Lekan Paul

Nigeria @59: You Are Myopic, BMO Tells Atiku

The anniversary of Nigeria’s independence should be a period for sober reflections by all Nigerians, regardless of political affiliations, social, economic or tribal inclinations. 

The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) expressed these sentiments in its reaction to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s comments where he raised issues on the repression of the press, persecution of judges, poverty level and high cost of governance in the country. 

In a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, the group said Atiku’s views were myopic and reminded him, that it was on the basis of the atmosphere for free speech provided by the Buhari administration that he is able to release statements to the media unhindered.

“Since President Buhari assumed power, the Nigerian press has enjoyed unfettered access to information, ably aided by the Freedom of Information Act (FOI).

“It is also worthy of note that contrary to Atiku’s assertion that the Judiciary is being hampered under the present administration, judges are free to deliver judgements and such judgements are promptly obeyed by the Buhari administration as it believes in the rule of law. Perhaps we need to re-state that President Muhammadu Buhari, in his quest for the Presidency of Nigeria, had pursued his case through the courts up to the highest court in the land, and this is a clear evidence of his faith in the Judiciary.”

BMO also said it totally disagrees with Alhaji Atiku Abubakar that poverty level had risen in the country, “considering that the President Buhari administration had taken steps to reduce poverty, especially with the Social Investment Programmes (SIP) which have gained international acclaim and recognition. 

“Similarly, the engagement of hundreds of thousands of Nigerians in agriculture, based on the support being provided by the Buhari administration has significantly reduced the poverty level that various PDP administrations bequeathed to Nigerians after being in charge for sixteen years. 

“Obviously, these are deliberate policies and programmes put in place by the Buhari administration to alleviate poverty in the land and it is still work in progress.”

On the allegation that the cost of governance in the country was on the increase, BMO drew the attention of the former vice president to the 50% voluntary slash in the salaries of Mr President and his deputy as their exemplary sacrifice as leaders.

“The Buhari administration was also able to weed out tens of thousands of ghost workers from the civil service, thereby reducing the federal wage bill by several billions naira monthly. The federal government is also looking into ways to reduce reccrrent expenditure in the legislative arm.”

The Buhari group also recalled that up till 2015 recurrent expenditure and other non-capital expenditure gulped up to 80% of our national budget, leaving a paltry 20% for spending on infrastructure and other capital developments.  

“It is to the credit of Buhari administration, since 2015, that this is no longer the case.

“It is also on account of reducing waste, curbing corruption and blocking leakages that the Buhari administration conceived and implemented the Treasury Single Account (TSA). The positive results are there for everyone to see.”

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Heritage Bank MD Says Credible ID Management Will Foster Access To Credit

MD/CEO, Heritage Bank, Mr Ifie Sekibo , has stressed the need for the federal government to work towards creating a credible and strong identity management towards expanding access to credit in the country.

Sekibo noting that while the Bank Verification Number (BVN) has been able to create a form of identification in the country, it has not been able to address some of the issues around identity management in the country. Speaking at the 2019 Annual Conference of Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) at the weekend, the Heritage Bank MD noted that the ability of individuals to relocate from one place to another without notifying anyone was a major issue in access to credit.

Represented by divisional head, Strategy and Business Solutions, Mr Segun Akanji, Sekibo said the dearth of effective and standard identity management infrastructure made access to credit for the SMEs in Nigeria tough as banks only see unmitigated risks.

“I am talking about identity management challenge. That is the biggest collateral to lending and that is what is missing in this economy. The day banks can verify where you live, everybody will get loan with ease, because you cannot run away,” he stated. He explained that “the problem is this, I don’t know where you live.

The address of the company is not where you live. And you can wake up in FESTAC today, but tomorrow you move to Ajangbadi or Victoria Island. You don’t have to tell me. And that is a huge problem for  banks.

“People take a loan from banks and change accommodation, run away to Ibadan and you cannot find them. That must change. But how do you do that? It is very simple. You lose all the benefits that is allocated to you as a person, the day you relocate like that, you are as good as dead.

“Like when you live abroad, once you misbehave with your identity, you cannot bank, your credit goes bad, you cannot go to hospital and everything else goes bad and you cannot do anything. So, you have a responsibility to yourself and the country that supports you to report yourself.

“There is no value in our identity management as we have it. So, it is not just about banks, it is about the holistic structure where there is no value to the person that each of us will represent. ”He gave instances about developed economies such as the US where if one changes accommodation, they must notify all relevant institutions that they deal with because of the inherent value in the system.

