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HOW NDIGBO CAN REGAIN RESPECT IN NIGERIA’S POLITICAL AFFAIRS

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By: Egbuna Amuta

It is an open secret in Nigeria today that the Igbo race which contributed most vigorously to the country’s liberation from colonial rule is presently forced by circumstances to occupy the back seat of the nation’s political affairs. It is equally a truism that Ndigbo who are evidently one of the three most populous ethnic nationalities in the country are being compelled to accept the status of a minority ethnic group in Nigeria.
This explains why their geopolitical zone, the Southeast, has-been programmed by past military regimes in the country to have the least numbers of states and local governments among the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria. While the Northwest has seven states, the Northeast, North Central, Southwest and South South are alloted six states. The Southeast which is predominantly Igbo has only five states.
For this reason, the Southeast gets the least revenues and representations in the executive, legislative and judiciary arms at the federal level of government in the country. It must be emphasised that the military regimes which deliberately reduced Ndigbo to minority status were dominated and influenced by men from Northern and Western Nigeria. They consummated this diabolic plot against the Igbo race in conspiracy with members of their political class.
As Nigeria prepares for the 2019 general elections, the plot against the people of the Southeast is still very much alive. This explains why all major political parties except the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, are already poised to pick their presidential candidates and running mates from the far North and Southwest respectively. It is equally a glaring truth that the national hierarchy of the All Progressives Congress, APC and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP as presently constituted do not have Igbo politicians in any meaningful position of influence.
It would be recalled that despite the premier role played by a former Vice President of Nigeria, late Dr. Alex Ekwueme, who was an Igbo man, in the formation of the PDP, the ruling cabal in the country denied him the Presidential ticket of the party during the 1999, Jos Convention of the PDP. The cabal, in Ekwueme’s stead manipulated the convention to ensure that the then insolvent retired General Obasanjo, who came out of jail a few weeks earlier was made the party’s flag bearer in that year’s presidential poll.
The obvious marginalisation of Ndigbo in the country has been attributed to the fact that they were the arrowheads of the defunct Republic of Biafra which lost out in the Nigerian Civil War, fought between 1967 and1970. However, it is unfortunate that forty seven years after the civil war, the gang up against the Igbo race by other ethnic nationalities has persisted in the political permutations of the country. Perhaps, this explains why in spite of the extraordinary contributions of the people of the Southeast to the socioeconomic well being of the country before and after the imbroglio, deliberate and conscious efforts are still being made by their traducers to ensure that a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction would not emerge in the near future. In fact, they are being taunted with the exalted office by other Nigerian politicians as demonstrated in a recent political rally organized in Owerri, Imo state by Governor Rochas Okorocha, for the present ruling party in the country. During the rally, a very top official of the federal government arrogantly told Ndigbo that their political future depends solely on a particular Dramatis Personae in the nation’s power game.
That apparent disrespectful statement has elicited the tongue lashing of the Oheneze Ndigbo and one of the surviving foremost nationalist in Nigeria, Chief Mbazulike Amechi as well as many other perceptive Igbo persons. That notwithstanding, continued lamentation over the marginalisation of Igbo speaking people of Nigeria would not make their suppression to easily go away. Igbos take the bull by its horns and make conscious and deliberate efforts devoid of irascibility to salvage themselves from political bondage and slavery. Secession should be completely out of the question. This is because Ndigbo have invested tremendously in the socioeconomic well being of Nigeria than their rivals. More importantly, the international community is more often than not averse to secession. Let us therefore not walk the same path and the ugly experience we suffered in the hands of virtually all the Super Powers during the Biafran War.
