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

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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/

Governor Wike decorates government house camp Commandant with new rank

local news, Nigeria, Politics, Uncategorized

https://wp.me/p9s37f-4yK. Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has decorated the Camp Commandant, Government House, Port Harcourt, Mr Irikefe Owen, with his new rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police.

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.

ALSO READ  Ooni Of Ife Claims That Adam And Eve Were Created In Ile-Ife In This Explosive Interview (Videos)

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.

 

$496m aircraft purchase: Senators demand Buhari’s impeachment, Reps undecided

APC, News, Nigeria, PMB, Politics, Power

buuuuSome senators at the plenary on Thursday, called for the impeachment of President Muhammadu Buhari for allowing the withdrawal of $496m from the Excess Crude Account to purchase military aircraft without National Assembly’s approval.

Most of the lawmakers, who spoke on the withdrawal and spending pointed out that the President had breached Section 80 of the 1999 Constitution, while a few disagreed.

The 12 Super Tucano aircraft ordered from the United States would be delivered in 2020.

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, had on Wednesday read a letter from Buhari in which he admitted that the money had been withdrawn and paid to the US ahead of the legislative approval. This, he said, was done to beat the deadline for the arms deal.

On Tuesday, the letter was slated for consideration and referral to the relevant committee but Senator Mathew Uroghide, who had protested against the expenditure on Wednesday, moved a motion for Buhari’s impeachment for violation of the constitution.

Uroghide, who is the Chairman of the Committee on Public Accounts, specifically urged Saraki to allow the Senate to invoke Section 143 of the Constitution against the President.

He said, “Any amount of money that has to be spent from the Federation Account, must be appropriated by the National Assembly. This one has not been appropriated by the National Assembly and therefore breaches the provisions of the constitution.

“The Senate is not unmindful of the fact that the objective of this expenditure has been well established, but the procedure for this expenditure is wrong. There ought to have been appropriation before this money was spent.”

Uroghide added, “There are serious consequences for the violation of our constitution. As a consequence, the only thing that we can draw from on this is that, we call on you (Saraki) to invoke Section 143 of the Constitution. What it means is that this matter does not need to be investigated; it is clear that this offence has been committed by Mr. President.”

Seconding the motion, Senator Chukwuka Utazi stated that it was time for the legislature to be decisive. He noted that Sections 80 and 81 of the constitution stated the powers of the legislature on spending by the executive and how the executive should manage its finances.

Utazi added, “There is no other name to call this except an impeachable offence and we cannot allow that. We cannot stay here and this Assembly and Nigerians will be taken for granted. It should not be so. I rise and support the motion.”

Also speaking, Senator Shehu Sani has described the expenditure as “a gross abuse of the constitution.”

While Sani stated that he was not in support of the impeachment call, he asked that the payment be refunded and the transaction be started afresh to allow due process.

But Senator Abu Ibrahim described the impeachment call as “a PDP conspiracy.” Ibrahim challenged the opposition lawmakers to name any state governor in the PDP who benefited from the previous withdrawals from the ECA and sought the approval of the state House of Assembly before spending the money.

Senator Samuel Anyanwu, however, countered Ibrahim, stating that the matter was about respect for government’s institutions and not about party politics.

The Deputy Majority Leader, Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah, however, argued that the executive might have considered Section 83(1-2) of the constitution, which allows the President to make extra-budgetary spending in an emergency situation.

N’allah said, “In view of the controversy that this has generated, my advice is that since we have the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, issues of this nature can be referred to that committee. Let them look at it properly and advise the Senate on the way forward.”

Saraki, in his ruling, noted there were two issues: the spate of insecurity and the flawed process through which the government wanted to tackle it.

The Senate President sought the  permission of the lawmakers to refer the probe to the Committee, which was unanimously granted.

But the House of Representatives was undecided on Thursday whether to approve a $496.3m  request by President Buhari to purchase 12 units of Tucano aircraft from the US.

The House referred the request to its Committee on Rules/Business to look into it and guide the members properly on the way forward.

The House, in keeping with its Tuesday resolution to debate the matter before taking a stance, had listed it on Thursday.

But, as the Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, called on the Acting Leader of the House, Mr. Mohammed Monguno, to move a motion for the debate, some members kicked against it.

The motion sought to include the $496.3m in the 2018 Appropriation Bill still pending before the National Assembly.

It was the Chairman, Committee on Ethics/Privileges, Mr. Nicholas Ossai, who raised a point of order to observe that by the procedure of the House, the request was belated because Buhari had already spent the money.

Ossai quoted Section 80 (2) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) to remind members that no funds could be withdrawn from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation, “except in the manner approved by the National Assembly.”

He argued, “This motion is not relevant because this money has been spent. This matter cannot be discussed at all. This matter ought to have been thrown away and I urge the House that this motion should be withdrawn.”

However, there were other members, who attempted to protest loudly, saying that the House should at least debate the letter and either approve or reject it.

For instance, the Chief Whip of the House, Mr. Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, observed that the House would still be in order by debating the motion.

Some members like the Deputy Minority Leader, Mr. Chukwuka Onyema; Mr. Gabriel Onyenwife; Mr. Agbedi Fredie; and Mr. Sergious Ose-Ogun, backed Ossai.

They said the request was “belated” and trying to bend the House rules to accommodate the $496.3m either by a motion or a fresh money bill, would amount to self-indictment by the legislature.

The Speaker, Mr. Yakubu Dogara, intervened to rule that in view of the divergent opinions, the debate should be suspended.

Killings: Catholic bishops ask President Buhari to resign

News, Nigeria, PMB, Politics

 

The-Catholic-Archbishop-of-Benin-Dr.-Augustine-Akubeze

Amidst growing concerns about the recent killings by suspected Fulani herdsmen in the country, including two Catholic priests and 15 other worshippers in Benue State, the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to resign.

