Full Text Of President Buhari’s Speech At LEADERSHIP Awards 2016

ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT, COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF, FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, AT THE LEADERSHIP ANNUAL AWARDS AND CONFERENCE, HELD AT THE TRANSCORP HILTON HOTEL, ABUJA ON OCTOBER 6, 2016.

PROTOCOLS:
I am most delighted to be part of this occasion organized by the Leadership Newspapers Group to honour Nigerians who have excelled in their chosen fields of endeavour.

  1. Let me hasten to congratulate my joint award winners, my predecessor, His Excellency, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR and Professor Attahiru Jega, the former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, as “Leadership Person of the Year”.
  2. The events of 2015 which the Leadership Newspaper has chosen to bring to the fore today, marked a watershed in the political history of our country.
  3. Those of us who were participating actors in the elections were led by the higher ideal of the future of our great country and the well being of our people rather than the mere desire of politicians to win elections.
  4. It is, therefore, our commitment to this ideal, the patriotic zeal of President Jonathan, the impartiality of the electoral umpire, INEC and exemplary conduct of the political parties, foreign pressure and other actors that we collectively disappointed the prophets of doom who had predicted the disintegration of the country after the 2015 general elections.
  5. Our democracy has been strengthened by the outcome of the 2015 elections as our people now have more faith in the electoral system in the sense that their votes would count when choosing political leaders at various levels. We, the political class should build on the experience of the 2015 elections to nurture our democracy.
  6. I wish to felicitate with the other award winners for the recognition accorded them by the Leadership Newspapers. It is my fervent hope that the awards will encourage all those recognized today to remain committed to good behaviour in their various endeavours to justify this recognition and serve as inspiration to others.
  7. The Leadership Newspapers have been in the forefront of promoting democracy and positive values that are necessary to achieve national consensus on the issues that tend to challenge our unity and progress as a nation. We commend the Leadership Newspapers Group and its publisher, Sam Nda-Isaiah for standing firm on the path of patriotism, justice and fairness.
  8. Our participation in today’s ceremony is therefore, a mark of confidence in the brand of journalism practiced by the Leadership Newspapers Group as it is a public acknowledgment of the contributions of the media to our administration’s agenda to defeat terrorism and violent extremism in the country, fight corruption and diversify the economy to create jobs for our teeming population and generally improve the standard of living of Nigerians.
  9. I expect the Nigerian media to join our government in pursuit of these goals not just to criticize to prove their independence.
  10. The media must continually see itself as true partner in the task of nation building and thus act in the spirit of patriotism at all times in the important role of informing the people of the country.
  11. On our part, our doors are wide open to media inquiries in line with the transparency and anti-corruption stance of our administration.
  12. Once again, I congratulate the award winners today and thank the Leadership Newspapers Group for the honour done to us.
  13. I thank you for your attention.
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Full Text Of President Buhari’s Speech At The 71st Session Of The UN General Assembly

The President of the General Assembly His Excellency Mr. Peter Thomson

The Secretary General of the United Nations Mr. Ban Ki-moon

Your Excellencies Heads of State and Government,

Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen

Mr. President,
1. Let me, on behalf of the Government and People of Nigeria, congratulate you on your well-deserved election as the President of the 71st General Assembly. I assure you of Nigeria’s support in steering the affairs of the General Assembly in the next one year. I take the opportunity to also express my appreciation to your predecessor Mr. Mogens Lykketoft, for the achievements recorded during his tenure.

Mr. President,
2. Last year, I presented my first address to the General Assembly after my assumption of office as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Indeed, it was a remarkable year, which not only celebrated the gains of the Millennium Development Goals, but also witnessed the adoption of the 2030 agenda on Sustainable Development.

3. These landmark achievements by the global community, will no doubt build a more prosperous, all inclusive world. We must work together to liberate humanity from poverty, save our planet from the devastation of Climate Change and rid the world of terrorism for a more peaceful and prosperous future.

4. We must remain committed to taking bold steps to transform our world. The Sustainable Development Goals underscore the imperative for our collective will towards finding enduring and sustainable solutions to addressing global disparities. It is in the light of our appreciation of the enormity of the task before us, that I welcome the theme of this Assembly, ‘Sustainable Development Goals; a Universal Push to Transform the World.’

Mr. President,
5. Nigeria as a developing country has been adversely affected by the global economic downturn. We are, however, undeterred and have embarked on a wide range of reforms in our efforts to diversify our economy and shift emphasis to mining, agriculture, industrialization, infrastructure development and the creation of the enabling environment for Foreign Direct Investment.

6. Our strategic objective is to stimulate the economy, restore growth and accelerate recovery. In doing this, we are taking measures to reduce the cost of governance and increase expenditure on infrastructure and ensure environmental best practices.

Mr. President,
7. Fighting corruption remains a cardinal pillar of our administration. Corruption freezes development, thereby undermining the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. I am pleased that our efforts in fighting corruption are yielding positive results including significant stolen assets recoveries.

8. The recovered funds are being channelled towards the development of critical infrastructure and the implementation of social inclusion programmes for our people. We are also strengthening our capacity of government entities to institutionalize reforms to ensure transparency and good governance.

9. The Anti – Corruption Summit held in London in May this year served as further reassurance of the global community’s commitment to fight corruption through the proposed practical steps to address the challenges including actions to hold perpetrators to justice within the law. Nigeria supports the development of an international legal framework to enforce anti-corruption measures and strengthen existing international institutions to effectively deal with corrupt practices.

10. Nigeria calls on Member States that are yet to sign up to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) to do so. Nigeria will continue to advocate for the facilitation of the recovery of illicit financial assets. Indeed, the speedy and unconditional return of stolen public assets should be the focus of the follow-up anti-corruption conference to be hosted by the US and UK in Washington next year.

11. Furthermore, Nigeria remains committed to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), a global coalition which promotes transparency and accountability in the management of revenues from the oil, gas and solid minerals sectors. We voluntarily signed up to EITI because we are convinced that transparent governance is an imperative for resource-rich developing countries like ours.

12. Through the work that our national chapter of EITI has done over the years, it is clear that our faith is not misplaced. The National EITI has been empowering citizens with critical information they can use to hold government and other players in the extractive industries to account, and make recommendations that drive reforms in these strategic sectors of our national life.

Mr. President,
13. The world took a giant step in Paris, towards addressing the challenges of Climate Change. Nigeria is proud to have been part of the process leading to the adoption of the Paris Agreement in December 2015 at the 21st meeting of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

14. COP- 21 marked a watershed in the global community’s commitment to address climate change and we will continue in our determined efforts to reduce Green House Gas (GHG) emissions.

15. At the centre of Nigeria’s climate action is our determination to implement the strategies in our Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), which will foster low carbon economy and sustainable growth in building a climate resilient society. We are creating public awareness through the integrated involvement of the private sector and civil society, and strengthening national institutions and mechanisms.

16. The negative consequences of Climate Change have manifested in the drying up of our Lake Chad. The means of livelihood of an estimated 30 million inhabitants of the Lake Chad Basin, spread across Cameroun, Chad, Niger and Nigeria, are being severely threatened. The cost of replenishing the lake has been put at 14 billion US Dollars under a five year plan which should be accorded global attention. Nigeria also supports the African Union initiative on the Great Green Wall to halt desertification.

