Tradermoni, Marketmoni Win Africa’s Most Impactful Financial Inclusion Award In Equatorial Guinea

TraderMoni and MarketMoni, two of Federal Government’s Social Investment Programmes have won the Most Impactful Financial Inclusion award in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.

The programmes under the Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme, GEEP was described as most impactful financial inclusion programme in Africa.

The award was given to the Bank of Industry (BoI) at the African Bankers Awards, which was hosted by African Banker magazine in conjunction with Business in Africa Events and held during the Annual Meetings of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea. 

According to the award organisers, the African Banker’s Award, the financial inclusion award is for the organization, product or program that has best succeeded in delivering financial products and services to wider parts of society, particularly to the most disadvantaged and low-income segments, ultimately contributing to financial inclusion, development, and growth.

The Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme (GEEP) which was launched as a product of the Social Investment Programme (SIP) has benefited over 2 million local entrepreneurs across the 3 GEEP projects: MarketMoni, FarmerMoni, and TraderMoni; this makes it the largest government-led microcredit program globally. These 3 programs empower micro-enterprises with interest-free and collateral-free loans to grow their businesses. 

MarketMoni targets small businesses with soft loans from N50,000 to N100,000 while FarmerMoni targets local smallholder farmers with loans starting at N250,000 and a buy-off guarantee on there produce. TraderMoni having the widest reach due to the target demography has given loans starting at N10,000 to over 1.8 million beneficiaries. 

The awards event featured financial institutions and projects from all 54 countries in Africa, as well as the international community. Other award categories and winners at the event include: Investment Bank of the Year (ABSA Capital), Best Retail Bank in Africa (Ecobank ETI), Innovation in Banking (KCB – Kenya), Regional Bank of the year (East Africa – KCB, Kenya; West Africa – Orabank; North Africa – Banque de l’Habitat (Tunisia); Southern Africa – Mauritius Commercial Bank; Central Africa – BGFI, Gabon), Central Bank Governor of the Year (Tarek Amer, Central Bank Governor– Egypt) among others.

Of the over two million beneficiaries of the GEEP, the vast majority of these micro-enterprises are petty traders, merchants, enterprising youth, and agricultural workers in over 1600 clusters and markets across all 36 states of Nigeria, and the federal capital. These traders and artisans are financially marginalized, having no access to corporate financial services like a savings account, mobile banking, loan facilities, and the likes. The GEEP, especially the TraderMoni programme, is designed to adequately cater for this majority of the nation’s economy by simply using their mobile numbers as simple means to access all the above listed financial facilities. 

Apart from easy access to these loans, TraderMoni beneficiaries are given a proper and convenient payback plan. For example, beneficiaries of the first tranche of the loan, which is N10,000, are given a payback plan of N430 weekly for 6 months. This repayment does not necessarily have to be done in a commercial bank. The Bank of Industry has designed repayment vouchers sold by TraderMoni agents across all markets listed on the programme. 

So far, thousands of impact stories have been recorded from with beneficiaries narrating how the GEEP has empowered them to expand and sustain their businesses while significantly increasing their incomes.

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BMO Cautions PDP On Improper Conduct

The Buhari Media Organization (BMO) has described Peoples Democratic Party (PDP’s) statement on June 12 as a cacophony of lies.

According to the Buhari Media Organisation (BMO), the declaration and actualization of June 12 as democracy day is a watershed in the history of our democratic journey and the PDP government did not play any role in shaping that history.

In a statement signed by the group chairman Niyi Akinsiju and its secretary Cassidy Madueke, the group says that the most significant factor that differentiated APC Government from PDP’s is the fact that Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari has played a pivotal role in administering Justice to correct the errors of the past which was the annulment of June 12, 1993 election.

“June 12 is not just a day to remember the struggles of our past but a day that triggers a new hope and a new dawn with a substantive direction for a greater Nigeria.

“On May 29 this year PDP released a statement saying President Muhammadu Buhari did not deliver a speech at his inauguration for second term, but the opposition party forget that the symbolism of democracy day was shifted from May 29 to June 12. 

