NEWS AND STORIES
SPONSORED BY X365RADIO.COM: ABUJA-Presidency Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday told former President Goodluck Jonathan to be afraid of probe only if there is skeleton in his cupboard. The president also refuted claims that he was harassing the family of the former Nigerian leader in any way.
Buhari’s remarks followed an outburst by Jonathan in a new book, “Against The Run of Play”, written by the Chairman of ThisDay Editorial Board, Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi that the present administration was hounding members of his family with its anti-corruption crusade.
In a statement by Buhari’s spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina on Wednesday, President Buhari told Jonathan that “fear belongs only to those who have abused trust while in office.” The president asked anyone with valuable grievances to approach the courts for redress.
The statement read thus: “The Presidency is constrained to respond to the banner headline story in a national newspaper of Wednesday, April 26, entitled: Buhari’s govt harassing my family, saying Jonathan. “The paper said former President Goodluck Jonathan made the allegation in a new book, “Against The Run of Play”, written by the Chairman of ThisDay Editorial Board, Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi. “The former president also reportedly disagreed with the style being used by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in fighting corruption.
“We make bold to state unequivocally that President Buhari harasses nobody; he merely allows the law to take its course. For the umpteenth time, we say that anybody without skeleton in his or her cupboard, has nothing to fear about the bared fangs of the anti-corruption initiative. “Fear belongs only to those who have abused trust while in office. Anybody who feels aggrieved is free to approach the courts to seek redress or justice. President Buhari believes in the rule of law and that is why his campaign against corruption is anchored on that plank.
“With regard to President Buhari’s anti-graft style, which the former president deprecates, given the scale of revelations and recoveries so far by the anti-corruption agencies, it is obvious that corruption had an uninhibited course during our recent past. “In any case, time will give the verdict on whose style of fighting corruption ultimately yielded the most dividends. “For now, President Buhari is resolute and single-minded in the fact that his crusade against graft is not targeted at any individual or group. “He firmly believes that national interest must always be placed above personal interest, no matter who is involved.”
SPONSORED BY X365RADIO.COM: ABUJA—AMIDST increasing concerns over the health status of President Muhammadu Buhari, indications emerged, yesterday, of his imminent return to the country, having reportedly finished with the extended medical tests his United Kingdom-based physicians ran on him.
The latest public declaration that the President is in fine fettle was given by Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, and Speaker Yakubu Dogara who, in separate tweets, acknowledged that the President is in fine shape.
Also yesterday, a very close associate of the president, who had been in close touch with people around him, confirmed the positive news of his health, saying the President was expected to return any time from today. Meanwhile, President Buhari, yesterday, received two prominent leaders of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Chief Bisi Akande, in London. The assertions came as the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, and the Jama’atu Nasril Islam, JNI, in separate calls, also urged Nigerians to pray for the well-being of the President, asserting that as a human being, he is also prone to ill-health. A prominent official of government who also maintains a close personal and family relationship with the President, equally confirmed the well being of the President, yesterday. “I found out from the family and I was told that the tests had been carried out and it is being envisaged that he could come back anytime from tomorrow (today),” the public official, who spoke on the strict condition of anonymity, said. Another senior Presidency source spoke in the same vein, saying there is nothing holding the President back, though he could not give a clear date for his return.
The well being of the President was further accentuated by pictures of the President with APC leaders, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Chief Bisi Akande, which Vanguard confirmed to have been taken yesterday afternoon. In one of the pictures, the President was sitted between the two party leaders in a sitting room and, in another, Buhari was sandwiched between the two men with all of them smiling.
