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2019 Election: Why Buhari Is Under Pressure To Run For Second Term – Presidency

Buhari

The Presidency, yesterday, explained why there is pressure from within and outside the country on President Muhammadu Buhari to seek a second term in office.

According to the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, relevant stakeholders recognized President Buhari as possessing the capacity to stabilize the country.

Shehu also informed journalists in Abuja that the President would contest and win next year’s election by a wider margin.

He said: “President Buhari will run in 2019 and he will win. The pressure is even coming from outside the country for him to run because their belief is that there is the need for Buhari’s firm hands to stabilize the country.”

He stated that irrespective of the high level of hatred and fake news being circulated on the social media, what will be in 2019 will be, and “what will happen is that President Muhammadu Buhari would win with a wider margin of ballots than he polled in 2015.”

He said facts on the ground reveal that President Buhari had recorded monumental achievements in the past three years, particularly in infrastructure, security and fight against corruption, such that greater percentage of Nigerians want him back in office for a second term.

“God will continue to fish out bad eggs among us” – President Buhari

Buhari

President Muhammdu Buhari has urged his supporters not to be troubled by the recent defections that have hit the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Buhari on Thursday, August 2, in Bauchi likened defectors from the APC, to bad eggs saying “God will continue to fish out the bad eggs among us” as the country approaches the 2019 general elections, The Punch reports.

The president made the statement when he spoke at the commencement of the campaign rally for the Bauchi south senatorial district bye-elections and the formal presentation of APC candidate, Gumau Yahaya, for the August 11 poll, his special adviser on media and publicity, Femi Adesina said in a release.

The president reassured his supporters that his government will continue to work hard to surpass its campaign promises for a better Nigeria.

He said his administration had remained faithful in implementing its campaign promise of improving the economy, securing the country, and the fight against corruption.

“The work we are doing is because of God, our country and you. I want to inform you that the knowledge we have garnered over the years, we won’t allow you to be cheated,”Buhari said.

‘‘Like we promised, what will determine a good future for the country are security, strong economy and to stop corruption.

“We campaigned on these things, you voted for us and we will never forget.”

The president also urged the people of Bauchi south senatorial district to vote Yahaya in the upcoming election.

I am committed to President Buhari’s re-election in 2019 – Minister of women affairs Mama Taraba

Aisha Alhassan

The minister of women affairs and social development, Aisha Alhassan, said she has not resigned her position as a member of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

Mrs Alhassan disclosed this while speaking in a phone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday.

Mama Taraba is known to be an ally to former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, who is running for the presidency on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party.

“Contrary to insinuations especially in the social media, I only sought for permission from President Muhammdu Buhari to begin consultations.

“This is preparatory to my seeking nomination from our great party the All Progressive Congress (APC) to contest for the office of the governor of Taraba State in 2019, which he has graciously accepted,” she said.

Mrs Alhassan added: “The letter in circulation in the social media does not in any way mean or suggest resignation.

“The letter is straight forward and unambiguous.

“Our esteemed supporters and loyal party men and women in Taraba should please disregard any rumour of my resignation.

“When the time comes for me to resign, I will do so in accordance with the laid down procedure and regulations.’’

Mrs Alhassan said she is presently preoccupied with the task given to her by Mr Buhari as Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development.

“I am also helping in mobilising support for him and the APC for the 2019 election,’’ she said.

President Buhari elected ECOWAS chairman

Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, July 31, emerged the chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

He was elected at the 53rd ordinary session of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government in Lome, Togo.

The president’s personal assistant on new media, Bashir Ahmad, disclosed this in a message posted on his Twitter handle, @BashirAhmaad.

He wrote:

“President Muhammadu Buhari has been elected the new Chairman of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) at the just concluded ECOWAS Summit in Lome, Togo.

“The announcement was made shortly after a closed session of Heads of State of the Commission.”

Bashir Ahmad

@BashirAhmaad

President Muhammadu Buhari has been elected the new Chairman of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) at the just concluded ECOWAS Summit in Lome, Togo.

The announcement was made shortly after a closed session of Heads of State of the Commission.

In his acceptance remarks, the Nigerian leader, who commended his colleagues for his election, noted that he did not offer himself for the post, “but you refused to take my no for an answer.”

He, however, told his fellow leaders that, “I am truly humbled and pledge to serve and work with all of you to deliver on peace, security, good governance and socio-economic development” of the sub-region, and “take our organisation to greater heights.”

President Buhari also commended his immediate predecessor and President of Togo, Faure Gnassingbe, for successfully hosting two important meetings of the Joint Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and ECOWAS as well as the 53rd Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS.

The new chairman had earlier been presented with the emblem of ECOWAS by the outgoing chairman, while the next meeting of the organisation will take place in Abuja on December 21, 2018.

Lagosians came out to welcome President Buhari (See Photos)

Buhari

President Buhari arrived Lagos state today and he received a warm welcome by Lagosians, see photos;

President Buhari President Buhari

Buhari Apologises To Lawmakers Over Row With Aso Rock Guards

President Muhammadu Buhari has tendered an apology to members of the national assembly over a row with security personnel earlier on Thursday.

Led by Senate President Bukola Saraki and Yakubu Dogara, the legislators went to the presidential villa for a meeting with Buhari.

Sources gathered that the meeting was about the 2018 budget. However, they reportedly left the villa in anger after security operatives insisted on screening them.

Buhari later reached out to them but majority of the lawmakers had left the residence of Saraki where they converged after the embarrassing encounter.

Saraki and Dogara returned to Aso Rock and were hosted to a dinner. Abba Kyari, chief of staff to the president, alongside Ita Enang and Sulaiman Kawu, presidential aides, attended the dinner.

Sources learnt that Buhari instructed Kyari to collect the names of all the principal officers of both chambers of the national assembly and ensure tags are issued to them ahead of the meeting rescheduled to Tuesday.

Saraki confirmed to state house correspondents that the issue had been resolved.

Governor Okorocha Criticises President Buhari For The First Time

Okorocha made the allegation in a statement issued by his Senior Special Adviser on Youth Affairs, Kenneth Emelu, during a one-day youth forum, convenned by the National Orientation Agency, NOA, and the state government in Owerri, the Imo state capital.

The Imo governor asserted that the Buhari-led administration has done to little to recognise the youths.

According to him,

 We need a clear format of what the Federal Government can do to sustain the growth of the youths.

“The youths are not happy about what is happening in Nigeria. The youths are saying they are not being carried along in the scheme of things.

“The youths are saying that there is no welfare for them. What I am saying is that the government I represent should try to liaise with these youths so that we can have a clear idea of what the youths want.

“The Federal, state and local governments should listen to the agitations by the youths.

NEWS FLASH! Buhari Arrives Niamey For ECOWAS Meeting

President Muhammadu Buhari has arrived Niamey, the Republic of Niger to participate in a meeting on common currency for the West African sub-region.

The President left Nigeria this morning to attend the meeting which is planned to have in attendance other ECOWAS Task Force Common Currency member countries and he is currently in the meeting.

The special adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina has earlier disclosed in a statement on Monday that “the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun and the Central Bank of Nigeria governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, will also join the President at the meeting.”

Member countries of the ECOWAS Task Force on Common Currency are ‎Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Niger.

