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Bayelsa State
In the words of Joe Paterno, “Success without honour is an unseasoned dish. It satisfies the hunger, but doesn’t taste good”.
Day in day out, the masses cry for true leadership under an egalitarian and just party structure with undivided zoning arrangement, but none has boldly stood up to question how this obnoxious system is changed for the betterment and “blossoming of democracy” the media and other compatriots hoped for? It is possible to change the obnoxious system but the tiny minority of the political leaders during their tour of duty takes advantage of the putrid system and after leaving office joins others to savour the sour grapes of impositions of candidates thus becoming helpless victims.

But why is it difficult to change this system? The answer lies in the fact that a majority of the elites that control political power in Imo State were and are still largely bereft of any philosophical foundations and so could not design a workable political system for the state apart from few. And issuing from the above, they are largely ignorant of the dysfunctionality of the system that has failed the state since its creation. Being so ignorant of what constitutes their enlightened self interest, they fail to access the knowledge available from other good and functional systems elsewhere for changing or reforming the system.

 Party politics means different things to different people in Imo State and Nigeria at large. To the civil society, it ought to be a vocation of service through which political leadership of the state is recruited and harnessed. But to the average Imolite, political party is an occupation or business channel through which one makes a living and/or profit. Secondly, it seems to afford one a possible participation in the distribution of political patronages otherwise called “dividends of democracy” for the benefit of one’s family, village, community, local government or state in that order of importance.

 Politics and its practice in Imo State has had a chequered history and despite its seeming openness to the general public, it is still a puzzle and arcane to the outsider. Apart from the issue of intractable corruption, and current security challenges, politics remains the main staple upon which the Nigerian media feed. It is more so in an election year. So, almost all the media were, and are still sufficiently concerned with the political issue of the day, which is parties’ nomination of candidates for the elections.

 Nigerian political parties suffer vicarious dysfunctionality that flows from the aboriginal dysfunctionality of the Nigerian state and its political and legal order. Thus our political parties are poor copies that have no cultural substance to sustain them. A typical Nigeria political party is structured in such a way that nobody is endued with moral authority as the leader. Its leadership inheres in the group of people exercising political authority at that particular point in time and a coterie of other members belonging by way of grant of access to the prebendal patronage of the electoral booty in form of government contracts, land allocations, political positions and other privileges.

In most cases, the membership is so structured in such a way that its inclusion revolves around family members and such friends adjudged harmless enough and in most cases circumscribed to be incapable of rocking the boat. Under the tenure of the incumbent occupant of the Governorship position in Imo State, every decision by way of anointing of a candidate for any election issues were from him who may not be charitable enough to seek the input of other stakeholders. This is indeed the ‘Gheto Style’ of ‘mafianistic’ leadership in Imo State.

 It is usually difficult to question or challenge the decision of a Governor in matters of anointing of candidates for party primaries because by the very nature of the political structure (i.e. the state resources or privileges concentrate in his hand and the party formation deliberately structured and controlled by him) any disputation or challenge from any opposing quarter is easily countered and silenced, or sometime, labeled anti-party. Though, a Governor cannot counter God’s decision if he chooses otherwise, Imo, Benue, Bauchi, Akwa-Ibom, Oyo, Osun, Ogun and Anambra states including as case studies.

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 It is perhaps necessary to explain the peculiar structure of the Nigeria political party that makes it practically difficult for any outsider to comprehend its practices and praxis. The Nigeria political party, quite unlike its United States counterpart, is an association given a clear and unambiguous constitutional recognition by the 1999 Constitution. This constitutional recognition is further seasoned by the provisions of several statutory measures, principally the Electoral Act. By these statutory measures, the parties are registered and recognized by law and its operations are guided by law stricto sensu.

 On the contrary, the United States political parties were not the creation of any statutes or the constitution as they originated from the political evolution of the people, which is founded on the United States’ foundation based on the republican ethics and values.

