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There “was a foolish attempt” to burgle my residence – Ibrahim Gambari The Chief of Staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari has confirmed that there “was a foolish attempt” to burgle his residence at 3:00am this morning but it turned out to be unsuccessful. Professor Gambari, whose house is on a street next to the Villa has assured that there is nothing to worry about from the incident. The police, in a related development are searching for a suspected burglar who unsuccessfully attempted break into the house Maikano Abdullahi the Administration Office on Thursday, last week. Maikano lives on the same street with the Chief of Staff, close to the Villa. May 10, 2021 Press Statement APC’s Lies Confirm Its Leaders Are Behind Moves to Slash Workers’ Salaries- PDP …Urges Workers to Hold APC Responsible The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says the knee-jerk attempt by the pretentious All Progressives Congress (APC) to deny the public declaration by the APC-led Federal Government to slash workers’ salaries, has confirmed that it is indeed the mastermind of the obnoxious policy. The PDP stresses that the frenzy by the APC in hastily assuming the position of the mouthpiece of the Buhari Presidency, exposes a panic measure, symptomatic of being caught in its usual act. Of course, hardened oppressors and political predators always resort to disgraceful and shameless lies when caught in the act. That explains why the APC could expect Nigerians to forget, in a space of five days, the public declaration by the Minister of Finance and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, that President Muhammadu Buhari had directed a review of workers’ salaries as well as the merging of agencies of government. Perhaps the lying APC should be reminded how the Minister, at a public function organized by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) in Abuja, last Wednesday, unambiguously declared that there were moves to cut workers’ salaries. In the minister’s words, “Mr. President has directed that the salaries committee that I chair, work together with the head of service and other members of the committee to review the government payrolls in terms of stepping down on costs”. It is instructive to remind that the minister’s declaration was immediately condemned by labour unions and other well-meaning Nigerians, who described the move as unacceptable under the current excruciating economic situation. It is therefore absurd and exposes a desperate diversionary measure for the culpable APC to attempt to distort the facts by claiming that the it was the PDP that alleged of plans to slash workers’ salaries, when it was publicly announced by the Federal Government. This attempt by the APC to divert attention from the moves by its government to slash salaries of workers only goes to validate our intelligence that the APC is behind the plots. It is clear that the APC is now overweighed by the burden of being exposed, but resorting to lies and diversionary measures cannot sway Nigerians. Now that the APC is speaking for Mr. President in his manifest failure and anti-people policies, we charge Nigerians to hold the APC, as a party, responsible for any salary cut. Nigerians should also hold APC accountable for the economic strangulation, as well as the escalated kidnapping, bloodletting and worsened insecurity in our country under the Buhari administration. Our party restates our stance that the lying APC and its government must rescind the move to slash the salaries of workers. Instead, the APC should get its leaders to return the over N15 trillion they stole from the national coffers as well as get more competent hands to manage our ailing economy. Signed: Kola Ologbondiyan National Publicity Secretary PRESIDENT BUHARI TO MARK EID IN THE VILLA, PLANS MODEST CELEBRATION AT HOME As Muslims in Nigeria join others globally in preparations towards Eid Al-Fitr, a day that is celebrated to mark the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting, President Buhari directs that all celebrations be limited due to the global Coronavirus crisis. To this effect, the President, First Family, his personal aides, members of cabinet and Service Chiefs who choose to remain in Abuja will congregate in full compliance with COVID-19 protocols at the forecourt of the Presidential Villa to observe the Eid prayers. Time fixed for the prayer is 9:00am. Thereafter, there will be no traditional Sallah homage to the President by religious, community and political leaders. As was the case last year, the President encourages such leaders to be content with modest celebrations at home in view of the pandemic. President Buhari specially thanks the Ulama (Islamic Clerics) and all other religious (Muslim, Christian) leaders who continue to pray for the wellbeing of the nation and its people. The President, in addition, takes this opportunity to condole with all who lost family members due to what he described as the ‘madness’ going on in parts of the country. The President calls on all local leaders to talk to their youths and warn them against being used to incite and foment violence. “If we attack institutions guarding us,” the President wonders, “who will protect us in future emergencies?” Garba Shehu Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity) May 9, 2021 May 10, 2021 Press Statement NPA, NDDC Looting: PDP Demands Amaechi, Usman’s Sack, Prosecution …Says Agencies Are Now APC’s Cash Cows The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) demands the immediate sack, investigation and prosecution of Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, as well as the suspended Managing Director of the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, over exposed looting of over N165billions in the agency. The party also asks the transport minister to come clean on his reported connection in the alleged involvement of his wife, Mrs. Edith Amaechi, in the exposed N48 billion contract scam currently rocking the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC). The foul stench of corruption oozing out of the NPA, NDDC and other agencies of government in the last six years has shown that our MDAs have become the cash cows and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) of greedy leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and their cronies in government in their unbridled looting of our patrimony under President Muhammadu Buhari’s watch. Our party asserts that the fact that it took the minister a clear six years (2016 to 2021) to query the NPA Managing Director over the alleged looting of N165 billion unremitted operating surplus of the agency, which is under his purview, is suspect and raises public belief that he (Amaechi) only acted apparently to shied himself after indicting audit documents had already been exposed. This is in addition to reports from the office of Auditor General which also unearthed the looting of unremitted deduction to Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) amounting to N3,667,750,470. $148,845,745.04, Euro 4,891,449.50 and £252,682.14 under the suspended NPA Managing Director and Amaechi’s ministerial supervision. The audit report also exposed another N15.18 billion allegedly siphoned through shady Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects by the NPA, an agency under Amaechi’s ministerial purview. The PDP therefore rejects the obvious attempt at a coverup in the recourse to an Administrative Panel of Enquiry recommended by the Transport Minister to investigate the NPA fraud, in which he also has some questions to answer. Our party insists that both the minister and the indicted NPA Managing Director should be handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for investigation and possible prosecution. Moreover, Nigerians are appalled that fingers of fraud allegation are also pointing to the wife of the Transport Minister in a N48 billion contract scam under the sacked NDDC’s Managing Director, Nelson Bambraifa, who was reportedly nominated into that position by the minister of transportation, Amaechi, but fired on allegations of corruption. The PDP describes as unpardonable that the humongous sum in the NDDC contract scam involving the wife of the transport minister was allegedly siphoned under the guise of offering training to unsuspecting youths in the area. It is indeed disgraceful that under the APC that promised to fight and end corruption in our country, the public space is awash with revelations of sharing of government revenues among concubines, wives, girlfriends and family members of top APC leaders. This can only happen under the watch of an absentee president, who also condone corruption. Signed: Kola Ologbondiyan National Publicity Secretary PRESIDENT BUHARI CONGRATULATES DESIGNER OF NATIONAL FLAG, MICHAEL TAIWO AKINKUNMI ON 85TH BIRTHDAY On behalf of all Nigerians and the government, President Muhammadu Buhari sends warm felicitations to Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi, OFR, on his 85th birthday, joining family members and friends to celebrate with designer of the National Flag, whose creativity and patriotism remain remarkable. President Buhari affirms that Akinkunmi, who is an honorary Life Presidential Adviser, upholds the values that every citizen should emulate for nation building, which include humility, selflessness, integrity and a keen interest in seeking greater good for country and humanity. The President prays that God will grant the octogenarian and retired civil servant longer life, good health and strength to keep serving the nation he loves so much. Femi Adesina Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity) May 10, 2021 May 9, 2021 Press Statement PDP Berates APC for Instigating Moves to Slash Workers’ Salaries The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) condemns in its entirely, the moves by the Buhari-led administration to slash the salaries of workers in the country. The PDP alerts that intelligence at its disposal indicates that leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) recommended the widely condemned move to slash workers’ meagre salaries despite the current excruciating economic hardship which the APC administration had plunged our nation in the last six years. The PDP describes as wicked and completely unacceptable that APC leaders could go after workers’ salaries even after their party, the APC, had endorsed the increase in the cost of fuel, electricity and other tariffs, leading to the steeply rise in the cost of food and other essential commodities beyond the reach of millions of Nigerians. Our party rejects the baseless argument that the move to