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Tinubu Accuses Odigie-Oyegun of Sabotage

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  • Tinubu Accuses Odigie-Oyegun of Sabotage

A war of attrition seems to be brewing in the All Progressives Congress (APC) as its National Leader, Senator Bola Tinubu, has written a letter to the National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, accusing the national chairman of undermining his efforts at reconciling aggrieved members of the party.

Although Odigie-Oyegun was not available for comments on Thursday, an aide said he was in possession of the letter and would be replying to it at the weekend.

Tinubu’s accusation came just as operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday visited the national secretariat of the ruling APC situated at Wuse 2 area of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja for an undisclosed enquiry.

President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier in the year appointed Tinubu to reconcile all aggrieved persons within the party, an assignment which he began last month, talking to major stakeholders, including the National Working Committee (NWC).

But Tinubu, in his eight-page letter dated February 21, which was copied to the president, vice-president, Senate president and Speaker of the House of Representatives, accused Odigie-Oyegun of taking actions aimed at sabotaging his presidential assignment.

Specifically, he accused the national chairman of not cooperating with him, saying some of his unilateral actions were capable of worsening the situation in some of the crisis-ridden states.

Saying he approached his assignment with an open mind, Tinubu expressed worry that Odigie-Oyegun’s response was cynical and unhelpful.

According to him, “Upon my appointment, I gave the president my word that I would work diligently and objectively to achieve the goal set before me.

“In this vein, my first port of call after receiving my assignment was our party’s national secretariat to present myself before the NWC with you as one of its members by virtue as the chairman of the party.

“During my interaction, members freely expressed their views concerning the state of the party at the national, state and local government levels.

“On your part, you promised unalloyed support for my mission. Consonant with that vow, you said that you would provide all the information at your disposal and you vowed to act as a liaison between us and the state party chapters.

“Unfortunately the spirit of understanding and of cooperative undertaking to revive the party seemed not to have lived beyond the temporal confines of that meeting. I assure anyone who cares to know that this positive spirit of cooperation did not meet its demise at my hands.”

In the letter entitled: ‘Actions and Conduct Weakening the Party from Within’, the national leader outlined his position on the state of the party and the way forward, saying the solution laid in a balanced appreciation of its daunting challenges.

He said: “My position was and is that we can only restore the party by resolving its current deficiencies in an unbiased, neutral manner that allows us to strengthen our internal democracy by annealing those internal institutions and processes vital to such internal fairness. I stated this position then and I still hold to it with all sincerity.”

But Tinubu suggested that Odigie-Oyegun was not similarly persuaded, contending that the national chairman was apparently incapable of measuring up to his leadership responsibility.

“Those who were entrusted with positions of high responsibility within the party seemed unable to handle the success given them,” he said, adding: “Little attention was tendered to the principles upon which this party was formed and pursuant to which it was presented to the public as an alternative to the cynical politics of the PDP.”

Tinubu pointedly accused Odigie-Oyegun of the undemocratic act of unilaterally meddling in the affairs of some crisis-ridden states, particularly, Kogi, Kaduna and Adamawa States.

He accused the national chairman of rushing to Kogi last weekend to inaugurate a new parallel state executive without reference to the appropriate organ of the party.

Tinubu told Odigie-Oyegun: “It is my understanding that your dissolution of the duly-constituted state executives and the hurried naming of the above-mentioned caretaker group was not approved by the NWC.

“You had let this situation fester for months on end. Only when I was appointed to help resolve internal disputes and when you realised I might focus early on Kogi, did you stir from your indifference and inaction.”

He continued: “Drawing from your behaviour in Kogi, Kaduna and Adamawa with regard to the state chapter assessment requested, I am led to the inference that you have no intention of actually supporting my assignment.

“While this may place you in a significant affinity with those parallel officials you handpicked, this machination suggests no improvement in the welfare of the party in Kogi or at the national level.”

Tinubu said Odigie-Oyegun apparently sought to undermine his mandate by engaging in dilatory tactics for the most of the time, but that when forced to act, the national chairman would do so in an arbitrary and capricious manner.

Reminding the national chairman that the task was a presidential assignment, the national leader directed an immediate release to him the status reports and all the pertinent information regarding the state chapters without further delay.

Efforts to get Odigie-Oyegun’s reaction on Thursday were abortive as he was not available. A source close to him, however, said that he had seen the letter and would respond appropriately by the weekend.
Meanwhile, operatives of the EFCC were at the national secretariat of the party on Thursday.

