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Southern Middle Belt Leaders Warn Political Parties To Desist Zoning Presidency To The North

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The Southern and Middle Belt Leaders’ Forum (SMBLF) has warned that any political party that does not zone its 2023 presidency to the south should not expect support from the region.

This was contained in a communique issued at the end of its meeting in Abuja on Thursday.

 

According to the forum, its position is based on the need to engender a fair and even sharing of power in the country.

It pointed out that the northern part of the country would have fully enjoyed the Office of the Presidency of the country for the full statutory period of 8 years by 2023, “hence, the presidency should rotate to the South.”

The communique said the forum “advises that any political party that does not zone its presidential ticket to the South should not expect support from the four regions.

Notes that the basis of any viable democracy, especially in a diverse and complex country such as Nigeria, is fair and even sharing of power.”

The warning came after an extensive discussion of various issues on the state of affairs in the country, particularly, the security situation, Restructuring, preparations for the 2023 General Elections and Zoning.

The forum noted that the extant Constitution and structure of Nigeria are grossly flawed and lopsided, and therefore, restated its demand for the fundamental restructuring of the country by enacting a new Constitution that would enthrone equity, fairness and justice, noting: “It must be One Nation, One System.”

The SMBLF also condemned “the continued senseless killings of innocent citizens across the country by terrorists and criminals, especially in the North West Zone; calls on the government and security agencies to redouble efforts to safeguard the lives and property of Nigerians.”

It cautioned the National Assembly to “only give consideration to Bills that would promote equity, justice, peace and national cohesion instead of issues that will exacerbate conflicts and crisis in the country.”

The forum urged state governors and members of the National Assembly of the four regions to commit themselves to the subject of Restructuring.

The forum reaffirmed commitment to the unity of Nigeria, “situated on the tenets of Equity, Fairness, Justice, and the principle of federalism.”

The communique said the meeting was held in an atmosphere of peace and unanimous commitment to the decisions.

According to the communique, in attendance at the meeting were delegations from the four regional socio-cultural organisations, that’s: Afenifere for the South West, Ohanaeze Ndigbo for the South East, Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) for the South-South and the Middle Belt Forum (MBF) for the Middle Belt.

The delegations were led by Chief Ayo Adebanjo, leader of Afenifere, Professor George Obiozor, President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Dr Pogu Bitrus, President of the Middle Belt Forum and Senator Emmanuel Ibok Essien, National Chairman of Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF).

The meeting was also attended by former Governors, Ministers, federal and state legislators, top politicians and professionals from the Southern and Middle Belt regions, including His Excellency, Obong Victor Attah, former Governor of Akwa Ibom, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Alaowei Broderick Bozimo, Senator Femi Okurounmu, Nze Ozichukwu Chukwu, Simon N. Okeke, OFR, Chief Supo Shonibare, Dr Akin Fapohunda, Amb. Okey Emuchay, MFR, Senator Bassey Ewa Henshaw, Prof. G. G. Darah, Solomon Asemota, SAN, Dr Alex Ogbonna, Mr Mac Emakpore, Chief Douyi Douglas-Naingba, Mrs Nella Andem-Rabana, SAN, Prof. Mrs Chinwe Obaji, Maj. Gen. Henry Ayoola (Rtd), Engr. Ben Akaakar, Dr Ebun Sonaiya, Comrade Jare Ajayi and Ken Robinson, among others.

The communique was signed by the leader of the forum, Chief Edwin Clark; Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Leader, Afenifere; Prof. George Obiozor, President-General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and Dr Pogu Bitrus, National President, Middle Belt Forum.

It pointed out that the northern part of the country would have fully enjoyed the Office of the Presidency of the country for the full statutory period of 8 years by 2023, “hence, the presidency should rotate to the South.”

The communique said the forum “advises that any political party that does not zone its presidential ticket to the South should not expect support from the four regions.

 

 

 

The SMBLF also condemned “the continued senseless killings of innocent citizens across the country by terrorists and criminals, especially in the North West Zone; calls on the government and security agencies to redouble efforts to safeguard the lives and property of Nigerians.”

It cautioned the National Assembly to “only give consideration to Bills that would promote equity, justice, peace and national cohesion instead of issues that will exacerbate conflicts and crisis in the country.”

The forum urged state governors and members of the National Assembly of the four regions to commit themselves to the subject of Restructuring.

It reaffirmed commitment to the unity of Nigeria, “situated on the tenets of Equity, Fairness, Justice, and the principle of federalism.”

The communique said the meeting was held in an atmosphere of peace and unanimous commitment to the decisions.

According to the communique, in attendance at the meeting were delegations from the four regional socio-cultural organisations, that’s: Afenifere for the South West, Ohanaeze Ndigbo for the South East, Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) for the South-South and the Middle Belt Forum (MBF) for the Middle Belt.

The delegations were led by Chief Ayo Adebanjo, leader of Afenifere, Professor George Obiozor, President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Dr Pogu Bitrus, President of the Middle Belt Forum and Senator Emmanuel Ibok Essien, National Chairman of Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF).

