Father Christmas: FG Overpays Ex-Nigeria Airways Staff, 79 Yet To Get Payment

2019 Elections, Nigeria
Nigeria Air

Lagos – Investigation by Daily Independent has revealed that some of the ex-Nigeria Airways workers whose payment of 50 percent pension and other severance packages commenced in October were credited twice.

Also, no fewer than 79 of the supposed beneficiaries of the N45 billion severance packages were yet to be paid any amount of money by officials of the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA), a department in the Ministry of Finance which was mandated to disburse the sums to the former workers of the national carrier.

Investigation by Daily Independent indicated that no fewer than 100 beneficiaries received ‘alerts’ twice through their banks. About 6,000 of the former workers were slated for payment.

Some of the beneficiaries confirmed that they were actually credited twice by the Accountant-General Office and an account, training and operations, indicating Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) with 13 digits account number, 002 0076861038, was provided for them to return the excess payment.

But it was gathered that the leadership of the former workers prevailed on them not to refund the sum to any account provided for that purpose by the apex bank, suspecting foul play in the entire process.

Speaking on phone with our correspondent, Animashaun said the error occurred but that it had been addressed by the appropriate quarters.

He also confirmed that some of the former workers of the national carrier were yet to receive their benefits.

As at the last count, he said, those in that category were 79, but noted that most of them had issues with their bank details.

He explained that the payment was divided into five batches, saying as at last week, government had concluded payment for four batches, while the fifth batch would commence from today.

He said: “The payment is a process. Those who have not received are those who have issues with their bank details. At the end of the day, 79 names were returned by the CBN because of incorrect or inadequate details and they have been calling those affected for correction. There are five batches so far, four have been attended to.

“The fifth batch, which is remaining, are those who have issues with their account details and those who just did the verification in Abuja, which was closed about two weeks ago at the mop up centre in Abuja. Those are the ones remaining and most probably on Monday (today) the Ministry of Finance will take it to the Accountant-General Office and by Friday, they may get alerts.”

On double payment, he said: “The platform in which they were paid was the same platform in which the sums were reverted. The platform is with the CBN. So, they are collaborating with the bank. Majority of money have been reverted by the banks.

“The account CBN provided was not a personal account, I was involved in it throughout. It is a special account in the CBN office through the Accountant-General Office and such money can’t be paid on the counters. You need special form to pay that money. It is not normal. For you to pay that money, you have to go online to fill a form.”

Mr. Olumide Ohunayo, another beneficiary, confirmed credit of accounts of some of the former workers twice.

But, like Animashaun, he said the monies were recalled with that of a second generation bank having some glitches, which he believed were being sorted out.

He also confirmed that over two months after the exercise was rounded off in the three designated centres, Lagos, Kano, and Enugu, some of the workers were yet to be paid, but attributed this to the double payment of some by the CBN.

“The money has been reverted the way it came in. I think they wanted to be smart when they gave an account number in which such beneficiaries were told to pay into.”

Besides, Chukwudi Ileje slammed PICA for inefficiency in the disbursement of the sum.

According to him, PICA had shown incompetence in handling payment right from the outset, stressing that there were unpardonable errors at each stage of the exercise.

He said: “For instance, the figures and years of service were miscalculated for many and in absentia. Now, even in remitting the amount, some were credited twice, while others did not get. Crass incompetence!

“An inept contraption like PICA has no business handling this matter. They are lucky and should be happy that they found us in a forlorn situation and hence we are thankfully willing to accept anything to keep clear of impending doom.

“Else why are they getting away with so much clumsiness? Where are the AUGA and NUP officials? Why are they looking the other way, while so much pain is being inflicted on those they should protect? Is this a case of timidity or connivance? If yes, why?”

It would be recalled that the sum of N45 billion was expected to be disbursed to the entire former workers of the airline numbering 6000, but the government said it would disburse 50 percent of the sum, representing N22.5 billion in the first phase, while the other 50 percent would be disbursed within the next six months.

Olusegun Koiki Independent Nigeria


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The Current Situation in Nigeria

2019 Elections, Africa, Nigeria, Politics, Power, SEcurity

A USIP Fact Sheet

President Buhari’s 2015 election saw the country’s first peaceful transfer of power to an opposition candidate. Elections raised hopes that some of Nigeria’s most pressing problems—including weak governance, corruption, the Boko Haram insurgency, and persistent intercommunal conflicts—could soon be under control. Despite President Buhari’s vision for reform, the country’s security challenges are surging as the factors that fuel violent conflicts remain largely unaddressed. 

USIP’S Work

USIP brings together state governors and civic leaders to design, foster, and implement inclusive policies that mitigate violence and strengthen community-oriented security. The Institute engages a variety of influential figures, empowers citizens, and uses its expertise and convening power to inform Nigeria policy in the U.S., the region, and around the world. Recent work includes:

Promoting Inclusive, Peaceful Societies.

Many of the factors driving conflict and the Boko Haram insurgency exist across Nigeria’s northern region. These include governance challenges, marginalization, and youth unemployment. Nigeria’s federal system gives governors great responsibilities to address these issues.

The Institute leverages the governors’ influence by working with them to focus policies on citizens’ needs and establish strategies that prevent and resolve violent conflict. In the process, USIP and the state governors build more inclusive processes and send the message that addressing violent extremism must be achieved cooperatively.

Through the Nigeria Working Group on Peacebuilding and Governance, the Institute adds public figures to the dialogue. The Working Group fosters relationships between citizens and governors—ensuring that a diversity of citizens’ voices impacts important decisions. The Working Group also demonstrates thought leadership through publications, research, editorials, and op-eds on state government roles in addressing conflict.

Strengthening Local Security.

USIP’s peacebuilding initiatives in Nigeria improve state-level institutions’ ability to manage local conflict by piloting dialogue-based approaches and providing recommendations and lessons learned to policymakers.

  • Network of Nigerian facilitators. USIP recruited and continues to provide technical and financial support to a cadre of facilitators to convene dialogues related to election security, transitioning to community-oriented policing, and manage communal disputes that pose a risk of violence.
  • Justice and Security Dialogue project. Modeled an approach for community policing through ongoing dialogues between police and the community, particularly youth.
  • State peacebuilding institutions. Bolstering the ability of state peacebuilding institutions in Plateau and Kaduna states to respond to local conflicts before they become violent.
  • Conducting research that translates into action. USIP’s Nigeria research improves understanding of violence’s risks and develops effective approaches to managing violent conflict.
  • Elections violence risk assessment. Together with several partners, USIP is conducting an elections violence risk assessment ahead of Nigeria’s 2019 elections to provide actionable and timely analysis that will help key figures work to prevent violence before, during, and after the elections.
  • Transitioning from military operations to civilian policing. The Institute conducted research on the transition to community-oriented policing following military-led security in northeast Nigeria. The research incorporated the perspectives and priorities of vigilante groups into recommendations for a more responsive security sector.
  • Researching resistance to violence. With USIP’s support, the Centre for Information Technology and Development examined the factors that make certain communities more resistant to the threat of violence in north-east Nigeria. The research showed that community resilience thrives when there is a robust community platform for active citizen participation and democratic decision-making. The absence of such a platform in many communities led to their quick and brutal destruction by Boko Haram.

Download full Report at: USIP

Buhari Presidency plotting to plunge the 2019 elections into a needless controversy – PDP /PPCO

2019 Elections, Africa, Nigeria, PMB, Politics, Power

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari yesterday declined signing the Electoral (Amendment) Bill 2018 into law, saying that it was capable of derailing preparations for 2019 polls. It was the fourth time he would reject the bill as previous rejections were based on observed errors. The President said he did not want to impose on the country the electoral uncertainty his assent might cause. He said that changing the rules a few months to the next general elections could lead to disruption and confusion. He asked the National Assembly to save the nation’s democracy by ensuring that the Electoral (Amendment) Bill 2018 comes into effect after the February 2019 polls. He also raised issues on four amendments to the bill and asked the National Assembly to revisit the observations. Buhari, who made his opinion known in a December 6, 2018 letter to the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, said he had decided to place the interest of the country above any other matter. The letter was titled,‘Presidential decision to decline assent to the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2018’.

It reads: “Pursuant to Section 58(4) of Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), I hereby convey to the Senate my decision on 6th December to decline Presidential Assent to the Electoral (Amendment) Bill, 2018 recently passed by the National Assembly. “I am declining assent to the Bill principally because I am concerned that passing a new electoral bill this far into the electoral process for the 2019 general elections, which commenced under the 2015 Electoral Act, could create some uncertainty about the applicable legislation to govern the process. “Any real or apparent change to the rules this close to the election may provide an opportunity for disruption and confusion in respect of which law governs the electoral process.

