Ghana won’t lose her sovereignty to China – President

<ul><li>Most Ghanaians have expressed worry over the deepening Ghana-China relationship.<li><li>Ghana’s President Akufo-Addo has said that there is no reason to worry.<li><li>Nana Akufo-Addo said that the relationship Ghana has with Chinan is only for mutual benefit.<li></ul>

<p class="">Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo has called on Ghanaians who think the country is depending too much on China to remain calm.</p>

<p class="">The President said even though Ghana is deepening bilateral relations with the Asian country, Ghana will not lose its sovereignty to China.</p>

<p class="">Recently, the two countries signed eight Co-operation Agreements and Memoranda of Understanding, in different sectors of their respective economies, aimed at deepening the ties of co-operation and the bonds of friendship that exist between the two countries.</p>

<p class="">One of the many agreements that made the news is the $2 billion infrastructure support deal that will see Ghana give away major parts of its Bauxite concessions to be mined by China.</p>

<p class="">These agreements and MOUs have been signed despite the ‘Ghana beyond aide’ mantra of the Akufo-Addo government.</p>

<p class="">But speaking at his last Media Encounter for 2018, Nana Akufo-Addo said the agreements are for the mutual benefit and debunked claims that Ghana will lose its sovereignty to China.</p>

<p class="">Below are Ghana, China sign co-operation agreements for development</p>

<p class="">The agreements are the “One belt one road Memorandum of Understanding, Memorandum on Regional Aviation Co-operation Agreement for Co-operation in the peaceful use of nuclear energy, and Co-operation to carry out Maternal and Child Health Project.”</p>

<p class="">The rest are “Framework Agreement on Financing Insurance Co-operation ($2 billion Sino-Hydro deal), Economic co-operation on Phase 2 project of the University of Health and Allied Sciences, Co-operation on the expansion of the Cape Coast Stadium, and Co-operation on the supply of police vehicles to the Ghana Police Service.”</p>

Miyetti Allah says Atiku is not a credible presidential candidate

<h1>The National Coordinator of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) in Benue State, Garus Gololo, has slammed presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, as a divisive figure.</h1>

<p class="">Atiku had recently cautioned Nigerians that<strong> President Muhammadu Buhari</strong>, his opponent at the polls next year, is incapable of addressing the wanton killings carried out by herdsmen in the country and should not win re-election.</p>

<p class="">Atiku said if Buhari wins the 2019 presidential election, <a href="" id="c8c8ff0e-7021-4667-991d-8e692a470dde">the killings will continue</a> and likely escalate into a series of ethno-religious crises.</p>

<p class="">In reaction, Gololo said Atiku’s inciting comment is capable of dividing the country even before he’s president. He said the former vice president has a questionable track record as a politician and is not a credible candidate for the 2019 presidential election.</p>

<p class="">He said, <em>"We Fulani herdsmen are not killers and before Buhari came to power, there were crisis between farmers and herders in Benue, Tarawa, Nasarawa, Adamawa and some other states. I am disappointed in Atiku because he had already divided Nigeria even when he has not come to power. </em></p>

<p class=""><em>"Buhari has nothing to do with herdsmen, he is a Nigerian and it is the people of Nigeria that voted him into power and l believe they will still vote him again in 2019.</em></p>

<p class=""><em>"Nigerians should ask Atiku about the N68.8 billion proceeds from NEPA which he sold when he superintended over the privatisation process of the then NEPA.</em></p>

<p class=""><em>"People should talk about the power plants or the money he raised from the sale of that public asset. </em></p>

<p class=""><em>"As far as I am concerned, Atiku is not a credible candidate to contest the coming presidential election in Nigeria because he is so sentimental and if they vote him in as president, he would divide Nigeria the more."</em></p>

<p class="">Gololo said Fulani herdsmen are not killers and have nothing to do with President Buhari who has been widely-criticised over his handling of the killings because he’s Fulani himself.</p>

