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Group Urges Aiyedatiwa To Seek For Experience Hand As Deputy,  Suggests Ex-Speaker, Olabimtan

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As the search for a new Deputy Governor for Ondo State is ongoing,  a group, Ondo State Positive Thinkers on Friday urged Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa to seek an experienced hand that would help him stabilise the state.

Aiyedatiwa was sworn in as the governor of the state following the demise of Governor Olurotimi Akeredolu who lost the battle against prostate cancer on Wednesday morning.

The governor had been reported to have started consultations across the state and outside the state.

He was in Lagos on Thursday where he had a closed-door meeting with President Bola Tinubu.

Though he has promised the president to mobilise all stakeholders in his domain to move the state forward, the group said the governor would, however, need to achieve this by the calibre of choices he made first hid Deputy Governor and also members of his Executive Cabinet.

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The group in a statement signed by its President, Balogun Bodeola,and made available to journalists in Abuja stressed, that “the challenge before Aiyedatiwa right now is how to reconcile the already fractured state following the political crisis that engulfed the state in the last three months or also.

“We therefore call on Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa to avoid picking a deputy that would not add value to governance in the state.

“Mr. Governor needs a deputy that understands the political dynamics in the state and also a political stabilizer, a bridge builder that would help rebuild the already broken bridges in the state.

“Though some names have been thrown up and also behind the scene lobbying has been ongoing, we feel that the governor needs a grassroots politician who would help him settle down to work and also humble enough to help Mr. Governor galvanize the people of the state behind him.

“In this wise, we want to suggest Hon. Victor Olabimtan who is not new to the Akeredolu-Aiyedatiwa camp.

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“The 66-year-old graduate of History, University of Lagos, is currently the Executive Chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board since 2022, hails from Supare-Akoko in Akoko South West Local Government Area of Ondo State.

“Olabimtan was the Director General for Akete in 2016 and he also played the same role during re-election in 2020.

“A former Speaker of the State House of Assembly and one-time governorship aspirant, Olabimtan has political contact across the state, which puts him in a better position to help the governor reconcile the already divided state.

“Olabitan, an astute politician and a grassroots mobiliser is the kind of person that the governor needs right now to help stabilise the state because of his reach and contacts.

“As a group seeking the best for Mr. Governor and the state,  we believe that Olabimtan would be a political asset.

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“With his experience and contact, we are rest assured that he would help the governor to quickly settle down in office. “

POLITICS

At Cambridge University, Gov. Otti Says Africa Has Not Done Enough For Youth Participation In Politics

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Dr. Alex Otti, Governor of Abia State, has stated that African leaders have not done enough to give youths the voice they need to play significant roles in continental politics, despite the fact that they account for roughly 75% of the continent’s population.

Governor Otti made this statement at the Cambridge Africa Business Conference, hosted by the University of Cambridge Judge Business School, where he participated in a fireside chat on the topic of ‘Africa Together – Public/Private Partnerships’.

In response to a question about the role he would like African youths to play in politics and the steps that should be taken to encourage them, According to Kazie Uko, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Otti stated that the youths have been largely excluded because politics in Africa focuses on the wrong narratives of where one comes from, the faith they profess, and the language they speak, rather than what they can contribute.

Unfortunately, the Governor stated, the youths have helped the conspiracy to undermine their political importance by succumbing to the inanities.

According to him, “Seventy percent of our population (0-35 years) is youth; if you add 40 (year olds), you are looking at 75 to 80%.”

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“When we talk about politics, we exclude young people. Our politics focuses on the wrong narratives of tribe, religion, and language, rather than demographics and what a person has to offer.

“We have not done enough to give young people the voice they require, and they have bought the lie that what is important is religion, tribe, and language, rather than demographics and what a person can offer,” Governor Otti stated.

The Governor went on to say that only three African countries, Senegal, Ethiopia, and Malawi, have presidents under the age of 49, emphasising the importance of political education in changing narratives.

He told his audience that because he values education, his administration has allocated 20% of the State’s 2024 Budget to education and has begun the remodelling and retrofitting of 173 primary schools and 54 secondary schools across the State in order to provide functional and quality education to students.

When asked how the Central Bank of Nigeria’s digital currency product would create an enabling environment for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) to thrive, Governor Otti stated that his administration would embrace it once implemented. Meanwhile, he revealed that his government was working to provide N10 billion in funding at a very low interest rate for SME loans.

