Saraki Urges Nigerians To Pray For National Progress 

President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, on Thursday called on Nigerians to continue to pray fervently for the success of the present administration.
 
Saraki spoke in Abuja when he received the Ilorin Emirate Descendant Progressive Union, led by its National President, Alhaji Abdulhamid Adi, on a courtesy visit to the Senate President.
 
He admitted that Nigerians have many reasons  to be grateful to God and                                                            urged the people to be selfless in their service to the nation. “We have many reasons for what God has done for us. I want to thank you for your support and kind words. I want to assure you, as your son who has served in many capacity that this time around, we will serve you and serve the country that we are proud of. 
 
For the purpose of making Nigeria better, for the purpose of ensuring that we have a more stable country and that we are honest with the people  while striving to build a country that will bring benefit, that is not about personal interest, that is not about personal ambition but about the interest of the entire Nigeria; it is our duty to pray for that country that we all wish for.”
 
The Senate President assured that the interest and well-being of the Nigerian people will be given priority by the Senate. “This is our own time to ensure that we partner with one another that we use the opportunity that we have, as you have rightly said,  for the benefit of our people. 
Others have come before and have used the opportunity. I pray that we will use the opportunity very well in the service of humanity and our country. We will work together, united for progress and peace so that at the end of the term, we can say thank you God. 
 
“This is what happened when we had one of us holding this exalted position. We know where we are coming from, what is important is your prayers. We will bring the change you voted for and I am sure that Nigerians will be proud at the end of the day,” Saraki said.
 
In his remark, President of Ilorin Emirate Descendant Progressive Union, Alhaji Abdulhamid Adi congratulated the President of the Senate for his election and that of the other Principal officers of the Senate, adding that the union will continue to support him.
 
Adi said  the Saraki-led Senate has many duties  to perform for Nigerians, citing security, education, health, infrastructure development, energy and employment for the teaming youths as areas where  people are looking up to the government.
 
He emphasised that no efforts should be spared to develop the Ilorin Emirate socially and economically, so as to enable her continue to play a leading role in the State and at the national level.
 
“We wish to reaffirm our loyalty, commitment and support for the Federal Government headed by President Muhammadu Buhari. We hereby wish to state categorically and unequivocally that we are solidly behind his change mission and vision for Nigeria particularly in the area of war against corruption and impunity.
 
“We also urge that President Muhammad Buhari extends hands of fellowship to the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Saraki, in the same way he did to his erstwhile Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters and friend, Major General Abdulbaki Babatunde Idiagbon (Rtd) of blessed memory,” he said.
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How Nigerians Rate President Buhari In His First 100 Days – NOIPolls

Latest snap poll results released by NOIPolls Limited have revealed that amidst the mixed reactions which have trailed President Muhammadu Buhari’s first 100 days; Nigerians (60 percent) have appraised the President’s first 100 days in office positively; rating his general performance so far within this period as ‘good’. Some Nigerians(12 percent), on the other hand think the President has performed ‘poorly’ since his inauguration on May, 29th 2015.

Still in the bid to appraise the President’s performance in his first 100 days, Nigerians rated the performance of the President as ‘good’  in key areas such as ‘security’ (62 percent), ‘power’ (61 percent); ‘fuel availability’ (68 percent) and ‘anti-corruption’ (48 percent); albeit, slightly more than half of Nigerians (54 percent) interviewed think the President has performed ‘poorly’ in terms of ‘job creation’. This perception is in no doubt driven by the increasing level of unemployment in the country; for instance, unemployment rate in Nigeria increased to 8.2 percent in the second quarter of 2015, from 7.50 percent in the first quarter of 2015, and from 6.40 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014, according to data by the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS).[1] In view of this and based on one of his political campaign promises to revamp the economy to create jobs,[2] Nigerians have a very high expectation of the President in this regard.

Following this appraisal, a larger proportion of Nigerians (39 percent) surveyed expect to see improvement in ‘job creation’ in the country within the next 6 months with the  majority of respondents in this category aged between 26 – 35 years. Marked improvements in this area alongside other critical areas such as security, power and education as indicated by Nigerians; would drive the sustenance of a positive perception of Nigerians towards the performance of the President and the overall achievement of the obligations of his administration.These are the key findings from the 100 Days Appraisal poll conducted in the week of September 7th 2015.

September 5th 2015 marked the first 100 days of President Muhammadu Buhari in office. In view of this there have been divergent opinions surrounding the first 100 days of the President since his swearing in into office in May 29th 2015.[3] This is due to the legitimate expectations of citizens that a leader should be able to establish the road maps of his administration within the first 100 days in office. It is pertinent to recall that President Buhari’s campaign promises centred on three key areas: waging war against corruption and impunity, fight against terrorism and revamping the economy to create jobs. Power supply and other economic indices are embedded in these three categories.[4]

Some of the perceived but unverified and unclassified opinions of Nigerians suggest that some are in doubt of the President’s performance. Some of the criticisms are in favour of his performance in some areas such as leadership prowess or his ‘body language’ effect on the public service, the recent corruption probes, the heightened fight against insurgency and the availability of fuel. However, some attributed the improvements in some areas like electricity to the already laid down energy sector road map of the previous administration arguing that 100 days is too early for him to effect any change in the power sector.

Sequel to these views some stated that the merging of ministries and parastatals and the Treasury Single Account (TSA) Bill will strengthen the unemployment indices.[5] The unavoidable question in the minds of an average Nigerian presently is, ‘how has the President fared in his first 100 days as the President of Nigeria’?

Against this background NOIPolls conducted a poll to appraise the President’s first 100 days in office.  The poll sought to gauge the perceptions of Nigerians regarding the performance of President Buhari in his first 100 days in office, as well their expectations from his administration in the next 6 months.

Survey Findings

Respondents to the poll were asked three specific questions. The first 100 days of the President in office examines the occurrence of events and how the President has fared in his role. Hence, in order to gauge the perception of Nigerians on the overall performance of the President, respondents were asked: On a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is very poor and 5 is very good, how would you rate the general performance of the President on his first 100 days in office? Amidst mixed reactions which has trailed President Muhammadu Buhari’s first 100 days in office, majority of respondents (60 percent) have rated and described the performance of the President in his first 100 days in office as  ‘good’; while 28 percent believe he has performed ‘averagely’ within his first 100 days in office. In line with this the President received an average score of 3.7 and this is an indication that Nigerians have a positive perception of the performance of the President in his first hundred days in office; since the closer his average score is to ‘5’ the better his appraisal. On the other hand, some Nigerians (12 percent) think the President has performed ‘poorly’since his inauguration.

More analysis by geo-political zone indicates that the North-West zone has the largest proportion of respondents that asserted that the President has done a good jobwithin his first 100 days in office, whereas the South-East zone accounted for the highest ratio of Nigerians who were of the view that the President has performed averagely since his inauguration. Conversely, the South-South zone has the highest number of respondents who feel the President has generally performed poorly.

