Full Text Of Buhari’s Controversial Press Briefing In Germany

President Muhammadu Buhari last week paid a three-day working visit to Germany. As part of the activities for the visit, the president addressed a joint press conference with his host and German Chancellor, Angela Merkel in Berlin.

During the press conference, the president was asked series of questions one of which is his reaction to the BBC interview granted by his wife, Aisha Buhari.

The reponse from the president has since become the topic of discussion in the media space. We reproduce below the press briefing of President Muhammadu Buhari alongside Angel Merkel.

I am very grateful to you for this invitation. The Germans have always been concerned about Nigeria. This is very welcome, and we are grateful for it.

They invited me here during the G7 presidency. They asked me to provide the G7 with a report on the security situation in Nigeria, but above all in the region. I have done this very much and I have submitted a report to the G7.

I have mentioned on this occasion that Boko Haram has been considerably restricted in its possibilities. 14 of 177 local regions are still left where they actually have an influence, where they actually hold something like a caliphate.

But there is no real power that they have over any of our communal, regional authorities. In the meantime, they have, of course, concentrated on schools, mosques and markets in their attacks. But this possibility to carry out such attacks is also largely taken away.

We received economic and humanitarian aid from the Federal Republic of Germany. In this way, Nigeria has been enabled to expel terrorists from these areas.

The second point is the economy. We are very grateful for the fact that we have been offered training opportunities. There are about 100 German companies operating in Nigeria – most of them in the manufacturing sector. This means that the Nigerians have not only jobs, but also training opportunities. For this we are very grateful.

The new security problem that has emerged is, above all, that there have been acts of sabotage against institutions of the oil industry in the Niger Delta. I have already submitted a detailed report to the German Government, and this will continue.

We will say what we need for help, for example, information of a message service type or other, but also ways to provide us with equipment. With the leadership of the militants in the Niger Delta, with the traditional institutions there, we are currently talking. But oil companies, which have been operating in Nigeria for more than 30 years, must of course also participate in this dialogue.

As far as the economy is concerned, it is this year that we have had a lot of rain in Nigeria and we expect a very good crop so that the problems with the food imports will not be so great. We will not be so dependent on it. In a few months we will be able to create food security and even export food. Most of the foods that we have imported were, for example, wheat, maize and rice. I think in about 18 months we will be self-sufficient in this area.

As for the girls from Chibok, you have probably learned that 21 of these girls have been released. But still 100 of these girls are somewhere in the area around Lake Chad, Cameroon, Niger or Nigeria. Where they are, we do not know exactly. We have been able to free these 21 girls. We hope that we can provide it with the appropriate information to find even more and to find out. We are very grateful to the United Nations who have participated in the mission of saving these girls. But please do not forget that the whole thing takes place against the background of terrorism in Nigeria. Thousands of Nigerians have been killed by Boko Haram. There are 1.5 to 2 million people who are internally displaced and have to live in camps for internally displaced persons. At least 60 percent of them are women and children. 60 percent of these children are orphans who do not know their parents and do not know where they come from. This is a great concern for my government, which we must face. We must, of course, provide the appropriate infrastructure, especially in education and health, so that these children and displaced persons can return to their region, their city, their village and live a normal life. That is why we are very grateful for the support given by the German government. We hope for further support whenever we need it and ask for it.

Thank you very much.

Question and answer time

I come from Nigerian television. Federal Chancellor, Mr Buhari has devoted himself to combating corruption. One option he pursues is to retrieve funds outside the country. What do you do to help him? As you have said, you appreciate him.

Merkel: I appreciate him very much. We will, if he has hints, follow these instructions, of course. In all that the President has to say to Germany, we will, of course, look to help him work against corruption.

In addition, our finance minister has worked very hard to ensure the international exchange of information is compulsory. This means that in the future, it will be much harder to deal with such corrupt business. As countries, we will also work much more closely with banks to pursue all traces.

I have a question to the President. In the context of the migration crisis, the importance of re-transferring the foreign Nigerians is always written and reported. How important are these retransferments for the Nigerian economy?

Your woman has today given an interview in which she said she does not support you in the 2019 re-election if you do not transform your government. Maybe you can comment on that. Are you ready to meet your wife’s demands?

Buhari: I do not know exactly which party my wife belongs to. Actually, she belongs to my kitchen, my living room and also to the other rooms in my house. It is not easy to deal with the opposition, with those who were not with one in the election campaign. I hope that my wife will remember that I was 12 years in the field, that I have tried three times to win. The fourth time I was successful. The first three times I was in Nigeria’s highest court. So I would say that I know better about all this.

I think I know better than the members of the opposition. After all, my efforts had been successful. It is not so easy to satisfy everyone, the entire opposition of Nigeria and all parties there. They all want to be at the government, of course.

Perhaps I may briefly tell you what we have inherited.

