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I’m too old to lie, watch Nigeria broken by anti-democratic forces, drunken sailors – Obasanjo

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“One, given what we saw during the election, Nigeria is now even more divided and more corroded than we thought. This places a deep onus on any administration following the current one to urgently facilitate the process of national moral rearmament and national reconciliation that will assuage the youths.”

These were the exact words of former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, on Thursday, as he called for urgent action to close the widening gulf the country is currently experiencing as a result of ethnically-induced sentiments among the different tribes and tongues.

Obasanjo, who bemoaned the deteriorating state of Nigeria, saying the country was now more divided and corroded than many had thought, citing the recent general elections, in which some politicians stoked ethnic sentiments to the full for political gains.

Obasanjo, the longest ruler in Nigeria, with 11 years, three as military Head of State and eight as a civilian President, was speaking as a guest of honour at a public lecture series tagged: From Elections to Governance and Performance, in Abuja.

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Calling for urgent action, he urged the leaders, especially in-coming government to embark on national reconciliation, as one of its first programmes to assuage the feelings of aggrieved Nigerians, particularly the youth population.

At the event put together by Nextier SPD, and which also witnessed the public presentation of a book, The Unending Quest for Reform: An Intellectual Memoir, authored by Prof. Tunji Olaopa, Obasanjo, also advised that for reforms to take root, there must be political will and concerted effort to drive it by all stakeholders in Nigeria, adding that Nigerian government must now think outside the box in terms of development financing, having to grapple with dwindling fortunes in oil revenue, huge foreign indebtedness and the urgency of diversifying the country’s neo-cultural economy.

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His words: “Let me suggest three ideas that I think can enrich the direction of the conversation here today. This must be done in sync with the imperative of national value orientation that Nigeria requires to build a collective sense of enduring and local values and national belonging.

“Two, governance in Nigeria now calls for thinking outside the box, in terms of development financing, this has become inevitable in the face of Nigeria’s dwindling fortune, in oil revenue, Nigeria’s huge foreign indebtedness and the urgency of diversifying Nigeria’s neo cultural economy.

“My experience and understanding, however, is that the money to develop and grow our economy is out there if we provide a conducive environment for it to come and stay.

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“Three, political will, political action and administrative efforts must be invested in reforming the public service into a capability-ready institution that could enable Nigeria’s development agenda beyond 2023. All of these and more are necessary to correct and not to repeat the sickening and painful show of shame that the elections of 2023 generated.

“Let me conclude by stating clearly that I am now too old to keep quiet and watch Nigeria’s seemingly clueless launch into dystopia. All efforts are now required from all well-meaning, committed patriots to rescue the nation from the precipice. And when I look at the audience I have a feeling that among the people who can do it and who must do it are some of you here.

“It has become my own personal obligation, continuing in my relentless service as a letterman, dedicated in my twilight years to say the truth, as I see it, so as to push Nigeria, in the direction of our collective aspirations. What is our collective aspiration? A better society where all Nigerian can become what the Almighty God destined it to be.”

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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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