17. In furtherance of our commitment to environmental sustainability, Nigeria has launched the cleanup of Ogoni land in Nigeria’s Niger Delta, based on the 2011 Environmental Assessment of the area by the United Nations Environment Programme. Multi-national oil companies operating in the area will be required to live up to their corporate social responsibilities and contribute to the cleaning-up of the environment degraded as a result of their activities and operations.
18. We call on development partners and multinationals to support our efforts, through the Ogoniland Restoration Fund.

Mr. President,
19. The 21st century has been marked by the rising insecurity unleashed by global terrorism and violent extremism. Indeed, which constitute a real threat to the international community. With the global increase in the spate of terrorist attacks, there is now, more than ever before, international consensus and greater willingness to collaborate in combating this threat.
20. Indeed, we are meeting at the time when our hosts, the American people have just marked the 15th Anniversary of the tragic and dastardly terrorist attacks on their soil. We in Nigeria, having been victims of terrorism of ourselves fully understand the impact of 9/11 on the American psyche and the families of the thousands of innocent victims whose lives were lost that day, I therefore, reiterate the Nigerian Government’s and people’s sympathies to the American people and prayers for the families of the victims that they may heal and find closure soon.

21. We hope that justice will be done to the families of victims of 9/11 as indeed to that victims of terror everywhere in conformity with the norms of international justice. As we seek justice for terror victims, the international community should avoid reacting in the heat of deep emotions of the moment by taking unilateral measures, legal or otherwise that will have a negative and disruptive impact on the international community’s collective efforts to fight terrorism.
22. We should not be distracted in our collective resolve to beat back terrorism in all its forms. As we confront terror we must also commit to stopping the proliferation of small arms and light weapons which nurture its spread. To this end, Nigeria urges member States that are yet to sign and ratify the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) to do so without further delay.

24. Nigeria has made remarkable progress in our resolve to defeat Boko Haram whose capacity to launch orchestrated attacks as a formed group has been severely degraded. In the last few months, their operations have been limited to sporadic use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) against soft targets.

25. Nigeria has continued to combat terrorism based on the established rules of engagement and in conformity with international best practices. I take this opportunity to reaffirm Nigeria’s commitment to human rights norms and International Humanitarian Law in our efforts to counter terrorism and violent extremism. I also wish to restate the assurance that the Federal Government of Nigeria is employing all our judicial tools to investigate and treat reported cases of human rights violations.

26. I commend the contribution of our neighbours – Benin Republic, Cameroun, Chad, and Niger whose combined efforts under the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) accomplished the present return of normalcy in areas hitherto occupied by Boko Haram.

27. May I also thank our international partners, including France, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, the United Nations, ECOWAS the African Union and many other multilateral and bilateral partners for their invaluable support. Our experience today is evidence that with determined international collaboration, terrorism can be defeated.

Mr. President,
28. The flow of refugees and migrants world wide has attained alarming proportions. In this wise Nigeria supports the Ceasefire Agreement brokered by the United States and Russia to end the atrocious tragedy of the Syrian civil war. Of particular concern to us in Nigeria is the plight of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) arising from Boko Haram terrorism. We have taken concrete steps to address their humanitarian needs and to ensure that necessary conditions are established to enable the voluntary return of the displaced persons to their places of abode in safety and dignity.

Mr. President,
29. At the same time, the Palestinian issue, despite years and years of international efforts is no nearer to being resolved. Nigeria in company with member States of the African Union, firmly support the Two-State solution with Palestinian rights to statehood in conformity, with numerous Security Council Resolutions beginning with Resolution 242 of 1967.

30. Let me seize this opportunity to once again thank all UN and other aid agencies and development partners currently deployed in North East Nigeria. I reaffirm Nigeria’s commitment to collective action towards an effective global response to address the root causes of refugee flows worldwide.

Mr. President,
31. We acknowledge the importance of youth in national development and remain committed to harnessing the potential of the increasing youth bulge. We must take advantage of the numbers and creative energy of young people who are in the majority in Nigeria and in most other member states. Therefore, at the international level, we call for the establishment of a specialized UN agency for youth development to achieve this strategic objective.

32. Nuclear security remains central to our quest for durable peace and security. This was why I participated in the 5th Nuclear Security Summit hosted by President Barak Obama in Washington in March, 2016. Nigeria and the other peace-loving member States of the United Nations must continue to uphold the fundamental principles of nuclear disarmament non-proliferation and its peaceful uses.

Mr. President,
33. The United Nations should now redouble the long protected effort for its reform to enable it to effectively address the challenges of our times. Nigeria, therefore, reiterates its call for the reform of the United Nations Security Council, in particular to reflect equitable and fair representation and greater transparency, legitimacy and inclusiveness in its decision making.

34. Africa should be adequately represented on the United Nations Security Council in the permanent member category. In this regard, Nigeria stands ready to serve Africa and the world on a reformed security council to advance international peace and security.

Mr. President,
35. Let me conclude by reaffirming Nigeria’s abiding faith in the United Nations and in her capacity to support Member States to deliver on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

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#SenateEconomicPlan: 6 Major Takeaways from Saraki’s Economic Speech

On Tuesday, September 20th, the Senate resumed its plenary activities after its yearly recess. For his resumption speech, the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, delivered opening remarks that centred solely around the economy. Saraki stated that over the next few months, the focus of the Senate would be to save Nigeria’s economy from collapse. 

Find below six of the major highlights of his speech:

#1. Saraki on Why the Economic Debate is Important

“… the simple question for our debate must be; how do we tame the widespread hunger in the land? How do we save our businesses from collapse? How do we save jobs for the majority and create even a lot more?… How do we arrest this drift so that our businesses can compete and our children can go to school wherever they may find opportunities?”

#2. Saraki On Why an Urgent Response is Needed to Fix Nigeria’s Economy

“Therefore, our response to the current challenge must be dictated by the urgency of the hardship that the people suffer on a daily basis. I say this to urge us that we must have an urgent debate on the way forward. But in having this debate we must resist the temptation of drowning the debate with apportioning blames that will neither bring solutions to the problem or reduce the cost of rice, maize or oil in the market.”

#3. Saraki on Why a Bipartisan Approach is Needed to Fix Nigeria’s Economy

“Nigerians don’t care about our politics; they don’t care about our political affiliations; they don’t care if we are APC OR PDP; north or south. What they want is for us to lead the way out of this [economic] crisis and deliver on the promises that we made to them.”

#4. Saraki on Why the Legislature and the Executive Need to Work Together

“We will work in concert, not at cross-purposes. Our goal is clear; to work together with the Executive to get our economy out of recession. We will proffer our solutions on policy issues, and where necessary enact necessary legislation to ensure that investor confidence returns to the market.”

#5. Saraki on What the Executive Needs to Do Immediately…

On Leadership: “The Executive must immediately put in place leadership-level engagement platform with the private sector. This must be one that is pro-business and shows unequivocally that government is ready to partner with the private sector towards economic revival.”

On Assets: The Executive must raise capital from asset sales and other sources to shore up foreign reserves. This will calm investors, discourage currency speculation and stabilize the economy.”

On Pension Funds: “The Executive must consider tweaking the pension funds policy within international best practice safeguards to to accommodate investment in infrastructure and mortgages.”

