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Saraki addresses African Politicians “Let’s Deliver Good Governance to Next Generation”

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Senate President, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki has urged the political class in Nigeria, Ghana and indeed Africa to strive  to deliver good governance that will benefit the next generation.
Speaking on the theme: “The Future of Good Governance in Africa” at a symposium to mark 25 years of the Ghana’s Parliament Senator Saraki stated that it was the fact that African youths have been frustrated by its governments that they are risking everything to cross the Sahara Desert or the Mediterranean Sea  in search of a better life.
He said there was a need to reverse this trend by making the continent a place of opportunity for the youths.
Senator Saraki also applauded the long-standing friendship and special relationship between Nigeria and Ghana, and noted that the onus is now on the present crop of leaders of both countries at all levels to enthrone democratic principles and ensure steady development so that the tradition does not wane.
He also poured encomiums of Speaker, Parliament of Ghana, Rt Hon. Mike Ocquaye for his years in the democratic struggle which was a testimony that people must never relent and remain unflinching in the pursuit of a virile democracy across Africa.

Dr Saraki asserted that African leaders can best deliver on good governance if they first ensure that the people are sufficiently educated to make the right choices.

“If we are to deliver good governance to the next generation of Africans and if the democratic dividend is to come to fruition, education is key,” Saraki said. “We must invest in primary, secondary and tertiary education – up to the 26 per cent of the national budget as recommended by the United Nations.”

He added that “It must be mandatory for every child to go to school; we should ensure that there are incentives for those that send their children to school, and penalties for those that do not.”

The President of the Senate stated that tha it is unacceptable that Africa’s trade with Europe far outstrips that between African nations.

According to him, British foreign investment in Africa totalled $54.1 billion in 2014 and  China had an estimated 2,650 projects ongoing on the continent in 2015 while, Africa’s share of the global trade stands at 3 per cent and inter-Africa trade is 11 per cent.

“Let us ask ourselves: what about Africa? Not a moment can be spared in our efforts as Africans to cover our flanks in trade,” Saraki said. “We must devise an economic model that produces and manufactures primarily for the African market, and then use that as a basis upon which to engage with the wider world.”

He said he believes strongly that Africans’ talent for innovation and enterprise makes them the continent’s most valuable resources and that it is the duty of its leaders to give the people  opportunities to translate these into going concerns. “This will create wealth and enable us to compete globally,” he said.

Besides, he called on African leaders to add value to the abundant natural resources replete in the continent in order to make the raw material the mainstay of its economies.

Saraki said: “We are the richest continent in resources and yet we are the poorest, because we have allowed ourselves to be pigeonholed as the supplier of raw materials to the world.

“The leaders of our two countries are clear in their stance on the raw materials pivot of our economies. President Muhammadu Buhari has said that, ‘Our vision is for a Nigeria in which we grow what we eat.’

“And President Akufo-Addo is unequivocal: ‘We must add value to [our] resources, we must industrialise and we must enhance agricultural productivity.’ The two leaders have identified this flaw in our economies, and we in parliament must support them with appropriate legislation in order to realise their vision,” he said.

He said that African leaders must remain vigilant and alive to their responsibilities to sustain its democracy, adding, “Let me use this opportunity to re-echo my long-held belief that democracy is not a destination, it is a journey. We cannot therefore take it for granted.

“Unless we are eternally vigilant and alive to our duties to provide our people with effective and responsible governance which guarantees that we listen to them at all times and ensure that their needs are met we run the risk of derailing our hard-end democracy in the region.”

He noted that the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has a key role to play to make the African continent succeed.

“If the African continent is to be a success story – or even the AU for that matter, ECOWAS must play a key role. And for ECOWAS to lead the charge, Ghana and Nigeria must step up to the plate, and fulfil their leadership role on the continent. So, my colleagues, let us take the first step on that journey today, and do so together,” Saraki said.

