Buhari and the Troubled Economy By Olusegun Adeniyi

Please put me in your prayers…
I will soon be going for eye surgery…
The situation is getting out of hand…
For more than two months now…
Anytime I look inside my wallet…
I hardly see anything again.

—A distressed Nigerian

It was a business lunch by a group of investors who had eagerly been waiting for information about the business climate in Nigeria. But their guest, top official of a multinational banking and financial services company, who had spent a week in Lagos and Abuja before returning to the United Kingdom, was evidently in no hurry as she sipped her drink. After a while, she looked in the direction of one of the four men at the table and said, “If I say 1 and 2 is equal to 12 what will 2 and 3 be?” The man did not need to think twice before he responded: “The answer of course is 23.”

Shaking her head, the lady replied: “You are wrong, the answer is 5”. Before the obviously confused men in the room could react to such algebraic manipulation, the lady posed another question. “What if I join 3 and 7, what would that give me?”

This time, the man decided to hedge his bet: “The answer will either be 10 or 37”.

Smiling, the lady responded: “You are wrong again. The answer is 21.” And then she added the clincher: “That is the best way to describe what is going on within the Nigerian economy today where all the variables are up in the air. The only thing that is predictable now is the unpredictability.”

The foregoing conversation, which I learnt on good authority, took place about two weeks ago in a high-class London restaurant, tells a compelling story. But we need no foreigner to tell us how tough the season is since we live it every day; even though Nigerians may have learnt to laugh at their problems, as can be glimpsed from the “poem” with which I opened the page.

To be sure, President Muhammadu Buhari is not the cause of our woes, as most of the problems predated his administration. However, some of the choices he has made (or refused to make) have compounded the situation while there are no visible signs in the horizon that things would get better any time soon. If anything, there are fears that things could actually get worse, unless he makes a course correction in his approach to serious issues of governance.

President Buhari was in Qatar in February this year, seeking investible funds. I understand the Qatari authorities requested that he quickly appoint the Nigerian ambassador to Qatar, someone with sufficient clout and authority to represent our country so that a productive conversation could begin. Five months after, such a simple task is yet to be accomplished. In fact, as at today, Nigeria has no ambassador to any country, not even to traditional allies like the United Kingdom or the United States.

More than a year after dissolving the statutory boards of regulatory institutions that are critical to the economy, they are yet to be reconstituted. From the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) to the Bank of Industry (BOI) to the Nigeria Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) to the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) to the Nigerian Export promotion Council (NEPC) to the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Commission (NDIC) to the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) to the Nigeria Communication Commission (NCC) etc. there are no boards. Some of these institutions do not even have substantive Chief Executives. Against the background that barely 24 hours after she became the British Prime Minister last week, Mrs. Theresa May named her entire cabinet, you wonder why our leaders find it so difficult to do the little things that matter.

The office of the Chief Economic Adviser (which has a full complement of staff, including some with doctorate degrees) is still vacant apparently because Aso Rock does not need advice on economic matters. Meanwhile, the president makes pronouncements which suggest he dictates both monetary and fiscal policies from the Villa, leaving investors wondering about the independence of critical institutions like the CBN. If political considerations (including nostalgia about some imaginary past) rather than sound economic judgments determine policy direction, which rational investor would want to risk his/her money in such an economy?

Speaking at the Ramadan breaking of fast with members of the business community last month, the president condemned what he described as “the ruthless devaluation of naira,’’ saying that he was yet to be convinced about the justification for it. “I don’t like the returns I get from the CBN…In August 1985, the naira was N1.3k to a dollar, now you need N300 or N350 to a dollar. I’m neither an economist nor a businessman (but) I fail to appreciate the economic explanation” said the president who incidentally provided the answer to a question he claimed not to understand: “What has happened to us now is that we have maneuvered ourselves into a mono-economy which led to the collapse we are seeing now.”

That, Mr. President, is precisely the point. The wrong choices we have made over the years landed us in this position but what we need right now are solutions to problems that are already getting out of hand. On Monday, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) categorised the North-eastern part of our country as severely food insecure. “This is about as bad as it gets. There’s only one step worse and I’ve not come across that situation in 20 years of doing this work and that’s a famine. We have to step in and quickly or we are going to have hundreds of thousands at risk of dying in the north-east of Nigeria” said Toby Lanzer, UN assistant secretary general and OCHA’s regional humanitarian coordinator for the Sahel.

Unfortunately, this challenge is not restricted to the North-east since hunger has become a national staple across the country as confirmed yesterday by the Minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Chief Audu Ogbeh. With majority of the states owing their workers, some for as many as six months, the situation in Nigeria today is very dire. And while the Buhari administration should be commended for its social intervention initiative, it is also obvious that we need a more robust agenda to reposition the economy away from oil.

For instance, in the ranking of states by the 2015 Internally Generated Revenues compared to the total receivables from the Federation Account Allocation between June 2015 and May 2016 done by the Economic Confidential, only three states (Lagos, Rivers and Ogun) internally generated above 50 percent of what they received from Abuja. 17 states generated less than 10 percent of their receivables from Abuja; another eight generated between 10 and 14 percent while the remaining eight generated between 15 and 30 percent.

This is a clear state of emergency situation that will take more than some episodic financial bail-outs or ad hoc solutions to deal with. It is a situation that requires the president providing a national platform for discussing the way out in a more sustainable manner at a period inflation is soaring while businesses are either closing down or sacking workers. So bleak is the outlook that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which in April, just three months ago, predicted a 2.3 per cent expansion in the Nigerian economy, on Tuesday slashed its growth forecast, saying the combination of plunging oil revenue and weakened investor confidence would most likely push it into recession. The IMF now expects the economy to contract by 1.8 per cent this year. But what is the response from the administration?

At a most delicate period when there is an overflow of issues that require legislative input, the presidency and the National Assembly are merely tolerating one another. More depressing is the news that our lawmakers have just voted for themselves a two-month holiday at a time of national economic crisis. But what do you expect when the only notable contribution to national discourse by some of our “distinguished” Senators is that a female colleague has reached “menopause”?

