Connect with us

News

President Tinubu: Stunts Of The Salesman

Published

on

Share this story

By Abdulaziz Abdulaziz –

IT was pin drop silence. All heads turned to his side of the hall listening as the man gently, but firmly, made a case for his country to this crème de la crème of the Saudi Arabian economic bureaucracy and business community. He grabbed attention with an off the cuff speech that exuded confidence, authority, assurance and truthfulness. It was a little wonder his audience followed through and nodded all through!

The setting was the Saudi-Nigeria Business Summit and the speaker was President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. It was a forum held on the sidelines of the recent Saudi-Africa Summit held in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia.

President Tinubu went into the meeting hall at the JW Marriot Hotel in upscale Riyadh as the President of Nigeria. By the time he picked the microphone he quickly wore the garb of a chief salesman for a product he is excited to market.

It was an effortless exercise in sophisticated arts of marketing and advocacy. It was a presentation from the heart that was as unpretentious as it was unscripted. He spurned out the facts and the figures, reeled out the justifications and tickled the boardroom chiefs where it mattered without appearing weak or pitiable. It was a classic case of economic diplomacy and salesmanship at the highest level.

Since the beginning of his campaign for office, one of the most frequent words on his lips has been “prosperity”. President Tinubu is a prosperous man. His life is tinged with footsteps of prosperity, from the corporate world where he was a successful businessman to the prosperous political career that was capped with his election to the highest office in the land.

It had not always been rosy for him. He had told his story again and again to motivate the younger generation and inspire the country. He had toiled to reach the top. He knew the pains of want and starvation, and the sweetness that comes with economic liberation and prosperity. It is the latter that President Tinubu is desperately working to see that all Nigerians have tested.

He had the lifelong ambition to lead his fatherland. He has fulfilled this ambition. He could, if he chooses, stay back and enjoy the pecks that come with it and pass the time in office. But because the ambition was not a vain one, President Tinubu is up and doing. “I campaigned for it. I begged for the job. I even danced to get elected. There is no excuse!” That is his mindset and the philosophy of leadership for him, and it is for this mindset that he is willing to go to any length to ensure that he bequeath to Nigerians a prosperous country that everyone desires.

It was in his quest for this objective that the President chose to use his time in Riyadh to address the country’s top boardroom chiefs. It turned out to be not just another meeting or a boring address from just another President. It was dazzling interaction that stole the minds of almost everyone in the room, by their own admission.

“We came with high expectations but you have exceeded them,” said the Saudi minister of investment, Khalid Al Falih, who moderated the three-hour session, after the rousing applause that greeted President Tinubu’s address to the Saudi business community. The minister had in his welcome address spoke about how they had followed President Tinubu’s campaign promises and how he started off with the “boldest economic reform agenda in decades” for Nigeria, likening it to happenings in Saudi Arabia.

Mohammed Abunayyan, Chairman of Saudi’s ACWA Power confessed to being “inspired and motivated” by the President promising to see how his company can make foray into Nigeria. In the same vein, Abdulrahman Alfaqiq, the CEO of Saudi oil trading company, SABIC, promised to upscale their business relationship with Nigeria due to the assurances he got from the top.

They were just a few of the many who spoke in glowing terms about the President and in optimistic sense of the new business environment being created by President Tinubu for domestic and international investors.

This was not the first time and certainly not the last. In September, the President’s participation at the G20 Summit in New Delhi, India, was a potpourri of achievements. He maximally used the time to network with the right people and seek out investments for Nigeria.

It was, in every sense, a bumper harvest for the country as the President came back with a basket full of goodies amounting to billions of dollars in investment pledges. Most of the commitments are in areas dear to the heart of the President and at centre of our quest for development. These include the $3 billion promised by Jindal Steels for iron ore processing to aid Nigeria’s drive for industrialization, Skippersells’ plan to invest $1.6 billion in the power sector by building 2000MW power plants across the country in 4 years, Indorama’s pledge for $8 billion expansion of their petrochemical facilities in Rivers State, a billion dollars secured by the Defence Industry Corporation Of Nigeria (DICON), among others.

