Nigerian President was at the ECOWAS Heads of Government meetings in Abuja

News

President Muhammadu Buhari Saturday participated at the 54th Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the ECOWAS in Abuja.

Speaking at the session, Buhari said: “Despite these successes, ECOWAS is still confronted by several challenges. The sub-region continues to face difficulties in the economic, governance, peace, security and humanitarian fields.”

According to him, “These lofty ideals are however not attainable without peace and security. That is why I have decided to make the issue of peace and security the major focus of my Chairmanship. I am happy to inform this august assembly that our efforts have started yielding dividends as we have been able to douse tension and restore confidence in some potentially disruptive political situations, particularly in Guinea Bissau, Togo and Mali.

“It is a matter of concern that terrorism and violent extremism have continued to threaten the peace and security in our sub-region. This threat calls for collective action on our part, if we are to effectively and definitively eliminate it. As we work on new strategies to combat and eradicate this menace, we require the support of our partners…”

Read the full text of President Buhari’s statement here:

https://lnkd.in/gJ23tRY

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The Risk of Election Violence in Nigeria is Not Where You Think

2019 Elections, Africa, APC, Oil, PDP, PMB, Politics, Power, SEcurity

Containing violence at the state level will be key to a peaceful election

Wednesday, December 5, 2018 / BY: Oge Onubogu ; Idayat Hassan

Nigeria’s political parties are in full campaign mode ahead of national and state-level elections early next year, and unfortunately signs are emerging that election-related violence is a real possibility. It’s not too late, however, for Nigerians and the international community to take steps to reduce the risks of coercion and possibly even bloodshed. To do so effectively, it’s crucial that as much attention be paid to flashpoints at the state level as to tensions surrounding the higher profile campaign for president.

People gather and watch election coverage at a small market in Kano, northern Nigeria, March 31, 2015. (Samuel Aranda/The New York Times)
People gather and watch election coverage at a small market in Kano, northern Nigeria, March 31, 2015. (Samuel Aranda/The New York Times)

In Nigeria, All Politics is Local

September’s off-cycle election for governor in the southwestern state of Osun illustrates the intensity of state elections and the accompanying risks. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the initial results inconclusive because of technical problems and other disruptions, and the vote had to be redone. In the second round, U.S., European Union and U.K. observers reported that they found “incidents of interference and intimidation of voters, and heard reports of harassment of party monitors, journalists and domestic observers.” Social media posts showed photos of allegedly injured civilians. Higher profile state races in 2019 are likely to be even more volatile.

State-level elections are important for democratic development in Nigeria, which serves as a bellwether for stability in Africa as the continent’s most populous country and biggest oil-producing nation. State races often function as a proving ground for candidates aspiring to national office. Moreover, the country’s powerful state governors, who allocate federally disbursed revenue and shape policy on development and security, oversee the state election commissions that manage local government elections—the essence of grassroots democracy.

The 2019 state-level voting will usher in leadership to some of the most populous and economically important states in Nigeria, including Lagos, Kano and Rivers, as well as in states that experience recurring intercommunal violence including Plateau, Kaduna and Benue.

The electoral calendar will be crowded in the first quarter of 2019. Just two weeks after the general elections, balloting will take place on March 2 to select governors and state assemblies in 29 of Nigeria’s 36 states (seven others are scheduled off-cycle for various reasons). In the 29 contests, incumbent governors are defending 19 seats. Of those, 12 are members of President Muhammadu Buhari’s ruling All Progressives Congress (APC). The other seven belong to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) of opposition candidate and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar. Incumbent governors running for a second four-year term hold significant advantages because of their domination of state party structures, leverage over powerful patronage networks and the ways they can manage to employ state funds to bolster their campaigns.

In Lagos state, the APC incumbent lost in the October primary, and in the remaining nine of the 29 state contests (Borno, Gombe, Imo, Kwara, Nasarawa, Ogun, Oyo, Yobe and Zamfara), the incumbents cannot run again because of term limits, making for competitive open races.

A Complex Risk Environment

In the 2015 state elections, voting generally proceeded smoothly across the country, according to the Center for Democracy and Development (CDD), a U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) partner organization in Nigeria. Even so, “significant incidences of shootings, protests, arson and fatalities were recorded in most geopolitical zones,” the CDD reported.

Three years later, conditions have changed. The nature of these changes—and the forces behind them—must be considered in weighing whether state-level election violence is likely, and if so, how to prevent it or mitigate the consequences.

