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There’s No Alternative To Restructuring – Atiku

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A former Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, on Tuesday, countered President Muhammadu Buhari’s stance on the restructuring of the country, saying there was no alternative to restructuring if Nigeria must make progress.

Atiku stated that he remained resolute in his support for the restructuring of the country, positing that there was “too much power” in the hands of the Federal Government, a situation he said had made governance in the country less competitive particularly among the states.

President Buhari had on Monday told a delegation of Urhobo Traditional Rulers and Urhobo Progress Union, who visited him in Abuja, that the calls for the restructuring of the country was parochial and laced with self-interests, hence discussions and arguments on the matter failed to capture his attention.

But the former VP disagreed with Buhari, saying that the country must be restructured for Nigeria to rapidly move forward.

Atiku spoke in Asaba, the Delta State Capital, during his consultative visit to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state on his presidential ambition ahead of the 2019 general elections.

He stated that he had been in the forefront of the calls for the restructuring of the country since 2004 while still serving as VP because restructuring would bring out the best among the federating units and lead to economic development across the board.

The PDP presidential aspirant also called on the Federal Government to review the current security architecture to meet the emerging security threats in the country, adding that he would always support any cause that would move the country forward.

Atiku, who also vowed to tackle unemployment in the country when he becomes President, noted that he was in the presidential race because of his burning desire to ensure that Nigeria made progress and was united irrespective of its religious and ethnic diversity.

He decried the situation where security agencies didn’t take orders from the state governors, saying “as an individual, I don’t think this is true federalism, we must restructure the security architecture.”

He said, “I will have a very small Federal Government with powers and resources devolved to the states to manage the affairs while they pay taxes to the Federal Government. With this, each zone can survive on its own without leaning on oil money.

“I’ll create jobs; you must liberalise the economy, support the private sector, create incentives to make the private sector boom and open up the economy to foreign direct investments. The security architecture of the country must be reviewed and decentralised to meet modern-day security challenges.”

He, however, thanked the people of the Niger Delta region, particularly Okowa, for the return of peace which in turn had led to increase in oil production, appealing that the peace in the area should be sustained.

Also speaking in a similar vein, Okowa stressed that restructuring would help to resolve the myriad of challenges currently confronting the country.

“I strongly believe that the way out of the challenges of the country is to have stronger states, stronger federating units,” he stated.

Punch

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Buhari Govt Sold Nigeria’s Future, Says Governor Mutfwang

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“This government inherited an economy where we simply printed money up to the tune of ₦30 trillion and shared. This government inherited an economy where the crude oil we’re yet to take out of the ground has been sold in advance.

“So when you’re talking about the fall of the naira, it’s not rocket time. We sold our future under the last administration. No wonder you’re hearing of riots today, people intercepting food on the way. We are lucky on the Plateau that perhaps we have more food than many other states.

“And I pray that the time will not come on the Plateau that we will see this kind of riot for food, but it means we must roll over our sleeves and get to work. And that is why, for us as a government, when we announced one of the positions that talked about Food Security, people were laughing but it is a serious issue.” -Governor Caleb Mutfwang, Plateau At Swearing-In Of Special Advisers, Heads Of Govt Agencies

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After Meeting NGF Chairman, Akpabio Apologies To state Governors Over N30bn Claim

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The President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio, has finally apologised to the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) under the leadership of Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara State over his comment on the N30bn allowance allegedly given to them to cushion the effect of inflation in food prices.

This was coming after the Senate President held a meeting with the NGF Chairman and some of his counterparts in Abuja yesterday.

Akpabio had, at a plenary sitting last Tuesday, said an “unverified report” indicated that state governors received N30bn each from the Federation Account to cushion the effect of inflation and the high cost of food prices.

The statement has generated controversies in the public space, with some commentators asking governors to come clean about the money they did not collect.

However, on Monday, Akpabio in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Eseme Eyiboh, retracted the statement, saying the SP held the governors in high esteem.

The statement reads below:

“During the session, the President of the Senate commented on the payment of an unverified cumulative sum of about N30bn to the sub-national governments by the Federal Government for various interventions to ameliorate the food situation of our citizens at the sub-national governments.

“The unfortunate conjectures to take away the kernel in the material facts of FAAC payment are rather regretted. In considering the well-intended motive of urging state governments to collaborate with the Federal government of President Bola Tinubu to facilitate strategic interventions to mitigate the prevailing economic situation in the country remains the underpinning motivation in the comment.

“The President of the Senate is not oblivious to the fact that state governments are functional partners in all the efforts of the current administration of President Bola Tinubu and are also valuable stakeholders’ in the various legislative engagements of the legislature in creating the nexus between the legislature and the people.”

Eyiboh added that Akpabio has always demonstrated commitment to team building and shall not do less in the circumstance.

He, therefore, urged the sub-national governments not to be distracted by any misunderstanding of the context and true meaning of the statement.

He added, “The President of the Senate recognises and appreciates the current efforts of the governors at ameliorating the adverse effects of the current inclement socio-economic environment and therefore invites more hands on the plow to complement the renewed hope agenda.”

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Police arrest wanted Abuja kidnapper, Dahiru after Wike’s N20m Bounty

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Operatives of the Federal Capital Territory Police Command have arrested a wanted notorious kidnapper, Saidu Abdulkadir, popularly known as Dahiru Adamu.

This comes barely three days after the FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike placed a N20m bounty on the suspect and one other wanted kidnapper, Abu Ibrahim.

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