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Igbo can go to hell if they lose 2023 Presidential ticket, says elder statesman Junaid Mohammed

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Elder statesman, Junaid Mohammed, has said the Igbo are free to carry out their threats of secession if denied the Presidency in 2023.

The 2nd Republic lawmaker advised politicians from the South-East who are nursing the idea of becoming President in 2023 to perish the thought.

Junaid said currently the South-East has not put forward a credible person who is qualified to lead Nigeria.

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The controversial lawmaker challenged them to secede when they lose the Presidential Ticket in 2023.

” I challenge Igbos to secede if they are denied Presidency in 2023. If they don’t secede, let them go to hell. They have tried secession before but they were defeated and failed and they lost over one million people.

“If they want to secede again because of 2023 politics, they are more than welcome. You think anybody will beg them not to secede?” he asked in a Daily Independent report.

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One year in Office: We inherited moribund sectors; says in Kwara Gov

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Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara says his administration inherited moribund sectors in the state when he assumed office on May 29, 2019.

Abdul Razzaq made this known on Friday at the Government House, Ilorin, while briefing newsmen on his administration’s achievements in the last one year.

According to reports, the briefing enjoyed live broadcasts where the people of the state asked questions on government activities in the last year.

According to him, his administration inherited a state with huge water scarcity, unfunded education system, uncompleted and abandoned projects, moribund healthcare sector, agriculture, and decayed infrastructure.

“Everything was moribund when we came in, the education system and other sectors were in disarray,” he said.

He declared that the situation in the education sector of the state was worsened because previous administrations did not invest in it and other sectors.

“N8 billion was piled up in the Universal Basic Education Board (UBEB) waiting for Kwara to pick up.

“Because no investment had been made on education in the state for many years, students, pupils were just sitting in classrooms looking at the blackboards without exercise books.

“We realized there are challenges we need to catch up with because there are no chairs, laboratories, and furniture in our schools, and ghost workers in the sector were also a major challenge.

“WAEC had to fine us N20 million because our teachers colluded with students,” he said.

The governor explained that though previous administrations in the state had invested heavily in the water projects, there was scarcity of water supply in the state.

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AbdulRazaq added that his administration was not in a rush to purchase official vehicles or renovate the Government House for him to move into.

This, he said, was due to the fact that the state was littered with unbefitting infrastructure that has kept it down the ladder of socioeconomic development over the years.

He said his conducts, prudent handling of public funds, and prioritization of people’s welfare were in agreement with the spirit of Otoge; the campaign slogan of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.

“What Kwara people voted for was change. They were tired of how things were being done before.

“They needed a new beginning to chart a new course. That’s the task we are charged with.

“The question they are asking us is how we are funding our numerous projects? The answer is because we are prudent in the management of public resources.

“I thank members of the state House of Assembly. All the lawmakers are entitled to a vehicle each. So far, they have sacrificed that.

“That possibly runs to over a billion Naira. Our Commissioners are also entitled to vehicles. That also runs to over a billion Naira. The Governor and the Deputy Governor and their aides are also entitled to vehicles which also run to over a billion Naira.

“We all have sacrificed much in order to invest in critical infrastructure for the state,” the governor said.

AbdulRazaq said he was not ready to share money to selected few as was the practice in the past.

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According to him, Kwara people did not vote for him in order to lavish public funds on acolytes or entrenched interests.

He declared that his priority was to share projects across the state to deepen development in the grassroots.

“We abandon the renovation of Government House which is also over N100 million. That’s not important to us now.

“We need to focus on essential things. We believe that there should be a change in the way things are done.

“Let us make sure that we start delivering now with the right trajectory because our people voted for change and change has come to stay.

“People will continue to see the change. Yes, some people will complain that we’re not sharing money. We’re not doing this, we’re not doing that.

“We are not here to share money; we are here to share projects and infrastructure. We expect people to stay with us and stay focused,” AbdulRazaq added.

He commended the people of the state for their support over the last year, urging them to remain steadfast as the administration will continue to commit public funds to serve them.

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On the plummeting oil prices and the COVID-19 pandemic that have slowed down the global economy, AbdulRazaq said the government would slash the N162 billion 2020 budget by roughly N40 billion.

He said the administration would place emphasis on cutting the cost of governance and some infrastructural projects that do not immediately impact on the lives of the people.

He said more money would now go into social investments to shore up the purchasing power of the masses amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

AbdulRazaq said the state government had nearly finalized debates on the national minimum wage until the pandemic struck.

He added however that the recent presidential order granting autonomy to local governments has justified his position that the third tier of government must be allowed to manage its own resources and take its own decisions.

The governor commended the workers in the state, including the leadership of the unions, for their understanding while the debate lasted, reiterating the government’s commitment to the welfare of the workers.

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Edo 2020: PDP aspirant promises affordable housing, security

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A Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship aspirant in Edo, Engr Gideon Ikhine, has promised to provide affordable housing for the residents if elected.

Ikhine made the promise while interacting with his supporters and journalists on Friday in Benin.

He said successive governments in the state had failed to provide affordable shelter for the people despite all the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and allocations from the Federation Account accruing to it.

“If elected governor, I will ensure that I provide affordable housing which is one of the basic needs of life for the people.

“I will also ensure that I provide security in the state so that our farmers can go to their farms without fear of being killed by herders,” he said.

According to him, although the incumbent All Progressives Congress administration of Gov.Godwin Obaseki has been able to “sanitize the corridor of power,” the basic needs of life are still lacking in the state.

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Ikhine further said that Edo did not have to depend on allocations from the federation account with all the natural resources it had.

“Having toured all the nooks and crannies of the state, I have come to realize that resources abound in Edo waiting to be tapped,” he added.

According to the PDP aspirant, past and present administrations in the state had displayed a lack of knowledge on how to turn things around for the people.

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Jobless youths to clear gutters, sweep markets and get N670 daily from FG

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President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has approved the temporary employment of 774,000 people who will engage in manual labour for a period of three months.

The initiative will be funded from the N60bn COVID-19 Intervention Fund and will last from October to December 2020, according to the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed.

The Nigeria government had earlier announced, via its official twitter handle, in February that the initiative, known as the Special Works Programme, would target rural communities.

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The tweet read in part:

“The SPW beneficiaries have been engaged to carry out clearing, cleaning of streets, markets, schools, drains etc and also maintenance of rural feeder roads. No skills or formal education are required for the SPW programme. The target areas are rural communities.

“The eight states in the pilot phase of the National Directorate of Employment-managed SPW programme are as follows: Ebonyi, Borno, Edo, Ekiti, Adamawa, Kwara, Katsina and Jigawa. The SPW is a three-month paid initiative aimed at engaging young unemployed Nigerians in rural areas during the dry (non-farming) season.”

However, Special Assistant to the president on Digital and New Media, Tolu Ogunlesi, said on twitter on Monday that the initiative had been extended to the 36 states of the federation.

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He tweeted:

“President Buhari has now approved that this programme be extended to all 36 states and the FCT from October to December 2020. It will result in the employment of 774, 000 Nigerians (1,000 people per LGA). Funding will come from the new Covid-19 Crisis Intervention Fund.”

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