“Nigeria’s Miserable Choices”: New York Times Slams President Jonathan Over “Extra Time” to Fight Boko Haram

In an editorial on Monday, the New York Times slammed the postponement of the Nigerian elections.  It pointed out that the action might have been more credible if President Goodluck Jonathan’s government had not spent much of the past year playing down the threat posed by Boko Haram and if there were a reasonable expectation that Nigeria’s weak army has the ability to improve security over the next few weeks.

“It appears more likely Mr. Jonathan grew alarmed by the surging appeal of Muhammadu Buhari, a former military ruler who has vowed to crack down on Boko Haram,” the article said. “By dragging out the race, Mr. Jonathan stands to deplete his rival’s campaign coffers, while he continues to use state funds and institutions to bankroll his own.”

Recalling that Buhari led a coup against a democratically elected government in 1983, it argued that his emergence as potential winner of the forthcoming election is more of an indictment of Jonathan’s dismal rule than a recognition of the former military chief’s appeal.

It criticized Jonathan’s performance over the abduction of the Chibok girls and the attacks by Boko Haram, saying they have exposed the weaknesses of Nigeria’s armed forces and the dysfunction of the government.

“Beyond security matters, entrenched corruption and the government’s inability to diversify its economy as the price of oil, the country’s financial bedrock, has fallen have also caused Nigerians to look for new leadership. Nigeria, the most populous nation in Africa, and a relatively young democracy, cannot afford an electoral crisis.”

It would be recalled that following an endorsement of Buhari by The Economist in its edition dated February 7, a sulking Jonathan said he did not need the support of the magazine.

Text of the editorial by the New York Times:

Nigeria’s Miserable Choices

The Nigerian government was supposed to hold presidential elections this past weekend, which presented voters with the dispiriting choice of keeping a lousy incumbent or returning to power a former autocratic leader. Now they will have to wait at least six weeks to cast votes.

The Nigerian election commission said earlier this month that it had pushed back the vote until at least March 28, after the country’s security chiefs warned that they could not guarantee the safety of voters in northeastern areas of the country where Boko Haram, the extremist militant group, captured international attention last spring when it abducted hundreds of schoolgirls. On Friday, Boko Haram fighters attacked a village in neighboring Chad for the first time, an alarming sign of the group’s expanding strength in a region that also includes areas of Cameroon and Niger.

Any argument to delay the vote might be more credible if President Goodluck Jonathan’s government had not spent much of the past year playing down the threat posed by the militants and if there were a reasonable expectation that the country’s weak military has the ability to improve security in a matter of weeks.

It appears more likely Mr. Jonathan grew alarmed by the surging appeal of Muhammadu Buhari, a former military ruler who has vowed to crack down on Boko Haram. By dragging out the race, Mr. Jonathan stands to deplete his rival’s campaign coffers, while he continues to use state funds and institutions to bankroll his own.

That Mr. Buhari, who helped launch a coup against a democratically elected government in 1983 and ruled until late 1985, has emerged as potential winner is more of an indictment of Mr. Jonathan’s dismal rule than a recognition of the former military chief’s appeal.

Nigerian voters have grown increasingly worried about the stunning rise of Boko Haram, which has committed terrorist atrocities including bombings.

The abductions and attacks by the group have exposed the weaknesses of Nigeria’s armed forces and the dysfunction of the government. Although Mr. Jonathan’s government has in the past been less than enthusiastic, and at times obstructive, in response to offers of American and European aid, he appears to be growing increasingly worried. In an interview with The Wall Street Journal last week, he said he would welcome American troops to fight the insurgency.

Beyond security matters, entrenched corruption and the government’s inability to diversify its economy as the price of oil, the country’s financial bedrock, has fallen have also caused Nigerians to look for new leadership. Nigeria, the most populous nation in Africa, and a relatively young democracy, cannot afford an electoral crisis. That would only set back the faltering effort to reassert government control in districts where Boko Haram is sowing terror. The security forces may not be able to safeguard many districts on Election Day. But postponement is very likely to make the security threat worse.

*An editorial by New York Times published today with the title, ‘Nigeria’s Miserable Choices’

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Twitter Verifies @ProfOsinbajo

After two months on Twitter, the account of the Vice Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) has been verified. The confirmation of this process for the account, @ProfOsinabjo, came through at exactly 4pm on Friday afternoon.

Speaking about his experience so far on social media, the Running Mate to General Muhammadu Buhari, admitted that he had followed online conversations passively for a long time but had to get fully involved when he was picked to join the APC Presidential Ticket.

“I consider myself a Digital Immigrant, while all those born in the Computer Age are the Natives,” he said. “It took a while to get used to it, but I have always known social media to be a very useful tool for engagement, enlightenment and entertainment. Its huge value to Nigeria and the nation we hope to build cannot be overestimated and I’m grateful for how I have been so well received. It has been extremely interesting.”

Professor Osinbajo said a Buhari-led federal administration would promote information technology and make it a primary source of employment for the millions of unemployed youths in Nigeria. He said industrial and technology parks would be developed and equipped free Internet and electricity to help young program developers. Loans would also be made accessible for young entrepreneurs, he added.

“Nigeria is blessed with very talented young people who should be ruling the world in the IT world. All they need is a platform to shine and I believe we could have the next Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs from amongst us. Africa is waiting for Nigeria to lead it on the technological superhighway and I believe the current generation of young Nigerians have it in them to take us to the moon,” the Law Professor summed up.

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Don’t Drag Us Into Politics, DHQ Warns Obasanjo, Says He is an Embarrassment to the Military

The Nigerian military today warned former President Olusegun Obasanjo to show understanding of its sacred duties instead of dragging it into politics.

A statement released today by the DHQ also described the former president as an embarrassment to the force he once served.

This was coming few hours after Obasanjo announced his exit from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

Obasanjo dumped the PDP at a dramatic event in Abeokuta, Ogun State, a move that appeared aimed at forestalling an expulsion by the party.

“The Defence Headquarters has noted the remarks of a former President,  Chief Olusegun Obasanjo as reported in the media stating his views on perceived state of the armed forces and   the roles being allegedly played by the military in the nation’s political process in recent times. The leadership and cross section of the military believes that the former President and retired General has every right to be interested in the actions and fate of the military. Hence, his views like many others will continue to be accorded the well-deserved attention. It is however noteworthy that most of his utterances lately indicate an attitude of playing to the gallery or indulging in politicization of serious national security or military affairs.

“For instance, the comments credited to Chief Obasanjo alleging that the postponement of the General Elections was to enable President Jonathan to use the Service Chiefs to plot a tenure extension is to say the least, very surprising. It is surprising indeed, considering the fact that the retired General chose to ignore the clarification and emphatic assurances of non-partisanship of the military as declared in a DHQ statement on the position of the Armed Forces in the ongoing political activities. His motive as usual remains unknown but it is certainly less than noble or well intentioned.  We dare say again that Chief Obasanjo’s assertions are false.