THE FULL SPEECH
1. It is wonderful to be here in solidarity with lawmakers of the Parliament of Ghana for the symposium commemorating 25 years of parliamentary democracyI bring warm greetings from the people of NigeriaWe congratulate you on this milestone. Much as the independence of Ghana served as a pointer to us that Nigeria’s own liberation was not far behind, we celebrate this silver jubilee with you in the knowledge that ours is round the corner
2. thank the House for the honour done to me, the Nigerian National Assembly and my country, to give this address on ‘The Future of Good Governance in Africa’. My profound gratitude to the Rt. Hon. Prof. Aaron Michael Oquaye, Speaker of Parliament, fohis gracious invitation. When we met at the 137th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Russia last year, you said that you would invite me here as a way of cementing the legislative relationship between our two countries, and you kept your word. I commend you.
3. Mr. Speaker, I must also, specially congratulate you because your personal story and involvement in democratic struggle and the outcome of so many years of sacrifice, represents the unique character that makes democracy the best form of government. Who would have imagined that you would, today, be here as the custodian of Ghana’s democracy? yours is a shining example why we must never relent and remain unflinching in our pursuit of a virile democracy across Africa. I congratulate you.
4. I have reflected over the longstanding relationship between our countries; and the budding foundation and collective vision of our leaders past and present. It is 59 years since Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s historic visit to Nigeria – in 1959 – in those heady days after the first All African Peoples Conference, which Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe hailed as the beginning of a Federation of Independent West African StatesNoting that Ghana and Nigeria’s struggles were identical in many respects, Dr. Azikiwe had declared that, “The very diversity of our peoples, and customs and languages, means that we have much to contribute to each other.” He looked forward to our two countries becomingmodels of honest and democratic government” capable of giving hope to all of Africa.
5. Typically, when we hear of a ‘special relationship’ between nations, it is with regard to Britain and America; and as the Reagan and Thatcher era showed forththese are relationships that outlive governments. Ours, too, is a special relationship, which should outlive us and be a reference point of special relationship in Africa. The onus and leadership rests on us. What we do now, lays the basis for the continent’s future
6. Here then is the imperative of unity between our two nations and in the region. With unity and democracy as standard, we can lay the groundwork for good governance and development. We are thus presented with the opportunity to work for democracy, using the instrumentality of parliament.
7. Honourable colleagues, it is hardly a coincidence that every country in ECOWAS is governed by a democratically elected government. Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia and The Gambia have seen peaceful transfers of power from incumbents to the opposition. We have crossed the Rubiconin West Africa; and I have no doubt that ECOWAS hashelped catalyse the thinking, that democracy is the way forward for Africa. 
8. The legislature, by reason of its composition, represents the interest of the people; and serves as counter-balance to executive power. Parliament is therefore the best representation of the diversity of the nation, and the fulcrum for harmonising initiatives that express the will of the people, while providing clarity on how best to implement those initiatives.
9. If Africa is to be fully integrated into the global economy, itsconstituent nations must be governed by the rule of law, and we have to commit to making the required adjustment now. The strength of democracy starts with the strength of parliament. It is our responsibility to instil in the body politic the time-honoured principles of participation, transparency and accountability, and to fight corruption,always making the space for stakeholder participation. This is the modern model of governance.
10. Honourable colleagues, you will agree with me that parliaments are a stabilising force in democracy, especially with regard to our oversight responsibility. We must be courageous; even when some of our initiatives fly in the face of special interest, ours is to do what is right for our people. To do this, we must defend democracy. We have seen for ourselves the beauty of democracy in its infancy. That should give us the inspiration to steer it to a level where it can compete favourably with older democracies in the developed world.
11. Let me use this opportunity to re-echo my long-held belief that democracy is not a destination, it is a journey. We cannot therefore take it for granted. Unless we are eternally vigilant and alive to our duties to provide our people with effective and responsible governance which guarantees that we listen to them at all times and ensure that their needs are met we run the risk of derailing our hard-end democracy in the region. The recent events in Zimbabwe make this eloquently clear that bad governance is the Achilles heel of democracy. To ensure democracy is well and strong in the sub region, the legislature which is the most critical institution of democracy has a very vital role to play. If we play our role properly, we can expect to be back here celebrating 50-100years of uninterrupted democratic governance, nothing can be taken for granted in democracy and events across the world point to this fact.
12. As a community of democratic West African states, ECOWAS makes it that much easier to build consensus; and the organisation can serve this purpose very effectively onsecurity and the economy. As many regional challenges indicate, our people suffer when the needed policies are not in place. We simply have to put the right policies in place in ECOWAS. In Nigeria, Boko Haram insurgency and Herdsmen-and-Farmers conflicts come with regional dimensions. These are further aggravated by porous borders that advertise the weakness in trans-national security, while facilitating irregular migration and human trafficking. There is a need to strengthen our security apparatus so that together, we can fight terrorism. It is a threat to government, education and economic development. 
