Monday , 20 May 2019
Latest
Home » Tag Archives: President Buhari

Tag Archives: President Buhari

Falana writes Buhari, seeks release of 40 Nigerians from illegal custody of navy

Femi Falana, human rights lawyer, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to order the release of 40 Nigerians who have been in “illegal custody” of the Nigerian navy.

In a letter on Sunday, the senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN) said the individuals had been arrested and imprisoned without being arraigned in court.

The detainees including Dada Labinjo, a navy captain, and Sherifat Ibe Lambert (also known as Mrs Bola Labinjo), a lt. commander, have been in detention since September 2018 for an undisclosed offence.

Falana had earlier called on Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), to take action against the naval authorities over the “violations of the fundamental rights of the detainees”.

He said the naval authorities had obtained a remand warrant from a magistrate’s court in Apapa, Lagos, but after three months of incarceration without any criminal charges filed against the detainees, the court reviewed their case on January 7, 2019, and ordered that they should be released immediately.

In his letter, the lawyer said the “unlawful detention” contravened sections of the 1999 constitution and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights Ratification and Enforcement.

“We have received complaints from the family members of 40 Nigerian citizens who are being detained without trial on the orders of the Authorities of  the Nigerian Navy,” the letter read.

“It may interest Your Excellency to know that the detainees have been held incommunicado in dehumanising conditions for periods ranging from six to eight months.

“In fact, some of the detainees are incarcerated in an underground military detention facility in Abuja while others are held inside one of the vessels impounded by the Nigerian Navy in Marina, Lagos.

“The  detainees have been subjected to mental, psychological and physical torture contrary to the provisions of the Anti Torture Act, 2017.

“Furthermore, in utter contempt of court the authorities of the Nigerian Navy have defied valid and subsisting orders of competent courts for the unconditional release of some of the detainees.

“Apart from such contemptuous conduct the Nigerian Navy recently denied knowledge of the whereabouts of the 15 detainees held in a detention facility  in Abuja.

“As soon as we pointed out that  the remand order procured by the Nigerian Navy for the detention of the 15 detainees had been quashed by the Chief Magistrate Court in Apapa, Lagos State the Naval Authorities turned round to file criminal charges against 5 of them before a Court Martial.

“Since all the detainees are entitled to their fundamental rights to dignity and liberty guaranteed by sections 34 and 35 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended and articles 5 and 6 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights Ratification and Enforcement Act (Cap A9) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, we urge Your Excellency to direct the Chief Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, to either release the detainees from unlawful custody or arraign them in court without any further delay.

“In view of the fact that the illegal detention of the 40 Nigerian citizens for several months  without trial has exposed the Federal Government to unwarranted embarrassment the Chief of Naval Staff ought to be sanctioned by Your Excellency.”

Below is a list of all the detainees:

  • Captain Dada Labinjo,
  • Lt. Commander Sherifat Ibe Lambert
  • Benjamin Gold
  • Peter Pulle,
  • Pius Paul,
  • Onoja Reuben,
  • Adeleke Adewale,
  • Labinjo Kehinde,
  • Ogunmoyero Oluwasehun,
  • Emmanuel Oputa,
  • Innocent Sunday,
  • Iejoro Friday,
  • Hamza Yakubu,
  • Segun Yusuf.
  • Master-Melvin Jack ;
  • Chief Mate-Adebayo Mayoma
  • Chief Mate- Francis Oneyema
  • 2nd Eng-Godwill Umoh
  • Bosin-Miebaka Iyala
  • Elect 2-Edu Fidelis
  • Elect 2-Richard David
  • Camp Boss-Daniel Harrison
  • Asaiki Okeoghene
  • AB 1-Omogoye Bolaji
  • AB 2-Victor Uchendu
  • AB 3-Oloyede Ademola
  • Oiler-Simon Onyisi Mike
  • Eng cadet-Udom Victor Jerome
  • Godwin Etiaka Ojodusi        
  • Sixtus Ganabel                          
  • Owei Ukuto                               
  • Jeremiah Victor                          
  • Collins Joel                
  • Augustine Omonisa                    
  • MV Akemijo Deborah          
  • Mike Simeon
  • Umoren Daniel
  • James Archibong
  • Umon Godswill Emmanuel
  • MT Adeline Jumbo

Buhari heading to Saudi Arabia for lesser hajj

President Muhammadu Buhari will embark on a five-day trip to Saudi Arabia on Thursday.

Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, disclosed this in a statement issued on Wednesday.