Indeed, the time has come for the Igbo political class to re-embrace the political philosophy of the greatest politician ever produced by Nigeria. In his heydays, late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, who was the first President (although ceremonial) of Nigeria, popularly known as Zik of Africa, made sure that Ndigbo (his kith and kins) were not completely schemed out of the country’s power game. He did it with the defunct National Council of Nigerian Citizens, NCNC and Nigerian Peoples Party, NPP in country’s First and Second Republics. During the Civil War, when Dr. Azikiwe realized that the odds were heavily stacked against the defunct Republic of Biafra, he quickly negotiated with the military government of retired General Yakubu Gowon to give soft landing to the Igbo race when it was being rumoured that they would be further massacred after the Civil War in 1970. Again, in 1979, Azikiwe joined the NPP, in order to once again make Ndigbo relevant in Nigeria’s politics, given the fact that the then National Party of Nigeria, NPN and Unity Party of Nigeria, UPN were re-enactments of the former Northern Peoples Congress, NPC and Action Group which held sway in the then Northern and Western regions of Nigeria. Zik’s political manoeuvre and savvy ensured that Ndigbo were not overwhelmed or submerged by their rival ethnic groups in the country’s Second Republic.
The former Biafran leader, late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu took similar commendable step in 2003, when he joined the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA and became its Presidential candidate in the 2003 general elections in Nigeria. Save for the unconscionable rigging of that general polls by the federal government led by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, a retired army general, APGA, actually swept that polls in virtually all the five Southeast states of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo.
The then ruling political party in the country effectively exploited its power of incumbency and coercion to foist itself on Ndigbo and many other states in Nigeria for a very long period. It is necessary to observe that neither Zik nor Ojukwu actually went into the presidential contests in the Second and Fourth Republics respectively with the intention of winning the polls. Rather, they contested in order to sustain the relevance of the Igbo race in the politics of this country.
Be that as it may, the time is nigh for the Igbo political elite to once again generally band together in one political party as was the case in the First and Second Republics. Even though they might not be able to win the 2019 presidential election, their party is capable of sweeping all elective offices in the five Southeast states and beyond. The Igbo political class should in the name of honour and integrity say no to political servitude or slavery in Nigeria. Given their natural endowment for hard work and enterprise, Igbo people can survive socioeconomically more than their contemporaries in Nigeria. Even under the prevailing inequitable political system of the country, good leadership in the Southeast can effectively utilize their meagre allocations from the federation accounts and Internally Generated Revenues, IGR, to build very strong economy as was the case under the Premier of defunct Eastern region, late Dr. Michael Okpara. This is being replicated today in Anambra state by Governor Willie Obiano.
When this happens, the other ethnic nationalities in Nigeria would once again begin to respect Ndigbo for their unity of purpose. The Southeast would then speak with one voice and also be in vantage position to negotiate the interests of their race in the Federal Republic of Nigeria in which they have so much stakes. The All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA is a ready-made political platform for Ndigbo to accomplish this noble objective. Luckily, the party is presently being led by the pragmatic, organized and very courageous Governor Obiano of Anambra state. If Igbo intelligentsia shun petty jealousy, most of them could join APGA to collectively liberate their race from obvious marginalisation in the Nigerian polity.
At this juncture it is pertinent to note that the so-called quest for a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction is by far less important than the urgent need for the anachronistic Nigerian political system to be Restructured or for the country to return to the practice of true federalism as was the case before the rude interference of the military in the nation’s political affairs since 1966. Even though Nigeria seems to be practicing democratic federalism today, the reality is that the country is, in essence actually practicing the system in its breach. If the truth must be told, Nigeria is presently more of a unitary state than federal. This is because persons with military background and orientation are still very much in charge of the country’s political life. A Nigerian president of Igbo extraction without the Restructuring of the Nigerian Federation would definitely not perform creditably.

