Leaders of the All Progressives Congress in the South-West, on Friday, cautioned presidential aspirants from the zone to guard against their utterances.
It was gathered that the meeting, which was held behind closed doors at the Lagos House, Marina, also resolved that name calling and other personal attacks should not be encouraged by the aspirants and their supporters.
It was learnt that the aspirants were asked to work with whomever among them emerges as the party’s candidate for the presidential election.
According to sources, the leaders also impressed the aspirants to ensure that the South-West does not lose the opportunity to produce the President in 2023.
A source at the meeting said, “The issue of betrayal was put to rest as the elders affirmed that everyone who desired to run for any political office whatsoever was not encumbered in any way at all.”
It was gathered that the meeting did not agree on the issue of consensus.
A source, who was at the meeting, said the issue was also not listed as part of its agenda, but that it was stylishly introduced by one of the leaders.
He said one of the speakers asked if the aspirants from the zone could still step down for one another if they realised that the zone would be defeated at the party’s presidential primary slated for the end of the month.
But he said none of the aspirants in attendance responded as they were not ready to step down for the other.
The source stated, “How do you ask someone who has paid N100m to step down? Step down for who? All the aspirants believe that they are popular and can win.
“Funnily enough, the issue of consensus was not listed in the agenda of the meeting. It was also not part of the text messages sent to us for the meeting. The meeting was majorly concerned about the utterances that are already portraying us as being divided and that the zone is behaving as if we have no leaders.
“Yet, there are concerns that the large number of aspirants could put the zone in danger if we go into the primary like that. But nobody was asked to step down for the other.”
The meeting was convened by the former interim National Chairman of the APC, Chief Bisi Akande, and a former governor of Ogun State, Chief Segun Osoba.
Present at the meeting were the Vice-President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo; a former Lagos State governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; and the Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi.
Also at the meeting were the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Chief Niyi Adebayo; governors Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo, Dapo Abiodun of Ogun and Oyetola of Osun states.
Others include the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola; the APC National Secretary, Otunba Iyiola Omisore; a former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel; a former Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Moses Adeyemo; and a former National Vice Chairman of the APC, South-West Zone, Chief Pius Akinyelure.
However, two presidential aspirants from the South-West, Pastor Tunde Bakare, and a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole; and the Deputy Majority Leader of the Senate, Ajayi Boroffice, who have all purchased forms, were absent at the meeting.
While commending Osinbajo, who is the highest ranking public officer from the region, for a job well done, sources said the APC elders stated that all the aspirants had the right to aspire to be the President, but enjoined them to exhibit the ‘Omoluabi’ ethos in their politicking by shunning divisive rhetoric.
While stating that consultation with them would be continuous, the meeting advised the aspirants to queue behind whoever among them eventually emerges as the party’s candidate, stating that the cohesion of the South-West must be sacrosanct.
Akande said the presidential aspirants were united that the presidency should come to the South-West region.
He stated, “We the APC are united and we will ensure that the presidency comes to our region, the South-West. We had a fruitful discussion at the meeting today (Friday).
“We had a fruitful discussion. We also resolved that everybody should maintain absolute decorum because we are united.”
Impeccable sources at the meeting told Saturday PUNCH that Aregbesola pointedly refused to shake Omisore’s hand or sit next to him and Oyetola.
“Aregbesola was expected to sit down next to Omisore and Oyetola, but he refused to associate with them, deciding instead to sit far off. Attempts by the elders to make Aregbesola change his mind proved abortive as he said he didn’t want to be associated with Omisore,” one of the sources said.
At the meeting, Akande called on all aspirants and governors to ensure that they carry on with their campaigns with decorum.
The APC chieftain was said to have called on them to put the interest of the South-West first and ensure that they would not lose the ticket at the primary, which comes up at the end of the month.
A source said, “Baba Akande said it is better for one of us to have the Presidency than for none of us to have it. He said we should carry on our campaigns with decorum. The ultimate goal is to have a small number of aspirants through consensus. However, this will be discussed in subsequent meetings.
“Everything was done to ensure that the impression was not given that Baba Akande was supporting anyone. They also will encourage consensus among all aspirants in order to strengthen the unity of the Yoruba,” he said.
