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Who is Afraid of Gov. Yahaya Bello? – By Rotimi Akinsanya

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I have observed with much dismay, the recent drama or altercations between Governor Yahaya Bello (GYB), the youngish, ever-smiling, gap-toothed, cerebral, focused and courageous leader of Kogi state and the anti-graft agency, EFCC over the alleged diversion and secretly stashed N19.33 billion bailout funds for workers salaries released to the state years back.

The EFCC claimed the N19.33 billion was domiciled in a fixed deposit account with Sterling Bank PLC, bearing the imprimatur of “Kogi State Bailout Account.” However, the Kogi State Government has insisted, it has no such accounts domiciled with the bank at the center of the controversy. The narrations make the saga more interesting. But it has placed a heavy burden of clearing the incidental conjectures generated by a tale crafted and circulated by the anti-graft agency.

More intriguing, the EFCC suddenly made a detour by withdrawing the suit filed in court seeking to establish the source and ownership of the about N20 billion bailout funds domiciled in Sterling Bank PLC. I find it completely, incongruent, the EFCC’s multiple explanations of freezing, unfreezing, discontinuation with the case and the return of the said amount to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

I am more scared and suspicious that the EFCC , through its spokesperson, Mr. Willson Uwujaren suddenly expressed the commission’s public disinterest in exposing the source and ownership of the funds, but felt accomplished that it blocked the exit of the funds. Except the EFCC has invented new laws or operating now on the basis of personal discretion, why is it necessary to back out from such a sensitive investigation of a presumed “executive fraud” after the media blitzkrieg on the matter?

Exposure of financial crimes and its sources assist in deterring others. But in this instance, the EFCC wittingly denied Nigeria this opportunity by arm-twisting itself and pleading that the controversies be laid to rest with the CBN’s custody of the money, persuading itself feebly that it “is expedient for the instant suit to be discontinued and the account unfrozen”.

I suspect grandeur hatchet job of some covert political antagonists’ at play against GYB to tarnish his public image. It appears to me these politicians are desperate to portray GYB as a corrupt politician, governor and leader before the Nigerian public since he is seeking the 2023 Presidency of Nigeria.

Can any one of us reasonably imagine that a State Governor could disown such humongous amounts in this period of severe economic crunch? It’s incredible! Ask Rivers State Gov. Nyemson Wike, who instantly claimed ownership of huge sums of monies, in different currencies, the EFCC discovered hidden in a building in Lagos state. He didn’t take a breath before claiming the discovered monies belonged to the people of Rivers state.

Is GYB a different personality? Is he being blackmailed or given a bad name in order to smear his reputation and halt his rising political profile in the race for Aso Rock in 2023? Since Nigerian youths officially adopted GYB as their next President, to continue with the marvelous works of President Muhammadu Buhari, the Kogi Governor’s shadows are shuddering many political camps; penetrating rare places ; receiving frantic endorsements from all stakeholders and the Youths throughout the country. It has caused some extreme anxiety in some persons.

Precisely, GYB’s political outings are causing nightmares to many opponents including traditional politicians and perpetual powermongers in Nigeria. Could it be the reason for the recent attempt to demean his person and administration on the plank of the EFCC?

Methinks, EFCC’s latter conflicting narratives of same incident and its sudden lack of enthusiasm gives more credence to these obvious conspiracy theories against GYB, pointing to his 2023 Presidential ambition as the main target.

Therefore, as a public affairs analyst, I am compelled and indeed, finds it expedient to add my voice to the discourse that someone, somewhere is afraid of the rising profile of Gov. Yahaya Bello. I can vouch that the EFCC’s baseless hounding of GYB is an apt expression of the morbid fear in some powerful political forces. Certainly, some persons are not comfortable with the 2023 Presidential aspiration of Gov. Yahaya Bello who is being generously called upon to step into Nigeria’s main leadership fabric to continue with the good legacies of President Buhari.

