How Easy Oil Money Denied Nigeria Of Development – Vice President Osinbajo

Having an easy source of revenues denied Nigeria the opportunity to engage in the critical thinking and prioritization that usually drives development according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.

Prof. Osinbajo spoke today at the launching of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and Port Services Support Portal (PSSP) for Nigerian Ports hosted by the Ministry of Transportation in Abuja on Thursday with other top government and private sector functionaries including Transportation Minister Rotimi Amaechi in attendance.

He said the country must reduce the current dependence of the federal and the state governments on the ritual sharing of revenues from oil.

According to the Vice President doing so would require alternative revenue sources and diversification of our economic structures in terms of the drivers of our economic activity and sources of foreign exchange, while hailing the Ministry of Transportation for initiating the SOPs and PSSPs, which are electronic-based monitoring which would now govern the entire port operations in the country.

By adopting the new technology-based monitoring, the ministry had set the nation on the path of enhancing its ports capacity of ensuring free flow of import and export, reducing corruption in port procedures and adopting the global best practice, Prof. Osinbajo said. He advised all port operators to support the new system for effectiveness of ports operations, increased revenue, enhancement of diversification programme of government and curbing corruption.

The Vice President observed that using technology-driven products is the way forward in enhancing service delivery in both private and public sectors. “Everyone in the private and public sector must invest their commitment in the successful implementation of the SOPs and PSSPs by following the procedure, not engaging in corrupt practices and putting an extra effort to ensure that the objectives are accomplished.

“We must understand and accept that nation-building is a collective responsibility and that the private sector has an important role to play in supporting every effort of government to achieve the building of a strong nation,’’ Osinbajo added.

He pledged the administration’s resolve to continue encouraging a competitive business environment characterized by sufficient and efficient policies to sustain economic growth to further retain and attract local and foreign investments in Nigeria.

Prof Osinbajo  said that a key component of this administration’s change agenda lay in the development of a diversified non-oil economy  adding that to achieve the target, the ports must play their role in making it easier to trade across borders as well as drive Nigeria’s trade policy.

The Vice President remarked that many countries in the world had proved that without natural resources, the efficient management of import and export activities could greatly improve national economies. “Many countries have proven that without depending on any natural resources, but simply relying on efficient procedures for undertaking Port activities, any nation can position itself as a major hub and can earn significant resources by just being more efficient,“ he noted.

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War Against Corruption Will Be Vigorously Sustained – President Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari pledged Tuesday in Abuja his administration’s ongoing war against corruption will be vigorously sustained to rid the country of the debilitating effects of the wanton looting of public funds in past years.

Addressing State House staff who assembled to welcome him back from his recent vacation, President Buhari assured them that he will continue to lead the country with patriotic zeal, integrity, dedication and commitment to improving the living conditions of ordinary Nigerians.

“I have never in my life believed in corruption. If we make any mistake in what we are doing and compromise our integrity, the country will be further dragged back.

“We’ll not touch anybody that did not touch public funds. If you behave yourself, you will sleep soundly, your children and families will enjoy respect.

“But if you have short-changed the treasury, you will be caught and you’ll have your day in court,’’ the President said.

President Buhari thanked the State House staff for their service to the nation  and urged them to remain patriotic and eschew corruption in the discharge of their duties.

“I’m asking you to re-dedicate yourself to your country. As I said thirty years ago we have no other country than Nigeria. We are determined to rehabilitate the country for coming generations.

“The process of change is not easy but with your dedication, we can deal successfully with the issues that currently confront us,’’ the President said.

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Aisha Buhari In Jefferson Bribery Scandal Not President Buhari’s Wife — Ex-EFCC Boss, Lamorde

The Aisha Buhari named in the bribery scandal involving a U.S. Congressman, Williams Jefferson, is not the Aisha that is President Muhammadu Buhari’s wife, a former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Lamorde, has told PREMIUM TIMES.

“I can tell you authoritatively that the Aisha Buhari named in that case is not President Buhari’s wife,” Mr. Lamorde said when contacted Tuesday morning. “It is another Aisha Buhari entirely.

“I was the director of operations at the EFCC at the time so I know about the case very well. I can tell you that it is not her (President Buhari’s wife). That much we established.”

Mr. Lamorde, who was EFCC chairman until he was removed in December 2015 by President Buhari, is currently on course at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS).

PREMIUM TIMES contacted him for clarification following the claim by Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, on Monday, that the Aisha Buhari mentioned in court documents to have  transferred $170,000 to the convicted American politician is President Buhari’s wife.

READ: Buhari Is Not A Clean Man – Fayose …Says President’s Wife Involved In Jefferson Bribery Scandal

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Idowu Adelusi, Mr. Fayose had accused President Buhari of being corrupt.

“Even the President cannot claim to be an angel,” the governor said, in reaction to the freezing of his Zenith Bank account by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

“The estate he built in Abuja is known to us. His wife was indicted over the Halliburton Scandal (sic). When that American, Jefferson, was being sentenced, the President’s wife was mentioned as having wired $170,000 to Jefferson. Her name was on page 25 of the sentencing of Jefferson. We can serialize the judgment for people to see and read.”