Asserting that the President is hale and hearty, Saraki in a tweet at 11:35 p.m. on Wednesday, confirmed that he spoke with Buhari, adding that the President even cracked jokes with him during their discussion. Noting that he is happy to have interacted with the President, Saraki in his tweet, said: “Happy to have spoken with @NGRPresident @MBuhari tonight. He was in good spirit and joked about my working late into the night, as usual. – @Bukolasaraki on Twitter Wednesday 8th of February 2017, 11:35 pm.” Saraki’s assertion came three days after Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, also disclosed that the President is hale and hearty. Speaker Yakubu Dogara also went on Twitter, yesterday, to confirm speaking with Buhari, who he claimed professed his pains at the sufferings Nigerians endured last year and had as such, resolved to ensure a better life for the people. Dogara in his tweet said: “MBuhari called me yesterday evening. He talked about what the Executive/Legislature must do to ensure food security for all Nigerians. “He said he was pained by the suffering endured by most Nigerians last year and he is resolved not to let events of 2016 repeat themselves. He also asked me to extend his best wishes to all Honourable members.” Ahead of the President’s return, the expectation was also being raised among APC members.
At the national secretariat of the party in Abuja, a big banner was placed inside the parking lot with the inscription, “Welcome Mr. President, Baba, Oyoyo” the banner produced by the National Youth Council of Nigeria, had pictures of Buhari and Youths and Sports Minister, Mr. Solomon Dalung. Pray for his quick recovery, CAN urges Nigerians Meanwhile, the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, yesterday called on all Nigerians to pray for the quick recovery of the President and his safe return. In a statement by the Director of Legal and Public Affairs, Barr. Kwamkur Samuel, CAN also called on the Presidency not to hide information from the people.
The statement read: “We wish to call on all Nigerians to join hands in prayers for the quick and full recovery of Mr. President and his safe return to Nigeria instead of dwelling on the needless rumour on the President’s health. “President Muhammadu Buhari is human, hence subject to health challenges sometimes. CAN appreciates the anxiety of Nigerians to hear Mr. President speak, but sues for understanding as we await that. It is very clear that our leader is passing through health challenges. “We advise the Presidency to update Nigerians on how he is faring and the full progress of his recovery. “We call on all Christians and indeed, all God-fearing Nigerians to dedicate time of prayers for our President and the nation. We owe our leaders prayers and support at all times while shunning divisive opinions that only generate strife. “CAN also calls on Nigerians to give the Vice-President who is also the Acting President full support and prayers to lead well. “We acknowledge that government is a continuum. Hence, we call on Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo to be bold in handling critical state matters and not to be distracted by those who do not wish Nigeria well.” JNI condemns death-wish peddlers The Jama’atu Nasril Islam, JNI, on its part, condemned those it said were wishing the President dead instead of praying for his full recovery. The JNI also termed those it said were calling for the resignation of Acting President Osibanjo as “callous and mischievous.”
In a press statement by its Secretary General, Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, the group said: “JNI is, indeed, perturbed over the series of rumours making the rounds on the state of President Muhammadu Buhari’s health. “It should be, however, noted that as with every mortal, illness is inevitable, likewise life and death. Thus, JNI is very concerned about the pandemonium generated as a result of the rumoured illness of the President and the dimension it is unfortunately taking. ‘’ Does that mean he can no longer get ill? Agreed that reports from the Presidency stated that President Muhammadu Buhari is currently undergoing a cycle of tests as recommended by his doctors, hence the extension of his leave. “We must as patriots, be cautioned on spreading inaccurate information. More so, Muslims should be cautioned not to join the bandwagon of rumour-mongers. This is so because already some unpatriotic elements are wishing that the President is dead. Interestingly, those who wish him death will certainly not live till eternity. Aren’t we supposed to wish each other good well-being? Let alone, the President of the country? “Therefore, following the unnecessary excitement in the President’s delayed return to Nigeria, we implore all and sundry, particularly Muslims to persistently supplicate on daily basis for President Muhammadu Buhari’s safe return, restoration of good health and the ability to continue with the task of piloting Nigeria to greater heights with his team.
“In the same vein, we are all implored to fervently pray for the nation, the Vice President, governors and all those in positions of authority, for Allah’s guidance in the discharge of their respective duties. “We nonetheless, condemn in the strongest terms those calling for the resignation of Professor Yemi Osinbajo, as the Vice-President, Federal Republic of Nigeria. Whatever, the intent may be, we see such calls as callous, mischievous and unpatriotic. “ Moreover, why must that vacuum be created now, if not for sinister motives? We, therefore, call on all Jumu’ah Imams to include the matter in their respective Friday sermons tomorrow and beyond.”