The CBCN urged President Buhari to stop presiding “over the killing fields and mass graveyard” that the country had allegedly become and choose the part of honour by considering “stepping aside to save the nation from total collapse.”

The CBCN made the call in a communique signed by its President, Most Rev. Augustine Akubeze, and Secretary, Most Rev. Camillus Umoh, and made available to The PUNCH on Thursday evening.

The bishops, in the communique titled, “When will this barbarism end?” condemned the increasing attacks by the suspected herdsmen, whom they said had turned the country into a massive graveyard.

They also described the killing of the priests and 15 parishioners in the Gwer East Local Government Area of Benue State on Tuesday as a dastardly act that was “carefully planned.”

The communique read in part, “That our two priests, Fr. Joseph Gor and Fr. Felix Tyolaha, along with their parishioners were waylaid in the course of the celebration of the Holy Mass early in the morning, suggests very clearly that their murder was carefully planned. This wicked act  cannot be said to be a revenge attack (as is often claimed).

“Whom have these priests attacked? Indeed, we have just discovered that on January 3, this year, Fr. Gor tweeted, ‘We are living in fear. The Fulani are still around here in Mbalom (where they (priests) were killed). They refuse to go. They still go grazing around. No weapons to defend ourselves.’

“Their desperate cries for security and help went unheeded by those who should have heard them. They could have fled but, true to their vocation, they remained to continue to serve their God unto death.”

The communique continued, “We are sad. We are angry. We feel totally exposed and most vulnerable. Faced with these dark clouds of fear and anxiety, our people are daily being told by some to defend themselves.

“But defend themselves with what? The Federal Government, whose primary responsibility it is to protect lives, for its part alleges that those who ask the people to defend themselves are inciting them to take the laws into their own hands. But how can the Federal Government stand back while its security agencies deliberately turn a blind eye to the cries and waillings of helpless and harmless citizens who remain sitting ducks in their homes, farms, highway and now, even in sacred places of worship?”

The Catholic bishops lamented that in spite of several calls on the President in the last two years to reconfigure his security apparatus and strategy, “which the President has deliberately placed in the hands of the adherents of only one religion,” and the lack of confidence expressed by the CBCN in the security agencies, the bloodletting and destruction of homes and farmlands had increased “with intensity and brutality.”

They also noted that the rate of insecurity in Nigeria had become an embarrassment in the international community, as the Catholic body found it difficult to continue to give excuses about the continuous killings in the country, where “a nation’s landscape is littered with the bodies of its own citizens.

“We are sad and fear that the clock is ticking. The bomb must be defused quickly before it explodes,” the statement added.

It continued, “Since the President, who appointed the heads of the nation’s  security agencies has refused to caution them even in the face of the chaos and barbarity into which our country has been plunged, we are left with no choice but to conclude that they are acting a script that he approves of. If the President cannot keep our country safe, then he automatically loses the trust of the citizens.

“He should no longer continue to preside over the killing fields and mass graveyard that our country has become. Repeated calls from us and many other Nigerians on the President to take very drastic and urgent steps to reverse this ugly tragedy that threatens the foundation of our collective existence and unity as a nation have fallen on deaf ears.

“It is clear to the nation that he has failed in his primary duty of protecting the lives of the Nigerian citizens. Whether this failure is due to inability to perform or lack of political will, it is time for him to choose the part of honour and consider stepping aside to save the nation from total collapse.”

The bishops further advised Nigerians to be courageous and stand for their fundamental rights to life and security, even as it faulted the recent mop-up exercise by the Nigeria Police, “since those we pay to protect us have failed to do their duty.”

The statement added, “Government should encourage and empower citizens to secure themselves and their environments. This is not the time to disarm people with legally procured weapons of self defence.

“These are not normal times, since those we pay to protect us have failed to do their duty. Nigeria can return to normal times, if we put our heads together with sincerity.”

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

Again, FAAC Meeting Postponed over Shortfall in NNPC Remittances

economy, News, Nigeria, PMB, Politics, Power
Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun

The meeting of the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) for the month of April was Wednesday postponed, the second time in a row, as controversy again dogged the remittances by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to the Federation Account.

The FAAC meeting for March where the representatives of the three tiers of government had gathered to disburse revenue that had accrued to the account for the month of February had ended in a stalemate due to a shortfall of about N37.7 billion in NNPC remittances for that month,

It took the intervention of the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, who pleaded with the governors before the meeting was reconvened for the sharing of revenue to the various tiers of government.

The Chairman, Finance Commissioners Forum, Mallam Yunusa Mahmoud, who confirmed the postponement of the FAAC meeting for March Wednesday, described the situation as unfortunate.

He stated that the development had prompted the governors’ intervention again, adding that the governors held a “high-level meeting” with top officials of NNPC Wednesday in Abuja.

“We have some challenges, the figures we have gotten is far below what we expected to be remitted by NNPC. As it is now, there is a meeting between the governors and the top management of NNPC at the State House.

“I believe this is a very high-level deliberation and something good will come out of it,” he said.
According to him, the NNPC was duty-bound to carry FAAC stakeholders along in its business, adding that anything short of transparency in the rendition would elicit questions.

“There are processes okay. Before now, you did not hear such news, but because this government is a government of change, some level of transparency is expected.

“When you pick your figures and you submit your figures, the person that is supposed to look at it and deliberate on it will ask questions if need be,” he said.
On whether NNPC’s action was not tantamount to deliberately shortchanging the Federation Account, Mahmoud said it was too hasty to hold the position.
He said: “I don’t want to use the word insincerity. What happened could be an error. If one party is wrong, the other party is right; if you add it together at the end of the day you make progress.

