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PCP Writes Buhari, Demands INEC Obeys Court Order

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The People’s Coalition Party (PCP) has written to President Muhammadu Buhari, asking him to intervene and restrain the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from deregistering the party and 33 others.

In the letter, signed by the party’s chairman, Chief Don Anthony Harmattan, the party reminded the president of the court judgment, which exempted the party and others from the deregistration process.

Below is the letter in details:

OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI

MY ESTEEMED PRESIDENT SIR,
A CALL FOR INEC TO RESPECT COURT ORDER

After several attempts to reach you without success, I am compelled to write you this open letter, hoping no one will sweep it under the carpet without bringing it to your knowledge as was the case in the past.

During my school days when you became the Head of State of Nigeria, you were known as a man who respects rule of law to the extent you swiftly implement the law irrespective of who is involved.

Your excellency Sir, I remember vividly that you went through various political platforms and formations such as the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) a newly formed political party, and now the All Progressives Congress (APC) before your election as President. On one occasion, you even had to wept when you felt that you were robbed of your mandate.

Today, my esteemed president, I can strongly assert that a man of your stature, whose integrity and honour, prompted your overwhelming acceptance by Nigerians, might not be aware that so much has gone wrong in a country you cried for and desired so much to be its president.

Mr President Sir, as the party National Chairman of the Peoples Coalition Party (PCP) which placed third in the 2019 Presidential election, I still don’t understand how the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) under Mr. Yakubu Mahmoud, woke on the morning of February 6, 2020 to de-register our party and 74 others even while the case was still in court and with INEC consistently served.

That despite a court decision of February 17 2020, granting the Prayers of 33 Parties in an interlocutory injunction against INEC, that INEC has continued to behave like a cowboy on a killing spree that is above the law, saying it cannot undo that which it has already done. INEC is just one among many institutions of government under your watch that has considered itself a parallel government and above the law.

I wish to remind you, my esteemed President Muhammadu Buhari that it was these acts of lawlessness that prompted your public weeping when you lost the 2011, and I still can’t fathom why you have allowed heads of these parastatals or institutions to continue to act with impunity. I want to believe that all these misconducts are not brought to your knowledge hence this open letter.

Your Excellency Sir, there’s no gainsaying the fact that 100 political parties in Nigeria is even so little. It is on record that Nigeria has not been funding any of these political parties in comparison to efforts made by previous government so what’s the rationale for the deregistration.

That in my lifetime, I have not seen any mother who gave birth to 10 children and decided to kill five of them because she believes they are too much for her upkeep or she loves some and hate the others, even when she does not feed and support them without getting a reprimand from the law.

Multi-party democracy is one that have been enshrined in our constitution. It does not limit the political landscape to a particular number. The enemies of multi-party democracy have contested this fact before and failed. Democracy is a continuous political education, training and enlightenment and not just winning elections alone. Limiting the political landscape is like limiting the spread of schools and colleges. It’s a fact that it is not every school that enters a football competition that wins it. And does that mean the Ministry of Education will just wake up one day and close the schools that did not win in a sports competition?

INEC, under Yakubu Mahmoud has become not just the greatest enemy of our democracy, but also to multi party democracy in Nigeria. How come our country has degenerated so much to the extent that the INEC Chairman has decided to play to the gallery by refusing to obey a Federal court order on the grounds that he cannot undo that which has already been done!

The question remains that If CPC and APC had been de-registered by the Attahiru Jega-led INEC prior to 2015 elections, how could you have been elected president. The child you kill today may become the president of Nigeria tomorrow. Little did anyone know that PCP, a newly born party that was issued registration certificate in August 2018, contested election in February 2019 could come third in the presidential election. Now, the party is de-registered just one year and half later by Yakubu Mahmoud.

My Esteemed President Buhari, our party the Peoples Coalition Party and 33 other political parties have been exempted by a Federal High Court from being de-registered through an order. We need the full protect of your government. It is my hope that your Excellency will call on INEC to respect without further delay the decision of the court. INEC did not create the law but the law created INEC and that law that created INEC must be respected by INEC.

Chief Don Anthony Chukwuma Harmattan
PCP National Chairman

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Bottled Water Seller Becomes China’s Richest Man

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The owner of China’s largest bottled water maker has overtaken Alibaba’s Jack Ma to become China’s richest man, the Bloomberg Billionaires Index showed Thursday.

According to Financial Times, Nongfu Spring founder Zhong Shanshan’s net worth has hit $58.7 billion after a massive listing by the bottled water company in Hong Kong, according to Bloomberg estimates that makes him richer than Mr. Ma, whose fortune dipped to $56.7bn after shares in e-commerce group Alibaba fell 0.9 percent in New York on Wednesday.

This makes him $2 billion richer than previous number one, Alibaba founder Jack Ma, the wealth index said.

Zhong’s Nongfu Spring, which claims to be number one in China’s massive bottled water market, is ubiquitous across a country where most people shun tap water for health reasons.

The company raised nearly $1.1 billion in its initial public offering.

Zhong is also the chairman of Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy Co. Ltd., a vaccine manufacturer listed on the mainland in April.

It is developing a Covid-19 vaccine nasal spray in conjunction with a prominent university.