 In this wise, the United States’ political parties were creations out of the people’s mores and convention. For instance, at the formation of the United States in 1776 and the adoption of the constitution in 1787, the founding fathers otherwise called the ‘Patriots’ administered the country on zero party basis. It was the complex and controversial socio-political and economic issues arising from the controversies and struggles for the ratification of the 1787 US Constitution which polarized the Patriots and caused a sharp division into the ‘Federalists’ led by Alexander Hamilton and the opposing force dubbed ‘Anti-Federalists’ later renamed Democratic-Republican and led by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison that grudgingly resulted in the formation of political parties in the USA in the 1790s.

 George Washington, the first President of USA governed the new country on zero-party basis and history records him as having a virulent opponent of party politics, and most of the founding fathers shared his concerns. It was after his tenure when John Adams assumed leadership 1796 that the party system took shape as a result of the aforesaid schism between Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.

 As stated earlier, the Nigeria political parties are associations governed by the constitution and statutes. Its operations therefore are strictly governed by law. These being so, the politicians with the means to finance its establishment and operations take advantage of the ordinary members who, like ordinary shareholders of publicly quoted limited liability companies take advantage of the insignificant voting powers of the said members to exploit the system to their own benefit.

 As in the said public liability companies likewise the political parties; the actual owners are the rich men who contribute significant amount to the establishment and financing of the party operations, and by so doing invariably acquire controlling shares in the control and operation of the party as it were. Where the party has public officials such as Governor, President or Chairman of councils or such other elective or appointive offices, these public officials jointly finance the party. But the bulk of the financing and operational logistics fall on the Governor due largely to the enormous resources available to him for dispense as political goodwill and patronage. But, have we asked who is the sole owner of these resources the Governors are lavishing to remain relevant politically?

 On accession to power, the Governor, having been the humble beneficiary of the party goodwill by virtue of the anointing by his predecessor, which clothes him with garb of a vassal promptly deploys his incumbent power to hijack the party structure to shake off that encumbrance. And in accomplishing this strategic political act, nothing is spared in realizing this object, including deliberately sidelining and rubbishing his erstwhile benefactor or godfather including all those related to him except they buy into his new power calculus.

 The control of the party structure leverages the position of the Governor in many ways; the most important being that during the party primaries, the members of the Executive Committee at the Ward and Local Government Levels are members of the congress for the election of the chairman, if a local government election.


 For the state congress for the nomination of the governorship candidate of the party, the delegates consist of all the wards’ chairmen, secretaries, the three-man delegates, local government chairmen, vice chairmen, secretaries, youth leaders, woman Leaders and the organizing secretaries are statutory delegates. So, it is the electoral value of these party officials during primaries that make the control of the party structure from the ward to the national levels a prized possession in the political kitty and arsenal of any political leader.

 In control of the party structure, the Governor remains impregnable except there arises a force of greater or equal control of resources (money and goodwill from the presidency or high echelon of the party apparatchik) and in that case, a challenge could be sustained against his interest. It was the rise of some forces and the control of resources equal or greater to that of the various governors or senators and others that gave rise to the electoral misfortunes of some of the governors, senators and so on which created the impression of change in the electoral culture of the parties, Imo State as a typical example of external political power both in APC and at the 2019 general elections that cut the incumbent Governor in the state to sizes.

 Meanwhile, the presidency and the national party office had weighed their relative political relevance and credit worthiness in their respective states and discovered a startling find: they are largely paper tigers relying largely on the structures of government and its resources for relevance. So they are dispensable! It was as a result of this finding that the presidency and the national party office looked the other way or allegedly connived with some other critical stakeholders in the states to seize the party structure from them. As a result most of them lost either their personal ambitions to migrate to the senate or to nominate their prospective successors or both.

 However, it has to be noted that the successes of the winners of the various party primaries were not as a result of any credible, free and fair contest where the parties were afforded equal opportunities. Nothing as such happened.  What transpired was that during the filing of nomination forms for the election of the various delegates to the party congresses and convention, each faction prepared a list of its own delegates and obtain forms for them. At the end, it is the list accepted and validated by the national party office that wins. So, once your list of delegates is not accepted by the national office of the party you are as good as a bad loser.