<p class=""><strong>Herdsmen crisis in Nigeria</strong></p>

<p class="">The struggle for economic resources like land and water between farmers and nomadic cattle herders, usually of the Fulani extraction but not exclusively, has led to a lot of bloodshed in the country in 2018.</p>

<p class="">Countless attacks have been attributed to herders after <a href="" id="d4f17f28-045c-43d2-8f49-7281d46ed5ff">an escalation of simmering tension</a> with local farming communities, tension that was worsened by the implementation of anti-open grazing laws in Benue and Taraba, two of the worst-hit states.</p>

<figure class="image" align="center"> <img src="" alt="President Muhammadu Buhari has been widely-criticised for his handling of rampant killings allegedly carried out by herdsmen [Twitter/@BashirAhmaad]"> <figcaption>President Muhammadu Buhari has been widely-criticised for his handling of rampant killings allegedly carried out by herdsmen [Twitter/@BashirAhmaad]</figcaption> </figure>

<p class="">According to the 2018 Global Terrorism Index, nearly 1,700 violent deaths <a href="" id="bfe06c49-5421-4fd2-8408-e0b7d6c2e5ce">have been attributed to herdsmen</a> in attacks carried out in 2018 alone.</p>

<p class=""><em>"Nearly 1,700 violent deaths have been attributed to the Fulani Ethnic Militia from January to September 2018. An estimated 89% of those killed were civilians,"</em> the report read.</p>

<p class="">A recent report by Amnesty International noted that the Federal Government failed to prevent the killing of 3,641 Nigerians by herdsmen in the last three years of Buhari’s administration.</p>

<p class="">In reaction to the report, Atiku had accused Buhari of putting Nigeria "on the verge of disintegration" by displaying gross incompetence and failing in his duty to protect the lives of Nigerians.</p>

<p class=""><strong>2019 presidential election</strong></p>

<p class="">While next year’s election, scheduled for February 16, 2019, is expected to be keenly-contested between Buhari and Atiku, <a href="" id="97affee7-4ddb-4d3b-ad74-926e9ab32ddc">they both face competition from other candidates</a> including <strong>Donald Duke</strong> of the <strong>Social Democratic Party (SDP)</strong>, <strong>Kingsley Moghalu</strong> of the <strong>Young Progressive Party (YPP)</strong>, <strong>Obiageli Ezekwesili</strong> of the <strong>Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN)</strong>, <strong>Fela Durotoye</strong> of the <strong>Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN)</strong>, and <strong>Omoyele Sowore</strong> of the <strong>African Action Congress (AAC)</strong>.</p>

<p class="">Others are <strong>Tope Fasua </strong>of the <strong>Abundance Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP)</strong>, <strong>Eunice Atuejide </strong>of the <strong>National Interest Party (NIP)</strong>, <strong>Adesina Fagbenro-Byron </strong>of the <strong>Kowa Party (KP)</strong>, <strong>Chike Ukaegbu </strong>of the <strong>Advanced Allied Party (AAP)</strong>, <strong>Hamza Al-Mustapha </strong>of the <strong>People’s Party of Nigeria (PPN)</strong>, <strong>Obadiah Mailafia </strong>of the <strong>African Democratic Congress (ADC)</strong>, and many more.</p>

<p class="">79 candidates <a href="" id="2db81653-a5b0-4085-ba42-499110be4723">will contest in the election</a>, the highest number ever in Nigeria’s electoral history.</p>
Source: politics

APC cautions against playing politics with security issues

<p class="">Some individuals and opposition party had accused the state government of inability to ensure safety of citizens, following cases of kidnapping in the state in recent times.</p>

<h1>The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo state has cautioned individuals and groups in the state against playing politics with security matters.</h1>

<p class="">The party’s Publicity Secretary in the state, Mr <strong>Alex Kalejaiye</strong>, made the call in a statement on Thursday in Akure.</p>

