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TANKER EXPLOSION: PRESIDENT BUHARI CONDOLES WITH BENUE PEOPLE


President Muhammadu Buhari condoles with the government and people of Benue State over the tanker explosion that left several people dead in Agatu Local Government Area of the State.
Commiserating with families of the victims, the President said:
”I am worried by the frequency of these tanker explosion incidents on public roads or residential areas. Our road traffic authorities and transportation ministries should urgently address this.”
Noting that public safety should not be compromised under any circumstances, the President calls for strict adherence to safety standards and procedures; and these rules should be enforced without fear or favour.
Garba Shehu
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
April 19, 2021

PRESIDENT BUHARI SYMPATHISES WITH PRESIDENTS DEBY, AL-SISI OVER TRAGIC EVENTS

President Muhammadu Buhari extends heartfelt condolences to President Idriss Deby Itno of Chad in the wake of the ethnic clashes in the South Eastern Region of Salamat that claimed several lives.
“I am shocked and saddened by the incident that shattered decades of relative peace and stability in Chad,” President Buhari said, adding that “ethnic and tribal clashes is a threat to African unity and stability and Nigeria joins the rest of Africa to deplore the latest eruption of violence in Chad.”
Underscoring the need for African leaders and people to manage their diversity with tolerance and understanding, the President notes that “a threat to stability in one part of Africa is a threat to the rest of us.”
According to President Buhari “given Africa’s economic and social challenges, we cannot afford mutual destruction that makes our challenges more complicated.”
Meanwhile, President Buhari also commiserates with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the government and people of Egypt over the train accident in Northern Cairo that killed dozens of people and injured 98 others.
Garba Shehu
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
April 19, 2021

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SANWO-OLU COMMENDS POLICE OFFICER ASSAULTED IN VIRAL VIDEO

PRESS RELEASE


Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has commended ASP Sunday Erhabor, a Police officer attached to the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) of the State Command, who was assaulted by one Victor Ebhomenyen at Four Point by Sheraton Hotel, Oniru last the weekend.

Governor Sanwo-Olu hailed ASP Erhabor for displaying high level of professionalism and calmness by restraining himself from taking laws into his hands, despite being assaulted while trying to arrest Ebhomenyen for driving against the traffic.

The incident that was captured in a viral video on social media last Saturday, Erhabor while trying to arrest Ebhomenyen for driving against the traffic was violently assaulted and inflicted with severe bodily injuries. But the Police officer, who was armed with his official AK 47 rifle, displayed a high level of professionalism despite the fierce provocations.

Speaking at the Lagos House, Ikeja on Monday while receiving ASP Erhabor, Governor Sanwo-Olu said the action of the Police officer is a testimonial and encouragement for other officers to show that they can be civil in the face of provocation or assault from suspected criminals.

He said: “This is our own little response to the very condemnable events that happened over the weekend. We are all very quick to condemn men of the Nigeria Police, especially when they are found wanting. We are always very quick to also admonish them. But the event that we all saw over the weekend showed that indeed there are some very commendable Police officers.

“In the real heat of provocation, ASP Erhabor displayed high quality of restraint. He displayed calmness and restrained himself from taking laws into his hands. And I think for that little gesture, it is important for us to bring him out so that we also can use him as a testimonial and encouragement for other Police officers to show that indeed they can be civil and that Police are meant to protect our citizens. They are meant to also be law abiding and the likes of ASP Sunday Erhabor today can be a source of encouragement to others.

“On behalf of the Government and the entire people of Lagos State through the Commissioner of Police, I want to commend ASP Erhabor for show of patience, decorum and what is expected of a Police officer. And I want to implore other Police officers to see that indeed there are times when you may be provoked, restraint is the word and see it that there are some members of the general public that can be very violent, please restrain and let the normal cause of law take its full course.”

“I want to use this medium to commend him, thank him and give him a Governorship handshake or elbow shake as the case might be as a source of encouragement for him and for the Commander of RRS, Chairman of Task Force, the Chief Security Officer and everybody in our Police formation to use ASP Sunday Erhabor as a good case for others.”

Speaking earlier, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu said ASP Erhabor “in the face of provocation and assault on his person displayed high level of diligent and civil oriented professionalism expected in modern policing as advocated by the present Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba.”

SIGNED
GBOYEGA AKOSILE
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY
APRIL 19, 2021
PRESS RELEASE

LAGOS TO ESTABLISH ANTI-CORRUPTION AGENCY, AS SANWO-OLU SIGNS BILL DEEPENING ACCOUNTABILITY IN GOVERNANCE

•Governor Also Assents To Bill Regulating Lotteries, Online Gaming Services

Lagos State has moved to deepen the culture of accountability and transparency in the expenditure of appropriated public funds, with the signing of a bill by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Monday, establishing an anti-corruption commission in the State.

The Governor assented to Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission Bill of 2021 at a brief ceremony held in Alausa. The legislation, sponsored by the executive arm of the Government, was signed into law days after it was passed by the House of Assembly.

With the legislation coming into force, the anti-corruption commission, which will be formally set up in the coming days by the Governor, is backed by the instrument of law to investigate and prosecute officials of the State Government and registered contractors indicted for economic crimes and financial misappropriation.

Also, Sanwo-Olu assented to the Lagos State Lotteries and Gaming Authority Bill of 2021, initiated by the executive arm to coordinate activities of lotteries agencies operating within the State.

After the signing of the two bills into law, Sanwo-Olu said the action was a testimony to the State Government’s effort towards entrenching accountability in governance and checking malfeasance among officers entrusted with public resources.

He said: “The bill establishing Public Complaints and Anti-Corruption Commission is an important legislation critical to the delivery of quality services to the citizens. When we came in, we had said we would be accountable and responsible in the appropriation of the State’s resources. We want to stand in front of the citizens to give account on how public funds are being spent.

“To give credence to this promise, the executive arm initiated the bill and sent to the Assembly for approval. We believe that this law would not only ensure accountability of public funds, responsibility of public office, but also promote dialogue among public officers to keep the trust of the people in the discharge of their duties in line with transparency. The anti-corruption commission will ensure that all approved activities are implemented in accordance with budgetary allocation.”

Sanwo-Olu said the anti-corruption commission would be independent in its operations and functions, pointing out that the agency would complement efforts of similar agencies in the police and federal establishment.

The Lotteries and Gaming Authority Bill of 2021, the Governor disclosed, is to simplify and incorporate technological innovations in the gaming sector.

The law sought to harmonise five gaming and lottery formats, such as casino, jackpot, pool, lotto and sports betting, thereby regulating the sector and checking fraudulent activities of unregistered game centres within the State.

Sanwo-Olu said the former lottery law of the State did not meet the contemporary needs in the industry, which was why the executive initiated the bill to accommodate technology in regulating the business.

“As a forward-looking Government, we are doing the needful to ensure fair play, regulation and monitoring is brought back into the gaming industry. The law is not in any form to stifle investment, but to offer better platform for lottery companies to enhance equity, transparency and make their investment more rewarding,” the Governor said.

Sanwo-Olu reiterated that his Government’s actions would continue to be taken in a way that would boost confidence of the public and promote accountability in governance.

He thanked the Speaker and members of the Assembly for cooperating with the executive arm and consistently prioritisng executive bills aimed at delivering good governance.

Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN, said the two bills signed by the Governor made it 10th legislation sponsored by the executive and passed by the House of Assembly to strengthen good governance. Twenty-six executive bills, he said, have been initiated since inception of the current administration.

He said: “The anti-corruption commission agency to be established is akin to Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to prosecute misappropriation of public funds in the State. The chairman of the agency will be appointed by Mr. Governor, subject to the ratification of the House of Assembly. If the investigation leads to prima facie case, the offender will be prosecuted in the court.”

Chairman of the House Committee on Finance, Hon. Rotimi Olowo, and his counterpart in Public Complaints and Judiciary, Hon. Victor Akande, attended the event.

SIGNED
GBOYEGA AKOSILE
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY
APRIL 19, 2021

AMAECHI IS A GREAT ACHIEVER – SOUTH-SOUTH LEADERS

Prominent leaders in the South-South geo-political zone on Friday hailed the Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, for demonstrating rare leadership qualities and changing the status of the country’s transportation sector for the better.
‘’Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi has delivered the dividends of democracy to Nigerians. Posterity will place him in the right place and judge him well’’.
They also praised the former Rivers State governor for building bridges of unity across the country and putting in place the necessary machinery for the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the country.
The leaders, cut across ethnic cleavages in the South-South geo-political zone, gave Amaechi kudos for conceiving and articulating policies that stood the test of time.
‘’Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi belongs to a rare breed of high achievers. It is either the best or nothing’’ the leaders stated.
In a statement signed by APC chieftain and chairperson of Progressive Volunteers Group (PVG), Mrs. Ibifuro Tatua, the leaders thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for giving the mission-driven former governor of Rivers State, whose drive and grasp of development issues have made him a significant voice in the country’s quest for socio-economic development, the opportunity to work for unity, stability and overall development of the country.
The statement emphasized Amaechi’s character, inner strength and sterner stuff.
The leaders commended Amaechi for doing his best to improve the lives of Nigerians.
‘’Things are simply getting better in Nigeria’’ the leaders under the auspices of Progressive Volunteers Group, led by Mrs. Ibifuro Tatua, said.
They eulogized the virtues of Amaechi, listing the commissioning of freight services on Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri Rail Line as a major feat he was able to achieve in the country.
‘’Amaechi, a team builder, true Christian and bright-shining icon, is one of the few turn around managers in the country’’.
The leaders urged the people of the South-South geo-political zone and Nigerians in general to cooperate with the Muhammadu Buhari led APC government, foster unity and harmony among themselves.
PRESS STATEMENT
CDWR SUPPORTS JUSUN STRIKE AND MASS PROTEST

WE CALL ON NIGERIANS TO SUPPORT THE STRIKE AND JOIN THE MASS PROTEST

Campaign for Democratic and Workers’ Rights (CDWR) supports the ongoing strike action of Judicial workers as well as the protest planned for Monday April 19, 2021.

Judicial workers under the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) have embarked on nationwide strike action since April 6, 2021 to demand financial autonomy for the judiciary as a step to a better working condition and proper running of the judiciary. The strike action has led to the shutdown of courts and has equally stalled the judicial process. As usual, the state governments and the federal government have failed to respond positively to the demand. The meeting scheduled for Thursday, April 16, 2021 between government and the union to discuss the matter has been recklessly postponed indefinitely by government representatives without any reason. In response to government lackadaisical attitude, the judicial workers are embarking on a mass protest across the country as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on April 19, 2021. We call on the workers to organize more mass actions including mass meetings, protest, rallies, public sensitization, press conferences etc., as a means of sustaining the struggle, mobilizing public support and putting more pressure on the government.

In as much as we support the demand for financial autonomy for the judiciary, we call on the workers and the union to demand adequate funding of the entire justice system and democratic management of funds by elected representatives of workers, Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) and communities. This is the only way funds will be efficiently utilized for the benefits of workers and ordinary people. We make this point because judiciary autonomy does not automatically guarantee adequate funding and efficient management of resources.

