Monday , 14 October 2019
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Tag Archives: Buhari

NASS on lockdown as Buhari presents 2020 budget

Security in and around the National Assembly Complex had been tightened ahead of the arrival of President Muhammadu Buhari for the presentation of the 2020 Appropriation Bill.

Men of the Department of State Services, Nigerian Police Force, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps and Sergeant-at-arms were present at all entry points to restrict access into the premises.


Apart from lawmakers and those accompanying the president, only accredited workers and journalists were allowed in.

Banks and other businesses are to close shop today.

Why corruption thrives in Nigeria — Buhari

Corruption will continue to thrive in the country when accountability is ignored, President Muhammadu Buhari has said.

The president was speaking on Tuesday in Abuja at the 49th annual conference of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN).

Before declaring the conference open, the president said because of the damaging effects of corruption on the country’s economy, his administration was doing everything possible to curb the malaise.

Represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, President Buhari said corruption and impunity grow when accountability is disregarded.

He also said “people get away with all manner of questionable things when accountants are unable to check them”.

Urging accountants to always see corruption as a gross violation of human right, he described his administration’s fight against graft as a “struggle for nation building for the future generation.”

“For the majority of our people, the millions that are in hardship, the sick, the helpless, corruption is the major reason why they cannot go to school, why we have few equipments and doctors in our hospitals,” he said.

“Corruption diverts public resources, thereby causing much suffering, deprivation and unnecessary deaths in the country.”

He said if his government does not slay corruption with the passion it deserves, the people will not get the result they need.

The president said government will continue to provide the desired leadership to the fight with the optimism that the glorious days will soon come.

“Corruption, our greatest enemy will certainly fight back. But, we must continue to fight to effect a change to our value system,” he said.

He expressed confidence that the initiative of ICAN would greatly assist government at all levels to be more transparent and accountable to the people.

Meanwhile, a former Director of the Kenyan anti-corruption agency, Patrick Lumumba, said “it appears corruption is thriving, because Nigerians are not yet tired of it.”

Mr Lumumba, who was the guest speaker at the occasion, said “the day Nigerians become tired of corrupt practices, the actions that would follow would put an end to graft in the country.”

He lamented that in a society where people celebrate those that fraudulently enrich themselves, corruption will continue to thrive.

“Corruption is a crime against humanity. Experiences have demonstrated that if a people in a country are sufficiently fed up, they will rise up.

“If we think the international community will solve our problems, then we have shown that we are incapable of solving them,” he said.

“The day Nigerians and many Africans are fed up with corruption, things will begin to change. But as long as we celebrate thieves and money, no matter how they are got, everybody don’t care about how it is got. The day we begin to get angry, the country will change within a month,” Mr Lumumba said.

Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, denied allegations that the anti-graft agency “usually sweeps corruption cases involving members of ruling party under the carpet”.

He said the biggest conviction the agency secured under his leadership were those involving two former governors: Jolly Nyame of Taraba and Joshua Dariye of Plateau.

“We are (were) created to fight corruption. The biggest conviction we have is of two governors that have been convicted. You know their political affiliations and we don’t stop cases,” he said.

He called on ICAN to continue to support the fight against corruption adding that this would help stimulate economic development.

Buhari orders evacuation of Nigerians from SA

President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the voluntary evacuation of Nigerians in South Africa.

The president gave this directive after receiving the report of the special envoy evaluating the attacks on Nigerians in South Africa.

He had sent a delegation led by Ahmed Abubakar, director-general of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), to convey a message of concern to Cyril Ramaphosa, president of South Africa.

The envoy was in Pretoria from September 5 to 7.

In a statement on Monday, Femi Adesina, special adviser to the president on media and publicity, said the envoy expressed the president’s concern about the intermittent violence against Nigerians and their business interests in South Africa.

He said the president instructed, Geoffrey Onyeama, minister of foreign affairs, to engage with appropriate authorities on the concrete measures the South African government is expected to take.

“President Buhari stressed the need for South African Government to take visible measures to stop violence against citizens of brotherly African nations,” he said.

“President Buhari is worried that the recurring issue of xenophobia could negatively affect the image and standing of South Africa as one of the leading countries on the continent, if nothing is done to stop it.

“The Special Envoy conveyed the assurance of President Buhari that the Nigerian Government is ready and willing to collaborate with the South African Government to find a lasting solution to the involvement of few Nigerians in criminal activities, and to protect the lives and property of the larger groups of other law abiding Nigerians and indeed Africans in general, against all forms of attacks including xenophobia.

