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Igbo in Lagos, others urge support for Buhari, Sanwo-Olu over efforts on Covid-19

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Babajide Sanwo-Olu. PHOTO: TWITTER

Members of Ndigbo in the ruling Lagos State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) has called on all non-Yoruba citizens in the state to support Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in the ongoing effort to manage and contain the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

While inauguration the coordinating body of the group in Lagos yesterday, Special Adviser on Drainage and Water Resources to the governor, Mr. Joe Igbokwe, debunked insinuation that there was division among the rank of the Ndigbo in Lagos APC. Although he said there are minor differences, with some people trying to create unnecessary crisis, but “that has since been addressed and resolved and we have all agreed to support Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the party in all their endeavours.”

According to him, “Everybody cannot be in the front seat and it is necessary some people should wait for their turn. The newly inaugurated group would ensure that all Ndigbo in Lagos rally behind Governor Sanwo-Olu and the party based on what the incumbent and his predecessors have done in support of our people.”

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He also enjoined the people to adhere strictly to the conditions for the relaxing of the lockdown by the federal and the state governments over the pandemic.

In his address, the Coordinator of the group, Eze Uche Dimgba, appealled to all Ndigbo in the state and the country to support the ruling APC, saying, “For whatever reason, the ongoing 2nd Niger Bridge, which the APC government of President Muhamadu Buhari is building and the way Sanwo-Olu has been relating cordially with our people are signs of good things to come.”

He also appealled to Ndigbo in Lagos to realise the fact that they could not continue to contest the ownership of the land with the indigenes “no matter the amount of wealth we may have acquired. There is the need for us to respect the culture and traditions of the people.”

Meanwhile, another group, New Nigeria Collective (NNC), a non-government organisation has critically assessed President Buhari’s administration and noted that the five-year journey has not been bad despite the myriad of challenges confronting the government.

In a communiqué signed by its Chairman, Adeola Adewunmi and Secretary, Olutunbosun Osifowora titled: ‘Five Years of Buhari: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’, the organisation said the Buhari administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, reduction in pump prices of petroleum products, bringing the country out of recession and stabilising the economy are some of the key areas it has performed well.

The communiqué read: “The leadership of New Nigeria Collective (NNC), a nongovernment, non-profit making organisation, yesterday, at its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting, reviewed the state of the nation, coming at a time the federal government marked its fifth year in office and the first of the second term of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.”

The group also commended government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic just as it praised the administration’s recent reduction in the pump prices of petroleum products. The NNC equally commended the recent removal of subsidy from petroleum products as a result of changing global indices despite its dwindling fortunes. It noted that upon the administration’s resumption of office, the economy was plunged into recession but that through conscious, critical and tough choices, as well as positive thinking, the administration survived and crawled out of recession and consequently stabilised the economy.

Although the group said whilst the administration might not have achieved much in terms of economic gains, it sure has put the nation on a better pedestal. It alluded to the nationwide railway construction, the 2nd Niger Bridge, repairs and conspicuous rehabilitation of major expressways in the six geopolitical zones as well as evident developments in the aviation sector.

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The group also commended the recent financial autonomy granted state Houses of Assemblies and the judiciary, saying, “This would go a long way in charting a completely different path, not only for the present crop of office holders, but for democracy to thrive better.”

Other applauses it accorded the government include the synergy amongst the three arms of government, the recent financial autonomy granted local government administrations in the country, the repeated bailouts of states in financial distress and the massive developments in the agriculture sector.

The group, however, noted some grey areas where the government needed to buckle up like the need to address the allegation of lack of transparency in the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, constant borrowings for projects that do not have commercial values or that can adequately guarantee a smooth repayment plan, including the cost of servicing the loans.

It also noted with disappointment the constant rivalry amongst some of the inter-governmental agencies, especially the security agencies.

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