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NIGERIA 2019 GOVERNORSHIP ELECTIONS: FORETELLING THE OUTCOME

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By Omoshola Deji

Governing a state in Nigeria is equivalent to, or more demanding than, ruling some countries in Africa and the world. For instance, the Governor of Lagos State has about 20 million persons to cater for, while the President of Togo and Denmark have just about 6 and 8 million people under their watch. In matured democracies, the rigours of providing credible leadership dissuade people from contesting, but that is not the case in Nigeria because politics is very rewarding. Over 90 political parties, represented by over a thousand candidate, are seeking the mandate to govern Nigeria’s 29 (out of 36) state for the next four years on March 9. This piece foretells the outcome of the election in all the states. All the states? Yes! All the 29 states where governorship elections will hold.

 

Nigeria has 36 states, but 7 states governorship elections are off-cycle. The court ordered the swearing-in of the rightful poll winners when persons who were returned elected via electoral fraud has already started governing.  The court also ordered that the winners four-year term had to start counting from the date they were sworn-in. Thus, an election will not hold in Anambra, Edo, Ondo, Bayelsa, Kogi, Ekiti, and Osun States. The uneven dates only affect the governorship poll as the State House of Assembly election — which is usually conducted simultaneously with the governorship — will be holding in all the 36 states.

 

Independently foretelling the right outcome of governorship elections in 29 states is an uneasy, nearly impossible task. Nonetheless, the Pundit is taking up the challenge and targeting to make the right prediction in over 20 states. Send in the awards and ensure this make the headings if the writer sails through.

 

Ardent followers of the writer’s work need no induction, but the customary introduction and clarification need to be reechoed at this point for the first-timers. The writer, subsequently titled Pundit, is Nigeria’s election result Nostradamus. Foretelling election’s outcome is a reflection of his political analysis prowess, not an endorsement of any party or candidate. The accuracy of his past forecasts has attracted the media and many Nigerians, home and abroad, to look out for his prediction during elections. Foretelling an election outcome doesn’t mean the Pundit has access to one sacred information or the election-winning strategy of any candidate. Assessing candidates’ fortes and flaws to foretell the winner is a common practice in developed nations. This doesn’t mean the pundits are demeaning the electoral process or influencing the election results. Nigerians have already decided who they’ll cast their votes for and nothing – not this prediction – can easily change their minds.

 

The Pundit wishes to provide an in-depth analysis of the election victory determinants in the 29 states (where governorship election will be conducted), but doing so will make this piece as long as a book. Taking the readers time and convenience into consideration, the Pundit would succinctly analyze the dynamics that’ll determine the outcome of the governorship poll in each state and foretell the winner. For easy grasp and reference, the analysis would be done per state according to the nation’s geopolitical zones. The six zones that constitute Nigeria are the North West (7 states), North East (6 states), North Central (6 states plus the Federal Capital Territory), South-South (6 states), South West (6 states), and the South-East (5 states).

 

 

North West

 

Governorship elections will hold in all the 7 North West states, including Kano, Katsina, Kaduna, Kebbi, Sokoto, Jigawa, and Zamfara State.

 

Kano State: The election is a two-horse race between Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Mr Abba Yusuf of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Kano is APC’s stronghold and the PDP recently had a major setback. On Monday, 4 March, 2019, a Federal High Court in Kano nullified Yusuf’s candidacy, citing the failure of the PDP to properly conduct its primary. Kano State has three main power bloc, each controlled by Governor Ganduje and ex-Governors Ibrahim Shekarau and Rabiu Kwankwaso. Ganduje and Shekarau are in the APC. The political weight of Kwankwaso would only earn PDP substantial votes, not a win. The recent corruption allegation against Ganduje will have no effect on his reelection. APC will win.

 

Katsina State: The state is relatively a one-party state with the APC holding sway. High profile defections such as that of ex-Deputy Governor Abdullahi Faskari has weakened PDP’s capacity in the state. The PDP candidate, Senator Yakubu Lado is currently not in the best form to defeat Governor‎ Aminu Masari, the APC candidate. Katsina is President Muhammadu Buhari’s home state and his influence will give APC a landslide victory in the state.

