Group Stage Solidarity Protest In Support Of Buhari, Warns Niger/Delta Avengers

The South West Coordinating office of Stand Up for Nigeria (SUN), a socio-political group today 13th July held a peaceful protest  March that took place across major parts of Lagos today reaffirming the Unity of Nigeria and the confidence of the Nigerian masses in President Muhammadu Buhari.

The protesters which were in thier thousands took the whole of the day to distribute pamphlets across IKeja, Opebi, Allen Avenue, Lagos State House of Assembly and the Lagos House where Gov Ambode resides as his official residence to enlighten Nigerians on the need for the country’s unity.
Speaking during the rally, South West Coordinator for SUN, Mr Abiona Desmond insisted that the unity and continued existence of Nigeria is not negotiable contrary to those that have been dismissing our oneness with their bogus claims of a negotiable unity.

Desmond described the tumultuous and massive crowd that turned up for the rally as a proof that the entire country remain united as one and behind the President

The group also passed a vote of confidence on the President Buhari’s administration, saying his commitment to rid the country of corruption and ensure security of lives and properties are already yielding results.

Desmond said the calls for restructuring of Nigeria have reached a strident point where just any person capable of expression has joined the clamour for restructuring.

He said, “This is why we are today holding this march to not just add our voice to the discourse but to demonstrate our preparedness to back our position with action when the need arises.

For us, the demand for restructuring is a coded way of calling for the disintegration of Nigeria, which is why we rightly concluded that it is not the way to go. We have seen several groups and eminent persons hyping restructuring as if it is a cure all for all the things are wrong with the country whereas the main issues are not being addressed.”

According to him, if the several ethnic nationals that make up Nigeria feel unfulfilled, it is because their leaders were corrupt, act with impunity and promote violence against their own ethnic stocks.

He said, “Fortunately, these are the shortcomings that President Muhammadu Buhari’s government has been tackling head on. We have seen how endemic corruption became under the previous regimes. It was this satanic level of corruption that sustained the era of impunity.

“The attempt to either cover up the corruption or justify corrupt expenses was the driver for the rise and spread of insurgency. No wonder the crisis entrepreneurs have found a new pastime in calling for restructuring.

“We are therefore urging Nigerians to look beyond the clamour for restructuring. We should, for a start, assess where we have been, where we are and where we want to be at any material time. This assessment is best done under a purposeful leadership which we are lucky to have under President Buhari who has strengthened our belief in the unity of this country in which our faith is unwavering.

“There is no better response from us as conscientious Nigerians that to pass a vote of confidence in President Buhari. The vote of confidence should translate into more citizen support that will spur him on to do even more. When this happens Mr President would be able to leave this country even more united than he met it.”

Desmond said the group decided to pass a vore of confidence on the President because of his performance in office in the last one year which has seen Nigeria regaining its deserved respect in the comity of nations.
According to him, the President is doing well and would do more if we reduce the distraction, team up with him and believe in the greatness of Nigeria despite its current challenges
He said this is a task that must not be taken lightly because Mr President would only have to focus to perform better if these separatists and their sponsors stop distracting the nation with their childish demands.

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Photos: President Buhari Visits Zamfara

L-R: Governors Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi, and Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto, with President Muhammadu Buhari during the flag off of the 75km Kucheri-Bilbis-Danjibga-Keta-Wanke road in Zamfara State... Wednesday 13/07/16
L-R: Governors Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi, and Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto, with President Muhammadu Buhari during the flag off of the 75km Kucheri-Bilbis-Danjibga-Keta-Wanke road in Zamfara State… Wednesday 13/07/16
Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State with President Muhammadu Buhari during the flag off of the 75km Kucheri-Bilbis-Danjibga-Keta-Wanke road in Zamfara State... Wednesday 13/07/16
Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State with President Muhammadu Buhari during the flag off of the 75km Kucheri-Bilbis-Danjibga-Keta-Wanke road in Zamfara State… Wednesday 13/07/16

Wanke 4

Wanke 3

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Senator Wamakko Reacts To Report Of Alleged Plan To Impeach Buhari

