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Tuesday, January 17, 2017


The Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar yesterday said that any thought about the 2019 general elections should be forgotten. His reason:
There is hunger in the country. Atiku’s statement is a veiled reference to the general state of hardship in the country and the poor performance of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) on the economy.
That was even as the leadership of the APC and the Senate Caucus of the party admitted that the multiple crises that have rocked the party have hampered its intended delivery of democratic dividends to Nigerians.
Atiku, who was on a condolence visit to Niger State over the death of a former governor of the state, Alhaji Abdulkadir Kure, was reacting to questions from journalists on his preparations for the 2019 presidency. Atiku was in the state with the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, among others.
When asked how he is preparing for the 2019 elections, Atiku said: “Who is talking about 2019 now, when there is no food on the table? People are hungry.”
Earlier, while eulogising the late Kure, Atiku said: “He was a friend, a colleague, a brother, a compatriot. His death is a personal loss to me. The kind of pious life he lived will definitely earn him paradise.”
Saraki, while speaking on insurgency, said that “fighting terrorism is not a thing that can end in one point, but the government will restore life back to the north eastern part of the country.”
Also yesterday, the Senate Caucus and the APC NWC agreed that the inhibition on the President Muhammadu Buhari’s government to deliver good governance was due to wrong leadership in the Senate. The party leadership and the APC Senate Caucus, however, agreed on a smooth running of government with the change of the Senate Leader last week.
The APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, charged the APC senators to take full charge of the Senate. Oyegun gave the charge when the APC Senate caucus, led by its Leader, Senator Ahmed Lawan, visited the party’s National Secretariat in Abuja. In the entourage of the Senate Leader were the Chief Whip of the Senate, Prof. Sola Adeyeye; Deputy Senate Leader, Bala Ibn Na’Allah and Deputy Chief Whip, Francis Alimikhena.
The APC national chairman also stated that the removal of the former Senate Leader, Ali Ndume was not about wrongdoing on his part.
According to him, Ndume’s removal was to strengthen the Senate and strengthen Buhari’s government. Oyegun and Lawan, who took turn to make their remarks, were of the opinion that with the present leadership of the Senate, Nigerians would start to enjoy dividends of democracy. Oyegun said: “What is important is that the APC caucus in the Senate is now a united body.
The APC caucus in the Senate will now take full charge, full control and full dominance as the governing party and the majority party in the Senate.
“Today, we have a united Senate and a Senate that is firmly under the control of the APC. That will only mean one thing and that is the fact that we all recognise the challenge before this nation. We all recognise the fact that we must all line up behind Mr. President.
“This is a critical year and we have a beautiful budget. The Senate is united, the party is strengthened and consolidated and so, it is time to put our weight behind the executive to show that the project is fully and faithfully executed so that the people of this nation will begin to see the change that we promised.
It is not yet Uhuru because there is still a lot of hard work for the party and the Senate as well as the executive. But united and together without the distractions of the past, we can now look at the nation and said yes, 2017 will be a year when the major problems in this nation will start to be put behind us.”
Lawan thanked the leadership of the party for making the change in the Senate leadership possible, as he promised that it would bring about positive change in governance.
He said: “After the setbacks and the little crisis that we had with the emergence of the leadership of the Senate, our party decided that the remaining principal offices should be given to certain senators in order to have a united Senate, especially the APC caucus.
“We believe that the trio of the National Assembly, the presidency and the party would synergize to ensure that we are always working at the same page.
The party is a platform for both the President and National Assembly members and therefore we should take this opportunity, work on it, solidify it and ensure that the time we have lost because of some crises is recovered and we do not have the luxury of wasting more time. ”
In fact, Nigerians will be so eager to see what happens in the next few months now that we have a united National Assembly, the presidency and the party. We should be able to perform to the expectations of Nigerians with the limits of the economy.
“I believe that as a Senate leader, we will work towards consolidating the relationship between the Senate caucus, party and presidency.”
-New Telegraph
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