On Monetary Policy: “The Executive and CBN must agree on a policy of monetary easing to stimulate the economy we must ensure local government borrowing does not crowd out credit for the private sector.”

On Export Incentives: “The Executive must retool its export promotion policy scheme with export incentives such as the resumption of the Export Expansion Grant (EEG); and introduce export-financing initiatives.”

On the Niger-Delta Avengers: “The Executive is urged to engage in meaningful dialogue with those aggrieved in the Niger Delta and avoid an escalation of the conflict in the region. The National Assembly is very ready to play any role in the process and offer ideas on approaches that will deliver quick win-win in order to move the region and the economy forward.”

On Release of Funds: “The Executive must as a deliberate response consider immediate release of funds to ensure the implementation of the budget for the near short term to inject money into the economy.”

#6. Saraki on What the Senate Plans to Do Immediately…

Petroleum Industry Bill: We must ensure the passage of the PIB as soon as possible to stimulate new investment and boost oil revenue. As we all know, this bill is long in waiting and is very crucial for vital investment in the oil and gas sector. The impasse of not passing the bill is doing great harm to the industry and the Nigerian economy as a whole.”

Mortgages: “Mortgages remain key for us in the National Assembly and we will immediately begin the process of accelerating bills aimed at reforming the subsector for growth and accessibility in a manner that deepens our peoples access to housing.”

Economic Reform Bills: “…the Nigerian Ports and Harbours Authority Act (Amendment) Bill 2016; National Road Fund (Establishment, etc); National Transport Commission Act 2001; Warehouse Receipts Act Bill 2016; Review of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), Investment and Securities Act (ISA) and Customs and Excise Management Act; Federal Competition Bill 2016; and the National Road Authority. In my view, these bills and some of the other economic reform bills we will be considering in the coming days will be critical in the creation of a basic framework to free up capital and provide the opportunities to get us out of this recession.”

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Buhari Orders Sanction Of Speechwriter For Plagiarising Part Of Obama’s Speech

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday said the speechwriter responsible for plagiarising the United States President Barack Obama’s 2008 victory speech will face disciplinary action.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, in a statement said that the similarities between certain paragraphs in Buhari and Obama’s speeches were too similar to be coincidental.

The statement read in part, “President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered that prompt and appropriate disciplinary action be taken against those responsible for a wrongful insertion in his speech delivered on September 8, 2016 at the launch of the ‘Change Begins with Me’ campaign.

Shehu blamed the action on some overzealous workers and apologised on their behalf.

He also said that a deputy director in the presidency had accepted responsibility for the action but added that the oversight would be investigated and the appropriate punishment would be meted out to the official.

Shehu urged Nigerians to look beyond the error and not allow the gaffe to distract them from the core message of change.

He added, “There was a mistake by an overzealous worker and we regret that this has happened. Already, a Deputy Director in the Presidency has accepted responsibility for the insertion of the contentious paragraph.

“This serious oversight will be investigated thoroughly and appropriate sanction meted. The Presidency wishes to state in the clearest possible terms that it regrets this unfortunate incident and will ensure that this does not happen again.

“President Buhari urges Nigerians to look beyond this incident and focus on the message of change which the country needs in order to restore our cherished value systems.”

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Buhari Plagiarised Obama’s 2008 Victory Speech

President Muhammadu Buhari has been accused of plagiarising  a part of the ‘Change begins with me’ campaign speech he delivered last week.

Adeola Akinremi, a columnist, was first to make the allegation, saying Buhari’s speech bore marked resemblance with the one delivered by Barack Obama in his November 2008 presidential election victory speech at a rally in Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois.

“President Muhammadu Buhari made a terrible mistake last Thursday. He plagiarized President Barack Obama’s speech to launch ‘change begins with me,’” he wrote in his column.

“So you didn’t notice that our president lifted from Obama’s 2008 victory speech and passed it off as if the words were his own?

“The argument will rage, but the moral problem of plagiarism on a day Mr. President launched a campaign to demand honesty and integrity from the people is what we should concern ourselves with.

“I’m not a wailing wailer and I don’t like the downfall of any man but I also don’t like to be deceived. The very last thing you should do when you’re launching a campaign like this is to be dishonest with the people.

“As Buhari talked down on Nigerians during the launch of the campaign spearheaded by no other person, other than the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, known for his trash-talk, particularly for the opposition, I started following the speech line-by-line.

“I was alarmed to make the discovery. It was a scandal that escaped the attention of our newspapers. It is one of two things: either people don’t pay particular attention to Buhari’s words or we are a nation of anything goes.”

The paragraph alleged to have been lifted by Buhari read: “We must resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship, pettiness and immaturity that have poisoned our country for so long.

“Let us summon a new spirit of responsibility, spirit of service, of patriotism and sacrifice, Let us all resolve to pitch in and work hard and look after, not only ourselves but one another, What the current problem has taught us is that we cannot have a thriving army of rent seekers and vested interests, while the majority suffers.”

Meanwhile, Obama’s words in 2008 were: “In this country, we rise or fall as one nation, as one people. Let’s resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.

“So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other. Let us remember that, if this financial crisis taught us anything, it’s that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers.”

Attempting to explain how Obama’s speech may have been plagiarised, Aderemi said: “When you use another person’s work without acknowledgement, you have plagiarized. You simply pretend as if it is your own. It is unethical. It makes a mess of the campaign from the start. That is what Buhari has done, nobody will believe in the ‘change begins with me’ campaign, because it was built on lies.

“Now, this is what I think must have happened, an incompetent speech writer handed the speech to Buhari with no fact checking method by the president’s men that should have saved the president from this embarrassment.

“I know this that with the vast opportunity provided by the internet, it’s so tempting to plagiarize, but the same internet provides opportunity to discover plagiarists.

“It’s particularly troubling that the president has no inspiring words of his own other than to steal from someone. And this, it is pathetic that this “change” conversation is taking new dimension from what we expected.”

Contacted by TheCable, Garba Shehu,  senior special assistant on media and publicity to the president, declined to discuss the matter over the phone, saying he would rather send an email.

The email is still being expected.

But a professor of English Language at the University of Abuja, who did not want to be named, described plagiarism as an offence not to be tolerated any where in the world regardless of the perpetrator.

“Plagiarism is an offence no matter who commits it; it is a fact,” he said. “Plagiarism is not tolerated by anywhere and for whatever reason. Its an offence.”

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Full Text of President Buhari’s Speech At 2016 Army Day Celebration In Gusau, Zamfara

Protocol:

I am delighted to be in your midst today in Gusau, Zamfara State to witness the Grand Finale of the Nigerian Army Day Celebration 2016. I am particularly glad with the choice of Gusau for the conduct of this exercise and for the wisdom of incorporating a live Field Training Exercise into the celebration to clear remnants of cattle rustlers and armed bandits terrifying innocent citizens in this general area.

The remarkable success recorded during the conduct of the exercise has no doubt served the purpose and aptly drive the realization of the theme of the celebration which is, Optimizing the Capability of the Nigerian Army to meet Contemporary Security Challenges.

I sympathize with the people of this area for the enormous losses they suffered as a result of the incessant activities of the insurgents and cattle rustlers whose actions have made farming, livestock management and other economic activities more difficult even in the face of the general economic challenges.