<p class="">“<em>Those playing politics with the security and peace of the state should urgently desist forthwith and join hands with Gov. </em><strong><em>Oluwarotimi Akeredolu </em></strong><em>to implement to the fullest his laudable plans for the state.</em></p>

<p class=""><em>“The governor should be commended for his untiring efforts to ensure that the ugly development of kidnapping and other vices in the state are timely nipped in the bud,”</em> he said.</p>

<p class="">Some individuals and opposition party had accused the state government of inability to ensure safety of citizens, following cases of kidnapping in the state in recent times.</p>

<p class=""><em>“Contrary to the position of the opposition, the administration seeks better and secured living situations for the good and peace-loving people of Ondo state.</em></p>

<p class=""><em>“While it is unethical to discuss security measures in the public, suffice it to say that recent comprehensive security meetings with major stakeholders are geared towards a kidnapping-free state,”</em> Kalejaiye stated.</p>

<p class="">According to him, leaders of the ruling APC in the state and the governor will not be distracted by critics in the governor’s mission and commitment to a safe and prosperous Ondo state.</p>

<p class="">He lauded the commitment of the governor to workers’ welfare in spite of meager resources of the state.</p>

<p class=""><em>“It is ordinarily an unthinkable thing for a government with a lean purse to adhere to prompt payment of salaries, and strive to offset backlog of salaries and pensions.</em></p>

<p class=""><em>“And, it is equally unfathomable to the opposition that plunged the State into huge debts before the present administration that Gov. Akeredolu could also promote civil servants, besides regular payment of salaries and wages.</em></p>

<p class=""><em>“This has, in no small measure, gladdened the heart of the workforce that is currently in love with, and praying for the governor fervently,</em>” he said.</p>

<p class="">Kalejaiye added that roads were either under construction or being rehabilitated while massive renovation of schools and investment in water and agriculture by the administration were on course. </p>
Source: politics

Pulse Opinion: All the lawmakers who booed President Buhari should bury their heads in shame

<p class="">Every lawmaker who booed President Buhari during budget presentation should be thoroughly ashamed of their conduct. </p>

<h1>On Wednesday, December 19, 2018, President Muhammadu Buhari arrived the green chamber of the National Assembly to a chorus of boos, jeers and unkind chants from Nigeria’s ‘Distinguished’ and ‘Honorable’ lawmakers. </h1>

<p class="">I was following most of the budget presentation session on television and it was such a show of shame. This piece is not about disrespect for the office of the president. It’s much more than that. </p>

<p class="">Yes, I know it’s silly season in our nation’s politics. Yes, I’m aware that in an often heated bipartisan legislature, what happened last Wednesday should be excused. Yes, I know that boos and jeers come with the political territory and yes, I do know that the legislature and the executive arms of government should be encouraged to go on collision courses every so often for the good of our democracy, because dissent sometimes breeds the kind of bipartisan compromise that will benefit the lot of the people.</p>

<p class="">What I do not get is why the boos and jeers weren’t dished out to Buhari when he presented the 2016, 2017 and 2018 budgets. Why was Buhari not called a “liar” and “thief” when he presented all of the budgets preceding the 2019 one? </p>

<figure class="image" align="center"> <img src="" alt="President Buhari addressing Nigerian lawmakers during 2019 budget presentation in Abuja, December 19, 2018."> <figcaption>President Buhari addressing Nigerian lawmakers during 2019 budget presentation in Abuja, December 19, 2018.</figcaption> </figure>

<p class="">I’d tell you why, since you asked. Those catcalls, name calling, mud throwing, boos, heckling and jeers weren’t Buhari’s lot in previous budget presentations because the national assembly was still being led by APC lawmakers in name. </p>

<p class="">Once the pair of Speaker <strong>Yakubu Dogara </strong>and Senate President<strong> Bukola Saraki </strong>switched camps to the PDP last summer; and seeing as there’s another election season on the horizon in which these two are major players, the opposition PDP side of the aisle found its voice and unruliness. </p>