SPONSORED BY X365RADIO.COM: Spokesperson to Gambia’s president elect Adama Barrow has said on sunday that Barrow’s inauguration must hold on Jan 19 unfailingly
“Jammeh’s term shall end on the 19th and the same date president-elect Barrow’s term begins. Nothing will change that. He will be sworn in and shall assume office on that date without fail,” as revealed by spokesman Mai Fatty, who accompanied Barrow to Dakar.
Barrow flew into Dakar as requested by West African leaders AFP reports.
SPONSORED BY YES434.COM...THE BUSINESS DIRECTORY: ABUJA— THE new Senate Majority Leader, Senator Ahmad Lawan (APC, Yobe North), said yesterday, that with his emergence on Tuesday, the animosity which had characterized the 8th Senate, which was inaugurated June 9, 2015 has been nipped in the bud.
Lawan noted that the atmosphere was tensed soon after the emergence of Dr Bukola Saraki as President of the Senate when members of the Senators Unity Forum, SUF, alleged injustice and felt that things must be put in their proper perspective, adding that now that there was compliance, there will be unity and peace in the Senate where the lawmakers will now focus on real legislative activities. Ahmad-Lawan He said: “The 8th Senate started on a shaky foundation. This Senate will end on a solid, stable and successful foundation. On the part of the SUF, we were never personal, we only felt that what ought to have been done was not done and if there is compliance now, there will be no animosity.”
Addressing journalists, Lawan, who disclosed that he had no knowledge of his party and Senate decision to replace him with the immediate past Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, said what took place was an act of God, just as he called on his colleagues to cooperate with him in his new assignment to deliver the dividends of democracy to Nigerians. He further called on his colleagues on the need for collaboration to make life better for Nigerians by improving on security and ensuring economic growth.
The Senate had on Tuesday adopted the change in the leadership of the APC in the red chambers as it affirmed the replacement of Senator Ndume with Senator Lawan as the Senate Majority Leader.
SPONSORED BY CHIQUEMAGAZINE.COM: The All Progressives Congress in Ondo State has accused Governor Olusegun Mimiko of planning to divert N1.5 billion in grants from foreign donors to phony contracts.
APC, in a statement issued by its Publicity Secretary, Mr Abayomi Adesanya, in Akure on Saturday said the money was the accumulated foreign grants to Ondo State Wealth Creation Agency (WECA) and Multilateral Relation Department.
“It has come to our knowledge, on good authority, that Ondo State Government, two days ago, specifically Jan. 4, 2017, took receipt of the N1.2 billion physical cash being amount deposited into the account of the Multilateral Relation Department of the Governor’s Office as accumulated grants from foreign donors.
“Confirmed information also shown that another sum of N385 million was credited into the account of the Wealth Creation Agency (WECA) of Ondo State.
The APC said it was sad that unpatriotic and unscrupulous elements within the highest echelon of the outgoing government had activated nefarious plans to siphon the money into private accounts.
“To perfect this plan, arrangement had been made to transfer the N1.2 billion to WECA which has been designated as exit point for the monies.
“Already, high level civil servants in the two departments have been mobilised to begin processing of phony contracts award papers to perfect the looting spree of the total sum of N1.585 billion.”
Adesanya described the act as callous and sabotage by some individuals in government to steal public funds as valedictory gifts to themselves and warned civil servants of the consequences of such act.
“Ondo APC wishes to direct the attention of Gov. Olusegun Mimiko to this and to emphasise the need to arrest this heinous crime before it completely tarnishes him in the dying minutes of his tenure.
“We also wish to point out to the Governor that all accusing fingers are pointing at him considering the fact that the two agencies are directly under his supervision.