When asked why Bakare, Bankole and Boroffice were not invited, he said, “A list was given to Niyi Adebayo to invite people. I think all these people you mentioned had not yet declared as of the time this meeting was put together.”
More southern presidential aspirants emerge
Meanwhile, the surge in the number of southerners declaring for the presidency on the platform of the APC continued on Friday as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, and three others picked the N100m expression of interest and nomination forms.
Others who also picked the forms on Friday were the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Ogbonnaya Onu; a former Governor of Ogun State, Ibikunle Amosun, who declared his interest in Abuja on Thursday; the senator representing Ondo North Senatorial District, Ajayi Boroffice; and a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole.
A former governor of Zamfara State, Ahmed Yerima, who is from the North, also declared his interest to contest the seat on Friday.
This brought the number of aspirants, who have collected forms in the party to about 15, while those who have declared interest stood at about 30, comprising 25 southerners and five northerners.
A group reportedly picked the forms for Emefiele after months of speculation as to his interest in the plum job.
This comes barely three days to the deadline for obtaining forms and one week to the screening of the aspirants by the party. The APC fixed Tuesday as the last day for the submission of completed forms and accompanying documents, while the screening will hold on Saturday, May 14, 2022. The Independent National Electoral Commission had fixed June 3 as the deadline for parties to hold their primaries.
Amid calls for the South to produce the next President after the eight-year regime of Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), the National Chairman of the APC, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, said last week that the party had yet to take a decision on where the presidential ticket would be zoned to.
However, the Governor of Ondo State and Chairman of the Southern States Governors’ Forum, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), had in a statement on Tuesday asked the party to make a pronouncement on “this very important issue” without delay.
Checks by Saturday PUNCH indicated that there were eight aspirants from South-East, nine from the South-West, seven from the South-South and four from the North.
In the South-East, those who have shown interest in the race are Senator Rochas Okorocha; Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State; Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige; Minister of State for Education, Mr Emeka Nwajiuba; former Senate President, Ken Nnamani; Onu; Pastor Nicholas Felix; Senator Orji Kalu and Ms Uju Ohanenye.
In the South-West, those who have shown interest are Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo; APC national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State; Amosun; Boroffice; Mr Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim; Pastor Tunde Bakare of the Citadel Global Community Church and former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole;
In the South-South, the list includes Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State; Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi; Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio; former APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole; Yakubu Mohammed; businessman, Tien Jack-Rich; and Ibinabo Dokubo.
In the North, the aspirants are Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State; his counterpart in Jigawa State, Abubakar Badaru; Yerima; Adamu Garba and a businessman, Dr Ibrahim Bello Dauda.
It’s unjust for S’South, S’West to contest against S’East – Umahi
Meanwhile, Umahi said on Friday that it would be against the spirit of justice, fair play and equity for persons from the South-West and South-South to contest against aspirants from the South-East. He said the current situation would make a mess of the clamour by southerners for power rotation to the South when fellow southerners could not be fair to the only region that had yet to produce the President.
Speaking on Channels Television, Umahi said, “When we as southern people are asking our brothers and sisters in the North for fairness, equity and justice for this thing (power) to rotate, it is expected that on the basis of that equity and justice, when it comes to the South, the three regions should leave it for the region (South-East) that has not produced the President. Otherwise, what is the basis for insisting that power should rotate to the South?”
I have knowledge, experience to lead Nigeria – Onu
Onu, on Friday, formally declared his intention to contest the presidential primary of the APC, saying with the positions he had held and his accomplishments, he had the knowledge, experience and vision to lead the country.
At an event attended by his political associates, wife and tribesmen, Onu said, “The Almighty God gave our dear nation everything she needs to be a leader in the world. Working together, we will make use of the knowledge economy driven by STI to make Nigeria truly great. We must produce many of the things we need and use as a people.
“We have all it takes to achieve this. It is by doing this that we can create wealth and enough jobs for our people; fight and defeat poverty, create wealth and prosperity for our nation. We can no longer continue to depend on other nations to solve our problems.”
The minister’s declaration came less than 24 hours after a political support group, The Patriots for Ogbonnaya Onu, led by former Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics), University of Port Harcourt, Prof Hakeem Fawehinmi, advised Osinbajo, Tinubu and others to drop their presidential ambition for Onu.
