#EkitiGovDebate: I Will Prioritise Security To Ensure Increased IGR – Olabisi Kolawole

 

Flagbearer for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Ekiti State, Olabisi Kolawole, says he aims to prioritise security as a means to ensured increased Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). 

Mr Kolawole stated this on Sunday at the Ekiti Governorship Debate which held in Ado Ekiti, the state capital.

“The most important thing is to have a stable security in Ekiti State, investors will not come if we are not able to secure lives and properties,” the PDP Candidate declared.

Adding, “I am prioritizing security to ensure that we are able to increase on our IGR.”

READ ALSO: #EkitiGovDebate: I Don’t Have Regrets Being Endorsed By Fayose – Olabisi Kolawole

He further disclosed that his intension for wealth creation is to boost the economy through agriculture. According to him, if elected, his government will revive the agricultural settlements of the past with great stimulus inputs for farmers.

The PDP stalwart went on to reveal that he will encourage youths and women to go into farming on productive scale that would bring great commercial returns to the state’s coffers.

Kolawole who was the immediate past chairman of the PDP in Ekiti State, also stated that under his leadership, Ekiti will have a database which will ensure that the government knows all the businesses operating within the state.

This he said will ensure that taxes are levied on appropriate corporations and individuals in a bid to finance government activities and public services.

Speaking on the backlog of debts owed pensioners, Mr Kolawole assured the Ekiti people that within a period of four years the arrears will be defrayed.

He said the issue would be prioritized and experts will be brought in to see how installment payments can be made without injuring the psyche of the pensioners.

Okonjo-Iweala ‘Cautiously Optimistic’ As High Stakes WTO Meeting Kicks Off

Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Nigerian Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala speaks at the opening ceremony of the 12th Ministerial Conference (MC12) taking place from June 12-15, in Geneva, at the headquarters of the World Trade Organization (WTO), in Geneva, Switzerland, Sunday, June 12, 2022. MARTIAL TREZZINI / POOL / AFP

 

The World Trade Organization chief voiced cautious optimism Sunday as global trade ministers gathered to tackle food security threatened by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, overfishing and equitable access to Covid vaccines.

Opening the WTO’s first ministerial meeting in nearly five years, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said to “expect a rocky, bumpy road with a few landmines along the way”.

But she told journalists she was “cautiously optimistic” that the more than 100 attending ministers would manage to agree on at least one or two of a long line of pressing issues, and that would be “a success”.

The WTO faces pressure to eke out long-sought trade deals on a range of issues and show unity amid the still raging pandemic and an impending global hunger crisis.

But since the global trade body only makes decisions by consensus, it can be more than tricky to reach agreements.

Top of the agenda at the four-day meeting is the toll Russia’s war in Ukraine, traditionally a breadbasket that feeds hundreds of millions of people, is having on food security.

Walkout

Tensions ran high during a closed-door session, where a number of delegates took the floor to condemn Russia’s war in Ukraine, including Kyiv’s envoy, who was met with a standing ovation, WTO spokesman Dan Pruzin told journalists.

Then, right before Russian Minister of Economic Development Maxim Reshetnikov spoke, around three dozen delegates “walked out”, he said.

Even before the conference began, the European Union gathered representatives from 57 countries for a show solidarity with Ukraine, with EU trade commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis slamming Russia’s “illegal and barbaric aggression”

Despite the contentious atmosphere, ministers are expected to agree on a joint declaration on strengthening food security, in which they will “commit to take concrete steps to facilitate trade and improve the functioning and longterm resilience of global markets for food and agriculture”.

According to the draft text, countries would vow that “particular consideration will be given to the specific needs and circumstances of developing country Members”.

“I hope you will collectively do the right thing,” Ngozi told the delegates.

Fisheries deal in sight?

The WTO hopes to keep criticism of Russia’s war in Ukraine to the  first day of talks, allowing ministers to focus in the following days on nailing down trade deals, after nearly a decade with no major agreements.

There is some optimism that countries could finally agree on banning subsidies that contribute to illegal and unregulated fishing, after more than two decades of negotiations.

“Will our children forgive us… if we allow our oceans to be depleted?” Okonjo-Iweala said.

One of the main sticking points has been so-called special and differential treatment (SDT) for developing countries, including major fishing nation India, which can request exemptions.