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Already, he said, N1 billion is being disbursed at zero interest to small businesses in the grassroots through the cooperatives programme, which he started while running for governor of Abia.

The Governor announced that he had received requests from some companies that had left Aba, Abia’s commercial capital, due to the city’s poor infrastructure, particularly its roads, and now want to return.

According to him, this renewed interest stems from the recent award and launch of the reconstruction of the Osisioma-Ekeakpara industrial road, a critical corridor in Aba’s manufacturing layout.

He also stated that his administration is working to establish a new industrial layout around the Umuikaa axis in the State’s Isiala Ngwa South Local Government Area.

Governor Otti refused to be drawn into self-adulation or comparisons with other Nigerian states, citing the fact that each state faces unique challenges and priorities.

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He did, however, explain that his administration’s modest visible achievements in the last 11 months were the result of his government focusing on what is important to the people and doing simple things in different ways.

In response to questions about the sectors that are most likely to attract investment in Africa, Governor Otti stated that objective conditions must be established.

He stated that “Capital will go to a place where it will make returns. Capital is so sensitive that it knows more about you than you do. Do your homework, create an enabling environment for capital to find you, and secure and make your environment appealing to capital.

He cited Information Communication Technology (ICT) through the establishment of innovation hubs and industrial parks for software engineers, robotics and 3D printing, mechanised agriculture with a value chain where our people will sell processed foods, and manufacturing as sectors to which his administration is already paying close attention and working hard to make viable in the state.

He also stressed the importance of encouraging the workforce by paying them on a regular and timely basis so that they have money to participate in the economy.

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“People who do not have money cannot participate in the economy. It makes more sense to put money in the hands of those who will use it locally rather than those who will send it abroad,” Governor Otti explained.

He also explained that in order for production to occur, someone must be willing to buy, and people can only buy when they have money in their hands.

 

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POLITICS

APC Chieftain Describes Gale Of Resignation In Fubara’s Cabinet As Necessary Purgation, Counsels Abe To Leave Amaechi Alone

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Former National Publicity Secretary of the defunct New People’s Democratic Party (nPDP) and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, says former Rivers South-East Senator, Magnus Abe, offered a grossly distorted asseveration to the very plain and unequivocal letters of the Constitution on the status of the 27 pro-Wike former Lawmakers whose defection sealed their voluntary exit from the Rivers State House of Assembly to which they were elected.

According to a recent publication credited to Vanguard, Sen. Abe was quoted as saying that while serving as Senator, he and eleven others defected from the political platform on whose sponsorship they were elected to the Red Chambers to another political organisation with no repercussions.

In a statement made available to the media, Chief Eze said Abe sounded illiterate and untrained about how little the circumstances that led to the defection of the former state legislators bore to the heavy political crisis that necessitated their exit from the PDP in 2014, which he cited as an example.

The APC Chief stated that before the 2015 elections, there was a multi-layered crisis within the ranks of the PDP, which was central to public discourse on a global scale, resulting in the formation of the New People’s Democratic Party (nPDP), where he served as Spokesman, and which later merged with the All Progressives Congress to seize power from the PDP.

“During the time Abe and others defected, the PDP was in crisis, and as a result, during the party’s National Congress at Eagle Square, six governors, including former Vice President and critical stakeholders of the PDP, Senator Saraki and others, left the Congress to form a parallel Congress, giving birth to the New Peoples Democratic Party, in which some of us were elected national officers. That parallel convention elected Abubakar Baraje as National Chairman, His Excellency Olagunsoye Oyinlola as National Secretary, and Chief Sam Sam Jaja as National Vice Chairman of the party. The split in the PDP was so severe that the then-National Chairman, Bamanga Turkur, gasped for air.”

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Eze said it smacks of deliberate absurdity for Sen. Abe, a beneficiary of the 2014 political masterstroke that forced the PDP out of office, to stoop so low to the point of trading his sense of judgment for a federal appointment he has yet to see by attempting to repair a situation that is beyond repair.