Overall, 6 in 10 Nigerians (60 percent) gave  positive reviews of the President’s performance in his first hundred days in office, about 3 in 10 (28 percent) were neutral in their reviews, while 12 percent gave negative reviews of his performance.

Secondly, respondents were asked: On a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is very poor and 5 is very good, how would you rate the performance of the President in the following areas? In a different light from his general appraisal as shown above, majority of Nigerians (54 percent) interviewed think the President has performed ‘poorly’ in terms of ‘job creation’. The President received ‘good’ rating in areas such as ‘security’ (62 percent), ‘power’ (61 percent); ‘fuel availability’ (68 percent) and ‘anti-corruption’ (48 percent). Overall, the President received the best ratings in power and fuel availability with average scores of 3.9 and 3.7 respectively.

Finally, to gain insight on the expectation of Nigerians in the next 6 months, respondents were asked: In your opinion, which areas do you expect to see the most improvement in the next 6 months? A larger proportion of adult Nigerians (39 percent) surveyed indicated that they expect to see improvement in ‘job creation’ in the country within the next 6 months. This area of the economy has become a priority to Nigerians, considering that Nigeria’s unemployment rate is currently facing an upward incline, where unemployment among the 15-64 age bracket increased to 103.5 million in Q2 – up from 102.8 million in the first quarter according to the NBS.[6] Other areas in which Nigerians expect to see improvement in the next 6 months include ‘security’ (14 percent), ‘power’ (11 percent) and ‘education’ (8 percent) amongst other areas.

Further analysis by geo-political zone revealed unison in the stance of Nigerians on job creation as a priority of Nigerians across all geo-political zones although the South-East zone (46 percent) accounts for the largest proportion of Nigerians in this category. Moreover, a considerable proportion of Nigerians in the North-West zone (29 percent) want to see improvement in security. Also, the South-South zone has the highest number of respondents who want to see improvement in power supply within the next 6 months. This is true considering the power poll result released by NOIPolls in August which showed that the region experienced the worst power supply in the country. In addition, more female (48 percent) than male (32 percent) respondents wants to see improvement in job creation in the next 6 months.

In conclusion, 6 in 10 Nigerians have described the President’s 100 days in office as ‘good, while 12 percent of Nigerians claimed that the President has performed ‘poorly’ since his inauguration in May 29th 2015. Finally, most Nigerians (54 percent) think the President has performed ‘poorly’ in terms of ‘job creation’ in the country. Hence, the larger proportion of respondents (39 percent)surveyed have indicated that they expect to see improvement in ‘job creation’ in the country within the next 6 months with the largest segment of these aged between 26 – 35 years (43 percent).

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Mecca Crane Collapse: Six Nigerians Among Victims

Six Nigerian pilgrims are among the  107 people killed in Friday’s crane collapse at Mecca’s holy site Ka’aba, Saudi Arabia.

Kaduna State Task Force on Hajj spokesman  Saidu Adamu yesterday confirmed the death of a member of the state’s delegation.

National Hajj Commission (NAHCON) confirmed the death of five other Nigerians.

It named the dead Kaduna pilgrim as Alhaji Adamu Shuaibu Kargi from Kubau Local Government Area.

Federal Government officials had on Saturday said no Nigerian died.

Gombe State Amirul-Hajj, Abdullahi Mai-Kano, said four women pilgrims from the state were missing after the incident.

According to him, the four pilgrims were from Akko, Dukku and Nafada local governments areas of the state.

Mai-Kano said the pilgrim was injured in her head, but had been treated and discharged.

He said the four pilgrims were declared missing after a thorough verification and bed checking in the three houses accommodating the state’s pilgrims.

Authorities in Saudi Arabia had earlier on Saturday confirmed that 107 people died.

The spokesperson for the Saudi presidency on the Affairs of the two holy mosques, Ahmad Al-Mansouri, said at “least 107 people were dead and another 238 were injured.

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No Nigerian Will Be Discriminated Against On The Basis Of Religion, Buhari Declares

President Muhammadu Buhari Sunday declared that the Federal Government under his watch would guarantee Nigerians freedom of worship.

Buhari who was represented by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osibanjo, made the declaration at the second plenary meeting of Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital.

The President also affirmed that the business of the Nigerian government was to protect the “lives, livelihood and property” of the citizens regardless of ethnic, religious or political affiliation.

He said by the constitution of possession to which he has subscribed and sworn to uphold that, there shall be no state of religion, adding that all Nigerians are guaranteed freedom of worship.

“More importantly, also, I affirm that the business of the state is to protect the lives, livelihood and property of all Nigerians regardless of religion, ethnicity and or political affiliation.

“Our pan-Nigerian mandate was to deal with the issues of economy and corruption. On security, we are on course. We must change the paradise of economy and create an enabling free enterprise”.

Earlier in his speech, the President of CBCN and Archbishop of Jos, Most Rev. Ignatius Kaigama, stated unequivocally, that the bishops’ condemnation of same sex union was final.

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How “My 100 Days Covenant With Nigerians” Went Viral Without Buhari’s Approval

The draft of “My 100 Days Covenant with Nigerians” accidentally went viral in January before the policy and research directorate of the APC presidential campaign organisation had discussed it, TheCable can report.

However, TheCable can also report that while it is true that Candidate Muhammadu Buhari did not see or approve of the “100 Days” document, campaign insiders insist that he saw the second document, “My Covenant with Nigerians”, contrary to claims by his media office.

The first document puts timelines to promises to be fulfilled within Buhari’s first 100 days in office, but the second document contains only milestones without specific dates. It would appear Buhari’s grouse is with the one that has timelines, but his media team has denied both documents.

A member of the policy support group — a body of intellectuals sympathetic to Buhari’s cause — had originated the idea of condensing all the campaign promises into an easily readable and digestible document.

The volunteer, a political scientist who holds a PhD and once lectured at Canadian and American universities, developed the outline of the document, spicing it with his own ideas of how the APC presidential candidate could align with the hopes and aspirations of Nigerians and appeal to the electorate.

The man behind the idea, who is well known in the Nigerian civil society circles, was one of the several intellectuals who worked day and night behind the scene to promote the candidature of Buhari.

Having sketched the outline of the document, he sent electronic copies to members of the APC policy and research directorate for further discussion, inputs and adoption — ahead of a final presentation to Buhari for approval. GONE VIRAL

TheCable understands, however, that a member of the directorate, a medical doctor and politician from the south-west, sent the document to his friends who then published it on the internet before it had even been discussed or approved.

All efforts to recall the document failed as it had gone viral, with thousands of Buhari’s supporters instantly sharing it on Facebook, blogs and Twitter.

The following day, traditional newspapers picked it up and gave it wider publicity — but there was no rebuttal from the campaign organisation as the document became an instant hit. It was believed to have won a lot of supporters and admirers for Buhari, especially on the aspect of publishing his assets and encouraging all would-be appointees to follow suit.