“And now that this massive looting plan has been uncovered, civil servants, particularly the relevant officers at WECA and Multilateral offices are seriously warned not to cooperate with the outgoing Mimiko administration to defraud Ondo State.
“Gov. Mimiko, his political appointees as well as civil servants should be put on notice that already the incoming government of our party is in possession of past, current and daily records of financial misdeeds of high elements of the outgoing government.’’
Reacting to the allegation, Mr Kayode Akinmade, state Commissioner for Information and Strategy, disclosed that the allegation was “frivolous and a falsehood.
“The allegation is frivolous and falsehood and I challenge the party to provide facts on this allegation.
“APC will take over government in Ondo State on Feb. 24, they should wait till then. As at now, Dr Olusegun Mimiko is the governor of Ondo State and he has the right to take decision(s) about the state.
“APC cannot tie the hands of the governor from performing his statutory functions,’’ Akinmade said.
SPONSORED BY X365RADIO.COM: Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi has said plans are underway to pay the monthly stipends to former lawmakers and local government chiefs of the state.
The governor announced this at his Uburu country home when the people of Izzi clan, comprising Abakaliki, Izzi and Ebonyi local governments visited him for Christmas and New Year.
Umahi, who said he will approach the House of Assembly to make a law to that effect, said the reason was to accommodate them in his administration.
A statement yesterday by his Chief Press Secretary, Emma Anya, quoted him as saying: “My aim is to carry everybody along, especially the political class. That’s why I will be approaching the House of Assembly to ask for approval so that those legislators, who are not on seat now, we will start paying them some stipends. Former local government chairmen will also be included.
“I believe this is how we can get them to help in developing and creating wealth in our state.”
SPONSORED BY X365RADIO.COM: Broom-waving supporters of the All Progressives Congress (APC) took to the streets of Akure this afternoon to celebrate the victory of Mr Rotimi Akeredolu as the governor-elect of Ondo State.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) this afternoon formally announced Akeredolu as the winner of Saturday’s governorship election in the state.
The victorious APC supporters went round Akure in motorcades comprising commercial motorcycles and buses singing and chanting praises of the APC governor-elect.
Shouts of ‘Aketi’ rent the air at Oja-Oba, Old Garage, Customs area, Ondo Road and other parts of Akure.
The APC supporters sang winner o o o, winner, winner o o o winner, Aketi you don win o, winner.
On sighting the APC supporters, resident trooped out from their houses and joined them to celebrate Akeredolu’s victory.
Some of the APC supporters who spoke expressed happiness that APC was finally able to dislodge Governor Olusegun Mimiko from power.
They expressed their indignation at Mimiko’s inability to pay civil servants in the state six months salary.
Some also described Mimiko as a political prostitute. ”Mimiko is the architect of his own failure. He was moving from one political party to the other. MajOrity of us who earlier supported him withdrew our support and the result is what you are seeing today. From Labour Party to PDP and he did not carry majority of us along,” a commercial motorcyclist who gave his name as Gbenga Dare told our reporter.
Another APC supporter, Felicia Omotosho, accused the Mimiko administration of not paying her husband’s salary for six months, adding that this created a lot of hardship for her family. ”I am happy that Akeredolu won. We want change in Ondo State. We don’t want any imposition. Akeredolu, I believe will bring smiles to the people of Ondo State,” she said.
SPONSORED BY HIRING234.COM: The Independent National Electoral Commission (lNEC) has replaced the name of Mr Jimoh Ibrahim with that of Mr Eyitayo Jegede as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for Ondo governorship election, scheduled for Saturday.
A statement signed by the Commission’s Secretary, Mr Agusta Ogakwu, disclosed this on Wednesday in Abuja.
The INEC’s decision is in line with the judgment of the Appeal Court which ordered it to replace Ibrahim’s name with Jegede as PDP candidate for Saturday’s election.
The Court of Appeal panel, led by Justice Ibrahim Salauwa, on Tuesday, set aside the ruling of Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court recognising Jimoh Ibrahim as PDP candidate in the Ondo gubernatorial poll.