Why I’m I this assertive on this angle? Such huge sums of money deposited with a commercial bank these years would yield amazing interests in millions or even billions of naira. How much did the fix deposit yielded on the account discovered by the EFCC, in addition to the original sum of N19.33 billion? It’s unrealistic that only the deposited money was recovered. Besides, the operationalization of fixed deposit accounts is for a fixed period. EFCC’s backout against the case would have also explained to Nigerians lucid details such as the terminal date of the deposit account where the N19.33 was found. But it declined.

So, the unassailable truth by EFCC’s poor outing is merely to cushion the path for GYB’s detractors who are apparently against his giant strides in the development of Kogi state, in order to frustrate the intervention of investors, development partners and sow a seed of discord between the Governor and the good people of Kogi state, as evidently, “The Kogi State government had disbursed its bailout loans for the purpose of which it was granted as of October 2019.”

We can baselessly drag the personality and reputation of GYB into the murky waters of Nigerian politics. Nonetheless, what is indisputable is his manifest beneficial leadership to the people of Kogi. He has worked hard to make Kogi State one of the most peaceful and devoid of all manner of security threats plaguing other states.

Before his divine rescue mission in the state, Kogi was a haven for appalling armed robberies, kidnappings and an extension camp for Boko Haram terrorists who found the alluring mountains, forests and caves of the confluence state, convenient for habitation. Kogi state served as the transit camp for Boko Haramists and Lokojo State Capital provided the shield in their quest to make an incursion into Southern Nigeria.

For years, the forests of Kogi State were Boko Haram’s chambers for manufacturing Improved Explosive Devices (IEDs) on a large scale, which were exported to other parts of the country. But GYB has positively changed the narrative of insecurity in the state, as no traces of the heinous and violent crimes he inherited are found anywhere in the state now.

I know like most Nigerians, the conducive security atmosphere in Kogi state has promoted agriculture in the state, further amplified by GYB’s active and exceptional support to farmers. He has inspired and supported young Kogites into massive farming through orientation, subsidy inputs, fertilizer supplies, supply of seedlings, ceaseless trainings and mechanization support tools.

It is the success story of Kogi state under GYB these years, in virtually all the sectors. I am not astounded that opponents who initially, (ignorantly though), touted GYB as a failed state leader, are wounded internally and have their outer pride gravely bruised that the Governor has conquered leadership at the state level and scheming to saunter into national limelight with a shot at the Presidency in 2023. It is the only sense I can glean from prodding the EFCC to baselessly bark at GYB.

But such scare tricks are not new to us. Alhaji Adoza Yahaya Bello has done his best for Kogi State. And based on popular demand, those who transverse the length and breadth of Kogi State have called on him to sustain the efforts of the Buhari Presidency. So, we expect dissenting voices and deadly plots in the camp of the opposers as experienced now.

In any case, Nigerian youths who are actively backing GYB for Nigeria’s 2023 Presidency have concluded that the scare tricks employed by detractors are too puerile to derail the popular agenda of the masses. The first stumbling block on GYB’s path to success has crumbled independently. With this sign, those insisting on throwing the proverbial banana peels on his path must be joking and living in self -denial or on some delusional exploits.

Straightforwardly, let me end this analysis by pointing out two scenarios’ likely playing out in this macabre dance. It’s either someone is out to destroy the good reputation of the EFCC by that shameful outing on GYB. Or, some persons are desperate to destroy the country by coming forward to challenge a candidate selected by the Nigerian Youths to fly the flag of the Presidency in 2023 and expectedly, coast victoriously into Aso Rock.

And my honest advice to the antigraft agency is that it must avoid the temptation of chasing shadows in Kogi simply because some persons want to stop Gov. Yahaya Bello, as it won’t work. Such actions should also not be contemplated in any other state or on any other leader, as it is capable of eroding public confidence and credibility in the operations of the EFCC.

Akinsanya wrote this piece from Bariga, Lagos.