More details shortly…

Rochas Okorocha Supports Buhari For 2019, Calls Nnamdi Kanu A “Mad Man”

Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha, has taken a swipe at the leader of the Indigenous people of Biafra, IPOB, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, calling him a mad man.

Rochas Okorocha said this during an interview with the Sun news where he also stated that he would support president Muhammadu Buhari should the President contest in the 2019 Presidential election.

“These young men seeking relevance as a livelihood and to tell you how daft some people can be, any mad man can just rise one day and lead a senseless agitation and he’d get followers.

“Even the way IPOB was handled by the government wasn’t right. I kept telling the government that this young man, Kanu Nnamdi, is inconsequential in the matter- treat him like who he really is.

“But now he’d been given some national attention branding the whole Igbo as IPOB members and it’s the reason for the quit notice some gave our people in the North. The matter is laughable. You cannot imagine me, Rochas being asked by IPOB that let’s go to war and I follow.

“That’s the greatest insult to people of the east. Even if you come today and start a church you name ‘Kill Every Human Being Church’, some people will still join you. There are always people for everything you do. I would have handled it differently.”

“I have so many windows open in 2019 as I wait for Mr. President to make his declaration, I want to be politically relevant and I have made the decision never to watch my country sink”, Okorocha told Sun.

On his support for President Buhari, he stated: “If President Buhari declares to run for the office again in 2019, I will support him, because the man has a character to develop Nigeria. He has a thick skin that we need.

“We have a faulty foundation and I see President Buhari as that man who can build the foundation that we need. But I don’t see him as someone who will build this nation with a fantastic finishing with nice furniture.

“He’s just going to build a solid foundation upon which success and prosperity for the land shall be accomplished. And that’s where people like me would come in.”

News Flash! President Buhari Arrives Turkey (Read)

President Muhammadu Buhari has arrived Turkey, where he will be taking part in the 9th summit of the Developing 8 (D-8) on Friday.

Buhri arrived at the Esenboğa International Airport in Ankara, the country’s capital at about 6:20pm (Nigerian time) on Wednesday.

He was received by Nigeria’s Ambassador to Turkey, as well as the Governor of Ankara and other Turkish government officials.

The Presidency confirmed the arrival in a tweet on its handle.

“Pres @MBuhari arrives Esenboğa Int’l Airport, Ankara, Turkey. Received by Nigeria’s Ambassador to Turkey; Gov of Ankara, and other officials,” the update read.

Buhari Approves Payment Of Pension To Biafra War Veterans (Read Details)

Good news!! The veterans were dismissed from service for their participation in the war which lasted between 1967 and 1970.In a statement on Wednesday, the Pensions Transition Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) announced that payment will commence on Friday, October 20, in Enugu state.

“The general public would recall that Nigeria witnessed an ugly civil war between July 1967 and January 1970 and as a result of that unfortunate period in our history, some members of the armed forces, the Nigeria police and the paramilitary officers who took part with the secessionist were dismissed from the service,” the statement read.

“The dismissal of those officers was commuted to retirement in year 2000 through a presidential amnesty granted on 29th May, 2000 by the administration of the then President Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR.

“A verification exercise was conducted for the pardoned officers by the defunct Police Pension Office and recently PTAD on one hand and the Police Service Commission on the other.

“Despite the presidential pardon and verification of these officers many of them remained unpaid years after the pardon. However, the present administration under the able leadership of president, C-in-C of the armed forces, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has graciously given approval for the payment of pension entitlements to these officers and their next of kin.

“PTAD is commencing the payment of pension benefits to the retired war affected police officers on Friday 20th October, 2017 in Enugu. 162 officers will be payrolled and 57 Next of Kin who have also not been paid their death benefits will be paid in the first batch.”

The development comes at a time when critics have accused Buhari of marginalising the south-east.

‘Buhari Has Fulfilled Campaign Promises To Nigerians’ – Lai Mohammed

Minister of Information and Culture Lai Mohammed says President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has fulfilled its campaign promises to Nigerians.

The minister, in an interview with Vanguard, said the federal government had been able to decimate the dreaded Boko Haram terrorists.

Mohammed added that terrorism is a global threat, saying that life has returned to normal in Borno state, which was hitherto under the siege of the dreaded group.

“I thank God for the privilege of serving as a minister of information and culture. I can see that in under two and a half years, that this government has delivered largely on all its promises,” the minister said.

“I will start with insecurity. When we came in 2015, there were 24 local governments in this country that were under the sovereign control of Boko Haram. Today, as I speak, not one local government is under the control of Boko Haram. Boko Haram has been decapitated. Boko Haram has been thoroughly degraded; they can no longer function as a parallel army as they were doing.”

Speaking further, he said: “for us, it is a triumph that we have been able to subdue Boko Haram, their territorial ambition has been cut short, life has returned to normal in most parts of the Northeast today.”

I Am Satisfied With The Mutually Beneficial Cooperation Between Nigeria And China – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed delight at the mutually beneficial cooperation that exists between Nigeria and China.

In a statement on Saturday, October 14, by his special adviser on media and publicity, Femi Adesina, the president congratulated China for “becoming an indispensable force in the comity of nations.”

The congratulatory message was contained letter Buhari sent to President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China, on the occasion of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC).

The letter read in part: “On behalf of the government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I have the pleasure to send our warmest congratulations to you and through you to all the 2287 delegates and the 89 million party members on the auspicious occasion of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.

“It is my firm belief that the 19th National Congress of CPC will be a new starting point in the history of China, and it will usher in a new period of great accomplishment for your Party and the nation.

“The leadership of CPC is understood to be the defining feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics. China has made remarkable progress under the leadership of CPC and remains an inspiration to developing countries and the whole world. In the past 30 years and more, over 700 million Chinese have been lifted out of poverty, creating a Chinese miracle in the history of poverty reduction.

“As you often say, ‘Empty talk harms the country, while hard work makes it flourish.’ Under the strong and focused leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Your Excellency as its core, the CPC has continuously guided the Chinese people to achieve the Two Centenary Goals and realize the Chinese Dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, while China is becoming an indispensable force in the comity of nations. Indeed, I am satisfied with the mutually beneficial cooperation between Nigeria and China.

“While expecting the delivery of policy guidelines and framework for China’s development and foreign relations in the next 5 years and beyond, and the election of a new CPC Central Committee, we wish the 19th National Congress of the CPC a complete success.”

He made the comment during a press briefing with his Nigerian counterpart, Geoffrey Onyeama, adding that this money was in addition to $22 billion projects already invested.

Revealed: Every Nigerian President Since 1999 Has Been Accidental

A former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ghali Umar Na’Abba, has stated that every leader Nigeria has had since the transition from military rule has been an accidental one.

Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Yar’Adua, Goodluck Jonathan and Buhari have all taken on Nigeria’s highest office in this time.

He was speaking at the 2016/2017 Matriculation and Fellowship Endowment ceremony of National Institute for Legislative Studies, NILS, in Abuja,

He rued Nigeria’s leadership recruitment process and blamed it for the accidental leadership problem in the country.

According to Na’Abba,

 Circumstances at hand or situations on ground have, to a large extent, overdetermined who and who was elected into office in Nigeria as President since 1999, against level of preparedness on the part of the leaders in terms of clear vision and programmes obtainable in most democracies of the world, culminating in accidental leadership for the country.