His opponent, President Goodluck Jonathan, had refused to make his assets public, famously saying in a TV interview that he did not give a “damn” about the criticisms against his stand. Thereafter, the APC policy directorate, headed by Kayode Fayemi, former governor of Ekiti state, developed a different document, “My Covenant with Nigerians”, which it passed on to Buhari for approval.

“The second document prepared by the directorate aligned more with the party manifesto but there was no timeline attached to it. It was well received by Buhari who read through it and made comments and corrections,” a member of the campaign team told TheCable.

The document was then produced in pamphlets and distributed at the venues of the town hall meetings held by Buhari across the country — and there was no objection from the candidate or members of the party hierarchy and the campaign organisation.

NOT MY WILL

Femi Adesina, the special adviser to the president on media and publicity, was the first to hint that Buhari was not on the same page with his party on the documents.

“You need to get his words right, go and check all that the president said during the campaign, in no place would you see it attributed to him as a person [as promising to publish his assets],” Adesina said in a recent interview, sparking off debate in the media.

“But then there is a document by his party, the All Progressives Congress, saying he would declare publicly, so we need to set that right, it’s a declaration by his party.”

Garba Shehu, senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, has now denied outright that Buhari saw either of the documents, blaming it on “too many communication centres” during the campaign, some of which he said were “on the loose”.

“As the director, media and communications of that campaign, I was responsible for internal and external communications and these so-called documents that were flying around didn’t have my signature,” Shehu said.

“I didn’t fund them and I didn’t authorise them. From what President Buhari himself had said at Chatham House (on February 26, 2015), he had no iota or knowledge of those documents. So, people cannot hold him to account on something to which he did not commit himself.”

TheCable understands some of the people who worked for Buhari during the campaign are unhappy with their “public execution” by the presidential spokesmen.

“To describe people who toiled tirelessly and selflessly for the campaign as being ‘on the loose’ is most uncharitable and very unfair,” one of them told TheCable.

“This is not how to reward people who did not collect one kobo, people who paid their way to the country from Europe and from the US to work for Buhari. You should have seen people working day and night simply because they believed it was time for change in Nigeria.”

WHAT BUHARI SAID AT CHATHAM HOUSE

Buhari had said at the Chatham House while responding to a question on his first 100 days in office: “The second : high expectations and what to do with the first 100 days.

Yes, I respect that question because quietly I was thinking about these high expectations. Those who are following the trail of our campaigns can see how people are turning out, some becoming emotional and crying.

“I am really getting scared that if I get there they will expect miracles within the next week or months. That would be very dicey handling that one. I think we have to have a deliberate campaign to temper high expectations with some reasonableness on the part of those who are expecting miracles to happen.

“Just to go first to the ‘first 100 days’, some of it is fraudulent and I don’t want to participate in any fraud in any form. Nigerians know that we are in trouble as a people and as a country. When we get there we will quickly get correct intelligence of what is on the ground and inform Nigerians and just learn what I have just read.

“We will make sure that the misappropriation and misapplication of public resources will not be allowed. You would be surprised by how much savings we will realize. That saving will be ploughed back into development and this is what I can promise. But I would remove that ‘100 days’”.

Culled from TheCable

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Nigerians Will Soon See The ‘Change’ I Promised– Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has assured that Nigerians will soon see the fulfilment of his election campaign promises.

He spoke on Wednesday in Abuja while receiving university students.

The president assured Nigerian youth that his government’s anti-corruption campaign would secure their future.

In an address to members of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) who marched to the presidential villa to pledge their full support for his anti-corruption campaign, President Buhari promised that he will do his best to place Nigeria well on the way to becoming the nation of their dreams.

“Everything you have asked for are the things that will make for a good country, and what we are after is a good country, a country where our youths can have a future and a hope,” the president said.

“We are totally committed to building a country where our youths can realize their full potential.

“You can be assured that your welfare and well-being are topmost in our minds and very soon you will see the things we have promised come to fruition.

“During the campaigns, change was our slogan, but today it is no longer a mere slogan, it is now a reality and we will see it in every facet of our lives.

“The youth will feel it, the adults will feel it and old people will feel it and we will get the country of our dreams,’’ the president, who was represented by his Special Adviser (Media & Publicity), Femi Adesina, said.

Mr. Adesina later received a document addressed to President Buhari from the NANS President, Tijani Usman Shehu, and promised that the president will look into their requests.

In his remarks, Mr. Shehu said the students were united against corruption, cybercrime, prostitution, human trafficking, drug abuse and other anti-social vices.

“Nigerian students demand that our future must be secured and we strongly believe in the President’s zero tolerance for corruption,’’ he said.

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95% Nigerians Supports Buhari’s Anti-corruption Campaign – NOIPolls

Abuja, Nigeria. September 1st, 2015 – A recent poll result from a polling partnership between BusinessDay Media and NOIPolls Limited has revealed that Nigerians (85 percent) are aware of the President’s on-going campaign against corruption, and more than 9 in 10 Nigerians (95 percent) have shown strong support for the campaign. This support by Nigerians cut across gender, age and geographical divides of the respondents surveyed. In the same vein, a significant proportion of Nigerians (86 percent) also want the President’s campaign against corruption to be channelled towards the ‘public sector’, most especially the oil and gas sector and the ‘Nigerian National Petroleum Cooperation (NNPC)’ (20 percent) amongst others.

Furthermore, as part of the procedures for the President’s anti-corruption campaign, some Nigerians (32 percent) suggest the government should invest the recovered funds on ‘job creation’, with the majority of respondents in this category aged between 25 – 30 years (38 percent). This comes as no surprise considering the high rate of youth unemployment & underemployment in the country, which currently stands at 26.5 percent for Q2 2015 as provided by the National Bureau of Statistics. In addition, 20 percent of respondents were of the view that the recovered funds be invested in ‘education’, while 14 percent suggested investments in ‘Agriculture’ amongst other sectors of the economy.

Finally ‘Life imprisonment’ topped the list of punitive measures recommended for corrupt officials and individuals as suggested by half (50 percent) of the respondents surveyed; although some Nigerians believe due process should be taken to convict corrupt individuals and allowed to be ‘punished according to the law’ (34 percent), while steps should be taken to ‘recover monies from corrupt individuals’ (11 percent) amongst other penalties. These are the key findings from the Corruption poll conducted in the week of 24th August 2015.