“President Buhari further assured that the Nigerian Government will guarantee the safety of lives, property and business interests of South Africans in Nigeria.”

According to the presidential spokesperson, Ramaphosa described the violent attacks as “disconcerting and embarrassing”.

“President Ramaphosa reaffirmed his stand against criminality and committed to do everything possible to protect the rights of every Nigerian and other foreign nationals in the country,” he added.

TICAD7: Buhari departs Japan

President Muhammadu Buhari has departed Japan after participating in the seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development in the country.

According to his New Media aide, Bashir Ahmad, Buhari departed Yokohama, Japan for Abuja on Saturday.

He tweeted, “After the successful participation in the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (#TICAD7) President @MBuhari has departed Yokohama, Japan for Abuja.”

Buhari travelled to Japan last Sunday for the TICAD7, themed, “Africa and Yokohama, Sharing Passion for the Future.”

Buhari unbundles ministries, merges, creates others

President Muhammadu Buhari has unbundled the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, which was one until Wednesday when he separated Power from the trio, leaving the Works and Housing Ministry as an entity.

Fashola has been appointed as Works and Housing Minister; while Saleh Mamman,an Engineer, is Minister of Power.

Buhari also merged the ministries of Finance, Budget and National Planning; with Zainab Ahmed, who formerly headed the Finance Ministry, as the minister.

The Special Duties/International Affairs ministry was also created, with ex-Benue Governor-turned-Senator, George Akume, as the minister.

The President also created the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs/ Disaster Management & Social Development; as well as Ministry of Police Affairs, which was hitherto the Police Service Commission.

Sadiya Umar-Farouk is the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs/ Disaster Management & Social Development; while the Ministry of Police Affairs has Maigarai Dingyadi as the Minister.

Pass all requests for meetings with me through Abba Kyari, Buhari tells ministers

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday told incoming ministers that all requests for meetings with him should pass through his chief of staff, Abba Kyari.

Buhari said this in his closing remark at a presidential retreat for minister’s designate in Abuja.

“In terms of coordination, kindly ensure that all submissions for my attention or meeting requests be channelled through the Chief of Staff, while all Federal Executive Council matters be coordinated through the Secretary to the Government of the Federation,” Buhari said,

Kyari has been criticised by some Nigerians including members of the ruling party, APC, for his influence over the president.

The First Lady, Aisha Buhari, is one of those who have complained about the powers Mr Kyari wields in the presidency.

After Mr Buhari’s re-election in February, some APC members protested against the re-appointment of Mr Kyari, a longtime ally of the president.

The president, however, reappointed him to the position.


Read Buhari’s full speech to the ministers-designate below:


After two days, we have come to the end of a successful retreat. However, you will agree that our work is just beginning.

2. These last two days have been very instructive for me personally, because I have had the opportunity to know many of you new Ministers-Designate better. I was also pleased to see that you have all equally enjoyed debating and deliberating on the various challenges before us over the next 4 years.

3. Ladies & Gentlemen, majority of our people are poor and are anxiously hoping for a better life. A Nigeria in which they do not have to worry about what they will eat, where they will live or if they can afford to pay for their children’s education or healthcare.

4. Our responsibility as leaders of this great country is to meet these basic needs for our people. As I mentioned yesterday, this Administration inherited many challenges from our predecessors to mention a few:

· A country in which 18 local governments in the Northeast were under the control of Boko Haram;

· Decayed infrastructure in which our rail lines and roads had severely deteriorated;

· A rent seeking economy that depended largely on oil revenues and imports;

· Significant unpaid pensions, subsidy debts, legacy contractor debts. I can go on and on.

5. In our first term, we laid the foundation to rebuild our country. We recaptured those 18 Local Governments previously held by Boko Haram, whose activities are now limited to sporadic attacks against soft targets. Our investments in road and rail infrastructure are without precedent, and many of you can attest to this. We also focused on diversifying the economy from oil towards agriculture and industrialization. Despite reduced revenues from oil and gas compared to past governments, we have broadly addressed many of the legacy debts they left behind.

6. Whilst we have obvious successes to celebrate, the challenges ahead are significant as you would have observed in detail over these two days. Nevertheless, from the quality of the deliberations, it is clear that solutions to our problems are well researched and have been well articulated.

7. We have discussed solutions relating to addressing Insecurity; Macroeconomic Stability; Agriculture and Food Security; Energy Security for Petroleum products and Electricity; Transportation and Critical Infrastructure; Industrialization and SME Development; Human Capital Development; Social Inclusion; Anti-Corruption; Housing Financing and Consumer Credit.