Zhong, a 66-year-old former reporter from Zhejiang who state media say was also once a construction worker, is often referred to by Chinese media as a “lone wolf” for his rare public appearances and reluctance to be interviewed.

He founded Nongfu in 1996, just as China’s bottled water market began to take off.

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Kogi Gov Blames Federal Roads for Tanker Explosion

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The Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, has blamed the Wednesday fatal tanker explosion in Lokoja, the state capital, on the deplorable state of federal roads.

The tanker carrying Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) ran into oncoming vehicles after the brake failed around Felele area of Lokoja about 8:00 a.m.

Cars, motorcycles and a school bus were destroyed in the inferno.

About 23 lives, including students of the state polytechnic and primary school pupils, died in the blaze, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) confirmed.

Following the incident, Mr Bello visited the minister of works and housing, Babatunde Fashola, to solicit urgent Federal Government’s attention to the deplorable condition of federal roads in Kogi.

According to his spokesperson, Onogwu Muhammed, the governor told the minister that the deplorable state of all federal roads across the state led to recurrent accidents in the state.

“He said the state government has done a lot in maintaining the roads but owing to the large volume of traffic on the roads, in view of its strategic location as gateway state, such repairs and maintenance do not stand the test of time.

“He appealed to the minister to expedite action in carrying out reconstruction of roads across the state to curtail the preventable accidents on the road.”

Also, Mr Bello begged Mr Fashola to direct contractors handling repairs on the Murtala Bridge at Jamata “to speed up the rate of work,” noting that the slow pace of work has caused the commuters untold hardship.

In a similar vein, he urged the minister to direct the contractors in-charge of the Kabba-Ilorin road project to return to site.

He said the total neglect of the road in the area has made life unbearable for motorists and commuters plying the road.

“The governor also drew the attention of the minister to the Lokoja-Ganaja-Ajaokuta road which the federal government awarded for over three years but contractors were yet to be seen on site.”

Meanwhile, Mr Muhammed said the minister had ordered the Federal Road Maintenance Agency to immediately fix the bad portion of the road at the Felele end of the Okene/Lokoja/Abuja road.

“The minister equally put calls across to contractors handling Kabba-Egbe-Omuaro road, Okene-Lokoja-Abuja road to inform them of the governor’s presence in his office and the need for them to speed up the works on the roads.

“He assured the governor that the ministry will use the remaining part of the year to achieve more in fulfilling the governor’s request in respect of federal roads in the state.”

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NCAC Holds Discussion on Resuscitating Culture, Morality

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A one day Cultural Roundtable on Morality, Culture and the Nigerian Youth has been organized by National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC). The aim of the program was to address the progressive deterioration of our cultural values and the urgent need to mount a comprehensive and sustainable value re-orientation programme to return Nigerian society on the path of moral rebirth.

In his welcome address at the event held at Abuja Sheraton Hotels and Towers, the Director-General of the National Council for Arts and Culture, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe decried the progressive deterioration in our cultural values.

Runsewe stated that while Nigeria had always been known for a rich culture, anchored on the virtues of hardwork, integrity, high public morality, respect for elders and constituted authority, decency in dressing and in public speeches among others, these virtues are rapidly giving way to various social vices.

He noted that in the past, agents of socialization like the family, school, religious institutions, took collective responsibility in inculcating high moral values among our youths. According to Otunba Runsewe, today the story is different. Runsewe lamented that what we now see, is laziness, get rich quick syndrome and primitive acquisitive tendencies by yahoo-yahoo boys, scammers, internet fraudsters and all forms of social vices.

In her speech, the Chairman of the occasion, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Women Affairs and Administration, Office of the First Lady, Dr. Hajo Sani stated that our youths in imitating foreign cultures in the way they talk and dress, are early signs of deviation from our moral values and customs.

She lamented that in our schools, many teachers who are supposed to tutor our children in cultural ethos now take advantage of the same children they are supposed to take care of. She added that the society at large, has now become bad examples to our youths by exposing them to other immoral vices like rape and other forms of evil activities.

She noted that the First Lady, Mrs. Aisha Buhari will be willing to collaborate with NCAC on building a good foundation for our youth right from childhood.

The Managing Director of Africa Independence Television (AIT), Dr. (Mrs) Tosin Dokpesi, who gave the keynote address, commended the DG, NCAC for putting up the roundtable discourse, adding that there is no better time to start the moral rebirth crusade than now. She said all hands must be on deck to rid the society of the social vices and inculcate good values in our youths. She stressed the need to arrest our eroding values and tradition with a commitment to restore the lost culture and glory of our country Nigeria.

Highlight of the occasion was the presentation of a book titled “Morality, Culture and the Nigerian Youth”, authored by the Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture, copies of which were distributed to all the participants: discussants, speakers, journalists and other invited guests. The Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture, Otunba Segun Runsewe also used the occasion to express the resolve of the National Council for Arts and Culture to rise up to the occasion and rid our society of moral rot and put Nigeria on a sound social and cultural footing.

Runsewe added that the book will serve as one of the literature materials that his Council intends to use to prosecute the moral rebirth in our society. He urged every parent, teacher, religious leader to critically review our values as a nation as that is the only sure way we can aspire for accelerated growth and development we urgently desire.

The one day roundtable attracted the participation of critical stakeholders from different sectors of the society.

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