Friday, June 18, 2021

    Nigeria Election 2019: Atiku presidency looms, unveils agenda

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    Gbenga Samson
    Samson Gbenga Salau [Editorial Board Adviser] Gbenga Samuel Salau is a professional journalist with over 17 years experience in journalism, he is a graduate of Communication and Language Arts, University of Ibadan. On completion of his youth service, he joined The Guardian as a freelance journalist and was later absorbed as a staff. While in the University, he was a campus journalist reporting for the Independence Hall and Faculty of Arts Press Clubs. As a campus journalist, he won the following awards; Independence Hall Press Best News writer; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best News Reporter/Writer; First Runner-up, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism; Association of Faculty of Arts Students’ Press Best Reporter; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Political Writer; Winner, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism, and University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Interviewer. He served the Association of Communication and Language Arts Students, as the Public Relation Officer, the same year he was appointed the News Editor of the Association of Faculty of Arts Students Press. The following session, he was made the General Editor, and a member of the 13-man University of Ibadan Students’ Union Transition Committee. As a reporter in The Guardian, in 2014, he won the Promasidor Quill Award Best Report on Nutrition and DAME Business Reporting category. In the 2015 edition of the Promasidor Quill Award, he won the best Report on Nutrition and Brand Advocate Categories, while in 2016, he won the NMMA Print Journalist of the Year, first runner-up Golden Pen Reporter of the Year and SERAs CSR Awards. Gbenga Salau loves traveling, reading, and listening to songs with good lyrics no matter the genre.

    … vows tax breaks, clean energy, education access, breaking poverty. Inside Atiku”s 2019 agenda for Nigeria

    … woos S’West PDP delegates

    …meets with Fayose, NWC

    Gets Fr. Mbaka Support for Presidency 2019

    meets ex-president Jonathan Meet over 2019 Presidency

    Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has unveiled his agenda for Nigeria ‎in the areas of power, private sector, security, education, economy, job creation, ICT and the nation’s currency.

    Atiku who is seeking the ticket of the ‎Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to run for presidency in 2019 in a statement yesterday by his Media Office, said he would fix Nigeria in those areas if he is given the mandate.

    The Turaki Adamawa said ‎his government would provide incentives, including tax breaks to the private sector to invest in the development of multiple green field mini-grid transmission systems.

    He added that his administration would consider concessioning to private sector segments of the national grid under some form of PPP over a period of time.

    ‎”We shall increase power generation by ensuring full participation of private sector. We shall issue licences to enable the private sector invest in mini-grid capabilities to service local communities or local govts, states, regions or target industrial clusters.

    “Our electricity generation plan shall be diversified to include clean energy – hydro, solar and nuclear – in addition to natural gas. As you may be aware, the transmission infrastructure of the power sector is ageing and in dire need of investment.

    “On security, we must understand the root causes of the security challenges in the North. The full economic potentials of the region remain undeveloped resulting in high rates of youth unemployment, high levels of poverty and deprivation and income inequality.

    “Access to education is more restricted, resulting in more out of school children in the North than anywhere else in Nigeria. Unless these issues are tackled, youth restiveness, sectarian violence and other acts of insurgency and terrorism shall continue to bedevil the region.

    “My first critical policy priority therefore is to support the northern states in rebuilding their economies and opening up economic opportunities for their citizens. This will reduce frustration and alienation and minimize grievances.

    “We shall same time undertake a comprehensive review of our security architecture and enhance its preparedness to meet challenges. As part of the review we shall commence the gradual process of instituting state police & community policing in line with principle of restructuring.

    “On jobs, as long as growth of the economy is driven by the oil sector, job creation is bound to suffer. To tackle the job and poverty challenges bedeviling the economy, we shall focus on four areas.

    “First, we shall stimulate the growth of those economic sectors which are considered the domain of the poor – i.e Agriculture and Micro & Small Enterprises.

    “For the MSE sector, we shall set up a Venture Capital Fund to enhance their access to finance and hence their ability to grow and employ more hands.

    “Second, we shall set up a National Innovation Fund to support budding entrepreneurs, especially young men and women with brilliant ideas.

    “Thirdly, we shall promote a Special Apprenticeship Programme that will support the training of up to 1,000,000 youth (including the NYSC) each year in diverse fields, by local master crafts persons. While they undergo the training, we shall match them with potential employers.

    “Fourth area of focus is the aggressive promotion of Nigeria as Africa’s leading business process outsourcing destination with potential to create two million direct and indirect jobs.

    “Our goal is to ensure that Nigeria fully explores the vast opportunities that abound in the global market for IT and IT-enabled services to create quality jobs for our youth.

    “Also, to lift our people out of poverty, we shall improve their access to basic services including education, health, electricity and water – by making these services not only available but affordable.

    “On currency, the only way the Naira will be more valuable is to apply a diversified structure for our economy. This way, our economy will become more productive. We are committed to revamping the non-oil sector through increased private sector investments.

    “We shall diversify our export base by providing export expansion incentives to manufacturers. Increasing our exports means increased foreign exchange earnings and stronger currency,” he said.

    Atiku woos S’West PDP delegates

    A former vice president and PDP presidential aspirant, Atiku Abubakar, has solicited the support of the party’s delegates in the South West ahead of the primary election of the party.

    Atiku, who was represented by the chairman, All Atiku Support Groups (AASG), Oladimeji Fabiyi at South West Zone Leadership of the Atiku Democratic Movement, in Ibadan, also enjoined the delegates to make a better choice at the primary.

    He said Atiku remained the candidate with a clear vision and adequate strength of character to return PDP and the nation back to glory.

