governor to direct the affairs of Lagos. And that has been demonstrated openly by the people. They have democracy and the anti-corruption policy of this government.

“Where you have delegate system, they move 24 hours around their constituencies. They collect from A, they collect from B, they collect from C, depending on the number of candidates. They give scores to the highest bidder. Stop promoting corruption and opposition to open primary. Allow them to openly demonstrate on the line where they belong with their identification cards. You kill corruption in the party.

“I wouldn’t have been the governor in 1999, if open primary had not been adopted. Throughout the state, I went to the nooks and crannies of the state; to 245 wards to canvass for support. It was not the delegate system.”

Tinubu said the circumstances that warranted his support for Ambode in 2014 does not exist in 2018.

He recalled that the party accepted Ambode’s ambition in 2014 when he brought him from the civil service, adding that the same party has now rejected his second term bid.

Tinubu said: “Who did I support in 2014? Life is dynamic. If a party which made me the leader of the structure in Lagos; it is only when you have followership that you’re a leader in democracy. If I look back and I don’t find them again, if I don’t respond to them, if I fail to accede to their request, I would have failed the leadership test. This is not personal. It is beyond me as a person. In the preface of every democratic constitution, you see: ‘we the people.’ It is preceded by ‘we the people’. I had to submit myself to the wishes and yearnings of our party.”

The former governor said Lagos APC was warming up for next year’s elections, stressing that the primary was the beginning.

Urging others to learn from the developments in the Lagos APC, Tinubu said: “This is an elixir to the general election. Ambode Akin is doing well, yes. He has to be a good party man. Not only the glamour, not only about brick and mortar. The chance is determined by character. For you to become an influential person, you have to respond to the yearnings of those people. This is politics. This is one man, one vote. They are for you today. If they change tomorrow, you have to abide by it.”

Tinubu also cautioned against any plot to destroy the party, ahead of the general elections.

He said: “You don’t bring the roof down. You don’t bring the house down. Safeguard the foundation. The exercise you have witnessed today is a prelude; it is good for the general election of the party. It is good for Buhari’s endorsement to continue. 1.9 million votes. You don’t see this type of crowd. If the summation today is less than that, there will be disappointment.”

Tinubu added: “Look at that in the larger picture. If this house that accommodates all of us; we are facing one way. We are supporting the president. If they are changing, I have to abide by that. I have no choice. If you are a good party man; look at how long we have been here for how many years of democracy. Twenty five to 30 years of nurturing democracy. You must have one good reason for the people to continue to believe and respect you.”

There was anxiety at the party’s office on Acme Road, Ogba, Ikeja, following the rejection of the primary by the Clement Ebri-led Primary Committee.

Ebri said the panel will not affirm the primary results because the ballot papers and boxes it provided were not used.

Frowning at the rejection, Tinubu, who visited the committee members at the Protea Hotel, Ikeja, described it as an afterthought and in bad faith.

A party source said: “This may give room for insinuation that the panel may have an agenda. People may start alleging that the panel was compromised along the way. We are going to resist any annulment. The committee has not shown any sign of intention to work harmoniously with the Lagos State APC Executive Committee to ensure a successful primary. The committee asked for an office within the party secretariat to operate. The office was provided.

“But, since they left for their hotel suites in Protea, they have shunned the office provided for them at the party secretariat. The committee said that the primary began without the distribution of ballot papers and result sheets. The party had earlier rejected the use of ballot papers and ballot boxes. The party preferred queuing on the line behind the posters of the two aspirants.”

Lagos State APC Women Leader and former House of Representatives member Jumoke Okoya-Thomas said the plot to destroy the party will fail.

She said: “Our party is supreme. This is the wish oif the party. Our people have spoke at the primary.”

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


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



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



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



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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