Jonathan’s Appeal To Pastor Adeboye: The Cry Of A Drowning Man, By Amaechi Agbo

“For he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.” – Romans 13 vs 4
 
When former President Goodluck Jonathan called to the General Overseer (GO) of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, Pastor Enoch Adebayo to call the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo who is a revered pastor in the church to order him to halt his continuous exposure of malfeasance that took place under his tenure, it became clear that they would stop at nothing to conceal their misdeeds.
 
The rot and unbridled corruption perpetrated by Jonathan and his officials are simply unprecedented that it would be an anomaly and injustice if they are not called out.
 
He seems to have been pricked the most by Prof Osinbajo’s speech at The Platform, a programme organised by the Covenant Christian Centre in Lagos which he said three persons stole $3 billion (N1 trillion) in the Jonathan administration.
 
Not happy with the revelation, they asked the Vice President to name the persons involved if his claims were true and he did. He listed Jide Omokore, Kola Aluko and the former Petroleum Resources Minister Diezani Alison- Maduekwe as the three persons involved. Since his response, we have not heard from Jonathan and his cohort.
But that is one of many revelations about the immediate past government and also one of many which he did not say to Pastor Adeboye. Earlier in March this year, the VP also explained to Nigerians how the Jonathan administration shared N150 billion two weeks to the 2015 elections while it spent a paltry N14 billion on agriculture in 2014; N15 billion on transportation and only N153 billion on infrastructure in three years.
 
No country where would such looting spree as witnessed under Jonathan be hatched and executed with cruelty would not lead to economic contraction and a disjoint in economic flow.
 
It is disheartening that instead of calling his crooks who milked this country dry and aborted her promising future to return the loots they had pillaged for their selfish benefits, rather the former President is adding a needless burden on a clergy who knows very much that the Vice President is only saying the truth.
 
Just in case the former president and his media jokers have forgotten, in March this year, the federal government released the list of looters of which more are expected to be released soon to the Nigeria populace. Expectedly, the named looters never went to court to challenge the list. Only two did.
 
The only worrying situation we have at hand is that the courts in the land have not been proactive enough in the federal government’s anti-corruption fight, otherwise many people walking on the streets in the country should be cooling off in various jails in the country serving various jail terms for their self aggrandizement while in office. 
 
If indeed, Vice President Yemi Osibanjo’s revelations were untrue as Jonathan’s uninformed media aids posited, one would have expected Goodluck Jonathan to do the needful – go to court and claim damages. But alas, he decided to dabble in pettiness seeking favour where he has none. 
 
The law is clear on the defamation of character and as an educated man, one would have expected him to explore this option. Like the saying goes, that one does need not wear glasses to check what is on the wrist. 
 
In releasing the list of the looters in March, the Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammad said “The decision by the APC-led government to reveal the names of the alleged looters and the funds allegedly stolen is in response to the opposition party, PDP’s, challenge to the government to name those alleged to have looted the country and destroyed the economy.
 
“This list is just a tip of the iceberg, and the APC did not make these cases up as some of them currently have cases in court.
 
“We insist that Nigeria was looted blind under the watch of the PDP and that the starting point in tendering an apology is for them to return the loot.
 
“We will not stop talking about the massive looting by the PDP. They brought Nigeria to this sorry pass.”
 
The federal government through the culture and information ministry released the following names, inter alia, as looters of Nigeria treasury under the unfortunate leadership of last administration:
 
Former NSA Sambo Dasuki: Based on EFCC investigations and findings alone (this is beside the ongoing $2.1 billion military equipment scandal), a total of N126 billion, over $1.5 billion and 5.5 million British Pounds was embezzled through his office. A good number of these monies were simply shared to persons and companies without any formal contract awards.
 
Former Petroleum Resources Minister,  Diezani Alison-Madueke: In just one of the cases the EFCC is investigating involving her, about N23 billion is alleged to have been embezzled. She is also involved in the Strategic Alliance Contracts of the NNPC, where the firms of Jide Omokore and Kola Aluko got oil blocks but never paid government taxes and royalty. About $3 billion was involved. The Federal Government is charging Omokore and Aluko and will use all legal instruments local and international to ensure justice.
 