13. We have much to build upon, my honourable colleagues. Trading relations between Nigeria and Ghana have begun to peak. Collaboration between the Nigerian film industry – Nollywood – and Ghanaian actors, directors and producers, remind us that age-old competition in football and even music – for who can forget the glory days of E.T. Mensah and his co-travellers in Highlife? – all of that, can be channelled in truly great and creative directions.
14. The Pan-African vision of Joseph Casely-Hayford’s National Congress of British West Africa was only one great beginning in regional cooperation. We may recall some institutions that thrived during the pre-independence era. The West African Airways Corporation, West African Frontier Force, West African Currency Board and many others. The West African Examination Council (WAEC) has stayed relevant down the years. It is my belief, therefore, that we can achieve the unity and cooperation needed to build even more effective institutions, and strengthen them for the challenges of today. 
15. We are the richest continent in resources and yet we are the poorest, because we have allowed ourselves to be pigeonholed as the supplier of raw materials to the world. The leaders of our two countries are clear in their stance on the raw materials pivot of our economies. President Muhammadu Buhari has said that, “Our vision is for a Nigeria in which we grow what we eat.” And President Akufo-Addo is unequivocal: “We must add value to [our] resources, we must industrialise and we must enhance agricultural productivity.” 
16. The two leaders have identified this flaw in our economies, and we in parliament must support them with appropriate legislation in order to realise their visionAfrican parliaments have to come together to cross-pollinate ideas about how to move the continent forward. There is an urgent need to fast-track development so that our people can feel the impact of responsive government. But what is the place of law in the development trajectory of Africa? It is by guaranteeing freedoms, rights and opportunities. 
17. The rule of law and accountability are the hallmarks of democratic legislatureWe must, therefore, begin to look at the implications of laws passed across the continent. Integration is about frameworks, and this is largely legislative in nature. There is a relationship between the laws we make and the development our people can see. Wecannot shirk the responsibility of creating a more integrated African development paradigm. 
18. Honourable colleagues, let me use this opportunity to call for collaboration in ECOWAS. The economic community already has the framework; it is left for us to make it work for regional integration, and even use it to actualise the African Union (AU) agendaECOWAS has the capacity to drive the economic prosperity of Africa; and in order to have a diversified economy, long term issues cannot be driven by policy but by legislation, which we are responsible forWe must rise to the challenge, so that we can get our people out of poverty. And whatever is to be done in ECOWAS, our two countries should be at the driving seat. 
19. Let us stir up that spirit of regional integration and cooperation that moved this great continent once. It is in this vein that I propose the creation of a legislative platform comprising the leadership of our two legislaturesone where cross-national dialogue can flourish, and recommendations made to aid integration and development. 
20. Africa’s population of 1.3 billion will double by 2050, and youths will account for more than half of that increase. Walready have the largest concentration of young people in the world, according to the United Nations. Half of Uganda’s population is under the age of 15; almost 80 percent are under 30. Here in Ghana, 57 percent are under the age of 25, according to the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE); 18-35 year olds constitute about 65 percent of the population. As for Nigeria, we are set to become the third most populous country on earth by 2050, surpassing the United States; no fewer than 68 percent of us are in the 1835 age bracket. 
21. And yet, the demographic dividend that is expected to accelerate the growth of Africa is undercut by the apparent capitulation of frustrated youth. We are witnessing the phenomenon of young Africans trekking through the Sahara Desert and on to the Mediterranean Sea into horrors including slavery and deathOf irregular migrants in limbo in Libya, Ghanaians number 59,870, while 44,608 of them are Nigerians. Our youths do not see a future for themselves on the continent and are willing to go elsewhere or die tryingWe must reverse this unfortunate trend; and we can only do so by making our continent a place of opportunity
22. Honourable colleagues, it is unacceptable that Africa’s trade with Europe far outstrips that between African nations.British foreign investment in Africa totalled $54.1 billion in 2014. China had an estimated 2,650 projects ongoing on our continent in 2015Meanwhile, Africa’s share of the global trade stands at 3 per cent, inter-Africa trade is 11 per cent – this is unsustainable. The attention of British investors is expected to shift from Africa to Europe, post-BrexitIn the United States, the clamour is all about America First. Let us ask ourselves: what about Africa? Not a moment can be spared in our efforts as Africans to cover our flanks in trade. We must devise an economic model that produces and manufactures primarily for the African market, and then use that as a basis upon which to engage with the wider world. Africa’s engagement with the wider world will be stronger where the world perceives that the legislature is actively involved and on the same page with the Executive.
23. Travel within Africa is another area of concern. If we do not make the necessary investments in transportation, and remove encumbrances that make it easier for Africans to travel across Europe than within Africa itself, we would not be able to take full advantage of the opportunities that abound on our continent. 
