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2023: Fashola Raps APC Over Zoning Says Agreement Should Be Honoured

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The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has said although the issue of zoning was more of gentlemen’s agreements, it behoves on parties who entered into such agreements to honour them.

Fashola, a former Governor of Lagos State and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, said this while speaking to reporters covering the activities of the APC, in Abuja, on Tuesday.

The minister said, “First let’s talk about law, let’s talk about agreement, the law is the Constitution. The Constitution decides the age at which you can contest certain offices and there is nothing in the Constitution that says zoning. All are political parties, political parties are clubs where you write agreements just like a social club and we can decide that it is the youngest person who will be the Chairman of the Club or we can decide that it is the oldest person or the next female or the next male, that is the matter of agreement between people.

“But the Constitution that sets up the climate of political parties’ formation does not prescribe zoning. The truth is that what makes an agreement specification is the honour in which it is made, not whether it is written. If it was written there would be no Court cases of breach of contract because it’s a document that is written and signed that goes to court.

“But the private agreement you make with your brother and sister can be breached, (it) is honour.”

He explained that the best politics was one that would enhance good governance and impact positively on the lives of most, especially the vulnerable in society.

The APC chieftain said, “I belong to a party, APC and it is committed to good governance because I think the best politics is good governance. The beauty of it for me, is the opportunity it gives to impact people’s lives. We have elections only once in four years but we have the responsibility to provide good governance every day and that’s the culture.”

While speaking on the chances of the APC to retain power in 2023, he said, “To retain power in 2023, certainly if we keep our promises, is that simple. That’s politics. If you do what you said you will do even if you don’t do 100 per cent and they see that you are making progress, they will even want you to finish something you started.”

He maintained that opposition political parties in Nigeria currently have not shown the capacity to upstage the APC.

Fashola said, “Our opposition has to think better than us in order to defeat us, right now they are not doing that. When it’s election time they should come and meet us.”

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OPINION

Olowu of Kuta: Nigerians Should Rally Round Dependants of Fallen Heroes

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The Olowu of Kuta,Oba Adekunle Oyelude Tegbosin 11 in Aiyedire local government of Osun state has lauded the leadership of the Nigerian Armed forces for sustaining the culture of care and protection for their serving and retired officers and men in their patriotic duties of defending the territorial integrity of the country..

Oba Oyelude gave the commendation in his goodwill message to the authorities of the Nigerian armed forces on this years armed forces and rememberance day celebrations.

In a release titled, “we are keeping your back”, the traditional ruler particularly noted the painstaking efforts of the Chief of Army staff,Lt Gen Tukur Burantai for providing inspiring leadership to the rank and file and for identifying with the plights of families of soldiers who paid the supreme sacrifice of saving lives and properties of the citizens.

Oba Oyelude appreciates the immerse roles of the armed forces for securing the country from threats and ravages of Bokko Haram insurgents despite daunting challenges, with hopes that the determination by authorities of the Nigerian Armed forces will continue to safeguard the country from attacks within and outside her borders and provide the needed security for her citizens to live in peace amongst themselves.

The Olowu of Kuta charge the rank and file of the armed forces to continue to key into the philosophy of a united indivisible Nation as contained in the chief of Army staff address which harped on morale boosting and keeping in touch with families and dependents of the fallen heroes.
The traditional ruler is hopeful that with the zeal of army personnel engaged in anti terror wars in the Northern parts of the country, peace and security will be restored and Nigerians will again be free to pursue their legitimate businesses without let or hindrance.

The Olowu of Kuta called on well meaning Nigerians to continue to contribute to the welfare of families left behind by soldiers who put their lives on the line to protect their country.

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Covid-19 Second Wave: E-commerce trends to watch in 2021

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Covid-19 Second Wave: E-commerce trends to watch in 2021

When the wave of covid-19 swept from the street of Wuhan to other corners of the world in the year 2020, businesses were forced to think on their feet for survival strategies. Health and safety measures enforced by authorities across global borders crippled business activities. Digital platforms sustained what was left of business activities. The year turned out to be a massive one for ecommerce brands globally.