“This leads me to believe that it is in the best interest of the country and our democracy for the National Assembly to specifically state in the Bill that the Electoral Act will come into effect and be applicable to elections commencing after the 2019 General Elections. “It is also important for the following drafting amendments to be made to the Bill:

•Section 5 of the Bill, amending Section 18 of the Principal Act should indicate the subsection to which the substitution of the figure “30” for the figure “60” is to be effected.

•Section 11 of the Bill, amending Section 36 should indicate the subsection in which the proviso is to be introduced.

•Section 24 of the Bill which amends Section 85(1) should be redrafted in full as the introduction of the “electing” to the sentence may be interpreted to mean that political parties may give 21 days’ notice of the intention to merge, as opposed to the 90 days provided in Section 84(2) of the Electoral Act which provides the provision for merger of political parties 

•The definition of the term “Ward Collection Officer” should be revised to reflect a more descriptive definition than the capitalised and undefined term “Registration Area Collation Officer.” “Please accept, Distinguished Senate President, the assurances of my highest consideration.”

President Buhari had refused to sign the Bill the first time as a result of the reordering of the election sequence by the National Assembly, and the second time because of what the Presidency called “drafting errors.” He also declined signing the bill the third time because of what the Presidency called “drafting issues that remained unaddressed.”

National Assembly may override Buhari There were indications yesterday that the National Assembly may override President Buhari’s withdrawal of assent on the Electoral Act, 2018. Although several calls made to obtain the reaction of the Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, yielded no result, a source close to the leadership of the Senate said the National Assembly would likely override the President on the Bill. It is, however, not clear whether the two chambers of the National Assembly can muster the required two-thirds majority to override the President.

The source said: “It is obvious that the National Assembly has bent backward almost to breaking point to give the President the benefit of the doubt. “The National Assembly has no other alternative but to override the President because nobody is in doubt that he does not want to sign the Bill.” “The days ahead will determine what will happen.” Senators express divergent views Former Senate Leader, Senator Mohammed Ali Ndume, and Clifford Ordia, who spoke with our correspondent in separate interviews yesterday, expressed divergent views on the refusal of the President to sign the Electoral Act amendment Bill.

Ndume said the President must have his reasons for declining assent to the Bill. But the Borno South senator said the National Assembly was at liberty to respond as it deemed fit. He added that the rejection would not affect the conduct of the 2019 general elections, saying “the President does not conduct elections.” He said that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is the body in charge of elections.

“All the president needs to do is to provide the necessary support, which I am certain that he has done,” he said. Ndume added: “I cannot fully comment right now since I am not aware of the reasons given by the President. “I am sure his reasons will be contained in the letter addressed to the leadership of the National Assembly. Let us wait and see till next week.” Senator Ordia, on his part, noted that the rejection of the amendment bill by the President was a clear sign that the APC was not ready to conduct a free and fair election. The Edo Central senator said that the rejection will further cast doubt on the ability of the President to give Nigerians an election that will be accepted by all. Ordia said: “Many of us are not surprised. We knew the amendment bill was not going to be signed.

“The earlier excuses advanced were just to distract everyone. “Now that we know, we also need to go back to the drawing board as a party and find a way to counter any plans the APC will be hatching.” PDP campaign urges N/Assembly to override Buhari The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Organization (PPCO) yesterday charged the National Assembly to save the nation’s democracy by immediately overriding President Muhammadu Buhari’s refusal to sign the amendment of the Electoral Act. The PDP Campaign said the legislative action had become imperative as the President’s decision was a calculated attempt to hold the nation to ransom. In a statement signed by the spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party said the President’s action was capable of injecting crisis into the electoral process and ultimately scuttle the conduct of the 2019 general elections.

The opposition party insisted that the President was avoiding free and fair contest. The statement said: “President Buhari’s repeated refusal to sign amendments passed to check rigging in the election raises issues of his sincerity of purpose and has the capacity to trigger political unrest and violence, which can, in turn, truncate our hard-earned democracy. “The PPCO invites Nigerians to note that this is the fourth time President Buhari is withholding assent on the amendment, without any cogent reason following his rejection by Nigerians. “Nigerians can recall how the Buhari Presidency plotted to plunge the 2019 elections into a needless controversy by delaying the submission of the election budget to the National Assembly, presenting it at the time the legislators were commencing their annual vacation and asking for virement of funds already approved for development projects, instead of sending a fresh supplementary budget for the election.

“It is unfortunate that Mr. President, in his desperation to hold on to power, has resorted to taking steps that are capable of destabilising our nation, just because the people are resolute in voting him out of office democratically. “It is also instructive to note that President Buhari is mortally afraid of the amendments because they essentially checked the All Progressives Congress (APC) rigging plans, including the use of underage and alien voters, vote-buying, alteration of results and manipulation of voter register; for which the APC and the Buhari Presidency have been boasting of winning the 2019 elections. “While urging the National Assembly to save our democracy and forestall an imminent electoral crisis, the PPCO also charges all political parties, other critical stakeholders and Nigerians in general to rise in the interest of our nation and demand the entrenching of rules and processes that will guarantee the conduct of free, fair and credible elections, as nothing short of that would be accepted.”

It may affect deepening of democracy— CNPP The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties (CNPP) warned yesterday that the negative impact of not assenting to amendments to Nigeria’s Electoral Act as contained in the Electoral Act Amendment Bill (2018) before next year’s general elections will endanger the deepening of the country’s democracy. In its reaction to the rejection of the amendments to the bill by President Buhari, CNPP’s Secretary General, Chief Willy Ezugwu, said in a statement issued in Abuja that “there are indications that a cabal that resents credible electoral process is bent on frustrating the signing of any amendment to the electoral laws ahead of 2019.” It urged the National Assembly to save the country’s democracy and veto the President’s assent. According to the umbrella organisation of all registered political parties and political associations in the country, “it has become obvious that while President Buhari may ordinarily wish to ensure credible electoral process, some persons around him, which constitutes the cabal, resent free and fair contest and may have again deceived him into withholding assent to the bill.

“The CNPP as a body conceived as a common platform for political parties in Nigeria shares common concerns of well-meaning Nigerians on issues bordering on rule of law, promotion and defence of democratic principles and practices. “Therefore, this singular rejection of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill (2018) by Mr. President is another repressive attempt to stem multi-party democracy and have completely removed the last hope of level playing ground for all political parties in the forthcoming elections. “It is ironical that President Muhammadu Buhari has been promising free and fair elections and at the same time refusing to give effect to the only instrument that would have proven his commitment to credible electoral process in 2019.

“As one of the greatest beneficiaries of free and fair election from the last administration, we thought that Mr. President and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) should have been at the forefront of promoting transparency in elections. “However, to save our democracy and to take Nigeria’s electoral process to the next level of free and fair polls, not the next level of rigging, we demand that the National Assembly, as a matter of urgency, override Mr. President’s veto with a two-third-majority. “As it stands, the only hope Nigerians have left now rests on the National Assembly’s willingness to do the needful at this trying moment in our democratic journey.”

Of Buhari, Tinubu, Macbeth and Odu Isa

2019 Elections, Africa, APC, Corruption, economy, Facts, Nigeria, PDP, PMB, Politics, Power, relationship

Of Buhari, Tinubu, Macbeth and Odu Isa.

“Owe ni Ifa npa, Omoran ni imo” Ifa’s revelation is always in parables; only the wise can understand their meanings.

In his analysis of the Shakespearean Tragedy “Macbeth” Michael Stratford argues that the essence of human pride was covered in three dimensions by this work. He asserted in supports of the works of Majorie Garber on the play which concluded that Macbeth’s confrontation with morality at the end of the play portrayed “real recovery” and completed the depiction of the phases of pride in men. He went further to outline these stages as: The hubris that hurls a man into sin and error, the false pride that secure and justifies all and perpetuates us in evil acts, and the final realization of our immortality and futility of all things.

The play Macbeth has been analyzed by many due to its relevance in everyday human progression. Macbeth was a young and virile soldier honored for his love of Scotland and bravery at war by King Duncan. He was at the zenith of his profession as a soldier and revered titled gentleman in Scotland when the story started. A chance meeting with the “three witches”, their predictions of Macbeth as the King of Scotland, transported this gentleman into a murderer and usurper and finally his death.Given the level of public exposure to education and the current public discourse about the ruler of Nigeria which pulls towards lack of proper formal education, maybe this narrative could be brought home more.

Curiosity recently made me look into the Ifa esoteric and cosmogony and I was amazed at the level of sophistication of the Odu Ifa in explaining and predicting main pattern of human conscious, and unconscious acts; going even further to reveal the purpose and destinies of humans on earth. I was further impressed by the manner with which knowledge and wisdom for managing pride and power were expressively itemized thorough the use of parables.For noninitiates, the Ifa divinity comprises of sixteen major quadrant of ancient Yoruba Ifa cult, which was subdivided into 256 distinct sub-heads detailing all areas of human: wisdom for proper interrelations, truth and moralities, science, cosmology, metaphysics, medicine and other established norms of the Yoruba People of Southwest Nigeria as established by Orunmila. Orunmila the first Ifa priest was reputed to have started the accumulation of this knowledge base, handing it over to his sixteen children, who continued to practice and develop the Ifa practice.