“What Nigeria needs at the moment is a conscientious opposition not a reckless narcissistic opposition who, rather than show some remorse for their previous apathy, tried to make June 12 about themselves and their loss at the presidential polls. 

“PDP was in power at the centre for 16 years and the PDP-led administration, over that period, did not deem it fit to correct the injustice meted out to the clear winner of the June 12, 1993 election, and Nigerians generally.

“We wish to admonish the PDP, for its role as opposition, to be introspective and not be reckless with their statements. The election has been won fair and square so they should focus on the business of an opposition party.”

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Health Ministry Signs MoU with NI-ABAE To Continue Conditional Cash Transfer Beyond 2020

The Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) and New Incentives-All Babies Are Equal (NI-ABAE) Initiative, an organization registered in the health sector has signed an Memorandum of Understanding to continue implementation of its conditional cash transfer (CCT) program to increase demand for routine immunization in North Western Nigeria beyond 2020 dependent on outcome of randomised control trial that assess the impact of the CCT program.

NI-ABAE Initiative had last month signed a similar agreement with the government of Nigeria through the Ministry of Budget and National Planning where it was agreed that NI-ABAE Initiative among other things will support routine immunization system by engaging in conditional cash transfer, social mobilization and defaulter tracking to raise demand for immunization in primary health care facilities.

The organisation is also expected to support the State Primary Health Care Development Agencies (SPHCDAs) in Jigawa, Katsina and Zamfara States by supporting in community mobilisation, vaccine supply review, aiding top up vaccine transportation and other requested support by the agencies.

The MoU with the FMOH, which is for a period of 2 years and expected to elapse in 2021, has the endorsement of the Federal Ministry of Health to continue the implementation of the CCT program beyond 2020.

Under the new arrangement, the Federal Ministry of Health and NI-ABAE Initiative will collaborate and work together to achieve greater accountability and ensure greater coordination of NGOs registered with the ministry, support NI-ABAE Initiative programme and potential scale-up in 2020 dependent on study outcome and share information on cash monitoring procedures, data and results.

The MoU also stipulates that the parties shall encourage the exchange of information and develop cooperation in many areas which includes relevant knowledge and data sharing between the ministry and NI-ABAE Initiative support to NI_ABAE initiative to map NGOs working in the health sector in Nigeria and support to host national review meetings on health based NGO governance. NI-ABAE Initiative had gone ahead to support the review meeting even before the signing of the MoU and recently donated office items to strengthen the setup of the NGO technical working group.

Both parties will also agreed to develop cooperation in the support of monitoring of NI-ABAE Initiative conditional cash transfer program at implementation locations by the FMOH team as well as the support at no financial or staff cost for NI-ABAE Initiatives such as written recommendations to relevant government and non-governmental organisations.

NI-ABAE Initiative CCT program gives mothers of eligible infants you receive routine immunization the sum of N500 for the first four mandatory immunization visits and N2,000 for the last visit.

Nearly 500,000 cash transfers has been disbursed to the caregivers of over 100,000 enrolee infants eligible for routine immunization in their intervention clinics worth over N350,000,000 since the commencement of the program in 2017.

The cash transfer compensates for transport, loss trading income and waiting time. NI-ABAE Initiative said will continue to raise demand for routine immunization through innovative means like CCT.

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BMO To OBJ: Your June 12 Tirade Is Petty, Puerile

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo is just being petty and mischievous with his latest tirade against President Muhammadu Buhari on the occasion of the maiden celebration of June 12 as Democracy Day in the country, the Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has said.

The group is of the opinion that the former President is bitter that President  Buhari took measured steps to immortalise the late Moshood Abiola, the presumed winner of the June 12 1993 election.

BMO said in a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke that it was a major reason the former President opted to launch another attack on President Buhari to coincide with the celebration.

“First, it was his infantile Islamization agenda claim, now Chief Obasanjo who, many Nigerians agree, was the biggest beneficiary of the democracy that Abiola paid the supreme sacrifice for, has opted for a disjointed attack on Buhari mainly to divert attention from the celebration of the man he probably hated more than the President.