From 1999 to 2014, Nigeria averaged 2.1 million barrels of oil per day at a price of $100. Then we had less than 40. It must also be said that the production by the actions of militants has reduced by half. This means that Nigeria has inherited a huge problem. You certainly know that 27 of the 36 states could not pay salaries to their employees. That is, there were very serious economic problems, problems of security, business, corruption, problems we try to resolve to the best of our knowledge.

I told you what the problem was with Boko Haram. We almost succeeded in preventing them from dominating somewhere in Nigeria. As far as the economy is concerned, we have now concentrated on agriculture. We ask you to invest primarily in the mineral sector, in the field of mineral resources.

In the Niger Delta, too, we have turned to the militant leadership and the people they support locally. We have approached the oil companies, which have been operating in the country for a long time, more than 30 years, and know the whole environment, including the local people. We want to negotiate with them, so that there will be a truce.

The government has the ability and the ability to cope with these people, just as we have come to terms with Boko Haram. But it is in the interest of Nigeria and all regions of Nigeria that we solve these issues through dialogue, as a much more civilized way of dealing with each other.

Your country has opened its doors to a large number of refugees from other countries, with a great deal of insecurity and a great deal of poverty. But this is now a problem for you. How can you prevent such a destabilization from happening to you and also in Nigeria?

Merkel: Firstly, we must, of course, be politically committed to peace and security. This is very difficult, for example, in Syria or Iraq. We are therefore all the more pleased that much has already been achieved in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria and at Lake Chad.

People who do not really live peacefully have big problems, of course. But there are also the economic problems. We have said in Germany that we want to give protection to many who have come to us because of war and expulsion. This is why the rate of recognition in legal proceedings is very high, for example, for people from Syria and Iraq. But for people coming from Nigeria, the recognition rate is only 8 percent. That is, we must assume that many come for economic reasons. We can understand that. But we must then say that in order to provide humanitarian protection to those who really flee before the war, we must return to those who do not have a right of residence in Germany.

This is what the European Commission is talking about. We also talked today about how we can do this and send out the signal at the same time: We want to put the smugglers and the traffickers the craft. But we also want to help people who are in need in Nigeria. That is why we want to offer those who do not go on the illegal path, for vocational training, for training, for the acquisition of skills, so that they have a better chance of achieving a good future for themselves. Then this is good for both sides.

There can be no business about corruption, illegal trafficking, arms trafficking, drug trafficking – all of which are connected – and states are destabilized, but we are working together as states, so that the people of Nigeria have some of it and at the same time the signal “Those who do not have a right of residence in Germany – 92 per cent of the people from Nigeria who come to us – have to return” to stop the illegality.

You said you had talked about the problem of return. Have you received any commitments, or do you intend to conclude a regular return contract with Nigeria?

Just a quick glance into the next week: Are you confident that a meeting in Normandy will be held here in Berlin?

Merkel: As for the next week, I cannot say that yet, because I have to wait and see what messages I get from the now ongoing conversations on the workbene. We keep this open, but we have not yet reached the decision.

On your first question: the negotiations with the European Commission are only starting in October. That is, we have not made specific arrangements today. But I have, of course, said that Germany supports these negotiations by the European Commission, and that in return, both on the basis of the Valletta agreement, we can use both European and German resources, especially to promote legal opportunities for vocational training that illegality can be combated. But we have not discussed details yet.

Courtesy TAZ

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Full Text Of Aisha Buhari’s BBC Hausa Interview

This is the full text from the interview of First Lady of Nigeria, Aisha Buhari, by BBC Hausa Service:

BBC Hausa: It has been One and a half years since President Muhammadu Buhari came into power, a lot of people are expressing their unhappiness over the way few acquaintance of the President have hijacked power while neglecting people that work for his success. Like we have promised, here is how the interview with Aisha Buhari and Naziru Maka’ilu from Abuja goes.

BBC Hausa: People have goodwill towards President Muhammadu Buhari, especially looking at the things he did before, but since coming into power things have not been working the way they should, what do you thing is the cause?

Aisha Buhari:  I am not a government official, but in my opinion as a woman, a mother, what I think is it is well known that the first 4 years are not going to be easy. Firstly, it was people that brought the government into power. More than half of those people are not appointed into the government. Some people that are not politicians, not professionals were brought into the government. They don’t even know what we said we want and what we don’t during the campaign.  They even come out and say to people we are not politicians, but they are occupying the offices meant for politicians. Some have parted with their wives, some lost their children lost, some women too have parted with their husbands because of politics, a lot happened during the time. The way things are going I too I am not happy. We are just starting, we have not finished. Some people that worked for the government have been appointed. But those heading government agencies you can find one fighting his state governor, they contested together during election one in APC while in PDP.
BBC Hausa: Who are those doing these kinds of things?

Aisha Buhari: Everybody knows them. Those people should know that people voted singly. Even Buhari too had one vote. Nobody voted 5 times.  15.429 Million People. That one that people are thinking too, he had only some 2 or 3 people. I am pleading to them to have the people at heart and embrace everybody so that we can all move together. Not even now in 2016 or 17, lot of people are creating divisions within the APC, which is our source of concern. They think they have worked for the government while those appointed some of them had no voter’s card. What I fear is uprising of 15.4 million people.

