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Seccession not solution to Nigeria’s current challenges – Ganduje

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Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje
Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje
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Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State says secession is not the way out of the current challenges afflicting the country.

Ganduje said this at the 2nd quarterly public lecture series of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Press Corps on Thursday in Abuja.

He recommended dialogue as a panacea that should be embraced by secessionists to address perceived grievances.

The theme of the lecture, which was attended by APC chieftains, members of State Executive Councils and legislators, is: “Sustaining A United and Indivisible Nigeria: A Myth or Reality”.

“Let me repeat here that Nigeria is a united and indivisible country; our Constitution has taken care of that, I don’t see secession as the way out of the current challenges afflicting the nation.

“Instead, advocates of secession should have a change of heart and I recommend dialogue as a crucial option for addressing their problems.

“Besides, there is a National Assembly where some of the grievances can be addressed,” Ganduje said.

According to him, dialogue is a far better alternative that costs less than consequences of the wedge that had been erected to frustrate more flow of conversations between government and citizens to arrive at a national consensus.

He said that sooner we face issues such as the huge infrastructure deficit, our shrinking oil revenue and looming food insecurity as a consequence of insecurity in our agriculture zones, the better for us all.

He said that instead of applying energies on self-determination agitation that would only diminish us as a people, there was need  to focus on diversification of the economy and out of school children shame.

Ganduje said it was important at this time that the media was used for the promotion of peace and stability in the country.

He said this was critical to change the view points that could alter public views and sentiment toward a more peaceful resolution of our multi-faceted current crises.

He however noted that while democracy gave citizens the right to air their views, this should not be translated to grievances, violence or bloodshed.

“While the unity of Nigeria should be discussed, the agitators must be strongly cautioned to channel their grievances to the appropriate quarters.

“This should be done without perpetrating acts that could be interpreted as an attempt to enthrone instability and dismember the country,” he said.

He added that those on the streets of South West or South Eastern states, carrying dangerous weapons, attacking security personnel and formations as well as innocent citizens should be cautioned.

The governor stressed that such persons should be cautious not to become cannon fodders for mischief-making.

Ganduje said Nigeria was bigger than all of us and there was no challenge that was bigger than the political class to solve.

“We can make mistakes, but we are matured enough to correct such mistakes as part of our development processes,” he said.

He noted that the leadership of the groups in the two geo-political regions spear heading the bid for secession from Nigeria had gone too far.

This, he said, was especially so because they incite followers to acts of violence against Nigerian security forces and had established a paramilitary wing.

The governor maintained that no serious government would stand by and watch this scenario and go to bed.

He also advised the media not to be used to promote fake news and hate speeches, saying that in the course of its duty, the media should ensure strict observance of the ethics of the profession.

“Let’s not entertain any fear, we have become too fused to be divided.

“Sustaining this unity is possible and it is a reality; we may be historically different in our religion, beliefs and customs, our unity may have been a British invention.

“But if we are willing and ready to shun bitterness, hatred, suspicion and imbibe equity, fairness, brotherly love and tolerance, we will succeed.

“We are too fused, in fact too entropic together to be divided at this time. Let’s repair our broken walls instead and move on,” he said.

He, however, added that we could debate restructuring, not secession or self-determination.

Besides, Ganduje advised that as Nigerians, we should not let the labour of our heroes past to be in vain, adding that we should hail, not hate the country at this time.

Gov. Mai Mala Buni of Yobe and Chairman, APC Caretaker and Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), was represented by former Senate President, Ken Nnamani, at the event.

Buni said it was our responsibility as citizens to make the country more efficient and attractive, adding that “the more united we are, the better we are”.

He noted that when a level playing field is provided for all citizens, issues of agitations would be addressed. (NAN)

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I made mistake in picking Atiku as my Running Mate in 1999 – Obasanjo laments

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo
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Ex-President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has disclosed that when he served as a head of state in 1999 as a civilian, he had made a mistake picking his vice.

Obasanjo made this statement while fielding questions from secondary school students at a program at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Abeokuta, Ogun State.

Obasanjo admitted to making many “genuine mistakes” in his life while interacting with the students, but claimed that God helped him overcome them.

“Choosing my number two when I wanted to be president was one of the errors I made. But God saved me because it was an honest mistake, said Obasanjo.

