Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Kalu, has said multiple presidential aspirants from the South-East will not diminish the region’s chances of producing the next President come 2023.
Kalu, a former governor of Abia State, has not hidden his desire to contest in the 2023 presidential election. While he’s yet to declare his ambition, the Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi, and former Senate President, Anyim Pius Anyim, both from the South-East, have declared their ambition to run for the presidency.
This led to insinuations that the South-East is not united at forging a common front, which might ruin the region’s chances of producing the next President.
However, Kalu who spoke during an interview with on Friday rebuffed the assertions. According to him, since 1999, no region had ever presented a single candidate before winning elections.
The Senator recalled how former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Bola Ige and Olu Falae, all from the South-West geopolitical zone of the country, contested the 1999 presidential election.
He said the belief that Igbo must come together to present a single candidate in order to produce the next President of Nigeria were mere blackmails promoted by the media.
He said, “No region forges a common front and I have just given you an example. When Obasanjo ran for elections in 1999, Olu Falae, Bola Ige and three other Yoruba(men) were also contesting for the same presidency. Did that stop the emergence of a President from the South-West? So what are you talking about? It is the beauty of constitutional democracy, the more the merrier, people must contest and the people must choose who can do the job.
“That Orji Kalu came to contest and another Igboman comes out does not mean you won’t vote Orji Kalu. The beauty of democracy is in the ability to make a choice. That is why I initially told my friends (Tinubu, Umahi and Anyim) in the sitting room where we were eating that I won’t run but the beauty of it is that people later persuaded me to come and run because they know that I’m capable of doing the job.
“They know that I have the experience of the job. They know that I have local and international connections. They know I have an excellent understanding of the country. And when you look at me you see the face of Nigeria.”
Gov. Abiodun commissions 3km road in Abeokuta metropolis
Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun on Tuesday officially inaugurated a three kilometer road at Panseke-Adigbe-Opako area of Abeokuta metropolis, the state capital.
The road which traverses Abekouta South, Obafemi-Owode and Ewekoro LG, was one the projects started, but abandoned by the immediate past administration in the state.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony at the popular Panseke Junction, Abiodun described the event as symbolic, as the road was one of the inherited projects he inherited from his predecessor’s administration.
He further described the project as fulfilment of his administration’s promise to the people of Ogun state.
“This road has a history. It was started on December, 2018. That makes it one of the inherited projects from the immediate past administration. At the inception of our administration, and, in our usual methodical, strategic and inclusive approach, we inaugurated a committee to consider the status and viability of these inherited projects. Then, I made a promise to the good people of Ogun State that we will complete all inherited projects that have direct bearing on the development of our dear State. Here we are! We are fulfilling our promises.
“Since 29th May, 2019, our dear State has witnessed a new vista in infrastructural development. We thank God that we are here gathered today not only to commission this road, but to fulfill the promise made. This is to show that our words are our bond with the people of Ogun State”, the governor noted.
Abiodun explained that the 3km road is particularly of economic importance as it traverses three Local Government Areas and also provides a viable bye pass to the busy Ita-Oshin-Lafenwa end of the Abeokuta-Ifo-Sango-Lagos expressway through Obada Oko.
He added that, “on the micro level, this road is an added infrastructure and adds to the aesthetics of this area. It has a reinforced concrete median, a carriage width of 8m in each direction, and reinforced concrete drain and walkway.
“More than that, its benefits on the macro level are far greater. It is no doubt an added advantage to the successful implementation of our Transport Master Plan, especially the road transportation aspect of our multi-modal transport agenda.
This road will all boost our transportation development plan for Abeokuta as one of our fastest growing cities. As we look forward to expanding the scope of coverage of the Bus Mass Transit Scheme, the kinds of this road will make the plan easier”, Abiodun stated.
The governor noted that the people have been enjoying the benefits of the road before the official commissioning, pointing out such underlined the fact that his government is more committed to the provision of amenities that make life easier to the people than the pomp and pageantry.
While expressing elation that “Building our Future Together” Agenda of his administration for the continued development of Ogun has continued to receive both state and nation-wide acknowledgement, Abiodun reiterated that he would not make any promise he never wished to fulfill.
