Choose Nigeria First, Not Leaders Who Will Buy Your Votes – Lawan Tells APC Delegates

 

 

Senate President and presidential aspirant under the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr Ahmad Lawan has urged delegates of the party to consider while voting in the forthcoming primaries, the future of Nigeria and the candidate who will deliver in the nation’s best interest. 

Lawan in a statement issued on Wednesday, urged the delegates to set aside pecuniary and monetary incentives and seriously consider what is in the greater good of the country.

While trying to pacify the delegates to consider him critically, the Senate President said he will offer himself, his heart, integrity and dedication to ensure that the dream of justice for all and a dream of uniting to fight the nation’s foes, is achieved.

The lawmaker who was of the opinion that one’s best predictor of future behavior is past conducts, asserted that it is important the delegates scrutinize the past practices of all aspirants as to elicit what behaviors, avarice and rapacity the candidates have exhibited in the past.

He added that they have a good choice to pick him, a leader that comes with absolutely ‘No-Baggage.’

Lawan further asked the delegates to look for a leader that will not buy their  votes but one that is prepared to sell and deliver their  dreams.

Below is the full message the Senate President sent out to the APC delegates.

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My Dear APC Party Delegates,

Compliments of the season. Permit me to write to you through this medium. As we converge at this great time, in this great party to begin the journey of determining the future of this great nation, we must be cognizant of the fact that the fate of Nigeria fluctuates.

While democracy asserts that the Nigerian voting public determines the person to emerge as President, however in advance of that, the party delegates are saddled with the task of nominating the flag bearers. This communication is an appeal to all APC delegates as the party prepares for its presidential primaries.

I am reaching out to every single one of you APC delegates to plead with you to put ‘Nigeria First’ and give thought to the future of 215,763,437 (million) Nigerians, a lot of whom will appreciate the sagacious determination you will make during this process.

I am reaching out to you, with humility, to ask for your votes so that I can emerge as the APC Presidential flag bearer for the 2023 Nigerian Presidential election.

At this point, it is not lost on me that we must come together as one party and as one nation, for we have a great deal to mend, to rehabilitate, to reinstall and so much more to achieve.

We have a unique chance to measure up to every expectation and show Nigeria and the world that Democracy triumphs. And that journey shall start during the APC Presidential Primary Election process.

To all delegates across Nigeria, I beseech you to put pecuniary and monetary incentives aside and seriously consider what is ‘in the greater good.’ As you make your decision in picking the flag bearer of our party, I urge you to seek for a leader and not a politician.

I ask you to choose a person that will lead and not rule Nigerians; one that will be understanding, tolerant, fair, honest, and progressive. A leader that comes with absolutely ‘No-Baggage.’

A vital component of any logical, efficient and authentic evaluation of a person involves assessing past behavior. The key here is that one’s best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.

If one has always done something a certain way, they are likely to do that same thing in the same manner in the future. The same goes for how one navigates or pillages in leadership. Thus, as you, the delegates, are determining the APC party presidential flag bearer, it is important to look at past behavior to elicit what behaviors, avarice and rapacity candidates have exhibited in the past.

It is important for you to access all candidates along this parameter.

Dear delegates, look for a leader that will not buy your votes but one that is prepared to sell and deliver your dreams. I promise you that I will be that leader.

I am prepared to offer you myself and my heart; my integrity, my dedication and my might. I want to offer you a dream of justice for all, a dream of uniting to fight the foes we face, a dream of unity under one single ideal, common purpose, common endeavor and resolve; a dream to right the wrongs of our past, a dream of work, employment, functioning safe schools, security, electricity, infrastructure, stable economy, compassion for citizenry, technology, opportunity and so much more that Nigerians desire.

I will give you my all, thinking not of power, but of possibility and the public good. I want you to take my hand so that together, we can show the Nigerian story of hope, unity, tolerance, healing, principle, greatness and goodness. I want you to take my hand so that together we can learn from history, embrace faith and find a way to unify Nigeria and take her into the future. We are at an extraordinary historic moment both in APC and in Nigeria and our unity is the path forward.

