By Abdullahi Mohammed
Former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, has faulted a trip to China on Friday by President Muhammadu Buhari and his party men under the guise of participating in the 7th Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).
Frank in a statement in Abuja described the trip as a decoy to plot how to rig the 2019 general elections in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and also perfect the renewed plot to remove the President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.
He insisted that the President has once again demonstrated his intolerance for members of the opposition political parties by only selecting APC Governors and other party cronies for the trip instead of availing competent businessmen and women of the opportunity to attend the FOCAC Summit irrespective of their party affiliations.
Recall that the Presidency had on Thursday released names of APC Governors, Senators and cabinet members who will be on the President’s entourage to include Governors Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar, Akinwunmi Ambode, Mohammed Badaru Abubakar and Rochas Anayo Okorocha of Bauchi, Lagos, Jigawa and Imo States respectively.
Others are Senators Abdullahi Adamu, George Akume, Godswill Akpabio and Aliyu Wamakko representing Nasarawa, Benue, Akwa Ibom and Sokoto States respectively.
Also accompanying the President are: the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi; Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola; Minister of FCT, Muhammad Bello; Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah; Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma; Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu; Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, and Minister of State, Aviation, Hadi Sirika.
Others are the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno; the Director General, National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Abubakar; and the Group Managing Director, NNPC, Maikanti Baru.
But while querying the entourage in a statement on Friday, Comrade Frank said the trip could not have been in the interest of Nigeria but that of the ruling APC on how to rig the 2019 general elections and perfect plans to effect change of leadership in the Senate.
Frank challenged the Presidency to tell Nigerians why only APC Governors, Senators, Ministers and others were selected for the trip if not “to perfect their plot evil against Nigeria’s democracy?”
“Nigerians will recall that during the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, no such trip was made without the presence of opposition Governors and Lawmakers.
“Although, President Buhari too has traveled to foreign trips with opposition governors and Senators before now but the make up of the entourage for the current trip casts doubt on the true intent of selecting these points men of Buhari for the FOCAC Summit in China.
“Our sources around the Presidency have also confirmed to us that the plot to perfect the plot to rig the 2019 elections and the removal of Bukola Saraki as Senate President is responsible for the exclusion of opposition elements from the current trip.
“In an official business trip to China where business opportunities abound, one will expect a tolerant government to travel along with foremost Nigerian businessmen and women and not party cronies or leaders of the APC’s cabal in the Senate like Senator Abdullahi Adamu and Senator Godswill Apabio who are anti-Saraki’s leadership.
“The very composition of the entourage which include heads of elite security agencies, and top brass of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) – the money pot of the country – betrays the hidden agenda of the Presidency on this trip.”
Frank, however called on Nigerians, right groups and leaders of thought to speak up on how the current administration is using the country’s resources to fund private political meetings disguised as ‘official trip’ on how to subvert the rule of law, remove Saraki and undermine the nation’s democracy in a far away country.
APC Cautions Secondus on Political Language, Conduct
The All Progressive Congress (APC) has caution the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus on political language and conduct.
In a statement signed by the Ag. National Publicity Secretary Mr. Yekini Nabena on Tuesday said that the National Chairman of a political party is expected to exhibit the highest sense of patriotism, decency and decorum in public conduct and discourse. Regrettably, the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus has not lived up to these basic expectations.
Mr Nabena said that Weeks ago the PDP National Chairman took the internal matters of the country’s politics to the international scene by writing letters to various international organizations. Again, soon after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the Osun State Governorship Election inconclusive, Prince Secondus without basis accused the electoral body of conspiring with the All Progressives Congress (APC) to declare the election inconclusive.
The spokesman stated that the APC would as a rule ignore irresponsible and baseless utterances and actions as exhibited by the PDP National Chairman, but as we prepare for the forthcoming 2019 General elections, it is necessary we give a word of caution on expected behavior required of all political sides. Prince Secondus is respectfully advised to temper his political language and conduct.
” His unfounded allegation on the inconclusive Osun State governorship election is not expected from such highly-placed party official. Accusing the APC of conspiring with INEC, without proof, is taking mudslinging too far” Mr Nabena said.
” We advise Prince Secondus not to descend to the level unexpected of his office, less he enters the boxing ring with its attendant mud and dirt. His action will only bring him personal attacks, ridicule. A word is enough for the wise!” he added.
Saraki cautions world leaders on SDGs
Mrs Toyin Ojora Saraki has sounded a warning bell as the United Nations General Assembly convenes in New York.
Saraki cautioned that unless significant progress is made, the Sustainable Development Goals will not be met by the global community.
“Only two countries in Africa – Rwanda and South Africa – have met the Abuja declaration to pledge 15% of their government budgets to health. Meanwhile, tuberculosis kills more than 4,000 people every single day, non-communicable diseases kill over 41 million people every year, and 80% of deaths in childbirth could be avoided with techniques that should be available across the globe. There has also been a distinct lack of progress in delivering upon the World Health Assembly 2017 Sepsis Resolution and improving water, sanitation and hygiene in healthcare facilities, schools and communities.”
