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N50m G-Wagon: Lawmaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, reacts ‘I saved for years for wife’s birthday’

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That Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila has been in the eye of the storm in the last three days is a fact that needs no contestation. No thanks to a piece of information that sent both the new and traditional media in a frenzy that he coughed out whooping N50million to buy a wonder-wheel for his wife, Salamatu, as a gift for his golden age attainment, at a period such as this when the economy has just been barely pulled out of recession economic austerity and when his religion, Islam, expects him to be ascetic.
The four-time House of Representatives member has reacted in his quest to set the record straight and disabuse the public mind against the notion created by the deliberately skewed news.
Gbajabiamila, whom many have acknowledged as one of the shinning lights of the 8th National Assembly and one of the most meticulous and committed legislators in Nigeria on the basis of his robust representation and ever-present empowerment programmes whose beneficiaries extend beyond his Surulere 1 Federal Constituency, took out time to render his stewardship on the one hand, and how he had been saving towards the event in appreciation of a wife who has acted as his loyal friend who has stood by him through thick and thin.
According to the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, the birthday celebration was not an impromptu event but one had been anticipated and planned for a couple of years to convey his gratitude to a wife who has weathered all kinds of storm with him. “I could never have been half the man I am today without her support and unbelievable understanding.
Truly, the monetary value of any gift real or imagined, pales in significance when I consider how much of a ‘rock and pillar’ she has been to me…(it was) an expression of deep appreciation and love for my wife of almost thirty years, rather than one of flamboyance.,” Gbajabiamila said.
He explained that he was not unmindful of the pervasive poverty around, and especially the need to be conservative and ascetic in the month of Ramadan. He took these into consideration and decided to make the matter a private family affair witnessed by family members and friends in moderate numbers. Ordinarily, that kind of event would have attracted the crème de la crème judging from the fact that Gbajabiamila has clouts and the networks but he chose to make it a private affair.
With regards to his stewardship in the National Assembly, from the records made available to us, Gbajabiamila comes off as a utilitarian politician with socialist leaning. It is to Gbajabiamila’s credits that a bill which seeks to criminalise and prohibit the extorting issuance of estimated bills which is perennially foisted on Nigerians by power distribution companies DISCO has passed second reading and is slated for public hearing next week, June 5 precisely, all things being equal.
This will be a watershed in the history of power billing in Nigeria and the entire populace of Nigeria will be its beneficiary. The sponsorship of the Nigerian Students Loan Bill (2016), the Nigerian Labour Act (Amendment Bill (2017), the Physically Challenged (Empowerment) Bill (2017), Amendment to Immigration Act (2016), the National Minimum Wage (Amendment Bill to mention few, are to his credits.
His constituency outreach programmes range from Entrepreneurial Empowerment Programme Conducted by SMEDAN for 250 youth drawn from 9 Wards in Surulere 1 federal constituency, training and distribution of Fish Farming Tools to 100 Youth and Women, partnership with Eko Club (Atlanta Georgia,USA) provided Free Medical Outreach, presentation of CCTV Tool Box to 50 Youth trained on installation and maintenance of closed circuit television, football tournament, and many others worthy of mention but for space constraint.
In all of these, Gbajabiamila might have been mindful of the need to celebrate his virtuous wife and become a stickler for robust legislative responsibilities; what he appears to have failed to be very mindful of was the ubiquitous power of the social media. Just one image and…boom! Discretion is the better part of valour.
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Why Buhari did not attend presidential debate – Spokesperson

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The campaign office of President Mohammadu Buhari has explained why the president was absent for the debate slated to hold on Saturday evening.

According to a statement credited to the campaign spokesperson, Festus Keyamo SAN, FCIArb (UK), the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, who is also the APC Presidential Candidate in the forthcoming Presidential Election, President Muhammadu Buhari, could not attend the Presidential Debate organised by the Nigeria Election Debate Group and the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria which held today, Saturday, January 19, 2019 for the following reasons:

Firstly, out of several opportunities afforded our candidate to interact with the Nigerian people directly by different organisations, our presidential candidate has taken full advantage of another town-hall meeting organized by another group which held on Wednesday, January 16, 2019. He was also joined at that town-hall meeting by our Vice-Presidential candidate who is also the Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN. Nigerians from all walks of life who were physically present and through on-line platforms asked uncensored questions which were adequately answered. It was also transmitted live by various broadcast networks in Nigeria.

In addition, the busy and hectic official and campaign schedules of Mr. President clashed with this programme. Today, Mr. President commissioned the Baro Inland Water Port in Niger State and campaigned in Niger and Plateau States where his time was over-stretched by the tumultuous and mammoth crowds in both States, (as seen by Nigerians on live television) and only returned to Abuja late this evening.

