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Tag Archives: President Buhari

Losers shouldn’t resort to self-help, says Buhari as he congratulates Fayemi

President Muhammadu Buhari says the emergence of Kayode Fayemi as the winner of the Ekiti state gubernatorial election is another instance of democracy winning in Nigeria.

Fayemi defeated Kolapo Olusola, the incumbent deputy governor of the state, who ran on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

In his congratulatory message issued by Femi Adesina, presidential spokesman, Buhari said the people of Ekiti “spoke loud and clear” by voting in Fayemi.

He also advised the losers of the election not to resort to self-help.

The president also congratulated all the members and supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for “the hard-fought victory after a dignified campaign.”

“President Buhari urges the governor-elect and APC members to be magnanimous in victory as the incoming administration prepares to unfold a new lease of life for the people of Ekiti state through purposeful and responsible governance,” the statement read.

“He commends the people of the state for their matured and peaceful conduct as they made their choice using the power of the ballot.

“President Buhari also lauds the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for adequate preparations and displaying impartiality throughout the process.

“He applauds the security agencies for creating the right atmosphere for the relatively peaceful conduct of the polls and urges them to sustain the peace.

“He also commends local and international observers and monitors for their vigilance and contributions towards the relatively hitch-free exercise.

“The president urges the losers to be gallant in conceding defeat and use constitutional means to settle whatever grievances they may have rather than resort to self-help.

“President Buhari appeals to all stakeholders in Ekiti State to work towards a successful transition to a new administration in the higher interest of not only the state but the entire nation and its fledgling democratic experience.”

Fayemi’s victory leaves PDP with no hold on any south-west state, a development that favours Buhari’s 2019 re-election bid.

I am a very slow reader, says Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari says he is a “very slow” reader, saying this could be as a result of being an ex-soldier.

Buhari said this during a joint briefing with South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa in Abuja on Wednesday.

He was speaking on the Continental Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) which Nigeria is yet to become a signatory to.

He said he is still studying the agreement and will soon sign it.

The president said: “I am very careful about what I sign whether it is my cheque book or agreements especially when it involves nations and states. As your president has said, we are so populated and have so many young unemployed citizens and our industries are just coming up.

“So, in trying to guarantee employment, goods and services in our country, we have to be careful with agreements that will compete maybe successfully against our upcoming industries.

“I was presented with the document; I am a very slow reader maybe, because I am an ex- soldier. I didn’t read it fast enough before my officials saw that it was all right for signature. I kept it on my table. I will soon sign it.”

What is the CFTA?

The CFTA is an agreement which 44 African countries recently signed to form a $2.5 trillion continental free-trade zone,

The free-trade zone is the largest in the world since the creation of the World Trade Organisation in 1995

The CFTA is expected to “create a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business persons and investments”.

The agreement is also expected to boost the level of intra-Africa trade from the current 14 percent to over 52 percent by 2022.

Nigeria was missing under controversial circumstances when the 44 countries signed the agreement.

Following criticisms that trailed this, Buhari had explained: “We are widening and deepening domestic consultations on the CFTA, to ensure that all concerns are respectfully addressed.

“Any African Free trade agreement must Fairly and Equitably represent the interest of Nigeria, and indeed, her African brothers and sisters.”

Senate summons AGF over Buhari’s ‘controversial’ executive orders

The Senate has summoned Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), over alleged violations of human rights and provisions of the constitution by the executive arm of government.

Malami is expected to brief the senators on the basis for President Muhammadu Buhari’s “controversial” executive orders.

The resolution of the upper legislative chamber was sequel to a motion sponsored by David Umaru, senator representing Niger east.

Last week, Buhari signed an executive order seeking to restrain owners of assets under probe from carrying out further transactions on such properties.

Mixed reactions have trailed the order.

While moving the motion on Wednesday, Umaru accused the executive has usurped the lawmaking functions of the national assembly.

“Executive orders have also effectively usurped legislative and judicial powers of the national assembly and the judiciary as enshrined respectively under sections 4 and 6 of the constitution,” Umaru said.

“There is lack of accountability for human rights violations by security agencies and other militant elements including armed herdsmen, heavy-handed violent responses to peaceful protests as exemplified by previous crackdown an agitator for the Independent State of Biafra (1908) and the recent violent clashes between the police and suspected members of the IMN who were protesting the release of their leader, lbrahim EL-Zakzaki in Abuja and Kaduna respectively.”

