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Building a New Nigeria: Imperatives for Shared Prosperity

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Convocation Lecture Delivered By Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina, President, African Development Bank Group American University of Nigeria July 10, 2021

(PROTOCOLS).

Good morning everyone!

A very happy morning to you the Class of 2020 and Class of 2021!

Today is your big day. A day of joy, for you and your families, your lecturers and the University.

I wish to thank you Professor Margee Ensign, President of the American University of Nigeria for inviting me to deliver this commencement lecture.

I am most grateful to you, Madam President, the University Senate and the Governing Council for the great honor of being conferred with the University’s highest honorary degree: Doctor of Humane Letters. Thank you so very much!

I am very happy to be here today. This is the first time to be at this great University, established by H.E. Atiku Abubakar, GCFR, former Vice President of Nigeria, a revered national leader, and a visionary and respected African statesman. He is also a benefactor, mentor, big brother, and friend.

He loves education and its power to create transformation change.

I was joking with him recently and asked why at his age, he had gone back to study for a Masters’ degree in international relations in the UK. He told me that he wanted to obtain the degree, so that he could find out why he did the things he did while in government: In essence, a retrospective degree for the many successes he has had!

Congratulations to you all the class of 2020 and the class of 2021. You have done very well, and you have made your parents proud.

I love the diversity I see here: you have students from all parts of Nigeria, a reflection also of Nigeria’s diversity.

I also love the diversity that I see in the international students and faculty. You are all welcome in Nigeria. I gather that the international student body includes the nations of South Africa, Cote d’Ivoire, Rwanda, Cameroon, India and Romania.

I trust that in your respective ways and in the years ahead, you will all become honorary ambassadors of Nigeria. I trust that you will also look back in the not-too-distant future and say, “yes, Nigeria finally made it!”
I am proud to be a Nigerian. I know that for several people, this might sound like an old cliché, whose time has passed. I fully understand the challenges we face as a nation. Yet, I have a dream that we will arise, from our challenges, and build a more prosperous and united nation.

So, today, I want to speak to you about “Building a New Nigeria: Imperatives for Shared Prosperity”.

I speak to you today as a Nigerian. As I have quite often said, I will live as a Nigerian, die as a Nigerian, and on the resurrection morning I will ask God for permission to rise as a Nigerian, with the green-white-green flag in my hand!

Nigeria is blessed with incredibly rich diversity: of people, of cultures, of religions, of mineral resources, oil, and gas, an amazingly rich biodiversity, that should make us the envy of the world. We are blessed with abundantly diverse agro-ecologies, that should also make us a land of bountiful harvests with capacity to feed Africa.

We are a religious nation, so we should understand that God loves diversity. The diversity of rich and brilliant colours that we see in our forests, oceans, seas, and in flora and fauna, reflect the beauty of the Creator.

Therefore, our diversity is not our problem. Diversity is our strength.

But when mismanaged, diversity becomes divergence. Rather than unite, we become splintered, with each entity believing that, somehow, it is better without the other.

We must manage diversity for collective good.

Take Singapore as a case in point.

It is a very diverse, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-religious society, made up of Chinese, Malay, Indian and Eurasians. Singapore is a nation of diverse people and national origins.

Yet, this nation was able to forge a unified identity that has powered its extraordinary economic progress and development.

Think of it: Chinese represent 74%, Malay, 13.4%, Indian, 9.0%, and others, 3.2%.

Think of their religious diversity: Buddhism ((33%), Taoism and folk religion (10%), Christianity (18%), Catholicism (6.7%), Protestants and non-Catholics (12%), Not religious (18.5%), Muslims (14%), and Hinduism (5%).

There is religious harmony, not religious supremacy, or polarization.

The people see themselves first as Singaporeans!

At its independence in 1965, Singapore’s per capita income was just $517 compared to $1,400 for Nigeria at its independence in 1960.

Today, the story is different. The per capita income of Singapore is now $60,000. Today, the per capita income for Nigeria is $2,250.

This highly diverse nation now ranks 4th in the world in terms of GDP per capita, with massive wealth and prosperity for its people.

The evidence is clear.

Singapore managed its diversity to create wealth — shared wealth.

By better managing its diversity, Singapore has been able to forge an incredible economic growth, which benefits all in the country.

