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Nothing could be worse than what Buhari left behind for Tinubu – Oshiomhole



President Bola Tinubu is grappling with a daunting task of working Nigeria back from its nadir, handed down to him by his predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari, according to Adams Oshiomhole, former Governor of Edo State.

Oshiohmole, also former National Chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC), maintains that Tinubu, who graduated from National Leader of the party, a position he shared with the former President, should not be blamed for the current economic crisis in Nigeria, because no magic would have redeemed the situation so soon after Buhari’s parlous outing.

Explaining that only bold and sound economic policies, such as was being introduced by Tinubu, could take Nigerians out of the woods, he said the measures had to be drastic enough, even though painful, as the side-effects of the pills being applied to remedy an ailment.

At the Presidential Villa, Abuja, where he met Vice President Kashim Shettima, Oshiomhole argued that the painful decisions taken so far were unavoidable, considering how bad things were when they took over and the need to set things on the right track, appealing to Nigerians to give the administration more time, noting that solving the kind of economic crises the administration inherited requires time and right steps to salvage the situation.

His words: “The government inherited a terrible economic situation. Everybody knows it. The government inherited an economy in which our total national revenue was barely enough to service our debt burden, spending 96 per cent, which is to say every N100, 000 Nigeria, earns, N96,000 is going to repay debts, to service debt. So, you have only N4,000 left to pay all the salaries.

“So, nothing can be worse. But they came determined that they will have to do business unusual; to arrest the drift; stabilise the economy and then begin to move forward. Some painful decisions are necessary. It is like any of us that has been unfortunate to have an ailment that requires surgery. If you want to pretend, you can be applying Vaseline, perfumes, creams and wear babariga to cover all the manifestations of that disease. But a trained doctor that believes in the ethics of medicine will tell you that you need a surgery.

“Surgery will be painful in the short run. They will give you a little bit of pain relief. But they only relieve the pain; they won’t cure the disease. You need surgery and they wheel you to theatre. It might take three months, six months. But when you recover from that surgery and you bounce back; and you obey all the rules of the game, some of which may require a new way of life; it may require change of lifestyle. You’ll be back and you find out that you can do a relay race because you are fit. I think that is the kind of analogy we can draw in terms of where we are now.

“Already, the executive – the President and Vice President – they’ve shown courage in terms of the decisions they have taken, a radical movement away from one in which if you are well connected you could make billions without adding value to one in which if you want to make money you have to work.

“We’ve moved away from a situation where CBN can favour you and you become a billionaire or they can pauperise you and your business collapses. Yes, it has created its own challenges, but I don’t know of any drug without side effect.

“Doctors will always tell you that every drug might cure your ailment but it will have a side effect. So, in taking it, you have to do cost and benefit analysis. On the whole, I believe that the broad economic, specific macroeconomic policies that have been put in place so far both in terms of monetary policies and in terms of fiscal policies is the best way to start.

“You remember just recently a minister of finance distanced herself from the monetary policies of a CBN Governor and they were not talking. If the hand and the leg are not walking in harmony, then there is no way you can get to your destination.

“So, I think we are in a better situation now. But my plea to Nigerians is, when I say I will bail you out, I will fix a complicated system that is malfunctioning, I believe everyone knows that the more terrible the situation is, the more time I will require to take the right decision. Given the paucity of data and other basic infrastructure you need to take some quick decisions are not present, but decision has to be taken.

“When I was a governor, I did the same thing. I said, let me use my first six months to take the tough decisions. I might lose few friends in the process, but when those decisions begin to manifest and translate to benefits I will regain, not just the friends I have lost, I will definitely win more friends.

“That’s what happened in Edo and by the time I was running for my second term, I got more votes than I got in my first term because some of the difficult decisions I took in my first term came to fruition. So, there is no quick fix and there is no miracle in the life of nation states. As they say, leaders and statesmen think of tomorrow, the short-sighted politicians think of what is politically convenient. I’m convinced that Nigeria is safe hands.”


Imo massacre: Armoured vehicles procured for police used to rig elections – LP



Labour Party, palpably in anguish at the slaughter of eight soldiers in Imo State on Tuesday by some rampaging gunmen, has raised questions over the whereabouts of the nine Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) Athan Achonu, it claimed its governorship candidate for the November 11 election, repaired and donated to the authorities in the state.

The party, all but called out the leadership of the Imo State Police Command, to whom they claimed the equipment were handed over, alleging that the last time they APCs were seen was during the last general elections, where they were used by members of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the party in power in the state to snatch ballot boxes for candidates in the national and state assemblies.

The claim, was made when Nick Opara-Ndudu  and Nnaemeka Onyeka Obiareri , chieftains of the party appeared as guests on The Morning Show, a breakfast programme on Arise Television to sell the candidacy of Achonu, whom they said would never have allowed the type of insecurity in the state to endure under his watch.

Both men, who said that Achonu, whose highest political office so far, was his short stint in the Senate, where he served via the 2015 election before he was removed through the courts, remained the only solution not to the insecurity, in the state and even the South East,  but the one to rescue the people from years of underdevelopment from poor leadership.