Rtd. Lt.-Gen. Kenneth Minimah: N13.9 billion. N4.8 billion recovered by EFCC in cash and property
 
Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika: N4.5 billion. N29m recovered by the EFCC so far.
 
Alex Barde, former Chief of Defence Staff: N8 billion, and EFCC recovered almost N4 billion in cash and property already.
 
Inde Dikko: former CG Customs: N40 billion, and N1.1 billion in cash recovered in cash and choice properties.
 
Air Marshal Adesola Amosun: N21.4 billion. N2.8 billion recovered in cash. 28 properties and 3 vehicles also recovered.
 
Senator Bala Abdulkadir, former FCT Minister: N5 billion. Interim forfeiture order on some property secured.
 
Senator Stella Oduah: N9.8 billion. Interim forfeiture order on some property secured.
 
Former Niger State Governor Babangida Aliyu: N1.6 billion – from NSA.
 
Senator Jonah Jang, former Plateau State Governor: N12.5 billion.
 
Bashir Yuguda, former Minister of State for Finance: N1.5 billion, $829, 800 recovered.
 
Senator Peter Nwaboshi: N1.5 billion
 
Aliyu Usman: Former NSA Dasuki’s aide: N512 million
 
Ahmad Idris: Former NSA Dasuki’s PA: N1.5 billion
 
Rasheed Ladoja: Former Oyo Governor: N500 million
 
Tom Ikimi: N300 million
 
Femi Fani-Kayode: N866 million
 
Hassan Tukur, former PPS to President Goodluck: $1.7 million
 
Nenadi Usman: N1.5 billion
 
Benedicta Iroha: N1.7 billion
 
Aliyu Usman Jawaz: Close ally of former NSA Dasuki: N882 million
 
Jonah Jang, former Plateau State Governor: N12.5 billion
Godknows Igali: Over N7 billion
 
PDP Chairman Uche Secondus: On the 19th of Feb 2015, took N200 million only from the office of the NSA.
 
Therefore, if former President Jonathan should make any call, that call should be that the crooks who looted Nigeria’s common patrimony should return them.
 
When the people that safeguard the big masquerade are chased away, the masquerade feels threatened and insecure and like a drowning man, will try to hold unto anything real or imaginary for relevance. 
 
Amaechi Agbo is a public affairs analyst based in Abuja. 
[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

How Jonathan’s Aides Embezzle $6m Yearly From NPA – Okonjo-Iweala

Former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has revealed how some powerful aides of immediate past President Goodluck Jonathan embezzle $6 million yearly from the Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) charges.

In her recently released book, “Fighting Corruption is Dangerous: The Story Behind the Headlines”, Okonjo-Iweala said she became a target of very powerful interests after she sought and got approval from Jonathan for the implementation of the ports reforms, which include the abolishing of a Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) a regime which importers argued added costs to them for duplicate services.

Excerpts: “During my second month in office in September 2011, the issue of port congestion Okonjo-Iwealawas brought to the attention of the Economic Management team by members of Nigeria’s organised private sector, especially the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) as a serious impediment to doing business. Importers were irate about a Cargo Tracking Note (CTN) regime which they argued added costs to them for duplicate services.

“They said that their cargos were already being tracked by the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) from origin to destination, so then; there was no reason for the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to collect this charge. Upon enquiry, we learned that charges totalled about $6 million a year, so this was consequential. I had never seen this money remitted to the treasury and, in fact, had not known of the existence of the CTN. We recommended that the CTN be abolished immediately.

“On October 14, 2011, the Minister of Transport and I sent a memo to the President that outlined the short, medium and long term problems of Nigeria’s ports, proposed solutions and requested approval for implementation shortly thereafter. Then the problems began. I received an anonymous text telling me the port reforms were bad and harmful and I should rescind them. I learned that some agencies such as the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and others that had been told to develop alternative collaborative arrangements with the Customs to take care of their responsibilities while staying out of the ports were not happy and were lobbying to be let back into the ports.

“About six weeks into the implementation of the port reforms, in early December 2011, I received a message that a top-ranking presidential aide wanted me to stop by his office anytime I was in the Villa.”