In Odi Isa, amongst the Odu Ifa, Orunmila tried to balance power and pride; where he depicts the travail of the Tiger, the king of the jungle when the entire animal challenged him to battle. The tiger despite his acclaimed overwhelming power, applied wisdom and appealed to the elders for help. The elders asked the Tiger to perform a sacrifice and in respect to the words of the elders, the Tiger performed all necessary rites. And to this day, no animal was able to conquer the tiger.

Tiger’s powerful could have stupidly against public opinion challenged the whole animal kingdom. which will then overrun him and take over his kingdom. When faced with adversities, he went begging the elders for advice. Instead of ruin and death as in Macbeth case, the tiger excel and its kingdom expanded.

Many writers in the pre-2015 era had lauded the achievements of the new progressives led by General Mohamadu Buhari and Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu. The duo in conjunction with other heavy weights in Nigerian politics had performed the first presidential election upset in Nigerian history; the defeat of a sitting president in a general election. The global press was agog in the spirit of the wave of change coming to Nigeria politics.

The emergence of Buhari as the new government leader was heralded as a milestone in Nigerian political arena. Given the sixteen years politicking before his emergence as the president, people were thoroughly misled that the “Buhari presidential dream” was driven by passionate goals for real change. When the new government started showing signs of unpreparedness to rule and obvious lack of cohesion were being revealed, the Nigerian people still believed and attributed it to huge challenges emanating from long period of institutionalized corruption by previous governments. Nigerian new government was later revealed to have been distracted by huge amount of propaganda, vain retribution, illegal and unnecessary arrests and prosecutions in its first year in power.

Apparently, governance and economy finally start to show negative growth. Before the end of the second year, the country which was reputed as one of the ten growing global economies was in recession. Economic indicator aside, the failing security architecture has been witnessed in all theaters of operation. Conflict escalations in most areas were being witnessed. Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) continued to rise as conflicts engulfs the state. Youth and elites migration have more than doubled within three years, and statistics on youth unemployment is reading above one third of population. The national currency’s value in international trade fell by over 200 percent in the first year of this government and it took direct intervention of the Central Bank of Nigeria to shore up the Naira to its current 360 to one dollar status.

Failed economy, repetitive conflicts, insurrections, low school attendance, thriving illicit economies, and high youth emigration, according to Mary Kaldor are signs of failing states. The constant stay outside the country by the president was a minor issue until the whole world was treated to the caricature of Nigerian President’s show of shame in faraway Poland on the Saturday Night Show recently. The lack of grace and charisma that goes with the esteemed office of the president of Federal Republic of Nigeria, the representative of over 200millon people and one of the fastest growing states globally by this current president reflects his depth of understanding of the power and privilege of Nigeria in global politics.

Tinubu’s rise to stardom in Nigerian politics was midwifed by the NADECO movement against military rule in the late eighties and early nineties. The movement which led to the emergence of this ongoing republic equally blessed BAT with the governorship of the most priced state in Nigeria, Lagos. Lagos represents the hub of commerce and economy of Nigeria. Nigerian position as a giant in Africa business resides in the economic performance of Lagos State. Eight years of his direct rule, twelve years of his protégés ruling, characterized by unashamed plundering of Lagos state’s resources has created a new Bola Ahmed Tinubu. The Czar of Southwest Nigeria was born. By 2014, Tinubu had in his control a war-chest big enough to start and prosecute any political war in Nigeria against any opposition.

When Tinubu pitched his tent against President Goodluck Jonathan, midwifed a coalition of parties to form All Peoples’ Congress (APC) in supports of Buhari, the die was cast. Tinubu’s prowess and political machinery was founded on the Lagos State dynasty. This base he has always controlled since 1999. Experts have posited that the loss of Lagos by the Tinubu gang will surely sound the kernel of his political demise. Recent happenings have shown the arrival of the new Tinubu. Four month to general elections, Tinubu unilaterally influenced the removal of the name of the incumbent governor of Lagos State from the ballot and imposed a new man as the party representative. A move that has been reported irked many locals and party faithful.

Obviously, Tinubu’s power as sole godfather and power broker in Lagos politics is on test as 2019 February elections looms. Buhari’s reign and reelections as president is being supported by the Tinubu’s camp. The alliance many agreed was based on the pact to return Tinubu as president in 2023. This ambition has fueled the unalloyed support from Lagos APC for Buhari’s return. It’s a big gamble on the path of Tinubu and Buhari. Like the proverbial fly, Buhari has tasted the wine and is ready and willing to die in the same cup of wine.

Tinubu’s ambition also has turned him to the fly that refused to heed the warnings of the elders and has decided to follow the corpse into the earth. Ambition is necessary to achieve and progress in life, yet ambitions should be ethically based, no normal leader will continue to aspire to hold and office in which he does not have capacity for managing, and no normal human being will sacrifice the future of his people, merely for his own selfish ambition.

Ambition contaminated by acute pride surely begets disaster. Macbeth ambition was fueled by greed and selfish ambition to rule Scotland, never because he was a pushed by a need to work a better society for his people. His endgame led to war and carnage pushing Scotland which was growing as a nation into complete recession and pillage by ravaging armies. Equally, the Tiger would have resorted to use of might against his enemies as he was in power, but wisdom led him to the elders. Tinubu and Buhari have achieved the impossible in Nigerian politics; the time has come for them both to respect the people and leave the scene. Unrestrained pride and ambition, the elders says always lead to death and destructions.

Don Michael Adeniji                                                                                          Director, African Initiative for Peace and Human Development, Abuja Chicago Illinois. December, 2018

IGP plotting to set me up – Saraki

2019 Elections, APC, law enforcement, Nigeria, SEcurity, Uncategorized

Senate President Bukola Saraki says Ibrahim Idris, inspector-general of police (IGP), is planning to implicate him.

Speaking while presiding over plenary on Wednesday, Saraki said Abdulfatah Ahmed, Kwara governor, called him him Tuesday night to give him the information.

The senate president said from what he learnt, the IGP ordered that some suspected cultists arrested in Illorin should be taken to Abuja where their statements will be altered to implicate him and the state government.

He said the action is a recipe for anarchy.

“Last night, my state governor, revealed to me an information at his disposal that a group of suspects who have been arrested in our state for cultism, whose investigation has been completed and were about to be under prosecution under the state law on the advise of the ministry of justice, all of a sudden were ordered to be transferred to Abuja this morning,” Saraki said.

“The information reaching him from the commissioner of police that they have been directed by IGP to bring them to Abuja. With the information that he has, they would find how to alter their statement already made in Ilorin and try and implicate the state government and particularly myself. I feel that as we speak now, these suspects are already here in Abuja.

“These acts I don’t know whether to call it desperation or intimidation, all actions to undermine our democracy, a recipe for anarchy because we are doing our work by asking officials to obey the law, due process and subject themselves to constituted authority.

“I think it is important to call your attention to this dangerous development. The impunity happeneing in this country is a danger to our democracy.”

The IGP refused to honour the invitation of the senate on three separate occasions. In anger, the upper legislative chamber branded him an enemy of democracy, saying he is unfit to hold any public office.

https://wp.me/p8kB6r-1QID

RE: The 8th Senate, Not IGP Idris Is The Real Enemy Of Democracy By Bala Ibrahim

2019 Elections, Nigeria, PMB, Politics

Police IGP.pngI am never a fan of Nigerian politician, I have never believed in the processes and operations of the Nigerian National Assembly and I am mortified at the numbers of cases against the present members of this eight Senate of the federal Republic, yet we need to face issues when our national institution of democratic governance are being ridiculed in the public domain. Most Nigerians imbued with ‘messiah worshipping zeal’ are wont to misunderstand the basics of a presidential system of government. The Senate of the Federal Republic represents the lead organ in the National Assembly of Nigeria given power by the constitution to make laws and oversees all operations of the Executive organ led by the President.

The fact that a Nigerian would denigrate the Senate of Federal Republic as “uncultured, uncivilised, undemocratic and immature” and come into the public domain with the insult merely due to an aversion to resolutions of the Senate on the Inspector General of Police, shows a lack of patriotism; a crude and uninformed reasoning always displayed by really inequitable elements that have perpetually resolved issues in public domain through an appeal to cyclical reasoning.

Obvious lack of proper understanding of the democratic principle and harried researches would have informed the contributions of several elements deliberately engineered to perpetuate ignorance on a condescending but largely unread public via a sustain attack on their intelligence with hugely fabricated missives. For the sake of prosperity there should be proper well-researched response to properly educate the obfuscated critics amongst us and inform the public on the proper use of words in public domains.