Ogakwu said that the decision of the Commission was in compliance with the judgment of the Court of Appeal over the party’s candidate tussle for Ondo governorship election.
“It will be recalled that in compliance with the Order given by the Federal High Court Abuja Division on Oct. 14 (re-affirmed on Oct. 27), the commission recognised Ibrahim as the PDP candidate for the governorship election.
“However, with today‘s judgment by the Court of Appeal, the commission hereby replaces it with Mr Jegede as the candidate of the PDP for the said election,” Ogakwu said.
She urged the people of Ondo to come out and exercise their franchise on Nov. 26, in a peaceful manner .
“All the political parties and their candidates participating in the election are also enjoined to play by the rules and cooperate with INEC to ensure the smooth conduct of the election.”
JIMOH IBRAHIM REACTS:
In apparent defiance of an Appeal Court ruling that set aside the Justice Abang judgement that ordered INEC to publish Jimoh Ibrahim’s name as the Peoples Democratic Party’s governorship candidate for the November 26 election in Ondo State, Mr. Jimoh Ibrahim has vowed to continue with his campaign.
The three-man panel of the appeal court led by Justice Ibrahim Saulawa, in a unanimous judgment delivered on Wednesday held that Justice Abang acted without jurisdiction when he made orders against those that were not parties before him.
SPONSORED BY X365RADIO.COM: President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday arrived Akure Airport amidst tight security for the All Progressive Congress (APC) campaign rally for the Nov. 26 governorship election in Ondo State.
Buhari arrived the airport at exactly 10.09 a.m. and was received by Governor Olusegun Mimiko.
Also on ground to receive the president were Dr Kayode Fayemi, Minister of Solid Mineral Development; Chief Olagunsoye Oyinlola, former governor of Osun and Sen. Tayo Alasoadura, member, representing Ondo Central at the Senate.
Others were Alhaji Alli Olanusi, former Ondo deputy governor; Mr Isaac Kekemeke, former chairman of APC in Ondo State; Mr Jamiu Ekungba, a contestant in the APC primary election that produced Chief Rotimi Akeredolu.
In the entourage of the president were Alhaji Lai Muhammed, Minister of Information and Culture; Gov. Umar Tanko Almakura of Nasarawa State and Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State.
Also present at the airport were former Gov. Joshua Dariye of Plateau and former Gov. Adams Oshiomole of Edo.
The security details of the Nigerian Police was led by Mrs Hilda Ibifuro, Commissioner of Police in Ondo State.
Other security operatives present included men of the Immigration Services, FRSC, Nigeria Police, NSCDC, the Nigerian Army and Nigerian Air Force.
Buhari inspected a guard of honour mounted by men of the Nigerian Army before leaving the airport.
The Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki and the APC National Chairman, John Odigie Oyegun, arrived at different times after the president had left the airport.
SPONSORED BY HIRING234.COM: The Katsina State Government has presented a memo before the Katsina State Judicial Commission of Inquiry alleging diversion of N8.6bn by the immediate past governor of the state, Alhaji Ibrahim Shema, and other top officials.
Counsel for the commission, Mr. Hassan Liman (SAN), stated this on Monday during the sitting of the commission.
Liman said the amount was diverted from the accounts of the Ministry of Environment, departments of Community Development, Special Duties, Girl-Child Education and Almajiri Affairs.
He explained that available records showed that the funds were allegedly diverted by the former governor and other government officials.
According to him, there was no evidence on how the funds were utilised during the period under review.
Liman, however, told the commission that the former governor had filed a case before the Court of Appeal, Kaduna, claiming an infringement of his fundamental human rights.
He asked the commission to adjourn the sitting pending the determination of the case.
In his ruling, the chairman of the commission, Justice Muhammad Surajo, adjourned the sitting indefinitely, saying that the commission would communicate a new date to all the parties involved.
The commission also adjourned the hearing of memo on the activities of the Katsina Road Maintenance Agency and Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs Department, pending the determination of the case before the Court of Appeal.