“Much as the military desires to respect the old General and his views, it has become necessary to point out that his conduct and unguarded utterances of late has fallen short of the standard of discipline expected of an individual who has had the privilege of service in the military and risen to the status of a General. The behavior of retired General (Chief) Obasanjo has been so unbecoming and continues to constitute a serious embarrassment to the military before all who have reasonably and rightly adjudged the essence of military background in terms of the high value and standard it tends to contribute to statesmanship.

“We feel constrained to remind the old General that the world has moved beyond that parochial and self-adulating reasoning and mindset which he seems stuck to. Indeed, he needs to be told that by virtue of their better training, exposure, education, assessment and environment, the military personnel of today are already far beyond his level in their appreciation of democracy and it’s indispensability for the stable and prosperous society which Nigerians cherish.

“In this instance, the military wishes to inform the retired General, that the institution which he bequeathed to the nation has .certainly developed beyond how he left it. The Nigerian military is now better placed to strive for the maintenance of the legacies and ethos of service, valour, subordination to constituted authorities, and nonpartisan commitment to duty and fatherland. It has to be restated that the military as an institution, is neither as inept in the discharge of its duties, nor is it being misused for political ends in the manner the retired General Obasanjo who was also a former President has possibly been made to believe.

“Indeed, the system now strongly believes in Democracy as well as its structures and institutions to the extent that it will do nothing whatsoever to undermine or truncate the steady growth and development of the nation’s democracy. The military will remain professional as it keeps doing its best along with others to ensure adequate security and defence of the nation’s territorial integrity in this auspicious period in the country.

“The Defence Headquarters will like to encourage Chief Obasanjo to be genuinely interested in the growth and sustenance of Nigeria’s democratic credentials.  He is also enjoined to endeavor to improve in his understanding of intricate issues and try to encourage the military rather than continue with this tendency to indulge in imputation of ulterior motives to every effort, all for the purpose of discrediting well thought out policies or decisions related to the military’s roles in the polity. The support of all well-meaning elderly Nigerians remains vital in the onerous duty of working for the stability, defence, and peace of our country under duly constituted authorities in a democratic environment.”

 

 

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My Life Has Been Under Threat Since I Revealed Jonathan’s Six Weeks Election Marshal Plan – Abusidiqu Publisher

I woke up on Tuesday morning, February 10 to meet comments to news and articles I posted a day before on my blog, abusidiqu.com. Since every single comments checked so as to be able to weed out those no considered fit for consumption, I checked to know which to approve and which to disapprove. It was during this process that I discovered a comment with the following words:

“Keep on fooling yourself and others with your fake stories. We will soon get you down” Kindly note that your base is somewhere in Lokoja, Kogi State and we have our men around watching you. Very soon, we will get you down.” [Screen shot below]”

Abusidiqu threat

The comment was in response to a news report published a day earlier exposing the six weeks election marshal plan [See: EXPOSED: Jonathan’s Six Week Marshall Plan for Which Election was Postponed Leaks]

I ordinarily would have passed the comment as just another rant from some online bully, but the part about Lokoja, Kogi State caught my attention, so I decided I was going to inform my followers on twitter just by way of information and I did, but without attaching the screen shot of the comment. As expected, some persons prayed for my safety and encouraged me not to be cowed by their threats, while some others dismissed it as just one of those attention seeking claims. Well¸ I didn’t bother about the latter because my decision to make the threat known is never to make any capital of any kind from it, but to inform my followers of the development just in case.

I thought the threat of that day would be it all, until I woke up the following day to yet another threat comment, this time around from a different email address, similar IP address, but with similar threat message. [Screen shot below]. I approved the comment just like I did to the previous one so It would be on record and then sent out a message to my twitter followers for the second time that I have been threatened again. This time around, I attached the screen shots of the two threat messages. Few hours after, I got another threat comment. This particular one got made reference to my health and warned again that they will get me down. [Screenshot below]

Abusidiqu Threat again

Email threat

The two threats notwithstanding, I remained unconvinced that they are real until the following day, Thursday 12 February when I received two strange telephone calls from numbers that was concealed. The first call came in at exactly 12:09pm with ‘private number’ appearing on my screen. When I answered the call which lasted for exactly 12 seconds, the caller told me “you think you can write rubbish about this govt and go free? We will get you down”. The call came to an end immediately after. Until the second call came in at 2:02pm with the number appearing as “unknown”. I however declined to answer this particular one knowing it could be from the same person who made the first call. There have been no further threat since the 2:02pm call of Thursday, 12th February, but I cannot conclude that would be all.

By way of precaution, I have taken all the necessary steps that I need to take as far as issues like this is concerned and this includes trying to find out who may be responsible for the threats. Before that however, Investigative online platform, NewsRescue carried out some investigation on the second day of the threat and came up with some findings which indicate that the threats (comments) were made from a blackberry device pointing to the United Kingdom. They however added that the United Kingdom address may be a decoy to erase any trace of who the perpetrators are. [See screenshot of their findings below]

iplondon

ipuk2You can read their full report: AbuSidiqu Media Receiving Death Threats From ‘Army’ For Posts On Jonathan 7th Feb. Coup

I have decided to make this known to the public just so they will be aware and also to emphasizes that no amount of threat will cow me into submitting to the wish of those who have chosen the path of threat rather than confront the issues I raised in the report exposing the plan by the Jonathan government for which they pushed for the postponement of the election. That report or any other one for that matter are based on credible intelligence for which I am ready to stand by any time or day. Therefore, no amount of threat, intimidation or whatever it is called will stop me from doing what I have considered my responsibility to the Nigerian public.

I shall continue in whatever way I can to help strengthen Nigeria’s democracy, the well-being and the rights of the people as well as advocate for good governance, transparency and human rights, in line with the values expected of a modern democracy.

 

Abubakar Sidiq Usman

Publisher, Abusidiqu.com

 

 

 

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What is the Meaning of Fighting Corruption Technologicaly?- President Goodluck Jonathan: By MM Firdausi

My understanding of the Nigerian way of life, is certainly based on my self- propounded theory of “The Rich Spared, and the Poor Sanctioned”. Although, I realised that GEJ is on the haves part of this theory, hence reason for him to perceive the second part of the theory as meaningless. Thus, GEJ have made Nigerians to believe that he does not go after the Rich, because most whom their wealth is all gotten by ‘Stealing’ from the Poor, which does not count in his understanding of criminal offence in a sane state like Nigeria. Even though under his tutelage, GEJ does not see the country Nigeria as a sane state.

During the regime of Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, we see a Commander-In-Chief who gives the Anti-Graft agencies the free hand to discharge their statutory function, irrespective of whose Ox is gored. Although OBJ may have his own flaws, but we saw a President who did not spare even high personalities that were his close associates either by ethnic or religious linkage. This was why the then Nigeria Anti-graft Ceazer could point a finger to the Ex-IG of Police Tafa Balogun, yet nothing happened. I recall that at that time, though Nigerians passion for media publicity was not much favoured, yet the media was not left out of the picture.