“I believe that not just the legislature, but every arm of government serving the purpose of governance, must invest in exposing democracy to the people.

“It is a sad commentary on our political life that today, recruitment into leadership has been subverted by a few politicians because they deny Nigerians opportunity to contest elections and achieve their aspirations through the systematic appropriation of political parties to themselves.

“These politicians have stopped the growth of democracy. And it is true that unless democracy is allowed to grow, we cannot achieve the desired political growth, we cannot achieve the desired economic growth and we can also not achieve the desired social growth in our country.

“That is why we are still in political, economic and social doldrums. We have been having successive accidental leaders since 1999.

“We have been advocating that tutorials must be taking place on a continuous basis for stakeholders in democracy, from the local governments to the states. 

Fani-Kayode Blast Buhari For Telling World Bank To Focus On The North

Recall, World bank president, Jim Yong Kim had disclosed;

You know, in my very first meeting with President Buhari he said specifically that he would like us to shift our focus to the northern region of Nigeria and we’ve done that.

Now, it has been very difficult. The work there has been very difficult.

Now, Former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, has taken to social media to blast President Muhammadu Buhari, following the news that he told the World Bank president, Kim Yong Jim, to focus on Northern Nigeria.

Fani-Kayode, expressed his criticism in a series of tweets on Friday morning

He alleged that Buhari regards Nigerians from the South and Middle Belt regions as “low-lifes, vassals and slaves”.

Fani-Kayode’s tweeted;

President of the World Bank, Kim Yong Jim, has said that @MBuhari told him to concentrate their efforts on northern Nigeria.

Why am I not surprised? After all as far as @MBuhari is concerned southern Nigerians and Middle Belters are nothing but low-lifes, vassals and slaves.

Focus On Northern Nigeria: President Buhari Confirms World Bank’s Statement

President of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, in a press conference yesterday disclosed (Here) that when he first met President Buhari, he told him to focus the developmental plans the bank has for Nigeria to the Northern region only.

Read here.President Buhari in a series of tweets this afternoon, said that he’s always made the Northeast his priority even when he was campaigning in 2015.

Anambra Elections: President Buhari Meets APC Candidate, Tony Nwoye

President Muhammadu Buhari today, received Hon. Tony Nwoye, the Anambra State APC Gubernatorial Candidate and Bauchi State Governor H.E. Mohammed A. Abubakar at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

See photos below;

Buhari Told Us To Provide Help Only To Nothern Part Of Nigeria – World Bank President

The president of World bank Jim Yong Kim has made it public that buhari ordered him to focus on rendering help to the North Nigeria Only.

Kim and the Managing Director, International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde,gave the president a candid advise to also invest in things that would enhance economic growth.

Kim said:-

You know, in my very first meeting with President Buhari he said specifically that he would like us to shift our focus to the northern region of Nigeria and we’ve done that. Now, it has been very difficult. The work there has been very difficult.

“I think Nigeria, of course, has suffered from the dropping oil prices. I think things are just now getting better.

But the conversation we need to have with Nigeria, I think, is in many ways related to the theme that I brought to the table just this past week, which is an investment in human capital.

The percentage of the Gross Domestic Product that Nigeria spends on healthcare is less than one percent.”

He added, “Despite that, there is so much turbulence in the northern part of the country, and there is the hit that was taken from the drop in the oil prices. Nigeria has to think ahead and invest in its people.

Investing in the things that will allow Nigeria to be a thriving, rapidly growing economy in the future is what the country has to focus on right now.”

Kim also said, “Focusing on the northern part of Nigeria, we hope that as commodity prices stabilise and oil prices come back up, the economy will grow a bit more.

But very, very much important is the need to focus on what the drivers of growth in the future will be.”

According to the World Bank boss, the bank will invest in human capital in other parts of Africa in order to prepare the continent for the next phase of growth.

Lagarde, in her remarks, said Sub-Saharan African countries, including Nigeria, had posted suboptimal growth in recent times.

The growth figures, she said, were far too small considering the huge demographic potential of Nigeria and other countries in the region.

As a result, she said the IMF would be engaging ministers of finance and central bank governors from the region attending the annual World Bank and IMF meetings on how they could boost and stabilise economic growth.

Lagarde said, “The Sub-Saharan Africa is one region of the world where growth is suboptimal. Those countries grow at an average growth of 2.5 percent. That is too low for the demographic expansion of the region.

Ibe Kachikwu Meets President Buhari Over ‘Explosive’ Letter On NNPC Crisis

President Buhari is meeting Ibe Kachikwu few days after a memo sent by the minister to the president on NNPC boss’ alleged corruption was leaked to the media.

The Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, will meet President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa today (Thursday) at 11:30 a.m.

The meeting is coming two days after a memo sent by the minister to the president, complaining about insubordination and alleged corruption by the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Maikanti Baru, was leaked to the media.

The minister is expected to further discuss the allegations with the president at Thursday’s meeting.

The meeting between the president and Kachikwu is expected to focus on the content of his memo which could instigate the probing of Baru.

A source close to the presidency who spoke on the issue said: “The President will have a fact-finding session with Kachikwu on some of the claims in his August 30 memo.The President and cabinet members were shocked by the issues raised by the minister.

“This audience is already in the schedule of the President today. Kachikwu will have the opportunity to explain what went wrong in the NNPC and the insubordination of the GMD.

“For instance, the issue of lack of access to the President and sidelining him are really strange. Buhari wants to go into the details.”

“President Buhari does not condone indiscipline. There is a high probability that some of the allegations were not brought to his notice.

“The real questions are: Why did GMD Baru sideline his supervising Minister? How did Baru get approval for the contracts? Could he have misled the government with a cover-up memo? Did anybody or group take advantage of the President’s medical trip?

“The presidency may probe these allegations against Baru.

“The Presidency will certainly not spare the rod and the President is determined to get to the root of the $25billion contracts.”

President Buhari Looking Healthier

President Muhammadu Buhari was pictured looking much better as he presided over the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in State House today. See more photos below…

Buhari Should Dialogue With Respectable Igbo Leaders, Not Kanu – APC Chief

Tunde Ajibulu, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Wednesday said President Muhammadu Buhari should dialogue with respectable leaders in the South East to find a lasting solution to the current agitation in the region.

He however disagreed with those asking the president to dialogue with Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) saying Kanu who is currently in hiding after the Operation Python Dance exercise in Abia state is a lily-livered charlatan and opportunist.

It will be recalled that former President Olusegun Obasanjohad advised President Buhari to dialogue with Kanu.

The former president in an interview with the Newsweek Magazine, had said there is nothing wrong in having a discussion with the aggrieved group.

According to him : “I don’t see anything wrong in that [Buhari meeting with Kanu]. I would not object to that; if anything, I would encourage it. “I would want to meet Kanu myself and talk to people like him, people of his age, [and ask:] ‘What are your worries?’ Not only from the southeast but from all parts of Nigeria.”

However, many Nigerians said it is hypocritical of Obasanjo to call for dialogue, a measure he didn’t take during his tenure as President especially as regards Odi in Bayelsa and Zaki Biam in Benue state.

Ajibulu, who spoke in an interview with sources, said “Desperate times calls for desperate measures. These are real desperate times, we must crush charlatans attempting to destabilise and sow division in our country”.

