US President says killing of Christians in Nigeria is unacceptable

2019 Elections, Africa, Herdsmen, News, PMB, Politics, Power, Terrorism

The meeting in the Rose Garden between Presidents Buhari and Trump was very coordial and filled with good tidings for Nigerians and American interests. While all were smooth the American president sounded a note of serious warning on ending the herdsmen violence in Nigeria. President Buhari said his administration is working to address the herdsmen killings across Nigeria.

Trump says killing of Christians in Nigeria is unacceptableplayUS President Donald Trump asked Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari to support the US bid for the 2026 World Cup

 

United States President, Donald Trump has condemned the killing of Christians in Nigeria, saying it is unacceptable. Trump stated this while hosting Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari at the White House on Monday, April 30.

“We have had very serious problems with Christians who are being murdered in Nigeria, we are going to be working on that problem very, very hard because we cannot allow that to happen,” he said.

Speaking earlier, Buhari said his administration is working to address the farmers and herdsmen killings and to checkmate illegal cross-border activities.

President Donald TrumpPresident Donald Trump (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

The Nigerian leader thanked the US government for approving the sale of military hardware to Nigeria as part of its support for the anti-Boko Haram war.

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Senator Dino Melaye Recall Fails, Verification Materials Hijacked

2019 Elections, APC, Nigeria
melay

Senator Dino Melaye

The attempt to recall the Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Dino Melaye, has failed after the verified signatories to the petition for his recall fell short of requirements. For the verification exercise to succeed, 50 percent plus one of the signatories to the petition had to be verified.

However, based on the results announced by Professor Ukertor Gabriel Moti, the Declaration Officer for the exercise held in the senatorial district on Saturday, only 18,742 of the 189,870 of the signatories to the petition for the Senator’s recall were verified by INEC. Although some hoodlums attacked the office of the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) in Mopamuro Local Government of Kogi state on Saturday.

The hoodlums disrupted the collation of results, shot in the air, damaged vehicles and escaped with results sheets, while the INEC staff fled for safety.

One of the INEC staff, who spoke on condition of anonymity, alleged that the hoodlums were political thugs who accompanied an aide of the governor to the INEC office to challenge the outcome of the verification exercise as it did not favour them. The hijack of the result sheets at the council, was one of the low points of the exercise to recall Senator Dino Melaye, who represents Kogi West in the Senate. The verification of the signatures calling for his recall was marred by low voters turn out at many polling units.

Reports shows that between 70- 80 per cent of the petitioners in all the 10 wards in the council failed to come out to verify their signatures. The exercise which lasted for six hours from 8am to 2pm, was very peaceful, free, fair and credible as the scanty petitioners were seeing verifying their signature with low turnout. In Ward 01 (Units: 001; 002; 003) , Ward 03 (Units: 01; 02; and some other units in other wards, only 20 to 25 per cent of the petitioners were recorded as counted by the poll officers.

However, one polling unit each in Ward 06 and 07, Orokere and Takete-Ide respectively recorded 40 and 45 per cent turnout while only one polling unit recorded 90 per cent turnout (103 out of 110 petitioners.

Many voters expressed their displeasure over the appearance of their names on the recall register, saying they were shocked because they never at anytime signed any document for Melaye’s recall. One of the voters at Ward 06, unit 04, Mrs Funmilayo Ojo, said that she was surprised to see her name among the petitioners, saying “it shall not be well with the perpetrators of such act”

Otedola endorses Ambode for a second term — cheepowersblog

2019 Elections, APC, Celebrity Gists, News

Femi Otedola has endorsed Lagos State governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, for a second term.

Femi Otedola has endorsed Lagos State governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, for a second term. The businessman made the call to Lagosians and asked them to vote massively for the governor for the great works he has been doing in Lagos despite the challenges the state faces. According to the entrepreneur: “As a Lagosian and omo Ibile (child of original regions that make up Lagos), I wish to expressly commend and appreciate the great good works our amiable Governor Ambode is doing in our dear Lagos – Nigeria’s No. 1 state. “I have watched and followed keenly, in the almost last three years of the brilliant transformation projects across the state.
No doubt, Ambode is building on the foundations laid by his good predecessors. “He is building roads and bridges, schools and hospitals, water treatment plants, sewage and storm water drainages, solid waste management plants, and mass transportation infrastructure.” Otedola further recalled that Ambode has approved power projects for Lagos, which when fully executed, will make the state almost energy independent. “You are all aware of the newly acquired mass transit buses that are going to be natural gas powered, in order for us in Lagos to be the first to comply with the global climate agenda of de-carbonisation.
“A clean and smart Lagos will catapult us to the modern global village and make us the number four economy in Africa,” he added. Otedola also stated that the Governor is very much keen about modernizing the state through recent technologies that will make the state compete with other developed cities in the world. “A good government is a reflection of an efficient and responsive bureaucracy. It is the catalytic driver for private sector growth. A bad and weak bureaucracy will produce nothing for the people. “We are lucky to have an able governor like Ambode at the helm of our affairs.
He is a knowledge-driven leader, hard working, with a passion for our great state. “My endorsement and recommendations for him to have a second term is performance-based and not just the usual conventional charade of second term endorsement in Nigeria. “I am sure that all my respected compatriots, friends and followers will agree with me that Governor Ambode should please continue with his good job till 2023. “Ambode, please CARRY GO the 2019 election and continue with your passionate work for Lagos State transformation,” he said.
Visit cheepowersblog for the full post.

via Otedola endorses Ambode for a second term — cheepowersblog

Obasanjo: Ex-President says no one can intimidate him — pulse.ng – Nigeria’s entertainment & lifestyle platform online

2019 Elections, News, Nigeria, PMB, Politics

OBJ said this while speaking to CNM members at a town hall meeting in Bodija, Ibadan, Oyo state on Saturday, April 28, 2018. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said that nobody can intimidate him.According to Tribune, OBJ said that his agenda to form a third force with the Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM) cannot be…

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said that nobody can intimidate him.

According to Tribune, OBJ said that his agenda to form a third force with the Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM) cannot be stopped.

Obasanjo officially joined CNM in Abeokuta, Ogun State on Thursday, February 1, 2018.

The former President said “For me, I don’t think there is anyone that can intimidate me. Let me remind you, I have gone through many things. I have been jailed without committing any offence.”

OBJ said this while speaking to CNM members at a town hall meeting in Bodija, Ibadan, Oyo state on Saturday, April 28, 2018.

“My struggle for the good of Nigeria progress of Nigeria, the unity of Nigeria, development of Nigeria will not diminish. Even now, I get people from other parties, coming to me to seek advice. I don’t belong to them. I don’t have anything to do with them, but I give them advice. So, that situation will continue. I will continue to look for the good of Nigeria wherever I am.

“Men of valour don’t run away from challenges and it is the same thing with women of honour. Permanent voter’s cards (PVCs) are your instruments. If you have not collected yours, go and collect it. If you are not yet registered, go and register. They are the keys to open the doors.

“The youths under 40 years old form more than 65 per cent of our population. Now, who will tell you that because you are under 40, you cannot play a very significant role in the affairs of your country?

ALSO READ: Coalition for Nigeria Movement has 3 million members – OBJ

“I was Head of State when I was under 40. Now, France has elected a president that is under 40 yrs. Botswana has just a vice president at 32 years old. Now, what we are saying is that the youths must be given a pride of place,” he said.

Also, former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has said that Obasanjo cannot stop his presidential ambition.

Atiku said this during an interview with the BBC Hausa service on Saturday, April 28, 2018.

via Obasanjo: Ex-President says no one can intimidate him — pulse.ng – Nigeria’s entertainment & lifestyle platform online

Buhari, NASS and unlawful use of $469m ECA funds

2019 Elections, Africa, APC, economy, Legal, Nigeria, Nigerian Army, PMB, Politics

On April 9, President Muhammadu Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Ita Enang, lied to worried and inquisitive Nigerians that the president was yet to authorise the payment of $469m from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) to buy 12 Super Tucano military jets from the United States government. It turned out that as far back as February, despite repeated denials, the president had both approved the said sum and authorised disbursement. It was only the Defence minister, Mansur Dan Ali, who somewhat truthfully hinted early February that the procurement had been done in order to meet the deadline set by the American government for the deal to be consummated.

It is unlikely that Sen Enang, who is himself very conversant with legislative appropriations process, did not know that the approval had been given and the payment made. Nor is it likely that he does not know the gravity of the executive branch arbitrarily and unilaterally authorising the disbursement of funds not appropriated. The special assistant knew; he only chose to lie. Here is what he said when the public initially suspected that the president had made the unauthorised disbursement of ECA funds: “…That the said sum has not and cannot be approved for spending by Mr. President. That in accordance with best practices, Mr. President, having received approval of the sum from National Economic Council made up of all the governors, now had a meeting with the Minister of Defence, service chiefs and the Inspector-General of Police, among others, to collate the needs of each of the services and the money available for appropriation…As of now, the process of approving the money for use is inchoate and still undergoing executive standard operating procedure before laying same before the National Assembly for appropriation.”

