I won’t Attend FG’s Meeting With Governors On TSA- Fayose… Says; “It’s A Fraud Against Nigerians”

Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose has said he will not attend the meeting called by the Federal Government with State governors on the Treasury Single Account (TSA), pointing out categorically that the State Government was not interested in the TSA policy, which he said was a fraud against Nigeria and its people.

Governor Fayose said in a press statement issued on Sunday, that “the Federal Government should rather remove the veil on the face of REMITA so that Nigerians can know the real owners, through whom the All Progressives Congress (APC) is siphoning Nigeria money to fund Kogi and Bayelsa States governorship election.”

The governor said; “From all intent and purposes, this TSA policy is aimed at recouping money spent on the last general elections by the APC, as well as raise money for future elections, especially the Kogi and Bayelsa States gubernatorial poll.

“It is also meant to enrich some individuals for doing virtually nothing and that can be seen from the discovery of N25 billion that already accrued to just a single company in one month! How can the Federal Government justify a transaction in which a single company gets one percent, amounting to N25 billion in one month?

“In this economic situation that Nigeria is, shouldn’t the one percent commission have been negotiated downward to like 0.1 percent which would have reduced the N25 billion to N2.5 billion? Even manufacturing companies, with thousands of employees don’t make N25 billion profit in one month.

“Therefore, what Nigerians are expecting from the Federal Government is explanation on the alleged N25 billion naira scam already associated with the operation of the TSA, instead of calling State Governors to a meeting that is aimed at imposing the TSA policy on the States.”

Maintaining that he will not attend the Federal Government’s meeting with State governors on the TSA, Governor Fayose said the Federal Government cannot force its policies on States that are federating units in the Nigeria federation.

“Ekiti State is entitled to its own policies and it is not under any obligation to accept Federal Government policies, especially the TSA that is already robed in the garment of fraud. I therefore wish to state categorically that Ekiti State is not interested in the TSA policy and since the State is not interested, I, as the custodian of the popular mandate of the entire people of the State will not attend any meeting called by the Federal Government on the TSA,” he said.

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A Call On Nigerians To Boycott Facebook By Inibehe Effiong

In view of the rising dissent against Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook by Nigerians who are justifiably displeased with the decision of Facebook Management to show special attention and sympathy to France by asking its users to change their profile pictures and replace them with the flag of the French Republic as a mark of solidarity with France over the killing of about 129 on Friday night in Paris by terrorists.

Given our discontent that Facebook has NEVER showed similar concern to Nigeria despite all the killings and attacks carried out by Boko Haram, I am calling on all Nigerians to boycott Facebook for just 24 hours.

This will send a strong message to Facebook and the rest of the world that Nigerians are not only good at talking. Let us take our protest to another level by staying away from Facebook for a day.

I hereby propose Tuesday 17th November, 2015 for the protest. All those wishing to be part of this protest should not directly or indirectly access their Facebook account between the hours of 12 midnight on Monday 16th November, 2015 to 12am on Wednesday 18th November, 2015.

I also propose the hashtag: #BoycottFacebookOnTuesday

Thank you.

Inibehe Effiong

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A Word To Nigerians In Trying Times For Igbos By Peregrino Brimah

Tell the Igbos around you that they are perfectly safe with you, no matter what Nnamdi Kanu and his miscreants do in the East. Promise them that you are with them, you will protect them and their businesses and property and you have no problem with them regardless of the provocation, hate and violence that Nnamdi Kanu’s Radio Biafra bunch perpetrates in coming days or months.

Tell them that the slurs and insults Kanu and his Radio station continue to throw at you has nothing to do with them. Assure them that even if a Biafra is cut out someday, you will never displace them, expel them or otherwise harass them if they wish to continue living, doing business and being a great part of your community…that they will only leave if they wish to leave and NEVER by you sending them out. Hold meetings of reassurance with them that today, this 2015, Nigeria has changed.

We have decided that we shall never again make friends or enemies, love or fight based on the color of your skin, the tone of your voice, your sex or your ethnicity, but only one thing shall divide or combine us: YOUR CHARACTER.

Tell them that people are only two groups: GOOD and BAD, be they Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba, Kanuri, Ijaw, Tapa, Itsekiri, Gwari or Fulani. Father Mbaka is an Igbo man. There are many more like him. Most Igbos are decent like him. It is time for love in Nigeria and for Nigeria to demonstrate to the world that we have the capacity to be the most tolerant people in the face of evil provocation. Extend an arm of compassion to your Igbo brethren across the nation who are by all means perplexed at a time like this with the noise of the miscreants and #SorryLosers who only see buying guns and bullets to embark on Boko Haram styled violence as their pathway, being loudly heard over the voices of the more numerous reasonable populace.