Dear delegates, I give you my word, I will defend the constitution. I’ll defend our democracy. I will defend Nigeria. I will defend every single Nigerian from every nook and cranny, across the length and breath of the nation and from every corner. I commit to defend all 371 spectacular tribes existing in this brilliant, colorful, diverse and beautiful nation.

This and nothing more than this is what we owe to our forefathers, this is what we owe to each other and this is what we owe to the generations that will follow behind us; to our children and our children’s children.

Dear APC delegates, you have the sacred mission at this hour of history, during this hour of decision of taking this country to a plain beyond. I urge you to assist me in uniting Nigeria in our common desire to move forward together.

We shall meet on the voting field as members of Africa’s largest party and as Nigerians united in our resolve to remain the most vibrant party in Africa and one of the greatest nations on earth. We shall meet on the voting field to tell the positive tale of Nigeria. While this is expected of every Nigerian, it starts with you, the APC delegates.

I give you my word that I shall not fail you. To this end, I ask for your precious votes and your dedication to our party, APC, and to our motherland. I give you my word that, given the privilege of carrying the APC Presidential ticket, I will represent you with pride, courage, equity, endurance, faith, conviction, devotion to you all and the country we love with all our hearts. I give you my word that I will strive to take the APC presidential ticket nomination you will hopefully give to me and turn it into a landslide win in the 2023 general elections.

Al-Haji Sir Ahmadu Bello, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Al-Haji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Herbert Macaulay, Professor Eyo Ita, Alvan Ikoku, Chief Anthony Enahoro, Sir Egbert Udo Udoma, Al-Haji Aminu Kano, Chief S. A. Ajayi, Joseph Tarka, Chief Sunday Awoniyi, Dennis Osadebay and all the other great men that founded, made and preserved this great Republic are looking down and smiling fondly at every single one of you as you take your place in history in duty and service of your great party and ultimately, your nation.

May you all be protected and directed through wisdom as you journey to the presidential primary election to speak for yourself, your family, your generation, your future, your state and for Nigeria.

May the Almighty be with you as you make the best decision for the future of Nigeria.

Okada Ban: Lagos Govt To Crush Seized Motorcycles

A file photo of scores of motorcycles seized by the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation Enforcement Agency (Taskforce).

 

The Lagos State Government says commercial motorcycles seized during the enforcement of the ban on okada will be crushed.

This is according to a statement issued on Wednesday by the Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy Gbenga Omotosho as the ban on okada in six local government councils of the state took effect.

“Law enforcement agencies seized many motorcycles today,” the commissioner said. “They will all be crushed on Friday in the presence of the media.”

According to him, as part of moves to cushion the impact of the ban, the Lagos State Government is ramping up plans for alternatives.

“Many small buses, under the First Mile and Last Mile Scheme, were rolled out extensively in Surulere, Gbagada, Lekki, Lagos Island, and other parts of Lagos,” he said.

“A number of taxi cabs under the LAGRIDE scheme were deployed in Lagos Island, Ikeja, Surulere, Lekki, and other places.

“The waterways were also busy as Lagos Ferry Services (LAGFERRY) put more ferries on their routes.”

RELATEDDelivery Riders, Power Bikes Not Affected By Okada Ban – Police Commissioner

‘We Are Law-Abiding’

This comment is the latest from the government since it imposed a ban on commercial motorcycles last month. There was a high level of compliance with the ban across the affected areas as the government began enforcement on Wednesday.

While the move generate debates across the state, the Arewa Community in Lagos threw its weight behind it. In the wake of the development, the group said its members will comply with the ban, calling on security agencies to tighten border checks.

“We resolved today unanimously that all our members must comply with the provisions of the laws of Lagos State. We are law-abiding and we will always continue to intimate on all our members to continue to be law-abiding and operate only within the ambits of the law,” the group’s Secretary-General, Alhaji Musa Saleh, said on May 22.

“We support all measures taken by the Lagos State Government in its efforts towards protecting the life and properties of all Lagosians.”

Buhari Hails Pope’s Appointment Of Bishop Okpaleke As Cardinal

The Catholic Bishop of Ekwulobia Diocese, Bishop Peter Okpaleke, has been elevated a Cardinal by Pope Francis.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday hailed the appointment of Bishop Peter Okpaleke of Ekwulobia Diocese on his appointment as a Cardinal by Pope Francis.

