As Buhari Takes Devil’s Position, Ambode Becomes “Anti-masses” By Shomoye Abiodun

President Buhari and his new position:

Some days ago, I took to my twitter page via @MrShomoye to share my perceived change in the societally common shibboleth, after tweeting the opinion, I thereafter realized the 140 character provided by Twitter is not enough to portray the intended message hence I am left with the option of writing this piece. After reading this, I am certain that we all will relate it to our environments and will eventually vindicate my assertion. The tweet is quoted below:

“Finally, devil has found a replacement in Nigeria. Anything now is no longer Devil, it’s now Buhari. Forgery; Buhari, Stealing; Buhari,”

Believe me you, it is a common character in this part of the world to transact blame anytime we are found guilty of any wrong doing, we hardly take responsibilities for our actions and inactions. Though, this might not be peculiar to all but certainly a larger percentage of the population does this. It is actually acceptable if the person who the blame was directed to, was actually the motor spirit that supported the occurrence of the abysmal acts, probably as society, we can pity you but mind you, not in the court of law.

There have been paradigm shifts in the occupant of the prestigious sit titled “Who to blame”. Sometimes ago, all the blames were usually directed to either someone’s stepmother(s) (In the case of polygamous family), father’s concubine(s) or the village people at large. At that time, if anyone gets caught indulging in terrible acts, the next statement to hear is “my village people finally caught me” or “Iya Sikira has caught me”.  At that time, the blame-receivers were “Village people”, “Father’s concubine(s)” and “step mother(s)”.

As years goes on, things began to change, polygamous marriage began to reduce, and village people became busier. As at that time, the key two receivers of blame seems too busy to receive those. But trust Nigerians, we must definitely create alternatives, this time Devil became the new victim. Immediately Devil became the soul receiver of blames, all bad deeds were attributed to him as the motivating factor (like he came into their souls or he was using a remote controller over them). As of this time, if a thief is caught, the next statement will be; its devil’s handwork.

Contrary to the previous situation where everyone has individual villages or step mothers receiving the blames, devil’s own was different as he was the only receiver. As expected the available space in Devil’s bungalow to receive blames got filled up, my people were left in lacuna again, the search for the new occupant of the sit began.

Unfortunately for President Buhari, he was sworn in as at the time the search game was serious. President Buhari being unaware of the search game concentrated on closing two doors (anti-corruption door and counter terrorism) in his own apartment, what a careless one from the President. The other doors that were left unclosed made him vulnerable and expectedly gave room for the blames to pour in millions. President Buhari is now the current occupant of the prestigious sit, now the devil is free to leave in peace for the time being.

What do we now have after Buhari’s emergence?

  • When caught stealing; Buhari o
  • Even when tax clearance was forged prior to becoming governor; Buhari o
  • Senate order was forged; Buhari o
  • Economy; Buhari o
  • Kidnapping; Buhari o
  • EFCC doing performing its duties: Buhari o

Those blaming Buhari for economy woes are still on track but what concerns Buhari with tax clearance forgery case? Is it Buhari that aided the forgery of senate order? For God’s sake!!

In order to leave the “who to blame” sit, president Buhari has given mandates to six-months-studied “saints” to man the doors and ensure no blames comes through them again. Saint that doesn’t sign cheque got a 3-in-one door to man but unfortunately, he has done nothing tangible to make differences, his door remains one of the best extending Buhari’s stay as the blame receiver. Most of the “saints” are even on sabbatical leaves, it’s very appalling that nothing tangible is coming from them for now. Their ineffectiveness is making President Buhari remain as the occupant of “who to blame” sit, I sincerely hope President Buhari will consider sacking some of them after this current fiscal years.

Lest I forget, what made me write this? Buhari o

Ambode: The Creator of Decree before Design

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode seems to have enacted his first law as a governor, majority has been waiting for the governor’s first law as his predecessor Fashola was known for lots of such, and one of fashola’s laws remains the ban of Okada riders on highways. Fashola’s decision back then generated lots of debates, Ambode’s own seems to have tow the same direction as he has made known to all that street hawking is an offence in Lagos state. Actually, the decision might be considered good as no one wants to be on the street hawking but the decision will metamorphosed into full grown anti-masses decision if at the end there is no provision for the disengaged masses as no one wants to be jobless.

Governor Ambode while making the decision apparently forgot some salient issues; he forgot he is governing a state where large amount of people (even with hawking business) can’t afford accommodation for themselves, he forgot he is governing a state where good number of people are currently jobless (now he is adding to the population), he ultimately forgot there is only one liberty in Lagos (liberty to earn a living)?. As is it now, governor Ambode has taken away the only liberty Lagosians enjoys with nothing to replace it. Rather than providing alternatives for them, the governor went ahead to impose jail term and penalty just to scare away the poor masses, is this the best to do after taking away their means of survival? Is governor Ambode aware of the fact that this population constitute large percentage of his board of employer? Definitely he forgot all before taking a decision that makes his employers looks like his employee.

