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My Campaign Is Being Sponsored From The Streets By Young Working Class People-Fela Durotoye

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Fela

Fela Durotoye is the Presidential Candidate for the Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN). The man who is from the streets, spoke on promoting a new Nigeria and why he wants to be the President of Nigeria in this interview with our reporter.

What motivated your desire to contest for the office of the president of Nigeria?

Well, it is the need to better Nigeria and give its citizens what they deserve. Nigerians are tired, what we want to do is to make Nigeria better. The 2019 election is not an election between Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressive Congress (APC); it is not an election between Buhari and Atiku, it is an election about Nigerians.

Fela Durotoye

L-R Acting National Secretary, Alliance for New Nigeria, Osita Okonkwo; Presidential Candidate, Alliance for New Nigeria, Fela Durotoye; Vice Presidential Candidate, Alliance for New Nigeria, Khadija Abdullahi-Iya and National Vice Chairman, South-west, Jude Okoya-Thomas during the Unveiling of the Vice Presidential Candidate, Alliance for New Nigeria in Lagos.

What does your party have to offer?

We unveiled our primary blueprint, a 10-point agenda on May 29. It is constantly being revised and updated. So, we are not one of those that will come in without believing. We believe very strongly in the new Nigeria, we know that the people who are tired of the way things are in Nigeria will vote for us. We are not one of those who try without believing that they can win. So, we are definitely ready. I have said this before, by May 29, on the day of inauguration, we should be announcing most of our cabinet. By the grace of God, we hope that this should be the fastest cabinet that would have been formed, as we have seen in other countries of the world.

What specifics should Nigerians expect to get from voting for you?

We believe that Nigerians, first and foremost, will gain the opportunity to pursue their lives’ happiness. More importantly, they will gain a country that they can be proud of.  In order to be able to extend opportunity for all, we believe that three things have to happen. We want a government that will serve Nigerians and not Nigerians serving them. We want a government that will be efficient. To achieve this, we will reduce wastages in government, and more importantly, we will cut out corruption and show credible leadership. Secondly, Nigerians will see our economy grow, because we are going to diversify our economy. With the growth of the economy all around Nigeria, there will be more opportunities because we believe that there are natural resources that are untapped in our local governments. We are going to turn our local governments to economic hubs and industrial zones. We believe that with that we will see job opportunities coming up everywhere, we will also see a new Nigeria with a change of orientation and people will be ready to work with Nigerians. In doing this, we will have a nation where there are opportunities for all. We will see a nation that values its own capacity and human development; we will see a nation where power is constant, where people are safe and secure, we will see investment in education. Asides this, we will also see a situation in which everybody gets an equal opportunity; a son of a nobody can become somebody. We will see roads without potholes, jobs for everyone, investment in the economy and skilling in young people. These are not just empty promises; they are the value that we carry. It is so easy for politicians to make these promises, so you have to go back and see what we have been doing before now to know that we can do what we are saying. We have developed social programmes not just in the educational sector; you will see that we have a value system that has been adopted by Anambra State and has simply turned Anambra’s educational system around. Personally, I helped to design not just educational programmes that have helped states such as Oyo State move from number 23 and 24 to number three and four in the league of states in 2009. So, what I am saying is that these things are what we have been doing before; respect for human beings, a new value system. At the end of it all and when we are done, Nigerians will become proud of their country and their leaders. Nigerians can go back and check and they will see all of these things. They are the things that we have done before now.

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Haven’t Nigerians heard all of these before?

What I always say is look at a politician’s life before he started politics and look at his life after he has become a politician. If you can find any consistency, then you will know that you have found somebody that you can trust. So, again, it’s about looking at their credibility, looking at their vision when they didn’t have the ability to execute that vision.

With your party being tagged elitist and election known to be won from grassroots, how do you hope to win?