“How else can anyone describe a situation where a former President who literally rode to the Presidency on the back of millions of Nigerians who were relentless in demanding a return to civil rule, but could not as much as acknowledge President Buhari’s efforts to atone for the damage done to the polity with the annulment of that election.

“But even as Obasanjo chose the day to launch another puerile and incoherent attack on the President, Nigerians, from all indications, are united in praising Buhari for going beyond the investiture of Abiola, his then running mate Baba Gana Kingibe and the foremost human rights crusader Gani Fawehinmi with national honours few months ago, to renaming the Abuja National Stadium as Moshood Abiola Stadium.

“This incidentally is one act that the former President bluntly refused to do in office even after the Senate, in 2003, unanimously passed a resolution for the just constructed stadium to be named after the national icon.

 “It is on record that he once stunned the nation by declaring that the late Abiola was not the messiah that Nigeria needed. This more than anything spoke volumes about why Obasanjo failed to grant official recognition to June 12 or honour the memory of the man who personified the day that has since 1993 been described as a watershed in Nigeria’s democracy.

“So it cannot be a surprise that he attempted to water down the celebration of a man he hated, by another one that he equally hates, for not allowing him to have his way.”

 Urging Nigerians to expect more attacks from the former President Obasanjo in the coming months, BMO posited that Obasanjo would not be able to contain his frustrations on seeing the Buhari administration doing better than he expects.

“We at BMO were really not surprised to read yet another doomsday prediction from a former leader that thinks and acts like the repository of knowledge on everything from politics to the economy.

“In that interview that expectedly went viral, he questioned ‘ a situation where three top officials of government would be from only two northern zones(North West and North East), perhaps in furtherance of his Islamization agenda claim.

“We wonder if he would have raised the same poser if Senator Ali Ndume who was the choice of his friends at the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the Senate Presidency had defeated Ahmad Lawan.

“And on the acting Chief Justice being from the North, Is Obasanjo, by any chance, suggesting that President Buhari should have ignored hierarchy in the Supreme Court after the former occupant of the seat ran afoul of the law? Yet, he claims to be a democrat!

“On the economy, the former President claimed that the Buhari administration had ‘wasted the gains of the past administrations’ but we also know that the self-acclaimed father of the nation said similar or worse things about the past administrations of the late President Umaru Yar Adua and former President Goodluck Jonathan when he fell out with the two men he literally hand-picked for that position.

“We however need to remind him that Nigeria under Buhari has witnessed eight quarters of positive growth in the economy and our GDP is projected to grow by 2.7 percent this year. Since Obasanjo believes he knows far more than anyone, he is free to compare these figures with that of South Africa with better infrastructure!

“In terms of security, we cannot recall at any other time in the country than under Obasanjo that a serving Attorney General of the Federation was brutally murdered right in his bedroom.

“ And nothing could be more preposterous than his claim that Buhari had ‘corrupted’ the fight against corruption, when it is common knowledge that the former he, Obasanjo, used the anti-graft agencies as his attack dog in his two terms in office to whip errant state governors  in line. He may also reel out statistics of high profile convictions, if any, on his watch,” BMO added.The pro-Buhari group said it was fitting that Obasanjo again reminded Nigerians of his true feelings about MKO Abiola by attempting to divert attention away from the June 12 celebrations with his sanctimonious attitude.

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Kogi Gov donates 104 patrol vans to Army, Navy, Police, others

The Kogi State Police Command has rated the administration of Governor Yahaya Bello high on issues of security in the state.

In a chat with members of the Nigerian Guild of Investigative Journalists (NGIJ) in his office on Thursday, the Public Relations Officer of the command, DSP Williams Ovye Aya lauded the state governor for providing patrol vans and other logistics for security operatives in the state.

DSP Aya said Kogi state is relatively peaceful when compared to what it used to be before the incumbent administration came on board. He noted that although there is no perfect security in any part of the world but there is always room for improvement.

”The state governor has been committed to ensuring adequate security of lives and properties of Kogi residents by providing all needed logistics since inception of his tenure,” he said.