Perhaps we should not be too hard on the lawmakers since the executive has not come up with any legislative initiative that requires their urgent attention. “I have, at least on three different occasions publicly requested the executive to, as a matter of urgency, send an executive bill on its intended reforms in the petroleum sector. We had hoped to avoid the situation in the past two assemblies (6th and 7th) where the PIB was sent to the National Assembly very late thereby guaranteeing failure to pass the bill” said the House of Representatives’ Speaker, Hon Yakubu Dogara, on Monday as he lamented a lack of urgency by the presidency in reforming the oil and gas sector.

While no objective person will blame President Buhari alone for the economic challenge we face today as a nation, many Nigerians nonetheless believe things do not have to remain the way they are. According to Dr. Aminu Usman, a lecturer in the Department of Economics, Kaduna State University, “the government can do better by coming up with clearly defined policies for each sector of the economy and move from wish list to the actual work of getting things done.” On a lighter mood, a friend suggested yesterday that, against the background of the current controversy in the Senate, the economy may also be going through the difficulty of being “impregnated” with fresh ideas!
With high incidence of unemployment, aging public infrastructure and a near-useless power sector that generates (for officials) only megawatts of excuses at a period the Niger Delta Avengers are daily wreaking havoc on oil and gas installations, there are three major issues begging for attention: Significant revenue shortfall from practically all sources; potential credit crisis because AMCON is already over leveraged and a seemingly intractable foreign exchange crisis that has shaken market confidence. To address these fundamental problems, it stands to reason that we need a serious economic management team but President Buhari still does not see any need for that.

Sadly, after a year spent blaming others, we are yet to see the economic direction of the Buhari administration or the policies and ideas that can possibly justify the endless aspersions on the past. Yet, whether his handlers realize it or not, this presidency will be judged not by how bad a leader Dr. Goodluck Jonathan was but by how much of a better leader he (Buhari) ends up to be.

In a four year presidential term, the first year is perhaps the maximum time allowed an incumbent to heap all blames on his predecessors. After that, he must take responsibility. Therefore, President Buhari can only imprint his legacy either in terms of his firm handling of the contemporary economic challenges or through the efficiency of the machinery of government he puts in place. As things stand today, a president who came to office with overwhelming public support may have worsened the problems he inherited, leaving the economy on the brink of recession.

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Don’t Support Impeachment Plot Against Buhari, Anenih Tells PDP Lawmakers

Tony Anenih, former chairman of the board of trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has appealed to his party’s lawmakers to forget the thought of impeaching President Muhammadu Buhari.

Anenih, who said he was not unaware of the “hardship” being experienced by Nigerians, said “rather than seek scapegoats”, the PDP caucus in the national assembly should opt for constructive criticism.

He said attempting to oust Buhari would not only create tension, but result to instability and crisis “in our body-politic”.

The elder statesman said this in a letter addressed to Ahmed Makarfi, chairman of the caretaker committee of the opposition party.

Anenih urged Makarfi to lead the process of consultation with PDP members in the national assembly, with a view to getting them to play a patriotic role at this time of “national economic and social uncertainty”.

The letter reads: “I am constrained to write this letter by my love for our great country and my long years of involvement in the pursuit of peace, co-existence and national development.

“I am concerned about the noises coming out of the national assembly to the effect that some of our distinguished senators and honourable members are contemplating a move to impeach the president.

“I feel even more disturbed that the PDP Caucus is being rumoured to be actively involved in this plan to “go for the jugular” of the executive. The rumoured role of the PDP Caucus is, indeed, the main reason I have chosen to write this letter to you.

“I wish to appeal to you to use your noble office as the chairman of the caretaker committee of our great party to dissuade our party members, in the national assembly, from embarking on or participating in this ill-advised adventure. I am persuaded, Sir, that the time is neither right nor the reasons compelling enough to contemplate the impeachment of the president.

“I do not doubt that the national assembly may have its grouse against the president, but I am sure that the options of consultation, dialogue and negotiation have not yet been exhausted. We should all assist in persuading our members to persevere in the pursuit of these options.

“I do not believe an attempt at impeachment, at this time, is in the best interests of the party, or the country. Such a move will create tension, instability and even crisis in our body-politic. It will unleash all those fissiparous forces which, in the last few months, have begun to gain momentum.

“Fundamentally, as the main opposition party, I believe the PDP should concern itself with an inward review of why Nigerians lost faith in us and in our party’s vision for Nigeria; our focus should therefore be on trying to figure out how we can once again regain this trust.

“As a party in opposition, what I expect is constructive criticism of the ruling party when it goes wrong. Playing an active role in the internal power struggles between factions of the ruling party is an unnecessary distraction, and an exercise that appears to promote personal agenda rather than the national interest.

“I am not unaware that the times are hard; that Nigerians are groaning under the weight of unpaid salaries and astronomical increases in the cost of living, that ballooning security problems are increasingly threatening to rip apart the fabric of our national existence, and that Nigerians feel more divided today than they have ever felt, but it would be unfair to blame this President or this Government for all of these problems. Instructively, none of these problems was floated as justification for the threat of impeachment by the national assembly.

“On the economy, it is a well-known fact that all oil-producing countries are suffering from an economic down-turn because of the radical drop in the price of crude oil. As a mono-product economy, dependent on crude oil, there is no magic bubble that could have insulated us completely from the systemic shocks caused by the attendant loss of revenue.

“Rather than seek scapegoats, the situation demands that all our institutions, political parties and leaders should set aside all partisan interests, and work together to wade through these difficult times.

“It is, therefore, my wish and prayer that you, personally, lead the process of consultation with our members in the National Assembly, with a view to getting them to play a patriotic, rather than partisan role, at this time of national economic and social uncertainty.

“May God continue to bless you with the wisdom to lead our party to its manifest destiny.”

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Buhari Shielding His Men From Probe, Says Fayose

The Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to stop shielding his men from probe.

He also urged Nigerians to demand the release of the authentic report of the Committee on Audit of Defence Equipment Procurement in the Nigerian Armed Forces.

He described claim by the Federal Government that the probe panel only looked into procurement and contracts awarded by the military between 2011 and 2015 because documents regarding procurement from 2007 to 2010 were not available as a clear indication of support for corruption.

“It is now obvious to the entire world that anyone that is in President Buhari’s good books can never be adjudged as corrupt even if such a person is caught looting the entire money in Nigeria’s treasury,” Fayose said.

The governor, in a statement on Sunday by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, said it smacked of sheer hypocrisy and nepotism for anyone to accept that fraud could have been perpetrated on procurement and award of contracts in an establishment without the involvement of the director of procurement.