The duration of exemptions remains undefined, with environmental groups warning anything beyond 10 years would be catastrophic.

India blocking

India has demanded a 25-year exemption, and is so far refusing to budge.

Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal insisted in a video address that most fishing in India is vital for survival, and that fishermen use “sustainable methods”.

“Their right to life and livelihood cannot be curtailed in any manner.”

Angered by lacking follow-through on promises made at a WTO ministerial meeting nearly a decade ago for food policy measures, India is proving intransigent on other issues as well, jeopardising the chances of locking down deals.

“There is not a single issue that India is not blocking,” a Geneva-based ambassador said, singling out WTO reform and agriculture.

Patent waiver?

India has also struck a harsh tone on another key issue on the table: WTO response to the Covid crisis.

“The rich countries need to introspect. We need to bow our heads in shame for our inability to respond to the pandemic in time,” he said.

India and South Africa began in October 2020 pushing for the WTO to temporarily lift intellectual property rights on Covid-19 medical tools like vaccines to help ensure more equitable access in poorer nations.

After multiple rounds of talks, the EU, the United States, India and South Africa hammered out a compromise.

The text, which would allow most developing countries, although not China, to produce Covid vaccines without authorisation from patent holders, still faces opposition from both sides.

The pharmaceutical industry insists the waiver would undermine investment in innovation, while public interest groups charge the text falls far short of what is needed, by limiting and complicating the vaccine waiver and not covering Covid treatments and diagnostics.

AFP

2023: It Is A Shame That Igbo Leaders, Delegates Sold Our Votes – Umahi

 

Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State has said it is a shame that leaders and delegates from the South East sold their votes to candidates from other zones in the just-concluded presidential primary of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Speaking on Saturday at his hometown, Uburu, during the maiden matriculation ceremony of the King David University of Medical Sciences, Umahi said such betrayal is a bitter pill to swallow especially at this moment when the Igbos have been speaking out about being marginalized.

“I had a series of meetings with the party’s chairmen in the five states of the zone in the company of its national vice-chairman. I implored the delegates that the issue was not about me, but the mood of the Igbo in the nation.

“I told them that they should vote for any candidate of South East, so that when our votes are counted behind all the contestants of southeast, we should not have anything less than the number of our delegates.

“By so doing, we would have made a statement; but it became a shame that our leaders and the delegates sold all our votes.

“It is a very big shame,” Umahi lamented.

READ ALSO: Umahi, Sule Congratulate Tinubu On Victory At APC Presidential Primary

The governor said he wept bitterly following the outcome of the party primary election, adding that it is painful for Igbos to be shouting about  marginalization, and whenever they have an opportunity to make a statement they sell their votes.

“I continue to let them know that he that sells  his brother or sister, even the buyers will not trust him.

“We would have made a strong statement in the process that the Igbo are eminently qualified with due capacity to lead the country,” Governor Umahi stressed.

A file photot of Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi.

Umahi contested and polled 38 votes in the APC Presidential primary which saw Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu, former Lagos governor, declared winner, after securing 1,271 votes.

The Ebonyi State governor while taking another look at the development, was of the opinion that Nigeria is skewed against the Igbos.

“Whereas other geopolitical zones have 6 and 7 states, the Igbo man has five states and we should be asking why?

“Whereas other states have 30 to 40 Local Government Areas, our own states have just 13 local governments.

“Is there any fairness and justice in this regard?” the governor asked rhetorically.

Umahi’s lament on Saturday bears a semblance to that of Former Minister for Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu who said there is no justice in having the All Progressives Congress (APC) fail to zone the 2023 presidency to the South East.

Onu stated this on Tuesday at the Eagles Square, while pitching his agenda to party delegates just before the commencement of voting at the presidential primary.

“What is very very important, exceptionally important, is that we must ensure that justice is upheld,” he said in his address.

“Naturally, it should be somebody from the South East that will replace (Buhari), and that will give the opposite South versus North and Christian versus Muslim a balance, and it will bring stability to the nation; it will strengthen Nigeria.

“The South West had eight years as president, eight years as vice president; the South South had eight years as president and vice president; where is the justice? Where is the justice?” Dr Onu asked in anguish.

Three Killed As Rainstorm Ravages Houses In Katsina

Katsina, usually referred to as Katsina State to distinguish it from the city of Katsina, is a state in North West zone of Nigeria.

