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Saraki’s ally, Kawu Baraje, Condemn APC’s performance as poor..

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A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, Alhaji Kawu Baraje, on Sunday described the party’s performance since taking office close to one year ago as unimpressive.

He also warned the party against repeating the mistakes made by the Peoples Democratic Party which led to its electoral defeat in 2015.

Baraje, an ally of Senate President, Bukola Saraki, said this during a media briefing in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.

He said Nigerians were not happy with the socio-economic and political development in the country, adding that it was imperative for the government to address the sufferings and

expectations of the people in order to make them happy.

He cited the current petrol scarcity, poor electricity supply and hunger as some of the hardships being experienced by Nigerians.

Baraje said, “I belong to the group that is not very satisfied with the performance of the party; not only because the Senate President is having a very serious political issue, but because there are other cases and instances where we are not happy with the performance of our party.

“I am not a prophet of doom, neither am I a political prostitute. Are you happy going to queue up for up to two to three hours? Are you happy that electricity is not functioning well and people sleep in darkness?

“What we are saying is that majority of Nigerians are not happy and we need to make them happy.

“Majority of Nigerians are suffering and we need to make our impact felt by addressing the suffering of the masses.”

In response, the National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, described Baraje’s comments as unfortunate.

He said, “We are working on a solution in the medium term; short term, yes we can make the fuel queues disappear but we don’t want the problem to re-occur and to do that, you have to work out a solution that will be long-lasting.

“If people want to play to the gallery they are at liberty to do so, they know why they are doing what they are doing.”

Odigie-Oyegun, however, said the Baraje should have asked for clarifications about what the party was doing instead of denigrating the APC.

He said, “At the moment, we know these problems (power outages and fuel queues) are there because it is a case of corruption fighting back.

“We are not resting on our oars; we are working hard and very soon all these problems will be over. Nigerians will certainly win this battle.”

Baraje also warned that if politicians did not achieve their aspirations in their party, “they may consider other options.”

The party chieftain, however, added that it was too early for him to contemplate leaving the APC.

Baraje said, “The PDP made me. I was the National Secretary and later become the National Chairman of the PDP. I made my mark. If I have to be grateful to any political party, I think, it is the PDP.

“So, if I can leave that party, then you will know that the party had gone contrary seriously against my principles of life.

“If I can leave the PDP because of impunity, lack of respect for the rule of law; then do I want to continue in another party that way? But it has not got to that level. That is why we are sounding a note of warning that gradually some of these problems are creeping into the APC. And we must warn ourselves.”

The party chieftain recalled that there had been 155 rerun elections at the state and federal levels so far, noting that the APC lost majority of the elections.

He cited the Rivers State rerun election as an example.

Baraje said, “If you look at the volatile nature of that rerun, some of us with our humble experience expected the national presence of our party much more during that rerun. We did not see that happen. It is regrettable.

“Today, we have gone in rerun elections both at the state and national levels. We ran over 115 rerun elections, and the APC has lost majority of those elections, not because of lack of popularity of the APC. No! But because of lack of enough presence as at now.”

According to him, the APC should not expect magic from its candidates if it decides to abandon them at the middle of an election.

He identified lack of focus and distractions as barriers to the performance of the party. He said the Buhari led-APC administration had good intentions and ideas.

He also said the alleged past misdeeds of the PDP was another inhibiting factor, saying such was another challenge of the APC to render good governance and dividends of democracy to the people.

The APC chieftain urged President Muhammadu Buhari to avoid confrontation with the National Assembly. He advised him to have a dialogue with the National Assembly to resolve crisis if there was any.

He also warned against any attempt to heat up the polity or stage demonstrations on the ongoing trial of the Senate President, saying there will be a ‘mother of all demonstrations’ should anyone try to disrupt the peace in the nation, especially in Kwara State.

Baraje urged the Federal Government to boost agriculture to ensure national food security, address power challenges and other poor infrastructure.

He however commended the Federal Government’s war against Boko Haram insurgents, urging it to do everything within its power to end the menace.

