Political Support Group Known as CountryFirst Movement has said Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi state remain the best candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC).
Prof. Chris Mustapha Nwaokobia Jnr., Convener of the group stated this while listing twelve grounds why Yahaya Bello should become the parties flagbearer.
Parts of the statement reads: “There is a fervency in the political space, the pace is monstrous and the call is for NEW THINKING in leadership, for NEW IDEAS in governance, and for a NEW ORDER in our Country. Nigerians are unanimous in the call for something new and different. The PDP bungled the opportunity to challenge for the soul of our nation by throwing up a 75 years old gerontocrat as its Presidential Candidate for the 2023 Polls. The APC must not fail to take initiative and right that wrong”.
“The sweltering harmattan of discontent and disapproval of PDP’s decision to stick with the old is palpable amongst young people and women, and don’t forget that they make up 70% of the Voting population. Across the socio-political amphitheatre here is the refrain that liters the space, ‘Atiku again?’, ‘Must Atiku Rule Nigeria?’, ‘Doesn’t the PDP have a young, vibrant and credible person to put forward as Presidential candidate?’, ‘At 75 what more does Atiku want?’, ‘So Atiku Abubakar in almost 40years of active politics has not mentored someone he can support for President?’, and the curiousity appears endless”.
“The APC must not go the way of the PDP in putting forward a Presidential Candidate for the 2023 Polls. Truth be told, Nigerians want a new deal and a new day. Nigerians desire capacity, competency, commitment to purpose, and youth. And Nigerians want a leader who can think on his feet, who can work and walk long hours with little fatigue, and a leader full of strength and energy as there is indeed so much work to be done to reset, re-fix and rework Nigeria. The APC cannot therefore afford the luxury of ignoring the urgency of now”.
“Compatriots I place before you 12 huge and pertinent reasons the APC should put forward Governor Yahaya Bello GYB as her Presidential Candidate for the 2023 Polls”.
“SECURITY. That Governor Yahaya Bello GYB is the best Governor in the area of Security is known even to the fiercest of his critics. From inheriting a State six years ago that had a Boko Haram IED plant to making Kogi State the safest State in the entire North, and arguably one of the safest States in Nigeria is profound achievement. Don’t forget that this great feat is indiscriminate of the fact that Kogi State is the only State in Nigeria with 10 borders, ditto 9 States and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. And considering the fact that our biggest challenge as a nation going into the 2023 General Elections is security, GYB is indeed the most suitable candidate to lead the APC challenge to retain power at the centre”.
“HEALTH. Not only is GYB one of the few Governors to have made the healthcare of the citizens one of primacy, he pays healthcare workers their salaries, allowances and emoluments as and when due. Kogi State under his watch has built one of the best Hospitals in Africa which is The Reference Hospital in Okene, and GYB has built several ultra modern medical facilities across Kogi State. GYB knowing that health is life, will come into the Presidential contest with a massive resume’ as his feat in the Healthcare sector speaks profound”.
“EDUCATION. In this era of constant industrial action (Strike) by almost every sector of our tertiary education, GYB’s Kogi State is the only State in Nigeria where no tertiary institution is on strike. GYB did not only add to the infrastructure in the Kogi State University, he built a new University (The Confluence University) which is up and running. He ensures that all the schools are well funded such that no University, Polytechnic or College of Education is on strike in Kogi. And across Kogi State there is a massive overhauling of the infrastructure of Primary and Secondary Schools, as well as the upgrade of the capacity of Teachers. GYB will lead the APC Presidential challenge in 2023 with an intimidating resume’ in the area of education.”
“HERDERS/FARMERS HARMONY AND PEACEFUL COEXISTENCE. Kogi State under GYB has profoundly managed this problem. There is no doubt that incessant Herders/Farmers tiff is a massive national challenge, but this is largely extinct in Kogi State because of the ‘live and let’s live’ strategy of GYB. In Kogi State Herders and Farmers are healthy partners in the agricultural chain because they both have something for each other. GYB will bring to the table a robust solution to the challenge. And indeed capacity and competency will speak for him.”
