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.”

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Saraki to Nigerian government: Scrap ‘Trader moni’ now, APC reacts

2019 Elections, APC, PDP, PMB, Politics, Power

Senate President and Director General of the Atiku Abubakar PDP Presidential Campaign Council Dr. Bukola Saraki has directed the Federal Government of Nigeria and the All Peoples’ Party to stop the criminal act of distributing money to market women as free Trader Moni. 


Senate President Bukola Saraki tells the Nigerian government to scrap Trader Moni, says it is a “sophisticated vote buying.”

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

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

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

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

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

buuuuPresident Muhammadu Buhari has stated that had he not gone to school, he night have been one of those involved in the clashes between herdsmen and farmers, Punch reports. The president made the comment at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Stadium, Bauchi, on Thursday, April 26, during his two-day visit to the state. The president urged Bauchi residents to allow their children go to school, as he addressed the thousands who thronged the stadium to welcome him on his first visit to the state since 2015.

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

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

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

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”.

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

2019 Elections, News, Nigeria, PMB, Politics

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Low Crowd turn out Reported as President Buhari Visits Bauchi

2019 Elections, News, PMB, Politics

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

Anarchy looms in Nigeria, as ‘constitution is now suspended’ – Fayose

News, Politics

aluko3Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose has raised the alarm that Nigeria was drifting towards a state of anarchy, calling on the international community to intervene and rescue the country from turning to a war zone, where mass killings is a usual occurrence.

Fayose, reacting to the killing of 18 worshippers and the two priests in Benue State allegedly by herdsmen, said President Muhammadu Buhari’s withdrawal of $496 million from Excess Crude Account (ECA) without approval of the National Assembly and thecontroversial arrest of Mr Dino Melaye, said it was obvious that “under this government of Mr Buhari, the constitution is on suspension.”

He said; “If half of the level of aggressiveness being shown by the Police on the arrest of Melaye because of seeming concocted allegations is shown on the killings by herdsmen across the North Central States and other parts of the country, the rampaging killer herdsmen that are even killing policemen would have been brought under control.”

Special Assistant to the governor on Public Communications and New Media, Mr Lere Olayinka, said in a statement issued on Tuesday night that “it is alarming and curious that Mr Joseph Gor, one of the Catholic Priests murdered in Benue State yesterday, raised alarm on January 3, 2018, through his Facebook account on the occupation of Mbalom community by herdsmen. Yet, the priest was killed!”

The governor asked; “Why is the federal government allowing this seeming ethnic cleansing in Benue and other middle-belt States, such that Buhari and the entire members of his government do not see the wanton killings as anything to be worried about?

“When did Nigeria degenerate to the level that people can no longer worship peacefully in their churches or go to their farms? When did Nigeria become a state of anomie where people are killed even after raising alarm that there was threat to their existence?”

On the illegal withdrawal of $496 million from the Excess Crude Account, Fayose said; “One day, this federal government will even stop releasing statutory allocations to States and Local councils. They are behaving as if the constitution of the country is already suspended and this should worry lovers of democracy in Nigeria.

He said it was alarming that “despite that Local Councils in Ekiti State were in court, challenging the federal government decision to withdraw $1 billion from the Excess Crude Account and the Attorney General of the Federation had already entered appearance in the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1264/17 that came up for hearing before Justice Binta Nyako on Monday, $496 million was taken from the Excess Crude Account.”

The governor, who described the President’s action on the illegal withdrawal from ECA as an insult on the National Assembly and the Judiciary, added that; “Only the National Assembly and the judiciary can save themselves from being turned to a non-existing institutions as already being done by the President.”

 

Buhari Appoints Two New Top Officials For NIA

News

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointments of Ambassador Apollonius Demenongu Agev and Kio Solomon Benibo Amieyeofori as Deputy Directors-General (DDGs) at the National Intelligence Agency (NIA)

buuuuPresident Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointments of Ambassador Apollonius Demenongu Agev and Kio Solomon Benibo Amieyeofori as Deputy Directors-General (DDGs) at the National Intelligence Agency (NIA).

