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Benue South 2019: APC in cold war over David Mark’s successor; it’s a lie – Party’s spokesman

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The All Progressives Congress, APC, Benue State chapter has been engulfed with crisis following the alleged secret endorsement of Steven Lawani, a senatorial aspirant by Senator George Akume, a former governor of the state.

Akume, sources said had met with some aspirants on the platform of the APC from Benue South, otherwise known as Zone C to step down for Lawani, 70.

Lawani served as the deputy governor of Benue State between 2007 and 2015.

Before then, Lawani, a native of Otukpa had gunned for the office of the governor but failed to pick the ticket in 2017.

According to insiders, Akume, who is believed to be the leader of APC in Benue had hinged his reason for endorsing Lawani on the fact that the Otukpa-born politician had huge support back home unlike the other candidates.

At the moment, other aspirants on the platform of the APC are Mike Okiba Onoja and Hassan Saleh.

Akume’s position angered many of the aspirants who stormed out of the meeting and threatened to join other parties.

According to the source, the aspirants and some few party leaders from Benue South wondered why Akume had decided to meddle into Benue South politics, leaving his zone.

Speaking on the development, Josephine Akiyomen, Coordinator, Idoma People of Nigeria, IPN, warned Akume to steer clear Benue South politics.

He accused Akume of trying to create war among aspirants from Benue South.

She said, “As no external entity influences or anoints Akume for the Senate for zone B so would no external entity anoint any Senate candidate for Zone C. No such candidate will ever reap electoral victory in a zone that prides itself in taking matters into its own hands.

“Note, however, that as far as APC is right now concerned, Akume has found himself, by virtue of the hijacked state Congress of the party, in a titular position (after all he calls himself “the Oracle”) to anoint Senatorial candidates for Zone A and C. It is why he is using that structure and mechanism in Zone C to foist ” the food is ready” decampee from the PDP and his business partner on the APC to the exclusion of the bonafide builders of the party. We must resist this.

“Well, Zone C loves its independence. Zone C hates the meddling of an external entity in its affair. It is never going to make the mistake of allowing Akume to gain a foothold into its affairs through his Manchurian candidate.

“We remember how he took the Secretary to the state government away from zone C with his argument in July 2015 that Zone C didn’t vote for APC.

“Now by virtue of his hijacking of the APC he wants to decide who is senator for Zone C?

“Not going to happen. No external entity has ever successfully decides who Zone C vote for. We decide for ourselves. It is, I repeat, never going to happen.

“Even Zone A is gearing up for independence. They, too got the short end of the stick from Akume led governing coalition.”

When contacted, Apeh Peter, Publicity Director of the party on Tuesday accused the Peoples Democratic Party of sponsoring the claim.

Apeh claimed the party was using the gimmicks as sentiment to garner votes in 2019.

He said, “I haven’t heard any official report as such from our leader, Akume. You know Senator Akume is the leader of Benue APC and has always allowed a level playing ground for all aspirants in the State.

“To think that he has endorsed Chief Stephen Lawani in Zone C is a fabrication of the opposition who think they can gain electoral hit points from peddling such lies against Lawani or Akume. They fan the ambers of hate among the Idoma versus Tiv to gain relevance.

“Please do not mind them. They are serial failures whose stay in the senate for almost 20 years have nothing to offer but rather kept the zone in perpetual poverty. Thank you.”

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Nigerians react to current trend in make-up, costume

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Over the years, the fashion and make-up industry has grown to be very lucrative. The demand for make-up and fashionable clothing has also continued to rise.

Like Rachel Zoe, an American fashion expert, said, Style is a way of expressing oneself without uttering a word.

The fashion trends in Nigeria are quite unique with rich and colourful designs one wouldn’t want to miss. The fashion industry has really evolved with more exposure, standard and style.

The make-up industry isn’t left behind as well. There has been a high surge in the number of make-up products all over the country. Young women (and in some cases men too) have resorted to studying the art of make-up and the number of young people applying to learn make-up has increased significantly.

90 per cent of the trends in fashion in the country are as a result of Western influence on our African society. Nigeria wants to be a part of the global community of fashion and as such follows and adopts trends from the western culture. Some of these trends are good while some do not even sit well with the idea of ‘being Nigerian.’

While some Nigerians are embracing these trends, others have a different mindset about it. Having spoken to some group of persons about the topic at hand, this is what they had to say;

A make-up artist, Kelvin Demigod said; “The development in our make-up industry has undoubtedly contributed to improving employment.

“There is no denying the disappointment in the fact that our Nigerian make-up industry has allowed the western concept of physical perfection to influence our cultural standards of beauty.