“There are many petitions relating to Defence from 2007 that are being discarded, the question is why? There are several petitions against APC leaders that are not being looked into. The question is why? Fighting corruption and targeting only opponents of the President is, in itself, corruption.

“Buhari’s’ Minister of Interior, Major General (Lt. Gen.) Abdulrahman Dambazau (retd.), was Chief of Army Staff between 2008 and 2010 and the current Chief Of Army Staff, Major General Tukur Buratai, served as Director of Procurement, Defence Headquarters, from 2012 till May, 2015.

“It is a fact that the committee, in its terms of reference, said it queried all procurement from 2007 to 2015. Even the press release issued was titled, ‘Third Interim Report of the Presidential Committee on Audit of Defence Equipment Procurement from 2007 to 2015.’

“The first paragraph of the committee report also indicated that it used 2007-2015 as reference, stating that the committee ‘analysed procurement contracts awarded by or for the Nigerian Army between 2007 and 2015’.

“Questions Nigerians must now begin to ask President Buhari and his government are: where is the report of the Presidential Committee on Audit of Defence Equipment Procurement relating to 2007 to 2010? Who ‘doctored’ the committee report and why?

“Lai Mohammed said the committee would commence the audit of procurement from 2007 to 2010 ‘as soon as the necessary documents are available’.

“It is necessary that Nigerians are told who the custodians of the documents are. Why were documents on procurement from 2011 and 2015 available and those of 2007 to 2010 not available?”

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Dear President Buhari, Nigerian Lives Also Matter, By Inibehe Effiong

I wholeheartedly endorse the inauguration of a Special Military Task force by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday July 13, 2016 in Zamfara State to tackle the menace of cattle rustling which has made life and business hellish for herdsmen in the state.

According to a report in the Daily Trust Newspaper of Sunday July 10, 2016: “A similar operation is already ongoing along the Birnin Gwari axis of Kaduna State, which is also a den of murderous armed bandits that terrorise communities in Kaduna, Niger, Kebbi, Katsina and Zamfara states.”

The decision by the federal government to deploy hundreds of troops to combat armed bandits that have been terrorising members of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association and stealing their cattles became expedient following repeated calls by cattle breeders and residents of the affected communities on president Buhari to come to their aid. There is no doubt about fact that the mass stealing of cattles has a negative effect on the economy of Nigeria with the attendant increase in the cost of meats.

The President acted decisively and responsibly.

However, I find it rather curious and upsetting that a democratically elected president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria can take such drastic action just to safeguard the lives of cows (a non human creature) while paying lip service to the continued annihilation of innocent farmers, community members and citizens by herdsmen, religious extremists, criminals and terrorists, for whatever reason, across the country.

This is sickening to say the least.

Since the birth of this dispensation, innocent citizens have been gruesomely murdered by non state actors and extra-judicially exterminated by security agencies with impunity. Save for its appreciable successes in the fight against Boko Haram in the North Eastern part of the country, the Buhari-led federal government has failed to live to up its primary purpose and most sacred responsibility of protecting and securing the lives and properties of Nigerians as stipulated in Section 14 (2) (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

The scandalous silence and shameful inaction of the president seems to have emboldened these murderous predators and implicitly legitimized their nefarious and atrocious actions against hapless citizens. How else can one explain the incessant killings that are going on in the country? From Benue, Enugu, Kano and other parts of the country, the story has been killing upon killing; sorrow upon sorrow and destruction upon destruction.

Currently, the land is literarily littered with the blood, tears and agonies of innocent citizens whose existence have been terminated or degraded by murderous and rampaging groups of people and individuals who have suddenly found unprecedented but debase courage and tenacity to kill at will; unchallenged and without consequences or proportionate reaction from the federal government and and its agencies.

In order to properly situate my views, few worrisome examples will suffice.

The case of Mrs Eunice Elisha

Barely one month after the murder of Mrs Bridget in Kano by a senseless mob for alleged “blasphemy”, a forty-­two-­year-­old mother of seven and an assistant pastor with the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Mrs Eunice Elisha, was in the early hours of Saturday July 9, 2016 murdered by assailants, while preaching around Gbazango-­West area of Kubwa in the Bwari Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The killing of Mrs Eunice has continued to provoke outrage across the country.

Despite the alleged religious undertone associated with the murder which can potentially inflame the nation, President Buhari has not uttered a word in condemnation of the killing or in consolation with the family of the slain preacher – more than one week after the incident. Apart from the private visitation of the wife of the Vice President to the family of the deceased, the government has not exuded any semblance of concern in the matter. With due respect, the wife of the Vice President does not have any constitutional mandate to act in defence of the citizens of Nigeria. The fact that she (Mrs Osinbajo) belongs to the same Christian denomination with the deceased makes her visit largely inconsequential in the circumstance. This is because the perception is that she only paid the deceased family a visit because of her membership of the Redeemed Christian Church.

Heaven would not have fallen if President Buhari had responded swiftly to the incident by directly calling the husband of the deceased to express his condolences; publicly condemned it and issued a clear directive to the police to fish out the killers and bring them to justice.

That is what leaders in saner climes do in such cases. I shall buttress this in the course of this essay.

It should be noted that by virtue of Section 299 of the Constitution, the executive powers of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja (where the murder took place) are vested in the president in the same manner the executive powers of the states in the federation are vested in governors. The President in the circumstance is not just the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria but the “Chief Security Officer” of the FCT. However, the President is at liberty to delegate his duties as the administrator of the FCT to the Minister of the FCT.

This is a case where an innocent woman who is not only a citizen of Nigeria, but a resident of the Abuja, a territory over which the President is constitutionally mandated to administer, was viciously murdered without appropriate reaction from the President. Thus, Buhari’s silence and inaction is not only a profanity of his oath of office but also a tragic dereliction of his constitutional responsibilities as both as the administrator of the FCT and as the president of Nigeria. If Buhari can treat the murder of a resident of the FCT with kid gloves, is it the continuous killing(s) of Nigerians in other parts of the country that will elicit his response?

We need to pray for Nigeria and President Buhari.