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@abikedabiri Denies Accusing Ethiopia, Egypt Airlines Of Running Drug Cartels In Nigeria

The Chairman/CEO of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa has denied accusing some foreign airlines of running drug cartels in the country.

Hon. Dabiri-Erewa appeared before the Senate ad-hoc committee investigating the circumstances leading to the arrest of Zainab Aliyu, a Nigerian student in Saudi Arabia over allegations of drug trafficking was reportedly quoted as saying that the airlines working with syndicates at the countries airport plant drugs in the bags of unsuspecting passengers.

But a statement in Abuja on Thursday by the Media aide, Abdur-Rahman Balogun stated that the headline is totally incorrect and not a true reflection of what she said during the Senate committee public hearing chaired by Senator Kabiru Gaya on Wednesday.

“Dabiri-Erewa had during the hearing stressed the need for those two airlines to ensure compulsory baggage identification as all cases recorded on issue of drugs had been from both airlines,” the statement said.

Balogun added that “Luckily enough, the representative of Ethiopian Air, who was at the public hearing, promised that baggage identification would be strengthened.”

“The Senate public hearing was geared towards probing the circumstances surrounding the framing up and eventual arrest of Zainab Aliyu in Saudi Arabia over allegation of carrying tramadol drug in her baggage.”

“Members of the public are hereby urged to discountenance previous publication that is contrary to this clarification.”

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APC Primaries: I Conducted A Free And Fair Election In Edo – Farida Suleiman

Farida Suleiman, who presided over the State and National Assembly Election of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State has said that she conducted a free and fair election in the state.

In a statement personally signed by her, Mrs Suleiman, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to ignore the open letter by the Coalition of Concerned Members Of APC Edo State which asked the President to call Adams Oshiomhole, the national chairman to order.

According to Mrs Suleiman, the allegation by the Coalition of Concerned Members Of APC Edo State is not only baseless and unfounded but a figment of the imagination of the group, whose hatchet job for the embattled State Governor is visible to the discerning.

The statement reads in part; “When the Primaries Committee members and I arrived Edo State, an obviously concocted primaries had been conducted a day before and attempts were made by Gov. Obaseki and his aides to persuade us to adopt the results of the jaundiced primaries. We stood our ground that due process must be followed and that the guidelines for the primaries as directed by the APC National Working Committee (NWC) will be carried out to the latter.

“This, I restarted at a press conference that was aired on major TV stations in Edo State. At the conclusion of our assignment, the results were also announced via a press conference in Benin city and not in Abuja as fabricated by the discredited coalition. It is therefore pertinent to state that I followed my conscience and performed the assignment to the best of my ability. Indeed, I stood my ground and turned down overtures made to us by the Governor and his emissaries to manipulate the process in favour of his anointed candidates.

“Under my watch as Chairperson of the APC primaries committee in Edo State, I make bold to say that all candidates emerged through a free, fair and transparent process. The said the younger brother of the National Chairman, Seid Oshoimhole which the authors alleged was imposed on the people of Etsako West 1 for House of Assembly was unanimously elected by APC members in that constituency. There were no manipulations, whatsoever, in his favour. Those crying wolf are sore losers who are disconnected from the people at the grassroots.

“No wonder they lost their zones and Senatorial districts to the opposition while their object of slander, the Comrade Chairman swept his own Edo North Senatorial zone for your great party.

“Prior to my deployment for the party assignment in Edo, I have never met with Comrade Adams Oshiomhole. Indeed, my nomination to serve was facilitated by a reputable party leader from the North. The attempt to impute personal relationship with Oshiomhole as the motive for alleged malfeasance in the conduct of the primaries is a ploy to give a dog a bad name in order to hang it.

“I consider the publication with respect to myself, malicious and a veiled defamation of character. I ask that the so-called “Coalition of Concerned Members of APC Edo State” retract the mention of my name in its open letter and tender an unreserved public apology within 7 days. Failure of which, I will be left with no option than to seek legal redress.

“The campaign of calumny against the party chairman orchestrated by sponsored groups will fail as our reformist leader will not be distracted in his mission to assert party supremacy and restore internal democracy whilst also ensuring that only performers get the party ticket at all levels.

