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Atiku accuses Tinubu of awarding Lagos-Calabar coastal highway contract to his ally

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Atiku accuses Tinubu of awarding Lagos-Calabar coastal highway contract to his ally
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Former Vice President and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, has accused President Bola Tinubu of awarding the construction of the 700km Lagos-Calabar coastal highway to an ally, and without any competitive bidding.

Atiku who made the accusation in a statement issued on his behalf on Sunday by his Media Coordinator, Paul Ibe, alleged that the company that won the 47.47 kilometres highway dual carriageway contract, Hitech Construction Company Ltd, is owned by a crony of the President.

He added that in awarding the contract to the company, Tinubu had put his personal business interests before Nigerian infrastructure by engaging in questionable dealings at the detriment of the country.

Minister of Works, Dave Umahi had revealed last werk that work on the much anticipated Lagos-Calabar coastal highway would soon commence with the award of the contract to Hitech Construction Company Ltd.

In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Orji Uchenna, Umahi said the contractor had commenced work following the formal handover of the initial phase of the project comprising 47.47 kilometres of dual carriageway to Hitech.

But while reacting to the Minister’s statement, Atiku said the project was allocated to Hitech Construction Company Limited owned by billionaire businessman, Gilbert Chagoury, whom he described as an ally of President Tinubu “devoid of any documented competitive bidding process or decision by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

“The so-called pilot phase from Eko Atlantic to Lekki Deep Sea Port was initially conceived as a Lagos State Government project but because of its huge cost coupled with the fact that Lagos State has a huge debt burden no thanks to Tinubu, the Federal Government is now implementing it under the guise of Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway,” Atiku said.

“This perhaps explains why there are fears that the project will never get to Calabar, and this is the same reason the project is beginning from Lagos and not Calabar.

“Despite not revealing the cost of this entire project, the Tinubu administration is now on the verge of setting up a so-called Renewed Hope Infrastructure Development Fund, a fund targeted at constructing capital projects without the usual budgeting process.

“More curious is the fact that the entire pilot phase of this project begins and ends in Lagos, especially within the axis of Bola Tinubu’s business interests. It is no secret that both Tinubu and Chagoury are business partners.

“This same Hitech, owned by Chagoury, was unable to complete the 50km Lekki-Epe Expressway. Despite installing two tollgates along the axis, Hitech which was part of the Lekki Concession Company consortium, was only able to construct about 20km, forcing the Lagos State Government to buy it back at the cost of N7.5bn ($50 million at the time) in 2013, which came at a loss to the people of Lagos.

“Tinubu has once again put his personal business interest ahead of that of the Nigerian people in violation of his oath of office where he swore that ‘I will not allow my personal interest to influence my official conduct or my official decisions’.

“Umahi refused to reveal how much the project would cost. He only explained that it would run through nine states and would have a railroad running through the middle.

“Most importantly, the works minister said the project would come at zero cost to Nigeria, which is currently facing an all-time high level of debt.

“The build, operate, and transfer indicates that Hitech would construct the road, operate it for a certain period, recoup its investment through tollgates, and subsequently return it to the Nigerian government.

“Because the project did not require public funds, it did not go through approval from the National Assembly, which holds the power of appropriation.

“Also, the project only went through the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission with no record of a competitive bidding since Chagoury’s firm was to fund the project 100 per cent.

“However, to the shock of many Nigerians, Umahi returned to FEC with a memo in March 2024 seeking the approval of N1.06tn that would be paid to Chagoury’s firm for the first phase of the project which is wholly in Lagos.

“This pilot phase was to begin from the edge of Chagoury’s Eko Atlantic City on Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, and terminate at the Lekki Deep Sea Port, Ibeju-Lekki, a distance of 47.47km.

“Till date, the Tinubu administration has refused to reveal how much the project will cost in total. Umahi, who even came on Channels Television recently, evaded questions as to the total cost of the project.

“But if 47.47km costs about N1.06tn, it means each kilometre is being built at N22.5bn or $18m. For a project that is going to be 700km, it means the total cost could be N15.7tn or $12.56bn, which is higher than previous estimates,” Atiku said.

Source: RIPPLESNIGERIA

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“Stop the Tension in Rivers,”Jonathan Calls for Truce As Fubara, Wike’s Rift

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The Rivers State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Prof. Zaccaeus Adangor, SAN has rejected his redeployment to the Ministry
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Goodluck Jonathan has expressed serious concern over the rift between Nyesom Wike and his preferred successor, Governor Siminalayi Fubara

The former president has called for peace as the duo have intensified their attacks in Rivers state, with Wike insisting Fubara cannot take over his structure

Jonathan has urged the duo to end the political tension in Rivers as he noted that their rift has affected the development of the state.

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has waded into the political crisis rocking Rivers state. As reported by The Nation, Jonathan called on Governor Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers state and his predecessor, the current minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Nyesom Wike, to stop the escalation of political tension in Rivers.