8. Public service is not easy work, and at times it can be thankless. I am therefore charging you all to see this opportunity to serve as an honour, to give your best to deliver on this mandate, for a more prosperous Nigeria, not for some, but for all Nigerians.

9. You will find that working collaboratively and purposefully will enable us to achieve quicker results, recognizing that four years is not a very long time. For the new Ministers, make sure you engage and benefit from the experience of the older Ministers and former Governors in the cabinet.

10. In terms of coordination, kindly ensure that all submissions for my attention or meeting requests be channeled through the Chief of Staff, while all Federal Executive Council matters be coordinated through the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

11. I would like to thank the Office of the SGF for coordinating this successful Presidential Retreat. I would also like to thank the National Assembly leadership, the Party Chairman, Chairman of the Governors Forum, and resource firms, for the active engagements and contributions.

12. Once again, the challenges that lie ahead of us as a country are significant. But I have no doubt in your individual capacities and our collective patriotic commitment to deliver a better Nigeria for us, our children and a brighter future for all.

Thank you and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

UK, DSS petitioned to probe Buhari’s Cambridge documents

The Department of State Services and the London Metropolitan Police Service have received petitions to investigate the documents said to have been obtained from Cambridge University and tendered by President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential election petition tribunal.

TheCable reports that it obtained copies of the separate petitions dated August 14, 2019, and which were forwarded by Kalu Kalu Agu, a Nigerian lawyer.

Abba Kyari, the president’s chief of staff, had told the tribunal that he obtained the President’s ‘assessment’ documents from Cambridge University.

He was quoted as saying he personally signed for and collected the documents on behalf of the President.

The UK-based examination body oversaw the conduct of final year secondary school examination in Nigeria and placement into foreign universities in the 1960s.

In the two petitions forwarded by Agu, the lawyer questioned the authenticity of the ‘certifying statement’ said to have been obtained from the Cambridge Assessment International Education.

He asked the UK police and the DSS to launch an investigation into the circumstances leading to the procurement.

NECA, LCCI, fault Buhari’s directive on food importation

The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association and the Centre for Social Justice say the directive by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Central Bank of Nigeria to withdraw foreign exchange for importation of food is coming at a wrong time.

They made their views known on Wednesday in separate statements made available to our correspondents.

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, on the other hand, called for a clarification on the food items to be restricted from foreign exchange allocation.

The president had on Tuesday told the apex bank not to give a cent to anybody to import food into the country, saying by so doing, there will be steady improvement in agricultural production and attainment of full food security.

The president said some states like Kebbi, Ogun, Lagos, Jigawa, Ebonyi and Kano had already taken advantage of the federal government’s policy on agriculture with huge returns in rice farming.

However, the NECA in its statement said though the initiative was laudable, the country could not afford such policy now as it had yet to attain self-sufficiency in food production.

The Director-General, NECA, Mr Timothy Olawale, who spoke for the association, said that a wholesale immediate withdrawal of forex for food importation without giving a buffer period for businesses to adjust might have serious consequences on the economy.

He said, “We commend the President and indeed Federal Government for its numerous efforts at ensuring food sufficiency in Nigeria and protecting local farmers.

“We note most especially the Agricultural Promotion Policy championed by the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development since 2016.

“Though the recent thrust towards withdrawal of forex for imported foods is laudable and welcome, the timing, however, calls for concern.”

Olawale noted that the argument of conserving foreign exchange through the withdrawal or ban of forex for food importation was not tenable.

He advised that rather than a blanket withdrawal of forex on food and milk importation, a gradual withdrawal with a buffer period of not less than five years should be given.

Similarly, CSJ, in a statement by its Lead Director, Eze Onyekpere, said the presidential directive was illegal.

The group said that the directive was based on a false premise, as there was no evidence to show that the Federal Government’s agricultural programmes had led to self-sufficiency in food production in the country.

Reacting to the directive on Wednesday, the Director General, LCCI, Mr Muda Yusuf, asked for details on what constitute food in the context of the presidential directive.

Yusuf said, “First, there is a need to get more details and clarifications on what exactly constitutes food items in the context of the presidential directive. The harmonised system codes of the items affected need to be indicated.

“It is hoped that these details would be made available in subsequent releases by the CBN. This is essential for proper analysis of the possible impact on investment, welfare of citizens and the economy.

“We need to worry about the implications of policy pronouncements for investors’ confidence and the general sentiments of investors.

