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FULL TEXT: President Bola Tinubu’s national broadcast on 2024 Democracy Day

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TEXT OF PRESIDENT BOLA TINUBU’S NATIONAL BROADCAST ON THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF UNBROKEN DEMOCRACY IN NIGERIA, DEMOCRACY DAY 12TH JUNE 2024 ABUJA

 

 

President Bola Tinubu on Wednesday, delivered the 2024 Democracy Day speech, addressing a variety of issues affecting the country.

Tinubu pledged to implement democracy as Nigerians’ way of life.

 

Read the full text below:

 

My fellow Nigerians, let me begin by congratulating all of us for witnessing the celebration of another Democracy Day today, the 12th day of June 2024. This year also marks our nation’s 25 years of uninterrupted democratic governance. On this day, 31 years ago, we entered our rites of passage to becoming a true and enduring democratic society. Going through this passage was hard and dangerous.

During the fateful six years that followed, we fought and struggled for our natural rights as human beings put on this earth by the divine hand of our Creator. We lost great heroes and heroines along the way. In this struggle, the winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, Chief MKO Abiola, the most significant symbol of our democratic struggle, his wife, Kudirat, General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua and Pa Alfred Rewane, among others sacrificed their very lives.

They bravely surrendered their futures, so that our nation might have a better one. Let us honour the memories of Chief Anthony Enahoro, Chief Abraham Adesanya, Commodore Dan Suleiman, Chief Arthur Nwankwo, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu, Chief Frank Kokori, Chief Bola Ige, Chief Adekunle Ajasin, Chief Ganiyu Dawodu, Chief Ayo Fasanmi, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, Chief Olabiyi Durojaiye, Dr. Beko Ransome-Kuti, Chima Ubani, and others who have transited to the higher realm.

The sacrifices of General Alani Akinrinade, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, Professor Wole Soyinka, Chief Ralph Obioha, Chief Cornelius Adebayo, among many others, should never be forgotten. For at least six years, they bore the pains and difficulties of life in exile. While the exiled pro-democracy activists kept the fire burning, their comrades at home sustained the pressure on the military brass hats.

Among the latter are Olisa Agbakoba, Femi Falana, Abdul Oroh, Senator Shehu Sani, Governor Uba Sani, Chief Olu Falae, and other National Democratic Coalition leaders such as Chief Ayo Adebanjo and Chief Ayo Opadokun. The sacrifices they made, and the precious gift brought about by their selfless devotion can never be repaid. Neither shall it be forgotten.

We could not have won the battle against military dictatorship without the irrepressible Nigerian journalists who mounted the barricades along with the pro-democracy activists. We celebrate them today, along with their media establishments such as The Punch, Guardian, National Concord, Tribune, The News/Tempo, and TELL Magazines. Military authorities proscribed these media establishments and jailed their journalists for standing for free speech and civil liberties. Despite the lethal might of the military government, what appeared to be high and unyielding walls of dictatorship came tumbling down. The dismal fortress exists no longer.

The power of an idea, the power of the people proved more potent than all the guns and munitions, than all the guns, the munitions and the threats of the strongmen. The nation exited the yoke of military rule in 1999 to become the most populous democracy on African soil, the beacon of democratic self-determination for the black race and one of the largest democracies in the world. This change stands as a pivotal moment in human history. From this change, we shall never turn, nor shall the annals of mankind’s progress forget the sublime meaning of this great moment.

Today, 25 years later, we celebrate the silver anniversary of our journey in democracy. We have steadied the course. Democracy is neither a foreign nor abstract concept devoid of real-life meaning for us. Neither can we afford to reduce or minimalise it to being nothing but the mere holding of periodic elections where one candidate and party outdo another. While elections attract dramatic attention, they are but one aspect of democracy. Democracy is a way of life that encompasses a broad outlook of which elections are but a part. As such, a nation can have elections without being democratic. But a nation cannot be truly democratic without holding elections. That we have established a tradition of holding transparent, open, and fair elections gives credence to our democratic bearing. That we have experienced peaceful transitions of government affirms our democratic temperament.

Fellow Nigerians, true democracy shines its light into the daily lives of the people who live under its nurturing wings. It affords us the freedom and liberty to think as we want, live where we want and pursue whatever legitimate endeavour that suits us. Democracy does not assume some false or forced unity of opinion. In fact, democracy assumes that conflicting ideas and differing opinions shall be the order of the day. Given the diversity and variety of the human experience, there must be diverse perspectives and viewpoints.

