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Daily Archives: February 4, 2018

IBB’s Memo: We stand by our statement on President Buhari- Kassim Afegbua

The camp of Nigeria’s former Military President, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida has said it stands by its earlier media release it issued to President Muhammadu Buhari. The news which went viral today in leading traditional media and blogs quoted the former Military leader telling President Buhari not to contest the 2019 elections. While Nigerians were still digesting the memo, another release came up denying the memo emanated from General Babangida.

Afegbua howeve countered the purported rebuttal.insisting that the statement earlier signed by him stands:

“Please, this is to affirm that the earlier statement issued and signed by me on behalf of General IBB stands. We regret the mix-up in a rebuttal issued to contradict the statement. The statement stands.

Prince Kassim Afegbua
Media Spokesman.
Below is the alleged rebuttal

“My attention has been drawn to a report making rounds especially online in which I was quoted as advising Nigerians not to vote for President Muhammadu Buhari in the coming 2019 election.

Not only is the said statement untrue, it is in its entirety, an inaccurate representation of my view of the state of our dear Nation.

As a former President and an elder statesman, I have existing communication channels through which I reach out to President Muhammadu Buhari on topical issues of national importance, should there be the need so to do.

The media, both online or mainstream and indeed the unsuspecting public are advised to disregard such false reports.

Thank you and God Bless you all.

Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (Rtd) (GCON)
Former Military President Federal Republic of Nigeria

Hilltop Mansion
Minna, Niger state.
4th February

Kassim Afegbua however debunked the rebuttal on  Channels TV Politics Today programme.

According to him, “The former military president authorised the statement I issued. I didn’t just put out the statement on my own,” he said.

Thenewsmatrics observes that the IBB “rebuttal” refers to the ex-military president at GCON (Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger), whereas Babangida actually holds the highest national honour of GCFR (Grand Commander of the Federal  Republic), an award that has been bestowed on virtually all former heads of state in the post military era.

Fresh killings as herdsmen, villagers clash in Adamawa

An unconfirmed number of persons have been killed in a clash between herdsmen and villagers in Song local government area of Adamawa state.

The clash, which occurred in Simba and Shure villages on Friday, also left many houses destroyed.

Trouble started when the herders took their cattle to a pond said to be the only source of water in the area.

This led to a confrontation between the herdsmen and one of the villagers who was said to have been injured upon confronting the herders.

On learning about the incident, the villagers subsequently attacked the herdsmen, reportedly killing an unconfirmed number of them.

The herders, thereafter, launched a reprisal attack on the community.

Some persons were also said to have died in the reprisal attack, while houses were also burnt down.

The police were unable to confirm the number of casualties in the incident as of press time.

Othman Abubakar, spokesman of Adamawa police command, confirmed there was an attack but could not give details.

“When I get the details, I will call you back. I’m not sure of the casualties yet,” he said on Sunday.

He also said the command had not been able to make any arrest regarding the incident.

Ortom asks IGP to resign if he is overwhelmed

Governor of Benue State, Mr. Samuel Ortom has asked the Inspector-General of police (IGP) Ibrahim Idris, to resign if he cannot put a stop to the killings in his state.

Ortom said this in while reacting to comment of the IGP on the high level of insecurity in Benue.

On Friday, Idris told the senate committee on police affairs that the anti-grazing law should be suspended until ranches are put in place.

He said the law has worsened the clashes between herdsmen and farmers.

But in the statement, Terver Akase, media aide to the governor, quoted Ortom as saying that Idris is on a mission to mislead the country.

The governor said Idris’ statement on grazing law shows he is not on the side of “innocent Nigerians.”

“If truly the IGP said what was widely reported by the media, our conclusion is that he is a clear case of a man who is either on a mission to mislead the nation or is complicit in the attacks on Benue communities and the killing of many people by terror herdsmen,” the statement read.

“With his latest demand that the ranching law of Benue be suspended, it is now clear where the loyalty and interest of the inspector-general of police lies — certainly not with innocent Nigerians.

“Little wonder herdsmen still proudly carry out sophisticated weapons and willfully terrorise innocent people in the state without being arrested.

“We wish to place it on record that contrary to the directive by President Muhammadu Buhari that the IGP should relocate to Benue to ensure that the killings stop, the IGP spent only one day in Benue and left for a destination where only he can tell. No one has seen him in Benue since that day.