Judiciary is not only underfunded, the entire justice system needs an overhaul and adequate funding. Courts and staff are grossly inadequate making justice slow, cumbersome and expensive; access to justice for workers, ordinary people and the poor is extremely poor because it is expensive and the laws are mostly skewed against the working masses and the poor. We currently have thousands of innocent ordinary Nigerians and those who commit petty crimes awaiting trial and languishing in prisons across the country and some of the cases spending more time than they would have spent if prosecuted timely; we also have overcrowded prisons and police stations that have subjected many people to conditions not befitting for animals; besides, cases/matters linger unavoidably in courts for several years at the expense of workers and the poor.

Hence, we demand public funded legal aid to all Nigerians who could not afford the services of lawyers. Workers and the masses would have to struggle to change the unjust capitalist system and laws that put the working class and the poor in perpetual subjugation and bondage if justice will be meaningful.

We call on Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), affiliated industrial unions and all pro -masses organisations to give active solidarity to the ongoing Judicial strike and mass protest.

SIGNED
Comrade Rufus Olusesan Comrade Chinedu Bosah
National Chairperson National Publicity Secretary
PRESIDENT BUHARI GREETS OSHUNKEYE, FORMER CNN AFRICAN JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR, AT 65
President Muhammadu Buhari rejoices with Mr Shola Oshunkeye, winner of CNN African Journalist of the Year 2006, as he turns 65 April 20, 2021.
The President salutes the professional strides of Oshunkeye, garnered over more than three decades with media houses like Concord Press, where he rose to edit the then best-selling Weekend Concord, Associate Editor at TELL Magazine, editor of The Spectator, a publication of The Sun Publishing Limited, and Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief of The Sun Ghana.
President Buhari rejoices with the Oshunkeye family, the media fraternity, and all those who celebrate the journalist of repute, who also won the Nigerian Media Merit Award Best Print Journalist laurel in 1996.
Currently President/Chief Executive Officer of The Crest Publishing and Entertainment Company Limited, the President urges Oshunkeye to continue sharing knowledge and experience with the younger generation of journalists.
Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media and Publicity)
April 19, 2021

WE’LL STABILIZE OUR REGION TO THE BENEFIT OF BOTH COUNTRIES, PRESIDENT BUHARI ASSURES PRESIDENT BAZOUM OF REPUBLIC OF NIGER
An assurance went out Monday from President Muhammadu Buhari to the newly inaugurated President of Republic of Niger, Mohamed Bazoum, who was in Nigeria on his first international visit: “We will stabilize our region for the benefit of the two countries.”
President Buhari said Nigerians and Nigeriens are people with similar culture, language and ways of life, “and we also share about 1,500 kilometres of land border, so we cannot ignore each other.”
The President congratulated Bazoum on winning the recent presidential election, and his successful inauguration into office.
“You have been in the system for a long time. The only thing is that you had never been President. Now you are one,” the host President said, assuring that Nigeria would assist its close neighbour in diverse ways as required.
On terrorism, as perpetrated by Boko Haram, President Buhari observed that Republic of Niger also suffers high casualties, vowing; “We will do all it takes to secure our two countries.”
President Buhari was thankful to the immediate past President, Mahamadou Issoufou, for what he calls “his understanding and sacrifices” to help stabilize the region, urging the successor to maintain the institutions his predecessor had established.
President Bazoum said he was delighted to make Nigeria his first port of call, noting that the two countries have common interests, “and, therefore, a good relationship is very important.
”On security, he observed that the fact that some Nigerians flee to Niger during terrorist attacks “shows that we need to cooperate, and we will face our challenges together.”
Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media and Publicity)
April 19, 2021

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Currency Printing: PDP Calls Out President Buhari

April 16, 2021
Press Statement
…Demands Finance Minister’s Sack

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) condemns the attempt by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to deny the printing of N60 billion by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at its behest.

The PDP asserts that the admission by CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, that the apex bank has been printing money at the bidding of government, has vindicated its earlier stand that the Buhari-led APC administration is characterized by concealments, deceit and falsehood.

The PDP flays the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, for attempting to mislead Nigerians by denying the revelations by the Edo state Governor, Godwin Obaseki, that N60 billion was printed in March to support federal allocation to states.

Governor Obaseki, as a financial expert, who is not known for flippancy, must be commended for his act of patriotism in exposing the dire economic situation our nation has been plunged under the Buhari administration.

A situation where the Federal Government cannot articulate and implement policies favourable to wealth creation but resorting to borrowing and indiscriminate printing of currency notes, only goes to further confirm that the Buhari administration lacks the credibility and capacity to run a nation.

Indeed, the admission by the CBN governor that “Nigeria is unfortunately in a very bad situation” further justifies our position that the Buhari-led APC administration has wrecked the economy of our nation.
Our party is worried over the huge negative impact of indiscriminate printing of currency which has led to the unprecedented rise in inflation rate to 18.17% as disclosed by the Bureau of National Statistics (NBS) on Thursday.

This situation has led to further economic hardship with surging prices and fallen purchasing power throwing millions of families in distress and unable to afford the basic necessities of life.

The PDP calls out President Buhari to come clean on the amount that has been printed so far by the CBN to finance the deficit caused by the financial mismanagement of his government as well as what the funds had been used for.

Furthermore, for failing the full disclosure test, the PDP demands that the Minister of Finance should immediately be relieved of her position, while the President accepts responsibility for the indiscriminate printing of currency in our naira.

Our party implores President Buhari to save our nation by allowing better hands to manage and salvage our economy before it is too late.
Signed:
Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

April 15, 2021
Press Statement
Twitter: You Have A Poor Understanding of Governance, PDP Replies APC

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) describes the declaration by the All Progressives Congress (APC) that the by-passing of Nigeria by Twitter to cite its African Headquarters in Ghana is “a non-issue” further confirms APC and Buhari Presidency’s poor understanding of governance.

The PDP asserts that the statement issued by the APC in a desperate bid to justify its manifest misrule and abuse of human rights, shows that the APC and Buhari administration are not ready to end their policy inconsistency and the fettering of our youths through suppression of free speech, stifling of online freedom and open internet, for which Twitter shunned our nation for Ghana.

This disposition by the APC and the Buhari Presidency has further strengthened the widespread view among Nigerians that this administration suppresses every vocation in which our youth demography has shown interest.

Their statement also validates apprehensions in the public space that the APC deliberately worked against the citing of Twitter headquarters in Nigeria because of their plot to forcefully regulate the use of internet in our country.

A more responsive government and political party, who have the interest of the people at heart, ought to device all means possible to attract the Africa Headquarters of Twitter to our country given the huge benefits such would have served in the face of grinding unemployment which the APC administration has imposed on our nation.

It is indeed saddening that rather than devise means such as this opportunity to create wealth and revamp our economy, the APC and the Buhari Presidency are mortgaging the future of our nation through all manner of foreign loans which they cannot account for.

Now that they have borrowed from all corners of the world and turning our country into a debtor nation, with nothing to show for it, the APC and the Buhari administration have resorted to primitive printing of naira notes not minding the huge inflation as well as devastation such would trigger in our economy.

From the arrogant disposition of the APC, it is clear that it has no regard for Nigerians and as such has no business being in governance.

Signed:
Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

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AMAECHI IS A GREAT ACHIEVER – SOUTH-SOUTH LEADERS


Prominent leaders in the South-South geo-political zone on Saturday hailed the Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, for demonstrating rare leadership qualities and changing the status of the country’s transportation sector for the better.
‘’Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi has delivered the dividends of democracy to Nigerians. Posterity will place him in the right place and judge him well’’.
They also praised the former Rivers State governor for building bridges of unity across the country and putting in place the necessary machinery for the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the country.
The leaders, cut across ethnic cleavages in the South-South geo-political zone, gave Amaechi kudos for conceiving and articulating policies that stood the test of time.
‘’Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi belongs to a rare breed of high achievers. It is either the best or nothing’’ the leaders stated.
In a statement signed by APC chieftain and chairperson of Progressive Volunteers Group (PVG), Mrs. Ibifuro Tatua in Port Harcourt, the leaders thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for giving the mission-driven former governor of Rivers State, whose drive and grasp of development issues have made him a significant voice in the country’s quest for socio-economic development, the opportunity to work for unity, stability and overall development of the country.
The statement emphasized Amaechi’s character, inner strength and sterner stuff.
The leaders commended Amaechi for doing his best to improve the lives of Nigerians.
‘’Things are simply getting better in Nigeria’’ the leaders under the auspices of Progressive Volunteers Group, led by Mrs. Ibifuro Tatua, said.
They eulogized the virtues of Amaechi, listing the commissioning of freight services on Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri Rail Line as a major feat he was able to achieve in the country.
‘’Amaechi, a team builder, true Christian and bright-shining icon, is one of the few turn around managers in the country’’.
The leaders urged the people of the South-South geo-political zone and Nigerians in general to cooperate with the Muhammadu Buhari led APC government.
FEDERAL MINISTRY OF WORKS AND HOUSING
Office of the Special Adviser on Communications
Headquarter, Mabushi P.M.B. 111, Garki – Abuja, Nigeria
PRESS RELEASE