“The last FAAC meeting was postponed twice and at the end of the day, we made progress. That was during the Easter break.
“But in the spirit of Easter, we held a meeting, because we were looking at the plight of the workers that were supposed to receive their salaries as and when due, but based on the submission we have now, some states will not pay salaries now.
“What we are doing now is we have to table where we will discuss. That is why the matter is at the highest level and is being discussed now.”

Attack on Senate: Nigeria’s Security Structure Needs Review, Says Ekweremadu

News, Nigeria, Politics

Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu has lamented that the attack on the Senate on Wednesday had further revealed a need for the review of Nigeria’s security structure which he deemed faulty..

Ekweremadu was  speaking when he received the leadership of the Nigerian Political Science Association (NPSA) who paid a solidarity visit to the Senate, that the incident was a national embarrassment.

The Senate Chamber was invaded last Wednesday by thugs led by suspended Senator Ovie Omo Agege, with the mace snatched and carted away before it was recovered on Thursday. 

Ekweremadu reiterated his condemnation of the attack.

“It shows a breakdown of security and it is a setback to Nigeria’s drive for foreign investment because no one would be ready to invest money in such a system. So, it is a lesson that we cannot keep doing the same thing with our security system and expect a different result.

“It is also an irony that the people involved would organise armed bandits to rob the Senate of its mace since they understand the implication of what they have done,” he added. 

Ekweremadu emphasised that the legislative arm of government would ensure the plotters and perpetrators were brought to book. 

“As a parliament, we will ensure that this does not happen again and insist that all the actors behind the drama are brought to book,” he said. 

He also called on the association to help the nation to rethink its governance and security structures in line with other federal systems.

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.

U.S. builds military base in the Sahara desert for armed drones

Africa, Boko Haram, Nigeria, Nigerian Army, Terrorism
Ismail Akwei, at 08:49 am, April 24, 2018, News

In this photo taken April 16, 2018, a U.S. and Niger flag are raised side by side at the base camp for air forces and other personnel supporting the construction of Niger Air Base 201 in Agadez, Niger. — Photo: VOA

The United States is building a drone base in Niger’s Sahara desert to help in the battle against extremists in the Sahel region.

The Niger Air Base 201 under construction a few miles outside Agadez already has three hangars and the first layers of a runway, reports VOA.

Built at the request of Niger’s government, the air and drone base will host fighter jets and MQ-9 drones which will be transferred from the capital Niamey.

The drones can survey and strike several West and North African countries with their wider range. The project cost $110 million and according to Air Force officials, it is the largest troop labour construction project in U.S. history, reports VOA.

The report added that it will cost $15 million annually to operate the base which is the second largest U.S. military presence in Africa behind the only U.S. base in Djibouti.

Niger hosts about 800 U.S. military personnel with 500 of them working at the new base against Djibouti’s 4,000 personnel.

Last year, four U.S. soldiers and five Nigeriens were ambushed and killed by extremists linked to the Islamic State group. This brought to light the unknown military presence in the country which is in the middle of an Islamist insurgency war.

The U.S. said the drones at the base will target the several affiliated al-Qaeda and Islamic State groups in the Sahel countries including the Lake Chad region which is battling with the spread of Nigeria’s Boko Haram insurgency.

Local Nigerian officials and civil society have expressed concern about the increased U.S. military presence in their country.

“We are afraid of falling back into the same situation as in Afghanistan, with many mistakes made by American soldiers who did not always know the difference between a wedding ceremony and a training of terrorist groups,” said Amadou Roufai, a Nigerien administration official.

For civic leader Nouhou Mahamadou who spoke to the VOA: “The presence of foreign bases in general and American in particular is a serious surrender of our sovereignty and a serious attack on the morale of the Nigerien military.”

Commander Brad Harbaugh, who is in charge of the new base assured that the drones will gather intelligence that can be used by Niger and other U.S. partners to prosecute extremists.

source: https://face2faceafrica.com/article/u-s-builds-military-base-in-the-sahara-desert-for-armed-drones

https://wp.me/p4Ft7w-1hro

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::

APC group, PDP, SDP, Obasanjo’s CNM, others to form new party

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

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A grand coalition of opposition political parties, including a chunk of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and influential political stakeholders across the country is being firmed up ahead of the 2019 general election to wrest power from President Muhammadu Buhari’s party.
The new coalition may be unveiled in the next few weeks in a move designed to jolt all political permutations towards the next general election.
In the unfolding coalition are the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), certain leaders of the APC, the Social Democratic Party (SDP), about 23 other smaller parties and the Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM) formed by former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
The coalition is also said to enjoy the backing of other former presidents and retired generals, including General T. Y. Danjuma.
“This is not like the arrangement that produced the APC. We are not considering sending any application for change of name to INEC. There are not less than eight brand new political parties in the pockets of people across the various groups. We are thinking of fusing into one of them as the new platform. You know, such a new party will give all sides equal opportunity. We will also avoid traps of the APC which is waiting to frustrate any attempt by, especially, the PDP to apply to the INEC for a change of its name,” a key figure in the coalition told Saturday Tribune on Friday.
The coalition is said to enjoy the support of some leaders of the National Assembly, about 19 governors, including some from the APC and about 60 percent of the membership of the legislature across the country.
The last four weeks have seen persons involved in the plan holding strategic meetings at various levels at which, competent sources said, significant concessions were granted by the various groups to accommodate one another and move forward.
“One of such meetings was held in London last month. Two of these governors and some legislators were present,” another source told Saturday Tribune during the week.
National Chairman of the PDP, Chief Uche Secondus, on Thursday, confirmed that his party would soon go into a coalition with other like minds to defeat Buhari’s APC next year.
It was learnt that leaders of the PDP moved away from the initial ‘we can do it alone’ posture when they saw the resolve of the APC “to remain in power at all costs” even with the myriad of problems besetting the country.
“The PDP thereafter commenced merger or coalition talks with national political leaders, former officeholders and influential voices across the land. The new rapprochement will soon engineer a broad-based coalition that will give the APC the red card next year,” a PDP source said on Friday.
Obasanjo to launch Coalition Movement in Ogun
Members of the National Executive Committee of the PDP were on Thursday briefed on the developments so far by the National Chairman, Secondus, who told the meeting that the party was already working with former presidents, other leaders and like minds to unseat the APC in 2019.