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FG To Expedite Reconstruction Of North East Communities – Osinbajo

Following the signing into law of the North-East Development Commission (NEDC) Act, the rebuilding of communities devastated by the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East will receive priority attention in the Next Level of the Buhari administration, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.

Prof. Osinbajo stated this on Tuesday at the Palace of the Shehu of Borno, His Eminence, Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbai El-Kanemi, during his visit to Borno State where he commissioned some projects executed by the State government.

According to the Vice President, “the concerns over the rebuilding of the North-East remain possibly the most important challenge that we have as a government and we want to assure you that it remains on the front burner of the Federal Government.

“Recently Mr. President signed into law the North-East Development Commission (NEDC) Act. We now have a law which backs the vehicle for the renewed development and rehabilitation of the North-East.

“And with the commitment of those who have been appointed to run the affairs of the NEDC, we are bound to see a great deal of improvement in the pace of rehabilitation and construction of the North-East, especially Borno which is the worst hit by the insurgency.

“Your eminence can be at rest that we will do our very best and continue to give all of our support and help to rebuild Borno.”

The Vice President also commended the leadership of Governor Kashim Shettima and his commitment to the welfare of the people despite challenges posed by the insurgency.

He said “the commissioning of works completed by the government of Kashim Shettima is a tribute to his dedication to the people of the state and to the most worthy cause of all, which is the cause of humanity.

“He has demonstrated that empathy and the sort of commitment that we want to see in our leaders all over this country.

“President Buhari has frequently commented about the good fortune of the people of Borno State, that they have a governor such as himself (Shettima) at a time of the greatest challenges that the state has been confronted with. And I am sure he has laid a solid foundation for his successor in office to do even better.”

Earlier, Governor Shettima thanked the Vice President for his concern for the people of Borno which, according to him, had been demonstrated by his frequent visits to the state and the construction of a school for children orphaned by the Boko Haram insurgency.

On his part, the Shehu of Borno, His Eminence, Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbai El-Kanemi, thanked the Vice President for the visit and appealed more slots to be allotted to indigenes of the state in recruitment into Federal agencies and parastatals.

Some of the projects commissioned by the Vice President during the visit include the reconstructed Ibrahim Damcida Primary School, the newly constructed GSM Complex, the Asheik Jarma Primary School, the dualised Damboa road, the reconstructed Usman Gaji Galtimari Estate, the Maryam Abacha Women & Children Hospital, and a new complex at Government College, all in Maiduguri metropolis.

Prof. Osinbajo also visited and interacted with children at the Learning Centre – a school built for children orphaned by the Boko Haram insurgency under the North East Children’s Trust.

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Obasanjo’s Comments On Boko Haram Divisive, Depressing – FG

The federal government has described former President Olusegun
Obasanjo’s comments imputing ethno-religious motive to Boko Haram and
ISWAP as deeply offensive and patently divisive, saying such
indiscreet comments are far below the status of an elder statesman.

In a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday, the Minister of Information
and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said it was particularly tragic that
a man who fought to keep Nigeria one is the same one seeking to
exploit the country’s fault lines to divide it in the twilight of his

He said Boko Haram and ISWAP are terrorist organizations pure and
simple, adding that they care little about ethnicity or religion when
perpetrating their senseless killings and destruction.

”Since the Boko Haram crisis, which has been simmering under the
watch of Obasanjo, boiled over in 2009, the terrorist organization has
killed more Muslims than adherents of any other religion, blown up
more mosques than any other houses of worship and is not known to have
spared any victim on the basis of their ethnicity. It is therefore
absurd to say that Boko Haram and its ISWAP variant have as their goal
the ‘Fulanisation and Islamisation’ of Nigeria, West Africa or
Africa,” Alhaji Mohammed said.

He said President Buhari put to rest the mis-characterization of Boko
Haram as an Islamic organization when he said, in his inaugural speech
in 2015, that ”Boko Haram is a mindless, godless group who are as far
away from Islam as one can think of”.