Obasanjo while interacting with the students revealed that he had made many “genuine mistakes” in his life; saying, however, that God made him overcome them.

“One of the mistakes I made was picking my number two when I wanted to become the president. But because it was a genuine mistake, God saved me,” Obasanjo said.
According to reports, Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) presidential contender, served as Obasanjo’s second-in-command from 1999 to 2007.

Obasanjo and Atiku clashed with one and other for years while in government over matters they couldn’t agree on.

When discussing his second error, Obasanjo claimed that it occurred when General Sani Abacha, a late military ruler, was going to arrest him and the American Embassy offered him asylum which he refused.

Obasanjo claimed that had God not intervened, he would have perished during his time in prison.

“When Abacha wanted to arrest me, I was told by the American ambassador that they will arrest me and that America has asked that I should be given an asylum. I said no. It could have been a mistake because I could have lost my life.”

The Balogun Owu stated that God had saved him from many things that could have been a mistake.

When asked whether the youths could be allowed to rule the nation, Obasanjo expressed worries, stating that youths may never come into power should the current trend in Nigeria continues.

The former president regretted that in spite of the “Not Too Young to Run” campaign, people contesting to rule the nation are between 70 and 80 years old.

“How can the youths run,” he asked, adding that the amount of money involved in going into politics would not allow youths to get to leadership positions.

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5000 LAGOSIANS GET FREE HEALTH INSURANCE ON SANWO-OLU’S BIRTHDAY

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Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu
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No fewer than 5000 Lagosians are to be enrolled in the Ilera Eko Social Health Plan – courtesy of the Lagos State Executive Council.

The gesture is to celebrate Governor Sanwo-Olu’s 57th birthday on June 25 and in the spirit of his compassion for the indigent and vulnerable.

Beneficiaries will have access to quality health care services and drugs under the ILERA EKO Standard Plan at no cost to them.

Nominees will be selected from the Lagos State Social Protection Register. An equal number of the 5000 eligible beneficiaries are to be selected from the five IBILE divisions of the State and will enjoy Universal Health Coverage.

These beneficiaries have been identified using a multi-dimensional poverty index tool, which includes the poverty means-testing to ensure accuracy, reliability and validity of the data generated.

ILERA EKO is the State Social Health Insurance Plan managed by Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA), which offers the basic minimum health plan that provides quality and affordable healthcare for all Lagos residents, especially the middle and low-income earners as well as the vulnerable.

Services on the Plan include: General consultations; Specialist Consultations; Management of uncomplicated chronic diseases (Diabetes, Hypertension, Asthma); Maternal and Newborn Care; Normal Delivery and Caesarean Section; Dental Care (with Composite filling) and Eye Care, including glasses.

There are also minor and major surgeries; laboratory tests and scans; HIV/TB Testing services; Emergency Health Services; Cancer Care and the provision of prescribed drugs.

A policy cycle under the ILERA EKO Health Insurance Plan runs for 12 calendar months in which an enrolee’s policy is due for renewal before the 25th day of the 12th month to enable such subscribers have access to care the next month (Start of renewed policy cycle).

The selected beneficiaries will commence access to care from July 1, 2022.

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Senator Ike Ekweremadu, Wife remanded as UK Court denies them bail

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Senator Ike Ekweremadu and his wife
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An Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court in the United Kingdom did not grant bail to Ike Ekweremadu, former Deputy Senate President, and Beatrice, his wife, who were apprehended over attempted harvesting of organs.

It was gathered that the Nigerian couple was detained by the Metropolitan Police when they tried harvesting an unnamed child’s organs.

When the Senator was arraigned on Thursday, the court refused to grant him bail but ordered that he should be remanded till July 7

The Metropolitan Police while confirming the arrest said in a statement that the pair were charged to court on Thursday following an investigation by the police’ specialist crime team.

“Beatrice Nwanneka Ekweremadu, 55 (10.9.66) of Nigeria is charged with conspiracy to arrange/facilitate travel of another person with a view to exploitation, namely organ harvesting,” the statement read.

“Ike Ekweremadu, 60 (12.05.62) of Nigeria is charged with conspiracy to arrange/facilitate travel of another person with a view to exploitation, namely organ harvesting.

They have both been remanded in custody and will appear at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court later today.

“A child has been safeguarded and we are working closely with partners on continued support.”

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