“With all due respect to President Obasanjo, I believe he is right to an extent. I think President Buhari has to dialogue but that must be done with respected and distinguished people in Igbo land; not with riff raffs like Kanu.

Who is he? What is he? What are his antecedents? He is a lily livered charlatan and opportunist who has started showing his true colours” he said.

President Buhari Leaves New York For London Today

President Muhammadu Buhari has departed New York, where he attended the 72nd UN General Assembly, for the United Kingdom.

Mr. Buhari was in New York to join other world leaders for the one week UNGA high-level events that started on Tuesday,

He was accompanied by Governors Abdul’aziz Yari, David Umahi and Rotimi Akeredolu of Zamfara, Ebonyi and Ondo states respectively.

Presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, did however not say whether Mr. Buhari was going back to the U.K to resume medical treatment.

Buhari Presidential Ambition Speculative – APC

Even though some persons and groups have started campaigning for the President, Muhammadu Buhari to run in 2019, the ruling party has stated that Buhari’s Presidential ambition is speculative.

According to the APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, the Presidential ‎ambition of President Buhari is speculative and the party would not respond to such issue.

Since the return of President Buhari from his medical trip in London, many groups and some persons have started campaigning for him as APC presidential candidate in 2019.

It would be recalled that the New Telegraph had reported that since Buhari came back from his medical trip, some APC chieftains hitherto warming up for Presidential ambition have buried their ambitions.

Such persons were alleged to be former vice President, Atiku Abubakar, former governor of Kano State, Senator Rabiu Kwakwanso, governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, governor of Borno State, Alhaji Kazzim Shettima and Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki.

They had already started forming political alliances with some Southern politicians.

But speaking on President Buhari’s ambition for 2019, APC spokesperson said the party would not comment on such issue since it was speculative.

Abdullahi maintained that the President had not told anybody that he would be contesting for the 2019 Presidential election.

According to him, it is only when the President indicates an interest for the 2019 President ticket of APC, that the party would know if it would support him or not.

Asked if APC would support the Presidential ambition of President Buhari in 2019, Abdullahi said, “that is speculative.

“We can’t be reacting on speculative issues. It is only when the President indicates interest to run for 2019 that the party would speak on whether to support him or not.

How PDP Caused Buhari’s Illness

The monumental corruption occasioned on Nigeria during the tenure of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ]was what caused President Muhammed Buhari’s illness.

According to Chief Modestus Umenzekwe, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, the N11 trillion stolen from the power sector alone is enough to make an anti-corruption crusader unwell.

Umenzekwe, in a statement said the visit of the Presidential Media Team to the President in London, earlier this month, exposed the lies fed to Nigerians by critics about his health and the economy.

The statement reads: “The visit exposed the opposition and their cohorts of the kind of thoughts that ruled Nigerians for 16 years. President Buhari’s ill health was caused the monumental heap of corruption that he met when he assumed duty.

“In the power sector alone over N11 trillion was spent and yet nothing to show for it. What the APC government met under power is enough to give Buhari ill health.

“Look at the findings in the Ministry of Petroleum where someone accumulated wealth of over three nations put together. What about bad road. Today the entire Apapa, in Lagos is being closed down for one year for full road reconstruction.

“The road network is in shamble up to Tincan Island Ports. That is why the pressure from those calling for restructuring of Nigeria is on the rise.

“When people are talking about change, I laugh because the true meaning of change is nothing but creating a very congenial atmosphere in the state administration. What has Buhari inherited from his predecessors, nothing. Where is Nigerian Airways, Nigerian National Shipping Line, National Electric Power Authority. Most of these were fraudulently privatized. What are the benefits the nation derived from such privatization?

“What has happened to the old National Assembly Complex at Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos, the National Stadium, Tafawa Balewa Square, The National Arts Theatre, The Nigerian Telecommunication (NITEL). They have all gone into oblivion. They are either sold away or completely abandoned to decay. They are now gathering to takeover governance in 2019 when we are yet to clean the mess they made. They are all dreamers.”

BREAKING News: President Buhari Meets With PDP And APC Leaders In Aso Rock

President Muhammadu Buhari is meeting with the opposition PDP and the ruling APC eaders at the State House, Abuja.

According to a video posted on Twitter by the official handle of the presidency (@NGRpresident), President Muhammadu Buhari is currently meeting with leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Chairman of the PDP Caretaker committee, Ahmed Makarfi, and other party leader leaders, were captured on camera as they arrived for the meeting.

The details of the high profile meeting is no available as at the time of filing this report. Naijaloaded will be bringing you more details shortly…

“You Have Nothing To Show For 2 Years” – Kaduna Catholic Bishops Blast Buhari, APC

Catholic Bishops in the Kaduna Ecclesiastical Province have attacked the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government over the state of the country’s economy.

The bishops called on the government to adopt viable ways of healing the injuries inflicted on the citizens.

According to the bishops, for more than two years after taking over government, the All Progressives Congress, APC, had not brought measurable improvement on the welfare of Nigerians.

They noted that “The APC-led government did not take advantage of the opportunities that our last elections presented us. Our people entrusted them with their hopes and voted across religion and region.”

This is part of a communique signed and made available to reporters by the Chairman of the Province, Archbishop Mathew Ndagoso, and Secretary, Bishop John Niyiring, after its second plenary meeting in Minna.

The bishops said, “We are saddened by the fact that after over two years, there are still no measurable changes in the welfare of our people. The recession has not abated, the lives of ordinary people continue to hang in a balance as insecurity ravages the land.

The party in power remains riddled in internal infighting and has thus lost a sense of moral direction and urgency.

“Sadly, very little has happened to assure Nigerians that they have a stake in their own country .

“We cannot successfully go into the next (2019 ) election circle in this state siege.

“Military presence cannot provide peace for our people, only a responsible leadership with a sense of humility and respect can provide the space for our people to rebuild their lives.

Businesses are closing down, abandoned projects litter everywhere, retired pensioners still wait in vain for their pensions, workers’ salaries remain unpaid, health facilities and public services continue to deteriorate and life remains hazardous for citizens.

“The nation can now feel the accumulated impact of this frustration in the agitations among the various groups.

“We call on our political officials to make hay while there is still a little shadow of sunshine . Perhaps more than any single group, the youth did more to bring this government to power, but they have become its victims. Sadly, very sadly, the lot of our youths has not changed.

Unemployment still looms, a culture of strikes still endangers the future education of many young people. With the young people making up well over 50 per cent of our population, we are sitting on a keg of gunpowder.

“Resolving the problems through dialogue, our politicians continue to treat the victims as aggressors.

“We appeal to our people to work assiduously through dialogue and just compromises to resolve perceived imbalances and structural deficiencies in the system.”

Presidential Jet Departs UK For Nigeria As President Buhari Returns Today (Photo & Video)

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari is returning to the country today, after receiving medical attention in London.

The President had left the country on May 7, this year, after handing over power to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who has functioned as Acting President since then.

President Buhari is expected to speak to Nigerians in a broadcast by 7 a.m on Monday, August 21, 2017, according to Femi Adesina, the President’s media adviser.

Adesina said Buhari thanked all Nigerians who have prayed ceaselessly for his recovery and well-being since the beginning of the health challenge in January this year.