BBC Hausa: Is the President aware some people are subverting his government?

Aisha Buhari: Whether he knows or he do not, those that voted for him knows.

BBC Hausa: But you are the most closest to him, did you tell him?

Aisha Buhari: There is nothing I can tell him, he is seeing things himself. Out of the people he has appointed, take 50, 45 of them I don’t know them. Perhaps he doesn’t know them too. I have been living with him for 27 years.

BBC Hausa: Do you think there are some people that are dictating to the President things to do, not him?

Aisha Buhari: That is what I am saying, those that know they don’t have voters card, they should give chance to those that have, they are the ones that struggled and knows what we want to do. Some of them if you go to a meeting with them they will tell you, we are not politicians, if somebody is wise, they will not accept to take any political office. They didn’t even work for it. Even if you are asked to, you should say it is not my profession.  Those places not headed by politicians will cause people discontent.

BBC Hausa: One would wonder to hear you say some people have hijacked the government without him knowing, but who do you think are those people?

Aisha Buhari: I don’t know them, I don’t know them. I don’t know them

BBC Hausa: But some people are calling names, saying 2 or 3 are the ones, do you that as well?

Aisha Buhari: Yes I agree. Because of those appointed apart from Fashola, Ameachi and some others, not much, I don’t know them, most of us too don’t know them, and he too does not know them

BBC Hausa: One would wonder that Buhari is not the one charge knowing him as a person who had leadership experiences, people would not believe

Aisha Buhari: Yes it is surprising; nobody thought it is going to be like this. But now that it is so…sometimes when one is doing something wrong without him knowing, but when people talk to them, they should listen. Because in the future, whether he is going to contest or not, it is that same people that would vote for APC. We hope those people don’t come back, and everybody don’t hope so too

BBC Hausa: You said “Whether he is going to contest in the future or not”, has he disclose it to you whether he is standing or not?

Aisha Buhari: He didn’t tell me, but I have made up my mind.

Translated by www.nishadi.tv

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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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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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Full Text: President Buhari’s Democracy Day Broadcast

My compatriots,

It is one year today since our administration came into office. It has been a year of triumph, consolidation, pains and achievements. By age, instinct and experience, my preference is to look forward, to prepare for the challenges that lie ahead and rededicate the administration to the task of fixing Nigeria. But I believe we can also learn from the obstacles we have overcome and the progress we made thus far, to help strengthen the plans that we have in place to put Nigeria back on the path of progress.
We affirm our belief in democracy as the form of government that best assures the active participation and actual benefit of the people. Despite the many years of hardship and disappointment the people of this nation have proved inherently good, industrious tolerant, patient and generous.

The past years have witnessed huge flows of oil revenues. From 2010 average oil prices were $100 per barrel. But economic and security conditions were deteriorating. We campaigned and won the election on the platform of restoring security, tackling corruption and restructuring the economy. On our arrival, the oil price had collapsed to as low as $30 per barrel and we found nothing had been kept for the rainy day. Oil prices have been declining since 2014 but due to the neglect of the past, the country was not equipped to halt the economy from declining.

The infrastructure, notably rail, power, roads were in a decrepit state. All the four refineries were in a state of disrepair, the pipelines and depots neglected.

Huge debts owed to contractors and suppliers had accumulated. Twenty-seven states could not pay salaries for months. In the north-east, Boko Haram had captured 14 local governments, driven the local authorities out, hoisted their flags. Elsewhere, insecurity was palpable; corruption and impunity were the order of the day. In short, we inherited a state near collapse.

On the economic front, all oil dependent countries, Nigeria included, have been struggling since the drop in prices. Many oil rich states have had to take tough decisions similar to what we are doing. The world, Nigeria included has been dealing with the effects of three significant and simultaneous global shocks starting in 2014:
A 70% drop in oil prices.
Global growth slowdown.
Normalization of monetary policy by the United States federal reserve.

Our problems as a government are like that of a farmer who in a good season harvests ten bags of produce. The proceeds enable him to get by for rest of the year. However, this year he could only manage 3 bags from his farm. He must now think of other ways to make ends meet.

From day one, we purposely set out to correct our condition, to change Nigeria. We reinforced and galvanized our armed forces with new leadership and resources. We marshaled our neighbours in a joint task force to tackle and defeat Boko Haram. By the end of December 2015, all but pockets and remnants had been routed by our gallant armed forces. Our immediate focus is for a gradual and safe return of internally displaced persons in safety and dignity and for the resumption of normalcy in the lives of people living in these areas.

EFCC was given the freedom to pursue corrupt officials and the judiciary was alerted on what Nigerians expect of them in the fight against corruption. On the economy, in particular foreign exchange and fuel shortages, our plan is to save foreign exchange by fast tracking repair of the refineries and producing most of our fuel requirements at home. And by growing more food in Nigeria, mainly rice, wheat and sugar we will save billions of dollars in foreign exchange and drastically reduce our food import bill.