The News Agency of Nigeria reported that Governor Aminu Masari inaugurated the commission to investigate how some funds were mismanaged during Shema’s tenure and to advise the government accordingly.
SPONSORED BY X365TV.COM: The Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin was filled to capacity as the new governor of Edo, Mr Godwin Obaseki, took the oath of office on Saturday.
The main bowl of the stadium and the outer precincts were filled to capacity during the ceremony.
Among the dignitaries at the occasion were the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, Gov. Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi State, Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State and Gov. Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun.
Also present were business mogul, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, and the APC governorship candidate in Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu.
The ceremony also had in attendance a former military head of state, Dr Yakubu Gowon, and ministers including that of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
The inauguration ceremony was also graced by traditional rulers from across the three senatorial districts of the state as well as youths and market women who were all dressed in different attires.
Obaseki is taking over from Adams Oshiomhole who had served two terms of four years.
Obaseki defeated the candidate of the PDP, Mr Osagie Ize-Iyamu, in the Sept. 28 governorship poll in the state.
234naira.com: Vice president Yemi Osinbajo has said the federal government is not interested in arresting former President Goodluck Jonathan over various allegations of corruption during his administration.
The Lagos state chapter of ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) recently called for the arrest and eventual prosecution of former president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
But addressing US based Nigerians in Houston, Texas, on Friday at a Townhall meeting, Professor Osinbajo said the federal government was not contemplating probing the former president.
According to a statement issued by his spokesperson Mr. Laolu Akande, the VP gave the hint when he interacted with US-based Nigerians who asked questions live at the event and also via the Internet.
The Vice President fielded about thirty questions at a well-attended townhall event moderated by Mr. Rudolf Okonkwo of Sahara Reporters and Prof. Nimi Wariboko of Boston University.
Answering question from the internet on when former President Goodluck Jonathan would be arrested, Osinbajo pointed out that the Buhari administration is not in the business of arresting just anyone anyhow.
He said all the Buhari administration does is to empower the security agencies and the anti-corruption agencies to do their jobs, without the administration trying to teleguide them.
He also added that the fight against corruption in the country is not fought on ethnic, hasty or premeditated grounds.
According to him, “ corruption is not an ethnic thing, there is an equal representation in the stealing as no one operates with his/her ethnic group alone, the culprits are in every case seen so far, united by greed to steal and not by ethnic or religious interest.”
The VP frowned at a situation where for instance as much as $15 billion has disappeared from the national coffers into private pockets, pointing out that no responsible government would wave that aside so as not to offend people.
He also said Security agencies in Nigeria have arrested about 800 suspected violent herdsmen across the country.
Asked about the issue of Fulani Herdsmen attacks in certain states across the country and what the Federal Government was doing to curb the problem, the Vice President said “the President has given firm instructions to the security agencies to arrest not only herdsmen who are attacking communities anywhere in the country but anyone of them or anyone at all in possession of firearms.”
“There are about 800 of suspected violent herdsmen in the country that are currently in custody” The Vice President said but however decried the slow pace of the criminal justice system which is affecting the prompt trial of such suspects.
Prof. Osinbajo reminded the audience that the issue of killings by such violent herdsmen has been a perennial issue especially as grazing lands continue to disappear over the years and the cattle feed on people’s crops on the farmlands. He clarified that the matter just did not crop up when President Buhari assumed office.
The Vice President warned against the tendency of interpreting the herdsmen issue as a religious issue, stressing that it is important for all Nigerians to refuse such divisive narratives and tendencies.
He reminded his audience that there has always been conflict between herdsmen and communities across the country and that people should disabuse the notion that the problem has just started because President Buhari, a Fulani is currently at the helm of affairs in the country.
Answering question on the need for community policing, the Vice President indicated that community policing via State Police is indeed a cardinal program of the ruling APC and noted however, that the party agenda cannot be introduced until there is an amendment to the nation’s constitution.