cut salaries is necessitated by dwindling revenue to finance the national budget. Rather than impose more hardship on our workers, the APC and its administration should realign the budget by removing their padded figures as well as end the exposed looting in the integrated payment system, where trillion of naira are being siphoned through non-existent workers and overheads. Moreover, the APC and its administration should return the over N15 trillion stolen by APC leaders from various agencies of government and channel same to governance. It is distasteful that the APC and the Buhari administration are contemplating a salary cut in a country with a paltry N30,000 monthly minimum wage, an amount that can barely run a small family for less than a week in the face of escalated cost of staple food and essential commodities. The PDP also finds it appalling that at a time leaders of other countries are seeking ways to provide economic stimulus and incentives for their citizens, the APC and the Buhari Presidency are rather seeking to cut salaries in a country with frightening 33.3 percent unemployment rate; where over 60 million citizens have lost their jobs with over 40 million businesses closed within six years of the APC administration. Our party cautions that APC and its administration against the proposed salary cut as it will trigger an immediate negative spiral effect, particularly with the escalated cases of terrorism and other social vices, confronting our nation. It is distressing that in the last six years and particularly in the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the APC and Buhari Presidency have failed to take any decisive steps to stimulate to economy and promote production. Instead, the APC and its administration had engaged in mindless external borrowings, bulk of which had also been looted by APC leader and their cronies in government. Now that they have borrowed from every corner of the world, the APC and its administration are now turning to salaries of our workers. Our party counsels the Buhari administration to leave workers salary alone and seek help by getting more capable hands to manage our economy and create wealth instead of plunging Nigerians into more hardship. Signed: Kola Ologbondiyan National Publicity Secretary PRESIDENT BUHARI MOURNS VICTIMS OF NIGER BOAT ACCIDENT President Muhammadu Buhari expresses immense grief on the boat mishap in Tijana village of Munya Local Government Area of Niger State and extends his heartfelt sympathies to the families of the dead and the injured. According to the President, this incident is more disheartening as some of the victims were reportedly Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs). Commending the life-saving work of the first responders and local divers at the scene of the incident, the President wishes the wounded a speedy recovery and success on the search and rescue of some missing passengers on the capsized boat. President Buhari calls on the transportation authorities to ensure strict adherence to safety regulations on the nation’s waterways and urges that lessons from this accident should help prevent a future occurrence. He assures residents of Niger State that restoring long term stability and peace is a core objective of the Federal Government working with the State government and other critical stakeholders in the local communities. Garba Shehu Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity) May 10, 2021 LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT OFFICE OF THE CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNOR PRESS RELEASE SANWO-OLU GETS LAGOSIANS’ BACKING TO TACKLE SECURITY CHALLENGES • Stakeholders Seek Action on Okada, Abandoned Buildings, Others • Renewed Demand for Special Status Lagosians have asked the State Government to take decisive actions on some security issues to rein in what they describe as a disturbing trend. Among others, they demanded action against what many described as the menace of commercial motorcycles, otherwise known as Okada, kidnapping, armed robbery, cult clashes, and violent assaults. It was all at a Stakeholders’ Meeting on Security held at the Adeyemi Bero Hall, Alausa, Ikeja where Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and leading lights in security circles listened to a group of panelists who highlighted the state’s security challenges. In the audience were religious leaders, the Chief Judge, Justice Kazeem Alogba, military chiefs, traditional leaders, community leaders, students, unionists and members of the State Executive Council. Governor Sanwo-Olu listed his administration’s efforts in security and assured his audience that a decisive action would be taken on commercial motorcycles, which speaker after speaker described as a means for criminals. Its operators, they said, are unruly, uncouth, rude and brutal. But those who patronise them and the motorcyclists will not be left in the cold. The Government, Sanwo-Olu said, will be inaugurating the First and Last Mile buses next week, which will ply the routes the motorcycles are plying. Besides, those who have taken up Okada riding for lack of jobs were advised to grab the opportunities in agriculture, wealth creation, poverty alleviation and other government programmes. Sanwo-Olu said the meeting was convened in response to the growing threat posed by some lawless activities to the safety and security of lives in the State. The Governor said the string of lawlessness daily witnessed from the confrontation between commercial motorcyclists and law enforcement agencies required an urgent action, stressing that the Government would be announcing reforms in transportation, which will further make changes to the parameters of motorcycle and tricycle operations. He said: “We have noted with dismay the fact that Okada riders are disregarding and flouting the restrictions we imposed on their activities in certain areas of the metropolis. We have also observed with dismay, the ongoing violent confrontation by commercial motorcyclists against our law enforcement agencies. “Based on all that we have seen and experienced in the past couple of weeks, as well as the increasing threat posed by the activities of commercial motorcycle operators to the safety and security of lives, we will be announcing further changes to the parameters of motorcycle and tricycle operations in the State in the coming days. No society can make progress amid such haughty display of lawlessness and criminality.” Sanwo-Olu made it known that the Government would fully implement the State’s Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law of 2019 as amended, which will enable the Government take over and demolish abandoned buildings and construction sites turned into safe haven for hoodlums and miscreants. He added that the State would strengthen its clean-up exercise of shanties and spots unapproved for settlement, but which had turned to hideouts for criminals. The State Government, Sanwo-Olu said, would be recruiting more personnel into the Lagos State Neighbourhood Corps (LSNC) to boost intelligence gathering at the community level. The Governor said the consultative meeting with the stakeholders was necessary to make the State’s security strategy effective and sustainable, noting that all hands must be on deck to work with the Government in collecting, sharing and evaluating credible intelligence that would strengthen security of lives and property in Lagos. He said: “Lagos must continue to enjoy an atmosphere of peace, safety and all-encompassing security. We are determined to arrest the current security challenges being faced in the State, and we will take every step necessary to deliver on our promises on a safe, secure and livable state. We will also continue to communicate regularly with key stakeholders, and all the residents for updates on the progress we are making.” Appraising security situation in Lagos, Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu, raised alarm over rising security breaches resulting from the menace of Okada operations in the State. Between January and early this month, Odumosu disclosed, 320 commercial motorcycles were arrested in 218 cases of criminal incidents in which 78 suspects were detained and 480 ammunition recovered. In the same period, the Lagos police boss said Okada accounted for 83 per cent of 385 cases of avoidable fatal vehicular accidents in Lagos. He said: “The menace of Okada operators does not end with avoidable accidents. Crime reports from the field have shown that a greater percentage of crimes, ranging from armed robbery, cultism, kidnapping, murder, burglary and stealing, traffic robbery to carjacking and cash snatching from bank customers, are attributable to armed hoodlums who operate on Okada. “The nuisance constituted by the Okada operators on Lagos roads has become a danger to law abiding citizens. Sections of Lagos populace have come to regard commercial motorcycles as a necessary evil, it has become imperative for the Government to take more drastic measures against their notoriety.” “The State Police Command strongly advises the State Government to immediately review the current guidelines guiding the operation of Okada as a means of commercial transportation in the State and take decisive legal and administrative steps and policies that will curb their traffic, criminal and other nefarious activities in the State.” There was a panel of discussion chaired by an award-winning Television Show host, Babajide Kolade-Otitoju, in which residents aired their views on the current state of security in Lagos and across the country. The discussants expressed concerns on the security implications of allowing operations of Okada and demanded a ‘Special Status’ for Lagos as ethnic melting pot. They also urged the Government to create economic opportunities and vocational engagement for unemployed residents to further lessen crime rates. Addressing the complaints about criminals hiding in uncompleted buildings and abandoned vehicles within communities, Vice Chairman of Lagos State Community Development Advisory Council, Mr. Rotimi Ayoku-Owolawi said the CDC was ready to support the Government and the police in identifying dark spots and lock-up markets from where criminals launch their nefarious activities. Commissioner for Information Mr. Gbenga Omotoso described the stakeholders’ engagement as proactive, given a string of security breaches in the country. He said gone were the days when citizens were at the mercy of pickpockets and amateur criminals; the contemporary crimes, he said, are being committed by armed robbers, bloodsucking bandits and daredevil gangsters. “We don’t want our Lagos to become an epicenter of evil and criminality,” Omotoso