Brief Background

The World Bank’s ‘Worldwide Governance Indicators’ in 2013 placed Nigeria below an average of 30 percent on its scorecard of how countries seek to control corruption[1]. Similarly, Transparency International’s ‘Corruption Perception Index’ (CPI) in 2014 ranked Nigeria 136th out of the 174 countries it surveyed based on how corrupt their public sector is presumed to be.[2]

There is no doubt that the massive support received by President Muhammadu Buhari, at the March 28 presidential polls which witnessed his emergence, was propelled by his personal stance against corruption and his promise to deal ruthlessly with corruption and currupt officials during his tenure. Following his emergence, the President has commenced his promised campaign against corruption and irregularities in Nigeria by setting up a Presidential Advisory Committee on Anit-Corruption. He also set up a committee to investigate a shortfall in remittance by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) into the Federation Account since 2012, and to look into the Excess Crude Account and report back on the rationale to which it would continue or discontinue operation. The president has alse set up a committe to probe weapon procurement since 2007.

Borrowing the same leaf from the president, the Nigerian Senate has also set up a panel to investigate the alleged unauthorised spending of N567 billion being the cost of tax collected by the Nigerian Custom Service and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) from January 2005 to July 2015 [3]. In this regard, Nigerians have advised the president to consider all sectors of the economy in his bid to fight corruption and also to ensure transparency in the disbursement of funds recovered from the corrupt officials and individuals.

Against this background, NOIPolls Limited conducted a corruption poll to ascertain the awareness of Nigerians on the President’s recent campaign to fight corruption, the sector of the Nigerian economy where corruption is perceived to be most prevalent and recommendations on possible punishments for corrupt individuals.

Survey Findings

Respondents to the poll were asked six specific questions. To assess the awareness of Nigerians on the President’s fight against corruption, respondents were asked: Are you aware that President Muhammadu Buhari has embarked on a campaign to fight corruption in Nigeria? A significant proportion of Nigerians interviewed (85 percent) expressed awareness on the President’s fight against corruption in the country and a higher ratio in this category is from the North-East zone. This finding indicates a high level of awareness of the Presidents stance against corruption in Nigeria especially through all forms of media. However, 15 percent of respondents claimed not to be aware of the President’s campaign against corruption in Nigeria.

Respondents were asked: Are you in support of President Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign to fight corruption in Nigeria? Findings revealed that the President’s corruption campaign has received the full backing of Nigerians as 95 percent registered their support. This cuts across gender, geo-political zones and age-group. A minority of respondents (5 percent) showed no support for the President’s anti-corruption campaign.

Respondents who are in support of the President’s corruption campaign (95% of the total) were further asked: In your opinion, which sector of the Nigerian economy should the President focus his fight against corruption? Findings revealed that the larger proportion of Nigerians (86 percent) want the President to focus his fight against corruption in the public sector. Moreover, the President had stated in an interview with CNN anchor, Christiane Amanpour, during his visit to Washington D.C., that he would not be partisan in the fight against corruption in the country, saying that “there will be no sacred cow in the fight against corruption”.[4] Also, 7 percent of Nigerians were of the opinion that the President should focus more on the private sector, whereas 1 percent mentioned the third sector such as non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

Respondents who indicated that the President should focus on the public sector in his campaign against corruption (86 percent of the total) were also asked: In your opinion, which specific agency/organization in the public sector should the President focus on? Findings revealed that the oil and gas sector, particularly the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) (20 percent) topped the list of sectors most Nigerians want the President to focus on in his fight against corruption. This finding therefore suggests that the opinion of Nigerians towards this organisation buttresses the displeasure of the President towards the operations of organisations in the oil and gas sector. This was made known to the public during a meeting held with a delegation of the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, where the President stated that he was disappointed with the way Nigeria’s oil industry had been operated since he left office as a former petroleum minister and as a military Head of State in 1985.[5]

Other sectors on the list in descending order are as follows; Ministry of Health (15 percent), Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources (10 percent), Police Service Commission (9 percent) amongst other sectors.

Furthermore, respondents were asked: In your opinion, in which sector of the economy should the government invest most of the monies recovered from corrupt individuals? Findings indicate that most Nigerians (32 percent) want the government to invest the recovered monies in ‘employment creation’ with a majority of respondents in this category aged between 25 – 30 years (38 percent). This is not surprising considering the high rate of youth unemployment in the country. This is closely followed by respondents who want the recovered monies to be invested in ‘education’ with a  majority of Nigerians in this category from the North-East zone (35 percent). Also, 14 percent stated that the government should invest recovered monies in ‘agriculture’ amongst other economic sectors in the country.

Further analysis by gender revealed that more female than male respondents want the government to invest the recovered monies in job creation (41 percent) and education (22 percent) respectively.

Lastly, respondents were asked: In your opinion, what would you recommend as punishment/penalty for corrupt individuals? ‘Life imprisonment’ topped the list of punishment/penalty recommended for corrupt individuals as stated by half (50 percent) of the respondents surveyed. While one third of Nigerians believe corrupt individuals should be “punished according to the law’ (34 percent), other Nigerians are of the opinion that corrupt individuals should have their properties seized and all stolen funds be recovered (13 percent) among other recommendations.

In conclusion, the poll revealed that Nigerians are aware (85 percent) and strongly in support (95 percent) of the President’s on-going campaign against corruption in the country. Moreover, 86 percent of these respondents indicated that the President should focus his campaign mainly in the ‘public sector’, with key focus on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) (20 percent) amongst other organisations.

Finally, majority of respondents want the government to invest recovered funds primarily in ‘Employment Creation’, (32 percent)‘Education’ (20 percent), ‘Agriculture’ (14 percent) and ‘Power’ (10 percent) amongst other sectors; while recommending ‘Life imprisonment’ (50 percent) as punishment to be meted out to corrupt officials convicted and found guilty.

Survey Methods

The opinion poll was conducted in the week of 24th August 2015. It involved telephone interviews of a random nationwide sample. 1,000 randomly selected phone-owning Nigerians aged 18 years and above, representing the six geopolitical zones in the country, were interviewed. With a sample of this size, we can say with 95% confidence that the results obtained are statistically precise – within a range of plus or minus 3%.

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APC Lists New Cases Of Looting, Says PDP Mess Must Be Cleared For Nigerians To Enjoy Better Life

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has listed new instances of the insane looting of the treasury by some officials of the Jonathan Administration, saying the corruption mess that characterized the Administration was so pervasive that until it is cleaned, Nigeria will not be able to actualize its potentials.

”Those who would rather give comfort to the looters by dismissing the media exposure of looting cases as mere hell-raising should realize that no sane person can be silent in the face of what is unfolding as the worst cases of brazen stealing of public funds in Nigeria’s history,” the party said in a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

”On Aug. 16th 2015, we listed some instances of the breath-taking looting of the treasury by some officials of the immediate past Administration. Today, we bring three more heart-rendering cases to the attention of Nigerians. We will not relent until closure has been brought to this issue,” it said, listing the new cases as:

– A mind-shattering 2.2 billion-US-dollar arms scandal.

– A 6.9 million-dollar fraud by the Chief Security Officer (CSO) to President Jonathan, committed under the guise of buying three mobile stages for the President.

– A 2.5 billion-Naira scam involving the rent of house boats.