The Minister said Obasanjo’s comments are therefore as insensitive and
mischievous as they are as offensive and divisive in a multi-ethnic
and multi-religious country like Nigeria, wondering whether there is
no limit to how far the former President will go in throwing poisonous
darts at his perceived political enemies.

He said Obasanjo’s prescriptions for ending the Boko Haram/ISWAP
crisis, which include seeking assistance outside the shores of
Nigeria, are coming several years late, as President Buhari has done
that and more since assuming office, hence the phenomenal success he
has recorded in tackling the terrorists.

”Shortly after assuming office in 2015, President Buhari’s first
trips outside the country were to rally the support of Nigeria’s
neighbours – Benin, Cameroon, Chad and Niger – for the efforts to
battle the terrorists. The President also rallied the support of the
international community, starting with the G7, and then the US, France
and the UN.

”That explains the massive degrading of Boko Haram, which has since
lost its capacity to carry out the kind of spectacular attacks for
which it became infamous, and the recovery of every inch of captured
Nigerian territory from the terrorists,” Alhaji Mohammed said.

He said Obasanjo’s call for wide consultations with various groups as
part of the efforts to tackle the Boko Haram crisis has been
neutralized by his ill-advised comments which have served more to
alienate a large number of Nigerians, who are offended by his tactless
and distasteful postulation.

The Minister called on the former President, whom he said took bullets
for Nigeria’s unity, not to allow personal animosity to override his
love for a united Nigeria, saying it will not be out of place if he
withdraws his unfortunate statement and apologizes to Nigerians.

Segun Adeyemi
SA To Hon Minister of Information and Culture

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New Incentives Signs MoU With Nigerian Govt To Increase Demand of Immunization Through Conditional Cash Transfer

A community based organized, New Incentives All Babies Are Equal Initiative (NI-ABAE) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Nigerian govt on increasing the demand for routine immunization through the govts conditional cash transfer Programme (CCT).

The Memorandum of Understanding which is for a period of three years will see the organization providing feasible support to the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Ministey of Health, National Primary Health Care Development Agencies and State Primary Health Care Development Agencies.

NI-ABAE Initiative will also ensure greater coordination of NGOs registered with MBNP through support to some of the programmes of the International Cooperation Department of MBNP and promote greater monitoring of NI-ABAE initiative’s activities.

On its parts, the government assist NI-ABAE Initiative where needed in enhancing co-operation between it and other development organizations, provide technical assistance and guidance to NI-ABAE Initiative, where required, in implementing some of its conditional cash transfer developmental programmes and advice it on appropriate procedures, controls and training that may be necessary to implement some of their developmental programmes.

The government will also introduce NI-ABAE Initiative to other government Ministries for assistance and Partnership for any of NI-ABAE Initiative’s activities and programmes, assist in interfacing with other regulatory Ministries and agencies to ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations and participate in NI-ABAE Initiative’s programmes and events when necessary.

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma signee on behalf of government, while Obinna Ebirim signed on behalf of NI-ABAE.

The Memorandum Of Understanding takes effect immediately.

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Good Governance Alien To PDP Culture – BMO

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) cannot appreciate good governance because it spent its 16 years in government mismanaging the country and entrenching wrongdoing as the norm, according to the Buhari Media Organisation (BMO).

The group, in a statement signed by Niyi Akinsiju and Cassidy Madueke, its Chairman and Secretary respectively, stated that the PDP during the 16 years it ran the affairs of the country, up-ended normalcy and adopted irregularities as the norm, hence its inability to understand good governance under the President Buhari administration. 

“We are not surprised to read the statement from the PDP throwing tantrums and accusing the All Progressives Congress (APC) of everything possible and for anything happening in the country; the statements smack of the party’s inability to see and appreciate good governance and strong institutions.

“For instance, the investigation by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) of Senate President, Saraki Bukola is a simple case of an institution doing its work. If Saraki, a member of the PDP, has a case to answer, let him do so. An innocent man with no skeletons in his cupboard has nothing to fear. Nigeria has institutions with the mandate of investigating fraud and financial malfeasances. If they find a person to be a suspect in the breach of any of our laws in this regard, they would act accordingly, investigate and prosecute where necessary.