Emefiele, Amosun, Onu, Boroffice others obtain APC forms
More aspirants obtained APC presidential forms on Friday. At the International Conference Centre to pick the forms were various groups representing Onu, Amosun, Boroffice and Yerima.
For example, Emefiele, whose campaign posters were spotted during the March 26 national convention, had denied any intention to run for the office. In a series of tweets with the hashtag #NoDistractionsPlease# in March, he wrote, “My focus at this time is a robust monetary policy and fighting inflation which is now a global problem; building a strong financial system in an increasingly uncertain global economy.”
Three groups, the Rice Farmers Association, Emefiele Support Group and Friends of Godwin, were said to have raised N100m each for the CBN governor to purchase the forms. A source in the CBN said although Emefiele was aware that some groups were purchasing the forms for him, he had yet to accept anyone.
Group buys forms for Bankole
A close ally of Bankole, Abdullahi Bayero, told Saturday PUNCH in Kaduna on Friday, “We have picked the forms for the former Speaker.” He said Bankole was a man the North and Nigeria could trust.
He said a former Zamfara State governor, Aliyu Shinkafi, led the delegation that bought the forms, adding, “Many see him as someone who ticked all the boxes as far as having a young, smart, competent and patriotic President is concerned.”
I won’t impose Sharia as President – Yerima
Yerima, who said he got the President’s approval to contest the ticket, promised to put an end to the 12-year battle with the Boko Haram sect and fight insecurity and poverty.
The former governor, who instituted Sharia in Zamfara State, said if voted into office, he would respect the Nigerian constitution and not impose Sharia law on the country.
He told State House correspondents after the meeting with Buhari, “As a loyal party member, I informed Mr President that I’m ready at all times to accept the wishes and decisions of my party, the APC. I have three points; to fight insecurity, poverty and ignorance.”
Speaking on the Sharia law, he added, “As a governor, I followed the constitutional provision, prepared a law, sent it to the state House of Assembly and they passed it into law and I implemented what the constitution of Nigeria has given me the powers to do. Even in Zamfara State, I have never required or asked or forced any Christian to follow the Islamic faith because I would have done an unconstitutional act.
“So, if I’m elected, by the grace of God, I’m going to be elected under the constitution and I’m going to take an oath to protect and defend the constitution of Nigeria. I will never do anything unconstitutional.”
On zoning, Yerima, who represented Zamfara West in the Senate for 12 years, said every Nigerian was at liberty to run for office in line with the constitution.
It’s madness to have many southern aspirants – Clark
Elder statesman and leader of the Pan-Niger Delta Forum, Chief Edwin Clark, expressed concerns over the growing number of presidential aspirants from southern Nigeria, describing it as unrealistic. He said most of the aspirants were playing double games, especially people from the same state.
Clark, at an interactive session with journalists in Abuja said, “It is madness. If I’m to be realistic, they are not serious; particularly those from the South-West and the South-South.”
Clark, who will be 95 on May 25, wondered where the APC aspirants got N100m to pay for the forms considering the level of hunger in the country.
He said, “If these governors and ministers used their salaries, I don’t think they would have it because they must eat in their houses, but they are telling Nigerians that their friends contributed money for them.”
He encouraged people from the South-East to declare and contest in the parties’ primaries, adding, “We strongly warn our politicians, former governors, ministers, senators and so on not to accept a running mate position from any northern candidate, because they cannot do without us and we cannot do without them.
“That will show how serious we are and anybody who offers himself as a running mate will be regarded as the most unpatriotic and a man who has sold his own side of the country and is not worthy of being respected and honoured.”
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‘EMI LO KAN’: How my training, experience, knowledge can rescue Nigeria – Tinubu
The kingdom of God suffereth violence and the violent shall take it by force. That’s a saying in the Holy Bible and Tinubu’s grabbing of the presidential ticket of the All Progressives Party, APC, could be described as a forceful takeover.
Or, how else does one interrogate his landslide victory at the June 7/8 primaries of the party and not come to that conclusion? More so, in a field of over 10 aspirants?
Whereas his co-contestants went after delegates, Tinubu, who also goes by the alias of Alakanbi, and the thunderous title of Jagaban ‘Borgu, went after the aspirants themselves; meaning, once he got the aspirants to his corner, the delegates were harvested for him. Whichever way he did it, he did it. Some strategies. Some sagacity.