I believe that we are a party for all. We are a party that seeks to create opportunity for all, not just the elites. We are a party of people who have enjoyed privileges in areas such as good education and believe that such privileges should be open to all. So, if it is education, it should be available for all. The problems of Nigeria were created by the old politicians and all of us are suffering from the problems. Today, the economy is not working for anyone; power is not working for anyone. It is not an elitist problem. It is a problem for everyone who is not privileged, and that is why we are fighting. We are fighting for that young man who is trying to go to school but is not sure that he will get a job. We are fighting for that single mother putting all of her money together to make sure that her daughter goes to school. This is not an elitist problem; it is a fight for everyone, the underprivileged. It is a campaign of the people. And that is why when we were going to start out the campaign, we started in Ajegunle and not in a five-star hotel. We started on the streets because that is where we have been in the past 14 years. The jobs we have done were done on the streets, in Internally Displaced People’s camps (IDP). This campaign has been supported by people out there and not the big boys; it is a party of the people and not the elites. It is a new Nigeria for all, and we are not sending an elitist message. Our message is not an elitist one; it is one which resonates with everyone. Concerning our party structure, we are well structured, down to every ward and even to street captains. Like I said earlier, ours is not a campaign for the elites, it is a campaign for everyone.

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The clamour for restructuring has been on the front burner for a while; if elected president would you do it?

Of course, we will restructure the country. We believe that the structure of the country is so important, as far as it relates to different things. For instance, in the case of security, how do you make the governor the Chief Security Officer (CSO), of a state and the Commissioner of Police doesn’t report to him? There is so much power at the center such that there is the need to restructure.  If you give a person a responsibility, you should allow him to work. When you empower people, they should have the power to function. We need to empower the local government because we believe they are the custodians of the wealth of this nation, but because they don’t get the proper allocation, they are disempowered. In restructuring, we would project that the state governments get 20 percent of whatever resource that is gotten from it and the local government receives 20 percent, the community from which the resources come from should also get 20 percent, while the government can work with 40 percent. That is a total variation from what we have presently where the federal government only gives 13 percent to the state and nothing gets to the local government.

Electoral malpractices are common in Nigeria, do you have any fear that even if you win majority votes it still won’t count?

No. I have no fear about vote counting because I know that this election will be about the two established parties. They will do everything to ensure that every vote counts. They will stop each other from rigging and while they are doing that, every vote will count. Another thing that I would like to say is that the illusion that votes do not count is one which is being sold out by the political class to the elites so that they don’t come out to vote. If votes don’t count, why do they buy it, and it’s the political class that buys votes. I want everybody who believes that votes don’t count to disavow their minds and go and vote so that the fifty million voters who people say don’t vote, who naturally will not vote for either APC or PDP will come and vote, and we will get a new generation of leaders.

Financing a political campaign is expensive, who are the people bankrolling yours?

It has been the people, the young working-class people who saw us and said that this campaign is our own. But more importantly, for the first time in the history of the Nigerian political system, we have seen streets thugs donating Five Hundred Naira to this campaign because they believe in it. We have not collected more than what the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), recommends which is One Million Naira, so no one can say that they own our campaign because he who pays the piper dictates the tune. Don’t be surprised if the people who import diesel and generator fund the other campaigns and the problem of power becomes a complicated situation. It is not a complicated situation, but it is complicated because they have collected complicated funds for their campaigns. We don’t have godfathers, we are supported by the 180 million Nigerians who are tired of the way things are presently, and this is why we will win.

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I Am The Leader Of APC In Kogi, My Second Term Is Guaranteed-Yahaya Bello

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Mother's Death

Kogi State governor, Yahaya Bello, has revealed that his second term in office is guaranteed.

Governor Bello made this know on Friday while reacting to speculations that he has been denied the ticket of the All Progressive Congress (APC) to contest the gubernatorial election.

Hinging his guaranteed success on the fact that he built the state APC after the demise of late Prince Abubakar Audu, Gov Bello said people were just making noise and no one can stop them.

“I am the Governor today and Insha Allah, l will return back as the Governor for another four years, after the November 16 election.

“As for the ticket, the analogy is that the tenant cannot send the landlord out of his house. So, APC in Kogi State was rebuilt by me, after the good job done by our late leader, His Excellency, Prince Abubakar Audu.

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“After his demise, l came, rebuilt it from the scratch to what it is today. That is evident in the last outing of the party where we had 25/25, in the State House of Assembly. We also won seven out of the nine contested positions in the House of Representatives and two out of the three Senators representing Kogi State in the Senate.

“So, anybody that is making such noise, does not disturb me, because, in the market place, noise is allowed. You know, in Kogi politics is the loudest, so people must make noise and you can’t stop that. But surely, l am very good with my party from the local government to the national level. They know that l am the leader of the party in my state. I have built it and it is very strong. Anytime, any day, we will win elections in landslide. That l am going to win in the primaries is given by the grace of God, by which ever means, direct or indirect.”