In a sane society, before such decision will be made public, alternative provisions to assimilate the disengaged would have been put in place to assimilate them. Oh! That is for sane society anyways.

Now that governor Ambode has taken the decision as expected in an insane society, I personally don’t want him to reverse it. All I want from Ambode now is to correct his mistakes by providing a non-hawking environment which at the same time will be favorable for trading opportunity.

It will be an imposition of lifestyle, if craft is the only alternative route at the end. Every human has passion and interest, some’s own might be craft while some’s might not. Some are structured to be traders (which hawking is a means), some are not. The best for Ambode is to provide the two (Craft and Trade). We have bus stops across Lagos, creating mini stops for them won’t be a bad idea.

I just have to pity Lagosians now, as their burden is plus 10. Those who leaves their various beds as early as 4am to beat traffic gridlocks are the secondary victims of this ban. No more 50naira snacks and drink to bail you out. Your governor has prioritized banning hawkers ahead of ending traffic gridlock which is supporting its (hawking) existence.

Eku se se be re ni o

 

Shomoye Abiodun

@MrShomoye

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Buhari Lauds Military Operations In Borno

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, commended the military for the progress recorded in the clearance operations in northern Borno.
This is contained in sallah message by the president to the 119 Task Force and Armed Forces Special Forces Battalions’ temporary harbour at Kangarwa.
The message was conveyed to the troops by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, who visited them at the base.
Buhari acknowledged the impact of the operations on the North-East, and said that Nigerians were proud of them “grateful for the sacrifice”.
He said the entire country was behind the troops and praying for the successful completion of their task in the region.
He reiterated his administration’s commitment to troops’ logistics and other needs required to finally clear the remnant of the Boko Haram terrorists on Nigerian territory.
In his address to the troops, Buratai commended their efforts and urged them to sustain the tempo as they advanced towards other border communities in northern Borno.
“The president is proud of you; he is satisfied with your progress and he conveys his greetings to you all.
“Since you advanced from Baga, you have made progress and I must commend you for it.
“I am aware of the challenges you are facing and we will address them accordingly.
“You must continue with the good job that you are doing; the remnant of these criminals must be flushed out as soon as possible,” he said.
Buratai later told newsmen in an interview that more men and equipment would be sent to the unit as they advanced to other hideouts of the insurgents.
He expressed satisfaction with the troops’ conduct since the commencement of the northern Borno operation tagged “Operation Gaman Aiki”.
He said that the operation in the area would be intensified in the coming days as ground forces cleared remnants of terrorists in northern Borno.
“I am here to further raise the troops’ morale in the fight against insurgency.
“We will ensure that the morale remains high amid the momentum and to also keep the initiative on our side.
“This area extends to the border toward Niger and Chad; this is also where these insurgents sneak into the country whenever they are pushed in Niger, Chad or even in Nigeria.
“We are on the final push to ensure that we defeat them; they are the remnants of the Boko Haram insurgents that we have been talking about,” he said.
The Commanding Officer of the Battalion, Lt. -Col. Muhammadu Ali, conducted Buratai and the Commander, “Operation Lafiya Dole’’, Maj.-Gen. Lucky Irabor, round the unit’s defensive positions.
The army chief distributed food and drinks to the troops in the spirit of the Eid-el-fitri celebration.
The ground clearance operation is strongly supported by aerial reconnaissance and bombardments by Nigerian Air Forces fighter jets.
NAN
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Rivers APC Hails Buhari Over Niger Delta Peace Moves, Coastal Rail Line Project

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Buhari Using ‘Corrupt’ EFCC To Fight Corruption – Fayose

Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose has declared that President Muhammadu Buhari is using a ‘corrupt’ Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to stamp out corruption in Nigeria, insisting that the President must start the corruption fight from his party and immediate aides since charity begins from home.

The governor said; “EFCC opinions remain their opinions and if they are so sure of whatever information they have, they should go to court and stop subjecting Nigerians to media trial and that no amount of media trial from the same elements that orchestrated my removal in 2006 can erode my popularity among Ekiti people.”

He said any property that may be linked to him or his company was bought legitimately and his properties were duly declared in his assets declaration form and sources of such funds were not illicit.

In a release issued on Wednesday by the Special Assistant to the Governor on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, maintained that his election was funded by Zenith Bank as well as donations from friends and associates, adding that; “As a promising candidate of my party, I cannot stop Nigerians from supporting my election like every other candidates of other political, including President Buhari.”

He said since the money he got for his election was from legitimate sources and not from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) as being concocted, how the money was spent remained his own business and not that of anyone.

The governor also debunked the reported allegation by the EFCC that he received bribe from any contractor in Ekiti; saying; “if they have anything against me, they should keep their gun powder dry.