The governor’s Special Assistant on New Media, Lere Olayinka, later circulated copies of the court document which named one  Aisha Buhari as being involved in the Jefferson scandal.

The documents showed that in some of the exhibits tendered in convicting Mr. Jefferson of bribery, the Aisha Buhari was mentioned as transferring $170,000 to the American politician using a firm as proxy.

“Government Exhibits 36-87 (6/26/02 $170,000 wire transfer from account in Nigeria in the name of Aisha Buhari to an account in the name of The ANJ Group, LLC, identifying “William Jefferson” as Beneficiary),” the U.S. Government Sentencing Memorandum said on page 22.

The U.S. had at the time requested Nigeria to help it investigate the Nigerians named in the scandal, and Mr. Lamorde, as director of operation at the EFCC at the time, coordinated that investigation.

“It is unfair to link the President’s wife with that case,” he said. “She was definitely not the one involved, and Fayose and other Nigerians should know this.

Credit: Premium Times

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Photos: President Buhari Returns To Nigeria

After over 10 days on a short vacation in London, Mr President returned to Nigeria’s seat of power Abuja on Sunday evening looking fit, fresh and ready.

The president while speaking to reporters at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport said he is strong now and even challenged a reporter to a wrestling bout.

READ: Buhari Challenges Reporter To Wrestling Bout, says ‘I’m Very Strong’

See more photos…

 

 

 

 

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The Recruitment Corruption President Buhari Has Refused To Fight, By Inibehe Effiong

Something embarrassing is going on under the very nose of President Muhammadu Buhari. There seems to be a well orchestrated and audaciously executed scheme by some fifth columnists who have ascended key and strategic positions in some federal establishments and agencies to portray this government as susceptible to the very corruption it is ferociously fighting.

I am referring to the rising and discriminatory culture of secret recruitment that is going on unabated in federal government agencies.

When the media broke the news of the illegal, immoral and selective recruitment by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), some of us who are mindful of the historical significance of Buhari’s 2015 electoral victory had expected the president to immediately investigate the claims and appropriate sanctions against the Governor and other management staff of the CBN found to have taken part in the fraud.

Till date, there has been no whisper from the presidency on the secret recruitment by the CBN. Even if the recruitment exercise was concluded before the inception of the present dispensation, president Buhari has both moral and a legal mandate to revisit it and correct all recognisable anomalies.

As if that was not enough, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) recently carried out an inexplicable secret recruitment of 349 privileged Nigerians, including 5 new directors, with atavistic impunity. Again, the presidency has remained reticent. President Buhari has not deemed it pertinent to publicly respond to the scandalous recruitment by the Executive Chairman of the FIRS – a recent appointee of the president.

The common feature in these clandestine recruitments is that they are based on the apartheid policy of exclusion, discrimination, favouritism, nepotism and corruption.

According to Sahara Reporters, the list of candidates secretly recruited by the CBN, included President Buhari’s nephew, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar’s daughter, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu’s son, and former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ghali Na’aba’s daughter.

Others are Nigeria’s Police Inspector-General, Solomon Arase’s daughter, and Minister of Internal Affairs, Abdulrahman Danbazzau’s son, among others.

This clearly shows that the children, relatives and associates of politicians, public office holders and influential members of the society were given precedence in recruitments by these agencies.

In an attempt to assuage public anger, the CBN’s Acting Director of Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor, told an online newspaper, Premium Times, that the bank did nothing illegal or wrong in hiring without advertising.

“In the last two years, we have had cause to recruit specialists, and what the law says is that if we are going for that kind of recruitment we should apply for waiver, so that we can do targeted recruitment,” Mr. Okoroafor said. He said the bank obtained waiver from the Federal Character Commission.

“The other issue is that there are states that are not well represented (in the CBN), and in this case we focus on those states to recruits (sic) people of certain classes that we used to cover the shortfall in those states,” Mr. Okoroafor said.

However, Mr Okorafor failed to cite relevant provisions of the law that empowered the CBN to secretly recruit 909 privileged Nigerians without advertisement over a period of two years. What does the CBN mean by “targeted recruitment”? Who were the targets, and what criteria were applied? How come that the list of those recruited is littered with the names of children, relatives and associates of notable figures in the country? The presence of those names has greatly discredited the surreal defence advanced by the CBN.

The bank also claimed that it carried out secret recruitment to cater for States that had a shortfall in the bank’s workforce in line with the principle of federal character. Again, material facts have not been presented to buttress this submission. Supposing without conceding that the CBN was guided by the need to satisfy the principle of federal character, does that give the bank the leverage to exclude underprivileged and disadvantaged Nigerians who have no influential figures to recommend them to the CBN?

According to Sahara Reporters, the Federal Character Commission has denied knowledge of any waiver that permitted the bank to recruit secretly. The Federal Character Commission Regulations, 2008, expressly states that recruitment into government offices shall be advertised in at least two national newspapers giving qualified Nigerians a minimum of six weeks to apply. This mandatory procedure was not followed by the CBN and the FIRS.

It is beyond dispute that the secret recruitments were primarily based on ‘connections’ (“man know man”) and recommendations from a cabal whose membership have arrogantly and offensively ascribed greater stakes in the Nigerian project and resources to themselves.