The killing of Shi’ites in Zaria

Till date, the avoidable killings of about 347 Shi’ites in Zaria, Kaduna State on December 12- 14, 2015 following the clash between soldiers and members of the Islamic Movement in Nige­ria (IMN) headed by Sheik Ibra­heem Zakzaky, has not received appropriate response from the Commander-in-Chief. The federal government has refused to properly investigate the killings. No disciplinary actions has been taken against the lawless soldiers who took laws into their hands by murdering hundreds of Nigerians in unjustifiable circumstances.

I was one of those who condemned the Islamic Movement for blocking public highway and stalling the movement of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen.Tukur Buratai. I have consistently expressed my disapproval for religious extremism and bigotry of any form. However, we cannot sacrifice the sanctity of human life in the guise of exterminating religious extremists. Nobody should be deprived of his or her life except in legally permissible circumstances.

The Nigerian Army has not justified the killing of the Shi’ites in Zaria on December 12- 14, 2015. While the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria is still being detained without trial for about eight months, soldiers who committed the massacre are walking freely. This is unacceptable and President Buhari should be told so in clear language.

Endsless killings by Herdsmen

Herdsmen in Nigeria are presently operating like a state within a state. They kill, maim and destroy at will without provocation or at the slightest provocation. The recent massacre of innocent citizens in Benue State as reported by Channels Television on July 10, 2016 and corroborated by international news channel, Al Jazeera, in its report on Sunday July 17, 2016 deserves attention.

The report by Channels TV is reproduced in part below:

“Survivors and victims of herdsmen attacks in Logo and Ukum council areas in Benue State have been recounting how 81 persons were killed in the last two weeks. The traditional ruler of Logo, Chief Jimmy Meeme, who spoke to Channels Television on the invasion of rural communities said 70 persons were killed in six out of the 10 council wards in his domain. He blamed the sustained attacks on his people by the herdsmen on territorial occupation campaign. Eyewitnesses also claim that Turan, Mbagber, Yonov and Tombo communities in Logo were attacked on the same day while Varser in Ukum Local Government came under siege, leaving 53 persons dead…”

I agree that the lunacy and atrocities of the Nomadic (Fulani) herdsmen did not start on May 29, 2015 when Buhari came to power.

What is apparent is the fact that the herdsmen now kill and destroy not only with atavistic impunity, but with an unquestioned aura of legitimacy. The general perception today is that the herdsmen are emboldened because one of their kinsman, who is reportedly a Patron of the Miyetti Cattle Breeders Association, is now the president of Nigeria. This according to public opinion, has weakened the capacity of the Nigerian state and its institutions to deal appropriately with murderous herdsmen, thereby clothing them with immunity from the law.

This perception may be wrong. But Buhari has so far failed to disprove it. No democratic government will treat strong negative public perception with levity the way this government is doing with the issue of the herdsmen. Rather than bolster public trust in his administration by dealing decisively with herdsmen that are killing the citizens, Buhari has resorted to appeasement of the herdsmen by promoting and budgeting public funds for the establishment of grazing reserves across the country and the constitution of a Special Military Task Force to safeguard herdsmen and their cattles from cattle rustlers. The government is now investing hundreds of millions of naira in the private business of some Nigerians. Despite that public opinion, modernity and civilization favours ranches, Buhari is insisting on acquiring lands for grazing reserves for herdsmen.

Two logical inferences that can be drawn from the President’s actions are as follows: First, Buhari values the lives and properties (cattles) of the herdsmen more than those of the victims of the herdsmen’s endsless attacks. Second, the President is demonstrating to everyone that Nigerians are not and cannot be treated equally.

Killing of pro-Biafra Protesters

There have been numerous allegations and established cases of extra-judicial murders of pro-Biafra supporters in the South Eastern part of the country. If the federal government is pretending about the obvious application of disproportionate and unjustifiable force by security agencies in their interventions against the separatist movement, there is one report that begs for urgent and independent probe.

On June 13, 2016, online newspaper, Premium Times, published a shocking report of alleged massacre of pro-Biafra supporters who took part in events marking this year’s “Heroes Day” held on May 30 every year to celebrate fallen heroes of Igbo Ethnic nationality by troops from the Onitsha Army Barracks in Anambra State. The chilling report based largely on an account given by an operative of the State Security Service (a whistle blower who took part in the operation that started on the night of May 29) narrates how the Cantonment Commander, Issah M. Abdullahi, a colonel, ordered the Joint Task Force (JTF) to clear the venue and roads of all “miscreants.”

“With this firm directive, the JTF, dominated by soldiers and led by Major C.O. Ibrahim of the Nigerian Military Police, stormed the streets and the event venue.” “The whistleblower said that while other members of the JTF were minimizing the use of force, soldiers recklessly opened fire at crowds, shooting at close range, and “wasting people indiscriminately.”
Passersby and people in their homes and shops were not spared of stray bullets, the SSS operative said.

“He said it got to a point where injured pro-Biafra supporters, seeing the countless bodies of their colleagues on the ground, opened their arms wide, advanced towards the soldiers screaming that they too should be killed. Three military trucks were used to cart away heaps of dead bodies. According to the whistleblower, there are two cemeteries inside the Onitsha Army Barracks. Though reserved for fallen soldiers, victims of the massacre were buried in the cemetery close to Yahweh Church, inside the barracks..”

Amnesty International has condemned this alleged massacre of unarmed civilians. As usual, the Nigerian Army denied simplicity. The federal government has closed its eyes to this troubling report. President Buhari has not taken action on the matter.

Just as I am opposed to the criminal activities of the Niger Delta Avengers, I do not support the pro-Biafra agitation. As an ardent believer in the Nigerian project, it worries me that our nation is being deeply polarised along ethnic, regional and religious lines by the day. However, there are democratically and universally established methodologies and ways of resolving such crisis. Likewise, there are established rules of engagements that governs military interventions. President Buhari should cause an independent investigation to be carried out to unravel the truth of this alleged massacre. That will go a long way in putting to shame those who wrongly describe Nigeria as “a Zoo”.

The Ikorodu killings

On Thursday June 23, 2016 no fewer than 50 persons were allegedly feared killed when militants invaded border town communities between Ogun and Lagos. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the areas affected are Elepete and Igbo-Olomu, a border community in Ikorodu North Local Government Area. According to the Nation Newspaper report of Friday July 15, 2016 the rampaging militants again stormed Igbolomu in Ikorodu on Thursday July 14, 2016, a Lagos suburb, kidnapping and killing residents. “It was gathered that the latest attack on Ikorodu allegedly began on Wednesday, with the hoodlums shooting everything on sight.”