EGBUNA AMUTA is the Senior Special Assistant on Grassroots Media Mobilisation to Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State.

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer contract clause triggered as Man Utd close in on interim boss

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is the man Manchester United have turned to in a bid to save their season after the sacking of Jose Mourinho.
Former Old Trafford striker Solskjaer will keep the seat warm until the end of the season when United will try to prise Mauricio Pochettino away from Tottenham.
Mourinho was summoned to United’s training ground by United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward at 9am today and told of his dismissal after two-and-a-half years in charge.

Woodward and Joel Glazer of the club’s owners spoke on Monday night and decided to act with United 19 points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool, 11 points adrift of fourth spot and players disillusioned with Mourinho, who is set for a £22million pay-off.
Solskjaer, a club legend whose dramatic goal in added time clinched the Champions League and the Treble in 1999, is currently in charge of FC Molde in his native Norway, but is understood to have a clause in his newly-signed contract that allows him to leave for United.
He is set to return to Molde at the end of the Premier League season, but his first game in the United dugout will be on Saturday at Cardiff, the club he left after an ill-fated nine-month spell in charge in 2014, after they were relegated from the Premier League under him.

United have held talks with Solskjaer and his representatives and are confident of announcing him as their caretaker boss until the end of the season – assisted by former No 2 Mike Phelan – with Pochettino the man they want to appoint next summer as their permanent manager.
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy will fight any approach from United, but Woodward and the United hierarchy – now looking for their fourth boss since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013 – are ready to pay what it takes to lure Pochettino to Old Trafford.
Mourinho was doomed following Sunday’s abject 3-1 defeat at arch rivals Liverpool, which persuaded Woodward he had to act decisively and bring an end to Mourinho’s turbulent tenure in charge.

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Fiscal Discipline Has Accelerated Development In Anambra – Adinuba

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The state government says despite its limited financial resources, Anambra has become exemplary in rapid development.
The Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr. C-Don Adinuba, stated this in a press release while countering allegations of financial recklessness leveled against the State government by those he described as unscrupulous politicians.

He said that Governor Willie Obiano has provided inspiring leadership, demonstrating at every point that he truly earned his qualifications as a professional auditor, a professional banker and a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN), to say nothing about his university training in accounting and management.

Mr. Adinuba revealed that Anambra has never gone to the Federal Government for a bailout even when leading oil-producing states went twice and it did not receive because it had no need to do so.

He noted that according to Debt Management Office of the federal government, Anambra is the least indebted state in Nigeria, and has the lowest poverty index of all states in Nigeria.

The Information Commissioner explained that at a time when a number of state governments are owing their workers for almost one year, neither workers nor pensioners are owed in Anambra State even for a day and as well have since received a bag of the famous Anambra Rice free of charge as a Christmas gift saying that all these have been possible because the state’s resources are managed most prudently.

He went further to say States like Kogi could not have been sending its delegations to Anambra to understudy its financial management nor could states like Ebonyi and Enugu have borrowed from it the highly innovative community development strategy of providing twenty million naira infrastructure to each of the one hundred and seventy-nine communities in the state, though Ebonyi and Enugu are giving their communities only ten million naira each.

The Commissioner also said that the state has the best network of roads in Nigeria and remains the safest state in Nigeria with its education system adjudged the best in the nation, as testified by its performance in each of the examinations conducted by the West African Examinations Council, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board as well as the National Examinations Council among other excellent performances at the national and international level.

He added that Anambra State has a well established reputation as the most peaceful and most cohesive state in the federation and this reputation has engendered massive investments in its economy adding that Ndi Anambra will no longer tolerate elements without character who want to wreck the state for a mere mess of porridge from their paymasters.

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Ex-Chief of Defence staff Air Marshal Badeh killed by gunmen

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The Nigerian Air Force has announced the death of the former chief of defence staff, Air Chief Marshal, Alex Badeh (retd.).
According to the Air Force Spokesman, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, Adamawa-born Badeh died today from gun wounds sustained when his vehicle was attacked by gunmen on Abuja-Lafia Road. He was said to be returning from his farm.
Daramola broke the news on Twitter:

 

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Breaking: Court sacks Kashamu as PDP candidate