It is highly probable that other government agencies are equally recruiting secretly without the imprimatur of the public and the media. If notable agencies like the CBN and the FIRS can do it, then what stops others from doing it?

What does this say about the integrity and anti-corruption mantra of this government? Is this not a manifestation of the very corruption that Buhari vowed to confront and crush? Can someone honestly tell me that president Buhari is oblivious of the scandalous recruitments that are going on under his watch? Why has the president not taken disciplinary actions against Messrs. Godwin Emefiele and Babatunde Fowler? Is this the change that we supported and voted for? Why should recruitment into government agencies be carried out without advertisement and due process under a Buhari’s presidency?

It is very regrettable that while the government is soliciting the understanding and cooperation of the citizens over the prevailing harsh economic situation in the country, the ruling elites and their relatives, surrogates and acomplices are conveniently appropriating our collective patrimony to themselves.

The rich and the underprivileged should be given equal opportunity in every recruitment. Nigerians should not be required to establish their biological, political, ethnic, religious or social ties and affinities with the president, vice president, governors, National Assembly members, ministers, first class traditional rulers or any other influential personality before they are fairly considered for employment in government agencies funded with tax payers money.

President Buhari should fight this corruption and redress the wrongs that have been done to the vast majority of eligible Nigerians who were deliberately relegated and sidelined in the secret recruitments.

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

inibehe.effiong@gmail.com

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Former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi Sentenced To Life In Prison

Former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi was sentenced to life imprisonment following an espionage trial in an Egyptian court.

Mr. Morsi was deposed as Egypt’s head of state in 2013 following intense public demonstrations against his rule and religious policies. He was one of seven people sentenced for allegedly passing state secrets to Qatar, according to The Independent newspaper in the United Kingdom.

Amnesty International condemned all these trials as “fundamentally unfair.” Included within these trials were two Al Jazeera journalists who were sentenced to death in absentia.

Prior to this trial, Mr. Morsi was already sentenced to death and life imprisonment in separate court cases, according to the BBC.

The verdict of Mr. Morsi’s trial follows intense criticism from the public that the Egyptian judicial system is corrupt. The BBC reports that “tens of thousand of people are believed to have been jailed by Egyptian authorities, most of them supporters of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood.”

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Buhari, My President… By Isa Eneye Mubarak

My president is from the North, South, West and East,
He is realistic, Just and he is full of intelligence
True Man of every culture, religion and creed,
My President is strong, competent and has common sense
He is Buhari, He is my President
Faith is his armor, and hardwork is his hope
His pride does’nt lie in wealth; it’s in his achievement
Persistent and determined, He is an indefatigable soul
He belongs to everyone and belongs to no one indeed.
He does not mince words, he put to sleep terrorist
He is what men of worth repeat his glorious feat
He is Buhari, the anti- corruption Jihadist
He stands by his citizens and help them succeed
He is Buhari, My President.
Isa Eneye Mubarak
isamubarak66@yahoo.com
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The Three Changes Nigeria Needs – President Muhammadu Buhari

Nigeria is at a crossroads. Just over a year ago, people voted in a historic democratic election to end corruption and business as usual, opting instead to build an economy that delivers for all Nigerians.

The old order was based on an unsustainable commodities supercycle. While the boom had many positives and contributed to Nigeria becoming Africa’s largest economy, it fostered an epidemic of corruption and inefficiency. Foreign businesses and financial institutions also benefited as some people spent and sometimes hid huge sums abroad, lifted by the rising tide of oil exports and dollar revenues.

Now we are living in a new world of low energy prices. The economy has slowed while unemployment and inflation have jumped. Longstanding structural imbalances and overdependence on imports have been cruelly exposed. We are an oil-rich nation that imports most of our gasoline. We are a farming nation that imports most of our basic food staples. This is simply not acceptable or sustainable.

Our solutions must be in proportion to the challenges. Fundamental change takes time and we are driving not one but three changes to reposition Nigeria for inclusive growth.

Restore trust We have begun to tackle the endemic corruption and mismanagement that is crippling our economy and corroding trust in our institutions. The anticorruption fight is at the heart of combating poverty and improving security. We have stepped up enforcement and new prosecutions to get our house in order, and I have called for foreign governments to work with us to identify where funds stolen during previous administrations are lodged and for multistate cooperation to combat oil theft.

Fighting corruption is not enough. We need accountable government and a public sector that can do more with less. We have already taken initial steps by bringing all government finances into a single treasury account where we can monitor spending and impose discipline, implementing zero-based budgets and benchmarks targeted at waste and fraud, and establishing electronic platforms for government agency interface.

Rebalance our economy In a world of lower oil prices and dollar revenues, the only sustainable path is to reduce Nigerians’ overreliance on imports. We must rebalance our economy by empowering entrepreneurs and producers, big and small, to create more of what their fellow Nigerians demand. The supply of foreign exchange to the economy must be increased. This requires radically increasing exports and productivity and improving the investment climate and ease of doing business.