 

Kaduna State: Governor Nasir El-Rufai of the APC is facing PDP’s Isah Asiru who is a political heavyweight. APC is strong in the state, but not as before. El-Rufai’s intolerance of criticisms and arrogance has brought about a strained relationship between him and political bigwigs such as Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi and Senator Shehu Sani. This won’t deny APC a win. El-Rufai has regained strength with the recent defection of Mohammed Sidi and his over 50,000 followers into the APC. El-Rufai and his running mate are Muslims. This would make him accrue less votes in the Christian dominated Southern Kaduna area. The governorship election is going to be a tight race, but APC would win the state.

 

Kebbi State: Isa Galaudu of the PDP is contesting against Governor Abubakar Bagudu of the APC. Kebbi is APC’s stronghold and many PDP bigwigs have defected to the party, making it stronger than it was in 2015. APC will win the state by a wide margin.

 

Sokoto State: Governor Aminu Tambuwal of the PDP is confronting his former deputy, Ahmad Aliyu of the APC. Tambuwal, who defected from APC to PDP in August 2018 is fighting a supremacy battle with Aliyu Wammako, the ex-Governor and godfather of Sokoto politics. Ahmad Aliyu’s refusal to defect with Tambuwal earned him the reward of becoming the APC candidate. 252 of Tambuwal’s appointees also refused to defect with him to the PDP. On the other hand, there have been some high profile defections into the APC. Tambuwal will lose the upcoming election. APC’s Ahmad Aliyu will win, but with a small margin.

 

Jigawa State: Governor Mohammad Badaru of the APC will defeat Mallam Aminu Ibrahim of the PDP. Jigawa is terrifically dominated by the APC and many bigwigs recently abandoned the PDP. They include two governorship aspirants Aliyu Santali and Tijjani Kiyawa. Ex-Governor Ali Sa’ad Birnin-Kudu and former commissioners who served under the then PDP administration of Sule Lamido have also joined the APC. Almost all the political heavyweights in Jigawa are in the APC. The PDP and other parties are currently weak, APC will win.

 

Zamfara State: The APC in Zamfara has been bedevilled by serious intraparty crisis lately. The outgoing Governor, Abdulaziz Yari, is up against the Kabir Marafa faction over who should fly APC flags in the elections. After intense legal battles, the Abuja Court of Appeal recently delivered judgment in favor of the Yari faction. The two contending factions claimed to have reconciled but there’s still deep animosity in the party. PDP’s Bello Matawalle would profit immensely from the intraparty crisis. The incessant genocidal killings by bandits have also made the ruling APC lose the support of most affected persons and areas. The PDP would most likely win Zamfara by a small margin.

Also Read:  As Mike Adenuga Turns 66

 

 

South-South

 

The six states in the region are Edo, Bayelsa, Delta, Rivers, Cross River and Akwa Ibom State. Edo and Bayelsa State governorship elections are off-cycle. The South-South region is one of the major strongholds of the PDP. The APC is foreseen not to win any of the states, including Akwa Ibom. PDP will record a number of landslide victories.

 

Delta State: Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of the PDP is running against Great Ogboru of the APC. The longstanding power rotation/zoning formula in the state will help Okowa win. Between 1999 and now, James Ibori from the Urhobo region governed the state for two terms (1999-2007). Emmanuel Uduaghan from Warri South also spent two-term (2007-2015). Okowa from Delta North is in his first term and seeking reelection to spend another. The godfather of Delta politics, James Ibori, is backing Okowa’s candidacy. APC’s Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, who got reelected into the Senate is strong in the Delta Central region, but his capacity is not strong enough to earn Ogboru victory. PDP’s Okowa will win the election.

 

Rivers State: Governor Nyesom Wike of the PDP is coasting to victory as the Supreme Court has banned the main opposition APC from participating in the election. APC members were planning to support Dunno Briggs of the Accord Party but the court also nullified his candidacy. Members of the APC led by ex-Governor Rotimi Amaechi later resolved to adopt the African Action Congress (AAC) candidate, Biokpomabo Awara. AAC is the party of popular presidential candidate, Omoyele Sowore. It is almost certain that PDP’s Nyesom Wike will win the election.