The President’s last trip to Germany for the G20 Compact with Africa Summit also garnered as much fruits with the signing of the $500 million gas and renewable energy pact with the German government, among others.

As a young man, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu was trained as an accountant. He was a very good student, his records show, who finished from the Chigaco State University with flying colours. In the aftermath, he pursued strings of career opportunities in Accounting and Auditing.

He left his job on his own volition and ventured into politics. But in his new job President Tinubu is demonstrating that beyond his training in Accountancy, as omo iyaloja he has imbibed not a few skills from his revered mother and notable businesswoman to apply in his bid to market Nigeria to investors and the larger international community.

Abdulaziz is Senior Special Assistant to the President on Print Media. He’s on X @AbdulFagge

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

NECO Releases 2023 SSCE External Results

Published

on

By

Share this story

***50,066 candidates passed with 5 credits and above

The National Examinations Council (NECO) has released the results of the 2023 Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) for External Candidates, coming 67 days after the last paper.
Announcing the results at the Council Headquarters in Minna, the Niger state capital on Monday the Registrar/Chief Executive, Prof. Dantani Wushishi said a total of 74,950 candidates registered for the examination, out of which 74,342 actually sat for it.
Professor Wushishi explained that of this number, 50,066 candidates representing 67.35 percent Obtained five credits and above including English Language and Mathematics.
Equally 62,530 candidates representing 84.11 percent also got five credits and above irrespective of English Language and Mathematics.
A further analysis of candidates performance indicated that a total number of 55,272 candidates representing 75.59 percent obtained credit in English Language while a total number of 67, 815 candidates representing 92.75 percent obtained credit in Mathematics.
The Registrar who reiterated the Council’s zero tolerance for examination malpractice, noted that appropriate standards and excellence were maintained right from the planning stage to the release of results.
To this end, Professor Wushishi disclosed that 8,518 as against 11,419 in 2022 cases of examination malpractice were recorded in the 2023 SSCE External which shows a decline in the number of malpractice cases by 25.4 percent.
He noted that the reduction in the level of malpractice was as a result of deepened monitoring of the examination by members of the Governing Board, Management and Senior Staff of the Council.
The Registrar explained that in line with the Council’s zero tolerance for examination malpractice, two, supervisors, one each from Oyo and Lagos states who were found culpable of aiding and abetting malpractice have been blacklisted for their inability to control the candidates.
These supervisors would no longer be engaged in the conduct of NECO examinations, adding that “one center in Borno state was equally blacklisted for aiding and abetting by sharing watsaap messages to candidates.
The climax of the release of the Nov/Dec. 2023 Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) external was the official unveiling of the organization automated annual posting calenders for the 2023 exercise.