”While those charged with handling these cases are finalizing the details of bringing the suspects to justice, our immediate concern is the attempt by the PDP, under whose umbrella the looting took place, to blame the Buhari Administration for the mess and then infer that things have been worse in Nigeria in the past 3 months under the APC-led federal government than in the 16 years under the PDP. This is totally provocative, shameless and uncharitable.

”They say we are yet to fulfil our campaign promises to Nigeria, but they have forgotten that if only the PDP/Jonathan Administration had not stolen Nigeria blind, there would have been more than enough money to give school children in Nigeria not just one but three meals a day and even pay 5,000 Naira to 50 million most vulnerable Nigerians, not just the 25 million we promised in our manifesto,” APC said

Despite the almost daily discovery of cases of corruption under the Jonathan Administration, the party assured Nigerians of better days ahead, as all its campaign promises will be kept because of the commitment and determination of President Buhari not only to cleaning the Augean Stable but also ensuring purposeful governance for the benefit of all Nigerians.

”It is clear to all Nigerians that the debilitating impact of 16 years of PDP’s misrule cannot be reversed in just 3 months. It is an obvious truth that it is always easier to destroy than to construct, but nothing will stand in the way of the Buhari Administration’s commitment to improving the quality of life of Nigerians and making our country to function again,” it said.

It said that a major clog in the wheel of faster progress for the new Nigeria under President Buhari has been the discovery that the pot housing the commonwealth has been licked dry by the looters of yesterday, hence the need to work meticulously to recover the looted funds and facilitate the delivery of good governance that will manifest in abundant jobs, strong economy and improved welfare and security for Nigerians.

APC said while the PDP, ever steeped in the pursuit of lies, presents the recently released data on job creation and economic growth as ‘clear signals’ that President Muhammadu Buhari is failing Nigerians, the disgraced party mischievously omitted the fact that those numbers are basically a manifestation of the disastrous final days of President Jonathan’s failed economic policies.

”The PDP omitted the fact that these numbers measure job creation and economic growth for the second quarter of 2015, which covers April to June 2015, a period in which President Jonathan was in office for 2 months while President Buhari was only just settling in to discover even more of the mess left for him to clear. No one in his or her right mind will hold someone more accountable for actions in just one month and exonerate another who was in the same office for two months.

”Since the PDP has become insular to global events, the APC will also like to educate the party that every country in the world is struggling to adjust to the effects of a global downturn at the moment. Only very few countries, if any, are growing as fast as they did, in say two years ago. From China, India, Russia, South Africa, to Ghana, Malaysia and Brazil, every country is feeling the effects of a sustained slowdown in global growth.

”The APC will also like to categorically say that it supports the policies of the CBN in its quest to ensure greater transparency in the Forex market and eliminate currency substitution in our economy. The CBN’s policy to stop cash deposits of foreign currency is in line with global best practices and has led to a drastic reduction in the BDC exchange rate for the Dollar, the party said.

It commended Nigerians for showing absolute understanding and faith in the leadership of President Buhari to change the way that Nigeria has been misruled in the last 16 years, and assured that, in the days ahead, the painstaking efforts of the President will manifest even more than Nigerians have already witnessed.

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Buhari Is About To Harness Nigerians In Diaspora For National Devt By Mike Abiola

We may only have to wait until the end of September to know the ministers to represent each ministry in Nigeria, but it may take longer to know who takes charge at the various embassies. One thing is clear though, the new ambassadors will resume with a directive to engage the Diaspora more than ever before.

In the current global economic downturn occasioned by low oil revenue, human capital can become a much needed asset. It is at a time like this that Nigeria must seriously harness its army of professionals across the world; thereby turning its brain drain into a brain gain.

Fortunately, visionary leaders like former President Olusegun Obasanjo have been providing the necessary impetus since 2005 with the inauguration of professional bodies like the Nigerians In Diaspora Organisation in Europe and America. In its determination to rebuild the nation through its Change Economic Agenda, the current administration must not lose sight of the enormous talent of its citizens abroad.

The gathering of Nigerians in Diaspora, held annually in Abuja, is yet to produce the desired result. The full resolution of this year’s Diaspora Day conference, held in Abuja on 25th August 2015, is yet to be made public. A clear takeaway for me is in the directive from President Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented by Vice President Yemi Oshibajo. The President directed Nigeria’s embassies to set up a ‘Diaspora database’ with which they may interact regularly. Some may say this is already an ongoing exercise that has not produced the desired results. The actualisation of the much expected Diaspora Commission would have made this year’s Diaspora Day a fait-accompli. The Diaspora bill passed by the seventh National Assembly is still awaiting presidential assent. Keen observers believe this will open up a new vista.

Role of Nigeria Embassies

The various Nigeria embassies around the world can be a motive force for this new directive from the Buhari administration. The embassies can provide fresh vigour, propelled by the new message for change, by organising and supporting regular conferences/events in partnership with different professional bodies to address the national development agenda. This will go a long way towards encouraging much needed interaction with the Diaspora community.

The Nigeria embassies should each have a Diaspora Liaison Section tasked with the role of actively identifying and compiling lists of Nigerian experts in various countries and matching them with relevant government departments. Through the Diaspora Section, government departments like the Nigerian Export Promotion Council can deploy staff with a mandate to assist exporters of non-oil products from Nigeria and also partner with Nigerian professionals on initiatives that will generate revenue for the country.

Importers of non-oil commodities from Africa into the EU and particularly the UK – especially food importers – experience a catalogue of difficulties that Chinese and Indian importers are not experiencing. A number of this issues can easily be settled under government trade agreements, but they require carefully negotiated bilateral agreements. Where such issues are not given dedicated attention, citizens abroad feel the absence of home government protection and it is a drain on what could amount to substantial foreign exchange earnings.

The Nigerian Diaspora, especially those in the UK & US, are not just growing in statistical terms, they are excelling in education and growing a ready market for Nigerian foods and other exports made with pride in Nigeria.

Recently released official data shows that, in 2013, a total of 8 million people in the UK were foreign-born with about half of this figure from outside the EU. The increasing numbers of new generation Nigerians is pushing the number of people of Nigerian heritage in the UK beyond previous estimates of 2 million. Surely exceptional opportunities must exist for Nigeria’s economy to be linked to the fastest growing ethnic population in Britain.

At a reunion party this summer attended by a large gathering of families spanning three or four generations, including old and new settlers in the US, UK and Europe, it was amazing to note that the taste for spicy Ayamase stew on boiled rice, moi moi, puff puff, suya, jollof rice, dried fish, plantain and drinks such as Guinness and Fanta were a unifying factor.

Many of the 5 – 17 year-olds that had never been to Nigeria enjoyed the food and confessed to preferring it to High Street fare, such as that served up by fast food chains. So it is disappointing to discover that dried fish, melon and red-eye beans – a popular Nigeria-grown bean and the main ingredient of moi moi – are all becoming rare commodities in the UK due to import restrictions. This should be an ample demonstration, if it were needed, of why the Diaspora cannot be excluded from the Government’s economic agenda.