Former Governor of Sokoto State, Aliyu Wa,akko has sid that the report of alleged lan to impeach President Buhari is false and malicious.
My attention was drawn to a false and malicious story published by an online newspaper that a series of meetings were held in my residence to strategize on the impeachment proceedings of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Wamakko in a statement personally signed by him said the meeting was about resolving the impasse in the senate in order to enable the president move the nation forward and not to impeach him.
“To set the records straight, a meeting was only held in my residence towards finding amicable solution to the frosty relationship between the Executive and Legislature.”
“We have observed the growing disharmony between the two arms, and we resolved that finding amicable solution to the impasse will move the nation forward and give the president focus to pursue his Change Agenda.”
“As a principled politician, I have no cause to scheme against the president and the party I campaigned for or the cause I believe in.”
“Let me once again reiterate that we hold the president in high esteem, and we will do our best towards ensuring that there is cordial relationship and harmony between the two arms.”
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Pro-Saraki Senators Threatens Buhari With Impeachment

SOME senators are threatening to impeach President Muhammadu Buhari.

In the plot, The Nation learnt, are senators loyal to Senate President Bukola Saraki and his deputy Ike Ekweremadu.

They are angry that Saraki and Ekweremadu have been put on trial for alleged forgery of the Senate Standing Rules 2015 (as amended), which they described as an “internal affair” of the Upper Chamber.

They yesterday demanded the suspension of the senators who went to court on the alleged forgery of the Rules, having been fingered as those behind the travails of Saraki and Ekweremadu.

They protested against the refusal of the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mallam Abubakar Malami (SAN), to appear before the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters on June 30.

The aggrieved senators asked the chamber to issue a warrant of arrest against the AGF to compel him to appear before the Senate.

They asked the Executive to choose between “dialogue and the jugular” which was later interpreted by a senator to mean “impeachment”.

But members of the Unity Forum, who are opposed to Saraki’s and Ekweremadu’s leadership of the Senate, asked their colleagues to explore dialogue instead of nursing an impeachment move against the president.

They said with the intervention of the Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Sen. Ita Enang, it would be better to extend another invitation to Malami.

The Nation learnt that the senators were at daggers drawn yesterday at their Executive Session.

It was gathered that a brief by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, David Umar, sparked the tension.

Umar explained how the AGF was summoned twice but he “ignored” the Senate committee, which he described as “disrespectful and an affront”.

He said although Malami sent a Special Assistant to the President on Prosecution attached to the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr. Okoi Obono-Obla, to represent him, that was rejected.

After Umar briefing, tempers rose at the Executive Session over the alleged “contemptuous attitude of the AGF”.

Senators Isa Misau, Dino Melaye, Jibrin Barau and Monsurat Sunmonu condemned the AGF’s attitude.

They said it was obvious that “the Presidency is fighting the Senate with the disrespect for the chamber by the AGF”.

A source quoted Misau as saying: “The Executive should toe the path of dialogue or else the Senate will go for the jugular.”

A member of the Unity Forum asked: “What is the meaning of the jugular? Tell us; we don’t know what you mean.”

An enraged Misau said: “Impeachment, of course.”

Sen. Dino Melaye said: “the sacredness” of the Senate should be protected against “the recklessness” by some members of the Executive, such as the AGF.

Melaye reportedly led the campaign for sanctions against the AGF, including a warrant of arrest because “Malami is not above the law”.

Said a source: “Melaye did not mince words in demanding the suspension of all the senators behind the petition to the police and those who filed a suit in court on the Standing Rules 2015 (as amended).

“And for no just cause, Melaye openly attacked Sen. Oluremi Tinubu who has earned the respect of most Senators.”

The over one hour Executive session was said to have been reduced by Melaye to a session to rain abuses and unprintable words on Saraki’s perceived enemies.

Another source said Melaye ignited uproar after Saraki told at the Executive session that he was taken to court when the Senate was on recess.

The insider said immediately after Saraki’s explanation, Melaye demanded that those behind the petition should stand up and disown the petition or risk suspension.

Melaye, it was said, insisted that Senator Kabiru Marafa and Senator Sulaiman Hunkuyi should be suspended if they failed to disown the petition and apologise to the Senate.