“Just like they do abroad, when you are changing accommodation, you will be the one going to your bank, hospital, everywhere, you will dedicate a day in a week until you go around to everyone and inform them of the address change,” he said.

“Why? There is value to where you live. That’s where your mail, pension, cheque comes. Everything attached to you comes to that address. So, there is value. We need to get to that and then no one will be needing collateral to get some minimum amount to do business.”

Sekibo also observed that although the banks had pushed the government to some form of identity management system through the bank verification number, BVN, it has not been enough to solve the problem of the identity constraining lending in the country.

“You can argue that the banks have driven the government to some identity management system through the BVN, but the problem is that the infrastructure that will keep everybody in the homes where they live and not just change is non-existent,” he said.

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President Buhari Lauds Bill Gates/Aliko Dangote For Service To Humanity

President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday applauded the contributions of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as Aliko Dangote Foundation to humanitarian and developmental activities in Nigeria.

Meeting with the duo at the sidelines of the 74th United Nations General Assembly in New York, the President said they have touched humanity in many positive ways, and congratulated them “for achieving what you had set out to do.”

“Thanks for deriving pleasure in helping people. Congratulations to you for returning part of your wealth to the people in diverse ways. Whatever we save in areas in which you have intervened, we can deploy to other areas like building of infrastructure,” President Buhari said.

On agriculture, in which Alhaji Dangote makes huge investments, the President noted that farmers were very happy in Nigeria now, “as we have made fertilizer available, cut the price by half, and given many other incentives. They have no regret going back to the lands. The more we invest in agriculture, the better for us.”

Mr Gates congratulated President Buhari “for assembling a cabinet that excites us,” saying he was pleased that one of the priorities of the administration was human capital development, of which health, nutrition and education are key components.

Noting that Bill and Melinda Gates as well as Aliko Dangote Foundations keep track of Nigeria’s attainments on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as enunciated by the United Nations, he submitted that they were encouraged that there was improvement in reduction of child mortality.

“Every local government area has better health/education situation today than in year 2000. We are delighted about that. Nigeria is our biggest commitment in Africa. It’s only in India we do more in the world,” Mr Gates said.

On polio eradication, he said Nigeria reached a zero wild polio virus free milestone for three years in August, noting that the next six months were critical, so that the country could finally be declared polio free.

Alhaji Dangote appreciated the Nigerian military for helping with vaccination in the theatres of war while fighting insurgency, thus adding to the advances in the country’s polio status.

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Atiku, PDP Will Fail Again At Supreme Court -BMO

The appeal filed by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar at the Supreme Court is an exercise in futility, as it will only re-emphasize the judgment of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) which ruled that the petition was futile and had no substance.

The Buhari Media Organization (BMO) said Atiku and PDP either did not read or they did not understand the judgement of the Tribunal.

In a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, the group stated that the judgement of the tribunal was quite clear and unequivocal about Atiku’s empty petition.

“If they had thoroughly digested the judgement they would not have wasted their resources to file an appeal.

“It was one of the very few times that five Justices would sit to deliver a judgment and be unanimous in their decision. This was so because there could not have been any other decision contrary to what they held: Atiku’s case was a no-brainer, and lacked any substance.

“On facts and evidence, they failed, on technicalities and irregularities they failed as well. The Justices may not have said so, out of respect for the institution of the courts and our democracy, but certainly they must have known that the petition was a waste of time. Any reasonable person would know that.

“The petition was bound to fail – in whatever direction it took. And it will fail again”.

BMO argued that Atiku’s appeal was to satisfy the pressure of marabouts who had deceived him into believing that he stood a chance at the polls and in the courts.

“What the Supreme Court will do is put a final nail in the coffin where PDP and Atiku’s petition lies. We strongly believe the Supreme Court would do nothing less than striking out the appeal of the PDP”.

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Stop Fueling Insurgency – BMO To Politicians

The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has accused a Federal lawmaker representing Borno State in the House of Representatives of making wild and exaggerated claims on the insurgency in North East Nigeria.

The lawmaker, Ahmadu Jaha (APC, Damboa/Gwoza/Chibok), had said during plenary on Tuesday that Boko Haram insurgents are occupying eight of the 10 local government areas in the northern part of the state. 