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The Court of Appeal in Ibadan on Tuesday set aside a court order which directed Independent National Electoral Commission to recognise the list of candidates submitted for the 2019 general elections by a faction of Ogun PDP loyal to Sen. Buruji Kashamu.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Justice Shittu Abubakar of the Federal High Court Abeokuta had on Oct. 2 ordered INEC to recognise the list of candidates submitted by the Chief Bayo Dayo executives loyal to Kashamu.
The applicants in the appeal are the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), its National Chairman, Uche Secondus and Secretary, Ibrahim Tsauri.
The respondents are Dayo-led Ogun PDP executives loyal to Kashamu and INEC.
The three-man appeal panel led by Justice Haruna Tsammani unanimously agreed that the lower court was wrong in its decision and consequently set aside the order, saying it was null and void.
Tsammani, however, said the applicants were not properly served the originating summons at the lower court which would notify them that there existed a case before the judge assumed jurisdiction.
The judge said service of the originating summons was fundamental and a precondition which would affect and determine the validity of the court ’s proceedings.
“ Non-service of the originating summons on the applicants at the lower court rendered all the order given at the lower court against the applicants a nullity and this is an indication that the applicants were not given a fair hearing.
“In the interest of justice, the order of the lower court is set aside, null and void and an academic exercise,’’ the judge said.
Tsammani ordered that the case be returned to the Chief Judge for reassignment to another judge other than Justice Abubakar.
Speaking to newsmen after the judgment, the counsel to the Dayo-led executive, Ifeoma Esom, expressed dissatisfaction with the judgment of the court.
She said her client had directed her to proceed to the Supreme Court.
But counsel to the PDP, Emeka Etioba (SAN), said he was satisfied with the judgment and commended the judges.
NAN reports that the PDP had earlier submitted the list of candidates which had Oladipupo Adebutu as the governorship candidate of the party in Ogun to INEC before the Oct. 2 order of the lower court recognising Kahamu’s list. (NAN)

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Osinbajo urges Africa, Europe embrace digital economy

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has called Africa and Europe to work together to advance and harvest the economic benefits of digital economy.
Such collaboration, he said, would at the same time prevent a counter-productive widening of the digital gap.
Osinbajo stated today on Tuesday at the Africa-Europe High-Level Forum in Vienna, Austria, which had in attendance other African and European Heads of States.
The meeting, which was organized by the European Union (EU) and African Union (AU) held in Vienna, Austria.
Osinbajo who spoke on ‘Taking cooperation to the digital age’, noted that investments in digital technology could make important contribution to growth and development by fostering productivity gains from continuous innovation.

“Given our fast-growing population in Africa, we are, of course, keen to work together to boost the job creation potential of new technologies rather than concentrating on jobs destined to disappear in the digital age.
“Faster growth, sustainable development and job creation are also vital for reducing irregular migration from Africa to Europe. In our globalized world, people can see disparities in standards of living across regions quite easily.
“This means there must be increasing openings for entrepreneurship and jobs in home countries for those who would otherwise embark on risk journeys in search of opportunities. In Nigeria we are taking urgent and practical steps to provide such opportunities for our rapidly increasing youth population.”
Prof. Osinbajo also highlighted the strides made by the Buhari’s administration in developing Nigeria’s technology sector through supporting public-private sector initiatives and the advisory group on technology and creativity.
He noted that the advisory group had been working to build an ecosystem for funding, training, infrastructure and intellectual property protection.
The Vice President added that the country’s Social Investment Programme has been leveraging on technology tools to drive it in its bid to improve the economy and lives of Nigerians.
“Under our social investment programme, 75,000 young people are being trained in coding, software development, hardware maintenance, animation and data management, and we’re set to train another 200,000 young men and women.
“Similarly, we have established 8 technology hubs to support tech startups across our six geopolitical zones and two major cities of Abuja and Lagos.
“We’ve encouraged partnership to establish venture funds to support innovation and are now engaged in talks to establish a $500 million innovation funds with bilateral and multilateral partners.
“We’ll be deploying digital methods and tools on a larger scale to expand learning opportunities for younger Nigerians, as conventional education through brick and mortar institution can no longer be viable given the huge numbers and limited resources.
“Already, 200,000 out of our 500,000 young graduates in our N-Power scheme have tablet devices, which we use for on-the-job training and further skills acquisition. This experience will guide our efforts as we seek to expand digital literacy at earlier stages of education.
“Similarly, our education curriculum is being reworked to emphasize Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics. The Arts have been included because of the growing recognition of the strengths of our country, especially in the arts, music, film and literature.”
Osinbajo also highlighted the growth in e-commerce in Nigeria, with references to leading e-commerce platforms that have leveraged on technology to grow their businesses.
He said, “Financial technology is being used in our efforts to rapidly scale up financial inclusion.
“Working with our banks, TELCOs and FinTech companies, we’ve used digital tools and platforms to provide interest-free micro loans to up to 1.3 million Nigerians and about 300,000 received Conditional Cash Transfers by the same means.
“We hire, pay and train online 500,000 young men and women in the largest post-tertiary direct jobs programme in Africa. Through participation in this scheme, present and future beneficiaries would be brought into databases for unique biometric identification.’’
The Vice president also thanked European countries for their support, while calling on other EU member states to partner with Nigeria and Africa to impart skills, raise resources, promote investment and provide infrastructure to build a digital economy.