Details of the new appointees were not provided beyond the explanation that Mr. Agev is from Benue State in the North-Central geopolitical zone while Mr. Amieyeofori is from Rivers State in the South-South geopolitical zone.

A statement by Olusegun Adekunle, permanent secretary (General Services) in the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, said the appointments are with immediate effect.

Mr. Adekunle added that the appointments are in fulfillment of Para. 4 (1) & (2) of the relevant Instrument establishing the NIA.

“The Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (DGNIA), in line with the provisions of the Instrument under reference, will assign areas of responsibilities to the DDGs who will assist him in carrying out his functions as Director-General,” he added.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on January 10 approved the appointment of Ahmed Abubakar as substantive Director General for the NIA.

Mr. Abubakar, a retired career Foreign Service officer, was until his appointment a Senior Special Assistant to the President (SSAP) on Foreign Affairs/International Relations.

Dino Melaye: Ozekhome reveals what Buhari is trying to do

APC, News, PMB, Politics

mik

Mike Ozekhome, the lawyer to embattled Senator Dino Melaye, has claimed that President Muhammadu Buhari administration is trying to crush his opponents ahead of the 2019 elections, adopting strategies reminiscent of Adolph Hitler’s Nazi regime.

Speaking to Channels Television on Tuesday, Ozekhome claimed Melaye was abducted by the police with the aim of forcefully arraigning him at a Federal High Court in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital.

“It is a sad reminder of Hitler’s Gestapo strategies of attempting to annihilate all opponents.

“Nigerians have to wake up to the realities of the perilous times that we are now going through and more perilous times in the days, the weeks, the months ahead because of 2019 elections,” Ozekhome said.

Hours after Senator Melaye’s arrest on Tuesday morning by the police, he jumped from a moving police vehicle, injuring himself in the process.

He was subsequently taken to a hospital in Abuja .

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

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

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

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

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

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

What worries you most about this administration?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What achievements do you think the Buhari government has made?

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

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

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

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

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

What is your grouse with Governor Nasir el-Rufai?

What do you mean by grouse?

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

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

What can the governor do to make amends?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are the interests for the northern elite?

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

Do you believe in restructuring?

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

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

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

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

I have not seen it.

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

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

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

How can we rejoin what we started?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sowore lamented that Nigerians rejected Gani for Obasanjo in 1999.

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

The Nation

Governance in Nigeria is spiritual warfare – Osinbajo

2019 Elections, News, PMB

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Punch

Oshiomole’s endorsement foolish, childish – Oyegun

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

DailyPost 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

90 minutes at NASS’ Entebbe

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

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

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

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

APC Splits Over Oyegun, Oshiomhole’s Ambitions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(P.M)

A true leader should not expose his citizens abroad – Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni, cautions Buhari over anti-youths’ comment in UK

2019 Elections, Africa, News, PMB, Politics

yower

 

THE President of Uganda, Yoweri Musevei, has taken President Buhari to task for his anti-youth statement during the just-concluded Commonwealth meeting in London, the United Kingdom.

The angry Gambian leader reportedly said he was taken aback by President Buhari’s statement when he said Nigerian youths are lazy and always want everything given them free.

He said this statement is untrue considering the fact Nigerian youths are hardworking and always in search of how to survive.

Reacting further, the Ugandan leader said, ”President Buhari remains the most useless leader on the continent. A true leader should not expose his citizens, Nigeria is a great country, in fact, an outstanding country in Africa because of the indefatigable youths of that country.”

President Museveni further took a swipe at his Nigerian counterpart for rubbishing his citizens any time he makes a trip outside the country.

He said: ” Buhari can never outgrow the slave and master mentality, He keeps talking bad about his people any time he makes a trip. Britain is there to exploit and steal just what they are known for. He seizes to understand that Britain created that country and gave it all the flaws that will never make it grow beyond a limit.”