Investigation revealed that the anti-graft agency’s operatives might have started investigations into an alleged misappropriation of the party’s fund made against the NWC.

Check showed that a group known as Buhari/APC Anti-Corruption Support Group had sent a petition to the anti-corruption agency last week, accusing the national chairman of financial sleaze.

A reliable source said that following the receipt of the group’s petition, EFCC operatives stormed the party’s office at noon Thursday in a black SUV and made straight for the office of the national chairman.

It was learnt that the APC anti-corruption group had organised a protest last week at the EFCC headquarters carrying several placards with the inscriptions: “EFCC Must Probe Oyegun Now!” “Audit APC’s Account Now!’’ and “Oyegun is Killing the Anti-Corruption Policy of Buhari!” The protesters also asked the anti-graft agency to probe the accounts of the ruling party.

The Leader of the group, Mr. Ishola Adeshina, was said to have alleged that the former Edo State governor had been running the accounts of the party without recourse to the majority of national officers of the party.

Last week, the acting Chairman of Cross River State, Mr. Cletus Obun, accused the national leadership of the party of fuelling crisis in the state.

Following some misgivings they had, Obun and some stakeholders of the party from the state on Wednesday rejected a plan by the NWC to hold a special congress to elect a substantive chairman.

Speaking to journalists in Abuja, Obun, who is also the Cross Rivers State vice-chairman from the Central Senatorial District, said the crisis in the state chapter had been allowed to fester because the Odigie-Oyegun failed to stand firm.

In the same vein, the party said that Odigie-Oyegun and the NWC have been given a vote of confidence by the Adamawa State House of Assembly.

In a statement by the party’s spokesman, Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, the party said the state’s legislators, led by their speaker, were at the national secretariat to pass a vote of confidence on the national chairman and the NWC.

It quoted the majority leader of the House as saying: “We have to commend your style of leadership. When the president was inaugurated, he said that we were going to face some challenges, turbulences and encumbrances in the government and the party is not excluded.

“For the past three years, we have seen how you have handled the party right from national to states, local governments and wards. With all these turbulences and encumbrances, we are still the great party that we are.”

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.

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#EndSARS: Here is the Complete Speech of President Buhari

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The Complete Speech of President Muhammadu Buhari

Following the Lekki Massacre, president Muhammadu Buhari delivered the much-awaited speech. However, the speech failed to touch on the massacre or the people affected, infuriating millions of Nigerian youths that have committed so much to the struggle and lost so much.

Below is the complete speech.

“Fellow Nigerians,

It has become necessary for me to address you having heard from many concerned Nigerians and having concluded a meeting with all the Security Chiefs.

As a democratic government, we listened to, and carefully evaluated the five-point demands of the protesters. And, having accepted them, we immediately scrapped SARS, and put measures in place to address the other demands of our youth.

On approving the termination of SARS I already made it clear that it was in line with our commitment to the implementation of extensive Police reforms.

Sadly, the promptness with which we have acted seemed to have been misconstrued as a sign of weakness and twisted by some for their selfish unpatriotic interests.

The result of this is clear to all observers: human lives have been lost; acts of sexual violence have been reported; two major correctional facilities were attacked and convicts freed; public and private properties completely destroyed or vandalised; the sanctity of the Palace of a peace-maker, the Oba of Lagos has been violated. So-called protesters have invaded an International Airport and in the process disrupted the travel plans of fellow Nigerians and our visitors.

All these executed in the name of the ENDSARS protests. I am indeed deeply pained that innocent lives have been lost. These tragedies are uncalled for and unnecessary.

Certainly, there is no way whatsoever to connect these bad acts to legitimate expression of grievance of the youth of our country.

The spreading of deliberate falsehood and misinformation through the social media in particular, that this government is oblivious to the pains and plight of its citizens, is a ploy to mislead the unwary within and outside Nigeria into unfair judgement and disruptive behaviour.

On the contrary, both our deeds and words have shown how committed this administration has been to the well being and welfare of citizens, even with the steadily dwindling revenues, and the added responsibilities and restrictions due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Government has put in place measures and initiatives principally targeted at youths, women and the most vulnerable groups in our society. These included our broad plan to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years; the creation of N75 billion National Youth Investment Fund to provide opportunities for the youths, and the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Survival Fund, through which government is:

a. paying 3-months salaries of the staff of 100,000 micro, small- and medium- enterprises
b. paying for the registration of 250,000 businesses at the Corporate Affairs Commission
c. giving a grant of N30,000 to 100,000 artisans
d. guaranteeing market for the products of traders

These are in addition to many other initiatives such as:

a. Farmermoni,
b. Tradermoni,
c. Marketmoni,
d. N-Power,
e. N-Tech and
f. N-Agro.