“I’m optimistic that our efforts would attract strong support and active engagement of our partners in the European Union.
“Indeed, already, we have some good examples of that in the African Digital leaders Training programme, which is a partnership between Ventures Platform of Nigeria and Enterprise Lithuania with funding from the European Union.
“This innovative programme would provide digital skills training for 50 young Nigerians in Lithuania, while at the same time, relieving temporary labour shortage in that country. A reintegration component is also built into the package.
“We have a moment in the history of Europe-Africa relations that can yield tremendous mutual benefits. Let us seize this moment,” he said.
Earlier on Monday night, Osinbajo had an interactive session with the Nigerian community in Austria during a town hall meeting.
At the meeting attended by leading members of the Nigerian community in Vienna, the Vice President commended the work of Nigerians in Diaspora, noting that that the Nigerian community was adding value to the country.
“We very strongly believe that our country can do much better than where we are, we have practically everything that it takes to make the country work.

 

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President Buhari congratulates oil magnet, Ikpea at 62

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President Muhammadu Buhari has felicitated with a major investor in the oil and gas industry, Dr Leemon Ikpea, as he turns 62 on December 19, 2018.
The President appreciates the grace of God, which brought Chief Ikpea from humble beginnings to the topmost rungs of the business ladder and describes him as classic example of what God can do in shaping the fortunes of human beings who trust in Him.
President Buhari rejoices with family, friends and business associates of the celebrant, noting that Lee Engineering and Construction Company, of which Chief Ikpea is Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, is one of the home-grown investors in the oil and gas industry, through dint of hard work.
The President salutes the philanthropy of Chief Ikpea, which has seen him awarding numerous scholarships and bequests, to uplift the weak and downtrodden.
The Itsekiri, Delta State born chief, President Buhari prays, will continue to serve God and humanity, in good health and be endued with long life and prosperity.

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José Mourinho sacked by Manchester United after Liverpool defeat

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Manchester United have sacked José Mourinho following Sunday’s defeat at Liverpool, ending a tenure that began in May 2016.
A poor start to the Premier League season has seen United slip 19 points behind the leaders, Liverpool, and fall off the pace in the hunt for a top-four place. They have won only once in six league matches, drawing during that sequence with struggling Southampton and Crystal Palace.

The club issued a statement on Tuesday morning which read: “Manchester United announces that manager Jose Mourinho has left the club with immediate effect.
“The club would like to thank Jose for his work during his time at Manchester United and to wish him success in the future. A new caretaker manager will be appointed until the end of the current season, while the club conducts a thorough recruitment process for a new, full-time manager.”

Relations between the manager and the executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, also seemed strained after the club did not sign a central defender this summer. The club concluded that of the players in that position targeted by Mourinho whom they could potentially land, none was an upgrade on the existing squad.
A sense of disunity at United was encapsulated when Mourinho stripped Pogba of the vice-captaincy before a Carabao Cup defeat by Derby County and confronted him at training the following morning. The manager has criticised his players’ “mental approach”, attitude and quality.

Mourinho has seemed less than happy since the buildup to the season, when he described preparations as “very bad” because many of his senior players were resting after the World Cup.
The manager demanded “respect, respect, respect” for his three Premier League titles following United’s 3-0 home defeat by Tottenham in late August but will not get a chance to add a fourth at Old Trafford.

In two full seasons at Old Trafford, Mourinho won the Europa League and League Cup (2016-17) before finishing second in the Premier League last season and reaching the FA Cup final. In that period since replacing Louis van Gaal, United’s spending stands at £364.3m on eight buys.
Zinedine Zidane, available following his surprise decision to resign his position at Real Madrid following their Champions League success over Liverpool in May, has been linked with the United job.