 

Dailyglobewatch

Opinion: A President and His Excuses

News, Nigeria

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Nigerian Youths are Achievers and Hardworking – Atiku

APC, local news, News, PMB, Politics

Atiku Reacts To President Buhari’s “Nigerian Youths Are Not Ready To Work” Comment

atikueFormer president Atiku Abubakar reacted via his Twitter handle to President Muhammadu Buhari reported comment that many Nigerian youths are uneducated, not ready to work and dependent on revenue from oil to survive.

He said the youths, who make up 60 per cent of the population, were waiting to get social amenities free without doing anything. The President spoke during a panel discussion at the Commonwealth Business Forum in Westminster, London.

 “I will never refer to Nigeria’s youth as people who sit and do nothing. They are hardworking. I should know, I have thousands of youths working for me all over the country who have been the backbone to our success. he tweeted.

I’ve always said oil is not Nigeria’s greatest asset. Our greatest asset is our youth who created Nollywood out of nothing and an entertainment industry that is second to none in Africa.

Our youth are charting new frontiers; creating a huge tech industry on their own! Their entrepreneurial spirit, work ethic, and creative abilities are things of pride and should be applauded, encouraged and nurtured.

 

Presidency: Buhari Didn’t Deride Nigerian Youths

News, Nigeria, PMB, Politics

Buhari

By Omololu Ogunmade in London

The presidency Thursday in London, denied the insinuations that President Muhammadu Buhari mocked Nigerian youths while speaking at the Commonwealth Business Forum, a session of the ongoing Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) on Wednesday.

The president, after giving a keynote address on “Making Business Easier Between Commonwealth Countries,” had responded to a question, during which he said: “We have a very young population; our population is estimated conservatively to be 180 million. More than 60 per cent of the population is below the age of 30. A lot of them have not been to school and they are claiming that Nigeria has been an oil producing country, therefore they should sit and do nothing and get housing, healthcare and education free.”
The president’s remark was however accompanied by a wild outrage among Nigerians who accused him of “attacking” the youths of his country on global stage.

But in a swift reaction to the outrage Thursday, Mr. Femi Adesina, the President’s Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, said the remark was twisted as it is “typical of the stock in trade” of those he described as “manipulators and twisters of statements of Mr. President, who lie in wait to make mischief”.

According to him, such persons who have cultivated the habit of misinterpreting the president’s comment, twisted it “to mean that President Buhari had taken all Nigerian youths to the cleaners”.
According to him, elementary English recognises a wide gulf between “a lot of” and the word “all,” adding: “How can ‘a lot of them,’ suddenly transmogrify to mean ‘all of them?’ Mischievous and unconscionable!”

He said it was impossible for Buhari, whom he described as the father of the Nigerian nation in every sense of the word, and who equally has biological children of his own in the youths’ age bracket to pass a vote of no confidence on all youths, adding: “It can only exist in the imagination of those who play what the president has described as ‘irresponsible politics’ with everything.”

Adesina added: “President Buhari has always applauded and celebrated Nigerian youths who excel in different areas of endeavour, from sports, to academia, and other realms. And he will continue to do so, because he values the youths, and knows that they are the fulcrum on which the future of the country rests.

“Indeed, every country has its share of idle population, and it is the bounden duty of government at all levels, to create an enabling environment for them to actualize their potentials. That is what President Buhari is committed to doing.

“The focal areas of the administration; securing the country, reviving the economy, and fighting corruption, are actually intended to give youths a future and a hope.