<p class="">This therefore was not about whether the Buhari led federal government recorded appreciable levels of budget performance in 2018 or whether bridges and roads were constructed or not. </p>

<p class="">This was not about whether Nigeria has become the poorest nation in the world on Buhari’s watch or whether maternal mortality rates or illiteracy levels have reached record highs. The lawmakers weren’t booing and jeering because more Nigerians are now unemployed than there were when Buhari assumed the reins in 2015. </p>

<p class="">These lawmakers were booing because it’s politics season and because in politics season, everything goes. They were heckling to score cheap political points. </p>

<p class="">This was therefore a self-serving boo-fest from a bunch of overpaid, over-pampered and unruly lawmakers, some of whom are still hurt that they were denied automatic tickets to return in 2019 on the APC platform. </p>

<p class="">This was a revolt from lawmakers who have now defected to the opposing camp and thought it politically expedient to rain on Buhari’s parade in order to stop him from reeling out the APC’s perceived achievements, because doing so could harm the PDP’s chances of seizing power in 2019. </p>

<figure class="image" align="center"> <img src="" alt="Senate President Bukola Saraki and House Speaker, Yakubu Dogara discuss after both houses of parliament announced the defection of a host of members"> <figcaption>Senate President Bukola Saraki and House Speaker, Yakubu Dogara discuss after both houses of parliament announced the defection of a host of members</figcaption> </figure>

<p class="">This was essentially about politics, not about the average Nigerian. And that, right there, is why this disgusts so much. Because what you saw on Wednesday was a budget presentation session—an exercise that should have been taken seriously by lawmakers who are adept at padding fiscal estimates—being turned into a political theater. </p>

<p class="">This was no State of the Union kind of address where some heckling is permissible and understandable. This was a speech about how money will be spent across the health, education and the economic sectors in the next fiscal year. This was a speech about the man on the streets—the so called ‘average Nigeria’. </p>

<p class="">Lawmakers should have been listening attentively and taking notes, with a determination to rigorously debate the president’s estimates in heated closed door sessions. Instead, they cussed and booed because they know no better. If you were one of the booing lawmakers reading this, here’s for you: You let your constituents and yourself down. You should be so, so ashamed of yourself. </p>
Source: politics

Gombe CP warns politicians against carrying weapons to campaign grounds

<p class="">The Commissioner of Police in Gombe state, Mr Mohammed Mukkaddas, has warned politicians in the state not to allow their supporters to carry weapons to campaign venues.</p>

<h1>Mukkaddas gave the warning on Thursday, while speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting, organised by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Gombe.</h1>

<p class="">The police boss said that any person caught in possession of any weapons during campaigns, rallies or elections would be arrested and made to face the full weight of the law.</p>

<p class="">He further warned politicians to guard against hate speech, destruction of posters, flags, billboards and other valuables belonging to their opponents.</p>

<p class="">The police boss urged them to play the game according to the rules to ensure a violence-free exercise in the state.</p>

<p class="">He also admonished the political class to educate the people of the state on the need to coexist peacefully with one another in the interest of development.</p>

<p class="">He further charged the people to strive to sustain the peace currently being enjoyed in the state.</p>

<p class="">Also, Mrs Adaline Patari, the acting state Director, National Orientation Agency (NOA), called on politicians to educate their supporters on the dangers of engaging in election violence.</p>

<p class="">Patari said that it was necessary for politicians to educate their supporters on the need to eschew violent acts during the campaigns and elections.</p>

<p class="">“<em>When politicians speak, their followers listen. So it is key to talk to them about the dangers of violence and remind them of what violence has done to us in the past.</em></p>

<p class=""><em>“Democracy is about peace and development,</em>” she said, adding that the people should join hands with the government to move the state forward.</p>

<p class="">The NOA boss lauded politicians in the state for their maturity, saying that the ongoung campaigns had been rancour-free.</p>