We resolved to keep the Naira steady, as in the past, devaluation had done dreadful harm to the Nigerian economy. Furthermore, I supported the monetary authority’s decision to ensure alignment between monetary policy and fiscal policy. We shall keep a close look on how the recent measures affect the Naira and the economy. But we cannot get away from the fact that a strong currency is predicated on a strong economy. And a strong economy pre-supposes an industrial productive base and a steady export market. The measures we must take, may lead to hardships. The problems Nigerians have faced over the last year have been many and varied. But the real challenge for this government has been reconstructing the spine of the Nigerian state. The last twelve months have been spent collaborating with all arms of government to revive our institutions so that they are more efficient and fit for purpose:
That means a bureaucracy better able to develop and deliver policy
That means an independent judiciary, above suspicion and able to defend citizen’s rights and dispense justice equitably.
That means a legislature that actually legislates effectively and
Above all; that means political parties and politicians committed to serving the nigerian people rather than themselves.

These are the pillars of the state on which democracy can take root and thrive. But only if they are strong and incorruptible. Accordingly, we are working very hard to introduce some vital structural reforms in the way we conduct government business and lay a solid foundation on which we can build enduring change.

An important first step has been to get our housekeeping right. So we have reduced the extravagant spending of the past. We started boldly with the treasury single account, stopping the leakages in public expenditure.

We then identified forty-three thousand ghost workers through the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information system. That represents pay packets totalling N4.2 billion stolen every month. In addition, we will save Twenty-Three Billion Naira per annum from official travelling and sitting allowances alone.

Furthermore, the efficiency unit will cut costs and eliminate duplications in ministries and departments. Every little saving helps. The reduction in the number of ministries and work on restructuring and rationalization of the MDAs is well underway. When this work is complete we will have a leaner, more efficient public service that is fit for the purpose of changing nigeria for the good and for good.

As well as making savings, we have changed the way public money is spent. In all my years as a public servant, I have never come across the practice of padding budgets. I am glad to tell you now we not only have a budget, but more importantly, we have a budget process that is more transparent, more inclusive and more closely tied to our development priorities than in the recent past. 30% of the expenditure in this budget is devoted to capital items. Furthermore, we are projecting non-oil revenues to surpass proceeds from oil. Some critics have described the budget exercise as clumsy. Perhaps. But it was an example of consensus building, which is integral to democratic government. In the end we resolved our differences.

We have, therefore, delivered significant milestones on security, corruption and the economy. In respect of the economy, I would like to directly address you on the very painful but inevitable decisions we had to make in the last few weeks specifically on the pump price of fuel and the more flexible exchange rate policy announced by the central bank. It is even more painful for me that a major producer of crude oil with four refineries that once exported refined products is today having to import all of its domestic needs. This is what corruption and mismanagement has done to us and that is why we must fight these ills.

As part of the foundation of the new economy we have had to reform how fuel prices had traditionally been fixed. This step was taken only after protracted consideration of its pros and cons. After comprehensive investigation my advisers and I concluded that the mechanism was unsustainable.

We are also engaged in making recoveries of stolen assets some of which are in different jurisdictions. The processes of recovery can be tedious and time consuming, but today I can confirm that thus far: significant amount of assets have been recovered. A considerable portion of these are at different stages of recovery. Full details of the status and categories of the assets will now be published by the Ministry of Information and updated periodically. When forfeiture formalities are completed these monies will be credited to the treasury and be openly and transparently used in funding developmental projects and the public will be informed.

On the Niger Delta, we are committed to implementing the United Nations Environment Programme report and are advancing clean-up operations. I believe the way forward is to take a sustainable approach to address the issues that affect the delta communities. Re-engineering the amnesty programmes is an example of this. The recent spate of attacks by militants disrupting oil and power installations will not distract us from engaging leaders in the region in addressing Niger Delta problems. If the militants and vandals are testing our resolve, they are much mistaken. We shall apprehend the perpetrators and their sponsors and bring them to justice.

The policy measures and actions taken so far are not to be seen as some experiment in governance. We are fully aware that those vested interests who have held Nigeria back for so long will not give up without a fight. They will sow divisions, sponsor vile press criticisms at home and abroad, incite the public in an effort to create chaos rather than relinquish the vice-like grip they have held on Nigeria.

The economic misfortune we are experiencing in the shape of very low oil prices has provided us with an opportunity to restructure our economy and diversify. We are in the process of promoting agriculture, livestocks, exploiting our solid mineral resources and expanding our industrial and manufacturing base. That way, we will import less and make the social investments necessary to allow us to produce a large and skilled workforce.