 

Cross River: Governor Ben Ayade of the PDP will win the election. On Tuesday, 5 March, 2019, a High Court in Calabar ordered the electoral umpire to delist APC candidates from participating in the governorship and House of Assembly elections. This seals PDP’s victory in the state.

 

Akwa Ibom: Governor Udom Emmanuel of the PDP is facing Mr Nsima Nkere of the APC. Ex-Governor Akpadio’s ‘uncommon defection’ from the PDP would not earn APC a win in this poll. The party is fast gaining ground but needs to do more to establish itself and be accepted by the masses across the state. It would take some years of relentless hard work for APC to make significant inroads in Akwa Ibom. Both parties will engage in vote buying during the election, but PDP’s Emmanuel will win.

 

 

North East

 

The region comprises of six states including Adamawa, Yobe, Borno, Bauchi, Taraba and Gombe State.

 

Adamawa State: Governor Jibrilla Bindo of the APC is facing the state’s ex-Speaker and Acting Governor, Ahmadu Fintiri of the PDP. Adamawa is the home state of the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar. The APC has been struggling to cope with the crisis that sprung up after Bindo clinched the governorship ticket. His emergence is being challenged by bigwigs such as Babachir Lawal, Nuhu Ribadu, Murtala Nyako and Modibbo Ahmed, the brother of Aisha Buhari, wife of the President. The APC is engulfed in crises while the PDP remains united and gaining support. Governorship candidates of 10 little known political parties in the state recently endorsed PDP’s Fintiri. The Pundit predicts a narrow win for PDP in the state.

 

Yobe State: Alhaji Mai Mala Buni of the APC is running against Amb. Umar Damagun of the PDP. Yobe is an APC stronghold and a one-party state. The mass defection of PDP members into the APC has further strengthened the party. APC will win the governorship poll by a wide margin.

 

Borno State: is another major stronghold of the APC in the North East. Babagana Zullum of the APC is facing Mohammed Imam of the PDP. APC will win the state by a wide margin.

 

Bauchi State: PDP’s Senator Bala Mohammed is seeking to wrestle power from Governor Mohammed Abubakar of the APC. The Governor has been struggling to hold the party together after bigwigs like the House of Representatives Speaker, Yakubu Dogara left the APC for PDP and got reelected in the just concluded national assembly election. Dogara’s defection won’t affect APC’s win. The high profile defections of ex-Governors Adamu Muazu and Isa Yuguda into APC has made the party more formidable. PDP’s Bala Mohammed is a strong candidate, the race is going to be tight, but APC would win the state.

 

Taraba State: Alhaji Sani Danladi of the APC is contesting against Governor Darius Ishaku of the PDP. Taraba is PDP’s major stronghold in the North East. The party have been governing the state from 1999 to date. Influential Buhari critic, General TY Danjuma is backing the PDP. Mama Taraba who gave PDP a tough contest in 2015 is no longer in the APC. What is more, Danladi has been largely distracted trying to defend his candidacy in court. A Federal High Court sitting in Jalingo, the state capital, disqualified his candidacy less than a week to the election. The Appeal Court later swiftly granted a stay of execution of the High Court order to enable Danladi to participate in the race. This won’t repair the damage already caused. Danladi would be defeated by Ishaku of the PDP.

 

Gombe State: The election is a two horse race between Usman Nafada of the PDP and Inuwa Yahaya of the APC. In no small measure, APC has grown strong in the state, despite being the opposition. The incumbent and outgoing governor Ibrahim Dakwambo recently lost his senatorial election. The governorship poll would be a keenly contested one as never witnessed in the history of the state. PDP’s Nafada would fight hard to win, but he would be defeated by APC’s Yahaya.

 

 

South East

 

The five states in the region are Anambra, Abia, Enugu, Ebonyi and Imo state. Anambra governorship election is off-cycle. Excluding Imo State, the South East region has been quite impenetrable for the APC. PDP will win big in the region.