I am quite optimistic that the operations of the last few days will surely lead to the restoration of economic activities of surrounding communities bedevilled for some time now by the menace of cattle rustling and banditry.

I therefore commend the Chief of Army Staff for this foresight and initiative and for mobilizing adequate resources to ensure precision in the conduct of the exercise. I also applaud the collaboration with sister services and other security agencies in order to degrade and decimate the miscreants. I urge you to intensify and perfect current strategies, approaches, techniques and tactics towards curtailing all forms of lawlessness across the country.

It is quite gratifying to inspect the equipment displayed which showcased the robust capability of the Nigerian Army to ward off internal and external aggression against the nation. The Command Post Exercise also reminds me of the importance of staff work in the field during the civil war in the 60s and the Chadian Operations in the 80s.

I am pleased at the dexterity, prowess and level of professionalism displayed by various components including the combat airborne jump by personnel of the Nigerian Army supported by the Nigerian Air Force. I am quite confident that the Nigerian Armed Forces have been amply repositioned more than ever before to resolutely confront contemporary and emerging security challenges in the country.

The involvement of private partners in the defence sector especially in terms of provision of specialist equipment under the Public Private Partnership is a welcome development. I urge the Armed Forces to leverage on this opportunity towards enhancing capacity.

On the part of the Government, let me assure you of our resolve and continued support to enhance the operational efficiency of the Nigerian Armed Forces to effectively discharge their constitutional roles. We remain committed to ensuring that you are provided with the required resources and impetus to operate professionally and efficiently.

Finally, I congratulate all the award recipients for their outstanding contributions to the successes recorded by the Nigerian Army. I urge all officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army to sustain the current tempo. I also congratulate the Nigerian Army for its one hundred and fifty three (153) years of noble and purposeful existence and for being a critical instrument of national unity, cohesion and integration. We look forward to better days ahead. 

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Okogie Tells Buhari To Revisit His Inauguration Speech And Start Afresh

Olubunmi Okogie, archbishop emeritus of the Catholic archdiocese of Lagos, has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to revisit the speech he delivered on assumption of office and “start afresh”.

Speaking after a reception organised for his 80th birthday, Okogie said the current administration has lived below expectations.

According to Vanguard, the fearless cleric who also marked the 50th anniversary of his priestly ordination, said he would never get fed up of commenting on injustice and oppression of the downtrodden by those in positions of authority.

“President Buhari has to be very careful because people are watching him and people are saying why can’t he take his inaugural speech, meditate on it and start afresh,” he said.

“I think why the government is not getting it right is because of the ministerial list, various candidates from different quarters and he was trying to satisfy them and that is why we are in this mess today. Government should live up to their responsibilities to the masses. This present administration should revisit their inaugural speech and start afresh because they have not done anything at all. Government should live up to their responsibilities to the masses. This present administration should revisit their inaugural speech and start afresh because they have not done anything at all.

“Since I retired as Archbishop of Lagos, and by extension from active public service, you may still wonder why I still speak on the state of the nation when I should be enjoying my retirement. Well, it may interest you to note that though I may not be as visible as I used to be, I have however not relented in my commitment and desire to see to the entrenchment of a truly egalitarian society where justice, equity and fear of God would reign supreme.

“These have always been my desire. You may say that at my age, since I am near the departure wing to heaven, I should by now be indifferent to the numerous challenges confronting the country. I beg to disagree. How can I remain quiet when 17 years into our democratic dispensation, the ship of our nation is being tossed about by self-inflicted storms that are tossing the people up and down? How can I keep mute when Nigerians have continuously been taken for a ride over the years by our politicians, who rather than serve the masses, chose to play them like the game of chess? I want to affirm here that as long as the good Lord gives me strength and the breath of life, I will never remain silent while this country is in turmoil.

“I believe it is the responsibility of every one of us to continue to contribute our quota to a better society for us and the generations yet unborn. May 29, 2016, we marked Democracy Day under the ruling All Progressives Congress. But is there much to really celebrate about? 17 years into our democratic dispensation; have we really mature as a nation? What lessons have we learnt from the errors of the past and what efforts are we making to avoid a repeat?”

Okogie also condemned the continued detention of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), saying the group has the legitimate right to make demands.

Recalling the events of the civil war, he advised the current administration not to allow the Biafra issue get out of control.

“Many of us who witnessed the pogrom that is the Nigerian civil war between 1967 and 1970 are yet to come to terms with the devastating effect that war could have in a society like ours,” he said.

“That is why it is imperative that we do not have a repeat of a civil war. God forbid. Mr President should therefore do the needful by releasing Mr. Nnamdi Kanu as a sign that he is ready to dialogue with his pro-Biafra group. He must remember that it is the right of any group to peacefully seek for secession if they feel marginalized in their present abode. The use of force is never the right approach to quell such agitation.

“As the father of all, let him do the needful by addressing the issues that led to the agitation in the first place. The problem with our government is that they fear unnecessarily. What has that boy (Kanu) done? Why can’t they sit back and think of how they can resolve the issue amicably and without involving soldiers here and there?”

He also criticised Ejike Mbaka, spiritual director of the Adoration Ministry Enugu (AMEN), over the statements credited to him during his transfer from a parish he spent at least 20 years.

“As a priest I was shocked when I heard that from his mouth. Nobody will take your life if God did not sanction it,” he said.

“That he was wanted dead, who told him that? Were assassins sent after him or he was only imagining it or he saw it in a vision as he always says he always sees visions? These are highly contestable and as a priest what will he say about death? Why must he fear about death? And that he was not happy about the transfer, why is he a priest? A priest should be ready to go anywhere.

“I was in the war front two years after my ordination as a priest. If he was not happy about his transfer, then there is something wrong about his priesthood. His priesthood should come to question.”

Okogie revealed some personal encounters he had with Lai Mohammed, minister of information, and Bola Tinubu, former governor of Lagos state.

“Lai Mohammed challenged me on a write up that I wrote tagged ‘Enough is enough’. He came to my house one Sunday night with Chief Jim Nwobodo and said I should have asked for audience with the Head of State and he would have granted me such instead of writing such article,” he said.

“I asked him to tell me what was wrong with the article that I wrote and that if not for Alhaji Bola Tinubu, he will not be where he is now. He replied that he has been together with Tinubu right from his youthful days.

“I know how Buhari came in. I warned Tinubu seriously when they were debating about Muslim, Muslim ticket. I told him, `Bola, I do not care if you produce two devils or Muslims provided the two Muslims are patriotic and fear God’. He said his main concern which was giving him sleepless night was to drive the PDP away and that he had got the solution. Tinubu asked me if I knew Buhari and I replied that was he not that man that did examination three times and failed? I said `Bola, he will fail again’ but he replied that he will not fail because he had gone round and that politics is a game of numbers. He said if Buhari was dying tomorrow and he went to the North to present him as candidate, he was sure to get over two million votes. He was even boasting that Buhari had changed or that they will change him.”

On Buhari’s failure to mention the names of alleged treasury looters, he said: “Buhari thinks he is diplomatic but he is not. Nigeria of 1916 is not Nigeria of 2016. They are dragging the people gradually to the wall and once they get there, there will be revolution. What kind of revolution? I cannot say but it will be bad if the revolution is from the youths. He should call a spade a spade, he passed the issue to Lai Muhammed and everybody is now calling them liars.”