So, for Tinubu, having fought the first part of the battle of his life by taking the presidential ticket, he is bracing for the second part, which is the presidential election proper.
In this political season, you cannot write anything about Tinubu without mentioning Emi lo Kan, Eleyi or O lu’le…. Or, ‘recruit 50million youths’. Or the story of agbado, cassava and Garri? In fact, it will be a grave injustice and a disservice to Tinubu’s usual romance with theatrics not to mention those. Or, is it about the way he shovels up the flaps of his agbada in a slow-motion-like manner? He is a man of drama.
However, make no mistake, Tinubu is a serious man, a very serious man.
Yes, individuals are given to make slips while speaking. And erroneous attributions or statements not apt or correct in all materials particular are not the franchise of one presidential candidate, as Peter Obi and Atiku Abubakar have equally fallen, as all mortals do, into the mire. So, they can all be forgiven.
But beyond these niceties and packaging, however, there are issues Tinubu must contend with. How does it appear when Tinubu says he will continue with and build on the achievements of President Muhammadu Buhari? Or the choice of his running mate, who is also a Muslim like himself? Or his health?
Some answers are provided to some of these questions. At least, in 2019, he told President Buhari some uncomfortable truth about the state of the nation and the way to go. You can only counsel. On his same faith choice, he has been telling Nigerians of other faiths to trust him. It is his choice and whatever arises therefrom, the burden remains his.
To those who discuss his health, it is worth mentioning that one of the greatest American Presidents, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, FDR, was wheeled into the White House in 1932, after defeating the Republican incumbent President, Herbert Hoover, by a landslide electoral votes of 472 to 59. According to TIME, GREAT PEOPLE of the 20th CENTURY, FDR “suffered a chill that was misdiagnosed, then the horrifying paralysis of polio”, ensured that he never walked again unaided – with braces or with the aid of a wheelchair. He went on to lead America for an unprecedented four terms. But that was in 1932.
This is 2022/2023. The challenges of today are as humongous as those faced during the Great depression, which FDR pulled America and, indeed, the world through. Again, Nigeria is not America. Nigeria is a country that President Buhari has led for seven years that, against expectations, if truth be told, cannot be said to have fared much better in the areas of insecurity, economy, education, corruption and the like. Tinubu says he’s up to the task.
As usual, we have pieced together his views in recent times regarding what he stands for and what he plans to achieve across some issues, using content in the public domain (in his own words and his speeches) . The opportunity of a fuller interview with the candidate is being explored and would be published later. But we can hold him down to the following statements.
A message to youths
We are working hard for youths to change the dynamics, to change the story of Nigeria, to be bold enough to start new initiatives, to change the story of huge potential to reality, to imagine that we are one of the most brilliant and most committed individuals in this country. We are youths. I’m here not for me alone but for you, for tomorrow that you represent. You, youths have represented us well. We feel your anger when you are angry. I don’t blame you.
The promises of the past have failed to realise that you build a future from kindergarten to high school, to the university and all of that needs serious reforms. I disagree with excuses that we cannot help it. We can help it. We must develop the can-do attitude. Youths must change the story; the story of potential to reality. Banditry, tribalism, poverty has no tribal mark. We, as a nation, can feed ourselves by being creative, visionary and committed. We cannot continue the lamentation of the past.
Push, we must push. We must be ready. Youths are the reason why I’m contesting. I want to be president for the youths. Enough of excuses. Enough of bitterness. Enough of disunity. We are going to mix the energy of the youth and wisdom of the old to avoid a dangerous agitation, so that Nigeria is handled carefully. We can promote unity and common destiny and common patrimony in a better and more creative way. What we’ve done in Lagos can be brought to bear in Nigeria.
Perseverance, great understanding is a common bond flowing in our veins as Fulani and Yoruba. Once you create peace, you create investment friendliness and you create a destination for investment
Austerity and inflation
Let’s pay attention to the issue of austerity and inflation.
It is only the state that must constrain itself on a balanced budget. It is only the local government that must restrict itself and balance the budget.
Sovereignty is that of Nigeria and it is only the federal government that has that sovereign power and must use it for the benefit and development, quality of life of Nigerians. That’s why it is sovereign.