They have 100% access to electricity and 98% access to water and sanitation. Their schools rank among the best in the world.

Today, Singapore is a AAA-rated economy by the global credit rating agencies.

But Singapore did not have it easy either.

They faced challenges, just like we are facing in Nigeria today. They had very divisive ethnic and race riots in the 1960s that almost pulled the nation apart. But they overcame this by getting some things right.

They focused on fusion of national purpose and identity.

They put in place cultural policies that ensured no one ethnic group or the other dominates or assimilates others, but rather, promotes multiculturalism.

They put in place a constitution that reinforced national fusion. Article 12 of the constitution forbids discrimination based on race, descent or place of birth. It reads, “We the citizens of Singapore, pledge ourselves as one united people, regardless of race, language and religion, to build a democratic society based on justice and equality”.

It goes on to say, “there shall be no discrimination against citizens of Singapore on the grounds only of religion, race, descent or place of birth in any law or in the appointment to any office or employment under a public authority or in the administration of any law relating to the acquisition, holding or disposition of property or the establishing or carrying on of any trade, business, profession, vocation or employment”.

What is the lesson here?

The Singaporean society is based on meritocracy, not aristocracy or ethnocracy or religiocracy.

Any society where meritocracy is subjugated to aristocracy, ethnocracy or religiocracy eventually tends towards mediocrity.

Nigeria must learn from this experience and forge a new way of engaging among its diverse ethnic groups and religions.
Nigeria must start managing its diversity for prosperity.

We must drive for national cohesion, not ethnic nationalities.

We must address the fundamental reasons for agitations, by listening, understanding, removing prejudices, and allowing for open, national dialogues, without preconditions, but with one goal: build one cohesive, united, fair, just and equitable nation for all, not for a few or for any section of the nation or religion.

A nation, unified by a sense of common wealth, not a collage of ethnic nationalism. A nation driven my meritocracy, not ethnocracy, religiocracy or aristocracy.

One of the things that Singapore did well was to have four national languages: English, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil. Nigeria needs to put in place the compulsory teaching of its major languages in schools, from primary through universities, to ensure multilingualism, cross-cultural understanding, and to build a strong socio-cultural capital that unifies.

The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) was a very good idea: it allowed graduates from tertiary institutions to have one year of national service, largely (ideally) outside of their places of origin.

The real test, however, of “national service” is that it often revealed the lack of diversity. After one year of service the NYSC graduates are often not able to gain employment in governments where they served, simply because they are not indigenes of those States.

That in itself, is an irony!

The young graduates are strangers in their own country. A country they pledged to serve. opportunity is denied just because they were not born in those states! Even if they were born in those states, they are told to return to the States of their origin.

Yet, their origin is Nigeria, not their States!

In Nigeria, regardless of how long you have resided in any place, you cannot run for political offices in those states or locations, just because you were not born there. State governments, therefore, largely reflect nativism not residency, which further sends a message to non-indigenes that they do not belong.

Over time, this has created greater insularism, splintering, a lack of inclusiveness, the promotion of ethnic and religious chauvinism, instead of promoting national cohesion, trust and inclusiveness.

This needs to change.

Governments must be open to representation based on nationality not on ethnicity, to build a society of mutual trust, where diversity is well managed.

Unless someone can live in any part of the nation, work within the laws and not be discriminated against, based on religion, race or culture, or place of birth, they will always be strangers in the nation.

I love the Nigerian National Anthem. My favourite stanza is the one that says, “to build a nation, where peace and justice shall reign”.

I get emotional whenever I sing it. I remember when I was a Federal Minister, each time we gathered at the Federal Executive Council and had to sing, or at any other function strong emotions would well up within me, for a nation I love, serve, and will always serve, selflessly.

I know that we can be better than we are. We have everything and every reason to be.

For Nigeria to be all that it can be, the youth of Nigeria must be all they can be.

The future of Nigeria depends on what it does today with its dynamic youth population. This demographic advantage must be turned into a first rate and well-trained work force, for Nigeria, for the region and for the world.

But 38.5% of Nigeria’s youth are unemployed. Lacking skills, economic opportunities, they are discouraged, angry and restless, as they look at a future that does not give them hope.