It is worthy to note that today, we have a president in GEJ, though not to be blamed much because he had told us his position. According to GEJ, during a presidential media chart year ago, he made Nigerians to understand that “Mere Stealing cannot be tagged as Corruption”, as in his own way, one who is just seen to have acquired wealth from the public coffers can only be seen to have stolen. And as such, Nigerians should not just label these people as corrupt. To buttress his assertion, in his recent campaign, GEJ made us to understand that the regime of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari had jailed Jim Nwobodo of Enugu for stealing a mega amount that could not buy a Peugeot car. I wonder, may be what GEJ may term as corruption is when Nwobodo must have looted much that could have afford him to buy a Private Jet, then we can call that as corruption. Just the way GEJ and his cronies have depleted the Excess Crude account and Foreign Reserve of the country.

However, today, GEJ is telling Nigerians that though we may not understand, but we should know that he cannot fight corruption by jailing people for hundreds of years. Rather, Nigerians would agree with him that he has been fighting corruption “TECHNOLOGICALLY”. How if I may ask? In responding, GEJ said that all the nook and crannies that paved way for corruption to be perpetuated has or is still been blocked by his government. Again, I ask is that the blockage that prevented Pension fund to have been stolen by his pal, Abdulrasheed Maina? Yet nothing happened. Or is that the blockage that prevented the Subsidy Fund to be siphoned by his allies, Femi Otedola and co? Yet nothing happened. Or is that the blockage that prevented Sen. David Mark’s wife to have stolen from Immigration job seekers? Yet nothing happened. Or is that the blockage that prevented Former Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Oduah from stealing over $270m? Yet nothing happened. Or is that the blockage that prevented Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Madueke from stealing N10b for hiring private jet? Yet nothing happened. Or is that the blockage that prevented him GEJ and his government to make $20b disappear from CBN like Voodoo? Yet nothing happened. And the list goes on and on and on. Well, why would GEJ even tell us he is fighting corruption with the use of Technology, when he doesn’t even believe all of these are “Corruption”.

Similarly, in GEJ’s recent N21b campaign fund raising, he and his corrupt cronies had advertently or inadvertently threatened most CEOs of MDAs to support the fund raising, if only they want to retain their seats, as a lot are waiting earnestly to take over or occupy those positions. And in the effort to protect their own ego, the desperate CEOs of virtually all MDAs, including most Force, Paramilitary, Security Agencies amongst others succumbed to these antics. This they did by depriving their staff allowances and other privileges, just to play to the gallery of wining GEJ’s heart through unprecedented Corruption. Not to be left out in these absurdities, we’re even the so called anti-graft agencies like ICPC and EFCC. With all of these, where is Nigeria heading to, if truly GEJ knows what he meant by corruption. Therefore, I dare GEJ and cronies to disprove me that those anonymous donors to his campaign fund, who were never disclosed, are the CEOs of Federal MDAs. I stand to be corrected that since the swearing in of GEJ in both acting capacity and substantive President of Nigeria, he has not tackle corruption a one bit. Rather, GEJ has made corruption to be among the Two 2 million jobs he claimed to have created, by way of granting pardon to D.S.P. Alamieyeseigha to breed more of his kind.

On the whole, I think what GEJ means by he is fighting corruption is by promising MDAs that they should return back all unspent part of their annual budget, while 10% would be their commission. Therefore, the Chief Executive Officers and Management of MDAs no longer allow their Staff to engage in trainings and productive effort for the Organisations, all in the name of funds to be returned to GEJ’s led Federal Government and the CEOs of MDAs are given their 10% while GEJ and cronies takes their own 90% share. In my clear-cut understanding, these are all what GEJ refers to as “Fighting Corruption Technologically”. May be I should pose the question to GEJ once again “What do you mean by fighting corruption technologically?”

 

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Gov. Akpabio’s Relatives Threatening Late Albert Ukpanah’s Daughters – Human Rights Activist, Inibehe Effiong

Mr. Inibehe Effiong, a human rights activist from Akwa Ibom State and Convener of the Coalition of Human Rights Defenders (COHRD), explains to NSE PETER, the editor of Think Akwa Ibom! why Nigerians must rise up and put pressure on Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom, for Odudu Ukpanah, the son of the slain PDP chieftain, Albert Ukpanah, to be released from Prison.

We are aware that you visited Odudu Ukpanah in the prison. How was your meeting with him?

Let me begin by saying that I got to know about this Odudu Ukpanah’s case last December through the social media when the sisters of Odudu got frustrated by the inaction of Governor Godswill Obot Akpabio to their diplomatic cries for justice. In less than 24 hours after they spoke out, I got calls from all over the country requesting my intervention. The family contacted me and sought my intervention. To your question, I first met Odudu in Court in Abak Local Government Area on 15th December, 2014, when his case first came up for hearing. I met him again on 25th December, 2014 when I went to spend Christmas with him. I met him for the third time few days ago when I led the Human Rights Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association led by its National Chairman and 1st Vice President of the NBA, Barr Francis Ekwere, to discuss with him. My meetings with him only fortified my resolve to stand by him to the end. I can stake my neck for his innocence.

How is his health?

Odudu is presently suffering from an ailment which developed while he was in the UK for his Masters Degree. The condition is such that the Prison authorities had to write to the relevant quarters since they lack the requisite facilities to cater for his ailment. In fact, the hospital that he was rushed to when he collapsed in the UK had to send a report down here. Do you know that he also collapsed in the Ikot Ekpene Medium Prison? I am making this public so that Nigerians will know that the life of an innocent and promising citizen is at stake. It is that serious. The last time we were in court, he could barely walk. The court had to allow him to sit which is only a privilege for accused persons.

The advocacy for Odudu’s release seems to have taken the form of attacks against Gov. Godswill Akpabio, instead of appeal to the governor?

Well, it depends on how you look at it. For me, the era of appealing to the conscience of the oppressors is over. If Akpabio had conscience, Odudu would not have been detained in the first place given the plausible, cogent and verifiable fact that his father was assassinated by ‘politically motivated assassins’. I did not originate this, the Police Investigation Report dated 25th March, 2014 and signed by the IPO, Sgt. Ibediro Nnamdi, said that clearly. The report went further to recommend that further investigation be carried out to unravel the real killers of the late outspoken chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, Engr. Albert Jimmy Ukpanah. We have had countless assassinations in Akwa Ibom State since 2007. Quoting an annual report by the Nigeria Police Force, a Sunday Punch report of November 21, 2010 (page 3) said Akwa Ibom State had the highest record of politically motivated killings. The report said that in 2009 alone, Akwa Ibom recorded 177 murders, most of which are said to be politically motivated. So, if they are saying that Odudu, the only son of his father and a Masters Degree holder in Oil and Gas Management from Coventry University, UK, killed his own father, are they also saying that the other persons that have been murdered in the state were also killed by their children? So, if people are attacking Akpabio it is as a result of provocation, and provocation is a strong defence in law. I cannot beg Akpabio to do what is right. It is an obligation that he swore to perform. In any case, respect is earned not forced.

Why do you think it took Odudu’s family so long before they raised alarm against his continuous detention, if they knew that he was innocent?

Looking at the totality of the circumstances of this case and the status of the persons involved, what did you expect them to do? You know that Akwa Ibom State is one strange land where the average person dreads the government. It is a state where the mass of the people see the governor as a god who can give and take life at will. Very few people in that state can stand up to injustice and speak truth to power. Again I think that they were equally credulous by thinking that with time, Governor Akpabio will let sanity prevail. People kept telling them not to speak out given what befell their father as a result of speaking out.