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Tinubu: Sowore Got It Wrong – By Sadiq Abubakar

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Wannabe activist and purveyor of Revolution Now, Omoyele Sowore needs urgent help. Sowore needs saving from himself, and Nigerians have to be saved from his warped perception of reality. The self-styled activist took to Twitter a couple of days ago to malign a frontrunner among the All Progressive Congress (APC)presidential aspirants and former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu in a move that rolled his lack of depth and mischief into one puke-inducing flop. He got it wrong and should have corrected the wrong impression he created had he the lightest iota of honour.

Sowore tweeted about a video of Tinubu’s intervention on the insecurity bedevilling the country in a manner that attempted to cast the APC Presidential candidate in a bad light. Tinubu had in the video recommended massive recruitment of the youth into the military to counter the scourge of terrorism and banditry that the country is facing.

Right thinking Nigerians already know the import of massively recruiting the youth into the military, which would be a win-win situation for the country. However, for the sake of the few brain-damaged people that see Sowore as an activist or a messiah, the importance of such recruitment is tremendous.

First, as Tinubu rightly explained, terrorists, bandits and other criminals are practically in competition with the government and organized private sector to recruit unemployed youth. Recruiting these youth into the military immediately makes them unavailable to people with the intent of indoctrinating them into lives of vices and crime. This will practically reduce the number of criminals the country has to combat by up to half; the flip side is that these numbers of recruited youth then become available to counter those that have fallen on the wrong side of the law.

Secondly, by employing such youth, more money will filter into the system and consequently improve the economy of individuals. This is one of the best approaches to wealth distribution yet, it puts money in the pocket of young persons without it seeming like handouts.

Additionally, there is the added advantage that more young persons will have combatant training, which would tilt the odds against terrorists now believing every Nigerian they decide to abduct is fair game. Even when these youths eventually leave the military, they remain in a position to coordinate their communities to repel marauding bandits and other criminal elements.

Furthermore, in peacetime, these youth can be deployed to undertake non-combatant roles like providing agro-support, engineering works, and emergency and rescue services. One would have thought that a Sowore, who posture as an international citizen, would know that this is the practice in several countries that have large military populations for peacetimes.

Tragically, Sowore got it wrong on his tweet that he attempted to use to disparage Tinubu. The APC presidential hopeful got it right, as he mostly does, and the Revolution Now pretender is way out of his league. He is totally incapable of the kind of nationalistic thinking that Tinubu brings to issues pertaining to Nigeria.

Unfortunately, there are going to be more of such misguided and malicious tirades from Sowore in the coming days, weeks, and months until the 2023 Presidential Election is conducted, and he is again proven to be a comedian, a calling at which he has proven to be a charlatan. There is a well-established pattern that is worrisome. Sowore has fully deployed the publication arm of his business, Sahara Reporters, as a tool for attacking Tinubu’s reputation. Sahara Reporters has committed itself to frame all discourses about Tinubu from a subjective perspective intended only to damage his reputation.

The only good thing about this so far is that those who know are aware that Sowore’s attacks on Tinubu, whether on Twitter, Sahara Reporters, or any other platform, are not driven by a patriotic zeal of an activist who wants the best for Nigerians. Sowore’s tirades against Tinubu first became noticeable after the former Lagos State Governor called his bluff when he attempted to blackmail Tinubu with the threat of publishing a list of Abuja property that he thought belonged to Tinubu.

In the years that have followed since Tinubu called Sowore’s bluff by refusing to succumb to blackmail since he did nothing wrong in the first place as his hands are clean, the publisher of Sahara Reporters has published one lie after the other in the expectation that one would stick. As providence would have it, it turned out that it is Sowore that is continually exposed as a fraud – whether as an activist or a journalist.

Instead of futilely attempting to ridicule Tinubu, Sowore should focus more on his comical entry into the 2023 presidential race. Perhaps his website, Sahara Reporters, would have created more brain-damaged people that will vote for him to increase his vote from the ridiculous 33,953 he polled in 2019 Presidential Election.

While at it, Sowore would do well to reach out to the neocons he is running errands for and impress on them that after years of being their agent of destabilization, their goal of breaking Nigeria remains unattainable, especially with a Tinubu presidency impending. A Tinubu presidency would do great things for the youth as it would give its all to address unemployment, which is the greatest challenge the youth face. If Sowore does not understand this then there is no way to help him.