The number of violent conflicts across the country and their toll have increased. Clashes between farmers and herders over land and water have escalated and are particularly deadly in the northern states of Benue, Taraba, Plateau, Adamawa, Zamfara and Kaduna. Some of those states, including Benue and Plateau, fall within the politically influential region of North Central Nigeria.

In the country’s Northeast, the military claims to have decimated Boko Haram, but the group continues to stage well-publicized attacks. Meanwhile, paramilitary forces organized in response to the terrorist threat now pose a danger themselves in places such as Borno state. So, the contest to replace Borno’s term-limited Governor Kashim Shettima will be especially important.

Another change since 2015 is proliferating fissures within the APC and the PDP. In Kano, northern Nigeria’s most populous state and long considered a harbinger of a party’s political prospects across that region, divisions are deep within the APC between supporters of incumbent Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and backers of Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, formerly the state’s governor, and now member of the opposition PDP. Already, the party primaries in October in Zamfara were marred by violence. Preparations for that state’s elections in March continue to be controversial, as INEC has declined to accept the APC’s gubernatorial candidate, saying the party submitted his name too late.

As intraparty conflicts sharpen, rivalry between the APC and the PDP remains intense. That competition lies at the root of persistent violence, including around elections, in the Niger Delta’s leading oil producer, Rivers state—hostility heightened by the APC’s growing challenge to the PDP’s previous dominance in the lead-up to the 2015 vote. The Fund for Peace, another USIP partner in Nigeria, reports that “the personal rivalry between former Governor Rotimi Amaechi (APC) and current Governor Ezenwo Nyesom Wike (PDP)” exacerbates divisions along party lines. Rivers state is considered a political crown jewel for any party able to capture control of the jurisdiction.

How Election Violence can be Mitigated

So, what can be done? Nigeria must be held to a higher standard than in the past in order to fulfill its proper role as the best example of democratic development in Africa. While there has been much improvement in recent years, the country’s political leaders need to do better.

First, planning for prevention of election violence needs to occur earlier and be sustained longer to contain post-election incidents.

Secondly, the United States and international community, including the African Union and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), should intensify their pre-election diplomacy. All stakeholders with potential influence on Nigeria’s leaders must clearly convey their expectation that Nigeria’s political parties will act responsibly throughout campaigns, balloting and the post-election period. They must demand that parties discipline their members, officials and their candidates should they violate standards of acceptable conduct.

Finally, Nigerian authorities should identify credible state-level and community leaders in advance who could provide leadership and advice—or even mediation—in the event of rising tensions. USIP’s Nigeria Working Group on Peacebuilding and Governance, a group of eminent civic leaders, could be a source of support, and there may be other community leaders with the skills and influence to prevent and defuse violence. Some states already have institutions designed to reduce violence, such as the Plateau State Peacebuilding Agency and the Kaduna State Peacebuilding Commission. These bodies are still getting their footing, but they can work closely with local community leaders and civil society representatives.

While Nigeria has made major strides since democracy was restored almost 20 years ago, the struggle to control the widespread violence that plagues its communities is far from over. Reducing election-related violence, especially in the all-important state gubernatorial elections, is a crucial place to start.

Oge Onubogu is a senior program officer for Africa programs at USIP. Idayat Hassan is the director of the Centre for Democracy and Development–West Africa, an Abuja-based policy advocacy and research organization.

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

Negotiating new Leadership for Nigeria

Africa, PMB, Politics, Power, SEcurity

Leadership have been identified as a service which combine all human and nonhuman resources nurturing them to produce real and measurable results in any organisation or society. Any society without leaders with inherent ability to manage people and resources properly always fail.

The failure of the Nigerian society is regtetable given inherent human reaources and immeasurable minerals deposits. The paucity of able men to steer the affairs of this nation to Eldorado has been blamed on obvious lack of capable hands to manage these inherent potentials.

In 2015, a desperate move by the public led to hugely aclaimed judgemental error. The people elected an ancient and tired hand to manage a festering modern problem. Several schools have concluded that the uniqueness of the Nigerian problem requires a more agile and dedicated decision maker hence current leaders cannot nd might not be the batch to negotiate a new deal for Nigerians.

Great leaders are known by their acute listening and negotiation senses. Unfortunately leadership in Nigeria is based on the use of blunt force to overwhelm all nad any opposition. Government suspends rthe ruke of law and imposes the rule of force to serve their personal ends.