said. At the end of the stakeholders’ meeting, a 12-point resolution was reached and agreed upon by the participants in public interest. The resolution reads in part: “Attacks on law enforcement officers and agencies should not be handled with kid gloves. Culprits must be arrested and the full weight of the law brought to bear on such persons. “Government must take stringent measures to ban the use of Okada as means of transportation in the State; alternatives must be provided by the State Government in Agriculture, Wealth Creation, Women Affairs Empowerment programmes and others. “Government should take control of abandoned and uncompleted buildings used as hideouts of criminals in the State immediately. The State must take control of abandoned vehicles in its nooks and crannies and seal off houses, hotels and event centres where hoodlums are found to hibernate or where arms are stored.” SIGNED GBOYEGA AKOSILE CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY MAY 10, 2021 LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT OFFICE OF THE CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNOR PRESS RELEASE SANWO-OLU RECEIVES LASU PANEL REPORT ON NEW VC’S APPOINTMENT …‘We’re Fair To All’ – Omole Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Monday, received the report of the six-member special visitation panel on the appointment of the 9th substantive Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the Lagos State University (LASU). The panel, chaired by former VC of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Prof. Bamitale Omole, turned in three volumes of report to the Governor – the Visitor to the university – 37 days after it was constituted to examine if the extant laws of the university and other relevant guidelines were followed in the process of appointing new VC. Sanwo-Olu said he was elated by timely submission of the panel’s recommendations, saying the feat demonstrated members’ competency, selflessness, and hard work put in the task. He expressed hope that the report would enable the State Government achieve peaceful transition and foster peaceful industrial relations in the school. The Governor pledged his commitment to give all stakeholders a level playground and equal opportunity, noting that the panel was raised in the overall interest of students and image of the institution. He said: “Today, I received reports of the special visitation panel on the Vice Chancellorship of LASU, which looked into the issues surrounding the appointment of the 9th Vice Chancellor, especially the remote causes of the impasse into the selection process and procedures for the for the appointment. “This effort is geared towards ensuring that there is equality, fairness, transparency, openness and level playground for all in the process of selection and to ensure that the best and the most qualified person that will drive the established vision of the school’s founding fathers emerges at the end of the process. “I thank the chairman of the special visitation panel, Prof. Bamitale Omole, and all other members of the panel for the sacrifice, selflessness and inconveniences they had to bear in the course of the task. Report of this panel will be well utilised and its recommendations will be fully implemented in the appointment of the 9th Vice Chancellor of LASU.” Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Hon. Tokunbo Wahab, said the panel was constituted in accordance with the provisions of Section 23 of the Lagos State University Law, Chapter L 69, Volume 7, Laws of Lagos State, 2015. The panel, he said, was charged to look to review, in the public interest, the relevance of the deluge of petitions against the first and second selection processes for the appointment of substantive VC and to examine if the extant laws of the university and other relevant guidelines were followed in the appointment. Wahab added that the panel was also asked to review and advise on all other relevant matters in respect of the process adopted so far, and make recommendations for the smooth running of the university. Presenting the report, Prof. Omole said: “Without scintilla of equivocation in our findings, observations and recommendations are based on the memoranda submitted to us, the face-to-face interactions and interviews that we had with many of the people who held opposing and disparate position on the matter of the appointment of the 9th VC. “Individuals, groups, associations, unions, guild, the academia and traditional rulers who submitted memoranda were given ample opportunities to present their submissions. The documents we are submitting to the Visitor of the university are final products of the careful and punctilious exercise for official consideration.” Other eminent members of academia on the panel include former VC of University of Port Harcourt, Prof. Joseph Ajienka, Council of Oba Adetona on Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago Iwoye, Prof. Ayo Olukotun, former Lagos Solicitor-General, Mr. Lawal Pedro, SAN, former Registrar of University of Ibadan (UI), Mr. Olujimi Olukoya, and a Director on Grade Level 17 in Lagos public service, Mrs. Funmilola Olajide, who is the panel’s Secretary. SIGNED GBOYEGA AKOSILE CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY MAY 10, 2021 PRESIDENT BUHARI JOINS PRAYERS FOR UNITY, PEACE AS MUSLIMS END TAFSIR President Muhammadu Buhari Sunday joined worshippers for the closing session of the Tafsir at the State House Mosque where prayers were said for Allah’s protection to be upon the nation, its people and the leaders. The President and worshippers listened to the final round of the daily interpretation of the Quran delivered by Sheikh Abdulwahid Abubakar Sulaiman, the Chief Imam, which they had done throughout the fasting period. In today’s episode, the Imam reviewed the virtues of the Ramadan and prayed against disunity, unrest, anger and crimes. He also prayed to God for peace, harmony and security for the nation and its people. In a short sermon to commemorate the end of the exercise, Sheikh Abdulwahid said we desperately need God’s peace in view of the challenges facing the nation and urged all citizens to do justice to one another and seek restoration through repentance, humility and love. Garba Shehu Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity) May 9, 2021 Development: South-South leaders applaud Akapbio, Akwa, others South-South leaders on Sunday said the work done so far by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Godswill Akpabio, deserved to be shown to the world. They also urged South-South governors to learn from the example of the Sole Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr. Efiong Akwa. At a meeting convened in Abuja, the leaders commended Akpabio for the sense of direction and values. They accused some South-South governors of adding to the difficulties of the Niger Delta region. ‘’Some people tend to think they can hold the Niger Delta region to ransom, and lay down conditions for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) – when to constitute the board, who should be appointed, how many contracts they want and when to pay them or their cronies’’ The leaders underscored the suave style, sound management and extraordinary performance of the NDDC’s sole administrator. Particularly, the prominent South-South leaders accused some governors of the zone of throwing their hate and anger in the public space. They applauded Senator Godswill Akpabio, for bringing to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs his intelligence, experience and energy. ‘’We shall never be able to make progress by blackmail threats, corruption of the mind of youth, spreading false doctrines and careless talk’’ Chairman of South-South Front (SSF), Chief John Harry in a statement after the meeting said the leaders hailed Akpabio for keeping his word with the people, bringing about conditions for genuine progress and working strenuously for the overall development of the oil rich region. ‘’Chief Godswill Akpabio and the South-South leaders have a joint aim to advance the welfare of the people. They have a vital part to play in the speeding of the region’s development’’ the leaders said. They commended President Muhammadu Buhari for guiding the Niger Delta region steadily forward to progress. The leaders were keen to applaud the attitude the Ijaw National Leader, Chief Edwin Clark has shown thus far as well as his support for the NDDC management. The leaders also underscored the hostile intentions of some youths in the region. They scolded Alhaji Abubaka Amaigo Brown, Bedford Benjamin and Lambart Olambo, accusing them of working against the interests of the region. “Chief Godswill Akpabio is a person of great intelligence. He has extraordinary energy, boundless optimism and vision about the possibilities of progress in the Niger Delta region’’ Niger Delta leaders excited by Port Harcourt Refinery rehabilitation The rehabilitation of Port Harcourt refinery by the Federal Government is exciting prominent leaders in the Niger Delta region, who hope the project could contribute to the growth of the country and more jobs for youths in Nigeria, particularly the oil rich region. ‘’That is welcome news for the Niger Delta people’’ the regional leaders said in a statement in Port Harcourt on Tuesday. The well-known leaders in the region hailed the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, for engaging host communities appropriately and sourcing about 3,000 workers locally in line with the local content policy. The leaders also commended President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the project. “We are so excited about the plans of the Federal Government to fix the old refinery so that local refining can resume as soon as possible” the leaders said in a statement signed by the Chairperson of Niger Delta People’s Movement, Mrs. Ibifuro Tatua. ‘’The Niger Delta leaders remain fully committed to supporting the Federal Government and the contractor, Maire Technimont SPA, in the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt refinery’’ the statement said. The leaders praised the Federal Government for the transparent processes and the making of all the process plants hydrocarbon-free to enable the contractor to carry out the rehabilitation work safely. Refurbishing of the technical building, replacement of the fire-fighting and deluge sprinkler systems, refurbishing of 24 offsite tanks, replacement of electrical equipment in the substation, installation of primary earthing integration and new lighting system are some key activities that will be carried out. Pumps, turbines, expander, boilers, compressor fans and blowers, tanks, vessel and drums will also be replaced.