Shehu said the trip is at the instance of Salman Abdulaziz, the ruler of Saudi Arabia.

“President Muhammadu Buhari has accepted the invitation of King Salman Bin Abdulaziz, the ruler of Saudi Arabia and Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to perform the Umrah (lesser pilgrimage) in the Kingdom,” Shehu said.

“To this effect, the President, accompanied by close personal aides, will embark on the journey on Thursday, 16th May.

“He is expected back in the country on Tuesday, 21st May. Umrah is an optional but recommended pilgrimage to Makkah that can be made at any time of the year.”

Military dissociates self from call to overthrow Buhari

The Defence Headquarters (DHQ), on Tuesday, dissociated the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) from the circulation of a document, calling for the overthrow of the democratically-elected government led by President Muhammadu Buhari.

In a statement by Navy Capt. Muhammed Wabi, Deputy Director of Defence Information, the DHQ accused a group, “Nigeria Continuity and Progress (NCP)’’ as being behind the document.

Wabi alleged that the document called for the setting up of an “interim government’’ in place of the elected government.

“The Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) wishes to dissociate itself from the rascality and intentions as espoused in a document being circulated by a faceless group named Nigerian Continuity and Progress (NCP) calling for support of a revolution to oust the current democratically elected government and in its place establish an illegitimate interim government.

“The AFN outrightly condemns the undemocratic and demonic actions of the author of the document.

“Accordingly, members of the public are enjoined to discountenance the content of the documents being circulated by NCP and equally condemned in totality, the call to derail our hard-earned democracy,’’ the statement said.

It said that the armed forces was “very mindful of its constitutional responsibilities’’ and would not be misled into any act that would undermine democracy as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution as amended.

“The AFN remains unflinchingly loyal to the Constitution, as well as President Muhammadu Buhari and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The statement said all relevant law enforcement agencies had been advised to unravel those behind the seditious document for appropriate actions.

Hope Democratic Party asks tribunal to halt Buhari’s inauguration

The Hope Democratic Party (HDP) and Ambrose Owuru, its presidential candidate, have asked the presidential election petition tribunal to halt the  swearing-in ceremony of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Buhari will be sworn in on May 29.

The motion filed by the applicants is seeking an order restraining Buhari, the first respondent, from presenting himself on May 29 or any other date for swearing in or taking of oath of allegiance and oath of office as president.

They are also seeking an order restraining Ibrahim Mohammed, acting chief justice of Nigeria, or any other justice in that stead from swearing in or administering the oath of allegiance and oath of office on Buhari.

The applicants predicated the application on the ground that they had filed a petition on March 3 challenging the validity of the election and the return of the first respondent as the winner of the election.

“A restraining order by this court is appropriate to preserve the subject matter of this petition and prevent the first respondent foisting a fiat accompli and state of helplessness on the court and render the petition nugatory,” the motion read.

“The law is settled that once the question of the validity of Election of any person is challenged as to whether he is validly elected or not, the person is not competent to take office or assume the seat of power until the matter is dealt with.”

However, Zainab Bulkachuwa, president of the appeal court, adjourned hearing on the application till May 22 on account of non-proper service on the respondents.

“The application filed by the appellants/applicants and all other interlocutory applications are hereby adjourned until May 22 for hearing,” she held.

“It is hereby ordered that all exchanges of processes and filing of respondents’ briefs are done within the period specified.”

Low-key inauguration on May 29 as FG moves ‘major’ events to June 12

President Muhammadu Buhari will have a low-key inauguration for his second term on May 29.

Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information, disclosed this to reporters in Abuja on Monday.

Mohammed said most events for May 29 had been moved to June 12, the country’s new Democracy Day.

Last year, Buhari declared June 12 as Democracy Day in honour of MKO Abiola, self-acclaimed winner of the 1993 election.

Mohammed added that world leaders had already been invited to attend the Democracy Day on June 12.

“The decision to have a low-key inauguration for the President was taken at the meeting of federal executive council of Wednesday 8th of May, 2019,” he said.

“Invitations have been sent to all world leaders to attend the ceremonies marking the observance of the democracy day on June 12.

“Since the first observance of democracy day falls on an election year, and as a measure to sustain June 12 as democracy day, the celebration of the inauguration and the advancement of democracy in the country will now take place on June 12.”

He said the country cannot afford two major celebrations within two weeks.

Mohammed said details of the events, slated for the two ceremonies would be unveiled at a world news conference, slated for May 20 in Abuja.