When Sen Enang told this open lie, members of the National Economic Council (NEC), the president himself, and the vice president already knew that the money had been disbursed. They chose to keep quiet, associated with the lie, and perhaps sought for ways to blunt both public and legislative reactions to the unlawful use of ECA funds. The governors who in December authorised the withdrawal of $1bn from ECA on the grounds that previous governments periodically accessed the account for one reason or the other also knew by experience in their states that the executive arm, in this case the president, could not spend a kobo without appropriations. Instead, they incredibly decided at a meeting headed by the vice president that their collective assent was as good as legislative assent because no one complained when previous governments made similar withdrawals.

To put the whole matter at rest, and knowing that the infernal lie told by Sen Enang and connived at by the presidency could not be sustained for too long, the president finally wrote to the National Assembly this April to inform them that he had spent the money from ECA, and asked for their understanding. Other than implying that the urgency of the spending necessitated the illegality, the president offered no other substantial or persuasive reason for breaching the constitution. According to him: “I wish to draw the attention of the House of Representatives to the ongoing security emergencies in the country. These challenges were discussed with the state governors and subsequently, at the meeting of the National Economic Council on 14th December, 2017, where a resolution was passed, with the Council approving that up to US$1 billion may be released and utilised from the Excess Crude Account to address the situation… It would be recalled that, for a number of years, Nigeria had been in discussions with the United States Government for the purchase of Super Tucano Aircraft under a direct Government-to-Government arrangement. Recently, approval was finally granted by the United States Government, but with a deadline within which part payment must be made otherwise, the contract would lapse.”

The president continues: “In the expectation that the National Assembly would have no objection to the purchase of this highly specialised aircraft, which is critical to national security, I granted anticipatory approval for the release of US$496,374,470.00. This was paid directly to the treasury of the United States Government. I am therefore writing, seeking approval of this House for the sum of US$496,374,470.00 (equivalent to N151,394,421,335.00) to be included in the 2018 Appropriation Bill, which the National Assembly is currently finalising. The balance of the requirements for critical operational equipment is still being collated from the different security services and will be presented in the form of a Supplementary Appropriation Bill, in due course.”

There is no question that the president knowingly and subversively took the money from ECA. But nothing justifies it: no emergency, no urgency, no security situation. There was nothing to suggest that since the governors decided on that course of action last December, the president didn’t have enough time to present a supplementary estimate to be thoroughly scrutinised by the legislature. He missed the point by giving the impression that critics who denounced the executive arm for disbursing ECA funds were unmindful of the country’s security situation, or insensitive to the urgency of making the military purchases. Critics in fact sensibly suggested that though the motive of the purchase was sound, it was nevertheless wrong to eye the ECA fund meant for the three tiers of government, let alone make the disbursement outside due process. For neither the president nor the governors, nor yet the local councils, approximated the legislative assemblies of their various tiers. Moreover, even the seller of the jets, the US, would be privately appalled by the illegitimacy of the process through which the $469m was released. Such flagrant abuse could never be countenanced in the US. It also beggars belief that those who kept the money feigned ignorance of the proper process by which the funds are to be shared constitutionally between the three tiers of government

It is disturbing that President Buhari, sitting at the head of a government that prides itself on being ethically different from its predecessors and intolerant of past abridgement of financial regulations, could countenance that constitutional affront. By his letter to the legislature, he seems to think that both the urgency of the purchase and the intensity of the insurgency problem justified the spending from ECA. It is even worse that he indicated in his letter that he expected the legislature not to turn down his request, hence his approval of the unlawful ECA spending. This unilateral action is truly shocking. How could he tell the mind of the legislature? Does he not know what the law say very clearly? The truth is that the Buhari presidency and the federal government under him, including the cabinet and security agencies, think very little of the legislature. They think that if the public were forced to choose between the executive arm headed by the ‘saintly’ President Buhari, and the parliament headed, for instance, by the Machiavellian Bukola Saraki, the public would sack the parliament and embrace the executive. This is the classical beginning of fascism.

It is also strange that with all the lawyers and constitutional experts around the president, he could still subvert the constitution in the manner he has done. This speaks to the lack of cohesion in the government — in such a manner that suggests only a few people carried away by the importance of their offices take decisions for the presidency and present a fait accompli to the rest of the cabinet — or to perhaps the fear of confronting the president and educating him on the dangers of flouting the constitution and diminishing the importance of the parliament, as his government and cabinet have serially done.

A far more disturbing truth is that, given the arguments and logic of some of the governors rationalising the ECA spending, there are indeed very few democrats presiding over the affairs of their states in this Fourth Republic. The Governor of Jigawa State, Muhammadu Badaru, for instance, simplistically argues: “We forget easily. If you recall, we have been battling with approval from America to buy these equipment in 2014. We have been begging America to sell this equipment to us. We tried Dubai, they could not allow us; we tried a factory in Brazil, the federal government tried, we couldn’t get it. America still could not sell to Nigeria. Then luckily, President Trump said it was okay to buy. So we had to quickly buy before they change their minds. Because there is also deadline and this is a state to state transaction, no middleman, and we are all here concerned about security and they are raising questions on way and manner you protect people. This is an emergency situation.” The puerility of Mr Badaru’s logic is numbing. No less bewildering is the Ebonyi State governor, Dave Umahi, who sheepishly suggested that critics of the spending as well as the National Assembly should not just look at the law but the interest of Nigerians. Awful!

The National Assembly knows that it can only cry itself hoarse over this needless controversy. To impeach President Buhari, even if the divided legislature can be coaxed into unity, will be nigh impossible, not because an impeachable offence has not been committed but because the presidency seems to be counting on the masses who can neither understand the illogic of the ECA spending nor appreciate the role of the parliament in sustaining democracy. Had the people been educated enough to know that it is the parliament that sustains democracy — not the executive, not the judiciary, as important as they are — they would have found a way to force the resignation of the government. But the government is counting on the people’s ignorance to constitute a deterrence to the legislature, or if push comes to shove, join hands with the Buhari presidency in sacking parliament.

The NASS will have to find a way of saving face on this appalling matter. The cards are stacked against them. Meanwhile they can legislate away the temptations that so easily take the Buhari presidency prey, such as ECA itself. There is no reason for the dedicated. If President Buhari cannot discipline himself and his government to find legitimate and constitutional ways of raising money to execute their agenda, and the governors are either too obtuse or too timid to think straight, and the people will not eschew sentiment in public discourse, it is time for the legislature to anticipate other possible temptations beguiling the presidency and remove them.

http://thenationonlineng.net/buhari-nass-and-unlawful-use-of-469m-eca-funds/

Election 2019: “I ‘ll beat Buhari to APC ticket”, Adamu Garba boasts

2019 Elections, News, PMB, Politics
A presidential aspirant of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Adamu Garba, has expressed confidence that he won’t be intimidated out of presidential primary election, adding that he would defeat the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari to the party’s ticket.
The Adamawa born young politician also said that no nobody in APC has enough resources to buy him over to drop his presidential ambition.
Addressing a news conference on Friday in Abuja, to express reservation over decision by the party to postpone the national convention earlier slated for May 14 to another date, Garba said his supporters nationwide were beginning to express worry.
According to him, supporters were angry over the convention’s postponement but added that if the shift was in interest of the party there won’t be any problem.
On how he will defeat President Buhari who has already declared his presidential re-election, Garba said: “I think the only thing that can make me give up in the presidential primary election is the ballot. If the delegates decided to say no and in a free, fair and transparent election as stipulated by the party constitution, then that is all but I am very sure that I will emerge as winner at the presidential primary of APC
“Who will bought me over? Why will I sell my conscience when I love my party and my country? This can not happene. I don’t believe there is anybody that has anything in this world even if you want to bring back to life my late mum that will say I should drop out for the love of my country, it is not possible I will go to the ballot and let me loose there. I’m not losing anyway, I will win the primary I’m sure about that.”
While expressing reservation for the convention’s postponement, the presidential aspirant said: “Nevertheless, it’s still not a problem to us. Our main target is to ensure that there true, free and fair democracy within the party so that we can have a duly elected person who will be the candidate for the election. We are looking forward to the party to stay true to the constitution and ensure that free, fair and transparent elective convention has taken place, and that is our main target.
“we are fully ready for the convention, our target is for us to be there and demonstrate the fact that the young Nigerians are not ready to be the agent of change, they wanted to be the change themselves, but unfortunately the convention is postponed and we are actually disappointed especially with the level of preparedness we have for this convention.
“As a result of that we the young generation of Nigerians have decided to make sure that we produced within ourselves a credible candidate for the coming convention for the position of party chairman. We believe that the internal wrangling that is happening in the party is calling for all young Nigerians to rise up and take responsibility.”
While revealing that the young stakeholders of the party will produce a chairmanship candidate for the convention, Garba said: “Our senior credible and responsible citizens are getting tired with the happenings in the country which is not in the interest of the country and the ruling party itself.
“We believe APC is our party, we believe APC is a property of Nigeria and therefore we the young general of Nigeria are fully ready to continue with the legacies of our founding Fathers, and therefore we are calling on all the parties involved in the wrangling within the APC to support us because we believe that we have the clear direction.
“We are not in support of this side or that side but we are in support of the party and the interest of Nigeria for Nigerians. Therefore what we stand for is to focus in making sure that APC continue to be the party of choice for all Nigerians.
“We believe that there is need for a new chairman for the APC and this new chairman should vome from among the young, fresh, neutral blood within the party.”