The former Director of World Bank further disclosed that she was locked out of the Villa for refusing to obey the order given by the unnamed influential aide in Jonathan’s administration to restore the CTN with immediate effect.

 

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Cambridge Analytica Used Violent Video To Try To Influence Nigerian Election – Guardian

Cambridge Analytica sought to influence the Nigerian presidential election in 2015 by using graphically violent imagery to portray a candidate as a supporter of sharia law who would brutally suppress dissenters and negotiate with militant Islamists, a video passed to British MPs reveals.

The Guardian has obtained the video, which has graphic scenes of violence from Nigeria’s past. In testimony to the digital, culture, media and sport (DCMS) select committee last week, the whistleblower Christopher Wylie told MPs: “[The video was distributed] in Nigeria with the sole intent of intimidating voters. It included content where people were being dismembered, where people were having their throats cut and bled to death in a ditch. They were being burned alive. There was incredibly anti-Islamic, threatening messages portraying Muslims as violent.”

Wylie also said Cambridge Analytica directed AggregateIQ (AIQ), the Canadian digital services firm that worked for Vote Leave during Britain’s EU referendum, to target voters with the video during the Nigerian presidential campaign.

Wylie, a former Cambridge Analytica employee, has now handed the material to MPs. Giving testimony last week, he said: “Cambridge Analytica sent AggregateIQ the video after they [CA] got banned from several online ad networks because the graphic nature of the content violated the terms of service. AIQ was quite freaked out about it. It’s a very disturbing video. They told Cambridge Analytica that. They called it ‘the murder video’.”

In his testimony Wylie said: “AIQ is the firm that’s right at the heart of the official Vote Leave campaign – one-third of all leave spending went through it – and this shows them working closely with Cambridge Analytica to distribute violent, divisive Islamophobic material that should be nowhere near an election campaign.” There is no suggestion that AIQ was involved in the production of the video.

The anti-Buhari video imagines a future in which he is president and sharia law has been imposed. “Coming to Nigeria on February 15th 2015,” the voiceover says in the manner of a trailer for a Hollywood movie. “Dark. Scary. And very uncertain. Sharia for all.” It poses the question: “What would Nigeria look like if sharia were imposed by Buhari?” It suggests he would strike a deal with the Islamist militant group Boko Haram that would be “a pact with the devil”. The video also suggests “Buhari will punish all who speak against the regime” and that “women will be veiled”. It ends by saying: “You can stop this movie becoming real.”

Another former Cambridge Analytica employee who worked on the campaign said: “It was voter suppression of the most crude and basic kind. It was targeted at Buhari voters in Buhari regions to basically scare the shit out of them and stop them from voting. People were working on it in Cambridge Analytica’s office. They’d be sitting there eating their lunch and editing this incredibly graphic and disturbing material.”The video will be seen as further evidence of dirty tricks that Cambridge Analytica employed in the campaign. Last month the Guardian revealed that during the Nigerian election campaign Cambridge Analytica was offered material from Israeli hackers who had accessed private email accounts of two politicians there.

Former Cambridge Analytica employees described how the hackers passed a thumb drive of hacked material relating to Buhari to them in Cambridge Analytica’s offices and they were directed by Alexander Nix, its chief executive, and Brittany Kaiser, a senior director, to search Buhari’s personal emails for compromising material that could be used to smear him. The material included private medical information that employees say was leaked to the press.

The video separately demonstrates the ties between Cambridge Analytica and AggregateIQ, the firm that its parent company SCL Elections employed. Last week the DCMS committee published documents that link Cambridge Analytica and SCL Elections with AIQ, including a contract, a service agreement and an intellectual property agreement that was first revealed in the Observer a year ago.

AggregateIQ is part of a current Electoral Commission investigation into a donation of £625,000 that Vote Leave made to a youth outreach group, BeLeave, which was paid directly to the Canadian firm and it is the focus of allegations made by a second whistleblower, Shahmir Sanni.

AggregateIQ did not respond to previous Guardian inquiries about the video, but said: “AIQ provides digital advertising, web and software development services to third parties. It is completely independent of Mr Wylie, CA and SCL.”