Watch video Below

Pastor Adeboye Visits President Buhari Today At The Abuja House, London (See Photos)

Pastor Enoch A Adeboye on a courtesy visit to President Mohammed Buhari today 18th August, 2017 at the Abuja House, London, United Kingdom.

He will be ministering tonight at a special program of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, U.K

President Buhari Promises To Resign If He Fails To Recover Soon

President Muhammadu Buhari has given a timeline that he may resign by a specific time if he doesn’t recover from his undisclosed illness.

Buhari left Nigeria for London on May 7 to attend to his failing health and since then, his deputy, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has been acting in his stead.

Speaking with INDEPENDENT on Tuesday, a credible source in the presidency said though the president has made immense improvements in the last couple of weeks, he was reported to have told his close aides recently that if he doesn’t recover by a specific date, he will tender his resignation letter.

He, however, failed to disclose the specific date or month given by the president.

He added that contrary to the views by many, the president is not desperate to cling on to power but he is being advised by doctors to continue with the treatment while Acting President Yemi Osinbajo presides over the affairs of the nation.

He also confirmed that though some aides of the president tried to bypass the acting president in order to get to the president, the president directed them to relate with the acting president who is presently in charge of the affairs of the nation.

He attested to the fact that the decision of the president to direct all state matters to the acting president has greatly contributed to the remarkable progress the president has made in the last couple of weeks.

“The president is not desperate to cling on to power if his health cannot carry him. I can tell you authoritatively that he has given a timeline that if he doesn’t recover fully on a specific date, he will file in his resignation letter and if you know President Buhari very well, he meant what he said.

“That is why Nigerians who love the president and his efforts in restoring Nigeria’s lost glory should continue to pray for his quick recovery. It will be to our disservice if he dies as some people are wishing him”, he said.

Another reliable source told INDEPENDENT that when the president was transmitting the second letter of his medical vacation to the leadership of the National Assembly intimating it of his trip to London, he wanted to transmit a letter of resignation but a retired General from Taraba prevailed on him not to do so.

Femi Adesina had said “the length of the president’s stay in London will be determined by the doctors” after transmitting “letters about the trip to the Senate and the House of Representatives, in compliance with Section 145 (1) of the 1999 constitution”.

Also speaking with INDEPENDENT, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, former Minister of Transport and member of the Board of Trustees of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), said it doesn’t serve anybody’s interest if President Buhari resigns. According to him, instead of demanding for the president’s resignation, Nigerians should pray for him to return and do his job.

He said the PDP wants Buhari to recover quickly and seek re-election in 2019, adding that the PDP will trounce the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) if it presents the president as its flagbearer in the 2019 elections.

“I don’t think we should compound Nigeria’s problem by asking for the president’s resignation. First of all, it is not of his own making that he is sick. All of us must have been sick at one time or the other. If we want to help Nigeria succeed, let us pray for him to recover and come back to do his job.

“We in the PDP are not bothered by his resignation at all. We are even praying that he should come back and re-contest in 2019 because we know that we are going to beat him. But it doesn’t serve anybody’s interest to ask him to resign. Those doing so are just wasting their time”, he said.

A pro-democracy group, ‘Concerned Nigerians’, in Abuja on Monday held a rally, where they demanded the immediate resumption or resignation of the president, lamenting that Buhari’s 92-day absence was unacceptable.

The group, which was led by Deji Adeyanju, said it was unfortunate that but for few cabals, the president’s true state of health is unknown to Nigerians who voted him into office, urging that he resigns honourably.

It also launched tirade at the National Assembly, accusing the parliament of complicity in the whole drama for not deeming it necessary to demand a medical inquiry into the true state of health of the president.

In his remarks, Balarabe Musa, a former governor of Kaduna State, said Nigerians should allow the National Assembly decide on the way forward.

“As far as I am concerned, this should be left to the National Assembly because we don’t know the truth. We believe the National Assembly should know the truth and tell Nigerians the truth and what they can do because the constitution has given them the power to act under the present circumstances.

“So, my advice is let us pressure the National Assembly to do what they are required to do in accordance with the constitution”, he said.

Source : Independence

Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby visits President Buhari in London (Photo)

Today, Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby paid a personal visit to President Buhari at the Abuja House, London.

According to a statement by the president’s media aide, Femi Adeshina, the Archbishop and President Buhari are friends, who share deep respect for each other. Archbishop Welby said he was delighted to see the rapid recovery President Buhari has made from his health challenges, noting that it was a testimony to the healing powers of God, and answer to prayers of millions of people round the world.

The cleric pledged to continue praying for both President Buhari and Nigeria.

In his response, the Nigerian President thanked Archbishop Welby, whom he noted had always stood by him at critical times, and wished him God’s continued grace in his spiritual duty of leading the Anglican Communion worldwide.

It will be recalled that when former British Prime Minister, David Cameron described Nigeria as a “fantastically corrupt” country ahead of an anti-corruption summit in London in 2016, Archbishop Welby had retorted: “But this particular President (Buhari) is actually not corrupt.”

The Archbishop later personally received the Nigerian President at Lambeth Palace, London, and had also paid a goodwill visit to President Buhari in March this year, during his medical vacation.

Buhari to visit Germany over Boko Haram, economy 

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The issues of security and economy are expected to take the centre stage as President Muhammadu Buhari begins a three-day official visit to Germany on Thursday.

According to a statement on Wednesday by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the state visit holds between October 13 and 15.

Adesina said in Berlin, the President would confer with Chancellor Angela Merkel on issues of shared interests between Nigeria and Germany.

The issues, he said, included further cooperation on security, the humanitarian situation of Internally Displaced Persons and rehabilitation of the North-East, as well as trade and economic relations between both countries.

He said Buhari who would be accompanied by Governors Kashim Shettima of Borno State, Rochas Okorocha of Imo State and representatives of the National Assembly would thereafter meet with President Joachim Gauck.

The statement read in part, “In furtherance of the administration’s objective to attract more foreign investment and create economic opportunities in the country, President Buhari will participate in a Business Forum in Berlin with leading German companies already active in Nigeria and other prospective investors.

“Before returning to Abuja, the President is expected to meet with representatives of the Nigerian community in Germany.

“President Buhari is committed to deepening relations with Germany and building on the very cordial relations both countries enjoy in several areas of bilateral cooperation including the fight against terrorism, economic relations, rebuilding of the North east, support for IDPs, vocational training, energy partnership and cultural relations.

“Shortly after his inauguration on May 29, 2015, President Buhari, on the invitation of Chancellor Merkel, attended the G7 summit in Elmau, Germany – the trip was his first to a non-African country after his assumption of office.

“From February 8 to 12 this year, President Gauck, accompanied by a delegation of German business community, was on an official visit to Nigeria, where they had fruitful discussions on trade and investments with representatives of government and the private sector in Abuja and Lagos.

Buhari fires 22 top federal officials over budget padding

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22 top federal officials have been sacked over the budget padding scandal

Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari has punished about 22 top federal government officials over the 2016 budget padding scandal.

A total of 184 civil servants were disciplined for their different roles in the padding of the 2016 budget.

This was disclosed in Buhari’s authorised biography, ‘Muhammadu Buhari: The Challenges of Leadership in Nigeria’, written by Prof. John Paden and presented to the public on Monday, October 3.