Continue Reading

News

Edo 2024: The APC ‘dirty slap’ on Uzodimma for primary chaos

Published

on

By

Share this story

By Ehichioya Ezomon

The cantankerous and chaotic primary election of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State may’ve come to an end, but the seed of confusion, division and alienation created in the initial balloting on February 17, lingers, thanks to the handiwork of the previous chairman of the APC Edo Governorship Primary Election Committee, Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State.
Concluding the primary that lasted seven days – from February 17 to 23 – Cross River State Governor Bassey Otu – who replaced Uzodimma on February 21 as chairman of the primary committee – declared Senator Monday Okpebholo (APC, Edo Central) as winner of the election, having polled 12,433 votes – fairly consistent with the votes (12,145) he’d received on February 17 when the Chief Returning Officer of the primary, Dr Stanley Ugboajah, declared him the winner of the poll.
Declaring the results on Friday, Sen. Otu said 41,784 votes were cast in the primary, with 31,863 accredited voters, total votes cast at 31,863, valid votes 31,863 and zero invalid votes in the race that featured 12 contestants.
The scores by the aspirants are as follows: Blessing Agbomhere, 731 votes; Charles Airhiavbere, 1,181; Osagie Ize-Iyamu, 378; Monday Okpebholo, 12,433; Dennis Idahosa, 6,541; Clem Agba, 2,732; Lucky Imasuen, 493; David Imuse, 423; Oserheimen Osunbor, 634; Gideon Ikhine, 728; Anamero Dekeri, 2,566; and Ernest Umakhihe, 2,117 votes.
Sen. Otu, who’d served as deputy chairman under the Sen. Uzodimma primary committee, said that, “Sen. Okpebholo, having satisfied all the requirements of the party, and scoring the highest number of votes in this Edo State governorship primary election, is hereby declared the winner,” and urged other aspirants and leaders of the party to put the primary behind them and prepare for the September 21 election.
But as first reported by VANGUARD, one of the aspirants, Hon. Dekeri (APC, Etsako Federal Constituency), signalled that the dust raised at the primary haven’t settled, protesting the outcome as “manipulated.”
He told journalists that, “I mobilised 65,000 people for this primary. In my election to the House of Representatives, I scored over 100,000 (votes), and then in this primary election, they said I scored about 2,000 (2,566) votes. This is a charade, as far as I am concerned,” and vowed to decide his next line of action.
Note that Dekeri, claiming to’ve “mobilised 65,000 people” indicates he possibly engaged in “vote-buying” of APC’s members, whereas the NWC-verified number of financial members cleared to vote at the primary stood a little above 44,000 – about 21,000 less than the figure Dekeri bandied to mobilise for the primary!
The disputed primary “over,” Mr Uzodimma will share in the blame – should the APC taste another defeat in four years at the September 21 governorship poll – for displaying bias, and attempting to throw the ticket for the “anointed candidate” of Senator and former Governor Adams Oshiomhole.
From what Nigerians glean from the media, not many people from the South East, and especially Imo State, will “pour drink on the ground” for prayer for Uzodimma. They know his journey to the government seat of power at Douglas House in Owerri, capital city of Imo State, and are quick to point to the circumstances in which he claimed the seat via the courts.
The APC had recognised the primary held in October 2018 that produced Uzodimma, and forwarded his name as the party candidate. That left in the lurch former Governor Rochas Okorocha’s son-in-law, Mr Uche Nwosu – who won in a parallel primary – prompting him to decamp to Action Alliance (AA) for the March 9, 2019, governorship poll. 
At the election, Uzodimma placed fourth behind former Reps Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha (PDP), who scored 273,404 votes; Mr Nwosu (AA), 190,364; former Sen. Ararume (All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA)), 114,676; and Uzodimma (APC), 96,458 votes, with Mr Ihedioha declared elected and sworn-in as governor.
But Uzodinma claimed he’s shortchanged, as his scores in about 388 polling units weren’t recorded for him. From the Election Petitions Tribunal through the Appeal Court to the Supreme Court, Uzodimma showed how “he won” in each of the polling units in contention, in accordance with the laws guiding elections in Nigeria.
Convinced, the Supreme Court held on January 14, 2020, that results from 388 polling units “were wrongly excluded from scores ascribed to them (Uzodimma and APC),” and “the first appellant (Uzodimma) holds the majority of lawful votes cast.” The court affirmed him as elected, and duly returned Governor of Imo State, which position he’s sworn into on January 15, 2020.
  Recall that a few weeks earlier, the Spiritual Leader of Adoration Ministry in Enugu, Rev. Father Ejike Mbaka, predicted the sacking of Ihedioha, and enthronement of Uzodimma as governor. 
Fr Mbaka’s words, as first reported by The Cable: “In Imo state, there is hope. Hope, hope, hope in Imo state! A new leadership that will break barriers and there would be joy in the land of Imo. Lift your candles as I bless Hope Uzodimma; and I empower him to, spiritually, to take over. How, I do not know.”
So, many derisively refer to Uzodimma as “the Supreme Court Governor,” who they hoped would be a “one-term governor” to be booted out from office by “the good people of Imo State.” But dreams aren’t horses for beggars to ride!
Imolites failed to remove Uzodimma from office during his re-election bid on November 11, 2023, retaining his seat in a landslide, thanks in part to the antics of the president of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Joe Ajero, who, barely weeks to the election, “imposed an economic blockade” on Imo, including air, water and land transportation.
The Ajero action – under the guise of fighting for Imo workers’ rights, who also suffered the effects of the blockade that’s seen as politically-motivated ahead of the governorship election – engendered sympathy of Imo voters for Uzodimma, who won handily without recourse to “polling unit mathematics,” as it’s in 2019 that critics say didn’t add up even at the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, Uzodimma’s risen in the rank of the APC to becoming the Chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum (PGF) – an enviable position of trust he should ordinarily carry with aplomb and dignity in the discharge of assignments, like the supervision of the APC direct primary in Edo State, to choose a candidate for the governorship election.