Nigeria’s growth and job creation will be led by the private sector. We are a young, entrepreneurial society with vibrant success stories in new industries such as telecommunications, technology and entertainment. Government is doing its part to lower taxes on small businesses, eliminate bureaucracy to bring the informal economy out of the shadows and provide development funding for priority sectors such as agriculture. The central bank has moved to introduce greater flexibility in our exchange-rate policy. These actions are a downpayment on our people’s ability to succeed.

Regenerate growth We must reposition our economy by attracting investment in domestic industries and infrastructure. Nigeria has huge untapped gas reserves and also a critical shortage of electricity. Our private sector loses too much of its revenue due to brownouts and power outages. Half of my fellow Nigerians have no access to the power grid. Investment in our power infrastructure, restructuring of the state-run oil-and-gas sector and development of other industries such as solid minerals, metals and petrochemicals will help to create a virtuous circle of growth and exports while creating jobs and reducing poverty.

I am optimistic that our actions are providing the breathing room Nigeria needs during this period of fundamental change. But we cannot improve living conditions and restore fiscal health without making people feel safe and secure—just as we cannot defeat militancy without reducing poverty and dislocation.

One of our main achievements this past year has been to unite regional and global allies to push back Boko Haram. What we do in the next three years to build an economic bridge to Nigeria’s future will be just as important for bringing lasting peace and prosperity.

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Setting The Records Straight: Nobody Is Misleading President Buhari By Ayantunji Benjamin Gbenro

This article is a response to Dele Momodu’s article titled “Before They Mislead President Buhari”. The article like most of the writer’s recent articles is a subtle castigation of Buhari’s administration and support for the corrupt and dirty past that brought us the this position as nation. To appeal to his audience, which presently are populated by the disciples of the old order and ignorant young men and women, the writer employs often half baked truth, intellectual manipulation and sometimes outright lies. These are what i intend to set straight.

Let me start by stating my respect for the person of Egbon Dele Momodu. I may not agree with him always but I respect his personality and brand. Here is a man who dragged himself from the lowest rung of the society to the pinnacle of his career. I must confess that he is good at what he does. His work and talent has opened doors of kings and queens and have taken him to places where mere mortal can only dream. As a Yoruba, I was brought up to respect elders.  I hold the person of Dele Momodu in high esteem.

Saying I am supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari will be stating the obvious. Anybody that follows me on any social media and read any of my articles before, during and after the  last election will already know this. One thing that may not be known is that I have not always been Buhari’s supporter not because I don’t believe in him but because of other constrains that may have nothing to do with his ability to perform. My father is a politician and my family suffer a direct impact of Buhari’s tsunami in 1983.

I am an ardent reader of Dele Momodu’s pendulum every Saturday. His grasp of national issues is apt. However, his write ups have significantly drifted in the past months. Sometimes he tried so much to be politically correct that you are at lost about his stand. This should not be a surprise, a man of his standing in PR job should not be seen to be directly at loggerhead with potential clients. His most recent article titled “Before They Mislead President Buhari” is typical example of his recent misinformation riddled articles with subtle castigation for the current administration and support for the corrupt class the administration is trying to rid the nation of. In a divided society like ours, coupled with high degree of ignorance among the populace, any lie can fly and hence the high degree of followership. This lies should be demystified not for the sake of the mischievous, who sees anything against Buhari as a cause they must identify with, but for the sake of the ignorant, especially the young one that need to be put in proper perspective.

Lies often repeated begin to assume the semblance of truth. Every right thinking Nigeria should guide against allowing the enemies of progress dictate our narratives at this critical stage of our national development.  The fight against corruption of Buhari’s administration is not about the President alone. If anything, it’s more against the President, because, he is setting a very high moral standard on which him and his aides would be judged after living the office. The fight is about the soul of the nation. What is going on is a class war. A war between the haves and the have nots. A war between the privileged and the downtrodden. A war between the forces of evil and good. But the consolation is in the maxim that “The victory of evil over good is temporal”. In this battle, the good will definitely triumph.

The first fallacy in the said article is in the first sentence of the first paragraph where he said ” let me say categorically and emphatically that our dear beloved country is dangerously hemorrhaging again and this perfidious drift must be halted urgently before we all end up in perdition”. This statement is far from the truth. How can a nation where the financial leakage of the past is been blocked be said to be hemorrhaging? How can a nation recovering stolen asset be said to be drifting?  When a nation that has just recovered back it lost territories to Boko Haram is described as drifting, when a nation that is clearly steering it economy away from a single source of income and diversifying into hitherto neglected areas is described as drifting, it’s either the person making the description does not have the understanding of the unfolding events or chose to be mischievous. If the change mantra is misconstrue, it’s probably due to lack of understanding of what change actually means. Change means doing things differently. I also disagree with the insinuation that the world is worried about Nigeria. If what we read and saw in the international media is anything to go by, world leaders from America to Canada to UK have recently applauded the effort of the present administration. Where the worry as express by the writer beats my imagination.