“Unemployment level in the country has reached a disturbing level of over 23 per cent, and rising. Youth unemployment is even much more. Yet the panacea for dealing with the scourge of unemployment and poverty is investment.”

He added that if policy and regulatory risks continued to escalate as currently being experienced, the chances of stimulating investment, whether domestic or foreign, would remain dim

You are completely out of touch — Ezekwesili hits Buhari over directive to CBN

Oby Ezekwesili, former minister of education, has described President Muhammadu Buhari as a “completely out-of-touch leader” over his directive to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to stop providing foreign exchange for food importation.

In a statement issued on Tuesday by Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, the president said he had asked the CBN to stop issuing foreign exchange for food importation so as to stimulate the growth of agriculture and to ensure food security.

Some Nigerians have criticised the president’s directive. Kingsley Moghalu, former deputy governor of CBN, said such an economic policy should not be imposed on the CBN by a political authority, and that the bank has lost its independence.

“Nigeria’s entire economy appears to have been sub-contracted to our central bank, including industrial and trade policy. In the process the economy has fared poorly and the Bank has lost its independence. This is sad,” he said.

Ezekwesili also lashed out on the president on Twitter, saying he is living in a bubble.

”A completely out-of-touch ‘leader’. He is cocooned away in the grandeur of@AsoRock where they serve him delicatessen and praise-sing to him: ‘ranka dede sir’, your agriculture policy is working wonderfully. All farmers in Nigeria are now billionaires & exporting to the US,” she said.

The CBN said it will proceed with the president’s directive and that the implementation of the forex ban on food import would be in phases.


We all know that @NGRPresident@MBuhari has absolute contempt for Data but we shall go ahead and put out here some of the Knowledge he should have had before making this latest blunder of ‘Directing’ what should be an independent @cenbank to “not give a cent for food import”.

— Oby Ezekwesili (@obyezeks) August 14, 2019

Oby Ezekwesili


I will share the latest information on Nigeria from FEWS NET, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network, which provides information and analysis on food insecurity around the world.
That our @NGRPresident thinks we have achieved Food Security says a lot about his Policy-Making.

Oby Ezekwesili


FEWS Net is Famine Early Warning Systems Network. It “uses an integrated approach that considers climate, agriculture production, prices, trade, nutrition, and other factors, together with an understanding of local livelihoods.”

Knowledge that helps Evidence-Based Policies.

32 people are talking about this

Oby Ezekwesili


In the next few tweets, I’ll share highlights of FEWS Net June 2018 to January 2019 Report on Food Insecurity in Nigeria for many reasons that any reasonable person will easily understand.

27 people are talking about this

Oby Ezekwesili


“Humanitarian actors have provided sustained food assistance delivery in 2018, reaching 2.5 million people in April 2018 across the 3 northeast states. In May, food assistance deliveries reached 15 percent fewer households, meeting targets closer to what was seen in March 2017”

Oby Ezekwesili


“With the continuing military offensive, new arrivals continue to be identified in the northeast. As of May, IOM identified 1.8 million people displaced by conflict in northeast Nigeria. Between late Nov2017 &April 2018 an estimated 100,000 new arrivals across Borno & Adamawa…”

27 people are talking about this

Oby Ezekwesili


“Outside northeast, the main agric season is progressing favorably in much of the rest of the country, &harvests are expected to be average to above-average. Most households will have seasonally typical access to food,income& remain in Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity”

Oby Ezekwesili


“Various stages of cultivation activities continue throughout the country. In south &some central areas, they have begun harvesting early green maize&tubers. In other areas of central Nigeria, planting, weeding, &fertilizer application for maize, sorghum &legumes is underway.”

24 people are talking about this

Oby Ezekwesili


“Planting of staples such as millet, sorghum, and maize, as well as groundnut, cowpea, and sesame cash crops, is progressing in most northern areas. Government support through the Anchor Borrowers’ Program continues to contribute to farmers’ access to improved inputs.”

Oby Ezekwesili


“However, areas worst-affected by farmer/pastoralist conflict are facing greater difficulty accessing basic needs and will be Stressed (IPC Phase 2).”

17 people are talking about this

Oby Ezekwesili


”In displaced settlement areas and larger cities, affected populations have restricted access to land for cultivation. Additionally, ongoing insecurity is again in 2018 keeping many from engaging or participating fully in cultivation.”

Oby Ezekwesili


“Heavy conflict between pastoral and farming communities in central and northern areas of the country also continue. These conflicts have left hundreds dead and lead to the destruction of property.”