Senator Oluremi Tinubu was said to have asked why Melaye should always be given the floor at every closed-session to threaten other Senators.

The Lagos Central lawmaker was said to have reminded her colleagues that they all represent their various Senatorial Districts and that there was no reason for anybody to be threatened.

At this point, Melaye was said to have unprintable words on Senator Tinubu.

Not content with unrestrained insult he was said to have heaped on his colleague, the Kogi Senator was said to have sprang from his seat and was charging toward Senator Tinubu until he was blocked by some Senators.

It was gathered that attempts to calm Maleye failed as he continued to call Senator Tinubu names.

Some Senators were said to have blamed Saraki for Melaye’s behaviour.

Senator Barnabas Gemade (Benue North East) was said to have referred the Senate to the Senator James Manager’s peace and reconciliation committee which recommended certain steps to achieve peace in the chamber.

Another source said: “Apparently, some senators held a meeting on Monday and planned to suspend those who went to court on the emergence of Saraki and Ekweremadu.

“The mood at the Executive Session made them to stay action because they knew it would not work at all. To get the number was a bit difficult for them.”

Some of the senators in court are Suleiman Hunkuyi, Kabir Marafa, Abu Ibrahim, Ajayi Borrofice and Olugbenga Ashafa.

According to investigation, intervention of Sen. Barnabas Gemade, who spoke with enormous wisdom, saved the day.

Gemade said: “Instead of the Senate going for the jugular, we should look for ways of dialoguing on all the issues at hand.

“We had earlier set up a committee on reconciliation in this chamber and I am aware the committee got to an appreciable level. Why can’t we resolve all other outstanding differences?”

Based on Gemade’s “emotional” appeal, the Senate resolved to:

  • dismiss the impeachment advisory against Buhari and other drastic measures;
  • stay action on suspension of some senators;
  • stop the planned issuance of a warrant of arrest against the AGF;
  • give the AGF another chance by re-inviting him to appear before the Senate Committee; and to
  • set up a committee headed by Sen. David Mark to resolve all outstanding differences among senators

A senator said: “We were all happy that a former President of the Senate, Chief David Mark, will now head a committee to iron out all outstanding differences among senators.

“Before we left the session, Senators also reconciled Sen. Tinubu and Dino Melaye. We said there was no basis for losing our cool when we have all worked together as a team.?”

Credit: TheNation

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Alleged Involvement In Halliburton Scam: We Have No Information Of Fraud Against Aisha Buhari – US

The United States government says it has no information on the alleged involvement of Aisha Buhari, wife of president Muhammadu Buhari in a $185m Halliburton scam.

The acting Public Affairs Officer, US Consulate General, Lagos, Frank Sellin, said this in an email sent to Punch correspondent on Tuesday.

Following an enquiry by the newspaper regarding allegations that the President’s wife was wanted in the US and was avoiding travelling to the country, Sellin? In the message, said, “Thank you for the inquiry. We have no information to provide on this matter.”

The Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, had, last month, alleged that Mrs. Buhari was involved in the $185m Halliburton scandal.

While reacting to the freezing of his Zenith Bank accounts by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Fayose claimed that the wife of the President was a wanted person in the US.

He had said, “Even the President cannot claim to be an angel. The estate he built in Abuja is known to us. His wife was indicted in the Halliburton scandal. When that American, Jefferson, was being sentenced, the President’s wife was mentioned as having wired $170,000 to Jefferson. Her name was on page 25 of the sentencing of Jefferson. We can serialise the judgment for people to see and read.”

Fayose repeated the claim in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Idowu Adelusi. He said Aisha refused to travel with the President to the US because of her involvement in the scandal.

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Dino Melaye Opens Up On Alleged Threat To Impeach Buhari And Beat Up Tinubu

The Senator representing Kogi west senatorial district in the National Assembly, Senator Dino Melaye has responded to reports that the senate is plotting the impeachment of president Muhammadu Buhari and also that he threatened to beat up Senator Oluremi Tinubu, wife of APC national leader, Bola Ahmed Tiinubu

SaharaReporters in a publication which has now gone viral had accused Senator Melaye of threatening to ‘impregnate’ and beat up Remi Tinubu.

