The political rhetoric in the contest for the presidency ahead of the 2023 election continued yesterday after political and traditional rulers in Northern Nigeria rejected the insistence of Southern governors that the presidency should return to the South after the tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Northern leaders held that the demand that the North yield the presidency to the South in 2023 negated the 1999 constitution which provides that the winner of the election will emerge by garnering the majority votes in the poll.
In a communiqué signed by Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau and Chairman, Northern States Governors’ Forum, after their emergency meeting to deliberate on issues affecting the region, which top on the burner was the issue of insecurity and VAT, in Kaduna, the Forum said the statement was contradictory with the provision of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999) as amended that the elected president shall score the majority votes, score at least 25% of the votes cast in 2/3 of the states, and in the case of run-up simple majority win the election.
The 19 governors of the northern states also reviewed security updates from the region and observed the need for a sustained synergy and coordinated efforts between the federal and Northern states governments while noting success of recent measures.
The meeting also noted with concern the constraint of the security services and urged the armed forces to embark on simultaneous operations and resolved to share the plans of the frontline states, assuring of its readiness to work in synergy with the Federal Government in finding lasting solution to the current security challenges.
The Forum appreciated the ongoing onslaught against banditry, kidnapping and Boko Haram especially in the North-East and parts of North-West and North-Central states and encouraged the armed forces and other security agencies to sustain the tempo to enable the security challenges be permanently addressed in the shortest time.
It also received updates on the renewable/solar energy project and noted that request for land for the project had been submitted and are being processed by the Northern states.
“The committee had commenced negotiations in a public private arrangement and sovereign guarantees to ensure bankability of the project by multilateral financial organisations. The Forum called on states yet to process the request for allocation of land for the project to expedite action.
“The meeting received updates on activities of some committees constituted by the Northern States Governors’ Forum and noted that recommendations contained therein are being considered with a view to coming up with implementation strategies.
“The Forum observed that some Northern states’ governors had earlier expressed views for a power-shift to three geo-political zones in the South with a view to promoting unity and peace in the nation. Notwithstanding their comments, the Forum unanimously condemns the statement by the Southern Governors’ Forum that the presidency must go to the South. The statement is quite contradictory with the provision of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999) as amended that the elected president shall score the majority votes; score at least 25% of the votes cast in 2/3 states of the federation. In the case of run-up simple majority win the election”, the governors said in the communique.
On the on-going national debate on the collection of Value Added Tax (VAT), the northern governors said, “As responsible leaders while we are constraint by the fact that the matter is sub judice we, however, for the purposes of educating the public make the following observations:
“The judgement of the Federal High Court calls to question the constitutionality of VAT, withholding tax, education tax, Niger Delta Development Commission, National Information Technology Development Agency, 13% derivation, National Economic Development Council and many other currently levied and collected by the Federal Government of Nigeria, Federal Inlands Revenue Service.
“Rivers and Lagos State governments had enacted their own VAT laws and the Southern Governors’ Forum have expressed support for this course of action.
“VAT is being confused by these state governments as a sales tax. If every state enacted its own VAT law, multiple taxation will result in increases of prices of goods and services and collapse in interstate trade. VAT is not a production tax like excise, but terminal tax which is paid by the ultimate consumer.
“Another confusion is ignoring observation above and its ‘overall effect’. The reason Lagos account for our 50% VAT collection is because most of the telecommunication companies, banks, manufacturing and other trading activities have their headquarters in Lagos with the resultant and wrongful attribution of VAT.
“Until and unless the Supreme Court pronounces judgement on the substantive matter between Rivers State and Federal Government, the matter is sub judice and Northern States Governors Forum would respect this”.
The Forum also called on the Federal Government to expedite action on the well-established National Livestock Transformation Programme as a spring board in transiting from the open grazing system as widely practised in the North.
2023 General Elections: No aspirants ‘ll leave APC after primaries, says APC Chair, Adamu
The National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Abdullahi Adamu has assured that no aspirants will leave the party after the party’s primaries, which are now slated for May 26th through 30th.
Adamu stated that the ruling APC does not only want to win but also wants to win big in 2023.