Olusegun-Obasanjo.jpg
“Consultations with various groups are useful and in coming days, a broader platform will be raised to wrest power from APC. We commend our elder statesmen and other patriotic Nigerians who have spoken up on the urgent need to rid the country of the current APC government and enthrone a government that will serve the people’s needs.
“We, therefore, invite our brothers, sisters, youths and women from other political parties to join us to rescue our country that is in distress socially, politically, economically and security wise.
“Our consultations have taken us to meet with various interest groups who are willing to do business with us and I can report to you that they are very fruitful. We expect, in coming days, to have a broader political family working dedicatedly to rescue this democracy and our beloved country from the hands of APC,” Secondus said.
It, was however, gathered that some state chairmen of the party objected to the likely name change as a source added that the matter could not be resolved at the NEC meeting.
“The matter is only on the table but we are determined to accommodate all interests willing to work with us. The idea of name change is tricky. We are discussing the matter further and we will get to the right decision at the end of the day,” a source in the PDP said .
Some sources however said that rather than dissipate energy on name change, the party “should adopt a more positive outlook towards national development and roll out its plans to oust the APC. One thing is sure, we will not allow the name debate to derail the emerging coalition ahead of 2019.”

Nigeria as Buhari’s ‘Suara Sobo’ lorry -Festus Adedayo

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

abuuuNigeria of the 1950s and early 1960s had very many interesting personalities. Western Region had its fair share of such. One of them was a man named Suara Sobo (Sobo pronounced as Sorbor). He was a prominent transporter who held the transportation industry of the time by its jugular. An Ibadan man of the Opo Yeosa clan who lived in an area now known as Ring Road, Suara Sobo was wealthy and had a fleet of lorries in his pool. As a trade logo, Suara Sobo’s lorries always had monkeys chained to their entrance which excited and attracted passengers to them. However, his lorries soon acquired very unflattering typecast.

Any passenger who boarded them was literally embarking on a journey that had no certain time or terminal point of dismebarkment as the lorry could be arrested for having no particulars and the inappropriate conducts of the drivers and conductors, which led to road accidents, were legendary. The otherwise pleasurable ride with a monkey on board to marvel at its close resemblance of man could turn awry. It thus became a peculiar refrain in the Western Region to say a man had entered Suara Sobo’s lorry, an equivalent of today’s One Chancelingo among youths. Odolaye Aremu, then Ibadan-based Ilorin-born dadakuwada musician, once sang of the untimely passage of Suara Sobo, years after. At a celebration in his house, said Odolaye, Suara Sobo had hosted the crème de la crème of Ibadan where roast mutton and turkey flesh were feasted upon. People were shocked when, six days later, Suara Sobo’s sudden death was announced to the world.

The anecdote of Suara Sobo may be necessary here. It may be pretty difficult to know what goes on in the mind of President Muhammadu Buhari. Much more difficult is it to download what drives him; what defines him and what he thinks of the other person. The President has one major ambivalent quality which prevents anyone observing him through the media to know his persona – he is terribly introverted. If the Nigerian society were as sophisticated as the west, getting to know the essential Buhari would be easier. The American public today has a triple advantage – it has the benefit of being a free society, an extrovert as president and the benefit of technology to help it un-bowel the mind of the character in the White House. For Nigeria, it is triple assaults: Buhari’s private and public life is guarded like the sentries in hell guard Lucifer, he speaks seldom and runs a double-speak government where his minders tell the world divergent lies without synchro, which, in any case, are far away from the composition of their principal’s mind. Thus, we are left to guess who really Buhari is.

The few snippets available to the public about the person of Buhari are very disgusting. In 1978, while he was the Minister of Petroleum under General Olusegun Obasanjo, he was embroiled in a N2.8 million oil money scandal. The military however gave him a clean bill of health. During his time as a military dictator, the bits were indeed really very frightening. We have Tunde Thompson and Nduka Irabor as examples. Lean as a cowpea tree but with shining epaulettes on his square shoulders, his first press briefing as military Head of State was a fiasco. Insouciant at what the public may think, when asked by the press if he would tamper with press freedom, he answered in the affirmative. For the months he sat in the saddle, Buhari ruled Nigeria with an iron fist of cudgel and scorpion, like the biblical Rehoboam. There was little or no public window into his private life, except that, upon his return from the detention slammed on him by his dictator successor, Ibrahim Babangida, he sacked the dotting mother of his children unceremoniously. Since then, very little was in the public domain about him. There was however this public perception of him as a very straightforward man.

As head of General Sani Abacha’s Petroleum Development Trust Fund, (PTDF) this public perception availed him. Though many of the projects constructed under the PTDF were marred in allegations of favouritism, nepotism and ethnic preferences of contractors, he still wore the lapel of honour on his shirt sleeve. Global condemnation of Abacha’s primitive heists notwithstanding, Buhari still chose to whitewash Sani’s apparels. He told the world that the Kanuri dictator never stole a dime of Nigerian patrimony. He is yet to recant this blind and I dare say silly, tribal defence of his fellow northerner.