He added that efforts were being intensified towards ensuring reconstruction of other major roads, just as new ones were being constructed for a wholesome development of Ogun State.
“In fact, we are still looking forward to how to handle some major roads such as Sagamu/Ogijo/Ikorodu road; Abeokuta/Ifo/Sango/Lagos road and other Federal roads across our major cities. In fact, we cannot take full advantage of this particular road without having the Abeokuta/Ifo/Sango/Lagos in good condition.
“Let me also take this opportunity to plead that the Federal Government to consider the plea of our two states of Ogun and Lagos on the release and prompt approval for the reconstruction of those roads. The fact is that the argument that some roads are Federal road, as valid as it is, offers little comfort because there are no Federal citizens. Our people hardly make distinctions on the ownership of road infrastructure. In fact, they often associate States with the particular roads they ply. And, they situate their pains on particular roads with geo-space. All they want and deserve is good governance.
“On this, our administration will continue to do more for the individual prosperity of our people and development of our dear State. Let me reassure that our Administration is irrevocably committed to a continuous provision of infrastructure and security in all parts of our dear State. In this regard, the roads leading to our farm settlements, rural areas and township roads, in general, will continue to receive utmost attention to facilitate even socio-economic development of all parts of our dear State. All these will enhance our job creation, poverty alleviation and food security programme”, the governor said.
Abiodun, therefore, charged the people in Ogun State, especially the residents of Panseke-Adigbe-Opako axis, to take ownership of the road and other projects that his administration has continued to provide across the state.
“You are to protect them as they are truly yours. By doing this, you will not only partner in the successful implementation of our Administration’s “Building our Future Together” Agenda, but also in creating a viable economy for our dear state”, he noted.
While acknowledging the dedication and cooperation of all those behind the successful completion of the project, the governor sought the people’s continued support for his administration in the drive to provide more infrastructure to the benefits of all by paying their taxes and other levies regularly as and when due.
Group calls for adoption of Osinbajo as APC consensus candidate
From Charity Nwakaudu, Abuja
Members of the incorporated trustee, Legacy Transformation Initiative (LTI), have called for the adoption of the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, as the APC consensus candidate.
The eclectic group consist of intellectuals, professionals, politician, businessmen/women and entrepreneurs drawn across the six geo-political zones of Nigeria.
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Its National Coordinator Ibe Aniemeke Lawson while speaking at a press conference held in Abuja yesterday, stressed that the vice president is the long-awaited solution.
Lawson further explained that after a rigorous examination conducted by the group on all the presidential aspirants, Osinbajo is the only one that has the capacity to deliver Nigeria from the present situation.
He added that a vote for him would be the highest form of patriotism expected of any citizen of this country.
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He said: “It is time to be part of it by unanimously adopting Professor Yemi Osinbajo (GCON) as your Consensus Choice before the convention or unanimously vote for him as the presidential candidate of the APC in the party primaries given his proven capacity to lead; especially in this challenging time we find ourselves as a nation.
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“It is imperative to state that in the course of our functions, we have been able to interrogate the profile of the various individuals jostling to be APC presidential candidates through this process of intellection over months of rigorous review, in-depth research and study on the qualities, capacities, capabilities of these aspirants from available public records on them.
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“The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, stands out. He emerged as the most suitable, experienced and capable to be entrusted with the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“It is important to emphasise to our dear delegates and APC leaders that each election cycle comes with different challenges that may manifest in the nation’s economics; a peculiar global challenge; an emergent security challenge(s); some social or environmental issue; or all of these at the same time. Accordingly, as expected each of these challenges demands a person with a robust understanding of the call to a higher duty, responsibility, intellectual experience and physical ability to address them, as well as, appealing for the understanding of the delegates/party leaders in the exercise of their discretion cum patriotism to our dear country.
“We, therefore, implore all the APC delegates to review all the assertions contained here on the candidacy of Professor Yemi Osinbajo (GCON) and objectively compare them with the other candidates and make the right choice by voting or adopting him as the consensus candidate of the APC.
“A vote for him or his adoption will be the highest form of patriotism expected of any citizen of this country. History will be kind to you and your generation for rising above the usual primordial sentiments that have been a common feature of our electioneering process and which have bedevilled our political/economic landscape to make the right choice.”