21 people are talking about this

Oby Ezekwesili


”These conflicts are also leading to the displacement of households and keeping many from their livelihoods. Both cultivation activities and pastoralists’ herd movements are affected.”

Oby Ezekwesili


“Main agricultural season: The agricultural season is expected to progress normally. The main season harvests will start normally in September/October across the country. Harvests are expected to be average to above average in most areas.”

17 people are talking about this

Oby Ezekwesili


”As with most years, it is also likely that there will be some crop loss due to excessive flooding along major floodplains.”

Oby Ezekwesili


I have put out highlights of FEWS Net Report on Nigeria up to January 2019.
As obvious from the Report, there are positives on Agriculture which for example include improved farmers’ access to input from the Anchor Borrowers Scheme.
But, nothing of Food Security yet exists.

19 people are talking about this

Oby Ezekwesili


What is Food Security, @NGRPresident ?
I will offer the universal meaning provided by the United Nations’ Committee on World Food Security because that should help a Policy Maker know easily whether such is the case in Nigeria before taking a major Policy stance in Agriculture.

Oby Ezekwesili


Food security, as defined by the United Nations’ Committee on World Food Security, means that all people, at all times, have physical, social&economic access to sufficient, safe, & nutritious food that meets their food preferences and dietary needs for an active and healthy life.

Moghalu to Buhari: Leave CBN alone

A former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Kingsley Moghalu, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to allow the apex bank discharge its mandate independently.

Moghalu, who was the presidential candidate of the Young Progressive Party (YPP) in the last presidential election, said this in a series of tweets on his Twitter handle yesterday.

“@NGRPresident should leave @cenbank alone to discharge its mandate independently within the ambit of the CBN Act, and stop “directing” it. @cenbank should on its part assertive its independence (assuming it actually believes it should be independent, but the Act says so, clearly!”, Moghalu said in one of the tweets.

Buhari to CBN: No more forex for food import

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday in Daura, Katsina State, disclosed that he had instructed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to henceforth, stop the provision of foreign exchange for food importation.

The president who made the disclosure while hosting the All Progressives Congress (APC) governors to an Eid-el-Kabir lunch at his Daura country home, said the decision was informed by the steady improvement in agricultural production, and eventual attainment of food security.

He said the nation’s foreign reserve would be conserved and strictly utilized for diversification of the economy, and not for encouraging more dependence on foreign food import bills.

“Don’t give a cent to anybody to import food into the country,’’ he said.

According to Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement, Buhari noted that states such as Kebbi, Ogun, Lagos, Jigawa, Ebonyi and Kano had already taken advantage of the federal government’s policy on agriculture with huge returns in rice farming, and urged more states to also explore what he viewed as the ongoing revolution to feed the nation.

“We have achieved food security, and for physical security, we are not doing badly,’’ Shehu quoted the president.

The statement also said Buhari expressed happiness over the decision of young Nigerians, including graduates, to explore agric-business and entrepreneurship, with many posting testimonies of good returns on their investments.

It also said the president pledged that the incoming ministers would be “taught’’ and thoroughly guided to ensure they meet the targets of the APC-led federal government for Nigerians by regularly monitoring their performances and scaling up targets by the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF).

“The President assured that he will attend the Presidential Policy Retreat organised for the ministers by the OSFG, and insisted on compliance with laid down targets on key sectors of the economy that will directly impact on the livelihood of Nigerians.

“In his remarks, the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr John Kayode Fayemi, said the President’s sense of justice, fairness and forthrightness had turned a major inspiration to governors on the way forward for the country.

“He said the challenges faced by states ‘were enormous,’ but the governors had remained undaunted, assuring the president of strong support and ‘the very best effort’’ to overcome all the obstacles.

“The Chairman of the Progressive Governors Forum and Governor of Kebbi State, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu, appreciated the President for the unique leadership style of maintaining a healthy relationship with governors on individual and collective basis, pointing out that they had been ‘energised,’ to do more in their states,” the statement added.

Furthermore, Shehu said Bagudu commended the president for making bold and courageous efforts to reposition the economy in the interest of majority of Nigerians through inclusive policies, observing that “the country is more secure than in 2015, and the country is more prosperous than in 2015 because you are working for the majority of the people.”

He also said the governor pointed out that the party had been repositioned, after the 2019 elections, to work for the benefits of the majority of Nigerians, noting that “there will be two elections this year and we need to work towards winning the two states.’’

Buhari challenges RevolutionNow organisers to identify themselves

President Muhammadu Buhari has urged sponsors of Global Coalition for Security and Democracy in Nigeria, which planned a “Revolution Now” protest for Monday, to identify themselves and lead the campaign or lose the right to call themselves leaders.