The meeting was also attended by former Governors, Ministers, federal and state legislators, top politicians and professionals from the Southern and Middle Belt regions, including His Excellency, Obong Victor Attah, former Governor of Akwa Ibom, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, Alaowei Broderick Bozimo, Senator Femi Okurounmu, Nze Ozichukwu Chukwu, Simon N. Okeke, OFR, Chief Supo Shonibare, Dr Akin Fapohunda, Amb. Okey Emuchay, MFR, Senator Bassey Ewa Henshaw, Prof. G. G. Darah, Solomon Asemota, SAN, Dr Alex Ogbonna, Mr Mac Emakpore, Chief Douyi Douglas-Naingba, Mrs Nella Andem-Rabana, SAN, Prof. Mrs Chinwe Obaji, Maj. Gen. Henry Ayoola (Rtd), Engr. Ben Akaakar, Dr Ebun Sonaiya, Comrade Jare Ajayi and Ken Robinson, among others.

The communique was signed by the leader of the forum, Chief Edwin Clark; Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Leader, Afenifere; Prof. George Obiozor, President-General, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and Dr Pogu Bitrus, National President, Middle Belt Forum.

Shonekan: Nigeria’s Leader Overthrown Without Resistance

In spite of the huge investment in the water sector by the government and international organisations, water scarcity has grown to become a perennial nightmare for residents of Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital. This report x-rays the lives and experiences of residents in getting clean, potable and affordable water amidst the surge of COVID-19 cases in the state…middle belt leaders insist  middle belt leaders insist

 

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Lai Mohammed Lied Against Truth and Must Apologize to Nigerians-Atiku 

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PDP Presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar

The Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Organisation has observed with utmost dismay the very poor attempt by the Hon. Minister for Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed to turn truth on its head.

The PDP Presidential campaign Council made the statement in a release issued to newsmen

While the minister was making a barren attempt to catalogue perceived achievements of the current APC administration, he did the unbelievable by claiming that the policy documents and proposals espoused by Atiku Abubakar PDP presidential candidate, are the version of the economic blueprint of the APC.

That is a tsunami of a lie!

To begin with, it has been openly acknowledged that this current administration came into power without a single sheet of paper of what could be called a policy document. Nigerians are aware that in both 2015 and 2019, it took the APC six months and three months, respectively to constitute a cabinet. Perhaps the Minister might be interested in telling Nigerians if it is also part of the APC manifesto to foot drag in forming a government.

It is on record that the first economic recession that the country experienced in 2016, which happens to be our worst economic decline in thirty years, happened primarily because the APC administration applied what can be called a catch-up strategy to the early signals of the recession.

Top 50 Brands: Dangote emerges Most Valuable for the fifth consecutive year

That is why till this day, Nigerians are more agreeable to the fact that the tenure of the APC has been nothing but a sheer waste of time, all thanks to the catch-up economic strategy of the ruling party that has left the people more malnourished, sick and disillusioned.

The poor records of the APC in the areas of economic management, jobs creation, education, security and in virtually all spheres of our national life is the reason why there is a lot of anxiety about the 2023 general election. Indeed, it needs to be stressed that next year’s election will be a referendum on the APC and it is not in doubt that the ruling party in Nigeria will present a global case-study of how a political party can lose popular goodwill within a short period of time.

Nigerians of all hues, both the rich and those that are not; the educated and those who are not; the elderly and the young are all witnesses to the scandal that the APC has become in the art of governance. Nigerians are rallied in their frustration in the APC and the promise of a better future that our presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar holds for the country after his victory in the 2023 presidential election.

What Minister Lai Mohammed reeled out as achievements of the APC is a compilation of the reasons why Nigerians have roundly rejected the ruling party. It’s nothing but a testimonial of failures. Conversely, what His Excellency Atiku Abubakar presented to the organised private sector in Lagos State last week represents the hopes of a new beginning, which Nigerians eagerly anticipate.

Trying to associate the Atiku policy plans with the failed policies of the APC is the comical height of Minister Lai Mohammed’s aversion for the truth.

It is contempt not just against the PDP and our presidential candidate, but also to the whole nation. Lai Mohammed must apologize to Nigerians for such insensitive onslaught against truth in broad daylight.

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Top 50 Brands: Dangote emerges Most Valuable for the fifth consecutive year

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Alhaji Aliko Dangote

 

Dangote Industries Limited (DIL), has emerged as the Most Valuable Brand in Nigeria for a record 5th year in a row at the outcome of the 2022 corporate brand evaluation, conducted by the leading brand and marketing research firm, TOP 50 BRANDS NIGERIA.

Dangote emerged top with an aggregate score of 83.7 Brand Strength Measurement (BSM) Index score. This is followed by MTN, Globacom and Access Bank in fourth place.

Others among the top 10 are Airtel Nigeria, Coca-Cola, Zenith Bank, GTCO, First Bank and UBA at fifth to tenth positions respectively.