Buhari-Saraki-and-DogaraFacts remain that Senator Dino Melaye’s travail could have been self-imposed, avoidable and clearly challenge the process of law enforcement operation in Nigeria. That Dino intentionally refused Police invitations in Kogi State would have been construed as an affront to the legal processes and local laws. Yet a clear circumstantial observation of the reason for his refusal to attend to the Kogi State Command’s requests were striking. Dino maintained he cannot and will never have fair hearing in Kogi State, stating the case of his on-going row with the state government as basis.

For the sake of Clarification, I invite Bala Ibrahim to please read:

The invitation by the Senate was for the IGP Idris to attend its session and clear issues dealing with National security based on continuous killings in Benue, Nassarawa, Kaduna and other states in Nigeria, the Melaye issue was adjunct.

For the avoidance of doubts, a look at Sections 88 of the 1999 Constitution says, “Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, each House of the National Assembly shall have power by resolution published in its journal or in the Official Gazette of the Government of the Federation to direct or cause to be directed investigation into – (a) any matter or thing with respect to which it has power to make laws, and (b) the conduct of affairs of any person, authority, ministry or government department charged, or intended to be charged, with the duty of or responsibility for – (i) executing or administering laws enacted by National Assembly, and (ii) disbursing or administering moneys appropriated or to be appropriated by the National Assembly.”

The powers conferred on the National Assembly under the provisions of this section are exercisable only for the purpose of enabling it to;

(a) make laws with respect to any matter within its legislative competence and correct any defects in existing laws; and (b) expose corruption, inefficiency or waste in the execution or administration of laws within its legislative competence and in the disbursement or administration of funds appropriated by it.

What amazes me in this narrative remains the assertion of invaluable excuse by Bala in his write-up for the IGP’s refusal to attend the Senate summons. Even the IGP has never in any fora denied this absolute right of the Senate to invite him to its session, but his litany of excuses shows a flagrant disdain for a democratic institution. The Police Act quoted by Mr. Bala could never and will never over rule the Constitution that empowers the Senate to act as supervisor of the public trust in the executive and all its agencies.

The office of the IGP is the central management point for coalescing all operational, intelligence and administrative operations of the Nigeria Police Force, which are gathered by separate departments. The IGP’s main duty was to manage all these resources and employ them in designing an effective operational system. DIGs are administrative heads of different department of policing operations; hence IGP Operations cannot be in possession of as much information as the IGP. Common sense would have dictated that given the fact that a formal invitation was sent to the IGP, there should have been a letter from the IGP office to the Senate leadership on his schedules and possible date for his visit.

Read: http://www.pulse.ng/news/local/igp-idris-is-wrong-for-shunning-senate-summons-id8360996.html

https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/267875-analysis-snub-by-igp-idris-what-next-for-nigerian-senate.html

Disparagement for any organ of democracy is the way towards anarchy. We cannot continue to condone our public officials for doing the wrong things. The president should be made to understand basic tenets of a working democracy. When the executive continually ignores National assembly resolutions on major national issues, we have drawn the line towards abrogating the rule of law in Nigeria.

See: https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/top-news/226181-breaking-senate-rejects-magu-efcc-chairman-2.html

http://dailypost.ng/2017/12/21/magu-no-longer-efcc-acting-chairman-nigerian-senate/

The distinguished senators on individual basis could be an issue, but the national assembly is an institution we must gather round and support. The executive should learn to appreciate and support the operations of the Senate and harken to it. Our democracy needs our concerted protection and not derision.

 

 

N24 Billion EFCC Office: Magu Scored Self High on Prudency

Corruption, News, Nigeria

The acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, has defended the agency’s “modest” spending of N24 billion on its new office, despite public criticisms of the huge cost in a depressed economy and huge public debt profile. Magu claimed that the spendings are modest and public spending on such building should really have cost N100 billion.

The acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, has defended the agency’s N24 billion new office, brushing aside criticisms about the huge cost, and claiming it is a modest amount for a building that should cost N100 billion.

A visibly angry Mr. Magu on Wednesday took strong exception to the scrutiny that followed the EFCC’s completion of the new headquarters in Abuja.

The 10-floor building is about 95 percent completed as at May 9 and is expected to serve as the operating base for the anti-graft body.

Politicians have hailed the completion, but anti-corruption campaigners and other citizens are instead keeping their eyes on the cost, especially coming at a time that the agency itself is complaining of poor funding that hampers its basic operations.

“You are not being fair,” Mr. Magu said when asked by media to respond to the controversies around the N24 billion price Wednesday. “If you go and bring any valuer, they will value it for not less than N100 billion.”

Mr. Magu took a select group of journalists on a tour of the building Wednesday afternoon, during which he took questions which were restricted to the new building. The anti-graft chief refused to take questions about his own activities or those of the EFCC in recent months. 

The tour is part of ongoing efforts to raise public awareness to the building before formal opening by President Muhammadu Buhari on May 15.

He explained the cumbersome and expensive procurement process that culminated in the successful execution of the new head office, located at about 12 kilometers southwest of Abuja’s Central Business District.

“That shows prudence, that shows transparency,” Mr. Magu said.

Suspicions have escalated within the past two weeks when Mr. Magu began gloating about the building, which was built by the construction firm, Julius Berger.

The acting EFCC chairman told The Nation last month he was “excited that the headquarters is ready for use” and placed it at an offhand price of N24 billion.

“I will crosscheck to give you the exact figure,” he added.

The skepticism that ensued following the revelation last month gained traction online Tuesday after the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, led other lawmakers on a tour of the facility.

Mr. Saraki praised Mr. Magu and his last two predecessors for putting in their best to complete the building for the agency, which was established in 2003.

magg[Acting EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu]

The agency has been renting offices and official quarters for most of its staff at its branches across the country, including in Abuja where hundreds are currently putting up in a rented apartment.

On November 24, 2010, Yayale Ahmed, then Secretary to the Government of the Federation, proposed the new building to the Federal Executive Council and later got an initial release of N18 billion for it.

A few weeks later, Sahara Reporters published concerns about how Julius Berger won a ‘no objection’ procurement certificate to build the office, alongside a slew of other allegedly questionable contracts award by President Goodluck Jonathan’s cabinet at the time.

The new office includes a mid-size parking facility, three detached buildings, including a clinic, a generator house, and a 33KV step-down transformer station.

Martin Obono, an Abuja-based anti-corruption campaigner, said the EFCC has no justification for spending N24 billion on a single office at the expense of not only the taxpayers but also some of its staff.

“It is not feasible that N24 billion would have been spent on that building,” Mr. Obono said. “It is too expensive for a so-called anti-corruption agency.”

Mr. Obono said the EFCC could build a befitting office for its operations in each of the 36 states at the price of N24 billion, especially since hundreds of staff members operating away from the head office in Abuja would still be putting up with offices that are not conducive.

“Over the past few months, we have heard the EFCC raise alarm about how poor funding is hindering its operations,” Mr. Obono said. “So why should the same agency spend such a humongous amount on an office complex that would only occupy a few people.”

Several departments and directorates are expected to be moved to the new office, but several others will not have accommodation.

Mr. Magu confirmed this and said the EFCC would still keep its current head office along Adetokunbo Ademola Crescent in Wuse II as an annex. Furthermore, some Abuja-based staff members who are currently working out of leased buildings and living in rented quarters would continue to do so for the near future because the new building cannot accommodate everyone.

“Clearly, this building cannot return the N24 billion value Nigerians paid for it,” Mr. Obono said. “We cannot use corruption to fight corruption.”

He demanded that the EFCC publish its books in relations to the building, especially procurement dossiers.

“Mr. Magu must publish the full details of how the money was spent and not think Nigerians are foolish or that they are not paying attention to the suspicious activities going on in an agency that should be curbing financial crimes,” the activist added.

Acting Chair of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu

Nigeria’s President Draws Criticism for Seeking Medical Care Abroad

2019 Elections, APC, News, Nigeria, PMB, Politics
President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, who visited the White House last month, traveled to Britain this week to seek medical care for an undisclosed illness.CreditChip Somodevilla/Getty Images

ABUJA, Nigeria — President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, who has urged politicians not to go abroad to seek medical care, has traveled to Britain on his fifth official trip to see a doctor there.

Mr. Buhari, 75, left for London on Monday for a four-day visit, setting off renewed concerns about his health. His trip also comes after three weeks of strikes by health care professionals who are calling for better working conditions and more funding.

For nearly two years, Mr. Buhari has been receiving treatment for an unspecified illness, which he has repeatedly refused to discuss.

The president is scheduled to return to Nigeria on Saturday, at which point he will have spent more than 170 days in London on official medical leave since becoming president in 2015.

Mr. Buhari recently declared his intention to run for a second term next year, but many people in Nigeria, including some former presidents, have called on him to step down because of concerns about his health.

After Mr. Buhari visited Washington to meet with President Trump late last month, he surprised reporters by not returning directly to Nigeria but instead making what his media team called a “technical stopover” in London. His aides later confirmed that he received medical treatment while in Britain.