He added that the country’s democratic credentials had become questionable as a result of the alarming cases of “alleged state-inspired human rights violations and consistent constitutional infractions perpetrated by agencies of government.”

On his part, Shehu Sani, senator representing Kaduna central, said executive orders should comply with the country’s laws.

“We may be comfortable today because we occupy this office but when we are out of this place, we are likely to fall victims,” the senator said.

Contributing to the debate, Eyinnaya Abaribe, senator representing Abia south, said the country is in trouble under the current administration.

“If this hallowed chamber cannot speak up here, then we might as well pack up. We are in trouble under this particular regime and it is our right under the constitution to fight for our human rights,” Abaribe said.

The upper legislative chamber urged the federal government to desist from violating the principle of separation of powers and adopt the rule of law as the guiding principle of government actions.

It also urged to set up a judicial commission of inquiry to investigate all cases of human rights abuse allegedly committed by the security agencies.

No date was given as to when Malami will appear before the lawmakers.

At last, Buhari signs bill separating NFIU from EFCC

President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the bill seeking to make the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) an autonomous body.

Ita Enang, senior special assistant to the president on national assembly (senate), disclosed this while addressing state house correspondents in Abuja on Wednesday.

By this, the NFIU would seize to exist as a department in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

“NFIU will now be domiciled in the Central Bank of Nigeria, but as an autonomous and Independent body,” Enang said.

With the signing of the Act, NFIU has been empowered to receive currency transactions reports, suspicious transactions reports, currency declaration reports and other information relating to money laundering and extremists financing activities from financial institutions.

The unit will also receive reports on cross-border movement of currency and monetary instruments, maintain a comprehensive financial intelligence database for information collection, analysis and exchange with counterpart FIUs and law enforcement agencies around the world.

The senate had passed the bill in July last year while the house of representatives passed it in March this year

Nigeria was suspended last year by Egmont Group because of the “interference” of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the workings of the unit.

The Egmont Group is the global body responsible for setting standards on best practices for FIUs in over 131 FIUs from 131 jurisdictions.

It was founded in 1995 to foster international collaboration in the exchange of intelligence by member states.

In December, Ibrahim Magu, acting chairman of the EFCC, disclosed that the commission has granted the NFIU autonomy.

“We have allowed NFIU to go. They are operationally autonomy independent of EFCC,” he had said.

Reps reject Buhari’s executive order on corruption

The House of Representatives has rejected the new executive order on corruption recently signed by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Last week Buhari signed the executive aimed at restraining owners of assets under investigation access to them.

The president had said the order would help boost his administration’s fight against corruption.

However, at plenary on Wednesday, Nicholas Ossai from Delta state, moved a motion seeking to suspend the order.

Ossai said the executive order, among other things, contradicts the recovery of public property act which vests the federal high court with powers to direct; or prohibit any disposition of properties belonging to persona under investigation.

“The executive order number is similar to the dreaded decree number 2 of 1984 that could be used as an instrument to hunt, traumatize, harass and victimize perceived political opponents,” he said.

Bode Ayorinde from Ondo said the order is against the principles of democracy.

According to him, “we are in a democracy and there is a clear separation of powers, this should not be allowed.”

The house also resolved to invite Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation; and Kefas Magaji, chairman of Nigerian Law Reform Commission, to appear before the house and submit a list of all subsidiary legislation in Nigeria within two weeks

They also resolved to set up an ad hoc committee that will investigate all subsidiary legislation and executive orders in Nigeria.

The motion was sponsored by 27 other lawmakers. They argued that the order usurps the constitutional powers of the national assembly to make laws and also hijacks the powers of the judiciary.

Majority of the lawmakers voted against it when it was put to a voice vote.

In protest, lawmakers of the All Progressives Congress (APC) staged a walkout.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had kicked against the order, describing it as a descent to fascism.

The opposition party had threatened to file legal action against Buhari.

Opposition blackmailing me with herdsmen, farmers clashes – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday led other leaders of the All Progressives Congress to Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, in a bid to ensure that the party’s candidate, Kayode Fayemi, emerges winner at Saturday’s governorship election.

Mr Buhari appealed to Ekiti voters to cast their votes for Mr Fayemi on Saturday to secure their future and ensure the development of the state.

The president, while addressing a huge crowd of APC supporters, said Ekiti people should be wary of the blackmail against his person regarding the herdsmen and farmers clash.

Hundreds of people have been killed in several states due the violence, and largely despite security presence. Some of the states most affected by the violence are Plateau, Benue and Taraba.

