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Peter Obi Will Win Presidential Election Barring Rigging – Ex-Gov

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A former governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, has predicted a total victory for the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Peter Obi, ahead of the February 25 general election.

Ezeife said only rigging can stop Obi from becoming the next president of the country.

He stated this on Monday ahead of Tuesday’s rally by the Labour Party candidate and his running mate, Senator Ahmed Datti, adding that he is of a firm belief that Nigerians know Obi is the best among all the candidates as far as this election is concerned.

He said, “I am earnestly looking forward to the day Obi will be sworn in as Nigeria’s President. That day will mark the beginning of Nigeria’s return to the part of the glory.

“Apart from rigging, I would say that nobody else is contesting this election with Obi, inasmuch as I know that some other candidates have so much money at their disposal.

“All powers belong to God. And our God can stop every rigging and I see the hands of God in the ‘Obidient movement’ and I thank all Nigerians for thinking right this time around and I must say that all glory is to our God.

“By God’s grace, there will be an election this February. There will be no interim government and the result of the election is predictable.

“In fact, I can’t wait for that day, May 29, this year when Obi will be sworn in. But if I had my way, why not bring the swearing-in date down to March or April, instead of waiting till May which is three months far away from the February election.”

Obi, who will be in the state as part of the continuation of his nationwide rally, is expected to meet with the traditional rulers at the Government House, Awka.

According to the Head, Media and Publicity for the Labour Party Campaign Council, Mr Titus Obasi, over 180 support groups have concluded arrangements to carry out a solidarity match in Onitsha for the rally.

Obasi said, “The activities include three town hall meetings at the Government House, Awka where he would meet with traditional rulers and then another town hall meeting with the student community.

“There would also be another town hall meeting with Anambra women at the All Saints Anglican Church hall which would be presided over by the wife of the presidential candidate, Mrs Margaret Obi and then the main rally proper at the All Saints Anglican church field Onitsha.”

The Leader of Peter Obi Express Media, Mr Ceasar Obidile, said about five million supporters would be coming to Anambra.

“We are ready and we are in full spirit because this is his home and all the support groups have mobilized enough and we made enough arrangements for welfare and security,” he said.

Also speaking Director Obi/Datti Campaign Council in the state, Mr Geomartins Uzodike, noted that the rally is part of the consultations and awareness campaign for the candidate and his running mate.

“It is going to be the mother of all rallies and this one is that the candidate is coming home to talk to his people and we have made all the necessary arrangements to ensure a hitch-free campaign rally in Anambra State.

“The meetings with the respective bodies are part of the process and our candidate has great respect for the youths who are represented by the Nigerian students as well as the traditional institution represented by the Anambra Council of Traditional Rulers,” he said.

The Punch

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Adelabu Makes U-turn, Apologises to Nigerians over Deep Freezer Comment

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The Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, has apologised over his comment criticising Nigerians who usually keep their freezers and air conditioners on when they are not at home.

Speaking in an interview with Channels Television on Thursday, Adelabu said the comment was not intended to insult the sensibilities of Nigerians.

Last Thursday, the minister of power said Nigerians lacked the culture of power consumption management due to the affordability of electricity supply.

“A lot of people will come back from work, they want to have dinner, or they want to see their colleagues down the road, they switch on the AC for the room to be cooling before they come back,” Adelabu had said.

“Some people will be going to work in the morning, a freezer that you left on for days, they will still leave it on when all the items in the freezer are frozen and five, six, eight hours of their absence will not make it to defreeze, they will still leave it to be consuming power just because we are not paying enough.”

The comment did not go down well with many Nigerians who criticised the minister for his handling of the ministry of power.

Speaking on the comment, Adelabu said the statement was borne out of his passion for a change in the power sector.

He added that the remark was directed at customers in the Band A category, who are expected to enjoy 20 hours of electricity supply in a day.

“It was never intended to insult the sensibilities of Nigerians in any way. I never said people should switch off their freezers,” Adelabu said.

“It was actually innocent advice with regard to energy consumption management, which we believe will go a long way in reducing people’s energy bills.

“The example of the freezer, it might not have gone down well with the majority of Nigerians. I will say sorry about that. It was never my intention to insult anybody.

“It was out of my passion and eagerness to ensure that we make a change in the sector, which has suffered a lot of setbacks for some years.