Source: Legit.ng

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EXCLUSIVES: Aregbesola vows never to prostrate for Tinubu

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It is not just a political tug-of-war but chamber of egotism where former Osun state governor Rauf Aregbesola flaunts the confidence
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It is not just a political tug-of-war but chamber of egotism where former Osun state governor Rauf Aregbesola flaunts the confidence of a ripping seed in the political school of thoughts.

A move by some political influencer in presidency to settle the matter between the political master and his apprentice, in the names of President Bola Tinubu and Rauf Aregbesola but all efforts to end the growing battle proved abortive by nobody but the egoistic  former minister who believed he is more of a godfather than prostrating to the Jagaban Bogul!

A source told The PAPERS that he was asked to prostrate for the President the moment he saw him after having access to the president in Aso Villa.

“He was in Aso Villa with some politicians and he was told to prostrate for the president while others will join him to apologise to the president and settle the matter but he said never he can’t prostrate for Tinubu and those people were stunned and left him alone in the battle. Tinubu saw Aregbesola and greeted him casually and nobody could speak for him and all access was blocked immediately.

In the latest development, Aregbesola felt has been sidelined in the ruling party feels it is important for his political career to dump APC.

Recently, All Progressives Congress in Osun, Prince Adebayo Adeleke, affectionately known as Banik, who came hard on the former governor of the state, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, for making himself instrument of balkanisation and destruction in the progressive fold, stating that the former governor could no longer be regarded as a governor produced by the party.

Sources within Aregbesola camp told The PAPERS that the former Osun state governor will announce a new party for defection before July as many factors in APC frustrating reconciliation.

“Aregbesola is no longer in APC, I can tell you that. But we are waiting for official announcement of the next party for defection,” said our source.

“For now, there are possibilities of joining  SDP or AD, but only a matter of time, but he’s not joining PDP as speculation rises.”

Banik expressed this opinion recently at the senatorial meeting of the party in Osun Central held at the party secretariat, Ogo-oluwa, Osogbo, when making clarification to some statements attributed to the National Secretary of the APC, Senator Ajibola Basiru ( SRJ).

According to Banik, “Statement made by our National Secretary, Senator Basiru Ajibola SRJ was poorly reported. He didn’t say Ogbeni Aregbesola had ceased to be a former governor of the state. What he said was Ogbeni had by his past anti-party activities and continued combative attitude to the party cut himself away from us, hence it is safe to say he is no longer part of the party. We in APC know Aregbesola is no longer our member.”

The former Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs recalled how Aregbesola mobilized his lieutenants and supporters to work against the party during presidential, governorship and other elections, as well as how he mocked the party for its electoral misfortune at the Supreme Court.

Banik said a committed member of the party, particularly a former governor and minister should not have engaged in brazen anti-party activities as Aregbesola did, advising the Ijesa-born politician to seek political truce with his leader and benefactor, President Bola Tinubu, if he is still interested to be accorded the deserved respects within the party.

 

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Jimoh Ibrahim cries out, says Ondo APC guber primary was a fraud

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Ondo South Senator, Jimoh Ibrahim has lamented the outcome of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Ondo 2024 governorship primary
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Ondo South Senator, Jimoh Ibrahim has lamented the outcome of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Ondo 2024 governorship primary election held on April 20th 2024, describing the exercise as a “mega fraud” that would end at the Supreme Court.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Ibrahim said the primary election did not hold in 159 out of 203 polling units across the three senatorial districts in Ondo State.

He insisted that Kogi State governor, Ododo Ahmed Usman, who was the Chairman of Ondo State Primary Election Committee, fraudulently declared Lucky Aiyedatiwa winner in cahoots with the former Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege.

Armed with the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC’s report, the lawmaker disclosed that he has filed a complaint at a Federal High Court in line with provisions of the Electoral Act, which stipulates that “complaints arising from primary election be filed within 14 days”.

In the INEC report which Jimoh personally made available to journalists, the primary election did not hold in 15 out of 18 LGAs in Ondo.

Ibrahim further alleged that Ododo and Omo-Agege changed the date of collation of results midway to allow them perfect the “electoral fraud” in favour of the incumbent governor of Ondo State, Lucky Aiyedatiwa.

To buttress his point, Jimoh pointed to a letter written by Ododo, which was addressed to the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Akure, purportedly changing the date of collation on the day of the primary election.

Parts of the letter, which was sighted, reads: “Please refer to our letters on the above stated subject matter, dated 5th April, 2024 with Ref. Number APC/NHDQ/INEC/19024/016 wherein we requested for a change in the State Collation Centre.

“We are writing to further inform the Commission of the postponement of the collation of election results for the All Progressives Congress, APC primary election, which is scheduled for 20th April, 2024. The postponement became necessary due to unforeseen circumstances regarding the submission of results from the Local Government Collation Centre Officers.

“Despite our best efforts to ensure timely collation, most of our Local Government collation officers will arrive late, as a result of logistic challenges which have led to a delay in the collation processes.”

 

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Aregbesola dumps APC, mulls on SDP, AD

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Going by the recent comment by a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress in Osun, Prince Adebayo Adeleke, affectionately known
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Going by the recent comment by a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress in Osun, Prince Adebayo Adeleke, affectionately known as Banik, who came hard on the former governor of the state, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, for making himself instrument of balkanisation and destruction in the progressive fold, stating that the former governor could no longer be regarded as a governor produced by the party.