 

Abia State: The governorship election is a clash of the Titans. Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of the PDP, Alex Otti of APGA and Uche Ogah of the APC are struggling to govern the state. Despite winning his senatorial election, ex-Governor Orji Kalu’s APC structure in the state is not strong enough to earn Uche Ogar a win in the governorship election. Alex Otti will score an appreciable number of votes but lose. PDP’s Ikpeazu will be reelected.

 

Enugu State: The state has remained a PDP stronghold since 1999. The governorship position has always been won by the PDP. Not that alone, almost all the elective positions from 1999 to date have been won by the PDP. Senator Ayogu Eze of the APC will be defeated by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of the PDP.

 

Ebonyi State: The election is a two horse race between Governor David Umahi of the PDP and Sonni Ogbuoji of the APC. Both men are strong candidates, but the internal wrangling in the APC has incredibly diminished Ogbuoji’s chance. Umahi of the PDP will win the election.

 

Imo State: is the only state APC controls in the South East, but Governor Rochas Okorocha is supporting a candidate different from that of his party. Intraparty crisis had made the APC an enemy of itself in Imo State. Uche Nwosu, the candidate of Action Alliance has the backing of Okorocha, who just won a senatorial election under the platform of the APC. Moving on without Okorocha’s support, APC’s Hope Uzodinma is banking on federal might. Emeka Ihedioha of the PDP is relying on his vast connection and grassroots mobilization. The Imo 2019 governorship election is too close to call. The battle is mainly between PDP and AA. The Pundit predicts a low margin win for PDP’s Ihedioha.

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North Central

 

The region also called the Middle Belt, comprises of six states, including Kogi, Benue, Kwara, Niger, Nassarawa and Plateau State. The governorship election in Kogi State is off-cycle.

 

Benue State: The lingering supremacy battle between Governor Samuel Ortom and the godfather of Benue politics, ex-Governor George Akume will not end Ortom’s reign. The Governor who is seeking reelection under the PDP has vast grassroots support. He won the peoples heart when he challenged the federal government to end the wanton destruction of lives and properties allegedly being perpetrated by herdsmen in the state. APC’s Emmanuel Jime will, most certainly, be defeated by PDP’s Ortom.

 

Kwara State: is going, going, going, and would be gone on March 9. Bukola Saraki’s political dynasty would be swept away by hurricane ‘o to ge’ – the APC campaign mantra meaning ‘enough is enough’. Saraki’s anointed and PDP’s candidate, Rasak Atunwa will lose the election to APC’s AbdulRahman Abdulrazaq.

 

Niger State: The people of Niger State are again presented with the two main choices they had in 2015. Governor Abubakar Bello of the APC and Mr Umar Nasko of the PDP are familiar rivals. Nasko is making a return to knock out Bello, but he will be defeated again. Bello will be reelected.

 

Nassarawa State: the election is a three horse race between Labaran Maku of APGA, David Ombugadu of the PDP and Abdullahi Sule of the APC. Maku would make a good appearance at the polls to come third. The gold prize is between APC’s Sule and PDP’s Ombugadu. One major setback for Ombugadu is that he and Maku are from the same region. Efforts to convince Maku to step down for him has fallen on deaf ears. This is a blessing for APC’s Sule as the votes of the region would be shared and thus become insubstantial to earn PDP or APGA a win. One major plus for Sule is that he has a large pocket. He is a former staff and candidate of Aliko Dangote in the Nassarawa governorship race. Sule has also been able to establish himself in the grassroots and win many political bigwigs over to his camp. He also enjoys the immense support of outgoing Governor Tanko Al-Makura. Victory is almost certain for Abdullahi Sule of the APC.

 

Plateau State: The poll is going to be a keenly contested race between Governor Simon Lalung of the APC and Senator Jeremiah Useni of the PDP. One crucial setback for the APC is that the majority of the population are dissatisfied with President Buhari’s handling of the herdsmen invasion and killings in the state. They believe Buhari is unconcerned about their welfare and handling the insecurity with kid gloves. On the other side, the intraparty crisis will affect PDP considerably. The win won’t come easy, but PDP’s Useni will come top.