This is coming after Omoyele Sowore, the convener of #RevolutionNow Protests, was picked up at his apartment in the early hours of Saturday.

Reacting, Buhari in a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity), called on all those who seek to use and hide behind everyday citizens to attain power through undemocratic and violent means, which has been alluded, to come out clearly and be identified.

He said they should lead their march in person, stressing that only then will they begin to have the right to call themselves leaders before the people of Nigeria.

The statement reads, “the President and his administration respect and uphold the right of every Nigerian to peaceful protest and civil campaign – whether to raise awareness on issues, and even oppose the government, noting that it is the inalienable right of all citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to do so.
“There is, however, a difference between peaceful call to protest and incitement for a revolution.
“The organisation championing this planned action is not fronted by any serious public faces. We call on the sponsors and organisers to have the decency to come forward and make their identity known – out of respect to all Nigerians – so that Nigerians can be fully aware in whose name this “revolution” is being proposed and who the beneficiaries may be.

“Less than six months ago, Nigeria held simultaneous presidential and parliamentary elections. Both contests were won resoundingly by President Muhammadu Buhari and his All-Progressives Congress party. The campaign was observed, and results were confirmed by international election monitoring groups and observers. The result was even contested by the losing presidential candidate and his party in Court.

“The ballot box is the only constitutional means of changing government and a president in Nigeria. The days of coups and revolutions are over.

“Those making the “revolution’’ call hide behind the veil of social media modernity. But without revealing the identity of their sponsors this shadowy campaign is no better, and no more democratic, than the days of old.”

Buhari hails appointment of UK-born Nigerian Kemi Badenoch as British Minister

President Muhammadu Buhari has hailed the appointment of Olukemi Olufunto Badenoch, a United Kingdom-born Nigerian as Minister of Children and Families by the new British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Describing her appointment as “well-deserved,” the President urged the 39-year-old to regard her new position as an opportunity to justify the confidence reposed in her by making lasting impact.

President Buhari, who expressed confidence that Badenoch would succeed, given her academic qualifications and parliamentary experience, also enjoined the junior minister to see herself as an ambassador of her fatherland in conduct and performance.

In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, the President described Badenoch’s appointment as a plus for Nigerians in Diaspora.

He said: “It further confirms my belief that with hard work and integrity, Nigerians can excel in their chosen professions and fields of endeavour anywhere in the world.”

The President, who also applauded Prime Minister Johnson for finding Badenoch suitable, wished her success in the new challenging role.

Buhari hints on possible changes in military

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday hinted on possible changes in the nation’s security architecture with a view to reinvigorate and reenergise it in the ongoing fight against terrorism and violent crimes in the country.

The president gave the hint when he received traditional rulers from the South West zone of the country, led by the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Buhari told the rulers that already he had recently directed a reshuffle in the army where Lt.-Gen. Lamidi Adeosun was promoted and deployed as the army’s Chief of Policy and Plans.

According to him, the government will continue to effect more changes in the army, where necessary, so as to boost the morale of the nation’s troops engaged in various security assignments across the country.

“I believe you are aware that there is a reshuffle in the Army, including the promotion and deployment of Lt.-Gen. Lamidi Adeosun as the Nigerian Army’s Chief of Policy and Plans.

“This is done in order to reinvigorate and reenergise our troops to do more.

“There will be further reviews where necessary for maximum performance,’’ he said.

The president said, as the traditional authorities in their communities, government and the security agencies would be relying on them to monitor the several different communities and people coming in and out of their areas.

“Let me be very clear about our firm resolve to change the security architecture of Nigeria.

“It is one of the top priorities for this government but we won’t be able to achieve this goal without the support and input of you, our royal fathers.

“We hope that, for instance, traditional rulers will be able to observe new entrants into the community by requesting leaders of such ethnic groups to notify the traditional authorities of new intakes, thereby creating the opportunities for the gathering of actionable intelligence which tracks such movements in and out of communities thereby offering early warning signals,’’ he said.

The president also assured the traditional rulers and the entire nation that his administration would enforce the law, prosecute law breakers and secure an atmosphere of tranquility for all Nigerians where ever they choose to live and also protect communities from all forms of crimes.

“This is both in our interests as an administration and the interests of the people who voted us into office,’’ he said.

Buhari maintained that the government needed security to deliver on its many programmes to the people, saying “there can be no prosperity if there is no security.