BMO said in a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke that Jaha was not being factual 

“It is disturbing that a Federal lawmaker could so turn facts on its head by making a wild claim that presupposes that the insurgents are in total control of about a third of the 27 local government areas of the state.

“As a representative of areas that had witnessed some of the worst atrocities committed by Boko Haram in the course of the insurgency, Ahmadu Jaha has a duty to draw attention to the plight of the people he represents. But he and other members of the political elite also need to be circumspect in order not to rubbish efforts by officers and men of the Armed Forces to make their community safer.

“Here is a politician whose constituency once housed the headquarters of the caliphate declared by the Boko Haram terrorists and it is on record that the convoy of three traditional rulers led by the Emir of Gwoza Mohammed Shehu-Timta, was attacked.

“Now, the Emir who was forced to relocate to Maiduguri where he stayed for five years has returned home and is now fully in charge of the traditional institution, yet a politician based in Abuja irresponsibly claimed that the town is under the control of insurgents.

“We are also aware that Jaha made that claim on the same day that the Chief Whip Mohammed Monguno had said in a lead debate in the House that before the advent of the current administration, about two-thirds of the local government areas in Borno State, were under the control of the insurgents who not only hoisted their flag but also administered the areas with their own rules and regulations. 

 “Does Representative Jaha want Nigerians to believe that the insurgents have their flag in Gwoza, not to even talk about 8 local government areas like he claimed.

“Granted that there had been pockets of attacks in some communities like Monguno who is also from the state said, but there is no way that this can be described as an occupation of those areas”, BMO added.

The group consequently advised members of the political class to resist the pressure of rubbishing the sacrifices of the Armed Forces when they have the opportunity to speak on issues of national security.

“It is alarming that some politicians, especially in the theatre of military operations, are not capable of handling TV appearances or are unable to check themselves when they have the opportunity to speak in public.

“In this case, members of the House of Representatives had had a lengthy closed-door session with heads of security agencies where, we believe, the situation in North eastern Nigeria was thoroughly discussed and a decision taken to give legislative backing for a special fund for the agencies outside of the national budget.

“So it beggars belief that a politician whose constituents are certain to benefit from heightened security operation opted to publicly dismiss military efforts in one –third of the epicentre of the insurgency with a carefree comment. 

“We expect the House leadership, especially the majority caucus, to deal well with the situation to ensure that discipline is maintained on issues of national security.”

BMO also urged Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila and the military authorities to keep to their pledge of regular interface with a view to overcoming all barriers to effective field operations.

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My Head Swelled And Swelled, As The World Celebrated Buhari’s Anti-Corruption Credentials, By Femi Adesina

Wednesday was a helluva day. Filled to the brim. We didn’t call it a day till 9 p.m (2 a.m Nigerian time), and it was with all pleasure that I dived into bed about an hour later. Sweet embrace. Sleep. William Shakespeare calls it “sweet nourisher in life’s feast.” We must give glory to God for creating sleep. That’s why it’s not good to murder sleep. Serious trouble.
How did Wednesday go?

President Muhammadu Buhari met with the President of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa. The latter said it was always inspiring for him, each time he sat near the Nigerian President.

Purpose of the meeting? Portugal would be hosting Europe-Africa Forum in Lisbon next year, and the Nigerian leader was being invited to declare the event open.

“Please come, we’ll like to see you” de Sousa said. “We’ve been waiting for you for three years. Please come, even if it’s for just half a day. Many African leaders have visited us, but we want Nigeria. Please come to Lisbon.”
The President said our own President was looking quite well: “You are so fit! Your opponents say you are ill. I guess that is just to disturb you.” General laughter.

President Buhari said he would consider the invitation, apologizing that he hadn’t visited all the while. “I was very busy in the first term, knowing that I was going to face re-election. Now that we are in second and final term, we will consolidate on what we’ve done in first term, so that I can retire in peace and comfort.”

Next. Former Prime Minister of Australia, Hon Kevin Rudd, who now spends his time advocating for water, sanitation, and discouragement of open defecation round the world. He is chairman of a body called Water and Sanitation for All. He says his children now call him ‘Global Sultan of Sanitation.’ Interesting.

President Buhari told him what Nigeria was doing in the area of water and sanitation, including declaring a state of emergency in November last year. Target date for eradicating open defecation is 2025. Ex-PM Rudd shared a slogan made popular in India by PM Narendra Modi, particularly directed at ladies: ‘Never marry a man, unless he can provide you with clean toilet.’ Lol. Many men would surely be sentenced to eternal bachelorhood, if that happens in Nigeria. But happen it must, President Buhari assured. He said the country would step up advocacy against open defecation, and clean water would be provided for all.