We should prioritize investments in the youth: in upskilling them for the jobs of the future, not the jobs of the past; by moving away from so called youth empowerment to youth investment; to opening up the social and political space to the youth to air their views and become a positive force for national development; and for ensuring that that we create youth-based wealth.

From the East to the West, from the North to the South, there must be a sea change in economic, financial, and business opportunities for young Nigerians.

The old must give way to the new. And there must be a corresponding generational transfer of power and wealth to the youth. The popular folk talk should no longer be “the young shall grow”, it should, rather, be: “the young have arrived”.

The young shoots are springing up in Nigeria. Today, Lagos has its own Silicon Valley. Yabacon Valley has emerged as one of the leading tech hubs in Africa with between 400 and 700 active start-ups worth over $2 billion, second only to Cape Town.

Andela, a global technology start-up based in Yabacon Valley, recently attracted $24 million in funding from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. The $200 million investment by Stripe (a Silicon Valley firm) in the local payments company Paystack, and $400 million into three Fintech companies in just one week in 2019 signals the huge potentials of Nigeria to attract global digital commerce and financial services.

The African Development Bank is currently working on a $500 million program, Digital Nigeria, which is being designed to help further transform Nigeria’s digital competitiveness and build on the incredible entrepreneurship of Nigeria’s youth.
The Bank is also exploring the establishment of Youth Entrepreneurship Investment Banks — financial institutions for young people, run by first-rate young bankers and financial experts, to drive youth-wealth creation.

Nigerians deserve wealth, not poverty.

For all the abundant wealth of natural resources, Nigeria’s poverty situation is unacceptable.

Today, sadly, there are way too many poor people in Nigeria. The Government is implementing bold social programs to reduce the number of poor, through interventionist programs, but the fact of the matter is poverty is not just about money.

There is poverty of health, and yet we know that health is wealth.

The COVID-19 pandemic has further revealed the weaknesses of Nigeria’s health care systems. From diagnostic and testing centers, access to vaccines, and hospital infrastructure, the health care systems were overwhelmed.

I commend the spirited efforts of the Federal and State governments, and the private sector, in mobilizing resources to tackle the pandemic.

The African Development Bank provided $288.5 million to support the efforts of the Nigerian government in responding to the pandemic.

But we must go further. Nigeria must manufacture vaccines locally.

There is a lot to change to secure the health of the population.

Less than 5% of the population have access to insurance with the National Health Insurance Service. Over 90% of Nigerians have no health insurance.

You can see the effects on the lives of people.

Nigerians are not living long compared to other countries. Life expectancy in Nigeria is only 60 years (2020), compared to 70 years in India, 81 years in the UK, 80 years in the US, 82 years in Norway, and 86 years in Singapore.

Nigeria should build a comprehensive health care defence system, to secure its population against the impacts of the current pandemic and future pandemics. There must be equal opportunities for all. Health is wealth. We must ensure that all have access to health care, regardless of the levels of income.

And we must strongly support medical doctors, physicians, nurses and medical technologists, and remunerate them accordingly. They form the core of the health care system. We cannot have a situation where 56% of Nigeria’s medical doctors are working outside of Nigeria.

We need to stem the tide by prioritizing health of the people, and incentivizing professionals in the health care system, from rural health clinics to the surgeons and physicians in secondary and tertiary health systems.

Nigeria should put in place incentives to harness the knowledge, skills, and resources of Nigerians in the diaspora, and invest massively in building Nigeria’s health care infrastructure and systems.

There must be accountability for better lives for all Nigerians, regardless of their levels of income.

There cannot and should not be a Nigeria for the rich, and another Nigeria for the poor.

We must build one Nigeria, where every citizen has the right to a decent life.

We must build a better nation.

We must start building again, not splintering again.

We must re-build trust, equity, and social justice, to propel strong cohesiveness as a nation.

The tides are high, I know, and our boat rocks from time to time. Yet, I have hope. Hope for a better Nigeria … a renewed nation. Hope for a nation helped and healed by God. A nation, where the sacrifices of Nigerians past and present shall not be in vain.

I pray and long for a better Nigeria.

For a nation, built not on the division of its past, or the foundations of ethnicity, but on a new foundation, the foundation of equity, fairness, justice and unity, one Nigerian to the other.

For a new Nigeria, where one from the north shall be at home in the east; where one from the east shall break bread with one in the north; one where the one in the west shall eat from the same plate with one in the north; and wash hands in the same basin as one in the east.