“We said we need to cultivate the culture of energy consumption management. It was just a comical illustration.”

Recently, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) approved an increase in electricity tariff for customers under the Band A classification.

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Tinubu’s Govt Borrows $750m from World Bank to Boost Power Supply

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The Federal government has secured a $750 million loan from the World Bank to provide subsidy to developers and operators of solar mini-grids in the country.

The Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, and World Bank’s Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, signed the loan agreement on March 31 and February 19 respectively.

The loan, according to a document made available to journalists on Thursday, is aimed at augmenting the supply of electricity to both households and micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) through a surge in private sector-led distributed renewable energy initiatives.

It read: “The loan will be partly used to provide support to the development and operation of privately owned and operated solar hybrid mini grids in unserved and underserved areas through:

1.1. Minimum Subsidy Tender Carrying out of Minimum Subsidy Tender processes and provision of Minimum Capital Cost Subsidies to selected developers/operators of (a) Isolated mini- grids; (b) Interconnected mini-grids; or (c) Solar rooftop solutions in Participating States.”

Aside from providing the subsidy, the Federal government plans to also provide performance-based grants.

“There will be a provision of Performance-Based Grants to eligible mini-grid operators based on new customer connections for isolated mini-grids and percentage of capital expenditures for interconnected mini-grid projects.

“The grant will also cover Standalone Solar (SAS) Systems for Households, MSMEs, and Agribusinesses. This grant will provide “Support to the expansion of SAS systems for households, MSMEs, and agribusinesses in rural areas through:

2.1. Performance Based Grants for Standalone Solar Provision of Performance Based Grants (“PBGs”) to eligible companies to rapidly deploy SAS solutions in rural and underserved areas, through supply and demand side support and based on independently verified outputs, and to support deployment of solar productive use of electricity (PUE) equipment to MSMEs, agribusinesses and commercial customers.”

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Atiku Describes FG’s Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway As a Fraud

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Former vice president Atiku Abubakar on Thursday described the N15.6 trillion attached to the 700km Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway as its tentative cost by the Minister of Works, Dave Umahi, as wasteful and a highway to fraud.

In a statement emanating from his media office, he criticized the minister for altering the initial plan of the project after Gilbert Chagoury’s Hitech had been awarded the contract without any competitive bidding.

The statement observed that Umahi had, during his media rounds at select TV stations on Thursday, said the road project would cost N15.6 trillion ($13bn at an exchange rate of N1,200/$1), while the rail, which will pass through the road, will be costed separately.

Atiku stated: “Umahi had announced that the project would be fully funded by Hitech, and based on this, there was no competitive bidding. He (Umahi) then turned around to say that Hitech could only raise just 6% of the money for the pilot phase. This smacks of deceit.”

The statement pointed out that the minister had also said the project would not be undertaken under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP), but the government would be providing 15%-30% counterpart financing.

Responding to this revelation, Atiku said the tentative cost was equivalent to the total budget of all 36 states of the federation combined.

He added: “The total budget of all 36 states of the federation for 2024 stands at about N14 trillion. If you add that of the FCT, the entire budget of all sub-nationals is N15.91 trillion. This is scandalous. Worse still, they have already awarded the contract but are still not sure of the level of the counterpart funding component of the federal government!

“Umahi had said in September 2023 that Gilbert Chagoury’s Hitech had the money to construct the highway and that it would be PPP. Hitech was to build, operate, and transfer it back to the Nigerian government after years of tolling.

“It was reported by every media organization, including those owned by Tinubu. It was on the basis of this proposal that Hitech was picked. Why did Umahi then turn around to claim that it was not to be a PPP but that the government would pay 15%-30%?”

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 election noted that in the 2024 budget, the project was captured as the Lagos-Port Harcourt coastal highway and was put at a cost of N500 million.

“Although the National Assembly approved N500m for the project this year, the Tinubu administration has released N1.06tn. That is more than 200 times what is in the Appropriation Act. This is what happens when the National Assembly fails in its duties,” he added.

Atiku said it was curious that the N15.91 trillion announced by Umahi did not include the cost of the railway component. He, therefore, wondered how much the project would cost if the railway component is included.

“If N15.6 trillion is for the road component alone, then the total cost could be far higher when the railway is included. We want to know the cost of the railway,” he said.

The Tribune

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