“YOUTH PARTICIPATION IN GOVERNANCE AND LEADERSHIP. Kogi State is number one in Youth Inclusiveness in leadership in Nigeria. And that appeal was brought to bear when GYB led the APC Membership Mobilization and Revalidation drive during the Governor Buni led Caretaker Committee watch over the APC. As the Head of the Committee on Youths, Women And People with Disability, he along with the leaders of our Party brought in over 21million new members to the Party, a number if properly mobilized can win the 2023 General Elections for the Party. It is therefore important that the APC puts forward as its Presidential Candidate a leader with such massive appeal amongst young people considering the urgency of now, and the number of Young people in the voter demography.”
“GENDER PARITY AND WOMEN INCLUSION IN GOVERNANCE. Kogi State is arguably the only State in Nigeria that can boast of compliance with the United Nations MGD Goals, and the Global Affirmative Requirement of 35% minimum inclusion of women in leadership. In Kogi State, from the longest serving female SSG in Nigeria today, to the ADC to the Governor; from the Vice Chairmen in all the Local Government Areas in the State to all the Speakers in the Local Government Councils; and with most of the State Government Agencies run by women, Kogi State leads in GENDER PARITY and inclusion of women in governance across the nation. Knowing very well that the highest number of voters in Nigeria are women, GYB comes in as the best person to lead the APC challenge to retain the Presidency in 2023.”
“WORKERS WELFARE AND SALARIES. That GYB inherited a Salary Bill of over 50billion and about the largest civil service in Nigeria is verifiable. That Kogi State is one of the States with the lowest revenue allocation in Nigeria is also true. However it is on record that GYB has cleared the backlog of salaries, that GYB pays State Government workers as and when due, that salaries due Local Government Workers are being paid, and that Kogi State have joined the States paying the new minimum wage. All this is the product of the expertise of the leader called GYB who was able to raise the IGR of the State from a miserly 300m per month to about 3billion monthly. GYB is therefore the star boy that the APC needs to defeat Atiku Abubakar come the 2023 Presidential elections.”
“FISCAL DISCIPLINE AND FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. That for 3years and counting Kogi State tops the national chart in fiscal discipline and financial responsibility is a testament to the prudence of Governor Yahaya Bello GYB. It is on record that the World Bank have also attested to the sagacity and prudence of the young and phonomenal leader called GYB. In a nation troubled by corruption and wanton looting of State resources, only a candidate that comes with a resume’ of financial discipline and rectitude can win the Presidential election for the APC, and GYB fits the bill.”
“JOB CREATION AND WEALTH CREATION. The Skill Acquisition Program of the Kogi State Government is indeed one of the most credible governmental programmatic in today’s Nigeria. Not only are young men and women being trained to be self sufficient and self reliant, the Government supports them with seed monies to carry on with life after training. Do you know that inorder to create more jobs and also help the Agricultural value chain, the Confluence Rice Mill built by GYB in Kogi State employs over 5000 workers directly, and receives feed from farmers across the State, and the nation? GYB is thus the lead Aspirant that should head the APC challenge for the high office of President come 2023.”
“INFRASTRUCTURE. From educational facilities to Road Construction, from Health care facilities to recreational facilities, from factories, industries and multinational companies and corporations sprouting and supporting the infrastructural revolution that draws life from the Peace and Security of lives and property guaranteed by the GYB government, Kogi State is today a huge construction site. And GYB is set to take the infrastructural revolution of the Buhari administration to the next level. He is the one to trust with the Nigeria of our collective dreams, I assure you.”
“THE REACH. GYB in the words of the Senate President Ahmed Lawan is the ‘shield of the APC’, he connects with the high, the mighty, the low and the small in the Party. In the larger Nigerian State GYB has the widest spread of support groups rooting for any Presidential Aspirant be they of the APC or the PDP. Indeed GYB Support Groups are the most effective and boisterous groups across the nation, little wonder it is GYB everywhere you go. The GYB Movement is a massive ideological cum intellectual vehicle that seeks no harbour but the Aso Rock villa from where the rebirth and rebuilding of our nation is key.”