Mr. Buhari’s aides have insisted that the president is healthy and capable of running for office again, claiming that his political enemies are exaggerating any health concerns to attack him.

In April 2016, months before his first medical trip to London, Mr. Buhari condemned the use of Nigerian resources on international medical expenses.

“While this administration will not deny anyone of his or her fundamental human rights, we will certainly not encourage expending Nigerian hard-earned resources on any government official seeking medical care abroad, when such can be handled in Nigeria,” Mr. Buhari said, according to a statement from the Health Ministry at the time.

During his campaign the president promised to end “medical tourism,” the practice of Nigerian politicians receiving medical treatment abroad even as most citizens are forced to rely on underfunded state medical services.

After what was reported to have been motorbike accident in January, the president’s son, Yusuf Buhari, was also treated abroad, although the president’s aides would not confirm where he was treated.

Nigerians see Mr. Buhari’s actions on health care as hypocritical, said Yemi Adamolekun, executive director of Enough Is Enough, a coalition of groups committed to building a culture of good government and public accountability in Nigeria. “As he’s getting a superior standard of health care for himself and his son, he’s done virtually nothing to invest in health care infrastructure and provision in Nigeria,” Ms. Adamolekun said.

This year Nigeria spent 3.9 percent of its budget on health care, a fraction of the 15 percent target set by the United Nations.

“Health professionals have been on strike now for three weeks, and they aren’t even talking about it,” Ms. Adamolekun said, referring to the government. “So we have poor health infrastructure, an exodus of qualified medical staff and now a strike with no conversation on how to fix it, yet our president jumps off to the U.K. for his own health.”

A nationwide strike of 72,000 public health care workers has crippled medical services in state hospitals across Nigeria, and many more are expected to join the protest in the next few days.

Biobelemoye Josiah, president of a coalition of unions involved in the strike, said that health care in Nigeria had suffered under Mr. Buhari’s administration. “There has long been medical tourism because our hospitals are grossly underfunded and that has continued,” Mr. Josiah said.+

International Consortium Signs Interim Phase Agreement with Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) for Rail Concession

APC, Business, International Finance, News, Nigeria

Following its award of preferred bidder status by the Federal Government of Nigeria in May 2017, an International Consortium last Friday in Washington D.C, signed an agreement to proceed with the Interim Phase of the Nigerian narrow-gauge railway concession.

Nigeria Railway Corporation

Initiated by General Electric (www.GE.com), the world’s premier digital industrial company, the Consortium is comprised of SinoHydro, a leading infrastructure construction services corporation, Transnet, a leader in transportation and logistics infrastructure management and APM Terminals, a global port, terminal and intermodal inland services provider.

GE Transportation is a global technology leader and supplier of equipment, services and solutions to the rail, mining, marine, stationary power and drilling industries. It innovations help customers deliver goods and services with greater speed and savings using our advanced manufacturing techniques and connected machines.

In the interim phase of the rail concession, Remedial Works will be carried out on part of the narrow-gauge rail line system to make it technically and economically operable. Additionally, a joint operation will be established between the Consortium and the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) with an initial supply of 10 locomotives and 200 wagons to augment the existing rolling stock in Nigeria.

This program is expected to deliver an increase in the number of available locomotives, thus increasing the frequency of passenger and freight rail services. In addition, freight haulage capacity by the end of the first 12 months of the interim phase is expected to increase roughly ten-fold, from its current less than 50,000 metric tonnes per annum to about 500,000 metric tonnes per annum.

Speaking on the occasion, Lazarus Angbazo, CEO of GE Nigeria said “GE is committed to the sustainable development of Nigeria and as such we are delighted to have reached this crucial stage of the project to revamp and revitalize the country’s legacy rail infrastructure system. The Consortium looks forward to commencing execution of this Interim Phase with the continued support of the Federal Government and the Ministry of Transportation. As operations begin, our strong partners, such as Transnet and SinoHydro, will bring their strong operating and development skills to the forefront.”

Following the commencement of the Interim Phase, the Consortium will conclude negotiations with the Federal Government on the terms of the substantive phase of the concession agreement that will expand service to up to 200 locomotives and associated rolling stock.  This will see to the comprehensive rehabilitation of Nigeria’s narrow-gauge rail infrastructure and the return of rail transport as a key element in enabling the country’s socio-economic development.

Chief Executive of Transnet International Holdings Mr Petrus Fusi said, “We are pleased to be a partner in this ground-breaking concession and look forward to the successful execution of the Interim Phase with the government and the opportunity to add value.”

Similarly, SinoHydro Chairman, Mr. Ding Zhengguo mentioned, “This announcement is a step closer to the opportunity to transform rail infrastructure and transportation logistics in Nigeria; a country with huge potential.” He added “We are very excited to partner with this resourceful consortium to deliver value.”

APM Terminals has been actively investing and participating in Nigeria’s logistics infrastructure since 2006, and we are proud to be a part of this project to improve access for the Nigerian hinterland to the global logistics chain.” – David Skov, Head of Terminals IMEA added to the statements.

According to the Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, “This milestone project is an unprecedented commitment by the Federal Government of Nigeria, which, combined with the GE-led Consortium’s drive to modernizing Nigeria’s rail infrastructure, will add immense value to Nigeria’s long term economic growth and productivity.” “This will be an important catalyst for small and medium enterprises and a key provider of almost incalculable socio-economic benefits for the many Nigerian towns and villages through which the rail network passes. “he added.

Nigerian Army rescues 1000 Boko Haram captives

Boko Haram, News, Nigeria, Nigerian Army, Terrorism

Troops of 22 Brigade deployed in operation LAFIYA DOLE on Monday rescued over 1000 hostages from the Boko Haram Terrorists enclave. The operation which was conducted in conjunction with allies of Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), rescued the hostages from Malamkari, Amchaka, Walasa and Gora villages of Bama Local Government Area of Borno State.

Troops of 22 Brigade deployed in operation LAFIYA DOLE on Monday rescued over 1000 hostages from the Boko Haram Terrorists enclave. The operation which was conducted in conjunction with allies of Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), …

Read more at:  Nigerian Army rescues 1000 Boko Haram captives — Hitvibz

Challenge summit: Nigerian students come tops in international competition

News, Nigeria

Afolabi Williams, team leader, Olubusiyi Famobiwo, Menashi Mordi and Osagumwenro Naaman Ugbo, members of Team Neon from Whitesands School, Lagos, have emerged as the 2018 Power Pitch Winner of the Smoke-Free World category of the Conrad Foundation Spirit of Innovation challenge summit held at the Kennedy Space Centre, Visitor Complex, Florida, USA. The four junior […]

Afolabi Williams, team leader, Olubusiyi Famobiwo, Menashi Mordi and Osagumwenro Naaman Ugbo, members of Team Neon from Whitesands School, Lagos, have emerged as the 2018 Power Pitch Winner of the Smoke-Free World category of the Conrad Foundation Spirit of Innovation challenge summit held at the Kennedy Space Centre, Visitor Complex, Florida, USA.

The four junior school students made it to the fourth round and final stage of the competition, the only representatives from Nigeria and Africa that participated in the finals. They pitched their idea on a Virtual Farm project, which falls under the category for Smoke-Free World.

The Conrad Challenge is an international and multi-phase innovation competition focusing on five areas: Aerospace Aviation, Cyber Technology and Security, Energy and Environment, Health and Nutrition, and recently, Smoke-Free World.

The Conrad Foundation’s Spirit of Innovation Challenge (SOIC) presents high school students with a very broad challenge: create an innovative product that provides solution to a real-world problem such that someone can pay for it, by applying principles in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Students were not just asked to complete a science project: they were required to conduct a research to determine their creation’s potential market impact and develop a full business plan.

This annual competition challenges teams to use science, technology, engineering and math innovation, as well as entrepreneurship, to create a more sustainable world for today and the future generations.

The global decline of smoking have many positive health impacts, but also brought negative economic consequences to tobacco farmers, many of whom are in developing nations. Students were invited to design 21st Century solutions to farmland that is currently used for tobacco production, especially in African countries.

Established in 2008, the Conrad Foundation honours the legacy of Apollo 12 astronaut, Charles “Pete” Conrad, and his four-decade passion for innovation and entrepreneurship.

The students received the Good Citizen Award in the same summit and were accompanied to the summit by their coach, Matthew Omotoso, the junior school ICT teacher at Whitesands.

Inspired by the team’s outstanding young talents and driven by its passion for innovation, leading African bank, Guaranty Trust Bank plc, sponsored the young innovators to the finale of the Conrad Challenge. The Bank’s sponsorship included, among other benefits, the total coverage of the team’s travel and stay in America.