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@SpeakerDogara Opens Commencement Of Sectoral Debates On Nigeria’s Economy Full Speech

Protocols:

May I warmly welcome you all to the commencement of Sectoral Debates by the House of Representatives on very important aspects of the Nigerian economy. I particularly welcome all Honourable Ministers and Heads of Agencies under their purview to the House.

2. This event is a fulfillment of one of the cardinal commitments we made in our Legislative Agenda at the beginning of the 8th House of Representatives. We had committed ourselves in our Legislative Agenda in Paragraph 7(ii) as follows:
“(ii.) Sectoral Debates
The 8th House will introduce sectoral debates on various aspects of Nigerian economy as part of its legislative initiative to address national problems. These sectoral debates will lead to the crafting of new laws or amendment to existing ones or generate recommendations on how to address the specific problem in question.
The House will designate specific legislative sitting days or weeks in its calendar specifically for discussion on various problems facing the nation. Such identified themes, sectors, areas or problems include employment and job creation, Health, Education and Social Services; Women, Youths and Children concerns; Power/Energy Sector, Oil and Gas, Science and Technology; Commerce and Industry; Transportation; Telecommunications; Agriculture; Mining; Manufacturing; Diversification of the Economy, Finance, Corruption, Security Matters, Infrastructure and other initiatives of urgent national importance”.
Modalities for carrying out the sectoral debates will be as approved by the House.”

3. Indeed, the Standing Orders of the House also provides in Order XVI, Rule 3 (New Rule), that:
“The House may engage in sectoral debates on issues of national importance as may be directed by the House or the Speaker.”

4. The first set of debates has been scheduled to take place from 3rd May to 5th May, 2016 on “Diversification of the Economy”. The Honourable Ministers of different Ministries concerned with this topic have been invited to present the perspectives of the executive branch, on the diversification of the economy from the standpoint of their different Ministries. We are starting with the following:

Hon. Minister of information, Culture and Tourism – 3rd May, 2016 – 11am

Hon. Minister of Agriculture – 4th May, 2016 – 11am

Hon. Minister of Finance – 4th May, 2016 – 1pm

Hon. Minister of Solid Minerals – 5th May, 2016 – 11am

5. With the fall in crude oil prices Nigeria really has no choice but to stop paying lip service to the urgent need for diversification of sources of revenue for Nigeria. The acute scarcity of foreign exchange, power supply challenges, falling GDP, fuel scarcity are some of the current matters of urgent national importance to be fixed. It is our belief that Nigeria possesses the human and material resources required to successfully transform our economy and earn the needed foreign exchange for Nigeria. It is time for Nigeria to develop and transform into a knowledge – based economy. Indeed ICT, Agriculture, Solid Minerals, Culture, Tourism and Entertainment; Trade, investment and manufacturing; Taxation and finance policies; science and technology; efficient Infrastructure such as power, transportation, etc have huge roles to play in the diversification of the Nigerian economy.

6. Other themes to be explored in the course of these Sectoral Debates, after diversification of the economy, include Unemployment and Job Creation; Infrastructural Development; Power, Energy and Gas; Anti-Corruption; Accountability and Transparency in Government; Security Matters etc.

7. After presentation by the relevant Ministers, Hon. Members are expected to ask the ministers questions and seek clarifications on issues. The House will schedule another day for members to thoroughly debate the issues and contribute their views at plenary.

8. These Sectoral Debates are necessitated by the compelling need for stakeholders, particularly the executive and Legislature to engage in debates/ dialogues towards finding sustainable policy strategies and legislation for quick recovery of the economy. The broad objective of the Sectoral Debates, therefore, is to deepen the engagement of Honourable members and the executive in national development policy issues and to promote the enactment of appropriate laws to enhance Nigeria’s economic growth and development. The specific objectives include to:
• providing information on specific policies, programmes and activities of the executive arm of government on specific issues;
• better understand the current development challenges in critical sectors in the economy;
• identify critical success factors for each of the sectors;
• identify and enact relevant legislation or correct or amend defects in existing laws that would support development initiatives; and,
• develop effective implementation strategies and appropriate oversight mechanisms.

9. The expected outcomes of the Sectoral Debate and dialogue series include:
i. Robust discussions on the appropriate role of the Legislature in achieving economic development and transformation.
ii. Recommendations on each of the topics of the debate/ dialogue, e.g. diversification of the economy; or unemployment and job creation; or security,
iii. How the Legislature can strengthen its role in oversight of the executive branch to achieve rapid economic growth and transformation, going forward.

10. This innovation is perhaps the first time the legislature in Nigeria is devoting specific legislative time to undertake debates on particular sectors of the economy. The clear legislative purpose of this effort is to contribute our quota in the search for a new economy for a new Nigeria. We expect as I have said, that these debates would help us to craft new laws, lead to better oversight processes and change the way we do things in Nigeria. It is our firm conviction that there is no better way to help deliver the change that our people yearn for than by speaking to those aspirations and insisting that we walk the talk.

11. I wish us all, successful deliberations and may God crown our efforts with success. ?

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We Never Doubted Our Mandate: Speech By Abia Governor, Ikpeazu After Supreme Court Judegment

My Good people of Abia State.

It is with great joy that I address you on this beautiful day that the Lord has made.

Yesterday, Wednesday, the 3rd day of February 2016, an erudite Panel of Supreme Court Justices led by no less a personality than the Chief Justice of Nigeria, affirmed our mandate to serve you as Governor of Abia State.

This was the same mandate that you freely gave to us when you trooped out en-masse to cast your votes for me in the Governorship elections of April 11, 2015 and the supplementary elections of April 25, 2015 in Abia State.

In the aftermath of our declaration by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the lawful winners of that election, the candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance challenged our victory at the Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Umuahia. The Tribunal was unequivocal in affirming our victory and dismissing his petition.

Not satisfied, he went to the Court of Appeal in Owerri and obtained a strange judgment which declared him the winner of that election. Knowing that the judgment would not stand close scrutiny and confident that it was I, Okezie Victor Ikpeazu and not any other person that you elected to serve you as your Governor, I challenged the judgment of the Court of Appeal at the Supreme Court.

To the glory of God, yesterday, the seven Justices of the Apex court unanimously upheld our victory at the polls and affirmed my mandate as the duly and rightfully elected Governor of Abia State.

My dear brothers and sisters, I was never in doubt as to my mandate to serve you. This certainty is what informed the zeal and passion with which I have approached governance since I was sworn-in as Governor. The many projects we have been able to execute within the short period we have been in office bears testimony to our burning desire to uplift the living standards of Ndi Abia.

Let me use this opportunity to once again express my heartfelt gratitude to you all good people of Abia State for the enormous confidence you reposed in me by electing me to be your Governor.

As I have always promised and as I have no doubt shown since I assumed office, more than ever before and with renewed vigour, I will make all of you proud to have voted me as your Governor.

To all those who supported my opponents, I will not begrudge you your right of choice. If your desire was to see a better Abia, then I invite you to extend that same support to me and together, we will bequeath to generations unborn an Abia State that they will be proud to call home.

That been said, yesterday’s judgment marked the end of all electoral and legal disputes relating to my mandate as the Governor of Abia State. While we will welcome constructive criticisms and corrective opposition, we urge all not to engage in any act that will jeorpadise the peace and tranquility of the state in the name of opposition politics.