Is there any prospect that he may be released soon?

I have no doubt in my mind that there will be light at the end of the tunnel. The judiciary remains the last hope of the common man and we are confident that the court will live up to its sacred responsibility as the guardian of the Constitution and the comforter of the oppressed. The ruling on his bail application was slated for Wednesday 7th January, 2014, but it was stalled by the strike by judicial workers. Beyond this, we are hopeful that our campaigns will not be in vain.

You’ve been in constant touch with Odudu’s sisters – Uduak and Ofonime. Do you know if they have received any threat message since they started this public campaign for the release of their brother?

You cannot confront evil without receiving threats from the evil ones. I can confirm to you that one of the three sisters of Odudu, Ofonime Pushie Ukpanah has been threatened by some female relatives of the Governor. But there is no cause for alarm because the cause we are fighting is a just cause. Those who think they own Akwa Ibom State will never prevail.

How about you? Have you received any threat message?

My brother, threats mean nothing to me. If you look into my antecedents you will see that I am not someone that any mortal can threaten into submission, I have passed that level. This is not the first battle that I have taken up so why should I border myself about these little tyrants. There is no day that people do not advise me to be careful, but I always tell them that only God can protect me.

There are some persons who believe that the #ReleaseOduduUkpanah campaign may complicate issues for Odudu in detention?

Those people are slaves in love with their chains. How can people be thinking in such defeatist manner after Odudu has spent eight months in custody? I respect their view but I defer totally from them. It was the Great Lord Denning MR who posited in the popular case of R versus Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Ex parte Blackburn that “silence is not an option when things are ill-done”. We cannot keep quiet over this case because that will amount to setting a dangerous and cancerous precedent.

What would you say to people out there who may believe that Odudu could possibly have a hand in his father’s death?

I am yet to see a single person with that belief, but in case there is one, I will advise the person to read the Police Investigation Report dated 25th March, 2014 and signed by the IPO, Sgt. Ibediro Nnamdi. The report clearly stated that the assassination of the slain outspoken politician was politically motivated and also recommended that further investigation be carried out to unravel the real killers of Hon. Engr. Albert Jimmy Ukpanah. I also wish to let such a person know that Section. 36 ( 5 ) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended ) presumes Odudu innocent until proven guilty before a court of competent jurisdiction.

Elections are around the corner. What political impact do you think Odudu Ukpanah’s detention would likely have on Governor Godswill Akpabio?

There is a popular view that Odudu Ukpanah’s detention has offered credulous Nigerians the opportunity to truly appraise the character of Governor Godswill Obot Akpabio. Those who were seduced by the government’s populist propaganda have been so shamed by this case. Also, the governor has used his hands to put his name on the global record of heartless human rights violators. I know countless people who prior to this case were sympathetic to the governor but today, they do not want to hear the name Godswill Obot Akpabio. I strongly believe that the Governor will give account of his role in this case before God. So the game is up for governor Akpabio.

 

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#BagaHolocaust: Only 150 Killed, Not 2000, Says Nigerian Military

The Nigerian Defence Headquarters (DHQ) has said only 150 persons were killed in the Boko Haram attack on Baga, Borno state. The military made the claim in a statement by Defence spokesman, Major General Chris Olukolade to dispute earlier reports which claimed that over 2,000 residents were killed in the raid.

“From all available evidences, the number of people who lost their lives during that attack has so far not exceeded about 150 in the interim.  This figure includes many of the terrorists who were bearing arms and got killed in the course of their attack and battle with troops”, the DHQ said in its statement coming almost a week after the initial reports.

The DHQ release reads in full “As you might be aware, there was another terror attack on the town of Baga in Borno state last week which left a number of people dead. Following that unfortunate attack, a lot of speculations and conjectures have been peddled by a section of the press particularly the on-line media regarding the casualty rate. Some claimed that over a thousand people were killed while others wrote with certainty that 2000 people lost their lives in that singular attack.

“Without any doubt, terrible atrocities have been committed against innocent Nigerians in Baga by the rampaging terrorists who attacked and have been operating in the town since 3 January 2015.  Necessary actions are being taken to put an end to the activities of the terrorists and restore law and order to the community.

“To this end, a lot of covert operations including surveillance activities which recorded series aerial photographs are ongoing in that vicinity.  It is however necessary to inform Nigerians in the interim that the exercise so far have not corroborated the report on the casualty  rate which was put at 2000 deaths.  From all available evidences, the number of people who lost their lives during that attack has so far not exceeded about 150 in the interim.  This figure includes many of the terrorists who were bearing arms and got killed in the course of their attack and battle with troops.

“It should be noted that Baga and the neighbouring towns have been under series of attacks and harassment by terrorists. In the course of this, many residents have left, leaving the population in the town almost seriously depleted. Many were also able to escape while the terrorists’ battle with troops lasted. The figure given by sources who claim to be eye witnesses must be an extremely exaggerated  estimate. Unfortunately, this figure is now being bandied about in a section of the media as if it has been authenticated.  It cannot be true.

“It is pertinent to once again urge the media to be circumspect in adopting casualty figures especially the ones given to them by the so-called eye witness, who in most cases, are influenced by their own perspectives.

“In any case, this is no time to debate about casualty figures or number of deaths as the life of any Nigerian is important.  Much as the intention which could be with the aim of drawing attention to the atrocities being committed by terrorists group in Nigeria, is most welcome, the need for factual presentation of the situation is equally vital.

“In case the aim of this misinformation is to further the design of those bent on discrediting the government and the military, all well-meaning people should consider it as a disservice to humanity.  It is important to remind those who are adept at spewing falsehood or exaggerating situations with intent to embolden the terrorists and diminish the efforts of the security forces, that their actions are inimical to the safety of the innocent Nigerians who have borne the brunt of the terrorist attacks in our country.

“The tendency to celebrate the occasional setbacks while downplaying the efforts and successes at containing the terrorists is unfair and very unfortunate.  It is noteworthy that many international bodies are being misled in their interpretation of the situation owing to sensational headlines and stories.

“The Defence Headquarters wishes to reiterate its earlier assurance that the military has not given up on Baga or any part of the country where terrorists are marauding. Appropriate plans, men and resources are presently being mobilized to address the situation. We want reassure Nigerians that no portion of Nigeria’s territory has been or will be conceded to terrorists.”

 

 

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Tompolo, Ex-MEND Commanders Hold Secret Meeting in Asaba

EX-MILITANT leader, Chief Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, held a meeting, yesterday, in Asaba, Delta State, with former top commanders of the defunct Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, from Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers states.

A dependable source, said: “The meeting was convened by Tompolo to deliberate with his former colleagues on next month’s presidential election as it affects President Goodluck Jonathan, who is an Ijaw indigene.

“They also reviewed the support of the nonoperational MEND for the All Progressives Congress, APC, presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd), and agreed on ways to mobilise ex-agitators in the region for the PDP presidential candidate.”

The ex-MEND commanders reportedly left Asaba after the meeting for their respective states.