The security agencies have failed to stop the militants from killing residents of the area. The President of the country in his characteristic reticence has not made a public statement about the Ikorodu killings.

Some persons have argued that the President should not be expected to publicly respond to every killing in the country. My reply is that those who canvass this view are making a mockery of democracy and the sanctity of human life. If the killing of one Nigerian is not enough to warrant presidential reaction, how about the unabated mass killing of innocent citizens in different parts of the country? Why has Buhari not reacted and acted approximately?

What is the worth of a Nigerian life in the eyes of the President?

How do leaders in saner climes respond when their citizens are murdered in circumstances that provokes national mourning?

On Thursday July 7, 2016 five Dallas police officers in the United States of America were killed in an ambush by an angry shooter following the killing of two African Americans by the police. The following day on Friday July 8, speaking from Warsaw, Poland after the first of a series of meetings with European Union and NATO allies, Obama said he had offered his condolences to the Dallas mayor overnight. Obama also cut short his four day trip in Europe and returned to Washington because of the incident.

On Wednesday July 13, Mr Obama left his comfort in the White House and flew on Air Force One to Dallas with his wife, former president George W Bush, senator Ted Cruz and other bipartisan leaders to attend a memorial service for the slain officers. While on Air Force One, Obama personally called the families of the two murdered African Americans over the phone to express his condolences. Meanwhile, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch in his speech a day after the shooting indicated that federal investigators will equally intervene in the case.

What has President Buhari done over the recent massacre of 81 Nigerians by Fulani herdsmen in Benue State? How about the Nigeria Police Force? The Police in their characteristic and ever denying way said that ONLY 22 people were killed and that some suspects have been arrested. 22 lives is described as “only” in the 21st century Nigeria.

What a national tragedy!

The police will always vow to “get to the root of the matter”, but we all know that they rarely get to the surface. Most times, all that we hear are reports of arrests. The rest is history

Section 130 (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) makes Buhari the Head of State, the Chief Executive of the Federation and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. Buhari needs to rise above every conceivable primordial interests, political partisanship and ethnic or religious bias and arrest the escalating culture of criminals killing innocent citizens at will in the country.

President Buhari cannot continue to keep and indulge the citizens in a guessing expedition on his true motives and policy direction. It is time for the President’s state of mind to be unveiled. The vagueness and imprecision of his much touted “body language” has to end now. Nigerians are tired of these mindless massacres.

Those who feel that they now have a licence to kill others because we are in a Buhari’s presidency must be made to understand that of a truth, this is a government of change. Buhari should understand that change is useless if the most fundamental human right as enshrined in Section 33 of the Nigerian Constitution – the right to life, is not guaranteed and protected by the state.

President Buhari who is fantastically good in sending condolence messages to other nations in their times of national grief should come to terms with the fact that Nigerian lives also matter.

Enough is enough.

Inibehe Effiong is a Legal Practitioner and Convener of the Coalition of Human Rights Defenders (COHRD) and can be reached at: inibehe.effiong@gmail.com

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Dear Buhari, Don’t Be Deceived By Sycophants, Nigerians Are Suffering, Lamenting! By Ogundana Michael Rotimi

Your Excellency Sir, after much procrastination and patience, I feel writing you this short piece is long overdue.

Meanwhile, before some of your Media Aides and perhaps some sycophants who are not avoidable close to you tag me a wailing wailer- may I quickly tell you, that I was and still a firm believer of your change mantra and have no doubt in your passion to seeing this country succeed.

However, I am prompted to write you this openly to call your attention to an erroneous belief already being paraded by one of your media aides- Mr Femi Adesina that only those in the minority are complaining and that Nigerians are not suffering- perhaps, a reflection of the perception of what is being paraded at the presidency.

Mr Femi Adesina featured on a phone-in programme on Raypower 100.5Fm in Abuja on Friday, July 8, 2016, he said, and I quote: “I maintain that the people who are complaining are in the minority. I can tell you that the support base of this government is still enormous. Yes, we know some people are complaining but, they are still in the minority”. Meanwhile, before then, in his last interview with Punch Newspaper in May 2016, he said- “It is mendacious to say that in the last one year, what Nigerians have been experiencing is suffering. It is not true”.

Mr President, let me tell you categorically, without fear of losing or gaining anything- Nigerians are suffering, the situation is stretching towards the elastic limit. I hope something drastic and spontaneous is done about it before it gets to the breaking point.

The economy is in a daring stage of collapse- according to Trading Economics; consumer prices in Nigeria jumped 15.6 percent year-on-year in May 2016, following a 13.7 percent rise in the previous month. It was the highest reading in more than six years, as the cost of food, housing, utilities and transport surged mostly due to 67 percent increase in gasoline prices.  There’s also an increment in electricity tariff even when the power is not available for use.

The naira is in a bad shape; businesses are crashing, and livelihoods are becoming severe. Sir, before you entirely blame these predicaments on the failure of the past administration and the dwindling global price of crude oil, you would agree with me that some economic policies and decisions that have been taken under your watch in the past one year also contributed to these.

Mr President, in all of these, most states are unable to pay their workers` salaries and are owing them for months. The people cannot be going through all these, yet your media aide think they are not suffering. Or are these people not Nigerians, do they not have blood flowing through them? I wonder how and where Femi Adesina generated his stats from, but from all indications- he goofed.

If all these are happening and a media aide of yours is saying the people are not suffering, and only those in the minority are complaining, then I think his patriotism is questionable.

While I understand that media aides would do everything and say anything to keep their jobs, I expect that there should be a limit and sense of humanity to everything they do.

Media aides are not just meant to speak for you but are also supposed to give you accurate feedback that will help shape your decisions and policies and not one that will give you on a false perception of the reality on the ground and eventually place you on the wrong track.

While some people still firmly believe in you and your change mantra, others feel you are becoming insensitive to the pains of the people and begin to lose touch with the reality on the ground- perhaps as a result of reports you receive from some of your media aides that are doing everything to keep their jobs.

But sir, don’t be deceived, don’t be carried away by false noise disguised as praises, Nigerians are not in a good shape economically and regarding security. As a matter of fact, Nigerians have begun to ask- if this is the change or there’s another one to come.

