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N80bn Bayelsa Airport: APC Kicks Over Outrageous, Inflated Amount

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  • N80bn Bayelsa Airport: APC Kicks Over Outrageous, Inflated Amount

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa says the ‘astronomical’ rise in cost of the Bayelsa Cargo Airport from N40 to N80 billion is worrisome and a waste of public funds.

The APC said that the reaction of Bayelsa Government to its allegation on the project was a failed attempt to divert attention from obvious lack of fiscal discipline and prudence by the state government.

The party said that “serious issues of accountability, due process and democratic governance” raised in its Nov. 15 statement regarding the airport project was never addressed.

Mr Doifie Buokoribo, the APC Publicity Secretary in Bayelsa, said in a statement in Yenagoa on Monday that the state government had carefully avoided the critical concerns raised by the party.

The party said that by the diversionary response, the Dickson government had only confirmed the allegation, stressing that “Governor Dickson is guilty as charged.”

The APC had criticised the Bayelsa Government for borrowing from the money market at the current high interest rate and described it as a ploy to siphon public funds.

It alleged that the high interest of N62 billion to be paid on the N80 billion loan would stifle the state of funds through the monthly repayment obligations in the next eight years.

It said that the project lacked vital intermodal network for easy accessibility.
The APC said that the N80 billion project was inflated and described it as “clearly the most expensive airport project in Nigeria.”

Buokoribo said that Bayelsa Government’s response was silent on the economic viability of funding such a capital intensive project from the money market at huge interest rates.

“The Bayelsa State Government’s reaction to our statement of Nov. 15, 2018, on the Bayelsa Airport scam did not address any of the issues we raised. This is unfortunate, but understandable.

“Unfortunate because the government is attempting to divert the attention of the Bayelsa populace from the serious issues of accountability, due process and democratic governance.

“These concerns underscore our party’s intervention. We said the airport project is a fraud. We said at more than N80 billion, it is grossly inflated.

“We said the airport project is a deliberate cover by Gov. Seriake Dickson to launder state’s funds. We have no reason whatsoever to change our well thought-out position.

“Rather than address the concerns we raised, Gov. Dickson, through his Information Commissioner, chose to abuse our party and its leaders.

“The APC is a party of serious-minded people. We are not in competition with anyone as to who will emerge best in exchange of insults and abuse. We are focused on a better life for all the people of Bayelsa State,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Bayelsa Commissioner for Information, Mr Daniel Iworiso-Markson, had during an inspection tour of the airport in August, put the cost at N90 billon.

In his reaction, Iworiso-Markson said the past administration in the state failed to give the people the desperately needed international airport between 2007 and 2011.

Iworiso-Markson said that the Gov. Timipriye Syla-led administration (now in APC) failed to build an airport in spite of the huge resources at the disposal of his administration.

According to him, the past administration used what should have been a laudable idea of an airport project to milk the state and siphoned billions of naira into private pockets.

The commissioner challenged the APC to tell Bayelsa people and Nigerians what the former governor did with N300 billion agriculture loan the state took from the World Bank.

According to him, the past administration also frittered away the N3 billion Millennium Development Goal (MDG) funds made available to the state and foisted a bond obligation of N125 billion on the state.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Vice-President Harris Gathers Momentum as Democratic Nominee

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Vice-President Kamala Harris has secured the support needed to become the Democratic nominee for president.

This was after President Joe Biden announced he would not seek re-election, endorsing Harris as his successor.

According to CBS News, Harris has received endorsements from over 1,976 delegates, surpassing the threshold needed to clinch the nomination in the first round of voting at the Democratic National Convention (DNC) scheduled for August.

Delegations from at least 27 states have expressed full support, showcasing a strong backing across the nation.

In her address to campaign staff in Wilmington, Delaware, Harris expressed gratitude for the widespread support, adding that she committed to uniting the party and the country.

“We have 106 days until Election Day, and in that time, we have some hard work to do,” she stated.

Harris laid out her vision for America, contrasting it with that of her likely opponent, Donald Trump.

Speaking on the direction of the campaign thus far, she said “Our campaign has always been about two different versions of what we see as the future of our country. One focuses on the future, the other focuses on the past.”

She acknowledged the accomplishments of the Biden administration, highlighting her pride in serving as vice-president.

“My time serving as vice-president was one of the greatest honors of my life,” Harris said, underscoring her dedication to continuing the work they started.

