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2023:- Northern youths declare support for Anyim; says ACF, NEF are like armies without combatants.

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Northern youths

No fewer than 30  youth groups and Civil Society Organisations in the North that declared support for the presidential ambition of former Senate President, Anyim Pius Anyim, have likened the Arewa Consultative Forum ( ACF) and Northern Elders Forum ( NEF) to armies without combatants, ahead of the race to the Aso Rock Villa come 2023.

They also said that since Nigeria is recognised as having 6 geo-political zones, there would be no basis for saying the tenure 

 of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan who hails from the South-South had adequately covered the Ndigbo.

The groups that met under the aegis of Arewa Concerned Civil Society Organisations of Nigeria ( ACCSON), said they realized that only two regions out of the six geo-political regions have not occupied either the President or Vice-President seat since 1999 till date, which was unfair and against the tenets of democracy.

While addressing a press conference in Kaduna on Monday, Comrade Abdulsalam Mohammed Kazeem, spokesperson of the

Arewa Concerned Civil Society Organisations of Nigeria (ACCSON), said Anyim, a symbol of national Unity has responded to their request to contest the 2023 presidency.

” To set the record straight, on 23rd of March 2021, over 30 Civil Society Organizations of Northern Extraction met at Mallam Aminu Kano Center for Democratic Research Mambayya House Kano State on way forward and the Unity of our nation. “

READ ALSO: Release Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, and other illegally detained Igbos

“The Civil Society Organisations include:

 Arewa Youth Assembly for sustainable growth, Arewa Youth and Students Forum;

 Concerned Northern Forum; North East Peace Movement; Arewa Youth Council of Nigeria; Northern Youth Assembly for Tranquility; Northern Women Initiative Forum; North East Development Council; North Central Grassroots Foundation; Arewa Female Youth Ambassadors Peace Initiative; Initiative of Youth Advocate on Humanitarian Affairs; Arewa Youth Movement of Nigeria, Tiv Youth Initiative for Peace, Unity and Development, Middlebelt Vanguard; Northern Youth Network For Good Governance; etc.

He said, ” we x-rayed the current happenings; which includes unity in diversity, rotational presidency, insecurity, youth unemployment, youth inclusiveness in Governance among others.”

 “The leadership of various organizations at that sitting supported one Nigerian project. We realize that only two regions out of the six geo-political regions have not occupied either President or vice-President seats since 1999 till date, which is unfair and against any democratic standard worldwide.”

“For instance; between 1999 to 2007, it was South West and North East, and between 2007 to 2015 it was between North West, South-South and North West while between 2015 till date it is between North West and South West!”

“The South East, for instance, are part and parcel of the Nigerian project from day one till date; and, they should be treated fairly just like other zones of the country. They too deserve to get what others have gotten because they have paid their dues in terms of contributions and consolidation of Nigeria.”

“The region is being captured in all other sectors of the Nigerian economy based on a federal character from 1999 till date, but are denied either of the two positions mentioned earlier.”

 “Going by the above facts it’s now clear to us as progressives; that the political elites are against the unity of Nigeria. We the Youths are the future and hope of the Nation as well as critical stakeholders in nation-building; In consideration of our population, we will henceforth cease to be spectators. Rather we have decided to be part of the process of mobilizing/sensitizing youths from our region to get their voters to card to the point of telling them who to vote for during elections. We will defend the unity of Nigeria, which is non-negotiable. For now, this is only achievable by a rotation of the presidency. You can also call this periodic power shifts.”

“With the rotation of the presidency; We believe strongly that all these agitations for separation will stop not only in the south East but in other regions since the essence is to quench marginalization and promote unity, brotherhood and pan Nigerian sentiments.”

“Consequently, we hereby urge all political parties to zone their presidential ticket to the South East for justice, equity and fairness. Further to the above, we hereby present a bridge-builder to the entire youths of Northern extraction, as our candidate for the 2023 presidency based on the following:”

“His Excellency, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim is an accomplished statesman, a legal professional, former Secretary to the Government of the Federation and former President of the Senate and Chairman of the National Assembly.”

“He is a detribalized Nigerian who has good intentions for the Youths and our region. As a former Senate President, history has it that before his emergence as the President of the Senate, the Senate was a troubled institution. His emergence helped to bring to an end all forms of the crisis rocking the senate. This was achieved because he introduced inclusiveness in all the activities of the red chamber.”

 “As a Secretary to the Government of the Federation, he helped the Jonathan administration to stabilize the administration and the Nigerian economy through numerous projects that are visible and useful to our region and the nation at large.”

 “As the Secretary of the Government of the Federation, he ensured there was a good relationship between the executive and the legislature. He has friends, colleagues and political associates across the 109 senatorial districts of the country.”

“Senator Anyim should be our presidential candidate irrespective of party affiliations as history will judge our actions today.