Sources within Aregbesola camp told The PAPERS that the former Osun state governor will announce a new party for defection before July as many factors in APC frustrating reconciliation.

“Aregbesola is no longer in APC, I can tell you that. But we are waiting for official announcement of the next party for defection,” said our source.

“For now, there are possibilities of joining  SPD or AD, but only a matter of time, but he’s not joining PDP as speculation rises.”

Banik expressed this opinion recently at the senatorial meeting of the party in Osun Central held at the party secretariat, Ogo-oluwa, Osogbo, when making clarification to some statements attributed to the National Secretary of the APC, Senator Ajibola Basiru ( SRJ).

According to Banik, “Statement made by our National Secretary, Senator Basiru Ajibola SRJ was poorly reported. He didn’t say Ogbeni Aregbesola had ceased to be a former governor of the state. What he said was Ogbeni had by his past anti-party activities and continued combative attitude to the party cut himself away from us, hence it is safe to say he is no longer part of the party. We in APC know Aregbesola is no longer our member.”

The former Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs recalled how Aregbesola mobilized his lieutenants and supporters to work against the party during presidential, governorship and other elections, as well as how he mocked the party for its electoral misfortune at the Supreme Court.

Banik said a committed member of the party, particularly a former governor and minister should not have engaged in brazen anti-party activities as Aregbesola did, advising the Ijesa-born politician to seek political truce with his leader and benefactor, President Bola Tinubu, if he is still interested to be accorded the deserved respects within the party.

 

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‘You don’t exist… I determine your existence’, Fubara to Rivers assembly members

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Siminialayi Fubara, governor of Rivers, says the existence of members of the state house of assembly is based on his recognition.
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Siminialayi Fubara, governor of Rivers, says the existence of members of the state house of assembly is based on his recognition.

Fubara spoke on Monday when some political and traditional leaders from Bayelsa state visited him at the government house in Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers.

The Rivers governor said members of the state assembly do not “exist”, adding that he decided to “give them a floating” through a peace deal initiated by President Bola Tinubu.

Fubara said he accepted the peace accord on the understanding that there was a relationship between him and members of the state house of assembly.

The Rivers governor said he has shown restraint in the political crisis rocking the state despite his powers, adding that the other party did not show such.

He lamented that daily, his supporters suffer intimidation and attacks in the state.

“Those group of men who claim that are our assembly members are not assembly members — they are not existing,” Fubara said.

“I want it to be on record. I accepted that peace accord to give them a floating. That is the truth.

“There was nothing in that peace accord that is a constitutional issue. It is a political solution to a problem.

“It has gotten to a time when I have to make a statement that they are not existing.

“Their existence is me allowing them to exist. If I de-recognise them, they are nowhere.”

In the past few months, members of the Rivers state assembly and Fubara have been at loggerheads.

In October 2023, the assembly commenced impeachment proceedings against the governor.

The impeachment notice was later withdrawn in December 2023.

On several occasions, the assembly has overridden the decision of Fubara not to sign certain bills passed by the lawmakers led by Martin Amaewhule, the speaker.

In January, the Rivers assembly overrode the decision of Fubara not to assent to four bills earlier passed by the lawmakers.

In March, the assembly again overrode Fubara on the passage of some bills.

In April, the assembly did the same for the local government amendment bill.

On Monday, the assembly overrode the Rivers governor on the passage of the public procurement amendment bill.

TheCable

 

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‘I’ll return PDP to power if elected’

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Frontline contestant for the chairmanship of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Segun Akinwumi, has said that he has what it
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Frontline contestant for the chairmanship of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Segun Akinwumi, has said that he has what it takes to reposition the party and return it power in Ekiti if given the chance to lead the party.

Unveiking his agenda for the party at a Press Briefing in Ado-Ekiti, Akinwumi said the PDP had gone underground in Ekiti and requires a visionary and purposeful leadership like him to bring it back to recony.

Top on his agenda is to return the PDP to power in the 2026 urging all loyal members of the party to achieve the herculean task.

“We can and we will defeat the ruling party in the 2026 governorship election in Ekiti .the PDP is already in the doldrum, we need someone capable to bring us out of the doldrum.

“We are an inch closer to the government house, we have some of our members in government now who will vote for us at that time”

Akinwumi, who served in many ministries as commissioner in the state said that he remains the preferred choice of the PDP members in Ekiti.

He described all the PDP leaders who has ruled and governed the state as excellent leaders who has landmark achievements for people to see.

Responding to allegations of anti-party levelled against some PDP leaders, including former Governor Ayo Fayose, Akinwumi, promised the issue would be sorted out and that any anti-party activities from their members will soon be a thing of the past.

According to him, if elected as the preferred PDP chairman in Ekiti, party members will comply with the ethics, rules and regulations of the PDP, including Fayose.

He, however commended all loyal PDP members in Ekiti, to stay strong that they will take over government in Ekiti in 2026.

 

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