PETITION OVER IFE-IFEWARA ROAD: RCCG APOLOGIZES TO WORKS AND HOUSING MINISTRY
• As Fashola says no payments were made in respect of rehabilitation of the road between 2016 and 2019
• “The Ministry of Works and Housing deserves apology and I tender it unreservedly” – Petitioner
• Minister explains that amount paid to contractor in 2011 was four years before Buhari’s administration
• Says there is move to sanction recalcitrant contractors
The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Thursday in Abuja tendered an “unreserved apology” to the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing over its allegation of “false claims on the rehabilitation of Ife-Afewara Road in Osun State” saying it was based on a false premise.
The RCCG, in a petition to the Senate, had claimed that it had good reason to believe that the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing had paid N151.51 million to Messrs. Cartill Construzioni Nigeria Limited for the rehabilitation of Ife-Ifewara Road, a work which, according to the petitioner, was indeed carried out by the Church.
In the petition dated 24th March, 2021, Secretary to the General Overseer of the RCCG, Pastor Niyi Adebanjo, claimed that the Church, after carrying out the rehabilitation of the road, learnt that the aforementioned company, which was awarded the contract since 2010 and had abandoned the work for over six years, had been paid by the Ministry for the work praying that the Money be retrieved from the company.
But responding to the allegation at a public hearing before the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions, the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN, said there was no proof to support the position of the petitioner that an unjust claim was made by Contractor or paid by the Ministry between 2016 and 2019.
Fashola, who explained that the road in question was a State Road, added that the contract for its rehabilitation was awarded by the Federal Government in 2010 as a Parliamentary Constituency Project and domiciled in the budget of the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, hence the intervention by the Ministry.
Clarifying that both the award of the contract and payment of the said contract sum were made between 2010 and 2011, four years before the Buhari Administration came to being, the Minister explained further that the contract was awarded on December 21, 2010 to the contractor in the sum of N662, 760,771.75 with a commencement date of March 7, 2011 and completion date of November 7, 2011.
On the sum of N151.51 million paid to the Contractor, he explained that the payment made in two tranches, was statutorily made adding that while the first payment of N99,414,115.76, made on March 31, 2011, represented 15 percent of contract sum, the second payment of N52,094,785., made on December 29, 2011, was based on submission of an Interim Statement.
Fashola said the contractor achieved only 26.21 percent project completion before abandoning the project adding that the contract was as a result recommended for termination “for breach of contract” after warning letters were served on the Contractor first on March 5, 2014 and final warning on June 15, 2015.
Noting that before any payment was made to any contractor, there has to be actual work done, measured and certified and recommended for consideration for approval for payment, Fashola, however, added that since the contract awarded to Messrs. Cartill had not been formally terminated, there has been budgetary provision for the road since 2010, except in years when it had zero budgeting, but the budgeted sum has never been processed since 2011 following the dismal performance of the Contractor.
The Minister, who hinted on plans by the Ministry to sanction recalcitrant contractors by opening a “black book” for them based on appropriate legal advice, declared, “It is clear that contrary to the claims of RCCG, the Contractor, Cartill Nigeria Limited, did not make a claim for a refund for the cost expended on the rehabilitation of the road between 2016 and 2019”, adding that the Ministry also did not make any such payment to the Contractor.
“The Federal Ministry of Works and Housing did not certify any work done on the road by the Contractor between 2016 and 2019”, he said reiterating that the two payments made to the Contractor were made in March and December 2011 respectively, “four years before the commencement of this Administration in 2014”.
Maintaining that the Ministry did not consider or grant approval for anyone to intervene on the road, Fashola, who said the RCCG did not seek or obtain such approval further declared, “the federal Ministry of Works and Housing is not liable to make any refund to anyone in respect of the Road which is the statutory responsibility of the Osun State Government”.
The Minister explained further that although the RCCG could be commended for the work done, there are procedures and processes for such interventions be they on Federal or State Roads, adding that the Petitioner could have sought clarification either from the Ministry of any other relevant agencies of government instead of petitioning the Senate.
The Petitioner, Pastor Adebanjo, in his response expressed deep regrets for taking the matter to the Senate saying it was not, however, meant to embarrass the Minister or his Ministry but in the spirit of fighting corruption by ensuring that the money paid to the contractor was retrieved and paid to the federal Government coffers.
However, on realizing that the claims he made in his petition had no factual proof and as noted by one of the Senate Committee members who advised that he should do the needful on account of available evidence, Adebanjo said, “For the fact that the Ministry of Works deserves an apology and because the whole world is listening to us, I tender that apology unreservedly before this Senate Committee”.
In his submissions, the Chairman of the Committee commended the Minister for coming personally, “as always when we invite you” to respond to the petition and throwing more light on the whole issue adding that other officials of Government should borrow a leaf from him.
Other members of the Committee, who spoke, also commended the Minister for his diligence and commitment to every assignment pertaining to his responsibilities. They also noted with satisfaction that there was move by the Ministry to bring recalcitrant contractors to book.
Also accompanying the Minister to the hearing were some Directors, Special Advisers and other top officials of the Ministry.
HAKEEM BELLO
SPECIAL ADVISER,
COMMUNICATIONS
TO THE HON. MINISTER
16TH APRIL, 2021

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President Buhari returns to Abuja after Private trip to London on 15th April 2021

President Buhari returns to Abuja after Private trip to London on 15th April 2021
PRESIDENT BUHARI MOURNS ACE MUSIC PRODUCER, INSTRUMENTALIST, PA CHRIS AJILO

President Muhammadu Buhari sends condolences to the entertainment industry, particularly musicians and producers, over the passing of renowned music producer, instrumentalist and instructor, Pa Chris Ajilo, who was band leader of the National Orchestra for Nigeria’s independence in 1960.
President Buhari commiserates with family, friends and professional colleagues of the highly celebrated artiste, whose talent completely altered the musical industry in Nigeria, giving it more depth, meaning and appeal, as he inspired a genre that was accepted across class, age and creed.
As remains of the multi-talented instrumentalist go to rest on April 16, 2021, the President believes the legacies of discipline, focus and professionalism that Pa Ajilo brought into the industry, after studying music for many years in England, will be remembered by generations.
President Buhari prays that the music teacher will find eternal rest with God, while the many musicians and producers he mentored will carry on with his vision.
Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
April 15, 2021

SANWO-OLU PAYS CONDOLENCE VISIT TO YINKA ODUMAKIN’S FAMILY
•Says The Late Afenifere Spokesman Was A Detribalised Nigerian

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Thursday urged Nigerians, especially members of the Civil Society Organisations to cherish, preserve and push forward the struggle for a better Nigeria and black race, which the late Yinka Odumakin, former National Publicity Secretary of the pan Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, fought and died for.

The Governor said Odumakin during his lifetime, did his best through several struggles and interventions to make Nigeria a better country and therefore urged people to stand firm and ensure that the legacy of the late Afenifere spokesman is built upon.

Odumakin, a renowned human rights activist, died on Friday April 2 at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) at the age of 54 years.

Speaking during a condolence visit to the family at the deceased’s residence in Omole, Ikeja, Sanwo-Olu described the late Afenifere spokesman as “one of the strongest, detribalised, action packed, full of life, true Nigerians of our time.”

The Governor assured the widow of the deceased, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin that Lagos State will not leave her alone. “We will not leave you alone. We will ensure that even when the crowd disappears, we will be there for you,” he promised.

He said “I am here to pay my condolences on behalf of my government and the entire people of Lagos State for the painful loss of one of the strongest, detribalised, action packed, full of life, true Nigerians of our time, late Comrade Yinka Odumakin.

“Our friend and brother lived a good life. He lived a fighter; he died a fighter. The civil society stakeholders in Lagos and Nigeria have indeed lost a big member of that community and indeed the entire nation because of what he stood for and fought for. If we begin to take him as a Yoruba man, we will be reducing him and what he stood for in this country.

“Wherever Yinka is right now, his wish would be that we will make this country better than how he left it and that is a commitment we are going to leave with you that we will do it to ensure that what he stood for, the legacy he worked for does not go into waste.”

In her response, Dr. Okei-Odumakin appreciated the Lagos State Government for the condolence visit.

She said several tributes and comments about the deceased will energise her to do more in pursuing what Yinka Odumakin stood for, adding that the ideals of her husband will continue to live forever.

She said: “Yinka was selfless. Before he went to hospital, he still told me about four programmes that he would have. He told me how he would leave for Ilorin the next day and later to Ekiti, the third day he would be back to Ibadan for his programme. He said he would be at Ife on Friday, he would be at Ikenne and Sunday, he would return to Lagos. He was so selfless and he had faced all sorts of medical problems and still came out strong. One did not know that this would be goodnight.

“One consolation is that Yinka is not dead; he lives because he will continue to live in the consciousness of the people. And to live in the consciousness of the people is to live forever. What Yinka will want to see is for us to remain focused and committed. Some of the things he could not achieve like restructuring of Nigeria and a lot of things that he could not do, he will be happy if he sees us doing a lot more better. Yinka lives on.”

SIGNED
GBOYEGA AKOSILE
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY
APRIL 15, 2021
SANWO-OLU KICKS OFF CONSTRUCTION OF RAIL MASS TRANSIT RED LINE
• Property Owners, Tenants Affected By Project Get Compensation
• Rail Project Becomes Operational Next Year

History was made today (Thursday) in Lagos, with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu breaking the ground for the construction of the 37-km Rail Mass Transit Red Line, which will traverse from Agbado to Marina, moving more than one million commuters daily.

The rail corridor will be constructed in three phases. The first phase (Agbado-Iddo), which will be completed in 24 months, will be sharing track with the Federal Government’s Lagos-Ibadan Railway Modernisation Project up to Ebute – Metta. It will have its dedicated track from Ebute – Metta to Oyingbo and reduce travel time from about two and a half hours to just 35 minutes. The passenger capacity of the first phase is 500,000 daily.

The ceremony was held at the proposed site of the Ikeja Train Station. It was witnessed by Minister of Transportation Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, who was represented by the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh.

To be fully operational in the last quarter of 2022, the Red Line, a project of the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), will have eight train stations – from Agbado to Oyingbo.

The Red Line is to raise mass transportation capacity in the State, complementing the Blue Line that traverses from Okokomaiko to Marina. The Blue Line is at 78 per cent completion.

Sanwo-Olu, who was at the event with the Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, handed cheques to property owners affected by the right-of-way, described the project as another initiative of his administration to deliver enduring infrastructure for the transport system and make Lagos a competitive mega city.

He said the traffic management and transportation pillar in his Government’s development blueprint – Project THEMES – was being implemented with the goal to develop an efficient and sustainable transportation model that would improve mobility, promote economic growth and enhance the living conditions of residents.

He said: “Today’s flag-off of the construction of infrastructure for the standard gauge Red Line is another promise kept and it demonstrates, in practical terms, our commitment to achieve the objectives of traffic management and transportation pillar in our development agenda. This is because we recognise the role which an efficient transportation system plays in enhancing people’s quality of life and as a major driver of socio-economic development.

“The State’s Strategic Transport Master Plan, which encompasses a number of projects that are germane to achieving our vision for a Greater Lagos, is founded on imperatives that seek to increase transport choices for all users and make the transit system integrated, attractive, convenient, affordable and accessible.

“Since efficient transportation is the backbone of any economy, we are happy to be committing this investment in our transport infrastructure, so that our people can meet their daily targets and aspirations. This all-important transport project we are all gathered to witness today represents a major step in this direction.”

Sanwo-Olu disclosed that the implementation of the Red Line was being supported under the Differentiated Cash Reserve Requirement (DCRR) programme – a financing package put in place by the State Government through the Central Bank Nigeria (CBN). The Governor expressed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari and the CBN Governor, Dr. Godwin Emefiele, for supporting the State in the bid to make the project a reality.He praised also the bankers who facilitated the funding.

To facilitate smooth operations of the Red Line, Sanwo-Olu said the State Government would be constructing ancillary infrastructure, including six overpasses at strategic level crossing points along the rail corridor to eliminate interactions between the rail system, vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

The overpasses will provide grade separated crossings that will enhance safety for the rail system and road users.

Sanwo-Olu said: “The unique characteristics of the Red Line is its integration with the Ikeja Bus Terminal, Oshodi–Abule Egba Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) lane, the future Orange Line, which goes from Ikeja to Agbowa, and the General Aviation Terminal One of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport through a skywalk.

“Another unique feature of the Red Line is that all the stations have elevated concourses with either at grade island or side platforms for easy boarding and alighting of passengers. The Red Line also integrates with our Bus Terminals at Oyingbo, Yaba, Oshodi, Ikeja and Iju, giving modal options to our people in their daily commute, either for business or leisure.”

The Governor presented cheques of varying amounts as compensation to 25 residents whose properties, businesses and accommodation will be affected by the project. Over 263 properties are affected. Many of the property owners and tenants were smiling as they got their cheques.

Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladehinde, described the Red Line as a continuation of the implementation of the State’s Strategic Transport Master Plan, which made provision for six standard rail lines, one monorail, 14 BRT corridors and over 20 waterway routes.

He said the intervention was a deliberate effort of the State Government and its development partners to make Lagos livable beyond Year 2032.

Managing Director of LAMATA, Mrs. Abimbola Akinajo, said the project was a bold step and commitment of the Governor to solving transportion challenges in line with his administration’s development blueprint.

She noted that the construction would not be delayed by funding and human factors, as stakeholders were duly carried along in the projects.

The Lagos mass transit rail dream began in 1983 during the tenure of Alhaji Lateef Jakande, but it was stopped by the then Federal Government. Sanwo-Olu has vowed to ensure that the Blue Line and the Red Line are completed to the memory of the late Jakande.

SIGNED
GBOYEGA AKOSILE
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY
APRIL 15, 2021

OKPE LEADERS HEAD TO COURT
• WARN DETRACTOR
• ANNOUNCE DATE FOR OKPE UNION NATIONAL ELECTION

Respected leaders in Okpe Kingdom on Wednesday appealed to stakeholders to put the interest of the kingdom above their personal interests.
The leaders also said any act capable of jeopardizing unity and development should be avoided.
In a statement titled: ‘’There are no factions in the Okpe Union; interim impostors should be ignored’’, the leaders listed the strange Orodje of Okpe Interim Committee, as one of the problems in the kingdom.
The notable leaders called the actions of the Okpe monarch and members of the interim committee ‘’a threat to the unity and security of Okpe kingdom’’.
‘’It has come to the notice of the elected National leadership of the Okpe Union that some persons have been parading as interim leadership of our great Union and using the name of the Okpe Union to fleece unsuspecting personalities of Okpe extraction asking for financial support to execute bogus projects that are unknown and not approved by the Okpe Union. For some months now, the elected leadership led by Mr. Patrick Akpotor has exercised utmost restraint following entreaties by highly placed Okpe personalities who promised to intervene and call the usurpers to order’’.
The leaders accused some Sapele Okpe community members of trying to engineer a coup in the kingdom.
‘’In furtherance of their nefarious efforts to cause disaffection in the ranks of our branches and affiliates, the attention of NEC of the Okpe Union was drawn to the shocking viral broadcast by some leaders of the Sapele Okpe Community which purports to give credence to those claiming to be an interim leadership which is alien to the Okpe Union constitution’’
The Okpe Union leaders are heading to court as they seek to stop non-members and suspended individuals from parading as leaders of the ancient union.
‘’Okpe Union was established on May 16th 1930 and registered with the Colonial Government of Nigeria under the land (perpetual succession) Ordinance No. 32 of 1924, on the 13th of December, 1934. The second registered ethnic union in Nigeria is a member only organization which bars non-members from taking up any leadership position. Only a member of a branch of the Union who pay dues in accordance with the constitution of the Union can vote and vie for any of its leadership offices’’ a statement from the national leadership of the union said..
Signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Okpe Union, Mrs. Atarhe Abuh, the union said Prof. Emurobome Idolor and Prof. Kenneth Eni were suspended indefinitely by the General Assembly of the Union on grounds of anti-union activities.
‘’The nine persons parading themselves as interim EXCO of the Okpe Union have only two members of the Union, Prof. Emurobome Idolor and Prof. Kenneth Eni who have been suspended indefinitely by the General Assembly of the Union on grounds of anti-union activities. It is noteworthy that Prof. Kenneth Eni was the chairman of the Okpe Union Electoral Committee of the Okpe Union in 2016 that conducted the elections that brought into office the current outgoing National Executive Council of the Okpe Union. Before the expiration of the tenure, he joined hands with undemocratic forces in an attempt to derail and take over the leadership of the Union leading to his indefinite suspension’’.
Lawyers acting for Okpe Union will appear in court this week.
‘’ The national election of the Okpe Union is now slated for the 14th of May, 2021 in accordance with the provisions of the Okpe Union Constitution which does not recognize any external power to intervene in the governance or administration of the Union. The reason for the shifting of the date from the previous May 1st 2021 is to enable branches complete their input in the ongoing constitutional review’’ statement said.
The national leadership of the union called on members, branches and affiliates of the Union to continue preparation for the elections and ignore any distractions.
‘’The distractions are the handiwork of those who are not comfortable with the poise of the Union to speak for and protect the interests of the Okpe Nation. Like merchants of doom, they seem primed at executing an unpopular assignment whose only purpose is to destabilize and destroy the Okpe Nation. It is also clear that these individuals will stop at nothing to achieve the prebendal objectives of their paymasters’’.
The leadership also called on well-meaning Okpe personalities and office holders to use their good positions to call all those championing the so called interim leadership of the Okpe Union to order before it is too late.
‘’The NEC is resolved to safeguard the integrity of the Okpe Union and the Okpe Nation from these marauding beggars as the Okpe Union is not known for begging for alms from those it should demand stewardship and accountability from’’.
The statement further advised the good people of Okpe kingdom to ignore stories and statements to destroy the union.
‘’We pray that God grants us the ability to continue delivering on the vision and mandate handed to us by the founding fathers of the Okpe Union and who won accolades for resuscitating the Okpe monarchy of the Orodje, won several cases for the Okpe people, instituted a scholarship scheme which trained several Okpe overseas, organized Okpe people to contribute to the fund with which the modern Orodje’s Palace was built, and which continually held and projected the identity of the Okpe people’’.

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Buhari, APC’s Misrule Pushed Twitter to Locate African HQ In Ghana Instead of Nigeria, Says PDP

April 14, 2021
Press Statement


The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) laments that the unabating misrule of the Buhari Presidency and the All Progressives Congress (APC) pushed Twitter to take its African Headquarters to Ghana instead of Nigeria, despite the fact that Nigeria has far more twitter traffic and more business prospects than Ghana.
The PDP says Twitter’s preference for Ghana over Nigeria was occasioned by inconsistent economic policies, obnoxious suppression of free speech, stifling of online freedom and open internet by the Buhari administration and the APC.
This is in addition to infrastructural decay, massive corruption and manifest failure of the Buhari Presidency and the APC to address the escalated insecurity brought upon our nation by their incompetent watch.
Indeed the decision by Twitter to by-pass Nigeria to locate its African operational base in Ghana is another sad commentary of how our nation, which was hitherto a global investment hub under the PDP, has now been so degraded in global economic competitiveness under the APC.
Nigerians were heavily despaired on Monday when the founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, announced that his company will be setting up its headquarters on the continent in Ghana despite Nigeria’s domineering twitter traffic in the sub region.
With an estimated 39.6 million twitter subscribers in Nigeria, which is bigger than the population of Ghana, Nigeria ought to be the destination, but for the anti-people policies of the APC administration.
It is sad that our nation has continued to lose huge foreign direct investments, which would have brought in more economic opportunities, especially for our youths, just because the Buhari Presidency and the APC lack the capacity to deliver on good governance.
The preference by Twitter for Ghana over Nigeria has further demonstrated that the Buhari administration’s claims on ease of doing business in Nigeria are mere media hypes.
Moreover, if President Buhari and the APC have the interest of the struggling youth demography of our nation at heart, they ought to have taken the necessary proactive steps to ensure that Twitter brought this huge investment to Nigeria, particularly given that we have the highest number of Twitter users on the continent.
It is indeed disturbing that the Buhari administration is taking no decisive steps to address the worsening situation in our country, which has become the world poverty capital under their watch.
The incompetence, insensitivity, corruption and laid-back attitude of the Buhari administration have continued to bring woes to our nation with an escalated 33% unemployment rate, closure of over 40 million hitherto vibrant businesses with millions of families now unable to afford the basic necessities of life.
It is painful that despite our national potentials, President Buhari administration has not shown the required commitment of engaging foreign investors and captains of industries to attract investments as being done by Presidents of other countries.
Instead the Buhari Presidency is only interested in accumulating foreign loans and mortgaging the future of our nation.
It has therefore becomes clearer that our nation cannot achieve any headway with the APC on the saddle.
The PDP therefore charges Nigerians to remain focused as we collectively rally on the opportunities granted by democracy to rescue our nation from the stranglehold of APC misrule.
Signed:
Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity secretary

PRESIDENT BUHARI MOURNS FORMER MILITARY ADMINISTRATOR, COLONEL AHMED USMAN
President Muhammadu Buhari extends heartfelt condolences to the family of Colonel Ahmed Usman, former military administrator in Ondo and Oyo States.
President Buhari avers that as a military officer, the late Colonel Usman served the nation with courage and dedication, adding that his contributions to peace and unity as well as his quest for public good continued even in retirement.
As the President prays that Almighty Allah will repose the soul of the departed, his thoughts are with the government and people of Kogi State, where Usman hailed from, and with friends and colleagues, as they mourn this loss.
Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
April 14, 2021

CHIBOK GIRLS STILL ON OUR MINDS – PRESIDENCY

The Presidency reassures parents and all concerned citizens that the missing students of Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, remain constantly in the minds of government as they are always in the minds of their parents.
The Presidency gives assurances that the release of the remaining Chibok girls is still work in progress.
No one is giving up hope here. Efforts to secure their release through various channels and activities of the security and intelligence agencies remain on course. The recent decisive push by the military against the terrorists gives hope that a breakthrough is possible and could happen anytime soon.
The Presidency asks for support, understanding and prayers for the military as they discharge their historic mandate to quickly finish off the insurgency war and free all citizens held hostage.
Garba Shehu
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
April 14, 2021