 Finally, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim remains the best for the region and the nation; and, he has been someone who has full knowledge of Governance from the Executive, Legislative and Judicial Arms, which remains the first of its kind in the history of our nation,” the groups said.

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West African leaders must collaborate to overcome common challenges – Buhari

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Buhari

ABUJA—PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari yesterday advocated renewed collaboration among West African leaders to overcome the myriad of common challenges, including state of insecurity facing the sub-region.

This is just as the President of Ghana and Chairman of Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, Nana Akufo-Addo, said only two per cent of the entire population of the subregion had been fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 pandemic. President Buhari made the advocacy in his welcome address at the 60th Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, held at the Old Banquet Hall, Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He noted that the sub-region had, in recent times, managed to stay afloat amid a myriad of crises, which include the negative socioeconomic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, state of insecurity, which has claimed many lives and left millions displaced.

The Nigerian leader, however, charged leaders of the region to be ready to deliberately work together in the task of finding solutions to the challenges, as a region.

“Our subregion continues to face socioeconomic, political, security, and environmental realities linked to Coronavirus pandemic. Our democracy is being challenged in Mali and Guinea. Furthermore, threats are looming around environmental degradation and climate change on our farming systems. We are facing a network of criminals, including terrorism.

“All of these challenges require our collective action to work in concert with each other to pragmatically address and provide our people better prospects in life. Today’s realities remind us of the need to continue to forge stronger solidarity in order to address the new challenges, including the current third wave of the pandemic and its Omicron variant.

“I am glad that the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States and the West Africa Health Organization are continuing to work with our respective national disease control centers to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on our people and subregion,” President Buhari said.

He, however, thanked the Ghanaian President and Chairman of ECOWAS, President Nana Akufo-Addo, for providing the needed leadership to member states, as they mitigate the effects of the pandemic.

In his opening remarks, President Akufo-Addostre-ssed the need for the subregion to take local production of COVID-19 vaccines more seriously, pointing out that with all the efforts so far made in the fight against the virus, only 2% of the population of the subregion had been completely vaccinated.

He said:   “As of 8th December, our region has recorded 674,556 cases of infections with some 10,000 deaths. This scourge has impacted our humanitarian, social and economic sectors, and it continues to rage with the emergence of a new variant and the risk of a new wave in our region.

“The new variant Omicron has already been found in three member states, and has led to unfortunate imposition of travel bans by some countries, which are unjustified and unacceptable. Meanwhile, the availability of vaccines continues to remain a problem. Despite our efforts, we have only 6% of our population receiving one dose, with 2% of the population fully vaccinated.

“Whilst we remain grateful for the support from friends of the community, we must continue to pursue national and regional efforts to fight COVID-19 and move rapidly into the domestic production of vaccines for the protection of our citizens and for the growth and development of our economy”.

The ECOWAS Chairman, also called for continued mobilization of troops for peace keeping in areas where peace is fragile, noted that all is being done to restore democratic governance in Mali and Guinea, where there were undemocratic change of power

Akufo-Addo restated ECOWAS’ resolve to promote good governance in West Africa, through the sustenance of democratic institutions.

“We continue to be faced with security trials in the forms of deadly terrorist and kidnapping attacks, particularly in Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso and Nigeria, causing numerous casualties amongst civilians and security forces, resulting in a significant number of displaced persons.

“Recent events in Burkina Faso are matters of the greatest concern. Increased coordination, however, on the part of coastal nations, have recently led to an improved maritime security situation in the Gulf of Guinea.

“Let me on behalf of the authority, condemn in the strongest terms, these attacks that continue to plague our region. Significant efforts are being made at both national and regional levels to fight terrorism and extremism.

“We must step up our efforts to deal with these tasks which will be imposed upon us and we must act in such a way that no one will doubt our resolve to protect our peoples and the peace and stability of our countries”, Akufo-Addo said.

He congratulated President Jose Neves of Cape Verde, who was attending the summit for the first time, as well as Adama Barrow of Gambia, who recently got re-elected.

In a goodwill message, the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, represented by the Special Representative for West Africa and the Sahel, Annadif Saleh, pledged more support for ECOWAS, as he sued for more cooperation among member States. 

Guterres commended Cape Verde and the Gambia, for holding peaceful Presidential elections recently.

In another goodwill message, the African Union represented by its Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security, Nigeria’s Bankole Adeoye, hailed ECOWAS for sustaining democracy in West Africa.

The AU pledged to continue to work closely with ECOWAS to ensure the promotion of good governance within the region.

The two-day summit was attended by Heads of State and government of all the member States, as well as Former Nigerian leader and ECOWAS Special Envoy and Mediator to Mali, Goodluck Jonathan, and President of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean Kassi Brou, among others.