They shall be one.

They shall not raise alarms against their neighbors, for we shall once again be renewed with a spirit of nationhood.

Our nation, buffeted on every side, flowing with the blood of the innocent, shall one day arise. The lion will lie with the lamb.

Our youth will once again rejoice in the hope of their future. A better future built on better days where governments work for them, not against them; when they shall stay in their lands, and none shall make them afraid; when they shall once again be the best they can be in the nation of their birth.
A nation where dreams are realized.

The youth — healthy, with decent incomes, and powered by policies to unleash their potential — shall be the strength of that nation.

They shall unite and work for a better future, their own future, not of those that have gone before them, nor of those who use them, instead of building them.

So today, I ask that you arise and build the nation we desire and deserve. A nation built by all, shared by all, prospering for all.

I see right here today, leaders of such a nation.

You have been well prepared. Do not learn the ways of the past. Renew your minds and work for the better future, your future, for a new Nigeria.

Correct the mistakes of our past.

Breakdown barriers of suspicion! Pull down walls that have divided us and caused us to war against each other. Pull down walls of fear and instead embrace and accept one another.

In the process, we will build together.

We will build a new Nigeria, where one will be respected and accepted, not according to the village of one’s birth, the state of one’s nativity, or one’s religion, but by the dignity within … the simple dignity of being a Nigerian.

The sufferings of the present cannot and should not dampen our hope in the future.

So today, turn to your right and whosoever you see say to them “I am Nigerian”.

Yes, you are “Nigerian”!

Now, wherever you go on from here, go out and make Nigeria proud … and work for a better Nigeria!

Wherever you find yourself, in your own little sphere, let the change begin with you!

Build bridges that connect, not walls that separate!

Together, in a better and just society, we will thrive.

And thrive we must, and thrive we will, as one united Nigeria.

So, say it again: “I am Nigerian!”

Yes, we are. Now, help us God!

Congratulations again! Go out there, change Nigeria, and change the world!

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Morning after 25th February 2023 Presidential Election: A Qualitative Trend Analysis by Iyorwuese Hagher

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It is morning on 26th February 2023 in Nigeria. The previous day, the nation stood still, as voters queued at their polling stations to exercise their civic duties to elect Nigerian’s next President. With the new BVAS, the voting, collating and transmission of votes were concluded speedily. The political parties were in their situation rooms, watching throughout the night with deep skepticism the INEC portal and news rooms. In Abuja as in all the thirty six states, Nigerians stayed awake, glued to their Televisions sets, and hand-held devices. Politicians hardly make good historians. They had learnt nothing and forgotten nothing!
The citizens await the results in fear. They are rightly afraid that electing a wrong party, and wrong candidate would push Nigeria over the cliff to total collapse as a failed state where there is no government, and war-lords divide the country, and inflict on the hapless citizens the reign of unmitigated terror.

But outside the homes, on the streets, in the inner cites, and the suburbs, the social media had finished tallying the votes and a winner had emerged. The _Obidients_ began to celebrate the victory of Mr. Peter Obi whom the social media gave the winning votes 55,850,000 or 60% of total votes cast, winning in 20 states while Atiku Abubakar came second 23,250,000 or 25% of votes cast and winning in 10 states. The social media relegated Bola Ahmed Tinubu to the third position, winning in six states with 13,950,000 and 15% of total votes cast. In their results, all 93 million registered voters had cast their votes! The _Obidients_ denounced any announcement by INEC which was contrary to their released results. They threatened mayhem and bedlam if another “rigged” result was announced. The celebration by the _Obidients_ was short-lived, for soon enough, the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, addressed the Nation at 7am.

In his address, he discloses that only about 40% of registered voters had cast their votes the previous day. This is higher than in 2019 when only 31% of registered voters voted. The INEC Chairman has declared the Presidential Candidate of the PDP, Alh. Atiku Abubakar, as the winner of the Presidential Election 2023 with a total of 18,721,167 popular votes, which was 52.3% of total votes and won in 19 states and the FCT. Bola Ahmed Tinubu of APC, came second with 15,692,950 popular votes being 30% of total votes cast and won in ten states. Peter Obi of the Labour Party has scored 9,367,481 popular votes, and scored 18% of total votes cast and won in six states. This is the final verdict having the imprimatur of the INEC Chairman.