His foray into politics opened the blind a little into his grim persona. As the Presidential candidate of the Congress for Progressive Change, (CPC) in the 2011 election, while the rat-a-tat firepower of Boko Haram raged and its hirelings detonated explosives which killed his kinsmen in their hundreds, Buhari said, by attacking Boko Haram, Goodluck Jonathan was attacking the North. He shocked Nigerians in 2012 while speaking in Hausa and addressing members of the CPC from Niger State, who had paid him a courtesy visit in Kaduna. Claiming that he was quoting Professor Ango Abdullahi, Buhari identified three types of insurgents in the country. According to him, the Federal Government, led by Jonathan, topped the list, followed by those he described as “criminals who steal and kill Nigerians in the name of religion” and the third was the insurgent group led by late Muhammed Yusufu. Buhari then decorated the final cake with an icing of crimson: “God willing, by 2015, something will happen. They either conduct a free and fair election or they go a very disgraceful way. If what happened in 2011 (alleged rigging) should again happen in 2015, by the grace of God, the dog and the baboon would all be soaked in blood.’’

Buhari had earlier demonstrated clearly that he barely tolerated anyone outside his stock. While late Alhaji Lam Adesina was governor of Oyo State, Buhari, in company with Alhaji Ahmed Joda, Buba Marwa and others, he had stormed the state. Fulani Bororo cattle rearers, who have been held as a menace to farmers in the northern part of the state, had clashed with natives who apparently clearly routed them in a scuffle. On a courtesy visit to Adesina, Buhari had been quoted to have lamented how “your people killed my people.” Adesina, who was known never to suffer fools gladly, had pilloried the former Head of State for this clearly sectional statement, stating that as a former Head of State, he ought to have spoken as a nationalist. A couple of years ago, Buhari was also quoted to have told some Islamic brethren that he was committed to ensuring that Sharia was spread to all the nooks and crannies of Nigeria, a statement reminiscent of that incandescent and self-serving decree attributed to Uthman Danfodio.

In a saner clime, all the above should be enough to carve the effigy of what a Buhari presidency held in store for Nigerians. In the build up to the 2015 elections, the All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders, among whom Bola Tinubu was a kingpin of renown, deodorized Buhari, latching on his alleged non-corruptive credentials as Nigeria’s hope of redemption from Jonathan’s Ali Baba and the Thieves government. We would yet know that the personal integrity of a leader doesn’t approximate national integrity nor does it put food on a nation’s table. As lacking mental depth as Jonathan was reputed to be, he was greatly pained that APC leaders filibustered on a proposed televised debate with Buhari. A debate would have shown Nigerians what a Suara Sobo lorry Nigerians were about to board.

The last three years but one month of his presidency have shown Buhari very clearly. Still terse in communication and disdainful of the other person, these attributes jutted out glaringly in the last three years. He demurred for months in appointing ministers, which economic experts said was one of the incubating indices of Nigeria’s subsequent collapse into reception and when he eventually did appoint his ministers, the credentials of the appointees could not be compared with that of Goodluck Jonathan’s. Things went bad on the economic front. The president’s bad health, shortly after he was assumption of office, literally halted the administration of Nigeria and the emergence of some hawks nicknamed cabal who are said to run his government rammed in the final nails. Things went so bad on the economic front that many Nigerians anguished at their choice of Buhari while thousands of jobs were lost in the process.

Corruption and security, two key prongs on which Buhari canvassed for votes, have not fared better. Like Jonathan, a curious kidnap of girls of a secondary school at Dapchi was inflicted on the nation by Boko Haram and a more curious release of the girls occurred weeks later. Even though his personal frugal and perhaps incorruptible nature have yet to be impeached, Buhari’s tendency to condone corrupt people who make a ring round him is legendary. With little or no conviction secured of corruption cases in the last three years, Nigerians have concluded that the Buhari government is merely fighting those who, in its very limited horizon, are corrupt; rather than fighting corruption.

If the Buhari government ever attracts investors to Nigeria, he shovels them away with the other finger. Each time he travels out of the country, he does so much damage to the name of the country in an inexplicable way. The latest is his claim on a trip to the UK that the youth of his country is afflicted by indolence and a get-rich-quick blight.

The Buhari government’s I-don’t-care attitude to hundreds of Nigerians killed by Fulani herdsmen and its rationalization of their deaths are another sore point of his government. Now that he has expressed the desire to contest again in 2019, with the above as backcloth, it may be a fitting description to call the government he has run and which he will run if voted into office again as akin to the Suara Sobo lorry and Nigerians, his captive passengers.

90 minutes at NASS’ Entebbe

Now that we have recovered from the palpable shock that a band of unarmed thugs invaded the Nigerian National Assembly (NASS) and bolted away with the legislative authority, the mace, one hopes that Nigerians have recovered their thinking cap lost in the process of our national bewilderment. Last Wednesday, three thugs were reported to have invaded the Upper Chamber, at about the same time that the suspended pro-President Muhammadu Buhari Senator, Ovie Omo-Agege, walked in. Not only did the thugs bolt away with the mace, (it was eventually recovered where it was dumped) national outcry was diverted towards Omo-Agege who was promptly arrested but released later by the police.

Now, let us assume for a fleeting moment that the shame of this action on Nigeria never came; that parliamentarians from neighbouring Ghana did not witness Nigeria’s moment of national shame, but how did this shameful drama happen? What sorry pass won’t Nigeria sink into?

This writer has been to National Assembly a number of times and knows how fortress-like its security is. From the first sentry to the last, you would be accosted by about four posts where your entry would be subjected to rigorous scrutiny of policemen, DSS officials and the like. Did these sentries go on a journey like the biblical Baal, god of the Sidonians? How come some urchins not reported to be armed were able to dislodge well-armed officers patrolling Nigeria’s national parliament? After striking and snatching the mace, the three thugs were said to have jumped into a Sports Utility Van and sped off. Who opened the gates for them? How come three thugs overpowered scores of armed sentries?