<p class="">According to her, “<em>by this time of electioneering in the past, we used to witness high level of destruction and mutilation of campaign posters belonging to different political parties.</em></p>

<p class=""><em>“But that is no longer the case,</em>” she said, adding that efforts should be made to sustain the prevailing peace ahead of the polls.</p>

<p class="">Patari further charged political parties and the candidates to educate their supporters on their party logos to avoid confusion while casting their votes.</p>

<p class="">She said that such a measure would help to reduce the case of invalid votes and time spent by voters asking for help while trying to cast their votes. </p>
Source: politics

2019 Budget: Saraki faults financial plan proposed by Buhari capable of hurting Nigeria’s future

<p class="">With a growing poverty rate in Nigeria, the Senate President Dr. Bukola Saraki questions if there will be a future for the country after President Muhammadu Buhari’s 2019 budget proposal.</p>

<p class=""><strong>When President Muhammadu Buhari presented the 2019 budget to the National Assembly on Wednesday, December 19, 2018, there were comments of disapproval from parliament members who are unimpressed by the manner he has executed the current financial plan.</strong></p>

<p class="">Dr. Bukola Saraki showed a similar reaction while representing the candidate of the <strong>People’s Democratic Party</strong> (PDP) <strong>Atiku Abubakar</strong> at an event where he was meant to address a civil society.</p>

<p class="">The legislator believes the proposed budget can hinder the course of Nigeria on a path to progress.</p>

<p class="">He notes this in a report published by The <strong>Nation News</strong> a day after the president’s visit to the parliament.</p>

<p class=""><em>"We all heard the 2019 budget. That is a budget that has no hope for anybody because when you look at the statistics and the figures, there is poverty. If you look at the figures based on revenues that are coming in, there is nothing left, so where is the future?"</em></p>

<p class="">He admits a need for persons aspiring for political offices to share their plans with the electorates. A debate is welcome in the hope to achieve this but he doubts if President Muhammadu Buhari will participate.</p>

<p class=""><em>"This is an interactive session. I am not sure whether the other political parties will give you an opportunity like this to ask them questions.</em></p>

<p class=""><em>"I am told that one has debated and you already know the answer to that debate. On the second one, I am very sure he is not going to debate. So how do you assess somebody who is not ready to tell you what he is going to do?</em></p>

<p class=""><em>"Those days are gone, my good people. The future of this country, a country that leads the continent that is not the example we want to set for this continent.</em></p>

<p class=""><em>"The whole world is going in a direction, if you are seeking a position, you must come and tell people what you want to do, you must sit down and they will ask you questions and that is why we are here,"</em> The Nation News gathers in a statement by the president of the senate.</p>

<p class="">At the event Saraki speaks to members of the <strong>Civil Society Organisations</strong> (CSOs) in his position as the Director General of the <strong>PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation</strong>.</p>

<p class="">By the time he was rounding up the note to his audience, he shares an interest to gain more support for his party in the 2019 polls.</p>

<p class="">He is confident the PDP is more committed in the goal to exterminate poverty in Nigeria.</p>
Source: politics

Jimi Agbaje gets the pledge of Accord Party in 2019 guber race

<p class="">Jimi Agbaje receives a boost from members of the Accord Party who are eager to work with him for the good of Lagos.</p>

<p class=""><strong>On Thursday, December 20, 2018, Jimi Agbaje is hosted at a political mixer where members of the Accord Party (AP) give him their support in the race to finish first at the 2019 gubernatorial elections in Lagos.</strong></p>

<p class="">At the meeting held at the Lagos Airport Hotel, Joseph Beckley who is the governorship candidate of the organization reportedly conceded to Agbaje of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), in the <em>"general interest of the state"</em>.</p>

<p class=""><strong>Punch News</strong> confirms this in a report published today.</p>