“Benue now has nearly 100,000 internally displaced persons in seven camps established by the state government. We therefore find IG Idris statement as a mockery and a shameful dance on the graves of those killed in the state by herdsmen.

“If the inspector-general of police, Mr. Idris, is not competent to help bring an end to the invasion and killing of innocent people in Benue and other states by herdsmen, the noble thing to do is to resign instead of twisting facts to suit his objective.”

Adeboye speaks on killer herdsmen, says God will expose their sponsors

Pastor Enoch Adeboye, general overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), has said  God will expose those empowering killer herdsmen in different parts of the country.

At least five states have recorded herdsmen killings this year alone.

Speaking at the monthly Holy Ghost service of the church, which takes place at the Redemption Camp in Mowe, Ogun state, the cleric explained why he had not made personal comments about the killings.

He said as a member of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), leaders of the organisations have spoken on the issues on behalf of their members, including himself.

Adeboye, who has a doctorate degree in mathematics, also responded to the issue mathematically.

He said the equations are: “There are certain problems beyond man. There is no problem beyond God. Man can hide from his fellow man. No man can hide from God.

“Security agents can be compromised but God cannot be compromised. His holiness is not negotiable and cannot be compromised. Man can sponsor evil. God cannot sponsor evil.”

He said the answer to the equations is one: “a prayer warrior is more effective than an activist”.

He then led the congregation in a series of prayers for the killers, people who connive with them and their sponsors to be exposed by God and dealt with.

In his main sermon, which was a continuation of the church’s sermon series, titled ‘Stronger than the enemy,” the general overseer, likened the problems of individuals and nations to mountains, which can be moved by faith.

Recalling one of his prophecies for the year that “erstwhile stubborn mountains will move,” he called on the congregation to tackle their mountains head on.

He then highlighted the strategies to deal with mountains, leading the congregation in aggressive prayers to activate each of them at the service, which was largely devoted to prayers.

He advised strongly against tolerating one’s mountains because that makes the mountain remain; rather they should be confronted.

“Don’t pretend there is no mountain, don’t ignore your problem, confront it,” he said.

He also advised against the practice of taking problems to fellow men always, instead of God.

In a testimony, he spoke about a tree in the middle of a major road in Lokoja, Kogi sate, where he went for a programme.

He said residents told him that it could not be cut down for spiritual reasons but that he took note of that and went ahead with the programme.

He recalled that there was a rainstorm that night and by daybreak, the tree was on its side, completely uprooted.

‘Unexplained wealth’: Saraki listed as owner of £15m London mansions

Senate President Bukola Saraki has been listed as one of the five owners of “unexplained wealth” in London.

According to Transparency International, the report was conducted by Unexplained Wealth Orders (UWOs), a new investigative power designed to help law enforcement agencies act on corrupt assets.

Two buildings, located at 7 and 8 Whittaker street, Belgravia, London, are allegedly owned by Saraki.

The houses are said to be worth £15 million.

According to the report, the said addresses are owned by Landfield International Developments Limited and Renocon Property Development Limited.

The report said the companies are managed by Toyin Saraki, wife of the senate president and one of Saraki’s personal aides.

“The report is particularly useful where there is no realistic prospect of cooperation or conviction in the country of origin, but there are sufficient grounds for suspicion that an asset has been acquired with the proceeds of corruption,” UWOs said.

In November 2017, Saraki was named among over 120 politicians and leaders in nearly 50 countries who have reportedly been utilising shell companies in tax haven to either conceal assets, evade tax, or launder funds.

Eighteen months earlier, a similar investigation exposed his ownership of at least three secret offshore firms which he allegedly used in concealing assets abroad.

Saraki has however denied both allegations, saying he is rich because he comes from a wealthy family.

Other people indicted in the report include Igor Shuvalov, Russian first deputy prime minister, Ahmed Mahmoud Azwai, former Libyan major-general, Nawaz Sharif, former prime minister of Pakistan, and First family of Azerbaijan, a country in Asia.

The Senate president is yet to comment on the report.

Why Buhari must go in 2019 – IBB

Former Military President, General Ibrahim B.  Babangida, IBB,  has added his voice to the growing call for a new set of leaders for Nigeria in 2019.

IBB, who made his position known through a statement signed on  his behalf by Prince Kassim Afegbua, his media spokesman said “We need to bring different actors to the roundtable.” He said 2019 is the time for a new generation of leaders.