    As Ohanaeze denies endorsing Atiku

    The leadership of Ohanaeze Ndigbo in Bayelsa State, yesterday, denied the rumoured endorsement of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar for the 2019 presidential election during his visit to the state last month to canvass for support.

    The Ohanaeze said it was against the objectives of the pan-Igbo socio cultural group to delve into partisan politics, describing the alleged endorsement as a disgrace to Igbos.

    The caretaker chairman of the group in Bayelsa, Chief Nkem Mark, made the clarification during a reconciliation meeting of the group with its local chapter in Ogbia Local Government Area held at Imiringi village in the state.

    He described those that purportedly endorsed Atiku when the PDP was yet to pick its presidential candidate as imposters and political jobbers whose sole aim remained monetary gains.

    Atiku meets with Fayose, NWC

    Former Vice ‎President Atiku Abubakar, yesterday, held a closed-door meeting with Governor Ayo Fayose ahead of next week’s gubernatorial election in Ekiti State.

    The Director General of Atiku Presidential Campaign Organisation and former governor of ‎Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, former governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu and former governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi who were in Atiku’s entourage were part of the meeting which started by11:50am.

    At about 12:24 am, the deputy governor of the state and candidate of the PDP for the election, Prof. ‎Olusola Kolapa Eleka, joined them in the meeting.

    ‎However, the issues at the meeting were not known as operatives of State Security Service (SSS) did not allow journalists to be part of it.

    Sources at the venue of the meeting told our correspondent that after the meeting with Fayose, Atiku also met with some critical stakeholders in the party.

    However, Daily Trust learnt that there was another general meeting involving members of the National Working Committee (NWC) led by Prince Uche Secondus, Atiku, governors and others.

    Rev. Father Mbaka endorse Atiku for 2019 presidency

    While Nigeria’s controversial catholic priest Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka, of the Adoration Ministry, has declared support for former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, saying that the politician is the new blessing for Nigeria.

    Among the reasons, he gave for his action, was that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has been “a stubborn resistance against negotiations”.
    According to him, Abubakar has what it takes to “put smile on Nigerians suffering different marginalization,” if given the opportunity to rule the country in 2019.

    Speaking in Enugu, the fiery preacher said the Waziri of Adamawa was advocating a “new order, a new paradigm shift in the government.”

    Mbaka said: “Every political relationship is open for negotiations, without pre-set outcomes. Atiku do not fear negotiations, as democrat and businessman that is what reasonable human beings that love his people do. This is even more important if a stubborn resistance against negotiations can lead to unsavoury outcomes, which the present governments have demonstrated!

    “For the Nigerian State to have a soul, the constituent parts need to renegotiate and rework the union. It is what will reduce to the barest minimum the feelings of injustice and poverty among Nigerians. It is what will make Nigerians believe that they chose this union willingly, ending effectively the theory of Lugardian contraption.

    “It is a perfect antidote for peace. The times call for new ideas For creative solutions, for restructuring, for people to be happy, for people to have means of living, for people to love Nigeria again!

    “Atiku is the only person that have contested and is still contesting for Nigerian presidency that love the youths more and have created more jobs for the youths to prove that more than most state government!

    “Imagine what he will do when he have the power and resources to do more! Let’s pray that the blessing and protection of God to be with him to put smile in Nigerians suffering different marginalization!”

    In Political Realignment, Atiku, Jonathan Meet over 2019 Presidency

    The push to get former Vice President Atiku Abubakar to dump the All Progressives Congress (APC) and return to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to enhance the opposition party’s bid to return to power in 2019 may have gained traction with a recent discrete meeting between him and former President Goodluck Jonathan.

    The meeting said to have been held at the instance of Atiku, who was said to be seriously considering offers made to him by a section of the leadership of the opposition party to return, according to a THISDAY source, explored the desirability of the move and concluded that it would be a worthwhile political endeavour that could help terminate what both leading politicians regarded as the uninspiring rule of the APC.

    According to a recent report indicated that there were concerted efforts by some PDP leaders to bring Atiku back to the party’s fold but that he gave conditions, including an assurance that he would be given its automatic ticket to contest the 2019 presidential election.

    The fresh meeting with Jonathan was said to have looked into the possibility of this condition with both of them said to have agreed that all options should be kept open as the political dynamics of the country remained fluid, requiring a more pragmatic approach to the upsurge in politicking, which the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) warned against last week.

    The electoral empire’s National Chairman, Prof. Mahmud Yakubu, had cautioned politicians against political campaigns for 2019, saying the ban on electioneering was yet to be lifted in accordance with Electoral Act 2010 as amended.

    But Jonathan was said to have advised Atiku to consider returning to the PDP early enough to avoid being caught by certain provisions of the party’s constitution, which stipulate a period of time a member has to spend in the party before he could be eligible to contest for a political office.

    “Atiku was advised to return early to enable him to fulfil the eligibility condition in the party’s constitution and also have ample time to integrate his political structure into the PDP’s,” a source privy to the meeting said.

    The source said it was made clear to Atiku that he stood a better chance to realise his ambition in the PDP than the APC since President Muhammadu Buhari looked set to be given a right of first refusal by his party’s leadership.

    According to the source: “He was told to note a recent comment by the APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, stating that as the incumbent, President Buhari had a right of first refusal even when the decision would have to be his.

    “That has been buoyed by Kaduna State Governor Nasir el-Rufai who had practically launched Buhari’s re-election campaign.”

    Referring to the reactions of the APC leadership and stalwarts to the recent declaration of support for his presidential ambition by the Minister of Women Affairs and Youth Development, Mrs Aisha Alhassan, the source said it was made clear to Atiku that there was nothing left for him in the APC and that he should just return to the PDP where he could reunite more easily with other founding fathers who were eager to rebuild the party.

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