Guaranty Trust Bank plc has consistently played a leading role in Africa’s banking industry and is regarded by industry watchers as one of Africa’s most innovative financial institutions. The Bank also maintains an active and clearly defined Corporate Social Responsibility policy, which is focused on promoting education for all, fostering community development, promoting arts and protecting the environment.

via Challenge summit: Nigerian students come tops in international competition — WELCOME TO YOUTH REVOLUTION CENTRE

APC Asks Aggrieved Members to File Appeal After Marred Congresses

APC, local news, Nigeria, PMB, Politics

In a bid to address the grievances that trailed last Saturday’s ward congresses of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in several states of the federation, the party has appealed to those with complaints to direct them to the appeal panel. The party has also directed that its primary for the Ekiti State […]

http://www.informationng.com/?p=601227

‘Declare public holidays for Nigerians to collect their PVCs’ – Tinubu Tells Buhari

2019 Elections, APC, Nigeria, PMB, Politics

Senator Oluremi Tinubu, representing Lagos Central Senatorial District urged the Federal Government to declare public holidays for collection of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), ahead of the December 2018 deadline.

Oluremi, in a statement, said that the PVCs were the tools to participating in the forthcoming 2019 general elections. She also urged residents in the state to ensure that they collect their PVCs. The call sequel to revelations by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that over seven million PVCs were yet to be collected nationwide, with one million and four hundred thousand from Lagos Stat

After the 2015 elections, about 12 million PVCs had remained in the electoral body’s custody. ”With previous elections, Nigerians developed voter apathy due to a distrust of the system. The 2015 elections taught us, however, that as individuals, our votes count. Thus, we must rise up as citizens to fulfill our civic responsibility and ensure accountability in governance,” she said.

Towards the 2019 elections, INEC had released modalities for ongoing continuous voter registration. The centres open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. Tinubu pleaded that the period should be extended; and should include weekends to allow people who were unable to visit the centres during work hours to do so at weekends.

She said INEC should ensure that it had adequate resources to make the process quick and easy. She also called for increased voter education and sensitisation to achieve the desire results.

https://wp.me/p9Dwjo-1au

Okowa believes Enforcement of Antigrazing Laws could put an End to Killings in Nigeria

Crime, Herdsmen, law enforcement, Nigeria, Politics, SEcurity, Terrorism

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State on Sunday called on the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to encourage cattle ranching so as to stop incessant killings between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria.

Okowa, who spoke at the St. Peter’s Anglican Church, Ekpan, Uvwie Local Government Area of the state during the third session of the 12th Synod of the Diocese of Warri, Anglican Communion, noted that open grazing should be highly discouraged.

The governor, who decried the killings by suspected herdsmen across the country, posited that it was time for those involved in cattle rearing to embrace ranching.

He said, “Herdsmen/farmers clash is a national problem and as a state, we are trying to bring the crisis to the barest minimum. As a nation, we must go into ranching for our cattle.

“It is our hope that necessary actions will be taken for us to go into ranching. We cannot continue to allow our cattle to be roaming around.”

Okowa, however, disclosed that he had sent a bill to the state House of Assembly seeking to criminalise youths harassing and extorting money from companies and property developers.

The governor, accompanied by the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Chief Sheriff Oborevwori, the state Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Olorogun Kingsley Esiso and other top government functionaries, warned youths in the state to stop such practice as anyone caught would be dealt with.

“We have sent a bill to the Delta State House of Assembly which will criminalise ‘deve’ (extortion) by youths and anyone who is found guilty will go to jail.

“Anyone who is caught causing trouble, no matter how highly placed you are or who your sponsors are, will face the wrath of the law. We like the peace we are enjoying in the state,” Okowa added.

Source: DailyPost.ng

Know your Presidential Candidate for 2019 Elections

2019 Elections, APC, Nigeria, Politics

1.Kingsley Moghalu
-55 years old
-Professor of Practice in International Business and Public Policy at Tufts University
-Attended UNN and LSE (Ph.D)
-President of the Institute of Governance and Economic Transformation
-Former United Nations official
-Former CBN deputy governor.

2. Fela Durotoye
-46 years old
-Public speaker and business strategist
-BSc. Computer Science and Economics, and MBA/MSc. Business Strategy from Obafemi Awolowo University
-Look up the Mushin Makeover Project.

3. Donald Duke
-56 years old
-LLB from Ahmadu Bello University, LLM from the University of Pennsylvania
-Former Commissioner for Finance and Planning
-Former Governor of Cross River
-Initiated the Tinapa Free Zone & Resort, and the Calabar Carnival.

4. Funmilayo Adesanya-Davies
-55 years old
-Professor of Language and Communication Arts at the Rivers State University of Education
-Degrees from the Universities of Ilorin, Port Harcourt, and Northwestern University
-Founded the Agape Bible Church.

5. Muhammadu Buhari
-75 years old
-Current President of Nigeria
-Left secondary school to the army at age 19
-Military Head of State from 1983-1985
-Somehow we put him back in office
-Has so far spent a sixth of his presidency on sick leave.

6. Remi Sonaiya
-63 years old
-Retired professor of French Language and Applied Linguistics at Obafemi Awolowo University
-Degrees from Obafemi Awolowo University and Cornell University
-Was the only female candidate in the 2015 presidential election.

7. Thomas-Wilson Ikubese
-47 years old
-Chief Medical Director of Sckye Hospital and Diagnostics Limited
-Attended the University of Benin School of Medicine and Surgery
-Also a poet, motivational speaker, radio and television presenter.

8. Omoyele Sowore
-47 years old
-Founder and owner ofUniversity Sahara Reporters
-Degrees from the University of Lagos and Columbia University
-Lecturer at the City University of New York and the School of Arts, New York
-Also a writer, public speaker, and human rights activist.

9. Enyinnaya Nnaemeka Nwosu
-40 years old
-Former lecturer at West George College
-Degrees from Asia State University and Robert Gordon University
-Worked with the Royal Bankand of Scotland, SERCO Group, the Legal Aid Agency, and Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals in the UK.

10. Ahmed Buhari
-40 years old
-CEO of Skylar Inc.
-Degrees from the Federal University of Technology, and Cavendish College, London.

11. Adesanya Fegbenro-Bryon
-59 years old
-Chairman/CEO of Mothergold Limited, Chief Responsibility Officer forcoordinator Mothergold Consultingcoordinator
-Degrees from the University of Ibadan and Obafemi Awolowo University
-Former regional coordinator for the Department for International Development.

12. Mathias Tsado
-41 years old
-CEO of Matstrutt Nigeria Ltd.Platform
-BSc. Mech. Engineering from the Federal University of Technology, Minna
-Set up the Hope Platform Initiative
-Say he can provide Nigerians with 16-18 hours of constant power within his first 2-3 years in office.

13. Eniola Ojajuni
-39 years old (Turning 40 this year)
-Businessman and consultant on imports,Ghana exports, and investments
-LLB from Lagos State University, MBA from Ghana Business School
-Previously ran for the Lagos State House of Assembly and the Governorship of Ondo.

14. Olu James Omosule
-48 years old
-Attended the City University of New York before dropping out to take care of his ill grandmother
-Former Chief Officer for Scope America Outreach in the US
-Served as General Manager for several US firms.

15. Tope Fasua
-47 years old
-CEO of Global Analytics Consulting Ltd.
-Degrees from Ondo State University, London Business School, and Harvard Business School
-National Chairman of the Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP)
-Also a newspaper columnist and TV analyst.

16. Sule Lamido
-69 years old
-Attended Barewa College
-Former Governor of Jigawa from 2007-2015
-Former foreign minister from 1999-2003
-Briefly jailed and stood trial with his two sons in 2015 for embezzling state funds, blamed his enemies.

17. Atiku Abubakar
-71 years old
-Attended Ahmadu Bello University
-Former Vice President from 1999-2007
-Founder/co-founder of Intels, Adama Beverages Ltd., and the American University of Nigeria
-Making his 4th presidential bid under his 4th political party since 1992
-He said he is not desperate to becoming Nigeria president contrary to opinions held by some.

18. Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed
-48 years old
-Degrees from the University of Westminster (BSc & PhD)
-Former senator representing Kaduna North
-MD of Baze Research and Data Services Ltd.
-Founder and Co-Chancellor of Baze University, Abuja.

19. Iyorwuese Hagher
-68 years old
-Attended Ahmadu Bello University
-Pro-Chancellor of Afe-Babalola University
-Former Nigerian Ambassador to Mexico (2004-2007), and Canada (2008-2012)
-Founder of the Africa Leadership Institute USA
-Also a playwright, poet, and activist.

20. Charles Udeogaranya
-46 years old
-Former Lagos State chairman of the defunct African Renaissance Party
-Now a chieftain of the APC.

21. Peter Ayodele Fayose
-57 years old
-Current Governor of Ekiti
-Impeached as Governor in his first term in 2006
-Caught in a 37-minute audio recording of a “vote-rigging meeting” for the Ekiti elections in 2014
-Also in 2014, EFCC froze 4 accounts he used to launder ₦4.7billion
-Somehow still governor today, even though his rigging was caught on tape.
-Somehow was allowed to run after being impeached in 2006.
-Has HND from The Polytechnic, Ibadan.

