COVID-19 Palliatives: Presidency, Ndume In Verbal War
…I Stand By My Submission- Ndume
… Prove Your Allegations Or Keep Quiet-Presidency
Following a reply by a presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, to Senator Ali Ndume (Borno South),
the war of words between the Presidency the former Leader of the Senate may not end soon.
Ndume, had at a press briefing in Borno State, called for the immediate sack of COVID-19 Palliatives Measures Committee headed by the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadia Umar Farouq.
The APC Senator representing Borno South picked holes in the way and manner distribution of palliatives to Nigerians at this critical time of COVID-19 lockdown is being handled by the Humanitarian Affairs Ministry.
Ndume who kicked against the approach adopted by the Ministry in a chat with journalists said the emergency national assignment should be taken away from the Ministry and given to a fresh committee that will use governors of the 36 States as links of distribution across the federation.
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His words, “My concern is the manner and the way the COVID-19 palliative measures provided by the president is being handled or executed. We have received numerous complaints and it is actually very unfortunate.
“In fact, left to me, I am strongly calling for the humanitarian committee headed by the minister of Humanitarian Affairs to be dissolved with immediate effect and the president should as a matter of urgency, form a taskforce that would deal with the issue of palliatives, headed by the military, police, civil defence, voluntary organisations, and the NYSC among others.
“It should be formed as taskforce committee headed by governor of each state, and those materials or cash be allocated and distributed house to house, instead of the fake or dubious way they have been handling the matter by just going to Television House or Government House to demonstrate.
“If you see a Minister or big person anywhere going personally to do something, then know that there is something wrong. If not, what has the Minister got to do with going from state to distribute palliative? They should be in the ministry monitoring the activities.
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“While the pitiable situation of the poor is visible to everyone, few individuals are rushing to squander the money meant for the poor.
“We have reliable information that the names they generated are fake and that they connived with some of the banks to defraud the poor. It is better to stop the exercise because it is full of lies and if the president don’t do something to stop it now, we will end up investigating and later on going back and forward to the court.”
However, in his reply to Ndume’s claims, Shehu urged the Borno South senator to prove his claims instead of accusing unnamed faces in his latest attack.
In a statement issued on Friday in Abuja, the Presidency accused Ndume of politicising a national emergency and challenged him to name the alleged kleptocrats in Buhari’s government.
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The SUN reports that Shehu in the statement, urged Ndume to keep quiet as according to him, no serious government changes a winning team in times of war.
The statement titled: ‘Senator Ali Ndume should figure out his mentioned kleptocrats around the President or be quiet’, reads in part, “Claiming that the COVID-19 Palliative Measures Committee is not functioning as it should be not the same as presenting proof for such a claim.
“No one replaces an institutional government body in the midst of the global pandemic without clear and irrefutable evidence that it needs replacing.
“A press briefing from a discontented politician is rarely the source of such evidence.
“At this difficult time of the battle by Nigeria against Coronavirus, everyone should help the fight and not seek to make political capital out of it, whatever his or her grievances.”
But in his reaction to the statement, Ndume said he stands by his observations and recommendations as far as distribution of palliatives arising from COVID-19 is concerned.
Ndume, who reacted through a telephone conversation, however, said he was not ready to join issues with anybody having made his observations known.
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“I’m not ready to join issues with anybody on palliatives distribution, having made my observations known based on information I got from the grassroots as a grassroots person. I’ve made my position known on the programme and I stand by it,” he said.
More Than Half Of world’s Poor In Africa – Economist
Chief Economist, Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Hanan Morsy, said Africa accounts for more than half of the world’s poor.
Morsy gave the figure on Monday at the 55th session of the Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The official noted that the continent faced a tsunami of global shocks that have exacerbated existing socio-economic operation and equity.
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“Africa, as a result of these shocks, currently accounts for more than half of the world’s poverty at 54.8 per cent,” the economist hinted.
Morsy said an estimated 548 million Africans lived in poverty in 2022, while 149 million more at risk of falling into poverty.
She observed a skewed distribution across the continent in terms of concentration of underlying issues, with East and West Africa having a higher share of poverty.
Morsy called for inclusive macroeconomic policies such as targeted and efficient spending, and resilience to future shocks at the household and community level.
READ ALSO: 133m Poor Nigerians: Buhari Dragged To Court Over Failure To Probe Spending On ‘Social Intervention Programmes’
The ECA chief, however, urged African governments to enhance resource mobilisation, including closing tax loopholes.
“Africa loses 40 to 60 billion dollars annually in tax evasion. There’s also funding that can be raised through tackling issues of illicit financial flows,’’ she said.
Abia Guber Poll: Otti Wins In 10 LGAs, PDP 5
Alex Otti of the Labour Party has won a total of 10 out of the 16 Local Government Area results so far declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, before the commission suspended collation of the Abia governorship election.
Otti polled a total of 171,747 votes while Okey Ahiwe of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, scored a total of 79,477 votes after winning five LGAs.
Young Peoples Party, YPP polled 8,839 to win Osisioma LGA the home of its governorship candidate, Enyinnaya Nwafor.
Meanwhile, INEC, has directed the immediate suspension of collation of governorship election results in Abia State.
Administrative Secretary of INEC, Abia State, Chief Clement Oha read the directive midway into collation at the INEC office in Umuahia on Monday.
He said that based on the alleged irregularities by in some polling units particularly Obingwa Local Government Area where INEC office was invaded, collation had been halted at the LGA.