The Chief of Staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari has confirmed that there “was a foolish attempt” to burgle his residence at 3:00am this morning but it turned out to be unsuccessful.
Professor Gambari, whose house is on a street next to the Villa has assured that there is nothing to worry about from the incident.
The police, in a related development are searching for a suspected burglar who unsuccessfully attempted break into the house Maikano Abdullahi the Administration Office on Thursday, last week. Maikano lives on the same street with the Chief of Staff, close to the Villa.

May 10, 2021
Press Statement
APC’s Lies Confirm Its Leaders Are Behind Moves to Slash Workers’ Salaries- PDP
…Urges Workers to Hold APC Responsible

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says the knee-jerk attempt by the pretentious All Progressives Congress (APC) to deny the public declaration by the APC-led Federal Government to slash workers’ salaries, has confirmed that it is indeed the mastermind of the obnoxious policy.
The PDP stresses that the frenzy by the APC in hastily assuming the position of the mouthpiece of the Buhari Presidency, exposes a panic measure, symptomatic of being caught in its usual act.
Of course, hardened oppressors and political predators always resort to disgraceful and shameless lies when caught in the act.
That explains why the APC could expect Nigerians to forget, in a space of five days, the public declaration by the Minister of Finance and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, that President Muhammadu Buhari had directed a review of workers’ salaries as well as the merging of agencies of government.
Perhaps the lying APC should be reminded how the Minister, at a public function organized by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) in Abuja, last Wednesday, unambiguously declared that there were moves to cut workers’ salaries.
In the minister’s words, “Mr. President has directed that the salaries committee that I chair, work together with the head of service and other members of the committee to review the government payrolls in terms of stepping down on costs”.
It is instructive to remind that the minister’s declaration was immediately condemned by labour unions and other well-meaning Nigerians, who described the move as unacceptable under the current excruciating economic situation.
It is therefore absurd and exposes a desperate diversionary measure for the culpable APC to attempt to distort the facts by claiming that the it was the PDP that alleged of plans to slash workers’ salaries, when it was publicly announced by the Federal Government.
This attempt by the APC to divert attention from the moves by its government to slash salaries of workers only goes to validate our intelligence that the APC is behind the plots.
It is clear that the APC is now overweighed by the burden of being exposed, but resorting to lies and diversionary measures cannot sway Nigerians.
Now that the APC is speaking for Mr. President in his manifest failure and anti-people policies, we charge Nigerians to hold the APC, as a party, responsible for any salary cut.
Nigerians should also hold APC accountable for the economic strangulation, as well as the escalated kidnapping, bloodletting and worsened insecurity in our country under the Buhari administration.
Our party restates our stance that the lying APC and its government must rescind the move to slash the salaries of workers. Instead, the APC should get its leaders to return the over N15 trillion they stole from the national coffers as well as get more competent hands to manage our ailing economy.
Signed:
Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

PRESIDENT BUHARI TO MARK EID IN THE VILLA, PLANS MODEST CELEBRATION AT HOME

As Muslims in Nigeria join others globally in preparations towards Eid Al-Fitr, a day that is celebrated to mark the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting, President Buhari directs that all celebrations be limited due to the global Coronavirus crisis.
To this effect, the President, First Family, his personal aides, members of cabinet and Service Chiefs who choose to remain in Abuja will congregate in full compliance with COVID-19 protocols at the forecourt of the Presidential Villa to observe the Eid prayers. Time fixed for the prayer is 9:00am.
Thereafter, there will be no traditional Sallah homage to the President by religious, community and political leaders. As was the case last year, the President encourages such leaders to be content with modest celebrations at home in view of the pandemic.
President Buhari specially thanks the Ulama (Islamic Clerics) and all other religious (Muslim, Christian) leaders who continue to pray for the wellbeing of the nation and its people.
The President, in addition, takes this opportunity to condole with all who lost family members due to what he described as the ‘madness’ going on in parts of the country.
The President calls on all local leaders to talk to their youths and warn them against being used to incite and foment violence.
“If we attack institutions guarding us,” the President wonders, “who will protect us in future emergencies?”
Garba Shehu
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
May 9, 2021

May 10, 2021
Press Statement
NPA, NDDC Looting: PDP Demands Amaechi, Usman’s Sack, Prosecution
…Says Agencies Are Now APC’s Cash Cows

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) demands the immediate sack, investigation and prosecution of Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, as well as the suspended Managing Director of the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, over exposed looting of over N165billions in the agency.
The party also asks the transport minister to come clean on his reported connection in the alleged involvement of his wife, Mrs. Edith Amaechi, in the exposed N48 billion contract scam currently rocking the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The foul stench of corruption oozing out of the NPA, NDDC and other agencies of government in the last six years has shown that our MDAs have become the cash cows and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) of greedy leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and their cronies in government in their unbridled looting of our patrimony under President Muhammadu Buhari’s watch.
Our party asserts that the fact that it took the minister a clear six years (2016 to 2021) to query the NPA Managing Director over the alleged looting of N165 billion unremitted operating surplus of the agency, which is under his purview, is suspect and raises public belief that he (Amaechi) only acted apparently to shied himself after indicting audit documents had already been exposed.
This is in addition to reports from the office of Auditor General which also unearthed the looting of unremitted deduction to Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) amounting to N3,667,750,470. $148,845,745.04, Euro 4,891,449.50 and £252,682.14 under the suspended NPA Managing Director and Amaechi’s ministerial supervision.
The audit report also exposed another N15.18 billion allegedly siphoned through shady Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects by the NPA, an agency under Amaechi’s ministerial purview.
The PDP therefore rejects the obvious attempt at a coverup in the recourse to an Administrative Panel of Enquiry recommended by the Transport Minister to investigate the NPA fraud, in which he also has some questions to answer.
Our party insists that both the minister and the indicted NPA Managing Director should be handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for investigation and possible prosecution.
Moreover, Nigerians are appalled that fingers of fraud allegation are also pointing to the wife of the Transport Minister in a N48 billion contract scam under the sacked NDDC’s Managing Director, Nelson Bambraifa, who was reportedly nominated into that position by the minister of transportation, Amaechi, but fired on allegations of corruption.
The PDP describes as unpardonable that the humongous sum in the NDDC contract scam involving the wife of the transport minister was allegedly siphoned under the guise of offering training to unsuspecting youths in the area.
It is indeed disgraceful that under the APC that promised to fight and end corruption in our country, the public space is awash with revelations of sharing of government revenues among concubines, wives, girlfriends and family members of top APC leaders. This can only happen under the watch of an absentee president, who also condone corruption.
Signed:
Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

PRESIDENT BUHARI CONGRATULATES DESIGNER OF NATIONAL FLAG, MICHAEL TAIWO AKINKUNMI ON 85TH BIRTHDAY

On behalf of all Nigerians and the government, President Muhammadu Buhari sends warm felicitations to Michael Taiwo Akinkunmi, OFR, on his 85th birthday, joining family members and friends to celebrate with designer of the National Flag, whose creativity and patriotism remain remarkable.
President Buhari affirms that Akinkunmi, who is an honorary Life Presidential Adviser, upholds the values that every citizen should emulate for nation building, which include humility, selflessness, integrity and a keen interest in seeking greater good for country and humanity.
The President prays that God will grant the octogenarian and retired civil servant longer life, good health and strength to keep serving the nation he loves so much.
Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
May 10, 2021

May 9, 2021
Press Statement
PDP Berates APC for Instigating Moves to Slash Workers’ Salaries

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) condemns in its entirely, the moves by the Buhari-led administration to slash the salaries of workers in the country.
The PDP alerts that intelligence at its disposal indicates that leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) recommended the widely condemned move to slash workers’ meagre salaries despite the current excruciating economic hardship which the APC administration had plunged our nation in the last six years.
The PDP describes as wicked and completely unacceptable that APC leaders could go after workers’ salaries even after their party, the APC, had endorsed the increase in the cost of fuel, electricity and other tariffs, leading to the steeply rise in the cost of food and other essential commodities beyond the reach of millions of Nigerians.
Our party rejects the baseless argument that the move to cut salaries is necessitated by dwindling revenue to finance the national budget.
Rather than impose more hardship on our workers, the APC and its administration should realign the budget by removing their padded figures as well as end the exposed looting in the integrated payment system, where trillion of naira are being siphoned through non-existent workers and overheads.
Moreover, the APC and its administration should return the over N15 trillion stolen by APC leaders from various agencies of government and channel same to governance.
It is distasteful that the APC and the Buhari administration are contemplating a salary cut in a country with a paltry N30,000 monthly minimum wage, an amount that can barely run a small family for less than a week in the face of escalated cost of staple food and essential commodities.
The PDP also finds it appalling that at a time leaders of other countries are seeking ways to provide economic stimulus and incentives for their citizens, the APC and the Buhari Presidency are rather seeking to cut salaries in a country with frightening 33.3 percent unemployment rate; where over 60 million citizens have lost their jobs with over 40 million businesses closed within six years of the APC administration.
Our party cautions that APC and its administration against the proposed salary cut as it will trigger an immediate negative spiral effect, particularly with the escalated cases of terrorism and other social vices, confronting our nation.
It is distressing that in the last six years and particularly in the face of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the APC and Buhari Presidency have failed to take any decisive steps to stimulate to economy and promote production.
Instead, the APC and its administration had engaged in mindless external borrowings, bulk of which had also been looted by APC leader and their cronies in government. Now that they have borrowed from every corner of the world, the APC and its administration are now turning to salaries of our workers.
Our party counsels the Buhari administration to leave workers salary alone and seek help by getting more capable hands to manage our economy and create wealth instead of plunging Nigerians into more hardship.
Signed:
Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

PRESIDENT BUHARI MOURNS VICTIMS OF NIGER BOAT ACCIDENT
President Muhammadu Buhari expresses immense grief on the boat mishap in Tijana village of Munya Local Government Area of Niger State and extends his heartfelt sympathies to the families of the dead and the injured.
According to the President, this incident is more disheartening as some of the victims were reportedly Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
Commending the life-saving work of the first responders and local divers at the scene of the incident, the President wishes the wounded a speedy recovery and success on the search and rescue of some missing passengers on the capsized boat.
President Buhari calls on the transportation authorities to ensure strict adherence to safety regulations on the nation’s waterways and urges that lessons from this accident should help prevent a future occurrence.
He assures residents of Niger State that restoring long term stability and peace is a core objective of the Federal Government working with the State government and other critical stakeholders in the local communities.
Garba Shehu
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
May 10, 2021

LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNOR
PRESS RELEASE

SANWO-OLU GETS LAGOSIANS’ BACKING TO TACKLE SECURITY CHALLENGES
• Stakeholders Seek Action on Okada, Abandoned Buildings, Others
• Renewed Demand for Special Status

Lagosians have asked the State Government to take decisive actions on some security issues to rein in what they describe as a disturbing trend.