24. Happily, the expected launch of the Continental Free Trade Area by the AU, later this month, should open up the continent to greater integration, particularly in trade between African countries. The LagosTangiers Highway Project; the Trans Sahara Pipeline and new Railway projects to connect East African countries, are all encouraging developmentsWe are in Ghana, and so I cannot fail to commend the vision behind the proposed Ghana Railway Project that would link you to yournorthern neighbours in Cote d’Ivoire, Togo and Burkina Faso. 
25. The recently launched Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) is also heartening; it will open up transport routes for 12 African countries and create over 150,000 jobs, boosting Africa’s GDP by an estimated $1.3 billion.Taken together with the agreement by a number of African countries to ease visa requirements for African nationals, the benefit to continental economy is immense. However,there is the need to take a critical look at challenges in some ECOWAS treaties that are open to abuse, and review to ensure we achieve desired results
26. I strongly believe that our people’s talent for innovation and enterprise makes them our most valuable resources  it is our role therefore, to give them opportunities to translate these into going concerns. This will create wealth and enable us to compete globally. The world community is moving at lightning speed in Information and Communication Technology (ICT), and in overall modernisation as well as renewable sources of energy. Africa cannot afford to lag behind. Government has to perform in a way that gives confidence to civil society as well as the private sector, in order to stimulate economic growth and security. We must work to make the sub-region a place of investment. We must generate wealth for the people of Africa.
27. It is to this endthat the 8th National Assembly under my leadership has, since its inception, prioritised the passage of landmark economic laws to enable SMEs to grow and prosper, including: the Warehouse Receipts BillSecured Transactions in Moveable Assets BillCredit Bureau Reporting Bill; we have also targeted laws to stimulate agriculture as a way of steamrolling our diversification agenda through the passage of the Commercial Agriculture Credit Guarantee Scheme and the Institute of Soil ScienceBill, the Food Security Bill etc. we have pursued as an overarching policy the revamping of our industrial base through the made-in-Nigeria initiative under the Public Procurement Act (Amendment) Bill; and the Federal Competition Commission Bill. We are reviewing ourcompany law regime through the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) and the Investments and Securities Act (ISA) in order to reduce the regulatory burden of Nigerian businesses and create a globally competitive market regulatory regime in Nigeria
28. Outdated infrastructure related laws have been reviewed and bills passed to increase private sector participation in those sectors. Among these are: the Nigerian Railway Corporation Bill; the Federal Road Authority (Establishment Etc.) Billthe Nigerian Ports and Harbours Authority Act (Amendment) Bill; and the National Roads Fund (Establishment) BillCreating an economic regulatory framework for the infrastructure laws is theNational Transport Commission Bill, which is on the verge of being passed.
29. Anti-corruption is a very important focus for us, to cleanse the Augean stables and strengthen institutions. We have stayed the course with laws such as: the Whistleblowers Protection BillCorrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act (Amendment) Bill, and the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Bill. A day or so ago, the Auditor-General of the Federation welcomed the passage of the Federal Audit Service Commission Bill, and described the legislation as ‘historic’.
30. We are also focusing a great deal of attention to the modernization of our electoral system to make it more accountable and insulated it from politically influence. The National Assembly passed the #NotTooYoungToRun Bill to reduce the age limits for running for office by a wide margin, to open the window of political participation wider to incorporate our youths in the mainstream of governance. deepen democratic participationConstitutional amendments have also been concluded, the aim of which is to strengthen our electoral processes, to ensure credibleelections
31. It is incumbent on us to make clear promises, therefore, and to deliver on them. If the people do not feel that they are governing themselves, it is not good governance no matter the goods we deliver. Our two nations can forge ahead by sharing experiences, building upon valued discourses about the way the world works, and how to make our people beneficiaries as well as contributors to the great leaps of this century. 
32. I would like to touch on the importance of education. If we are to deliver good governance to the next generation of Africans, and if the demographic dividend is to come to fruition, education is key. We must invest in primary, secondary and tertiary education – up to the 26 percent of the national budget as recommended by the United Nations. It must be mandatory for every child to go to school; we should ensure that there are incentives for those that send their children to school, and penalties for those that do not. We have to pull every one of our citizens out of the cycle of poverty and ignorance, and education is the means by which to do so.
33. Let me say that my vision for Africa is an optimistic one. I am very upbeat about the continent, I am very upbeat about the future. There is much to build on. Greater educational, scientific and technological interaction can lay a basis for our part of the world to match the rest of the world. Democracy is not just about elections; it is about putting knowledge at the disposal of a people determined to take their future into their own hands. 
34. In closing, permit me this iteration, that if the African continent is to be a success story – or even the AU for that matter, ECOWAS must play a key role. And for ECOWAS to lead the charge, Ghana and Nigeria must step up to the plate, and fulfil their leadership role on the continent. So, my colleagues, let us take the first step on that journey today, and do so together. 
35. Thank you for your attention. Long live the Parliament of Ghana. God bless the beautiful peoples of Ghana and Nigeria.