It added: “AIQ is and has always been 100% Canadian owned and operated … the services it provided to Vote Leave were in accordance with instructions given by Vote Leave.” There is no suggestion that AggregateIQ unethically coordinated with Cambridge Analytica on the EU referendum campaign.

A Cambridge Analytica spokesman said: “You are referring to Chris Wylie’s comments before a select committee which included speculation and a serious misrepresentation of the facts. We are, however, taking all allegations about possible unethical practices in the past very seriously and will investigate.”

Guardian

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Revealed: How Over N100bn Was Removed From CBN Before 2015 Polls

Few days after Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo alleged that former President Goodluck Jonathan  took and shared some N150 billion from the public purse two weeks before the 2015 elections, the presidency last night revealed how the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) got instructions from the former president to move over N100 billion from the CBN to his private residence.

a presidential source who did not want to be named, disclosed yesterday that fresh discoveries by the presidency showed how several tranches were illegally removed from the public treasury by the former administration ahead of the 2015 presidential election.

According to him, the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki, personally supervised the physical transfer of the money from the CBN vault to the private residence of the former president, revealing that in one particular instance, over N70billion was released in tranches from the CBN between January 8 and February 25, 2015.

He also said the sum of over $289 million which was referred to last week by Osinbajo was part of this particular series of alleged illegal transactions, adding that in another illegal disbursement, the minutes of meeting of the CBN board meeting of 25th August, 2014, showed that the board approved another N60 billion requested by the former president and released later by the central bank.

The source further said the sum approved by the CBN board was not connected to any project or procurement but was  disbursed purely for campaign purposes through the office of the then NSA, who is currently being prosecuted, and the leadership of Department of State Services (DSS) at the time.

“Specifically, that N60 billion that was okayed by the CBN on August 25, 2014, was said to have been shared between the two security agencies thus: N40 billion went to the NSA while N20 billion was released to the DSS.

“While some of these funds’ disbursement have been traced to the former NSA, there are indications that some of the funds were unconnected to his ongoing defence contract trial,” he said.

The source also said that the sum of $289 milliom mentioned by Osinbajo was released on February 25, 2015, pointing out that the cash vouchers obtained showed that $289,202,382 was released in cash to the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) by the CBN from the joint venture (JV) cash call account number 000-0000-11658-366 of the NNPC/NAPIMS with JP Morgan Chase Bank, New York, USA.

Furthermore, he said at the exchange rate of $199 to one naira at the time, the $289million was equivalent to approximately N57.55 billion, noting that if the money had not been stolen, it would have amounted to N88.5 billion at today’s the exchange rate of over N306.

The source added that further findings showed that in yet another set of illegal withdrawals within one week between January 8 and 16, 2015, the sum of N1.5 billion was released in three tranches of N300 million, N400 million and N800 million, respectively.

“This money was released from the MEA Research Library Account to the Jointrust Dimension reportedly owned by Danjuma Yusuf and Nenadi Esther Usman,” he quoted an official source whom he said had knowledge of the disbursements as stating, disclosed further that the sums were transferred to their various political associates whom he said included a former Minister of Aviation, Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode.

He added: “Further findings showed that N350 million was allegedly transferred to Femi Fani-Kayode through his Zenith Bank Account No. 1004735721 on February 2, 2015.

“Also, another N250 million was allegedly transferred to Fani-Kayode through the same Zenith Bank Account on February 19, 2015.

“A document further showed that yet another N10 billion was released to the Office of the National Security Adviser by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on September 15, 2015. The money was said to have been released in tranches of foreign exchange of $47 million, $5 million, 4 million Euros and 1.6 million Euros. A letter from the Office of the NSA in November, 2014 further showed that the monies were released by the CBN as ‘funds for special services’.”

Reading from a letter signed by Dasuki, the source said: “Further to our discussion, you are pleased requested  to provide the sum of $47,000,000 cash out of the N10,000,000,000 and the balance in euro to this office for special services.”

The presidency source noted that findings have shown that this particular CBN release of N10 billion was sourced in November 2014 from N40 billion CBN had released funds meant for corporate social responsibility, revealing that tt was the said sum that Jonathan had instructed the CBN governor and the then NSA to deliver to him personally at a private residence in Abuja.