 

Nigeria High Commission UK & Diaspora interaction

Nigeria’s UK Mission has distinguished itself by rallying the Diaspora community effectively. The UK Mission was responsible for sustaining the Nigeria In Diaspora Organisation Europe (NIDOE), especially during its formative years, and gave credibility to the election of its principal officers. Especially during the tenure of Dr. Dalhatu Tafida, aided by the diplomats that served with him in London between 2008 and 2012.

The period witnessed a robust interaction with UK-based Nigerians and recorded a new high during the Nigeria at 50 independence anniversary celebrations. Ambassador Sola Enikanolaye and Ambassador Ahmed Umar are some of the key officers at the Mission and will forever be remembered for the roles they played in assembling outstanding Nigerians for the Golden Jubilee.

In October 2014, some of these UK Nigerians were recognised and honoured for their meritorious service by His Excellency, Dr. Dalhatu Tafida, former High Commissioner to the UK.

Current officers at the Mission have given assurances in a swift written response to a related article in this column. Prince Adeniyi, Minister/Special Assistant to the High Commissioner said, “May I seize this medium to reassure the Nigerian community and indeed the general public that the Mission will continue to engage and strengthen our relationship with our partners even while carrying out our duties in a professional manner.”

 

Diaspora Economic Change Agenda

Aside from the over $20billion remittances to Nigeria, the Diaspora can contribute greater human capital with its skill-set gained working in developed countries and exposure to state of the art technology in advance fields. The new government has to take steps to ensure that some proportion of these remittances are channelled towards development; and to encourage and support those willing to take a sabbatical to return home to contribute their particular skill.

One critical area where Nigerians in Diaspora can add value to the Change Economic Agenda is in the health sector, given its obvious distressing state. The government searchlight on the Diaspora must begin with the health sector with a view to kick starting a partnership with Nigerian medical professionals and uplifting healthcare delivery. An overhaul of this sector would boost the economy and create millions of jobs for the teeming population.

There are thousands of Nigerian medical professionals such as consultants, gynaecologist, lead surgeons, oncologists and specialists in other medical fields working in teaching hospitals and in various other areas of Britain’s National Health Service (NHS). Many of these professionals are willing to serve their motherland. Some have embarked on medical missions with little or no support from Nigeria’s government in the past. Each state of the Federation can partner with these Nigerian doctors in Diaspora on areas of desperate need.

One of these numerous talents is Professor Stanley Okolo, Medical Director of North Middlesex NHS Trust. He was recently listed by the London Evening Standard as among the top 16 UK health professionals with huge responsibilities and earnings higher than the UK Prime Minister.

Prof. Okolo, addressing a conference on the non-oil sector under the auspices of the Engineers Forum of Nigerians UK, confirmed that Nigeria’s development can be fast-tracked by a conscious effort to turn around the present state of the health sector in the country. Prof. Okolo said, “the global trade in health tourism is over $100billion per year. Of this, Nigerian health tourism contributed $500 million in 2013 and half of this was spent travelling to India. Contrasting this, numbers of Nigerian doctors in USA and UK are over 3500 and 4250 respectively, while there are over 1600 Nigerian nurses and midwives working in the UK’s NHS”. Prof. Okolo highlighted that the drivers for health tourism are: availability; low cost and quality and expertise abroad.

Dubai in the UAE has invested greatly in preparing for medical tourism by creating a Dubai Clinic Services Capacity Plan 2020 through Public-Private Partnership. With these facilities they are able to attract over 2 million medical tourists to UAE from 150 countries. These also generate income in the areas of transport, hospitality, banking, shopping and sightseeing.

There is little to gain in saying that Nigeria can be the hub of medical tourism for at least the entire West Africa sub region. Other Nigerian medical experts of note in the UK include breast cancer specialist Arikoge Ogedegbe, Consultant and Lead Surgeon at King George Hospital, Barking, Havering and Redbridge and Dr. Peter Ozua, a Consultant Histopathologist at the Basildon and Thurrock University Hospital NHS Trust – Dr. Ozua was on a delegation to Nigeria with the Medical Association of Nigerian Specialists and General Practitioners. In addition, Prof. Dilly Anumba is a full Professor of Obstetrics & Gynaecology infertility expert at the University of Sheffield; Dr. Henry Okosun is Medical Director at the Regency International Clinic, a top British Fertility & Virility Centre – Dr. Okosun is experienced in the management of infertile couples (test tube babies); and Prof. Rotimi Jaiyesimi, Deputy Medical Director, Health & Safety, Basildon Hospital, Basildon.

An injection of the Diaspora may just contain the tonic to bring about the change we are clamouring for.

AfricanVoice

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Outrage Over President Buhari’s Lopsided Appointment

President Muhammadu Buhari’s appointment of some of his administration’s most key officials Thursday set off a firestorm of condemnation, with critics characterising the nominations as overwhelmingly lopsided, lacking in gender balance and regional equity.

Mr. Buhari named Babachir David Lawal, from Adamawa State, as Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Abba Kyari, from Borno, as his Chief of Staff.

He appointed Hameed Ali, a retired colonel, as the Comptroller-General of Nigerian Customs Service, curiously finding no career customs official suitable for the post.

He also named Kure Martin Abeshi as the Comptroller-General of Nigerian Immigration Service.

Messrs. Ali and Abeshi are from Kano and Nasarawa states respectively.

A former Senator, Ita Enang, from Akwa Ibom, was appointed senior special assistant to the president on Senate affairs, while Suleiman Kawu of Kano, who is a former House of Representatives member, was named the president’s senior special assistant on House of Representatives.

The six officials brought to 29 the total number of frontline administration staffers who will handle the economy, energy, defence and other important sectors of governance for the nearly 100-day-old Buhari administration.

In all, the president has yet to appoint a single female, a marked difference from Mr. Buhari’s immediate predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan, who had women in all major segments of government.
That has angered not a few pro-democracy and gender activists across the country. But what has alarmed critics more is the apparent lack of regional balance in the appointments, a failing Mr. Buhari has been vigorously criticised for in the past.

Details tabulated Thursday by PREMIUM TIMES show that Mr. Buhari has appointed by far more officials from Nigeria’s northern region where he comes from, in violation of federal character law.
Under the Third Schedule of the Constitution, the government must ensure “the principles of proportional sharing of all bureaucratic, economic, media and political posts at all levels of government”.

The posts referred to include those of the Permanent Secretaries, Directors-General in Extra-Ministerial Departments and parastatals, Directors in Ministries and Extra-Ministerial Departments, senior military officers, senior diplomatic posts and managerial cadres in the Federal and State parastatals, bodies, agencies and institutions.

PREMIUM TIMES chart shows that only 25 per cent of the president’s appointments are from the south while an overwhelming 75 per cent are the north.