The report added that the senate in a closed door session also threatened the impeachment of the president.

READ: Senate Rules Forgery: Senate Threaten Buhari’s Impeachment As Melaye Threatens To Beat Up Senator Tinubu

But the senator in a chat with Naij corresponded denied the accusation describing SaharaReporters as a medium of lies, blackmail and propaganda.

“It is now obvious that Sahara Reporters lies, blackmail and propaganda is now limited edition and shameless,” he said. When asked to explain what happened at the closed door session of the senate, he simply said “nothing like reported”.

The anger of the senators according to SarahaReporters rose from the proposed trial of the Senate leadership over forgery; a case for which Senate president, Bukola Saraki; his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, and other officers were recently charged to court.

Melaye was said to have called on his colleagues to fight the presidency and also reportedly issued threats during the rowdy session.

When Senator Tinubu was asked to speak, she said said the Senate should not be reduced to a kindergarten where senators could just issue childish threats.

The report says after she had appealed to senators to close ranks and seek reconciliation, Melaye got really mad and started calling the former governor’s wife names.

“I will beat you up on this floor and nothing will happen.” he threatened. This statement was reported to have triggered more commotion on the floor of the Senate as some senators rallied around her to protect her.

According to reports, Saraki was reported to have continued nodding in acknowledgment while the Kogi senator continued calling the woman names.

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Dear President Buhari, Nigeria’s Unity Is Negotiable! By Chido Onumah

Since the public presentation of the book We Are All Biafrans and the intervention of a former vice president of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, who chaired the event and delivered a speech titled “Restructuring for Nigeria’s national unity” – a speech I recommend to everyone interested in the unity and survival of Nigeria – the issue of restructuring Nigeria and negotiating its unity has once again taken the centre stage of national discourse.

No less a person than President Muhammadu Buhari has had to weigh in on the debate. During his Eid el-Fitr message to Nigerians on Wednesday, July 6, 2016, he was reported to have said: “I assure them (in reference to the Niger Delta ‘militants’) that when we were very junior officers, we were told by our leaders, by the Head of State, Gen. Gowon, that to keep Nigeria one is a task that must be done…we never thought of oil. What we were after is one Nigeria. Please, pass the message to the militants that one Nigeria is not negotiable. And I pray they better accept it. The constitution is very clear…I assure them there would be justice.”

Before President Buhari’s admonition, Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, had noted during a parley with The Punch on Tuesday, June 28, 2016: “I am on the side of those who say we must do everything to avoid disintegration. That language I understand. I don’t understand (ex-President Olusegun) Obasanjo’s language. I don’t understand (President Muhammadu) Buhari’s language and all their predecessors, saying the sovereignty of this nation is non-negotiable. It’s bloody well negotiable and we had better negotiate it. We better negotiate it, not even at meetings, not at conferences, but every day in our conduct towards one another.”

The opinions of these two prominent Nigerians reflect the two divergent opinions on the issue of restructuring Nigeria or negotiating her unity. I had planned this article – that was before President Buhari’s remarks – as a cautionary note to the Left, progressives and genuine patriots in Nigeria. I believe they are the only ones predisposed and sincerely open to solving the current crisis. Regrettably, this is one issue that has divided the Left, progressives and patriots in Nigeria. This division has defined the kind of response – ranging from obfuscation and doublespeak to outright denial and combativeness – that has made it impossible to have a coherent national narrative and action plan. Since those who ought to speak out and act have maintained criminal silence and indifference, they have yielded the space to conservative analysts of every hue, hypocrites, blackmailers, anarchists, and fifth columnists.

So what are the issues in contention? There seems to be a general agreement, even among those who brought us to this near-tragic end, that Nigeria is not working for Nigerians. However, and this is where the divergence of opinions sets in, Nigeria is not working not because it is not workable, but because it has been rigged to fail. Take the issue of the civil war (1967-70) which President Buhari alluded to. That war was fought in part because of natural resources (oil specifically). That was the driving force of the so-called federal offensive and to some extent it also defined the geo-politics of what would become the secessionist Republic of Biafra. After 30 months of fighting and millions of lives lost, there was a “negotiated” settlement. A truce was declared with the catchphrase “No victor; No vanquished.”