PHOTOS: Emefiele all smiles as Buhari congratulates him over his reappointment

Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), visited President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday.

Beaming with smiles, governor of the apex bank shook hands with the president who congratulated him.

Last week, Buhari appointed Emefiele for another term of five years.

Below are the pictures of both men together:

Photo credit: Sunday Aghaeze

Insecurity: Buhari gives marching order to service chiefs

President Muhammadu Buhari has asked service chiefs and heads of security agencies to work towards checking the high level of insecurity in the country.

Speaking during his second meeting with service chiefs in 48 hours, the president said Nigerians ought go to bed with their eyes closed.

Ibok Ekwe Ibas, chief of naval staff, disclosed this while briefing state house correspondents on the outcome of the meeting which started at 11:30am and ended few minutes before 3pm.

“The meeting was just basically to appraise Mr. President of the security situation generally after his short vacation abroad,” he said.

“The security agencies briefed him on what has been happening with particular emphasis on the proliferation of small arms and what the various agencies are doing to curtail the consequences of this proliferation.

“He has also given directives that the agencies should do much more to ensure that Nigerians go to bed and wake up feeling healthy and confident that their security is guaranteed.”

On the high rate of kidnapping, the naval chief said: “You will recall during the last meeting, the IG was directed to ensure insecurity is addressed and consequently various operations were set up; Puff Adder was one of the strategies. With the set up of that operations there have been a remarkable drop in the number of kidnappings. What normally would attract attention is when a key person in government perhaps is kidnapped. On the whole, the number of kidnappings has dropped and generally I think the security situation is improving.”

He added that two suspects had been arrested in connection with the kidnap of Musa Ibas, district head of Daura.

“Serious efforts are being made, key suspects have been arrested and it is hoped that in a short while, those behind the heinous crime will be brought to book,” he said.

Umar was kidnapped at his residence shortly after he returned from the mosque where he took part in the evening prayer.

Buhari inaugurates North East Development Commission

President Muhammadu Buhari has inaugurated the North-East Development Commission (NEDC).

The commission is expected to coordinate the rebuilding of the insurgency-ravaged north-east region.

While inaugurating the commission before the commencement of the federal executive council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday, Buhari said a take-off grant of N10 billion meant for the commission had already been captured in the 2019 budget.

Last month, the commission presented a budget of N55 billion to the senate, of which N10 billion was approved for humanitarian interventions.

Buhari had sent the list of nominees of the commission to the senate for confirmation last month.

Paul Tarfa, a retired army major-general, was confirmed as chairman, while Mohammed Alkali was confirmed as the managing director and chief executive officer of the commission.

The upper legislative chamber also confirmed nine members of the board of the commission.

The members are Musa Yashi, executive director humanitarian affairs; Mohammed Jawa, executive director, admin and finance; Omar Mohammed, executive director, operations; and David Kente, member representing north-east zone.

The new members

Others are Asmau Mohammed, member representing north-west zone; Benjamin Adanyi, member representing north-central zone; Olawale Oshun, member representing south-west zone; Theodore Ekechi, member representing south-east and Obasuke McDonald, member representing south-south zone.

The senate passed the bill for the establishment of the commission in October 2016 while Buhari assented to the bill a year later.

Buhari returns to Abuja after 10 days abroad

President Muhammadu Buhari returned to Abuja Sunday after spending 10 days on a private visit to the United Kingdom.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the presidential aircraft conveying the president from London landed at the Presidential Wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja at about 6.33 p.m.

Those at the airport to welcome the president include his Chief of Staff, Malam Abba Kyari, some ministers, including the Federal Capital Territory Minister, Malam Muhammed Bello and the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai.

Others were the acting Inspector-General of Police, Mr Muhammed Adamu, Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu and other presidential aides.

Buhari had on April 25 proceeded to the UK on a private visit after he inaugurated some projects executed by the Borno Government.

After landing at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Buhari took a chopper to the Aso Villa.

Buhari wades into Nigerian Zainab Aliyu’s case in Saudi Arabia

President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, to intervene in the case of Nigerian student, Zainab Aliyu detained by Saudi Arabia authorities.

Zainab Aliyu, a student of Maitama Sule University, Kano, who travelled for Lesser Hajj in Dec. 2018 was detained by the Saudi Arabia authorities for allegedly being in possession of a banned substance, Tramadol.

Mrs Abike Dabiri Erewa, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, said this in a statement by her Media Aide, Mr Abdur-Rahman Balogun, on Monday in Abuja.