In Jagaban’s Campaign Headquarters, there is deep silence and mourning. The people are whispering and urging his doctor and his wife to wake him up to address his supporters on the next line of action. He had been sedated earlier, to calm him and curb his propensity to tantrums and bellicosity. After more than 15 minutes argument with his wife and doctor, the Jagaban agrees to address the press. Many of his supporters are gathered in his situation room at Maitama Abuja, where he has spent the last 24 hours, sleepless, monitoring the Presidential Election and its results. The supporters were caps bearing his insignia of snake devouring its tail, a cultic symbol of infinity. The defeat highlights the irony of the infinity, as cyclical failure. The Jagaban is assisted to the podium and as he faces the barrage of microphones and cameras from different news outlets; the nation holds its breath. He had declared at the beginning of his ambition that the nation owed him his life ambition to be President. He had announced that it was his turn now, “Emi lokan”, no matter whose ox was gored. Nigerians now wait in trepidation and hope that he would do the right thing telling his supporters that Nigerians have spoken.

But the Jagaban does no such thing. He looks left and right, then stares ominously into the cameras and microphones. He coughs in his clenches fist and says: “Tell Buhari he has done his worst. I don’t forgive traitors. Tell the hackers from Russia they are refuse dumps. It is my turn. ‘Emi lokan, Emi lokan’. It is my money”.

He glowers at his aides and yells, “Tell all my supporters this revolution has just started”. He defiantly walks past his wife, and his running-mate, and intentionally pushes away his Campaign Director General. He slowly, ambles away like an enormous crocodile that has been denied its meal. With his head held high and his eyes blazing like hot embers, the Jagaban mutters, in murderous rage, to himself: “It’s a Revolution”. It is at this point that his security guards escort him to his campaign war-room.

At Atiku Abubakar’s Campaign Headquarters, (AACO) scores of thousands of supporters have taken over the building and the adjoining streets in Wuse II, Abuja. Different bands are blaring Atikulated and Okowalated songs. Atiku Abubakar’s face is passive, enigmatic, and bland. His age-old emotional shock-absorbers have kicked in to prevent the exultant emotions from overflowing, even at triumphant moment of sweet victory. He becomes excited when Peter Obi calls to concede defeat and offer his congratulations. He welcomes him as a long-lost brother, saying: “My brother this victory is also your victory. It is Nigeria’s victory my brother, it is time to rebuild the nation”.

Senator Bukola Saraki, and Governor Aminu Tambuwal follow, as the PDP National Chairman, Sen. (Dr.) Iyorchia Ayu, leads the president-elect to the 5th floor, of the Command and Control Centre, which had been set up in anticipation of this victory acceptance speech.
The World Media awaits with intensity, to hear this acceptance speech of former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar. It is the moment the world has waited for. The return of the PDP in a free election in Nigeria, is proof of the stability and elasticity of Nigeria’s democracy when the ruling party is defeated again. The world sees a rejuvenated Atiku, confident and smiling now. He says, in a presidential voice, he owes his victory to God Almighty, and thanks all the Nigerian voters who had turned up in an unprecedented manner to exercise their civic rights. He especially thanks those who voted for the other candidates. He promises them that he would also be their president. It is time now to heal the wounds of division and to build the bridges of Nigeria’s diversity. He thanks his fellow contestants and tells the world that the problems of the country are such that no individual, nor party has all the solutions. He is going to run a government of National Unity, where there will be political inclusiveness. “Winner takes all has been Un-African and undemocratic,” he assures. He acknowledges the telephone call from Peter Obi, Dr. Rabiu Kwankwaso, and the other presidential candidates. He thanks his Campaign Council and promises the nation that his victory is the new beginning Nigerians have been waiting for and that he would not fail them. He also thanks President Buhari whom he called “the father of Electoral Integrity in Nigeria” and calls on history to be kind to him for his legacy in electoral reforms.

Outside on the streets in Lagos, Osun, and Imo states, INEC offices are up in flames as thousands of demonstrators set up barricades and armed bandits take over; looting, maiming and instilling fear in the citizenry, with sinister cries of “Revolution”. Nigerians are afraid. Politicians disguise themselves and frantically begin to explore exit routes to just anywhere else! Nigerians stay in their homes, throughout 26th February. There is fear everywhere.