OKPE LEADERS HEAD TO COURT
• WARN DETRACTOR
• ANNOUNCE DATE FOR OKPE UNION NATIONAL ELECTION

Respected leaders in Okpe Kingdom on Wednesday appealed to stakeholders to put the interest of the kingdom above their personal interests.
The leaders also said any act capable of jeopardizing unity and development should be avoided.
In a statement titled: ‘’There are no factions in the Okpe Union; interim impostors should be ignored’’, the leaders listed the strange Orodje of Okpe Interim Committee, as one of the problems in the kingdom.
The notable leaders called the actions of the Okpe monarch and members of the interim committee ‘’a threat to the unity and security of Okpe kingdom’’.
‘’It has come to the notice of the elected National leadership of the Okpe Union that some persons have been parading as interim leadership of our great Union and using the name of the Okpe Union to fleece unsuspecting personalities of Okpe extraction asking for financial support to execute bogus projects that are unknown and not approved by the Okpe Union. For some months now, the elected leadership led by Mr. Patrick Akpotor has exercised utmost restraint following entreaties by highly placed Okpe personalities who promised to intervene and call the usurpers to order’’.
The leaders accused some Sapele Okpe community members of trying to engineer a coup in the kingdom.
‘’In furtherance of their nefarious efforts to cause disaffection in the ranks of our branches and affiliates, the attention of NEC of the Okpe Union was drawn to the shocking viral broadcast by some leaders of the Sapele Okpe Community which purports to give credence to those claiming to be an interim leadership which is alien to the Okpe Union constitution’’
The Okpe Union leaders are heading to court as they seek to stop non-members and suspended individuals from parading as leaders of the ancient union.
‘’Okpe Union was established on May 16th 1930 and registered with the Colonial Government of Nigeria under the land (perpetual succession) Ordinance No. 32 of 1924, on the 13th of December, 1934. The second registered ethnic union in Nigeria is a member only organization which bars non-members from taking up any leadership position. Only a member of a branch of the Union who pay dues in accordance with the constitution of the Union can vote and vie for any of its leadership offices’’ a statement from the national leadership of the union said..
Signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Okpe Union, Mrs. Atarhe Abuh, the union said Prof. Emurobome Idolor and Prof. Kenneth Eni were suspended indefinitely by the General Assembly of the Union on grounds of anti-union activities.
‘’The nine persons parading themselves as interim EXCO of the Okpe Union have only two members of the Union, Prof. Emurobome Idolor and Prof. Kenneth Eni who have been suspended indefinitely by the General Assembly of the Union on grounds of anti-union activities. It is noteworthy that Prof. Kenneth Eni was the chairman of the Okpe Union Electoral Committee of the Okpe Union in 2016 that conducted the elections that brought into office the current outgoing National Executive Council of the Okpe Union. Before the expiration of the tenure, he joined hands with undemocratic forces in an attempt to derail and take over the leadership of the Union leading to his indefinite suspension’’.
Lawyers acting for Okpe Union will appear in court this week.
‘’ The national election of the Okpe Union is now slated for the 14th of May, 2021 in accordance with the provisions of the Okpe Union Constitution which does not recognize any external power to intervene in the governance or administration of the Union. The reason for the shifting of the date from the previous May 1st 2021 is to enable branches complete their input in the ongoing constitutional review’’ statement said.
The national leadership of the union called on members, branches and affiliates of the Union to continue preparation for the elections and ignore any distractions.
‘’The distractions are the handiwork of those who are not comfortable with the poise of the Union to speak for and protect the interests of the Okpe Nation. Like merchants of doom, they seem primed at executing an unpopular assignment whose only purpose is to destabilize and destroy the Okpe Nation. It is also clear that these individuals will stop at nothing to achieve the prebendal objectives of their paymasters’’.
The leadership also called on well-meaning Okpe personalities and office holders to use their good positions to call all those championing the so called interim leadership of the Okpe Union to order before it is too late.
‘’The NEC is resolved to safeguard the integrity of the Okpe Union and the Okpe Nation from these marauding beggars as the Okpe Union is not known for begging for alms from those it should demand stewardship and accountability from’’.
The statement further advised the good people of Okpe kingdom to ignore stories and statements to destroy the union.
‘’We pray that God grants us the ability to continue delivering on the vision and mandate handed to us by the founding fathers of the Okpe Union and who won accolades for resuscitating the Okpe monarchy of the Orodje, won several cases for the Okpe people, instituted a scholarship scheme which trained several Okpe overseas, organized Okpe people to contribute to the fund with which the modern Orodje’s Palace was built, and which continually held and projected the identity of the Okpe people’’.
PRESS STATEMENT
CDWR CONDEMNS THE MASS SACK OF KADUNA STATE PUBLIC SECTOR WORKERS BY GOVERNOR NASIR EL-RUFAI
KDSG Statement on disengagements in the public service

In September 2019, the Kaduna State Government became the first government in the country to pay the new minimum wage and consequential adjustments. The state government followed this up by increasing the minimum pension of persons on the defined benefits scheme to N30,000 monthly.

This step to advance the welfare of workers significantly increased the wage burden of the state government and immediately sapped up the funds of many local governments. While the Kaduna State Government believes that public sector wages overall are still relatively low, their current levels are obviously limited by the resources available to the government. What each public servant earns might be puny in comparison to private sector wages, but the total wage bill consumes much of the revenues of the state. The desire to pay more is a sentiment that must bow to the limits prescribed by the ability to pay.

Kaduna State public finances have been severely stretched by the higher wage bills at a time when revenues from the Federation Account allocations Committee (FAAC) have not increased. KDSG has made significant progress in increasing its collection of internally generated revenue (IGR). Without hiking tax rates, the state government has almost quadrupled IGR from about N13bn in 2015 to over N50bn in 2020.

What the Kaduna State Government receives from FAAC since the middle of 2020, like most other sub-nationals, can barely pay salaries and overheads. In November 2020, KDSG had only N162.9m left after paying salaries. That month, Kaduna State got N4.83bn from FAAC and paid N4.66bn as wages.

In the last six months, personnel costs have accounted for between 84.97% and 96.63% of FAAC transfers received by the Kaduna State Government. In March 2021, Kaduna State had only N321m left after settling personnel costs. That month, the state got N4.819bn from FAAC and paid out N4.498bn, representing 93% of the money received. This does not include standing orders for overheads, funding security operations, running costs of schools and hospitals, and other overhead costs that the state has to bear for the machinery of government to run, for which the state government taps into IGR earnings.

This Kaduna State Government was elected to develop the state, not just to pay the salaries of public servants. It was elected to promote equality of opportunity, to build and run schools and hospitals, upgrade infrastructure and make the state more secure and attractive to the private sector for jobs and investments. Under the leadership of Malam Nasir El-Rufai, the Kaduna State Government is faithfully implementing this mandate, amidst challenges and constraints.

The government is an institution organised to deliver public goods, not to minister solely to the interests of the persons employed to help deliver mandate. Therefore, the state government has no choice but to shed some weight and reduce the size of the public service. It is a painful but necessary step to take, for the sake of the majority of the people of this state. The public service of the state with less than 100,000 employees (and their families) cannot be consuming more than 90% of government resources, with little left to positively impact the lives of the more than 9 million that are not political appointees or civil servants. It is gross injustice for such a micro-minority to consume the majority of the resources of the State.

Measures taken to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic have shown clearly that the public service requires much fewer persons than it currently employs. The public service is an important institution, and it should therefore maintain only an optimum size. Faced with a difficult situation, the Kaduna State Government is persuaded that it cannot refuse to act or act in ways that only conduce to populist sentiment, without solving the fundamental problem. The redundancies to be declared will affect political appointees and civil servants, and its purpose is to save funds and ensure that a strong and efficient public service exists to use those resources to implement progressive programmes and projects for the people, and thereby develop the state.

While seeking the responsibility to lead Kaduna State during the 2015 elections, Malam Nasir El-Rufai ran on a manifesto that included a commitment to a strong public service. The Kaduna State Government has therefore made it clear that the progress and future of the state depends on a competent public service, lean in size but super-efficient in conceiving programmes and delivering services, savvy with modern technology and well connected to the public it serves. In pursuit of this goal, KDSG launched the public service reform and revitalisation programme in 2016.

This was in line with the Kaduna State Government’s announcement at inception in May 2015 that it is determined to eliminate waste and ensure that government resources serve a majority of citizens rather than the few persons working for government, including political appointees and other public servants.

Therefore, KDSG began conducting verification of civil servants in 2015 to help ensure the integrity of the government payroll and weed out ghost workers. This verification needed to be a continuous exercise, undertaken at intervals to check and maintain the integrity of the personnel records.

The state government also signalled its discomfort at the high recurrent costs of the state, which meant that most public funds went into paying the wages of less than 100,000 public servants in a state with close to 10m people. While affirming the principle that those who work must be paid, the state government also asserted its recognition of the obligation to ensure that the people of the state must also be served by their government.

As part of the 2016 public service reform process, KDSG also reviewed salaries and was ready to announce new wages before the FG announced in 2018 that it was initiating a new national minimum wage process. It was that early preparation that enabled the Kaduna State Government to promptly comply with the new national minimum wage before any other government could or did.

In these tough times, government cannot encourage the illusion that the public service can be immune from the measures required to cope with the reality of low revenues. The extent of these required actions is being worked out at the State and Local Government levels, based on very transparent and objective criteria across all the three branches of the Government. The stories circulating in the social media about pruning local government personnel to 50, converting junior staff to casual staff and the like are false and should therefore be disregarded. These false claims are a rehash of the contents of a forged letter that was circulated just prior to the 2019 elections. Each and every decision taken will be in full compliance with the Kaduna State Public Service Law and any regulations made pursuant thereto, and other extant laws.

Government realises that the disengagements may have short-term psychological and financial impacts on the persons to be affected. Therefore, KDSG will not only work with the Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) to expedite payments of any contributory pension benefits due to those so entitled to them but will also give preferential treatment to those disengaged that are willing to take advantage of the state government’s various agricultural and entrepreneurship development schemes. KDSG appeals for the understanding of everyone in Kaduna State and urges officers that may be affected to embrace alternatives in the private sector.

Signed

Muyiwa Adekeye
Special Adviser to the Governor (Media & Communication)
12th April 2021

NLC AND TUC MUST COMMENCE MOBILIZATION FOR MASS ACTIONS AND STRIKE ACTION AGAINST MASS SACKS AND ALL ANTI-LABOUR POLICIES
Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has concluded plans to sack about 4,000 public sector workers claiming paucity of funds. These attacks on workers have been sustained since he became the governor of Kaduna State in 2015. Since Nasir El-Rufai sacked about 21,000 public sector workers in 2017, he has also placed an embargo on recruitment and restricted local government staff to a maximum of 50, placed compulsory retirement of workers who are 50 years and above and conversion of workers on Grade Level 01-06 to casual workers. Campaign for Democratic and Workers’ Rights (CDWR) condemns these mass sack of workers and attacks on jobs in Kaduna state. These sacks are cruel, exploitative and inhuman.
There is no justification for this mass sack! The argument put forward by the Kaduna State Government as reasons for the mass sack is insincere and fraudulent. The only reason that can be responsible for paucity of fund if truly there is any, is the mismanagement of funds and the economy by past and present governments in the state. Notable among these are the monumental waste and corruption that is currently going on in government particularly in the area of unaccounted huge security votes were often drawn from the state fund, expensive contract system that sees projects being corruptly inflated and jumbo salaries and allowances for political office holders who often idle away and their pay is hundreds of times more than a skilled public sector worker.
CDWR challenges Nasir El-Rufai to open the books and financial records for public scrutiny. The public will want to know the true state of the finance and how public funds are being managed. We hereby demand a probe panel made up of elected workers and professionals to probe the finances and make its findings public.
The problem has been that these bourgeois elements particularly in a neo-colonial backward country like Nigeria are parasites who remain in government solely for the purpose of leeching on public resources. They sack workers and reduce public spending on social services in order to maintain the same opulent lifestyle and the same volume of loots whenever there is a decline in revenue. Besides, they do not see workers as an important aspect in the process of developing the economy because they lack the capacity to plan and sustainably grow and develop the economy to meet the needs of all. Workers are being sacked in a period when workers need an increase in wage to meet the rising cost of living.
These attacks are made possible because the leadership of trade union organisations, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the affected affiliates at the state and national level have failed to challenge these anti-poor policies in the public and private sectors. For instance, when Nasir El-Rufai brazenly sacked 21,000 in 2017, NLC and the TUC failed to challenge it in a concerted and determined manner. Except these attacks are resisted this time around, there is a danger that Nasir El-Rufai will be emboldened to carry out more attacks and these could motivate other state and local governments including the federal government to carry out more attacks on the working people and poor.
Already, over 16 state governments are yet to show any commitment towards the implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage with growing casualization and loss of jobs in the private sector wherein thousands of workers have also been thrown out of jobs just to satisfy the profit greed of a few privileged and corrupt business owners. This happens without determined effort by the leadership of trade union organisations to challenge these anti-workers policies because of their strategic alliance with the bourgeois ruling elite and big business bosses.
CDWR frowns at this anti-labour collaborationist policy and calls on the national leadership of the NLC and TUC to begin the mobilization of workers in Kaduna state and across the country to resist all anti-labour actions and neo-liberal policies through mass protests, rallies, mass sensitization and general strike. Where the labour leaders in Kaduna State and elsewhere in the country fail to challenge these anti-poor policies, we call on activists and the rank and file workers to organize themselves to take actions.