If you ask me, I think Bukola Saraki, Ike Ekweremadu and the parliamentarians should look outside the parliament for the marionette who fiddled with the strings on the laughable Wednesday. It is not on record that those sentries are constitutionally under the legislature but the executive. The culprit of the invasion is resident outside. But methinks that the invasion is very amateurish and points to the fact that even when it plans to dissemble, the Nigerian state is incompetent on all fronts. Except if the aim of the invasion was to entertain Nigerians to some idiotic comedy, the Villa’s apparatchik ought to have read Ninety Minutes at Entebbe, the story of how Israeli police rescued 102 of their hostages held by Idi Amin Dada of Uganda. Operation Entebbe, also known as Operation Thunderbolt, was a code name for a successful counter-terrorist hostage-rescue mission which was carried out by Israel Defense Forces (IDF) commandos at the Entebbe Airport, Uganda on July 4, 1976. If the Villa read this book, we would have got a more robust script that would engage future state attempts to force its way through some uncoordinated barbarians.

JUST IN: SARS Operatives Arrest, Detain Dino Melaye

2019 Elections, APC, News, Nigeria, Politics

Senator Dino Melaye, who doubles as the chairman, senate committee on the Federal Capital territory, FCT, representing Kogi West was on Tuesday morning, arrested by operatives of the Special Anti Robbery Squad, SARS.

dibbeMelaye was this morning, taken to the SARS detention facility located just opposite the old Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN junction along the Area 1 expressway. The SARS detention facility is reputed for imprisoning hardened criminals arrested for theft, murder, cultism and other criminal acts.

It was gathered that the Nigeria Police Force forcefully carried out the arrest of Melaye without arrest warrant or court order. In a telephone conversation this morning, Senator Melaye however sounded rattled, as background conversation suggested a struggle between himself and some of the operatives after which his mobile lines were switched off.
Recall that initial attempts were made by the police to arrest Senator Melaye 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 noon yesterday until the early hours of Tuesday.

 

APC Splits Over Oyegun, Oshiomhole’s Ambitions

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

oyegun-buhari-and-tinubu.jpgThe ambitions of two leaders of Nigeria’s ruling party, APC, have caused a split among state chairpersons of the party.

The current National Chairman of the APC, John Odigie-Oyegun, and a former Edo State governor, Adams Oshiomhole, both seek to emerge the national chairman of the party at its forthcoming convention.

While Mr Odigie-Oyegun seeks to retain his position, Mr Oshiomhole, who is believed to enjoy the support of ex-Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu, wants to lead the party for the first time.

Both challengers are from Edo State, South-south Nigeria, the region the chairmanship is believed to have been zoned.

A major indication of the split in support for both contenders emerged on Monday after a meeting of APC chairpersons from the South-south.

At the end of the meeting, four state chairpersons of the party held a press conference, alleging they were ambushed to support Mr Oshiomhole.

The video of the press conference was sent to newsmen by the national leadership of the APC hours after a statement claimed the APC chairpersons had endorsed Mr Oshiomhole.

The South-south state chairpersons said they were ambushed with Mr Oshiomhole’s adoption agenda at the meeting insisting that Mr Odigie-Oyegun be given a right of first refusal to seek re-election for the position.

The state chairmen that opposed Mr Oshiomhole’s endorsement are the Rivers State chairman; Davies Ikanya; Bayelsa State chairman; Joseph Fafi; Cross River State chairman, Etim John; and the Akwa Ibom State APC chairman, Amadu Attai; as well as the APC Deputy National Secretary, Victor Giadom.

The National Vice Chairman, APC South-South Zone, Ntufam Eta, had earlier in a statement said the zone had endorsed Mr Oshiomole after a meeting of executive members of the party held in Benin City.

He said Mr Odigie-Oyegun was invited for the meeting but failed to attend. Efforts to reach Mr Odigie-Oyegun via calls and text messages were unanswered.

However, the four APC chairmen in the video said they were at the South-south zonal caucus meeting held at the Edo State Government House on Sunday in protest at what they said were plans by the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, and Mr Eta to adopt Mr Oshiomhole as the zone’s candidate for the national chairmanship position.

The chairmen said any decision made is null and void as there was no voting done.

The Rivers State APC chairman, Mr Ikanya, said, “We were here for a meeting only to be ambushed by the National Vice Chairman of the Party (Mr Eta) to adopt a preconceived candidate.”

“Yesterday (Sunday), we held a meeting which he attended, only for him to come and manipulate, sort out every suggestion and he is trying to say he has come out with a resolution.

“First, I want us to know that the Zonal Executive Committee does not have the power to elect, nominate or to adopt candidates for national offices. It is the national convention that can do that.

“Secondly, there are very senior members in the zone that were shut out of this meeting purposely. Number one, the national chairman of the party who is from this zone and the national vice chairman of the party ought to seek the permission of the national chairman of the party even to convene this meeting because the constitution states that the national vice chairman shall assist the national chairman.

“So, in this zone where we have a sitting chairman and he is not invited to a meeting, you have six ministers, you have former governors, you have very senior citizens of this zone and they were shut out of the meeting only for the national vice chairman to ambush everybody, ignore every motion that was moved, even when somebody moved a motion that he should disqualify himself having shown bias from the beginning in this meeting, he still sat there and he is saying to the public that there was a resolution.

“We want you to know that out of the states of the zone, four states are saying that this was an ambush, it was not acceptable, there was no resolution. We have said that every person is free to run in the election.

“We stand by the resolution of the National Executive Committee (NEC) that there is waiver. The national chairman can recontest if he wants to recontest, any other person from the zone can recontest if they want to recontest.