“This is not only a message of hope but a call to action to all of us as we seek ways to secure our country’’.

He warned that the federal government, on its part, would deal decisively with anyone caught fomenting acts of criminal activities by every means necessary.

“We intend to deal severely with those evil Nigerians inciting violence for political ends,’’ he said.

The president also outlined some of his administration’s interventions to check the activities of terrorist groups, banditry and kidnappings in the country.

He said these interventions include an “expedited commencement of community policing, a robust revamping of police intelligence gathering capacity and the significant boosting of the numbers of security personnel in our local communities.

“This in specific terms will include recruiting a lot more police officers and doing so right from their local government areas, where they will train and station them in the best practice of community policing”.

According to him, the government will equally continue to bring in the military when needed to complement the work of the police including possible deployment of troops on certain highways on a temporary basis.

He stated that the government would also encourage the use of the Air Force assets to bomb hideouts where criminals are located.

While admitting that these measures were inter-related and have to be well coordinated, he stressed that “the speedy implementation of community policing will facilitate a more effective collection of intelligence.

“This is especially in the area of a more useful and effective intelligence gathering process that traditional rulers will play some of the most critical roles,” he said.

Earlier, the Ooni of Ife, as well as other traditional rulers with him, had individually appraised the president with security challenges they were facing in their domains and called on him to support their efforts in addressing the issues. (NAN)

Buhari: Religious tension would have been minimal if Abiola had been president

President Muhammadu Buhari has described the late MKO Abiola as a “bridge builder” who could have prevented the religious and tribal issues besetting the country from happening.

When he received elders from Ogun state at the presidential villa in Abuja on Tuesday, Buhari said had the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election been allowed to rule, Nigeria would have been better for it.

The delegation led by Dapo Abiodun, governor of Ogun state, had visited Buhari to thank him for honouring Abiola with the title of the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR).

Buhari had conferred the honour on Abiola on June 12, 2018.

The delegation, which presented a big talking drum to the president, also used the opportunity to solicit the rehabilitation of some federal roads as well as other critical infrastructure in the state.

They explained that this will decongest the gridlock occasioned by the movement of consignments along the Apapa – Oshodi expressway and also improve the standard of living of Nigerians.

Responding, Buhari expressed appreciation to Abiodun for “mobilising such a strong delegation to thank him for the gesture towards their illustrious son”.

The president also said he named the national stadium after the late Abiola because he knows the youths would want to find out why such an important national institution was named after him in future.

“If MKO Abiola was allowed to rule, the religious and tribal issues now in Nigeria would not have been as strong, because he ran on a Muslim-Muslim ticket, chose his deputy from the Kanuri, a minority tribe and because of his personality, he went across Nigeria and was accepted,” Buhari said.

“He used his resources and energy to convince Nigerians that all he wanted was a solid Nigeria and nothing else.”

Buhari meets with Abiodun, Osoba, Daniel, others in Aso Rock

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday met with elders and leaders of thought from Ogun State.

The meeting started around 3.04pm at the Council Chamber of the State House, Abuja.

Those at the meeting include the Governor Dapo Abiodun, former governors, Olusegun Osoba and Gbenga Daniel.

Also at the meeting are Segun Awolowo, traditional rulers and members of the National Assembly from the state and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha.

The meeting was still in progress at the time of filing this report.

Details shortly…

Those who politicise isolated cases of insecurity aren’t patriotic —Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has frowned at those criticising his administration over “isolated security challenges” in some parts of the country.

The President spoke while hosting the National Executive of the Buhari Campaign Organisation in the State House, Abuja, on Tuesday,

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the killing of Mrs. Funke Olakunri, daughter of Afenifere leader, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, has continued to attract comments from individuals and socio-cultural groups in the country.

Olakunri was killed on Friday on the Kajola-Ore road in Ondo State by those the Police described as “armed robbers.”

Buhari, however, said: “Every country in the world has security challenges. While we have made significant progress in the fight against terrorism, we acknowledge that there are also new and emerging challenges like kidnapping and banditry.

“I assure you and Nigerians that we will not relent in our efforts to secure the country from criminal activities. Those who politicise the isolated cases of insecurity are not patriotic Nigerians.

“I’m confident that this administration uses all resources at its disposal to protect the lives and property of all Nigerians and not just prominent Nigerians or those who make headlines.’’

In his remarks, the coordinator of the group, Danladi Pasali, said the BCO was at the Presidential villa to congratulate the President for his electoral victory in the February presidential election.

He maintained that the President’s electoral victory was ordained by God, hence it is a bounden duty of all well-meaning citizens to support the Buhari administration.

