–—as Asiwaju runs to meet APC governors
— I have requisite experience and insight to lead Nigeria—Osinbajo
The camp of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been put in a frenzy over the declaration of Professor Yemi Osinbajo to vie for the position of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
In a Press statement personally signed by the Vice President, he said he has the requisite experience and insight to lead the country to a prosperous destination.
The declaration of Prof. Osinbajo came after months of speculation and denial.
In a statement he personally signed today, the Vice President said his seven-year tutelage under President Mohammed Buhari has put him in a vantage position to appreciate the challenges of Nigeria and Nigerians and equipped him with the necessary administrative and organisational acumen to solve them.
“In the past seven years, I have served as Vice President under a true Nigerian patriot, a servant of the nation in war and peace, and a man of integrity, President Muhammadu Buhari.
“We have, together, worked through some of the most difficult times in the history of our Nation, but we have remained focused on securing the country, providing infrastructure and growing our economy.
“As stipulated by the Nigerian Constitution, our tenure will end next year.
“In this period of seven years, I have served the government in several capacities, and have, at the direction of Mr. President, represented our country in sensitive high level international engagements.
“I have been to practically all local governments in Nigeria. I have been in markets, factories, schools, and farms.
” I have been in agricultural, mining and oil producing communities; in the Delta, in Kebbi, Enugu, Borno; Rivers, Plateau and Ondo; & in all other States of the federation, listening to the diverse experiences and yearnings of our people.
“I have visited our gallant troops in the North East and our brothers and sisters in the IDP camps.
” I have felt the pain and anguish of victims in violent conflicts, terrorist attacks, flooding, fire and other disasters.
“I have been in the homes of many ordinary Nigerians in various parts of the country.
” I have sat with our technopreneurs in Lagos, Edo, and Kaduna, with our Nollywood and Kannywood actors; with our musicians, from Lagos, Onitsha, and Kano.
” And I have spoken to small and large businesses.
“I stood where they stood and sat where they sat. I know their hopes, aspirations and fears; and I believe that in those hopes and aspirations are the seeds for the great Nigeria that we all desire.
“I believe that the very reason why the Almighty God gave me these experiences, these insights, and these opportunities, is that they must be put to the use of our country and its great peoples.
“Which is why I am today, with utmost humility, formally declaring my intention to run for the Office of the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria, on the platform of our great party, the All Progressives Congress.
“If by the grace of God and the will of the people, I am given the opportunity, then I believe that first, we must complete what we have started;
*radically transforming our security and intelligence architecture,
*completing the reform of our justice system focusing on adequate remuneration and welfare of judicial personnel,
*ensuring justice for all and the observance of rule of law,
*rapidly advancing our infrastructure development, especially power, roads, railways and broadband connectivity,
*providing an excellent environment for businesses to thrive,
*taking the agriculture revolution to the next level especially mechanization and developing the farm to table value chain
*making sure that the government, its agencies and regulators serve the business community,
*creating a tech economy that will provide jobs for millions;
*enhancing our Social Investment Programme to a full-scale social welfare scheme,
*completing the promise of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty within this decade,
*completing the task of ensuring that all Nigerians, male and female, attend school,
*reforming our educational system for relevance to the challenges of this century,
*completing the task of universal health coverage for all,
*strengthening the capacity of States and Local Governments to deliver on their respective mandates.
“Above all, front and centre of our efforts will be the provision of jobs and opportunities for our young people.
“I now most solemnly and respectfully seek the support of fellow Nigerians everywhere in this land, and the diaspora, young and old, male and female, in the great and exciting journey that we have ahead of us.
“We will work together, establish by the grace of God, the Nigeria of our dreams in a few short years.
” We will build on the foundation laid by our predecessors. We will need to move, with much speed, intentionality, and perseverance, towards the vision of a prosperous, stable, and secure nation.
“I am convinced beyond doubt that we have the creativity, the courage, the talent, and the resources to be the foremost black nation on earth.
” Let us now birth the expectations of greatness conceived generations before us.
“Let us build a Nigeria where the man from Nnewi sees the man in Gusau as his brother, where the woman in Warri sees the woman in Jalingo as her sister, where the love of our nation burns alike in the hearts of boys and girls
from Gboko to Yenogoa.