With the second wave of the virus raging like a wild wind, the narrative signals to be the same in 2021, with certain trends expected to be at the forefront of online shopping activities:

Exponential Growth of Online Marketplace: online sales are forecasted to reach $4.5 trillion in 2021, with consumers’ choice for comfort and safety being contributing factors to the exponential growth. Covid-19 variants are spreading at an alarming rate and authorities are responding with the enforcement of lockdown to prevent spread. As restrictions get stricter, customers are bound to become more health-conscious, thus, online marketplaces are expected to provide ease, convenience, and safety at this crucial period. Ecommerce brands with products that help stay safe while providing the best shopping experience will thrive.

The continuous rise of mobile shopping: Another trend slated for growth is that of mobile shopping. Sales from mobile ecommerce are forecasted to increase by 15%, with mobile accounting for 73% of ecommerce sales during the year. More people are embracing mobile devices in Africa in recent years. Likewise, more customers are expected to use their mobile devices for online shopping, thus translating to more downloads and usage of mobile apps of the likes of Jumia and Jiji.

Better payment processing: One of the challenges of ecommerce particularly on the African continent is the itches usually associated with e-payment systems. Many customers cancel purchases at checkout points due to this. To address the difficulty, ecommerce brands are providing in-platforms payment options to facilitate better payment processing that helps reduce unresolved payment issues for customers. In-platform payment options like JumiaPay enable seamless payment for customers on the Jumia platform. And this will also come in handy for customers on the platform as it helps eliminate the risk associated with the cash on delivery payment option.

Contactless delivery: Adherence to social distancing guidelines means ecommerce platforms will have to keep the contactless delivery option open for customers. The Jumia contactless delivery agents were crucial during the national lockdown in African countries in 2020. The platform is also expected to sustain the option for its customers during the year, even as more African countries are considering the introduction of total lockdown.

Social media shopping: Forward-thinking businesses are also expected to embrace the ecommerce options of social media platforms. According to experts, 2020 propelled ecommerce forward by about five years. Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, and Whatsapp all introduced features supporting businesses on their platforms. Though small businesses deploy these platforms for product displays, their reach cannot be compared to that of big online stores. Major ecommerce platforms are known to also extend their adverts to these platforms. This is an added advantage for small businesses and brands that put their products on bigger online stores.

Improved Local shopping: Another big impact of ecommerce in 2020 was the boost it gave to local products that embraced the digital marketplace. According to a recent Food Index Report by Jumia, local meals dominated orders on the platform when compared to intercontinental dishes. Picking up from where 2020 left off, local products, especially those who partner online marketplaces are also expected to sustain popularity and patronage in the new year.

Improved customized packaging: Branding is fast becoming consumer-centric and ecommerce companies are expected to excite their customers with unique packaging to stand out from competitors. Durability, aesthetics are some packaging attributes that can endear customers to their ecommerce brands.

By Ayomide Oriade

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Tinubu, Fayemi 2023 Ambitions Fuel Ekiti APC Crisis

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For the ruling All Progressives Congress in Ekiti State, the search for unity among members has been elusive since the 2018 governorship election in the state and this has been compounded by the rumoured presidential ambition of Governor Kayode Fayemi and a national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, which has polarised the party, ABIODUN NEJO writes

Although the party was unable to resolve the varying issues that came up with some aggrieved members that time, the congresses that produced the executive of the party at the ward, local government and state levels added insult to injury.

The party was divided along two major lines with the state governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, his backers and the party executive on one side and the Ekiti APC Stakeholders’ Forum led by Senator Anthony Adeniyi, which parades bigwigs like Senator Babafemi Ojudu, Senator Adedayo Adeyeye, Bimbo Daramola and Adewale Omirin, among others, on the other side.

When the crisis got to a head last year with suspension and counter-suspension, the party’s national body commissioned a committee to reconcile the two groups. Although the committee has yet to get down to business, there appeared to be calm in the two camps until recently when the issue of the 2023 presidential ambition came to the fore.

Although neither Fayemi nor the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has expressed interest in the party’s presidential ticket in 2023, their rumoured ambitions have already torn the party into two.