*CARDINAL*

Nigeria News Highlights 4th May 2018

News, Nigeria

Meddlesome Fayose frustrated, jittery – APC – http://bit.ly/2w8VPLt

Stakeholders to NWC: Imo APC dying under Okorocha – http://bit.ly/2JQTruZ

Rivers APC to National Assembly: Drop Buhari’s impeachment threat – http://bit.ly/2JO8W6N

Codeine: NDLEA intensifies surveillance on Nigeria-Cameroon border – http://bit.ly/2JNVnUZ

PCN vows to rid pharmacies in Nasarawa state of codeine syrup – http://bit.ly/2w8QAvp

CBN signs currency swap agreement with China – http://bit.ly/2JRW5Ro

2018 African Banker Awards nominees list released + full list – http://bit.ly/2w5NnwJ

We focus more on private sector operations in Nigeria – AfDB – http://bit.ly/2w8UAvZ

African airlines passenger traffic rose by 11.2% in March — IATA – http://bit.ly/2w7ULrn

Road construction: LASTMA urges compliance with traffic directives, sanctions erring officials – http://bit.ly/2w90ddB

Takeaways from auspicious meeting between Buhari and Trump, by Garba Shehu – http://bit.ly/2w8MV0x

Lessons from Buhari’s meeting with Trump, by Jideofor Adibe – http://bit.ly/2JO7LUV

INEC: The art of kicking the leg, by Azu Ishiekwene – http://bit.ly/2w8RPuN

JAAC: Kwara releases share of LGs, teachers for April – http://bit.ly/2w8UwMI

Jigawa generates N10b revenue – Accountant General – http://bit.ly/2w9rzjU

FG appoints Acting D-G to oversee NBTI – http://bit.ly/2watftd

CeeC, BBNaija ‘Double Wahala’ first runner-up to write scripts on strong characters – http://bit.ly/2JP0Mev

Lawyer Nti Receives 2017 Nogokpo Person of the Year Award – http://bit.ly/2wawQaH

Russia 2018: Media centrehs recieve 2,000 accreditation applications – http://bit.ly/2w9jjAq

Niger United coach give reason for team’s success – http://bit.ly/2wbDg9E

IGP on Working Visit to Kaduna, Shun National Assembly Invitation

News, Nigeria, Politics

While the Senate of Federal Republic was waiting for briefing by the IGP Idris in its Red Chamber, Idris chose to visit Kaduna on a working tour and send DIG Operations  Habila to represent him at the Senate.

Governor Nasir Ahmad El Rufai yesterday afternoon, received the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim House, Kaduna. The IG was at the Government House to discuss security issues pertaining to strengthening Police presence in Kaduna State with the governor.




President Buhari gets Brief on Boko Haram Controls of Some Territories in Nigeria Through Newspaper

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

President Muhammadu Buhari reportedly said he only heard about Boko Haram control of territories in Nigeria from News Papers. While he acknowledged the fact that insecurity is still a big problem for his administration, he underscored the efforts of the Army in restricting Boko Haram to Sambisa Forest. This was the first time the Nigerian President will concede to the fact that insurgents are still controlling some territories in Nigeria.

Speaking during an interview with Voice of Africa (VOA), he also expressed the difference between leading the country as a former military Head of State and now as a democratically elected leader.

He said: “I don’t get to listen to music but I find time to rest. When I was a general, I gave orders, but now I receive orders”  Commenting on the state of his health, he said his doctor always insist on good diet and good rest for him.

Read Also: Of the Messiah; Town Crier, 2019 Elections and Trump Summon.

Asked what different plan he has for Nigeria if re-elected, he said: “We have not even finished what we are doing now. Insecurity is still a problem. The worst thing that Boko Haram is doing now is to get small girls, hypnotise and put explosive devices on them to go and detonate in mosques, churches, motor parks and markets and kill people.

“However, they are not able to take over any territory now, although even today, I read in some newspapers that Boko Haram are still holding territory. Well, they may still be somewhere in Sambisa Forest but the Nigerian Army has prevented them from coming out”.

Read also: You are the greatest Terrorist that ever ruled Nigeria…FFK

Buhari, who is seeking a second term to the dismay of even some of his first-term supporters, also restated his resolve to punish more corrupt and criminal offenders if he wins in 2019

“By the time we set up these special courts and prosecute offenders, I am sure citizens will know that we are serious,” he said. “Those who embezzle public funds should be ready to face the consequences.”

Originally posted in Sahara Reporters

 

Melaye Arraigned, Released on Bail by Court, Rearrested by Police

2019 Elections, APC, Crime, Entertainment, law enforcement, Nigeria, Politics

Many erupted in laughter at a high court in Abuja on Thursday when Dino Melaye, senator representing Kogi west, displayed a bottle of coke, tissue paper, toothbrush and toothpaste to journalists after he was arraigned.

The federal government arraigned Melaye on a two-count charge.

The senator was accused of deliberately giving false information to the police to frame Edward David, chief of staff of Yahaya Bello, governor of Kogi state, for an attempted murder on his life.

Melaye was also accused of making a false statement of facts in a phone conversation with Mohammed Abubakar, son of the late Abubakar Audu, former governor of Kogi, with the intention of harming the reputation of Bello’s chief of staff.

Melaye was granted bail in the sum of N100,000 by Olasumbo Goodluck, the judge handling the matter.

But speaking with journalists after the bail, Melaye said he came prepared in case he was not granted bail.

“I came prepared… just in case the judge didn’t grant me bail, I am ready to go to prison,” Melaye said.

His trial will commence on May 16.

In a comical twist, Melaye got his dream fulfilled as the Police later arrested him and put him in custody immediately he left the court halls.

The police say they arrested Dino Melaye, after he was granted bail in court as a result of pending charges against him. Melaye was arrested on Wednesday after he was granted bail in a magistrate court in Abuja where he was charged with attempted suicide, and criminal conspiracy.

Buhari Blames Lack of Education for the Herders and Farmers Clashes in Nigeria

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

President Buhari have confessed that he would have gotten caught up in the herdsmen/farmers clashes if he hadn’t  enlisted in the military.

Buhari also restated his resolve to seek reelection in 2019; given the fact that he is certain of victory.

buuuuPresident 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. 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.

Delivering his message in Hausa, he stated: “Make every effort to put your children in school, plead with them to be patient and read hard. In this generation, you cannot make it except you are educated. “Now, look at the farmers/herdsmen’s clashes in the northern part of this country. I have been telling people that if I had not gone to school, I would not have gone into the military. And where I come from, since my cows are finished, maybe, I would have been involved in this fight.

“But because I went to school, I got a job to do and because of that, desertification is everywhere, there is no bush we will go to cut down trees and destroy farms and the rainy season is not promising. Because of that, education is the guarantee. “You should strive hard and be educated, get the education that will benefit you and the society, it is not compulsory that government will give you what to do.” President Buhari also declared that he would emerge victorious in 2019 as he restated his resolve to seek reelection.  Meanwhile, President Buhari  had appealed to the people of Benue state not to cave in or allow themselves to be used by those he considered enemies of the country trying to bring it to a sorry point.

Buhari made the appeal in a statement by one of his spokespersons, Garba Shehu, late Thursday, April 26. It read in part: “Repeated acts of mass killings and destruction in parts of the country and Benue state in particular, point to the evil design of enemies of peace and unity who have desperately been trying to bring the country to this sorry point: a brother killing brother, a neighbor killing a neighbor and a community attacking and killing members of another community. “The president strongly warns citizens against playing into the hands of the agents of disunity.”

US Confirmed the Receipt of Payment for Fighter Planes from Nigeria Government.

Military, News, Nigeria, Nigerian Army, PMB, Politics
The United States Government officials have confirmed the receipt from Nigeria payment for the Tucano planes. It said the 12 Super Tucano fighter jets and other weapons it agreed to sell to the Nigerian to combat Boko Haram insurgents and other extremist groups would be delivered in 2020.

A News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report at the weekend said a senior U.S. Department of State official made the disclosure during a background briefing with ‘selected reporters’ at the U.S. Consul-General’s Residence on Sunday in Ikoyi, Lagos. The official, who confirmed that the Federal Government had paid for the war planes, said sale of the aircraft with weapons and services worth over $400 million included bombs and rockets.

The NAN report said that the propeller-driven plane with reconnaissance, surveillance and attack capabilities is made by Brazil’s Embraer.

Embraer’s second production line is in Florida in a partnership between Embraer and privately held Sierra Nevada Corp of Sparks, Nevada

The Super Tucano is said to cost more than $10 million each and the price could go much higher depending on the configuration. It is powered by a Pratt & Whitney Canada PT 6 engine

.