SIGNED
Comrade Rufus Olusesan Comrade Chinedu Bosah
National Chairperson National Publicity Secretary

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OKPE LEADERS HEAD TO COURT

• WARN DETRACTOR
• ANNOUNCE DATE FOR OKPE UNION NATIONAL ELECTION

Respected leaders in Okpe Kingdom on Wednesday appealed to stakeholders to put the interest of the kingdom above their personal interests.
The leaders also said any act capable of jeopardizing unity and development should be avoided.
In a statement titled: ‘’There are no factions in the Okpe Union; interim impostors should be ignored’’, the leaders listed the strange Orodje of Okpe Interim Committee, as one of the problems in the kingdom.
The notable leaders called the actions of the Okpe monarch and members of the interim committee ‘’a threat to the unity and security of Okpe kingdom’’.
‘’It has come to the notice of the elected National leadership of the Okpe Union that some persons have been parading as interim leadership of our great Union and using the name of the Okpe Union to fleece unsuspecting personalities of Okpe extraction asking for financial support to execute bogus projects that are unknown and not approved by the Okpe Union. For some months now, the elected leadership led by Mr. Patrick Akpotor has exercised utmost restraint following entreaties by highly placed Okpe personalities who promised to intervene and call the usurpers to order’’.
The leaders accused some Sapele Okpe community members of trying to engineer a coup in the kingdom.
‘’In furtherance of their nefarious efforts to cause disaffection in the ranks of our branches and affiliates, the attention of NEC of the Okpe Union was drawn to the shocking viral broadcast by some leaders of the Sapele Okpe Community which purports to give credence to those claiming to be an interim leadership which is alien to the Okpe Union constitution’’
The Okpe Union leaders are heading to court as they seek to stop non-members and suspended individuals from parading as leaders of the ancient union.
‘’Okpe Union was established on May 16th 1930 and registered with the Colonial Government of Nigeria under the land (perpetual succession) Ordinance No. 32 of 1924, on the 13th of December, 1934. The second registered ethnic union in Nigeria is a member only organization which bars non-members from taking up any leadership position. Only a member of a branch of the Union who pay dues in accordance with the constitution of the Union can vote and vie for any of its leadership offices’’ a statement from the national leadership of the union said..
Signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Okpe Union, Mrs. Atarhe Abuh, the union said Prof. Emurobome Idolor and Prof. Kenneth Eni were suspended indefinitely by the General Assembly of the Union on grounds of anti-union activities.
‘’The nine persons parading themselves as interim EXCO of the Okpe Union have only two members of the Union, Prof. Emurobome Idolor and Prof. Kenneth Eni who have been suspended indefinitely by the General Assembly of the Union on grounds of anti-union activities. It is noteworthy that Prof. Kenneth Eni was the chairman of the Okpe Union Electoral Committee of the Okpe Union in 2016 that conducted the elections that brought into office the current outgoing National Executive Council of the Okpe Union. Before the expiration of the tenure, he joined hands with undemocratic forces in an attempt to derail and take over the leadership of the Union leading to his indefinite suspension’’.
Lawyers acting for Okpe Union will appear in court this week.
‘’ The national election of the Okpe Union is now slated for the 14th of May, 2021 in accordance with the provisions of the Okpe Union Constitution which does not recognize any external power to intervene in the governance or administration of the Union. The reason for the shifting of the date from the previous May 1st 2021 is to enable branches complete their input in the ongoing constitutional review’’ statement said.
The national leadership of the union called on members, branches and affiliates of the Union to continue preparation for the elections and ignore any distractions.
‘’The distractions are the handiwork of those who are not comfortable with the poise of the Union to speak for and protect the interests of the Okpe Nation. Like merchants of doom, they seem primed at executing an unpopular assignment whose only purpose is to destabilize and destroy the Okpe Nation. It is also clear that these individuals will stop at nothing to achieve the prebendal objectives of their paymasters’’.
The leadership also called on well-meaning Okpe personalities and office holders to use their good positions to call all those championing the so called interim leadership of the Okpe Union to order before it is too late.
‘’The NEC is resolved to safeguard the integrity of the Okpe Union and the Okpe Nation from these marauding beggars as the Okpe Union is not known for begging for alms from those it should demand stewardship and accountability from’’.
The statement further advised the good people of Okpe kingdom to ignore stories and statements to destroy the union.
‘’We pray that God grants us the ability to continue delivering on the vision and mandate handed to us by the founding fathers of the Okpe Union and who won accolades for resuscitating the Okpe monarchy of the Orodje, won several cases for the Okpe people, instituted a scholarship scheme which trained several Okpe overseas, organized Okpe people to contribute to the fund with which the modern Orodje’s Palace was built, and which continually held and projected the identity of the Okpe people’’.
PRESS STATEMENT
CDWR CONDEMNS THE MASS SACK OF KADUNA STATE PUBLIC SECTOR WORKERS BY GOVERNOR NASIR EL-RUFAI
NLC AND TUC MUST COMMENCE MOBILIZATION FOR MASS ACTIONS AND STRIKE ACTION AGAINST MASS SACKS AND ALL ANTI-LABOUR POLICIES
Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has concluded plans to sack about 4,000 public sector workers claiming paucity of funds. These attacks on workers have been sustained since he became the governor of Kaduna State in 2015. Since Nasir El-Rufai sacked about 21,000 public sector workers in 2017, he has also placed an embargo on recruitment and restricted local government staff to a maximum of 50, placed compulsory retirement of workers who are 50 years and above and conversion of workers on Grade Level 01-06 to casual workers. Campaign for Democratic and Workers’ Rights (CDWR) condemns these mass sack of workers and attacks on jobs in Kaduna state. These sacks are cruel, exploitative and inhuman.
There is no justification for this mass sack! The argument put forward by the Kaduna State Government as reasons for the mass sack is insincere and fraudulent. The only reason that can be responsible for paucity of fund if truly there is any, is the mismanagement of funds and the economy by past and present governments in the state. Notable among these are the monumental waste and corruption that is currently going on in government particularly in the area of unaccounted huge security votes were often drawn from the state fund, expensive contract system that sees projects being corruptly inflated and jumbo salaries and allowances for political office holders who often idle away and their pay is hundreds of times more than a skilled public sector worker.
CDWR challenges Nasir El-Rufai to open the books and financial records for public scrutiny. The public will want to know the true state of the finance and how public funds are being managed. We hereby demand a probe panel made up of elected workers and professionals to probe the finances and make its findings public.
The problem has been that these bourgeois elements particularly in a neo-colonial backward country like Nigeria are parasites who remain in government solely for the purpose of leeching on public resources. They sack workers and reduce public spending on social services in order to maintain the same opulent lifestyle and the same volume of loots whenever there is a decline in revenue. Besides, they do not see workers as an important aspect in the process of developing the economy because they lack the capacity to plan and sustainably grow and develop the economy to meet the needs of all. Workers are being sacked in a period when workers need an increase in wage to meet the rising cost of living.
These attacks are made possible because the leadership of trade union organisations, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the affected affiliates at the state and national level have failed to challenge these anti-poor policies in the public and private sectors. For instance, when Nasir El-Rufai brazenly sacked 21,000 in 2017, NLC and the TUC failed to challenge it in a concerted and determined manner. Except these attacks are resisted this time around, there is a danger that Nasir El-Rufai will be emboldened to carry out more attacks and these could motivate other state and local governments including the federal government to carry out more attacks on the working people and poor.
Already, over 16 state governments are yet to show any commitment towards the implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage with growing casualization and loss of jobs in the private sector wherein thousands of workers have also been thrown out of jobs just to satisfy the profit greed of a few privileged and corrupt business owners. This happens without determined effort by the leadership of trade union organisations to challenge these anti-workers policies because of their strategic alliance with the bourgeois ruling elite and big business bosses.
CDWR frowns at this anti-labour collaborationist policy and calls on the national leadership of the NLC and TUC to begin the mobilization of workers in Kaduna state and across the country to resist all anti-labour actions and neo-liberal policies through mass protests, rallies, mass sensitization and general strike. Where the labour leaders in Kaduna State and elsewhere in the country fail to challenge these anti-poor policies, we call on activists and the rank and file workers to organize themselves to take actions.

SIGNED
Comrade Rufus Olusesan Comrade Chinedu Bosah
National Chairperson National Publicity Secretary

Buhari’s empty rhetoric, security of people and human rights By Kolawole Olaniyan