As the 2019 elections approaches,aside from all rhetorics there exists need for an academic look at basic qualifications for a new president for Nigeria. While many analyst and public commentators have contribute to this discussion, I will love to add these few qualities to the till.

For Nigeria to succeed, its leaders must be willing to understand the neeed to articulate national interest and move from self or regional interest. We must have leaders willing to stand and negotiate with global leaders using articulated national interest to design a place for Nigeria in International finance and trade. No nation can develop and geow without playing a major role in international trade. Effective leaders seek to understand the interests of those they lead and to find ways of satisfying those interests in order to achieve organizational and societal goals.

Nigerian are fleeing the country in thousands because of lack of business opportunities and means of achieving their individual and collective aspurations within Nigeria. It is ab I it time the Nigerian State recognise that human security goes beyond proviso of physical armed guards. Nigerian economy needed a boast and noone will give you what you never asked for. Nigeria cannot continue to attend international organisation meeting as a side show. A nation of over 200 million people, the largest market and biggest economy in Africa should be able to negotiate trade deals that give advantage to its people.

The leader Nigeria need should be firm and meliable enough to negotiate local and international business and trading relationships. The era of illmanaged international agreements and negotiations should come to an end. The new leader shoukd look at government as viable concern with potential for growth.

Relationships are the basis of trust. Positive relationships are important because they engender trust – a vital means of securing desired actions from others. People will be willing to sacrifice more when the leaders visions are clearer and are communicated in more friendly environment.

The right leadership is the voice of the people and uses his voice to negotiate a vision for the people using collaborative approach The age of know all solution leadership shoukd be jettisoned. New leasers must be able to fave squarely the challenge of forging a single vision out of the multiplicity of visions held by the group’s members.

National consensus are not easy to achieve but with the right voice, which the people can trust it’s achievable.

#justkukukilllme

Boko Haram will take years to ‘eliminate’: UN envoy

Boko Haram, News

File: AFP

Despite military successes scored against Boko Haram jihadists, it will take years to “completely eliminate” the group, a United Nations envoy told AFP Tuesday.

“Boko Haram has proven to be a resilient group…I think it will take time to totally eliminate,” said Muhammad Ibn Chambas, special envoy to the UN secretary general for West Africa and the Sahel.

“What we are seeing is that Boko Haram has become part of an international terrorism network.”

Chambas was speaking on the sidelines of a Lake Chad regional summit in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state and birthplace of Boko Haram.

Governors from four countries straddling the lake – Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon – are meeting for two days to discuss regional co-operation on stabilisation, peace building and sustainable development in the area.

His remarks come at a time the Nigerian government and military is insisting that the war against Boko Haram is over, despite a recent spate of attacks by the extremists.

On May 1 at least 86 people were killed in twin suicide attacks targeting a mosque and a nearby market in the town of Mubi in Adamawa state.

Chambas said that the Islamist insurgents were likely still holding on to territory in the region.

“It is relative,” he said in response to reports that Boko Haram was holding territory in the northeast states of Yobe and Borno.

“As long as they are not totally defeated obviously they are present in some areas”.

The Islamist insurgency has killed at least 20 000 people in nine years of violence that has spilled from northeast Nigeria into Niger, Chad and Cameroon, creating a dire humanitarian crisis.

The four countries formed the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) to fight the Islamic extremists who criss-cross the porous borders in the remote region.

Chambas commended the MNJTF counter terrorism fight as “appreciably successful” but warned it was far from over.

“We of course ask that the MNJTF remains vigilant in its fight against Boko Haram, we cannot take it for granted and assume they have been totally defeated”.

In December 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari declared Boko Haram had been “technically defeated” after reclaiming swathes of territory back from the jihadists.

But claims that the jihadists are a spent force have been put under scrutiny as the jihadists continued to launch deadly suicide and gun attacks on military and civilian targets

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.+

What Saraki, Dogara Told Buhari About Dino Melaye’s Travail, 2018 Budget

2019 Elections, APC, News, Politics

@APROKOGIRL

Buhari-Saraki-and-DogaraThe Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara on Monday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to compel the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris to obey the laws of Nigeria.

Both presiding officers of the National Assembly had earlier met with Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Speaking with State House Correspondents after the closed-door session, both presiding officers of NASS condemned the treatment allegedly meted on Kogi West Senator, Dino Melaye.

They described the arraignment of Melaye on stretcher as “barbaric and uncivilised,” stressing that there was nowhere in the world that people were arraigned on a stretcher, even criminals.

