I expected Buhari to choose his successor, Says Tinubu

Bola Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has said that he and other presidential aspirants of the party pleaded with and expected President Muhammadu Buhari to pick an anointed candidate for the 2023 presidential election

Bola Tinubu defeated his closest challengers and former Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Amaechi and Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, to emerge the candidate of the ruling party.

Prior to the primary, there were rumours that the President would name his successor, following his meeting with the Progressives Governors Forum, who he pleaded to allow him name his preferred candidate.

And in a letter to President Buhari Saturday, the former Lagos State Governor thanked President Buhari for maintaining a neutral stance and allowing all the aspirants battle it out at the primary.

“Your Excellency, one must admire the sense of purpose, composure, and maturity you demonstrated in the weeks and months preceding the primary elections of our great party. As aspirants and party leaders, we all pleaded with you to “choose” your successor,” part of his letter read.

“Naturally, this is expected especially in African democracy. Up until the 6th of June, 2022, the day of the APC Presidential primaries, the whole of Nigeria, including myself, waiting for you to announce your preferred candidate. All of us thought and believed this was a very simple matter,” he added.

“However, it was only as the primary went into the night and as the candidates walked up to the podium and spoke that I fully and truly appreciated your position and stance to be neutral and non-aligned to any of us.

“As the hours rolled by that evening, it became clear to me that all of us were your preferred candidates. As you captured it aptly in your letter to me, the ‘spirit’ of 2013 and 2014 when we created and built APC was there for all to see.”

(Blueprint)

2023 primaries: ActionAid raises concern over inducement of delegates

ActionAid Nigeria (AAN) has observed with concern the unrestricted use of huge sums of money to influence delegates to win nominations for the 2023 general elections.

The Convener of ActionAid Nigeria General Assembly, Hassana Yahaya-Bello, at a press briefing and award ceremony of some retired board members in Abuja, said in some cases, unsuccessful aspirants are said to have asked for refunds.

According to her, this ugly development casts a shadow on Nigeria’s democracy. It means that the next administration is being built on a shaky foundation if nothing is done to change this narrative.

“The outrageous cost of expression of interest and nomination forms by political parties for the primaries amid the debilitating poverty in the country is insensitive and condemnable.

“Moreso, women’s exclusion remains evident in Nigeria’s political landscape; only one female candidate emerged for the governorship position in the Northeast (Adamawa State) under the APC platform.

“No female candidate emerged for governorship position for the main opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP),” she said .

According to her, Yahaya-Bello flayed the outcome of primaries in which only one female emerged as a governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Adamawa State.

On the ongoing ASUU strike, she said the strike might be the longest in history if urgent steps are not taken. From 1999 when Nigeria transitioned to democracy, to 2022, university teachers have gone on nationwide strikes 16 times, covering 51 months.

“This excludes strikes declared by local branches of ASUU over local disputes, some of them lasting several months. The impact of protracted strikes is not limited to the university system alone. It also affects the entire spectrum of society.

“The unabating insecurity in the country poses a drawback to the progress being made by Nigeria in attaining the Sustainable Development Goals.”

She, however, urged” the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, to seize the current momentum by citizens to register to vote by extending the ongoing continuous voter Registration exercise by at least sixty days to give prospective voters the opportunity to exercise their franchise during the 2023 elections.

“The federal government should show genuine commitment to improving the quality of education in Nigeria by promptly implementing the 2020 FGN/ASUU Memorandum of Action (MoA).

“Furthermore, FG should declare a state of emergency on education to rebuild it and ensure that young Nigerians get quality education in public institutions, especially the children of the poor,” he said.

(Blueprint)

APPEALS, Most Successful Project Implemented in Nigeria – Kaduna Govt

By Uangbaoje Alex, Kaduna

Kaduna State Commissioner of Agriculture, Alhaji Ibrahim Hussaini, has noted that the Agro Processing, Productivity Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support (APPEALS) project is the most successful project implemented in Nigeria.

The Commissioner in his observation at the weekend during the 8th World Bank and Federal Government Implementation Support Mission (ISM) for APPEALS in Kaduna State, said the way the project is being managed placed it above every other intervention projects in the country.

According to him, “APPEALS is one of the project that is impacting positively on the livelihood and empowerment of small holders farmers especially women and youths.”

He added that Kaduna is on course and making significant progress in the implementation of the project despite initial challenges.

“We have made significant progress, initially we had few challenges which were internal and we have addressed them thoroughly.

“So the progress is impressive, we are on course and we also complying with the implementation guidelines of the World Bank and the National Coordinating Unit

APPEALS is a six-year Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), project supported by the World Bank.

The Project is in line with the Agricultural Promotion Policy (APP) 2016-2020 of the Federal Government of Nigeria, also known as the Green Alternative, which built on the legacy of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA); and plans to support policy thrusts on Food Security, Local Production, Job Creation and Economic Diversification.

The State Project Coordinator, Dr. Yahaya Aminu, said the support mission was a clinic aimed to review implementation progress by identifying progress and gaps along all the project components and also look at challenges and recommend ways to address the challenges to ensure the project is on track.