Promise your Eastern neighbors that they will be eternally safe with you and God is your witness. For everything there is a season. [Ecclesiastes 3] This is the season for love. “…Let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety: and fear God.” Quran 5 verse 8.

– Dr. Peregrino Brimah @EveryNigerian

 

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Hold Buhari Responsible If Anything Happens To Dasuki, Fayose Tells Nigerians

Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose has said President Mohammadu Buhari should be held responsible should anything untoward happen to the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col Sambo Dasuki (rtd), saying; “The Department of State Services (DSS) placement of the former NSA under house arrest despite court order that his international passport be released so that he can travel abroad for medical treatment is wicked, inhuman, dictatorial and a clear attempt to deny him of his rights to life as enshrined in the Constitution of Nigeria.”

The governor, who hailed yesterday’s Abuja Federal High Court ruling, ordering the DSS to allow Dasuki to travel out of the country for medical treatment, added that; “Nigerians, especially men of the judiciary must join hands to shake dictatorship off the body of President Buhari and his hatchet man, Alhaji Lawal Daura.”

Governor Fayose said he was particularly happy that Justice A?demola Adeniyi, insisted that court order must be obeyed and that his own orders will not be flouted, pointing out that “Nigerians, who fought late General Sanni Abacha to a standstill will fight this emerging Buhari’s ‘milutocracy’, which is a clear threat to our hard-earned democracy.”

The governor said he was already vindicated on his earlier position that the Director General of DSS, Lawal Daura who is President Buhari’s kinsman, was an instrument of political persecution. He likened the Director General of DSS to Mohammed Lawal Rafindadi, of the Nigerian Security Organisation (NSO) that was also used by Buhari as instrument of political persecution between 1984 and 1985.

Governor Fayose said President Buhari should be reminded that the Nigeria of 1984 that he ruled like a fiefdom is different from that of 2015. The governor said; “President Buhari seized late Chief Obafemi Awolowo international passport and prevented him from travelling abroad for medicare in 1985, thereby leading to his (Awolowo) untimely death of 1987.

“Buhari also hounded former Bayelsa State Governor, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha to death all in the name of fighting perceived political opponents. Therefore, it has become necessary to raise the alarm that nothing must happen to Dasuki. The fate that befell Awolowo in 1985 must not be allowed to befall Sambo Dasuki in 2015 and Nigerians must rise against this Buhari’s dictatorship and his instrument of oppression, Lawal Daura.”

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The Buhari Economic Policy Direction That Excites Me By Abubakar Usman

I have heard and I have read, many people say that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari does not have an economic direction. That this is the reason why things are getting bad in the country. My submission is that people who share this opinion have either refused to tell themselves the truth or they live elsewhere outside this world. However, I have decided to pen this piece to let them know that not only does the Buhari government have an economic direction, it is also one that looks very promising.

In the last few months, particularly since President Buhari took over the mantle of leadership, things have really taken a nose dive. The hunger in the land is increasing, the unemployment rate is worsening and the poor are getting poorer. Was this unexpected? The answer is a clear no. What we are witnessing today is not a factor of a Buhari government. I posit that Nigeria would still have been witnessing the same thing or even worse if Jonathan were to be the president today and I will tell you why.

Except for the first quarter of 2015 when the price of crude under the Jonathan regime sold for $58.7 per barrel on the average, Nigeria’s crude sold for as high as $150. In 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014, Nigeria’s crude was sold for a yearly average of $113.8, $113.5 $111.0 and $100.4 per barrels respectively. Within the same period, our foreign reserves rose and fell from $32,639.8bn $43,830.4bn $42,847.3bn and $34,250bn respectively, before it finally crashed to $29,595.28bn in the first quarter of2 015, while the country’s GDP rose from $409.34bn in 2011 to $561.61bn in 2014. (Source: RTC Advisory Services Ltd, Nigeria Retrospect – Economy and Policy, 1999-2015).

Looking at the above figures, the believe was that Nigeria’s economy was on a good footing, but this is not exactly so. Why the growth figures are good, the successes recorded are largely uncoordinated, especially because the structure and quality of growth were not considered. This is why the UNDP Human Development Report, 1996 stated that “unless governments take timely corrective action, economic growth can become lopsided and flawed. Determined efforts are needed to avoid growth that is jobless, ruthless, voiceless, rootless and futureless.” Take unemployment for example, despite the huge revenue from oil between 2011 and 2014, the unemployment rate never really dropped. In 2013, its was 24.7% and in 2014, it stood at 24.3%. Even in 2012 when the yearly average of oil earning was $113, unemployment rate stood at 27.4%.
The question then is why are most Nigerians poor despite rising revenues and GDP growth?  The answers are not far-fetched. Firstly, oil which is Nigeria’s main revenue does not by itself, create many jobs. Jobs created from oil are only a few compared to the revenue it generates. Secondly, is the issue of corruption and lack of transparency that was pervasive in the last government. Over the last four years, there have been several alarming and scandalous cases of corruption in Nigeria. From the $6bn Fuel Subsidy Scam to the missing $20billion NNPC scam and the 300,000-400,000 barrels of oil per day that was stolen from the country amongst many others. And juxtaposing this with the fact the infrastructural problem of the country especially in areas of roads and transportation; power; Information technology continue to suffer neglect despite huge revenue, it will be a mirage to think that Nigeria can be repositioned for success.