“They blackmailing me, saying I have not done anything about the farmers/Fulani herdsmen clashes because I am a Fulani man,” the president said.

“But this is a cheap blackmail. We are doing everything to curtail the situation, and provide a lasting solution to the problem.”

Mr Buhari was apparently referring to the campaign stunts of the Peoples Democratic Party, branding the APC’s federal government as irresponsive to the herdsmen/farmers clashes.

Ekiti State led a couple of states in the enactment of the anti-open grazing laws, which had been criticised by the federal government.

Ayo Fayose, the Ekiti State Governor, had also been frontal in accusing the president of allowing the killings to continue, citing his ethnic origin as a major factor.

Mr Buhari said the allegation against him was untrue and a cheap blackmail.

He also told the crowd in Ekiti to vote on Saturday and look beyond “stomach infrastructure.”

Stomach infrastructure is Mr Fayose’s policy on providing welfare directly to indigent people of the state.

“Do not allow your future to be insulted by stomach infrastructure,” Mr Buhari said. “Vote on Saturday, looking beyond stomach infrastructure.

“Don’t waste your votes, vote for Dr Fayemi. I know Ekiti people cannot be brainwashed or deceived.”

The president also said Ekiti State had received a fair share of projects from the federal government, including 13 roads worth N760.7 million, as well as housing projects. He said the projects were providing jobs for the people of the state.

“I am not here to only campaign, but also to urge the people of Ekiti State to embrace change,” he said.

While the APC was holding its rally at the Oluyemi Kayode Stadium, Ado-Ekiti, Mr Fayose was holding another one at the government house.

The rallies, held simultaneously, restricted movement around the town as Mr Fayose rallied transporters and teeming PDP supporters to the government house for his rally.

The city witnessed heavy traffic snarl as major routes leading into and outside the city were blocked to pave the way for the movement of the president, governors and other bigwigs of the APC; many of whom landed at the Akure airport, in neighbouring Ondo State, from where they arrived Ekiti by road.

There were reports that Mr Fayose mobilised the transporters to the government house in order to hamper the conveyance of APC members to the venue of the mega rally, as the bus drivers and okada riders drove and parked their vehicles at the government house, venue of the PDP rally.

The APC rally was attended by the national leader of the party, Bola Tinubu; the pioneer chairman of the party, Bisi Akande; newly elected chairman, Adams Oshiomhole; the governors of Kebbi, Ogun, Kogi, Osun, Oyo, Ondo, Edo, and Nasarawa States; as well as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and federal ministers.

Speaking at the rally, Mr Tinubu said there was hardship in the country because the previous government looted the treasury.

“The party stole all the money in the treasury. They ate the breakfast of the children,” he said. “Prices are up, yes, we agree, but who stole all the money. The PDP is a party of destruction. When they ate the tail and brain of the yam, where are they going to get the yam for lunch?”

He urged the people to come out en masse and vote for Kayode Fayemi, noting that they should not be afraid of any intimidation.

Mr Oshiomhole assured workers of the payment of their salary arrears if Mr Fayemi emerges as the next governor of the state.

Arewa youth leader rejects Buhari’s candidacy for 2019

The National President of the Arewa Youth Forum (AYF), Gambo Gunjugu says the North has enough capable presidential aspirants other than President Muhammadu Buhari.

Gujungu said this in reaction to the endorsement of Buhari for a second term by north-west lawmakers of the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Jibril Barau, senator representing Kano north; Adamu Aliero senator representing Kebbi central and Alhassan Ado Doguwa, chief whip of the house of representatives, were among the lawmakers present at the event which took place on Sunday.

But the Arewa youth leader told PUNCHon Monday that allowing Buhari to come back as president in 2019 would spell doom for the country.

He said since the president has identified “desperate” politicians as those behind the killings, they should be brought to book since he knows them.

“Nigerians should hold the President Buhari responsible for the killings because he made it clear in one of his speeches that it was desperate politicians that are responsible for the herdsmen killings,” Gujungu said.

“Being the commander-in-chief of the Nigerian armed forces, the bulks stops on his table. It is important, therefore, for him to fish out the desperate politicians as a matter of urgency.

“Therefore, to allow the president to come in 2019 will spell doom, not only for the north but the entire country. This is not 2015 when we said north versus the south. This is not APC or PDP affairs.

“We have enough presidential aspirants in the north that are capable and not Buhari again. Buhari should just honourably leave the stage in 2019 so that the north can regain its lost glory.”