Also, the Labour Party has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to settle down to governance and address the economic woes facing the country.

In a release signed by the National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Abdulkadir Abdulsalam, the party said Buhari’s style of administration should be blamed for the challenges currently facing the country. He called on him to concentrate on fixing the problems by involving real professionals rather than fighting from all sides.

The party added that with the current economic crisis, kidnapping, terrorism and other social vices would be on the rise.

The LP chairman said, “The President should know by now that with Nigeria in economic crisis and the lacklustre attitude of his government to setting up a powerful economic machine, there are only two courses open to the government. They are monetarist deflationary measure and the protectionist method.

“Unfortunately, an economy under heavy government regulation cannot function properly but rather be exposed to a lot of unpleasant things like killing, kidnapping, warfare, padding, delay, economic downturn and impunity will become the linen and ephod for the mainstream expression of governance.”

The party said that the President should note that in today’s Nigeria, there were no electricity, fuel, gas, food and peace, saying that while the ruling class lived in affluence, the masses lived in poverty.

“The President needs to understand that leadership is a creative enterprise and as such allows same to speak and seen without unnecessarily playing the ‘I am in charge’ mentality. He must accept his weaknesses and allow participatory democracy by enlisting spiritual wisdom, greater understanding and absolute knowledge while seriously looking beyond immediate political horizon to involve men of honour with practice to contribute to the rebuilding of the nation and its economy.”

While calling on Buhari to forsake what the party described as his delight in fundamentalism, the LP also urged the President to embrace political and economic liberalism with the countless opportunities it offered.

“We at the party therefore restate our stand on the present state of the nation that all is not well. The President must urgently organise a socio-economic summit that allows the participation of all,” the statement added.

 

 

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Pictorial: Gender mobile signs Mou with university of Uyo

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Monday June 10th Gender Mobile lead by Barr Omowunmi Ogunrotimi signed an Mou with the university of Uyo lead by its Vice Chancellor Professor Nyaudoh Ndaeyo

The Mou will allow Gender Mobile to support the University of Uyo to institutionalize sexual harassment prevention frameworks through policy, preventative education, and technology adoption.

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How US Billionaires Allegedly Fund Organ Trafficking In Nigeria

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The Global Prolife Alliance, GPA has sensationally revealed that billionaires from the United States are funding an organ trafficking cartel in Nigeria.
The GPA made the shocking revelation in a letter to President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Speaker, House Of Representatives.
The letter is signed by Academician (Dr) Philip Njemanze, Chairman, Global Prolife Alliance, GPA.
Njemanze said the cartel’s grip on the country’s healthcare system has resulted in the poaching of human organs and ovarian eggs, with millions of lives at stake.
The GPA cited the National Health Act of 2014 (NHAct 2014) as a tool for the cartel’s nefarious activities.
According to them, the cartel’s scheme involves coercing female farmers into purchasing genetically modified seeds in exchange for their ovarian eggs.

 

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CONTRACT SCANDAL ROCKS TETFUND AS ICPC ARRESTS CONTRACTOR

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A contract scandal of monumental proportion is currently rocking the the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund).

So bad is the situation that operatives of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) have beamed their searchlight on the activities of TETFund.

Last Tuesday, a contractor, known as Paul Chukwuma, was arrested by the and as at the time of filling this report, he was yet to regain his freedom on account of not been able to perfect his bail condition.

We gathered that Paul Chukwuma, who is the founder and promoter of Fides Et Ratio Academy, an educational service provider was detained by the ICPC over his alleged involvement in contract mess.

Recall that the media was agog with the report of how TETFund awarded a controversial N3.8 billion contract to Mr Chukwuma’s company and paid N2.9 billion to the company in four installments without following due process

Shortly after the publication by Premium Times in April, the anti-graft body detained TETFund’s Director of Finance and Accounts, Gloria Olotu, and grilled others including the Director of Human Resources and General Administration, Kolapo Okunola, and the Director of Information Communication Technology (ICT), Joseph Odo.