One other thing responsible for the poor state of affairs in the country is the fact that the poor population of 110 million Nigerians lack access to healthcare, education and other social welfare programmes due to low spending on these sectors by the last government.

So what is the way forward? What is the Buhari government doing differently? Since coming into power, President Buhari has put in place measures specifically to shore up the revenue of government because no matter how lofty your plans are, you can only implement those plans where there is money. This is why the president has ensured transparency in the oil and gas sector with the appointment of Dr Ibe Kachiku as the GMD of NNPC who in turn has taken measures to reform the sector and block leakages in oil revenue. The president also appointed Babatunde Fowler, the man who turned around the revenue of Lagos state to head the Federal Inland Revenue (FIRS) and Hameed Ali into the Nigeria Custom Service (NCS). With the reforms and re-organisation going on in these two agencies of government, the plan is to ensure that revenue earned from both surpasses the revenue generated from oil. 

The directive that all Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federal Government register for the Treasury Single Account domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria is also another measure to shore up government revenue. At least N1.4tn had so far been paid into the TSA to date, an amount that would have been available to looters to feast on in previous administration.

In addition, the government is also pursuing an anti-corruption agenda to prosecute and bring to justice, those who turned the country’s resources into their private pockets. Though, nobody has been convicted so far, but some perpetrators have been taken to court and some amount of money recovered. I believe details on this will be made available soon.

Away from shoring up revenue, government has also put in place measures to invest in the people (social sector investment).To achieve this therefore, the government has outlined an objective of stimulating and supporting the establishment of world class skill acquisition centres in all 109 Senatorial Districts of the Federation. The government has also made a commitment to provide one meal a day for all primary school students which will create 1.14million jobs in agriculture, with a multiplier effect in increased food production and attract investment.
Boosting rural economy, lifting millions out of poverty through a conditional fund transfer to 25 million poorest households to incentivize vaccination, education and production is also at the heart of the government. The government is also set to diversify the economy by investing in the areas of Agriculture, Manufacturing, Entertainment  and Technology as well as boosting education and  building capacity to improve teacher quality with the expectation of having an educated population to increase economic potential for productivity. 

All these are important because according to the IMF: “Specifically, if the income share of the top 20 percent (the rich) increases, then GDP growth actually declines over the medium term, suggesting that the benefits do not trickle down. In contrast, an increase in the income share of the bottom 20 percent (the poor) is associated with higher GDP growth. The poor and the middle class matter the most for growth via a number of interrelated economic, social, and political channels.”

With the efforts at shoring up revenue as I earlier outlined, the government will have the resources to implement these programmes, the resultant effect of which would be more jobs for Nigerians, an educated and healthy population, a repositioned economy built on structures and quality of growth and a population lifted out of poverty. If this is not an economic direction, I wonder what is. 

Abubakar Usman is a member of the Buhari Media Support Group. He can be engaged on twitter @MrAbuSidiq 

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We Are Nigerians Not Biafrans, By Okoi Obono-Obla

The minority people of the former Eastern Region of Nigeria are today found in Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Rivers and Bayelsa States. The regional system that was abolished on the 27th May 1967, when the then Federal Military Government under the leadership of General Yakubu Gowon created 12 States to effectively regionalism introduced by the Richard Constitution in the 1940s. The regional system divided the country into three regions namely the Northern, Western and Eastern regions with Lagos as the Federal Capital.

As a result of the agitation by the ethnic minorities in the Northern, Eastern and Western Regions for internal autonomy, the House of Representatives by an Act of Parliament created the Mid Western Region from Western Region in 1963.