 

At least three persons have died with several others injured following a ravaging of houses by a rainstorm in Kankara Local Government Area of Katsina State.

The rainstorm started on Saturday and lasted till Sunday, a situation that forced many houses to cave and their roofs were blown out.

Channels Television gathered that the disaster occurred in Nasarawa and Matsiga communities, all in Kankara local council.

READ ALSO: Police Confirms Attack On Benue Communities As Leaders Put Casualty Figures At 30

According to an eyewitness, one of the victims died when the walls of her room which were made up of soil and mud blocks completely collapsed on her.

The spokesman for the  Kankara Local Government Area, Malam Abdulkarim Sani also confirmed the incident to Channels Television on Sunday.

He announced that the victims were all buried on Sunday morning according to Islamic rites, adding that staff at the information unit of the council, simply identified as Surajo Zabo also lost his wife during the incident.

But the Katsina State Emergency Management Agency is yet to react to the incident.

When contacted, officials of the agency failed to comment or respond to inquiries on the issue.

You’re no longer my president, Umahi tells Ohanaeze’s Obiozor

The Ebonyi State Governor, and Chairman, South-East Governors’ Forum, David Umahi, on Sunday, chided the President-General of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Professor George Obiozor, for his alleged role in the failure of the aspirants from the region in the just concluded presidential primaries. In what looked like a vote of no confidence…

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US Senators Announce Limited Deal On Gun Violence Measures

In this file photo taken on June 11,  2022 gun control advocates participate in the “March for Our Lives” as they protest against gun violence during a rally near the Washington Monument on the National Mall in Washington, DC. SAUL LOEB / AFP

 

 

A bipartisan group of United States senators on Sunday proposed steps to curb gun violence following devastating mass shootings in Texas and New York, but the limited measures fall far short of the president’s calls for change.

The shootings in May — one at a Texas elementary school that killed 19 young children and two teachers, and another at a New York supermarket that left 10 Black people dead — have piled pressure on politicians to take action.

Republicans lawmakers, who have repeatedly blocked tougher measures, are still resisting major changes to gun regulations, instead pointing to mental health issues as the root of the problem.

But the new framework notably has backing from at least 10 Republicans, meaning it has a strong chance of earning the supermajority of 60 votes needed to advance in the 100-seat US Senate.

The reforms include tougher background checks for gun buyers under 21, increasing resources for states to keep weapons out of the hands of people deemed a risk, and adding domestic violence convictions and restraining orders to the national background check database.

“Today, we are announcing a commonsense, bipartisan proposal to protect America’s children, keep our schools safe, and reduce the threat of violence across our country,” the group of 20 lawmakers said in a statement.

“Our plan increases needed mental health resources, improves school safety and support for students, and helps ensure dangerous criminals and those who are adjudicated as mentally ill can’t purchase weapons.”

President Joe Biden praised the proposals and urged lawmakers to quickly turn them into legislation, while saying the measures do not go far enough.

“Obviously, it does not do everything that I think is needed, but it reflects important steps in the right direction, and would be the most significant gun safety legislation to pass Congress in decades,” he said in a statement.

“With bipartisan support, there are no excuses for delay, and no reason why it should not quickly move through the Senate and the House.”

Both Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell — the top Democrat and Republican in the Senate — expressed support for the bipartisan effort, signaling that legislation based on the proposals could make it through the upper house.

Frequent mass shootings

Biden had pushed for more substantive reforms, including a ban on assault rifles — which were used in both the Texas and New York shootings — or at least an increase in the age at which they can be purchased.

He had also urged lawmakers to ban high-capacity magazines, mandate safe storage of firearms, and allow gun manufacturers to be held liable for crimes committed with their products.

The Democrat-controlled House of Representatives passed a broad package of proposals this month that included raising the purchasing age for most semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21.

But the party does not have the requisite 60 votes to advance it in the Senate, leaving the bipartisan deal as the only hope for federal legislation to address firearms violence.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi welcomed the Senate agreement, saying that while more is needed, including universal background checks and bans on high-capacity magazines, “this package will take steps to save lives.”

Frequent mass shootings have led to widespread outrage in the United States, where a majority of people support tighter gun laws, but opposition from many Republican lawmakers and voters has long been a hurdle to major changes.