“Because in 2006 when they took me to court, their allegations crumbled like pack of cards because court decisions are founded on facts and law, and not on media trial as currently being done by the EFCC as teleguided by the APC in their desperation to set the people against me knowing fully that they are not on ground.”

He said “having failed to buy the conscience of Ekiti House of Assembly members, the APC people have become increasingly afraid of 2018 and that the agencies of the Federal Government should know that no matter how hard they try, Ekiti electorate will not be deceived by their blackmail and media trial.

Governor Fayose said “The EFCC should be told in clear terms that this is 2016 and not 2006 when impeachment notices against governors were signed on the table of EFCC operatives. Those who are teleguiding the EFCC now should also be reminded that they did more than what they are doing now in 2006, yet I was overwhelmingly voted for by the Ekiti people eight years after the orchestrated impeachment which the Supreme Court declared illegal.”

The governor asked; “Should Nigerians now conclude that EFCC is an appendage of APC? Is the EFCC for investigation of corrupt practices among all Nigerians or members of opposition parties alone?”

The governor said; “As at today, I have not been accused of stealing a dime from Ekiti treasury. EFCC has not also said that Ekiti money was stolen and that my election was funded with Ekiti State money.”

Accusing the EFCC of carrying out the APC agenda to force him out of office as was done in 2006, the governor said; “It is sad that some politicians from Ekiti State now resume and close in EFCC offices in Lagos and Abuja and we wonder whether those politicians have now taken over the job of EFCC.”

He maintained that he will continue to speak his mind on issues affecting Nigerians and can never be cowed, saying; “Nigerians are suffering. States can no longer pay workers salary, a litre of kerosene is now N220, a bag of rice is now N20,000 and some people will sit in Presidential Villa and expect that all of us should keep silent? That’s not possible!

“No amount of media trial by agents of the Buhari-led APC government will make me to stop baring my mind on the cluelessness of the Federal Government.”

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Appointments: Between President Buhari And His Critics, By Inibehe Effiong

Many Nigerians, including notable supporters and apologists of the present administration, have vociferously criticized and lampooned President Muhammadu Buhari over what they term his “lopsided appointments”. Those who are aggrieved have taken to social media to ventilate their misgivings over the way and manner the president is making his appointments which they insist is excessively favouring the Northern part of the country to the disadvantage of the South. Others have accused Buhari of not being gender sensitive owing to the low presence of women in appointive positions in his government.

It seems the announcement of the Board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Monday 4th July, 2016 was the last straw that broke the camel’s back. Since the announcement was made, the social media has been inflamed by tirade of disapproving and excoriating commentaries directed at the president’s perceived insensitivity to the geographical spread of Nigeria. Buhari has been accused, among others, of promoting and enthroning a Northern oligarchy in the nation’s political and leadership equation to the detriment of national cohesion and inclusiveness.

The statistics and figures on the appointments of heads security agencies, the members of the NNPC Board and other sectors (Ministries, Departments and Agencies) so far made by Buhari are already in the public domain. It is not neccesary for me to enumerate them in order to prove a point. The facts are undisputed and they speak for themselves.

There is this seemingly irresistible perception that President Buhari is yielding to the machinations of separatist and divisive forces. Those who defend the trend of appointments which for all intent and purposes, are skewed and lopsided in favour of a section of the country seem not to be mindful of the structural complexity of the country.

Those who see nothing wrong in the manner the president is making his appointments have ferociously argued that what is important is competence and service delivery. That attention should not be paid to the regional or religious identities of the appointees. I agree in principle with this argument. But that is not the end of the matter.

This argument about competency is not new. It is a familiar one.

One identifiable defect with this line of argument is that it tends to disregard the fact that there are “incorruptible”, competent and service oriented Nigerians in every part of the country. Also, those who have not seen any abnormality in Buhari’s appointments have either deliberately or inadvertently failed to distinguish between a desire for competence and a clear demonstration of nepotism and favouritism.

From what we have seen so far, there is reasonable basis to infer that the parameters used by Buhari in making appointments are not necessarily targeted at competence and service delivery. One is tempted to query whether these controversial appointments are not primarily actuated by nepotism? Is the president not tactically and uncaringly foisting a corrosive culture of exclusion and segregation? If this is so as widely canvassed, it is indeed a very sad commentary.

This in itself is corruption.

Whoever cannot distinguish between a quest for excellence and manifestation of nepotism should not bother to join this conversation.

Even in the traditional African polygamous family setting, it is not acceptable for the father to show excessive preference and love for children of a particular wife, no matter how illustrious they may be, while relegating the children of his other wives. This can only lead to bad blood and acrimony in the home which may ultimately threaten the peace and development of the family.

Beyond this, federal character is still part of the Nigerian Constitution. The provisions of Section 14 (3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) are unambiguous. It states emphatically thus:

“The composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few State or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that Government or in any of its agencies.”