Unfortunately, 46 years after the end of that internecine war, low-intensity conflicts by state and non-state actors are raging across the country, from Boko Haram in the North-east, Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) and Arewa People’s Congress (APC) in the North-west, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and other groups in the South-east, the Niger Delta Avengers and Bakassi Strike Force (BSF) in the South-south to the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) in the South-west and potential avengers in the North-central. What this tells us is that that war didn’t really end and hasn’t ended. What then do we do to fix Nigeria? The simple answer would be to return to the negotiation table.

To be clear, Nigeria has always been negotiated. The problem has been that the “victors” or those who control power at each round of negotiation have unilaterally defined the structure and politics of the country going forward. Again, I return to the issue of oil. Before independence in 1960, this was the “sharing” formula for crude oil revenues: Oil producing states (region) retained 67.4% of revenues, the federal government got 20%, non-oil states (regions) got 12.6%. After the civil in 1970, the regime of Gen Yakubu Gowon through Decree No. 13 “negotiated” a new formula: Oil producing states retained 45% of revenues, the federal government got 55% while non-oil states got 0%. In 1975, the regime of Gen Murtala Muhammed in another round of negotiation through Decree 6, came up with this formula: Oil producing states would retain 20% of revenues, the federal government got 80% and non-oil states got 0%. In 1976, Gen Obasanjo, then military dictator, in his omniscience, gave oil producing states 0% of revenues while the federal government got 100% and the non-oil states got 0%.

President Shehu Shagari who came to power in 1979 brought a bizarre twist to the “sharing” formula. He retained the Obasanjo formula of 0% allocation to oil producing states and 100% to the federal government to be shared in this order: 50% shared equally among states, 40% shared based on population and 10% based on land mass. By 2000, during the reincarnation of Gen. Obasanjo as civilian president, a new revenue sharing formula was negotiated which gave oil producing states 13%.

As Prof. Yakubu Aboki Ochefu notes in the introduction to the book Nigeria is Negotiable, “Beginning from the Berlin West Africa Conference of 1884-85, the ‘negotiated’ existence of what eventually became Nigeria in 1914 (unfortunately, negotiated without the input of those who would eventually become Nigerians) has always been a part of its historical experience. Under British colonial rule, the economic and administrative structures of the country were continuously rejigged until independence in 1960.

“Between the official versions of the decolonisation history that gives a prominent role to our nationalist heroes for winning independence from the British, to others who believe in the ‘conspiracy theory’ of decolonisation, the process of how the region with the least democratic credentials ended up as the driver of a new democratic enterprise epitomizes aspects of the negotiated experience. As a country on its ‘third missionary’ journey to a truly democratic nation, the fundamental questions of nation building that began over 100 years ago have not been fully and or properly answered. We must collectively negotiate to ensure that we retain the map (of Nigeria) but change the way we exist under that map.”

On April 22, 1990, a group of young Nigerian army officers – mainly from a section of the country (the same army President Buhari told us last week fought to keep Nigeria one) – attempted to overthrow the military regime of Gen Ibrahim Babangida. While that abortive coup lasted, the rebellious soldiers excised five states of the federation – Sokoto, Borno, Katsina, Kano and Bauchi. That coup and the excision order were popular and well-received in many parts of the country. Clearly, if that coup had succeeded, the aftermath would have been another civil war. Gen. Babangida responded to that mutiny by dividing Nigeria into 30 states from 21 (just as Yakubu Gowon divided Nigeria into 12 states from four regions in 1967 to weaken the Biafra secession).

Having told ourselves a few historical home truths, let us quickly avail ourselves of one more opportunity to reclaim Nigeria. When people call for restructuring Nigeria, they make the call for a reason. And it should not be dismissed peremptorily. The rulers of the country use every opportunity to speak about the unity of Nigeria and hardly do anything to build or enhance that unity.