 

South West

 

Governorship election would be conducted in only three (Oyo, Ogun, Lagos) out of the six states in the region. Ondo, Osun and Ekiti States governorship election is off-cycle.

 

Oyo State: The poll is a two horse race between Seyi Makinde of the PDP and Bayo Adelabu of the APC. The population are confused about who to vote, because of the several political alignment and realignment going on in the state. Ajimobi’s unexpected senatorial election defeat largely created the confusion. Aside from his serial uncouth orations, Ajimobi’s problem began during the APC primary in the state. He hijacked the process and make sure his anointed candidates emerged, relegating the ex-Governor Lam Adeshina’s group. Ajimobi denied Senator Akanbi the party’s ticket despite his loyalty of not hobnobbing with the Sarak camp in the Senate. Akanbi recently defected back to the APC, after Ajimobi lost the senatorial election of the ticket the former was denied.

 

Ajimobi’s recent electoral defeat rattled the APC to embark on massive political campaign, spending, and horse-trading. The party recently convinced ex-Governor Alao Akala to drop his governorship ambition and endorse Adelabu. On the other hand, PDP’s Seyi Makinde won the endorsement of ex-Governor Rasheed Ladoja and Senator Olufemi Lanlehin, the governorship candidate of the African Democratic Congress. The poll is going to be keenly contested and the last minute’s permutation could earn any of the main candidates a win. The Pundit safely predicts the emergence of APC’s Adelabu.

 

Ogun State: The election is a contest between the high and the mighty. Some of them are PDP’s Buruji Kashamu, APC’s Dapo Abiodun, APM’s Adekunle Akinlade and ADC’s Gboyega Isiaka. Governor Ibikunle Amosun who just won a senatorial election under the APC is strongly supporting his anointed successor: APM’s Akinlade. Amosun’s decision is not unconnected with the APC’s decision to hand over the party’s ticket to Dapo Abiodun. Like in Imo State, the fallout of the primary has made APC an enemy of itself in Ogun State. A lot of last-minute endorsement and permutation is going on in the state and it’s quite different to state where the pendulum would swing. Almost all the main candidates have something to fight for. Buruji is trying to prove his worth, having fallen out with the national leadership of his party, the PDP. APC’s Abiodun is fronting the ex-Governor Segun Osoba and Senator Bola Tinubu’s revenge battle against Amosun. And Amosun is fighting not to drown politically. The election is going to be keenly contested and there would be no landslide victory. The Pundit predicts the emergence of APM’s Akinlade.

 

Lagos State: The poll is a two horse race between APC’s Babajide Sanwo-Olu and PDP’s Jimi Agbaje. ADP’s Babatunde Gbadamosi is brilliant and resourceful, but he stands no chance in this election. Sanwo-Olu would win because Jimi Agbaje is not strategic. He only shows up during election season and his campaigns have been quite unimpressive. People who’ll vote for him are those who are self-convinced that Tinubu’s has overstayed his welcome in Lagos politics. Agbaje’s ‘freedom’ message has not convinced Lagosians of why the state needs freedom. His words are not as punchy as expected despite APC’s several shortcomings. On the other hand, Sanwo-Olu has campaigned vigorously and reached out to virtually everyone that matters. He is on almost every radio and TV trying to convince people that he his independent-minded and this would earn him votes. APC would lose Lagos, but not in 2019, maybe in 2023. Sanwo-Olu will win the upcoming election, but he can’t perform up to expectations. He will use the larger part of the state’s resources to be paying debts of gratitude to the APC highs and godfather.

 

The fear of losing the election and eagerness to be in Tinubu’s good book would make APC thugs intimidate voters and snatch ballot boxes in PDP strongholds. Their excesses would make the election rough, unfree, unfair and un-credible in the state.

 

*Omoshola Deji is a political and public affairs analyst. He wrote in via moshdeji@yahoo.com

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Opinion

Creating An Online Business

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Online Business

There are a lot of online businesses that you can create and in this article today we are going to look at a couple of different types.

This article focused on creating online businesses and the different types that you can create.