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Furthermore, he said, “In the November governorship election, we are not just talking of wining, we are looking at the margins. The margin is going to be such that whoever comes far second, will be discouraged to go to court.”

Senator Dino Melaye, Victor Adoji and several others have also declared interest to contest the gubernatorial polls in the state.

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Stop Fighting the Wind, Amaechi Will Be Renominated, Eze Tells Wike, Abe

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Renominated

The running campaigns of calumny allegedly deployed to de-market the immediate former Minister of Transportation, the Rt Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has been described as a waste of time and an effort in futility.

 

Giving the thought in a statement issued and circulated in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the South-South region, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, also described Amaechi as the star in the immediate past executive council of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, whose performance, both as a minister and election campaign lead, were starling and unbeaten.

 

It would be recalled that there has been anxiety over some negative media campaigns, targeted against the former Minister and believed were being sponsored by the duo of the Rivers state governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, and the immediate past senator representing Rivers South-East Senatorial District, Senator Magnus Abe, in a ploy believed to force President Buhari’s hand against re-appointing Dr. Amaechi.

 

However, Eze in his statement, said all opinions of Nigerians, as well as key figures within and outside government, have placed the former Governor of Rivers state several miles ahead of his traducers, whom he said had been wasting Rivers’ taxpayers money to hire hatchet men to malign and insult Amaechi through various media outlets.

 

Eze alleged that Governor Wike and Senator Abe had engaged the services of some media influencers to be issuing out press statements and appearing as guests on some national television stations and be buying advertorial pages in some national dailies, all requesting President Buhari not to renominate Hon. Amaechi into his cabinet.

 

He, however, described all these efforts as acts of witchcraft, diabolical, wicked, unjust and unacceptable, noting that Amaechi, by his patriotic zeal and commitment for a new Nigeria, merits to be reappointed into the yet-to-be constituted cabinet of President Muhammad Buhari.

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“Besides the fact that Amaechi served as the Director General of the Buhari Presidential Campaigns, a role he had previously played in 2015 and happily delivered on both mandates as the President won his re-election in February, coupled with the revolution that he brought into the rail system in Nigeria, he has beaten his enemies to their game.

 

“He has performed creditably well in the transportation ministry; the former minister completed some ongoing railway projects like the Kaduna-Abuja road, the Abuja rail, and Warri-Itakpe rail. The Lagos-Ibadan railway will be completed early next year and for continuity, which has been one of the hallmarks of President Buhari’s administration, Amaechi’s nomination is a foregone conclusion.

 

“Assuming all that Amaechi achieved on behalf of Nigeria and President Buhari do not guarantee his renomination, then the acceptance by majority of Nigerians that Amaechi was not only the best minister in the immediate past federal executive cabinet but the most outstanding among his colleagues, which they indicated in the various media surveys, will ensure his nomination.

 

“If merit and position of majority of Nigerians will not earn Amaechi a renomination, then the spiritual angle to his political career will come to play. This is a man who always has a second chance in all his political career”, Eze said.

 

He supported his positions by stating that Amaechi is the only Nigerian who have become a two-time Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, two-time Governor of Rivers state, two-time Chairman of the Speakers Forum and Governors Forum of Nigeria, adding, “apart from all these spiritually induced appointments, he is the only African that has piloted a presidential campaign organisation two consecutive times and won on the two occasions.

 

“With all these, it is not in the character of Amaechi not to be renominated again to serve out his second term as a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”, he said.

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Eze quoted Prince Zeeyan S. Kudu, a well known new breed politician as saying, “Despite our differences in politics, honestly, Amaechi is doing a wonderful job, let him keep the lamp burning he is surely going to the Next level, he is the only Minister I respected in this administration”.

 

In the same vein, the Railway Contractors describes the Minister as a man full of strength and a workaholic.

 

Speaking at a steering committee meeting of the Lagos-Ibadan Railway project in Papalanto, Ogun State,  Mr. Xia Lijan, who is the  Project Manager,  Chinese Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) said , Amaechi has without doubts, demonstrated leadership skills in championing the construction of the Rail projects in Nigeria.He said, from the track laying  works to the production of beams in the Lagos-Ibadan project, the Minister conformed with the contract agreement and demonstrated honesty in totality.