Mr Chukwuma’s detention is the latest major development in the ICPC investigation that dates back to April.

ICPC’s spokesperson, Ademola Bakare, on Wednesday, confirmed Mr Chukwuma was in the agency’s custody.

The suspect, a player in the education business in the country, was also on the list of members of governing councils of tertiary institutions recently released by the Nigerian government before President Bola Tinubu directed the review of the list.

Recall that TETFund– a tertiary institutions’ funding agency under the Federal Ministry of Education– awarded the contract which it tagged: “Capacity Building Certificate Course (Communication, Entrepreneurship, and Productive Skill Development) inclusive of the Train-the-Trainer Programme for 502 (five hundred and two) Participants”.

Findings by this newspaper indicated that the funding for the contract was sourced from the 2023 annual direct disbursement budget domiciled in the agency for the use of about 251 beneficiary institutions – public universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education across the country.

Multiple sources confirmed that the institutions’ 2023 direct disbursement budget which totalled N15.2 billion was for Information Communication and Technology intervention projects.

However, rather than releasing the funds to the institutions as mandated by its operational guidelines, TETFund deducted the funds upfront from each of the institutions, amounting to a total of N7.6 billion.

During an interview with our reporters, the Executive Secretary of TETFund, Sonny Echono, told PREMIUM TIMES that each beneficiary institution contributed 50 per cent of its ICT funds while each polytechnic and college of education contributed 25 per cent of theirs to the project.

The choice of the project, the sourcing of the contractor, and signing a memorandum of understanding with the vendor were undertaken by TETFund. This development angered the administrators of most of the institutions.

Also, while the project designs and modalities were yet to be finalised, sources confirmed that within a month of the award of the contract TETFund on 30 June 2023 credited the company’s bank account with over N550 million (N550,380,780.23).

The transfer is with mandate number CBN/PROJ/224/JUN2023.

Over N820 million (N820,223,850) was additionally paid into the account on 12 July 2023, while on 26 July 2023 and 17 November 2023, N1.5 billion (N1,503,743,850) and N62.68 million (N62,684,036.05), respectively, were credited to the account by the CBN on behalf of TETFund.

Meanwhile, despite the various supposed beneficiary institutions denying the execution of the project, Mr Chukwuma, during a meeting between PREMIUM TIMES’ reporters and the company’s management, said the project “has been done and dusted.”

PREMIUM TIMES is aware that the project was designed for training 12 ICT officials across the 251 beneficiary institutions, and to onboard more than 500,000 students for both physical and virtual sessions. However, only two ICT officials in each of the tertiary institutions have taken part in what some of these officials described as engagement sessions.

Mr Chukwuma promised to make documentary evidence to back his claim to PREMIUM TIMES in April but as of the time of filing this report he has yet to do so.

He said his company was only helping Nigeria to achieve the very best for the students and the schools, saying the courses being offered the students through the programme has been “ridiculously subsidised.”

Learnt that Mr Chukwuma was on Tuesday invited to give a statement concerning his involvement in the contract scandal being investigated by the agency.

However, sources confirmed that after going through his statement, the antigraft agency imposed strict bail conditions that require the suspect to produce highly placed persons as suretees, among other conditions.

The agency’s spokesperson, Mr Bakare, who confirmed that Mr Chukwuma was in ICPC custody, said the suspect remained in detention because he could not satisfy the bail conditions.

“Yes, Chukwuma is in ICPC’s custody, unable to fulfil bail conditions,” Mr Bakare wrote in a terse statement shared with our reporter on early Wednesday. As of 6.05 p.m. when contacted over the telephone again by our reporter, Mr Bakare said he could not immediately ascertain if the suspect met the bail conditions before the end of official work hours.

Meanwhile, ICPC said the Executive Secretary of TETFund was yet to be invited, and not in its custody as being allegedly circulated.

It, however, said the investigation into the scandal was still ongoing and that it could not rule out the possibility of arresting anyone who played roles in the matter.

“Echono wasn’t invited but investigations are still ongoing,” Mr Bakare said.

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