Next. Two men of wealth, and of power. Their kind of wealth naturally confers great influence anywhere in the world. Bill Gates, and Aliko Dangote. Before they came in, one of us had jocularly said: “I hope they would announce a gift of one million dollars to each of us before they leave.” I would simply faint, I responded . If I got revived, and saw the pile of money, I would faint again. Remember the late Justice Ovie Whiskey? He was the electoral commission boss sometime in Nigeria. When someone accused him of collecting inducement in millions of Naira to swing victory to a particular side, he said he had never seen a million Naira before, and that if he saw it, he would simply faint. So, don’t blame me if I faint at the sight of a million dollars.
Gates and Dangote gave the President updates on the polio war, progress on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), agriculture, and many others. Their host lauded them for their help to humanity, saying: “Thanks for deriving pleasure in helping people.” (I thought they would drop the one million dollars gift for each person at that time, but alas, they didn’t).
Next again. President Julius Mada Bio of Sierra Leone. He came to discuss matters that affected his country, the West African sub-region, and Africa in general.

Now, to the big one for the day. High Level Side Event on Promotion of International Cooperation to Combat Illicit Financial Flows. It was organized by AUDA-NEPAD in conjunction with Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of Nigeria. President Buhari presented a keynote address, was supported by President Edgar Lungu of Zambia, and President of Ethiopia, Sahlework Zewede. President of UNGA 74, Professor Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, was also there, as well as key figures from round the world.
In his keynote address, President Buhari lamented the evil that corruption was doing to Africa. Quoting from the 2014 Global Financial Integrity Report, the Nigerian leader noted that Nigeria alone lost minimum of $157.5 billion between 2003-2012, adding that such massive loss of assets resulted in dearth of resources “to fund public services or to alleviate poverty,” in the country.

According to him, “This is why, as Africans, we have no choice but to break the back of corruption…That is why our government has made it a war we intend to win. We will give all it takes to ensure there is no hiding place for purveyors of corrupt practices who are truly enemies of the people.”

Stressing the need to strengthen good practices on asset recovery and return, President Buhari said that, “In the last five years, our government has made significant progress to curb corruption,” adding: “We have recovered millions of dollars stolen from our country.”

Then followed a session in which my head swelled, and swelled, as keynote statements were made by personalities from across the world. Ori mi wu, as the Yoruba people would say. Almost all the speakers were not done, till they had eulogized President Buhari for his commitment to integrity, transparency and accountability. It was one evening every right thinking Nigerian in the hall felt proud of our President. I just was afraid that my head could burst before the end of the event, as speaker after speaker poured encomium on the Nigerian President, the anti-corruption champion of Africa.

You see why some of us believe in the man, and can follow him blindfolded into battle? But pitifully, a prophet often does not have honour in his own country. Interventions came from African Union Commission, European Commission, Norway, Namibia, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), former Prime Minister of Niger Republic and CEO of AUDA-NEPAD, Sweden, South Africa, and many others. Almost everyone had good words about the Nigerian leader and his passion for anti-corruption.

My greatest takeaway from the seminal evening was perhaps the declaration by Mr Mukhisa Kituyi of UNCTAD. He said corruption was a matter that brings shame to the African continent. He praised President Buhari “for offering leadership,” and then threw a challenge: “Let other African leaders stand up to be counted.” Food for thought, indeed.

Adesina is Special Adviser to President Buhari on Media and Publicity

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Timi Frank Is Atiku’s Hireling, Says Group

A political group has said that former All Progressives Congress deputy national publicity secretary is a hireling of Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

The Initiative to Save Democracy (ISD) in a press statement signed by Oladele Peter, Publicity Secretary of the group on Thursday in Lagos said it had pictorial evidence to prove that Mr. Frank his doing the bidding of his paymasters.

It would be recalled that Mr Frank, a self-styled political activist came under fire on Wednesday night following a retraction by a national daily, Vanguard Newspaper of a libelous statement made by him against Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

He said Mr Frank is working for the opposition and its presidential candidate, Mr Atiku. He explained more evidences were emerging of their transaction including a meeting in Dubai where the plan was hatched.

“The picture is clearer now, Mr. Frank, a renegade and castaway from APC is doing the bidding of his master but legal actions will put all his toothless claims to rest.