Also, Mr. Buhari’s North West geopolitical zone, has the largest share of 41 per cent, while the South East for instance, has no appointee. (See chart below).

The appointments have sparked anger across the land, with some critics now referring to Mr. Buhari as Nigeria’s most provincial leader ever.

“Buhari is the most provincial leader Nigeria has ever had,” said Ikechukwu Amaechi, a former editor of Daily Independent and Editor-in-Chief of The Niche, in a post on his Facebook wall. “He is not fit to be

President of Nigeria. How can he continue appointing top officials of government from the north? Customs, Immigration bosses, SGF, Chief of Staff all from the North?”

“If I am President Muhammadu Buhari, I would have appointed a South Easterner as SGF,” said Sunday Akoji, a public affairs commentator. “If I am Baba, I will not appoint five people from the north into sensitive positions in one day and throw one worthless carrot called SSA on National Assembly Matters to the entire South.”

The president general of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Gary Igariwey, told PREMIUM TIMES he would comment on the appointments Friday.

A former governor of Anambra State, Chukwuemeka Ezeife, slammed the president for not considering an Igbo for any political appointment so far.

“I don’t understand what is going on,” he told PREMIUM TIMES in a telephone interview Thursday. “It appears Buhari has some messages for various people.

“I don’t know what to say. If it (appointment) is only for the North, it is okay.”

Yinka Odumakin, the spokesperson of Afenifere, a Yoruba socio-cultural group, said Mr. Buhari’s action poses grave danger to Nigeria.

“It is not healthy for a plural society,” Mr. Odumakin, who was once Mr. Buhari’s spokesperson, told this newspaper. “There are competent people across the nation. When you do this there can’t be a balance. We need constructive surgery, not bulldozing.”

Even for many of the president’s ardent supporters, Thursday’s announcement was one too many in a string of appointments that have become increasingly skewed.

A PREMIUM TIMES columnist, Ademola Bamidele-Olateju, who had all along backed the president, wrote on Facebook, “These all northern appointments don begin worry me. I’m getting disillusioned. It can only get worse from here.”

“These last set of appointments by Buhari are too brazenly and unacceptably lopsided in favour of the North that I can no longer defend his actions. Not this one,” Okechukwu Nwanguma, the National Coordinator at Network on Police Reform in Nigeria, posted on Facebook.

Mr. Buhari has come under consistent criticisms for his actions as Nigeria’s leader so far. In his administration’s brief tenure, he has drawn fire for his delay in forming a cabinet, and for appearing not to be in haste to fix a nation faced with gargantuan, multifarious problems.

His previous appointments too were considered disproportionate for a nation that holds together six geopolitical zones, 36 states and a federal capital territory, 774 local governments and over 250 different ethnic nationalities.

Yet, the president’s response has been anything but heart-warming, critics say. In fact, during his visit to the United States in July, that indifference approached something of defiance when he openly told Americans and Nigerians he should not be expected to offer equitable treatment to Nigerians who barely gave him votes.

President Buhari received the least number of votes in the South East and South South, the political stronghold of his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan.

It is not clear whether the appointments are in demonstration of that conviction.

But as controversy over past appointments grew last week, a former governor of Kaduna state, Balarabe Musa, urged the president to respect the federal character law.

“Those who are complaining that President Buhari is favouring the North in appointments have a strong case,” Mr. Musa told PREMIUM TIMES.

Mr. Akogi said the president has no excuse for the latest appointments.
“Don’t you dare throw the ?competence?? of the appointees in my face. Baba got this one wrong! From Baba’s body language, it is becoming obvious that he no longer “belong to everyone and belong to no one,” he said.

See full list of the president’s appointments till date:
Appointments made by President Muhammadu Buhari to date: 1. Aide de Camp to president: Lt. Col Abubakar Lawal, [Kano State, North-West and husband to President Buhari’s foster daughter].
2. Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to the president: Femi Adesina, [Osun State, South-West].
3. Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity: Garba Shehu, [Kano State, North-West].
4. State Chief of Protocol/Special Assistant (Presidential Matters): Lawal Abdullahi Kazaure, [Jigawa State, North-West].
5. Accountant General of the Federation: Ahmed Idris [Kano State, North-West].
6. National Security Adviser: Babagana Monguno [Borno State, North-East].
7. Chief of Defence Staff, Abayomi Olonishakin, [Ekiti State, South-West].
8. Chief of Army Staff: Tukur Buratai, [Borno State, North-East].
9. Chief of Naval Staff: Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, [Cross Rivers, South-South].
10. Chief of Air Staff, Sadique Abubakar, [Bauchi State, North-East].
11. Chief of Defence Intelligence: Monday Riku Morgan [Benue State, North-Central].
12. Director General, State Security Services, SSS: Lawal Daura, [Katsina State, North-West].
13. Acting Chairperson, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Amina Zakari, [Jigawa State, North-West].
14. Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA: Habibu Abdulahi [Kano State, North-West].
15. Special Adviser, Niger Delta Amnesty Office: Paul Boroh, [Bayelsa State, South-South]
16. Acting Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration, Safety and Security Agency, NIMASA:Baba Haruna Jauro [Yobe State, North-East].
17. Executive Vice Chairman/ Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Communications Commission:Umaru Dambatta [Kano State, North-West].
18. Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS: Babatunde Fowler, [Lagos State, South-West].
19. Director General, Budget Office of the Federation: Aliyu Gusau, [Zamfara State, North-West].
20. Group Managing Director, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Emmanuel Kachikwu, [Delta State, South-South].
21. Secretary to Government of the Federation, Babachir David Lawal, [ Adamawa, North East]
22. Chief of Staff to the President: Abba Kyari, [Borno, North-East].
23. Comptroller-General, Nigerian Customs Service: Hameed Ibrahim Ali, [Kaduna State, North-Central].
24. Comptroller-General, Nigerian Immigration Service: Kure Martin Abeshi, [Nasarawa State, North-Central].
25. Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly Matters (Senate): Ita Enang, [Akwa Ibom State, South-South].
26. Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly Matters (House of Representatives): Suleiman Kawu, [Kano State, North-West].
27. Director, Department Of Petroleum Resources, DPR, Modecai Baba Ladan. [Kano, North West].
28. Managing Director, Asset Management Company of Nigeria, AMCON, Ahmed Lawan Kuru. [].
29. Commissioner for Insurance and Chief Executive of the National Insurance Commission,Mohammed Kari [North-West]
29. Executive Director AMCON: Kola Ayeye []
30. Executive Director, AMCON: Eberechukwu Uneze, []
31. Executive Director, AMCON: Aminu Ismail, []
32. Group Executive Director, NNPC, Maikanti Baru, []
33. Group Executive Director, NNPC, Isiaka Abdulrazaq, []
34. Group Executive Director, NNPC: Dennis Nnamdi Ajulu, [].
35. Group Executive Director, NNPC: Babatunde Victor Adeniran, []

Premium Times

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Why Tinubu’s Media Empire Is A Threat To All Nigerians By Kuddi Haastrup

It is often said that in the world of the blind man, the Cyclops must be crowned King. Hence, in a world that has become dominated by the media, whoever controls the media, controls the masses. In Nigeria today, what many people do not know is that there has been a systematic scheme of one man to dominate the daily news, influence the outcome of events, and control the opinions of the Nigerian masses through the media.