“This much was emphasised in an April 5, 2018 comment by President Buhari, while receiving Letter of Credence from the Head of Delegation of the European Union to Nigeria, when he said: ‘Our insistence on probity is to encourage people to be accountable, and accept honesty as a lifestyle so as to secure the future of our youths.’
“The President also said more than 60 per cent of Nigerians fall into the age category of youths and deserve to inherit a stable and prosperous country that they can be proud of, adding that the government will work assiduously to prevent waste and the depletion of resources by corrupt Nigerians.
“It is futile for mischief makers to lie in wait, and take a minor part of the words of the president, and turn it into negative commentary, peradventure they could diminish the profile of the President.
“Nigerians across all walks of life know who is serving them faithfully and truly, and they will always reciprocate such fidelity as occasions demand.”

Nigerian youths want everything for free – Buhari

PMB, Politics

Nigerian youths just want to sit down and do nothing, banking on the notion that Nigerian is an oil-rich nation President Muhammadu Buhari said.

Buhari speaking at the Commonwealth Business Forum in Westminster on Wednesday, also said a lot of Nigerian youths have not been to school and they want everything free.

“About the economy, we have a very young population, our population is estimated conservatively to be 180 million. This is a very conservative one,” Buhari said.

“More than 60 percent of the population is below 30, a lot of them haven’t been to school and they are claiming that Nigeria is an oil producing country, therefore, they should sit and do nothing, and get housing, healthcare, education for free.”

Recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday in London held bilateral talks with British Prime Minister, Theresa May, where he demanded for more influx of British companies and investments into Nigeria.

Buhari commended British companies; Unilever, Cadbury, and many others.

The President noted that the affected companies had stood with Nigeria through thick and thin, adding that the companies remained in Nigeria even when the country fought a civil war, they never left.

“But like Oliver Twist, we ask for more investments. We are encouraging more British companies to come to Nigeria.

“We appreciate the support you have given in training and equipping our military, particularly in the war against insurgency, but we want to also continue to work with you on trade and investment.’’

Buhari also briefed the Prime Minister on the strides in agriculture, which he said had put Nigeria firmly on the road to food self-sufficiency.

“I am very pleased with the successes in agriculture. We have cut rice importation by about 90 per cent, made lots of savings of foreign exchange, and generated employment.

“People had rushed to the cities to get oil money at the expense of farming. But luckily, they are now going back to the farms. Even professionals are going back to the land.

“We are making steady progress on the road to food security,’’ he said.

The President recalled that the All Progressives Congress-led government had campaigned on three major issues, to secure the country, revive the economy and fight corruption.

According to him, as the 2019 general election approaches, politicians are already pre-occupied with the polls, while he is bothered more about security and the economy.

“We have elections next year, politicians are already pre-occupied with the polls, but I am bothered more about security and the economy,’’ he stressed.

While recalling that Nigeria and Britain have a long history of cooperation on several fronts, Buhari said “people ought to know how they arrived where they are, if they would move forward.

“It was a mistake for us to have stopped the teaching of history as a subject in schools, but we are returning it to the curriculum now.’’

“It was a mistake for us to have stopped the teaching of history as a subject in schools, but we are returning it to the curriculum now.’’

On education, Buhari said more investment was being made, because “people can look after themselves if well educated.

“In this age of technology, education is very important. We need well-staffed and well-equipped institutions to move into the next generation.’’

On Climate change and environmental issues which came up for discussion at the meeting, Adesina said President Buhari brought up the necessity of inter-basin water transfer from Congo Basin to Lake Chad.

“The Lake Chad is now about 10 per cent of its original size, and it is perhaps one of the reasons our youths dare both the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean, to get to Europe.

“But if there is inter-basin water transfer, about 40 million people in Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, Chad, and other countries stand to benefit.

“I made the case during the Climate Change Summit in France. If Lake Chad is recharged, it will reduce the number of youths coming to Europe to increase social problems. We brought back about 4,000 people from Libya recently.

“Almost all of them were below 30, and Libya was not their final destination. They were headed to Europe,’’ the president stated.

Prime Minister May, in her remarks, said Britain would continue to work with Nigeria in the areas of training and equipping the military.