It is now the turn of President Buhari to address the nation. He makes a passionate plea to the candidates to call their supporters to order. He says, “elections are not wars” and that “no person’s ambition is worth anybody’s life”. He consequently orders the military to clear the streets, and end the destruction of life and property. He calls on the governors to impose curfews in those states where violence has broken out. The President pleads with Nigerians, especially those that did not win, to accept the rules of the game, and the verdict of INEC. The military pulls out its tanks into the streets as evening wears out. Sirens and gunfire are heard as the “day after” comes to an end. END OF SCENARIO.

The above scenario, painted on the backdrop of qualitative futuristic canvas, is perhaps the best prediction of the coming Presidential Election. It is the most consequential election that Nigerians will hold, to pull their country from eight years of APC misrule when all NIgeria’s fault lines, became wide cracks, and threatened to suck us into our worst national fear. All Nigerians are afraid that their country might become a critically failed state, a giant Afghanistan in the centre of Africa. If the Jagaban wins instead of Atiku, Nigeria’s religious divide will become an open chasm. Just like the Kaduna Muslim-Muslim experiment has been an open wound of terrorism and religious extremism, a Jagaban President will, people fear, become the gloating of Islam over Christianity, and the Nigerian exceptionalism in managing the delicate balance between Christianity and Islam would be lost forever. A full scale religious war would be expected such as John Campbell had earlier predicted in 2011. If the Jagaban wins, the lopsided electoral votes of the South-West and North-West, would now become a permanent relay of power as one North-Western Zone President would deftly hand over to the South-Western Zone President. All other four zones would be excluded in the bare-faced disregard of the zones created specifically for power sharing. A Jagaban victory would be a dreadful and grotesque power grab of money politics that is blind to disability, incapacity and shameful character flaws. The Jagaban phenomenon represents the emergence of a demagogue, whose politics is a horrific politician’s politics, where power is privatized and appropriated to serve private interests. Electing the Jagaban, is to elect the Nigerian version of a doting Paul Biya, where arbitrary power is exercised by a corrupt coterie, and democracy is lost forever! Atiku Abubakar’s victory on the other hand should be regarded as victory for Nigeria and the reality of zoning. There is justice and equity in the North-East zone producing the next president. The South-East should be expectant next. It is unhelpful when sabre-rattling governors talk about the North-South dichotomy and cry about equity and justice. They are merely being self-serving within their convoluted colonial mentality. Equity is no longer a matter of North and South. It is zonal, where power is zoned rotated among the six geographical and political zones. With all the mud, dung, and grime that had been flung at Atiku Abubakar during the campaign period by opponents, it is my hope that Nigerians will now see the real Atiku, as an underprivileged peasant boy, whose grass to grace story, inspires the next great Nigerian generation. Atiku as Vice-President and consummate politician has capacity, ability and vision deserving of victory. With Atiku as President we can advance democratic multi-culturalism to confront sectarian fundamentalism, because he is cosmopolitan and not a hero of locality nor ethnic bigot. The PDP through Atiku has learnt its lesson. It is not seeking to conquer power as the APC, but rather to transform it to give the citizens rights that the APC government eroded and left Nigerians, poorer, uneducated, unprotected, afraid, and deeply insecure.Atiku is well aware that politics is for the strong, who must endure stupid criticism, and judgment from very annoying characters like the corruption embattered former Minister of Aviation, and some disgruntled governors within his party. He is under-girded with a solid stoic personality, whose mien is unperturbed by stupid things, silly things, aggressive things of people’s perceptions of him. This is the time! This is his time! Finally, Atiku must engage in serious nation building, manage change, and the constantly changing Nigerian environment. He must intentionally seek better ways of making Nigeria great by advancing growth, equity, inclusiveness, peace, compassion and integrity.