The source added “It is a top-secret meeting. I cannot tell you more than that. I am even surprised how you got to know about the meeting.”

 

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Buhari, Incorruptible, Honest – Gov. Lamido

Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa State on Monday described the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, as an incorruptible and honest leader.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mr. Lamido stated this while addressing supporters of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at a rally in Maigatari.

He explained that he had no problem with the former head of state, but had with some of the candidate’s supporters, especially those that left the PDP to the APC.

READ: Presidency Worried Over Gov. Lamido’s Boycott of Jonathan’s Campaign

“I agreed like every other person that Buhari is an incorruptible, honest, clean and patriotic Nigerian.

“My concern has always been defectors who our party, PDP, had made ministers, governors, speakers and members of the National Assembly and left us after benefiting so much,” he said.

Mr. Lamido urged the electorate in the area to vote for PDP candidates in the coming elections.

According to him, the party’s governorship candidate, Aminu Ibrahim, and his running mate, Dr Nurudeen Mohammed, will continue from wherever I will stopped and will not betray the trust, if elected.

 

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EXCLUSIVE: How Tinubu Outsmarted Amaechi, Oshiomhole, Others to Present Osinbajo as Buhari’s Running Mate

Contrary to the widely held believe that former Lagos State governor and national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu was interested in becoming the running mate of General Muhammadu Buhari, he has never thought he was going to emerged as the vice presidential candidate of the APC.

Rather, the whole show put up by Tinubu was a stunt to get leaders of the party, particularly those from the South East and South South zone to accept the nomination of Osinbajo as Buhari’s running mate.

According to an insider who spoke to ABUSIDIQU on the condition of anonymity, presenting Osinbajo as Buhari’s running mate would have failed if Tinubu had not put up the front of wanting to become the vice presidential candidate.

The source said Tinubu had on Monday flown into Abuja from Lagos to present Osinbajo as his nominee for the VP slot, having been given that privilege by General Buhari to pick his choice from the south west zone.

The choice of Osinbajo was agreed at a Sunday night/Monday Morning meeting of APC chieftains from the South West attended by Tinubu himself and many other party leaders from the zone including the immediate past National Chairman of the party, Bisi Akande, the immediate past Governor of Ekiti State and Chairman of the National Convention Committee of the party, Kayode Fayemi, governors Babatunde Fashola [Lagos], Ibikunle Amosun [Ogun], Rauf Aregbesola [Osun] and Abiola Ajimobi [Oyo].

Others present at the meeting include Segun Oni [Deputy National Chairman, South], Pius Akinyelure [Vice Chairman, South West], Tajudeen Olawutan Bello [National Financial Secretary], Lai Mohammed [National Publicity Secretary], and Muiz Banire [National Legal Adviser].

It was on the basis of the decision of the South West APC leaders that ABUSIDIQU reported on Monday that Buhari Has Picked Osinbajo as His Running Mate

However, when Tinubu got to Abuja and presented Osinbajo to the enlarged house of the party leaders, he was out rightly rejected by leaders from the South South zone.

But Tinubu who had already sensed that the choice of Osinbajo was going to be rejected at the meeting came with a plan B. It was at this point that he indicated interest that he was going to nominate himself for the Vice presidential slot, knowing fully well that his choice was going to be a hard nut to crack for the APC leaders.

At a follow up meeting to the Monday night meeting in Abuja, Tinubu did not turn up. However, he sent a delegation of South West leaders of the party to inform the meeting that he is interested in picking the VP slot and that the South West has already endorsed him as their consensus candidate.

As expected, the announcement of Tinubu’s interest infuriated many of the party leaders to the extent that Governor Rochas Okorocha and Atiku Abubakar, both of them presidential aspirants that were defeated by Buhari at the presidential primaries in Lagos walked out of the meeting.

The party had earlier agreed that it was not going to field a Muslim/Muslim ticket so as not to give credit to the perception that the APC is a Muslim party. It was this position that inubu cashed on, leaving the party leaders with the choice of picking him, a Muslim to pair with Buhari or picking Osinbajo, a Christian to pair with Buhari.

Although, the Monday night meeting of the party leaders that spilled into the early hours of Tuesday discussed other candidates like Governors Rotimi Amaechi, Adams Oshiomhole and former governor Kayode Fayemi, the party leaders were left with only two choices- Tinubu or Osinbajo.

The two choices notwithstanding, party leader from the South East and South South zone were adamant and wanted other potential candidates from the two regions be given considerations.

But Tinubu, with the backing of leaders of th eparty from the South West insisted the VP slot be given to Tinubu and since the party had decided against a Muslim/Muslim ticket, they were left with no choice but to leave the decision to General Muhammadu Buhari.

But to ensure that the party leaders do not disagree with the choice of Osinbano which had already been agreed with Buhari, the announcement was deliberately delayed, while Tinubu stepped up his game plan suggesting he is very much in the race for the VP slot.

This according to a very reliable source necessitated the deliberate inclusion of accusing the presidency of wanting to block Tinubu’s chances to emerge as Buhari’s running mate in the right of reply Tunubu Media Office wrote to SaharaReporters over claims that he was blackmailed by President Jonathan before the 2011.

However, a credible source told ABUSIDIQU that it was all plot to ensure that other party leaders who are opposed to the nomination of Osinbajo are left with no choice if they do not want him as a Muslim on the ticket with Buhari.

While this was going on, meetings were still being held by the party leaders where Osinbajo was finally accepted.

Another insider source who corroborated the information said Tinubu could not have gone to Abuja to say he was interested in the ticket when Osinbajo has already been presented to leaders of the South West zone, including traditional rulers and other notable figures.

He said Tinubu as very clever politicians just had to put up that stunt so that he could get his way in the party.

Asked if the stunt is not a way of showing too much control over other leaders of the part, the source said this is politics. He only played his game well.

Another source said Tinubu is very much interested in the APC in sending President Jonathan packing from Aso rock in 2015, which is why he supported the candidature of General Muhammadu Buhari whom he believed has more chances in defeating the president than any of the other four aspirants.

The source added that Tinubu with that interest would not have done anything that would give the PDP and president Jonathan a chance of remaining at the presidency in 2015.

Interestingly, Tinubu has also released a statement stating that the interest of the nation is more than that of his personal interest, which is why he decided to back out of his nomination to be considered as the Running mate to general Buhari.