The writer also went further to say ” Even those who did not vote for him(PMB) accepted him with unusual equanimity”. This is far from the truth. Those that didn’t vote for the President Buhari never accepted him and I doubt if they will ever do. If they did, can the writer give a rationale behind the renew insurgency in the South-South and the agitation for Biafra in Southeast. If anybody accepted each other, the President should be given kudos for this. The President has flagged off the cleaning of Ogoniland, He refused to sign the 2016 appropriation bill because of Calabar-Lagos rail road, Second Niger bridge has been appropriated for, Enugu-Onitsha road, Enugu-Portharcourt road etc. were all appropriated for. How many stand out projects were located in Katsina State were the President comes from? We should stop misinforming our gullible audience to score cheap political points.

Before alluding to what the President has done or not done since assumption of office or taking Nigerians for granted or not, it’s pertinent that we examined his promises during campaign and where we were as a nation at the point of his assumption of office. The President campaign was based on the tripod of security, fight against corruption and job creation/economy. Let’s not forget also that at the point of assumption of office of the present administration Boko Haram was ravaging the country, seventeen local government was effectively under the control of the insurgents. Bombs were going off in various location across Nigeria including Abuja as if explosion was going out of vogue. On the economic front, twenty eight states of the federation were owing between three to eleven months of salary, about 600billion naira owed petrol importers in subsidy payments, the country’s reserve is almost completely depleted and oil price was spiraling downward at an alarming rate. Stealing was not corruption at the point of assumption of the administration and the ‘goats’ were having a fill day with the ‘yams’. This was the summary of the state of the nation when Buhari came in.

The current state of Boko Haram insurgency will make every objective mind to agree that the President is doing something and did not take Nigerians for granted. We now take it as aberration to talk about bomb blast or Boko Haram attacks. This shows the President is actually doing something. New security challenges such as herdsmen attacks, militancy in the Niger Delta and Biafra in the Southeast. The herdsmen case I believe is getting solved looking at the  decrease in such attacks in recent times. Also attackers of Nimbo community in Enugu State have been apprehended, the attackers of the Igbo lady in Kano were also promptly apprehended, the killers of the kidnap army Colonel in Kaduna have been apprehended. These are all taken for granted and we completely forget it has not always been like this. These are successes the administration should be praised for rather than castigated. This does not mean there is no room for improvement. On the militancy in the Niger Delta and Biafra agitations, these are more of political problem that are residue of the last election.

The administration has to bailed out about twenty eight States owing salary immediately it assumed office. Though there has been slight improvement in oil price, the militancy in the Niger Delta has seriously brought down national oil production. This coupled with low reserve means the country is short  of foreign exchange. To cater for the shortfall, the administration introduced several fiscal policies to ration the available foreign exchange to cater for priority areas. This means there will be more demand for foreign exchange on the parallel market. The increase demand has led to rising in exchange rate at the parallel market. The administration cannot be said to be doing nothing about the economy. The process of recruiting ten thousand Nigerians into the Nigerian police, five hundred thousand volunteer teachers, one hundred thousand entrepreneurs,  school feeding for over twenty million children and mobilization of contractors to site for massive infrastructural development have all commenced. If this is not a ways of reflating economy then I don’t know what is.

The administration anti corruption fight is surely progressing well. List of fund recovered and frozen in various account across the globe was recently released, it’s mind boggling. Several individuals are also been prosecuted for corruption across the country. Everything pointed out here shows that the country is no taken for granted as alluded by Dele Momodu but the administration is methodically building a country we can all be proud  of.

It also a fallacy to say the President has not been communicating with Nigerians. As of last count the Presidency has five media aides in addition to the minister of information with mandate of communicating with Nigerians both on new and traditional media. The aides have been actively engaging Nigerians on government policies and programs. However, Nigerians sometimes choose what they listen to and what they don’t listen to. Fixation with past has also meant some Nigerians will also not be satisfy except the President comes to face the media on every issue. If the President will have to communicate directly with Nigerians on every issue then probably the aides are not needed. Part of the change mantra is doing things the right way. If the President established a system of communicating with Nigerians, the system should be allowed to take root so that it will go beyond the life of the administration.

The steps taken by the President to unite Nigerians have been highlighted earlier. The issue of unity is not only for the President but prerogative of all Nigerians. Some section of the country are not ready to accept the President as their leader. The President has done a lot to pacify these sections of the country but will they be pacify? That’s a big question. The selection of ministers was criticized because of the fixation with former standard. The President took time to reorganize the civil service which needed a serious reorganization. Even with the reorganization, the civil service still almost scuttled the President budget. What would have happened if the reorganization was not carried out can only be imagined.

What Dele Momodu referred to as war of attrition is simply war against corruption. Corruption is a monster that must be annihilated if we must progress as a nation. I have not heard of any of the accused so far denying the accusation, rather, they’ve all tried to explained why the money was taken. I don’t also know of anybody detained without court order. Dasuki’s case has always been a point of reference but the federal government has always maintained he is a security risk. Even in the USA there is Guantanamo. With the recent call by Niger Delta militants that released of Dasuki is the only condition for cease fire, objective minds can start drawing conclusion. It’s obvious that the writer is uncomfortable with war against corruption hence the need to jump from Shiite case to former President Goodluck Jonathan being humiliated to Biafra demonstrators been killed and all what not. What the writer failed to established in each case is if the law of the land was bridged before the incidents he highlighted. If the law was bridged, the writer should have pointed out an alternative way of solving the problem without recourse to the use of force. The blackmail of the President by subtly referring to him as a military dictator cannot hold waters.