Three days ago, Pope Francis announced Bishop Okpaleke’s appointment as well as 20 new cardinals to be created for the church on August 27.

Reacting to the move, Buhari in a statement by his media aide, Garba Shehu, “commended the Pope for finding a capable Nigerian in the person of Bishop Okpaleke to be one of the two nominees from the African continent and congratulated the Nigerian Christian Community on this choice”.

He described the Cardinal-designate as ably qualified, saying that having him in that position will benefit the country.

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“President Muhammadu Buhari expresses happiness with the appointment of Bishop Peter Okpaleke of Ekwulobia Diocese, Anambra State, as a Cardinal in the Catholic Church by Pope Francis,” the statement read.

“Bishop Okpaleke becomes the fourth Cardinal from Nigeria. Others before him are Francis Arinze, Anthony Okogie, and John Onaiyekan.”

Buhari also commended the commitment of the Catholic Church to the unity, peace, and progress of the Nigerian state.

This is even as he highlighted the effort of the Church in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic as well as its support and commitment in favour of the poor and most vulnerable members of the society.

Messi Steals Show As Argentina Beat Italy In Finalissima

Argentina’s striker Lionel Messi lifts the trophy as Argentina’s players celebrate on the pitch after their victory in the ‘Finalissima’ International friendly football match between Italy and Argentina at Wembley Stadium in London on June 1, 2022. Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

Lionel Messi stole the show as Copa America holders Argentina powered to a 3-0 win against European champions Italy in the Finalissima at Wembley on Wednesday.

Inspired by the peerless Messi, Argentina raced into a two-goal lead in the first half of the prestigious friendly thanks to strikes from Lautaro Martinez and Angel Di Maria.

Paulo Dybala capped Argentina’s rout, but after a disappointing season with Paris Saint-Germain by his sky-high standards, it was the sight of Messi back to his imperious best that took the spotlight.

The 34-year-old’s eye-catching display featured two assists and was worthy of his rare appearance at one of football’s great cathedrals.

It was another memorable moment for Argentina, who have qualified for this year’s World Cup as they extend the golden afterglow from the victory over Brazil that ended their 28-year wait to win the Copa America in 2021.

Argentina were already established as one of the leading contenders to win the World Cup and defeating Italy was another statement of intent from La Albiceleste, who are now unbeaten in 32 matches.

If Messi can play at this level in Qatar, Lionel Scaloni’s side will be a force to be reckoned with as they chase a first World Cup title since 1986.

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For Italy, it was a disappointing return to Wembley 11 months after they beat England on penalties in the Euro 2020 final.

Roberto Mancini’s team have gone into a steep decline since that memorable triumph.

They failed to qualify for the World Cup after suffering a humiliating loss to North Macedonia in their play-off semi-final.

Mancini admitted the Finalissima represented the “end of a cycle” for his European champions.

After the World Cup failure, Mancini is transitioning to a younger generation, with the forthcoming Nations League matches against Germany, England, and Hungary his real focus.

Mancini’s overhaul effectively started at half-time when Italy said farewell to 117-cap skipper Giorgio Chiellini, who was substituted in his final game before international retirement.

 Messi Masterpiece 

Argentina’s striker Lionel Messi waves to supporters as Argentina’s players celebrate on the pitch after their victory in the ‘Finalissima’ International friendly football match between Italy and Argentina at Wembley Stadium in London on June 1, 2022.  Glyn KIRK / AFP

 

This was only the third Finalissima contest between the respective champions of Europe and South America and the first since Diego Maradona’s Argentina beat Denmark in 1993.

Fittingly, Messi — the heir to the legendary Maradona — used the occasion to remind the world of his astonishing talents.

The 80,000 sell-out crowd created a colourful backdrop for Messi’s mastery, with Argentina’s raucous fans turning the north London suburb of Brent into Buenos Aires for one ear-splitting evening.

Every touch from Messi lifted the decibel levels and moments after his shot was saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma, the forward played a key role as Argentina took the lead in the 28th minute.

Messi worked his magic on the touchline, showing tremendous strength to hold off Giovanni Di Lorenzo before unfurling a precise low cross to Martinez, who applied the finishing touch from close-range.