Boko Haram: Four killed in Deadly Terror attack in Maiduguri

2019 Elections, Boko Haram, News, Terrorism

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (Reuters) – At least four people were killed in an attack by Boko Haram militants in northeastern Nigeria late on Thursday, the national emergency agency said, the second such clash in Maiduguri city in a month.

maid1

Five suicide bombers were also killed in the attack, which Nigeria’s military said had been repelled by troops.

Blasts and gunfire were heard by residents in the city which is the capital of Borno, the state worst hit by an insurgency which has killed more than 34,000 people since 2009.

President Muhammadu Buhari, who took office in 2015 vowing to end Boko Haram’s push to create an Islamic caliphate in the northeast, has made it a priority to improve security in Africa’s most populous country.

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Rescue workers are seen at the site of an attack by Boko Haram militants in the northeast city of Maiduguri, Nigeria

READ: People Against Buhari Re-Election Behind Attacks

The issue has become politically charged in the run-up to an election next year which Buhari said he wants to contest.

“There are five suicide bombers who died while trying to detonate IEDs (improvised explosive devices), there are also innocent citizens, four of them, that lost their lives,” Bashir Idris Garga, the northeast Nigeria coordinator for the National Emergency Management Agency, said on Friday.

Boko Haram militants attempted to enter Maiduguri earlier this month, fighting soldiers in an attack in which at least 15 people were killed and 83 injured..

In the course of fighting the latest attack, the military said troops had been supported by the air force, police and other security agencies.

Witnesses had reported a heavy military presence and crowded streets as people attempted to flee to safety.

Hundreds of residents who fled the area Thursday night were returning home by the following morning, according to a Reuters journalist at the scene.

The signs of battle were still clear, with the charred body of a man among the tents in a camp for people displaced by the conflict, and an unexploded bomb dropped by the Nigerian air force lying nearby.

The government has been saying since December 2015 that the jihadist group has been defeated but high profile attacks in the last few months – including the kidnap of 111 schoolgirls from the town of Dapchi and a strike in the town of Rann that killed three aid workers – has shown the jihadists remain active.

Nigeria’s government last month said it was in talks with Boko Haram, which split into two main factions in 2016, with the aim of securing a permanent ceasefire..

The government has not disclosed which elements of Boko Haram it is in discussions with and it was also not clear which faction carried out the latest attack.

REuter:

Those against Buhari’s re-election behind attacks in the country – Lai Mohammed Briefs International Media

2019 Elections, APC, Boko Haram, international News, News

Lai Mohammed, the Nigerian minister of information and culture, has commended the efforts of  the Buhari administration in pushing back insurgency in Nigeria. – He eqully gave this administration kudos in its economy development and diversification efforts,

buuuu President Buhari says he may have been part of the herdsmen/farmers clashes if he did not go to school Lai Mohammed, the minister of information and culture, has blamed those opposed to the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari of being behind the attacks in parts of the country. The minister made the allegation in the US when speaking on the achievements of the Buhari administration.

“Most of the attacks we receive today are from people who have morbid fear of the President coming back in 2019,” he said. President Buhari is due in the US at the weekend for a meeting with President Donald Trump on April 30 in Washington DC, The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports. Mohammed, since his arrival, has been actively engaged with the media and some think-tanks. He said the Buhari’s administration has a lot of success stories, which needed to be told.

The minister was first in Washington, DC and later in New York, where he explained that Buhari’s administration has done very well and recorded so many achievements in less than three years. He said: “I’ve been to VOA – Voice of America, Washington Post, Washington Times; I’ve been to Al Jazeera. I’ve met a couple of think-tanks, the Atlantic Council and also the Foreign Relations Council. “In New York here, today, I’ve met with Reuters. I’ve met with Wall Street Journal. Today, I’m meeting with CNN and also the New York Times and probably the AP. “The whole idea is to give the government’s perspectives and narratives on the development and progress the government has made.”

Mohammed said he was able to explain that the administration has done very well in pushing back insurgency especially given what the situation was as at May 2015. He said at that time, about 20 out of 37 local governments in Borno alone was under the effective occupation of Boko Haram and about two in Yobe, and about four in Adamawa. “Today not one single inch of land is occupied by Boko Haram,” he said.

Mohammed said he drew attention to the fact that before 2015, Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, was not safe as the Boko Haram breached security more than five times. “But between 2015 and today, every one lives with his two eyes closed in Abuja. So we discussed extensively the achievements of this administration in the area of fighting insecurity.” “Generally I was able to give a good account of what we’ve done in the economy,” he said adding, “the figures are there to see what we’ve done”. The minister said: “We were in recession, within two quarters we came out of recession, largely because of the Economic and Recovery Growth Plan of the government. “And today, we’ve been able to double our foreign exchange from about 23.6 billion dollars in 2015 to about 47 billion dollars.“We’ve in one year been able to climb 24 steps in the ladder of World Bank ranking of Ease of Doing Business. “Our (Nigerian) Stock Exchange has been rated as one of the six best performing in the world and return on investment was as high as 43 per cent.“And in the area of the economy again, we’ve been able to push down inflation for 11 consecutive months from 18 per cent to now about 13.5 per cent”.

In the area of diversification, Mohammed said the anchor-borrower programme was a big success adding, it has added additional almost six million rice farmers and cut down on importation of rice from 644,000 metric tonnes 24 metric tonnes. “We’ve increased the number of Integrated Rice Processing Mills from 13 to 21 and 10 new ones were just approved on Wednesday by the Federal Executive Council and our diversification programme is working very well. The latest figure showed that apart from agriculture, mines, metal ore, electricity, gas, creative industry, are all reading positively. “We discussed also the issue of corruption and how this government is fighting corruption and how it is important for us to remain focus”.

NAN reports that Mohammed, while in New York, also visited the Nigeria House where he briefed senior officials of the Consulate and was received by Nigeria’s Consul-General, Tanko Suleiman and other officials of the Consulate. Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has stated that had he not gone to school, he night have been one of those involved in the clashes between herdsmen and farmers, Punch reports. The president made the comment at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium, Bauchi, on Thursday, April 26, during his two-day visit to the state. SW gathers that the president urged Bauchi residents to allow their children go to school, as he addressed the thousands who thronged the stadium to welcome him on his first visit to the state since 2015. 

I will Restructure Nigeria in Six Months -Atiku

2019 Elections, News, PMB, Politics

atiku-at-Chatham.jpgBuhari Lacks Business Knowledge, Cannot Regard Youths, Atiku Says At Chatham House Lecture

A former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has said that President Muhammadu Buhari lacks the basic knowledge of how businesses works that why he can call Nigerian Youths Lazy.

He also said he would restructure Nigeria in six months if elected president in the 2019 elections.

Mr Abubakar stated this Wednesday during a question and answer session at the Chatham House in UK after delivering a lecture titled: “The Importance of Strengthening State Economic Management Systems”.

He also said he would offer a matching grant of $250 million each to the 36 states of the federation to challenge them to enhance their Internally Generated Revenue.

He said he was not surprised by President Muhammadu Buhari’s statement that Nigerian youth were lazy because he (Buhari) had never managed a business.

“It is doable. In fact, what I’ve told many Nigerians at home is that if you give me six months, I know I will be able to achieve a fast level of restructuring, otherwise the concurrent list issue.

“It’s very easy to deal with it because there is no state that you will call and say ‘I want to give you this responsibility together with the resources’, and will say ‘no’.”

He said he wants people of every state to be able to hold their leaders accountable because of how the federal Government “is being accused of everything, even when it’s not in its area of responsibility.”

“I want to be able to resolve that so that citizens can hold their local leaders responsible for lapses and maladministration.”

Asked if he would consider running as an independent candidate should he fail to secure the ticket of Peoples Democratic Party, which he recently defected back to, he said, “We’ll wait until that time”.

He added that he would make Nigeria attractive for those living in diaspora to return.

On President Muhammadu Buhari’s description of some Nigerian youth as lazy bunch, Mr Abubakar said the president would not describe Nigerian youth as lazy if he (Buhari) was an employer of labour.

“On the issue of youth, I am an employer of labour and most of that labour is youth-dominated and I make a lot of profits from my businesses.

“I don’t agree with the assumption that the youths are lazy or they are indolent. Certainly, I don’t. But I’m not surprised with the fellow (Buhari) who made that remark because he’s not an employer of labour, he has no business, he has no educational institution so he doesn’t relate with youth in schools so I don’t blame him.”