The first kind of businesses that you can create when looking to create an online business would be a website that serves a particular niche in the market. Many people have done this and this is often done by trying to find an underserved niche, building a website, and then profiting off of this small but profitable match.

A great place to find more information on this particular topic would be FindHotNiche and the popular websites in Nigeria Here the author has created a website that finds underserved niches that you could potentially build a website around.

When you’re building a website, you’re going to want to find cheap keywords that you can use to help build your business as well as create good content. By creating the content and then creating back links between yourself and other websites, you’ll be setting yourself up to have a high page rank with Google. By using AdWords to bring traffic to your website and then also developing your natural search engine traffic through building up a website, you will have built yourself a very solid business. This is just one way of creating online business.

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Another way to you can build and create an online business is through eBay. This is an area that was particularly hot several years ago and still remains a solid business proposition. Many people are able to make a full-time income on eBay. You will need to find a wholesaler where you can get products at a discount to sell on eBay. The general idea when working on selling on eBay is to find a drop shipper. A definition of a drop shipper is a wholesaler sells you a product and will ship the product to a customer. You will buy the product at the wholesale price and then make money on the difference between what you buy the product for and sell the product for on eBay. Using the wholesaler allows you to focus on selling the product without worrying about stocking the product. You do not need to worry about any sort of shipping or backend but you will want to make sure that everything gets sent out. There are so many books on dropshipping, you can find them on the popular mobile book app in Nigeria  If there are problems with shipments, the customer will be coming back to you and not to the wholesaler to. If you go to worldwidebrands.com, you will find the best wholesale shipping directory on the Internet.

Also Read:  Binta's Diary

These are two of the different ideas in creating an online business.

There are many ways to make money on the Internet but these are two proven methods. You will not have to use a lot of money upfront to create these particular online businesses and these businesses can be something that you will have great deal of success with.

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Business

FIRST BANK: TOWARDS REVIVING NIGERIA’S TEXTILE INDUSTRY

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By Chinyere Joel- Nwokeoma (NAN)

For many years, until the early 1980s, the Nigerian textile industry was the highest employer of labour, after the public sector. Sadly, the industry is in dire straits battling for survival in recent times.

Among the challenges that confronted the sector were policy inconsistency leading to closure of many textile companies occasioned by poor power supply, smuggling, poor access to finance and high operating cost, among others.

It is unarguable that the closure of many textile companies contributed to the rise in the country’s high unemployment rate, rising insecurity and other social vices.

It is against this backdrop that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, recently lamented the country’s descent from being a textile giant to a mediocre player in the world economy.

Emefiele said Nigeria used to be home to Africa’s largest textile industry in the 1970s and early 1980s with the employment of over 450,000 people.

“The textile industry at that time was the largest employer of labour in Nigeria after the public sector, contributing over 25 per cent of the workforce in the manufacturing sector.

“The industry was supported by the production of cotton by 600,000 local farmers across 30 of Nigeria’s 36 states.

“This sector supported the clothing needs of the Nigerian populace, as our markets were filled with locally produced textiles from companies such as the United Textiles in Kaduna, Supertex Limited, Afprint, Texlon, Enpee and Aswani Mills, among others.

“In addition, the cotton growing sector has gone dead, thereby depriving thousands of smallholder farmers the chance to earn a living.

Furthermore, a large proportion of our clothing materials today are imported from China and countries in Europe,” Emeifele stated.

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It is against this background that First Bank of Nigeria Ltd, in line with its celebratory 125th anniversary , themed, “Woven into the Fabric of Society”, on Oct. 2 commemorated the country’s independence with a locally made textile attire.

Specifically, the bank set aside Oct. 2 to have all staff wear a locally made textile attire adorned in its 125 anniversary logo and over 18,000 staff across the bank and FBN Holdings participated.

The bank in a statement attributed the initiative to moves to celebrate the country’s 59th Independence anniversary and at the same time support the textile industry.

“The native attire fashion statement by FirstBank and the FBN Holdings Group is rooted in our trust in the diverse opportunities the textile industry provides.

“And indeed its contribution to national growth and development, vis-à-vis the job opportunities, youth and women empowerment, as well as the entrepreneurship driven influence its creates cannot be overemphasised.