He gave a scenario where a policeman from Bayelsa State for instance is working in Borno State where he cannot even speak the language or understand the culture of the people he is policing, noting that such is counterproductive.
“The current situation where police activities is controlled at the federal level sure has some limitations”, he conceded adding that the “the federal government is currently working to introduce community policing that would be in line with the constitution.”
Commenting on the recent arrest of judges in the country, Prof. Osinbajo told his Nigerian audience in Texas that impunity could be very dangerous in any sector and that the federal government is only exercising its executive function in attempting to check excesses.
He pointed out that the important thing is that due process is being followed as the judges were released about 24 hours after their arrest and once they had given their statements.
The Vice President also responded to a question on the state of the nation’s economy and attributed the current recession to the loss of about 60 percent of government revenue due to pipeline vandalism and endemic corruption in the system.
He however stated that getting back oil production is a sure way to get out of the recession and the federal government is working to sort it out.
Commenting on the declining fortunes of Nigeria in international sporting competitions occasioned by poor funding by the government, the Vice President said that a long-term solution to inadequate funding of sports is private sector involvement.
According to him, looking around countries that have excelled in international sporting competitions, the private sector in those countries are directly involved and that is exactly what should happen in Nigeria. By the time companies and organizations take up sports sponsorship, he believes that the tide would change for good.
Nigerians from all walks of life in Houston, Texas and from other parts of the US attended the town hall meeting which was preceded by a Nigeria Infrastructure summit which showcased opportunities for foreign investors in Nigeria.
Go herre: 234naira.com
Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State is presently holding a closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja over the violence that erupted in the state this morning.
Thousands of supporters of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akure, the Ondo State capital, this morning took to the streets to protest the decision by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to recognize Mr Jimoh Ibrahim as the party’s governorship candidate for the November 26 governorship election in the state.
The protesters who are from the Senator Ahmed Makarfi faction of the party want INEC to substitute Jimoh Ibrahim’s name with that of Mr Eyitayo Jegede, SAN.
Mimiko who arrived arrived at the villa around 11 am, immediately went into the president’s office to discuss the violence.
Tension started building in the state on Thursday when INEC published the name of Ibrahim among a list of 26 candidates participating in the November 26 governorship election.
In his acclaimed publication ‘The Trouble with Nigeria’ published 33 years ago, in 1983, the late Chinua Achebe pointed out that the ‘the trouble with Nigeria is simply and squarely a failure of leadership’.
Thirty-three years on this is still true but with an added ‘but’.
Nigeria is a very difficult country to govern: if not the most difficult in the world to govern. You have three major tribes with god-knows-how-many sub-tribes. Three major languages are spoken with over four hundred dialects. There are supposedly two major religions – Christianity and Islam – and again god-knows-how-many different heathen gods that are also worshipped.
Again you have over a hundred and eighty million inhabitants, most living below the poverty line and largely uneducated.
So many people to think of; of different tribes, religions, political affiliations and languages under the umbrella of one nation to be governed by one-person – a President.
Being the President of Nigeria is nothing in comparison to being the President of say, Ghana or the United States of America. The people in these countries are not so diversified.
A President of Nigeria has the near impossible task of trying to keep everybody happy which as I have previously mentioned is impossible because the latter in his best efforts (-or not!) to keep everybody happy will be accused of everything from tribalism and nepotism to favouritism.
In the past thirty years we’ve seen the ‘Buhari-IBB-Sonekan-Abacha- Abubakar’ governments and also the’ OBJ-Yar’Adua-Jonathan-Buhari’ governments. Some were dictators whilst others were elected. It doesn’t matter where there is an APC or PDP Federal government there will still be moaning and groaning. Especially when you still have disillusioned fantasists like Chief Femi Fani Kayode still holding on to the now defunct belief of North-South, Christian-Islam divide. Nigeria has evolved over the years and its current predicament has nothing to do with the North-South, Christian-Muslim divide. Nigeria is a mess as a result of poor leadership, going back for decades, lack of foresight and the lack of accountability on behalf of everybody – from the humble market porter to the President. It’s easy to criticize, judge and condemn others without taking a good look at our very selves in the mirror. To borrow a Christian phrase ‘first remove the plank from your eye before you proceed to remove the speck of dust from brother’s eye’. We are all guilty of bringing the country down to its knees.