He criticised the multiple exchange rate in the country, saying it does not encourage foreign investors to put their money in Nigeria.

He said “his federal government” will continue to offer support, despite the $250 million grant for states that rank below the average development index, until such a time as they are able to become self-sufficient and sustaining.

“Beyond institutional and administrative reforms to improve operational efficiency of the revenue agencies, the federating units will be challenged to double their efforts in rebuilding the fiscal-social contract, by enhancing service delivery in key areas such as health, education, water supply and infrastructural development.

“Only this would change the predominant perception that government revenues are diverted to the private bank accounts of politicians and their cronies.”

Mr Abubakar who defected from the ruling All Progressives Congress to the opposition PDP, on whose platform he served as vice president, is seeking the party’s nomination to serve as its presidential flag bearer in upcoming 2019 presidential election.

He criticised senators of his former party, APC, of betrayal following the “shocking and saddening” decision of the Senate not to grant devolution of power to the states during the constitutional amendment last year.

He said the decision by the APC-controlled Senate was “a lost opportunity to honour one of the party’s election promises to bring about change by shifting power closer to the people in the remotest regions of our country”.

Senators, Reps Collecting Signatures To Impeach Buhari – The Cable

2019 Elections, APC, News, Nigeria, PMB, Politics
by Dyepkazah Shibayan

buuuuSenators and members of the house of representatives have started collecting signatures for the impeachment of President Muhammadu Buhari, sources told TheCable on Thursday.

The lawmakers, who are not happy with the decision of the president to approve $469 million for the procurement of 12 Super Tucano aircraft from the US without their backing, had given the impression that the matter was being resolved.

The issue of impeachment first arose at the house of reps on Wednesday. While deliberating on a letter Buhari wrote to the national assembly, saying he had anticipated that the lawmakers would approve the withdrawal, Kingsley Chinda from Rivers state, asked his colleagues to commence impeachment proceedings against Buhari.

The president had said he took the action because the US gave Nigeria a deadline for payment. He also sought to include the procurement of the aircraft in the 2018 budget.

But citing sections 80 and 81 of 1999 constitution, Chinda said the Nigerian law does not recognise anticipatory approval.

“There is nowhere in our law that talked about anticipatory approval. We cannot sit down and allow this to take place. It is an impeachable offence. There is no infraction that is worse than this. Let us not continue to sleep. I propose that we commence the impeachment of Mr President,” he had said.

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However, on Thursday, some members of the lower legislative chamber said they had decided that rather than initiate impeachment proceedings against the president, the committee on rules and business should look for a way to resolve the matter .

But a legislative source told TheCable that the lawmakers were only being diplomatic.

“As I speak to you, signatures for the impeachment of Mr President are being collected in both chambers of the national assembly,” the source said.

“The lawmakers are very angry and are ready to nail this act once and for all. Don’t forget that this is not the first time that the president would disregard the legislature in taking key decisions… the matter has been referred to the committees (in both chambers) and they will advise them on the way forward as regards the anticipatory approval. But based on the illegality of Mr President’s action, they have started gathering signatures for his impeachment in both chambers.

“Buhari had since September 2017 to consult with the leadership of the national assembly leadership over this issue but he did not do so.

Last year, a congress delegation met with the leadership of the national assembly based on Trump’s request to sell the aircraft to Nigeria but our president decided to do things his own way.”

The source said while Chinda is among those coordinating the collection of signatures in the lower legislative chamber, some Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senators are behind it at the senate.

There was a fierce argument between the PDP lawmakers and their All Progressives Congress (APC) colleagues at the senate on Thursday.

Matthew Urhoghide, a PDP senator from Edo state, and Chukwuka Utazi, a PDP lawmaker Enugu state, were among the opposition lawmakers who pushed for the ousting of Buhari, while some of their colleagues on the other side disagreed.

“There are serious consequences for violation of our constitution. I want this senate to resolve that what the president did is procedurally wrong and a violation of our constitution, it must be condemned and of course, the consequences of section 143 of our constitution should be invoked,” Urhoghide had said.

But Abu Ibrahim, an APC senator from Katsina state, disagreed, describing the impeachment plot as a conspiracy from PDP.

Ibrahim defended Buhari, saying the president approved for the withdrawal of the money “based on national interest”.

“This is the first time that money drawn from excess crude account is being brought to the national assembly (for approval). Since they began to operate this account, I have never seen any expenditure that was brought here for approval,” the lawmaker said.

“This is a PDP conspiracy. I will like the PDP to tell us which of their governors have taken the money released from excess crude oil account to the state assembly for approval.

Read:  $496m Aircraft Purchase, SEnate Demands Buhari’s Impeachment…

If this is a PDP conspiracy to tarnish the image of Muhammadu Buhari, they will not be able to do it because we are coming out with figures.”

Section 143 of the 1999 constitution (as amended) deals with the removal of the president and vice-president from office. It is a very long process, taking at least three months to complete.

TheCable filed a report on what the section says.

Yusuf Olaniyonu, spokesman of Senate President Bukola Saraki and Turaki Hassan, spokesman of Yakubu Dogara, speaker of the house of representatives, could not be reached for comments when this report was filed. None of them responded to calls or replied the text messages sent.

 

Low Crowd turn out Reported as President Buhari Visits Bauchi

2019 Elections, News, PMB, Politics

See how Bauchi state people boycotted Buhari in Bauchi stadium today.

Stop Press: Senate call for State of Emergency and Impeachment of President Buhari

2019 Elections, News, Nigeria, PMB, Politics

The Nigerian Senate has called on the federal government to declare a state of emergency in Benue state and other states facing deadly violence in the country

 

buuuuAbout 19 people were on Tuesday, April 24, killed after suspected herdsmen attacked Tse Agudu in Mbawa council ward, Guma LGA area of the state – The call is followed by a deliberation of a motion on continued killings in the state The recent killings of some worshipers including two priests after suspected herdsmen attacked Ayar Mbalom village in Gwer east local government area of Benue state has made the Senate to call on the federal government to declare the state and other parts of the country facing deadly violence, state of emergency. The senators call for impeachment of Buhari, the call is followed by a deliberation of a motion on “Continued killings in Benue state” sponsored by George Akume (Benue north west).

Read more: https://www.naija.ng/1165948-breaking-senate-calls-state-emergency-benue-killings.html?source=notification#1165948

Breaking: Former ANPP Borno Governor and PDP national chairman Return Back to APC with supporters

2019 Elections, APC, News, Politics

Ali Modu Sheriff is expected to defect back to the APC – The former ANPP Strongman and PDP factional leader will be leading his supporters back to the APC secretariat – He will be received by top APC chieftains

A former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Senator Ali Modu Sheriff is set to defect to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) alongside his supporters. Sheriff was a factional chairman of the PDP before he was later removed by the Supreme Court.

Sheriff is expected to be at the APC secretariat today, Thursday, April 26. He will be received by John Oyegun and other APC officials.  Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, who served as deputy national chairman of the PDP while Sheriff was chairman was at the APC national secretariat in preparation for the defection. Meanwhile, the APC said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s reported support for Adams Oshiomhole as chairman of the party is not binding.

Media reports that this was reiterated by the national publicity secretary of the party, Bolaji Abdullahi, on Wednesday, April 25. He said: “What we were told at the meeting was that he was asked who he wanted and he told them his preference which has nothing to do with the meeting today.” According to him, they were reviewing the time table of the national convention because some governors noted that it was too close.

Read more: https://www.naija.ng/1165836-breaking-former-pdp-national-chairman-defect-apc-supporters.html?source=notification#1165836

SARS stops Senate delegation from seeing Dino Melaye at National Hospital

2019 Elections, APC, News, Politics

Operatives of Special Anti Robbery Squad have stopped the delegation of the Senate from seeing Senator Dino Melaye who is receiving medical attention at the National Trauma Centre unit of the National Hospital, Abuja.

DAILY POST which followed the Senate delegation learnt that Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial district was in a state of coma as at Wednesday morning.

Senators on the delegation are the deputy Senate leader, Bala Ibn’Nallah, Francis Alimekhena, Emmanuel Bwacha.

The National Trauma Unit of the hospital was heavily guarded by stern looking operatives of SARS.

The leader of SARS was identified as O. F. Onche who insisted that Senators cannot seeDino Melaye which according to him, was an order from above.

“Senator Bala Na’Allah: We are Senators and we are here to see Senator Dino.”

“SARS leader: I know you. You cannot see him now. It is an instruction.”

“Bala Na’Allah: Instructions from above?”

SARS leader: I said it is an instruction, may be you can see the medical director..”

The delegation left without seeing Dino.

Meanwhile, on their way back to the National Assembly, another senator intervened and they were called back.

 

Details later…..