APC and President Buhari’s reign
President Muhamamdu Buhari has already laid a solid foundation in security, economy, and anti-corruption. We will build upon this for the salvation of our people.
We formed this party to give the people of this land the progressive good governance they deserve so that they may live as well and as peacefully as any people on the face of this earth. This corrective journey began with the election of President Muhammadu Buhari. At this convention, we must take the next step toward the proper and necessary direction.
In 2015, the All Progressives Congress won the election to halt the drift in our nation’s governance, redirect our path, and make clear our national priorities. We dedicated this party to the guiding principle that government must be for the benefit of each and every Nigerian before it is for the benefit of any single one of us. No one is above legal rule or regulation. Within this context, the APC under President Muhammadu Buhari has governed with patriotic and disciplined commitment these past seven years.
The Buhari government has championed needed reforms, ranging from an innovative petroleum industry law to measures that are aimed at improving power and electricity generation for all Nigerians. Government has invested heavily in building modern airports and railway networks and roads. Every Naira is better managed than in prior administrations. The Buhari government has done more with much less than its PDP predecessors did. Despite economic difficulties wrought by protracted global recession, the APC-led government has progressed in diversifying the economy, improving food security through intense investment in the agricultural sector.
The successive PDP administrations did next to nothing with the plenty they had. What they did with our nation’s abundance is no secret. But what they did not do was even a greater embarrassment. They left abandoned infrastructure projects all across the nation. The APC completed them. They allowed ISWAP/ Boko Haram to erect strongholds. The Buhari government has been compelled to wage great war against these threats because of the decade of neglect by the PDP.
The PDP should have uprooted this evil when it was but a seed. The APC-led government is now left to contend with the dangerous tree it has become. Yet, as surely as I can state my name, the next APC government shall uproot this evil such that, never again, shall it try to take hold in this land.
Blunt counsel to Mr. President
Forecasters are predicting a global recession within the next 12-18 months (Pre Covid-19). I render these observations not to frighten anyone but because they ring true. Wisdom requires that we accept reality instead of obscuring it under the cloak of wishful thinking. We must build policies that interact with the world as it is, and not with the world as it should be.
We must recognize these harsh economic tidings as advance warnings to the wise. Hence we must think deeper and work harder for our people in Nigeria. I would be a most wicked friend (to Buhari) if I knew a storm was approaching yet convinced you to ready your family for an outdoor picnic under the tallest tree. The truth is always a more valuable guardian than fantasy.
Working for the people
Wages stagnate while prices are on a ceaseless march upward…. We must amend our basic ideas about the economy. We must divorce ourselves from our fixation with GDP rates and similar statistics. These things were initially intended to be indicators, suggestive measurements. However, we have misinterpreted these road maps by treating them as if they were the destination itself. This has caused us to distort the organic relationship between the people and the economy. This dominant train of thought has made the people servants to the dictates of abstract economic theories. In a more effective system, the economy would be fashioned to serve the concrete needs and legitimate aspirations of the people.
Our economy must be redefined to be an efficient yet moral social construct with the primary goal of optimizing the long-term welfare of the people through the sustained, productive and full employment of labour, land, capital and natural resources. To pull the nation from poverty, the government must play a decisive role. It must at times direct and even develop markets and opportunities. This is nothing novel. I am only restating what the established economies did when they were young and assumed their trajectories toward growth. We must do more than simply work for the people. Government must “work for the people in a way that enables them to better work for themselves.
Affordable and reliable power will drive the industrialization that shall provide jobs in our cities and produce needed goods for all our people. In a more poetic rendering, it will take our people out of the dark ages and bring the nation into the light of a better day.
I believe we will work to increase electricity generation, transmission and distribution by more than 50 percent. We require serious and bold reforms to achieve this. What is happening to our gas pipelines? Whatever we have to invest now for our future is a task that must be done boldly. Put experts together for a more constructive reform to improve generation, transmission and distribution by any means necessary. We cannot afford to be too legalistic about this.
We must commit ourselves to a national highway system linking our major cities and towns, our centres of commerce, with each other. This will save lives, spur commerce, cut costs and bring Nigerians closer together. Water catchment and retention systems in strategic locations should also be introduced to end the destructive cycles of flood and drought affecting many areas. In working to transform the face of our economy, the government must also enact policies that encourage industrialization and modern agricultural practices.