Both officers also said the 2018 budget report will be passed this week.

source: nai

Saraki, Dogara Report Police IG To Buhari Over Disdain For Senate, Melaye

2019 Elections, APC, News, PMB, Politics

Buhari-Saraki-and-Dogara.jpgPresident Muhammadu Buhari on Monday met behind closed doors with the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki; and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara.
The meeting was held inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja shortly after Buhari returned from his weekend trip to his hometown, Daura in Katsina State.

At the end of the meeting, Saraki and Dogara told State House correspondents that they reported the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to the President over his handling of the case involving Senator Dino Melaye and his disdain for the National Assembly.

They also said the meeting which was at the instance of the President discussed the issue of the 2018 Appropriation Bill still before the National Assembly, the recent invasion of the Senate during which the mace was taken away and the fallouts or Buhari’s recent visit to the United States of America during which he met the US President, Donald Trump.

They, however, said the issue of the impeachment process being contemplated in the National Assembly over Buhari’s approval for the payment of $496m for fighter jets before he sought the approval of the Federal lawmakers was not discussed at the meeting.

Nigeria: Boko Haram Has Massacred over 2,000 Teachers, Destroyed 1,000 Schools

Africa, Boko Haram, Crime, Islam, law enforcement, News

booUtomi Ekpei/AFP/Getty Images

by Edwin Mora3 May 20189
The Nigeria-based terrorist group Boko Haram, a name that translates to “Western education is a sin,” has killed 100,000 people since it began waging its insurgency in 2009, including 2,295 teachers and hundreds of students in the northeastern part of the country alone, officials from the African nation revealed this week.
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari believes Boko Haram is fading in northeastern Nigeria and the quality of life in the region is “improving.”

 

Nigeria’s Minister of Education Adamu Adamu released the grim data on the teacher fatalities on Wednesday.
On Monday, Buhari spoke to Voice of America (VOA), indicating that “life in the country’s northeast is improving, as the threat of Boko Haram militants recedes and people return to their homes and farms.”
In addition to the 2,295 teachers killed in attacks linked to Boko Haram in the northeastern states of Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa State, the terrorist group has displaced another 19,000 teachers since 2009, Adamu declared, the African nation’s Premium Times newspaper reports.
Adamu, “who expressed concern over the systematic destruction targeted at education, said 2,295 teachers have been killed and 19,000 others displaced in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States in the last nine years.”
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Premium Times notes that Adamu indicated that “without access to quality learning, the Nigerian child is not only being deprived of education but also robbed of future opportunities which will affect the entire society.”
Nigerian President Buhari has accused young people in his country of being “lazy.”
Minister Adamu also noted that the jihadists had destroyed about 1,500 schools resulting in more the 1,280 casualties “among teachers and students” since 2014 alone.
Borno state is considered Boko Haram’s birthplace.
Northeastern Nigeria’s vast Sambisa Forest – which covers parts of Borno, Yobe, Gombe, Bauchi, and Kano states – is identified as Boko Haram’s last stronghold in the country.
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The Nigerian figures echo data from the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF) data released in April, which also revealed Boko Haram has indeed killed at least 2,295 teachers, adding that it has destroyed over 1,400 schools.
“Boko Haram has abducted more than 1,000 children in northeast Nigeria since 2013, the United Nations’ children’s agency announced Friday [April 13],” ABC News reported.
Citing UNICEF, ABC News added, “Most of these schools haven’t been able to reopen due to extensive damage or ongoing insecurity in the area.”
As of early April, Boko Haram jihadists had killed at least 120 civilians this year and injured 210 others, Breitbart News learned from the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has falsely claimed on several occasions to have defeated Boko Haram, but the terrorist group is known to continue wreaking havoc.
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On Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump hosted his counterpart Buhari at the White House.
Trump vowed to work with Nigeria to combat the Boko Haram threat and to deal with attacks on Christians who are targeted by the jihadist groups and Muslim Fulani herdsmen with whom the Nigerian leader shares his ethnicity.
Critics have accused Buhari of being lenient towards the Fulani militants.

Beyond Boko Haram – James H. Barnett

Africa, Boko Haram, Crime, Islam, law enforcement, News, PMB

Buhari-and-Trump-650x330.png

Mandel Ngan / AFP / Getty
Muhammadu Buhari and Donald Trump (above) held a joint press conference at the White House on April 2018.