 

DailyPost

UPdate: Saraki Visits Dino Melaye at National Hospital

2019 Elections, News, Politics

– Bukola Saraki and some Senators have paid a visit to Senator Dino Melaye in National Hospital, Abuja.                                                                                                             – He said the Kogi senator has not eaten in 24 hours                                                                    – He however denied that Dino Melaye was handcuffed to his bed

Senate president, Bukola Saraki, has confirmed that Senator Dino Melaye has been in intensive unit awitout food for over 24 hours. Saraki said this shortly after vising the Kogi senator at the National Hospital on Wednesday, April 25 in Abuja.

The Senate President, Bukola  Saraki  and some senator were allowed to visit Melaye and  at the trauma centre and the meeting lasted for about one hour. Saraki said: “After the sitting at the Senate today, we resolved to come here because over 24 hours we have not heard or know about the state of senator Dino. “We’ve just seen him and he is in intensive care. He’s stable for now. We know he hasn’t eaten for the last 24 hours, we are trying to resolve that, he’s on fluids and he’s being seen by cardiologists, by all specialists.

“As you know he has other (health) issues, he’s asthmatic. We are a bit concerned but for now we thank God he’s stable. We want to thank the management of the National Hospital, the professional and medical staff for what they’ve been able to do. “As for now, he’s stable, he’s being monitored. We’ll continue to pray for him that he continues to recover.”

On reports that Melaye was being handcuffed to his bed, Saraki said: “He’s not in handcuff.” NAIJ.com had reported that the Nigerian Senate on Wednesday, April 25, ended its plenary session early to enable lawmakers to visit their colleague, Senator Dino Melaye,

Read more: https://www.naija.ng/1165773-dino-melaye-eaten-24-hours-saraki-speaks-visiting-hospital.html?source=notification#1165773

Senator Dino Melaye in handcuffs on hospital bed.

melay

Senator Dino Melaye

Reports from the local media has it that, the Nigeria Police have handcuffed Senator Dino Melaye to a hospital bed at the National Hospital, Abuja.

To forestall the senators escape, visitors were also not allowed to see at all. You will recall that  he was forcefully evacuated by the police from a private medical facility, Zankli Hospital and taken to the National Hospital, where he was admitted at the Trauma Centre on Tuesday night.

VIDEO:

It was gathered that some senators who visited him on Wednesday (today) were barred by the police from entering the ward where Melaye was being cared for.

Melaye had escaped from police custody on Tuesday while being taken to Lokoja, Kogi State, and was conveyed in an ambulance to Zanklin Hospital, Mabushi, Abuja, after sustaining some injuries from his scuffle with his police escorts.

But the police on Tuesday evening stormed the private hospital and evacuated him to the National Hospital, against his doctors’ advice.

The lawmaker was taken in a police ambulance marked NPF 221 D around 10pm.

Two doctors from the hospital were also reportedly taken away by the police.

The National Hospital spokesman, Dr. Tayo Haastrup, confirmed to the media this evening that Senator Dino Melaye was admitted to the hospital on Tuesday night.

Benue Killings: Stop this mindless killings now, Secondus charges Presidency

2019 Elections, APC, News, Nigeria, PMB, Politics, Terrorism, Uncategorized

…..Says the country is sliding dangerously under APC watch

The National Chairman of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Prince Uche Secondus has charged the Presidency to halt the senseless killings going on in Benue state immediately before it degenerates into a national crisis.

Prince Secondus said in a condolence message he sent to the Benue State Governor Dr. Samuel Ortom and the Catholic Church in Nigeria on the Tuesday Morning’s brutal murder of two Catholic priests and 17 other worshippers of St Ignatius Quashi Catholic Church parish in Ukpor-Mbalom in Gwer local Government area of the state that the latest of the killings in Benue state which began on a New Year’s Day is no longer bearable

The PDP boss said in a statement signed by his media Adviser Ike Abonyi, that the continued bloodletting in Benue and other parts of the country and the apparent inability of the government to stem it raises a lot of concern on the future of this country.

“From whichever angle you are witnessing what is happening in this country, one thing is agreeable that this country is sliding dangerously”

“Nigerians and the global community have continued to watch as all the tenets of democracy are being eroded and giving way to dictatorial tendencies.

“In the last one week we have watched as disturbing indices continue to crop up ahead of the forthcoming general election with APC administration either unconcerned or involved in a tactical endorsement of such act.

The PDP National Chairman alerted the nation and the international community that the choreographed tension in the land is being designed by the APC administration to charge up the polity to enable them carry out its agenda of abusing democratic process and the rule of law ahead of 2019.

Prince Secondus admonished the security operatives as professionals to bear in mind always the words of the former US President Theodore Roosevelt that ” patriotism means to stand with the country. It does not mean to stand with the President”

“I find it unexplainable that some group of gunmen should hold a state to ransom since January killing and maiming citizens and destroying their houses and the security operatives appear helpless.

“Where are the military operatives that carried out Python and Crocodile dances in South East and South South Region respectively lately brandishing their might to less dangerous citizens and who have been unable to tackle the Benue killings.

“How can anybody expect Benue state for instant to contribute its own share of the $1b security votes when the nation security architecture is not designed to protect their people?

“If we are to give in to the President’s assertions lately that these killer herdsmen are foreigners trained by late Libyan leader, Muamour Gadhafi, where then lies our pride as a nation that a dead Gadhafi could leave behind such deadly force that a living President and its army have no answer to.

Finally, Secondus asked the APC administration to accept one huge fact that under their watch the country has collapsed irreparably and there is no evidence of the existence of government in the land.

Signed

Ike Abonyi

SA, Media to the National Chairman.

I have Cars, Houses, I Won’t Steal If I’m Elected Governor – Senator Adeleke

2019 Elections, News, PDP, personality, Politics

The Senator representing Osun West Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Senator Ademola Adeleke has promised that he won’t steal from the coffers of government if he is elected as the next governor of Osun state

The Senator representing Osun West Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Senator Ademola Adeleke has promised that he won’t steal from the coffers of government if he is elected as the next governor of Osun state.

The Senator who is popular for his dancing skill made this known at the first memorial lecture organised by Adeleke University in remembrance of Senator Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke, his brother who died last year.

After the death of his brother, Isiaka, Ademola decided to carry on with his legacy and by contesting in the Osun West bye-election to replace his late brother at the Senate.Ademola Adeleke

Senator Ademola won the election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party defeating the candidate of the All Progressice Congress (APC), Senator Mudasiru Hussain.

He said, “Yes. I will contest for Governor. I have submitted my letter of expression of interest to contest to the party.

“I’m contesting because of the people. Our people are suffering and we need to liberate them.

If I become governor, I cannot steal money that belongs to people. I have achieved everything that I could need money for in life.

“I have built houses, I have cars, I have everything. So, what would I do with stolen money? So, I won’t steal as a governor. I only want to serve.”

Dino Melaye Taken to Lokoja; to be Paraded with other arrested Criminals

2019 Elections, APC, News, Politics

Dino to be paraded with other arrested criminals by Kogi State Police Command today

dibbeSENATOR Dino Melaye, who was arrested Tuesday morning by operatives of the Nigeria Police drawn from its Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, is at present being moved to Lokoja. Senator Dino Melaye the embattled senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District under the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, is expected to be paraded later this evening among other hardened criminals who implicated him in the crime that necessitated his arrest.

SW learnt that the senator who was taken into SARS detention facility, located opposite the old Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN junction along the Area 1 expressway, Abuja, was moved out around 12 noon Yesterday in police vehicle heavily manned by SARS operatives. The detention facility where hardened criminals arrested for theft, murder, cultism and other criminal acts are being kept.

Media sources claimed that the parade of Melaye and other criminal suspects among them the re-arrested suspects who had escaped from prison cell, is to be conducted by the Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Aremu Adediran, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, DSP. He is to carry out the parade assignment on behalf of his immediate boss, Jimoh Moshood, an Assistant Commissioner of Police, ACP, who is currently in China on a course.

Our source said before being moved out into the waiting vehicle for onward journey to his home state, Melaye was handcuffed to avoid possible escape from the security operatives. Attempts for inquiry from the Force Headquarters’ deputy image maker were not successful as he refused to pick calls made to his known telephone lines. Recall that the men of the Nigeria Police Force reportedly forcefully carried out the arrest of Melaye without arrest warrant or court order in the early hours of Tuesday. Initial attempts were made by the police to arrest the senator after immigration officials disembarked him from a flight to Morocco on Monday morning. Following his release after three hours detention at the immigration office at the airport, the lawmaker’s house was besieged by over 80 armed police men from Monday noon until the early hours of Tuesday.

Read more at: https://www.vanguardngr.com/2018/04/breaking-police-move-melaye-lokoja/

Why the North will still vote for Buhari in 2019 –Matthew Kukah

2019 Elections, Africa, Celebrity Gists, PDP, PMB, Politics, Power

The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Matthew Kukah, speaks to TOBI AWORINDE on the socio-economic situation in the North, President Muhammadu Buhari’s performance and the forthcoming 2019 elections

kuka2.jpgYou were one of those who vehemently opposed Muhammadu Buhari’s presidency from the outset. How would you describe the quality of leadership in Nigeria in the immediate past era?