With the exception of the military juntas that have ruled Nigeria since independence every civilian government has been voted in by the people – NPC-NNDP, NPN, PDP, APC….
When you have a political system where 99% of those in government are corrupt and inept, or intend to be, you have a problem. Money and harmony go hand in hand. If there is no money to go around because someone has pilfered it there will be general dissatisfaction and even if God was President he won’t be able to run the country and keep everybody happy.
For those who still remember the oil-boom years ( Udoji awards, car and housing loans for graduate workers etc.) of the 70s and early 80s when money was plentiful and corruption was minimal the Head of State of the day had no problem running the country. There was little or no talk of religious or tribal differences as everyone got on with what they were supposed to do – honestly.
That was then. Nowadays the President has to struggle to run the country. He has to deal with the politically-correct brigade who’ll accuse him of playing the North-South, Christian-Muslim game. He has to deal with corrupt fellow politicians, current and past, who hide behind fancy lawyers and Section 308. But most important of all he has to deal with the mind-set of the people. As a race Nigerians are stubborn and don’t take to change very easily. We want things the way we want it and not the way it’s supposed to be. As a result because we’re stuck in our ways the way forward becomes clouded. Gone are the days when the military boys used to issue decrees forcing us to do things. Now we have democratic governments and everything has to be done by the vote opening the door for us to get up to all sorts, rarely doing the right thing.
If we want change we all have to change. Not just the President at the top of the food-chain but everyone. Ditching our age-old habits won’t happen overnight as Rome wasn’t built in a day but a will to start will be a step in the right direction.
The failure of leadership in Nigeria is not just down to one person, the President, not doing his job, but our collective responsibility to do the right thing.
It’s one thing to blame the country’s woes on the lack of competent leadership over the years but what about the governed people themselves? It takes two to tango. If everybody is doing what they’re supposed to do, the right way, then the leaders would have no option but to follow suit.
We condemn our leaders but at the same time our mind-sets allows them to continue with impunity. Isn’t Nigeria the only country in the world where we celebrate corrupt and inept politicians? You salute them, praise them, worship them and give them chieftaincy titles and your daughters – the same very people who have STOLEN YOUR MONEY plunging your country into recession, lawlessness and uncertainty!
The mind-set of the average Nigerian encourages the leaders to do what they want because the people, as a whole, are not righteousness enough to condemn them. If a small country like Ghana can consider impeaching its President for accepting a gift (bribe?) of a car what does that say of Nigeria? We have laws and a constitution but some people believe they are above the law – like Patience Jonathan (who wasn’t even voted into office) – and the people let them get away with it – even protecting them!
We may have bad leaders but we also have a bad populace. If the populace that puts them in power demands (I’ll stress the word ‘demands’) accountability they must account for their actions. If any politician has a clear conscience why hide behind lawyers and section 308? It’s not until you have something like the Arab spring before leaders are forced to change their ways – vote them out! There are sections of the Nigerian Constitution that can be implemented to impeach a President, a Governor, a Senator or anybody who holds a public office. The sad thing is it’ll never be done. Why? Because we as a people are happy to live of the crumbs of their illicit gains : happy to keep them in power to satisfy our religious or tribal status quo; happy to think ‘someone has chop im own’ from public funds whilst at the same time hoping and praying we ourselves can get into public office and ‘chop our own’.
And when we don chop everything finish wetin go remain for future generations? Nothing!
Now we’re at square one again – no money in the country and a biting recession – and we’re wondering where it all went wrong.
Don’t just blame the leaders, blame yourselves too!
The people who fought and died for this country’s independence didn’t do so in order for a future generation of over-rated imbeciles to come and loot and plunge the country into darkness.