“As Nigerians we have allowed fake news to fester for too long and that has to stop, we need to check fake news through all legal means possible and that is why I am happy that the Vice President has taken this route,” he said.

He said a source within the new strategies adopted by the PDP’s presidential candidate to boost his desperate quest to upturn the electoral victory of President Muhammadu Buhari through the Supreme Court co-opted Mr Frank.

“The young man’s campaign of calumny against the Vice President is deliberate and the aim is to discredit APC in order to whip up public sentiments for Atiku. I tell you the point-by-point dismissal of his (Atiku’s) petition by the election petition tribunal has devastated them.

“Really, the judgment by the tribunal thoroughly exposed them as frivolous in thinking. Now, they believe the only way they can help their case is by raking up mud against a principal officer of the Buhari government in order to look good at the Supreme Court.”

Frank was said to have started life as “a political jobber in Bayelsa during the administration of D. S. P. Alamiesiegha with reputation for doing any dirty job.”

At the founding of All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2014, the Bayelsa-born jobber was nominated and sponsored to become the deputy Publicity Secretary of the party by Mr Atiku.

Soon afterwards, he was said to have revealed himself as “divisive influence” who delighted in working against party’s interest and opposing popular views at party meetings “just to attract attention to himself”.

His real agenda became clearer when he started issuing unauthorized statements as APC’s deputy publicity secretary to the embarrassment of the leadership of Chief John Odigie Oyegun and became a willing tool in the sustained campaign to discredit the party and shove Oyegun aside.

Expectedly, he joined the bandwagon of Atiku when the latter eventually decamped from APC last year to vie for the presidency on PDP’s platform.

“Timi Frank will be used as an example, if the Vice President does not press libel charges, the Initiative to Save Democracy will do it, we need sanity in our country and we don’t need fake news that will divide us,” he said.

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AFFC Lauds Heritage Bank On Youth, Entertainment Devt

African Freestyle Football (AFFC) Championship 2019 in collaboration with World Freestyle Football Association (WFFA) have commended Heritage Bank Plc for its pivotal role in enhancing youth development and engendering the Nigeria’s entertainment space on the world’s stage.

The 2019 African Freestyle Football Championship ended on a high note, with defending champion Abdul Titi Kone of Cote d’Ivoire emerging as the African Champion once again. This event marked the 2nd edition of the African Championship and the 3rd annual edition of the Nigerian Championship hosted by Feet ‘n’ Tricks International Limited.

The final was a repeat of the 2018 championship, as Kone again defeated Egypt’s Yousef Mohamad just as he did in last year’s final while Ashley Mhkize of South Africa placed third.In the female category, Evelyn Okafor (Nigeria), Hadhara Charles (Tanzania) and Augustina Unamba (Nigeria) placed first, second and third respectively.

This year’s edition accommodated at least 30 African countries that participated at the championship.The Chairman of AFFC, Valentine Ozigbo, who commended bank for being at the forefront of promoting freestyle football for the past two years, said Heritage Bank is “always very innovative and supportive to the cause of entertainment and youth development.

According to him, these achievements would have been impossible without the extensive support of the official bankers (Heritage Bank) for the championship for two years running.Speaking further, Ozigbo hinted, “since inception, Feet ‘n’ Tricks has been committed to promoting freestyle football talent to stardom and we haven’t relented. Through this platform, we have seen talented freestylers get a head start in life, travel to exciting places and represent our beloved continent doing what they know how to do best.”

The MD/CEO, Heritage Bank, Ifie Sekibo, said the bank has strong desire towards developing and positioning youths to become world-class citizens equipped and ready to be absorbed into an increasing competitive professional skills and endeavours.

Sekibo, who was represented by an Executive Director, Jude Monye advised the youths who were participants to adopt strong positive character to enable them take advantage of the platform being presented to them.“One of the reasons why we chose, as an organization, to support the freestyle championship is to enhance youth development in sport and entertainment, which will empower them play vital roles in the socio-economic development of the country and help curb the high level of unemployment,” he stressed.According to Sekibo, the drive to support youths seeks to create, preserve and transfer wealth across generations.

It is against the backdrop of the competition that Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Amaju Pinnick, promised to give more support to the entertaining part of football.“We need to encourage this entertaining part of football because what they are doing here is great. Freestyle is quite interesting, and I am happy with what I have seen so far.“With this project, a goal has been achieved. I also want more ladies to come out and do freestyle football because it is highly entertaining and competitive.