Among others, they demanded action against what many described as the menace of commercial motorcycles, otherwise known as Okada, kidnapping, armed robbery, cult clashes, and violent assaults.

It was all at a Stakeholders’ Meeting on Security held at the Adeyemi Bero Hall, Alausa, Ikeja where Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and leading lights in security circles listened to a group of panelists who highlighted the state’s security challenges.

In the audience were religious leaders, the Chief Judge, Justice Kazeem Alogba, military chiefs, traditional leaders, community leaders, students, unionists and members of the State Executive Council.

Governor Sanwo-Olu listed his administration’s efforts in security and assured his audience that a decisive action would be taken on commercial motorcycles, which speaker after speaker described as a means for criminals. Its operators, they said, are unruly, uncouth, rude and brutal. But those who patronise them and the motorcyclists will not be left in the cold.

The Government, Sanwo-Olu said, will be inaugurating the First and Last Mile buses next week, which will ply the routes the motorcycles are plying. Besides, those who have taken up Okada riding for lack of jobs were advised to grab the opportunities in agriculture, wealth creation, poverty alleviation and other government programmes.

Sanwo-Olu said the meeting was convened in response to the growing threat posed by some lawless activities to the safety and security of lives in the State.

The Governor said the string of lawlessness daily witnessed from the confrontation between commercial motorcyclists and law enforcement agencies required an urgent action, stressing that the Government would be announcing reforms in transportation, which will further make changes to the parameters of motorcycle and tricycle operations.

He said: “We have noted with dismay the fact that Okada riders are disregarding and flouting the restrictions we imposed on their activities in certain areas of the metropolis. We have also observed with dismay, the ongoing violent confrontation by commercial motorcyclists against our law enforcement agencies.

“Based on all that we have seen and experienced in the past couple of weeks, as well as the increasing threat posed by the activities of commercial motorcycle operators to the safety and security of lives, we will be announcing further changes to the parameters of motorcycle and tricycle operations in the State in the coming days. No society can make progress amid such haughty display of lawlessness and criminality.”

Sanwo-Olu made it known that the Government would fully implement the State’s Urban and Regional Planning and Development Law of 2019 as amended, which will enable the Government take over and demolish abandoned buildings and construction sites turned into safe haven for hoodlums and miscreants.

He added that the State would strengthen its clean-up exercise of shanties and spots unapproved for settlement, but which had turned to hideouts for criminals.

The State Government, Sanwo-Olu said, would be recruiting more personnel into the Lagos State Neighbourhood Corps (LSNC) to boost intelligence gathering at the community level.

The Governor said the consultative meeting with the stakeholders was necessary to make the State’s security strategy effective and sustainable, noting that all hands must be on deck to work with the Government in collecting, sharing and evaluating credible intelligence that would strengthen security of lives and property in Lagos.

He said: “Lagos must continue to enjoy an atmosphere of peace, safety and all-encompassing security. We are determined to arrest the current security challenges being faced in the State, and we will take every step necessary to deliver on our promises on a safe, secure and livable state. We will also continue to communicate regularly with key stakeholders, and all the residents for updates on the progress we are making.”

Appraising security situation in Lagos, Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu, raised alarm over rising security breaches resulting from the menace of Okada operations in the State.

Between January and early this month, Odumosu disclosed, 320 commercial motorcycles were arrested in 218 cases of criminal incidents in which 78 suspects were detained and 480 ammunition recovered.

In the same period, the Lagos police boss said Okada accounted for 83 per cent of 385 cases of avoidable fatal vehicular accidents in Lagos.

He said: “The menace of Okada operators does not end with avoidable accidents. Crime reports from the field have shown that a greater percentage of crimes, ranging from armed robbery, cultism, kidnapping, murder, burglary and stealing, traffic robbery to carjacking and cash snatching from bank customers, are attributable to armed hoodlums who operate on Okada.

“The nuisance constituted by the Okada operators on Lagos roads has become a danger to law abiding citizens. Sections of Lagos populace have come to regard commercial motorcycles as a necessary evil, it has become imperative for the Government to take more drastic measures against their notoriety.”

“The State Police Command strongly advises the State Government to immediately review the current guidelines guiding the operation of Okada as a means of commercial transportation in the State and take decisive legal and administrative steps and policies that will curb their traffic, criminal and other nefarious activities in the State.”

There was a panel of discussion chaired by an award-winning Television Show host, Babajide Kolade-Otitoju, in which residents aired their views on the current state of security in Lagos and across the country.

The discussants expressed concerns on the security implications of allowing operations of Okada and demanded a ‘Special Status’ for Lagos as ethnic melting pot. They also urged the Government to create economic opportunities and vocational engagement for unemployed residents to further lessen crime rates.

Addressing the complaints about criminals hiding in uncompleted buildings and abandoned vehicles within communities, Vice Chairman of Lagos State Community Development Advisory Council, Mr. Rotimi Ayoku-Owolawi said the CDC was ready to support the Government and the police in identifying dark spots and lock-up markets from where criminals launch their nefarious activities.

Commissioner for Information Mr. Gbenga Omotoso described the stakeholders’ engagement as proactive, given a string of security breaches in the country.

He said gone were the days when citizens were at the mercy of pickpockets and amateur criminals; the contemporary crimes, he said, are being committed by armed robbers, bloodsucking bandits and daredevil gangsters.

“We don’t want our Lagos to become an epicenter of evil and criminality,” Omotoso said.

At the end of the stakeholders’ meeting, a 12-point resolution was reached and agreed upon by the participants in public interest.

The resolution reads in part: “Attacks on law enforcement officers and agencies should not be handled with kid gloves. Culprits must be arrested and the full weight of the law brought to bear on such persons.

“Government must take stringent measures to ban the use of Okada as means of transportation in the State; alternatives must be provided by the State Government in Agriculture, Wealth Creation, Women Affairs Empowerment programmes and others.

“Government should take control of abandoned and uncompleted buildings used as hideouts of criminals in the State immediately. The State must take control of abandoned vehicles in its nooks and crannies and seal off houses, hotels and event centres where hoodlums are found to hibernate or where arms are stored.”

SIGNED
GBOYEGA AKOSILE
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY
MAY 10, 2021
LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNOR
PRESS RELEASE

SANWO-OLU RECEIVES LASU PANEL REPORT ON NEW VC’S APPOINTMENT
…‘We’re Fair To All’ – Omole

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Monday, received the report of the six-member special visitation panel on the appointment of the 9th substantive Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the Lagos State University (LASU).

The panel, chaired by former VC of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Prof. Bamitale Omole, turned in three volumes of report to the Governor – the Visitor to the university – 37 days after it was constituted to examine if the extant laws of the university and other relevant guidelines were followed in the process of appointing new VC.

Sanwo-Olu said he was elated by timely submission of the panel’s recommendations, saying the feat demonstrated members’ competency, selflessness, and hard work put in the task. He expressed hope that the report would enable the State Government achieve peaceful transition and foster peaceful industrial relations in the school.

The Governor pledged his commitment to give all stakeholders a level playground and equal opportunity, noting that the panel was raised in the overall interest of students and image of the institution.

He said: “Today, I received reports of the special visitation panel on the Vice Chancellorship of LASU, which looked into the issues surrounding the appointment of the 9th Vice Chancellor, especially the remote causes of the impasse into the selection process and procedures for the for the appointment.

“This effort is geared towards ensuring that there is equality, fairness, transparency, openness and level playground for all in the process of selection and to ensure that the best and the most qualified person that will drive the established vision of the school’s founding fathers emerges at the end of the process.

“I thank the chairman of the special visitation panel, Prof. Bamitale Omole, and all other members of the panel for the sacrifice, selflessness and inconveniences they had to bear in the course of the task. Report of this panel will be well utilised and its recommendations will be fully implemented in the appointment of the 9th Vice Chancellor of LASU.”

Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Hon. Tokunbo Wahab, said the panel was constituted in accordance with the provisions of Section 23 of the Lagos State University Law, Chapter L 69, Volume 7, Laws of Lagos State, 2015.

The panel, he said, was charged to look to review, in the public interest, the relevance of the deluge of petitions against the first and second selection processes for the appointment of substantive VC and to examine if the extant laws of the university and other relevant guidelines were followed in the appointment.

Wahab added that the panel was also asked to review and advise on all other relevant matters in respect of the process adopted so far, and make recommendations for the smooth running of the university.

Presenting the report, Prof. Omole said: “Without scintilla of equivocation in our findings, observations and recommendations are based on the memoranda submitted to us, the face-to-face interactions and interviews that we had with many of the people who held opposing and disparate position on the matter of the appointment of the 9th VC.

“Individuals, groups, associations, unions, guild, the academia and traditional rulers who submitted memoranda were given ample opportunities to present their submissions. The documents we are submitting to the Visitor of the university are final products of the careful and punctilious exercise for official consideration.”

Other eminent members of academia on the panel include former VC of University of Port Harcourt, Prof. Joseph Ajienka, Council of Oba Adetona on Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU), Ago Iwoye, Prof. Ayo Olukotun, former Lagos Solicitor-General, Mr. Lawal Pedro, SAN, former Registrar of University of Ibadan (UI), Mr. Olujimi Olukoya, and a Director on Grade Level 17 in Lagos public service, Mrs. Funmilola Olajide, who is the panel’s Secretary.

SIGNED
GBOYEGA AKOSILE
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY
MAY 10, 2021

PRESIDENT BUHARI JOINS PRAYERS FOR UNITY, PEACE AS MUSLIMS END TAFSIR

President Muhammadu Buhari Sunday joined worshippers for the closing session of the Tafsir at the State House Mosque where prayers were said for Allah’s protection to be upon the nation, its people and the leaders.
The President and worshippers listened to the final round of the daily interpretation of the Quran delivered by Sheikh Abdulwahid Abubakar Sulaiman, the Chief Imam, which they had done throughout the fasting period. In today’s episode, the Imam reviewed the virtues of the Ramadan and prayed against disunity, unrest, anger and crimes. He also prayed to God for peace, harmony and security for the nation and its people.
In a short sermon to commemorate the end of the exercise, Sheikh Abdulwahid said we desperately need God’s peace in view of the challenges facing the nation and urged all citizens to do justice to one another and seek restoration through repentance, humility and love.
Garba Shehu
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
May 9, 2021

Development: South-South leaders applaud Akapbio, Akwa, others

South-South leaders on Sunday said the work done so far by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Godswill Akpabio, deserved to be shown to the world.
They also urged South-South governors to learn from the example of the Sole Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr. Efiong Akwa.
At a meeting convened in Abuja, the leaders commended Akpabio for the sense of direction and values.
They accused some South-South governors of adding to the difficulties of the Niger Delta region.
‘’Some people tend to think they can hold the Niger Delta region to ransom, and lay down conditions for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) – when to constitute the board, who should be appointed, how many contracts they want and when to pay them or their cronies’’
The leaders underscored the suave style, sound management and extraordinary performance of the NDDC’s sole administrator.
Particularly, the prominent South-South leaders accused some governors of the zone of throwing their hate and anger in the public space.
They applauded Senator Godswill Akpabio, for bringing to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs his intelligence, experience and energy.
‘’We shall never be able to make progress by blackmail threats, corruption of the mind of youth, spreading false doctrines and careless talk’’
Chairman of South-South Front (SSF), Chief John Harry in a statement after the meeting said the leaders hailed Akpabio for keeping his word with the people, bringing about conditions for genuine progress and working strenuously for the overall development of the oil rich region.
‘’Chief Godswill Akpabio and the South-South leaders have a joint aim to advance the welfare of the people. They have a vital part to play in the speeding of the region’s development’’ the leaders said.
They commended President Muhammadu Buhari for guiding the Niger Delta region steadily forward to progress.
The leaders were keen to applaud the attitude the Ijaw National Leader, Chief Edwin Clark has shown thus far as well as his support for the NDDC management.
The leaders also underscored the hostile intentions of some youths in the region.
They scolded Alhaji Abubaka Amaigo Brown, Bedford Benjamin and Lambart Olambo, accusing them of working against the interests of the region.
“Chief Godswill Akpabio is a person of great intelligence. He has extraordinary energy, boundless optimism and vision about the possibilities of progress in the Niger Delta region’’
Niger Delta leaders excited by Port Harcourt Refinery rehabilitation
The rehabilitation of Port Harcourt refinery by the Federal Government is exciting prominent leaders in the Niger Delta region, who hope the project could contribute to the growth of the country and more jobs for youths in Nigeria, particularly the oil rich region.
‘’That is welcome news for the Niger Delta people’’ the regional leaders said in a statement in Port Harcourt on Tuesday.
The well-known leaders in the region hailed the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, for engaging host communities appropriately and sourcing about 3,000 workers locally in line with the local content policy.
The leaders also commended President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the project.
“We are so excited about the plans of the Federal Government to fix the old refinery so that local refining can resume as soon as possible” the leaders said in a statement signed by the Chairperson of Niger Delta People’s Movement, Mrs. Ibifuro Tatua.

‘’The Niger Delta leaders remain fully committed to supporting the Federal Government and the contractor, Maire Technimont SPA, in the rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt refinery’’ the statement said.
The leaders praised the Federal Government for the transparent processes and the making of all the process plants hydrocarbon-free to enable the contractor to carry out the rehabilitation work safely.
Refurbishing of the technical building, replacement of the fire-fighting and deluge sprinkler systems, refurbishing of 24 offsite tanks, replacement of electrical equipment in the substation, installation of primary earthing integration and new lighting system are some key activities that will be carried out.
Pumps, turbines, expander, boilers, compressor fans and blowers, tanks, vessel and drums will also be replaced.

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Niger Delta leaders laud Timipre Sylva


Niger Delta leaders on Saturday praised the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, for liberating the country’s petroleum sector from its quagmire.
They also praised the minister for playing a crucial role in the development of Nigeria.
“Chief Timipre Sylva is committed to the development of Nigeria. He will always support the Niger Delta region through thick and thin”
In a statement in Yenagoa, the leaders praised Sylva for the zero-fuel queues situation in the country and the ongoing Nigerian Oil and Gas Park Scheme (NOGAPS) at Emeyal, Ogbia LGA in Bayelsa State.
They commended the minister for defending the interests of the Niger Delta people, changing the image of Nigeria for the better and attracting International Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMS) and Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) to the petroleum sector.
The leaders also hailed Sylva for creating jobs for the people, placing greater emphasis on the distribution chain, indigenous capacities for the oil and gas industry as well as choosing courses which tend at least to a better and more desirable development of the country’s petroleum sector.
Signed by the chairperson of the Niger Delta People’s Movement (NDPM), Mrs. Ibifuro Tatua, the leaders applauded the former Bayelsa State governor for his honest leadership, dogged commitment to principles in the practice of politics, the rule of law and the best democratic tradition of fairness and justice.
“Chief Timipre Sylva should be applauded in his quest to bring about economic and social development in the country.
The leaders who met in Yenagoa for three hours commended the astute politician for opening up local manufacturing in the country, improving the environmental condition of the oil producing areas and making the South-South geo-political zone, particularly Bayelsa State proud by his achievements in politics.
“Chief Timipre Sylva and other ministers have done South-South proud. The zone has never had it so good in terms of provision of amenities and infrastructure” they said.
The statement emphasized sound business policy, creative power of the petroleum economy and operations of the petroleum industry.
“Chief Timipre Sylva is travelling on the road that leads to success”
The leaders called on critics to emulate the virtues of Sylva by pursuing peace, progress and development.
“In spite of the current financial crunch, the Federal Government is up to date in its obligations to the Niger Delta region”.
The leaders also advised critics of Buhari’s appointees from the South-South geo-political zone to join Nigerians, home and abroad, in celebrating the achievements of the petroleum resources minister.
“Chief Timipre Sylva will continue to seek what is best for the good people of the Niger Delta region” the statement said.
Chief Timipre Sylva is one of the most ardent promoters of the unity and development of the Niger Delta region.