Furthermore, Nigeria has an institution funded with tax payers money called the Federal Character Commission which is a creation of an Act of the National Assembly.

If federal character is to be abolished, let it be universal. It should cut across every sphere of our national life, including the educational system. Nobody should oppose federal character in political and executive appointments but favour quota system in admissions into institutions of learning. That will be hypocritical. Let the anti-federal character campaign be total and all encompassing.

Those that are referring to the appointment culture and practice under the erstwhile administration of former president Goodluck Jonathan in an attempt to justify Buhari’s skewed appointments are doing a great disservice to the very foundational mantra upon which the present government was elected – CHANGE.

We should not be preaching change only when it suits our egregious interests. I am against what Buhari is doing because in the final analysis, it will only cause disaffection in the country. Buhari is not being nationalistic in his appointments. He is being unapologetically discriminatory, parochial, self-serving and sentimental.

There have been strong insinuations that some individuals have assumed near absolute and almost unrestrained powers under Buhari’s presidency. These persons are reportedly the unseen hands behind a large proportion of the president’s actions, decisions and appointments. Notable among them are Mamman Daura (president Buhari’s nephew); Babachir David Lawal – Secretary to the Government of the Federation and
Abba Kyari – Chief of Staff to the President.

The trio are said to be the unquestionable, infallible and undisputed ring leaders of Buhari’s kitchen cabinet. They have been credited with an aura of invincibility. Mamman Daura for example is said to be the “Alpha and Omega” of Buhari’s presidency, only submissive to Buhari and no other. Some have even alleged that Daura can veto the decisions and directives of the president if he so wishes. I pray this should be a hyperbole of the state of affairs in the presidency. Otherwise, it would mean that a silent coup has been staged against the popular mandate of the Nigerian people.

These men have been accused of orchestrating Buhari’s skewed and flawed appointments. I cannot vouch for the veracity and credibility of these insinuations and accusations. What I can say with certitude is that when the current mandate of this government expires by May 2019, nobody will credit the trio of Mamman Daura, Babachir David Lawal and Abba Kyari with the failures or successes of the administration. Buhari will take the blame and praises.

Nigerians did not vote for them. There was nothing like Sai Mamman Daura; Sai Babachir Lawal or Sai Abba Kyari during the 2015 presidential election. We only exclaimed ‘Sai Buhari’.

Some commentators have said repeatedly that the president needs to work with people he can trust. This is the most unfortunate response to the issue. Nigeria is a vast and diverse country with over 170 million people, which cuts across over 150 tribes and six geo-political zones.

There is an unwritten requirement that any person seeking the highest office in a pluralistic country like Nigeria should meet – the capacity to locate trustworthy and competent citizens across the length and breath of the country who can help him achieve his aspirations, policies and programmes.

Buhari was loudly accused of being deficient in this unwritten requirement during the 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015 presidential elections which he participated. The president’s critics told everyone who cared to listen: that Buhari is an unrepentant divisive figure destitute in nationalistic norms. Buhari never admitted this accusation levelled against him by his political foes. During the 2011 presidential election, Buhari in an effort to disabuse the minds of the Nigerian electorates, opted for a Pentecostal pastor from the South West, Mr. Tunde Bakare, as his running mate just to disprove the pro-North and anti-South character ascribed to him.

Today, it is becoming increasingly difficult to say who was/is right between Buhari and his critics.

The most tragic aspect of it is that president Buhari appears not to give a damn (Apologies to Jonathan) about what people say. The president seems to have this covert disdain for unfavourable public opinion. For Buhari, critics can cry to death, and it is inconsequential whether they shed blood, instead of tears, in the process.

I am very aware of the tendency to refer to anyone who expresses reservations about the president’s actions and appointments as pro-corruption. Today, criticisms, no matter how well intentioned, are commonly responded to with the dismissive slogan that “corruption is fighting back”. Such generalisation is rather naive and simplistic.

Conversely, the raw truth is that nepotism in appointments can only mean that corruption is coming back. This is not the view of another “Wailing Wailer”. On the contrary, it is the view of one of those patriotic Nigerians who ignored ethnic and religious affiliations and campaigned vigorously in support of Buhari’s candidacy during the last presidential election.

I sincerely want president Buhari to succeed, not only in fighting corruption, but very importantly in uniting this deeply polarised nation. Without unity, the gains of the anti-corruption fight will look very insignificant. If nepotism is not a specie of corruption, then corruption is meaningless.

It is not too late for president Buhari to retrace his steps. The president should always bear in mind that the verdict of history will not be influenced by the hypocrisy and arrogance of today.

Thank you.

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

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President Buhari Sharpens Focus On Niger Delta, By @GarShehu

OUT OF THE BLUE, a group calling itself the Niger Delta Avengers, NDA sprouts. They kill soldiers and policemen. They kidnap and kill oil company workers. Piracy on the high seas. They asked oil companies to stop operations and pack out of the Niger Delta region.