PDP, R-APC leaders meet in Abuja, sign MoU ‘to unseat Buhari’

Leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are currently meeting with their counterparts in 34 political parties, including the Reformed All Progressives Congress (R-APC).

The political parties signed a memorandum of understanding on presenting a presidential candidate that will slug it out with President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.

The meeting is taking place at the Shehu Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja.

Some of the political parties in attendance are African Democratic Congress (ADC), Social Democratic Party of Nigeria (SDP), National Conscience Party (NCP) and Labour Party.

Addressing journalists, Ben Obi, a former senator, said the coalition is out to rescue Nigeria from darkness.

Obi appealed to Nigerians to give the coalition a chance.

Prominent personalities in attendance were former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar; Uche Secondus, chairman of the PDP; Buba Galadima, chairman of R-APC; Ike Ekweremadu, deputy senate president; Gbenga Daniel, former governor of Ogun state, among others.

In a manner similar to how some aggrieved PDP members defected from the ruling party in 2013 to form nPDP, some APC pulled out of the party last week and announced the emergence of R-APC.

The nPDP had teamed up with the APC to win the 2015 election.

The meeting in Abuja on Monday is seen as a step towards that direction. Politicians have been realigning forces ahead of the next general election which is just six months away.

Reports say that three northern governors elected on the platform of the APC are on their way to the PDP and as many as 30 senators and 70 members of the house of representatives are expected to follow suit before the national assembly goes on recess in the next two weeks.

Aminu Tambuwal, governor of Sokoto state, Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara), and Samuel Ortom (Benue) are in the “first batch” of big guns expected to defect, an insider  disclosed.

How presidency, National Assembly can reconcile – Shehu Sani

A senator has proposed solutions to the long-standing feud between the presidency and members of the National Assembly.

Shehu Sani, who represents Kaduna Central Senatorial District, made his proposal in a Facebook post on Sunday

The post he titled, ‘Immediate recipe for peace between the Presidency and the Parliament’ identified at least seven quick tasks to be undertaken by the concerned arms of government.

Mr Sani advised the presidency to cease attacks on members of the parliament in form of intimidation and use of state apparatus. He added that the presidency should prevail on its appointees to respect summons of the National Assembly.

“The Presidency must end the systematic demonisation of the leadership and members of the parliament;

End the use of state apparatus to hunt, frame, intimidate and persecute legislators;

“End political trials, compel President’s appointees to honour and respect summons and accord the senate President and the Speaker House of Representatives their due respect,” he wrote.

On the part of the National Assembly, Mr Sani wants the legislators to pace up passage of executive bills, confirm the president’s nominees and accord him more respect.

 

I’ve made more contribution to Buhari than those in his kitchen cabinet – Galadima

Buba Galadima, national chairman of the Reformed All Progressives Congress (R-APC), a breakaway faction of the ruling party, says he has made more contributions to President Muhammadu Buhari than those in his “kitchen cabinet”.

Speaking during a programme on African Independent Television (AIT), Galadima said he played a huge role in the emergence of Buhari as president.

He said some of those currently around Buhari were the ones fighting him in the days he was on the side of the president.

“I don’t have problem with Buhari. I assisted him since 2002 January. I made contributions more than even him in becoming the president,” he said.

“I should tell the world that because of him (Buhari), I have suffered intimidation, arrests, questioning, locked up 38 times. Not only that. I was detained and tried for treason, put underground dungeon, chained in the hands and legs because of him.

“I know the people that I am talking abou. They were receiving money from the government of the time during elections, conducting fake research and using their positions as members of trade union to say that the elections were fair, and today, they are Buhari’s people.

“I have made input than those in Buhari’s kitchen cabinet. I have been with him when these charlatans around were fighting us because of him. Where were all these fair weather friends?

“He (Buhari) never gave us anything when we made all the sacrifices, used our cash to campaign, sell our properties to send our children to school, feed ourselves.”

A native of Gashua in Yobe state, Galadima worked closely with Buhari in the 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015 elections. He was the national secretary of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), a party Buhari formed few months to the 2011 elections.

He was also a key signatory to the APC merger in 2013.

Speaking on his relationship with the president after the 2015 election, Galadima recalled how the president “denied” him and his supporters.

“Mr. President did a world press conference to say that he does not need my vote, the votes of my supporters, my family, those who interact with me. He didn’t mention any specific reason.

“I dare say that I am more honest. I have more integrity. I am second to nobody in this country. I made sacrifice to bring about the formation of the party. I can’t watch or sit idly to see that happen.”