Italy argued that the goal should have been disallowed for a foul in the build-up, but their protests were in vain.

With tempers still running high, Leonardo Bonucci was booked after leaving Messi writhing in pain with a flailing arm that caught him in the face.

Di Maria exacted revenge on Messi’s behalf in first-half stoppage-time.

Martinez drove forward with bullish tenacity and slipped a perfectly weighted pass to Di Maria, with the PSG forward producing a finish to match the approach play as he clipped a cool finish over Donnarumma.

Di Maria almost struck again on the hour, but his curler was brilliantly tipped over by Donnarumma as it fizzed towards the far corner.

Messi robbed Jorginho and embarked on a mesmerising run that finished with a save from Donnarumma.

Messi’s name echoed around the stands as Argentina’s fans paid tribute to their idol’s latest masterpiece.

Dybala’s clinical strike in stoppage-time came via a deft Messi pass as the maestro provided one final flourish.

AFP

Ukraine War: Buhari Calls For Global Cooperation To Avert Looming Food Crisis

A file photo of President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

As the war between Russia and Ukraine rages, President Muhammadu Buhari has called for global cooperation to avert a looming food crisis.

He made the call on  Wednesday in Madrid, Spain at the Royal Palace during an audience with his Royal Majesty King Felipe VI in continuation of his visit to the country.

“The two leaders canvassed a global action to stem the food problem, especially in wheat production occasioned by the ongoing war in Ukraine, urging world leaders to take concrete actions to avert the crisis,” a statement by presidential spokesman Femi Adesina said.

READ ALSO: Buhari Hails Pope’s Appointment Of Bishop Okpaleke As Cardinal

In a separate meeting with President Pedro Sanchez, President Buhari said Nigeria looked forward to increasing bilateral relations between both nations.

This is even as he commended his Spanish counterpart for his leadership qualities and contributions in the war against terror in Sub-Saharan Africa, especially in Mali, and looked forward to cooperation in the area.

The two leaders discussed areas of cooperation in which Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) were signed.

In his remarks, President Sanchez stressed that as a major partner of Spain in Africa, Nigeria was a country that his people really wanted to have a stronger partnership with going forward.

He hailed President Buhari for his leadership roles in Africa, especially in the area of strengthening democratic ideals. Currently, Spain is the largest importer of Nigerian gas and the third-largest importer of Nigerian crude, and with the visit, the two leaders hoped for bigger trade relations.

At the end of the visit, nine Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding were signed, namely: Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters; Transfer of Sentenced Persons; Extradition; Economic and Commercial Cooperation; Tourism. Others were on Sports; Health; the Fight Against COVID-19; and Science and Innovation.

Hijab Crisis: Kwara Reopens Baptist School After Four-Month Closure

File photo of students in missionary school prevented from wearing hijab to school in Kwara State.

 

The Kwara State Government has announced the reopening of Oyun Baptist High School, Ijagbo, for students to resume academic activities after a four-month closure over the crisis caused by the wearing of Hijab.

On February 3, the state government shut the school following a crisis between Muslim and Christian parents who stormed the institution to defend their respective faith on the wearing of Hijab by female Muslim students in the school.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Permanent Secretary in the State Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development, Mrs Mary Adeosun, said the school would reopen from Friday, June 3.

She said the government’s decision to reopen the school is to restore normalcy in the institution.

READ ALSO: Hijab Controversy: Kwara Govt Shuts Baptist School After Fresh Violence

“The Ministry’s decision to reopen the school is one of the government’s multi-prong approaches to return normalcy to the school,” the statement read.

“Consequently, all teachers and students are directed to return to their classrooms while the government white paper committee continues the efforts to address pending issues related to the recent disturbance in the public school.

“Similarly, the Ministry restates the government’s position that any Muslim schoolgirl who desires to wear the Hijab is allowed to do so in all public schools, including in Oyun Baptist High School Ijagbo, which is owned by the State Government and run with public resources,”

She urged all stakeholders in the area to give peace a chance and to respect the law, warning that “the government will not hesitate to shut the school again, among other things, if anything threatens the safety of the little children”.

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