They blow up oil pipelines, power and other infrastructure. They attack and kill prominent individuals, ransacking homes up and down the coastal areas, including lately, Lagos and Ogun states.

All these for what?

It is still unclear what they want. From the diverse, if vague and inchoate voices of the militants, some say they want to take control of the oil resources in the region. Sometimes when the rhetoric gets uglier, they call for the breakup of Nigeria as a country!

The scariest part of what is happening is that the media, in their appetite for sensational stories are egging them on to make a great display of seditious, anti-national sentiment. In the last stages before her government’s defeat of the Irish Republican Army,IRA Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher likened publicity for the terrorist to oxygen needed for survival. “We must deny terrorists the oxygen of publicity,” and the independent English press gave the Prime Minister a free pass.

In the midst of these unfolding events, President Muhammadu Buhari had maintained an uncharacteristic aloofness.

Many had thought for instance that he would tackle the new onslaught on the economy with the same hawkishness that characterized his tenure as military Head of State in the 80’s. But he did not panic, either.

In fact several of the political leaders of the Delta, themselves severely under pressure for their inability to keep up with salary payments have been in the forefront of the calls for the “strongest possible military action” against the terrorists. The country’s third richest state, Delta State gave notice a week ago that workers salaries can no longer be guaranteed.

So far, the President has resisted the urge to pull the trigger. Yes, the army has mobilized to the region but military action has been stayed as the country absorbs the incredible shock that has come with the fall of oil revenues. Records of oil exports are at their lowest levels in 30 years.

The Punch newspaper, in an editorial on Friday July 1 warned the government about inherent “landmines” in any negotiations: “It is like dealing with a blackmailer: he keeps making all sorts of demands, reasonable and otherwise. Worse, there is a high probability that other splinter militant groups will emerge based on the negotiations with the NDA. They will threaten the state expecting to be negotiated with. At the end of the day,the government would have numerous groups to contend with than it can handle.”

In my conversation on this issue with General Babagana Munguno, the National Security Adviser precisely two weeks back, he informed this reporter that he met 14 groups claiming leadership to the renewed onslaught on the nation’s economic jugular vein.

Each of the groups had been brought to him by a serving governor or a former one; a serving minister or one that had left office with assurances that “this group is the one to talk to.”

The amazing discovery he made from his meetings is the lack of unity among them as each group that came attacked the one that came before it as inconsequential.

Leaning on an editorial by the influential British newspaper the Economist, the Punch recommended strong military action. Quoting the Economist, the newspaper said “Buhari should not try to buy them off. Rather, he should arrest those those who have committed acts of violence or extortion.”

At a meeting with the Niger Delta Dialogue and Contact group led by His Royal Majesty King Alfred Diete-Spiff at the State House last Thursday, President Buhari spoke most extensively on his own approach to the crisis in the region.

He told Diete-Spiff, himself a former military governor of the old Rivers State that peace and stability in the the Delta region and the country is the priority of his government and there will be no compromise on this. To show respect for the visiting ruler, President Buhari recalled that he was “a bloody army Lieutenant” when the Amanyanabo of Twon Brass was a military governor.

He disclosed that his decision on what to do dealing with the problem of the region will be based on the reports he is expecting from the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu who is interfacing with all stakeholders; the Special Adviser to the President on the Niger Delta overseeing the amnesty program and the new management of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.

Allying fears that he would jettison the Niger Delta Peace Plan he inherited from the previous administration, President Buhari told his visitors that he had read the agreements and the gazette outlining the amnesty program.

He said he had asked his officials on assignment on the Niger Delta to look around and see how many of the signatories to the amnesty agreement are still around.

“Let them find out what has been achieved and what is left and then write a report.

“I have asked the Minister of State Petroleum to work with the oil companies. We need to get as much intelligence as is possible before we start talking.

“I sympathize with the investors who borrow money, half way through, their investment is blown away.

“I have encouraged law-enforcement agencies to contact leaders like you (Amanyanabo). When I move in, I will have plenty of information so as to deal with the issue once and for all. We will talk to as many groups as possible. We won’t give up.

“Whatever remains of the Yar’Adua agreement will be met.”

He then talked about the impact of the collapse of the oil prices, which averaged about 100 US Dollars from 1999 to 2015, saying that its fall to about 30 Dollars a barrel some weeks ago was shocking. “I would have been in coma if not for the fact that I was in Oil (sector as a past minister) for three years.”

He then sent an important message at this meeting: “We intend to rebuild this country so that our children and grandchildren will have a good place. But a lot of damage has been done. Tell the people to be patient.

“When you get together, pacify the people. Let them be patient. We will utilize (their) resources with integrity.”