“The bank is indeed honored to have been woven into the Fabric of Society in the last 125 years and is committed to keep promoting activities and opportunities that contribute to the growth of the textile industry.” it added.

Apart from the above intitative, FirstBank also provide access to market and provide opportunities for entrepreneurs in the Small Medium Scale Enterprise (SMEs) of the fashion industry with an initiative tagged Fashion Souk.

The bank partners with Eventful Nigeria Ltd with Fashion Souk, a platform that creates an opportunity for players in the fashion industry to exhibit and sell their wares to the thousands of event participants.

Textile Industry

FirstBank Chairman, Ibukun Awosika The Octopus News

The bank also in a bid to ensure sustainability of the industry recently introduced fashion design loan specifically designed to offer financial support to the participants in the textile industry.

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The bank’s fashion design loan with a single obligor limit of up to two million naira is targeted at tailors, dressmakers and traders in clothing accessories with no tangible collateral required.

Textile Industry

CEO, FirstBank, Adesola Adeduntan

To be eligible for the loan, applicants must have been in line of business for a minimum of three years.

Commenting on the development, Mr Moses Igbrude,  Publicity Secretary,  Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), described the initiative as a wonderful concept.

“I hope those in the local textiles value chain will key into it and take advantage of this initiative.

“FirstBank should also ensure that the concept is properly communicated to the larger audience to ensure more patronage of locally made textile,” Igbrude said.

He noted that the Federal Government on its part should encourage institutions that are supporting our local industries by way tax incentives.

Also speaking, Mr Shehu Mikail, National President, Constance Shareholders Association of Nigeria, commended the bank’s support for local fabric and the textile industry.

Mikail said that the initiative would boost the morale of interested bodies who would like to venture into local fabric in promoting our culture to the world.

He said that the bank should focus on the fashion designers who would be ready to promote Nigerian mode of dressing to meet the world class in fashion design.

“This will help in promoting Made in Nigeria fabric and it will also encourage an interested investor to venture into textile industry business and this will tranform our economy,” Mikail stated. (NAN)

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Opinion

IMO: FIVE MONTHS OF CLUELESSNESS

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Cluelessness

Ralph Miliband was a key twentieth-century political thinker. Ralph Miliband once said that the hottest place in hell will be reserved for those who sit on the fence in the face of a great moral crisis. No one will want to go to the hottest place in hell, at least not me. As a citizen of Imo State, I am worried about the style and policies of the present Governor of Imo State.  I  will continue to speak out but When you write from the comfort of your home abroad, you write with all the fire in you without minding if you insult Babangida. You just write as the pen directs you. But when you live in Nigeria like me and you are writing within, you write carefully or you may have tough times. You can even be sent on exile like what happened to me for  8 years when Governor Okorocha was in power. The Eze’s of your community can even banish you from the community to please a governor.

Today,  Chief Emeka Ihedioha is the governor of  Imo, though he won no election. The 2019 Imo State gubernatorial election may have been an instance of a coronation instead of an election. This is diametrically opposed to the basic building blocks and values of the democratic system of government.  In defense of the country’s fragile democracy, I believe strongly that the  Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court will stand tall as they have in other cases in teasing out this evil machination of a corrupt few in Imo whose desires to win at all costs undermine the public interest. The people decide and legitimacy is confirmed through the ballot box. Legitimacy in a democracy is not a function of some powerful individual’s interest or instructions, but rather, it is a derivative function of the collective decision of the people. To believe or do otherwise, in a democracy, is an oxymoron that must be shunned. Ihedioha didn’t win the Imo guber election but that is left for the courts.