“I will see to how we can give more support to freestyle football in the future,”he said.Congratulating the Feet n Tricks team, Daniel Wood, Co-founder and Head of Global Partnerships, World Freestyle Football Association (WFFA) said, “Feet n Tricks have proven that they can produce world class events and we are so excited to be extending our partnership. We are fully committed to creating opportunities for young people and this event is to be the focus point for our sport in the continent of Africa.”

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Osinbajo Not Corrupt, Opposition Behind Fake News – Sagay

Professor Itse Sagay SAN, Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), on Tuesday described Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as “an incorruptible man of God who is as clean as a whistle”.

Speaking in a chat with INDEPENDENT on the corruption allegations levelled against Osinbajo, Sagay said his Committee did not receive any report indicting Osinbajo in any way.

He accused the opposition of being the brain behind the malicious rumour, adding that having failed at the courts, they were desperately trying to cause disaffection in the Presidency.

“Our Committee received no report indicting the Vice President in any way. Absolutely nothing! The Vice President is an incorruptible man of God, a man of high moral standing who is as clean as a whistle. He will not appropriate any money that doesn’t belong to him to himself.

“The Vice President is not having any issue with President Buhari. All these malicious reports and fake news are being sponsored by the opposition and enemies of the government and it should be disregarded,” he said.

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Osinbajo, Inccurable Wailers And The Verdict Of History -By Abdullahi Haruna

That Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is the most loyal Vice President in the chequered history of Nigeria’s democracy is to state the obvious. However, the renowned Professor of law, the venerated Pastor of one of the biggest denominational churches in the world and the politician without blemish is not only known for his loyalty, he is the most learned, the most versatile and the most useful Vice President the country has ever produced.

No doubt, President Muhammadu Buhari’s selection of Osinbajo as a tested and trusted ally was not done in error or in happenstance; daily happenings even reinforce this fact. The enviable conviviality between the duo, does not come to people as a surprise because both individual share some semblances – their humane dispositions, commitment to doing what is right, and their display of sincerity and integrity signify a perfect match.

In the history of democracy in Nigeria, Osinbajo is a cypress among pliant shrubs; he stands out among his contemporaries. He stands out in terms of resourcefulness and reliability in helping to steer the ship of nation building under the leadership of President Buhari in times of peace and in times of turbulence as they often happen. It’s no exaggeration, too, that Osinbajo remains one of the most cerebral Nigerians to have occupied the position of Vice President within the context of the country’s embrace of democracy.

As a symbol of peace, Osinbajo’s words are like soothing balm that heals the wound of the past created by marginalisation, discrimination, bigotry and nepotism. He is the bridge between the ruling class and the ordinary Nigerians who had been neglected, abandoned and relegated to the background by successive governments. Past governments created unbreakable barricade around themselves; they only strolled out of their comfort zones during elections while throwing carrots at them, making empty promises in place of succour only to vaporise into the thin air after getting their votes. Ordinary Nigerians are those who stand under the scorching sun or get drenched by heavy downpour of heavenly bliss to register for their Permanent Voters’ Card (PVC) or stand on the queue endlessly to cast their votes during elections. They were however placed on the fringe of governance, as dividends of democracy always elude them. The present government has emancipated this all important group that were rob-off their entitlements, and ostracised from the mainstream of governance. Vice President Osinbajo is a symbol of that emancipation, as he traverses the nooks and crannies of this country, giving people hope in place of despair.

It is true that ordinary Nigerians remain the greatest beneficiaries of this government and Vice President Yemi Osinbanjo has been one of the messengers through which these benefits are delivered to these once neglected folks. There is no doubt, the current National Social Investment (SIP) initiated by this government is the most effective and efficient in the history of this country. From the N-Power to National Home-grown School Feeding Programme, Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) and Government Enterprises Entrepreneurship Programme (GEEP), Nigerians know that this is the first time that those for whom social programmes are designed are equally the beneficiaries.

For record’s sake, Goodluck Jonathan’s Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme otherwise known as SURE-P which was meant to reinvest the federal government savings from fuel subsidy removal on critical infrastructural projects and social safety programmes was the surest means of whetting the insatiable appetites of the corrupt individuals in high places; those marauders of Aso Rock corridors, who, like vultures, always haunted for carcasses. No doubt, SURE-P was a complete ruse, as the funds meant for it, found their permanent abode in private coffers. If SURE-P stood for anything, it was a sure corruption.