“President Muhammadu Buhari gave the directive immediately the matter was brought to his attention about two weeks ago.

“My office has been working with the AGF as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in that regard,” she said.

The Presidential aide assured that progress was being made in Zainab’s case along with two others held in similar circumstances in Saudi Arabia.

“Zainab, although detained, had not been put on trial by the Saudi Arabia government.

“And with the hard evidence that those who implicated her have been arrested, a strong legal case is being made to the Saudi authorities,” she said.

Mr Habib Aliyu, the father of the alleged drug courier, Zainab, had appealed to the Federal Government to intervene in her daughter’s case and save the ‘innocent’ lady from being executed wrongly.

Aliyu also called on the Saudi authorities and the international community as well as well-meaning individuals to intervene.

Zainab’s father had expressed displeasure over his daughter’s arrest and detention in a Saudi Prison in spite of the recent discovery that she was framed by some drug cartel.

He had explained that the allegations of Zainab entering the country with Tramadol was absolute falsehood as recent events and arrests had confirmed the girl’s innocence.

Zainab, had travelled from Malam Aminu Kano International Airport in company of her mother, Mrs Maryam Aliyu, and sister Hajara Aliyu.

She was later arrested over allegations that a luggage, bearing her name tag, contained the unlawful substance.

Zainab who was accused of entering Saudi Arabia with an illegal dose of Tramadol was later discovered to be a victim of a cartel that specialised in planting drugs in travellers’ bags.

According to the statement some members of the drug cartel are already in the custody of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.

Amnesty International and many Nigerians on Monday night campaigned for Zainab’s release.

Amnesty said: Saudi Arabian authorities must free Zainab Habibu Aliyu. Her ordeal shows everything wrong with death penalty. Let us raise our voices, until Zainab is free. No one knows who can be the next victim of such injustice. #FreeZainab #Nigeria #ZainabIsInnocent”

PDP: Buhari abandoning governance shows how reckless next four years will be

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of abandoning governance in the guise of a private trip to the UK.

The party said the president’s decision to travel to the UK without informing the national assembly suggests he and the All Progressives Congress (APC) are seeking to vacate the 1999 constitution.

Buhari’s decision to travel to the UK on a private trip without first writing the national assembly has been condemned by some Nigerians who described it as illegal.

But his aides defended his action, insisting it was not necessary for the president to write the lawmakers about the trip.

However, in the statement issued by Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP spokesman, the opposition party said the president’s action is “an act of dereliction, which confirms that the APC and the Buhari Presidency are not interested in governance.”

“What else, beside an authoritarian propensity, can explain why the Buhari Presidency relegated our Constitutional Order by declaring the application of Section 145 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which directs that the President transmits power whenever he is travelling out of the country on vacation, as a mere “convention,” read the statement issued on Monday.

“Moreover, Mr. President’s abandoning of governance, particularly at this critical time when our nation is facing grave security and economic challenges, signposts the level of impunity and recklessness that will characterize our nation in the next four years, if the stolen Presidential mandate is not retrieved from the APC.”

The PDP said Buhari’s action has caused the “absence of a constitutional command structure” which leaves Nigeria “at the mercy of the extremely corrupt and vicious cabal with whom President Buhari presided over the most corrupt and most incompetent administration.”

It also said the action has exposed the nation to unabated banditry, extra-judicial killings, illegal arrests and looting of the national treasury.

“The PDP therefore urges Nigerians to unite in condemning this act of impunity in the interest of our nation even as they earnestly await the retrieval of the stolen Presidential mandate at the tribunal,” the party said.

FG donates $500,000 to Guinea Bissau for elections

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the donation of $500,000 to the government of Guinea Bissau.

According to a series of tweets on the verified Twitter handle of Presidency Nigeria @NGRPresident, Buhari made the donations in response to an urgent request for assistance by the government of Guinea Bissau towards the country’s election.

The president, who is chairman of ECOWAS, also donated 350 units of electoral kits, 10 motorcycles, five Hilux vans, and two light trucks to the country.

This was announced in a series of tweets by the presidency.

“The president graciously approved support to the country’s election process, including 350 units of electoral kits, 10 motorcycles, 5 Hilux vans, two light trucks and US$500,000,” one of the tweets read.

“In his capacity as Chairman, ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State,” and had, on Friday morning, directed Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, to undertake an urgent mission as his Special Envoy to Guinea Bissau, in the company of ECOWAS Commission President, Jean-Claude Brou.