<p class="">In the report, the Accord Party claims that is has welcomed 20,000 former members of the <strong>All Progressives Congress</strong> (APC) who joined AC on the day they pledged to Jimi Agbaje.</p>

<p class="">The PDP candidate has asked for more support as he looks to topple the APC government and free Lagos from its firm grip.</p>

<p class=""><em>"Enough of Baba Sope. Enough of Eko sun lo. It is time to free Lagosians. And for those on the other side, it is not too late to join this moving train."</em></p>
Source: politics

2019 Elections: INEC urges ICPC to monitor political party finances, others

<p class="">The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has urged the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to monitor finances of political parties.</p>

<h1>INEC also called on ICPC to do so cases of vote buying and other related vices.</h1>

<p class="">Mr Mutiu Agboke, the Resident Electoral Commissioner(REC) in Oyo state, gave the advice on Thursday when he and his management team paid courtesy visit to the ICPC commissioner in Oyo state, Mr Stephen Pimor.</p>

<p class="">Agboke noted that the collaborative efforts of INEC and the anti corruption agency would curb excesses and other acts against electoral laws.</p>

<p class="">He reiterated the commitment of the electoral body in displaying high level of transparency, openness and credibility in the conduct of the 2019 general elections.</p>

<p class="">In his response, Pimor commended the synergy that had hitherto been existing between the two organisations.</p>

<p class="">He promised that ICPC in the state would work closely with INEC in order to achieve credible, free and fair 2019 general elections.</p>

<p class="">He urged all candidates contesting various seats in the forthcoming general elections not to violate the electoral law, especially as regards finances of their respective political parties.</p>
Source: politics

Ghana will soon become the key market to the UAE

<p class="">Ghana is said to be the fastest growing key market of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).</p>

<p class="">This follows a revelation the Head of Dubai Chamber Ghana office, Cyril Darkwa.</p>

<p class="">The revelation stated as a reflection of Ghana Government’s efforts to strengthen its economy, attract investors and establish strong partnerships with the private sector.</p>

<p class="">According to Mr Darkwa, several UAE companies are investing in Ghana, especially in sectors like infrastructure, communications and tourism.</p>

<p class="">This he said was a massive improvement in Ghana’s economy.</p>

<p class="">Mr Dankwa was speaking at the Annual Stakeholder Dinner Reception organized by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce &amp; Industry Ghana.</p>

<p class="">UAE Ambassador to Ghana, Kalifa Yousif Alzaabi adding his voice commended the efforts of the Chamber and urged it to do more to promote UAE business activities in Ghana.</p>

<p class="">“The Government of the United Arab Emirates has shown its commitment to increasing and deepening economic and trade ties with Ghana and this is evident by the opening of the first ever Embassy in Ghana,” he said.</p>

<p class="">He further added that “This singular act points to the fact that Ghana is indeed a country of interest to the UAE. The embassy works closely with Dubai Chamber of Commerce in facilitating a smooth entry of UAE based businesses into Ghana. This we do by offering advice on various sectors of the economy especially sectors that UAE businesses can invest in.” </p>

<p class=""><strong>About the Dubai Chamber</strong></p>

<p class="">The Dubai Chamber acts as a trusted partner to Dubai’s business community and is a vital link between the emirate’s dynamic private sector and its business-oriented government.</p>

<p class="">The Chamber operates 10 representative offices around the world, including its office in Accra, which was launched in 2015.</p>

<p class="">The Accra office provides businesses with guidance and assistance to Ghana companies that are keen to enter the Dubai market, while it also identifies business opportunities in Ghana that are of interest to Dubai Chamber members.</p>

<p class="">In April this year, the office facilitated a high-level trade delegation of government officials and business leaders from Ghana to the UAE, with the visit resulting in 175 bilateral meetings to advance commercial ties. Top officials, CEOs and executives representing Ghanaian government agencies, banks, insurance companies, agri-businesses, engineering companies and fintech firms also took part in the mission.</p>