Disapointedly, the ethnic minorities of the Eastern Region that had agitated for the creation of a Calabar,Ogoja and Rivers State under the aegis of Calabar, Ogoja and Rivers State Movement since 1953 were denied an opportunity by the Federal Parliament in 1963 when it created the Mid Western Region. Also, the people of the Middle Belt that had vehemently advocated for the creation of the Middle Belt Region from the Northern Region did not also benefited from the gesture of the Federal Parliament in 1993 when it created the Mid Western Region out of the Western Region. However, General Gowon on the 27th May 1967 divided these four regions into twelve States namely  North Western State (present  Sokoto, Zamfara,Kebbi and Niger States), North Eastern State ( present Bornu,Adamawa,Bauchi, Gombe and Taraba States), North Central State ( present Kaduna State), Kano, Benue Plateau State( present Benue, Nassarawa and Plateau States), Kwara, Rivers ( present Bayelsa and Rivers), South Eastern State ( present Akwa Ibom and Cross River States), East Central State ( present Anambra, Abia, Enugu, Imo, and Ebonyi States), Western State ( present Oyo,Ondo, Osun,Ekiti and Ogun States) and Mid Western State ( present Edo and Delta States). The ethnic minorities of the old Eastern Region suffered heavy casualties (just as the Igbo people) in the North after the reprisal attacks that took place there as a result of the military coup of 15th January 1966. Be that as it may, our leaders ( the Udo Udoma, Okoi Arikpo, Chief I.I Murphy, Dappa Brigs etc) never supported the action of late Colonel Ojukwu on the 27th May 1967 when he declared the break away of the defunct Eastern Region from the Federation of Nigeria to form the Republic of Biafra. This resulted in a bloody civil war that broke out on the 6th June 1967 and ended on the 12th January 1970.

So I am flummoxed when some people are trying to exhume something that was buried almost 45 years old by suggesting that Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa and Rivers States are part of the garbage they call ‘Biafra’! Nobody should drag us into ‘Biafra’. Our leaders rejected ‘Biafra’ almost 48 years old when they irrevocably and unequivocally supported the indivisiblity    of the Federal Republic of Nigeria! We stand together with Nigeria now and forever! Nobody should drag us into this bogus ‘Biafra’! We made our stand 48 years ago. We can decide for ourselves what we want at any point in time. We totally and completely reject the attempt by some faceless anarchists and confusionists to drag us into the bogus ‘Biafra’! Surely we know what his good for us! It is mischievous and an insult for some people to think that we will take back what we vomited 48 years old! We are not dogs but rational human beings! Only a dog takes back what it had vomited!

Okoi Obono-Obla

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Buhari Presidency Will Fulfill Campaign Promises To Nigerians – Osinbajo

The Muhammadu Buhari administration will strive to deliver on its campaign promises to the people of Nigeria, the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), has assured.

Osinbajo gave the assurance on Saturday at Ikenne, his home town where he was the Special Guest of Honour at the 39th Ereke Day celebration.

Ereke is an annual festival organised in Ikenne, Ogun State, as platform for addressing the town’s developmental challenges.

Osinbajo pointed out that the opportunity to address the nation’s numerous challenges and reposition the country for greatness is now.

He said that the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration would keep its promises, saying “the President has no other business besides fixing the problems of the country.’’

He cited corruption and stealing as some of the reasons why things had gone wrong in the country, adding “but it is time now to fix all that have gone wrong.”

He restated the commitment of the Federal Government to address the challenges facing the country.

He said: “we have to deal with unemployment of young people; we have to deal with infrastructure; we have to deal with bad roads; we have to restore power, the challenges are many.

“But I want to assure you that every single day that President Buhari spends in Abuja; that I spend in Abuja, we will work hard to achieve the promises we have made.

“You can be sure of an honest and transparent government; you can be sure of hard work.

“You can be sure that everything we promised, we will do.”

Osinbajo, who also spoke to newsmen at the end of the event, said that President Buhari was working daily on how to solve Nigeria’s economic challenges.

“The President you know has no other business; he is not doing anything else; this is his life commitment.

“And he has said this is what he is going to commit his entire life to, to ensure that the economic problems are solved, employment opportunities are created,”, the VP said.

He called on the indigenes of Ikenne to re-dedicate themselves to the visions of their elders such late Chief Obafemi Awolowo former Nigerian nationalist and Premier of the old Western Region. (NAN)

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Buhari Replies PDP, Vows To Always Tell Nigerians The Truth

President Muhammadu Buhari has rejected an accusation by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that his utterances amounted to “demarketing” Nigeria, adding that he owed it to Nigerians to always tell them the truth.

A statement issued by President Buhari’s special adviser on media and publicity, Femi Adesina, reacted fiercely to a statement by the PDP’s national publicity secretary, Olisa Metuh. The presidential spokesman warned that Mr. Metuh and his ilk were attempting to distract the president, adding that their effort would fail.

“President Buhari will remain true to the virtues of honesty, integrity, sincerity, incorruptibility and plain-speaking which endeared him to Nigerians and made them prefer his leadership [to] that of a lying and deceptive PDP administration,” said the presidential statement, titled “President Buhari Will Always Tell Nigerians The Truth.”