Mrs Saraki said that she will be advocating for five key interventions which must be urgently made at UN meeting this week.
“Investment in family, community and primary healthcare – along with hospitals where needed – to bolster healthcare wherever people need it; in rural areas and urban, cities and villages. The murder of young midwife and mother Saifura Hussaini Ahmed Khorsa in Nigeria last week must spur Governments and global institutions on to strengthen security provisions for frontline health workers. Their training and pay conditions must also be improved. The Wellbeing Foundation Africa’s Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care programme, operated with its global partners Johnson & Johnson and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, can serve as the benchmark for health worker training. We have shown that qualified midwives can and do lead the way with quality care. Civil registration and vital statistics systems must be implemented and strengthened to allow Governments to prepare for epidemics and allocate investment where it is needed the most. 1.8 billion people, according to the World Bank’s latest statistics, have no Government identification. Their health needs are consequently highly likely to not be met and they will be especially vulnerable during disease outbreaks,” she said.
She added that “government investment in strengthening health insurance systems is paramount – in Nigeria and around the world, too many people are pushed into poverty by health emergencies that they or their families experience. Non-communicable diseases kill over 41 million people every year. The Director-General of the WHO, Dr. Tedros, has rightly highlighted the NCD crisis and it must be a core focus of all Government programmes. Whilst progress has been made in many areas, I feel compelled to speak out as too many women, children and communities are being left behind. We have the opportunity to change the course of history, but it is a chance that is slipping away. Urgency is the order of the day.”
During the UN General Assembly, Mrs Saraki is also scheduled to meet with fellow African philanthropists and global partners, and to deliver high-level United Nations advocacy speeches on child health and malaria, frontline health workers and the steps required to achieve Universal Health Coverage.
Toyin Saraki is Founder-President of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa, Global Goodwill Ambassador for the International Confederation of Midwives, Special Adviser to the World Health Organization regional office for Africa and Wife of the Senate President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
2019 Senatorial poll: Nnamdi Kanu can’t return Abaribe to Senate—APC aspirant
In an assuring mood, Abia South senatorial aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chinedu Onyeizu, has said that if he is given ticket to contest against Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, he is confidence ofo retiring him, adding that because the incubent Senator helped Nnamdi Kanu out of detention cannot safe him.
Addressing newsmen yesterday in Abuja, the 38 year-old senate aspirant, said that he is banking on the NotTooYoungToRun Act to mobilise Abia youths to retire Abaribe from the senate, promising to empower the youths, provide the needed dividend of democracy.
“That he helped Nnamdi Kanu out of detention does not give me edge over me. It is not enough. I am concerned about the hopelessness of the youths of the Senatorial district, the bad roads in the community, lack of empowerment of the youths and these are more important to my people,” he said.
“The purpose of this press conference is to inform you and Nigerians at large that something is happening right now in Abia State. There is a wind of change blowing across the southern precincts of God’s Own State.
“The people of Abia South are ready for this change. Old and young, market men and women, students, artisans and the rural folk are ready for this change. I am ready to bring this change to Abia South, so that my people may have a strong voice in the Red Chamber of the National Assembly from 2019.
“Change that is now necessary because Abia South senatorial zone has been running in circles for too long. Because for too long, we have replaced purposeful leadership with selfishness and lack of direction. Because issues that matter to most of my people are yet to be settled.
“In the 2019 senatorial election, the people of Abia South have said loud and clear that they have had enough of the same old breed politicians who never fulfilled their election promises. They deserve better. That is why I dare to bring about change. I believe that now is the time to bring about that change.
“I am committed to do things differently if elected. I believe I have what it takes to offer qualitative representation at the Senate. I will leverage my training in political affairs, management of people and resources garnered from reputable institutions around the world and a robust track record of accomplishments to deliver on my promises.
“Many a time people have asked me why at 38 I want to start my political career from the senate. My answer has been simple! I have the skills, qualifications, innovative spirit and the passion to positively impact on lives with any position that I occupy.
“The youths could be the agents of development that our country needs to achieve a breakaway from deprivation and lack that afflict us if their talents are tapped. But we the youth also have to demonstrate that we are ready to put our talents and competences at the disposal of national interest so that we can be the catalyst that is needed to speed up the process of change that we desire.
“Though the task may be daunting yet, we need to step out boldly with a mind-set that we can achieve it and the courage that elsewhere people have achieved it even when they didn’t have all that is required,” he noted.
“We have received trainings designed for a great future of humanity. Training that are fast changing the way business are done, how we communicate with each other and how to leave a happier and eventful life. We also have the demographics to make meaningful impact.
“These trainings are the most critical elements in terms of requirements for high offices. We cannot run away from the fact that in the nearest future, the baton of leadership will be handed over to us whether we like it or not.
“Therefore, I am stepping out to seek nomination of All Progressives Congress on October 2, 2018 to fly the flag of this great party as Abia South senatorial zone representative in the Senate come 2019.
“The time has come for someone to take on responsibilities that will encourage Nigerian youths to actively participate in leadership of this great nation. I am ready to take on this challenge! It can’t be done without you. Let’s work together and make the positive impact that our country deserves.”
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