“This vital assistance ensured that legislative elections held in Guinea Bissau, which should help in stabilizing the country.”

Buhari unveils reconstructed Ayinke House, Nigeria’s biggest maternity hospital

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday unveiled the newly reconstructed Institute of Maternal And Child Health popularly known as Ayinke House located within the premises of Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) in Ikeja, describing it as a critical and timely intervention by the State Government in the health sector.

Ayinke House, which is Nigeria’s biggest Maternity Hospital, was upgraded from an 80-bed facility to a 170-bed healthcare centre with state-of-the-art medical equipment, as well as information technology services.

Aside the entourage of the President which included Ministers and Special Advisers, Governors of Ogun (Ibikunle Amosu ), Oyo (Abiola Ajimobi), Ondo (Oluwarotimi Akeredolu), Ekiti (Kayode Fayemi), Jubrila Bindow, Adamawa, Acting Governor of Edo State, Philip Shaibu; Lagos State Governor-Elect, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat; Oba  of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, among others were in attendance.

The President, who landed at the Presidential Wing of Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja at about 10: 45am, arrived at Ayinke House about 15 minutes later, after which he unveiled the project, and also embarked on comprehensive tour of the facility.

Speaking at the event, the State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode described the development as historic, expressing optimism that the facility would provide world class childbirth and maternal care services to Lagosians and Nigerians at large.

Recalling how the journey began, Governor Ambode said the facility was commissioned exactly 29 years ago, with the late businessman and philanthropist, Sir Mobolaji Bank-Anthony donating the first dedicated maternal and child care facility to the State Government, in memory of his mother; hence the christened name “Ayinke House”.

He said the hospital, which started with just one surgical theatre soon assumed a life of its own as a first-class childbirth and maternal care centre in the health sector of Nigeria as well as first choice for expectant mothers.

However, the Governor said the hospital later became over-stretched beyond capacity and somehow obsolete, while in recognition of the need to sustain Bank-Anthony’s philanthropy, the State Government, during the administration of former Governor Babatunde Fashola who is now the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, awarded the contract for the expansion and reconstruction of the facility.

“Today, seven years after the closure of the facility, the new edifice is now a 170-bed facility with 5 surgical theatres. It has a 16-bed emergency care units with 3 organ support facilities, 30 bed special baby care unit, 5 neo-natal intensive care units, a fully equipped laboratory with support services, laboratories and a blood bank.

“Beyond the significance for the health sector, this institute is a major contribution to our education sector also; as it becomes a veritable platform for our medical students in the State University to enhance their exposure and experience with the top-class medical equipment provided,” Governor Ambode said, just as he revealed that Ayinke House had also been completely digitalised with state-of-the-art medical equipment as well as information technology services supported by the State Ministry of Science and Technology.

He said in view of President Buhari’s determination of making universal and basic primary healthcare as one of the cardinal priorities of his administration, the State Government, under him, had consciously worked to bring quality, affordable and modern healthcare to all our citizenry, among other initiatives in the health sector.

“Just last year, we launched the Lagos State Health Insurance scheme to allow residents access top quality medical care with a little contribution and support from the State government.

“These and other efforts are directed at improving the lives of our people, especially the women and children; and by extension the productivity of our nation,” he said.

While congratulating President Buhari on his resounding victory at the recent presidential election, Governor Ambode thanked him for finding time to personally commission Ayinke House and other projects in the State, adding that the completion of the projects would not have been possible without the President’s support, administrative direction and encouragement.

Besides, Governor Ambode commended the Management and Staff of the State’s Ministry of Health, Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, LASUTH as well as contractors for working round the clock and their enthusiasm in getting the project completed.

Similarly, the President also commissioned the 500-seater Lagos Theatre in Oregun, Ikeja. The ultra modern theatre is one of the four simultaneously constructed by the Ambode administration to increase arts spaces and create standard platforms for talented citizens of the State to showcase their skills.

The President who arrived the venue at exactly 11:30am was treated to a live dance performance by a young group of talented artist before taking his leave.

The Governor said the three other theatres with the same specifications are also ready for commissioning in Igando, Badagry and Epe.

Roads to be closed for Buhari’s Wednesday visit to Lagos

The Lagos state government says preparations are in top gear to host President Muhammadu Buhari on his official visit to the state on Wednesday.

This was announced in a statement issued by the state ministry of information and strategy on Tuesday in Lagos.

It said that during the one-day working visit, a number of state projects would be commissioned by the president.