Mr. Adesina added: “The President will not, in the guise of ‘marketing’ the country, refrain from telling Nigerians and the world, the emerging truths about the abject state in which years of plundering by a PDP leadership has left the Nigerian treasury and economy.

“President Buhari will not in the name of ‘marketing’ or ‘attracting’ investors, follow in the footsteps of the ousted PDP Administration and its discredited officials who shamelessly lied to Nigerians and the world about the buoyancy and vibrancy of an economy they had bled dry for personal gain, when it was very obvious to the discerning, that the Nigerian economy was headed for serious trouble.”

The presidential spokesman stated that the PDP should be remorseful for the harm the party had done to Nigeria and should offer support to President Buhari in his “efforts to salvage and revamp the national economy.”

Mr. Adesina accused Mr. Metuh of seeking to “remain relevant on the national stage by unjustly denigrating the President who continues to strive with all his might to alleviate and reverse the harm done to the nation by PDP misrule and corruption.”

Describing Mr. Metuh as “a broken record,” the presidential spokesman said the Presidency would be prepared to listen “If the PDP spokesman ever has serious matters to bring to our attention.”

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Attack On Appeal Court Judges: Sahara Reporters Must Apologize To Justice Alfa Belgore And Nigerians

By Bashir Akanbi

No doubt, one of the beauties of democracy anywhere in the world is its accommodation and recognition of freedom of speech; but of course, not without attaching strict punishment to slander, libel and sedition. In this part of the world however, the act of slandering and lashing people of integrity with false accusations without verification is often allowed to go on without restraints, to the point where it has become part of life.

 

Without a doubt, society grows with the full effect and complementary functions of the three arms of government and in such a way that one’s role doesn’t affect the other. The Judiciary as the third arm of government, after the Executive and Legislature, is seen as the last hope of the common man. To this end, such important arm shouldn’t be dragged into any form of political chicanery that will rubbish its important activities.

 

It is important to note that the Judiciary does not exist on mere theoretical grandstand, without the inputs of men and women of integrity who have, through their commitment and judicial sagacity, given the arm the independence, inviolability and integrity it currently enjoys. To say the least, such men and women shouldn’t be dragged in the mud, to score cheap political points. That said, there is no gainsaying the fact that Retired Justice Alfa Belgore, a former Chief Justice of Nigeria, is one of these great men.

 

To set the records straight, Justice Alfa Belgore remains a man of high reputation who has put in several years of service in the judiciary, and without any accusation of judicial manipulation against his person before, during or after his tenure as CJN. He is exemplary and known for his consistently unwavering contributions towards revamping Nigeria’s judicial system since the beginning of his career.

 

Nevertheless, Sahara Reporters, a politically sponsored online platform who has unashamedly sold its soul to the devil, apparently has never relented in its pursuit of spreading falsehoods. This platform has left a lot of Nigerians spoon-fed with erroneous submissions and lies in recent times, as tools to protect the interest of its sponsors.

 

How on earth could this politically sponsored online medium drag Justice Belgore to the political war between the Senate President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senator Bukola Saraki and Bola Tinubu? Nigerians are aware of the politics of “pull him down” being bandied around by the enemies of progress against the Senate President since his emergence on June 9, 2015 against the will of some cabals in the APC setup.

 

The ongoing political monkeyshines is well understood by many and with the dimension it has taken right from the beginning, we cannot be cajoled into sympathizing with those who are ready to bring shame to the judiciary by running helter-skelter to buy the judiciary to persecute the Senate President so that Nigerians will think it is a war on corruption.

 

Sahara Reporters planned to preempt the outcome of the judgment in the Saraki case at the appellate court, where he challenged the jurisdiction of the Code of Conduction Tribunal to try him without following due processes, by saying Alfa Belgore tried to influence the judges involved in the trial. How else can that claim be described other than crass?

 

Of course, with the show of shame by the Appeal Court President, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, who acted unprofessionally to adjourn indefinitely a case of international interest based on speculation by an online platform in the hand of politicians who are indeed the enemies of this nation, one could join other discerning Nigerians to believe that Bola Tinubu has more than half of federal justices on his payroll, Justice Zainab being one.

 

The manner of the adjournment was not only unethical, as Judges did not appear despite their earlier promises to speed up the judgment, but also suspicious as CCT’s lawyers did not show up in Court; to further allude to the fact that they had privy information.

 

With this, it is safe to state the obvious that Sahara Reporters is a platform with absolute disrespect for staunch patriots like the former CJN whose entire breathing upholds the sanctity of the court and sanity of judicial processes. The question remains how Sahara Reporters came across the outcome of the case that’s awaiting the judges’ pronouncement? There should be more to it than meet the eyes.

 

The other question that comes to mind, whose answer is not far-fetched anyway, is why there always exist bias and fabrications of falsehood in Sahara Reporters’ news on the Senate President? Case in point is the forged “Olybukola Saraki” International Passport which the UK authority have investigated and confirmed it was indeed forged.