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You’ve Nothing to Offer Nigerians, Only Insults, Akwa Ibom Gov Slams Tinubu

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Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel, on Monday, replied the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, saying that he (Tinubu) always resorts to abusing and insulting people during campaigns because he has nothing to bring to the table for Nigerians.

He also said that despite being insulted by the former Lagos State Governor, he would prefer to allow peace to reign by ignoring him and focusing on helping install good governance to rescue Nigerians from their present woes.

Emmanuel spoke on Monday evening at Government House, Uyo while inaugurating newly appointed Permanent Secretaries, Chairmen and Members of Boards and Commissions, as well as a Transition Committee to ensure the smooth transition of power to the next administration.

Recall that Tinubu had during his rally in Uyo Monday afternoon, reportedly said, “Akwa Ibom, that boy wey bring Atiku here, wey de call himself Governor, tell him enough is enough! He lives in my backyard in Lagos, If no be say we be one, I would have driven him home. You see that mansion he is living, I would just use lizards, pigeons and scorpions to put him inside.“

But reacting few hours later, the Akwa Ibom State Governor said, “for the country to remain in peace, one party must ‘play saint’ and that is why he would refrain from replying Tinubu.

Emmanuel who is the Chairman of the PDP presidential campaigns said, “I also go to other states, and if you watch our campaigns, my principal (Atiku Abubakar) has never spoken about any Governor, he has never spoken openly about Asiwaju before.”

He added that it was unfortunate that Tinubu, who was granted state-owned facilities such as the airport, security, stadium, and a good atmosphere to come in and sell his manifesto, ended up coming to insult the integrity of over 7.9 million Akwa Ibom people.

The Governor wondered if it is possible for any Akwa Ibomite to go to Lagos that Tinubu stays or the actual state that he hails from, to insult Tinubu in like manner and still be allowed to safely return home, “but here our people at the stadium including some state governors just laughed and applauded him.”

“What makes him think he will govern Nigeria? If I reply him now, people will call me and say, haba oga you are not like that. But I will reply him one day. There is nothing like ‘emilokan’ (it is my turn) here, Nigeria is in God’s hands.”

He maintained further that despite being the highest revenue contributor to the federation account, Akwa Ibom State has not gotten a single kilometre of road from the APC-led Federal Government for nearly 8 years adding that the poor response from the Federal Government also caused the delayed commencement of the seaport in the state.

Meanwhile, the governor thanked the newly appointed Permanent Secretaries for accepting the onerous task of service, and urged them to see themselves as ambassadors and work towards raising the bar of leadership which would encourage productivity and promote good working relationship with subordinates in the service.

“This is one thing I promised Akwa Ibom people that appointment of Permanent Secretaries shall be totally on merit and not by mercy, let those that can do the work be given the opportunity. Permanent Secretary is not a promotion, it is an appointment on merit.

Governor Emmanuel also reiterated his commitments towards enhancing efficiency within Civil Service, noting that during his administration civil servants have been promoted on yearly basis.

He assured that before he exits office more Permanent Secretaries would be appointed into the service to fill vacant positions left by the ones who retired.

Addressing Chairmen of Boards and Commissions, Governor Emmanuel who described them as pillars in government, acknowledged their commitment particularly, Chairman, Akwa Ibom State Environmental Protection & Waste Management Agency, Prince Akpan Ikim, for winning laurels for the state through his outstanding performance in keeping and making the state the cleanest in Nigeria for five consecutive years from 2018 through 2022, and tasked others to create an impact that will stand them out.