President Muhammadu Buhari in his inaugural speech on May 29, 2015 promised expectant citizens that he would: “tackle head on the enormous challenges of insecurity and pervasive corruption. Nigerians will not regret that they have entrusted national responsibility to us.”
Yet, his government is doing very little to address the growing insecurity, widespread corruption, and associated human rights violations in the country.
Available evidence on the ground shows increasing violence, insecurity, and abductions, leading inevitably to arbitrary deprivation of lives, and many other human rights abuses, and illustrating the troubling gap between Mr Buhari’s promise and action.
According to Amnesty International, tens of thousands of people have been killed as a result of violence and serious crimes in many parts of the country. Herdsmen and farmers clashes have worsened under Mr Buhari government’s watch. Several students remain missing after gunmen attacked the Federal College of Forestry in Kaduna state.
Abductions of schoolchildren, teachers and their families have become routine, resulting in closure of over 600 schools, including in Sokoto; Zamfara; Kano; Katsina; Niger; and Yobe states. Those statistics should cause concern to any government. But the Buhari government seems to lack the political will and determination required to address the critical human rights situation.
School closures caused by insecurity and violence have exacerbated existing inequalities, as children who are already most at risk of being excluded from a quality education have been disproportionately affected. Yet, Nigeria has endorsed the Safe Schools Declaration, an inter-governmental political commitment to protect schools, students, and education personnel from being attacked.
To make matters worse, victims of violence, killings and abductions, and their families are left to fend for themselves and rarely receive any effective remedy. Impunity for perpetrators continues to facilitate the repetition of violence and serious crimes, and associated human rights abuses, as well as the total defenselessness of victims and their families.
All too often, corruption, the lack of political will, and sometimes negligence to effectively investigate and prosecute violent acts also create a climate that is conducive to a cycle of violence, since society sees no evidence of willingness by the State to take effective action to sanction such acts.
Violence and insecurity are exacerbated by years of corruption in the law enforcement sector, and among the political class. Only recently, the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, reportedly stated that $1 billion arms funds are missing under Mr Buhari government’s watch. Mr Buhari should have seized the moment, and referred the matter to appropriate anti-corruption agencies for investigation. Instead, Mr Monguno denied making the statement, despite the translated version of the BBC Hausa interview suggesting that he was not misquoted. Many questions remain unanswered, reinforcing the need for an independent investigation to establish the truth.
Corruption ‘kills’, and has a wide range of other corrosive effects on societies. It undermines the rule of law, erodes the quality of life, allows insecurity, violence and other threats to human security to flourish, thus leading to human rights abuses. By diverting funds, corruption exacerbates threats to people’s dignity and livelihood, as it undermines a government’s ability to protect and ensure the human rights of its population.
While violence and killings have been a longstanding problem, and predate this administration, the absence of leadership and the requisite political will by Mr Buhari government to genuinely combat the problem, implement human rights reforms and observe the rule of law has continued to exacerbate the problem.
There remain serious shortcomings in the way law enforcement and security agencies work to prevent, deter and suppress violence and serious crimes across the country. Apart from fostering impunity, the absence of effective and corruption-free law enforcement and intelligence apparatus also increases the sense of insecurity within the public and its mistrust of these institutions.
Both the federal and state governments spend roughly $670 million (about N242 billion) yearly as “security votes” but Mr Buhari and the 36 state governors have resisted attempts by civil society groups seeking information on how the funds are spent, and to prevent misuse and embezzlement of public funds in the name of security votes.
Violence, abductions, and corruption intersect where law enforcement agencies are corrupt and, in some cases, complicit in gross violations of human rights.
The milieu into which violence, abductions, and corruption merge is extremely threatening to the rule of law and respect for human rights in the country. The failure of the federal and state governments to recognize the centrality of this trinity is one factor that continues to allow this nexus to flourish.
The rhetoric of Mr Buhari’s promise is further illustrated by the government’s apparent unwillingness to design and implement credible policies to prevent and combat violence and crimes, and to promote the rule of law.
The issue of people’s security and safety has for too long taken the back-seat. Yet, it is the duty of any serious government to guarantee the human rights to life and security of the population.
This failure to exercise responsibility to promote and ensure the security and safety of the population constitutes a serious breach of the Nigerian government’s human rights obligations, including under the Nigerian Constitution 1999 (as amended), and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights to which Nigeria is a state party.
Both the Nigerian Constitution and the African Charter guarantee and protect the rights to life, physical integrity, and liberty among others relating to people’s security. As a corollary, the government is required to ensure the effective functioning and operation of governmental apparatus and, in general, all the structures through which public power is exercised, so that it is capable of juridically ensuring the free and full enjoyment of human rights.
It is not sufficient to abstain from violating this right: positive and specific measures are also required to respond to the needs of those who require protection because of the specific risks they face or their situation of marginalization and discrimination. The main purpose is to ensure that no one is arbitrarily deprived of their lives, and other human rights.
Clearly, mere promises are not enough. The government must move swiftly to match its words with serious and concrete action to guarantee the human rights of all people in Nigeria if it is to be taken seriously on its oft-expressed commitment to stop the persistent corruption, violence, abductions and other human rights crimes.
It’s important for the Buhari government to urgently end the impunity that continues to facilitate a culture of official corruption, violence, abductions and killings across the country, and to ensure access to justice and effective remedies for victims.
Mr Buhari should promptly refer the allegation by his National Security Adviser to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission for thorough and transparent investigation, and to ensure suspected perpetrators are brought to justice, and the recovery of any missing public funds.
The federal and state governments should honour freedom of information requests, including by the anti-corruption watchdog Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project seeking access to information in the spending of security votes meant to secure people’s lives and other human rights.
Similarly, Mr Buhari’s government must end its persistent refusal to implement court orders, including the judgment by Justice Hadiza Rabiu Shagari ordering the government to tell Nigerians about the stolen assets it allegedly recovered, with details of the amounts involved.
Doing this would contribute to improving the security of the people and guaranteeing the rule of law, as well as respect for human rights. As Aristotle pointed out: “It is better for the law to rule than one of its citizens, so even the guardians of the laws are obeying the laws.”
Mr Buhari needs to end slogans and empty rhetoric, wake up to his responsibility, and act before the insecurity situation gets worse. Addressing the people on his strategy for tackling the problems should be the easiest place to start.

Kolawole Olaniyan, author of Corruption and Human Rights Law in Africa, is legal adviser at Amnesty International’s International Secretariat, London.

The unwinning war: The Parliament invitation to the Nigerian Army By Jimoh Ibrahim CFR

Professor Matthias Strohn. Camberley’s desire of the military discussion opened the unpredicted paranoia ‘black box’ to inside the military and its operational strategy that left nothing to kept of the ethics and the pride of the Army even on the war front. When he said, “to stay within the Military realm, the conceptual component of fighting power can only be enhanced if we engage intellectually with the problems present.” (Matthias himself holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Oxford, Germany General and faculty member of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst) saw that the contemporary military must start to get used to civil society’s open encounters if the military solves civil society’s problems of human insecurity, The Army must now critically be prepared to open its books to non-accountants, including those who study history, law, or geography, once they make a member of the parliament list. Unfortunately, the operational Army is busy with how to bring back human security dearly needed in the Nigerian society given the threatening activities of the Boko Haram now going to the second decades. They may not even know who buy their uniform, machinery, and supply support, but the Parliament invites them to give account. The Chief of Army Staff or the Defence Staff must go to the Parliament to answer questions? A winning or unwinning invitation to war? Not even the Nigerian judiciary is ready for such a battle, much less of the Parliament.

No one knows when the Chief of the Army Staff of the British Army appears in the Parliament. Or that of the United States in the face of the war in Afghanistan or is the fact that nothing in monetary terms is lost that requires investigation in Afghanistan (1979-2001) or Cuba (1961), Czechoslovakia (1968), Granada (1983), Panama (1989), Iraq (2003), and Syria (2011) or close home at least hypothetically the ECOMOG account was balanced! Who can account for money spent on the war front, and who can say that the supply is regular to reflect a market price? Who is looking for justified prices of war pieces of machinery when the producer has options to sell or not to sell to us? How can the Army account for diplomacy funding spent on the stakeholders on war fronts? Even the State Governors who draw billions of Naira on security votes from the federal allocations to their states are excluded from the investigation on how they spend security money. Still, one of the problems that come with Matthias’ statement is the accounting challenges for funds spent on the war fronts, as one presented to us from the convergence of the complexities of war. In Mega Projects like war, money spent is not the priority but completion of the project or bringing the war to an end! The British parliament once asks a CEO how much it will cost to complect the London Crossrail project. The CEO asked for a blank cheque (and I am involved in this project) since already the government has spent £41.3bn or N20 trillion) costs on one project and the project is not near completion! Should the Nigeria Army ask for a blank cheque to end Boko Haram, I hope the parliament will not recommend public execution of all!

It is painful to strongly come out of the Sambisa forest and move to the Parliament to make a statement regarding the Army’s war equipment. Even when you are not involved and more so that you just resume an Army leadership position, all you get is a red security signals plus parliament invitation, as I saw the Army chief’s expression. But the gentleman put on leadership cap when he said my explanation implies apology! Yes, the Army does not ordinarily and when in uniform apologies to anyone for the image it portrays and when they do nothing wrong.

What is the mode of investigation of the Army on the invitation? A structural interview distilling verifiable investigation from the concerned institution’s written responses. A Scientific approach of “logical positivism.” (a philosophical movement inspired by empiricism and verificationism.) Or “logical empiricism.” (a type of theory in epistemology. Where experience has primacy in human knowledge and justified belief). The parliament judgment may lack empiricism and verificationism. Science aims to find the truth and predict the behaviour of the examined systems in “generality.” Once we have successfully described a hydrogen atom, we can make predictions about all hydrogen atoms in the universe. The absence of such empiricism and verificationism put the Parliament in a dilemma of desire to find justice. The Parliament has to find out If any fund is missing, but without the skill of the EFCC, the assignment may be difficult to discharge. We could easily say that scientific evidence is stupid.

What is more, we never argue from facts to theories unless by way of refutation or falsification. We may also need to falsify the falsification. There is an asymmetry between verification and falsification. The demarcation criterion is based on “potential falsifiability” for a theory to be scientific. It needs at least one potential falsifiability; that is, there must exist at least one empirical observation statement that conflicts with it! The Parliament will win a price if they find such conflicting evidence that the money was stolen contrary to the Army memo that perhaps nothing was lost! If they base their report on that, then the conjectures and refutation of the process of error elimination of getting closer to the truth.

What we call ‘ad-hoc auxiliary assumption’ latter ‘conventionalist stratagems’ and finally, “immunizing stratagems.” The Parliament may soon change the investigation strategy using the social science interpretivism approach. Yes, social media! It is important here to let do the video of our proceedings, or someone we don’t know will do it and circulate it such that the Army is put in public opinion court even without a trial. And in the social sciences, there is only interpretation. Nothing speaks for itself. The Parliament will move on and may say… we are confronted with shared data and evidence problems. (error) provide a powerful motivation to employ analytic techniques that use probability theory, especially techniques that address drawing inferences from insufficient evidence. Or that the evidence is sufficient to make the recommendation that……
We should be civilized to now know that the Army remains a pivotal edifice in national security in contemporary society, and proudly the Nigeria Armey has been willing the laurels in the international fronts.

Those gentlemen have come to give their life for the peace of community permanently, and they live far away from us, and not even the human right to freedom of movement is available to them without a pass. We must respond to give them that much respect and invite them to a close door when we carry out our duties of oversight as required by the constitution, for this is what we needed in contemporary time to get that much money that is’ missing’ in the Army. At the same time, we let go of those of the NNPC!

Jimoh Ibrahim CRF is a Ph.D. Candidate of the Modern War Studies and Contemporary Military History of the University of Buckingham UK.

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PRESIDENT BUHARI WELCOMES RAMADAN, ASKS CITIZENS TO REMEMBER THE POOR AND THE INTERNALLY DISPLACED


President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday welcomed the beginning of Muslims’ holy month of Ramadan, which marks the commencement of 30 days of fasting.
In a message to the nation to mark the occasion, President Buhari prayed to Allah to accept our sacrifices and increase the unity, solidarity, peace and prosperity of the nation.
He urged Muslims in the country to exercise patience and tolerance and reject voices that seek to divide the nation.
He also urged all citizens to show compassion to the millions of the less endowed and remember those that have been displaced by conflict in their charity and prayers in this important period.

