Category Archives: National

President Muhammadu Buhari endorses Ize-Iyamu

Chairman, Caretaker Committee of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Mai Mala Buni, on Friday said that President Muhammadu Buhari has endorsed the governorship candidate of the party in the September 19 elections, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.

Buni, who stated this while briefing State House correspondents after presenting the APC candidate to the President said that Buhari gave his blessings to the candidate.

Pastor Ize-Iyamu at the briefing debunked the allegation that 14 members-elect of the Edo State House of Assembly sat in his house on Thursday to impeach the Speaker of the House and elect a new one.

1. Chairman, Caretaker Committee of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Mai Mala Buni, on Friday said that President Muhammadu Buhari has endorsed the governorship candidate of the party in the September 19 elections, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.

2. Chairman, Caretaker Committee of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Mai Mala Buni, on Friday said that President Muhammadu Buhari has endorsed the governorship candidate of the party in the September 19 elections, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.

3. Chairman, Caretaker Committee of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Mai Mala Buni, on Friday said that President Muhammadu Buhari has endorsed the governorship candidate of the party in the September 19 elections, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.

4. Chairman, Caretaker Committee of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Mai Mala Buni, on Friday said that President Muhammadu Buhari has endorsed the governorship candidate of the party in the September 19 elections, Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu.

He said: “Let me debunk the statement that 17 members of the State House of Assembly sat in my sitting room, it is not true.”

He also said that there was no truth in the insinuations that President Buhari did not want to see him, alleging that it was a falsehood being spread by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

Also speaking, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State described his Edo State counterpart and candidate of the PDP in the September elections, Godwin Obaseki, as a liability to the PDP.

“I can assure you that Governor Obaseki is a liability to the PDP. I can assure you that we are contesting against a governor who failed most woefully.”

Ikpeazu decries absence of federal secretariat in Abia

Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, has made a case for a federal Secretariat in the State.

Governor Ikpeazu stated this during a courtesy visit by Federal Commissioner, representing Abia State at the Federal Character Commission, Mr. Henry Ogbulogo, who was in the State on a working visit. The Governor expressed regrets about the absence of Federal presence in the State adding that Abia is ripe to have a federal secretariat. He called on the Commissioner to join in the clarion call for a federal secretariat in the State, adding that the mere absence of a federal secretariat further points to the absence of federal presence in the State

According to him, despite the fact that Abia is an oil producing State, it cannot boast of having any oil company with an office in Abia. He also pointed out that none of the companies that drill oil in the State resides in Abia but rather prefer to live in another states from where they come to work in Abia and pay their taxes in those other States.

He noted that Abia is one of the most peaceful States devoid of youth restivness and appealed for a change in attitude by the Federal Government. The Governor who noted that the issues raised by the Federal Commissioner including fixing the road that leads to its office in the State as well as compelling the Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to submit their nominal rolls to the Commission, directed such MDAs to avail the Commission all the necessary support.

Earlier in his speech, the Federal Commissioner, Mr Henry Ogbulogo, appealed to the Governor to give the Commission necessary footing in the State as well as compel the State Ministries, Departments and Agencies to make available to the Commission necessary documents and nominal rolls to enable it carry out its job.

Mr. Ogbulogo said the Commission is mandated to monitor compliance to the guidelines and formula for employment. He thanked the State government for providing land for the Secretariat of the Commission and requested that a facelift be given to the road leading to the Commission’s Secretariat in Umuahia

Patrick Eholor leads Abuja Anti-Corruption Protest, as Group Demand Capital Punishment for Corruption

By Ebriku John Friday, Abuja

A group of Nigerian students and activists under the auspices of Joint Action Committee, JAC, Wednesday, embarked on peaceful protest at the popular NICON Junction, in Maitama District of Abuja to demand capital punishment for corrupt public officials including other issues.

The protest which was organised by One Love Foundation, initially was billed to hold at Unity Fountain, opposite Transcorp Hilton, but was stopped by security agents from using the venue.

Speaking on the reasons for their protest, the Founder, One Love Foundation, Chief Patrick Eholor, said Nigerians are indeed taking for a ride and the common patrimony that belongs to them are on daily basis carted away with impunity, and they can no more sit and watch.

He also lamented that worsening insecurity situation in the North East region, which has claimed over 37, 000 lives of innocent Nigerians, therefore called for the resignation and apology of Service Chiefs.