Prof Iyorwuese Hagher

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Winners Get Glo Festival of Joy Promo Prizes in Onitsha

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Several lucky and loyal Glo subscribers in Onitsha, Anambra State, were on Tuesday presented with various prizes, including a brand new car in the company’s ongoing Festival of Joy promo.
The car was won by a 30-year-old Construction Technician, Chukwuemeka Chikezie. Many other Nigerians also went home with different prizes such as power generating sets, sewing machines and rechargeable fans.
Chikezie, who was impaired in his left arm from a job related accident he had in 2019, disclosed that when he was called the previous day following the draws, he was working on a project in Enugu, far away from his Onitsha base. Despite that, he found it difficult that he could become an instant car winner just like that.
Till he got the keys to the car on Wednesday at an elaborate ceremony held at the Gloworld premises at Conoil station, Onitsha Bridgehead, Chikezie was hesitant to believe he had become a car owner.
“If anyone had told me yesterday that I would be a car owner today, I would never have believed”, he said, adding that “I love the Glo network very well and I have always depended on it for my calls and data needs”.
Hon. (Mrs) Beverly Ikpeazu-Nkemdiche, representing Onitsha South 2 Constituency, Anambra State House of Assembly, disclosed that her first number upon returning to Nigeria some years ago, was a Glo number. She commended Globacom for its support to its subscribers through the life changing prizes in the promo.
Representative of the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC), Mr Ezelue Nnamdi, said the Commission was happy with Globacom for its transparency in the conduct of the promo draws and the presentation of prizes to winner.
The Transition Chairman, Onitsha South Local Govt Area, Anambra State, Hon. Emeka Orji, expressed happiness that the event was held within his jurisdiction. He commended Globacom for putting the promo in place.

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We’re Not ‘Officially Aware’ of Anyone Working Against Tinubu’s Victory – FG

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The Federal Government, on Wednesday, said it was not “officially aware” of any entity in the Presidential Villa working against the victory of the All Progressives Congress’ flag bearer, Bola Tinubu. It also said that President, Muhammadu Buhari was neither favouring nor disfavouring any presidential candidate ahead of the February 25 election.

“If there’s anybody who is working against any candidate, we don’t know officially,” the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, told State House Correspondents after this week’s Federal Executive Council meeting chaired by the President at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.

The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, alleged that some “elements” in Aso Rock are working against Tinubu’s emergence as President.

El-Rufai, who spoke on a Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, explained that the persons in question were aggrieved that Tinubu defeated their candidate in the June 2022 APC presidential primary.

He cited the naira redesign policy as one of several schemes targeted at the APC presidential candidate, Tinubu, who also made a similar claim a week earlier.

According to El-Rufai, “I believe there are elements in the Villa that want us to lose the election because they didn’t get their way; they had their candidate. Their candidate did not win the primaries.

“They are trying to get us to lose the election, and they are hiding behind the President’s desire to do what he thinks is right. I will give two examples: this petroleum subsidy, which is costing the country trillions of Naira, was something that we all agreed would be removed.

“In fact, I discussed with the President and showed him why it had to go. Because how can you have a capital budget of N200b for federal roads and then spend N2 Trillion on petroleum subsidy? This was a conversation I had with the President in 2021 when the subsidy thing started rising. He was convinced. We left. It changed. Everyone in the government agreed, and it changed.

“The second example I will give is this currency redesign. You have to understand the President. People are blaming the Governor of the Central Bank for the currency redesign, but No. You have to go back and look at the first outing of Buhari as President.

“He did this; the Buhari-Idiagbon regime changed our currency and did it in secrecy with a view to catching those that are stashing away illicit funds. It is a very good intention. The President has his right. But doing it at this time within the allotted time does not make any political or economic sense.”

But fielding a question on the issue on Wednesday, Mohammed argued that the Buhari-led government has been fair to all candidates regardless of party affiliations.

He said, “On a more serious note, one thing I can assure you is that, no matter who, this administration is focused and determined to ensure a free and fair election. And I think this administration, and for that matter now, the most important person in this regard is Mr. President.

“I think he has shown by words and deed that he is committed to a free, fair and credible election. And fair, free and credible elections mean not favouring or disfavouring anybody.

“Everywhere he goes, he makes that very clear, even as recently as Friday, when he was in Daura. He said the same thing. So if there’s anybody who’s working against any candidate, we don’t know officially.”

Speaking in Ogun State last Wednesday, the APC presidential candidate alleged plans to sabotage the coming election.

Tinubu cited the naira redesign policy by the Central Bank of Nigeria and the lingering fuel crisis and as part of plots to thwart the polls and his expected victory.

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