Tribunal grants PDP’s request to tender 48 video clips against Buhari

The presidential election petitions tribunal on Monday granted the application of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to tender 48 video clips.

Chris Uche, counsel to the petitioners, made the application to tender the video clips in support of the petition challenging the declaration of President Muhammadu Buhari as winner of February presidential election.

But the respondents – Independent National Electoral Commission, Buhari, and the All Progressives Congress (APC) – objected to the application.

Alex Izinyon, Buhari’s lawyer, described the move as an “ambush”.

“Your lordship they are not part of the documents listed,” he said.

Uztaz Usman, INEC counsel, argued that the presentation of the witness and evidence was not part of what the lawyers agreed on.

“What the media will be reporting will be another thing. We were taken by surprise. This does not comply with first schedule of evidence act,” Usman had said.

Thereafter, the tribunal stood down for 1 hour 30 minutes to decide on the ruling.

Upon, resumption, the five-man panel of judges led by Mohammed Garba granted the request of the petitioners.

The panel held that “no specific evidence is excluded from being tendered as an evidence.”

Tribunal: Atiku defeated Buhari in Katsina, says state PDP chairman

Salisu Maijigiri, chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Katsina, has alleged that Atiku Abubakar, the party’s presidential candidate, won the election in the state.

Muhammadu Buhari, who was the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and eventually declared winner, hails from Katsina.

Majigiri’s statement is contrary to the results announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Results declared by INEC showed that PDP polled 308,056 votes while the APC polled 1,232,133.

Speaking as the eighth witness of PDP and Atiku at the tribunal in Abuja, on Tuesday, Maijigiri alleged that the results announced by the electoral body were incorrect.

Under cross-examination, he said the results collated by PDP agents in the state showed that Atiku defeated Buhari.

“We (PDP) are the one who won the election, not APC,” he said.

“APC scored 872,000 and PDP scored, 905,000. These are our own results, we collated in our state not the ones from the server.”

Maijigiri said he served as the party’s collation agent in the state during the election, adding that some of the agents who delivered results to him will appear before the tribunal as witnesses.

Atiku Abubakar and his party are challenging Buhari’s victory and has tendered 26,175 exhibits to the tribunal.

On Monday, the PDP presented Bubu Galadima, a former ally of President Muhammad Buhari as its witness.

Osun ruling: Atiku’s comment intends to influence ongoing presidential poll suit —Presidency

The Presidency has described as “very ridiculous, and even comical,’’ the reaction of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar to the Supreme Court ruling affirming the election of Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State.

Atiku, who was the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2019 presidential election, had, in a statement, expressed reservations over Friday’s Supreme Court victory of Oyetola.

In the statement, the former Vice President had stated: “I urge the nation’s judiciary to take a pulse of the nation and reflect it. In their hands, God has placed a great responsibility.

“The duty to ensure that justice is done, irrespective of the pressure to do otherwise, by the powers that be.

“Learned people know that the judiciary comes to conclusions drawing from matters of law placed before it, and not sentiments, or so-called “pulse of the nation.”

However, Mr. Femi Adesina, the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, in a statement in Abuja on Friday, frowned at Atiku’s comments, saying, “Many things fly in the face of logic, reason, and legality in this portion of the statement.

“A pertinent question is: how does the judiciary gauge the pulse of the nation? Is it even positioned to do such?

“Is the judiciary established for that purpose, or to dispense justice, even if the heavens fall?”

Adesina observed that there was insinuation of inducement in the statement when the PDP candidate said the judiciary should ensure justice is done, “irrespective of the pressure to do otherwise, by the powers that be.”

“We see this as an attempt to browbeat the judiciary, thus causing it to entertain sentiment in the ongoing petition on the presidential election before the tribunal.

“If anybody has the tendency or proclivity to put pressure on the judiciary, Nigerians know where the finger points, and it is definitely not at President Muhammadu Buhari.

“This was a man who had thrice taken his electoral challenges to the judiciary, up to the Supreme Court. And not once was he accused of trying to influence the process, or put pressure on the courts.

“When the All Progressives Congress lost Zamfara and Rivers states, arising from judicial proclamations, then, there was no “pressure to do otherwise” by the powers that be.

“But now that the victory of the party in Osun was upheld, there is insinuation of pressure from those who have never learnt to play straight,” he said.

Adesina maintained that Buhari had always been committed to fair play, which he said was clearly evident in the last general elections.

According to him, the President remains committed to even-handedness and justice always.