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Atiku Asks Buhari to Resign over State of Economy

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The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, yesterday called on President Muhammadu Buhari to resign from office, saying the president’s recent assessment of the nation’s economy, in which he stated that it had gone out of control, was enough evidence that he had failed.
The president had told state governors last Friday in Abuja that the economy had become so bad that new strategies had to be found to revamp it, admonishing Nigerians to brace up for rough times ahead.

Atiku in a statement in Abuja yesterday by his Special Assistant on Public Communication, Mr. Phrank Shaibu, described the president’s assessment indicating Nigeria’s economy had collapsed under his watch as not only a self-indicting ploy to attract the sympathy of Nigerians, but also a disguise to get a soft landing from the people, who the main opposition flag bearer said he had put under terrible suffering and hardship in the last three and half years.
“The result of course is this late hour confession of failure on the eve of our general elections, in the hope that millions of Nigerians, whom he has condemned to poverty and hardship will give him a clap for failing abysmally. I dare say that President Buhari has miscalculated badly on this matter because Nigerians are simply fed up with him,” he said.
Atiku added, “The economy has collapsed under his watch and he has by this frank remarks admitted that he has no idea on how to fix it; and that is why he summoned the governors to help him. This is really very sad because President Buhari has run out of time and what Nigerians need now is a leadership, which has the political will, administrative experience and sound economic acumen to get Nigeria working again.”
He said the most nauseating aspect of the president ‘s negative assessment of the economy was that he had continued “to exhibit his cluelessness, incapacity and ineptitude in handling the economy by once again invoking the tired mantra of blaming the past administration and 16 years of PDP rule for his own failure.”
Atiku said Buhari’s comment was a confirmation of the forecast by the British multinational bank, HSBC, which predicted that re-electing the president in 2019 could plunge Nigeria into deeper economic hardship.
“Unless those in charge of the APC and the party’s supporters are, as usual, suffering from some form of self-delusion, it just does not make any sense for them to say that the APC-led federal government had brought succour to the ordinary Nigerian when President Buhari himself has admitted to governors of the 36 States of the federation that the economy has gone beyond his control,” he said, adding, “Or do we need a prophet to tell us that the president’s admission of the state of the nation’s economy is a vindication of our long held position and indeed the forecast by HSBC recently cited by the Nigerian media, where the bank had said a second term for Buhari would greatly stunt the economy of the country?”
He called on the APC to apologise to all Nigerians for bringing them nothing but suffering of unquantifiable proportion since 2015, and to make a solemn pledge not to have anything to do with governance again, especially with the 2019 elections fast approaching.
According to him, the hopes for better governance and improved standard of living that many had nursed with the assumption of office by the president in May 2015 has since given way to despair and hopelessness.
He stated, “The exchange rate of the Naira to the US dollar when the APC assumed office in 2015 was about 170 (official rate) to the dollar. Today it is 360 to the dollar. Today, millions of Nigerians, most of them youths, are unemployed, forcing them to become professional beggars, who wait with bated breath for the federal government’s monthly N5,000 handout and N10,000 Tradermoni aimed at bribing them to re-elect the party in the forthcoming elections.”
He continued, “Power generation has actually dipped from 4,949 megawatts PDP left it in 2015 to less than 3,500 megawatts even though Buhari’s handlers consistently claim that 7,000 megawatts is what is currently being generated. What more evidence do we need to know that the APC has been a curse rather than a blessing to our country?”

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ANAMBRA WALK FOR LIFE CAMPAIGN : 5 DAYS TO GO.

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THE SPECIAL EDITION OF ANAMBRA WALK FOR LIFE CAMPAIGN TAKES PLACE ON DECEMBER 22, 2018.
TAKE OFF POINT: DO’S OFFICE OPP GOVERNOR’S LODGE, AMAWBIA.
TIME: 6:30AM PROMPT
ROUTES: FROM THE GOVERNOR’S LODGE THROUGH EKE AWKA, FINOTEL, AROMA AND TERMINTE AT EKWUEME SQUARE.
…powered by ANAMBRA STATE SPORTS DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION (ANSDC).