Central Bank of Nigeria will offer more fiscal incentives for business that prove capable of manufacturing products that are internationally competitive. We remain committed to reforming the regulatory framework, for investors by improving the ease of doing business in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, the first steps along the path of self-sufficiency in rice, wheat and sugar – big users of our scarce foreign exchange – have been taken. The Labour Intensive Farming Enterprise will boost the economy and ensure inclusive growth in long neglected communities. Special intervention funds through the Bank of Agriculture will provide targeted support. Concerns remain about rising cost of foods such as maize, rice, millet, beans and gari. Farmers tell me that they are worried about the cost of fertilizers, pesticides and the absence of extension services. The federal and state governments are on the same page in tackling these hurdles in our efforts at increased food production and ultimately food security.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation for the increasing role that our women are playing in revitalizing the agricultural sector. Modern farming is still hard and heavy work and I salute our Nigerian women in sharing this burden. In this respect I am very pleased to announce that the government will shortly be launching the national women’s empowerment fund, which I have approved to provide N1.6 billion in micro-finance loans to women across the nation to assist in rehabilitating the economies of rural communities, particularly those impacted by the insurgency and conflict.

With respect to solid minerals, the minister has produced a roadmap where we will work closely with the world bank and major international investors to ensure through best practices and due diligence that we choose the right partners. Illegal mining remains a problem and we have set up a special security team to protect our assets. Special measures will be in place to protect miners in their work environment.

For too long, ours has been a society that neglects the poor and victimizes the weak. A society that promotes profit and growth over development and freedom. A society that fails to recognize that, to quote the distinguished economist Amartya Sen “ poverty is not just lack of money. It is not having the capability to realize one’s full potential as a human being.”

So, today, I am happy to formally launch, by far the most ambitious social protection programme in our history. A programme that both seeks to start the process of lifting many from poverty, while at the same time creating the opportunity for people to fend for themselves. In this regard, Five Hundred Billion Naira has been appropriated in the 2016 budget for social intervention programmes in five key areas. We are committed to providing job creation opportunities for five hundred thousand teachers and one hundred thousand artisans across the nation. 5.5 million children are to be provided with nutritious meals through our school feeding programme to improve learning outcomes, as well as enrolment and completion rates. The conditional cash transfer scheme will provide financial support for up to one million vulnerable beneficiaries, and complement the enterprise programme – which will target up to one million market women; four hundred and sixty thousand artisans; and two hundred thousand agricultural workers, nationwide. Finally, through the education grant scheme, we will encourage students studying sciences, technology, engineering and maths, and lay a foundation for human capital development for the next generation

I would like to pay a special tribute to our gallant men and women of the armed forces who are in harm’s way so that the rest of us can live and go about our business in safety. Their work is almost done. The nation owes them a debt of gratitude.

Abroad, we want to assure our neighbours, friends and development partners that Nigeria is firmly committed to democratic principles. We are ready partners in combating terrorism, cyber crimes, control of communicable diseases and protection of the environment. Following on the Paris Agreement, COP 21, we are fully committed to halting and reversing desertification. Elsewhere, we will intensify efforts to tackle erosion, ocean surge, flooding and oil spillage which I referred to earlier by implementing the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report.

We are grateful to the international community notably France, the US, UK and China for their quick response in helping to tackle the recent Ebola outbreak in our sub-region. We also acknowledge the humanity shown by the Italian and German governments in the treatment of boat people, many fleeing from our sub-region because of lack of economic opportunity. We thank all our partners especially several countries in the EU.

We appreciate the valuable work that the UN agencies, particularly UNICEF, ICRC, the World Food Program have been doing. We must also appreciate the World Bank, the Gates Foundation, the Global Fund and Educate A Child of Qatar for the excellent work in our health, education and other sectors.

Fellow citizens let me end on a happy note. To the delight of all, two of the abducted Chibok girls have regained their freedom. During the last one year, not a single day passed without my agonizing about these girls. Our efforts have centred around negotiations to free them safely from their mindless captors. We are still pursuing that course. Their safety is of paramount concern to me and I am sure to most Nigerians. I am very worried about the conditions those still captured might be in. Today I re-affirm our commitment to rescuing our girls. We will never stop until we bring them home safely. As I said before, no girl should be put through the brutality of forced marriage and every Nigerian girl has the right to an education and a life choice.

I thank you and appeal to you to continue supporting the government’s efforts to fix Nigeria.

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Full Text: DAAR Communications Letter Of Apology To Tinubu

Below is the letter of apology accompanied with the terms of settlement written to Bola Tinubu over a documentary.

Retraction and Apology by DAAR Communications Plc to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu

Further to the terms of settlement in Suit No: ID/196GCMW/2015 between Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Daar Communications Plc filed as a result of the broadcast of a documentary titled ‘Lion of Bourdilon’ and which terms were adopted at the High Court of Lagos State on 5th February, 2016 as the judgment of the court, the defendant, Daar Communication Plc, hereby retract and apologise to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as follows:

1. Daar Communications Plc, acknowledges that Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is an outstanding political leader of unblemished character and integrity, as well as a leading public figure and opinion moulder who has made and continues to make immense, colossal and gargantuan contributions to the progress and development of the nation in general. And Lagos State in particular.