In the lead-up to February 17, the National Working Committee (NWC) named Uzodimma to head the seven-man APC Edo primary committee, charged with conducting a credible, transparent and an acceptable election.
At the inauguration of both the primary and appeals committees on February 15 at the national headquarters of the APC in Abuja, Uzodimma presented himself as a democrat, who wanted things done, as laid down in the rulebook of the party. 
Specifically on the appeals committee, the APC national chairman and former Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, who vows to reclaim Edo State from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said: “It is a tradition for us to always constitute a body that will undertake an assignment so that at the end of it, we get good results… Whatever you do, the contestants are free to appeal. That is why we have an appeals committee, which is like the Supreme Court.”
Responding, Uzodimma thanked Ganduje and the NWC for the confidence reposed in the members, and promised to discharge their assignment with utmost diligence. “Our prayer is that we work hard to justify this confidence reposed in us,” Uzodimma said, adding, “It behooves on members of our committee to work in harmony with the party’s local leadership in Edo, to bring up a product that will look like our party and is easily marketable in Edo.”
Did Uzodimma carry out the duty of producing a sellable, marketable and acceptable candidate in accordance with the dictates of the constitution of the APC? No! Rather, he allegedly connived with the local potentate, Comrade Oshiomhole, and announced as “winner” of the primary Hon. Idahosa (APC, Ovia Federal Constituency), who’s Oshiomhole’s “anointed candidate” for the governorship. 
Bedlam followed Uzodimma’s declaration, and three others in tow, such that President Bola Tinubu – just back in the country from an African Union (AU) meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – was called upon by APC stakeholders in Edo State to intervene in the impasse, to save the party from another defeat in four years in the state.
Tinubu, who reportedly expressed displeasure over the turn of events, directed the NWC to quickly resolve the stalemate before the February 24 deadline set by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). 
And pronto, Ganduje – also complicit by congratulating the Uzodimma-declared “winner” – summoned an emergency meeting of the NWC at night, declared the Edo primary “inconclusive,” and replaced Uzodimma with Cross River Governor Otu, to conclude the week-long exercise.
Polity watchers wonder why the APC didn’t also replace Sen. Otu for the repeat primary? Probably for the fact that it’s the governor, who debunked the Oshiomhole alleged Tinubu “endorsement” of the candidacy of Idahosa, reportedly in a trending video 24 hours to the February 17 primary. 
As first reported by THISDAY, Mr Otu “categorically dismissed the rumour that President Tinubu has anointed a particular aspirant for the Edo APC gubernatorial primaries,” and “urged party faithful to disregard the lie and vote for their choice candidate.” 
Besides, Otu could’ve disagreed with Uzodimma’s hurried declaration of Idahosa as the “winner” of the primary, even when only eight local government areas’ results had been collated, and Okpebholo, and not Idahosa, was leading comfortably.
It’s at that point of Uzodimma’s declaration, and subsequent others, that the Ganduje-led NWC should’ve taken a decisive action to halt or cancel the primary. As I noted in my copy on Wednesday, February 21, entitled, “Edo 2024: Can Tinubu bell the ‘cats’ in APC’s primary fiasco,” Ganduje and his team “didn’t have to await Tinubu’s directive on what to do to rectify the controversial primaries.”
“In a best case scenario, the APC leadership would’ve acted swiftly, called for calm, and given the assurance to members, particularly in Edo State, that it’d look into the primary misadventure through the primary appeals committee instituted ahead of the exercise.
“And in a worst case scenario, the party would’ve dismissed the conflicting declarations made – with four aspirants laying claim to winning the primaries – dissolved the Governor Hope Uzodimma-led primary election committee, and fixed a new date for a re-run or fresh primary poll within days, to meet the February 24 deadline set by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“But what did Nigerians – particularly the shocked and distrust members of the APC in Edo State – see and hear from the leadership of the party? A congratulatory message in the night of February 17 from the national chairman, Ganduje, “to the winner of the primaries,” and solicitation for the “defeated aspirants” to “bury the hatchet” and work for party unity to win the Edo governorship.
“As of Sunday, February 18, four aspirants claimed that they won the primaries…. to choose a candidate for the September 21 election. They included Hon. Idahosa, Sen. Okpebholo, Hon. Dekeri, and Mr Agba, former minister of state for Budget and National Planning.”
In the end, Uzodimma faced a humiliating “sack” from the primary committee, for allegedly doing Oshiomhole’s bidding to “anoint” Idahosa for governor – perhaps to ingratiate Oshiomhole, who’s APC’s national chairman when he vied for Imo governor in 2019. 
Belatedly on February 22, the APC leadership clarified that Uzodimma wasn’t “sacked” nor “dropped” from the pimary committee, but was unavailable to lead the completion of the primary “due to his prior scheduled attendance of, and presentation of a report, to the National Economic Council meeting today, February 22, 2024,” reports the online portal, GWG.NG, quoting the APC national publicity secretary, Mr Felix Morka.
“As a result, His Excellency Bassey Otu, Governor of Cross River State, who was the Deputy Chairman of the Committee, graciously accepted to serve as Chairman, and to complete the Edo State Gubernatorial Primary Election Process,” Morka added.
That’s mercy after death, which left Uzodinma alone to carry the can of the botched February 17 primary, with the hierarchy of the NWC going scot-free! Hopefully, Uzodimma would’ve learned, the hard way, some lessons in serving with diligence, the broader, rather than the narrow interest, in discharging future assignments!