He stated that the situation of the former Rivers lawmakers is distinct from the instance cited by Abe in an attempt to earn a place in the good books of the FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, emphasising that the former SDP gubernatorial candidate, as always, is merely feigning ignorance, and his dishonest pitching has only succeeded in casting doubt on his status as a lawyer, especially in light of the plain wordings of Section 109(1)g of the Nigerian Constitution.

Eze maintained that, according to the letters of the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s constitution, former Speaker Amaewhule and his misguided former lawmakers have lost their seats, and no amount of propaganda by Abe or his group will revalidate their invalid status.

On the wave of resignations that rocked Gov. Siminialayi Fubara’s cabinet a few days ago, Eze said the moles’ departure was long overdue and it was better for them that they left voluntarily rather than being forced to. He went on to say that their departure was a necessary purging to expedite the injection of new blood into the system and prepare the government for the serious task ahead.

While warning Sen. Abe to exclude Amaechi from his renewed contract due to a smear campaign, Eze again urged Chief Nyesom Wike to consider recommending the former Rivers Southeast Senator to President Tinubu for an appointment to redeem him from political relegation, which he has endured for years.

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POLITICS

Rivers Governor Fubara Commends Otti, Saying He’s Integrity Action Man

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Fubarra and his guest, Gov Otti

Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara has applauded Abia State Governor, Dr Alex Otti, describing him as an “action integrity man.”

In a statement issued by Kazie Uko, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Fubara stated that his Abia counterpart, Governor Otti, has action-driven integrity rather than artificial integrity. He stated that despite facing challenges as Governor of Abia, Governor Otti remained calm as he carried out his duties, making life easier for the people of Abia.

The Rivers Governor, who is well-liked by his constituents, spoke on Tuesday during the commissioning of the Aleto-Ebubu-Eteo (Old Bori) Road in Rivers State’s Eleme Local Government Area, a project to which he had invited Governor Otti.

“You are wondering why I invited the Governor of Abia State. I invited him because he embodies action integrity rather than artificial integrity. He is not the type of man who will gather to talk simply because he wants to. He is a man who came in, faced with difficulties and challenges, just like us, and is making a difference in the lives of Abia people.

“I will continue to identify with good governance; I will continue to identify with people who want to make a difference in the lives of others,” Governor Fubara told Eleme’s residents.

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The PDP governor explained that his administration’s mantra is “people first,” and that the goal of building the Aleto-Ebubu-Eteo Road is to improve people’s lives, to show them that their problems are the government’s problems, and to give them hope.

He revealed that the road is a by-pass for the deplorable East-West Road, taking commuters away from the bad parts and rejoining them on the good sections.

Governor Otti spoke briefly before commissioning the road, thanking the Rivers State Governor for inviting him to kick off the road commissioning to commemorate his first anniversary in office.

Governor Otti explained that despite his hectic schedule, he had no problem coming when Governor Fubara, whom he referred to as a brother, summoned him for the commissioning.

He congratulated Governor Fubara on completing the road project and remembering the Eleme people, whom he began his career as a civil servant many years before. He also commended and congratulated him on his excellent performance in Rivers State.

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“I would also like to congratulate him on his excellent performance in Rivers State. I have always stated that leadership is service. When leadership departs from service, you are doing it wrong. And service should be provided to the people rather than to a small group of interests. When you serve a small number of people rather than the majority, you should reflect on yourself.

“So, for me, it is all about good governance, and we have worked together before, not today, not yesterday. But, for a long time, we have come a long way. He has been very grounded since he served under my friend and brother Rotimi Amaechi, and before that, he served under Dr. Peter Odili. He came prepared, and I do not believe that any distraction will divert his attention away from the welfare and interests of the people,” Governor Otti told the Eleme community.

Governor Otti urged the people of Rivers State to continue supporting Governor Fubara in his service to the state, stating that power belongs to God.

“Power belongs to God no matter how you slice and dice it. No human being can claim the ability to give power unless they possess the ability to give life. “Of course, you can take life but not give it,” Governor Otti stated.

Governor Otti was accompanied by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Kenneth Kalu; Chief of Staff, Dr. Caleb Ajagba; Commissioner for Power and Public Utilities, Engr. Ikechukwu Monday; Special Adviser on Political Affairs, Hon. Iheanacho Obioma; Special Adviser on Monitoring and Evaluation, Mazi Ugochukwu Okoroafor; and some other senior State Government appointees and aides.

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