We must applaud President Buhari for the historic innovations made in the agricultural sector. We must further encourage him to do even more. Government funded social security for the aged and government backed affordable housing and mortgage facilities are things we must continue to explore in an aggressive manner. Our goal is nothing less than enabling people to enjoy lives free of penury and lack.
His experience to lead
I step forward because I can help lead our nation to become what it ought to be.
I do not say this as a boast. I claim not to be special nor great. My training, experiences, and acquired knowledge are what is special and uniquely suited for this moment. I am merely a conduit, a servant of a cause much larger than myself . Now is a time for progressive vision and singular purpose. There is a general agreement that 2023 will be an encounter with destiny, when our nation shall need a certain type of leader to realise a better Nigeria. My experience in office and the knowledge gained through hard work, tough trials and patient undertaking have prepared me for this hour. I am a man of purpose with a serious mission. My vow is to use all that I know and all of my abilities to the benefit of the nation and its people. I do not step forward because I think this nomination is my due. I step forward because I can help lead our nation to become what it ought to be.
A daring-do mentality
Do we dare reform our national economy such that prosperity grows as poverty vanishes? Yes, we dare.
Do we dare provide meaningful education and jobs for our youths so that they may strive for a better future? Yes, we dare. Our teeming youth population is our nation’s greatest asset. We will create jobs for our youth from the Zamfara and Osun gold deposits to the vast agricultural lands across the country. We will create new opportunities in the FINTECH sector, the creative and entertainment industries, digital skills and other areas.
Do we dare feed our nation and provide the farmer a solid income for his toil? Yes, we dare.
Do we dare construct a society where the vulnerable, the weak, the disadvantaged and the elderly are attended to and loved? Yes, for we must care for those who cannot care for themselves.
Do we dare muster our collective strength to conquer terrorism, kidnapping, and violent evil of any form? Yes, we dare.
Security and competition between terrorists and governments for recruitment of youths
We are under-policed and we are competing with armed robbers and bandits to recruit from the youths who are unemployed. 33% unemployed? Recruit 50 million youths into the army and take away from the recruitment source (of terrorist’s). What will they eat? Cassava, agbado, corn in the morning, yam in the afternoon and all these are grown here and you create demand and consumption for over 5million army of bootcamps. Don’t call these (criminals and terrorists) illiterate. Anyone who can own a gun, handle a gun, cork a gun, service it, clean the chamber and shoot, is technically competent to repair a tractor in the farm. We can create jobs here. (So, recruit our youths and get them engaged in farming)
2023 Elections: LASG takes PVC sensitization campaign to LASU, LASUED
…. urges students to participate in nation building
As the 2023 general elections draw closer, the Lagos State Government has taken its on- going residents sensitization programme on Permanent Voters Card (PVC) registration and collection to the Lagos State University, Ojo and Lagos State University of Education, Ijanikin, where the students were urged to join hands with government in building a new Nigeria.
The State government noted that registration and collection of Permanent Voters Card is a guaranteed license for participating in the nation’s electoral process, urging them to go out and register for their PVCs or pick them up from the INEC office if they have registered before.
The Special Adviser to governor Sanwo-Olu on Education, Tokunbo Wahab who led top government officials to LASU yesterday to sensitize the students , stressed the need for more students’ participation in the electoral process and task of nation building.
According to him, since youths/ students represent about 53.5% of the total population of the country, there is the need to carry them along and give them adequate orientation and enlightenment on leadership role and the need to participate in the electoral process towards choosing a God fearing leader that is committed to infrastructure development and good governance.
The sensitization programme which was at the instance of the Office of the Special Adviser on Education (OSAE) in conjunction with the Students Union Governments (SUG) of both the Lagos State University (LASU) and Lagos State University of Education ( LASUED) Ijanikin Campus have large turn- out of students who turned the sensitization programme into a carnival like across all Faculties and Departments of the Universities.
Wahab who commended the Managements of the two institutions, (LASU and LASUED) for maintaining absolute peace on their campuses, promised that the State government would not relent in implementing policies that would prioritize the welfare of both students and staff of all the State owned institutions, while he commended them for not joining the on- going Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike in appreciation of Governor Sanwo-Olu’s sustainable educational development policies in the State.