Obiareri, spokesman of the LP in the state, argued that if the APCs had been in place, Tuesday’s incident in which the military men were killed alongside some policemen and officials of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), would probably not have happened, said a check on the social media would reveal how they were used by party men of the APC for rigging the 2023 general elections.

He said: “The military men that were killed if they had armoured vehicles patrolling, they wouldn’t have been shot by those criminals. Athan Achonu, go and confirm from Innoson, paid hundreds of millions of naira to Innoson, Innoson is still alive, you people can still go and interview him, to repair nine armoured vehicles for the police. Five were supposed to be in Okigwe zone. Till today, we don’t know where those nine armoured cars are.

“If you go to Youtube, you’ll see Youtube record of members of the House of Assembly in Imo State using those APCs to carry ballot boxes. It’s there on Youtube, you can search it out. What Athan Achonu will do is very simple. Every local government area will have one humvy vehicle for the police. Police stations had been totally burnt in Imo State and Athan repaired most of those police stations.

“Then, there will be community vigilante. We’ll train those 50 youths per community – train them, equip them and arm them. They should guard their communities. When you have over 50,000 hectres of land, reclaimed from the bandits, and you have youths who are not only just farming, but who are trained to protect their communities, they’ll do the job.

“Then, we have to set up a security trust fund. Ndi-Imo are not scared. As at today, there are some communities in Imo State, where bandits – unknown gunmen, are ransacking and collecting levies from the communities. Basically, Athan Achonu will provide training, recruitment for people donated by the communities. Communities know those who are the terrible ones in their midst. And I tell you, in six months, they will flush them out.”

Opara-Ndudu, who dismissed the claim by the state governor, Hope Uzodimma that the carnage and other killings in the state were politically-motivated, blamed the governor for misplacing his priorities and failing to provide jobs for the teeming youth population in the state, questioning why nobody had been arrested and prosecuted fully in the courts if the insecurity in the state was all about politics.

Hear him: “The security problem has to do with objective conditions in the state. The young people are frustrated. The government is not making any investments in the areas that are required. We’re busy pursuing projects that are designs in deception. Look at the roads that are being done in Imo State, you know for you to deal with the problem of poverty and other economic challenges, you have to deal with the problem of infrastructure.

“In Imo State, the government has dedicated all of its time and half of its time to reconstructing federal roads without any attention – little or no attention paid to the rural areas. If you go to length and breadth of Imo State – Ngor Okpala, Ezinifte Mbaise, even in the governor’s local government – everywhere in Imo State, you find that the rural areas are looking desolate and abandoned.”

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Police find body of missing female student dumped in the bush, vow to get killers



Operatives of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), command, have vowed to fish out the killers of a university student, Blessing Karami, whose body was said to have been picked up from the bush days after she was declared missing on September 11.

The FCT police, which released the painful news on Thursday, said in a statement by its spokesman, Josephine Adeh that the remains were found in the woods in the Karimu area of the city.

The police spokesman acknowledged that her disappearance was reported to the police authorities last,  Thursday, September 14 added that 26-year-old Blessing, a student of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), was declared missing after leaving her place of work in Garki, Abuja.

She said in the statement: “The body of Blessing Karami Moses, a 26-year-old woman who had been missing since September 11, 2023, was tragically discovered in a wooded area in Karimo. Her disappearance was reported to the authorities on September 14, 2023,” the statement read.

She said Commissioner of Police, FCT, Haruna Garba, had directed that command should conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident, adding: “While we are working closely with the Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) to facilitate the respectful retrieval of the decomposed remains acknowledging the sensitive nature of this task, we will continue to provide updates to the public as our investigation progresses.”

Adeh, a Superintendent of Police (SP), also commiserated with Blessing’s family and loved ones over the incident.

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Ogun cult massacre: DSS raid home, pick up PDP lawmaker, five others



Damilare Bello Mohammed, a serving member of the Ogun State House of Assembly (OGHA), is currently telling operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) his side of the story, after he was picked up over his alleged involvement in the rival secret cult clashes that occurred in Sagamu town.

Mohammed, recently elected on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to represent Sagamu State Constituency 1, was picked up on Wednesday by the agency over the incident in which at least eight persons were killed last weekend during the violent clash in the town, alongside five other suspected cultists allegedly involved in the cult violence.

The five other suspects; Debbo Animashaun, Bamidele Saheed, Ismaila Onitire, Adewale Otesanya and Tobi Owoade, were arrested by the DSS operatives during a sting operation after a tip-off at the early hours of Thursday within the residence of the lawmaker.

Lekan Adeniran, spokesman to Dapo Abiodun, the Ogun State governor, announced the development in a statement on Wednesday, saying the secret police tracked the six suspected cultists to the official residence of the lawmaker.

Accusing the lawmaker of providing shelter to the cultists, Adeniran, said in the statement, that the suspects were presently undergoing interrogation in DSS custody after many dangerous weapons, including guns, were recovered from them.

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