Let me use this opportunity to express my deepest appreciation to all those who stood resolutely by us throughout this process from all strata of society. True brotherhood and friendship is confirmed in the face of adversity. You have proven to be reliable allies. I say a big thank you. The real work begins now. There is a lot to be done and together, we will attain our God-given potentials.

May I also call on all our supporters to be magnanimous in victory. I urge you all not to engage in any acts that will victimize our political opponents for the choices that they made. I am Governor of all Abia State and I wholeheartedly embrace everyone irrespective of the candidate that they supported. If you truly support me, then you will not victimize anyone in my name.

After all said and done, all we have to say is: To God alone be all the Glory.

Ndi Abia, Ndi Nwem, Ekelelam unu. Oga adiri unu na mma na aha Jesus.

Thank you very much and may God bless you all

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How I Stopped Boko Haram – Goodluck Jonathan [Full Speech]

Ladies and Gentlemen of the press, I thank you for coming to hear me speak on the twin issues of education and security.

Though this event is billed as a press conference on a Better Security and Education for West Africa, for the sake of time, I will focus on my experience in government which gave me a practical demonstration of how education impacts on security.

I will thereafter touch on my post presidential focus which is on advancing democracy and good governance in Africa and increasing access to opportunity for wealth generation in Africa.

If you peruse the official UNESCO literacy rates by country, what you will find is that all of the top ten most literate nations in the world are at peace, while almost all of the top 10 least literate nations in the world are in a state of either outright war or general insecurity.

Lower education levels are linked to poverty and poverty is one of the chief causative factors of crime whether it is terrorism or militancy or felonies.

With this at the back of my mind, I began the practice of giving education the highest sectoral allocation beginning with my very first budget as President in 2011.

My policy was to fight insecurity in the immediate term using counter insurgency strategies and the military and for the long term I fought it using education as a tool.

As I have always believed, if we do not spend billions educating our youths today, we will spend it fighting insecurity tomorrow. And you do not have to spend on education just because of insecurity. It is also the prudent thing to do.

Nigeria, or any African nation for that matter, can never become wealthy by selling more minerals or raw materials such as oil. Our wealth as a nation is between the ears of our people.

It is no coincidence that the Northeast epicenter of terrorism in Nigeria is also the region with the highest rate of illiteracy and the least developed part of Nigeria.

In Nigeria, the Federal Government actually does not have a responsibility for primary and secondary education, but I could not in good conscience stomach a situation where 52.4% of males in the Northeastern region of Nigeria have no formal Western education.

The figure is even worse when you take into account the states most affected by the insurgency. 83.3% of male population in Yobe state have no formal Western education. In Borno state it is 63.6%.

Bearing this in mind is it a coincidence that the Boko Haram insurgency is strongest in these two states?

So even though we did not have a responsibility for primary and secondary education going by the way the Nigerian federation works, I felt that where I had ability, I also had responsibility even if the constitution said it was not my responsibility.

Knowing that terrorism thrives under such conditions my immediate goal was to increase the penetration of Western education in the region while at the same time making sure that the people of the region did not see it as a threat to their age old practices of itinerant Islamic education known as Almajiri.

For the first time in Nigeria’s history, the Federal Government which I led, set out to build 400 Almajiri schools with specialized curricula that combined Western and Islamic education. 160 of them had been completed before I left office.

I am also glad to state that when I emerged as President of Nigeria on May 6th 2010, there were nine states in the Northern part of the country that did not have universities. By the time I left office on the 29th of May 2015, there was no Nigerian state without at least one Federal University.

Now the dearth of access to formal education over years created the ideal breeding ground for terror to thrive in parts of Nigeria but there are obviously other dimensions to the issue of insecurity in Nigeria and particularly terrorism.

You may recall that the fall of the Gaddafi regime in August 2011 led to a situation where sophisticated weapons fell into the hands of a number of non state actors with attendant increase in terrorism and instability in North and West Africa.

The administration I headed initiated partnership across West Africa to contain such instability in nations such as Mali, which I personally visited in furtherance of peace.

And with those countries contiguous to Nigeria, especially nations around the Lake Chad Basin, we formed a coalition for the purpose of having a common front against terrorists through the revived Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF).

Those efforts continue till today and have in large part helped decimate the capacity of Boko Haram.

Another aspect of the anti terror war we waged in Nigeria that has not received enough attention is our effort to improve on our intelligence gathering capacity.

Prior to my administration, Nigeria’s intelligence architecture was designed largely around regime protection, but through much sustained effort we were able to build capacity such that our intelligence agencies were able to trace and apprehend the masterminds behind such notorious terror incidences as the Christmas Day bombing of the St. Theresa Catholic Church in Madalla, Niger State.

Other suspects were also traced and arrested including those behind the Nyanya and Kuje bombings.

Not only did we apprehend suspects, but we tried and convicted some of them including the ring leader of the Madalla bombing cell, Kabir Sokoto, who is right now serving a prison sentence.

But leadership is about the future. I am sure you have not come here to hear me talk about the way backward. You, like everyone else, want to hear about the way forward.

I am no longer in office, and I no longer have executive powers on a national level. However, I am more convinced now than ever about the nexus between education and security.

My foundation, The Goodluck Jonathan Foundation, was formed to further democracy, good governance and wealth generation in Africa.

Of course, Charity begins at home and for the future, what Nigeria needs is to focus on making education a priority.

Thankfully, the administration that succeeded mine in its first budget, appears to have seen wisdom in continuing the practice of giving education the highest sectoral allocation. This is commendable.

I feel that what people in my position, statesmen and former leaders, ought to be doing is to help build consensus all over Africa, to ensure that certain issues should not be politicized.

Education is one of those issues. If former African leaders can form themselves into an advisory group to gently impress on incumbent leaders the necessity of meeting the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recommended allocation of 26% of a nations annual budget on education, I am certain that Africa will make geometric progress in meeting her Millennium Development Goals and improving on every index of the Human Development Index.

Data has shown that as spending on education increases, health and well being increases and incidences of maternal and infant mortality reduce.

In Nigeria for instance, Average Life Expectancy had plateaued in the mid 40s for decades, but after 2011, when we began giving education the highest sectoral allocation, according to the United Nations, Nigeria enjoyed her highest increase in Average Life Expectancy since records were kept. We moved from an Average Life Expectancy of 47 years before 2011 to 54 years by 2015.

I had earlier told you about the connection between education and insecurity.

I believe that it is the job of former leaders and elder statesmen to convince Executive and Legislative branches across Africa to work together to achieve the UNESCO recommended percentage as a barest minimum.

I intend to offer my services, through The Goodluck Jonathan Foundation, for this purpose and I invite interested organizations to help us make this happen.

Ladies and gentlemen of the press, this, in a nutshell are some of my thoughts for a Better Security and Education for Africa and I will now entertain your questions.

You may recall that the fall of the Gaddafi regime in August 2011 led to a situation where sophisticated weapons fell into the hands of a number of non state actors with attendant increase in terrorism and instability in North and West Africa.

The administration I headed initiated partnership across West Africa to contain such instability in nations such as Mali, which I personally visited in furtherance of peace.

And with those countries contiguous to Nigeria, especially nations around the Lake Chad Basin, we formed a coalition for the purpose of having a common front against terrorists through the revived Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF).