 

Definitely the rumour that circulated that Tinubu, who said he would never regard Saraki as Senate President, has specially contracted one of his bankrolled sons and owner of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore is nearing accuracy. Since the inauguration of the 8th Senate that saw Saraki emerge the Senate President, Sahara Reporters have been found cooking up one lie or the other against him.

 

One thing Sowore and his sponsors have failed to realize is that the more they lash out at him, the stronger he becomes politically as their perpetual slandering and seditious antics have given them away as paid agent. The fact remains that the Senate is a no-go area with the Vote of Confidence on his leadership.

 

With the diversionary approach in the scheme of their attack strategy, Sahara Reporters should and must specifically apologize to the symbol of justice and icon of fairness, former Chief Justice of the Federation, Retired Justice Alfa Belgore, for attempting to malign and drag his hard-earned reputation in the mud where they belong. The unreserved apology should also be addressed to all Nigerians for the uncountable lies against their paymasters’ perceived political enemies like Senator Bukola Saraki.

 

It is a known fact that the platform is used as a medium to undermine Nigeria’s political system. They have been known for being bereft of basic media ethics and professionalism, for which Nigerians are now aware.

 

On this basis therefore it is advised, for moral reasons, that people should disregard “news” from them.

 

Bashir Akanbi writes from Lagos

Qsbashirakanbi@gmail.com 

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Chris Oyakhilome Shocks Nigerians, Splashes N1 Billion As Donation To Idahosa University

Founder and Senior Pastor of Believers Love World a.k.a Christ Embassy, Rev Chris Oyakhilome, shocked many yesterday in Benin when he announced a donation of N1 Billion to Benson Idahosa University as part of his support to the institution which he described as one of the legacies of his mentor and role-model, the late Archbishop Benson Idahosa.

He made the donation shortly after he was conferred with an honourary Doctor of Divinity Degree of the university. He said the financial support was to facilitate the faculty of Engineering project of the institution.

Dr. Oyakhilome explained that his contribution to the university was borne of out his passion to contribute meaningfully to the development of lives, revealing that the late founder of BIU, Archbishop Idahosa, has positively influenced his life and ministry as a youth.

According to him, the television ministry of the late Archbishop Idahosa ministry popularly known as Idahosa World Outreach (IWO- Television) was the first of its kind in the country which he said helped to liberate lost souls and imparted christians in the world to accept christ globally.

“The Archbishop Benson Idahosa was one of the most remarkable and inspiring personality of the 20th Century. It is a fact of life that those who did not have the privilege to get to meet him, are blessed to meet him through many of us. The impart of the Archbishop on me as an individual is unquantifiable. Many a time people would ask me why I talk about the late Archbishop Benson Idahosa more than anybody. It will surprise you to know that as a young man, I was working with the Archbishop in the mail room in the Church of God Mission in Benin City. I was blessed to have worked with the late Archbishop Benson Idahosa. While working with him, I had the blessing and benefit of seeing the Archbishop passed by my table everyday to his office” he said.

In her remark, Archbishop Margaret Idahosa and Chancellor BIU, described the Awardee as a spiritual son of the late Archbishop Benson Idahosa and founder , Church of God Mission International (CGMI).

She said the decision to honour Rev. Dr. Oyakhilome with doctor of divinity was to recognise personality pf Oyakhilome who has greatly contributed to building and saving lives through his ministry, home and abroad.

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I Didn’t Say “Rich Nigerians” Are Joining Boko Haram – Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has denied saying that “rich Nigerians” were signing for Boko Haram sect.

It will be recalled that the Vice President in a statement from his spokesman, Mr. Laolu Akande, Tuesday, on the intention of the Federal Government to establish a communications center to counter the sect’s ideologies stated that “I have seen people who are well-to-do being recruited into terrorism.’’

But reacting to how some Newspapers reported the story, Akande in a statement on Wednesday said that the Vice President was quoted out of context.

“There was no mention of “Rich Nigerians” anywhere in the release as some media reported. There was no reference to Nigerians at all. Also the Vice President was not raising any alarm of any kind.His statements reads as thus: “Comments of the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, in the above titled press release were taken out of context by some of the papers and some of the reports misleading.

“The Vice President was talking about the mindless ideologies of violent extremism and terrorism, and not about mindless people as some of the reports stated.

He said such ideologies drew different people including those who were lured into terrorism with money and those who are well-to-do.

“This clarification is to set public records straight.”

Boko Haram: FG to establish communications center in north east to counter terrorists violent ideologies, says Osinbajo

Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday in Abuja said that the Federal Government was planning to establish a crisis communication centre that would provide information to counter violent extremist ideology especially in the North-East.