The stand of the writer is when it comes to fight against corruption is understandable considering the fact that his business thrives on promoting affluence. How many of the affluence promoted by the writer is actually acquired in a legitimate way? If the fight against corruption continue as it is presently, many of his client will be affected and that means less business. The writer also advocated the application of “Carrot and stick” in the fight against corruption. Will that not be an incentive for further corruption? If an individual stole public fund and negotiated his/her way by returning a fraction to evade prosecution, where is the deterrent? Every right thinking Nigeria should encourage the government to not only recover looted fund but prosecute the looters to serve as deterrent.

If the writer is suggesting that the blowing up of pipeline is as a result of President Jonathan been investigated or other corruption fight, then, the government should not allow itself to be blackmailed, even if oil production is brought to zero. Afterall, if government does not sell oil everybody including the States and those bombing will also have no money to share. The shortfall in federal government income has already encourage States like Kebbi and Lagos to develop alternative sources of income. Necessity is the mother of invention.

The writer should however advice those blowing pipelines that they cannot take on a serious government. Boko Haram tried it and today they are routed. That’s a group that is ready to die. The Shiite the writer also referred to held Kaduna State, especially Zaria, to ransom for decades but not today. The government is offering an opportunity for negotiation and I advice that it should be taken. The population density in the Niger Delta will lead to high collateral damage if government is given no other option than military action. Those destroying the pipeline should also be advice about the adverse effect on the environment. Oil economy is gradually winding up globally and there may be need to go back to the land for sustenance in the near future.

Every nation has lived through its terrible moments but no nation progress by pretending that the terrible moments never exist as been suggested. Nigeria must internalized our recent past. We must learn from the mistakes made, punish those that took the country for a ride and put in place a system that ensure the mistakes will never be repeated. “We have a President that stands head and shoulders above all else and he clearly leads the way”.  We owe the country the duty of supporting the President irrespective of ethnic, religious or party affiliation. All it takes for evil to thrive is for men and women of goodwill to look away while evil is perpetrated. Nigeria is certainly on its way to greatness once more.

Ayantunji Benjamin Gbenro (PhD)

@bengbenro

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@Delemomodu Who Is Misleading President Buhari? By Ade Ilemobade

As a reader, I notice political views regardless of whether or not the book is fiction. What annoys me is when said views do nothing to advance the narrative.- Jen Lancaster

Honourable Dele Momodu, I enjoyed your succinctly written piece but I often wonder who these people are who were misleading President Buhari.

READ: Before They Mislead President Buhari By @DeleMomodu

Note: You often write about people misleading or given the President wrong or bad advices, that to me is the height of arrogance and self aggradisement because such statements from you give the impression that the admonitions given in your write-ups are better than those faceless individuals you often address as given the President misleading advices. Please take into consideration that you have your on views, perspectives and perceptions  and so do other Nigerians. You do not have all the facts on a given issue or multifaceted problems affecting Nigeria therefore to use the word misleading is to claim that your worldview is ”leading” panacea.

”I’ve been on several television and radio interviews in the past one week and the commonest question is on the performance of our President”. @DELEMOMODU

This is ridiculous. Is there any administration since the creation of our geopolitical entity Nigeria that does not have issues of performance, perception and critical question being asked? It is a common phenomenon and denominator in the psychological modulation and critical mindset of Nigerians, we critique our government daily without any sound premises on which to rest our claims because we often times refuse to ask or answer fundamental questions of ontology as it affect our behaviour/us as citizens. It takes two to tango.

In my own opinion the statement/quote above from @DELEMOMODU is a red herring and of no quantum significance since every administration in Nigeria historiographically speaking always has perception problem that in most cases have nothing to do with its intrinsic nature or performance rather what we have in respect of perceptions on the side of the citizenry versus government are attitudinal, social and functional distrust phenomena based on history of neglect by previous administrations. It is an ingrained psychological mindset.

”It’s actually pretty complex, because there’s two levels of reality in the narrative. One is what really took place, and the other is Spider’s poisoned version of what took place”.- Gabriel Byrne

You are entitled to your honest views @DELEMOMODU but there are no absolute truth within the purview of opinions because they are always an individualistic narratives. WHO IS MISLEADING PRESIDENT BUHARI?

 OTUNBA ADE ILEMOBADE is a philosopher

Twitter: @pearl2prince

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Before They Mislead President Buhari By @DeleMomodu

Fellow Nigerians, let me say categorically and emphatically that our dear beloved country is dangerously haemorrhaging again and this perfidious drift must be halted urgently before we all end up in perdition. Anyone telling President Muhammadu Buhari that all is well or that his government is moving in the right direction is either lying or pretending like a rattlesnake. And there are many scorpions around ready to mislead every government and move on effortlessly when things fall apart. For sure President Buhari possesses the ability to move this country in the right direction and lead us to where we want to be but right now it is not happening and the soul of the people palpitates! I’ve been on several television and radio interviews in the past one week and the commonest question is on the performance of our President. The general perception is that the change mantra seems not to be working and the world is worried because of the importance of Nigeria in the comity of nations.