The Special Adviser charged the students to take advantage of bringing registration centres to their campuses to register and collect their PVCs, noting that their PVC is the major weapon with which they can fight hunger and poverty while it could be used as well to sustain good governance.
In her remarks, the Ag. Vice Chancellor of the Lagos State University of Education, LASUED, Ijanikin Campus, Professor Bidemi Bilikis Lafiaji-Okuneye stated that the sensitization of students for PVC collection is a welcome development as it would give them the opportunity to perform their civic responsibility as citizens o the country.
Professor Lafiaji-Okuneye commended INEC for bringing registration centres to the two campuses, which she noted would help students to have easy access to registration.
In the same way, the Special Adviser to Governor Sanwo-Olu on students Affairs and Tertiary Education Matters, Mr Omotayo Sanya Olu said the sensitization programme is one of the Governor Sanwo-Olu administration’s efforts at carrying the youths along in crucial matters that have direct effect on their developments.
Sanyaolu who urged the students to make effective use of the exercise to register and obtain their PVCs reminded that with their PVCs, they have been given the power to decide who should be their leaders.
While assuring that the All Progressives Party in Lagos State under Samwo-Olu would continue to place youths at the centre of its development programmes, urged them to continue to support the State government and keep campuses peaceful for improved and better development.
In his response, President of LASU Students’ Union, Adeoye Moses, a 400 Level student of Theatre Arts Department, commended students of LASU for coming out in large number to register for their PVC, adding that LASU students were always at alert when it comes to progressive development, adding that the SUG under his care would ensure that his colleagues fully participate in all future elections in the country to bring about good government.
He commended the State Government for upgrading LASU infrastructure and creating enabling environment for research Developments, noting that LASU under Sanwo-Olu has remained one of the best in the country in academic and moral excellences.
INEC deadline: Sanwo-Olu okays 4 work-free days for Lagos workers to get PVCs
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Monday, approved a four work free days for workers in the state for them to get their Permanent Voters Card, PVCs against the July 31 deadline for the procurement of PVC, by Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
The directive was contained in a statement by the Head of Service, Mr Hekeem Muri-Okunola.
According to Muri-Okunola, the work free days begin from July 26, till Friday July 29, before the deadline given by INEC for prospective voters to get registered ends.
The statement which was titled, ‘Collection of Permanent Voters Card (PVC) directed the Accounting Officers to ensure compliance, adding that workers are expected to bring along their PVC while returning for work.
“It is the responsibility of every citizen to participate in the Electoral process of her country, therefore, all Public Servants are encouraged to partake in the upcoming Year 2023 General Elections.
“Consequently, it is notified for general information that all Public Servants who are yet to register for or collect their PVC from designated INEC centres are advised do so before the deadline date of 30th July 2022.
“To this end, Mr Governor has graciously approved a Work Free Day for Public Servants to enable them process/collect their PVCs from their respective Local Governments/ Local Council Development Areas. Officers are expected to return back to work with their Voter’s Card after this exercise.
“Accordingly, Accounting Officers are hereby, enjoined to excuse their officers in the respective Grade Levels on the designated dates.”
The designated dates, according to the Head of Service are; Tuesday 26- Grade Levels concerned are 01, 03, 07 and 15.
For Wednesday, July 27, the Grade Levels affected are 02, 04, 08 and 13. Thursday, July 28, Grade Levels 05, 09, 12 and 17 while Friday, July 29, is dedicated for Grade Levels 06, 10, 14 and 16.
The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC, in Lagos State, Mr Olusegun Agbaje had earlier, disclosed that statistics showed that the state currently had about seven million registered voters.
According to him, if the number of new registrants so far in the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration, CVR, is added to those in the register of voters before in the state, the number will be about seven million.
“In Lagos state as at Monday (July 18), those who registered online are 640, 560 but many of them have not completed registration. Those who have completed the registration exercise are 451,156.
“The total number of registered voters in Lagos state before the commencement of the ongoing CVR is 6,570,291, and if we add the new registrants, we have about seven million registered voters,” Agbaje said.
He, however, said the ongoing CVR had not ended and the commission was still capturing more people before deadline on July 31.
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