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South-South leaders move against Akpabio’s critics


South-South leaders on Saturday gave a pass mark to the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Godswill Akpabio, praising him for going the extra mile and using his good offices to root out all impurity and indiscipline from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
They also advised Nigerians not to allow themselves to be held captive by men with unprecedented capacity for lies, mischief and treachery.
The leaders in a statement in Yenagoa described as malicious and devilish the campaign of calumny against Akpabio.
“Sensationalism is not an admirable feature of excellent journalism.
We find the purport of the news story entitled;” Exclusive: How EFCC detained Godswill Akpabio for two hours after attempting to bribe agency chairman with $350,000” as misleading”

The leaders condemned critics of Akpabio for degenerating into abuses, lies and wild allegations.
They alleged that some individuals are spreading untrue tales against Akpabio and NDDC.
“Some individuals are stepping up their covert and overt moves to cause confusion in the country. Miscreants have been recruited to insult and blackmail the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs”
The comments by Comrade Damian Nwikinaka of the Niger Delta Renaissance Coalition on the forensic audit in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) also drew fierce criticism from the South-South leaders.
The leaders described the utterances of Nwikinaka as reckless, ridiculous, unbelievable, disgusting, inaccurate and insulting.
“Nwikinaka has consciously and definitely shown disdain for the Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, Chief Godswill Akpabio”
The statement signed by the Chairman of South-South Front (SSF), Chief John Harry refuted some of the distractions spewing from unguarded quarters in the country, saying those behind them do not wish the Niger Delta region well.
“Chief Godswill Akpabio is against forms of behaviors that are alien to or subversive of the rule of law” the leaders said.
The leaders apart from drawing attention to the orchestrated campaign of hate, slander and witch-hunting being undertaken by some individuals and their sponsors commended Akpabio for enhancing the prestige of peoples of the Niger Delta region.
“Chief Godswill Akpabio should not be a subject of undue attack. He should be celebrated for changing the face of the region” they said.
The leaders condemned other misleading stories sponsored by the enemies of the region to push their selfish agenda and justify unrealistic conclusions about Akpabio.
They praised President Muhammadu Buhari for developing the region.
“Chief Godswill Akpabio is a politician with a conscience. He will continue to incur envy, malice and hatred from those who see perfidy as a virtue in politics” they said”
They also urged Nigerians to ignore the shenanigans of these individuals.
“Chief Godswill Akpabio shall not be distracted in his God assigned role of developing the Niger Delta region through sound policies” they said.

Niger Delta leaders laud Timipre Sylva

Niger Delta leaders on Saturday praised the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, for liberating the country’s petroleum sector from its quagmire.
They also praised the minister for playing a crucial role in the development of Nigeria.
“Chief Timipre Sylva is committed to the development of Nigeria. He will always support the Niger Delta region through thick and thin”
In a statement in Yenagoa, the leaders praised Sylva for the zero-fuel queues situation in the country and the ongoing Nigerian Oil and Gas Park Scheme (NOGAPS) at Emeyal, Ogbia LGA in Bayelsa State.
They commended the minister for defending the interests of the Niger Delta people, changing the image of Nigeria for the better and attracting International Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMS) and Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) to the petroleum sector.
The leaders also hailed Sylva for creating jobs for the people, placing greater emphasis on the distribution chain, indigenous capacities for the oil and gas industry as well as choosing courses which tend at least to a better and more desirable development of the country’s petroleum sector.
Signed by the chairperson of the Niger Delta People’s Movement (NDPM), Mrs. Ibifuro Tatua, the leaders applauded the former Bayelsa State governor for his honest leadership, dogged commitment to principles in the practice of politics, the rule of law and the best democratic tradition of fairness and justice.
“Chief Timipre Sylva should be applauded in his quest to bring about economic and social development in the country.
The leaders who met in Yenagoa for three hours commended the astute politician for opening up local manufacturing in the country, improving the environmental condition of the oil producing areas and making the South-South geo-political zone, particularly Bayelsa State proud by his achievements in politics.
“Chief Timipre Sylva and other ministers have done South-South proud. The zone has never had it so good in terms of provision of amenities and infrastructure” they said.
The statement emphasized sound business policy, creative power of the petroleum economy and operations of the petroleum industry.
“Chief Timipre Sylva is travelling on the road that leads to success”
The leaders called on critics to emulate the virtues of Sylva by pursuing peace, progress and development.
“In spite of the current financial crunch, the Federal Government is up to date in its obligations to the Niger Delta region”.
The leaders also advised critics of Buhari’s appointees from the South-South geo-political zone to join Nigerians, home and abroad, in celebrating the achievements of the petroleum resources minister.
“Chief Timipre Sylva will continue to seek what is best for the good people of the Niger Delta region” the statement said.
Chief Timipre Sylva is one of the most ardent promoters of the unity and development of the Niger Delta region.

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SANWO-OLU LAUNCHES $20 MILLION ‘LAGOS CARES’ PROGRAMME FOR YOUTHS, WOMEN

LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT
OFFICE OF THE CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNOR
PRESS RELEASE
•MSMEs, Farmers among Top Beneficiaries of Economic Stimulus Programme
•Project Funded Through World Bank Facility
Lagos State Government has rolled out a $20 million Coronavirus (COVID-19) Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (Lagos CARES) Programme to support livelihood for poor and vulnerable households and to expand food security services in the State.
At the State House, Alausa, on Wednesday, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu launched the social intervention project that is focused on offering safety net to residents whose means of livelihood had been disrupted by the impacts of COVID-19 and also to building resilience of the State.
The programme, which will be implemented for 24 months, is being funded through $750 million facility secured from the World Bank by the Federal Government for Nigeria-CARES project. Other states also benefited from the stimulus programme.
Lagos CARES will directly support 20,843 households and indirectly support 125,058 individuals within the State.
The programme encompasses three key result areas, including increasing cash transfers and livelihood support to poor and vulnerable households; increasing food security and safe functioning of food supply chains for poor households, and facilitating the recovery of Micro and Small Enterprises (MSMEs), while strengthening institutional support for coordination and delivery.
Sanwo-Olu said the programme was designed to be inclusive and packaged to specifically impact women and the youth. Its implementation, the Governor said, cuts across relevant ministries, including Sustainable Development Goals and Investment (SDG&I), Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation (WAPA), Finance, Wealth Creation, and Agriculture.
He said: “Today marks another milestone in our effort to combat the negative impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on our households, livelihood, food security and businesses. The CARES project is an integral part of the national approach, adopted to alleviate the burden of the COVID-19 pandemic, and enhance the wellbeing of our people.
“The Lagos CARES Programme will be implemented between 2021 and 2023, and will provide economic relief and recovery support to identified vulnerable persons. During the 24 months, the programme will directly support vulnerable households and indirectly support 125,058 individuals. There will also be interventions in 69 markets, while a minimum of 2,512 MSMEs will be supported.”
To effectively implement the programme, Sanwo-Olu set up the State’s CARES Steering Committee (SCSC), co-headed by the Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Sam Egube, and Special Adviser on Sustainable Development Goals and Investment, Mrs. Solape Hammond.
Other members of the steering committee comprises cabinet members and policy heads, who will oversee the programme and provide policy guidance.
The Governor also inaugurated the State’s CARES Coordinating Unit (SCCU) that will work directly with the delivery platforms of the three result areas for result monitoring and coordination.
Sanwo-Olu expressed his confidence in the ability of the members committees, who, he said, had been part of the main drivers of the Government’s agenda for a Greater Lagos.
He said: “I would like to remind the committee members not to lose sight of the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda of the State Government as they work on the three result areas. This administration will continue to collaborate with people of goodwill in the public and private sectors, multilateral and donor partners as we deliver good governance to our people.”
Egube said the project would address loss of jobs and threat to food supply chain occasioned by the spread of the pandemic. He said the programme would leverage existing World Bank’s operations anchored on community-based approach and multi-sector interventions.
On her part, Mrs. Hammond said the State would be implementing 10 Disbursement-Linked Indicators (DLIs) out of 11 across three results areas for impact.
The programme, she said, will benefit 4,652 farmers towards driving up agricultural inputs and services, adding that 5,460 farmers would be engaged in agricultural assets for production and mitigation of food loss and waste.
The Special Adviser said there would be provision of well-targeted conditional grants to co-finance loans for eligible 1,132 MSMEs.

