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Road to 2023: Pressures mount on Fayemi to join presidential race

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From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan

Pressures have continued to mount on the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Ekiti State governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, to declare for the 2023 presidential race within the next few days.

The indications emerged on Tuesday in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, during the grand finale of the tour of the six geo-political zone of Nigeria, organised by The Nigeria Agenda (TNA).  The group had earlier held similar programmes in the other five geo-political zones.

The speakers at a programme, tagged: ‘A Secured Nigeria is Possible’, held at the International Conference Centre of the University of Ibadan did not specifically mention Fayemi’s name. But a short drama presented indicated that President Muhammadu Buhari wants to handover the mantle of leadership of the country to a young and vibrant person in 2023.

They, however, demanded good leadership, fiscal federalism, and solutions to the foundational, structural and leadership challenges besetting the progress of the country.

This was disclosed during the Southwest agenda meeting with the theme ‘ held at the university of Ibadan conference Centre. Some of the political appointees that attended the programme wore Fayemi’s lapels, with inscriptions: ‘JKF for President’.

In the drama, a man who dressed like Buhari was seen paddling the ship of Nigeria and at a time the ship had difficulty in moving forward. The president told the people in the ship, that represent Nigerians, that with their support, he would be able to overcome the challenges of corruption, insurgency, banditry and other socioeconomic and political challenges inhibiting the forward movement of the ship. With the support of the people, the ship started moving forward again, but at a slow pace.

The president later addressed his people and said he wanted to escalate the campaign against factors that did not allow the ship to move forward. He added that the only way to escalate the fight was for him to hand over the reins of power to a young and vibrant person. Then, the people in the ship looked around and asked a young man, who dressed like Governor Fayemi, with a typical eyeglasses and cap that are Fayemi’s  signatures, to join the presidential race.

The character in form of Fayemi in the drama was reluctant to accept the clarion call. But he was prevailed on by the people and the president. He accepted to contested, and won. The paddle was handed over to him. He settled down to work, and the ship moved forward again.

The drama was staged in front of serving and former political appointees, as well as elected officers, across the six states in the South West geo-political zone of Nigeria. They include former Nigerian Ambassador to the Philippines, Dr. Yemi Faronbi; Osun State Commissioner for Political and Intergovernmental Affairs, Taiwo Akeju; Commissioner for Commerce and Industry in Ondo State, Mrs. Lola Fagbemi; Director-General, National Prosperity Movement, Ahmed Sajoh; and Director-General, Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission, Seye Oyeleye.

The list also comprised former deputy governor of Oyo State, Iyiola Oladokun; and a legal practitioner, Segun Adebayo, who represented former Minister of Education, Prof Tunde Adeniran, among others.

The Director-General National Prosperity Movement (NPM), Ahmed Sajoh, urged Nigerians to be deliberate in their thinking in choosing a leadership that would work for the country. A cording to him, the only way Nigerians could make the country better is by choosing a good leadership.

His words: “We are urging Nigerians that this country can be better than what it is and the question we need to ask ourselves is what is the key to unlocking the potentials of the country and that key is good leadership. We should look for a leadership that will conform with the ideas and concept we have in Nigerian agenda and see if we can as a people form a leadership that will work for everyone.”

Chief Advocate for TNA, Niyi Akinsiju, enjoined Nigerians across the country to adopt attitudinal change on how to conduct themselves and make the right choices, saying: “As a united country, our choice of leadership should be guided by capacity, capabilities, good conduct and character of who we are going to invest in. Nigeria’s present and future needs to be determined by the will of the people. “

Former Nigerian Ambassador to the Phillipines, Faronbi, who noted that Nigeria has foundation, structural and leadership problems, advocated fiscal federalism as the way out for peace, unity and prosperity to return to the nation.

The Director-General of Dawn Commission, Oyeleye, harped harping on the need for a broad based constitutional development process for the sustainable development of the country.

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Ekiti  :  Three burnt to death, two rescued as bus plunges into ditch

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Three persons were on Tuesday burnt to death and two rescued in Ilawe-Ekiti, headquarters of Ekiti Southwest Local Government Area of Ekiti State, when an 18- seater commercial bus plunged into a ditch and caught fire.

The incident happened in the sloppy outskirt of the town.

An eyewitness revealed that the bus was on a top speed and was said to have lost control before plunging into the big dungeon by the road side.

“Immediately it lost control, it swerved off the road and entered the ditch and caught fire.

“The intensity of the fire was high because the petrol in the bus had leaked and spilled immediately it entered the ditch .

“The five occupants who had been badly wounded could not rush out. They were trapped and three of them got burnt beyond recognition.

“The sympathisers and rescuers who were making efforts were able to save two other occupants who had sustained bodily injuries.

“The survivors have been taken to the hospital for medical attention”, he revealed.”

The Police Public Relations Officer, Ekiti Command, ASP Sunday Abutu, confirmed the accident.

“Let me confirm that it happened in the early hours this morning.

“Five persons were in the vehicle, in the process, three of them got burnt to death. The remaining two were rescued to the hospital.

“Investigation has commenced into ascertaining the cause of the accident”, he said.

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Adebayo tasks govt on laws to punish lawlessness

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By Sunday Ani

A presidential aspirant on the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in 2023, Prince Adewole Adebayo, has called the National Assembly to enact laws that will ensure proper punishment for lawlessness and hateful conduct.

He said the call became imperative following the brutal murder of Deborah Samuel Yakubu over an allegation of blasphemy in Sokoto last week.

Adebayo, who condemned the Sokoto killing on his official Tweeter handle stressed that when such laws are made, they must be enforced no matter whose ox is gored.

“We must stipulate laws and enforce them to combat hate and lawlessness. Justice must be done and seen to have been done in all cases, not just for the victim of today, but also for the overall safety and health of all. This is because perpetrators of today can be victims of tomorrow. We must speak up,” he said.

He noted that the role of leadership in a moment of crisis such as the one in Soko to is to understand the issues, find the truth, do justice and unite the people.

“We now understand the issue to be an inexcusable murder in reaction to religious provocation founded on ignorance and intolerance.

“We must avoid defaming all for the misdeeds of a few. We must not exploit anger and grief for any other motive than to seek justice and calm frayed nerves.

“We must not reignite age old disputes or expand cracks in our society. There are only two sides, law versus lawlessness,” he stated.

The SDP presidential hopeful also advised Nigerians to love one another and shelve regional or religious differences.

“At this moment, let us not be Muslims or Christians, North or South, East or West. Let us be human and humane. Let us seek justice and not revenge. Let us invoke the law with truth. Let us support the Sokoto State Government to restore order. Let us unite for justice,” he said

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