“At the end of the day, make-up is life and it helps some ladies suffering from lack of confidence. It helps to make them feel beautiful and good about themselves therefore we have to embrace it.”

An older man, Mr christopher Ikechukwu, on the other hand is of the opinion that women don’t need make-up to feel confident.

Ikechukwu said, “I personally do not like it when ladies put on make-up. You can apply very little and you’d still look beautiful. Heavy make-up just makes one look scary.

“So I think that women are more beautiful without all those painting on their faces.

“What if there was nothing like make-up, what will all these sisters do?

”When it comes to fashion, some people are very simple and really don’t have time to follow all these trends while some will do literally any and everything to be up to date with each and every trend.”

Mrs Precious Aliko, a fashion designer stated that fashion is a way of life and there’s a saying that says “dress the way you want to be addressed.”

She said; “In my opinion, people should be able to express themselves through fashion. Following the latest trends on fashion, it is a way to let people know that as the years go by, the world is evolving and that staying the same isn’t exactly embracing the evolution.”

A supermarket owner, Adams Wadata said his is not happy with what the world is turning into fashion wise.

Wadata said; “It is really sad to see how our youths dress this days, back in the days, you will see people dress decently but these days, almost every girl wants to show vital part of their bodies to the public.”

He added that he is not a fan of current fashion trends and the government should do something about indecent dressing in the Nigeria.

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President Buhari’s honour on MKO Abiola: a reward or plea for votes

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President Muhammadu Buhari took the decision to recognize June 12 as Nigeria’s Democracy Day; this is a change from the original May 29.

The President further conferred national honours on Chief MKO Abiola, the adjudged winner of the 1993 presidential election, his running mate, Alhaji Babagana Kingibe and Gani Fawehinmi.

This is to the surprise of many Nigerians who did not expect such gestures from the President Buhari. Some have declared the issues of June 12 as dead and gone when former President Olusegun Obasanjo failed to do the needful. Obasanjo was expected to honour Abiola for two reasons: 1. As a Yoruba president, the same tribe with the late MKO Abiola, Obasanjo surprised many by ignoring Abiola and his family. 2. Obasanjo and the late politicians shared almost the same political history namely imprisonment. They were both victims of military highhandedness. It would have been a form of solidarity for Obasanjo, also a former Head of State, to honour his kinsman.

But the point of discourse is about the honours on the politicians by President Buhari. Nigerians have expressed diverse feelings about the gesture. While some are looking at 2019 to have motivated the goodwill, some have only but praises for the Federal Government, while others are of the opinions that even if Buhari’s intentions may seem opaque, he has made a bold step. According to them, all Nigerian leaders in the democratic era, failed to treat this big issue of injustice.

An Abuja-based social activist, Samuel Olu, in his view, said, “Nigerians can easily be deceived. That is the truth. But do you blame them? They hardly see such gestures from their leaders; that is why when they see one, they embrace them with both hands.

“This is Buhari’s third year in office, why did he wait until June 2017? Well we shall see.”

But that is not exactly the opinion of a top political journalist, Kyrian Obikwe, who believes that, “Whether the President did to seek reelection or not, the truth is that he has done what many people could not do. Nigerians, especially the South West can only appreciate him.”

Mrs. Joy Chikelu, a civil servant, said that, “President Buhari did this to smoothing the grand for his second term.

“He (Buhari) declared to run in the next election and is now looking for how to placate the regions. So I’ll say that this is one of those ways.”

Well, to those who do not understand Nigerian politics or those who may pretend not to be following political atmosphere from 1996 till date, the truth is that we will keep doubting until 2019 comes and goes and the politician will rejoice again having successfully used Nigerians.

Nigerian politicians have mastered this way of winning the hearts of the electorates when a general election is close, especially those of them seeking second term in office. We witnessed during the last administration of President Goodluck Jonathan. It was either they reduced the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, popularly known as petrol or they start repairing dilapidated roads, or repainting school buildings, or visiting states they had neve visited. Nigerians, being a people that do no demand so much, are easily deceived.

The conferment of honour on Abiola has changed the opinion of many Yoruba people about President Buhari, believe or not. We have followed South West politicians like the ever critical former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode. One can easily detect the change in his opinion of the President. The Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose, in a swift reaction when the first made the pronouncement, lauded Buhari for the gesture. He even slammed Obasanjo for refusing to honour their hero.

If this one gesture would melt the heart of these two politicians, it would penetrate more in the ordinary voter.

Judging from the past experience, one would authoritatively say that Buhari will do more of this gesture. He would touch the South East, the South South and the middle belt. He has record of all their challenges. He may not be able to solve all of them. But he would certainly do the needful. But is Abiola’s honour a reward, or a plea for votes.

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