According to IBB: “The next election in 2019 therefore presents us a unique opportunity to reinvent the wheel and provoke fresh leadership that would immediately begin the process of healing the wounds in the land and ensuring that the wishes and aspirations of the people are realized in building and sustaining national cohesion and consensus. I pray the Almighty Allah grant us the gift of good life to witness that glorious dawn in 2019. Amen.

He however clarified: “I have not written an open letter to the President, I have just shared my thoughts with fellow compatriots on the need to enthrone younger blood into the mainstream of our political leadership starting from 2019.”

He argued that Nigerians should cooperate with  President Muhammadu Buhari  to complete his term in 2019 after which “a new generation leaders” should  mount the saddle.

IBB said “In the fullness of our present realities, we need to cooperate with President Muhammadu Buhari to complete his term of office on May 29th, 2019 and collectively prepare the way for new generation leaders to assume the mantle of leadership of the country. While offering this advice, I speak as a stakeholder, former president, concerned Nigerian and a patriot who desires to see new paradigms in our shared commitment to get this country running. While saying this also, I do not intend to deny President Buhari his inalienable right to vote and be voted for, but there comes a time in the life of a nation, when personal ambition should not override national interest. This is the time for us to reinvent the will and tap into the resourcefulness of the younger generation, stimulate their entrepreneurial initiatives and provoke a conduce environment to grow national economy both at the micro and macro levels.

According to him,  “Contemporary leadership has to be proactive and not reactive. It must factor in citizens’ participation. Its language of discourse must be persuasive not agitated and abusive. It must give room for confidence building. It must build consensus and form aggregate opinion on any issue to reflect the wishes of the people across the country. It must gauge the mood of the country at every point in time in order to send the right message. It must share in their aspirations and give them cause to have confidence in the system. Modern leadership is not just about “fighting” corruption, it is about plugging the leakages and building systems that will militate against corruption. Accountability in leadership should flow from copious examples. It goes beyond mere sloganeering. My support for a new breed leadership derives from the understanding that it will show a marked departure from recycled leadership to creating new paradigms that will breathe fresh air into our present polluted leadership actuality.

“My intervention in the governance process of Nigeria wasn’t an accident of history. Even as a military government, we had a clear-cut policy agenda on what we needed to achieve. We recruited some of the best brains and introduced policies that remain some of the best in our effort to re-engineer our polity and nation. We saw the future of Nigeria but lack of continuity in government and of policies killed some of our intentions and initiatives. Even though we did not provide answers to all the developmental challenges that confronted us as at that time, we were not short of taking decisions whenever the need arose.

We need to bring different actors to the roundtable

Addressing the growing insecurity in the country IBB said: “The unchecked activities of the herdsmen have continued to raise doubt on the capacity of this government to handle with dispatch, security concerns that continue to threaten our dear nation; suicide bombings, kidnappings, armed banditry, ethnic clashes and other divisive tendencies. We need to bring different actors to the roundtable. Government must generate platform to interact and dialogue on the issues with a view to finding permanent solutions to the crises. The festering nature of this crisis is an inelegant testimony to the sharp divisions and polarizations that exist across the country.

On restructuring, IBB said “When the ruling party campaigned with the change mantra, I had thought they would device new methods, provoke new initiatives and proffer new ways to addressing some of our developmental problems. By now, in line with her manifesto, one would have thought that the APC will give fillip to the idea of devolution of powers and tinker with processes that would strengthen and reform the various sectors of the economy. Like I did state in my previous statement late last year, devolution of power or restructuring is an idea whose time has come if we must be honest with ourselves. We need to critically address the issue and take informed positions based on the expectations of the people on how to make the union work better. Political parties should not exploit this as a decoy to woo voters because election time is here. We need to begin the process of restructuring both in the letter and spirit of it.  “For example, I still cannot reconcile why my state government would not be allowed to fix the Minna-Suleja road, simply because it is called Federal Government road, or why state governments cannot run their own policing system to support the Federal Police. We are still experiencing huge infrastructural deficit across the country and one had thought the APC-led Federal Government would behave differently from their counterparts in previous administrations. I am hesitant to ask; where is the promised change?”

IBB’s intervention came barely  two weeks after former President Olusegun Obasanjo wrote his famous special statement calling on Buhari to take a deserved rest in 2019.

But there are signs that the President Buhari supporters are revving up  his 2019 reelection campaign.