Some APC leaders in the state loyal to Fayemi have been strategising to ensure the realisation of the governor’s presidential bid. A local government chairman even last year took further steps by pasting posters of the governor although he was reprimanded and suspended from office for the act.

Similarly, some APC leaders, including members of the Stakeholders’ Forum, are either rooting for Tinubu or expressing support for the zoning of the presidency to the South, with the South-West as the first step.

However, the APC State Caretaker Publicity Secretary, Ade Ajayi, stirred the hornet’s nest at an event in December when he said party members would drag Fayemi into the contest for the presidency if he refused to join the race willingly.

Ajayi, who represented the APC State Caretaker Committee Chairman, Paul Omotoso, hinged the decision on the governor’s outstanding performance, saying, “On the 2023 presidency, the time has come for the President to come from Ekiti. That is why we are pleading with you to support Governor Fayemi.

“Though Governor Fayemi has not said he wants to contest, we will force him to come into the race, because of his competence, dedication and loyalty to the APC.”

Irked by the statement, the forum was quick to disown Omotoso, saying he did not represent the party, but expressed his personal opinion “on the idea that the APC, Ekiti State chapter, has backed Dr Fayemi for the 2023 presidency.”

Bamgboye Adegoroye, speaking on behalf of the stakeholders, said, “Leaders of the APC are unaware of the idea. All the states in the South of Nigeria deserve a shot at the Presidency if it is agreed upon by the national leaders of our party.

“The Ekiti State Stakeholders’ Forum, along with other eminent Yoruba leaders, will canvas the opportunity to produce the next President in 2023 from our zone.

“Adoption of an authentic, qualified, well known, humane and experienced Yoruba man is our goal and we will play our part in accomplishing that task.

“We want to state unequivocally that Ajayi, who represented Mr Omotoso, barely expressed a personal view. Again, we note that Ajayi’s boss does not even believe that the position should be zoned to the South-West as expressed on the national platform recently.”

A party leader and former state House of Assembly Deputy Speaker, Karounwi Oladapo, was quick to dismiss the APC members in the state, who are against Fayemi’s presidential bid as inconsequential, saying, “The bottom line is that those who are supporting Tinubu for President in Ekiti are fringe or peripheral members of the APC.

“They add no value to Fayemi because they are not within the party structure. They do not have electoral value; they cannot participate in the primaries. As far as Ekiti is concerned, the entire structure that will participate in the primaries anytime any day is closely knitted.”

Oladapo, who said his support for Fayemi for the presidency was based on the fact that it was time for Ekiti State, which he noted had been treated as an appendage, to produce a President, adding that the governor’s “age, credentials, strength of character, integrity, religion and being from the South” eminently made him to tower above others.

He said it was normal that some APC members in the state were supporting Tinubu just as some members in Lagos State were backing Fayemi for the presidency, stating, “If we are on the same page, that means we are no longer playing politics. There are some people in Lagos State, who are rooting for Fayemi; it is politics.”

Adeyeye, who is the leader of the South-West Agenda, a group canvassing for Tinubu’s presidential bid, said the division on the matter of preference was normal, querying, “Why will everybody be on the same page? Are we not human beings, who are naturally endowed with the ability to think freely and make up our minds individually?

“That is not a strange thing at all as far as we are concerned. People make their minds up based on a number of factors. It must be that people have seen and evaluated the governor and those who are perceived as his potential rivals and they have made up their minds to support one person or the other. That is not a strange thing in politics.”

Adeyeye, however, said that he was rooting for Tinubu and leading SWAGA on the mission, adding, “The year 2023 is approaching; we have someone who can succeed President Muhamadu Buhari in 2023. He is Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.

“It is time for the South to succeed Buhari. This is why we say that the Yoruba have someone who is capable. I have been in politics for many years. I worked with the late Chief MKO Abiola and Chief Obafemi Awolowo; there is no other person that has what it takes to succeed Buhari in 2023 except Tinubu.

“We need an experienced hand. The kind of security challenges we are facing in this country, economic challenges and youth restiveness, show that we need someone who will calm the situation and put Nigeria on the path of rapid socio-economic development. We believe Tinubu is eminently qualified to do that.