America’s biggest partner in Africa faces a host of internal crises—and its approach to security only makes matters worse.
I once asked a Nigerian taxi driver in a moment of cheap, Tom Friedman-esque curiosity what he wished Americans knew about his country. He responded, “Great culture. Horrible politics.”
It’s hard to imagine a pithier formulation of Nigerian society. Contemporary Nigerian literature is diverse and internationally acclaimed. The Nigerian brothers known as P-Square were Africa’s biggest rap act until they broke up last year, “Nollywood” cinema has spread across the continent thanks to ever-higher production values, and the Nigerian diaspora is one of the best educated in the world.

At the same time, if there are four words most Americans would associate with the country, they are not those of my sagacious cabbie but rather the ones on the signs held by Michelle Obama, Julia Roberts, and other luminaries in 2014: Bring Back Our Girls. The kidnapping of nearly 300 Chibok schoolgirls by the jihadist group Boko Haram was an international cause célèbre featuring a cast of familiar characters: a depraved millenarian warlord, a helpless group of children, and an outraged international community.
But if much of the public’s image of the country is that of an archetypal African tragedy, American investors and politicians are finding Nigeria increasingly difficult to ignore. It is one of the 30 largest economies in the world and among the 10 biggest exporters of oil. It is home to more Muslims than Egypt and more Christians than Italy. It is one of the barometers by which outsiders measure Africa’s progress or lack thereof. Nigeria is at the heart of the “Africa rising” narrative championed by optimists who contend that a young, entrepreneurial population is unleashing Africa’s economic potential. It is also exhibit A for skeptics on the right and the left who worry about the expansion of Islamist militancy across Africa, about the economic and political effects of climate change, or about the dangers posed by exploitative multinationals in the third world.
The country is inarguably America’s most important strategic partner in Africa, and on April 30, Donald Trump welcomed Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, to the White House. The 75-year-old former military leader, who recently announced that he will seek reelection in 2019 despite concerns about his health, is the first African leader the president has hosted since taking office. Discussions of counterterrorism and economic growth dominated the meeting. The issue of terrorism has driven U.S.-Nigerian relations in recent years as Boko Haram and then its splinter group, the Islamic State in West Africa, have made a name for themselves within the global jihadist network.
Trump, like his predecessor, is understandably reluctant to commit U.S. troops to fight Boko Haram, preferring to leave counterinsurgency efforts to the Nigerian security forces and their partners from Chad, Niger, Cameroon, and Benin, which together constitute the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF). A small contingent of U.S. special operations forces provides training and assistance. The presence of these advisers undoubtedly deters some of the task force’s more egregious behavior, but the incompetence and abusive practices of the Nigerian security forces nonetheless pose a massive impediment to an effective counterinsurgency. In late 2016, the Obama administration withheld the sale of a dozen A29 Super Tucano aircraft to Nigeria over human-rights concerns. The Nigerian Air Force’s accidental bombing of a refugee camp in January 2017 only validated the concerns further. In December, the Trump administration approved the deal on the grounds that the aircraft would give a much-needed boost to our partner’s fitful efforts against an Islamic State-affiliate.

Boko Haram is far from defeated despite the Nigerian government’s frequent claims to the contrary. While the group’s territorial control has diminished significantly, it still moves freely throughout much of the countryside and can stage large-scale assaults and suicide bombings in northeastern Nigeria, as well as in neighboring Niger, Chad, and Cameroon. The kidnapping of 110 more schoolgirls this February in Dapchi, a northern Nigerian town previously untouched by the violence, should belie any claims that the insurgents are on the back foot. Further, the task of reconstruction in those areas that have been cleared is immense: Millions of Nigerians have been displaced during the nine-year insurgency.
Most Nigerians, though, have never viewed Boko Haram as the greatest threat to the country. More pressing is the growing violence between Fulani pastoralists and non-Fulani farmers in the Middle Belt, the region of states in central Nigeria that are the crossroads between the country’s Muslim north and Christian south. Religious questions have shaped the Middle Belt since the early 19th century, when the charismatic Islamic scholar Usman dan Fodio led the Fulani in a jihad against the Hausa kingdoms and established the Sokoto Caliphate. With British soldiers and traders in the late 19th century came Christian missionaries. Until 1914, the British governed Nigeria as two separate colonies: a southern Nigeria where they proselytized, invested, and built up infrastructure, and a northern one, ruled indirectly and neglected economically. The British promoted a distinct northern identity based on Islam and on Hausa and Fula culture, in opposition to a Christian south dominated by ethnic Igbo and Yoruba (though home to dozens of other ethnicities). Nigeria has never fully overcome the cultural divide resulting from the unification of these two colonies over a century ago.
If the Middle Belt has long seen cultural and religious disputes, the scale of the recent violence is nonetheless notable. A sectarian narrative that has begun to emerge around the various localized conflicts paints Muslim Fulani herders—pushed ever further south in search of pasture as a result of desertification—as an invading force linked to international jihadists. Ethnic militias have formed as the lines between reprisal and preemptive attack blur. Local politicians have rallied their constituencies around these militias as forms of collective defense in the absence of any effective security presence by the state.
The balance of power between north and south is the perennial question in Nigerian politics. Buhari is an ethnic Fula with close ties to a trade group of herders. Impartial as he considers himself, Buhari is attacked incessantly in the Nigerian media, especially by non-Fulanis, for the government’s poor response to the Middle Belt crisis. His recent comments blaming the violence on an influx of weapons through the Sahel following the fall of Qaddafi prompted a deluge of mockery on social media. President Trump may have been alluding to the Middle Belt during his joint press conference with Buhari when he expressed concern about the killing of Christians in Nigeria, saying that “we’re gonna be working on that problem . . . very, very hard.” If his administration is concerned about the plight of Christians in the Middle Belt and hopes to play a constructive role, it first needs to recognize that the sources of the conflict are complex, that the violence is not one-sided, and that sectarian narratives are liable to exacer­bate tensions.