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Jurgen Klopp ‘Really Excited’ to Face ‘Difficult’ Bayern Munich in UCL Last 16

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Jurgen Klopp is eager for his Liverpool side to test themselves against Bayern Munich in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League.
The Reds will face the Bundesliga giants after Monday’s draw over two legs in February and March.
Klopp is used to facing Bayern from his time as Borussia Dortmund manager, including a meeting between the two sides in the 2013 Champions League final. Though he knows it won’t be easy, he’s keen to do so again.
Asked for his reaction to the draw, he told Liverpool’s official website:
“Difficult. Good draw. It was clear it would be difficult [and] they are obviously a top side. For me it’s nice, going to Germany. But it’s just the draw. So we have now time to prepare the game, a lot of time obviously, and hopefully we have all our players available then. It will be a tough one, an interesting one, and I am looking forward to it.”

Klopp managed Bayern stars Robert Lewandowski and Mats Hummels during his time with Dortmund, and the latter is relishing the prospect of facing his former mentor:

The match also bears significance for Reds midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri and two members of their backroom staff, head of nutrition Mona Nemmer and head of fitness and conditioning Andreas Kornmayer, who have all spent time with Bayern, as Klopp noted:
“It’s nice for Mona and Korny and Shaq. I will meet former players [too] and it’s good. But at the end it’s a football game on the highest level and we have to play it. We knew it before, it’s not that anybody thought ‘thank God it’s Liverpool,’ so we don’t think ‘thank God it’s Bayern.’ It’s a tough one, but that’s how it should be. It’s the last 16 of the Champions League so there are only tough teams in, and I’m really excited about it.”
Liverpool’s failure to win their difficult Champions League group all but assured them of a tie with one of Europe’s elite in the next round, but the Reds have also returned to that camp after reaching the final last year.
History is on their side in this fixture, too, per Goal’s Neil Jones:

What’s more, Bayern have not been their usual imperious selves this season. They’re nine points off the top in the Bundesliga having failed to win six of their 15 matches.
Football writer Andy Brassell believes the Reds have little to fear from their opponents:

Despite their struggles, Bayern remain a side packed with talent and Champions League experience.
Since winning the competition in 2013, they’ve reached the semi-finals in four out of five seasons.
Their meeting with Liverpool should make for an exciting tie, but they’ll need to improve significantly if they’re to get past the Reds and reach the business end of the competition once again.

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Nigeria’s army is accusing international bodies of working with Boko Haram and undermining soldiers

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Senate President reveals nominees for National Assembly Commission

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Buhari writes Nigerians: I’m deeply grateful

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Sports Festival: Okowa to reward victorious Team Delta with N229m

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Yultide: I-G Orders CPs, AIGs To Beef Up Security Nationwide

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Selling our crown jewels isn’t the solution – Yemi Osinbajo

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Press Statement: PDP Condemns Freezing of Peter Obi’s Accounts,Laments Harassment Of Family Members

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Exclussive shots : Obiano Takes Christmas to Upper Iweka

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News Pictures Of The Day : APGA Campaign Flag off & Mega Rally

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Arinze celebrates Mass to honour Governor Obiano, others

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William Onyeabor: Industrialist & Afro-psychedelia Pioneer

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Michelle Obama & Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie light up the Southbank stage

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Knocks for Peter Obi for quoting dubious statistics

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Southeast hits Buhari with shopping list

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FULL VIDEO: President Buhari unveils achievements, future plans for Nigeria

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PRESIDENT BUHARI CONGRATULATES GOV WILLIE OBIANO ON POPE FRANCIS’ HONOUR FOR SOCIAL HARMONY- FULL TEXT

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Atiku’s six-year policy plan worries South

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Atiku: Obasanjo shifts political gear to neutral

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AIR FORCE COUNCIL APPROVES PROMOTION OF 64 SENIOR OFFICERS, GRANTS CONCESSIONAL COMMISSION TO 4 SNCOS

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Presidential debate: Buhari, Atiku to clash on Jan.19

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Obiano leads Members of the National Defence College to Innoson.

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Hilary Ineomo-Marcus spared deportation on medical grounds moments before boarding plane

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Rose Orianran-Anthony INEC’s new secretary

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A SPEECH BY HIS EXCELLENCY, CHIEF WILLIE OBIANO AT THE PRESENTATION OF THE 2019 BUDGET ESTIMATE TO THE STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY

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