“What has happened in this meeting is a farce, is not binding on anybody, it is null and void. Four states are saying no, whereas just two states – Edo and some parts of Delta are the people that are saying that they have a resolution.

“This is not how democracy should be practiced. Arising from this meeting today, the majority view is that there is no consensus on any candidate.”

The APC NEC had given a waiver to Mr Odigie-Oyegun and other members of the outgoing national executive to allow them seek re-election at the May 14 convention.

The NEC decision followed it’s reversal of a one-year tenure extension it initially granted the executives. The reversal was done following rejection of the extension by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Mr Odigie-Oyegun’s reelection plan still faces an uphill task as it is believed to be opposed by Mr Buhari and Mr Tinubu.

(P.M)

N18bn allegation: I’ve never had N1bn in my life – Wamakko

News, Nigeria, Politics

wamako

The senator representing Sokoto North Senatorial District, Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, has described the recent allegation that he and Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso misappropriated N18 billion  while they were governors as maliciously fictitious.

Wamakko was Sokoto State governor between 2007 and 2015 while Kwankwaso was Kano State governor first from 1999 to 2003 and then from 2011 to 2015.

Speaking to journalists in Sokoto regarding the allegation, Wamakko said, “I have never had N1billion in my life. I am not a rich man. I don’t keep money.’’

He said the petition was not from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) but from some merchants of falsehood.

“It was part of the ceaseless but abortive evil machinations of a failed politician who thinks that Wamakko should never breathe and live. The frail, failed, ungodly politician and his unpatriotic mercenaries want to bring Wamakko down. It is the Almighty Allah that made Wamakko what he is now and He is the only one who can bring him down,’’ he charged, asserting, “I have never stolen any money.”

He said he had served the Sokoto State meritoriously, honestly, diligently and transparently.

He challenged the authors of the allegations to publish the details of such financial transactions in the newspapers, to corroborate their claims.

The EFCC, he said,  “is a reputable agency that has officials with respect and decorum, who will never use uncourteous and unethical language like the one used in the publication.”

On his relationship with President Muhammadu Buhari, Wamakko said, “We meet regularly to discuss vital national issues and there has never been a time when my request to see him was turned down.”

 

Opinion: A President and His Excuses

News, Nigeria

buharPresident Muhammadu Buhari was convinced that the growth in herdsmen attacks in most states in Nigeria can be laid at the doorstep of the policy on recruitment of Arabs and Tuaregs nationals as mercenaries to fight on the side of the former Libyan strong man, Late Colonel M. Qaddafi. While many analysts and writers continued to deride the well intentioned analysis of the retire general now turned democrats, there seem to be some plausible reason to hug the premises of the general’s conclusions.   The growth of illegal light weapons and arms in Africa in the past 6 years has been attributed to the growth of several mercenary -Soldiers of fortune- groups in Africa since the 1950s. The South African freedom fights of over 50 years and several civil wars in Nigeria, Mali, Niger and Sudan have created a huge surplus of people trained in warfare than the local security agencies could employ.

The Libyan war was instrumental to expansion of illicit economy in Africa due to the huge spendings and handing over of weapons to non-state elements by the coalition of western government  led by America and France. Huge amount of arms were shipped into Africa and handed over like candies to Arab groups fighting against Qaddafi, without supervision and system of mopping up such weapons after the war. At the end of the war, still armed and hungry, the new mercenary class are ready and willing to kill at the cost of a meal. Several political actors saw this new move and embraced it for the advancement of their ambition.

Yet, my grouse with the President was that we took over 3 years of his administration to get to the root cause of this problem, then how many years are we going to use to find an answer while on daily basis lives are being lost to herders attack in Nigeria? Just when I thought we have gotten  a clear understanding of whom to blame for our security challenges, the Nigerian security agencies -whom i thought must have briefed the president before he made the announcement- came out with its own releases. “Blame the Politicians” they all chorussed. And not to be left without nothing to say, the minister of communication Mr. Lai Mohammed confirmed it was the politician influencing the media and attacks against the president.

Its my understanding that those agencies and the president spoke from the content of intelligence they received and worked with, but something about my training still made me query the timing of these quality intelligence for this period. The elections are less than 10 months and everything said by anyone  office now is seen as political. and cannot be processed without looking at its political implication.

A concise look at the Presidents’s assertion was negated by his insistence later on in the speech that the herders/farmer issues are age old, economical and based on people’s need to protect their source of income and sustenance. It’s neither religious nor ethnic based. Hence I concluded that the Libyan issue might not be the causative factor but has come to influence the growth of the problem. What people like me were really expecting from the state was a blue print on a newer system of CVE that will be effective and sustainable in the long run. There need to be a proactive system to deflate the plans of these enemies of state.

Excuses apart, the time for positive actions on these issues are now. Nigerians cannot afford to just look on and bear the pains of loosing  friends and family members to rampaging gun men for much longer. The people of Benue and Kogi in the past weekend lost more than 40 people and the death toll keep rising, before the people devolve into mass self help, raising ethnic armies to defend their homes could lead to emergence of local warlords. Before Nigerian state devolve into another Somalia, a stitch in time could truly save nine.

 

 

ApdReports reaching SW shows that there are moves by the Peoples Democratic Party towards changing its name. This was to accommodate one of the conditions given by those who left the party before the 2015 general elections, This decision is said to be the outcome of its discussions with defectors and other members of other political parties that had been contacted to return to the party Ahead of 2019 general elections.

Reports in the media has it that the Name change is  one of the issues to be discussed by the party at an emergency meeting of the National Executive Committee slater for Thursday,  Kola Ologbondiyan, the national publicity secretary of the party, in a statement said the NEC meeting would hold at the party’s national secretariat. However, the reports did not include any mention of the agenda of the meeting.

