IN its reaction to the broadcast, the Association of Middle Belt Ethnic Nationalities (ASOMBEN) accused the president of deceiving Nigerians, just as the Middle Belt Forum said the administration survives on propaganda. Speaking to Sunday  Tribune the General Secretary ASOMBEN, Reverend James Pam, said the president claim of taking about 10 million  Nigerian youths out of poverty was a deception, adding that, despite the fact that the figure was outrageous, the unemployment rate in the country has continued to soar astronomically.

“It is like the government is beating its chest and proud of his achievements so far, but as they are getting about 10  million out of poverty, another 20 millions of Nigerian youths are forced into the labour market. The whole country is complaining, it is only the government officials that are not complaining, inflation has been going up since this administration came to power in 2015.

“Another question is how do the government arrive at the figure of taking 10 million out of poverty in 2 years because the figure from the Bureau for Statistics depicted that unemployment is rising on a daily basis. The government should be factual and tell Nigerians the truth,” he said.

On the president’s position that the administration has been able to curb the smuggling and importation of rice and other commodities into the country by boosting local production through Achor Borrower, Reverend Pam said the  Achor Borrower has not rear help in this regard.  Pam said: “Despite the ban on the importation, imported rice and other  commodities are everywhere and openly display in every market, most of the government policies and programmes are  not working and tend to favour those in government than ordinary Nigerians.”

He added that the raging insecurity in the country has discredited whatever achievements the president might have claimed his government has achieved adding that insecurity is a major Nigerian problem at the moment.

Nigeria not in tune  with ideals Abiola lived, died for —Gani Adams 
Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yoruba land, Iba Gani Adams, on Saturday, in Lagos, decried the current situation in the country,  saying Nigeria, sadly 22 years into democracy, was still not in tune with those worthy ideals that the late MKO Abiola, the winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential poll, lived and died for. Iba Adams said this while speaking during the commemoration of June 12, 1993 elections anniversary organized by the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), which took place in the Ogba area of the state, pointing out that since 1999, Nigeria democracy had only evolved in promoting disunity,  rivalry, senseless killings and massacre of the citizens on a daily basis, just as he declared that the present danger had been threatening the fragile union of a nation acknowledged as a great country. The Yoruba generalissimo lamented that the country currently was sliding towards an anarchical terminal point, declaring further Nigeria was at war with itself because a section of the country has always betrayed what he described as the trust that bond everyone together as a nation.

“This present danger has been threatening the fragile union of our great country. And sadly, Nigeria is sliding towards an anarchical terminal point. Nigeria is at war with itself because a section of the country has always betrayed the trust which is the bond that binds us together as a nation,” Adams said.

Speaking on the late Abiola, Adams said he represented in his lifetime hope, liberty and freedom in Nigeria, positing that this enabled the late business mogul to win the presidential elections even in the North, where his main opponent,  Alhaji Bashir Tofa, came from.

“But today, that symbol of unity had passed on and what we have now in Nigeria is nothing but a fragile unity, where all the various ethnic nationalities that makeup Nigeria live with mutual suspicion. “The late Aare MKO Abiola  in his life represented hope. Remember, his campaign slogan was ‘Hope 93,’ but the question remains: ‘Is there any hope in  Nigeria?’ And the answer is no. It is no because the politicians that are supposed to give hope to the hopeless Nigerians re fast dashing their hopes and roding the very foundation of democracy.

“The late Aare MKO Abiola in his life symbolised liberty and freedom for all. But in reality, is there any freedom in  Nigeria today? The answer is No. “A good example of this is the Federal Government’s ban and suspension of the Twitter platform. As far as I am concerned, it is another ploy to tamper with the citizens’ rights to freedom of speech and expression.

“And if the Federal Government succeeded in banning and suspending Twitter, it would easily do the same for other social media platforms.

Now that the Federal Government has said all social media platforms must be registered to continue operating in the country. We must follow the trend and rise against skewed regulations. We must stop this excessive use of federal might to truncate the ideals of democracy,” he said.

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