He said the money was illegally transferred a using CBN van for the use of the “PDP presidential primary,” adding that more illegal transactions would soon be unearthed.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Jonathan’s Call In 2015 Came As A Shock, Says Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari said on Thursday night that he went temporarily into coma when former President Goodluck Jonathan called to congratulate him on his victory in the 2015 presidential election.

The President stated this when he hosted All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders to a dinner at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He said: “The PVCs worked well in 2015. That was why when the former President rang me, I went temporarily into a coma. I will never forget the time. It was quartet after 5:00 p.m. and he said he called to congratulate me and that he has conceded defeat. He asked if I heard him and I said yes and I thanked him for his statesmanship.

“The truth is after being a deputy governor, a governor, Vice-president and President for six years, and he took that decision is great. He could have caused some problems. He had stayed long enough to cause problems.”

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

PDP Convention: ‘I Have No Preferred Candidate,’ Says Jonathan

Immediate past President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, has said that he has no preferred candidate in the chairmanship election at the national convention of the Peoples Democratic Party taking place in Abuja today.

According to a goodwil message he sent to the participants in the convention and signed by the ex-President’s media adviser, Mr. Ikechukwu Eze, Jonathan said he was prepared to work with all the party members that would emerge as its new leaders in the interest of the party and the nation.

The statement reads in part: “The former President is pleased with the dedication and enthusiasm of all party members towards building a strong PDP and wishes all participants successful deliberations as they seek to freely elect members of the National Working Committee, that will lead the party for the next four years.

“Dr. Jonathan is impressed with the level of preparations for the convention, especially with the number of the candidates and the spread and vibrancy of the campaigns, which has established a new paradigm for intra-party elections, in the country.

“As the father of the party, ex-President Jonathan has no preferred candidate for any of the positions, and is prepared to work with all those that will emerge as members of the new NWC, to ensure that the party regains its pride of place in the affairs of the nation.

“Contrary to speculations and permutations by some interest groups, Dr. Jonathan has never discussed or plotted with others against the ambition of any of the candidates as is being falsely reported by those who are adept at spreading negative stories against the immediate past President.

“The former President is therefore optimistic that the convention will produce a positive outcome that will help the PDP consolidate its position as the party with the best democratic ideals in the country.”

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Revealed: How Tinubu Rebuffed Babangida’s Plea To Dumb Buhari In Support Of Jonathan In 2015 Election

Roles allegedly played by former Military President Ibrahim Babangida in the last 2015 presidential election has been revealed in a book titled, ‘On a platter of gold: How Jonathan won and lost Nigeria,” written by former minister of sports and current National Publicity Secretary of APC, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi.

Abdullahi claimed that Babangida made frantic efforts to convince national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to dump Muhammadu Buhari in support of Goodluck Jonathan, weeks before the 2015 general elections

The meeting allegedly held in the Abuja residence of Babangida, at the instance of Jonathan, where the former military leader tried to convince Tinubu to jump ship.

Abdullahi wrote that Tinubu turned down any form of partnership with Jonathan over claims that the former president did not keep previous agreements they had in the run up to the 2011 presidential election.

Again, the author did not list the four agreements.

“Yet again, he approached Babangida and asked him to help broker a meeting, which was held in Babangida’s house in Abuja. But Tinubu was not as accommodating as he had been four years earlier.

“He (Tinubu) reminded Jonathan of the small print of their agreement in 2011, when the president had promised to do four things for Tinubu in return for his support.

“Now, he (Tinubu) asked Babangida to ask Jonathan which of the four promises he had kept. Then a clincher: the APC leader asked Jonathan what made him think that he, Bola Tinubu, did not also want to be president of Nigeria?” he wrote in the book.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

‘The Only Thing That Will Make Me Sleep Well Is To Ensure PDP Comes Back To Power,’ Says Jonathan

Immediate past President Goodluck Jonathan, has said he is working with other stakeholders in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to ensure that the party regains the presidential seat in 2019.

Jonathan said this during a courtesy call on him by Chief Olabode George and his campaign team in his country home in Otuoke, Bayelsa State, on Tuesday.

Taking responsibility for the party’s defeat in the 2015 elections, President Jonathan noted that it was also his responsibility to ensure the party transform to a strong political platform to win the next elections.

