**Says Nigerians have moved from frying pan to fire in 7years
Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has declared support for the Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party Peter Obi after several underground endorsements of his body language.
Obasanjo in a letter to Nigerians appealed to young Nigerians to stop inheriting other people’s prejudices and enemies.
He said though the leaders have done their best, but their best had turned out to be not the best for Nigeria and Nigerians at home and abroad but as hell on earth for most Nigerians.
“None of the contestants is a saint but when one compares their character, antecedent, their understanding, knowledge, discipline and vitality that they can bring to bear and the great efforts required to stay focused on the job particularly looking at where the country is today and with the experience on the job that I personally had, Peter Obi as a mentee has an edge.
“Others like all of us have what they can contribute to the new dispensation to liberation, restoration and salvaging of Nigeria collectively.
“One other important point to make about Peter is that he is a needle with thread attached to it from North and South and he may not get lost.
“In other words, he has people who can pull his ears, if and when necessary. Needless to say that he has a young and able running mate with clean track record of achievement both in public and private life.
“I am constrained to write this letter to all Nigerians especially young Nigerians, friends of Nigeria globally as well as our development partners because of the gravity, responsibility and implications of the collective decision Nigerians, both young and old, will be making within the next two months.
“The last seven and a half years have no doubt been eventful and stressful years for many Nigerians. We have moved from frying pan to fire and from mountain top to the valley.”
“Those of us who are alive should thank God for His mercies, brace ourselves for the remaining few months of this administration and pray and work very hard for an immediate better future – future of liberation, restoration and great hope and expectation.
“We have had campaigners going up and down the country feeding us with what they mean and what they do not mean, what they understand and what they do not fully understand, what is possible and what is not possible, what is realistic and what is unrealistic, what is true and what is untrue.
“I believe that we need not be confused nor be gullible. Let us be cautious, not to be fooled again.
“I have interacted with the major contestants and I find it interesting that, in one form or the other, each of them claims to want to do what I did during my Presidency and to take Nigeria back to where it was at the height of my Presidency and immediately after.
‘I was pained that most of them do not realise that the Nigeria of today had been dragged down well below Nigeria of the beginning of my Presidency in June 1999.
“Although at that time, Nigeria was in very bad shape and was tottering on the verge of collapse and break-up. Even then, Nigeria was not faced with the level of pervasive and mind-numbing insecurity, rudderless leadership, buoyed by mismanagement of diversity and pervasive corruption, bad economic policies resulting in extremes of poverty and massive unemployment and galloping inflation.
“For these reasons, I kept pointing out to them that the instruments used in 1999 to 2007 and methodology used will grossly be inadequate for the perilous situation we now find ourselves.
“Without prejudice but with greatest respect to each individual with utmost regard for the best for Nigeria and all Nigerians and from my personal experience, all the major contestants claim to be my mentees.
“I will not deny such positions since I have worked with all of them directly and indirectly in government.
“I have come to realise a number of factors in character, attributes and attitude that are necessary in the job of directing the affairs of Nigeria successfully and at a time like this.
“These characteristics or attributes are many but let us be mindful of some key ones together.
“From interaction and experience, and as mentees as most of them claim, I will, without prejudice, fear or ill-will, make bold to say that there are four major factors to watch out for in a leader you will consider to hoist on yourself and on the rest of Nigerians in the coming election.
“They are what I call TVCP: Track record of ability and performance; Vision that is authentic, honest and realistic; Character and attributes of a lady and a gentleman who are children of God and obedient to God; and Physical and mental capability with soundness of mind as it is a very taxing and tasking assignment at the best of times and more so it is at the most difficult time that we are.
Let me say straight away that ‘Emi Lokan’ (My turn) and ‘I have paid my dues’ are one and the same thing and are wrong attitude and mentality for the leadership of Nigeria now.
“They cannot form the new pedestal to reinvent and to invest in a new Nigeria based on an All-Nigeria Government for the liberation and restoration of Nigeria.
“Such a government must have representation from all sectors of our national life – public, private, civil society, professional, labour, employers, and the diaspora. The solution should be in ‘we’ and ‘us’ and not in ‘me’ and ‘I’.
“Mind you, I reiterate that no human being is an angel let alone a Messiah, but there are elements of these attributes and on comparative basis and by measure of what we know of, and what some of us have experienced from the front-runners, we must assess judiciously and choose wisely.
“If anybody claims he or she has anything to the contrary, it will be up to him or her to prove to us.
:I pray not to be proved right again in the bad sense but rather to be proved right in the positive and glorious sense of Nigeria becoming what God had created it to be – a land of plenty and prosperity united for common purpose of inclusive society, common security, shared prosperity, equity, egalitarianism, justice, and equal stake in the Project Nigeria with leadership role of Nigeria for the black race and fair share of global division of labour.
“One ridiculous point that has been touted to justify unjustifiable appointments and selections is ‘competence’. In truth and in reality, genuine competence can be found in any region or section of Nigeria through track record and performance if only people will honestly and sincerely look hard for people with such attainment and attribute.
“Most of us in good conscience can testify to competence when we see any anywhere. What is masqueraded as ‘competence’ is self-interest and nepotism.