Perhaps, there are things you are not getting right and are needed to be revisited and redressed- think about this! Whatsoever you need to do to cushion this pain on the people; you have to do it and do it fast.

The longer the solutions tarry, the more disappointing your government becomes and the more the people lose hope in you and your administration.

Once again, this is not the voice of a wailing wailer, but one passionately concerned to see this country succeeds.

Dear Sir, whenever you need feedback that reflects the reality of the masses, reports from your media aides or any other persons that benefit directly from your administration are the most unrealistic one you can trust. These sets of people have sycophancy tied to their hearts.

Critics, not sycophants will do us more favour and lead us away from dead ends to achieving the change we desperately desire as a nation.

I belong to the school of thought at the hem of which is Harry S. Truman- the 33rd President of the United States, who said: “I want people around me who will tell me the truth, who will tell me the truth as they see it. You cannot operate and manage effectively if you have people around you who put you on a pedestal and tell you everything you do is right because that in practice can’t be possible”.

I consider it of outermost urgency to draw your attention to this; else you are paraded with reports from sycophants who are privileged to getting feedback directly to you. Nigerians and not just the minority are complaining- they are lamenting!

Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!!

Yours sincerely,

 

Ogundana Michael Rotimi is a Nigerian Biochemist, Socio-economic & Political Commentator, and Public Speaker. He tweets @MickeySunny.

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We Have No Evidene Of Impeachable Offence Against Buhari – House

The house of representatives has no iota of evidence of impeachable offence against President Muhammadu Buhari, according to Alhassan Doguwa, chief whip of the green chamber.

Talks of impeachment emanated last week after a rancorous executive session within the senate chamber.

However, the senate immediately disregarded the report while promising to investigate the origin of the rumour.

Speaking in the same vein, Doguwa, who represents Doguwa/Tudun Wada constituency in Kano state, said the house of representatives has never entertained the prospect of impeaching Buhari.

“As far as I am concerned, I am a member of house of representatives and a principal officer of the house; the national assembly is a twin institution; we have the house and we have the senate,” he said in a statement.

“If there is any insinuation or speculation about the impeachment of Mr President in any chamber rather than the house of representatives, that, I don’t know.

“But I want to be very straight forward to you that we don’t have such a consideration before us; that matter is not even being contemplated; it was not even at any point in time thought of.

“After all, we do not have any evidence of impeachable offence with which to use against Mr President.”

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My Goodwill Still Intact, Says Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari is unmoved by suggestions that his rating by Nigerians has dropped.

He insists that the generality of Nigerians still believe in him as they did in the run up to the 2015 election that brought him to power.

Besides, he says it is erroneous to imply that he has abandoned governance for anti-corruption war.

Buhari, in an extensive interview with the magazine, African Leadership, declares that there is nowhere in the world where transition from an old order to a new one has ever been easy.

A national survey by the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), entitled The Buharimeter Report, had said: “We can also infer that there are still gaps between campaign promises, public expectations, government policies and actions. These need to be aligned properly going forward.

“Attempts sometimes by the President’s party to disown certain promises made during the elections will not serve the government well.

“What is required is to focus on achieving the promises by prioritizing them and carrying Nigerians along if there are challenges along the way.”

But Buhari insists in the African Leadership interview   that he has neither lost the goodwill nor alienated the masses.

His words: “Yes, I was elected by an overwhelming majority of Nigerians, and I am ever grateful for the opportunity I have been given to serve.

“However, I don’t consider the result of the so-called survey a slip in my public rating and acceptance. I appreciate the high expectations of Nigerians and as an administration we are working assiduously to deliver.

“We came in with a mantra of Change and the zeal to give a new lease of life to governance. Our zeal has remained the same and we are always prepared to make the difference.

“You will recall that when I was being sworn in, I emphasized that as a government, three key areas will be the priorities. The first is the need to rebuild the economy. I also pledged to fight insecurity while the third and equally important area is the fight against corruption.”

He pleaded with Nigerians to be patient with his administration, saying: “Nigeria will soon be back on track.”

He added: “Before now, we have been having sleepless nights in Nigeria with Boko Haram having field days in tormenting people, most especially in the North-Eastern part of the country. So far, we have shown resilience in stopping these people and yet many criticize the approach we are using.

“What I think our people should know is that a process of change is difficult as it requires endurance and patience. China, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and other great Asian countries had at different times passed through processes of change. They are far better off today.

“And some of these countries were at par with Nigeria in terms of development some five decades ago. We are attempting to do the same here to say let us stop building individuals, let us stop making those who serve in government get stupendously wealthy at the expense of ordinary Nigerians they had sworn to serve.

“Rather, we should concentrate on building strong institutions. Let us introduce economic prosperity by bringing in more investors to catalyze a sense of competition to grow our economy. Let there be law and order in our ways.”

He asked Nigerians to “continue to exercise patience and let them know that we will not rest on our oars until we bring succour back to them and to the country. From our efforts so far.”

On the erratic electricity system in the country, the President said the nation will overcome the problem under his administration

His words:  “Let me assure you that we will surmount the challenge of power supply. We have mapped out a mix of electric power generation sources inclusive of thermal, solar, hydro, nuclear, coal and windmill.

“The idea is to adapt and embed these sources to areas that they are easily adaptable to. But more than that, we will reinvigorate and conclude the power sector privatization process and thereby ensure the whole value chain in the sector is populated by the private sector.”

On why he has abandoned governance for only anti-corruption war, Buhari said: “it is not true that the fight against corruption is distracting my attention from the task of governance. You can sit back and review what we have done in the past one year and come up with your judgment. That will certainly assist you and other concerned Nigerians to reach the right conclusions.”

The President, who explained why Nigeria joined the Saudi-led Coalition Against ISIS, said it had no religious motive.

“We were looking for solutions to our myriad of problems in the area of security posed by Boko Haram which has pledged alliance to ISIS and the Saudi-led coalition against ISIS was set up to confront and eradicate ISIS,” he said.

“Boko Haram had pledged alliance to this terror group and I don’t see the reason why we should isolate Nigeria in any effort to eradicate global terrorism.

“It is all about eliminating the menace called Boko Haram. Having said that, Nigeria remains a multi-religious nation where there is freedom of worship as prescribed by our constitution.”