“He is the most qualified. If anyone thinks he is more qualified than Tinubu, the person can come out. By our evaluation, we have concluded that today in the South-West, Tinubu is the leading active politician. His credentials are known.”

But the Chairman, APC, Ado Ekiti Local Government, Michael Akinleye, said the party members and leaders, who were against Fayemi for the presidency, were only envious of the governor and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum in view of his achievements in office and in life.

Akinleye, who is the Chairman of the APC chairmen in the 16 local government areas of the state, said although Fayemi had not openly shown interest in the presidency, “We will beg him; we will appeal to him to aspire even if it needs our contributions. We in Ekiti are ready to contribute to finance it. He is a man of our generation and time.

“It is my wish and it is my prayer that the President in 2023 will come from Ekiti State, because our state is not an appendage of any. Although we can see some Ekiti persons coordinating for another person, there’s no problem with that. Some people from Ekiti State are envious of Fayemi because of his achievements. When we get to the river, we will know how to cross it.”

However, to the Presidential Adviser on Political Matters, Ojudu, the governor is only on “an assignment to divide our South-West caucus and bring our party to its knees. The assignment is to destroy the APC from within.”

Ojudu, who said Tinubu provided the necessary support that made Fayemi a governor, added, “If it is true that Tinubu wants to run for presidency, Fayemi should be carrying his banner considering what he did for him (Fayemi) in life.”

But Ajayi said members of the stakeholders’ forum could not have been opposed to Fayemi’s presidential bid nor criticise his statement that the APC would drag the governor into the race because they were on suspension from the party.

Ajayi, who noted that the Ekiti APC position on the matter would be made known at an appropriate time after the convention slated for June, said, “So, what I said was my personal opinion, which I intend to sell to the party at the appropriate time. The appropriate time is after the convention.

“I believe that by the time we get to that stage, the party will buy the idea and we will now talk to him (Fayemi) to show interest. He has not told us anything now; what some of us feel is what I granted as an interview, and I deliberately did that.

“Those people, who claimed to be stakeholders, who are outside, who said they dissociated themselves from the statement, are on suspension. The party has taken a position on them; that decision is to the extent that they have been suspended from the party.

“They have no locus to speak on whatever issues affecting the party, at least, until the supreme council of the APC reconsiders the decision on their suspension.

“We have qualified, notable and loyal party members in Ekiti and Governor Kayode Fayemi is one; we have as many as possible and that is why I said Ekiti will be showing an interest. Other than what I said, I won’t entertain interviews regarding the 2023 elections until after the convention.”

But the Secretary of the Stakeholders’ forum, Femi Adeleye, snapped, “You can ask him – was he (Ajayi) not suspended? Are you not aware that there was a time they were all suspended and the national body came out and said the two suspensions had been nullified and reversed? So, if he’s saying we are suspended, it applies to him too.”

Adeleye, who said Fayemi had never said he wanted to be President and no other person was talking about the President coming from Ekiti, the agitation at present was for a power shift to the South, hence the need for unity of purpose to achieve it.

He said the South comprised 19 states, adding, “We are agitating that power must come to the South. All we should do as a body is to be able to work together; you cannot work in isolation. Work as a body so that we will be able to get what we want.”

The APC chieftain, who said Ajayi should be queried for the information given, asked, “Have you forgotten that somebody in Ekiti, the Chairman of Ikere Local Government, who pasted postal that Governor Fayemi wanted to be President in 2023, was suspended from office? “If it is the turn of Ekiti to become President, then, it is the turn of my hometown to become President. God will give it to whom He will give it to. Don’t forget that in 1993, Otunba Reuben Famuyibo contested the Nigerian presidency? Is he not from Ekiti?

“Ajayi is somebody we said we did not recognise as an executive council member; so, for anything he says, he is on his own; he’s not speaking on behalf of the APC.”

 

However, if urgent steps are not taken to redress the situation, the widening gap created by the divisions will continue to weaken the levers that hold the party together, especially with the 2021 local government and 2022 governorship elections in the state around the corner.

 

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