The media in general, has historically been used to inform and educate people about the happenings around them. Over the years, since the advent of print and digital media, people have come to trust that the news that they receive everyday is in all actuality a narrative of the events that occurred. However, this is not always the case.

In Nigeria today, the media has derailed from being an informative ‘watchdog’ entity that keeps institutions honest and accountable by shedding light to the people on the events that happen in the dark corridors of power. This derailment, has led to the media becoming a negative tool that is used to promote lies and confusion; brainwash the public; and push certain parochial interests.

These days, it is a common practice for politicians to attempt to own a medium of mass communication, simply to control the flow of information in their favour. One man in particular, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a self-styled National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, and a one-time “bagman for heroin traffickers,” has made it his Machiavellian duty to own all the pieces of prime media around him. (See: Nigerian Pres’ Svengali Tied to Heroin: http://www.thedailybeast.com/ articles/2015/04/27/nigeria-s- next-leader-s-ties-to-a- heroin-ring.html)

Tinubu, who is popularly called the ‘Jagaban of Borgu’ by his fans in Lagos, in his desperate quest for national domination at all costs, has utilized the Nigerian news media over the years to attack, discredit, dishonor, and at times – destroy anyone that shares a difference in opinion with him. This development is unhealthy for democracy, and is a threat to the sanity of the Nigerian system.

Like Australian billionaire businessman, Rupert Murdoch, who has many times been caught using the news for dishonest reasons, Tinubu’s overbearing control of the media in recent months has caused his ruling party a lot of embarrassment. Tinubu, who out rightly owns The Nationnewspapers, is also believed to have acquired a silent majority stake in The Punch newspapers, one of Nigeria’s most widely-read publications. Additionally, Tinubu’s noiseless funding of both Premium Times, and SaharaReporter’s visual platform, SaharaTV, has made him the undisputed overlord of Nigeria’s media space.

Despite these acquisitions, a thorough look into the life of Tinubu, will reveal that he is a man who delights in extending olive branches to even his most despicable enemies – as long as he stands to benefit from such actions.

An investigation revealed that as far back as the 2003 presidential elections, Tinubu struck a deal that sold out his former party, the Alliance for Democracy (AD), to the then-incumbent President Olusegun Obasanjo. This deal allowed Obasanjo to sail away with the votes of the South West, which was controlled by Tinubu’s AD.

Even Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has been at both the giving and receiving end of Tinubu’s double-dealing antics. In an article published in ThisDay newspapers on the 19th of April 2011, General Mohammadu Buhari, the then-presidential aspirant of the now-defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), made some high-wired comments on how Tinubu sold the South West to Jonathan in the 2011 presidential elections, in exchange for him (Tinubu) being able to nominate some juicy ministerial positions.

In the article in question, Buhari asked Tinubu to “stop hiding under false excuses after striking a deal with President Jonathan.” Buhari went on to state that: “Tinubu should leave me alone – he even lost his ward to the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in what should have given birth to a new Nigeria.” (See: How Tinubu Gave South-West to Jonathan: http://www.thisdaylive.com/ articles/buhari-how-tinubu- gave-s-west-votes-to-jonathan/ 89907/).

Additionally, Obasanjo, who had benefited from Tinubu’s two-faced antics, corroborates Buhari’s claims in his autobiography, stating that truly, Tinubu did in fact collect a bribe of N16 billion from Jonathan in the 2011 elections to betray his party. Many Nigerian political observers believe that it is amazing that till date, Tinubu has neither refuted nor denied these claims.

While Tinubu is not out there being a modern-day political Judas Iscariot, some of his other exploits include purchasing choice Real Estate and companies – using his money generated from ill-gotten means. Tinubu is said to own the Oriental Hotel in Victoria Island, Lagos; several choice houses in Ikoyi and the Lekki axis; Oando Plc – one of Nigeria’s largest petroleum companies; Lekki concession company; the Ikeja Shopping Mall, TV Continental station (TVC); Radio Continental; and Alpha Beta- a tax consultancy company.

Tinubu no doubt is a smart fellow. Given his political history and precedents, he has undoubtedly scored an own-goal on several occasions. However, the problem that the people of Nigeria will have if they are not careful, is his proximity to President Buhari. Based on his antecedents, and his numerous backstabbing manoeuvers for personal gain, the earlier the Nigerian president realizes who he has gotten into bed with, the quicker he can pull out and save himself – and perhaps, his country.

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PDP Beg Nigerians To Join The party

Five months after losing power to the All Progressives Congress, the national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party on Wednesday begged Nigerians to join the opposition party.

The party said Nigerians interested in the PDP were free to do so without any condition.

It said that both the new and the old members would be treated equally.

The Acting National Chairman of the party, Prince Uche Secondus, stated this in Abuja on Wednesday.

He spoke during the inauguration of the PDP e-Membership Registration Committee.

The committee is headed by Chief Raymond Dokpesi.

Secondus said with the idea of e-registration becoming a reality, godfatherism would soon become a thing of the past in the party.

He said, “This occasion is significant to us as a party because it is a dream come true.

“You will recall that the idea of having an electronic membership registration for our party has been in the works for so many years…

“I’m appealing to all Nigerians to come and join us. There is room for everybody. Journalists here are also free to join us and become our members.”

He said for the party to succeed in its objective of rebuilding, its leaders must be courageous enough to implement the e-membership registration now.

The acting chairman of the party, which ruled Nigeria for 16 years, said that everybody agreed that this solution was imperative for any organisation that wanted to run efficiently in the IT-driven world.

He said, “We believe that for us to succeed in our objective of rebuilding the party, we must be courageous enough to implement the e-membership registration now.

“Everybody agrees that this solution is imperative for any organisation that wants to run efficiently in the IT driven world we find ourselves.

“Also, it is obvious that this is the only thing that would empower the grassroots and ensure internal democracy in the operations of the party.”

He said that the committee had what he described as a onerous task of marketing the programmes of the PDP to ensure members that the exercise would be transparent.

He added that the committee should work with the aim of returning the party to the people.

“Look at our slogan, which is ‘Power to the People.’ We are now returning the party to the people. While the committee will determine the cost, the duration of this exercise is just six months,” he added.

Dokpesi, who is the chairman of the committee, promised that the exercise would be transparent.

Some other members of the committee, which has the Secretary of the Board of Trustees of the party, Senator Walid Jibril as secretary include Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State, Governor Ibrahim Dankawambo of Gombe State and Senator Godswill Akpabio as members.

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