 What remained for you was to make as much noise as possible and perhaps explore the avenue of utilizing the various judicial remedies such as injunction or declaration to harass the party and your opponent. This in a nutshell is what happened. But to the unwary public ignorant of the various processes, these results from the party primaries felling the giants constituted a clear departure from the sordid past of imposition of party candidates by the godfathers. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The old system reigns in a different design and circumstances.

It is in the light of the foregoing that we appeal to the media to collaborate with the hapless society by not allowing false impressions put forward by the parties or their officials to be relied upon to paint a picture of the political system that is clearly contrary to the reality or to celebrate an obviously flawed political system and its failed electoral processes in Imo State. But rather, it should seek out enlightened and knowledgeable Imolites in various parties to help in educating the people and to spearhead the political change we need in our state. In this wise, we shall proffer solutions in our next edition.

Ikenna ONUOHA is a Media and Public Relations Consultant

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EFCC Attempts to Balance Action with Fairness as it Sanitizes Nigeria’s Corporate Sector





By Adedayo Samson

While fighting corruption at all levels is a laudable effort, balancing action with fairness in the prosecution of justice remains pertinent in the operations of a law enforcement agency. Faced with such moral dilemma, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has ramped up its efforts to sanitize Nigeria’s corporate sector.

The Commission’s attempt to rid the country’s private sector of criminals and criminality through checks and balances has led to the investigation of some businesses across several industries and the imposition of fines on some. While top shots found culpable of economic malpractices are undergoing prosecution, companies and their executives hitherto scrutinized are being acquitted. In particular, the EFCC has scaled up its scrutiny of the telecoms and lottery industries.

One of the notable cases is EFCC’s investigation of telecoms giant, MTN in 2019 over alleged irregularities in the process of its listing on the bourse of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). In May 2019, the firm had listed by introduction, 20.4 billion ordinary shares at N90 on the NSE. In less than a week, the share price had risen to N131 as scarcity drives up its value. Many believed the company did not follow due process and had given insider information to some of its major shareholders, a move that led to artificial scarcity of the company’s shares following the announcement of the IPO. However, while acknowledging that it was under investigation by the EFCC, MTN reiterated that it had not been accused of any wrongdoing by the anti-graft agency. After further explanations from the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), MTN was let off the hook.

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Similarly, in January 2020, Premier lotto, Nigeria’s foremost and perhaps, oldest lottery firm became the subject of a routine EFCC inquest to investigate alleged tax evasion based on unsubstantiated accusations from a competitor. An Executive Director of the company and son of the founder, Segun Adebutu, who was incidentally at the Premier Lotto office on the day, was invited to the anti-graft agent’s office for questioning without detainment. After due investigations, and further clarifications from the company, the EFCC found no malpractices in the affairs of Premier Lotto and Segun Adebutu.  The matter was thereafter summarily dismissed, and the petition was closed.

In its bid to sanitize the lottery industry, the EFCC went into a partnership with the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC) in July 2019. The deal involves agreement for support in the areas of information sharing, intelligence gathering, enforcement and prosecution. With the new agreement, it became easier for the anti-graft agency to detect cases of foul play in the hitherto opaque Nigerian lottery industry, which is reportedly worth about $70 billion. The partnership with the NLRC is already yielding some results as the EFCC recently announced the discovery of 35 illegal lottery business operators in the country.

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EFCC’s scrutiny of the telecoms sector revealed a boost early in the years, when the House of Representatives Committee on ICT revealed that commission will join the committee to investigate telecom providers, over alleged non-remittance of the one per cent annual turnover to the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA). According to the Reps committee, the telecom companies are owing up to N200 billion in pending remittance to NITDA for infrastructure provided.

While some people see the EFCC’s intervention in the affairs of the business world as being overbearing, others see it as a means of reining in some of the excesses of the businesses and protecting the consumers who are serviced by these businesses. Nevertheless, these moves have yielded some benefits. They have checked the excesses of the telecoms operators and brought in more revenue for government in form of fines.

Lastly, thanks to the cooperation of some key lottery operators, the EFCC has made the industry more transparent and accountable.