What democracy demands is that we do not resolve differences through force and repression. But we make allowance for the legitimacy of views that differ from our own. Where other forms of government impose against the will of the people, democracy aims to make leaders sufficiently humble that they conduct themselves as servants of the common good, not as viceroys of the narrow interests of the mighty.

My dear compatriots, Nigeria faced a decision of untold gravity twenty-five years ago: Whether to veer toward a better destination or continue aimlessly in the fog of dictatorship. We made the right choice then. We must continue with that choice now. As Nigerians, we must remind ourselves that no matter how complicated democracy may be, it is the best form of governance in the long run. We must also be aware that there are those among us who will try to exploit current challenges to undermine, if not destroy, this democracy for which so much has already been given. These people do this not to make things better but to subject all other people and things to their control and dominance until the point that, if you are not counted among their elite, then your life will be small and no longer owned by you. This is the great battle of our day and the major reason we specially celebrate this Democracy day.

Fellow Nigerians, our Democracy is more than a historic fact. It is a living, breathing reality. The true meaning of this day is not to focus solely on the great deeds of the past that have brought us to this point. Yes, we pay eternal honour to those who laid down their lives, sacrificing everything to pave the way for the nation. I stand uniquely placed in this regard. I was among those who took the risk to midwife the birth of our democracy. I am now a direct and obvious beneficiary of the fruits of those historic efforts. As president of this nation, I am morally and constitutionally bound to preserve this precious form of governance. I vow to do my utmost best to protect your rights, freedoms, and liberties as citizens of Nigeria. Even more than that, I pledge to do whatever is necessary to cement democracy as our way of life.

Although the challenges are steep and multiple, I am grateful to lead Nigeria at this moment in her history and point in her democratic journey. I come before you also to declare that our most important work remains before us. This real test has never been whether we would rise to challenge the slings of misfortune and grievous pain of dictatorship. The real test is whether we shall lower our guards as the shadow of despotism and its evident physical danger fade. I say to you here and now that as we celebrate the enshrinement of our political democracy, let us commit ourselves to the fulfilment of its equally important counterpart, the realisation of our economic democracy. I understand the economic difficulties we face as a nation.

Our economy has been in desperate need of reform for decades. It has been unbalanced because it was built on the flawed foundation of over-reliance on revenues from the exploitation of oil. The reforms we have initiated are intended to create a stronger, better foundation for future growth. There is no doubt the reforms have occasioned hardship. Yet, they are necessary repairs required to fix the economy over the long run so that everyone has access to economic opportunity, fair pay and compensation for his endeavour and labour.

As we continue to reform the economy, I shall always listen to the people and will never turn my back on you. In this spirit, we have negotiated in good faith and with open arms with organized labour on a new national minimum wage. We shall soon send an executive bill to the National Assembly to enshrine what has been agreed upon as part of our law for the next five years or less. In the face of labour’s call for a national strike, we did not seek to oppress or crack down on the workers as a dictatorial government would have done. We chose the path of cooperation over conflict. No one was arrested or threatened. Instead, the labour leadership was invited to break bread and negotiate toward a good-faith resolution. Reasoned discussion and principled compromise are hallmarks of democracy. These themes shall continue to animate my policies and interaction with the constituent parts of our political economy. I take on this vital task without fear or favour and I commit myself to this work until we have built a Nigeria where no man is oppressed. In the end, our national greatness will not be achieved by travelling the easy road. It can only be achieved by taking the right one.

The words of the American President Franklin Roosevelt certainly ring true: ” There are many ways of going forward. But only one way of standing still”! We dare not slumber lest the good things awaiting our immediate future pass us by. We dare not plant our feet in idle standstill in the middle of the intersection of hope and despair. We know the proper way forward and we shall take it! The initial rays of a brighter tomorrow now appear on the early horizon. An abundant future and our capacity to achieve that future lie within our reach.

Democracy and the institutions it begets offer to take us to our profound destination. Let us board this progressive train together. Together, let us move Nigeria forward. Let’s continue to keep the fire of democracy burning. Let’s keep the torch lit for generations to come. May God continue to bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria and preserve our democracy. I wish us all a Happy Democracy Day.