We have a unique opportunity to correct ourselves by ourselves for the good of ourselves.
“Those who are preaching division, segregation, separation, and want to use diversity for their own self and selfish interest are enemies of the nation, no matter what else they may disguisedly profess or proclaim.
The Challenge Is For Nigerian Youth:
“If we fall prey again, we will have ourselves to blame and no one can say how many more knocks Nigeria can take before it tips over. To be forewarned is to be fore-armed. Future is not emotion. I challenge the youth to arise. Let nobody pull wool over your eyes to divide you and/or segregate you to make you underlings.
“Nigerian youth, wherever they come from, North or South, East or West need education which is now denied to over 20 million children; Nigerian youth also need skills, empowerment, employment, reasonably good living conditions, welfare and well-being.
“My dear young men and women, you must come together and bring about a truly meaningful change in your lives. If you fail, you have no one else to blame. Your present and future are in your hands to make or to mar. “The future of Nigeria is in the same manner in your hands and literally so. If for any reason you fail to redeem yourself and your country, you will have lost the opportunity for good and you will have no one to blame but yourselves and posterity will not forgive you.
“Get up, get together, get going and get us to where we should be. And you, the youth, it is your time and your turn. ‘Eyin Lokan’ (Your turn).
“The power to change is in your hands. Your future, my future, the future of grandchildren and great grandchildren is in your hands. Politics and elections are numbers game.
“You have the numbers, get up, stand up and make your numbers count. Let me say it again, loud and clear, Nigeria has no business with insecurity, poverty, insurgency, banditry, unemployment, hunger, debt, division and disunity.
“We are in these situations because advertently or inadvertently, our leaders have made the choices. They have done the best they could do. Let them take their rest deservedly or not and let them enjoy their retirement as Septuagenarians or older.
“I became Head of State at 39 and at 42, I had retired into the farm. When it was considered necessary, I was drafted back into active political life after twenty years of interregnum. I came back at 62 and by 70, I was on my way out.
“Others like General Gowon and Enahoro became national leaders at 33 and 27 respectively and General Gowon at the helms of leadership of Nigeria at the highest level.
“The vigour, energy, agility, dynamism and outreach that the job of leadership of Nigeria requires at the very top may not be provided as a septuagenarian or older.
“I know that from personal experience. And it is glaring out of our current experiences. Otherwise, we will be fed with, “The President says” and we will neither see nor hear him directly as we should. Yes, for some, age and physical and mental disposition are not in tandem.
“But where and when they are with obvious evidence, they must be taken into account for purpose of reality. And yet it is a job in our present situation where the team leader or captain of the team should be up and doing, outgoing inside and outside and speaking to the nation on almost daily basis visibly and as much as possible interactively and meeting his colleagues all over the world on behalf of Nigeria.
“Youth of Nigeria, your time has come, and it is now and please grasp it. If not now, it will be never. I appeal to you to turn the tide on its head and march forward chanting ‘Awa Lokan’ (Our turn) not with a sense of entitlement, but with a demonstrable ideological commitment to unity and transformation of Nigeria.
Leave The Past, Face The Future:
Can we let the past go?
“I appeal to the young Nigerians to stop inheriting other people’s prejudices and enemies. Make your own friends and stop inheriting your father’s enemies.
“Let’s stop criminalizing and demonizing one another on the basis of the civil war on which we are all wrong. And let’s praise and thank God for preserving the oneness of Nigeria.”
EU reports: LP says FG is feebly adopting face saving measures
***EU only hit the nail on the head
The leadership of the Labour Party has countered the Federal Government of Nigeria for discrediting the European Union’s conclusion on the 2023 General Election wherein it faulted the modalities by which the conclusion was reached.
It reiterated what it believed as the accurate testament of the European Union’s conclusion on the 2023 general elections which merely hit the nail on the head.
A statement by the National Publicity Secretary Obiora Ifoh said,
“Eropean Union’s Conclusion on the 2023 general elections are nit Jaundiced but accurate Testament of the outcome of the FG and INEC alliance to change the will of the electorate.”
“We see this face-saving measure by the Federal Government which is coming days after the submission of the report as feeble and medicine after death.
“It will interest the government to note that the European Union’s report is only one out of numerous submissions by other international Observers who have described the outcome of the election as a sham and an exercise that did not reflect the will of the majority of Nigerians.
“Labour Party stands by the position of the EU observation mission. We have always said that this election was massively rigged in favour of the APC and their candidate.
“What the FG is saying is just an afterthought and a shameless effort to mask the obvious. Even the blind can see, the deaf can hear and they know this election was manipulated.
“Huge pieces of evidence abound for even the deaf and the blind to hear and feel. We are only hoping that the judiciary will dispense justice without fear or favour in the interest of the nation and posterity.
“Nigerians already know the true winner of the 2023 presidential election and no amount of slandering, denial, or rebuttal can change the fact that the party in power has no mandate of the electorate.
“We must also note that whatever position the INEC has taken is with active connivance with the Federal Government to deny the electorate and it clearly shows that INEC is not in any way independent.