Buhari’s government is also increasingly at odds with Nigeria’s Igbo population. For the past six years, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), an Igbo separatist movement, has combined a mythical pseudo-zionism that posits the Igbo as descendants of ancient Hebrews with very legitimate historical grievances to agitate for independence. The group takes its name from the Republic of Biafra, the self-proclaimed Igbo nation whose attempted secession led to the Nigerian Civil War of 1967-70. In its own words, IPOB seeks to free its peoples from the “shackles of caliphate domination and creeping Islamization” and to remedy the injustices of the civil war, during which more than a million people died in a famine that many scholars consider an act of genocide. IPOB supporters protested outside the White House on April 30, holding signs accusing Fulani of being Sudanese invaders. One explained to me that for Biafrans to accept Buhari’s government would be akin to America accepting rule by the Taliban.
Buhari’s government has officially labeled IPOB a terrorist organization. The Igbo number some 32 million within Nigeria’s population of 190 million, and while IPOB does not necessarily enjoy sympathy among a majority of them, a heavy crackdown on the movement could fuel widespread resentment against the government. The group’s founder, Nnamdi Kanu, disappeared last September after security forces raided his house. The Nigerian government claims to be ignorant of his whereabouts, but IPOB supporters believe he was murdered. Boko Haram’s founder, Muhammad Yusuf, was executed in 2009 while in the custody of security forces, who claimed he died in a failed escape attempt. Leaked footage of his killing turned him into a martyr and helped the insurgency gain traction among wider segments of the population in the northeast. If Kanu has been similarly killed, his death could push many Igbo into the arms of IPOB or even more radical movements.
If IPOB wishes to resurrect the cause of a decades-old conflict, the oil-rich Niger Delta is a region where conflict risks emerging as the result of much fresher wounds. Fighting in the delta began in the 1990s thanks to disputes between foreign oil companies and local minority communities such as the Ijaw and Ogoni. The pervasive corruption of the Nigerian state ensures that most of the profits from the oil industry go to political and business elites in Lagos and Abuja while the delta communities grapple with the environmental damage. The conflict accelerated after the execution of several peaceful Ogoni activists by state security forces in the mid-2000s. Militants frequently blew up or sabotaged pipelines and kidnapped foreign workers for ransom. In 2009, President Umaru Yar’Adua announced an amnesty that included monthly stipends for any militant who would disarm, as well as lucrative contracts to guard oil installations. This bribery tempered the insurgency, but it did not prevent the militants from continuing their other criminal activities (which include drugs and arms trading).
When Buhari took office, he diverted $1 billion from Nigeria’s excess crude account to ramp up the fight against Boko Haram. This cut into the slush fund for the delta militants and, inevitably, prompted a backlash. The fact that Buhari is Fulani led many in the delta to see his move as an attempt to reward a northern community at the expense of the delta populations. That the fight against Boko Haram has been accompanied by staggering corruption has only contributed to this image. In March 2016, a new group called the Niger Delta Avengers began attacking pipelines, causing Nigeria to temporarily fall behind Angola as Africa’s largest oil producer.