The President’s conciliatory note came a day after he hosted the National Council of Traditional Rulers to a Ramadan Iftar, at which event he asked the rulers to “beg the militants in the name of God to stop their sabotage of the economy.” He appreciated the efforts they and the oil companies were making and said he did not wish to undermine them. This equally signaled a highly conciliatory direction for the resolution of the crisis.

It is clear from the foregoing that the President is taking a bit of time but it is also because he is determined to find a lasting solution to the recurring crisis in the Delta.

It is important for the country that a lesson be learned from the many past meetings and agreements between government groups and the militants that have yielded only short term political dividends. What is wrong with those agreements that they don’t last?

How many of those agreements,joint statements, ceasefires and peace declarations do we have on record so far? Why haven’t they given us peace?

Second issue the President is obviously weighing is the integrity of the country’s internal capacity for the resolution of crises.

Over the years, this country has evolved ways of dealing with problems, real or imagined that threatened its existence from time to time. The amazing thing about it is that solutions emerge from within, that is without the involvement of external influences. This why we have come this far.

In his desire to build a country in which every part is carried along, he is mindful of the fact that if any part of the body is paralyzed, the whole body cannot be said to be alright. The President is mindful of the fact that the Delta region is an important part of the whole.

But as he charts his course for a permanent peace in the Niger Delta, it is important however that militants don’t mistake his efforts as a sign of weakness.

Garba Shehu is Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media and Publicity.

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“We Care About You”, Buhari Tells Less Privileged During Breaking Of Ramadan Fast

President Muhammadu Buhari, on Sunday had his breaking of the Ramadan fast at the Presidential Villa, Abuja with some low members of the society, drawn from physically challenged persons, hair dressers, keke Napep operators, taxi drivers, butchers, traders, road transport workers, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), and junior workers of the campaign office of the All Progressives Congress (APC) among others.

He told the group that his administration was conscious of their needs and desire but that the government met very poor conditions.

“I assure you that the leadership of this country is conscious of you. I’m being told that more has to be done.

“Our intentions are good and honourable but I have to remind you of what we inherited from the previous administration.

“Be mindful that we care about you on daily basis. We will try to improve health services so you will spend less time looking for medical care.

“Tell your family that this government is concerned about your welfare and will work very hard to improve it.”

The President took time to personally serve some of the physically-challanged Nigerians the type of food they wanted to eat during the dinner.

Delivering the vote of thanks, a disabled, Musbahu Lawal Didi, praised the President for having the interest of disabled persons at heart.

He also urged the President to set up a Commission for the disabled so that their interest can be further taken care of.

Muslim and Christian prayers were offered by two IDPs  —Musa Abdullahi from Gwoza, Borno State and Joseph Jauro from Adamawa State.

At the dinner were the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Speaker of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara, and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir David Lawal.

The Deputy Chief Whip of the Senate represented Senate President Bukola Saraki.

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Buhari Vows To Deal With Those Standing Against The Fight On Corruption

Following insinuations of artificial hindrances made to slow down the anti-corruption war of the present government, President Muhammadu Buhari has warned that masterminds of such acts would meet their waterloo soon.

The President stated that he was undaunted in the fight against social vices in the country, saying that no degree of campaign of hate would deter him.

He stated that the level of rot  perpetrated especially by the immediate past government was alarming and has to be cleansed.

President Buhari spoke while breaking the Ramadan fast at the Presidential Villa, Abuja with some low members of the society, drawn from physically challenged persons, hair dressers, keke Napep operators, taxi drivers, butchers, traders, road transport workers, Internally Displaced Persons(IDPs), Buhari support organization among others.

He however assured that the Federal Government was deploying a lot of resources to improve a number of critical infrastructure, including power, road and medical facilities.

“We are committed to tackling corruption in this country, but whoever tries to deter us from fighting corruption will suffer the consequences,”he said.

Buhari also expressed optimism for massive food production in the country, especially in rice and wheat given the volume of rainfall this year.

“This year I think we are indeed lucky. I met most of the Northern Emirs recently and I asked them about the rainfall in their domain, some of them were even complaining that the rains were getting too much.

“That to me was an indication that we are going to have a bumper harvest towards the end of this year.

“I believe with this commitment we should not only feed ourselves in terms of rice and wheat and other food crops but we will be able to export to other countries and maybe attract foreign exchange too,” he said.

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Buhari Removes Kachikwu As GMD Of NNPC, Appoints Baru As Replacement

President Muhammadu Buhari has sacked Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu as the group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

In his place, the president appointed Maikanti Baru as the new NNPC GMD.

In a press statement issued today in Abuja, the president office stated that Kachikwu as the minister for State for Petroleum will now be the chairman of the Board of the NNPC.