“The Commission’s action is at the whims and caprices of the government and we know it. But Nigerians looking to the Judiciary for justice. That’s where we stand.”
FG tackles EU over report on 2023 general elections
The Federal Government has countered the European Union’s report on the 2023 general elections, describing the conclusions therein as “jaundiced”.
The Special Adviser to President Bola Tinubu on Special Duties, Communications and Strategy gave the indication in a statement on Sunday.
“We urge the EU and other foreign interests to be objective in all their assessments of the internal affairs of our country and allow Nigeria to breathe,”
According to him, the February 25, 2023 presidential election was “clearly and fairly” won by Tinubu, the then candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC).
He also advised that the EU allow Nigeria to breathe and not meddle in the affairs of the country.
“We find it preposterous and unconscionable that in this day and age, any foreign organisation of whatever hue can continue to insist on its own yardstick and assessment as the only way to determine the credibility and transparency of our elections,” he said.
He said the presidency was not unaware of the “machinations of the European Union to sustain its, largely, unfounded bias and claims on the election outcomes”.
Alake further stated that there is no substantial evidence provided by the EU or any foreign and local organisation that is viable enough to impeach the integrity of the 2023 election outcomes.
“We would like to know and even ask EU, how it reached the conclusions in the submitted final report with the very limited coverage of the elections by their observers who, without doubt, relied more on rumours, hearsay, cocktails of prejudiced and uninformed social media commentaries and opposition talking heads,” he stated.
“We have many reasons to believe the jaundiced report, based on the views of fewer than 50 observers, was to merely sustain the same premature denunciatory stance contained in EU’s preliminary report released in March.
“We strongly reject, in its entirety, any notion and idea from any organisation, group and individual remotely suggesting that the 2023 election was fraudulent.”
The media aide said Nigeria has put the elections behind, and Tinubu is facing the task of nation-building.
“As a country, we have put the elections behind us. President Tinubu is facing the arduous task of nation-building, while those who have reasons to challenge the process continue to do so through the courts.”
On June 27, 2023, the EU presented its report on the 2023 elections in Nigeria to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The EU said the election exposed enduring systemic weaknesses and therefore signaled a need for further legal and operational reforms to enhance transparency, inclusiveness and accountability.
The EU also identified six areas for improvement in Nigeria’s electoral process moving forward.
Some of the key areas listed by the Mission are ambiguities in the law, the establishment of a publicly accountable process for the selection of the INEC members, ensuring real-time publication of results as well as access to election results.
It also highlighted the need for protection for media practitioners while decrying the discrimination against women in elective and appointed positions as well as impunity regarding electoral offences.
Okumagba expresses confidence in Tinubu to initiate inclusive national reconciliation
***Says, the president has capacity to confront insecurity with reforms
***Applauds his agenda poised to bringing about a dawn of a new era
Prominent leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Delta State, Olorogun Bernard Okumagba has expressed the confidence in the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s newly inaugurated government to bring about lasting peace and prosperity to Nigeria through an inclusive national reconciliation process.
Okumagba who is also a member of the Governing Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), said the president has the capacity to remarkably focus on confronting insecurity through a reform of the sector; growing the economy; and tackling multi-dimensional poverty, which would boost Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)
By so doing, he said the new government will create a robust middle class that will drive our Country’s economic rebound under his watch.
In a Press Statement, Olorogun Okumagba, a former Delta State Commissioner for Finance, also reckoned that the new President who has an established reputation as a bridge builder, a true progressive, an astute believer in true federalism, and who has over the years sacrificed to ensure the sustenance of democracy in the country, will bring these remarkable skills and attributes to bear in renewing the hopes of Nigerians for a more prosperous nation.
These were contained in a statement he issued to congratulate President Bola Tinubu (GCFR) and Vice President Kashim Shettima (GCON) on their momentous inauguration as the 16th President, and Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He wished them every success in guiding our country towards stability, true democratic governance and economic development.
Reacting to President Tinubu’s inaugural address, aptly captioned “THE NIGERIAN IDEAL”, shortly after being sworn-in by the Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, Olorogun Okumagba eulogised the President for his firm and unequivocal commitment to “progressive good governance in furtherance of the Nigerian ideal” succintly captured in his five governance principles.
The principles that will guide his administration as outlined by President Tinubu include “governing according to the constitution and the rule of law; to defend the nation from terror and all forms of criminality that threaten the peace and stability of our country; and to remodel our economy to bring about growth and development through job creation, food security and an end of extreme poverty.”
Okumagba also applauded President Tinubu’s promise to address the nation’s economic problems and his directive to the monetary authorities to make monetary policy to be more business friendly and work towards a unified exchange rate.
Okumagba stated his deep appreciation of the significant role President Tinubu has played in seeking solutions to the political and economic challenges assailing our nation. Olorogun Okumagba recalls that President Tinubu’s remarkable transformation of Lagos State as Governor between 1999 and 2007, and the sustenance of a succession pipeline has since made Lagos the state of choice to live in, work, and play.
In tune with the mood of the nation for “renewed hope” of a more prosperous and united nation, Olorogun Okumagba re-affirmed his best wishes for the success of the important work that lies ahead.
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