Paden said 22 top officials out of the 184 were dismissed from service.

He said the president viewed the padding as an attempt to scuttle his administration’s innovations, hence his decision to wield the big stick against the culprits.

The author wrote: “Buhari himself was frustrated by earlier padding of the budget by bureaucrats in some of the ministries. This was interpreted by the Buhari team as an attempt to scuttle the innovations proposed by the President by inflating their costs.

“When Buhari found out, he was reported to be angry and ordered a purge of the ministries involved from the Director-General down. Twenty-two top officials were dismissed, including the budget director. In all, 184 civil servants were disciplined.”

He added that even after the budget had been adjusted downward by the National Assembly, the country would still have to borrow $3.5bn, as a result of the drop in oil prices.

Describing those responsible for the distortion of the budget proposals as entrenched interests, the President had said since he had been holding public offices, he had never heard about budget padding before the incident.

“The culprits will not go unpunished. I have been a military governor, petroleum minister, military Head of State and headed the Petroleum Trust Fund.

“Never had I heard the words budget padding. Our Minister of Budget and National Planning did a great job with his team. The minister became almost half his size during the time, working night and day to get the budget ready, only for some people to pad it,” President Buhari added.

The president reaffirmed his government’s zero tolerance for corruption, saying the war against corruption was a monumental task that he was determined to tackle successfully.

Meanwhile, President Buhari on Tuesday, October 4 sent a draft of the 2017 budget to the Nigerian Senate for approval.

Part of the details of the budget reveals that the plan assumes an oil price of $42.5 per barrel and production of 2.2 million barrels a day, as well as an exchange rate of 290 Naira to the U.S. dollar.

Without Buhari, Nigeria Would Have Packed Up By Now – Segun Oni

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Engr. Segun Oni is a former governor of Ekiti State and now the Deputy National Chairman, (South) of the All Progressives Congress APC. In this interview, he speaks on the current economic recession among other issues.

Some Nigerians have accused the APC of not knowing what to do with the economy. How true is this?

Well, the public is right to expect that we would do magic, but the right thing is, there is no magic way out of the problems on ground for Nigeria.

The economy was trumatized by a government whose only agenda was to win another round. Therefore, everything that they could put into trying to win a second round even bastardising the economy were all done, and we are all here now.

Fortunately for them, I would say they are not there any longer. The reality on ground is that if the previous Government were in power, by now, Nigeria would have virtually packed up; may be many of us would be refugees by now.

So, it is very easy not to remember where we are coming from. Yes, we were elected to do the impossible, we will do our own best. I just want to plead that people should give us more realistic expectations.

This economy must work, we must get Nigeria back, but it is not as quick as anybody could imagine or just by a touch of the hand.

So, people are entitled to their expectations, we as a government, we will do our best to ensure that the end would justify this cause. We were not elected to run Nigeria for one year or two years; we were elected to run Nigeria for four years and before we get to an appreciable length of time I am sure, I am confident that we would begin to see very, very obvious changes.

Nigerians are worried about some obvious inconsistencies in your economic policies. Are you not worried?

You see, there is a difference between extension workers and teachers; teachers would teach in schools and extension workers would work to promote agricultural output.

You see, this would tell you that there is active thinking, and there is an active programme to get people involved. I think what we just need to see is a breakthrough that people would begin to see.

Yes, it has started, it is always like this when you are so overwhelmed that you are trying to make changes.

Impact on people

Yes, we want to bring in teachers, yes we want to bring in extension workers, yes we want to do some other things that would impact on people very quickly.

It is not confusion; it is that we want to do all these, and we will do all those, but it is not going to happen by a snap of the finger. Nigerians should still expect that we will do what we promised we would do. Some of us are still very confident that we will do it. If we have doubts, our confidence level would not be what it is now; it won’t be this high.

What is your take on the claim that the APC lacks experts to manage the economy and hence the current challenges?

Experts to manage the economy? There are experts; there is an economic management team headed by the vice president, and I want to tell you that, yes he is a lawyer, but if there is anything this vice president cannot do about the economy, no other vice president in the history of Nigeria would have made any attempt.

Even an economist?

You see, we should not quickly forget where people are coming from; yes, this is a lawyer, he is a professor of no mean rating, who has done a lot of consultancy work for the World Bank, the African Union (AU) and so on and he has a team that he is heading, it is not a one man team.

I know within there, the economic adviser who is a guy that all of us had known when we were at school as one of the best brains we can find on the terrain which also had a good career in the foreign service.

Look, things would work and I am confident things would work, but yes we are overwhelmed by the high expectations of people right now.

It is normal, but if anybody says because we don’t have people to manage the economy, which team could have managed the economy as it is now better than we are doing.

Is it the team that destroyed it? That brought it down? Look, Nigerians don’t seem to also complain when they were buying dollars as if it was going out of fashion; the legal tender during electioneering and campaign was dollars.

If you were eyeing other people’s currencies at that height, you were making useless your currency, how do you think you will make an overnight recovery? It is not easy.

Nigeria is lucky because only very few countries in the world have gone through the kind of experience we went through, and they would still be talking the way we are talking. Yes, the situation is very bad, but we would get out of it, we would get out of it.

The government claims to have succeeded in technically defeating the Boko Haram, but some bandits seem to have taken over, attacking communities. Can you respond to this?

You see, this personally worries me because these gunmen who suddenly became so notorious invading villages and so on are people that have always been around. But my guess is that many of these are sponsored by people who have so much money and want to create instability.

I believe that many of these have political motives and people who just wanted to trouble the government of the day, who don’t want peace because they believe peace would also not be what they would want to see.

Political motives

I don’t think the security situation is as terrible as it used to, no, it is not. Therefore, as far as security is concerned I would say that we have earned the pass-mark, but we can do better

How would you react to the comments of the president that the Niger Delta militants would get the same treatment as the Boko Haram?

I think it is a warning. You know at times a father would also warn his child not to cross the line so that he would not be hard on such a child. I think it is a warning.

And that warning, let us also see it in good style, let us try and calm nerves down because the president is the president of everybody and it is in his interest and our interest that things must run normal and I believe that such warning, such body language and so on would also have a way of encouraging people who genuinely want to see peace to go after it.

You seem so confident in the ability of your party to deliver on its campaign promises. Can you set a timeframe within which you think these set objectives can be delivered?

Ah, I am not a soothsayer and I don’t like to say what I do not have control over, but I know that things would get better; they would get better.

Buhari makes landmark visit to Oba of Benin

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President Muhammadu Buhari paid a courtesy visit to the palace of the Oba of Benin, Eheneden Erediauwa.

President Muhammadu Buhari at the palace of the Oba of Benin, alongside Governor Adams Oshiomhole.

According to Daily Post, Buhari made the historic visit shortly after his arrival in Edo state for the All Progressives Congress (APC) mega rally on Tuesday, September 6.

During his speech at the rally, Buhari paid tributes to the late Oba, Omo N’Oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo 1, who passed on April 29.

The president described him as a foremost traditional leader with unquestionable integrity, saying: “I have not seen any more forthright traditional ruler.”

Recalling his days with Oba Erediauwa, Buhari said the Oba distinguished himself as an impartial leader, especially during his days as a Federal Permanent Secretary in the early 1980s.

“He was a very courageous King and a visionary leader that will ever be missed,” Buhari said.