“The projects to be commissioned include the rehabilitated 10-lane Oshodi/Murtala Muhammed International Airport Road, and the 170-Bed ‘Ayinke House’ (Maternity Hospital) at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) in Ikeja,” the statement read.

“Other projects to be commissioned include the Lagos State Theatre at Oregun in Ikeja, new 820 Mass Transit buses and the multi-level Oshodi Transport Interchange on the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway.

“The Presidential visit would hold between 9.00 a. m. and 3.00 p.m. on Wednesday, during which traffic on some routes will be diverted in order to ensure a free flow of traffic.”

According to the statement, the routes to be affected are:

  • Mobolaji Bank-Anthony Way (coming from the Presidential wing of Murtala Muhammed Airport to LASUTH under-bridge);
  • Kodesoh Road
  • Obafemi Awolowo Way
  • Kudirat Abiola Way
  • Ikorodu Road (between the Ojota Intersection and Anthony Interchange)
  • Oworonshoki-Apapa Expressway (between Anthony and Oshodi Transport Interchange)
  • International Airport road through the Local Wing of the airport to Mobolaji Bank-Anthony Way and back to the Obafemi Awolowo Way.

“Roads highlighted above shall only be cordoned-off when necessary, Obafemi Awolowo Way and portions of Mobolaji Bank-Anthony shall be closed to traffic on three occasions within the specified period, as they are central to the President’s itinerary,’’ it said.

Motorists are advised to avoid the above-listed roads while those who find it unavoidable to ply the listed roads were advised to be patient and co-operate with traffic managers.

Aso Rock lashes Rev. Fr Mamza for saying Buhari sleeping on duty

The Presidency on Monday lashed back at the Catholic Bishop of Yola Diocese, Rt. Rev. Fr. Stephen Mamza, who unguardedly had described President Muhammadu Buhari as ”sleeping on duty as Commander-in-Chief.”

Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, said the comment was unbecoming of a religious leader, to engage ”in an action that broke the old tradition of staying above politics”.

The presidential aide not only described the comment unfair, but also went further to educate him on President Buhari’s various efforts to improve the state of affairs in Nigeria, particularly in the North east, ravaged by Boko Haram before May 29, 2015.

Shehu said: ”In an action that broke the old tradition of staying above politics, the Catholic Bishop of Yola Diocese, Rt. Rev. Fr. Stephen Mamza delivered a homily in which he spoke angrily against President Muhammadu Buhari, whom he described as ‘sleeping on duty as Commander-in-Chief.’

”This is not a fair comment.

”There is so much that has changed in the past three to four years in and around Yola, and the Catholic Church in particular that a true assessment would show that but for the Change Administration of President Buhari, things would have continued the way they were, or even get worse. These could not have happened if a Commander-in- Chief was asleep.”

Shehu, however, noted that Mamza was part of the success story recorded by the Buhari administration in Northeast, especially in Adamawa.

”Bishop Mamza was, and is still a strong member of the Adamawa Peace Initiative (API), composed of religious and community leaders which did the lovely work housing and feeding 400,000 displaced people from Northern Adamawa and Borno States in 2015.

”The API also did the extraordinary work of easing tensions between Muslims and Christians during that period and ensured that both groups did not turn on one another based on suspicion.

”As widely reported by the local and international press, in the premises of St. Theresa’s Cathedral where Rev. Mamza ministered, there were more than 1,500 IDPs, mostly women and children on whom the church administered food rations and issued bags of maize, cooking oil and seasoning.

”We are truly touched and very grateful for the work that the Bishop and the others had done in that difficult period,” he said.

The presidential spokesman maintained that as ”the Boko Haram has been degraded, the more than 400,000 displaced people absorbed by the Adamawa community have all gone back to Borno State and to those council areas in northern Adamawa.

”In addition to the capital,Yola, the towns of Michika, Madagali and Mubi which had been occupied by Boko Haram during their military advances have since been retaken by the Nigerian military”.

According to him, the military personnel are also clearing litters of Boko Haram’s carnage and are, through the support of the administration as well as local and international partners, rebuilding roads and bridges, power lines, burnt schools, markets, destroyed churches and mosques.

”Without an iota of doubt, the Northeast is better off with President Buhari than it was under the previous administration.

”That should explain the massive turnout of voters in the region, in spite of threats to life and property, to vote for the return of the President for a Second Term of four years.