Entertainment

Hollywood actor George Clooney, others withdraw support for Biden

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Hollywood actor George Clooney, others withdraw support for Biden

 

What if Hollywood, a key Democratic financial pillar, cut off Joe Biden’s campaign funding? That possibility now looms large after actor George Clooney and other wealthy donors urged the US president to withdraw from the White House race.

“I love Joe Biden. But we need a new nominee,” Clooney wrote in a column in the New York Times on Wednesday, after Biden’s disastrous performance in a televised presidential debate against Republican rival, Donald Trump rekindled fears around the 81-year-old’s fitness for office.

The statement dealt a serious blow to Biden, coming just three weeks after Clooney headlined a major fundraiser in Los Angeles for his reelection campaign.

At the gala, the president was able to raise more than $30 million in one evening, a record amount that showcased the industry’s might in financing the American left.

 

 

“If all these big donors pull out, he’s sunk,” said Steve Ross, professor of history at the University of Southern California who wrote a book on the influence of Hollywood on American politics. “Hollywood is still the one shop stop for candidates.”

Clooney is not the only one worried. In recent days, Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings, Walt Disney’s granddaughter Abigail and Hollywood mega agent, Ari Emanuel, whose brother, Rahm served as Barack Obama’s chief of staff — said they would not be financing Biden citing concerns over his age

 

 

Even though the millions generated by the American entertainment industry are essential to both parties, Hollywood’s hearts and wallets have predominantly leaned left for decades.

Both Bill and Hillary Clinton relied on Hollywood support in their respective White House bids. In 2007, Obama famously benefited from the “Oprah Winfrey effect,” receiving a boost to his profile after the star TV host organized a dinner to promote the man who was then still only a senator.

During the presidential race in 2020, the entertainment industry gave $104 million to Democrats compared to $13 million to Republicans, according to Open Secrets, a nonprofit that tracks campaign financing.

It wasn’t always that way.

In the 1980s, Republican president Ronald Reagan, himself a former actor, enjoyed the support of stars like Frank Sinatra and relied heavily on Hollywood’s coffers.

“Hollywood started as a conservative base for the Republican Party,” Ross told AFP.

 

 

“When Louis B. Mayer took over MGM Studios in the late 20s, he turned it into a fundraising publicity wing for the GOP, and he raised enormous amounts of money,” Ross said, referring to the Republican party.

 

 

The four Warner brothers, on the other hand, supported Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1930s with their studio and their stars.

It was the election of John F. Kennedy in 1960 that marked Hollywood starting to shift to the left, as the era of blacklisting actors for suspected communist sympathies came to an end.

“It was a new era of free speech for movie stars who weren’t going to be blacklisted if they said anything deemed too radical,” the expert said.

Just hitting pause?

But even with its cultural and financial prowess, does Hollywood have the power to axe Biden from the race?

Clooney’s New York Times op-ed “is another pressure point, for sure,” said Steven Maviglio, a Democratic adviser who worked with former California governor Gray Davis.

But Maviglio believes the panic of certain donors to be “a temporary phenomenon.”

 

 

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General Buratai Applauds Supreme Court’s Ruling On LG Autonomy, Says its Transformational and A Radical Change 

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General Buratai Applauds Supreme Court's Ruling On LG Autonomy, Says its Transformational and A Radical Change 

General Buratai Applauds Supreme Court’s Ruling On LG Autonomy, Says its Transformational and A Radical Change 

….Commends the Federal Government’s bold initiative.

-The Tinubu Renewed Hope Agenda is truly manifesting positively for the good of democracy and for the common man