2. Daar Communications Plc admits that in airing the said documentary, it had no intention whatsoever to embarrass or diminish the high reputation of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu which it respects and attests to.

3. Daar Communications Plc hereby makes a public and unequivocal retraction of the said documentary titled ‘Lion of Bourdilon’, which was broadcast on its television station, AIT.

4. Daar Communications Plc hereby tenders unreserved apology to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for the broadcast of the documentary on its television station, AIT.

5. Daar Communications Plc prays that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu will live long to make more enormous contributions to the advancement of our nation, Nigeria, Lagos State and the world at large.

AIT Apologises To Tinubu Over ‘Lion Of Bourdillon’ Documentary

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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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Text Of Statement By Radio Biafra Director Nnamdi Kanu Where He Apologised To Buhari, Others

“I unreservedly apologize [for my Buhari remarks] and will be doing so in a private letter to the President.”

Those where the words of ?the leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) and Director of Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu in a statement he made while in the custody of the Department of State Security Services (DSS).

The hand written statement which was obtained exclusively and published by SaharaReporters is reproduced below:

I can confirm that I, Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra worldwide is a legally registered and duly recognized body at the United Nations pursuing the rights of a specific indigenous people, in this case Biafra, to seek self-determination according to the said charter the reason for the formation of the Indigenous People of Biafra is to avail those referring to themselves as Biafrans the opportunity made available as a result of the United Nations Declaration to seek the peaceful re-Birth of Biafra in line with international laws, lack of holistic development in the socio-economic landscape of Nigeria, lack of youth employment, corruption in high offices, and economic repression.

Opportunities no longer existed for the majority of the people, and especially young graduates to find meaningful employment in the job market, general hardship, brutal repression of civil and human rights coupled with system that shuns inward investment contributed to the thinking behind the formation of IPOB.

The People of Biafra all over the world have particular emphasis on those residing in the diaspora it is not advised that those in Nigeria contribute. No contribution is accepted from those in political office or from organizations only individuals belonging to those organizations may choose to contribute if they wish to the volunteer force. IPOB is a group of people who may wish to group themselves together for the purpose of Evangelism or going out to the streets to distribute leaflets and preach the message of lawful existence of Biafra as stipulated in the UN Charter.

There is no armed conflict agitating and any reference to such is purely designed to stop the Nigerian Armed Forces ostensibly the police from coming out and killing innocent people.

IPOB volunteers are modeled on exactly the same tenet as the world renowned Salvation Army Front. Its ambitions are army but it does not carry any weapons. The same thing applies to the volunteers of IPOB. There is no arms training involved. I am the Director of Radio Biafra and solely responsible for the output the (genre?) of Radio Biafra is strictly to capture attention and imagination and not designed to incite anyone to violence.

For very many years the Nigerian state and Nigerians in general have continued to witness poor economic management, fraud, corruption, and mismanagement of every sector of the economy. Therefore, as Radio Biafra programs were designed to wake up the public from their slumber and address the issues of the time, which is youth unemployment, lack of infrastructural provisions, poor electricity, an absence of rural development, and conspicuous absence of respect for human rights.

The area as envisaged as Biafra are predominantly South-East and South-South territories having cultural, linguistic, traditional, and commonality in value system. Reference to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a terrorist, evil, and Paedophile is regrettable and uncalled for and for that I unreservedly apologize and will be doing so in a private letter to the President. Before PMP there was the administration of Goodluck Jonathan I also said some uncomplimentary things about him and Igbo elders as well, which I now recognize should have happened because it is un-African to be rude or insolent to elders. All I was trying to do is draw attention to the problems afflicting society and what society is doing about it.

The areas intended for the Biafran being espoused by Indigenous People of Biafra are Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Anambra, Bayelsa Delta, Edo (but only Igbamke), Kogi (only Igala), and Imo States. The mission statement of Radio Biafra is dedicated to the defences of the rights of the indigenous people of Biafra and ultimately the restoration of the REpublic of Biafra in line with United Nations Declarations on the Rights of Indigenous People

Nnamdi Kanu

23/10/2015

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Full Text Of Governor Elrufai’s State Broadcast On The Shiite-Army Clash In Zaria

Dear People of Kaduna State,

We have witnessed sad events in Zaria and a part of Kaduna metropolis over the last few days. As your Governor, it is my duty to address you on the incidents, and explain the events that preceded the tragedy of last weekend. We shall also outline how we intend to prevent a recurrence.

As you are aware, military operations have taken place in Zaria between Saturday, 12 December and Monday, 14 December 2015. There have been tragic consequences and needless loss of lives, and we extend our condolences to the families that have been affected. In this sombre moment, we have also directed that steps be taken to address the humanitarian fallouts of the operations. The State Government is carrying out after action review of the theatre of operations with a view to compensating those whose vehicles, real property and other assets were damaged as a result.