He gave the hint yesterday while receiving the US Special Envoy on Counter Terrorism Communication, Rashad Hussain, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The Vice President who wondered why negative ideologies, opinions and actions easily gain acceleration also stated that it was critical to define and disseminate positive narratives that expose the evil of terrorism, asserting the ultimate victory of good over evil.

He said: “For some strange reasons, something that appears so completely mindless and almost insane gains currency in a way that gets regular recruits”, wondering “why the completely mindless ideology gains the kind of currency that it gains.”

The Vice President who said he would have preferred positive messages, however noted that though some people had been lured into participating in terrorist acts for money, others with rich financial background had also being recruited.

“I have seen people who are well-to-do being recruited into terrorism”, he said.

Expressing gratitude to the U.S. Envoy for his interest in stamping out terrorism in Nigeria, the Vice President also disclosed that government was going to put up a campaign involving civil societies, young people and Non-Governmental Organizations, coming together and interacting to provide positive counter narratives against those of violent groups like Boko Haram.

Speaking earlier, the US Envoy, Hussain noted that the insurgent had a strong propaganda machinery which he said should be countered.

He observed that the majority of the people have already rejected Boko Haram but their voices were being downplayed in the media, recalling that Presidents Muhammadu Buhari and Barack Obama discussed the issue during their meeting in White House earlier in July.

According to him, there was need to develop and disseminate content that would educate and inform audience about efforts to counter Boko Haram insurgency, and projects Nigerian democratic processes as well, suggesting that the social and traditional media should be engaged in addition to satellite television among others in a credible way.

At the Special Envoy’s meeting with the Vice President were the three principal members of the Buhari Presidential Communications team: Mr. Femi Adesina, Special Adviser; Mallam Garba Shehu and Mr. Laolu Akande.

The Special Envoy was accompanied by other US officials including Ms Maria E. Bruwer, Deputy Chief of Mission in Nigeria and Stevie Hamilton, Deputy Coordinator, Center for Strategic Counter-terrorism Communication at the US Department of State.

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Diezani Beg Nigerians To Pray For Her As She Undergoes Cancer Treatment

Embattled former minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alis0n-Madueke, has asked Nigerians to keep her in prayers as she undergoes treatment for cancer.

The former minister, who is being investigated by the UK National Crime Agency (NCA) for alleged corruption, spoke through her family lawyer, Oscar Onwudiwe.

She said she was undergoing cancer treatment in the UK and “hopes to come out strong to face all the allegations”.

“The Madueke family, like most other families, has its own challenges. For instance, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke has been receiving treatment for cancer in the UK which started while she was in office,” Onwudiwe said in statement.

“She completed months of chemotherapy just last week and she is scheduled to undergo surgery next week in London.

“The family has been bearing this challenge with prayers and as much grace and fortitude as possible; and would plead with all reasonable Nigerians to pray for her recovery so that she can face these allegations and give account of her stewardship.

On the report of her arrest and possible prosecution by the UK crime agency, Onwudiwe  said “the stories are false but it feeds the mood of the moment; hence, the silence from Diezani all along. It is worth emphasising that Mrs Alison-Madueke was never arrested or detained and her passport was never seized. She was merely invited, and she honoured it promptly.

“But there is a limit to how much any reasonable person can bear the tactics of these … We all know that what makes a lie fly is the little truth contained therein. This happens to be the weapon used to defame highly-placed people.” Onwudiwe also accused the Nigerian media of reporting “laughable claims” of a purchase of an apartment in Hyde Park with an “amount which embarrassingly ranges from £12.5 million sterling to £13 billion sterling (N3.9tr)”. “This claim is utterly false and laughable, for the amounts mentioned are only in the imagination of the reporters. This property is quite popular,” he said. “It belongs to a well-known eminently successful Nigerian entrepreneur who would also find this allegation embarrassing as the intention to sell the property has neither been contemplated nor disclosed to any person.”

THE FULL STATEMENT BELOW

The Truth Versus The Media Hysteria Against The Madueke Family

1. In this era of cyber terrorism, decency dictates that one should respond to false and defamatory allegations with silence. But there is a limit to how much any reasonable person can bear the tactics of these cyber terrorists. We all know that what makes a lie fly is the little truth contained therein. This happens to be the weapon used by most online news media to feed their weird obsession with defaming highly placed people.

2. The Madueke family is appalled at the ongoing media frenzy against Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke by a section of the mass media following an invitation to her by the British authorities last Friday for reasons which have yet to be disclosed. For the avoidance of doubt, the family would like to state categorically that it has no issues with any persons from the family being invited anywhere in the world to answer questions about their private or official conduct. The Madueke family believes in law and order, honour and due process.