No Nigerian Government in the past has methodically and seriously approached poverty-alleviation like we have done.

With regard to the welfare of police personnel, the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission has been directed to expedite action on the finalization of the new salary structure of members of the Nigeria Police Force.

The emoluments of other paramilitary services are also being reviewed upwards.

In order to underscore the importance of education in preparing youths for the future, this administration has come up with a new salary structure and other incentives for our teachers.

Let me at this point reaffirm the Federal Government’s commitment to preserving the unity of this country.

We will continue to improve good governance and our democratic process, including through sustained engagement.

We shall continue to ensure that liberty and freedom, as well as the fundamental rights of all citizens, are protected.

But remember that government also has the obligation to protect lives and properties, as well as the right of citizens to go about their daily businesses freely and protected from acts of violence.

To our neighbours in particular, and members of the international community, many of whom have expressed concern about the ongoing development in Nigeria, we thank you and urge you all to seek to know all the facts available before taking a position or rushing to judgement and making hasty pronouncements.

In the circumstances, I would like to appeal to protesters to note and take advantage of the various well-thought-out initiatives of this administration designed to make their lives better and more meaningful, and resist the temptation of being used by some subversive elements to cause chaos with the aim of truncating our nascent democracy.

For you to do otherwise will amount to undermining national security and the law and order situation. Under no circumstances will this be tolerated.

I therefore call on our youths to discontinue the street protests and constructively engage government in finding solutions.

Your voice has been heard loud and clear and we are responding.

And I call on all Nigerians to go about their normal businesses, and enjoin security agencies to protect lives and properties of all law-abiding citizens without doing harm to those they are meant to protect.

Let me pay tribute to officers of the Nigeria Police Force who have tragically lost their lives in the line of duty.

I would like to thank those State Governors, traditional and religious leaders who have appealed for calm and restraint.

I also thank youth leaders who have restrained their followers from taking the law into their hands.

This government respects and will continue to respect all the democratic rights and civil liberties of the people, but it will not allow anybody or groups to disrupt the peace of our nation.

Thank you all. God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

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Passport, Visa Trend as Nigerian Youths Look to Move Out En masse Following Disappointing Presidential Speech

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Passport and Visa Trend on Twitter Following Disappointing Presidential Speech

Nigerian youths have started looking for a way to exit the country following a disappointing Presidential speech after security operatives opened fire on peaceful protesters on October 20, 2020 at Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos, Nigeria.

The youths, who have been protesting and demanding an end to the now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit of the Nigerian Police Force (NPF), had assembled at Lekki Toll Gate on October 20, 2020 to sustain their protest before the commencement of a 24-hour curfew declared by the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

However, shortly after they sang the national anthem, they were attacked by security operatives in one of the goriest scenes ever witnessed in the country. Despite calls for prosecution of perpetrators by both international and local civil rights organisations, the Federal Government has denied the occurrence even when Sanwo-Olu had earlier said forces beyond his control had made dark notes of history in the state.

This coupled with President Muhammadu Buhari’s refusal to acknowledge the killings and occurrence in his speech on Thursday, negatively affected the youths that for the first time went all out to demand a change in one voice.

Feeling dejected with the situation and most importantly hopeless about the future, they were forced to start seeking an exit from an uncertain future to a more predictable economy govern by sane people.

Since the failed presidential speech, Passport and Visa have been trending on Twitter as Nigerian youths now shift their focus to traveling out of Nigeria, a nation expected to plunge into the second economic recession in four years in the third quarter under President Muhammadu Buhari.

The inflation rate increased by 13.71 percent in September with the nation’s unemployment rate at 27.1 percent or 21.8 million amid rising economic uncertainties, weak foreign reserves and a currency that has been devalued twice this year.

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#EndSARS Protesters Kill as Security Operatives Open Fire at Lekki Toll Gate

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Security Operatives Open Fire on #EndSARS Protesters at Lekki Toll Gate

Nigerian security operatives deployed to Lekki Toll Gate following the announcement of a 24-hour curfew by Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, opened fire on peaceful protesters on Tuesday, October 20, 2020.

According to numerous accounts of protesters, the army started shooting even before the curfew announced to commence by 9 pm on Tuesday.

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