Going further, it also reported that the national leadership of the party would use the meeting to brief the PDP’s NEC on the outcome of its discussions with defectors and other members of other political parties that had been contacted to return to the party ahead of the elections. A member of the National Working Committee of the party, who spoke on condition of anonymity, was said to have confirmed that the issue of name-changing is real. “It is true that some people are asking us to change our name. We are considering it. But we can’t do it alone. We need to consult widely on it. While doing that, we also need to be careful so that we are not misled. “Is the advice genuine or is it borne out of hatred to mislead us ahead of the elections? We are looking at many possibilities. Are some people trying to mislead us, or they want to really join us to win power back in 2019, or they are planning to mislead us? We will also look at the legal possibilities and encumbrance.”

However, Ologbondiyan, when contacted said he did not know the agenda for the meeting. “The agenda will be known tomorrow. It is not something I can tell you now. In fact, I don’t know it,” he said.

2019 Elections, News, Nigeria, PDP

Breaking: Police promote Magu, 17 other Officers

local news, News, Nigeria

The Police Service Commission (PSC) has reportedly promoted 18 senior officers to their next ranks –

The chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, who was deputy commissioner of police was promoted to the rank of

aMike

commissioner of police – PSC had on Thursday, April 19, promoted 45 police officers who arrested billionaire kidnapper Evans The Police Service Commission (PSC) on Friday, April 20, announced the promotion of 18 senior officers including the acting chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu.

The new promotion was contained in a statement by Ikechukwu Ani, a spokesperson for the PSC. The statement read: “The Police Service Commission has approved the promotion of eighteen senior police officers. The promotions are one of the high points of the commission’s 27th plenary meeting which ended in Abuja today, Friday, April 20th, 2018. “The meeting was presided over by the commission’s chairman Sir. Dr. Mike Mbama Okiro, a retired Inspector General of the Police. “The commission approved the promotion of AIG Agbola Oshodi-Glover in charge of zone 11, Osogbo, to the next rank of a Deputy Inspector General of Police.

“CP Ghazzali Mohammed, Commissioner of Police, Administration, DLS, Force Headquarters and CP Peace Ibekwe Abdallah, former Commissioner of Police, Ebonyi state command and currently , CP, Force Intelligence Bureau, Force Headquarters were promoted to Assistant Inspector General of Police.

“The acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), DCP Ibrahim Mustapha Magu, DCP Ebere C. Onyeagoro, DCP Administration, Kaduna State Command and DCP Moshood O. Gbolarumi, DCP Maritime, Lagos, were promoted to the next rank of Commissioner of Police.

“Other promotions approved by the commission include; one Assistant Commissioner of Police to Deputy Commissioner of Police, Nine Chief Superintendents of Police to Assistant Commissioners of Police, one Deputy Superintendent of Police to Superintendent of Police, one assistant Superintendent of Police to Deputy Superintendent of Police and one Inspector to assistant Superintendent of Police. “Chairman of the commission,

Dr. Mike Okiro congratulated the newly promoted officers and urged them to rededicate themselves to the service of their fatherland. He assured them that the Commission will continue to pay attention to their basic entitlements which include regular promotions.

Our Entire Democracy Is In Danger – Atiku 

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

Atiku Abubakar has condemned the theft of Mace at the Senate describing it as an assault on Nigeria’s democracy.

In a statement issued on Wednesday in Abuja and published on Facebook

Atiku Abubakar

, Atiku said he is disappointed.

“I am utterly embarrassed, shocked and outraged by this ugly development because it is not only a threat to a major democratic institution but also represents a grave danger to the survival of our democracy,” he said.

Atiku noted that using illegal and unconstitutional methods to threaten the authority of a key democratic institution is evil and unacceptable.

He wondered how the thugs could force their way into the Senate chamber and steal the Mace.

“If criminals could commit such security breach with impunity, it means that our entire democracy is in danger. Those behind this illegality to avoid creating a monster that could consume them.

“It is unacceptable and reprehensible to subject the National Assembly to this intimidation and humiliation. This attack by thugs should not go unpunished no matter who is involved”, the former vice president added.

Biafra Agitators Hold Protest Over Nnamdi Kanu In London -SR

local news, Nigeria, Politics

A group of Biafra agitators are currently holding a protest in London demanding to know the whereabouts of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous people of Biafra, IPOB. The protest is ongoing as President Muhammadu Buhari meets with the Queen of England and heads of state of other Commonwealth nations. The protesters were seen carrying placards with different inscriptions demanding for the whereabouts of  Kanu, the missing leader of IPOB.

roup of Biafra agitators are currently holding a protest in London demanding to know the whereabouts of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous people of Biafra, IPOB.

The protest is ongoing as President Muhammadu Buhari meets with the Queen of England and heads of state of other Commonwealth nations.

The protesters were seen carrying placards with different inscriptions demanding for the whereabouts of  Kanu, the missing leader of IPOB.

The protesters were also calling for the conduct of a referendum to determine whether Nigeria should continue to exist as a country. 

Mazi Nnamdi Kanu

Sahara Reporters.

Simi at 30: A Career filled with Stunning Achievements!

local news, News, Nigeria

Simi celebrates her birthday today with this beautiful photos

Simisola Bolatito Ogunleye (born April 19, 1988), professionally known and referred to as Simi, is a Nigerian singer and songwriter. Simi started her career as a gospel singer, releasing her debut studio album in 2008 titled Ogaju.

Her career came into spotlight in 2014 after she released “Tiff”, a song which was nominated in two categories at The Headies 2015 and further brought her to mainstream recognition. Simi is currently signed to X3M Music under which she released her second studio album Simisola.

Happy birthday to her from Team LST.

 

 

source: nai

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