She was particular about abduction of young schoolgirls by Boko Haram, noting that Britain would continue to give Nigeria needed assistance.

The Prime Minister said the Buhari administration had “been making good progress on the economy,’’ and urged it to maintain the focus, despite approaching elections, and increase in political activities.

On education and climate change, she said “good grounding in education is good. It is important to equip young people for today’s world.

“It is also a good bastion and defence against modern slavery. The issue of the environment and climate change is very important, because of its impact on many countries in the Commonwealth.

“Stability at home is important to curb illegal migration.’’

The Prime Minister, who commended Buhari for the much he had been doing on improving trade and business for Nigeria, noted that it was also time to boost intra-Commonwealth trade.

Source: Vanguard

Salkida Says New Information From Boko Haram Indicates 30 Chibok Girls In Custody Still Alive – SR

Boko Haram, Terrorism

Ahmad Salkida, a Nigerian journalist with access to the top echelon of the Boko Haram has said contrary to his earlier claim, 30 out of the 113 Chibok girls still in custody of the insurgent group are still alive. Salkida, had in a series of tweets on Saturday, April 14, the fourth anniversary of the abduction of the girls said only 15 of the abductees still in custody of the insurgent group are still alive. He said then that 98 of the girls had died in captivity.

Ahmad Salkida, a Nigerian journalist with access to the top echelon of the Boko Haram has said contrary to his earlier claim, 30 out of the 113 Chibok girls still in custody of the insurgent group are still alive.

Salkida, had in a series of tweets on Saturday, April 14, the fourth anniversary of the abduction of the girls said only 15 of the abductees still in custody of the insurgent group are still alive.

He said then that 98 of the girls had died in captivity.

“Many of the girls have died as a result of crossfire and bombardments of the security forces that no doubt were intent on rescuing them. I regret to state here that only 15 out of the 113 #Chibokgirls are alive today, based on my investigations in the last three months,” he had written.Ahmad Salkida

However, in another tweet thread on Tuesday, the journalist who at a time was involved in efforts to free the girls, said two other cells within the sect told him that apart from the 15, there were other Chibok girls in their custody who are still alive.

“A leading member of the Jama’atu Ahlis-Sunna Lidda’Awati Wal-Jihad or Boko Haram has now clarified the earlier information about 15 girls. Indeed, the 15 #Chibokgirls are available, but known to a particular cell that spoke to me emphatically days leading to the fourth anniversary.”

“However, two other cells within the larger group has brought additional information, clarifying the earlier information, that there are another 10 girls available to another cell. Outside of the 15 and 10, another five among the girls are also alive as at early hours of today,” he said.

With the new information, the total numbers of the girls, reportedly alive are 30, he declared.

Salkida also added that the set of five, according to information available to him, have imbibed the doctrines and teachings of the sect and would not want to be considered among those expected to be released in the ongoing negotiation between the group and the federal government.

It will be recalled 276 school girls were verified by the Presidential Task Force to have been taken hostage by Boko Haram terrorists in the April 14, 2014 abduction.

57 of the girls escaped on their own leaving 219 captives.

In October 2016, 24 of the girls were freed through negotiation by the Federal Government (21), and indirectly from various military operations mounted by the Nigerian Army (3).

On May 2017, 84 more were also recovered through negotiation by the Federal Government, and in December, one of the #Chibokgirls was found along with another abducted young woman, thus bringing the total number of recovered girls to 107, and 112 of the girls yet to be accounted for.

The federal government had earlier said the information by Salkida that only 15 of the girls are alive is not available to it.

“It is most disappointing that the government in its might and given the machinery available to it, peremptorily declared to the public that it lacks institutional memory regarding the processes of the #Chibokgirls,” Salkida wrote while challenging the government to release a proof of live video to dispute his claims about the girls.

Salkida said the objective of his earlier tweets was to compel the government and Boko Haram to speak, but the government was unnecessarily defensive.

Sahara Reporters.

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