Abubakar wrote this article from Kaduna.

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Pam: Appraising an uncommon achiever at NCPC – By Abraham Adekunle

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Following the approval of the appointment of Rev Yakubu Pam as the Executive Secretary Of Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC) by President Muhammadu Buhari, there have been tremendous positive improvement in the Christian-Muslim relationship across the nation.

One would debate less on such turnover because of the personality that stood as a gap bridge. Rev YAKUBU PAM is a man of peace and a great patriot who has used his current position to preach peaceful co-existence amongst Nigerians. At a time the country’s corporate existence is being threatened by insurgency, insurrection and other criminal Vices, it takes men of courage like Pam to speak out in support of one, united, and indivisible Nigeria. He is a notable personality who has refused permitting self-appraiser in being in the spot light for any reason.

Rev Yakubu Pam has proven himself an excellent man, a man of good faith and integrity before his appointment as the executive secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrimage Commission. With heading other bodies of the Christian faith, including the Northern part of the-Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Inter-Religious Council; and the Internally Displaced Persons, Rev Yakubu Pam had shown Nigerians what a peaceful man he is.

In a country where tribal war seems to abound and issues seem to come up regularly, Rev Yakubu has remained detribalized, being for the unity and peace of the nation rather than choose a side of the nation to belong to.
Rev Yakubu Pam is an excellent leader as since his appointment by the president of the federal republic of Nigeria on the 26th of June, 2020, he has led judiciously, showing a true example to the people about what a leader and a good man of God, a good citizen of the nation should be like.

He is a quintessential leader, a teacher and a peace lover as he advocates for peace with every chance he gets. He is a man who has never taken his service in God’s vineyard for granted, he has been serving faithfully since 2020 and still is, even till now.

When one looks at his profile, one can see that his journey of faith and service did not begin today. It has been a journey that had long been in play, with the many Christian education that the reverend got as he grew in faith and in person.
Service like this requires great personalities. People who are careful in dealing with men, knowing that their position was chosen by God and no one else, we have seen men battled storms but later prevailed, but many have attained the positions of this height, and loose faith of their humble beginnings. The Reverend has however retained his humility, keeping in mind God’s role in his life and growth.

The commission is blessed to have been led by Rev Yakubu Pam as he has since then impacted the nation in many ways. His appointment has set many records for high standard of leadership in Nigeria which has led many stakeholders acclaim to this fact severally in conferences and the likes. It is amazing what God can do using a great leader, Reverend Yakubu Pam has shown himself as the great man who constantly contributes to easing the plight of the people.

The Reverend is a leader that listens to the people and hears their voices, and then speak out on their behalf on several occasions. He has spoken up about the killings in the North, urging and pushing for a better government. The people’s plight has always been his plight,

Rev Yakubu has restored transparency to the commission and since then has set the pace for better leadership in other parts of the country. He restored the people’s faith in the having religious leaders in politics and having them deliver and promptly too.

He has also been termed an icon of peace which is a fact that cannot be disputed. He has worked endlessly since his appointment as the executive secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrimage Commission, we all know this, since his appointment he has also won a bunch of awards to further solidify the fact that he is not just anybody and he isn’t a man who doesn’t know how to go about working properly.

He is working, we see it. He is speaking up, he is not a hypocritical leader, he speaks for Justice and for peace and oneness which are things that this nations seems to lack most of the time. Reverend Yakub Pam has been one of the most accountable leaders that NCPC has ever had, his accountability is seen and has been recognized by all, indeed he has the traits of an excellent leader.

People have often felt being a religious leader in a political setting woud corrupt the minds of the leader and make the aid leader adopt characters that are unheard of in the religious setting, but this hadn’t been the case with Rev Yakubu, he has proven to us over and again that a Christian can be in politics and still let God use him, still let God lead , a Christian can be in politics for service, to serve God and the people. He is changing the narrative and it is purely amazing.