Whilst we thank the organisers for the invitation, we want to assure Nigerians that we shall continue to hold these debate groups and Nigerians in high esteem which our candidate has demonstrated during past election debates when he honoured similar invitations. Nigerians will also recall that a few weeks ago, our Vice-Presidential candidate, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, also attended the debate organized by the same organisations.

Lastly, we note the statement of the candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar who actually came for the event and left the venue when he did not see Mr. President, who is our candidate. According to him, he would not want to “attack” Mr. President in his absence.

It should now be obvious to Nigerians that for Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and the PDP, this election is all about attacking the person and programmes of Mr. President and not about proffering their own solutions to the problems they created during their sixteen years of misrule, maladministration and looting of the nation’s resources. When they cannot see President Buhari to attack, the content of their campaign becomes hollow, empty and “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”. Now that Atiku Abubakar had a unique opportunity to explain to Nigerians his own vision and mission without a President Buhari in the picture, he ran away. Afterall, he has his own eight years of crass and grand corruption as Vice President to defend before the Nigerian people.

On February 16, 2019 we urge Nigerians to demonstrate to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and the PDP, through their votes, how empty indeed their campaign has always been and to vote massively for President Muhammadu Buhari and Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN who have started the rebuilding process of our great nation.

Thank you.

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Irregularities mar Paralympics Committee election – Obuh

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The Tuesday, 15th January 2019 Presidential election of Paralympic Committee of Nigeria has been dubbed fraudulent, full of irregularities and outcome totally rejected by the President of Para-powerlifting Federation of Nigeria, Queen Obuh.
Rejecting the election in its entirety, Queen Obuh told newsmen that the process of the election subverts the constitution and guidelines for election into the body.
The Para-powerlifting Federation of Nigeria President, Obuh who is one of the presidential candidates said delegates for the election were handpicked within the National Stadium venue of the election instead of from federations across the six geopolitical zones of the country as stipulated by the constitution of PCN.
She said: “One of the zonal representatives claimed Para Tennis but to my amazement Kano State Director of Sports said they don’t do such sport in Kano.
 “The elections lacked merit in all ramifications and the evidences are there. Most of the zonal representatives were not eligible to vote. Most of them were hand-picked by the officials of the Sports Ministry on the Election Day.
According to PCN election guideline, “The elections will be conducted by the electoral committee which shall comprise not more than (5) five persons and not less than (3) three persons or members.
“The Elections shall be monitored by the representatives of Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development and members of the Nigerian Olympic Committee.”
Furthermore, it was clearly stated in the Conduct of Election in the Guideline for the election that “The chairman of states Para Sports Associations or The Director of state sports council/Commission shall Authenticate the zonal candidates letter for the zonal election, but all these were fragrantly flaunted.
The most shocking according to Obuh is why the election should be conducted by the Ministry instead of playing observatory role as the constitution stipulates.
Recounting her experience, Lucy Ejike, the team captain of Para-powerlifting of Nigeria said she stood for Athletes Representative election on the 10th of January against Flora Ugonwa which was declared inconclusive but to her dismay, at the PCN presidential election yesterday, Flora Ugunnwa was called to vote as Athletes Representative
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Why I’ll privatise NNPC if elected president – Atiku

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The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, said on Wednesday that he would privatise the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation if elected, describing the state-owned oil firm as a “mafia organisation.”

Atiku was quoted by TheCable as saying at an interactive session with the business community in Lagos that he would take the step even if doing so would cost him his life.

He explained that he sold the idea to President Olusegun Obasanjo whom he worked with as a deputy between 1999 and 2007 but that the former president did not approve of it.

Atiku said he was convinced that the NNPC would run better if not managed by the government.

He said, “Let me go back to my experience. When we got into office, I walked up to my boss and said, “Sir, there are two mafia organisations in government: one is the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation while the other one is the National Electricity Power Authority.

“I said unless we dismantle these mafia organisations, we cannot make progress. Let’s privatise them… the long and short of this is that I am committed to privatisation as I have said. I swear even if they are going to kill me, I will do it (privatise NNPC).”

Atiku also spoke on how an expert in the petroleum sector influenced his stance on the privatisation of the NNPC.

The former Vice President said, “I asked a Nigerian professor based in America; I said, ‘Prof, do you have a ministry of petroleum in America?’ He said no. I said, ‘Do you have an organisation like the NNPC over there?’ He said no. And America produces oil more than any country? He said yes.

“So I asked him, ‘How do they do it in America?’ and he said taxation, and I decided that I will go by taxation too.”

Atiku criticised the current administration for the delay in passing the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill.

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