According to him, there will be no further collation of results at Obingwa until INEC Commissioners arrive from Abuja by Tuesday to supervise the collation and take decision on what has to be done after reviewing the situation on ground.
The Presiding Officer and Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology Owerri, FUTO, Professor Nnenna Oti had in the course of collation brought in the Administrative Secretary to read the message she said that came from the INEC headquarters Abuja.
She had said that the INEC Chairman Mahmood Yakubu, personally called her and gave her directives on guidelines to follow in ensuring that Abia governorship election results were collated based on the extant guidelines.
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Professor Otti thereafter, announced the immediate suspension of collation pending the arrival of the team from Abuja.
She had earlier vowed to the neutral but strictly objective in discharging her duties.
Professor Otti who is also a Pastor with the Redeemed Church, assured that the will of Abia voters would not be subverted under her watch.
”I’m Professor Nnenna Oti from Afikpo, VC of FUTO. The people’s mandate shall stand.
“I have spent all my adult life in pursuit of the ideals of good governance. We shall stand by the these principles.
”The pastor in me and the mother in me will not permit me to do anything that will adversely affect the future of our children. I shall do right by God and by man!”
Meanwhile INEC in another statement signed by its Head Voter Education and Information Committee, Festus Okoye, announced suspension of collation of governorship election results in Abia and Enugu States.
INEC in the statement, cited alleged cases of violence, irregularities and invasion of its offices in the affected states as reason for the action.
According to a statement, the commission will review results in the affected LGAs before further action.
READ ALSO: INEC Suspends Collation Of Guber Election Results In Abia, Enugu
But Alex Otti of the Labour Party is already leading in the 12 LGAs so far declared.
Below is a full text of the statement.
“SUSPENSION OF FURTHER COLLATION OF GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION RESULTS IN ABIA AND ENUGU STATES
Below is a full text of the statement entitled ” Suspension of Further Collation of Governorship Election Results in Abia and Enugu”:
“The Commission met today, Monday 20th March 2023 and reviewed the conduct of the Governorship and State Assembly elections held nationwide on Saturday 18th March 2023. Arising from the meeting, the Commission took the decision to suspend forthwith further collation of the Governorship election results in some parts of Abia and Enugu States.
“It will be recalled that our office in Obingwa Local Government Area was invaded by thugs yesterday Sunday 19th March 2023 and our officials held hostage in relation to the collation of results from the Local Government Area. Similarly, reports from Enugu State call for a review of the results for the Governorship election from the two outstanding Local Government Areas of Nsukka and Nkanu East.
“Consequently, the Commission hereby suspends the collation of results in Obingwa Local Government Area of Abia State and the two outstanding Local Government Areas of Enugu State which are yet to be collated. A review will be undertaken immediately before the process is concluded.
“We appeal for the understanding and patience of voters, parties and candidates in the affected States.”
Meanwhile, Dr Alex Otti has maintained a comfortable lead in the 16 Local Government Area results so far declared.
He won five LGAs out of 10 that was declared on Sunday, and collected another five out of the six LGAs announced on Monday, thus bringing the total number of LGAs under his kitty to 10.
Young Peoples Party, YPP won in one LGA while PDP has five LGAs.
According to the results of the 16 LGAs declared so far, Otti polled a total of 171,747 votes, while Ahiwe of the PDP trailed behind with 79,477 votes.
In the results declared on Monday, YPP polled 8,839 to win Osisioma LGA the home of its governorship candidate, Enyinnaya Nwafor.
Labour Party came second in Osisioma after polling 7,032 votes while PDP got 4,699 votes.
APC, APGA and ADC scored 504, 292, and 332 respectively.
LP swept Umuahia North the seat of Abia power with 27,668 while APC whose candidate, Chief Ikechi Emenike who hails from the area, came second with 7,225 votes.
PDP got 4,843 votes while APGA and ADC polled 1,816 and 457 respectively.
READ ALSO: Alex Otti Coasts To Victory In Abia Guber Poll
Similarly, LP cleared Aba South with 22,014 votes while PDP crawled behind with 3,348 votes; and APGA, 1,762 votes.
The Labour Party continued its winning spree at Aba North where it polled 20,974 votes while the ruling PDP managed to get away with only 4,146.
YPP scored 2,296; while APGA got 1,404 votes.
LP also swept Ohafia LGA with 11,848 votes against PDP’s 4, 128 votes.
APC and APGA got 1,354 and 945 votes respectively.
The Labour Party still cleared Umuahia South with 16,187 votes while PDP got 5,464 votes.
Falz Reacts To Sanwo-Olu’s appreciation Post
Famous Nigerian singer, Folarin Falana, popularly known as Falz the bad guy, has reacted to the Lagos State re-elected Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s appreciation post.
Governor Sanwo-Olu had on Monday, in a post shared on his official Twitter handle, appreciated Lagosians for believing in him.
He wrote: ”I’m deeply humbled and grateful for the overwhelming support and trust of the good people of Lagos State. I’m honoured to be re-elected as your governor and pledge to continue to work tirelessly to deliver a better Lagos for all. Thank you for believing in me.”
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Reacting to this, Falz, who quoted the tweet, said everyone had seen the electoral irregularities unfold and Sanwo-Olu was only deceiving himself.
”You were not re-elected. You selected yourself. Everybody saw it unfold. You are only deceiving yourselves,” he said.
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