I hope our President will get to see this piece, read it and ruminate on the points I will raise. The Buhari government has lost a substantial equity in just one year as I will try to explain in the next few paragraphs. It must be noted that Nigerians were happy with the election that ushered in President Buhari. Even those who did not vote for him accepted him with unusual equanimity. Those we expected to fight and throw tantrums simply vamoosed into their bunkers. The expectations were high then but I doubt if enough effort was put into seizing the momentum and translating it into a mass movement that would have stood the test of time. It is not too late to reclaim the moment.

The faith Nigerians had in the abilities and incorruptibility of Buhari is mighty enough to move mountains. But unfortunately, I think the government took many things for granted once it took over the reins of power. The government mistakenly believed that the support of the people was like several blank cheques which it could cash at any point in time. The general impatience of Nigerians and their desire for progressive action were never put into consideration. I remember writing two memos to our President in quick successions, when I realised that Nigerians were getting restless and restive, one of which was the desperate memo that earned me an invitation to the Presidential Villa for which I am so honoured and proud.

Still the government did not respond appropriately to the yearnings of the populace. The major problem is that the priorities of Buhari were never palpable to the general public as everything seemed to operate in utmost secrecy. This is probably a relic of the military days when surprise and spontaneity achieved more.  However, democracy is an open book and it has become even more so since the internet turned the world into a global information minefield. I’m sure it was assumed that the people would never doubt or query the sincerity of a messiah. So there was no need to provide any real information about the activities of government. That was the first fallacy.

The second fallacy is that people would give the President plenty of time to unfold his change agenda. One year on, it is obvious that this has not been the case. President Buhari should have moved faster once the people started grumbling about the apparent sluggishness of his administration. The selection of his cabinet was annoyingly slow and by the time it eventually came it had evaporated into a deja vu. There was no element of surprise to elicit major excitement. In fact, most people wondered why it took so long to assemble his present team most of whom he could have picked in two weeks or even before he was sworn in. The demystification of Buhari became manifest from that moment not because the team he picked is not worthy or creditable but because the interminable delay in making the choices cost the nation dearly.

The next problem was that the President should have moved to unite and unify the country immediately. It was clear that the previous administrations had riven great division into the Nigerian polity. A new beginning seeking to heal the ulcerous, cancerous wounds of religious and ethnic disunity and disaffection was required. However, starting with a war of attrition, it was obvious our President would soon have his hands full. Not that some of the wars were unnecessary but the timing and methodology should have been meticulously weighed and analysed before launching into the requisite offensive. There was a lot to learn from our nascent democracy. It would have been easier to embark on some of these wars as a military ruler that the President formerly was but not as a civilian leader which the President now is. That realisation appears to have been missed by some of our President Buhari’s advisers.

For example, while the war against corruption was desperately urgent, it ought to have been known that it was intricately and delicately tied to the economy. The need to recover the looted funds as quickly as possible and use them to reinvigorate the economy needed to be balanced by the need to do so expeditiously and tactfully so that the main objective would be fulfilled. My humble opinion and advice would have been to use the carrot and stick method rather than the kill and go style that has now exposed our economy to grave danger and imminent collapse. The angry mob of Nigerians goading on our President has blatantly refused to assimilate the magnitude of the resultant repercussions. But it should be noted that those who feel frustrated about a rotten system can never be bothered if the entire structure collapses. It is such acute disillusionment that gave rise to the ascendancy of a Donald Trump in America. It is the duty and responsibility of leadership to wear its thinking cap well and rise above the giddiness of the baying crowd who have nothing to lose and only wish to see the spectacle of blood flowing without any degree of humanity or compassion for the impoverished masses that they claim to represent. The same people who hailed Buhari yesterday are the ones denigrating him today.

Once it was impossible to generalise the war against corruption to engulf all politicians tainted with corruption no matter their affiliation the government should have requested for a blanket return of government booty via negotiation with all public office holders. Those who failed to take up this generous offer of recovery could then be visited with the might and power of retributive justice. An example of when this great opportunity was missed was when government unreasonably told Nigerians they could no longer pay foreign currencies in cash into their accounts. Perhaps government in its naivety did not remember that politicians had prosecuted the last election through the almighty dollar because it reduced the bulkiness of gratifications. Government should have patiently waited for the dollars to come in, whether in cash or not, before pouncing on the owners. Once that opportunity was missed, the next was to discreetly stretch its tentacles across the world in search of thieves and money launderers. Assets at home and abroad should have been quietly traced for possible confiscation. This could have been done without all the present grandstanding and hullabaloo. When you hear the elephant stomping the ground behind you in a one directional manner, you know it is time to run and hide. In this period when we are celebrating the life and times of Mohammed Ali perhaps it is poignant to say that you do not telegraph your punches rather you “rope a dope”!