Those efforts continue till today and have in large part helped decimate the capacity of Boko Haram.

Another aspect of the anti terror war we waged in Nigeria that has not received enough attention is our effort to improve on our intelligence gathering capacity.

Prior to my administration, Nigeria’s intelligence architecture was designed largely around regime protection, but through much sustained effort we were able to build capacity such that our intelligence agencies were able to trace and apprehend the masterminds behind such notorious terror incidences as the Christmas Day bombing of the St. Theresa Catholic Church in Madalla, Niger State.

Other suspects were also traced and arrested including those behind the Nyanya and Kuje bombings.

Not only did we apprehend suspects, but we tried and convicted some of them including the ring leader of the Madalla bombing cell, Kabir Sokoto, who is right now serving a prison sentence.

But leadership is about the future. I am sure you have not come here to hear me talk about the way backward. You, like everyone else, want to hear about the way forward.

I am no longer in office, and I no longer have executive powers on a national level. However, I am more convinced now than ever about the nexus between education and security.

My foundation, The Goodluck Jonathan Foundation, was formed to further democracy, good governance and wealth generation in Africa.

Of course, Charity begins at home and for the future, what Nigeria needs is to focus on making education a priority.

Thankfully, the administration that succeeded mine in its first budget, appears to have seen wisdom in continuing the practice of giving education the highest sectoral allocation. This is commendable.

I feel that what people in my position, statesmen and former leaders, ought to be doing is to help build consensus all over Africa, to ensure that certain issues should not be politicized.

Education is one of those issues. If former African leaders can form themselves into an advisory group to gently impress on incumbent leaders the necessity of meeting the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recommended allocation of 26% of a nations annual budget on education, I am certain that Africa will make geometric progress in meeting her Millennium Development Goals and improving on every index of the Human Development Index.

Data has shown that as spending on education increases, health and well being increases and incidences of maternal and infant mortality reduce.

In Nigeria for instance, Average Life Expectancy had plateaued in the mid 40s for decades, but after 2011, when we began giving education the highest sectoral allocation, according to the United Nations, Nigeria enjoyed her highest increase in Average Life Expectancy since records were kept. We moved from an Average Life Expectancy of 47 years before 2011 to 54 years by 2015.

I had earlier told you about the connection between education and insecurity.

I believe that it is the job of former leaders and elder statesmen to convince Executive and Legislative branches across Africa to work together to achieve the UNESCO recommended percentage as a barest minimum.

I intend to offer my services, through The Goodluck Jonathan Foundation, for this purpose and I invite interested organizations to help us make this happen.

Ladies and gentlemen of the press, this, in a nutshell are some of my thoughts for a Better Security and Education for Africa and I will now entertain your questions.

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Full Text Of Speech By Yahaya Bello On His Inauguration As Governor Of Kogi State

BEING TEXT OF THE INAUGURAL SPEECH BY HIS EXCELLENCY, ALHAJI YAHAYA ADOZA BELLO ON THE OCCASION OF HIS SWEARING-IN AS 4TH EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR OF KOGI STATE ON WEDNESDAY, 27TH JANUARY, 2016.

Protocols

His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, The President, Federal Republic of Nigeria.

His Excellency, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, The Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria.

His Excellency, Dr. Olubukola Saraki, The President, Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

His Excellency, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, The Speaker, House of Representatives.

His Lordship, Hon. Justice Mahmud Mohammed, GCON, The Chief Justice of Nigeria.

His Excellency, Chief John Odigie Oyegun, The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress.

His Excellency, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress.

Your Excellencies, My Brother Governors here present or represented.

His Excellency, Rt. Honourable Momoh Jimoh Lawal, The Honourable Speaker, Kogi State House of Assembly.

My Lord, Honourable Justice Nasiru Ajanah, The Chief Judge of Kogi State.

Royal Fathers and Revered Custodians of Our Traditional Institutions.

Members of the Diplomatic Corps.
Our Distinguished Guests from Far and Near.

My Dearly Beloved People of Kogi State.
All other Protocols deemed as duly observed.

Welcome!

It is with great Joy that I receive you all to the warm hospitality of Kogi State of Nigeria today. Kogi is the Confluence State, the Geographical Bridge between every Nigerian and his Compatriot. You are indeed welcome.

Life is a precious thing and we cannot earn or own it. It is given to us freely. We often take it for granted, failing to recognize its importance or significance. Should it not instead instill an immense sense of gratitude in our hearts to the One Who created life and gave it to us? “It is God Who brought you out of your mothers’ wombs knowing nothing, and gave you hearing and sight and minds so that you may be grateful” The Quran 16:78. Say “O Allah, owner of Kingdoms.You give your Kingdom to whom you desire.And you take your Kingdom from whom you desire.You honour whom you desire.And you humble whom you desire. In your hand all is GOOD. Indeed you are over all things COMPETENT.” Quoran 3 vs 26.

I stand here today a grateful man. I am grateful to:

Almighty God, the Eternal One who led a young boy, fatherless while still a baby to this momentous day of my Swearing-In as the Governor of this Great State, and her humble Servitor.

Alhaji Bello Ipemida Ochi, my father, whose evergreen memories and legacies remain till today despite his death early in my life. Hajiya Hauwau Oziohu Bello, my model mother. Oziandu Obanyi, your hand rocked my cradle, and you still rock my world. Despite the anguish of young widowhood, your values steadied me through the turbulence of youth and years of self-discovery. All my siblings, especially Prof. Iliyasu Bello Ohiani, my elder brother, who became the father that I know.

My family. My dear wives and children were Wonderful. In particular, Hajiya Rashida Bello followed me on this chequered journey with a devotion and sacrifice that is astounding.

President Muhammadu Buhari, the one man who epitomizes the Personal Discipline, Rugged Determination and Honest Discretion I intend to model as Governor of Kogi State.

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. The APC National Leader is arguably the most singularly successful Nigerian Politician of this Democratic Dispensation. His Vision has given wings to those of many of his followers, including ourselves.

Prince Abubakar Audu, the Late Icon whose foresight and doggedness paved the way for the Victory we are celebrating today. Continue to rest in peace my Leader.

My Core Team, especially the Progressive Youth of Kogi State led by my right-hand man, Edward Onoja. Their doggedness and forthrightness brought home to me in a very personal way that popular line ‘Though tribes and tongues may differ, in brotherhood we stand…’ They are the apostles of this broad-minded Change.

The APC Family. The APC in Kogi State wanted Change for their dear State and worked hard to bring it. The APC at the National Level provided the Platform.

The entire People of Kogi State. Irrespective of who you are or where you stood during the elections, Na God Win. We are all united today, celebrating the outcome. My People, you are my one big Constituency, and I am responsible for, and to each and every one of you.

Nigeria has a rich diversity of traditions, cultures and history but it is instructive that in searching for a philosophy for this New Direction my Team and I did not have to go very far to locate the perfect response for our times:

Ladies and Gentlemen, I wish to reiterate what President Muhammadu Buhari said in his celebrated Swearing-In Speech on May 29, 2015: “I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody!”

This quote is a complete worldview which defines the PURPOSE and METHODOLOGY of my Administration, and sets an AGENDA OF INCLUSIVENESS, which I am determined will characterize my tenure.