The Avengers’ attacks have not yet reached the scale of the conflict prior to the amnesty, but they have exposed a crippling weakness in Nigeria’s approach to security. The smash-and-forget model of brutally suppressing dissent to the point that it morphs into insurgency and then buying off the militants leaves the state in perpetual fear of old foes taking up arms again. In the Niger Delta, any time erstwhile militants are dissatisfied with the state patronage, they can put a stranglehold on the country’s economic lifeblood by attacking the oil infrastructure. What does this foretell for the conflicts in the Middle Belt or for Nigeria’s small Shia population, hundreds of whom were killed by security forces during 2015 protests?
Nigeria’s shortcomings in governance and conflict resolution are intertwined with the generational challenges arising from an ever-more populous and diverse society. If Boko Haram is defeated, the Nigerian government will still face a northeastern population that largely supports political Islam in one form or another. And regardless of if and how the Middle Belt conflicts are resolved, Fulani herdsmen must grapple with an ecological reality that means many will have to seek other forms of livelihood than the pastoralism which has defined their communities for centuries. The Nigerian government can presumably prevent a Biafran state from ever taking form, but Igbo nationalism will not die quietly. The list goes on.
These challenges are as old as the country’s independence from Britain in 1960, and proposals for greater decentralization have gained influential backers in recent years. “Efforts at wishing away the problem associated with the Nigerian federation have only resulted in several tribal, ethnic, and religious movements that have even metamorphosed into terrorist syndicates,” Yakubu Dogara, a stalwart in Buhari’s All Progressives Congress party and the speaker of Nigeria’s house of representatives, said in March. “One can, therefore, no longer fold his arms but engage some of the issues that have confronted us as a nation and threatened the federation.”
Any plan faces strong opposition from many in the country’s political elite, but the rise of such discussions reflects a recognition of the need for new thinking. U.S. policy towards Nigeria, on the other hand, continues to be driven by the same short-term security concerns. The U.S. approach clearly recognizes the gravity of the threat posed by jihadist groups in West Africa. But if the United States ignores Nigeria’s counterproductive approach towards managing both violent insurgency and peaceful dissent, the partnership will be marred by perpetual concern that Nigeria’s conflicts never die, but simply lie dormant.

James H. Barnett is a Public Interest fellow in Washington, D.C.

 

 

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

 

Journalist Blocked from Asking Questions at Buhari-Trump Briefing in Washington

Africa, News, PMB, Politics

 

A Nigerian freelance Journalsit based in Washington, D.C, has revealed the staged public appearance of the Nigerian President at the Rose Garden with his host, President Trump to meet the world media. He maintained that he tried severally to ask president Muhammadu Buhari question during his state briefing with U.S president, Donal Trump at the White House yesterday.
According to the reporter, Simon Ateba who was among other journalists present at the briefing , he was prevented by a lady from asking a question as he realized that the president had already been given questions which were meant to be  asked.

He shared his experience  on Facebook.

“I did not ask a question today to President Trump or President Buhari because the White House has a protocol. It asks every President to choose 2 journalists who will ask them questions. Nigerian questions went through the Nigerian Embassy.
The President was told what they will ask him. I felt sad. I raised my hand and President Trump came close to making me ask my question. One Nigerian lady in New York was hitting me in the back not to ask a question. It was not my day here in the Rose Garden inside the White House in Washington DC. But after the questions were asked, I realized that I may be playing on a different league. I thank God.  Being independent in journalism is crucial. But sustaining it is hard without enough ads. When the government flies you to DC, lodges you and promises you money, it’s hard to do serious journalism work. But I thank God for blessing”.

US President says killing of Christians in Nigeria is unacceptable

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

President Donald TrumpPresident Donald Trump (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

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

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.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Why President Buhari Needs To Be Impeached Now” – Senator Owie

APC, News, PMB, Politics

The former Chief Whip of the upper legislative chamber and one of the leaders of Action Democratic Party, ADP, Senator Rowland Owie, has accused the President Muhammadu Buhari-led executive arm of government of carrying out the attack on Senate where the mace was stolen.

Speaking in an interview with Daily Sun, Owie condemned the invasion of the senate by thugs, alleging that the disgraceful act had the support of security agents. The former lawmaker also accused the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, of not promoting democracy with its acts. He called on the National Assembly to start the process of President Buhari’s impeachment immediately for spending over 469 million dollars on helicopter without approval from the National Assembly.

In his words;

“It is a desecration of the order; all those that were involved certainly committed treason. When I was looking at the newspaper, I saw the vehicle that was used.

