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JUST IN: FG reduces 2020 budget

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The Federal government has sent a new budget proposal to the National Assembly for consideration in view of global economic realities as a result of the outbreak and spread of COVID- 19.

The new proposal sighted by The Nation and which is currently being considered by the leadership of the legislature reduced the 2020 estimate from N10.594 trillion to N10.276 trillion

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It also reduces the oil benchmark from 57 dollars per barrel to 30 dollars per barrel, while the oil production volume was reduced from 2.17 million barrel to 1.70 million barrel and the exchange rate increased from N305 to a dollar to N360 to a dollar.

Details shortly…

Politics

Ondo poll: You can’t dictate mode of primary, APC tells aspirants

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State says no governorship aspirant can dictate the mode of primary to be used for the party’s July 20 governorship primary in the state.

The party said this in a statement by Mr. Alex Kalejaiye, the state’s Publicity Secretary,  on Sunday in Akure.

The statement said in part: ” The attention of the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has been drawn to an aggressive agitation for a mode of primary ahead of the governorship election in October this year.

“We wish to place it on record that it is inconceivable that aspirants would dictate to the party on which mode to adopt.

“The chapter is duty-bound to underscore a salient point; that it is the prerogative of the national secretariat to decide which of the modes, pelt out in the party constitution should be adopted for each state at any point in time.

“For the sake of emphasis, the party’s constitution approves three modes of primaries to select its candidates for an election: direct, indirect, and consensus.

” Any of these could be chosen at random, depending on the discretion of the supervising authority.

” The supervising authority in this regard is Gov. Mai- Mala Bunni-led Caretaker Committee, and saddled with the responsibility to decide the option for Ondo State 2020.”

Kalejaiye added that the state was disturbed by the inflammatory statements credited to some of the governorship aspirants,  “especially those laden with threats to ensure that the state chapter is brought down where their wish is not granted.”

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According to him, a committed party member would not embark on actions or utterances that would cast aspersions on its leadership at all levels.

“He would rather prefer to work assiduously towards the victory of his party at any election.

“It is imperative for aspirants, like students preparing for the examination, to abide by the rules and guidelines from the national secretariat, so long these rules are not at variance with the contents of the party constitution.

“The efforts to set a terrible precedent for the party by allowing aspirants to dictate what mode to adopt for an election should be invested in quality and decent campaigns to sell their candidacy to party elders, leaders, and members.

“These groups will definitely speak, directly or through the party structures,” he stated.

The spokesman noted that the state secretariat’s concern was to promote all genuine efforts geared  toward a rancour-free primary election and produce a candidate who would retain the state for the party on Oct. 10.

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Sack Buratai now, Bamgbose tells Buhari

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Olusegun Bamgbose, Esq., National Coordinator, Concerned Advocates for Good Governance, CAGG, has called for the immediate sack of Army Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai.

According to him, no manner of excuses and arguments will suffice or be acceptable any longer, adding that the insecurity of the nation is worrisome.

In a statement he made available to newsmen on Sunday, the senior lawyer noted that there is every indication that

“the time is very ripe for President Buhari, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and the Executive President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to retire Buratai. No manner of excuses and arguments will suffice or be acceptable any longer.”

He said there seems to be no respite at sight, noting that soldiers are being killed, while civilians are losing their lives on daily basis, as a result of the activities of bandits, Boko Haram, and other forms of criminalities.

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Bamgbose said that even though the army had denied the news that 386 soldiers tendered their resignation to Buratai, citing loss of interest, as their reason of disengagement, “this may not be far from the truth.”

“Ordinarily, one would have expected the Chief of Army Staff to honorably resign, but if he fails to resign, the Commander-In-Chief of Armed Forces and the Executive President of Nigeria, in the person of Muhammadu Buhari, should as a matter of urgency, do Nigerians a favor by removing him as soon as possible.

“He is no doubt overwhelmed and exhausted, he has to go. Just last month, Katsina and Borno States were under heavy attacks by Boko Haram and bandits. 81 killed in Borno State, 40 killed in Katsina State.

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“Houses were burnt, dozens of women raped. No arrests were made. More than 200 bandits operated more than hour and they left without counter attack. This is unbelievable.