His words: “Whether I like it or not, I must take responsibility for the defeat because I led the party to the election. The only thing that will make me sleep well is to ensure that PDP comes back to power.”  

Jonathan said the party must begin to take the right steps, in the right direction, to regain the confidence of the electorate and ensure mistakes of the past were not be repeated.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Your Excellency Dr Jonathan, This Is The Economy You Left Behind, In Case You Have Forgotten, By Garba Shehu

With due respects to the former President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, these are the facts about the economy you left behind, in case you have forgotten.

I hope this will help to erase the wrong statement credited to you at your party, the PDP Convention at the Eagle Square last weekend that you handed to President Buhari a robustly healthy economy.

To the same extent, this should also help to erase yet another false statement by Senator Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi, the Caretaker Chairman of the party, to the effect that under the previous administration there was money but now things are very hard.

Let me start by reasserting an obvious statement, which is that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration was handed an economy ravaged by years of mismanagement and corruption.

It is understandable that Dr Jonathon kept his comments short, because a cursory look at any sector clearly indicated that he and his Government presided over the most monumental and tragic economic mismanagement recorded in our national history.

The oil sector boomed under his tenure, with oil prices as high as US$ 120 and peace in the Nigeria Delta. Nigeria earned unprecedented dollar revenues. Sadly,that is where the story turns sour. There is nothing to show for the revenues earned, no major capital project was completed, neither power generation, road development, rail or agriculture benefitted from the windfall earnings. Rather the administration presided over the diversion of oil revenues on a such a massive scale, that even without the protection now accorded to Whistle blowers, the then Central Bank Governor blew not only a whistle but a trumpet. He was hurriedly shown the door.

Meanwhile, the acquisition by public officers and their cohorts of private jets, luxury yachts and the accumulation of expensive property portfolios world-wide continued unabated. Indeed the President once celebrated having the largest number of private jets, whilst our youth languished without jobs, our fields stood idle and our factories began the lay off of workers.

Government simply reticulated oil revenue through personal spending by corrupt leaders, wasteful expenses and salaries. This was done rather than investing in what would grow the economy. Economies grow due to capital investment in assets like seaports, airports, power plants, railways, roads and housing. Nigeria can not record a single major infrastructural project in the last 10 years. In short the money was mismanaged.

Such was the looting that even the goose that was laying the golden egg was being systematically starved. The direct contractual costs of oil produced , in the form of cash calls, remained unpaid. The incoming ,President Buhari’s welcome from the oil majors included demand for US$6Bn owed by Nigeria for oil that had already been sold or stolen.

At the inception of the current administration, 21 States were unable to meet their salary bills and the spectre of workers arrears had commenced. The PDP solution was the raid the Ecological Fund and selectively grant N2Bn each to the PDP States. It was only aggressive borrowing by the Ministry of Finance under Dr Okonjo- Iweala that prevented Federal Government from also owing salaries. The economic wisdom of borrowing to pay recurrent bills is a questionable one, particularly as those paid would have included over 45,000 that have subsequently been removed by the Buhari led administration as ghost workers. It also included the lavish costs of chartering private jets, first class travel and other wasteful acts that have been eliminated under this administration.

To compound the problem the government was borrowing heavily and owed contractors, and international oil companies. When this government took over we had accumulated debt back to the level it was before the Paris Club Debt Forgiveness.

All these factors were building up to Nigeria heading for a major crisis if the price of oil fell. Nigeria did not have fiscal buffers to withstand an oil shock.

The oil shock should and could have been foreseen. When Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, ISIS crisis started, it was clear that the United States of America wanted to cut off funds to terror groups by crashing the price of oil. When America granted permission for exploration of oil on land ( Shale) the warning signs were evident, but these were ignored by Nigeria’s economic managers.

Such was the looting that even the goose that was laying the golden egg was being systematically starved. The direct contractual costs of oil produced , in the form of cash calls, remained unpaid. The incoming President Buhari’s welcome from the oil majors included demand for US$6Bn owed by Nigeria for oil that had already been sold or stolen.