3. However, it is clear that here is a deliberate and vicious campaign to demonise members of the Madueke family, with all manner of frivolous allegations. For example, an online news media gleefully published that Mr. Ugonna Madueke “owns at least three properties in the United States.” It even called the properties “POSH” and went on to state the addresses. THEY LIED.

4. Mr. Ugonna Madueke has NO PROPERTY ANY WHERE in the United States and has NEVER OWNED ONE. The USA is a country which runs on transparency, accountability and technology. A little honest effort by the online news media would have provided in a few minutes the true ownership of the properties at issue.

5. For historical accuracy, the Madueke family avers without any fear of contradiction that 11711 Scooter Lane (a three bedroom town house) in Fairfax, Virginia, was acquired by the Madueke family in 1997 when Ugonna was only 10 years old. Ugonna’s siblings lived in this property while attending George Mason University in Virginia, USA. Records available to the appropriate authorities in the United States can also show that 13116 Silver Maple Court in Bowie, Maryland, USA belongs to an uncle of the Madueke siblings and was purchased in 1995 when Ugonna was only 8 years old. As a student of the University of Maryland in 2002, Ugonna stayed with his uncle at the said address. All of this was before Mrs. Diezani was appointed to government office. No Madueke or a distant relation has anything to do with the ownership of No. 4227 Summit Manor Court in Virginia. 6.

It is evident that what the online news media did was to turn on an internet search engine and maliciously reported that every property where Ugonna Madueke has ever lived in the United States or used as his address must belong to him. The description of the properties as POSH was the icing on the propaganda cake. This is not only unprofessional, as it offends the tenets of journalism, it is clearly not in resonance with good conscience.

7. The online news media also reported that Ugonna and his cousins registered a company by name Hadley Petroleum Solutions Limited which they have been using to deal in Nigerian crude oil sales. As young men bubbling with enthusiasm and fantasy, they registered a company but after two years of no jobs, the company folded up. The company never had a bank account, let alone being a trader of Nigeria’s crude oil. They lied.

8. The online news media took its campaign to the in-laws of the Maduekes. It claimed that Mrs. Beatrice Agama, the 81 year old mother of Mrs. Diezani Madueke, owns a house in the United Kingdom. A LIE! Mrs. Agama has no house or property in the United Kingdom. She has been staying in a rented two-bedroom flat from where she is receiving medical attention for a broken femur. Her son, Timi Agama who has been living in the UK for decades, used to have a house in the UK long before his sister was appointed to government and he sold it long ago. Since then, he has no house in the UK. Archbishop Doye Agama of the Apostolic Pastoral Congress in Manchester, who is in his 60s, is a successful professional and consultant well known amongst his peers, but he does not own Unit 8 Quebec Building in Manchester which the online newspaper ascribed to him.

9. As though to outdo the sensational allegations in the online publication, the mainstream media in Nigeria has been alleging that Mrs. Diezani attempted to purchase a property on Hyde Park Street in London for a whooping amount which embarrassingly ranges from 12.5 million sterling pounds to 13 billion sterling pounds. This claim is utterly false and laughable, for the amounts mentioned are only in the imagination of the reporters. This property is quite popular. It belongs to a well-known eminently successful Nigerian entrepreneur who would also find this allegation embarrassing as the intention to sell the property has neither been contemplated nor disclosed to any person. 10.

It is worthy to note that despite all the frenzy over Mrs. Diezani Madueke, not even one reporter or journalist has tried to contact the family to verify any of the rumors they have published with reckless abandon. This may be because they know the stories are false but it feeds the mood of the moment. Hence, the silence from Diezani all along. It is worth emphasising that Mrs Alison-Madueke was never arrested or detained and her passport was never seized. She was merely invited, and she honoured it promptly.

11. The Madueke family, like most other families, have their own challenges. For instance, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke has been receiving treatment for cancer in the UK which started while she was in office. The health crisis has unfortunately exacerbated in recent times. She completed months of chemotherapy just last week and she is scheduled to undergo surgery next week in London. The family has been bearing this challenge with prayers and as much grace and fortitude as possible; and would plead with all reasonable Nigerians to pray for her recovery so that she can face this allegation and give account of her stewardship. Yes, she can—and very well, too.

12. The Madueke and Agama families would want the decent public to know that neither Ugonna nor Somze or Abiye or anyone related to the two families was picked up or arrested or invited for questioning by anybody whatsoever. Ugonna’s father (the Rear Admiral) has been in Lagos and working in his office. The lies about his having travelled with a team of lawyers should please stop. The Madueke family has taken a decision on how to appropriately deal with those who are on a mission to soil their hard earned family name.

Signed for and on behalf of the Madueke and Agama families. Barrister Oscar M. Onwudiwe.

Legal Attorney

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