Honestly, I am at a loss at the fanfare exhibited by the governor of Imo state just to celebrate two months of pension payment. In all the Radio stations in Imo including newspapers, the governor celebrated two months of pension payment. He even paid just 50% of each pensioner’s total monthly take home. He was on air just to buoy his ego and show his cluelessness. The irony of this madness is that our governor who should be covering his face in shame for 5 months of non performance is the one dominating the Pages of Newspapers and going on air to celebrate payment of pension. As I write, Owerri the Imo State Capital still remains the dirtiest city in Nigeria despite the funfair and the millions of Naira expended under the infamous naira gulping monthly sanitation exercise led by former governor Ikedi Ohakim. I will not forget the expensive advertorials placed in both Electronic and the Print Media on the state of Owerri yet the place remains dirty. It is a notorious fact today that the sanitation state of Owerri is going from bad to worse. I, therefore, condemn the millions expended on the Keep Owerri Clean project which has now become a conduit pipe for Ikedi  Ohakim to siphon Imo State money with the tag of chairman of sanitation.

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My friend John recently said “ a governor who finds a pothole on a road,  moves his cabinet there. They come with TV men, microphone and cameras. They take pictures and make speeches, shake their heads, curse Rochas Okorocha, abandon the road is clueless. A  Governor who shouts ‘rebuild Imo’ and in 30 days that he became the number one citizen, begins to rebuild himself, rebuild his personal houses in Imo and Abuja is clueless. John also said ‘  Ihedioha awards his first road contract. He calls a village meeting. Masquerades are made to attend. It’s the commissioning of the beginning of the building of a road project. Balloons are hoisted. He climbs into an old tractor brought by the contractor. He drives around. The women in asoebi dance. Men drum for them. He tells them he is rebuilding Imo then he jets away to USA  four times in one month”   I am asking, is such a governor not clueless? We are getting wearied of inept leadership in Imo. We are getting tired of leaders at all levels in the state that cannot perform.

It is easily understandable why Ihedioha’s Imo has suddenly become the oil block of Nigerian columnists, social media commentators, and writers today. Simply, there is so much free LGA  and ISOPADEC money flying around. Same reason why Ihedioha feels safe and comfortable for five months now, running a government on the pages of newspapers. Equally the same reason why he has recruited a hefty column of writers and columnists into his regime. It is the same reason why he has not allowed whatever are his works to speak for his regime but the ceaseless forgeries of the many writers he has recruited and the countless others he freely provides for with resources needed to lift Imo State from the doldrums. The fact that is constant in all the strange events that have made Imo the first port of call for cash-and-carry writers is that Emeka Ihedioha is clueless. He has shown us in 5 months that he knows nothing about leading a state like Imo and wants to hide behind the media. The only project moving at a fast pace in Imo is his personal house. That one was started quietly as my friend John said. And it’s galloping towards the sky. John did said ‘ Ihedioha brings poles for solar light. He sows Isiagu for one idle diplomat. They assemble village women. They dance.  And break kola nuts. And commission ‘a multimillion-dollar street light project’. Is that one not cluelessness? Then he started building 27 stadia in the 27 LGA’s of the state. Hmmm! That one na Mr. Clueless oh? Ala ajola njo n’ Imo.

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Here we are, five months of this administration and we are seeing unleashing of attacks on petty traders, roadside mechanics, other artisans, and unemployed youths are now groaning under brutal attack on their means of livelihood. In the name of beatification at strategic places while the interior and inner roads are deplorable. Reminiscent of the inglorious era of military absolutism where culture of fear and intimidation is often imposed on the people, Emeka Ihedioha’s  administration through the service of some gangs of  thugs who masquerade as Government monitoring team has continued, under the guise of beautification and cleaning-up project, to use brute force to subject thousands of small traders and artisans at different areas of Owerri  to all forms of harassment and physical assault.

To intensify the attack on the living condition of the suffering masses, the government introduced different extorting policies through levy, tax, fees etc. In Owerri, heavy taxes are imposed on houses, banks, hotels, and shops in the name of Physical Planning and Infrastructural Development. Worse still, the government does not use its legitimate machinery to collect these fees. It rather employs the services of thugs who do not only intimidate people but also wreak havoc in the process. A sanitation fee is forcefully collected from people who dispose of wastes themselves in the nearest bush but have never set their eyes on a government waste bin van. Yet, there has been nothing fundamentally to show for the infrastructure levy collected from the masses.. And I ask, has Imo entered one chance?  May God save us from Mr. Clueless.

-Kenneth Uwadi writes from Mmahu-Egbema, Imo State, Nigeria

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