The former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai (retd.) has hailed the judgement delivered by the Supreme Court granting financial autonomy to  local governments.
General Buratai Applauds Supreme Court's Ruling On LG Autonomy, Says its Transformational and A Radical Change 
In his official statement, Buratai, who also served as Nigerian Ambassador to the Republic of Benin, appraised the verdict labelling it transformational and a radical change that will redirect the  fortunes of the local governments in the country. He also commended the federal government for the bold initiative at the  Supreme Court and applauded the judges too for upholding justice during delivery.
He said, “this is transformational and radical change that will redirect the fortunes of the local governments in the country. I commend the federal government under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR for instituting the case in the SC and also commend the SC for this landmark judgement”. Buratai further said that “the Tinubu Renewed Hope Agenda is truly manifesting positively for the good of democracy and for the common man.
Furthermore, he highlighted some of the  cardinal points of the judgement of the Supreme Court Judges which are allocations are to be paid directly to Local Government Councils immediately,  appointment of Caretaker committees is illegal and unconstitutional, and that no governor has any powers to appoint any CTC amongst others.
According to him, “the Supreme Court’s ruling is a significant victory for local government autonomy. It has set a precedent for future cases involving local government autonomy and financial independence. Also, the ruling will have far-reaching implications for the country’s political landscape, as local governments gain greater control over their finances and Local Government Councils will now be able to deliver services more effectively to their communities, without interference from state governors. Aside from that, it will have a positive impact on grassroots development, including grassroots security.
It would be recalled that the Supreme Court declared on Thursday that it is unconstitutional for state governors to hold funds allocated for local government administrations.
The seven-man panel, in the judgement delivered by Justice Emmanuel Agim, declared that the 774 local government councils in the country should manage their funds themselves.
The apex court held that the power of the government is portioned into three arms of government, the federal, the state and the local government.
The court further declared that a state government has no power to elect a caretaker committee and a local government council is only recognisable with a democratically elected government.

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Are Nigerian Senators Afraid Of Primate Ayodele’s Prophecy?

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Increase Support For Globacom, Prevent Creation Of Rival Companies’’ – Primate Ayodele To Tinubu

*Are Nigerian Senators Afraid Of Primate Ayodele’s Prophecy?

 

 

On Saturday, 6th of July, 2024, Primate Elijah Ayodele of INRI Evangelical Spiritual Church launched the 30th edition of his annual prophecy book titled Warnings To The Nations. At the launch of the remarkable booklet, Primate Ayodele shared several prophecies that have become a focal point for discussion in different arenas. Many of these prophecies have been shared widely among credible news platforms that cut across print, broadcast and digital media.

Among these prophecies is the revelation that there will be a massive protest in Nigeria against hunger and hardship in September. In his description of the protest, Primate Ayodele noted that it would be worse than the ENDSARS protest in 2020 that crippled activities across the country.

These were his words:

“I see a major protest worse than the EndSARS protest before 2027. Except the government of the day is ready and will be willing to do the needful to ameliorate the hardship in the land. As a matter of fact, the government must take urgent steps to address the hunger and the anger in the land before September ends. If the government wants to avert the mother of all protests, they must do the right thing in addressing hunger and joblessness in the country.”

In what seems like an expression of fear, the Nigerian senate yesterday unanimously called on President Tinubu to address the food crisis in the country in order to avoid protest.

Ndume in his argument, said beside Sudan, “in the North, we have started seeing hunger. People can’t go to the farm. Even in the South East and South West, there are farmers and herders crises.

“Prices of basic food items are high. We need to do something or say something as representatives of the people. This is the first time Nigeria is being included among nations that will face a food crisis.”

Idris Wadada from Nasarawa State said the issue at hand was a serious matter. “Nigerians are very patient, and no people can be that much patient under hunger. As much as we are much aware of the factors responsible, we should as well make recommendations to the government of the day.

“As representatives of the people, we are responsible and responsive. We are all leaders and critical stakeholders in this country. Whatever we need to do, we must know at all times that we add value to the efforts put in place to eliminate if not reduce the factors responsible for low levels of food production in the country.”

Immediate-past President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, in his argument, said the patience and tolerance of Nigerians are elastic, but not eternal. “Our people are facing real hunger.

“I saw people, common people, suffering, struggling for food and eating once in a day. Under normal circumstances, in the rainy season, prices escalate. Now, we don’t even have. Now, the government of the day is saying it wants to remove taxes on food items. This Senate must engage the government. What are the issues? We don’t have food reserves.

“If we don’t take action, our citizens, under increased fuel prices, electricity, including food, we won’t like the kind of things we will see in our streets. We must take the right action to ensure that there is food. We can’t take the people for granted for too long.”

It appears the senators are jittery following the revelation of an impending protest and coupled with the fact that the prophet gave September, which is in two months time, as a deadline. The unanimous call on the government to quickly address the hunger issue has no doubt underscored their fears towards another heavy protest than ENDSARS.

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