READ: I Serve The Nation; Tinubu Speaks on His Withdrawal for Consideration as Buhari’s Running Mate

 

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My Manifesto and Vision for Nigeria – Muhammadu Buhari

…securing our Nation,
prospering our People!
To Change
Politics and Governance
Security and Conflict Resolution
The Economy & Infrastructure Base
The Society & Human Capital Development
The Environment

MY COMMITMENT TO NIGERIA

Preamble

  1. Every country has its ‘lost generation’. Some were stolen away by war, some by economic downturns, and some by governments. Nigeria is perhaps the only country stolen by a cabal of political Mafias, merely for power, money, leisure and privilege. When the British administrators lowered the Union Jack in Lagos on October 1, 1960, Nigeria was Africa’s greatest hope. Its pool of talent mass of fertile land, and its newly discovered oil wealth, promised economic transformation and the role of leading the then independent African nations and those who were still struggling for freedom, under different forms of colonialism, to eventually lead the African Continent, onto the global stage.
  2. Now, over fifty years of independence and despite our vast wealth – abundant natural and human resources, at home and abroad, we as a nation continue to struggle with the most basic needs (food, shelter, water, security sanitation, and electricity, etc. As a nation, we are paralyzed by wide spread poverty, endemic institutionalised corruption; high levels of unemployment; a near total collapse of our educational system and facilities, collapse and decaying health and ineffective social services systems, chaotic transportation and communications systems; and other basic but essential infrastructure; less than adequate institutions of government at all levels, resulting to break down of law and order, institutionalized insecurity to life and property; and weak, fragile and unstable economy, with non-functional financial institutions, etc.
  3. Today, hospitals and universities are struggling with obsolete skills of by-gone centuries; insurgency controls large chunks of the Nigerian territories, kidnapping is now a profession and a cottage industry. For the little and common man and women who helped build this nation, things have never been so bad for these fellows. But for the corrupt politicians and big moneys bags, things have never been better.
  4. Many Nigerians have completely lost faith in the country’s ability to govern itself. Nigerians have fundamentally, lost faith in the leaders at the helm of the nation’s affairs. The lack of confidence in the system and its leaders, erodes democratic principles thus further jeopardizing the country’s future.
  5. Nigerians of goodwill, are angered by failures of corrupt and poor leadership. They are frustrated by economic policies that did not deliver on its promises. Nigerians are therefore impatient and want to regain their lost rights. Nigerians are worn out by conflicts, all over the country. Nigerians are now striving for a fresh start. This start must come from a new team, new ideas, that are committed to the promotion of acceptable and sustainable reforms. The mood now in Nigeria is changing as people begin to speak out more confidently against corruption, human rights abuses, and are not afraid to criticize and critique the unpopular policies of government. Throughout Nigeria there is ongoing debate on what is critical to the future of the country: CHANGE! POSITIVE CHANGE!!
  6. What is certain in Nigeria today is that the ebtire country is in need of being fixed. The truth of the matter is that Nigeria today has all the indices for both success and failure. Skewing the role of the State towards serving special interests, dividing its citizens along ethnic and religious lines, trapping whole generations into avoidable poverty through educating the young with basically, no skill, etc., are all attempt to perpetually one set of corrupt leaders in power, forever, these are the indices of a failed state. However, assuming the will to power, by this other Nigeria, to remove the incompetent, corrupt leaders, with no progressive ideals, is the success side. The making of this competent team has become more urgent and imperative, but this can only be achieved through resilience and courage. I, Muhammadu Buhari have now come for the rescue. This is success by design. It will overcome our failure by design matrix.
  7. The challenge, and choice facing all Nigerians at home and abroad is whether Nigerians have enough will and courage to unite, and resolve to radically move the nation forward –not looking backward to practices of a failed past, but building bridges to the positive fatherhood, motherhood, brother and sisterhood of the future! Again, my teaming supports are already leading the way to this possibility.
  8. As a nation and the Sub Saharan Africa’s leading energy producer, we had in the past squandered the opportunity to build functional infrastructure to better the lives of the average Nigerian. We can no longer afford this luxury of inactivity. We must revive our public and private sectors in order to provide functional services and secure the good of the individual Nigerian and his or her family.
    We are here commited to Change Nigeria:

READ: Time to Rebuild Nigeria: Buhari’s Acceptance Speech After Winning APC Primaries

READ: Buhari Pledges Five Things to Nigerians if He Emerges President [Read Full Speech]

READ: Buhari’s Emotional Letter to Delegates at the APC Presidential Primaries

December 10, 2014 is our Primaries Day. February 2015 will bring be our Presidential elections. As you know, the general trust level of politics, politicians and political leaders, is at an all?time?low. One may ask why? And we can as well understand why! After years of broken promises, hyper-corruption, the feeling that politicians have become too remote from the people, etc., it is no wonder that Nigerians have completely lost faith in the country’s ability to govern itself not just because of the problems facing the country, but the lack of faith in the present set of leaders at the helm of affairs.

The challenge, facing all of us as Nigerians is whether there is enough will and courage amongst us as citizens to unite, commit and resolve to radically reform, modernise and move the nation forward. I Muhammadu Buhari have resolved that the task ahead of me is that of Securing our Nation and Prospering our people –not looking backward to the failed policies and promises of the past. As I noted before, it is no longer a question of choice but that of the will and courage.

This document sets out our side of the bargain: the things I as your future president, want to do to change Nigeria for the better. I will however warn you all: I cannot do this alone. Each one of you and I must work together to get our economy on the right track, mend our broken lives, infrastructure, institutions, and the overall society. You must help me to reform our rotten political system, by getting involved, taking responsibility, and working together as a team.

I, Muhammadu Buhari believe that our politity, is broken. Our nation is in urgent need of a fundamental political reform. This requires honesty, integrity and forthrightness in order to improve governance, so as to make it transparent and accountable to the all Nigerian. Make me your Presidential candidate in both the Primaries and the Presidential elections.

THIS IS HOW I, WITH YOUR HELP, WILL FIX IT:
Politics and Governance
On Politics and Governance:

I, Muhammadu Buhari, believe that our politics is broken. Our nation urgently needs fundamental political reform and improvement in governance more transparency and accountable. If you nominate me in December, 2014 and elect me in February 2015, my administration will:

  1. Initiate action to amend the Nigerian Constitution with a view to devolving powers, duties, and responsibilities to states in order to entrench true Federalism and the Federal spirit;
  2. Strengthen INEC to reduce, if possible, eliminate electoral malpractices in Nigerian’s political life;
  3. Attract the best and brightest of our sons and daughters into our politics and public service by aggressive recruitment of private sector people, academics, and professionals within Nigeria and in the Diaspora through internships, fellowships, executive appointments, and special nomination to contest elective offices;
  4. Prevent the abuse and misuse of Executive, Legislative and Public offices, through greater accountability, transparency, strict, and implementable anti-corruption laws, through strengthening and sanitising the EFCC and ICPC as independent entities;
  5. Amend the Constitution to remove immunity from prosecution for elected officers in criminal cases;
  6. Restructure governance for a leaner, more efficient, and adequately compensated public service sector, while promoting effective participation of the private sector for more robust job creation programmes to employ the teaming youth.;
  7. Require full disclosure in media outlets, of all government contracts over N100m prior to award and during implementation at regular intervals;
  8. Reform and Strengthen the Justice System for efficient administration and dispensation of justice with the creation of special courts for accelerated hearing of corruption, drug trafficking, terrorism and similar cases of national importance;
  9. Fully enforce the Freedom of Information Act l so that government held data sets can be requested and used by the public and then such data sets be publish on regular basis;
  10. Amend the Constitution to require Local governments to publish their meeting minutes, service performance data, and items of spending over N10M.