In a phone call to his campaign team, Biden praised Harris, urging his supporters to rally behind her. “I’m hoping you’ll give every bit of your heart and soul that you gave to me to Kamala,” he said.

Despite stepping back from the race, Biden vowed to remain actively involved in supporting Harris and emphasized the importance of defeating Trump, calling him “a danger to this nation.”

Harris’s nomination marks a significant milestone, but challenges remain. The campaign will focus on addressing key issues such as healthcare, climate change, and economic inequality.

With millions of dollars pouring into her campaign since Biden’s announcement, Harris aims to capitalize on the momentum and build a coalition that appeals to a broad spectrum of voters.

As the DNC approaches, Harris is expected to formally accept the nomination, solidifying her position as the Democratic leader.

The coming months will be crucial as she works to unite the party and reach out to undecided voters. With her historic nomination, Harris stands poised to make a lasting impact on the future of American politics.

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President Declines Nomination, Endorses Harris for 2024

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In a significant political announcement on his X.com account, President Joe Biden has decided to forgo the opportunity to seek re-election in 2024, instead throwing his full support behind Vice President Kamala Harris.

The surprise move, shared with the public this morning, represents a pivotal moment in the Democratic Party’s journey toward the upcoming presidential election.

In his statement, Biden said that his choice to step aside is driven by a desire to concentrate on his remaining duties as President.

He expressed gratitude for the opportunity to serve alongside Harris, calling her selection as his Vice President in 2020 “the best decision” he has made. “My fellow Democrats,” Biden began, “I have decided not to accept the nomination and to focus all my energies on my duties as President for the remainder of my term.”

The President’s announcement signifies a strategic shift in the 2024 election landscape. By endorsing Kamala Harris, Biden not only aims to consolidate support within the party but also to set the stage for a unified front against former President Donald Trump.

“Today I want to offer my full support and endorsement for Kamala to be the nominee of our party this year,” Biden declared. “Democrats — it’s time to come together and beat Trump. Let’s do this.”

This endorsement comes as a surprise to many, given Biden’s earlier commitment to seeking re-election.

However, it reflects a broader strategic maneuver to ensure party unity and strengthen the Democratic position in the face of a formidable opponent. By focusing on Harris, Biden aims to leverage her growing popularity and political acumen to fortify the party’s chances in the upcoming election.

Kamala Harris, who has served as Vice President since January 2021, will now be thrust into the spotlight as the presumptive Democratic nominee.

Her campaign is expected to build on the legacy of the current administration while addressing key issues facing the nation.

The move also raises the stakes for the Republicans, who will need to prepare for a robust campaign from a seasoned political leader in Harris.

As the 2024 election cycle ramps up, Biden’s endorsement is likely to reshape the dynamics of the race, influencing both Democratic strategies and Republican responses.

The coming months will be critical as Harris and her team work to solidify their platform and rally support from voters across the nation.

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Kagame Dominates Election with 99.15% of Votes Counted

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President Paul Kagame has taken a commanding lead in the Rwandan presidential election, securing 99.15% of the votes counted thus far, according to the National Electoral Commission.

The provisional results, reported by the state broadcaster Rwanda Broadcasting Agency, indicate a decisive victory for the Rwandan Patriotic Front candidate.

With 79% of the ballots tallied, Kagame’s overwhelming lead leaves his opponents trailing significantly.

Frank Habineza of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda has garnered only 0.53% of the votes, while independent candidate Philippe Mpayimana has received 0.32%.

The voter turnout has been reported at an impressive 98%, underscoring the high level of public engagement in the electoral process.

The early results suggest a strong mandate for Kagame, who has been at the helm of Rwandan politics since 2000.

Kagame’s administration has been marked by significant economic growth and development, but it has also faced criticism for its stance on political dissent and freedom of expression.

Despite this, Kagame remains a highly popular figure in Rwanda, with many citizens crediting him for the country’s stability and progress.

The National Electoral Commission is expected to release the final results in the coming days. As the tallying continues, Kagame’s supporters have already begun celebrating his anticipated victory.

Analysts believe that Kagame’s likely re-election will provide continuity in Rwanda’s economic policies and development programs.

However, they also call for more inclusive governance and respect for political freedoms to ensure long-term stability and growth.

Kagame’s near-unanimous support in the early results reflects his entrenched position in Rwandan politics.

His ability to maintain such high levels of support will be a focal point of discussion in the aftermath of the election.

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