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‘We Regret Voting Jonathan Out Of Office,’ Northern Elders Lament

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The Northern Elders Forum has said that it regretted that it got rid of then President Goodluck Jonathan in the 2015 elections to vote in the incumbent, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).

The group expressed disappointment that Buhari has let down millions of Nigerians including members of the All Progressives Congress who trusted in his leadership prior to the poll six years ago.

NEF, therefore, said that the next President of Nigeria should be one who would act in the “opposite direction” of Buhari, who hails from Katsina, North-West Nigeria.

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NEF Director of Publicity and Advocacy, Dr. Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, spoke on Tuesday when he featured on Arise TV’s ‘The Morning Show’ breakfast programme monitored by The PUNCH.

READ ALSO: 2023: Northern Elders Give Condition For Southerner To Become Next President

He said, “Is there any Nigerian who is not disappointed in President Buhari including diehard APC people? Is there anybody who would not tell you he wished President Buhari had done much better?

“We raised huge expectations, we told people, ‘Get rid of Jonathan, put Buhari there, he would fix corruption, he would fix insecurity, he would fix the economy’ (but) look at where we are now.

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“How can anybody say they are happy with the record of President Buhari, even the people very close to him would tell you that they wished he could have done much better and he could have done much better and he hasn’t.”

The group’s spokesman said Nigeria needs a President who would act in the “opposite direction” of Buhari in terms of economic policies, security, amongst others.

“So, what we need to do now is to get ready to elect another President who would go in the opposite direction, a President who has a vision and a clear idea of what governance involves rather than just being a President. So, I am disappointed and that is why today, I am actively involved in trying to see that a new leader emerges in getting Nigerians a new lease of life,” Baba-Ahmed noted.

With the 2023 elections fast approaching and the clamour for power shift to the South, Jonathan, who has the legal right to one more term as Nigeria’s President as the constitution permits all eligible Nigerians to be in office for two terms of eight years, has been receiving entreaties from the APC.

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Many APC chieftains have visited him in recent time, raising the stakes in permutations for the 2023 general elections.

Of late, with the wave of defections swinging in the direction of the ruling party, the National Secretary, APC Caretaker, and Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee, John Akpanudoedehe, said Jonathan would be given an opportunity to contest the 2023 presidency on APC platform if he chose to join the ruling party.

However, the former President has not declared any intention to contest in the forthcoming election.

Speaking further, Baba-Ahmed said the north had lived under Southern Presidents — Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan — since Nigeria’s return to democratic rule in 1999.

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He, however, said Southern Governors should not make the 2023 Presidency a matter of disagreement amongst Nigerians, noting that they should negotiate rather than demand the number one seat. The 17 Southern Governors at their meetings in Lagos and Enugu lately had insisted that power must return to the South in 2023.

“We have lived under Southern Presidents because we recognise that Nigeria is made up of sections, ethnic groups and interests. We recognise that, we are northerners, pluralism is in our DNA, we accept that, we live with it.

“Don’t make the issue of Presidency a matter over which Nigerians would fight and threaten the country and the democratic process, that is very dangerous for this country,” the NEF spokesman stated.

Baba-Ahmed also insisted that the north has the numerical strength in any election, adding that those doubting the north’s voting power should check the last elections, claiming that millions of southerners voted for northern candidates during the elections.

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READ ALSO: 2023: ‘Jonathan’ll Give Tinubu A Good Run For APC Presidential Ticket’ – Rep Member

He, however, said though the north has the numerical strength, neither the north nor the south can solely produce a President without the help of other parts of the country.

‘APC, PDP not answer for 2023’
Also, the NEF spokesman said that Nigeria needs a President who realises the need to rebuild the country, secure Nigerians and boost the economy from the downward slope.

“The nation needs a leader that would do the things that President (Muhammadu) Buhari hasn’t done, create inclusiveness, address resentment and frustration in other parts of the country and in the north and speak and act for everybody,” he added.

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The elder statesman, however, regretted that both the ruling APC and the leading opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, have no answers to what Nigerians want in a candidate in 2023.

He noted that the “smaller parties” should be given the opportunity to field candidates with the character and capacity to lead Nigeria from all her current woes.

(PUNCH)

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Nigeria Now Produces 1.3million Barrels Of Crude Oil Per Day – Sylva

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The Minister of Petroleum Resources (State), Timipre Sylva has said Nigeria is currently producing about 1.3million barrels of crude oil per day.

The minister, who was represented by Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Nasiru Gwazo, disclosed this during an address he presented at the just-concluded 2021 convocation ceremony of the Petroleum Training Institute, Effurun, Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State.

He said, “The ministry is putting all concerted efforts to meet the current OPEC quota.

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“Another is the approval by the Federal Executive Council for the comprehensive rehabilitation of all the refineries in Nigeria.

“We have started with the Port-Harcourt Refinery and Petrochemical Company, and we are swiftly on the course to rehabilitate the Warri and Kaduna refineries.

“Equally important, the recent passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill now Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) is a watershed moment for Nigeria. The Act provides legal, governance, regulatory and fiscal firework for the Nigerian Petroleum Industry, the development of host communities, and other related matters.

“The President has also approved the constitution of a steering committee to oversee the process of implementation of the PIA. On this note, the implementation committee will ensure that the PTI is saddled with the responsibility of human capacity development in the Oil and Gas sector in Nigeria.”

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In an address, the Delta State Governor, Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa said education remains free and compulsory in Delta State from primary to secondary levels.

