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Tinubu: I won’t allow another June 12 – Buhari *Aggrieved should go to courts

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All aggrieved parties riling against the declaration of  Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubum of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as the winner of the February 25 presidential election, must approach the court, as the only place they would reverse the declaration made by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

This is the definite position of President Muhammadu Buhari as he rose in defence of the outcome of the election, defending the process before the international community, where the outcome of the polls, has come under scrutiny, with the verdict mostly being that the process did not pass through the fine-comb of credibility and therefore flawed.

“Bola Tinubu’s election stands. If you are aggrieved, and you have the locus to do so, go to court,” Garba Shehu, the President’s spokesman, quoted him as telling the international community, as contained in a piece he put together on Thursday, as the takeaway from Buhari’s recent visit to Doha, Qatar, where Bhari, was also said to have that at no time did he consider annulling the 2023 presidential poll, as was the case of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, presumably won by the late Bashorun MKO Abiola.

The international media and civil society organisations, including poll observers, have been very critical of the February 25 election that produced Tinubu as president-elect. The London-based The Economist, The Financial Times, The Guardian of U.K, The New York Times,   The Times of London, CNN, one of Germany’s largest newspapers, Sueddeutsche Zietung, and The Washington Post have all condemned the election in different editorial comments. Foreign election observers from the US International Republican Institute (IRI) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI), the European Union, African Union, and ECOWAS have also faulted aspects of the election.
But Shehu said in the piece that the President used the opportunity of the Fifth United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries in Qatar to drum up support for Tinubu.

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Buhari, was quoted, while speaking to Nigerians in the diaspora on the on-going political transition, to have called for support for the incoming government of Tinubu: “So that Nigeria will continue to be the beacon of hope and prosperity in our continent and an example for other African countries to emulate.
“In addition to other things, this trip, more than any other, speaks to the courage, political stamina and statesmanship with which the President has managed the affairs of the nation.”

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He recalled that; in the build-up to the trip, he was faced with orchestrated attempts to poison public opinion against national institutions, particularly, the presidential election and its conduct by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as an institution, against which vile and unsubstantiated allegations were hurled.

“The clear intent of this was creating an atmosphere of fear, polarising the public and demonising the administration of the president. The wishful thinkers appeared to assume that the June 12, 1993 election crisis, the worst ever since the civil war, could be recreated.

“Those who sought to do this forgot what the President said at the palace of the Gbong-Gwon Jos, when he went to the city to inaugurate the Tinubu-Shettima campaign: ‘This election will not be annulled; whoever is the winner will be president.’”
He said further: “Buhari not only muted himself following the cacophony, he picked up international travel: ‘Bola Tinubu’s election stands. If you are aggrieved, and you have the locus to do so, go to court.’

“President Muhammadu Buhari just returned from the 5th United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in Doha, Qatar. The conference featured an opening ceremony, the Fiftieth Anniversary Commemoration of the Establishment of the Group of LDCs, General Debate, Eight (8) High-level Thematic Roundtables, and series of side events on priorities of the Doha Programme of Action (DPoA).

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“The objective of the conference was to primarily mobilise political will, solidarity, action and solutions to transform the LDCs, by finding sustainable solutions to the challenges of poverty, food insecurity, hunger, weak or non-existent infrastructure, inadequate health facilities, climate change, among other things.
“Expectedly, Nigeria participated in the general debate in which President Buhari delivered a national statement while the Ministers of Environment, Education, Humanitarian Affairs, Industry, Trade and Investment, Finance, Budget and National Planning participated in the main Thematic Roundtables relevant to the policy of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“These thematic issues were, Addressing Climate Change and Supporting the Environment; Investing in People in Least Developed Countries to Leave no One   Behind; Enhancing the Participation of Least Developed Countries in International Trade and Regional Integration; and Resource Mobilisation and Strengthened Global Partnerships for Sustainable Development in Least Developed Countries. Nigerians saw much of it on TV, great visuals of accomplishments and possibilities from there.”

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While in Doha, the President, Buhari’s spokesman added, held series of talks on the sidelines, meeting Chairman of ECOWAS and President of Guinea-Bissau, Oumarou Sissoco Embalo, who brought the news of the forthcoming Icon of Democracy Award to Buhari; the transitional president of Chad, General Mehmet Idris Deby-Itno, who got assurances of support for the democratic transition going on in that country, with both leaders appreciating the sustained momentum in the transition, and another meeting with Vice President of Iran, Mohsen Mansouri.

He wrote: “Here, both leaders discussed ways to further strengthen economic cooperation, especially, in the sectors of energy, infrastructure and culture.

“President Buhari told the Iranian Vice President that he fully supports ‘the strengthening of relations between our countries, as we have complementarities, especially in energy production.’ The president also had another important meeting with the father of the current leader of Qatar, the host country, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani. The two leaders discussed ways to increase commerce, make people-to-people ties even stronger, cooperation in areas of energy, culture and other important issues.
“President Buhari used the opportunity of the visit to speak to his guests about the recent election in Nigeria and the fact that a new president would be taking over in less than three months. He hoped that the strong relations he had built between those countries would continue to endure in the new administration.
“The highlight of the conference for Nigeria was the national address on the theme of this year’s event: ‘From Potential to Prosperity’, a speech that observers described as strikingly activist. In it, the president criticised the current structure of the global financial system, which he said, ‘places an unsustainable external debt burden on the most vulnerable countries.’”