 

The Renegade Fulani and Nigeria Homeland Security:

Boko Haram, News, Nigeria, Terrorism

We all grew up to seeing the Fulani Herdsmen in our communities; armed with sticks, Knives in Scabbards and Long machetes hanging from their shoulders. The picture should have scared another group of kids but we all rarely get into altercation with the cow herders as they always stayed out of the city and mind their businesses.

Years later, when as a graduate of Economics from the Great University of Lagos  I was posted to serve the country in Yobe State, Northeast Nigeria in October 1995, I was a bit reluctant to traverse one of the longest distance in Nigeria and clearly at a loss. I really didn’t know anything about the culture and ways of the Kanuri people leaving in those areas. My father of blessed memory and few Yoruba elders around bolstered my courage and within two weeks of graduation, I was in Portiskum for NYSC orientation. The experience was educational, I became part of the Kanuri culture and went on to spend 3 years in Mangawa lands of Yusufari, Gasha and Damaturu as a young single man.

My first experience of the marauding herdsmen that changed my understanding of the violent nature of the Fulanis happened in Yusufari. Farmers were attacked in their farms and a whole village was burnt down by herdsmen. The casualties and few survivors from the Kumagana attack were brought to the Yusufari Health Center, which was just behind my house. The sight was horrendous, devastating, and completely horrifying. My first sight of effects of bullets and arrows on human anatomy, were so bad that I had to run to the toilet to empty my bowel. I was so shaken that I was tempted to pack my bags and leave my new lodge barely three months into the one year national service.

By 1997, the herdsmen attacks were reported to have degenerated from robbing and killing farmers into full scale armed robbery on major highways in the area. Several cases of robberies were reported on the Kano-Portiskum and Jos – Portiskum roads. The new name for these marauders was the ‘Konta-Konta’. They were deadly, unforgiving and easy to the trigger. Many travelers lost their lives to these attacks warranting the government to create a joint patrol ‘Operation Kura’ to dislodge the criminal elements.

Gradually, the herdsmen attacks and cow rustling had continued over the years, one major factor contributing to its growth has been economical, and truth be told newer social orientation. The Fulani are sendatory, they rarely live in social groups. They are known to exist in family groups and ownership of cattle has been their status symbol for decades. My experience with the Fulani were peaceful. The people are never influenced by their surrounding as they rarely venture into the mainstream of societies around them. They are different and remained enigma to their hosts.

The Fulani like most tribes in Africa have continued to be affected by globalization and socio-economic environmental challenges of the 21st century. Apparent desertification, expansion of the Sahara Desert and the receding Chad Basin have conspired to challenge their main trade and the need for survival has brought the Fulani more into the hinterland. Increased need to adapt to newer realities in an ever-changing society would have been a huge challenge to the herders. Impervious to societal legal restraints and political authority, the Fulani in our towns and villages are possibly challenged, feel too bugged down by rules and completely oppressed.

Increased access to health and social resource have also contributed to a burgeoning youth population in Nigeria and many states in Africa leading to more pressure on an economic that stopped growing since the seventies. Increased population in the Fulani community not paired with substantial expansion in cattle stocks must have created a new Fulani youth without cattle. Imagine a Fulani living without a herd, what else is this new group qualified for?

Before we started running out to Libya to assuage meaning to the ongoing daily killings by the herdsmen in our midst, I think we should join the president in sorting out the wheat from the shaft. Will somebody up there in the corridor of power please whisper to the president, the fact that there have been an emergence of a new class of lawless Fulani without any cattle and source of income that have become menace to our society. Accessing the issue from this angle will allow us to understand the issue from a criminal point of view. These renegades are criminals and should be treated in like manner. It shouldn’t be an issue if they are Fulani or Yoruba. Any groups that come all out to destabilize the peace of the Nigerian homeland should be with all state’s law enforcement apparatus at our disposal.

 

Probably, the predominance of men of Fulani extraction in the inner security circle of the president could be a contributive factor for the perennial denial of the president and its team anytime the word Fulani herdsmen come into play. Many analyst are of the opinion that the President and his security chiefs defends the Fulani herdsmen even when the Miyeti Allah group openly admits culpability in several killings. The Miyeti Allah have through several fora sent messages to Benue and Taraba states government to stop anti-grazing laws as a condition for peace in their areas.

 

While Benue and Taraba Governors have stubbornly refused to accede to this honorable request to allow cow to take over their streets and offices like we have in Abuja currently, the killing have equally refused to abate. Instead of bowing to the Miyeti Allah’s demand and save thousands from gun wielding degenerates, Ortom went ahead and set up a vigilante to secure his state from further attacks. Unfortunately, Ortom never did thorough diligence on his security adviser’s background. Facts coming out showed that he had employed a terrorist to reduce killings in his state. Some schools of thought even concluded that Ortom was merely using “a thief to catch a thief”. But all in all, the army investigative team after months of non-preventive patrols have discovered that the Benue State Vigilante team are responsible for the herdsmen killings in Benue state.

 

I am sure by now the Tiv and Idoma people of Benue state would have been on the street dancing their traditional sexy contraction moves to honour the announcement of the arrest of these killers. Should we just dismantle all IDP camps and send the people back to their villages, now that we have arrested the issue? Maybe Trump should even be told that the issue of the herdsmen are on its way out as the major group responsible are now in custody and pray that we got it right this time.

 

I am never a pessimist, yet I am bothered by the attention we are giving to the continual death from these herdsmen killings. From actual denial of the existence of a systematic killing campaign in northern Nigeria and allowing the problem to degenerate and spread to every areas of the country; to a systematic allusion to its existence and caused by economic pressures, to blaming the death of thousands of our brothers on Libyan Civil war that ended years ago and now to the point that we are all out saying politicians caused it.

Having attended training and workshops with several of our security leaders, I am sure we have highly intelligent officers in all our security organisation. Current security appraisal and operations have continued to amaze most security professionals. The apparent lack of academic inputs in Nigerian security policy formulation have been blamed for the disjointed policy infrastructure we have in place today. There exists need for a proper reevaluation of our security mix, a proper redesign of our processes, and an introduction of an efficient system for monitoring and evaluating security operation in Nigeria.

 

The office of the NSA is an aberration that needed to be looked at, the NSA cannot at the same time be a security policy maker, security agencies supervisor and an active security agency. We cannot pursue a robust security operations when the system is in a flux. Proper use of resources can only be assured when tasks are tied to measurable and evaluable timelines. We cannot manage our security efficiently without putting the system in the right. Someone should please tell the President.

 

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”

Ambode: Lagos can host FIFA Tournament — cheepowersblog

Entertainment, International Finance, News, Nigeria, sports

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday evening said that the State has the capacity to host international football

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday evening said that the State has the capacity to host international football tournaments and use sports as a tool to showcase its rich tourism, hospitality and entertainment culture. Governor Ambode, who spoke when he received the President of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), Gianni Infantino and his team on a courtesy visit to the Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja, said the population, soccer enthusiasm and the tourism potentials that abound in the State are indicators to the fact that the State has the enabling environment to receive any FIFA projects in Nigeria. The Governor, while welcoming the choice of Lagos as the host city of the FIFA Executive Committee Summit, said it would present a great opportunity for the State to showcase its huge investment in football development especially for youths and women.
He also expressed confidence that the FIFA President and his team, after the visit, would consider Lagos favourably to host a FIFA competition, while also pledging support for events by the world’s football governing body. “I want to say that we are so excited that Lagos is playing host to the FIFA Executive Summit, we would be the second African city that would be hosting this kind of meeting and we are excited that you decided that Lagos would host it. “It is very important for us because soccer is big in Lagos and we are able to show you the kind of facilities and things that football can actually do to us as a nation.
I believe strongly that your hosting this meeting in Lagos portends greater potentials for us in Lagos; we are very strong on youth development and youth soccer development and also soccer development for women. “I believe as you decide tomorrow and then days after on where you intend to put your projects, Lagos stands to welcome all the projects of FIFA. We have the population, the enthusiasm and we also have the tourism potentials to actually receive any FIFA projects in Nigeria,” Governor Ambode said. Besides, Governor Ambode thanked Infantino for deeming it fit to select a retired Chief Judge of Lagos, Justice Ayotunde Philips as a member of the Ethics Committee of FIFA, saying that it was a testament to the State’s credibility.
“I want to personally thank you for selecting one of our retired Chief Judges, Justice Philips into the Ethics Committee of FIFA and that happens to be one of the most important committees in FIFA and I believe strongly that for us to have produced one of those members goes to show how credible that we can be in Lagos,” he said. Governor Ambode who also spoke at the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF/Aiteo) Awards held at Eko Hotels and Suites, Lagos, said that partnering with the NFF for the hosting of the award was also a privilege to showcase the Lagos as the emerging sports hub for Africa.
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via Ambode: Lagos can host FIFA Tournament — cheepowersblog