He said: “Our demands include capital punishment for who loot our common patrimony, and this is our first demand. In order to eliminate corruption is to introduce capital punishment because Buhari said if we don’t kill corruption, corruption will kill us.

Founder of One Love Foundation, Chief Patrick Eholor, speaking with journalists

“We are also saying that Nigerian institutions should reverse what they call admittance fee for the sake of the poor people. We are saying the Nigerian Police should be given adequate package to stop the aggression towards us, the Nigerian Customs Service should leave our streets and go to the borders, the Nigerian Immigration Service should stop giving citizenship to Lebanese, Indians and Chinese, and women should get more involved in politics.

“Service Chiefs have done us a disservice. We have lost over 37, 000 people in the North and the statistics are very correct. They should retire and apologise. So we must change the Service Chiefs because they have done us a disservice.

“We call on the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amechi, for putting Nigeria’s sovereignty in danger over his signing of agreements that we just know about.

“We warn that if there is no change we all will become unruly and outlawed.”

He further stated that the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen God’swill Akpabio, mention all names of those who have milked the nation as far as the National Assembly probe on Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, is concerned ., which he aqlso alleged that the NDDC has not funded any project in Edo State, where he hails from.

“I approached my Member House of Representatives, who was allegedly mentioned by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Sen God’swill Akpabio as a contract beneficiary to show me where in the constituency he executed the projects, but he denied categorically, saying Akpabio must be day-dreaming. NDDC has not being funded in my area since 2018. Akpabio must mention to us those with him that milked Nigeria”, he added.

Speaking further, he (Eholor) called for peaceful and fair election in Edo State governorship election.

“My advice the governorship candidates of the two political parties, PDP and APC respectively is to ensure free and fair electoral process and think of the electorates, and who the cap fits should wear it, there is no loser or winner, who wins should be saluted and whoever lose should be embraced”, he said.

However, he said that, “I am not partisan because there have been accusations of god-father left and right. If we say former Chairman of All Progressives Congress, APC, and former Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, was a god-father for instance, the son who is my friend and present Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, benefited from that god-fatherism.
Comrade Sunny Idika speaking during the protest

“So he who has not lived or sin let him cast the first stone. They all have one interest and don’t have interest of the people. We must stop that and people must be educated to go out there and register and truly vote. We must not sacrifice ourselves for these ‘bandits’.”

Meanwhile, other leaders of the protesters, including Nigerian Students and Youth Activist, Comrade Osemudiamen Ogbidi, National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Chapter, Comrade John Michael, and others said President Muhammadu Buhari, should not leave those people who siphoned Nigeria’s money, eaten what belongs to the Nigerian youth and citizens should surely pay heavily for it, and ensure that anybody caught siphoning Nigeria money should be sentenced to death.

“Whether it is any institution or individual to siphon the money that belong to the public by private individuals it is not in the interest of Nigerians to continue to fight corruption that has no effect on the well-being of fellow Nigerians.

“Every day in our lives we have people who are dying because of poverty what has caused it is not more than corruption. We are here as Nigerian students, activists, advocates and conscience that anyone found wanton of corruption should die by corruption. Corruption is now a ‘Nigerian’ living with us but we say no to corruption.

“The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, should provide the N80 billion spent within four months. The NDDC must tell us the N128 million they used to send drivers to driving schools. Where on earth is that done? Today everybody wants to travel to Dubai, but what did it take the people there to establish and develop their country? It was less than N1 billion. We hear billions of Naira budgeted for schools and others and yet our country is retrogressing. We say enough is enough!

“The reason why the Nigerian students have not resumed school is because of corruption. How long are we going to live like this in poverty, Diaspora, suffering, and if there is no change we are going to contain Nigeria”, they alleged.

Buhari, Osinbajo in meeting with security chiefs

President Muhammadu Buhari is currently presiding over a meeting of the security council.

The meeting, which also has Vice-President, Yemi Osibanjo in attendance, is holding inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

All service chiefs and the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, are present.

Others are the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno; heads of the Department of State Services and National Intelligence Agency; Ministers of Justice, Police Affairs, Defence and Interior among others.

The meeting comes hours after the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) bemoaned worsening security situation in Nigeria.

The governors have resolved to meet the President and the service chiefs separately on the matter.