I don’t think the issue really is about the unity of Nigeria. Undoubtedly, many Nigerians want to live in a united Nigeria. It is important, therefore, that we do not conflate the issues. The call for restructuring Nigeria has nothing to do with the “dissolution” of Nigeria. You can believe that “Nigeria is non-negotiable” and still support the call for restructuring the country. That call is basically about building an inclusive and equitable nation; one in which your worth and position are determined not by where you come from or your religion; a nation founded on a popular constitution validated by “we the people”.

On a final note, let me emphasize that restructuring Nigeria has become a “categorical imperative” for the country. It is either we restructure or perish! Restructuring Nigeria is not an elitist concept (even if it is sometimes used by sections of the ruling elite to negotiate power) neither is it about splitting Nigeria. We can restructure (or negotiate) Nigeria without changing the internal map of the country; it is more about resource control rather than resource allocation; more about devolution of power and, therefore, responsibilities. It is about enhancing citizenship rights and the existential confidence in the country.

Of course, restructuring Nigeria is not a silver bullet or cure-all for our problems. But we can’t take on our problems as a nation without a generally acceptable and workable structure. In a sentence, we MUST “re-federalize”.

Onumah’s latest book is We Are All Biafrans. He can be reached through conumah@hotmail.com; Follow him on Twitter: @conumah

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Buhari Considers Hadiza Bala Usman As NPA MD

In a bid to inject a fresh pair of hands to run the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi, has submitted Ms. Hadiza Bala Usman’s name to President Muhammadu Buhari to take over as the new managing director of NPA.

Should Buhari approve the recommendation, Ms. Bala Usman, 40, will become the first female chief executive of a top tier federal government agency and of the NPA.

She shall take over from Alhaji Habib Abdullahi, who was reinstated by Buhari in August 2015 as the managing director of NPA, after he had been shown the exit by former President Goodluck Jonathan in April 2015.

Sources in the presidency, who confirmed that Ms. Bala Usman’s name had been sent to the president, said Amaechi had decided to make the changes in order to overhaul the NPA.

Amaechi, it was gathered, is not particularly impressed with the way the NPA was being run and has decided to effect a change of the executive team as soon as possible.

A presidency source said that the minute Ms. Bala Usman’s name was submitted to the president, Buhari was happy to consider the recommendation, given the past relationship he had with her father, the late Prof. Yusufu Bala Usman, who was a renowned Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) academic, historian and activist before his death some years ago.

Amaechi was also believed to have recommended Ms. Bala Usman, on the grounds that two chief executives of the foremost parastatals under his ministry – Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) – are from the south, and he would rather have an equitable distribution of appointments into the agencies under his ministry.

Ms. Bala Usman, who is currently the chief of staff to the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, and a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was born in Zaria, Kaduna State, on January 2, 1976.

She grew up close to the ABU campus where her father worked and obtained her Bachelor’s degree in 2000 from the same university and her Master’s degree from the University of Leeds in 2009.

She worked for a non-governmental organisation, the Centre for Democratic Development and Research Training (CEDDERT) in Zaria, as a research assistant for a year starting in 1999.

She also worked for the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) when el-Rufai was the director-general of the privatisation agency and moved with him to work as his Special Assistant on Project Implementation.

In 2011, she worked as Director of Strategy for the Good Governance Group (3G). In 2015, she was appointed Chief of Staff to the Kaduna State governor.

She shot to national prominence in 2014 when Boko Haram insurgents kidnapped 276 girls from their secondary school in Chibok, Borno State.

Following in her father’s footsteps, Ms. Bala Usman, in conjunction with the former Minister of Education, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili, co-founded the #BringBackOurGirls (BBOG), which brought global attention to the plight of the kidnapped schoolgirls.

She is married to Dr. Tanimu Yakubu, former Chief Economic Adviser to the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, and they have two sons.

Credit: Thisday

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Why Buhari Removed Kachikwu As NNPC GMD

President Muhammadu Buhari recently reconstituted the board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu as the group Managing Director of the NNPC, with Maikanti Baru.

It was learnt that Kachikwu had to give way because it was “not normal” for a person to hold two strategic positions; Minister of state for Petroleum Resources and Group Managing Director of NNPC, according to Today.ng.