 See full statement below:

PRESIDENT BUHARI APPROVES NEW BOARD OF DIRECTORS FOR NNPC

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the composition of the Board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), as provided for under Section 1(2) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Act of 1997, as amended.
The new board is composed of the following:
A. Chairman-Dr Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum;
B. Group Managing Director- Dr Maikanti Kacalla Baru;
C. The Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Finance; and
D. The following six persons:
1. Mallam Abba Kyari
2. Dr Thomas M.A John
3. Dr Pius O. Akinyelure
4. Dr Tajuddeen Umar
5. Mallam Mohammed Lawal, and
6. Mallam Yusuf Lawal.
President Buhari urges the new board to ensure the successful delivery of the mandate of the NNPC, ” and serve the nation by upholding the public trust placed on them in managing this critical national asset.”

FEMI ADESINA
Special Adviser
(Media and Publicity)
July 4, 2016

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Buhari Receives, Approves Arms Probe Report

The presidential panel set up by President Muhammadu Buhari through the Office of the National Security Adviser to probe arms procurement between 2007 and 2015 has submitted another report to the President, The PUNCH has learnt.

The latest report was the third report so far submitted to the President by the committee.

While the first interim report was submitted in November 2015, the second report was submitted in January following which Buhari ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to investigate 18 serving and retired military officers, mainly from the Nigerian Air Force.

The PUNCH gathered exclusively on Sunday that the latest report was submitted to the President last week.

“Yes, I can confirm to you that the President received the report during the week (last week) and he has since approved it,” a Presidency source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told our correspondent.

With the approval, the source said the EFCC had been empowered to go after those indicted in the fresh report.

Although he did not give details of the report, our correspondent learnt that most of those indicted in the latest report of the panel which has AVM J.O.N. Ode (retd.) as its chairman, were Army chiefs.

Another source however told The PUNCH that barring any last minute change of plan, the Presidency might release a few highlights of the report during the week.

“The fraud uncovered in this fresh report is massive. All things being equal, the government will be looking at the possibility of making highlights of the report public this week, probably during the Sallah break,” he said.

The PUNCH had reported exclusively that massive fraud was uncovered by the panel in the purchase of arms in the Army.

It was also reported then that Buhari had directed the panel to change tactics.

“The President has directed that we explore the option of prosecuting indicted persons immediately instead of first publicising their names thereby giving some of them the leeway to escape justice,” a source had told The PUNCH then.

The source added that efforts were already ongoing by the committee at that time to get across to the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), to discuss the prosecution of the freshly indicted persons.

A member of the House of Representatives during the Second Republic, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, had on Friday challenged Buhari to make public the contents of the interim report of the arms probe panel.

He alleged that a “cabal” within the Presidency had convinced the President not to make the report public because some of his trusted aides were indicted.

The former lawmaker said, “He (the President) has been persuaded by the three (members of the cabal) that publishing the report will embarrass the government.

“This is very strange and at best laughable because Buhari’s first administration in 1984 got into a lot of trouble with the media because of Decree 2 which makes it a crime to embarrass any public office holder.

“That made Buhari and his administration back then very unpopular. These characters in the Presidency, the cabal or the mafia or whatever you call them, are determined to make Buhari make the same mistake again.”

He explained that for the President to agree that the report should not be published because some people in his government would be embarrassed was a very strange manifestation of the Buhari he knew.

The medical doctor turned politician also said, “Nigerians demand that the interim report be made public and that there should be no sacred cows.

“In any case, anything they try to hide will be made public in due course because nothing remains permanently secret in Nigeria; Buhari himself knows that; others who have been in that position also know that.”

In announcing the establishment of the committee last year, the Presidency had given its mandate to include identifying irregularities and making recommendations for streamlining the procurement process in the Armed Forces.

Apart from Ode who is the panel’s president, the committee’s members include R/Adm J.A. Aikhomu (retd.); R/Adm. E. Ogbor (retd.); Brig. Gen. L. Adekagun (retd.); Brig. Gen. M. Aminu-Kano (retd.); Brig Gen. N. Rimtip (retd.); Cdre T.D. Ikoli; Air Cdre U. Mohammed (retd.); Air Cdre I. Shafi’i; Col. A.A. Ariyibi; Group Capt. C.A. Oriaku (retd.); and the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Ibrahim Magu.

The panel has Brig. Gen. Y.I. Shalangwa as its Secretary.

Following the submission of the panel’s second interim report, Buhari had on January 15 directed the EFCC to carry out further investigation into the alleged misconduct established against some retired and serving officers of the Nigerian Air Force and the Nigerian Army.

Those affected in the order included embattled former National Security Adviser, Lt. Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.); a former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh (retd.); and two former Chiefs of Air Staff, Air Marshal M.D. Umar (retd.) and Air Marshal Adesola Amosun (retd.).

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, had disclosed the President’s directive in a statement made available to journalists.