Vehemently opposed to Buhari? Where did you get this from? I think you were sold this dummy in the heydays of ecstasy, frenzy and euphoria of the Buhariphilia, who jumped out of every corner of Nigeria believing that their redemption was at hand. Sadly, today, a good chunk has since apostacised. I never doubted the sincerity of the President’s intention to fight corruption. However, no matter how much you hate leprosy, you cannot cure leprosy by just giving Panadol to the victim.

My fears were threefold and based on experience. First, no matter the goodness, holiness or devotion of any human being, wait until he or she has power entrusted to them and see what they become. So, even in the most optimistic of situations, set goals and expectations and let the person prove himself or herself. Secondly, what Buhari kept saying about corruption did not seem to be the result of some deep reflections. His claims and strategies had never been interrogated. And finally, I insisted that national cohesion was far more urgent a task than just saying ‘we are here to fight corruption’. That informed what you may have referred to as vehement opposition. I was simply warning against too much blind trust and now we are where we are today.

What worries you most about this administration?

I am worried over the lack of fresh ideas, focus, vision and a seeming insensitivity to public feelings; a kind of contempt for how people feel and the impact of policy choices, on the part of this government. This is a season of anomie and alienation. The (Buhari) government seems closed to ideas that challenge their assumptions and apparently does not care what Nigerians think and what they feel. Else, there is no way that you can have a government make the mistakes that this government has made; refuse to engage citizens and simply refuse to give a damn. It is disturbing and, clearly, the government is listening to other drummers. Technically, no one suggests that their views should be taken, but this government has given Nigerians a feeling that they were sold a dummy. This is sad; very sad indeed.

Buhari and the military under his government have continuously claimed that Boko Haram has been defeated. Do you believe them?

Well, this is part of the problem and I think we should let the evidence — not the sloganeering and propaganda — do the talking. The government has refused to listen to the views of Nigerians about the rather incestuous and non-plural ways it has dealt with security and the appointments of their heads. Perhaps the government has a reason for allowing members of only one faith to monopolise the security apparatus, perhaps because it thinks Boko Haram is a problem within Islam and only Muslims can address the issues. Either way, our country is haemorrhaging in a way that ending the Boko Haram conflict will only open a new chapter in a country of people suffering the collective trauma, fear, self-doubt and a feeling of being totally disconnected from the state that has no empathy. With the government seeing this purely as a military operation, we can spend all the money in the world, but we will be nowhere near having a united nation or people. This battle has become a military operation with all its consequences on the economy and the dynamics of the engagement.

What was your reaction upon hearing the news of the Dapchi girls’ abduction?

My reaction was that of shock, sorrow; a tragic sense of déjà vu, and some level of near despair.

Do you agree with Buhari that his response time to the Dapchi girls’ abduction was better than that of the previous administration to the abduction of Chibok girls?

This comparison does not arise. One tragedy is bad enough; a repeat is a disaster. It is like asking whether dying by injection is better than drowning.

Do you think Buhari owes Nigerians an apology, considering his commitment to rescuing the Chibok girls and defeating Boko Haram within the first few months of his presidency?

Why should he apologise? I believe this government has done its best and this is about all it can offer. So, they should be judged not on speculation but on the reality. The issue of an apology does not arise because what we are seeing is the best that is on the table and this is the best team for the job in their view.

Buhari’s health was a major talking point last year with the President spending several weeks on two medical trips. Do you think Buhari owes Nigeria an explanation about what he was treated for?

You mean he should apologise that he was sick? I think we should respect everyone’s privacy. You don’t lose that by being a public servant. I was not happy the way we handled the issue of the President’s health. Others behave differently and I think we should learn not to play politics with everything in Nigeria.

Does his physical fitness worry you, given the possibility of his running for a second term?

There is a Hausa proverb which says, ‘You cannot borrow someone else’s mouth to eat onions’. No one has the right to decide on anyone’s health and as to whether they are capable of a particular function. It is left for the insiders of a party to decide whom they will field as a candidate even if the person is on a stretcher. Today’s weightlifter could fall sick tomorrow. Let the party decide who their best candidate is.

Three of the major promises of this administration are to fight corruption, boost the economy and conquer Boko Haram. Would you say the government has made any significant stride in these areas?

I have said repeatedly that personal opinion does not matter in the long run. Look at the reports from the Federal Bureau of Statistics, the United Nations Development Programme, Amnesty International or Transparency International. What does the evidence suggest? You cannot pick and choose what you want to believe. Or look at the entire Nigerian landscape littered with corpses, destroyed businesses and buildings, all the ravages of war. This is very painful.

What achievements do you think the Buhari government has made?

There is a Minister for Information; he has that duty, not me. They said they have technically defeated Boko Haram, reflated the economy, and brought back some Chibok girls and the Dapchi girls, bar Leah. We now have 7,000 megawatts of electricity and so on. They are also telling us about new multi-billion-naira projects which they are embarking on with no idea when they will be completed. The faces of Nigerians tell a different story and, sadly, we are not communicating with one another.

How do you feel about the recent revelation that senators receive N13.5 million monthly as running costs and that House of Representatives members receive N12m monthly?

Senator (Shehu) Sani has done his job. It is left for Nigerians to decide what to make of it. It is a pity that we are in such a state of stupor that nothing can rouse us from our apathy and this country will continue to sink. Will the President, Vice President, governors and ministers ever come clean or does it require reverting to the Freedom of Information Act? In the mafia, they call this destructive secrecy ‘omerta’, an oath of silence under pain of death. This is why Senator Sani deserves our respect for taking the decision he took. We hear that the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) is claiming ignorance as to these sums. But, as I have always said, governance in Nigeria is a criminal enterprise which functions above the law.

What are your thoughts on governors’ transition to senators when their eight-year tenure is completed?

Well, what else is there for some of these people to do? Can they go anywhere to deliver a lecture or write books on their experiences? This country stands or falls depending on what the governors do.

What is your grouse with Governor Nasir el-Rufai?

What do you mean by grouse?

You recently criticised el-Rufai on his handling of the Southern Kaduna massacre. Do you think there is room for reparations?

Did you read my sermon in its entirety and why do you single out Governor el-Rufai? It was a funeral and there was the need to set the records straight. I simply articulated an evidence-based side of a story that I had played a role in. If that is what you mean by criticism, then fine. We are all entitled to our opinions but we are not entitled to our facts because facts are sacred. I presented my side of the story based on my personal experience with the claims he made.

What can the governor do to make amends?

Amends with, or to, whom? That is within the realm of governance which requires consultation and consensus building.

You have been vocal about the role of the northern elite in the poverty and underdevelopment plaguing the North. Can you elaborate on this?

My field of doctoral research was on Religion and Power Politics in Northern Nigeria and the result was my book, ‘Religion, Politics and Power in Northern Nigeria’. It opened up new frontiers and it was a pioneering research on how religion has been used to mobilise and retain power by the northern Muslim elite. I had over 100 recorded interviews with a cross section of northern politicians across the divide.

This has given me an appreciation of the issues. It does not make me an expert. However, it is because of this that those who do not want to follow the arguments keep falling back and accusing me of being anti-northern or anti-Muslim. This is the easy line for those who benefit from this manipulation but do not want to face the consequences.

There is a noble obligation that all elite owe to those they represent; those on whose shoulders they may have stood; those who voted for them or those who helped them get an education. In the rest of Nigeria, this elite have met these obligations by building schools, hospitals, clinics, and so on for their people. They have bridged the gap between government’s absence and the welfare of their people. This is the story of almost all of southern Nigeria and parts of the Middle Belt.

In the North, the evidence of this dereliction of duty litters the entire landscape, millions of out-of-school children, federal and state government projects such as irrigation and power-generating dams that now lie abandoned in remote communities, structures, such as the Almajiri schools, all in decay in many communities, and so on.

Look at the World Bank, UNDP and other reports on development in Nigeria and look at northern Nigeria. The sad thing is that for the elite, these lives of destitution, illiteracy and squalor are reservoirs of investment from where they draw their oxygen of political relevance. The grinding poverty leaves the people permanently below zero and all they do is continue to look at the stupendous wealth of the elite with awe. In exchange, they (the elite) pretend to offer them (the poor) dubious religiosity through the manipulation of pilgrimages and construction of mosques.

Could that be the reason for the emergence of Boko Haram?

In my view, it is the long historical experience of this distortion of the religion of Islam with its exclusionist tendencies that Boko Haram has exploited. Boko Haram exploited the fact that this elite proclaimed Sharia in 1999 and 2000, while in reality, they did not believe in the religion itself. So, Boko Haram simply has asked them to step aside.

Indeed, the Buhari project presents us with an interesting view. The average northerner has become far more impoverished under Buhari than he was under (former President Goodluck) Jonathan. But they will still vote for Buhari because they see him as the only one who can help bring their derelict elite to order. It is a strange appeal but that is it. They believe their corrupt elite are above the law. They were seduced with Sharia because they believed it was going to help them punish their own elite, who they see as being above the law of Nigeria. These are the issues.