“It was an anomaly and supposed to be a temporary arrangement. It was not supposed have lasted that long.

“In addition, he brought private sector initiatives into a largely conservative and bureaucratic system. Normally, reforms will be resisted by those used to the old system. But one of the things he didn’t do well was not carrying the people along.

“There was a lot of disenchantment in the system because of the sweeping reforms Kachikwu tried to introduce,” a source said

The source also disclosed that Kachikwu implemented too many changes in a short period of time, not leaving room for NNPC staffs to adjust.

“He ought to have been a bit gradual in introducing those reforms, but he was working on timelines that were too fast for the system.

“He was in a hurry because he knew that he was not supposed to occupy those two positions for a long time,” the source said.

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Why We Won’t Allow Buhari To Export Oil – Niger Delta Avengers

The Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, weekend, said since President Muhammadu Buhari had decided to shun the demand for legitimate dialogue with militants and stakeholders on the Niger Delta question, it would continue to encumber all avenues by him to export crude oil from the region.

Avengers, in an exclusive interview with Vanguard, disclosed that the struggle has entered a new phase with Buhari’s disposition of winning the battle and losing the war.

It also denied the widespread belief that ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, recently nominated by the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, as a member of its Aaron 2 Negotiating Team, was the sponsor of Avengers.

This came as another militant group, Niger Delta Revolutionary Crusaders, NDRC, declared that it was ready to fight government and the Saudi Arabia mercenaries it was allegedly engaging over the God-given resources of Ijaw people, while the Ijaw People Development Initiative, IPD, insisted that the way out was to conduct a referendum for the people to make their choice.

In a related development, a group, the Toru-Ebe State Creation Movement, said the quick fix to the ongoing bombings was for the federal government to create Toru-Ebe state for the Ijaw in the western flank of Niger Delta inhabiting Edo, Delta and Ondo states.

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Buhari Writes Senate To Confirm Magu As EFCC Boss

Following his impressive performance, there were strong indications yesterday that President Muhammadu Buhari has written the Senate seeking the confirmation of Mr. Ibrahim Magu as the substantive chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Magu is the fourth chairman of the agency. Others before him are Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, Mrs. Farida Waziri and Mallam Ibrahim Lamorde.

According to findings, the letter was forwarded to the Senate through his Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang.

It was gathered that the President opted for Magu because of his “record-breaking performance, transparency, integrity and exceptional courage” since his appointment as the acting chairman of EFCC on November 9, 2015.

Magu was recently promoted to the post of a Deputy Commissioner of Police based on his good performance.

His nomination as the substantive chairman of EFCC was said to be in line with Section 2(1) (a) of the EFCC Act.

The section reads in part: “The commission shall consist of the following members – (a) a chairman who shall (i) be the Chief Executive and Accounting Officer of the commission; (ii) be a serving or retired member of any government security or law enforcement agency not below the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police or equivalent; and (iii) possess not less than 15 years cognate experience.”

When contacted, Enang was not forthcoming on the President’s letter.

He said, “It is not my job to speak on communication between the President and the Senate but it is my responsibility to work on communication between the two arms of government. I cannot say yes or no to your enquiry.”

As at May, the EFCC under Magu had secured140 convictions in six months.

The list included the following: a former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Raymond Temisan Omatseye (five years for N1.5n contract scam); a Lagos Court Registrar, Mrs. Rosulu Idowu Oluronke (10 years for $8.4m); a  former  Chairman, Ogori/Magongo Local Government Area of the Kogi State, Gabriel Daudu(154 years for N1.4billion fraud); ex-Adamawa Commissioner for Local Government Affairs, John Elias Babani (10 years for N51.5m); George Uboh (three years for selling vehicles belonging to the defunct Police Equipment Fund).

The EFCC also secured a court order to extradite a former Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company (NSPM), Ehi Okonyomon to the United Kingdom to face charges of corruption and money laundering on the N750m polymer bribery scandal.

It also got another order to extradite a Nigerian fugitive, Franca Asemota to the UK for prosecution of trafficking of minors.

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