Garba Shehu
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
April 12, 2021

PDP Congratulates Tom Ikimi At 77

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) congratulates elder statesman, former minister of foreign affairs, former Chairman of ECOWAS Council of Ministers and member of the Board of Trustees of our great party, Chief Tom Ikimi, as he attains the age of 77 years.
The PDP celebrates Chief Tom Ikimi for his sacrificial roles towards the unity and political development of our dear nation.
Chief Ikimi is a quintessential democrat, who believes in political inclusiveness, equality, fairness, national cohesiveness and true federalism.
Our party recalls Chief Ikimi’s contributions as a member of the Constituent Assembly of 1988/98 as well as his role as Chairman of the panel for the National Convention Presidential Election Panel of 2003.
The PDP also appreciate Chief Ikimi’s commitment towards the ability and growth of our great party, especially his roles in stimulating efforts towards the success of our party in elections at various levels.
The PDP celebrates Chief Ikimi at this auspicious occasion and prays to God to grant him many more years in good health in the service of our dear fatherland and humanity in general.
Signed:
Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

Rt. Hon. Dum Dekor Salutes Gov Wike, Wife, Justice Suzzette Nyesom-Wike Over Conferment Of Chieftaincy Titles By Tiv Nation
…Signposts His Reputation As Apostle Of National Unity
The member representing Khana/Gokana Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Dumnamene Robinson Dekor has felicitated with Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike and his wife, Justice Suzzette Nyesom-Wike, for being honoured with the chieftaincy titles of ‘The Eagle of Tiv Nation’ and ‘The Nest of the Eagle of Tiv Nation’ respectively.
The federal lawmaker and former commissioner for works, while reacting to the historic chieftaincy conferment on the First Family of Rivers State, described the bestowment as well-deserved and a confirmation of Governor Wike’s reputation as an apostle of national unity.
“I wish to add that as the Eagle and Nest of the Eagle of Tiv Nation, I have no doubt that Governor Wike and his wife, Suzzette, represent same for all the ethnic nationalities in Rivers State. I believe it is only a matter of time and these would be openly declared”, he stated.
Noting that a gold fish does not have a hiding place, Rt. Hon Dekor said the Governor and his wife merited the titles because he has taken governance to another level by ensuring that visible development gets to every nook and cranny of the State.
The federal lawmaker who was a one-time Deputy Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly, added that as the affirmed apostle of national unity, ‘Mr. Quality Projects’ has demonstrated this in many ways including breaking barriers to provide support to security agencies, give monetary interventions to federal institutions and even has to fund the repair of federal roads that are in deplorable conditions.
“Our Governor, supported by his beloved wife, has been promoting peace, love and a united progressive Nigeria. He has promoted national unity in many ways and the enviable nationalistic quality has endeared him into the hearts of Nigerians, including the Tiv Nation”, Rt. Hon. Dekor said.
He enjoined Rivers people to also see the conferment of the Tiv chieftaincy titles on Governor Wike and his wife, Suzzette, as a call for more support and encouragement to his administration, adding that the honour is for all Rivers people.
Rt. Hon. Dum Dekor Salutes Gov Wike, Wife, Justice Suzzette Nyesom-Wike Over Conferment Of Chieftaincy Titles By Tiv Nation
…Signposts His Reputation As Apostle Of National Unity
The member representing Khana/Gokana Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Dumnamene Robinson Dekor has felicitated with Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike and his wife, Justice Suzzette Nyesom-Wike, for being honoured with the chieftaincy titles of ‘The Eagle of Tiv Nation’ and ‘The Nest of the Eagle of Tiv Nation’ respectively.
The federal lawmaker and former commissioner for works, while reacting to the historic chieftaincy conferment on the First Family of Rivers State, described the bestowment as well-deserved and a confirmation of Governor Wike’s reputation as an apostle of national unity.
“I wish to add that as the Eagle and Nest of the Eagle of Tiv Nation, I have no doubt that Governor Wike and his wife, Suzzette, represent same for all the ethnic nationalities in Rivers State. I believe it is only a matter of time and these would be openly declared”, he stated.
Noting that a gold fish does not have a hiding place, Rt. Hon Dekor said the Governor and his wife merited the titles because he has taken governance to another level by ensuring that visible development gets to every nook and cranny of the State.
The federal lawmaker who was a one-time Deputy Speaker, Rivers State House of Assembly, added that as the affirmed apostle of national unity, ‘Mr. Quality Projects’ has demonstrated this in many ways including breaking barriers to provide support to security agencies, give monetary interventions to federal institutions and even has to fund the repair of federal roads that are in deplorable conditions.
“Our Governor, supported by his beloved wife, has been promoting peace, love and a united progressive Nigeria. He has promoted national unity in many ways and the enviable nationalistic quality has endeared him into the hearts of Nigerians, including the Tiv Nation”, Rt. Hon. Dekor said.
He enjoined Rivers people to also see the conferment of the Tiv chieftaincy titles on Governor Wike and his wife, Suzzette, as a call for more support and encouragement to his administration, adding that the honour is for all Rivers people.

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PRESIDENT BUHARI SALUTES DANGOTE ON BIRTHDAY, COMMENDS HIS EXEMPLARY EFFORTS DURING PANDEMIC

President Muhammadu Buhari congratulates Aliko Dangote on adding a year to his age, describing him as a key partner and a “Corona Warrior” who continues to show consistent faith and belief in our dear country.
In a statement commemorating the birthday of Africa’s leading philanthropist and industry giant, President Buhari said the pandemic has placed enormous strain on many nations, but in our case, due to the support and cooperation of citizens like Dangote who display great empathy and sacrifice to mankind in their own ways, the burden has been made somewhat lighter for the citizens and the government.
He also commended the President of Dangote group for giving wings to the aspirations of many youngsters and professionals in Nigeria and the rest of the continent, urging him to continue to do more.
President Buhari added that these exemplary efforts will go down in history and will be remembered by future generations.
He wished him many more years of healthy life and service to nation and humanity.
Garba Shehu
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
April 10, 2021

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COMMUNIQUE OF THE PDP GOVERNORS’ FORUM MEETING HELD ON 9TH APRIL, 2021 AT MAKURDI, BENUE STATE.

Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, met in Makurdi, Benue State on 9th April, 2021, under the aegis of the Peoples Democratic Party Governors’ Forum, PDP–GF, to review the state of affairs in the country and common developments in their states and issued the following Communique at the end of their meeting;
1. The meeting noted and condemned the alarming drift of Nigeria which if allowed to continue, will make Nigeria a failed state under the watch of the All Progressives Congress, APC, government. They expressed deep concern and alarm at the deteriorating relations between various groups in Nigeria. The Governors were deeply worried that indeed, all our fault lines and differences are being stretched to the limit by a government that clearly lacks the capacity to govern. The meeting agreed that this has given rise to ethnic and tribal tensions, religious divisions, and various forms of social and political cleavages. The Governors concluded that Nigeria is in dire need of leadership at the Federal level to avert the looming disaster.
2. The meeting was similarly alarmed that security of lives and property of Nigerians are no longer guaranteed under the present government as a result of leadership incompetence and mismanagement of the nation’s affairs. While noting that Governors have a role to play in the handling of some of the worsening situations, they regret their hands are tied behind their backs as the entire coercive authority in the country is monopolised by the APC federal government. Time has come to take advantage of the ongoing Constitution Amendment process to decentralise the security architecture of Nigeria and involve States and Local Governments.
3. Consequently, the Governors reaffirmed their conviction that an urgent devolution of powers and restructuring of the country in a way that brings together various groups and tendencies in the country appears to have become imperative and timely now as Nigeria cannot afford another civil war.
4. We call on the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission to send a new Revenue Allocation Formular that allocates more resources to States and Local Governments to Mr President for National Assembly’s action. It is a scandal that 21 years after the 1999 Constitution came into being, no new Revenue Formular is in place. Furthermore, the meeting called for a more transparent and accountable running and operation of the NNPC.
5. The meeting further condemned the intimidation of sitting Governors by the APC administration using all sorts of weapons like security agencies, unequal access to federal resources, promotion of divisions in the opposition political parties with fake promises and falsehoods. We significantly condemn the double standards that are applied by the APC-led federal government to intimidate PDP controlled states. To this end, we call on Mr. President to lift the so called “No flight Zone” and other intimidating tactics, imposed on Zamfara State as similar measures have not been extended to similar states with security challenges like Kaduna, Borno, Katsina, Yobe and others. This is mostly politically motivated to ensure that the Governors move over to APC.
6. The meeting noted that the APC has been unable to even have a democratically-elected National Executive Committee as required by the Nigerian Constitution. A Political Party that operates by military fiat with an appointed and unelected Executive Committee at ALL LEVELS from WARD to NATIONAL has no business running the affairs of our country. APC cannot deliver democracy to Nigeria; even to constitute a Board of Trustees has been an impossible task for the party since inception. It further expressed surprise that the APC is interested in playing politics and jockeying for power in 2023, when they have done an abysmal and terribly poor job of their current questionable mandate.
7. The Governors were distressed that Nigeria is now officially the country with the highest unemployment rate in the world at 33% under the disastrous leadership of APC. This is following on the heels of yet another feat of being the country with the second highest poverty rate in the world. For APC, it is indeed a race to the bottom.
8. The meeting received briefings from the National Chairman of PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, and Chairman PDP Board of Trustees, Senator Walid Jibrin, and assures Nigerians that help is on the way as the PDP is primed to offer effective leadership ONCE AGAIN to Nigeria. It enjoined Nigerians to once more place their trust on the PDP as the only effective vehicle to salvage the country.
9. The meeting commended the Governors of PDP-controlled states for their innovative approaches to governance in many fields especially infrastructure, education, health, women and youth initiatives and the timely delivery of developmental projects, across the country. It is these LEGACY PROJECTS being undertaken in many PDP-governed states that will be presented to Nigerians as our scorecard at the appropriate time.
10. The meeting thanked the Host, His Excellency, Governor Samuel Ortom for hosting the first meeting of the PDP Governors in recent times outside Abuja and for holding the Party together not only in Benue State but in the entire North Central Zone.
In attendance are:
Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, CFR – Sokoto State – Chairman
Gov. Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu – Abia State – Vice Chairman
Gov. Udom Emmanuel – Akwa Ibom State – Member
Gov. Sen. Douye Diri – Bayelsa State – Member
Gov. Samuel Ortom -Benue State -Member
Gov. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa – Delta State – Member
Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi – Enugu State – Member
Gov. Nyesom Wike, CON – Rivers State – Member
Gov. Engr. Oluseyi Abiodun Makinde – Oyo State – Member
Gov. Arc Darius Dickson Ishaku -Taraba State- Member
Gov. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri -Adamawa State -Member
Gov. Godwin Obaseki – Edo State -Member
Gov. Bello Mattawale Maradun -Zamfara State -Member
Deputy Governor Sen. Baba Tela – Bauchi State – Member
RT. HON. AMINU WAZIRI TAMBUWAL, CFR
Chairman, PDP Governors’ Forum