Security and Conflict Resolution

On National Security and Defence: I will urgently secure the territorial integrity of the nation. I will never leave the defence of the nation in the hands of Hunters, Children, and Civilian JTF through the following:

  1. Urgently address capacity building mechanisms of law enforcement agents in terms of quantity and quality as this is critical in safeguarding the sanctity of lives and property;
  2. Establish a well trained, adequately equipped and goals driven Serious Crime Squad to combat insurgencies, kidnapping, armed robbery, ethno?religious and communal clashes, nationwide;
  3. Consult and amend the Constitution to enable States and Local Governments to create city, Local government and State Policing systems, base on the resources available at each levels, to address the peculiar needs of each community. I will therefore work with the National Assembly to set and revised, when needed, boundaries of operations, for Federal, State, and Local government policing units, through new Criminal Justice legislation to replace the Criminal Code, the Penal Code and the Police Act.
  4. I will push for more robust support in the Security and Economic stability of the West-African sub?region and African Continent as a whole. I will seek and maintain close and frank relationship with ALL of West Africa; Special relationship with South Africa and its Sub-region; UK, USA, Canada, EU, Asia, and the Middle East .

ON CONFLICT RESOLUTION, NATIONAL UNITY, AND SOCIAL HARMONY: I will

  1. Establish a Conflict Resolution Commission to help prevent, mitigate, and resolve civil conflicts within the polity;
  2. Bring permanent peace and solution to the insurgency issues in the North-East; the Niger Delta; and other conflict prone states and areas such as Plateau, Benue, Bauchi, Borno, Abia, Taraba, Yobe, and Kaduna in order to engender national unity and social harmony;
  3. Initiate policies to ensure that Nigerians are free to live and work in any part of the country by removing state of origin, tribe, ethnic and religious affiliations from documentation requirements in our identification of citizens and replace these with State of Residence and fashion out the appropriate minimal qualification for obtaining such a state of residency, nation-wide.

On Foreign Policy: I will:
1. Make regional integration a priority within ECOWAS including free trade with a view to ensuring that common tariff currency are in use by the end of my term in office, under Nigeria’s guidance and leadership, base on the size of its market force;

  1. Maintain a strong, close and frank relationship within the Gulf of Guinea, the Commonwealth, South Africa and the rest of the world.
  2. Establish a special relationship with the leading emerging markets like Brazil; Russia, India and China (BRIC) and other strategic partners around the world.
    The Economy & Infrastructure Base

On the Economy: I will

  1. Maintain sound Micro and macro?economic policy environment, and run an efficient government and preserve the independence of the Central Bank;
  2. Restore financial confidence in the citizens and the world, by putting in place a more robust monitoring, supervising, and regulating of the financial institutions;
  3. Make our economy one of the fastest growing emerging economies in the world with a real GDP growth averaging at least 10-12% annually
  4. As at 1999, Nigerian rate of unemployment stood at about 8%, today it is estimated from official statistics to be close to 30%. I will embark on vocational training, entrepreneurial and skills acquisition scheme for graduates along with the creation of Small Business Loan Guarantee Scheme to create at least 5 million new jobs by 2019. A Small and Medium Enterprises Development Commission will be created for this purpose. I will also encourage State Governments to focus on employment creation, by matching everyone job created in the same state.
  5. Integrate the informal economy into the mainstream and prioritize the full implementation of the National Identification Scheme to generate the relevant data;
  6. Expand domestic demand and will undertake associated public works programmes to achieve this goal;
  7. Embark on export and production diversification including investment in infrastructure; promote manufacturing, through Agro Based industries; and expand and promote sub?regional trade through ECOWAS and AU;
  8. Make Information Technology, Manufacturing, Agriculture and Entertainment key drivers of our economy, by reviewing the present reward system, which is based on certification, to that based on skills, competencies, and performances;
  9. Balance the Nigerian economy across regions by the creation of 6 Regional Economic Development Agencies (REDAs) to act as sub?regional hubs in order to promote healthy regional competitiveness;
    10. Put in place a N300bn Regional Growth Fund with an average of N50bn in each geo?political region; to be managed by the REDAs, to encourage private sector enterprise and to support places currently reliant on only on the public sector, to migrate to a private sector reality;
  10. Amend the Constitution and the Land Use Act to create freehold/leasehold interests in land along with matching grants for states to create a nationwide electronic land title register on a state by state basis;
  11. Create an additional middle?class of at least 4 million new home owners by 2019 by enacting a national mortgage single digit interest rates for purchase of owner occupier houses as well as review the collateral qualification to make funding for home ownership easier, with a 15 to 30 year mortgage terms. This will equally help our banking system migrate from short to long term perspective of their role in sustaining the economy.
  12. Create a Social Welfare Program of at least Five Thousand Naira (N5000) that will cater for the 25 million poorest and most vulnerable citizens upon the demonstration of children’s enrolment in school and evidence of immunisation to help promote family stability.
  13. Provide allowances to the discharged but unemployed Youth Corps members for Twelve (12) months while in the skills and entrepreneurial development programmes.

On Agriculture: I will

  1. Modernize the sector and change Nigeria from being a country of self?subsistence farmers to that of a medium/large scale farming nation/producer;
  2. Create a nationwide food inspectorate division with a view to improving nutrition and eliminating food?borne hazards
  3. Inject sufficient funds to the Agricultural sector to create more agro?allied jobs by way of loans at nominal interest rates for capital investment on medium and commercial scale cash crops;
  4. Guarantee a minimum price for all cash crops and facilitate storage of agricultural products to overcome seasonal shortages of selected food crops.
  5. Move the nation to an all year round small, medium, and commercial farming through a coordinated integrative irrigation of our existing dams as well as creation of more dam to collect the over flooding waters, nationwide.
  6. Revive our Agricultural Research Institutes that are in a state of comatose;
  7. Review and strengthened Veterinary practices nationwide.
    On Infrastructure: I will
  8. Review the Public Private Partnership (PPP) enabling environment with a view to addressing the legal, regulatory and operational bottlenecks, challenging the effective administration of the system, by introducing enabling legislation. In addition, I will create a National Infrastructural Development Bank to provide loans at nominal interest rates, exclusively for this sector;
  9. Generate, transmit and distribute electricity on a 24/7 basis whilst simultaneously ensuring the development of sustainable/renewable energy, by 2019.
  10. Embark on a National Infrastructural Development Programme as a Public Private Partnership that will (a) ensure 5,000km of Superhighway including service trunks and (b) building of up to 6,800km of modern railway completed by 2019;
  11. Enact new legal and regulatory frameworks to establish independent regulation and incentives to accelerate public and private sector investment in seaports, railways, and inland waterways;
  12. Embark on PPP schemes that will ensure every one of the 36 states has one functional airport, with all 21st Century safety tools for effective commercial air travel.