The annual top brands’ evaluation report which is now like a report card, with which top corporate brands have an independent opinion about their brand performance, from the consumers’ points of view has also become a sort of ‘bragging’ right and a source of pride for the brands that made the top 50 league table, particularly, those that took the lead.

In a press statement release after the public presentation, the rating firm said “The annual top brand evaluation is a qualitative, non-financial estimation of value of top corporate brands in the country. A measure of consumers’ perceptions and how positive or otherwise towards a brand, and how this affects its overall strength, using the Brand Strength Measurement (BSM)index, a model that tests a brand’s ability to deliver on its promise to the consumers from the consumers’ points of view.

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Chief Corporate Communications and Branding officer of Dangote Group, Anthony Chiejina said: “Dangote’s emergence, for the fifth year consecutively, did not come as a surprise to industry watchers. The brand has steadily increased its influence in many African nations through the establishment of cement factories. It operates in about 13 African nations making it one of the most visible, recognized and admired brands in Africa”

In his address to the owners and promoters of the top brands, TOP 50 BRANDS NIGERIA CEO, Taiwo Oluboyede said, “Brand has become a critical differentiator that helps consumer’s choice and also separates the top corporate organisations from the others and even much more. It is also consumers’ buying choice justification” He likened the task of building formidable and continuously strong brand to a flower, he said “When you plant a flower, you keep watering and pruning it to grow and until it blossoms, and this you do for its lifetime” If you omit or forget to prune or water, regardless of how beautiful it is at the beginning, it dies. The same is applicable to brand. That is why we have seen brands that dropped from the 50-league table in recent times, while new ones emerge.”

He said further “So, the responsibility lies with the owners and promoters to consistently maintain compelling propositions and live up to their promises. As we all know, it’s not just about making proposition, but living up to its demands and consistently so. This is what makes a top brand.”

For the 2022 evaluation, Nigerian-owned brands again dominated the top 10, with 7 brands. Dangote leading the pack, followed by Globacom, Access Bank, Zenith Bank, GTCO, First Bank and UBA

Five brands among top ten are banks while 3 are telecoms. Nine of the top ten were among the top 10 last year, with Access Bank making a dramatic leap to fourth place, effectively topping the Banking and Financial Services Categories.

Four brands, maintained their previous year’s position among the top 10, while six of the top 10 had maintained top 10 positions for 7 years consecutively. Overall, 28 or 56 per cent of the 50 Brands are multinational brands, while 22 or 44 percent are Nigerian. PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc emerged as the highest gainer this year by moving up 10 places, from 38 last year to 28th position. Rite Foods, another Nigerian brand emerged as a first entrant into the annual brand ranking this year.

Fifteen (15) brands maintained their 2021 position- these are (Dangote, MTN Nigeria, Globacom, First Bank, Nestle Nigeria Plc, Guinness Nig Plc, Nigerian Breweries, Seven-up Bottling Company, Julius Berger, FMN Plc, Chi Limited, Oando Plc, Energies, P&G, Axa-Mansard and TGI.

Furthermore, the Banking & Financial Services category had the highest entries with – 11 brands, that is, 22%.  Access Bank topped the category, and consumer goods followed with – 8 brands. That is 16%. Dufil Prima Foods topped the list.

Conglomerates had 7 brands. that is 14% with Dangote Group on top, beverages came at the fourth place with 6 brands. That is 12%. Coca-Cola topped the category, Oil & Gas and the Insurance categories had 3 brands each, amounting the 6% each. Oando Plc and AIICO Insurance topped them respectively and electronics, mass media and Building & Construction Services returned with 2 brands each that is 4% for each. Samsung, Multichoice and Julius Berger topped their respective categories.

Meanwhile, agriculture and automobile have 1 brand each, an equivalent of 2% of the total top brands. Olam International and Toyota Nigeria topped their individual group.

In his contribution to the annual top brands’ evaluation, Mr Olufemi Awoyemi, Chairman Proshare Nigeria said “First, it is commendable to see that in the evaluation process used in ranking the brands, professionals such as Chief Marketing Officers and Head of Corporate Communications and Reputation Managers. Eight (8) companies listed on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) made the list of top 10 brands in Nigeria. With the thorough evaluation process and degree of attention to detail evident in the report, the list indeed provides a true and fair representation of top brands by strength, popularity and potential in Nigeria.

 

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Breaking:Court Directs  ASUU To Call Off Strike

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President Buhari, Middle,ASUU President and Minister of Education

The National Industrial Court has ordered the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), to call off the ongoing Strike.

Delivering a ruling on the interlocutory injunction filed by the Federal government, Justice Polycarp Hamman restrained ASUU from continuing with the industrial action pending the determination of the suit.

Justice Hamman who is a vacation judge ordered that the case filed should be returned to the president of the Industrial Court for reassignment to another judge.

The Judge further held that the industrial action is detrimental to public university students who cannot afford to attend private tertiary institutions.

He said the Trade Dispute Act mandates workers not to embark on strike once an issue has been referred to the industrial court.

Justice Hamman also upheld the application of the Federal Government saying it was meritorious and granted.

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