“I asked one of my sons the name of the vehicle and he said it was ‘Infiniti’, that the car cost almost 80million. That type of vehicle is not owned by a street hawker, it is not owned by a teacher, it must be owned by a top government official. “For thugs to go through the well fortified gates of the National Assembly and then enter into the chamber of the senate where there is electronic check, it means that there was total collaboration with the security agents. From all indications what happened was supported by the executive of this country.

“For them to be able to leave the National Assembly with the mace it is a shame on this nation, it is a shame on the security agencies. It means that all the security agents were aware and they were told to stand down. “Police at the assembly are not less than 100 officers, so I don’t see how thugs could have breached the security if it wasn’t planned. All those involved should be brought to justice.

“If Nigerians don’t wake up it will be a disaster. This APC government headed by Muhammadu Buhari is not people-oriented. It is unfortunate that there are very good people inside it but they are quiet. “And when you are quiet in the face of injustice it means that the individual doesn’t have the fear of God in him. My colleagues in the National Assembly have not lived up to expectation in checking the excesses of the executive.

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“The legislature is the most important tool in democracy; the legislature should endeavor to check the executive. There have been a lot of irresponsible actions taken by the executive which the senate has failed to address.” Asked what he specifically would you have loved to see the National Assembly do to the executive, Senator Owie added, “How can the National Assembly which has the authority of confirmation of appointees reject the statutory appointment of an official and then the executive goes behind to retain such person?

“How can the executive neglect the rejection of the legislature? If the Senate was not sparing the rod, the moment the executive went ahead to confirm the appointment they would have removed the allocation meant for the particular office or position, so that if the chairman works and is paid, whoever that paid him would have committed an impeachable offence.

“The executive in this government has looked down on the National Assembly time and time again. How can the president spend over 469 million dollars on helicopter without approval from the National Assembly? The Senate should immediately send Buhari a message and begin impeachment procedure against him.”

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source: nai

Senators, Reps Collecting Signatures To Impeach Buhari – The Cable

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TheCable filed a report on what the section says.

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

 

$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

The National Assembly on Strike to Protest Insecurity in Benue, Kogi, Nassarawa and Bornu State

Boko Haram, Crime, News, PMB, Politics

The NASS has resolved to invite President Buhari to adress questions on insecurity in the country. The House of Representatives has also resolved to go on three days recess to protest insecurity in Nigeria- The House also moved that its leaders should pay a fact finding visit to the President to ask pertinent questions on insecurity in Benue and other parts of the country. -the Senate has also resolved to invite the IGP to brief the Senate on national security issues and the arrest and manhandling  of Senator Dino Melaye by the Police.

buuuuThe relatively unchecked reign of terror campaign fomented through the daily killings in Benue, Nassarawa and other States in Nigeria has led to the Vote of no confidence in Nigeria National security apparatus and the security chiefs by the National Assembly. the eight assembly has resolved to call the President to brief on the plans for security in the country and showed the House the programme to effectively deal with the menace.

Daily record of scores of mortality and an ineffective policing structure has eroded past trust in local security apparatus to deal with current insecurity, The NASS directly points at the lack of trust in the policing agencies and made direct accusation of collusion between the Herdsmen and security operatives in achieving attacks in several states.

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

Lazy Youths: “Critics Inciting Youths Against Buhari” – Lai Mohammed

2019 Elections, News, Politics

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The Minister of Information and Culture , Lai Mohammed , says President Muhammadu Buhari has passion and concern for Nigerian youths, as opposed to what the critics of his administration want the people to believe. He said this on Friday in Abeokuta, Ogun State while fielding questions from journalists at the ongoing African Drum Festival .

The minister dismissed reports quoting President Buhari as describing all Nigerian youths as lazy and always waiting for free things .
He noted that the current administration had invested in the youth with some of its programmes.

He said , “ Some people have just made it their full -time job these days to scrutinise and twist whatever the President says out of context .
“ I wonder how a government that has employed 100 ,000 unemployed graduates and also feeds about 7 . 5 million people daily could be tagged anti- youth.
“ Our social investment programmes have continued to generate jobs and create opportunities for our teeming youths while our empowerment programmes have been providing soft loans to over 400 , 000 youths .
“ Millions of families and individuals have also continued to benefit from our Conditional Cash Transfer initiative .
“ This is a government that is so concerned and passionate about youth development and it is not right for people to begin to quote Mr . President out of context and thereby incite the youths against the government .”