On the Oil and Gas Industry: I will

  1. Revive and reactivate our minimally performing Refineries to optimum capacity;
  2. Make the industry and Nigeria one of the world leading/cutting edge centres for clean oil and gas technology; also producing leading world Oil and Gas technologist, scientists, and owing mega structure installations, drilling, processing, and production facilities and engineers. These facilities and scientists will be supported with the best services and research facilities.
  3. Fully develop the sector’s capacity to absorb more of the nation’s new graduate in the labour market. The sector will be funded to produce more home?grown, but world class engineers, scientists, technologist, etc.;
  4. Modernise the NNPC and make it the national energy champion. I will consider breaking it up into more efficient, commercially driven units; and may strip it of its regulatory powers, so as to enable it tap into international capital market;
  5. Enforce the government master plan for oil companies to end flaring that pollutes the air and damages the communities and people’s health and ensure that they sell at least half of their gas produced within Nigeria;
  6. Speedily pass the much?delayed Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and ensure that local content issues are fully addressed
  7. Make Nigeria the world’s leading exporter of LNG through the creation of strategic partnerships.
    The Society & Human Capital Development

On Education: I will

  1. Fully review provisions of the Universal Basic Education Act with emphasis on gender equity in primary, secondary school enrolment whilst improving the quality and substance of our schools, through outcome based education, that address the individual, family, and societal roles in education; and the associative skills and competencies that go with these responsibilities;
  2. Targeting up to 20% of our annual budget for this critical sector whilst making substantial investments in training quality teachers at all levels of the educational system;

3 Implement a performance based education, predicated on outcomes, skills, and competences as against the current certificate based qualification. I will adjust the reward system accordingly too. This way, exams malpractice and certificate forgery will be resolved once and for all. Young men and women interested in real liberal arts education, based on a true understanding of scientific, the humanistic, and the social sciences will fill our classrooms to be prepared for future leadership of the nation;

  1. Enhance teacher training and improve the competence of teachers in the light of the 21st Century and beyond understanding of the learner types, intelligence types, as the multiple assessment types, in order to open up learning for all our children types. The era of one student type will give way to an all learner type for our children and young people as well as adults who want to return to the classroom to sharpen their skills, competencies, and sensibilities. This re-engineering of our education will be followed with a clearly thought out and vigorous national inspection programmes;
  2. Make learning experiences more meaningful for children as the nation’s education will no longer be a preparation for life, but life itself. Our children will be democratised for education, rather than be educated for democracy. This view of education will make educating our children more cost?effective in the long run;
  3. Provide One Meal a day for all Primary school pupils. That will create jobs in Agriculture, Catering, and Delivery Services
    7. Develop and promote effective use of innovative teaching methods/materials in our schools;
  4. Ensure a greater proportion of expenditure on university education is devoted to helping our youth to understand the juxtaposition of Science, Technology, the Humanities and the Social Sciences.
  5. Establish at least six new universities of Science and Technology with satellite campuses in various states. These six universities should be fully equipped with ICT technologies in order to attract and encourage small and medium scale ICT enterprises after their university education;
  6. Establish technical colleges and vocational centres in each state of the federation;
  7. Provide more conducive environment for private sector participation in all levels of education. Re-authorised the NUC, TETFUN, JAMB, etc, Acts to enable Private institutions of Higher learning to benefit from research funds and programmes that will serve the national good;
  8. Establish six centers of excellence to address the needs of special education;
    On Healthcare: I will
  9. Prioritise the reduction of the infant mortality rate substantially; reduce maternal mortality rates to the levels acceptable by the World Health Organisation; reduce HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases drastically and improve life expectancy by an additional 10 years on average through our National Healthy Living program;
  10. Increase the number of physicians from 19 per 1000 population to 50 per 1000 through deliberate medication education as epitomize by nations such as Ghana. I will increase national health expenditure per person per annum to about N50,000 (from the less than N10,000 currently);
  11. Increase the quality of all federal government owned hospitals to world class standard by 2019;
    4. Invest in cutting edge technology such as tele?medicine in all major health centers in the country through partnership programmes with communities and the private sector;
  12. Provide free ante?natal care for pregnant women; free health care for babies and children up to school going age and for the aged; and free treatment for those afflicted with infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS;
  13. Boost the local manufacture of pharmaceuticals and make non adulterated drugs readily available.
  14. Set an effective prosecution and punishment systems, for those importing or adulterating drugs in the country.
  15. The enhancement of the Epidemiological Units / Centres for Diseas Control to meet up with Global standards in containment of disease outbreaks, proper vaccine storage and research;
  16. Create an Insurance Policy for our Journalists as the nation faces hard times and our Journalists faces more dangers in the discharge of their investigative work, to educate Nigerians in their rights and responsibilities.

On Youth, Sports and Culture: I will:

  1. Provide the opportunities such as setting up functional recreational facilities, Library with e-services, Community Centers, in collaboration with States, Local Government Authorities, Local Development Areas, etc for youth to realize, harness, and develop their potentials to the fullest, in order to facilitate the emergence of the new generation of citizens, who will be committed to the sustenance of good governance and service to the people and the country;
  2. Establish Zonal world class sports academies and training institutes and ensure that Nigeria occupies a place of pride in global sports and athletics;
  3. Revive and restructure the Nigerian Football League and put incentives in place to make it as competitive as other national leagues
  4. Put in place measures to identify talents early and ensure their participation in local and international games to enable them to be true professionals;
  5. Help as well as mandate schools and communities to create neighborhood playgrounds/sports centre. I will create matching support funds for communities to acquire the needed equipment to develop skills and competencies;
  6. Assist Nollywood to fully develop into world class movie industry that can compete effectively with Hollywood and Bollywood in due course. I will support the creative and performing arts with the necessary environment where by our great entertainers do not end their lives in abject poverty as is currently the case.

On Women Empowerment- I will:

  1. Ensure the rights of women are protected as enshrined in our Constitution;
  2. Guarantee that women are adequately represented in government appointments and provide greater opportunities in education, Job creation, and economic empowerment;
  3. Recognize and protect women empowerment and gender equality with special emphasis on economic activities in the rural areas;
  4. Use the Party structures to promote the concept of reserving a minimum number of seats in the States and National Assembly, for women.

The Environment
On the Environment: I will

  1. Ensure compliance with policies and measures to halt the pollution of rivers and waterways in the Niger Delta and the other parts of the country;
  2. Create shelter belts in states bordering the Sahara Desert to mitigate and reverse the effects of the expanding desert
  3. Support and accelerate the implementation of regional water transport initiatives across the country through effective dredging of the main waterways ;
  4. Adopt a holistic approach to erosion and shoreline protection across the country;
  5. Create teams of volunteers to plant and nurture economically viable trees in arid regions;
  6. Restructure the Ecological Fund Office to enable it meet today’s environmental challenges;
  7. Regulate the timber industry to ensure that double the number of trees felled are planted by the loggers;
  8. Ensure full compliance with town?planning and environmental laws and edicts.

 

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Vice President Namadi Sambo Loses Brother In A Ghastly Car Crash [Photos]

It is a sad day for Namadi Sambo and his family as one of the younger brother of the Vice President, Capt. Yusuf Sabo Sambo died early Sunday morning in a ghastly car accident.

The incident occurred on Bill Clinton Drive when his car, a BMW X6 collided with a tree and burst into flames.

Eyewitnesses say it was as a result of over speeding. He was on his way to the airport to embark on a flight.

Capt. Yusuf Sambo is a retired Air Force Pilot who served with the Presidential Air Fleet before moving into private practice.

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