Did the northern elite act against the interest of their people intentionally?

If they were mistaken, 50 years would have been enough to correct the mistake, but as I said, this culture of ignorance, poverty and squalor is an investment. Aminu Kano spent his life trying to open the eyes of his people, the Talakawa. The late Bala Usman, a phenomenal intellectual, made massive contributions in this regard by subjecting this charade to critical social analysis. The result was a ‘saner’ environment for the generation of fresh ideas among Christian and Muslim scholars. Ideology replaced the divisive tendencies of religion among the elite. Fighting the Kaduna mafia and other mafias was an ideological project. Today, Alhaji Balarabe Musa and some of the remnants of NEPU (Northern Elements Progressive Union) politics remain the last of the best wine.

What are the interests for the northern elite?

They want to permanently hold on to power. Inherently (there is) nothing wrong with that if it can be used for the good of the people, but after all these years of monopoly of power under the military and civilians, we northerners are still the weakest, the most sickly, the poorest, the most illiterate, and the most vulnerable. We have the highest number of childhood stunting, which is a danger to the future. The elite have brought shame on us and made us too weak to fight.

Do you believe in restructuring?

Does it matter what I or anyone believes? Even if it determines the outcome of the elections, did the All Progressives Congress not promise us restructuring? Promises have never been a problem. The saddest part of it all is that even the politicians do not expect to be believed, but somehow, we stupidly do. The Kenyan scholar, Patrick Lumumba, once said the tragedy with Africa is that those with ideas are not in power, while those in power have no ideas. The sad thing, he said, is that when the people have a chance, they still vote for those with no ideas.

What do you think the North has to gain or lose in restructuring?

They may perhaps gain the chains of poverty and the fear of those who hold the chains over the majority of our people.

What do you make of the APC committee on restructuring led by el-Rufai?

I have not seen it.

Many have described the APC panel on restructuring as an afterthought by Buhari to score political points. Do you agree?

No idea. Nothing is ever late. It is when honesty appears that matters.

What are your thoughts on the Catholic Church in Nigeria rejoining the Christian Association of Nigeria?

How can we rejoin what we started?

Do you still maintain a relationship with former President Goodluck Jonathan?

I don’t know what you mean by ‘a relationship’. The last time I saw him was when the Peace Committee had a consultative audience with him after the swearing-in of the new administration.

Do you have any expectations concerning the outcome of the 2019 elections?

Let us pray to be alive first. 2019 is a long way away. But I tell you that I have never felt this sense of foreboding. Things could change, but we have to plan how to cross this wide river that lies ahead of us.

Soyinka, Falana to Nigerians: Beware of Obasanjo – Robert Egbe

2019 Elections, Africa, News, Nigeria, PMB, Politics

Olusegun-ObasanjoNobel laureate Wole Soyinka and activist-lawyer Femi Falana (SAN) on Sunday warned Nigerians to be wary of a coalition formed by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, purportedly to rescue Nigeria.

They said Nigeria was in danger when politicians like Obasanjo, who “supervised the sacking of democratic governments” in Oyo and Anambra states, pretend to be the messiah.

Obasanjo formed the Coalition for Nigeria Movement on January 24, 2018, which he said was meant to salvage the nation.

He asked President Muhammadu Buhari not to contest next year’s election as he had “failed.”

Soyinka and Falana, who described but didn’t name Obasanjo, spoke in Lagos at the 80th post-humous birthday of the late human rights lawyer Gani Fawehinmi (SAN).

The event was the themed ‘Democracy for the masses through proper and effective governance.

It also featured former Kaduna State Governor, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, Senator Shehu Sani, Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, Afenifere chieftain, Senator Femi Okurounmu, among others.

Soyinka said: “All I want to say in connection with the title of today is just one word: vigilance….There is no question whatsoever that democracy is in danger.

“And so I find it ironic, that those who’ve proved themselves the enemies of democracy who’ve really taken, they’ve really committed acts, not just negligence, but actually inaugurated certain policies which contributed to our being at this point again are once again coming out and positioning themselves as saviours, as messiahs, as the sole possible rescue mission that this nation can even dream of, a nation of nearly 200 million people.

“I find it very strange, and I find it even stranger because at the beginning of this movement towards ‘Rescue Mission’, there were one or two organisations that came out under different names and they had people in them whom I considered worth following, worth encouraging, worth encouraging others to study closely and even consider following.

“The next thing I knew, these movements were being hijacked by the very people who laid the foundation, an ironic word by the way, for the collapse of the democratic edifice.”

Soyinka said he turned one of the groups down when it approached him.

He said: “The next thing we know, they are forming coalitions and I was invited by one of the rescue missions to address them and I telephoned them and I asked the question, ‘wait a minute, which one are you? Are you the original people I saw or is there a faction or is there now a fatherly umbrella under which everybody is moving?’

“And I told them; don’t even come near me, if you’ve signed up on one of those who are the enemies of democracy in this nation.

“Those who inaugurated so-called constitutional amendment programmes, total charades, to assist them to continue to run, which has been scuttled by the direction known as tenure elongation, third term, etcetera for which the entire national treasury was almost bankrupted. And suddenly, here they are they are forming coalitions all over the place, once again, confusing people.

“Who are the genuine leaders, who are those that we can trust?  The answer to that is very simple: look at their track record. That’s all.

He advised Nigerians not to allow themselves “to plunge into a zone of amnesia, in which you conveniently forget unpleasant realities.

“We’ve had presidents in this nation, some of whom inaugurated a never-ending democratic process, which landed us eventually under the most brutal dictators that this nation has ever known.

“We had others also who actually supervised sacking of ‘democratic government’; I’m speaking of Anambra, I’m speaking of Oyo State. A governor was kidnapped under their watch with their complicity; in another instance, thugs actually entered the House of Assembly, sacked the legislators and installed their own candidates; under the same watch.

“And they call themselves the God-designated watchman over the fortunes of this nation? And suddenly, here they are and I see Nigerians flocking to them and asking them once again to lead.

“Mind you, they’ve said very clearly if it becomes a political party count me out o, but paths are already being beaten to their doors, control by subrogation.

“Even if they do not individually put themselves back in the position of power, they are already smoothening the way for their surrogates, their stooges, so that they can continue to misrule from their cosy farmsteads. So, all I’m urging is: be very vigilant. Just look closely at their records, look at the company they keep.

He urged the youth to “grow up” and take political power.

“Why can’t a new generation actually rise, throw us all out of the window and take control of their own lives by themselves? Why do we keep recycling the same jaded, traitors, enemies of the people? Why do you need to go for blessing somewhere if you’ve made up your mind that it is time to take control of your own existence?

“Once again, I don’t want to be misunderstood, I know what I think about this government when voting time comes, I know exactly where I’m going to cast my vote but I’m not going to allow anybody to hoodwink me and say I will show you the path. No, this will be adding insult to injury.”

According to Falana, the government would confiscate some of Obasanjo’s assets, including a university, “at the right time.”

Falana said: “Our country is undergoing serious crises of governance but we must be very careful so that we do not allow those who destroyed the country, those who ruined the nation to pose as the saviour of our people.

Read Also: 2019: Obasanjo under fire for anti-Buhari campaign

“There’s somebody living very close to this place who has been parading himself as the saviour of our people; this guy ruled the country for 11 and a half years cumulatively – three and a half years under the military, eight years under a civilian dispensation. And even wanted to do a third term but Nigerians rejected him.

“The guy is going round the country now, claiming to have solutions to our problems; I wish to say here and we are challenging him to name one thing that he did, any problem of the country that he solved.

“On the contrary, this guy wasted $16billion to generate darkness for the country. This guy formed and took over the resources of the country blindly under what he called blind trust.

“Nigeria is the only country in the world where a sitting President and a sitting Vice-President established private universities when the government refused to fund public universities and other tertiary institutions. But let me tell,

“Gani went to court to challenge the extortion of state governments and contractors by a man who realised about N7billion to set up a so-called library.

“Under the constitution, any gift received while you are in office, other than customary gifts, is forfeitable to the state; therefore, at the right time, this country, when it is properly organised will take over all those universities and libraries that were set up with public funds and that may be sooner than you think.”

Kaduna State Senator, Sani, said Nigeria is not yet in a true democracy.

He said: “In fact, our country is sick, the republic is sick; our people are dying, violence, bloodshed, killings, mass murder is becoming the emblem of our democracy today.

“We are out of PDP misrule but we will be deceiving ourselves to say we are in the Promise Land; we are not in the Promise Land. We must keep vigil,

“The political ruling elite are not yet prepared to see to a democratic Nigeria. Nigeria’s political reality is about personal interest.

“Those who destroyed our country in the past are very much present as born against.”

He urged Nigerians of integrity to support Buhari because “You can’t build a country because of the integrity of one person. The integrity of one person is not enough to rule and sustain a state. We have a President who is a man of integrity but integrity is not enough for leadership.”