Humanity is nothing without selflessness, or a dying world redeemable without a savior. Rev PAM is a man with great optimism that brings to the position more than 30 years of leadership experience in the Christian Community, coupled with a deep understanding of promoting Inter-religious harmony and conflict resolution in the Northern parts of the country. Rev Yakubu is a living legend to be reckon with.

Adekunle wrote this piece from Toyin Street, Ikeja, Lagos.

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Northern APC Youth, women in mother of all rally to Villa, adopts Tinubu as Consensus candidate

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Millions of women and youths from across the nineteen northern states in Nigeria today converged on Abuja and marched to the Presidential villa to demand the adoption of All Progressive Congress, APC National leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as the consensus candidate of the party in the forthcoming Presidential election. 

The Nigerians said Tinubu is the only person fit and capable among all those that have been declaring their intention to turn around the economy of the country. 

Led by Patriot Yakubu Dauda, they said the APC Youth and Women in the 19 Northern States of the federation have been actively involved in the activities of the party through several ways that have positioned the party firmly in the hearts of the people.

He said, “We wish to inform Mr President that we have also been actively mobilizing support for the party at the grassroots levels across the 19 northern states in preparation for the 2023 general elections.

“The response of the people has been encouraging. We wish to use this medium to inform Mr President that the APC as a party has continued to have a stronghold amongst the people who have been beneficial to the various social security initiatives implemented across the country in critical sectors such as agriculture, education and health.

“Mr President, in the course of our daily engagements, across the northern states, we have been inundated with an astronomical level of support for the presidential aspiration of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. His acceptance level amongst the grassroots is phenomenal. One might be tempted to think he has his origin from the North.

“As a group with a vast network amongst youths and women in the 19 northern states in the county, including the Federal Capital Territory, we can say without fear or favour that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is widely accepted as the prime candidate for our great party in the coming 2023 general elections. This is on the heels that he has been able to build bridges across the country in service to the country and humanity through ways too numerous to mention” he added

The group said after extensive deliberations and consultations, the APC Youth and Women in the 19 Northern states, including the federal capital territory, have elected to adopt Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the consensus presidential candidate of the APC in the 2023 general elections.

Dauda saud It is the firm conviction of the group  that the candidature of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is well in place for guaranteed victory for the APC because of his broad appeal across religious groups and ethnicities.

“The candidature of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is such that it resonates with the ordinary man and woman on the street. They see him as their role model, and he has indeed touched their lives in ways too numerous to mention.

“Mr President, the adoption of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tunubu as the consensus presidential candidate of the APC is a national concern for the party and its teeming supporters. They are desirous of not just ensuring the party comes out victorious at the general elections but also a president that would sustain the tempo of your laudable initiatives.

“Mr President, as the leader and father of our great party, we are grateful to God for gifting you to Nigeria when the country was on the verge of annihilation. You indeed remain God sent to Nigeria.

“It, therefore, becomes imperative that our great party presents a candidate in the mould of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who has the clout and all other requirements to sustain those laudable initiatives of this present administration.

“Mr President, may we humbly use this medium to inform you that there is a need for your kind and urgent intervention towards adopting Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the consensus presidential candidate of the APC. In our opinion, this would go a long way in positioning the party for electoral success come 2023” he added

Dauda added that there is no gainsaying that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is a well-loved and adored Nigerian whose antecedence speaks volumes of selfless service to the country right from 1999 in his capacity as the executive governor of Lagos state.

“Mr President, we must not also forget the numerous contributions of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to the formation and sustenance of our great party, as it is on record that he has been selfless without fail since our great party come into existence.

“The Concerned APC Youth and Women in the 19 Northern States, including the Federal Capital Territory, supports the candidature of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for the 2023 presidential elections in the country.

“We are convinced beyond reasonable doubt that all stakeholders in our great party would adopt the endorsement of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the consensus candidate of the party for the presidential elections.

“Mr President, we thank you for your selfless service to the country. We pray that God continues to bless you with wisdom and understanding as you pilot the affairs of our great nation” he added

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