He said he remains committed to Nigeria as a multi-religious society where freedom of worship will be guaranteed.

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Arms Deal Scam: Panel Indicts Ihejirika, Minimah, Others For N381bn Fraud

As part of the ongoing probe of the procurement of military equipment between 2007 and 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the investigation of some serving and retired military officers found to be involved in the procurement scam.

This follows his approval of the Third Interim Report of the Presidential Committee on the Audit of Defence Equipment, which was released on Thursday.

According to report, the committee in its report found a number of irregularities in the contract awards and recommended that the affected individual be further investigated.

Among those to be investigated are 18 serving and retired military personnel, 12 serving and retired public officials and 24 Chief Executive Officers of Companies involved in the procurement.

All were either accounting officers or played key roles in the Nigerian Army procurement activities during the period under review.

Those listed for further investigation include two former Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. O.A. Ihejirika (Rtd) and Lt.-Gen. K.T.J. Minimah (Rtd); former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs II, Dr Nurudeen Mohammed and three former Permanent Secretaries in the Ministry of Defence – Mr. Bukar Goni Aji, Mr. Haruna Sanusi and Me. E.O, Oyemomi.

Also, the CEOs to be investigated include Col. Olu Bamgbose (Rtd) of Bamverde Ltd; Mr. Amity Sade of Doiyatec Comms Ltd and DYI Global Services and Mr. Edward Churchill of Westgate Global Trust Ltd.

According to the Committee, the total amount spent for procurement and operations within the period were N185,843,052,564.30 and $685,349,692.49.

It found that the Nigerian Army Contracts awarded by the Ministry of Defence for the period under review were often awarded without ”significant input from end-user (Nigerian Army) and to vendors who lacked the necessary technical competence”.

“As an example, 3 contracts with a total value of N5,940,000,000.00 were awarded to DYI Global Services Ltd and Doiyatec Comms Nig. Ltd (owned by the same individuals) for the procurement of military hardware including 20 units of KM-38 Twin Hull Boats and 6 Units of 4X4 Ambulances fitted with radios.

The committee found that the 2 companies collected N5,103,500,000.00, representing 86% of the total value of the 3 contracts worth N5,940,000,000.00, but only performed to the tune of N2,992,183,705.31,” the report said.

The committee also found that a contract worth N169,916,849.77 for the procurement of 53 Armoured Vehicles Spare Parts, with 90 days completion time, is yet to be completed 5 years after.

With respect to contracts awarded directly by the Nigerian Army, the Committee found that many of the contracts were characterized by ”lack of due process, in breach of extant procurement regulations and tainted by corrupt practices.

“In this regard, a review of the procurement carried out by Chok Ventures Ltd and Integrated Equipment Services Ltd established that between March 2011 and December 2013, the 2 companies exclusively procured various types of Toyota and Mitsubishi vehicles worth over N3,000,000,000.0 for the Nigerian Army without any competitive bidding.

“Though the committee found no credible evidence of delivery of the vehicles, the vendors were fully paid based on job completion certificate authenticated by the then Chief of Logistics.

Also, analysis of the various bank accounts of the 2 companies showed transfers to individuals related to then Chief of Army Staff,” the report said.

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Nigeria Starting All Over Again, Says Buhari

Despite its over 100 years’ existence as a nation, President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday said the situation in the country is like Nigeria was starting all over again.

He said there was a time in the history of the country that there was so much money that successive governments took things for granted.

According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the President spoke while receiving Ambassador Nasser Bourita, a Special Envoy of King Mohammed VI of Morocco, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He said his administration was only “managing” because of the sharp drop in price of oil.

Buhari said that was why the Federal Government was in a hurry to see projects take off in the agricultural sector to enhance food security and create jobs for teeming unemployed youths.

“For us in Nigeria, it is like starting all over again. There was a time we had so much money and took things for granted. But with the fall in the international price of oil, we are now managing,” the President said.

Buhari welcomed the plan by Morocco to establish a fertilizer plant in Nigeria, which would not only serve the country, but the entire West African sub-region.

The envoy, who is also Minister Delegate for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, said his country had developed strategy to deal with religious extremism, and had largely been successful in fighting terrorism.

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“I Phoned Buhari Three Times, But He Shunned My Calls” – Fayose

Ayodele Fayose, governor of Ekiti, has opened up on his effort to have a word with President Muhammadu Buhari, who he frequently criticizes. Fayose claimed he telephone the Aso Villa three times, asking to speak to the president, but each time was diverted to the Buhari’s chief security officer.

“About two – three times I called the villa they would divert my call to the CSO, saying I cannot talk to the president. I should say whatever I want to say to him; a sitting governor? That is not Nigeria. So, at that point, I had to stay clear because they were on a vendetta mission”, Fayose said in a private interview with select journalists. The embattled governor facing allegation of diverting public funds, also, said he wrote letters to the president.

“I wrote three letters to the president, none of them was replied. Initially, when he became president, I didn’t start like this”, Fayose added.

Asked why, as sitting governor, he shuns state executive council meetings with the president, Fayose said: “Each time they call meeting, my deputy goes there”.

Fayose added that he has did not harrass anyone despite provocation.

“The fact that I criticise you; I don’t have to be in your party! The APC, every day they come here to do rallies, they say that Fayose should resign, they say Fayose is fraudulent, did you see me slapping anybody? I will just look at you. There is freedom of expression.

“Even in the face of intimidation and even in the face of misbehaving, as a leader, you should accommodate all. Let me give you one instance, which the APC can never do to anybody. Throughout the tenure Fayemi was here, I never used a word that is unclean on him. I tell him he is our leader because anybody God has put there is our leader truly.”

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APC, Afenifere, Ohanaeze, Others Condemn Threat To Impeach Buhari

The All Progressives Congress has described reports of a plot by some Senators to impeach President Muhammadu Buhari as laughable and a “huge joke taken too far.”

The party was reacting to the plot purportedly suggested by a Peoples Democratic Party Senator and widely applauded by some of the lawmakers during a closed session of the Senate on Tuesday.

APC’s position was contained in a statement by the party’s National Secretary, Mai Mala Buni, in Abuja on Wednesday.

According to him, the Party advises the Senators in question to stop what he called “this huge joke” and concentrate on their primary constitutional responsibility of lawmaking.