The Kaduna State Government has been informed that on Saturday, 12 December 2015, the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai, reported an ambush and attempted assassination at a roadblock mounted by members of Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky’s Islamic Movement of Nigeria. Clashes broke out as soldiers mounted operations to repel the attack, remove the obstruction to a major public highway, and to contain and arrest the perpetrators. When the security agencies sent reports of the clash to me a little after 3pm on that day, I initiated steps that I thought could calm the situation. I called Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky on the phone to get his side of the story, and thereafter visited Zaria for on-the-spot briefing and assessment and visited the Chief of Army Staff.

The army and the police have since addressed the press on the security operations and the aftermath. We have also seen video clips aired on national television and online to show the extent to which the Nigerian Army tried to reason with the persons that were intent on obstructing a public highway without any justification. The avoidable weekend tragedy in Zaria has a background based on information available to the Kaduna State Government.

What the Kaduna State Government has learnt
Based on reports from government organs and security agencies, we have learnt the following:
• There had been tension in parts of Zaria since Thursday, 10 December 2015, when members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria were alleged to have attacked Gabari, a community on the outskirts of Zaria, in continuation of a dispute over a mosque. Like the previous attack, this second assault on Gabari also took three lives. The alleged bone of contention was that the El-Zakzaky movement wanted to take over a mosque they did not build in Gabari. The mosque had been sealed by the authorities following the collapse of the arrangements that had enabled various sects to amicably share its usage.

• In the last two weeks, the Islamic Movement of Nigeria has also illegally occupied federal roads. Over a period of four days, they took over one side of the federal expressway between Kaduna and Zaria, and the roads to Kano and Katsina. They entered schools along these routes, using them as rest and recreation points without notice or permission or any concern about the disruption of academic activities.

• The Husainiyah building, the headquarters of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, was put up without statutory title to the land, and in outright defiance of a stop-work notice issued by KASUPDA in 2010. When KASUPDA followed up with a demolition notice in the same year, the then authorities chose to look the other way, and allowed the sect to complete a building that had neither title nor planning approval, and which the appropriate agency had determined was in violation of planning and development regulations.

• The successful completion of this illegal building on a major road subsequently led to a pattern of inconveniences being inflicted on members of the general public. There were various reports and complaints that the sect was harassing members of the public, and inflicting hardship on commuters. At their headquarters and in other areas where Zakzaky’s movement had structures, they had tried to forcibly acquire the property of their neighbours; this is apart from subjecting residents to an illegal curfew.

• Government also received reports that the Islamic Movement of Nigeria acted like a parallel state, with total disdain for the formal structures of the Nigerian government and little regard for the rights of non-members. Whenever community, traditional or political leaders invite the sect to dispute resolution meetings, they often declined the invitations. In addition, members of the movement are alleged to openly carry and use offensive weapons.

• Following the Zaria incident, Shiite members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria have tried to upset the peace in parts of Kaduna. The security forces have responded firmly to the situation in the Tudun Wada area of Kaduna Metropolis. Violent actions by sect members on Tuesday, 15 December 2016, included the use of Molotov cocktails and petrol bombs against the security forces.

Judicial Commission of Inquiry to be established
As the security operations in Zaria are wound-down, the Kaduna State Government is persuaded that it is vital, for reasons of accountability and transparency, that a factual and authoritative account of the events be painstakingly assembled. The Kaduna State Government has therefore decided that under the powers conferred on me by the Tribunals of Inquiry Act, a Judicial Commission of Inquiry will be established to examine the remote and immediate causes of the Zaria incident. This inquiry will be open and will enable all allegations and claims to be tested with judicial rigour. The government will act promptly on the conclusions of the inquiry, and forward recommendations requiring action by the Federal Government to Mr. President. Details of the composition and terms of reference of the judicial commission of inquiry would be made public within the next two weeks.

Commitment to security and constitutional rights
In the meantime, Government reiterates that it cannot permit an escalation of lawlessness. Therefore, civil security patrols, supported by the military when necessary, will continue to enable the state to maintain order, reassure residents and keep the peace. Our government continues to invest heavily in security as a foundation for the successful execution of our economic and social agenda to develop Kaduna State.

Fellow citizens, Kaduna State has witnessed too many upheavals in its recent history. These tragedies have taken too many lives, maimed people, destroyed communities and hurt development. We all should jointly say no to actions that divide people, reject conduct that ignores or violates the legal and constitutional rights of others and oppose practices that contest the prerogatives of state institutions to safeguard and protect every citizen.

Everyone has a fundamental right to their faiths and beliefs, but no one has any right to practise their faith in ways that diminish, distress or inconvenience others. And no one can be allowed to justify unlawful and anti-social behaviour on the grounds of religion. Only conduct that conforms to the Constitution and the laws of the country is valid, and it is the duty of the state to vigorously enforce that. No responsible leader or institution should teach their followers differently.