Governor Okowa, who was represented by the Commissioner for Higher Education, Prof. Patrick Muoboghare said, “every student of Delta State origin is entitled to access our bursary scheme which cuts across all tertiary institutions in the state.”

He said, ”We also ensure that our students study under the most conducive environment. We have employed quality teachers for our public schools, our beliefs being that public schools should be funded properly and education received in public schools should be of the sane standard with that received in private schools.”

READ ALSO: Call Not To Reapoint NCDMD Executive Secretary: Creek Dragons Tells Sylva To Disregard Such

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On his part, the Principal and Chief Executive of the Petroleum Training Institute, H.A. Adimula, disclosed that a total of two 2,297 students have graduated from the Petroleum Training Institute,PTI, Effurun in Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State.

He said, “The graduands are for the 2018/2019 and 2019/2020 academic session.”

Adimula added the graduates will receive the institute’s prestigious diplomas and certificates.

According to him, “Out of this number,1,408 will be awarded National Diplomas, 1,153 graduands will be awarded Higher National Diplomas while 16 graduates will receive the PTI general welding certificates.

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“I am enthused to inform you that 161 students graduated with distinctions while 810 students graduated with upper credit grades.”

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Sex Tape: ‘You’ve Inspired Many,’ Nollywood Actor Writes Tiwa Savage

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Nollywood actor and politician, Yul Edochie, has commended Tiwa Savage for her courage and strength over the controversies involving her sex tape.

Recall that an alleged sex tape involving Tiwa Savage and her boyfriend leaked online and has since gone viral.

Tiwa Savage was criticised for her actions by colleagues and fans, as some described her as not being a good example to the younger generation.

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However, Edochie in a recent post, said Tiwa’s way of handling the blackmail had inspired those going through such silently.

He urged the ‘Somebody’s Son’ crooner to stay stronger, adding that ‘Nobody holy Pass’.

In a long post on his Instagram page, Edochie wrote: “I commend you Tiwa Savage for the way you handled the issue you may not know this but you’ve inspired so many people who may be going through blackmail silently.

“You said capital NO to blackmail and it takes a lot of strength to do that. It is well you’re a human being like the rest of us nobody holy pass.

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READ ALSO: Sex Tape: Okowa’s Aide Demands Apology From Tiwa Savage

“In life there will be ups and downs you enjoy the ups and learn from the downs. Anything that doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

“Keep your head up, keep being strong, this too shall pass.”

 

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Villagers Exhume Corpse Over Inability To Pay Fine

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The chairman of Usung Atiat village, Ukanafun Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, Aniedu Thompson Okon, has allegedly exhumed the corpse of a 61-year-old Aniefiok Daniel Effiong 61 for the deceased failure to pay specified fine for an alleged offence committed while he was alive.

It was gathered that the village council had demanded some items from the deceased to appease his alleged crime before his death.

The items included she goat, tubers of yam, a jar of palm wine, 1 crate of soft drinks, one carton of beer, one bottle of local gin, a bottle of dry gin, garden egg, one bottle of snuff, alligator pepper and other condiments including a bundle of firewood to cook.

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But the deceased failed to bring those items while he was alive.

However, prior to the burial date, the village chairman, it was learnt, had sent a letter to the bereaved family warning them of the consequences for failing to provide above items before their father’s interment.

Part of the letter as circulating online read: “Failure to bring the items for committing an abnormal act, burial should not be conducted in the village.”

A source close to the family told DAILY POST that the family ignored the threat letter and continued with the funeral as the family did not understand the ‘abnormal act’ contained in the letter.

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He added, “after the burial, the village chairman stormed the deceased compound with thugs, firing gunshots into the air and exhumed the corpse and dumped it along the village footpath to decompose.

“Such act was outright desecration of the dead which would require another round of rituals to rebury and appease the gods to avert calamity in the family and entire community,” the source said.

Also, the son of the deceased, Mr. Uduak Effiong Bassey has cried for justice, demanding the village council to rebury his father or face the law for desecrating the dead.

In a petition entitled: ”A case of Desecration of Corpse and unlawful possession of Arms Perpetrated by the village Chairman – Aniedu Okon Thompson and four others,” the deceased’s son urged the state government to intervene and save the community from impending doom and health hazard as the corpse was decomposing in the village.

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The petition dated September 27, 2021 signed by the deceased’s son and made available to newsmen in Uyo on Thursday, stated that urgent steps should be taken to avoid epidemic in the community while the culprits should be brought to book.

Bassey explained that all the perpetrators of the crime could be identified as they are residents in the village.

READ ALSO: Return Nigeria To 12 States Structure, Bring Back Old National Anthem – Clergy

“Akifa together with me were able to identify the above persons desecrating the remains of late Aniefiok Bassey, firing gunshots into the air and eventually dumped the corpse by a bush track and covered the grave.”

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When contacted, the police Public Relations Officer in the State, SP Odiko Macdon, confirmed the incident and explained that the decomposing corpse has been recovered and deposited at the morgue.

Macdon, who said one of the suspects has been arrested, noted that the corpse was actually buried in a land in dispute before its exhumation and has nothing to do with inability to pay a fine.

His words, “The incident occurred in Usung Atiat village in OrukAnam LGA. Actually, the body was exhumed and the police have recovered the corpse and deposited same at the morgue. There was a land dispute concerning the bereaved and the other party said the deceased should not be buried in the disputed land . They went and exhumed the corpse after burial .

“Now, the matter is with the State CID in the state police as the commissioner of police has ordered a discreet investigation into the matter. One person has been arrested while others are at large . The police are trailing other suspects to ensure that they are brought to book,” the PPRO said.

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