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Restructuring: Afenifere Backs Atiku For Presidency

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Afenifere Chieftain and elder statesman, Chief Ayo Adebanjo has commended former President Atiku Abubakar for  advocating restructuring of the country as he openly declared his readiness to work with him and other progressive forces to get President Buhari out of power in 2019.
The former VP was in Lagos on a working visit to connect with political leaders and stakeholders in the Southwest ahead of the PDP Presidential primary holding in October.
Chief Ayo Adebanjo, speaking at his Lagos residence while receiving the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential forerunner said:  “I am sending a message; I am not making a speech. Your positive stand in restructuring is your strength and this is working in your favour among the progressives”.
“Before 2014 National Conference, you have been writing and speaking on regionalism and advocating restructuring. Ever since then, you have not relented. This shows consistency”.
“Buhari has lost the integrity in him. We supported  in 2014. Afenifere openly campaigned for him because we thought he is a man of his words. He promised he believed in restructuring and even signed an agreement to that effect, but set it aside on getting to power”.
“I am not in APC and neither am I in PDP but my candidate is anybody who can get rid of Buhari”, the nonagerian said.
In the first republic, the trio of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe and the Sardauna of Sokoto, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Chief all agreed on the issue of regionalism then. Why would Buhari then set it aside? Can he say he is wiser than the Sardauna?” , he asked.
Chief Adebanjo, who stated that he took an active part in building the foundation of restructuring charged those who are sincere with this country to unite with other forces to get Buhari out of power. “He is the only obstacle in the APC. He is the stumbling block’, he said.
He however appealed to the PDP to be united if they really want to push out the incumbent President because he will not submit power easily.
“You are all formidable forces who can take Buhari out and this you must do because the consequences will be too bad if he retains power in 2019.
Earlier, in his address, the former VP, expressing his fears for Nigeria’s future said “in all my political career, I have not seen Nigeria in a state of real danger that may affect its existence as a country as we are having now. Young people are frustrated. It is like a time bomb”.
“This is why I am appealing to distinguished leaders of Afenifere. Nigeria is bedevilled with a lot of challenges and there is no way we can resolve the challenges than to resolve the issue of restructuring”.
Nigeria, he said, has all the potential to provide leadership in not only the West African subregion and Africa but globally.
“There was a time I delivered a lecture in Kaduna where former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd)  agreed to my position on restructuring. It is the reality. I am speaking my mind and I still maintain that position.  I have said it repeatedly even when I was in government as the Vice President. I don’t think there is any part of the country that is opposed to this position”.
“Left to me the federal government do not need more than ten or twelve lists. The rest should be handled by respective regions or zones as it operates in the United Arabs Emirate (UAE)”.
“I had the best of public education and that was in the First Republic when we were not dependent on oil”.
Thanking the leaders of Afenifere at the meeting, Atiku stressed that all is not lost and they should not relent on their collective efforts to get Nigeria back on track.
“We have lost our leadership in West Africa. Countries like Ghana and Burkina Fasso are laughing at us as a nation”.
“I have noticed this a long time ago. We must urgently address and fix the great decline in leadership so that we can survive as a nation”.
“It is either you join me or I join you or we both work together to structure the country together and leave to our children a better and prosperous country which we can be proud of”.
In his vote of thanks, the Director General of Atiku Campaign Organisation, former Governor of Ogun State, Otunba (Engr.) Gbenga Daniel expressed the appreciation of the campaign team for the warm reception and the positive, encouraging comments from the leadership of Afenifere present. He also reiterated the fact that the country is facing a big challenge especially in the area of leadership and this is why the Southwest as a geopolitical zone must be proactive in the emergence of a leader who will provide the leadership that will be beneficial to not only the Yoruba nation but the country as a whole and that is why the former VP is offering himself for service of his fatherland.
Chieftains of Afenifere at the meeting included Senator Femi Okurohunmu, Prof. Wande Ibitoye, Dr. Amos Akingba, Chief Dipo Sonibare and Chief Olaitan. Others were Senator Abdu Ningi, Alhaji Yaya Abubakar, Hakeem Gbajabiamila, Alhaji Abdulahi Nyako, Kola Are, Adamu Atiku Abubakar and Aminu Atiku Abubakar among other distinguished guests.

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Inclusive Foundation Mourns Veteran Actress, Rachael Oniga

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Inclusive Social Welfare and Empowerment Foundation, a non-governmental organisation has expressed its heartfelt sympathy to family, friends and the entire movie industry over the loss of the veteran actress, Rachael Oniga who died at age 64.

 

 

The CEO of the foundation, Chief (Mrs.) Pat Eleto, in a condolence visit to the family, on Saturday, July 31st, said the news came as a rude shock to many, but she believes that the late actress has created a great impact with her career, and her legacy should never be forgotten.

 

 

In her statement, Chief (Mrs.)Eleto said:

“It is with a heavy heart that I grief with the family of a sister, friend and adviser of Inclusive Social Welfare and Empowerment Foundation.

 

 

“Mrs. Oniga, is one of our great ambassadors, and we were actually working on a project that is meant for the later part of this year when the sad news of her demise came.

 

 

“Death is inevitable, we pray for the repose of her soul, and may God comfort all the people she left behind. We also hope and pray that all her good legacies, be sustained because, she was indeed a pillar of support to our foundation, and also one of veterans that contributed immensely to the growth of Nollywood,” the statement reads.