Henceforth, no person or group, under any guise will be allowed to block any road, obstruct public highways, occupy public facilities or inconvenience citizens in Kaduna State. Anybody that needs to march may do so, but they cannot take over public facilities or disrupt social services and commercial activities in Kaduna State, and any march or procession can be undertaken only with the prior knowledge of, and protection of the police to prevent the breakdown of law and order.

The Government wishes to assure every resident of Kaduna State that it is committed to fostering harmony, maintaining law and order and keeping the peace. Our Constitution rightly protects the freedom of worship, as well as the right to liberty, security and the pursuit of happiness. Everyone is entitled to these rights equally. We swore to uphold the Constitution, and our commitment to these values is unwavering. We will similarly protect these rights evenly.

We urge all citizens to be vigilant as they go about their normal activities, and to report any suspicions or concerns to the appropriate authorities. Let us all redouble our commitment to sustaining the peace, and to uphold each other in our God-given humanity.

While the crisis raged, the Kaduna State Government visited Zaria, and issued appeals for calm and peace. We have taken our time to make this formal broadcast due to the imperative to gather as much information as possible amidst the welter of conflicting claims, the urgency of restoring peace and the need to consult with the federal authorities.

God bless Kaduna State
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria
May the souls of the departed find peace
May the Almighty God Restore and Preserve Peace throughout our state and country, Amen.

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Full Text Of Okonjo Iweala’s Letter Approving Sharing Of Abacha Loot By Dasuki

Details of how former co-ordinating minister of the economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, approved the sharing of Abacha loot by former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd) have emerged.

The details were brought to the fore by an online news platform Premium Times.

In a letter to former President Goodluck Jonathan dated January 20th, the then minister intimated him of a request from the National Security Adviser for the disbursement of funds to acquire weapons to combat Boko Haram. The Minister knew that this request was outside the scope of the law and she disavowed her ministry from having anything to do with the further monitoring of the requested funds upon approval.

“Please find a request by the National Security Adviser (NSA) for the transfer of $300 million and £5.5 million of the recovered Abacha funds to an ONSA [Office of the National Security Adviser] operations account,” the letter read.

“The NSA has explained that this is to enable the purchase of ammunition, security, and other intelligence equipment for the security agencies in order to enable them fully confront the ongoing Boko Haram threat.

“His request is sequel to the meeting you chaired with the committee on the use of recovered funds where the decision was made that recovered Abacha funds would be split 50-50 between urgent security needs to confront Boko Haram and development need (including a portion for the Future Generations window of the Sovereign Wealth Fund).”

“This letter is to seek your approval to borrow these funds, for now, to disburse to the NSA. These funds form part of the projected Federal Government Independent Revenue, to be appropriated, in the light and for accountability, given the peculiar nature of security and intelligence transactions, we would expect the NSA to account to Your Excellency for the utilisation of the funds.”

Late General Sani Abacha is estimated to have stolen $5 billion from Nigeria during his brutal military regime in the mid to late 90’s. Some of the money the ex-dictator stashed abroad was returned after intense lobbying and legal action which commenced during the Obasanjo administration.

Under the Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2007, the President is not allowed to unilaterally approve such expenditure without input from the National Assembly.

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Don’t Depend On Other Nations For Defence Needs – Full text Of Alex Badeh’s Valedictory Speech

needed weapons are very instructive. Again, as I have always said, when a nation is at war, it is not the military alone that is at war, it is the entire nation. Accordingly, every segment of society must see itself contributing to the overall war effort, by presenting a united front against a common enemy.

Therefore, I appeal to the relevant agencies of government to mobilise the huge human and material resources we have in this country towards the development of a vibrant Defence Industrial Complex that would contribute to meeting our critical arms and equipment needs. This is crucial if we must reduce our total dependence on foreign sources of supply for critically needed arms.

That is the only way we can retain our dignity as a nation in order to have freedom of action in international affairs.
Permit me to also add here, that nation’s militaries are equipped and trained in peace time, for the conflicts they expect to confront in the future. Unfortunately that has not been our experience as a nation. Over the years, the military was neglected and underequipped to ensure the survival of certain regimes, while other regimes, based on advice from some foreign nations, deliberately reduced the size of the military and underfunded it. Unfortunately, our past leaders accepted such recommendations without appreciating our peculiarities as a third world military, which does not have the technological advantage that could serve as force multipliers and compensate for reduced strength. Accordingly when faced with the crises in the North East and other parts of the country, the military was overstretched and had to embark on emergency recruitments and trainings, which were not adequate to prepare troops for the kind of situation we found ourselves in.

It is important therefore for the government to decide on the kind of military force it needs, by carrying out a comprehensive review of the nation’s military force structure to determine the size, capability and equipment holding required to effectively defend the nation and provide needed security. This is based on the fact that without security, there cannot be sustainable development. The huge cost that would be required to rebuild the North East and other trouble spots in the country could have been avoided if the military had been adequately equipped and prepared to contain the on going insurgency before it escalated to where it is today.

As I conclude, I want to leave the current leadership and the entire members of the Armed Forces of Nigeria with my very best wishes. Thank you all and God bless.

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