In this single sentence, Mr. President summarized the restorative force of the CHANGE ideology with which our great party, the APC, has swept Nigeria. I now declare it our guiding principle for fair action and equitable governance in Kogi State.

My Administration shall exist for the sole purpose of serving the superseding interests of the people of Kogi State to the very best of its capabilities. We also undertake to never lend our capacities to servicing the avarice of anyone or group–whether from Kogi State or elsewhere.

There is no greater evil than Corruption and nothing champions that evil more than Impunity…Corruption and Impunity made sure our people repeatedly arrived at a promised future and found it bereft of substance, or the promised better life.

Let it be recorded today that future generations will not be given reason to count the incoming Administration among those who reveled in Corruption or Impunity. We will be different by the Grace of God. We must and will be that generation of Leaders who made the entirety of Kogi’s Resources work for the entirety of Kogi’s People.

Accordingly, I hereby declare and affirm that the Yahaya Bello Administration will have ZERO TOLERANCE for Corruption and Impunity. I will lead Kogi State by honest and humble example. So help me God.

To reinforce our commitment to accountability, the incoming Administration will employ technology and a multilayered system of checks and balances to block all leakages in our financial processes and improve our wealth creation and retention capacities.

The rule of law is key to effective governance. We intend to work hand in hand with the Judicial Arm of Government and the Legislature to deliver the best governance possible to Kogi State. In this regard, we shall be guided by both legislations and binding judicial decisions.

Peace is key for prosperity. The sudden events that culminated in my emergence as Governor are beyond any mortal man. The sudden death of our leader, Prince Abubakar Audu remains a great mystery. This Administration shall liaise with the Kogi State House of Assembly for legislation to immortalise him in some meaningful way. I therefore extend my hand of brotherhood to all and sundry.

In the course of this journey we met and interacted with families, kindreds, clans, hamlets, villages, towns and cities, traversing the length and breadth of Kogi State and the picture we came away with is a depressing one. Everywhere, our People live in deprivation despite our abundant natural endowments.

The statistics as they apply to Kogi State are not rosy. As we step into Office today, we are at once excited and tremulous. Excited at the great opportunities but tremulous at the massive challenges. One thing is clear, positive and decisive action must be taken quickly to rescue Kogi State. We are ready for action.

We are conscious that to fail in this task is to fail in everything else. But take it from me, we will not fail because, apart from our preparations and resolve, God and good is on our side.

We have conceived a socio-economic Blueprint that we trust God will rapidly develop our State and radically empower our People. The said Blueprint will rank as a sort of Marshall Plan for rebuilding Kogi State on every index of Development.

Under this Plan, Education and Health Infrastructure, State of the Art Security Coverage, Roads, Rural Water Schemes, Farm and Agricultural Communes, heavy Investments in Solid Minerals, Artisanal Mining Collectives, repositioning of Kogi State as a preferred tourist destination, etc. are projected to play lead, often overlapping, roles.

We will run this Blueprint along with Civil Service reforms to change the orientation of our workers and improve their productivity. To show that we are ready to work and not just talking, the Blueprint contains ‘Action Plans’ for developing each sector. We expect that we will see begin to see increase in our Internally Generated Revenue.

For ease of monitoring by Kogi People my Team and I have distributed our Projects into the 100-Day Accomplishments, the First Year Results, the Halfway Marks and the Final Milestones. When our full Blueprint is published, anyone can predict where we will be, developmentally, in 100 days, and after each year of our Administration.

Security is a huge concern across Kogi State as we step into Office – in particular the dastardly and twin scourges of armed robbery and kidnapping. I therefore acknowledge with pleasure the Commissioner of Police and Heads of every Security Agency in Kogi State. Gentlemen, I shall be meeting with you soon to fashion out modalities to rid Kogi State of Insecurity. Please have forceful and actionable proposals for me when we meet. I promise you every support that this Administration can give.

Nothing engenders skepticism, even cynicism, in the citizen than lackluster leadership of the sort that we have experienced in the Confluence State. I am aware that with some notable exceptions successive Administrations have posted largely unimpressive performances. The cumulative effect is that the average Kogi Person has developed an acute distrust of Government.

We cannot succeed, in our Blueprint or anything else, without the co-operation of our People and our friends. Co-operation is difficult if trust is withheld. My people, we shall build rapport, and by delivering on our proposed array of people-centered projects, we shall earn your trust. I would appreciate, and I ask for nothing, other than that you give me the benefit of the doubt as we set off. Let the taste of this pudding be in the eating.

We know salaries have not been paid to some of our Civil Servants for some months now. We propose to commence paying as promptly as possible while implementing strategies to gradually defray the arrears. While doing this we shall count on the understanding of all the good people of Kogi State.

We shall immediately commence consultations with all stakeholders to get the buy-in of every progress-minded individual into every agenda that we have designed to move Kogi State in the New Direction. I see this as a Challenge and I am resolved to win your trust.

Today is indeed an auspicious day. We will not fail to appreciate those who made it possible. My predecessor, Captain Idris Ichalla Wada, has been most gracious. We appreciate your service sir. The Transition Committees on both sides have acted with dignity and cooperation. We thank you. The Inauguration Committee has really worked hard to make this day a success. Thank you very much indeed.

Change has come to Kogi State. I may be the Torchbearer, and Custodian of it, but you, the great united people of Kogi State, are its Owners and Proprietors. Let us arise together, take our Collective Destiny in our hands and go forth excitedly to chart our New Direction. Kogi, THIS CHANGE IS YOURS.

Distinguished Listeners, this speech is an overview, it is not intended to say everything that we have to say, or plan to do, in Government. That being the case, I hasten to conclude.

God bless The Federal Republic of Nigeria.
God bless Kogi State of Nigeria.
God bless you.

Thank you for listening.

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New Kogi Gov, Bello Breaks Down In Tears During Inaugural Speech, Promises Action To Rescue State

The newly sworn-in governor of kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello broke into tears during the delivery of his Inaugural speech on Wednesday.

Bello, who began the speech with the acknowledgement of notable party members who contributed to the success of his emergence as the governor of the state was all tears when he acknowledged his late mother who described as his pillar of support.

Speaking to an almost filled 25,000 capacity stadium stadium in Lokoja, Bello promised to take all kogites along irrespective of their ethnic linings, saying ‘na God win o’.

He said he is responsible to each and every one in the state as they have become his big constituency.

“My administration shall exist for the sole purpose of serving the interest of the good people of Kogi state.:

“Ladies and gentlemen, I wish to reiterate the celebrated speech of President Muhammadu Buhari during his inaugural speech’I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody”, he said.

He declared that the singular sentence of the president will be the guiding principle of equitable governance in the state.

Bello, who decried the spate of corruption and impunity in the country declared that his administration will not give future generations the opportunity to fault the government.

“I hereby declare and affirm that the Yahaya bello administration will have zero tolerance for corruption and impunity. I will lead Kogi state by honest and humble example. So help me God.”

On the plan to transform the state, Bello said his administration will employ the use of technology d a multi-layer system to check all leakages in the state finance and work hand-in-hand with the legislature to to bring bout desired change in the state, adding that  socio-economic blueprint which will serve as a marshal plan for rescuing the state has been prepared.

He said his government will work with the legislators to immortalise the late Prince Abubakar Audu, whom he described as his leader.

 

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