He urged them to pay greater attention to discharging their legislative mandates to their constituents, a task he stated, they had been elected to perform at the National Assembly.

The party reiterated that the Senators in question should not allow political shenanigans to becloud their overall national interest.

The APC said, “The party will not take issue with the Senate over the forgery suit and other court cases concerning some members of the 8th Senate because it will be subjudice.

“We advise the Senators in question to toe the same line and allow judicial process run its normal and legitimate course.

“Repeated allegations that the court cases are politically-motivated by the President and the APC are baseless. The President Muhammadu Buhari administration strictly respects the principle of rule of law and also adheres to the constitutional provisions of separation of powers between the three arms of government.”

Buhari’s impeachment not what we need, says Afenifere  

Also, the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, has kicked against the purported plot by a section of the Senate to impeach President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Secretary-General of Afenifere, Pa Sehinde Arogbofa, said the solution to the problem facing the country was not the impeachment of the President. He called on the National Assembly to settle whatever the problem it had with the President for the country to move forward.

Arogbofa added, “What have they done to correct the situation of the country? It is their government, it is an APC government. What have they done within their party internally to make things better? We have been hearing of corruption everywhere even among them. I don’t think they (members) are sincere with the move of saying they want to impeach the President.

“Their hands are not clean; if they are clean, people will support them; if their hands are clean, they will not be talking about pension and gratuities and other benefits for themselves, when people are hungry; when people are dying on the street; no food, no work for people and they are doing nothing about it.”

The Afenifere chieftain charged the National Assembly and the APC-led government to find solutions to the problems of the country rather than taking issue with the President.

“Let them go and settle the internal problem they have within themselves and give Nigeria better government. Nothing is moving. We need better government; it is not the impeachment of the President that we need now in Nigeria,” the Afenifere secretary stated.

Also the National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, said, “The impeachment clause is a provision in our constitution and no one can query its use if there is a reasonable need for it.

“But as it is, we are dealing with a breaking rumour. The country will look at the grounds upon which such action is being contemplated if it ever comes on stream. For now, we have no such thing before us and we therefore cannot form any reasonable opinion yet.”

The Secretary-General of the pan-Igbo organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Dr. Joe Nwaorgu, declined comments when one of our correspondents contacted him on Wednesday.

“I don’t want to make any comments on this matter. Let the political parties make their decisions,” Nwaorgu said.

We won’t support impeachment motivated by vengeance –Ohanaeze

But the President of Ohanaeze Youth Council, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, said Ohanaeze would not support the impeachment of the President if it was motivated by vengeance.

He, however, believed that Buhari should be impeached if he had committed an impeachable offence.

Speaking with our correspondent on the telephone, Isiguzoro said, “If the President has committed any offence that warrants his impeachment, I think it will be in order to impeach him, but if it is done out of vengeance, malice or anger, especially because of the ongoing prosecution of the Senate leadership, then we will not support it.

“We advise the President to reconcile with the leadership of the Senate. He should stop the prosecution of the principal officers.

“We also advise Mr. President to stop his ‘Northernisation’ agenda. He should not continue to appoint only people from the North.

“In the same vein, we also advise the Senate to tread carefully. Impeachment is a serious matter and they should be careful so as to avoid any crisis that could undermine democracy in this country.

“We don’t want anything that could lead to another military intervention in Nigeria.”

Neither the Chairman of the pan-northern socio-political group, the Arewa Consultative Forum, and former Inspector-General of Police, Alhaji Ibrahim Commassie, nor the National Publicity Secretary of the group, Alhaji Muhammadu Ibrahim, returned several calls to their mobiles on Wednesday.

Also, there was no response to text messages sent to their telephones.

The President of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, Mr. Malachy Ugwummadu, described the alleged impeachment threat against the President as one “joke too many.’’

Ugwummadu, a lawyer, insisted that the AGF, under the constitution, has the power to institute criminal proceedings against anybody and take over as may deem fit.

He said, “I think it is one joke too many. The National Assembly, particularly, the Senate, must recognise that they (members) are there in representative capacity whereby their duty includes that of lawmaking, oversight duties and budgetting.

“However, this penchant of overreaching the other arms of government as though it is more of competition than collaboration doesn’t augur well at all.”

Reacting to the allegation of the threat of an impeachment against Buhari, the Senator, representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye, who was at the closed-door session of the upper chamber on Tuesday, denied the existence of such a plot.

Melaye, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory, described the report as false and the handiwork of individuals, who believed that a Nigeria that was not led by them must not exist.

In a statement he signed, he described the allegation “as the narrative of the attack dogs of demagogues who have decided to turn Nigeria upside down for failing to choose leaders for Senators.”

Melaye said, “It is pertinent to note that the incredulously machinated misinformation was orchestrated by forces bent on destabilising the upper chambers of the Nigerian parliament for selfish reasons.”

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The Era Of free Money Is Over, Says Buhari

The era of free money is over, President Muhammadu Buhari said on Wednesday in Zamfara state.

He was speaking during a one-day working visit.

He also said the security situation in Nigeria is improving, despite the situation in the Niger Delta.

“There is no easy money to throw around, we must go back to farming, livestock rearing so that we could develop the industries, we must co,leftovers put our hands on deck to ensure success,of our mission in engineering Nigeria,” he said.?

“If efforts were made in the past to diversify the economy from our absolute reliance on a single commodity, we would not have found ourselves in our current situation . I assure all Nigerians that the grim economic situations are passing phase which all societies go through.”

The president also assured Nigerians that his government would “deal decisively” with any threat posed to the nation.

Buhari reiterated his confidence in the capability of Nigerian security agencies to deal with all forms of terrorism in any part of the country.

Buhari noted that the federal government, through its micro economic and monetary policies of the central bank, would soon revitalise the nation’s economic sector.

“Our security situation is improving, not only in the north east, but all over the country. We are confident that our macro economic policies as well as the monetary policies being implemented by the CBN will lead to the revitalization of the industries and steady growth in significant sectors of the economy,” Buhari said.

“Our commitment to secure the country has already started yielding results as noted by the governor that for the first time since Boko Haram insurgency began in the northeast seven years ago, the people of Borno State celebrated the Eid-el-Fitri with ease, devoid of any security barricades.

“Let me use this occasion to reiterate that government is determined to, more than ever before, deal decisively with any threat to security of this nation from any quarters.”

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