SIGNED
GBOYEGA AKOSILE
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY
APRIL 21, 2021
PRESIDENT BUHARI MOURNS FOREMOST INDUSTRIALIST, DR UDEALO AGHAZU
President Muhammadu Buhari commiserates with the Udealo Aghazu family, the Anambra State government, the community of industrialists in Nnewi, Anambra State, friends and associates of Dr Benson Udealo Chizoba Aghazu, who passed away recently, aged 75.
As final rites of passage begin for the renowned industrialist, the President says the man popularly known as ‘Kpakpando Nnewi’ would be sorely missed, but his footprints on the industrial and farming sectors would remain indelible.
President Buhari prays for repose of the soul of the departed, and urges those who survive him to keep his good works alive, and his memory evergreen.
Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media and Publicity)
April 21, 2021

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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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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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Pay judges more, cut Buhari, govs, lawmakers’ jumbo allowances, SERAP tells RMAFC

Pay judges more, cut Buhari, govs, lawmakers’ jumbo allowances, SERAP tells RMAFC

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged Engr. Elias Mbam, Chairman, Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) to “urgently review upward the remuneration, allowances, and conditions of service for Nigerian judges, and to review downward the remuneration and allowances of high-ranking political office-holders in order to address the persistent poor treatment of judges, and to improve access of victims of corruption to justice.”

SERAP also urged him “to send your review and recommendations to the National Assembly for appropriate remedial and legislative action, as provided for by the Nigerian Constitution 1999 [as amended].”

The letter followed the nationwide industrial action by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) to press home their demand for financial autonomy for the judicial arm of government, and the federal government’s silence on the judiciary workers’ strike that has grounded courts across the country.

In the letter dated 10 April 2021 and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization said: “Judges should get all to which they are reasonably entitled, and it is unfair, illegal, unconstitutional, and discriminatory to continue to treat judges as ‘second-class people’ while high-ranking political office-holders enjoy lavish salaries and allowances.”

SERAP expressed concern that: “The remuneration and allowances of judges have fallen substantially behind the average salaries and allowances of political office-holders such as President, Vice-President, governors and their deputies, as well as members of the National Assembly.”

SERAP said: “Nigerian judges are among the least paid in the world. The poor treatment of judges is neither fair to them nor to the Nigerian people. Judges deserve remuneration, allowances, and conditions of service commensurate with their judicial powers and responsibilities.”

According to SERAP, “While the remuneration and allowances of judges are grossly insufficient to enable them to maintain themselves and their families in reasonable comfort, high-ranking political office-holders continue to enjoy lavish allowances, including life pensions, and access to security votes, which they have powers to spend as they wish.”

The letter, read in part: “According to our information, the last review of the remuneration, allowances, and conditions of service for political, public and judicial office holders carried out by RMAFC in 2009 shows the huge disparity between the remuneration and allowances of judges and those of political office-holders.”

“Judges’ work is very considerable but they cannot give their entire time to their judicial duties without the RMAFC reviewing upward their remuneration and allowances, and closing the gap and disparity between the salaries of judges and those of political office-holders such as the President, Vice-President, governors and their deputies, as well as lawmakers.”

“Although one of the three coordinate branches of the government, the judiciary is treated with contempt, and considered so unimportant by the pollical class that authorities over the years have refused to pay them reasonable remuneration and allowances.”

“We would therefore be grateful if the recommended measures are taken within 14 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, the Incorporated Trustees of SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions to compel the RMAFC to comply with our requests.”

“Despite their important roles and responsibilities, Nigerian judges are poorly treated when their remuneration, salaries, allowances, and conditions of service are compared with political office-holders.”

“Judges should not have to endure the most poignant financial worries. The increase in the cost of living and the injustice of inadequate salaries bears heavily on judges, as it undermines their ability to effectively perform their judicial functions.”

“The roles and functions performed by judges across the country are second to none in their importance including in facilitating access of victims of corruption and human rights violations to justice and effective remedies.”

“Far-reaching questions of constitutional law depend upon them for solution. Judges are also required to determine issues, which profoundly affect the rights and well-being of the people.”

“The meaning and effect of anti-corruption legislation and treaties such as the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission Act, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [EFCC] Act, the UN Convention against Corruption, and the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption depend upon their learning, wisdom and judgment.”

“The stability of the country’s system of government, a government of laws rather than of men, depending as it does to so great an extent upon the confidence and respect of the people for those who, as judges, hold the scales of justice in their hands, depends upon the character and the wisdom of these men and women.”

“The RMAFC has the powers under paragraph n, Third Schedule, Part 1 of the Nigerian Constitution to determine the remuneration, salaries and allowances appropriate for judges and political office holders, consistent with sections 84 and 124 of the Constitution.”

“SERAP notes that Nigerian authorities between May 1999 and March 2011 reviewed upward the salaries and allowances of political office holders at least on four occasions. However, the salaries and allowances of judicial officers were only reviewed twice during the same period.”

“Nigerian government and the RMAFC have the duty to provide adequate resources to enable the judiciary to properly perform its functions.”

“As a safeguard of judicial independence, the courts’ budget ought to be prepared in collaboration with the judiciary having regard to the needs and requirements of judicial administration. Furthermore, the remuneration and pensions of judges must be secured by law at an adequate level that is consistent with their status and is sufficient to safeguard against conflict of interest and corruption.”

“Nigerians would continue to be denied access to justice, to a better judiciary and a better administration of justice until judges across the country are paid what they deserve.”

“SERAP urges you and the RMAFC to separate the review of remuneration and salaries for judges from that of political office-holders. This would ensure fairness, and that judges receive the justice they so conscientiously dispense to others.”

The letter is copied to Dr Ahmad Lawan, Senate President; Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of House of Representatives; Mr Ekpo Nta, Chairman, National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC); and the National Judicial Council.

Kolawole Oluwadare

SERAP Deputy Director

11/4/2021

Lagos, Nigeria

Emails: info@serap-nigeria.org; news@serap-nigeria.org

Twitter: @SERAPNigeria

Website: www.serap-nigeria.org

For more information or to request an interview, please contact us on: +2348160537202

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PRESIDENT BUHARI EXPRESSES THE NATION’S CONDOLENCES OVER THE DEMISE OF PRINCE PHILIP

PRESIDENT BUHARI EXPRESSES THE NATION’S CONDOLENCES OVER THE DEMISE OF PRINCE PHILIP

President Muhammadu Buhari extends his condolences to Her Majesty the Queen over the death of her husband Prince Philip who passed on peacefully at the age of 99.

Reacting to the death of the longest serving Queen’s consort, President Buhari said:

“The death of the Duke of Edinburgh is the end of an era. Prince Philip was one of the greatest and publicly recognisable international figures whose contributions to the Commonwealth will be remembered for generations to come.”

According to the President, “Prince Philip was a great man in his own right who made enormous contributions to philanthropic activities and charities especially for wildlife conservation and youth development programmes in more than 130 countries.”

President Buhari pays tribute to the Duke of Edinburgh as “a remarkable husband who had been happily married to the Queen since 1947,” saying “this is an impressive record for any marriage at any level.”

The President also commiserates with the Government of the United Kingdom, the members of the Commonwealth “for the sad loss of this royal and indeed global icon.”

Garba Shehu
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
April 9, 2021

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Gani Adams is obstructing justice – Yoruba Women


South-West women on Monday accused the Aare Ona Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Gani Adams, of threatening peace and security, obstructing justice, distorting facts and embarking on a campaign of blackmail.
‘’We will not fold our arms and allow Gani Adams to rubbish the good name and excellent track record Mrs. Ngozi Onadeko has built over the years’’ the descendants of Oduduwa said.
They also tongue-lashed Adams for his apparent disregard for law.
‘’ Gani Adams and his co-travellers are behaving like a pack of juveniles. They don’t mean well for this country’’
In a statement in Osogbo, the women praised Onadeko for her extraordinary courage and absolute understanding of security issues in Oyo State.
They accused Adams of pushing the real issues aside and employing sentiments and blackmail to explain the security situation in Oyo State.
The notable South-West women expressed delight and satisfaction with the high degree of determination so far exhibited by Onadeko to address the security challenges in Oyo State.
Signed by the Chairperson of Yoruba Women in Government (YWIG), Chief Fumilayo Adesanwo, the women commended the courage and patriotism of Onadeko to rid Oyo State of kidnappers, arsonists and other criminal elements.
The women underscored the shameful show of power, uncivilized tactics and the rights of citizens.
They condemned the uncouth language, arrogant demeanor and use of brute force by Gani Adams and members of the Oodua People’s Congress (OPC).
‘’Gani Adams did not put on his thinking garb before calling for the redeployment of the police commissioner. He is misinforming the people’’
Specifically, they took a swipe at the action of the OPC members in Kajola community, Ibarapa North Local Government, describing it as unacceptable.
‘’The solution does not lie in the use of blackmail or force’’
The women further praised Governor Seyi Makinde for protecting the lives and property of the people of Oyo State
They also urged the Inspector General of Police and the Police Service Commission to ignore Gani Adams.
‘’The South-West people are solidly behind Mrs. Ngozi Onadeko. We are very proud of her. She has given good account of herself in Oyo State’’ the statement added