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Yahaya Bello: Recommending a rare gem for Nigeria – By Bishop Charles Obe

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The general elections are due in Nigeria in 2023. And the buildup to the elections is usually electrifying with scheming and political permutations at its best. Also, it’s common to find political parties putting their house in order by reconciling warring factions to avoid electoral misfortunes and guaranteeing electoral success.

The same is applicable for individuals who, by their assessment, are suitable for certain positions in the country, ranging from the president to the councillor at the local government councils. And the list becomes endless. Political jingles rent the air. Billboards are not spared either, and the advertising mediums always smile to the bank because it’s harvest time.

I love the election period in Nigeria; it allows me to see things from a different perspective and hope for better days in the country. For whatever it is worth, elections are good and, at the same time, terrible because it comes with their attendant consequences, not for the now, but the future with regards to those elected in office to pilot the affairs of the country.

My focus in this piece is on the presidential election. This is the father of all elections, and it is usually twofold; either we get it right or get it wrong. Experience has taught us so over the years.

So, the 2023 elections have again thrown into the ring political titans. Those who feel that their name is enough to aspire for the highest political office in the land have indicated interest. Those who think they control party structures have also shown interest. Those who feel that Nigeria’s president should have an ethnic or religious consideration have also signified interest. And those whose track records in governance are also present in this hot race that is not meant for the weary.

After a careful analysis of the contenders, I pitched my tent with the aspiration of Yahaya Bello, the governor of Kogi state. Yahaya Bello is a rare being who would be difficult to discountenance in the affairs of Nigeria. He represents a new age, the age of thinking outside the box in proffering solutions to the governance challenge in the country.

I have heard people talk about his age as a factor that would work against him. I have also heard people say he behaves like he is acting in a movie in Kogi state. But I have heard people talk about how he has been able to confront the monster that held Kogi state moribund for several years and how he could give the people a breath of fresh air.

It is understandable if there are misconceptions regarding his stewardship in the state because people are at liberty to believe what they want to think. But I am not sure this sentiment is shared in Kogi state. I am sure any well-meaning individual from Kogi state would pat Yahaya Bello on the back for a well-done job. For some of us who are resident in the state but non-indigenes, we are marvelled at how this man quickly took charge of the state despite the mountain of issues that held the state down like a leprous finger.

Yahaya Bello is brave and one who is a master strategist. He knew from the word go that the road would not be smooth, and he adequately prepared for it. He changed the narrative, and as expected, the cartel who saw the state’s commonwealth as their birthright could not believe their eyes.

I must confess that some of us felt he would run out of steam along the line. But we were continuously disappointed. He not only continued, but he also gathered momentum every passing day. Most people would not realize that he inherited a state in complete comatose, where state allocations are shared without conscience.

The civil service was over-bloated with a backlog of salaries and pensions. The educational sector barely exists on the lips. The security situation was horrible. Infrastructures were dilapidated and with no hope of any revival. The only thing that thrived in the state was gas stations and hotels belonging to government officials. It was so bad that as a public office holder, if you don’t own a hotel or a gas station, you are not viewed as a man of the people for failing to employ people in hotels and gas stations. The situation was so bad that the people lost their senses, entirely preferring the life of misery and deprivation that successive governments in the state legalized.

Yahaya Bello braved the odds and changed the situation slowly but steadily. He addressed the rot in the civil service and restored its glory through laudable reforms. He embarked on an infrastructural revolution without the usual religious and ethnic consideration. He made the state uncomfortable for criminal elements that initially turned the state into their havens.

The security model he introduced indeed changed the situation for good. Today, Kogi is a no go zone for criminal elements hence the nickname White Lion. He is undoubtedly the White Lion that Nigeria needs at this critical point of our existence.

Yahaya Bello is individual that does not brook nonsense. He is very detailed. Little wonder why Kogi state remains one of the states where the cost for executing government contracts remains the lowest because the process is rigorous. You must deliver as at when due, else there would be consequences.

I can go on non-stop on the new Kogi state under Yahaya Bello, and I can’t but wish that he gets the opportunity to lead this country. Yahaya Bello as President of Nigeria would be interesting and exciting. Nigerians would wake up to realize that those things that held us down would be removed in a record time. You might not like his methodology, but trust me, you would love the results that would come around because he would leave no stone unturned. That is Yahaya Bello for you. Those of us that have been residents in the state for decades can attest to his drive, sense of direction and focus. And lest I forget, he can be comical, especially when he hits the gym.

Today, Kogi state works because of a governor who stamped his feet on the ground to insist that it won’t be business as usual. If we are indeed serious about moving this country forward, we must look in the direction of Yahaya Bello. His name might not be as heavy as some of the big wigs that have indicated an interest in the highest office in the country. However, I can vouch that none of them is as passionate as Yahaya Bello. None of them could have achieved what he achieved under the same circumstance in their various endeavours.

At this point, we must be careful not to believe some of the issues peddled in the media with his stewardship in Kogi state. As an insider and one who witnessed Kogi in its shame and glory, I say emphatically that the situation in Kogi state before Yahaya Bello is the same as what Nigeria is experiencing, but on a larger scale. And if he has shown that it is possible for things to turn around in Kogi state, I do not doubt his ability to lead the country most exceptionally.

The choice is before us as we enter the elections. We must have at the back of our minds that our destiny is in our hands. Yahaya Bello has all it takes to lead the country. His central message is that everything is possible only if we believe and work towards it. Ladies and gentlemen, I recommend a rare gem for Nigeria.

Obe is a servant of the gospel based in 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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