“AGE. At 46, to be 47 before the election, GYB is the youngest serving Governor in today’s Nigeria. He is the BRIDGE between the young and the old. He is vivacious, he is smart, he is intelligent, he has the competency and the capacity to get the job done, he is passionate and committed to the quest for a nation that works, he is fit and proper, and he is ready, willing and able to lead the challenge for a new nation and a new deal for the masses of our people. He can lead the APC Presidential challenge and as the candidate of our great Party take Nigeria from the nadir to promise.”
“Compatriots, GYB is a mobilizer of men and women. He is a passionate and a caring leader to the Old, the Young and to Persons Living with Disability. You can take this to the Bank for value, to GYB the challenge to birth and berth a new Nigeria is soul deep. And the cap fits the one who sees a New, Prosperous And Great Nigeria as his unalterable commitment. The cap fits GYB.”
“Finally Countrymen and women, the Hope 2023… Bridging the Gap mantra of GYB is not only a call to a new deal for all Nigerians, but a license to pursue the best of our abilities in a peaceful, just and equitable Nigeria. It is a new day, Great Nigerians, together with GYB the sky is bright.” He said.
2023: North Central APC Stakeholders Say Region’s VP Will Enthrone Equity, Stability in Nigeria
Some stakeholders of the ruling All Progressives Congress in north-central have made a strong case for the region to produce the party’s presidential running mate for equity and stability.
The North Central APC Stakeholders Forum, which made this known at a press conference on Tuesday in Abuja, warned the party not to make the mistake of ignoring the zone in the scheme of things.
According to a statement signed by its Coordinator, Bala Danladi Adamu, the group said the north central is critical to the party’s success in 2023, considering its innumerable contributions in the growth and development of the APC over the years.
Adamu said not only will a Christian from the region balance the presidential ticket, he added that it will ultimately guarantee success at the polls.
The group, therefore, urged President Muhammadu Buhari, party leaders and elders from the north central zone to settle for a young and vibrant Christian out of the “array of credible individuals that fits the bill of the vice-presidential candidate for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu”.
Failure to do so, Adamu, however, cautioned that doom awaits the party as it would be further divided along ethnic and religious lines.
Read full statement below:
The North Central APC Stakeholders Forum is calling this press conference as a concerned stakeholder in the APC to put issues in proper perspective regarding the choice of running mate to the APC presidential candidate.
This has become instructive given the attempt by some selfish individuals who are bent on scheming the North Central out of the affairs of the country, especially in the buildup to the 2023 General elections.
The North Central APC Stakeholders Forum frowns at such a despicable plot considering the innumerable contributions of the North Central in the growth and development of the APC over the years.
It remains a statement that the North Central is a critical region in the country. As such, it would be against all known political strategies for the region to be alienated in the present permutations towards securing victory at the elections.
The APC Presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, must come to terms with choosing his running mate for the elections. Consequently, the APC North Central Stakeholders Forum wishes to inform Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to be wary of those that have constituted themselves around him as electoral strategists.
We are aware of the plot to ensure that the vice presidential slot is not given to a Christian APC member from any North Central state for inexplicable reasons. This is on the heels that such a move would spell doom for the party.
They have been ferocious in this regard. As stakeholders in the North Central region, we know that such a move would boomerang and further divide the party along ethnic and religious lines.
The APC Presidential Candidate must rise to the occasion and resist every form of pressure mounted on him by these selfish individuals against the idea of a Christian running mate from the North Central region of the country.
It is on the strength of the above that we demand that the vice-presidential slot be given to a vibrant and young candidate from the Middle Belt. This is necessary to ensure a balanced and strategic team that would guarantee electoral success at the elections.
We are also using this medium to call on President Muhammadu Buhari to see that the APC gets it right regarding its choice of running mate to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. This is necessary to ensure that the party records outstanding victory at the polls.