No contract clause cedes Nigeria’s sovereignty to China-Chinese Foreign Ministry

The Chinese Foreign Ministry, on Monday, denied that China had any clause in its loan contracts ceding Nigeria’s sovereignty to China. Recall that last week members of the House of Representatives claimed they had uncovered clauses in a loan obtained by Nigeria from China that conceded Nigeria’s sovereignty to China.

But the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, had said he was ashamed that people can’t understand that the clause ‘waiving sovereignty’ in China’s loan agreement with Nigeria is only a contract term, a sovereign guarantee that assures payback according to the terms and conditions of any loan.

Amaechi made the clarification while answering questions about the loan controversy on a TV programme. He had also explained that the Nigerian government has the capability to pay back loans collected for the construction of rail projects within the stipulated period of 20 years.

However, explaining the Chinese loan on Monday, its Foreign Ministry, in a statement, said: “We follow a ‘five-no’ approach in our relations with Africa: “No interference in African countries’ pursuit of development paths that fit their national conditions; no interference in African countries’ internal affairs; no imposition of our will on African countries; “No attachment of political strings to assistance to Africa; and no seeking of selfish political gains in investment and financing cooperation with Africa,” the ministry quoted President Xi Jinping, as saying at the FOCAC Beijing Summit in 2018.

The Foreign Ministry said: “China is committed to enhancing investment and financial cooperation with African countries based on their needs to help them improve infrastructure and extradite socio-economic development.

“By funding infrastructure and other areas that lag behind for short of money, we have helped the relevant countries break bottlenecks, enhance their capacity for independent development, realise social and economic sustainable development, and improve people’s livelihood.

“Such cooperation has delivered tangible benefits to African countries and peoples.

“In the process, China always gives full consideration to debt sustainability and seeks mutually-acceptable proposals through equal and friendly consultations.

“That is the fundamental reason behind the enormous popularity of China-Africa cooperation in Africa.”

“We did not spend N13bn on school feeding programme – Sadiya Umar Farouq

…Home Grown School feeding was not a sole decision of the ministry

…124,589 households impacted between May 14 and July 6, 2020

…At N4, 200 per take Home Ration the total figure for impacting 124,589 households is N523,273,800
…FG provided funding while states implemented

Abuja- 03/08/20:

The Honourable Minister, Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development has given a comprehensive response to speculations and fake news circulating around sums purportedly spent daily on the provision of take home rations under the modified Home Grown School Feeding programme.

The Honourable Minister made the clarifications while speaking on Monday August 3, 2020 at the press briefing of the Presidential Task Force.

“In recent days, there have been rumours and innuendos and speculations around one of our key interventions; the Home Grown School Feeding Programme which was modified and implemented in two states and the FCT following a March 29th Presidential directive… It is critical at this juncture to provide details that will help puncture the tissue of lies being peddled in the public space.”

The minister then went ahead to explain the rationale behind the modified home grown school feeding programme, the process of engagement and how it was funded.

“The provision of Take Home rations under the modified Home Grown School Feeding Programme was not a SOLE initiative of the federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development. The ministry in obeying the Presidential directive went into consultations with state governments through the Nigeria Governors’ Forum following which it was resolved that Take Home Rations remained the most viable option for feeding children during the lock down. So, it was a joint resolution of the ministry and the state governments to give out Take Home Rations and the stakeholders also resolved that we would start with the FCT, Lagos and Ogun states as pilot cases.

Each Take Home Ration is valued at N4,200 and that figure was not arrived at without proper consultation. It was not invented.

According to statistics from the NBS and CBN, a typical household in Nigeria has 5.6 to 6 members in its household, with 3 to 4 regarded as dependent and so each household is assumed to have 3 children. Now based on the original design of the Home Grown School Feeding Programme long before it was domiciled in the ministry, every child on the programme receives a meal a day. The meal costs N70 per child. When you take 20 school days per month it means a child eats food worth N1,400 per month. 3 children would then eat food worth N4,200 per month. That was how we arrived at the cost of the Take Home Ration.”

Speaking further, Sadiya Umar Farouq, noted that the programme has launched in only two states; Lagos and Ogun plus the FCT.

“In the FCT 29,609 households were impacted; Lagos recorded 37,589 households while Ogun state was 60,391 households making a total of 124,589 households impacted between May 14, 2020 and July 6, 2020. If 124,589 households received Take Home Rations valued at N4,200 the total figure will be N523,273,800. And note this was not spent daily. The FCT commenced first, followed by Lagos before Ogun state. It was not DAILY.”