Also, the moment our President chose a military style of operation he should have known that corruption would fight back with ferocity and velocity. For example, once it seemed the former President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan had been marked for humiliation even demolition, I knew our President was playing with the tiger’s tail and I sounded my note of warning. Before we could say Jack Robinson, the Niger Delta avengers returned with a vengeance and brought us back to our knees. Today our oil production has plunged to an all-time low even when we had been grappling with the nightmare of low crude oil prices. The Niger Delta Avengers army seems ready to make Boko Haram look like child’s play as they strangulate the economy, degrade the environment and decimate the local population that they claim to be fighting for. Is this what we need to add to our plethora of problems at this time? The answer is a big NO.

The militarisation of Nigeria has become very suffocating. Shiites are being killed in droves in the North West. Mass graves have been identified and uncovered. The Biafra agitators are being massacred in broad-day light and its leaders detained indefinitely. Boko Haram remains a monumental menace to society despite the extra-ordinary efforts of our military and Intelligence agencies. The Fulani and or Libyan herdsmen have added to the conundrum out of the blues. Different militant groups are now armed to the teeth. Trust me these guys don’t look like they are joking.  Nobody fights on as many fronts as this government now seems to be fighting without risking it all.

Many have argued that Nigeria should be restructured. It is believed that its present configuration is too artificial. Most of the States are no longer viable while some fringe or full-blown eccentrics are asking for more. It is interesting that in the build up to independence our leaders from the North, Southwest and East were saying the same thing in different words.  Nigeria is peopled by diverse nationalities and any nation must recognise this diversity and give it voice and room to flourish.  A continuous denial of this fact can only lead to self-destruction. One of our erstwhile leaders in his wisdom foisted unitary system on us when we had successfully thrived under true federalism. That was a mark of courage notwithstanding that it was a totally flawed decision. Our President must find a similar kind of courage to find and examine all the previous recommendations made during different and various constitutional conferences and implement the universal clamour for true federalism. There is nothing new under the sun, as they say, our President already has a rich reservoir of knowledge deposited in some government archives to reach the best decision and modality that will achieve this end.  My simple solution, Nigeria must return to and embrace and practise true Federalism. Not doing so is like pushing our luck too far and postponing doomsday.

What is of utmost importance in calling for a political configuration that will meet the yearnings of our people is the state of the economy. My submission is that the economy will never recover in an atmosphere of tension, uncertainty and panic. The Federal Government needs to tone down the negative rhetoric about our country. That unfortunate moniker of a corrupt nation that has been hung round our necks is dragging us down and denying Nigeria the investment in its future that it requires. Our President must make it clear that he is not the only saint in Nigeria but that the majority of Nigerians are saints and he is the leader who epitomises that. This is why he was chosen by the majority of good and well-meaning Nigerians who want someone that would demonstrate to the world that the generality of Nigerians are decent, hardworking and honest and that it is a small minority of Nigerians that are crooks. We must begin to walk away from our ugly past and work assiduously for a beautiful future.

Every nation has lived through its terrible moments but none ever cuddled the past forever as we now seem to be doing. Nigeria is richly blessed with human and natural resources. There is always a new dawn tomorrow and we must get ready for it, embrace it and by so doing seize the initiative. There would always be criminals in every society but we must never allow them to steal our future or still dominate our narrative when we have so many great men and women we can be proud of. Fortunately, we have a President that stands head and shoulders above all else and he clearly leads the way.  He must now show it by moving at the fast pace that his country desires, nay demands!

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Full List Of Ambassadors Nominated By President Buhari

Senate president Bukola Saraki on Thursday read a list of Ambassadorial nominees sent to the Senate by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The president, in the letter, said the list is made up of only career civil servants in the foreign service.

“I have the honour to forward the attached list of 47 career foreign service officers as ambassador designates for consideration and confirmation by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the letter read.

“Copies of their curriculum vitae are attached. It is my hope that this will receive the usual prompt attention of the distinguished members of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

Full list of Ambassadors:

1. Obinna Chukwuemeka
2. Salisu Umoru
3. Iyang Udoh Iyang
4. okeke Vivian Nwanaku
5. Niman Munir
6. Edem Jane Ada
7. Muhammed Hassan Hassan
8. Martin Young Cobham
9. Janet Molegbo Olisah
10. Itegbuoye Sunday
11. Olatunde Adesesan
12. Lilian Ijekwu Onu
13. Manaja Tulahi Isa
14. Ngozi Ukeje
15. Bello Kazaure Huseini
16. Inoc Pierre Ducci
17. Garba Baba
18.Usman Bakori Aliyu
19. Umar Zainab Salisu
20. Momoh Seyidou Umieza
21. Kadri Ayinla
22. Balogun Hakeem
23. Nosa Ahmed
24. Ibrahim Isa
25. Bankole Adegboyega Adeoye
26.  Ibidapo Obe Oluwasegun
27. Ogundayo Sakirat
28. Eric A. Belgam
29. Ateru Aliru
30.Ramata Bulima
31. Musa Rahman
32. Kabiru Bala
33. Damu Shuaibu
34. D. A Agiv
35. TK Gonglong
36. Ibrahim Hamza
37. KC Nwachukwu
38. Q.R Lolu
39. E.K Oguntuwase
40. A.I Paragauda
41. L.A Gasharga
42. Olufemi Abikoye
43. Abubakar Ibrahim
44. Rabiu Kauru
45. Odeka Janet Biong
46. Adekunbi Abibat

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