A strong opponent of tougher measures is the National Rifle Association, which has been weakened by scandals and was hit by a lawsuit from New York state’s attorney general, but still wields considerable influence.

“The media, leftist politicians, and gun-hating activists are bullying NRA members and gun owners because they want us to give up. We won’t bend a knee,” the lobby tweeted on Saturday.

That day, thousands of people took to the streets across America to push for action on gun violence, which has killed more than 19,400 people in the country so far this year, more than half of them suicides, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

“The will of the American people is being subverted by a minority,” 63-year-old protester Cynthia Martins said during a demonstration Saturday in Washington.

“Hand wringing is not going to do anything — you have to make your voice heard.”

AFP

You’re no longer my president, Umahi tells Ohanaeze’s President-General

The Ebonyi State Governor, and Chairman, South-East Governors’ Forum, David Umahi, on Sunday, chided the President-General of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Professor George Obiozor, for his alleged role in the failure of the aspirants from the region in the just concluded presidential primaries. In what looked like a vote of no confidence…

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June 12: there’s nothing to celebrate, says Kaigama

The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, His Grace Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama on Sunday said there was nothing to celebrate on Nigeria’s democracy day because of corruption, hunger and other vices which have become a norm. According to him, Nigeria was near collapse as the high level of inflation, unemployment, and hunger have remained worrisome. Kaigama…

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#EkitiGovDebate: I Don’t Have Regrets Being Endorsed By Fayose – Olabisi Kolawole

 

Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Ekiti State, Olabisi Kolawole, says he has no regrets being endorsed by ex-governor Ayodele Fayose. 

Otunba Kolawole who stated this on Sunday at the governorship debate in Ekiti State, said contrary to claims suggesting that he might be a stooge, his alliance with Fayose is based on the experience the former governor has, having led the state for eight years.

“If seeking advice from experienced people makes you a stooge, then let it be,” the governorship aspirant declared.

READ ALSO: [VIDEO]: Anambra Govt Demolishes Kidnappers’ Den

Kolawole further asserted that the former governor will not be in the Government House running the affairs of the State, noting that advise will be sought from past leaders and prominent Ekiti people not only limited to politicians.

According to him, “the idea of being a stooge is just cheap blackmail,” one that cannot hold water when it comes to a person of his caliber who has piloted the affairs of the PDP as chairman in Ekiti State.

Ekiti Election: Why I Dumped PDP For SDP – Segun Oni

The Social Democratic Party (SDP) candidate in the July 19 governorship election in Ekiti State, Segun Oni, speaks during the governorship debate on June 12, 2022.

 

The Social Democratic Party (SDP) candidate in the July 19 governorship election in Ekiti State, Segun Oni has explained why he dumped the Peoples Democratic Party for the SDP.

Speaking during a debate in Ado Ekiti on Sunday, the governorship hopeful said his decision to switch camp was not borne out of desperation.

He explained that the party’s way and the manner it held the last governorship primary election in the state was not conducive enough.

“It is not desperation,” Oni said, debunking claims that he wants to return to the Ekiti State Government House by all means.

“I do not like cheating. I don’t cheat and don’t like people to cheat. If I see a party that has no respect for its own rules, I see it as not my type of party.

“I contested the PDP primaries and it was supposed to be a secret ballot and the world saw how it became open to the extent that one man was being shown in every ballot. I detest cheating and don’t collaborate with cheats.”

READ ALSO: Democracy Day: Buhari Assures Nigerians Of Peaceful, Transparent 2023 Elections

The 67-year-old ex-governor resigned his membership of the PDP on February 5, over a week after failing to clinch the party’s ticket.

He lost the PDP governorship primary election in Ekiti to Bisi Kolawole, the preferred candidate of Ayodele Fayose, a former governor of the state.

Kolawole was announced as the winner of the election after polling 671 votes to beat Oni, his closest rival, who had 330 votes.

Having clinched the SDP ticket, he will battle Kolawole as well as Biodun Oyebanji of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Kemi Halle of the Action Democratic Party (ADP)  among other candidates.

ole was announced as the winner of the election after polling 671 votes to beat Oni, his closest rival, who had 330 votes.

Having clinched the SDP ticket, he will battle Kolawole as well as Biodun Oyebanji of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Kemi Halle of the Action Democratic Party (ADP)  among other candidates.