The Honourable Minister also clarified that she never said “every Nigerian has received palliatives.” “What I said is that every state government in Nigeria has received palliatives for onward distribution to the poorest of the poor in their states.”

While noting that her ministry will not be deterred from fulfilling its mandate, the honourable minister also pointed out that very few government programmes have received “such high level of self-imposed scrutiny” with the EFCC, CCB, ICPC, DSS and a host of NGOs invited to monitor the home grown school feeding programme.

2023: Edo should produce president after Buhari – Edo Indigenes

The umbrella body of Edo indigenes, Edo Indigenous Movement(EIM) /Edo Progressive Indigenes Association (EPIA) has said that the next president of Nigeria should be an Edo person.

EPIA in its argument, wondered why there is so much hullabaloo over Nigeria’s presidency when the Edo people, despite their contributions to national development, have never been considered for the position.

Chief Bishop J.O.E Edokpolo who is the Edo Indigenous leader and president, in a message to journalists at the weekend, said its the turn of Edo State to produce a president.

“In all fairness, Nigeria should be led by a president of Edo extraction in 2023. Given its historical role in Nigeria and as a kingdom that has been seen as one of the most historically civilized class of people in Africa, we feel very marginalized for not having a president from Edo Kingdom. It is our turn and not our fault, Edo is able and capable”, he stated.

Igbos Owns Nigeria Not Fulani, Come to the North and See – Prof. Yusuf

Former Executive Secretary of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Prof Usman Yusuf, has described claims that the Fulani “own” Nigeria as a fallacy and “sentimental nonsense”.

He said that the erroneous narrative was being pushed by unscrupulous elements with a nefarious agenda.

According to him, Fulani people were in the minority in the federal civil service compared to Yoruba and Igbo people.

The Katsina-born professor added that Yoruba and Igbo people were also far richer than their Fulani counterparts.

Yusuf said that there was therefore no justification for claiming that the Fulani own or control Nigeria.

“Which part of Nigeria do they own? Igbo people are richer than Fulani people; Yoruba people are also richer than Fulani people. There are more Igbo and Yoruba in federal civil service than Fulani.

“Does any Fulani own a bank? Does any Fulani own a media house? Does any Fulani own a hotel? All the hotels in Abuja and land are owned by the Igbo. Is Abuja Igbo land? Can Fulani own in the East what Igbo own in the North? No. If you have never been to the North, come and see the landed properties that the Igbo have, which the Fulani do not have and cannot have in Igbo land.

“Whoever that says Fulani man owns Nigeria, let him come and say how. Fulani man occupies Aso Rock, and so what? An Igbo man should come and occupy Aso Rock and give the Fulani all the material wealth he has in the North. That is nonsense.
“Igbo own all the hotels, they own banks, and Yoruba own the newspapers and banks. What do the Fulani own? It is just sentimental nonsense,” Yusuf told Saturday Sun.

Group sues Buhari, Malami, over unpublished details of govt loans

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked the Federal High Court, Abuja to order President Muhammadu Buhari to publish details of loans that have been obtained by the government since May 29, 2015.

These will also include the interest rate, the total amount of debts that have so far been incurred by the government, as well as details of the projects on which the loans have been spent.

Joined as respondents in the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/785/2020 are Mr Abubakar Malami, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice; Ms Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning; and Ms Patience Oniha Director-General of the Debt Management Office.

SERAP is seeking: “an order of mandamus to direct and compel President Buhari to tell Nigerians the names of countries and bodies that have given the loans, specific repayment conditions, and whether any public officers solicited and/or received bribes in the negotiations for any of the loans, and if there is plan to audit the spending of the loans, to resolve any allegations of mismanagement and corruption.”

The body is also asking the court to: “direct and compel President Buhari to tell Nigerians if he would instruct the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to monitor the spending of all loans obtained since May 2015.”

SERAP is arguing that: “Opacity in the spending of loans would continue to have negative impacts on the fundamental interests of citizens. Transparency would ensure that the loans are not diverted to private pockets, increase public trust that these loans would be used to benefit Nigerians, provide good value for money, and reassure Nigeria’s creditors.”