“No intelligence gathering whatsoever to nip in bud the attack. This is a sad development. Only yesterday, unidentified gunmen killed at least 20 villagers in Kauru Local Government in Kaduna State.

“These killings are no longer acceptable. I’m sincerely and seriously concerned about loss of lives. Most of these people voted for Buhari to protect them from Bandits and Boko Haram but it’s quite unfortunate, they are gone for ever.

“I believe it’s time for Buhari to remove Buratai as Chief of Army of Staff before Nigeria is consumed. The President should know as a matter of fact, that Nigerians voted for him, not Buratai.

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I believe it’s time for Buhari to choose between Nigerians, who voted for him, and Buratai whom he appointed as Chief of Army Staff of Nigeria.

“Buhari should show him the way out or Nigerians will have cause to think and believe that, Buratai is higher than him or that he as President is scared of removing him.

“The time to act is now. No better time than now to show Nigerians, that he is truly in control of the affairs of this nation. It’s as serious as that. If truly Buhari loves Nigeria and Nigerians, Buratai has to be removed.

“The Government has given him enough time to showcase his military prowess but very unfortunately, he has failed woefully to deliver. I believe it’s time for him to be excused.”

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Group wants 2023 presidency zoned to South East  

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 A pro-democracy group, All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidency Project 2023 on Sunday said that the 2023 presidency should be ceded to the South East in the interest of equity and fairness.

 

A statement issued in Abuja by Dr. Chinedu Jideofo-Ogbuagu, the Convener and National Coordinator of southeast APC Presidency Project 2023, said that the time was ripe for the zone to produce the president for the country

 

“Whatever or whoever will cause the South-East not to produce the President of Nigeria in 2023 is an enemy of Nigeria.

 

“President of Nigeria from South-East extraction from May 29, 2023, would be the only guarantee of equity, justice, peace, unity, continued existence, and proper progress and development of Nigeria.

 

“Presidency of Nigeria wouldn’t be a favor to the South-East; it is now the only hope of Nigeria’s survival.

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“It would be a noble sacrifice on the part of the South-East of Nigeria.

 

“We want APC to be the party platform on which a South-Easterner will become president of Nigeria.

 

“This is simply because we are currently APC members and in the reasonable expectation that APC will offer its 2023 presidential ticket to a South-Easterner,’’ Jideofor-Ogbuagu said.

 

According to him, members of South East APC Presidency Project have insisted that for equity sake, the presidency should be zoned to the South East after President Muhammadu Buhari must have completed his second term in office.

 

He added that other geopolitical zones in the country should extend hands of cooperation to the zone by supporting a Nigerian president of South East extraction.

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He emphasised that the South East had contributed immensely to the growth of the nation and the APC as a party.

 

“We as South Easterners are in all the 774 local government areas across the country, contributing our quota through legitimate services for the good of our fatherland.

 

“As committed citizens with the same rights and privileges like other Nigerians, it is only fit and proper that the Presidency should shift to the South East having been tasted by the South West in Olusegun Obasanjo and South South in Goodluck Jonathan.

 

“APC as the biggest political party in Africa should as a matter of equity zone the 2023 presidency to the SouthEast.

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“We are mobilizing over 40 million South Easterners, friends, and fellow Nigerians to queue behind this project,” Jideofor-Ogbuagu said.

 

Meanwhile, an 18-member National Executive Committee (NEC), and a 92-member National Working Committee (NWC), have been constituted for the South-East APC Presidency Project 2023.

 

Members of the committees cut across all states of Nigeria and Abuja.

 

Some are Dr. Chinedu Jideofo-Ogbuagu; National Coordinator, Chief Amaechi Nnolim; Deputy National Coordinator,  Chief Chooks Oko; Secretary, and Mr. Onyekachi Ibekwe, Assistant Secretary.

 

Some others are Mr. Eze Adiuku, Publicity and Press Officer, Mr. Chidi Ozoemena, Public Relations Officer, Dr. Emeka Ukaegbu, Contact and Protocol Officer, and Mr. Uzowuike Emeka, Mobilization Officer.

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