In the same vein, President Muhammadu Buhari has assured the Crown Prince of Benin, Prince Ehenede Erediauwa that he will be attending the coronation of the Crown Prince as the substantive Oba of Benin Kingdom, scheduled for September 26th, 2016.

According to the Benin traditional council,the ceremony is billed to take place on September 26th,2016 in Benin City, the Edo state capital.

High profile dignitaries expected at the coronation ceremony includes the Zulu king of South Africa; King of Lesotho; King Muswathi of Swaziland; and King Kabaka of Uganda.

The Edaiken N’Uselu‎ while making his remarks, revealed that the visiting monarchs from Africa would want to pay the President a courtesy visit in Aso Rock and urged him to accept their request and extend presidential audience to the African kings.

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President Buhari who gave the assurance when he paid a courtesy visit to the Crown Prince of Benin, prior to the APC mega rally at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium Benin City, expressed his love for the Benin Kingdom.

In the same vein, Alhaji Aliko Dangote was in the palace of Prince Ehenede Erediauwa to commiserate with him on the demise of the late Oba his father, as well as to congratulate him on his forthcoming coronation as the new Oba of Benin.

The business tycoon promised to bring more investment to Edo state.

He said that with the kind of weather and natural resources in the state, Edo could be made an employment hub for job seekers.

He added that the. state was so blessed and creating jobs would not be a difficult task.

He expressed delight that the prince would be crowned as the new Oba of Benin on September 26, saying that the late Oba served the people of Edo in particular and the country well.

Dangote said: “I have no doubt that with you as the next Oba, Benin will be taken to the next level.

“I also know that your experience as an Ambassador will be brought to bare.”

He assured the monarch of his continued support to the kingdom.

Responding, the crown prince said he was delighted to receive Dangote in his palace.

He gave assurance that he would do all it takes to justify the confidence reposed in him by the people.

He said: “when God gives an assignment, He provides the means and resources by which the assignment will
be accomplished.”

He appealed to Dangote to always represent the state before the Federal Government, noting that “I know you always have a way of attacking any government in power, please always help actualise state’s request before the Federal Government.”

He also appealed to Dangote to help support and promote tourism in the state.

According to him, he has a passion to promote tourism in the state so as to create employment for the unemployed through the establishment of a refinery.

He urged the business mogul to support the initiative to make Gelegele, a coastal community in the state, a Free Trade Zone.

Earlier, Governor Adams Oshiomhole, who accompanied Dangote on the visit, said that the business tycoon was in the palace to commiserate with the royal household, in addition to congratulating the monarch on his forthcoming coronation.

Elders, youths of Niger Delta make demands of Buhari

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* Elders and stakeholders of the Niger Delta region have called on the US to prevail on President Muhammadu Buhari

* The leaders of the region say Buhari’s government might be on the verge of pushing the region into a civil war

* The Ijaw Youth Council has also called on Buhari to put necessary measures in place to address the renewed agitation in the region

The United States has been urged by Niger Delta Stakeholders including traditional rulers from the six coastal states in the region to prevail on President Muhammadu Buhari to open doors for the proposed dialogue with militants to commence.

There are fears that actions by the Buhari-led government might lead to a civil war within the Niger Delta region.

They also tasked the United States government to stop the Federal Government from pushing the region into an imminent civil war over deliberate militarisation of the region, even when the militants had announced a ceasefire for a dialogue.

The stakeholders, under the Chief Edwin Clark-led Pan Niger Delta Stakeholders Dialogue Team, stated this on Tuesday evening when the Deputy Chief of Mission, US Embassy in Nigeria, Mr. David Young, led a team of US officials on a fact-finding mission to Delta state.

The meeting, held at the instance of the US officials, was to find solution to the renewed hostilities in the region where activities of suspected militants had brought down oil production in the country to 30 years low.

The meeting, which was held at the residence of Alaowei Broderick Bozimo in Effurun, Delta state, was attended by leaders from the six coastal states of the region, including Prof Gordini Darah, Chief Isaac Jemide, Ambassador Dele Cole, Chief Richard Enaredei, Chief Vero Tangbowei, Mr. Vincent Oyibode and Austin Ozobo, among others.

Addressing the US delegation on behalf of Clark, Bozimo, said the current situation in the region could not be addressed through military approach, as he urged the Federal Government to respect the ceasefire declared by the militants.

Bozimo, a former police affairs minister, told the delegation that despite the ceasefire announced by the militants to allow for dialogue, the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government had yet to name its dialogue team for the negotiation to commence.

He added that if the Nigerian government was sincere in her proposed dialogue, the government would name which people of the region were deprived and under-developed.

Darah, a professor of Oral Literature, stated that the resurgence of renewed hostilities in the region was principally caused by the Nigerian government‘s refusal to grant the people of the area ownership of their resources.

Darah called on the US government to prevail on the Federal Government to restructure in order to allow for fiscal federalism, as it was being practised in the US.

“The FG should create a window of discussion with our people, now that the militants have announced a ceasefire to enable us to renegotiate. We want to own our resources. So, help us tell the government to do the needful. Fiscal federalism will solve all these many agitations,” Darah further added.

Responding,  Young said  they were in the region on a fact-finding mission. According to him, the US government is committed to negotiating with all groups, noting that the visit was meant to engage the people of the region for peace.

Meanwhile, the Governor of Bayelsa State, Mr. Seriake Dickson, and the US, on Wednesday, called for dialogue in the handling of the Niger Delta crisis.

The call was made when the US government delegation paid a visit to Dickson at the Government House in Yenagoa.

Dickson stated that dialogue, and not military confrontation, was the solution to the Niger Delta crisi.

He said  it had become the government’s official policy to promote and encourage dialogue among all stakeholders.

The governor said: “We believe that issues in the Niger Delta are not such that can be resolved by means of confrontation and show of military strength.

“We believe essentially that these are issues of development, issues of the environment,  issues that ultimately call on all stakeholders – the government, community leaders, corporate executives, particularly oil majors that are operating here, the Federal Government and other agencies to work together to resolve issues and challenges in the Niger Delta.

“Essentially, the Niger Delta crises are issues of development; they are not issues that call for aggression; and they are not issues that call for further militarisation and the use of force.  But these are issues we think we can resolve by working together honestly and sincerely, and following a clear roadmap.”

Dickson, therefore, called for caution in using military operations in resolving the Niger Delta problems.

In a similar vein, the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to put necessary measures in place to address the renewed agitation by the Niger- Avengers in the region, stating that there is a need for Buhari to meet with the Mend Aron team and resolve the issue through peaceful negotiation.

The group in a statement issued yesterday by the President of the group, Elvis Donkemezuo, called for the release of Comrade Daniel Ezekiel, Henry Okah, Charles Okah, and Ijaws youths who were arrested at Oporoza, Gbaramatu Kingdom, under the allegation of being members of Niger Delta Avengers, alongside others in different detention facilities across the country.

The statement also called for the continuity of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) which it stated has produced 40 delegates with First Class degrees in their various fields of study worldwide.

The group further called on the President to implement the UNEP Report on the Clean-up of Ogoni land, adding that there is need for Buhari to study and also implement in full the Leedum Mitee Technical Committee Report on the development of the Niger Delta.