Samson writes from Lagos

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Making Sense Of Oshiomhole’s Reprieve





abiodun KOMOLAFE


Once upon a sociopolitical space, there was an unknown ‘Edo Boy’, who came into limelight through the Textiles Industry, where he was a paid secretary of its Union. (Conventionally, paid secretaries are never made political heads. But Adams Oshiomhole became the political head of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, which, in itself, was an anomaly). The emergence of the Iyamho, Edo State-born politician as a leader in Nigeria was aided by the society’s sociopolitical milieu. Why? A quick look should suffice.


First and foremost, the society’s worldview was laissez-faire and regrettably assuming. The ruling paradigm, then, was that man was created noble, and his inner nature was inherently good. Not only that, the uncertainty in the country’s political firmament, and the little or no skepticism as a political virtue on the part of the masses, all met at the table to foist the former governor on the hapless citizens of Nigeria. Besides, the complacency as well as the faith of the majority in a benevolent God who cares for all, thereby lessening the burden of responsibilities of good governance on governments, and the pliability of the government, under which Oshiomhole served as Labour’s first citizen, also aided his emergence as a force to be reckoned with. In other words, though regarded as NLC president, somewhere along the line, ‘Comrade’ became a tool in the hands of the government; and ‘the rest is history.’


But, how did the situation between Oshimhole and Godwin Obaseki become so messy that the latter is now calling for the former’s head? That the situation between the godfather, who practically installed the godson as his successor, to have so worsened means that something fundamental must be wrong. Again, for Obaseki’s camp to have confessed that it was only following in the footsteps of Oshiomhole clearly spoke to how he who lives in glass house must not throw stones. But, if we may ask: what gives our former governors this impression that they must continue to have a hold on the states where they have once served, if not for the reason of corruption? Why can’t they emulate Kashim Shettima, who is now at peace with himself as a former governor? Nonetheless, the feud in Edo is good for the masses, because such will always bring out the best in a democracy.

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After Jimmy Carter left office as the 39th President of the United States of America, he confessed to a stunned world that, for the first time, he understood what ‘African leaders always feel when they want to leave office.’ Well, this statement might seem innocuous or harmless; but it was thought-provoking! The good thing about Carter was that he knew that he had no choice because that’s the Constitution; and Americans have a lot of respect for their Constitution! But, as far as the Africanness in us is concerned, the Constitution can go to blazes! That’s why former President Olusegun Obasanjo has the temerity to attempt a shameful 3rd Term ambition that adoringly placed a dent on what would, at least, have been an alluring legacy.


Let’s come back to the apparent lack of cohesion in the national All Progressives Congress(APC) and the notorious little foxes, such as Oshiomhole’sface-off with his state governor. Without doubt, these can spell doom for the continued success and sustenance of the ruling party, if not quickly and efficiently addressed. Yes, some forces may succeed in muscling Obaseki out of the 2nd Term race. But then, as long as Obaseki’s problem remains unsolved, Oshiomhole’s case will also remain precarious. Why? The governor is most likely to raise dust; and, if he does, that will be bad news for the party; no longer for President Muhammadu Buhari, but the party. After all, Buhari is already negotiating his way out of Aso Rock! The more reason the president must genuinely intervene now, even, when the waning nature of party supremacy in Nigeria dictates otherwise.


That’s not all! There is also an effect on the political participation profile of the masses. For instance, lack of cohesion in a political party is an indication that the party is disorganized. And, if it is, it will also yield itself to ineffective government. After all, nobody will want to put his or her faith in a party that lacks cohesion or effective organization. Not only that, discipline will become watered down, as nobody will be answerable to anybody. Talking about development, the masses are definitely going to be at the receiving end of this needless power tussle. Since needless marginalization in politics leads to economic insecurity, feeling safe, either at home or at work, will also become very difficult. Not even in a country where growing insecurity has manifestly become a diet.

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This also takes us back to the issue of party formation. Though political non-participation is just the resultant effect of the disarray that we now notice in the party system, party system becomes disarrayed as a result of the faulty foundation of the party in question. In other words, if we get it wrong at the level of party formation, the likelihood of such wrongness posing perennial problems is palpably high.