 

On his part, Mr. Akinwoye Abdulraouf, Public Relations (PR) consultant, to CCECC, “Amaechi has performed wonderfully well. He is a great man , the history of Standard Gauge in Nigeria will not be complete without the mention of his name. He is a quintessential leader, visionary and wonderful Minister. He never gets tired of working and he puts his job first”.

 

In the same vein, Eze pleaded with President Buhari to consider giving a second ministerial slot to Rivers and Lagos states considering, considering the special roles both states had played in giving a sure footing to the APC in the last close to seven years, adding that the case of Rivers is especially deserving because of the number of members of the party who had lost their lives in the course of fighting to sustain the legacies of the party in the South-South region.

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JUNE 12 IS PART OF OUR HISTORY- SANWO-OLU

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History

…Educate Young Nigerians On Significance Of June 12  

…Politicians Must Have Renewed Sense To Service – Utomi

 

Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-olu has advised that young Nigerians should be educated on the significance of the June 12 anniversary.

The Governor stressed that it is through the formal education on the importance of the day that the people will appreciate and immortalize the acclaimed winner of the adjudged freest and fairest election in Nigeria, which the late philanthropist Moshood Olawale Abiola won.

Speaking at the maiden 2019 National Democracy Day Celebration in remembrance of late MKO Abiola, the hero of the annulled June 12, 1993 general elections held at De Blue Roof, Agidingbi, Ikeja, the Governor who was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, said “on June 12, 1993, Nigeria had an election adjudged by the entire world to be the most free and fair and remained so till this moment”.

He said the importance of June 12 should not be lost on Nigerians, adding that parents should drum up its importance to the young ones and its relevance to the democracy Nigerians now enjoy.

“We are here today to continue what Lagos State government started in 1999. We must thank President Muhammadu Buhari because June 12 is part of our history. We must let our children know about June 12. If over two hundred million Nigerians do the right thing and maintain their lanes, this country will be great,” he said.

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“Democracy as the June 12 1993 elections and its annulment have shown, is a process and not an event in itself. It is a process which acknowledges that the burning desire and the power of the people, in choosing their leaders, is clearly deep-rooted and non-negotiable”, Sanwo-Olu said.

Also earlier in the day at the residence of late MKO Abiola, the governor had advised Nigerians to educate their children on the significance of June 12 for posterity sake so that the importance of the day should not be lost on Nigerians, adding that parents should drum up its importance in the democracy Nigerians now enjoy.

“We are here today to continue what Lagos State Government started in 1999. We must thank President Muhammadu Buhari because June 12 is part of our history.  We must let our children know about June 12 if everybody in the country do the right thing and maintain their lanes, this country will be great”, he said.

“The relentless pursuit of progressive governance and the peoples’ belief in it are the reasons why I now stand before you on this historic day as your governor”, Sanwo-Olu said.

The Governor commended patriotic and excellent Nigerians that sacrificed their time, resources and their very lives to make the essence of June 12 acknowledged.

“Our great leader, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu along with many others were at the vanguard for the actualisation of the democracy and democratic state which the June 12 mandate birthed in the country”, he said.

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Earlier, in his lecture, “Hope 93, Democratic prosperity  and political stability,” the guest speaker, Professor Pat Utomi said for Abiola’s memory to be maintained, the political class must have a renewed sense of service and make the country works again.

“Abiola reflected an economic Justice. In the last two years, N1.8trillion has left Nigeria Stock Exchange because people no longer want to do business in Nigeria. Why do we allow our country to be seen as a money-losing machine?”

“Nigerian elites should see to how the country can work again to prevent anarchy that is coming. Do we need a new NADECO to liberate us? Politics is about service and the generality of the good of the people. We must build a country of people working together for the good of all if we are going to do pride to Abiola’s memory,” Utomi said.

In his contribution, the Vice President, Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Comrade Yisa Aremu said the declaration of June 12 as democracy day is ‘ a triumph of democracy over military dictatorship’ urging the political class to channel their energy against poverty.

“For today, it is a total commitment. What seems impossible has become a reality. This is a triumph of democracy over dictatorship. It is to renew our commitment to democratic process.

 In his reaction, Abdul Amin Abiola, who spoke on behalf of the family expressed appreciation to all Nigerians, especially President Muhammadu Buhari, for their support and steadfastness in making the day a reality.

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