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Buhari warned that such debt burdens would make it very difficult for LDCs to meet the 2030 Agenda for Seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
According to Shehu: “In 2015, the world came together to endorse the 2030 Agenda for Seventeen Sustainable Development Goals. There was no doubt that it was highly ambitious and would require leaders around the world to be fully committed for the SDGs to be achieved within the projected timeframe.
“Eight years on, the possibility of achieving the SDGs remains bleak for many countries, particularly, the Least Developed Countries. The difficulties in achieving the SDGs are numerous and were further compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, the continued threat of Climate Change, and recently the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

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“The Least Developed Countries are often faced with developmental vulnerabilities and challenges that are not always of their making. These pose huge obstacles to their development efforts, hence, the need for urgent and robust assistance to help unlock their potentials and build socio-economic resilience.”
The president was also very strong on his pet topic, Climate Change, his spokesman wrote, in the speech, warning that climate change remains one of the biggest existential threats facing humanity today, posing challenges to lives and livelihoods, and manifesting in different negative forms, including increase in temperature, rise in sea levels, flooding, drought, and desertification.

“It has also led to significant loss of biodiversity. Worst still, climate change has exacerbated conflicts and led to unplanned migration, causing untold hardship in places like the Lake Chad Basin region,” the spokesman wrote.
He stated further, “The least developed countries, therefore, continue to suffer disproportionately from the effects of climate change, despite contributing the least to its causes. Deaths from climate related crises are higher in the most vulnerable countries, with projections that there will continue to be an upward trend.”

Shehu said whenever the president travelled abroad, he always met world leaders, “but never missed the opportunity to talk to our citizens there, who proudly tell him about the achievements of the Nigerian community settled in those countries. The group he met with in Doha was made up of very outstanding professionals.
“In putting together those meetings, the Nigerian Diaspora Commission under Abike Dabiri has been showing a remarkable aptitude.
“The trip to Qatar was yet another successful outing by the president and it will be on record as such.”

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Tough economy: Trouble in APC, as staff plan strike

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A loud grumbling has enveloped the 40 Blantyre Crescent, Wuse, Zone 2, Abuja, headquarters of the All Progressives Congress (APC), where staff across different departments are threatening to down tools in protest of poor welfare and biting economic hardship.

Daily Trust, is reporting that the staff are specifically asking the party’s top echelon to make provision for their housing and other allowances, stressing that the economic situation of the country had become quite unfavourable to them.

The paper quoted one of the staff, who spoke on condition of anonymity, as saying that the party’s executive members had left them to suffer, while taking home humongous amounts of money as salaries and allowances.

Though Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, National Chairman of the party, is said to have commenced payment of N35,000 provisional wage award to them in January 2024, they argued that the largesse would in June, and they would be back to square one and therefore, they needed more stable welfare packages.

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In a swift riposte, Felix Morka, spokesman of the party, was quoted as dismissing the agitation, saying: “Those matters I don’t really discuss them. As you can see, there are many important things to discuss; at the national level, in Edo State. We are battling with all that. So, any in-house matters are not my focus right now.”

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BREAKING: Davido ups the ante, doles out N300million to orphanages

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David Adeleke Nigerian music sensation, otherwise known as Davido is stamping his giant feet with which he has mesmerised his audience across the world in the arena of philanthropy, with an announcement of a fresh donation of a whopping N300million to some orphanages across the country.

The latest is an increase of N63million up from the N237million the popular singer, who disclosed the largesse in a statement on his social media accounts on Tuesday, dolled out last year as part of the gesture in what is now turning out a yearly programme since it started a few years ago.

The gesture is coming at a time Nigeria is under an intense weather of deprivation and poverty, with the prices of food and other commodities hitting the roof and citizens, unable to afford basic items mostly going to bed on empty stomachs as a result.

In recent weeks, demonstrations had erupted in many parts of the country, including Niger, Kano, Ogun and Oyo States, where residents trooped into the streets to demand an end to the parlous situation, which they blamed on the insensitive policies of the government of Bola Tinubu, the Nigerian President.

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The singer, who first gave out N250m to 292 orphanages in October 2022, said the this year’s donation would be done through The David Adeleke Foundation (DAF), adding: “I and my foundation pledge the sum of 300 million Naira to orphanages around Nigeria … as my yearly contribution to the nation. Details of disbursement tomorrow.”

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BREAKING: Tinubu set to probe Buhari’s N23trillion Ways and Means debt

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At last, President Bola Tinubu, may be going through the N23trillion Ways and Means debt obtained by his predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari, with a fine comb to determine what the funds, which is attributed to a major part of the current debt overhang in the country, went into.

The Nation, quoted Wale Edun, Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy as revealing this much to participants at the ongoing Public Wealth Management Conference organised by the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MoFI).

Besides, the Minister reportedly said the Federal Government would also present a bill to the National Assembly, soon to authorise the removal of “all taxes and levies that constitute nuisance from the country’s tax system, as a measure to wean itself from future Ways and Means indebtedness.

The government, Edun added, will vigorously pursue policies that will allow it harvest revenue in real time from Government Owned Enterprises (GOEs) and Corporate entities.

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It was also on the same day that the Minister explained that Tinubu’s administration inherited a surge in food and general commodity prices from the previous government, but emphasised the government’s commitment to reducing food prices and tackling the nation’s high inflation rate.

Outlining the measures government was taking in tackling the situation, he revealed that, the government had released 42,000 metric tons of grains, with an additional 60,000 metric tons scheduled for release soon.

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