At the inception of the Buhari administration, 21 States were unable to meet their salary bills and the spectre of workers arrears had commenced. The PDP solution was to raid the Ecological Fund and selectively grant N2Bn each to the PDP States. It was only aggressive borrowing by the Ministry of Finance that prevented Federal Government from also owing salaries. The economic wisdom of borrowing to pay recurrent bills is a questionable one, particularly as those paid would have included over 45,000 that have subsequently been removed by the Buhari led administration as ghost workers. It also included the lavish costs of chartering private jets, first class travel and other wasteful acts that have been eliminated under this administration.

In summary Nigeria earned a lot of money when oil prices were high but there is nothing to show for it. Now oil prices have fallen we are suffering.

What could they have done differently?

They could have begun doing the very things that the Muhammadu Buhari administration is doing so painfully now:

1. Fight corruption.

2. Sanitise the huge salary bill by eliminating payroll fraud.

3. Reduce wasteful expenses like First Class Travel and Private jets.

4. Encourage State Governments to reform their spending and build savings or investments.

5. Increase spending on capital projects especially on infrastructure needed to make Nigerian businesses competitive and create jobs.

6. Block the leakages that allowed government revenues to be siphoned into private hands.

7. Focus on key sectors ( apart from oil) that can create jobs and or generate revenue such as Agriculture, Solid Minerals and Manufacturing.

If these things had been done when the oil price was as high as US$120 per barrel, Nigeria would not be in the current predicament.

We would not be suffering now if we had no cash reserves but we had power, or a rail system, or good roads, or good housing. But we don’t have money and we don’t have the projects either.

Now that the oil has fallen below those levels, it is very difficult to do what is needed but they must be done to save Nigeria. There is no other way if we want to be honest.

If PDP were still in power they would have continued deceiving people, by borrowing to fund stealing and wastage and the problem would have simply been postponed for future generations to face.

One of former President Jonathon’s specific boasts is that dollar under him was N180 compared to today. With such a line of argument it is clear why we are where we are. With oil prices as high as $120 the average inflow of dollars each month was high, making it easy to support cheap dollars. However with oil price plummeting as low as $28, the fundamental laws of supply and demand dictated that the currency would need to adjust, since oil was the sole export. It is instructive to note that virtually every major oil exporter has witnessed currency adjustments with the fall in oil price.

The Buhari administration has taken a long term strategic view of supporting a stable naira on both the supply and demand sides. President Buhari has driven Import substitution to reduce demand for dollars to buy things we can produce thereby creating thousands of rural jobs in rice and other staples. In addition, there is a credible plan to diversity our revenue sources away from oil, with focus on export crops as well as solid minerals, with the release of US$100M fund to develop solid mineral extraction.

President Muhammdu Buhari has a positive and prosperous vision for Nigeria. A nation in which the natural talent and hard work of the people is being supported by an enabling environment of infrastructural development and policy reforms that will develop a firm future for our nation. Nigerians are looking forward and the PDP’s lurking in the economic rear view mirror only underscores the resolve of Nigerians, that as far as the economy is concerned it is ‘’never again.”

GARBA SHEHU

SSA (Media and Publicity) To President Muhammadu Buhari

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Bolaji Abdullahi Himself And Not Maina Is A Legacy Of Jonathan And PDP, By Reno Omokri

My attention has been drawn to an interview granted by Bolaji Abdullahi, the National Publicity of the All Progressive Congress in the Punch newspapers for Saturday November 11, 2017, where he alleged that Abdulrasheed Maina is a legacy of Maina is a legacy of former President Jonathan and the Peoples Democratic Party?

In the said interview, Abdullahi also alleged that “David Mark, declared at a plenary that the then President Goodluck Jonathan should choose between Maina and the National Assembly.”

This is historical revisionism of the highest order and is a major feature of the dishonest character trait that the APC has become known for.

Andulrasheed Maina was not recruited into the civil service during the PDP administration of President Goodluck Jonathan. That administration and the party met him already in the system.

When his alleged thievery was discovered, it was the PDP administration of President Jonathan that dismissed Maina from the civil service and declared him wanted.

But what happened in the intervening years?

Rather than living up to its propagandized anti corruption pretensions, the Muhammadu Buhari led APC administration through the current Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, wrote a memo to the Federal Civil Service Commission advising them to reinstate the fugitive Maina. This is an indisputable fact.