Mr Ezomon, Journalist and Media Consultant, writes from Lagos, Nigeria

Continue Reading

News

NGE President lauds Kogi infrastructural development

Published

on

By

Share this story

***Says development, unprecedented

By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja.

President of Nigeria Guild of Editors (NGE) Mr Eze Anaba, has lauded Kogi State Government over the pace of infrastructural development which he described as “unprecedented and highly commendable.”

Anaba disclosed this on Saturday when members of the association took a media tour to Muhammed Buhari Square in Lokoja.

Anaba commended both the present governor, Alhaji Ahmed Usman Ododo and immediate past Governor Yahaya Bello for sustaining positive legacies in Kogi State in spite of paucity of funds.

The NGE President described the President Muhammadu Buhari Square with over 10,000-seat capacity as a world class event center for national and international events.

The NGE President posited further that, the present administration needs all the desired supports to succeed in it campaign promises to the people.

“What we have seen today is highly commendable and world class. I must say. Even the blind could attest to this that the Government of Kogi State has done well for the people.

Looking at this gigantic structure, we are convince that any project embark upon by this Government will stand the test of time.

“We are calling on other State Governors to emulate the good work going on in Kogi State.

“On our way to this place, we saw roads which are under construction and township roads undergoing rehabilitation. This is what we want to see across our States.

“It is the duty of the Government to make judicious use of tax payers money. That is what we are witnessing in Kogi State today”, he said and urged the people to support the new administration in the state.

Speaking earlier, the state Commissioner for information and Communication Mr Kingsley Femi Fanwo stated that governor Ododo was giving the state facelift in all ramifications.

He said that effort being made through construction of new roads, building of bridges, installation of street lights in Lokoja, renovation of the State House of Assembly and electrification of many communities.

“The present administration is changing the narrative in Kogi state, especially in area of infrastructural development despite the decrease in monthly allocation to the state from federation account since his assumption of office.

“The immediate past administration and the current one has performed modestly well when we compare their achievements with available resources”, he added. (Ends)

Continue Reading

Trending