Does anyone need a retelling that the national economic management team under the leadership of the Vice President was responsible for guiding the country out of the turbulence occasioned by economic recession that almost got the country completely paralyzed? Recall that the economic team of former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, which plunged the nation into abyss of recession, was led by Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, an expert in finance and economics. During this inglorious era, there were series of rhetoric on diversification and revitalization which ended up an illusion. Instead, what the nation witnessed were some voodoo growth figures that did window dressing but in reality left us perpetually attached to the apron of the zero-sum and precarious oil economy.

However, it was Professor Osinbajo, an expert in law and jurisprudence and a non-economist that led the nation out of the recession. Were it not his diligence and commitments in rallying the private and public sectors of the economy together, the country would have been completely grounded. He provided the needed leadership with the express permission of President Buhari who trusts his capacity to deliver even on the most arduous task. Although not an economist, Osinbajo’s perfect blend of intelligence, perspicacity and sincerity has ridiculed economists and financial experts; he succeeded where some economists and financial experts had woefully failed.

Osinbajo is a committed Buharist, and his stainless loyalty to this government is borne out of his undiluted love for this country. Like his Boss, President Buhari, he is committed to positioning the country for greater prosperity, through selfless leadership. Even though the world knows this, the naysayers who are still not tired of the wailing manacle around their necks, believe he has not done much. But we ask, what else do they want from Vice President Osinbajo?

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I Will Waive My Constitutional Immunity To Clear My Name – Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has declared his readiness to waive his constitutional immunity to “enable the most robust adjudication” of several baseless allegations, insinuation and falsehoods against his person and office.

Prof. Osinbajo made this declaration in a tweet he personally authored this afternoon.

Below is the full text of his tweet:

“In the past few days, a spate of reckless and malicious falsehoods have been peddled in the media against me by a group of malicious individuals.

“The defamatory and misleading assertions invented by this clique had mostly been making the social media rounds anonymously.

“I have today instructed the commencement of legal action against two individuals, one Timi Frank and another Katch Ononuju, who have put their names to these odious falsehoods.

“I will waive my constitutional immunity to enable the most robust adjudication of these claims of libel and malicious falsehood.”

Laolu Akande
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity
Office of the Vice President
25th September, 2019

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‘Be Wary Of Opposition Gimmick, Osinbajo Not Facing Any Threat’ – APYF Assures

The attention of the All Progressives Youth Forum (APYF) has been drawn to a press release in circulation attributed to the Coalition of Northern Nigerian youth in which the group cautioned against the maltreatment of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

We understand that the statement by CNNY was largely based on the widespread rumor of a ‘cabal war’ against the vice president, but we must clarify that there is no threat or any form of maltreatment against the person of Mr. Vice President.

As young people with significant contacts within the government and the party, we have made our findings and come to the realization that the imaginary witch hunt of Professor Osinbajo is a mere opposition gimmick aimed at causing disaffection in the Presidency and cause crisis of confidence between President Muhammadu Buhari and his vice. The fictitious story of a 9 billion naira election fund which was made against vice president Osinbajo by a certain opposition figure further confirms this grand opposition conspiracy.

APYF is not the only group that has seen beyond the smokescreen of a nonexistent ‘witchhunt game’ against the Vice President. Many discerning individuals and organizations within and outside the country have since realized that the news of any threat against Prof. Osinbajo or his office is just a grand opposition conspiracy.

Just recently, the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Professor Itse Sagay SAN, clarified that “The Vice President is not having any issue with President Buhari. All these malicious reports and fake news are being sponsored by the opposition and enemies of the government and it should be disregarded.”

APYF also holds the position that there is no threat of any nature against the Vice President. We also wish to add that the tact team led by President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo which put an end to long years of misrule of the PDP in 2015 is still intact and remains impenetrable as ever. And as usual, the team is committed to its goal of revamping the economy of Nigeria, stamp out corruption and ensure the greatest happiness of the greatest number of Nigerian people. No distraction would take their attention away from actualising these objectives.

Finally, as a formidable youth group within the ruling party, the APC, we wish to reiterate that if at anytime we become aware of any threat against the person of Vice Professor Yemi Osinbajo from any quarters, we would stand by the Vice President who we are sure will also continue to receive the support and backing of his principal, President Muhammadu Buhari, in his dedicated service to Nigeria and her people.”

Signed By
Alwan Hassan,
National Field Director,
APYF.

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