In the same vein, the Transition Committee members were handed the task of ensuring a seamless transition of government to an incoming administration, and also verify all projects executed by the present administration.

The newly appointed Permanent Secretaries are; Mfon Inuaesiet Edemekong Esq., Dr. Stephen Effiong, Atim Chelly Okoko, Iquo Okon Abia Esq., Uwem Sunday Andrew-Essien, Isaiah Robson Ntekim and Emaeyak Nyong Akpan as Auditor-General for Local Government.

The Transition Committee has Mrs. Ekereobong Umoh -Chairman, Uko Udom SAN, Prof Augustine Umoh, Dr. Ini Adiakpan, Mrs. Nsemeke Daniel, Dr. Nathaniel Adiakpan, Mr Elijah Udoiyak, Mrs. Esther Inyang, Pastor Uwem Andrew-Essien, Mr. Isaiah Ntekim, Mr. Effiong Ekpenyong and Mrs. Bella Akpanya as members.

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PDP Condemns Attack on Buhari in Kano, Blames Tinubu, Ganduje

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The Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Council, has blamed the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and the governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje, for the attacks on the convoy of President Muhammadu Buhari, during a visit to the state on Monday.

The spokesperson of the campaign council, Dino Melaye, who shared one of the videos from the reported attack, wrote, “The fight between Tinubu and Buhari is entering a new dimension. The attack in Kano was properly coordinated and funded allegedly by Asiwaju.

“The meeting to push Buhari to submission or face sponsored attack in the north was said to be hatched in Bourdillon. Me, I am busy with Atiku.”

A political activist, Deji Adeyanju, who shared another video of the reported attack, said, “They are showing Buhari and APC Shege in Kano and many northern states.”

Similarly, the PDP in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, on Monday also blamed Tinubu and the Governor of Kano State, Abdullahi Ganduje, for the attack.

According to the party, the attack was designed to undermine the Presidency, cause confusion, trigger violence in the country, disrupt the conduct of the 2023 general elections “and derail our democracy having realised that he cannot win in a peaceful, free and fair electoral process.”

The statement read in part, “The PDP invites Nigerians to note how Governor Abdullahi Ganduje attempted to abridge President Buhari’s movement and even tried to stop him from visiting Kano State.

“More disquieting is the fact that the APC Presidential Campaign sought to humiliate and harm President Buhari while performing his official duties in Kano.

“It should be noted that the APC presidential candidate has been displaying open aversion and making inciting statements against President Buhari since Mr President’s declaration, in line with democratic best practice all over the world that Nigerians should freely vote for any candidate and party of their choice in the 2023 general elections.

“The apparent frustration of Asiwaju Tinubu to resort to encourage or condone violence is fueled by his entitlement mentality, that it is his turn to be President, despite his numerous ineligibility and disability baggage.”

Ologunagba reminded Nigerians about Tinubu’s infamous statement in London where he declared to his supporters that “political power is not going to be served in a restaurant, it is not served a la carte.”

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Organ Harvesting: Ekweremadu Battles for Freedom, Appears in Court Tuesday

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A former Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, will on Tuesday appear again in court in the United Kingdom where he has been accused of human trafficking.

The lawmaker was in June 2022 arrested at Heathrow Airport in London after Staines Police Station received a report from a young man claiming to have been trafficked into the UK.

The young man, who made the report shortly after arriving in the UK from Nigeria, also alleged that he was made to undergo some medical tests, none of which he consented to.

Ekweremadu was immediately arraigned before a Magistrate’s Court for bringing a child into the UK to harvest his organs.

While the lawmaker had been in custody since June 23, his wife, Beatrice, who was arrested with him, was granted bail by a criminal court in London shortly after their arrest.

Monday (today) makes it 221 days since Ekweremadu was placed in the custody of UK authorities.

The case against the lawmaker which had been slated for May was later scheduled for January 31.

The 60-year-old, who denied the allegations against him, will again appear before High Court Judge, Mr Justice Johnson.

His daughter, Sonia, had on November 7, 2022, appeared in court to defend the accusation of trafficking a homeless man into the UK to harvest his organs for herself.

According to Daily Mail, the 25-year-old, who is battling a kidney-related illness, pleaded not guilty to the charge level against her when she appeared again in court on January 13.

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