President Muhammadu Buhari must also recognize that the North Central region in the country holds the ace in the presidential elections, and little wonder why the opposition parties have been making strategic advancements in the region to secure electoral victory.
The APC must not allow any form of discontent in the North Central by denying the region of the vice-presidential slots, as there are an array of credible candidates that fits the bill of the vice-presidential candidate for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The hawks that want the party’s downfall are unfortunately parading themselves as stakeholders of the party. At the same time, they are out to satisfy their selfish interest and not the well-being of the party as a whole.
The APC North Central Stakeholders Forum is also using this medium to call on prominent middle belt elders to rise in defence of the Middle belt in the political scheming in the country. The strategic importance of such cannot be overemphasized.
They must ensure that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is not misled as the indicators point to the fact that the APC Presidential candidate is on the verge of making a grave mistake should he choose a running mate outside the middle belt region.
The consequences of such a move might not be palatable for the party in the presidential elections, hence the need for caution in the choice of vice-presidential candidate of the APC.
We wish to call on elders of the APC in the Middle Belt region to protect the region’s interest by ensuring that the APV nominates its vice-presidential candidate from the Christian community in North Central.
We thank you all for your time and attention.
CVR Fresh Registration Hits Over 10m – INEC
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says fresh registration in the ongoing nationwide Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) has hit 10,487,972 as at 7 a.m. on Monday, June 27.
The commission in its CVR weekly update, released in Abuja on Monday, also disclosed that 8,631,696 registrants had completed their registrations.
It disclosed that 3,250,449 of the registrants completed the process through online, while 5,381,247 did through physical registration.
The gender breakdown of the registrants who had completed their registration comprised 4,292,690 male and 4,339,006 female, with the gender category showing that 6,081,456 of the figures were youth, while 67,171 were Persons with Disabilities, PWDs.
The update also revealed that INEC had received a total of 23,560,043 applications including those applying for voter transfer, requests for replacement of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) and update of voter information records.
The breakdown also indicated that 12,317,963 of the applications were from male, 11,242, 080 were from female, while 187,904 applications were received from PWDs. (NAN)
Banditry: Military Rejects Zamfara’s Call for Citizens to Bear Arms
The Military High Command yesterday rejected the call by the Zamfara State Government for residents to take up arms and defend themselves against bandits and terrorists.
Governor Bello Matawalle had asked the Commissioner of Police to work out the modalities for gun licence to residents willing to bear arms to protect themselves.
Reacting yesterday, the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, said he did not see the basis for such call.
He spoke at the National Defence College, Abuja, during the opening ceremony of the joint exercise for the National Defence College and War Colleges of the Armed Forces of Nigeria codenamed “Exercise Grand Nationale”.
He said it was expedient for stakeholders to follow the rules and constitution accordingly.
Irabor said: “We do not take instruction from the state governments. We have a Commander-in-Chief. The constitution gives the right and powers to the C-in-C for the use of the armed forces and I believe what we’re doing in Zamfara State and across the states of the federation is not different to the provisions of the constitution.
“We’re there to give support to the civil authority in this case, the police. We’re there to ensure that peace returns to Zamfara. The governor does not have the powers to ask the CP to issue licences. I’m yet to get the details, but I do not think that’s the right thing to do.”
He said the Federal Government, through the Attorney-General of the Federation, should be in a position to address the issue.
“I do not see the basis. My view is that the AGF will look at the constitution and what the constitution says. That’s the right way to go. The Armed Forces are in Zamfara, but beyond that, I believe there are legal issues that should be addressed using the instrumentality of the law to bring peace and security.
“I believe that the Federal Government, through the Attorney-General, should look at the details of the press release. If what I read is true, I do not believe that the governor has the powers to instruct the CP to issue licence because the CP does not have the power to issue licences.
”Like I said, the AGF will do much about it. We have the Armed Forces in Zamfara, military, police, NSCDC; but beyond that, I believe there are legal issues”, Irabor said.
Irabor said the essence of the Operation Grand Nationale, was to review the programmes of the training colleges and the war colleges.
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