“It is unfortunate that the PDP is not used to seeing institutions working and is consequently confused by the sight of them working without being teleguided.

“President Buhari respects institutions and does not interfere with their work. He believes that institutions must be allowed to do their work and not be meddled with. 

“The PDP is not used to this as, during its 16 years in government, it employed government institutions as tools for bullying critics and silencing opposition.”

The group stated that President Buhari would not bastardise government institutions, and because of his respects for our Federalism, he would not interfere with the domestic affairs of States.

“President Buhari respects Nigeria as a constitutional Federation, he would not be found interfering with how States run their internal and domestic affairs. Events that have taken place in Kano State are purely local and domestic, he may have his opinion on them but would not in any way tacitly or overtly interfere with the way and manner the State manages its domestic affairs.

“This is in sharp contrast with the PDP, who throughout its 16 years in power employed draconian and unlawful tactics to impeach Governors, destroy institutions and remove National Assembly leaders who were not in good terms with the party leaders.”

The group stated that the era of the PDP administration was one marked with the lowest levels of respect for institutions and provided the worst models of governance. 

“With the unfortunate and chaotic manner the PDP ran Nigeria in 16 years, we are not surprised it is finding it hard to appreciate good governance and institution building.”

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Buhari Has Not Abandoned Leah Sharibu, Others – BMO

President Muhammadu Buhari will not relent in his efforts to ensure that Leah Sharibu regains her freedom soon even as she marked her 16th birthday in Boko Haram captivity, the Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has said.
The group says it finds nauseating and regrettable, a false narrative of the Buhari administration’s disinterest that is being circulated by some individuals.
In a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, BMO said that it is disheartening that some people are giving the impression that the President was not concerned that Leah remains in captivity 420 days after her schoolmates were released by their captors.
“It is a regrettable fact that it is more than one year since Boko Haram fighters held back Leah Sharibu after releasing 109 other students of Government Girls Science Secondary School, Dapchi, Yobe State who were abducted on February 19, 2018.
“It is also on record that the insurgents freed the other girls following the Federal Government’s intervention while Leah was held back for her alleged refusal to renounce her Christian faith.
“We hail her perseverance and strength of character at such a young age and as she marks her 16th birthday, we are reaffirming what Presidential spokesman Garba Shehu said about a month ago; President Buhari has not abandoned Leah and the others still being held by Boko Haram.
“We recall that as at when the President assumed office for the first time in 2015, 276 school girls from Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State had almost spent one year in Boko Haram custody after they were abducted from their dormitory on April 14, 2014.
“But in line with his pre-election promise, he has so far succeeded in bringing back 107 of the girls even after groups like the Amnesty International had given up hope on the release of the girls on the grounds that they may have been sold off,” it added.
BMO expressed surprise that some Nigerians had even insinuated that the President was not keen on Leah Sharibu’s release because of her Christian faith.
“Nothing can be more preposterous like the suggestion that President Buhari had not been concerned about Leah’s plight because of her refusal to renounce her faith.
“All the abducted Chibok girls were Christians but it took a President who knows that he is the President of both Christians and Muslims to ensure that the first set of the school girls-21 in all-were released on October 13 2016, which was more than two years after the abduction that shook the world.
“President Buhari also approved negotiations that led to the release of 82 others from their Boko Haram captors about seven months later in May 2017. All those girls that have now been re-integrated into the society are Christians, so there’s no reason for the President to refuse to push for the release of the lone Dapchi girl still in custody on the basis of her faith.
“We make bold to say that just as the President has not forgotten Leah, he would not abandon the remaining Chibok girls as well as other Nigerians who are still in the hands of the insurgent group.
“And as Garba Shehu assured in the statement last month, on behalf of his Principal, there is progress on efforts to get the lone Dapchi girl out of captivity, we also know that President Buhari will not rest until Leah and others held against their will by the insurgents are reunited with their families”.
BMO urged Nigerians and concerned members of the international community to exercise a little more patience and allow the Buhari administration to complete what it had been working on since the Dapchi abduction.

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