Shehu had listed others that the President asked the EFCC to probe to include: Maj. Gen. E.R. Chioba (retd.); AVM I.A. Balogun (retd.); AVM AG Tsakr (retd.); AVM A.G. Idowu (retd.);AVM A.M. Mamu; AVM O.T. Oguntoyinbo; AVM T. Omenyi; AVM J.B. Adigun; AVM RA Ojuawo; AVM JA Kayode-Beckley; Air Cdre SA Yushau (retd.); Air Cdre AO Ogunjobi; Air Cdre G.M.D. Gwani; Air Cdre S.O. Makinde; Air Cdre A.Y. Lassa; and Col. N. Ashinze.

He added that following the submission of the audit committee’s second interim report, the President had also directed the EFCC to investigate the roles of the officers as well as some companies and their directors in fundamental breaches associated with the procurements by the Office of the National Security Adviser and the Nigerian Air Force.

He gave the names of those affected to include: Messrs Societe D’ Equipments Internationaux; Himma Aboubakar; Aeronautical Engineering and Technical Services Limited; Messrs Syrius Technologies; Dr. Theresa A. Ittu; Sky Experts Nig. Ltd.; Omenyi Ifeanyi Tony; Huzee Nig. Ltd.; GAT Techno Dynamics Ltd.; Gbujie Peter Obie and Onuri Samuel Ugochukwu.

Others were Spacewebs Interservices Ltd.; Oguntoyinbo Tayo; Oguntoyinbo Funmi; Delfina Oil and Gas Ltd.; Chief Jacobs Bola; Mono Marine Corporation Nig. Ltd.; Geonel Intergrated Services Ltd.; Sachi Felicia; Mudaki Polycarp and Wolfgang Reinl.

Credit: Punch

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Buhari Rules Out Breaking Of Fast With Saraki, Others

By Punch

President Muhammadu Buhari has finally ruled out the possibility of breaking the Ramadan fast with the embattled President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki; his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu; and other leaders of the National Assembly.

Since his return from his leave on June 19, Buhari had hosted different groups to Iftar, during which they broke their fast with him.

Those who the President had hosted so far included security chiefs, members of the Federal Executive Council, serving and retired judges, traditional rulers, Christian and Muslim clerics, leadership of the ruling All Progressives Congress, members of the business community and members of the diplomatic corps among others.

Penultimate Wednesday, it was learnt that Buhari was scheduled to host the leaders of the two chambers of the National Assembly to Iftar.

A few hours before the scheduled take-off time, however, the event was put off.

With the Ramadan fast ending on Monday (today) or Tuesday, our correspondent on Friday asked Shehu if a new date had been fixed for the botched dinner.

The presidential spokesman admitted that Buhari would no longer be able to meet the National Assembly leaders before the end of Ramadan.

He, however, said the development was not the making of anybody.

Shehu said, “You will recall that the President spent most of the days in the Ramadan month outside the country.

“By the time he returned, a schedule had already been made for him on those he would be receiving daily.

“On the day fixed for the National Assembly leaders, most of them had prior engagements and so the event could not hold. It is difficult to begin to adjust the schedule when others fixed for other days have been duly informed. It is not by anybody’s making.”

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Aisha Buhari Donates N30m Cash To Chibok Parents

Aisha Buhari, wife of President Muhammadu Buhari, on Sunday presented about N30 million cash to parents of the abducted Government Secondary School (GSS) Chibok students in Borno state.

Represented by Nana Shettima, wife of Borno governor, presented the cash to them at a ceremony in Maiduguri.

She explained that the gesture was aimed at assisting the parents with some financial support towards alleviating their sufferings.

Buhari pointed out that the presentation was in fulfillment of her promise to assist the less privileged and victims of insurgency in the north-east.

“Today’s presentation was in fulfillment of the promise I made earlier in the year during my book launch in Abuja,” she said.

“I made a promise that the proceeds will be use to better the lives of women and victims of insurgency in the north-east.”

She urged the beneficiaries to invest the money in productive ventures, so it can better their living conditions.

“This money is not a sort of compensation, but a kind of support for those in need,” she said.

“Our immediate prayer is for God to help trace and rescue the abducted girls so that they can be safely re-united with their families.”

She commended the military for their efforts in fighting the Boko Haram insurgents and expressed optimism that the search for the abducted girls would soon yield dividends.

Each of the 215 parent was given a cash of N139,000 during the event.

Also speaking, Pauline Taline, a former deputy governor of Plateau, said the gesture was goodwill from the wife of the president to the parents.

“`This is a goodwill support from Her Excellency Mrs Muhammadu Buhari to the parents of the abducted girls,” she said.

We appeal to them to put the money into proper usage, either by investing it in farming or any other business venture.”

Two-hundred-and-nineteen female students were abducted on April 14 by suspected Boko Haram terrorists, while writing their SSCE at the school.

“In fact, we wish to by this statement advice those in the habit of dragging the highly esteemed Office of the honourable attorney-general of the federation and minister of justice into knotty issue of this kind even when it is yet to take a position. They should desist from these unwarranted presumptions henceforth”.

TheCable

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