 

 

A native of Delta State, Oniga was one of the ambassadors of Inclusive Social Welfare and Empowerment Foundation.

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Alaafin Shuns Ooni-Backed Group Over Alleged Anti-Buhari Posture

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ALAAFIN

The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, on Friday, at the last minute, allegedly cancelled an appointment he gave to a Yoruba group, Ooni’s Caucus, on the alleged complaint that members of the group are “notorious critics” of the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).

 

 

The Ooni’s Caucus, which was inaugurated at the palace of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, on July 20, 2021, is made of many influential Yoruba persons and is being coordinated by a former Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria, Mr Akin Osuntokun.

 

 

PUNCH learnt that Osuntokun led about 14 members of the group to Alaafin’s palace for the alleged 11am appointment on Friday, but after waiting for about two and a half hours, the influential monarch sent words to them that he would not be seeing them.

 

 

According to a source, who spoke to  PUNCH on condition of anonymity, some of the group’s members who went to Alaafin’s palace with Osuntokun were a monarch, the Olugbon of Orile-Igbon, Oba Francis Alao; a former presidential spokesman, Dr Doyin Okupe; a former commissioner in Osun State, Muyiwa Ige;  a former Minister of Defence, Mrs Dupe Adelaja; a retired Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Taiwo Lakanu,  Oye Oyewumi, Sola Lawal, among others.

 

 

A former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, is also said to be a member of Ooni’s Caucus, but he was not on the delegation to Alaafin’s palace on Friday.

 

 

The source, who is a member of the group, claimed that the group had through the Olugbon secured an appointment with Alaafin since Monday, and the same appointment was confirmed on Thursday, only for them to get to the palace and the Alaafin refused to see them on the claim that they were anti-Buhari and were also loyalists of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

 

 

The source explained that the main purpose of the meeting was for the newly-inaugurated group to get Alaafin’s blessings and to possibly discuss the issue of the embattled Yoruba Nation agitator, Chief Sunday Adeyemo, alias Sunday Igboho, who is currently being held and tried in Cotonou, Benin Republic.

 

 

The source said, “The Olugbon, a member of the caucus, was the one who booked the appointment, but he said the Alaafin said he didn’t want to see us because we’re notorious critics of the Buhari government.

 

 

“He (Alaafin) confirmed the appointment yesterday (Thursday). But when we got there today, he kept us waiting; after a while, he asked to see the Olugbon. He (Alaafin) didn’t come to see us; we were told he said he wouldn’t see us because we are notorious critics of Buhari’s government and that some of us are close to Obasanjo, who is also critical of the government.

 

 

“We were made to wait for about two and a half hours; he gave us an appointment for 11am; we got there at 11am and at about 1.30pm, that was when it was obvious to us that he wasn’t coming (to see us). But he initially asked to see the Olugbon, who went to see him for about an hour. When the Olugbon eventually came back, he said Alaafin would not see us, saying we are a group that is critical of the Buhari government and some of us are loyalists of Obasanjo.”

 

On whether the group’s mission to Alaafin’s palace was to discuss Sunday Igboho’s matter, the source said, “Of course, the issue (of Igboho) would come up but that was not the purpose of the visit. The issue of Igboho concerns all the Yoruba people but that was not our reason for going to him.”

 

 

On whether the group would try and book another appointment, the source said, “I don’t know; we were all surprised that a Yoruba oba can refuse to see his children on account of not wanting to be on the bad side of Buhari’s government. I would have thought that an oba is supposed to take everybody as his children, whether they are supporters of Buhari the All progressives Congress or the Peoples Democratic Party or whatever party.”

 

 

But when contacted by PUNCH, the Media Director to the Alaafin, Bode Durojaye, said the reason his principal did not see the group was because they did not have any prior appointment with him.

 

 

Durojaye said the Alaafin would be willing to entertain the group if they booked an appointment.

 

 

 

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NMA Reacts As Bandits Break Into, Pick Nurse At Zamfara General Hospital

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Bandits

Suspected bandits invaded General Hospital, Dansadau, Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State on Friday, resulting in the abduction of a nurse and caregiver.

 

 

Residents said that immediately the men stormed the medical facility, the armed men headed to the outpatient ward in search of a doctor or nurse.

 

 

“When they couldn’t find anybody there, they started going from one ward to another. A nurse and a caregiver were abducted. They then moved to staff quarters looking for doctors and nurses but could not find any.”

 

 

“The armed criminals had earlier attempted to attack Maigoge, a community located six kilometres north of Dansadau town.

 

 

“But when they laid siege to the community, the vigilantes otherwise known as Yan Sakai firmly defended the village. The vigilante killed some of the bandits and injured several others.

 

 

“They then invaded the hospital to kidnap nurse and doctors that will treat their injured brothers in the forest.”

 

 

 

Maigoge is one of the few communities in Dansadau Emirate known to be firmly defending themselves against bandits.

 

 

“The staff of the facility are not carrying out night duties now. They only attend to patients at day time. They then move inside the town to spend night usually at undisclosed locations,” he added.

 

 

Meanwhile, the chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association in Zamfara state, Dr Mannir Bature, who confirmed the attack said the association is worried by the unfortunate incident.

 

 

He said they would hold an emergency state officers council meeting on Saturday.

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