All things being equal, the brawl between Oshiomhole and Obaseki could never have been in good faith! Nonetheless, a virus that tarries for too long in a man’s life has the capacity to mutate and transform into aberrant, more hostile and vicious types. What we are saying here is: as an amazing Labour leader and politician, the APC National Chairman should realize that it is time to rethink his strategy and the endgame of his political ambition. Glaringly, the reprieve granted by the appellate court remains temporary until all pending cases might have been dispensed with. We also need to note that the aggrieved and the disgruntled have the option of ‘acting nPDP’, or going back to their vomit. This may be dangerous for APC!


Well, controversy or not; provable or improvable, Oshiomhole has done his bit! Won’t his Achilles heels be the inability to leave the beat when the ovation is still ascending? On the other hand, ‘power’, they say, ‘corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.’ Will Obaseki learn how to ‘give honour to whom honour is due’, especially, those who once fed him? Lastly, who’s right on the Edo story and who will write the last chapter of the national APC conundrum?


May the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, grant us peace in Nigeria!


*KOMOLAFE writes in from Ijebu-Jesa, Osun State, Nigeria (



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God Hasn’t Revealed When Covid-19 Will Leave Nigeria-Primate Ayodele




Primate Ayodele Elijah is regarded as one of the top five prophets in the country. Over the years, he has made prophesies that have come to pass. In the wake of the global coronavirus outbreak, he spoke with Lukmon Akintola, on the pandemic, and other issues.

There have been several opinions about the coronavirus pandemic, what is your take about it?

It is a development that I have prophesied about in the past. It is something that I have been prophesying about over the years. It has now come to pass. In my book ‘Warnings To The Nation’, specifically page 193, the spirit of God said: “there will be some natural disasters in the regions of the world. I foresee an outbreak of a disease that will be of an epidemic status, killings, and attacks which will trouble world leaders, governments of the world will be troubled as countries like the United States of America, China and the United Kingdom will be making various researches on the strange epidemic status.”  We have been saying it for a while. In my book, Warnings to the Nation 2018/2019, page 16, we stated that there will be a sickness which the World Health Organisation (WHO) will be troubled about and they will be looking for a series of solutions for it. In my 2020 prophesy, I also emphasised it on page three. I said that I see a global economic crisis which will be caused by a sickness that will make the whole world seek a solution.

What did the lord tell you about coronavirus?

The Lord has told me that coronavirus is meant to deal with the world.  It is a sickness that God wants to use to teach the world a lot of lessons. When the lord prophesied to me in October, he told me categorically that we should fast and pray in our church for seven Sundays and Seven Tuesday. He said that we should pray against a strange sickness that would come to disturb the world. It has come to pass now. Coronavirus is a pandemic which Nigerians will have to be careful about it. Nigeria must look into it very well because if we allow it to spread, I don’t want Nigeria to fall victim like that of Italy because it will generate a lot of problems.

It is a virus that appears to be affecting the rich as well as the poor, what do you say to this?

God is using it to punish the people who have disturbed and destroyed Nigeria. It will affect them one after the other, and that way they will know that the poor are suffering. It is a virus to punish the rich in Nigeria.

Some Pastors are known for their miraculous healings, why do you think they are yet to come out with their healing power?

If indeed there are pastors who heal people with viruses like this one, this is the time for them to come out.

What can we do about this situation?

We have not seen anything yet, and that is the reason why we need prayers to tackle this sickness. All the measures that the government has taken are good. I commend all of their efforts on this especially the Lagos State and the Federal Government. But all the same, we still need prayers.

What is your personal effort at combating this virus?


God instructed me to do 10, 000 water and 10,000 anointing oil for free. He told me to disburse it to countries and states of the world where they have this virus. Anyone who is interested can come to my church to pick it, they don’t even have to see me. Just ask for it and it will be given to you for free. It can be taken to Italy where they can test it, and it will curb the spread of the virus, while those who use it will be healed. They can test it and they will see that this is just the work of God.

Is there a date that has been revealed to you in relation to the end of this pandemic?

There is no particular date that coronavirus will go. God did not give a date, but it will go. People should just stop permutating, it will go, but there is no date for it to go. It is not a virus that will just disappear, we just need to be focused on God and be prayerful to him, let us just keep begging him.