He made the assurance on Saturday while addressing a group of party members in the diaspora at a global virtual town hall session on “Intra-Party democracy for the Emergence of Best Candidates.”
The programme, themed, “Democracy in Nigeria: Mobilizing Global Support for Progressives and Continuity,” was organized under the auspices of the APC Ward-to-ward Diaspora Network in collaboration with the APC Ward-to-ward Ambassadors.
The Chairman said, “Directly I want to tell you that after the primaries, non of the contestants of aspirants will leave the party.
You can see unlike the other parties extending weight, in our party all our aspirants are calm. Everybody is going left and right, trying to win votes for themselves.
Adamu, who was represented as a Special Assistant, Prof. Abdullahi Yau, added, “I can assure you this is the most interesting part; the number of people that are contesting and they are going to give everybody a playing level ground where you can exercise your right as a Nigerian to contest.
“And at the end of the exercise, just as what happened in the National convention, you see that everybody will be satisfied with whoever that emerges from the primaries.”
He said, “Unless you have a process that is not well coordinated, a process that is marred by irregularities that’s when people will be aggrieved and would want to leave the party.
If you’re allowed to exercise your right and you think there’s fairness in what’s going on in the party and you lose, I don’t think you would want to leave the party.
“I assure you even if we are going to have such a scenario, where we are going to have aggrieved members after the primaries, the Chairman and stakeholders of the party will ensure they reconcile everybody after the primaries,” he added.
He, however, said all aspirants would be listened to by a high-power delegation of the committee if there’s a tangible reason why they are complaining after the party’s primaries.
Osun 2022: Oyetola Campaign Council appreciates Ooni, Ife monarchs, residents for massive turnout
Osun not for sale to highest bidder, Oyetola campaign council replies Adeleke, PDP
...warns him not to overheat polity
The Adegboyega Oyetola Campaign Council has described as absurd, unthinkable and totally unacceptable the boast by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governorship candidate, Senator Ademola Adeleke that he had acquired enough money in hard currencies to buy Osun and its people for the July 16 Governorship contest.
In a statement signed by its Director-General, Senator Ajibola Bashiru, the Campaign Council declared that Osun was not for sale to the highest bidder, just as it noted that on daily basis, the PDP candidate is proving to the Osun electorate that he had nothing to offer.
Senator Ademola, the PDP candidate had over the weekend during the party’s Osun Central Campaign rally, said “Osun people, you are the ones to decide. If it is about money, I have enough. I came with plenty money (hitting his pocket with his right hand). And it is not only naira, I came with dollars, pounds and Euro. This time around in Osun, it is fire for fire.”
Reacting to Ademola’s comment, the Oyetola Campaign Council said: “Osun people are not gullible. We have left them in no doubt of the quality our party, the APC and our Administration are made of, including the capacity of our candidate to deliver in the past three and half years. We have proved through our inclusive governance strategy that our people are our strength and that we do not take them for granted and we will never take them for granted. This explains why in spite of the way the 2018 election went, our administration began infrastructure intervention from Ede, the hometown of the PDP candidate.
“Osun people are enlightened, they Know that the State and its citizens are not up for sale to the highest bidder. Therefore, the PDP candidate should keep his money. Or better still, he could deploy those resources to establish industries to provide jobs for the people. This way, he will also be supporting the present Administration’s noticeable efforts in the last three and half years to industrialise the State and change its narrative as a Civil Service State, to one bubbling with economic activities.
“It is on record that the Oyetola-led administration has since inception taken concrete steps to open up the State for investments, and has been able to attract a number of investments into Osun, contributing to the economic growth of the State.
“We assure the PDP candidate that, like the Administration did to other players in the private sector, we will provide a level playing ground for his business to thrive and ensure Osun and its people derive maximum benefit from the investment.
The Campaign Council also cautioned Adeleke against overheating the polity with his incendiary comments and violent tendencies, wondering what he meant by saying ‘it’s fire for fire this time around’.
“As a responsible party, we urge Senator Adeleke and his party to embrace peaceful conduct and decorum in their political engagements and electioneering. We must avoid any comment or action that can jeopardise the peace and stability of our State,” the dded.
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