“Where everywhere, in this land, is home for everyone, where our diversities, tribes and faiths unite, rather than divide us.
“Let our tribes become one tribe; the Nigerian tribe, where all are treated fairly, justly and with respect. Where all are given equal access to the abundant opportunities that God has bestowed on this nation. It’s time.
“God bless and keep our Republic and its great people.
The new development was said to have sent jitters into the spines of the political campaign organisation of Tinubu due to the enormous goodwill enjoyed by the Vice president Osinbajo, who is incidentally Tinubu’s political protege.
It was gathered that hours after Osinbajo’s declaration, Asiwaju Tinubu, rushed to meet the APC government for their reassurance.
The governors hold the structure of the party and are believed to also hold the aces over who will eventually emerge as the APC flag bearer at the primaries.
Political analysts told our reporter that the declaration of Prof. Osinbajo has introduced a new but interesting twist into the 2023 Presidential race among the contestants, especially Asiwaju Tinubu who many believed had better chances than the rest of the gladiators.
“But that was before the Vice President indicated his interest”, a political analyst observed.
“Now that he has thrown his hat into the ring, the political calculations and permutations have changed.
“Tinubu has the structure and a deep pocket but Osinbajo has vast goodwill of people, age is on his side, and has the intellects to steer the country through its difficult terrain” a political analyst declared.
Buhari, Jonathan, Obasanjo, Babangida, Abdusalami, Osinbajo, Atiku, others to spend N13.8billon from N27.5 trillion 2024 budget
The Eyewitness Reporter
The Federal government has earmarked the sum of N13.8 billion in the 2024 budget as the cost of upkeep of
former presidents, vice presidents, heads of state, Chiefs of General Staff, retired heads of service, permanent secretaries, and retired heads of government agencies and parastatals.
The beneficiaries include former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari, ex-vice-presidents Atiku Abubakar, Namadi Sambo and Prof Yemi Osinbajo.
Also expected to benefit from the windfall are ex-military Heads of State, General Yakubu Gowon and General Abdusalami Abubakar, as well as a former dictator and self-styled military President, General Ibrahim Babangida, and a former Chief of General Staff, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe (retd.).
Also, N1tn was provisioned for the public service wage adjustment for government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (including arrears of promotion and salary increases, and payment of severance benefits and minimum wage-related adjustments).
A breakdown shows that the entitlements of former presidents/heads of state and vice presidents/chief of general staff will cost N2.3bn. At the same time, N10.5bn is proposed as benefits for retired heads of service, permanent secretaries and professors.
The payment of severance benefits to retired heads of government agencies and parastatals is proposed to cost N1bn.
Other allocations include N65bn for the Presidential Amnesty Programme for the reintegration of transformed ex-militants; N1bn for the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Energy; and N108bn for unnamed special projects.
The government is also proposing the sum of N40bn to offset electricity debts owed to power distribution companies by all MDAs.
President Bola Tinubu unveiled the N27.5 trillion budget estimates for the 2024 fiscal year.
The budget was presented to a joint session of the National Assembly on Wednesday, where it is currently undergoing scrutiny and deliberation for final approval.
In his presentation, he declared, “The 2024 Appropriation has been themed the Budget of Renewed Hope.
The proposed budget seeks to achieve job-rich economic growth, macro-economic stability, a better investment environment, enhanced human capital development, as well as poverty reduction and greater access to social security.
News Alert: Wale Adeniyi revives CG conference, holds 2023 edition December 13-15 in Lagos.
Ukraine blocks Russia’s reelection bid at IMO council elections
The outcome is another blow for Russia after it failed in its bid to return to the UN’s top human rights body in October, in an election seen as a key test of Western efforts to keep Moscow isolated.
Last year, Moscow also failed to win enough votes for re-election to the UN aviation agency’s governing council.
The London-based International Maritime Organization (IMO) is responsible for regulating the safety and security of international shipping and preventing pollution and comprises 175 member state countries.
Russia has been a member since 1958 and has been consistently re-elected to the IMO Council.
With voting on Friday, 40 countries were elected by secret ballot to the IMO Council, which supervises the work of the body.
In October, Russia said the IMO was departing from its impartial role due to “external pressure” which it said was impacting the fair treatment of all member countries.
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