The statement said: “The above among other cogent reasons actually necessitated the said vote of confidence. It is a strategy we adopted to get attention of the government to resolving the Nigerian problem in the Niger Delta. Everybody cannot be throwing bomb at same time.

“A lot of northern groups passed vote of confidence on former President Goodluck Jonathan when he was fighting to destroy the then dreaded Boko Haram insurgents while some equally criticised and condemned the clampdown. IYC should never be seen as enemy of government at this time in the history of the Ijaw nation because it will never be a healthy development.

“Again, we cannot achieve anything meaningful now through antagonism and violence rather we must appreciate the little the present administration is doing to better the lives of Nigerians in the midst of prevalent economic challenges which is not peculiar to only our dear and great country.

“As the umbrella body that shields all Ijaw youths, we believe that the best way to ask for more is to appreciate the daunting challenges the All Progressives Congress (APC) led federal government is facing that need our collective support to overcome rather than celebrate the dwindling economy or see it as act of failure on the side of government.”

 

Tell Me If I Should Change Ministers – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari said yesterday that Nigerians should pass
a verdict on the performance of his appointed officials during the
administration’s first year in office so that he will know if he should
change them.
Asked if Nigerians should expect changes in his team during this
anniversary period Buhari said, “I am waiting for the newspapers to tell
me the performance of my ministers and whether I should make
changes.”
President Buhari explained why his government took off rather slowly.
He said former President Obasanjo, who had experience with hand over
and take over, recalled that in 1999 outgoing Head of State General
Abdulsalami Abubakar made each ministry to prepare handing over
notes and then brief the president-elect, for him to choose what he
wanted out of it.
He said President Goodluck Jonathan agreed to do the same and asked all
his ministers to prepare handing over notes and brief Buhari but they
protested at the last minute that Buhari should not be allowed to take
over the government before he was sworn-in.
As a result, he said no proper transition took place and after his
inauguration he had to take briefings from two ministries a day in order
to make up for lost time.
The president also spoke about budget padding. He said though he had
been in public life since 1975, he never heard of budget padding until
when he saw Minister of Health Prof Isaac Adeoye on television
defending his budget before a National Assembly committee.
Buhari said he was shocked when the minister told the committee that he
could not defend what he did not propose because the budget had been
padded.
He said, “I went [to the National Assembly] and bowed and delivered
[the budget] but I did not know that what I delivered was a shell.
They removed what they wanted and added other things.”
He said when the budget as passed by the National Assembly was
brought to him, he refused to sign it because throughout his life he never
signed anything that he did not understand.
At one point, he said, Minister of Budget and National Planning Udoma
Udo Udoma persuaded him to sign it and he said “I will sign it because I
trust you.”
However, he said before he could sign, Udoma read the budget
thoroughly and rushed back to him and advised him not to sign it unless
amendments were made.

Children’s Day: Read President Buhari’s Message To Every Nigerian Child

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I heartily greet and felicitate with all Nigerian children on the occasion
of this year’s Children’s Day celebration.
I seize the opportunity of this year’s celebration which comes just two
days before the first anniversary of the present administration, to
reassure our children and youth that we remain fully committed to
fulfilling our promise of a better Nigeria for all of our people.
On this happy occasion for our children, I reaffirm my belief that it is the
right of every Nigerian child to have access to quality and affordable
education, as well as healthcare and other basic necessities for a good
life, in a peaceful and secure environment.
The good health and well-being of Nigerian children remain a top
priority on our agenda for national development and we have
demonstrated our strong commitment in this regard with the allocation
of N12.6 billion in the 2016 budget for vaccines and programmes to
prevent childhood killer diseases such as polio, measles and yellow
fever.
Other measures in the 2016 budget, such as the school feeding
programme for children at a cost of N93.1 billion, will ensure that more
children go to school and enjoy the fun of learning and growing together
with their peers.
Despite the current economic and funding challenges facing our dear
nation, my administration will continue to do all within its powers to
achieve better living conditions and greater access to quality healthcare
and education for all our youth.
It is a thing of joy that on this year’s Children’s Day, we can also
celebrate the safe return of one of the Chibok girls, Amina Ali Nkeki and
many other abducted women and children who have been freed from the
clutches of Boko Haram by our gallant troops.
I assure all Nigerians and friends of the country, once again, that my
administration will not rest on its oars until the ungodly terrorist sect is
totally eliminated from our country.
As peace gradually returns to the insurgency-ravaged North-Eastern
States, the Federal Government will continue to work diligently to ensure
the rapid and full reintegration and rehabilitation of all internally
displaced persons, including orphaned children in the region.
We will also sustain and strengthen ongoing actions to protect children
more effectively from violence, child-labour, child-trafficking, forced
marriages and other related offences.
In return, I urge you all to imbibe and exhibit in greater measure, the
virtues of hard work, diligence, discipline, honesty, prudence,
selflessness and patriotism which are essential for the actualisation of
our vision of a truly great nation.
The world now looks up to our dear nation, Nigeria as an exemplary
model of democratic ideals after the smooth transition that brought our
Administration to power.
You, our children and youth have a very significant role to play in
ensuring that our democratic institutions of governance are continuously
nurtured, improved and strengthened to underpin national development
and prosperity.
Remain assured that under my leadership, the Federal Government will
continue to do its best to prepare and equip you to show the world that
with its brilliant, resourceful and resilient people, Nigeria is a country of
incredible potential and opportunity.
I wish you all a Happy Children’s Day celebration.

For Nigeria To Divide Now, It Is Better For All Of Us To Jump Into Sea – Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari vowed, yesterday, in his home state of Katsina, to use all resources at his disposal to crush any agitation for the division of Nigeria.

The president said the country fought a civil war which claimed over two million lives in order to be united.

Buhari, who spoke at the palace of Emir of Katsina also urged Nigerians to be patient with his government as, according to him, the current hardship being experienced, may not be unconnected with efforts at laying a solid foundation for sustainable nation building.

Buhari was in Katsina to attend the state’s economic and investment forum which he will officially declare open this morning.

In a veiled reference to the current separatist agitation for Biafra being promoted by a group, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Buhari warned it would be better for the entire country to commit mass suicide than to allow such campaign succeed.

He referred to the promoters of the agitation as “kids” who were not born during the civil war.

According to Buhari, “today, Nigeria is a strong and united sovereign entity because some people laid down their lives for the country.

At least two million people died during the civil war but, today, some people who were not born during the civil war are agitating for the division of the country. We will not let that happen.

For Nigeria to divide now, it is better for all of us to jump into the sea and get drowned

Speaking on the economy, Buhari regretted the fall of crude oil price in the international market and further noted that, at the inception of his administration on May 29, 2015, the price per barrel of oil crashed to as low as $30, contrary to what was obtainable during the 16 years of the immediate past Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government.

“We will not betray the trust Nigerians reposed in us and we will ensure officials of government also act in the national interest,” the President said.

In his remarks, the Emir, Alhaji Abdulmuminu Kabir Usman, urged the Federal Government to re-introduce boarding schools as well as teacher training colleges as part of efforts at producing quality teachers.

According to him, “teacher training colleges helped to groom quality teachers but these days, half-baked teachers teach in our schools.

“Also, in those days, boarding schools helped to maintain discipline among students and mould them into responsible adults.

Source: SunNews

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