What advice do you have for the government about this virus?

The problem is that the government doesn’t listen to prophets like us, they believe that anything we say is political. Either it is political or not, a prophecy is a prophecy. It is to warn the leaders, if they had listened, they would have cautioned this virus before now. It has happened because our leader don’t take to warnings, they underrate God, and that is why God is now showing the world that he is supreme, he has supreme power over everything on earth. Doctors have been disappointed because it is beyond their own reasoning. I said it two years ago that Nigeria will still have a second economic recession. This economic recession is what we are about to experience now.  We have not seen anything in Nigeria, our economy is going down, and need serious prayers.

Where do we need to focus our prayers?

Let us pray against famine, we need to also pray against austerity and inflation. And besides this, I said it early this year that there will be a lot of confusion in the government, and I also said it in one of my prophecies that a strange illness will enter into the villa. It has happened now. They did not listen, the government did not listen to instruction, the government failed to follow God’s directive, and that is the reason we have all of these problems.

Can we do a review of your prophesies that have come to pass this year?

I have made a series of prophecies that have come to pass. I made prophesies such as the dethronement of the Emir of Kano, Emir Sanusi, the travails of Adams Oshiomhole, the earthquake that happened in Russia, this very virus ravaging the world, death of footballers in Nasarawa and Rangers FC. Also, the recent Boko Haram attack. I even mentioned the month of March. I also said that not all the Senators will finish their term. The removal of the Kano State Speaker is a confirmation of this prophecy. I also said that the Lagos State Speaker will have some challenges. The challenges have come now, and he should pray so that he can overcome the crisis. He should not take the crisis with kid gloves. I also spoke about the death of some journalists, a petroleum price crash which has happened. I am saying this now, there is a lot that the government needs to look into for them to succeed, for them to control this coronavirus. It is a serious matter.

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Can you be futuristic with your prophecies?

In 2023, if PDP wants to maintain the lead, they should look in the direction of the present Chief of Staff of Delta State, David Edevbie. This is because the All Progressive Congress (APC) will bring all of their arsenals to take Delta State. But it is a move which will not be possible. The present crisis in APC which we have foretold has happened now, APC is in serious trouble. I still maintain the fact that Adams Oshiomhole will not lead the party to the Promised Land. He is still going to have problems, they are still going to battle him, we are still going to see so many things in Nigeria, we are just sitting on a time bomb, our own crisis has not started. Nigeria’s crisis has not started, when it starts, we are going to see what will happen. In Anambra State, APGA should use Soludo as their gubernatorial candidate if they hope to win the next election. If APC wants to make headway, they should get ready to use Senator Andy Uba. If PDP doesn’t strategise very well, if they don’t put their house together, they might not get their bearing in Anambra State. Anambra State APC must also be careful because they will break, so PDP must seek divine intervention to pick the right candidate. Apart from this, Uche Secondus is going.

Take us to an international level.

In Ghana’s election, Mahama must be very focused, and put things right in their party. Mahama will unseat Nana Akufo-Addo. In the Benin Republic, I am seeing a small crisis. The opposition will not be allowed to make any positive impact and this will cause a lot of troubles. Cote d’Ivoire will hold a new election soon, the likely contenders, if the incumbent president does not contest, are Amadou Gon Coulibaly, Gbagbo, and Guillaume Soro. Gbagbo has more chances and he is most likely to win if only he strategises properly. Guillaume Soro can only win and become president if he works with people at the grassroots level.

What about Nigeria’s security situation?

The days of Ibrahim Shekarau are numbered. The Service Chiefs should also start packing their luggage because their time is up.

Tell us something about the forthcoming American presidential election

I have said it before that  Joe Badin will be given a ticket in the democratic party, but he will have to work very hard to unseat Trump in this five states Ohio, Califonia, Washington, Pennsylvania, and Colorado. These five states are where he will need to work hard if he wants to defeat Trump.

Can we look into the business sector?

Why not? Some banks will crash, while NNPC will experience a major crisis that will see the sack of some staff. Some states will go into economic troubles, economic recession, and they won’t be able to pay the N30,000 minimum wage.

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