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FG urged to re-visit matters of NDDC board

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Niger Delta Development Commission

A prominent northern leader, Alhaji Musa Saidu has again called for the urgent inauguration of the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, saying the delay was generating tension in the region.

Alhaji Saidu who is the leader of Arewa in the South and former aide to Late Chief  Harold Dappa Biriye also lashed at some youths under the aegis of Niger Delta Progressives Movement, NDPM, who poured encomiums on the Minister of Niger Delta, Senator Godswill Akpabio for launching a Strategic  Implementation Work Plan for his Ministry, dismissing them as political traders.

Saidu said it was unfortunate that some youths would come out at this time to shower praises on the Minister at a time the region was condemning his delay in constituting aboard for the NDDC.

“I am not sure they are Niger Delta youths. At a time the region is bitter over delay in constituting aboard for the NDDC some youths could come out to shower praises. This is wrong.  What we expect now is for all Niger Deltans and youths inclusive to be focused on agitating for a board for the commission and fixing the East-West road. “, he said.

“When these are done, achieved then you can call anyone a Messiah. But for now, these youths that came up with the statement under the name Niger Delta Progressives Movement, NDPM,  should bury their heads in shame. “, he said.

He said he had called for the sack of the Minister over the delay in inaugurating aboard for the commission and the deplorable state of the East-West road, adding that he had not changed his mind.

Alhaji Saidu said the Niger Delta is very dear to him because he had been actively involved in driving matters of development in the region, adding that he moved a motion for the north to support the creation of the NDDC at a gathering of prominent northerners at the Arewa House when he was national youth President of Arewa Youth Forum.

Continuing, he said as an aide to the late Harold Dappa Biriye, a Frontline leader of the Niger Delta, he accompanied the late sage to almost all meetings on matters of development of the region.

“And at meetings in the north  Chief Biriye will ask me to speak first on matters of the region on many occasions before he would wrap up. So you know and see my passion for the region”, he said.

Alhaji  Saidu further called for the implementation of recommendations of the Niger Delta Environmental Survey and several other recommendations on Niger Delta, stressing that sweeping them under the carpet was not a good one for any serious government.

“It is high time federal government visited recommendations on redressing challenges in the Niger Delta. There are several of them. There are the recommendations of the Niger Delta Environmental Survey and many others. They should give them attention so the area can enjoy development “, he said.

On the Minister of Niger Delta, Senator  Akpabio, he said he was calling again for his sack because of his failure to keep his promise to inaugurate aboard for the NDDC before August this year.

“We heard the  Minister when he visited stakeholders in Warri, Delta state that he was going to ensure aboard was in place before the end of July. But this has not come to be since. then. I still call for his sack. The East-West road is in shambles. The dry season is the time.to work but you see the situation. “, he said.

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Teni, Jaywon, others thrill fans as Funmi Ayinke launches album “The Journey”

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Teni

It was a superlative afternoon of kid’s glove reception, music and fun as fans and lovers of music were treated to heartwarming performances from Nigerian singers, Teniola Apata, popularly known as Teni, Iledare Oluwajuwonlo better known as Jaywon and others at Funmi Ayinke’s debut album “The Journey” on Sunday in Ikeja, Lagos.

The event witnessed the presence of some notable personalities like the former Ogun State Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Shina Peller, the publisher of Ovation International, Bashorun Dele Momodu, royal fathers and others who all took part in the launching of the 15-track album titled, The Journey.

The 16-track album features talented and multiple award-winning acts such as Tunde TDot of Styl Plus fame, popular comic act-cum-singer, Klint D Drunk, Magnito, and legendary singer, Chief Ebenezer Obey.

‘The Journey’ album according to the brains behind it features well-written and powerful compositions that are a strong source of motivation and inspiration to listeners, providing needed zest to those in a moment of darkness and hope for the downcast.

FunmiAyinke noted that all the 15 songs were carefully composed and written with the hope that they heal the mind, body, and soul of everyone that listens.

Speaking on the album, the multi-talented Funmi Ayinke, who also doubles as the founder of Funmi Ayinke Records and Funmi Ayinke Humanity Foundation (FHF), said the body of work was inspired by her desire to pass a strong message of hope and motivation to her listeners.

“I decided on the album after taking a deep reflection on how I can impact the larger society aside from what I do at the Funmi Ayinke Humanity Foundation (FHF). Then the inspiration to sing hit me. It was at the time that I decided to write the songs before hitting the studios to pour out my soul on the songs. The album is a mix of inspirational and soulful soft music that was well produced and mastered to delight my listeners,” she said.

On her choice of features on the album, Funmi Ayinke said, “I grew up listening to Chief Ebenezer Obey whose career has lasted multiple decades. It was a dream come through having him on a record that I intend to use to inspire a wider audience. I also featured established characters such as veteran gospel singers: Funmi Aragbaye, TDot, Magnito, and Klint D Drunk on the album.”

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