”Sadly, one of the realities of today’s Nigeria is that it easy to blame President Buhari for the violence all around us,” he added

Shehu condemned situations were community leaders were ”too scared to blame the warlords and the sponsors of killings” because they fear for their own lives.

He said: ”What is happening in several communities racked by inter-ethnic and religious violence is arising from the refusal of community leaders to point at known criminals in their midst for the law enforcement agencies to act against them.

”They rather blame President Buhari for their woes.

”It is indeed an irony that in the week that Bishop Mamza was speaking, another Bishop with a known commitment to peace, and results to show for his work in neighbouring Plateau State, is being dispatched to go to Taraba, Adamawa and Benue to work in collaboration with security agencies in mending broken inter-communal relationships.”

While sympathising with families of those who lost loved ones as well as those injured, Shehu said this senseless violence could never be condoned by the Buhari administration.

He added that the administration’s intense security efforts and peace building would not only continue, ”but will expand in response to such explosions of violence in the country.”

Killings: Buhari sleeping on duty, says Bishop

The Catholic Bishop of Yola Diocese, Reverend Stephen Mamza, has said the unabated killings, violent crimes and conflict across the country indicate that President Muhammadu Buhari has been sleeping on duty as the nation’s Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.

The Catholic bishop, who spoke on the occasion of Easter, regretted the recent attacks on Adamawa, Benue, Zamfara, Nasarawa states and Southern Kaduna.

He described as unfortunate the inability of security agencies to stop these attacks despite available information to them before the attacks.

Mamza said, “We are really in a dilemma. We (Nigerians) are feeling that we don’t have protection. From all indications, there’s nothing being done. There have been calls from all over the country. Look at what is happening in Zamfara State; look at what is happening in Benue periodically, in Nasarawa State and now in Adamawa (Southern Adamawa).

“If there is a government in place then the government should listen to the people and address the security challenges. We have mass burials from time to time and there’s no sign the government cares about what is happening.”

The cleric noted that it “is the constitutional duty of the government to provide security for its citizens but that is if such government really cares.”

He charged the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to wake up to its responsibilities of protecting lives, noting that the impression out there was that government did not seem to be in control of the insecurity situation in country.

“Why are we living in a country where it seems there’s no government in place?” the Catholic Bishop lamented.

He said his worry was the legacy that Buhari was going to leave behind if he failed to heed the calls by Nigerians “to overhaul the security architecture which has failed to address the security challenge.”

He said, “Since the history of this country, apart from the civil war we have never had the kind of killings under a President like we have in the last four years. So, it is clear, the killings are too many. And if the strategies they have in place do not work why can’t he (Buhari) change and overhaul the entire security architecture? People have been asking him to overhaul his security chiefs but he doesn’t listen. He doesn’t care.”

Buhari extends appointment of acting CJN by three months

The National Judicial Council (NJC) has approved the request of President Muhammadu Buhari to extend the appointment of Ibrhaim Muhammad, acting chief justice of Nigeria (CJN), by three months.

Soji Oye, NJC spokesman, disclosed this in a statement on Saturday.

The spokesman was reacting to a report that council will meet to deliberate on extension of the acting CJN.

Oye said the council met and approved Buhari’s request to extend the appointment of Muhammad.

“The attention of the National Judicial Council has been drawn to an online newspaper and daily newspaper report stating that the council would meet next week to deliberate on the extension of the Acting Appointment of Honourable Dr. Justice I. T. Muhammad CFR, as the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria,” he said.

“Contrary to the above, the Council actually met on Thursday 18th April, 2019 and at the 88th Meeting considered and approved the request of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, for the extension of the Appointment of Hon. Dr. Justice I. T. Muhammad, CFR, as the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria for another three (3) months and Council has since forwarded its approval to the president.”

Muhammad was appointed after Walter Onnoghen was suspended by Buhari and subsequently tried by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) for false assets declaration.

He was convicted on Thursday and barred from holding public office for 10 years.

The embattled justice has appealed the verdict of the CCT.

Buhari: I’m more academically qualified than Atiku

President Muhammadu Buhari says he is far more academically qualified than Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The president’s statement comes on the back of a petition filed by Atiku and the PDP challenging his victory during the February 23 presidential election.

The former vice president alleged that the result from the server of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) showed he defeated Buhari in the election.

According to the result declared by INEC from the 36 states and the federal capital territory (FCT), Buhari polled 15,191,847, while Atiku came second with 11,262,978 votes.

But the PDP candidate claimed he garnered a total of 18,356,732 votes to defeat Buhari, who, according to him, polled 16,741,430 votes.