After this atrocious act by Malami, the Buhari administration recalled Abdulrasheed Maina, reinstated him and gave him double promotion.

When Premium Times blew the lid off the scandal, the Maina family gave a press conference where they stated that their son was invited by the Buhari administration to help it deliver on its change agenda.

It was also discovered that Abdulrasheed Maina had printed posters to contest to be the next Borno state Governor under the banner of the APC.

More than two weeks after the Maina family press conference, the Buhari administration is yet to deny their assertions.

Nigerians may recall that the Maina family threatened that they would ‘expose the cabal in the Presidency’ if they don’t back off Maina.

It would also be recalled that Junaid Mohammed revealed that Abdulrasheed Maina was moving about with armed security escorts.

Also, after President Buhari denied that he was aware of the Maina affair, his own Head of Service wrote a memo reminding him that she had warned him in person about reinstating Maina BEFORE the act, proving that the President lied.

Rather than reward this dutiful public servant, the Buhari administration tried to bully her in an attempt by the President’s Chief of Staff which was caught on camera.

So again, I ask Bolaji Abdullahi how Maina can be a legacy of Jonathan and the PDP in view of the above indisputable facts?

If at all anybody is a legacy of the PDP, that person is no other than Bolaji Abdullahi himself who was brought to national limelight by the PDP administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan who gave him a ministerial position.

He is now spokesman of the APC today, a typical trait of an unprincipled AGIP (Any Government In Power) politician.

We are aware that the APC administration is embarrassed by its one day one scandal government.

Whether it is Maina, the NNPC $25 billion scam, Babachir grass cutter scam, Amina Mohammed’s $300 million timber scandal, the ?700 million ministry of mines and steel website, Buratai’s Dubai house, the Ikoyi billions, the budget padding scandal, the missing budget scandal, no paracetamol in State House Clinic scandal, the fact remains that the Buhari administration has delivered more CORRUPTION than CHANGE to the Nigerian people.

We therefore ask Bolaji Abdullahi and the APC to keep their beloved Maina and leave former President Jonathan and the PDP out of their love affair with him.

Reno Omokri (For Dr. Goodluck Jonathan)

Bestselling author of Facts Versus Fiction: The True Story of the Jonathan Years: Chibok, 2015 and Other Conspiracies.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

‘I Conceded Defeat To Set A Standard For Our Democracy,’ Says Jonathan

Immediate past President Goodluck Jonathan, has explained why he conceded defeat to President Muhammadu Buhari at the 2015 Presidential election.

Speaking at the 6th edition of African Ambassadors Interactive Forum, AAIF, and dinner, organised by African Third Sector Resource, ATSR, in Abuja, Jonathan said, “I conceded defeat without a fight because I wanted to set a standard for our democracy, going forward.”

According to him, conceding defeat, even before the results was announced is to set a new standard for the nation’s democracy and prove a point that election related litigation should no longer define Nigeria’s democracy.

The former president, who was represented at the occasion by the former Minister of National Planning, Abubakar Suleiman, noted that people must not always go to court and obtain judgments before elections in Nigeria are declared complete.

His words: ““We don’t get to hear about such court cases in mature democracies. I wanted us to get to that point in our democratic experience. I thought that it won’t be out of place if we got to that stage where those who lost elections will be able to congratulate those who won.”

 

 

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Corruption: Court Orders Jonathan To Appear On Tuesday

A Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered former President Goodluck Jonathan and his former National Security Adviser Sambo Dasuki to testify before it on Monday.

Justice Okon Abang gave the order yesterday in a ruling on the invitation of the two men by former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) spokesman Olisa Metuh as defence witnesses.

Justice Abang also ordered the court bailiff five days within which to effect personal service of subpoena (witness summons) issued on  Jonathan.

The court had on Tuesday adjourned the criminal trial to yesterday for Jonathan and Dasuki, who were subpoenaed on the request of Metuh, to appear and testify as defence witnesses.

At the resumption of proceedings yesterday, neither Jonathan nor Dasuki was in court.

While there was evidence that Dasuki had been served with the witness summons, the court noted that its bailiff was not yet able to serve  Jonathan.

The Nation

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]