According to SERAP, “This suit is permitted under the Freedom of Information Act, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and the UN Convention against Corruption to which Nigeria is a state party.”

SERAP is also arguing that: “While access to loans can provide indispensable resources, the mismanagement and squandering of any such resources would be counter-productive. Nigerians should no longer be made to repay debts incurred in their name but which have not benefited them in any manner, shape or form.”

The suit followed SERAP’s Freedom of Information (FoI) request dated 30 May, 2020 to President Buhari, expressing “concerns that while governments since 1999 have borrowed money in the name of Nigeria and its citizens, much of the funds have reportedly been mismanaged, stolen or squandered, leaving the citizens with the burden of having to repay these loans.”

The suit filed on behalf of SERAP by its lawyers Kolawole Oluwadare and Adelanke Aremo, read in part: “the massive and growing national debts have continued to have negative impacts on socio-economic development and on Nigerians’ access to public goods and services, including quality education, adequate healthcare, clean water, and regular electricity supply.

“SERAP is praying the court to hold that the interest of the public in publishing the information sought is far greater than any other interest President Buhari may be trying to preserve.

“Transparency and accountability in the spending details of all the loans that have so far been obtained by the government, and those obtained by previous administrations would mean that the loans can help Nigeria to overcome its acute development challenges, and reduce the possibility of mismanagement and corruption.

“SERAP is seeking an order to direct and compel President Buhari to disclose information on details of spending of loans obtained by successive governments since the return of democracy in 1999, list of countries and bodies that have given the loans, and specific conditions of repayment of the loans.

“Obedience to the rule of law by all citizens but more particularly those who publicly took oath of office to protect and preserve the constitution is a desideratum to good governance and respect for the rule of law.

“The Nigeria Government has signed on to the Open Government Partnership [OGP], and the country is a state party to the UN Convention against Corruption and the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption.”

It would be recalled that Buhari recently sought the National Assembly’s approval for a fresh loan of $5.513bn, reportedly to fund the 2020 budget deficit, critical projects, and support some states. The National Assembly also recently approved a N850 billion loan. Another loan of $22.79bn, had previously been approved by the National Assembly.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

CHINESE LOANS: Buhari must apologise to  Nigerians- Atiku Media Office

Former vice-president Atiku Abubakar’s position on Nigeria’s foreign debt has been vindicated and President Buhari must apologise to him and Nigerians.

The Atiku Media Office made the demand in a statement Sunday.

The statement was entitled: Loans: Buhari, APC Owe Nigerians An Apology:

Please Read:

Two months ago, the former Vice President of Nigeria and PDP Presidential candidate in the 2019 election, Atiku Abubakar patriotically called the attention of the country to the reality of reckless borrowing by the present APC administration and how the terms of those loans could compromise the future of the country.

Expectedly, some managers of the party and even the government denied the allegations that he raised and also discount the warning for caution.

But, regrettably, just last week, a cabinet minister confirmed our fears.

Now, we all are aware that Nigeria’s sovereignty may have been traded for foreign loans and God forbids our inability to service those loans, the lender country would take ownership of choice infrastructure on the Nigerian soil. No negotiation could be weaker than that!

Nigeria had a total foreign debt stock of $7.02 billion on May 29, 2015. Today, our foreign debt is $23 billion and rapidly rising. Debt, by itself, is not a bad thing. But debt budgeted for such unproductive ventures, like the proposed $500 million upgrade of the Nigerian Television Authority and other sundry bogus contracts, is debt that leads to death. To trade Nigeria’s sovereignty for this type of profligacy is the height of irresponsibility!

Atiku Abubakar has long advocated for a more robust engagement of the private sector and promotion of foreign direct investment as sustainable alternatives through which government could fund infrastructure development.

But on the contrary, the Nigerian government under the banner of the All Progressives Congress threaded the direction of looking for cheap foreign loans in exchange for the sovereignty for Nigeria.

Recall that former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration initiated a National Privatization Programme with the sole objective of ensuring that the private sector took some measure of influence in social investment portfolio and, in some instances, provided funding for infrastructure development.

There was nothing in that plan that traded Nigeria’s sovereignty for some cheap loans which, in the light of unfolding revelations of sleaze in some departments of government, would have ended in private pockets.

The government of the day and the APC must apologize to Nigerians and make an admittance of guilt for taking the country through the throes of subjugation to another country.