He also alleged that Buhari was unqualified to contest for the presidential election as he did not possess the minimum qualification of a school certificate as required by the constitution.

But in a response filed by a team of lawyers led by Wole Olanipekun, Buhari said it was Atiku who was not qualified to contest the election, challenging him to produce his educational certificates indicating the schools attended by him with dates.

The president said he “was way above” the former vice president in terms of acquisition of knowledge, certificates, laurels, medals and experience.

He also denied submitting false information to INEC concerning his qualification.

“He (Buhari) did not, at any time, provide any false information in the Form CF001 submitted to the 1st respondent, either in 2014 or 2018,” he said.

“The affidavit of compliance to the 2019 Form CF001 was correct in every material particular.

“In filling Form CF001 in 2014 and 2019, respondent was not oblivious of the constitutional qualifications stipulated in Section 131 of the Constitution and interpreted in Section 318 of the same Constitution.

“Petitioners themselves are also not oblivious of the fact that respondent possesses far more than the constitutional threshold expected for a candidate contesting for the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“The respondent avers that he is far more qualified, both constitutionally and educationally, to contest and occupy the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria than the 1st petitioner (Atiku); and that in terms of educational qualifications, trainings and courses attended, both within and outside Nigeria, he is head and shoulder above the 1st petitioner in terms of acquisition of knowledge, certificates, laurels, medals and experience.

“Respondent states further that it is the 1st petitioner, who is not qualified to contest the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and challenges the educational credentials and certificates of the 1st petitioner.

“1st petitioner is hereby given notice to produce and tender his educational certificates, indicating the schools attended by him, with dates.”

The president asked the tribunal to dismiss the petition, saying it contained more of pre-election issues, which the tribunal lacked jurisdiction to hear.

He further challenged the petitioners to produce evidence of their claims that their votes were manipulated.

Buhari signs N30,000 minimum wage into law

President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the national minimum wage bill into law.

The senate passed the bill on March 19, approving N30,000 as the new national minimum wage. The house of representatives had earlier passed the bill.

On Tuesday, workers in the federal capital territory (FCT) begged Buhari to sign the minimum wage bill into law before May 1.

Buhari sent the wage bill for consideration after the national council of state approved it.

The council had approved N27,000 while the federal government said it would increase it to N30,000 for its workers.

The tripartite committee earlier set up by the federal government had approved N30,000 for both federal and state workers.

Commenting on the new law, Ita Enang, senior special assistant to the president on national assembly matters (senate), said it has become compulsory for all employers of labour in Nigeria to pay their workers N30,000.

Enang made it clear that this excludes persons who are employing less than 25 workers; persons who work in a ship which sail out of jurisdiction; persons who are in other kinds of regulated employments are excepted by the Act.

“It also gives the workers the right if you are compelled by any circumstance to accept salary that is less than 30,000 for you to sue your employers to recover the balance,” he said.

“It authorises the minister of labour and any person nominated by the minister of labour or any person designated by the minister of labour in any ministry, department or agency to on your behalf take action in your name against such employer to recover the balance of wages.

“It also ensures and mandates the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission and the minister of labour to be the chief and principal enforcers of the provisions of this law; and this law applies to all agencies and persons and bodies throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“The effective date is April 18, 2019 as Mr President has assented to; it has been assented to and it takes effect today except such other provision as are contained in the Act.”

Enang said the enforcement and the right to start the implementation of the provisions commenced immediately including such steps that would to be taken gradually under the provisions of the Act.

He urged Nigerian workers to celebrate Buhari and support his administration and policies.

The senior special assistant said the administration would come out and march together with Nigerian workers and Workers Day.

“Mr President will celebrate Workers Day and this government will celebrate. This is Mr President action showing the love he has for Nigerian workers,’’ he said.

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) had led the campaign for an upward review of minimum wage from N18,000.

Buhari condoles with Macron over Notre-Dame fire

President Muhammadu Buhari has condoled with President Emmanuel Macron and all French citizens over the tragic fire incident that gutted parts of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

The Nigerian leader extended his sympathy to Christians in Nigeria and all over the world following the partial destruction of the historical Cathedral, which houses different valuable items held dear by worshippers.

President Buhari and Nigerians joined the world in shock and disbelief as the highly revered and historic church building went up in flames on Monday, praying that God will provide resources and capacity for full restoration.

As one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites, a central place of worship for Christians and symbol of France, the President called for joint faith in prayers for the country and its citizens.