Sowore lamented that Nigerians rejected Gani for Obasanjo in 1999.

He said: “I want to say very briefly that Nigeria must be regretting that when they had a chance to choose between Chief Gani Fawehinmi and a Barabbas, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, they decided to choose Obasanjo instead of choosing Gani Fawehinmi and that is why we are regretting today.

The Nation

Melaye Refused remand in Lokoja, Jumped Down from Police Vehicle

2019 Elections, APC, BBNaija, local news, News, Nigeria, PMB, Politics

Senator Dino Melaye Tuesday was arrested by Police Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and initially detained at the SARS Headquarters in Abuja. While being moved to Lokoja by SARS operatives the Vociferous Chairman Senate Committee on FCT was reported to have jumped down from the Police vehicle transporting him and vowed he had rather die in Abuja than be taken to jail in Kogi

SW obtained a video of the Senator’s ordeal an post here::

Governance in Nigeria is spiritual warfare – Osinbajo

2019 Elections, News, PMB

Yemi-Osinbaji-560x390Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has called for prayers for leaders in the country, saying governance is spiritual warfare.

Osinbajo spoke on Tuesday at the inauguration of the auditorium of Deeper Christian Life Ministry headquarters at Gbagada, Lagos State.

Osinbajo said the inauguration was auspicious because it came at a time when the nation is confronting different security challenges.

He, however, faulted people who criticise Christians in government.

While making reference to how Esther in the Bible delivered the Israelites, he urgedChristians to pray more, saying governance is a spiritual warfare.

He said, “Those of us Christians in government, we are sometimes referred to as Esthers; we are told that we are in office for such a time as this.

“What is often forgotten is that when Mordecai told Esther that she was in the palace for such a time as this, Esther replied in Esther 4:16, ‘Go and gather all the Jews that are in Shusan and fast for me, neither eat for three days – night and day. My maids will fast likewise and I will go to the king, which is against the law, and if I perish, I perish.’

“This I say to the church as well; it is the duty of the church to pray for those in government; the church should uphold the hands of those in government, not by complaining, but by supporting us in the place of prayer. Governance is spiritual warfare. Anyone that does not know that, I know that governance is spiritual warfare and I ask that you pray for us who are in position of authority in this land.”

The Vice-President said the crises in North-East and other parts of the country were caused by Satan’s opposition to the spread of the gospel.

Osinbajo, who condemned the persecution of Christians in some parts of the country, said that President Muhammadu Buhari had asked him to take up cases where people were prevented from building religious places of worship.

He said, “First, there is even a resistance to building of churches. There are specific cases and places where specific allegations are made of valid applications made to build churches that have been refused. The President has mandated me to take up those cases with specific states and authorities. The right to freedom of worship is also a right to build places of worship.

“Second is the physical persecution of Christians, a phenomenon we have seen for years. Just this morning on my way here, I was notified of the violation of a Catholic church in Benue State by armed killers, who went there while a burial mass was taking place and killed the priest and some worshippers.

“It is not only a heinous sacrilege, but high wickedness to kill persons in the place of worship. As I discuss these issues with the President and other members in the securitycouncil, it is evident to me and to many that the devil’s biggest agenda is to stoke up a religious conflict in Nigeria; one that will make it impossible for anyone to preach the gospel or even Muslims to worship in their mosques. A few days ago in Bama, a mosque was burnt and many died.

“While the security agencies continue to work relentlessly to hunt down the perpetrators of this evil acts and bring a permanent end to all killings going on in the name of herdsmen or Boko Haram or in any other name. We, as the body of Christ, must not lose focus. We are called to bring men and women to salvation: all men and women, even those who kill and persecute us.

“The enemy wants us to stand on our pulpit and preach hate. But we will not. We will obey our Lord Jesus Christ, who said that we must love our enemies and preach to even those who persecute us. There is nobody born or yet to be born that can stop the march of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Osinbajo, while lauding Deeper Life for its investment in a flyover and streetlights to ease traffic in the neighbourhood, said the edifice is the fourth largest auditorium in the world.

He described General Superintendent of the Church, Mr William Kumuyi, as “a man of uncommon humility and commitment to the spread of the undiluted gospel of Jesus Christ with candour and integrity.”

The Vice-President urged the cleric to continue to preach “righteousness and righteous behaviour” as the government battles corruption.

The event featured musical performances from children, youths, campus and adult ministries of the church.

Kumuyi thanked members and leaders of the church for contributing towards the success of the project, saying the church went beyond its initial plans by constructing the flyover and streetlights as part of its corporate social responsibility.

He said it took the church 13 years to construct the 30,000-seater church.

Punch

Oshiomole’s endorsement foolish, childish – Oyegun

2019 Elections, APC, News
oyegun-buhari-and-tinubu

Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has described the purported endorsement of Adams Oshiomhole by stakeholders of the party from the South-South geopolitical zone as childish and a foolish charade.

The South South APC leaders were reported to have endorsed former Edo State governor, Adams Oshiomhole, as the concensus candidate of the zone for the national chairmanship position.

But few minutes after the meeting, four state chairmen of the party and other party leaders washed their hands off the resolution, saying they were “ambushed.”

Oyegun speaking to newsmen on Tuesday at the party’s headquarters in Abuja stated that Oshiomhole cannot be elected in Edo State government house.

He pointed out that the said endorsement was clear indication that “the trumpeters do not understand the rule of the game.

“The endorsement is childish, absolutely childish. The voting is done at the convention and not in State houses, not in government houses.”

When asked why he was being rejected by his hometown, Oyegun said it should be expected, adding that he was not bothered at all by the apparent hostility.

 

DailyPost 

Dino did not jump out of any moving vehicle

2019 Elections, News, Politics, Power

"I did not jump out of moving vehicle" - Melaye

Earlier in the morning, Senator Dino Melaye as a law-abiding citizen voluntarily submitted himself to the operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) who had laid siege to his private residence since around 3.35pm of Monday, April 23, 2018.

He, along with his lawyers and personal aides, was driven in his private car to the SARS office in Guzape district of Abuja, sandwiched among the numerous police vehicles earleir deployed to his house.

For the avoidance of doubt, he had never evaded police invitation before now because there was none extended to him in the first place. Rather, what the Police FPRO, Mr. Jimoh Moshood, had been doing was to summon the Senator through media briefings, a practice which is unconventional.

But given the media hype the whole saga had generated expecially his unwarranted travails in the hands of Immigration officials at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Aiport in Abuja on Monday, April 23 and the attendant but dramatic police siege to his private residence thereafter, where family members and political associates were subjected to traumatic experience for hours, it became necessary for Senator Dino Melaye to end the drama, hence his choice of appearing before the police today.

Later on, they moved to take him to Lokoja in Kogi State. The public will vividly recall that this same case involving Senator Dino Melaye had already been transferred to Abuja by the Chief Justice of the Federal High Court after Senator Melaye expressed worry about his safety in Lokoja. Now, the question is: why will they want to forcefully take him to Lokoja? The Senator believes they are doing the Kogi Governor’s bidding in order to assassinate him.

Contrary to online reports about jumping out of a moving police vehicle, nothing could be farther from the truth as such insinuation is practically impossible for a man saddled between gun-wielding policemen. Today’s incident was a last resort by Senator Dino Melaye in order to foil attempt to kidnap him and kill him by agents of Kogi State governor in connivance with the Police.

Signed:
Gideon Ayodele
Special Adviser (Media) to
Senator Dino Melaye
National Assembly Complex
Abuja.

2019: Bode George, Oyinlola in verbal war over comments on Obasanjo-backed movement

2019 Elections, News, PMB, Politics

“If you are allergic to the singing of birds you won’t build your house near the bush,” he said.

“If Chief George didn’t want me to react to him, he won’t call me and other promoters of the CNM all sorts of names as he did.

“Our ancestors in Yorubaland did not recommend kolanut as appreciation for the kind of negative words Chief George used against me and other leaders of the CNM including Chief Obasanjo.

“Chief George is my egbon by six years. I respect him and said so in my statement on Saturday. I observed he also said he was “very senior” to me in the military. He used the word ‘very.’

“It will interest him to know that I joined the Nigerian Army on September 3, 1969 and was commissioned as an officer on September 11, 1971. I want my egbon to do his calculations and justify the word ‘very’ that he used.

“However, the fact of his seniority to me in age and otherwise, has always informed the respect I have for him. But I also know that his Ile Ife title, Atona Oodua, makes some demands of him which include civility in words and action and loyalty to friends and benefactors.

“That was why I asked him to apologise to Chief Obasanjo and stop attacking anything and anyone that is connected to him.”

Mr Oyinlola also denied the claims by Mr George that it was through his effort that he became governor, arguing that he became governor by the overwhelming support of the people of Osun State.

“The results of that election showed clearly that my support was rooted in the people and not in outsiders who neither voted nor funded my election. I know my leaders whose support was greatly invaluable,” said Mr Oyinlola.