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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 of the Ijaw National Leader and Chairman of Pan-Niger Delta Forum, Chief Edwin Clarks 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’’

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SERAP writes Buhari, seeks probe of ‘N39.5bn duplicated and mysterious projects’


Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to “direct the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, and appropriate anti-corruption agencies to investigate ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), and members of the National Assembly suspected to be responsible for inserting N39.5bn for apparently 316 duplicated and mysterious projects in the 2021 budget.”

SERAP said: “Any such investigation should establish whether public funds have been mismanaged, diverted or stolen in the guise of implementing the duplicated and mysterious projects. Anyone suspected to be responsible should face prosecution as appropriate, if there is sufficient admissible evidence, and any stolen public funds should be fully recovered.”

In the letter dated 8 May 2021, and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said: “The misallocation of public funds for duplicated and mysterious projects has seriously undermined the ability of the indicted MDAs, and the government to ensure respect for Nigerians’ human rights through developing and implementing well-thought-out policies, plans, and budgets.”

SERAP also said: “We are concerned that the N39.5bn duplicated and mysterious projects may have been used as a ploy to divert and steal vital resources from MDAs. Budget allocations and expenditure ought to be well-suited to ensure access of Nigerians to basic public services, and responsive to the people’s needs in order to prevent corruption or unnecessary or wasteful spending.”

The letter, read in part: “BudgIT had in a report last week stated that there are 316 duplicated capital projects worth N39.5 billion in the 2021 budget. The duplicated and mysterious projects are contained in the 2021 appropriation bill of N13.588 trillion signed into law in December 2020.”

“These damning revelations suggest a grave violation of the public trust, and Nigerians’ rights to education, health, water, sanitation, and clean and satisfactory environment because the indicted MDAs have misallocated public funds at the expense of the people’s access to basic public services, and enjoyment of rights.”

“SERAP urges you to ask the heads of the MDAs involved to explain why they allegedly failed to ensure strict compliance with constitutional and international standards of transparency and accountability in the preparation, processes and decisions on their budgets, and to return any misallocated public funds to the public treasury.”

“Investigating and prosecuting any allegations of mismanagement, diversion and stealing of public funds budgeted for the 316 duplicated and mysterious projects would allow your government to use the budget to effectively promote Nigerians’ access to essential public goods and services.”

“It would also enable your government to meet Nigeria’s human rights obligations in the way the MDAs under your leadership and supervision allocate, spend and audit the budget.”

“Publishing the ‘implementation status’ of the duplicated and mysterious projects would allow Nigerians to hold their government to account in the spending of public funds. This is particularly true for marginalized and excluded groups, such as people living in poverty, women, children, and persons with disabilities, as the budget has a disproportionate impact on their welfare.”

“We would 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 your government to comply with our request in the public interest.”

“The revelations also suggest that the indicted MDAs lack transparent, accountable, effective and credible budgeting processes to prevent and combat corruption. SERAP is concerned that the Federal Government has not complied with Nigeria’s obligations under international human rights law.”

“SERAP notes that the budget is government’s most important economic policy document. A carefully and transparently developed, implemented and evaluated budget is central to ensuring access of Nigerians to essential public goods and services, and to the effective realization of all human rights.”

“SERAP also urges you to direct Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning to publish full details of current ‘implementation status’ of the duplicated and mysterious projects, and any spending on the projects to dated, including the 115 projects inserted in the budget of the Ministry of Health; the 23 projects inserted in the budget of the Ministry of Education, and 10 projects inserted in the budget of the Ministry of Water Resources.

“The following ministries are reportedly involved in the duplicated and mysterious projects: Ministry of Health with 115 projects; Ministry of Information and Culture with 40 projects; Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development with 25 projects; Ministry of Education with 23 projects; Ministry of Transportation with 17 projects; and Ministry of Science and Technology with 17 projects.”

“Others are the Ministry of Environment with 13 projects; Ministry of Power with 11 projects; Ministry of Labour and Employment with 11 projects, and Ministry of Water Resources with 10 projects.”

“According to our information, the security sector received N10.02tn between 2015 and 2021 but without details about how the money has been spent. A total of 117 federal agencies received allocations in the 2021 budget for “security votes” worth N24.3 billion.”

The letter was copied to Mr Malami; Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, Chairman Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC); Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa, Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC); and Mrs Ahmed.

Kolawole Oluwadare
SERAP Deputy Director
9/5/2021
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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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 of the Ijaw National Leader and Chairman of Pan-Niger Delta Forum, Chief Edwin Clarks 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’’
SERAP writes Buhari, seeks probe of ‘N39.5bn duplicated and mysterious projects’

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to “direct the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, and appropriate anti-corruption agencies to investigate ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), and members of the National Assembly suspected to be responsible for inserting N39.5bn for apparently 316 duplicated and mysterious projects in the 2021 budget.”

SERAP said: “Any such investigation should establish whether public funds have been mismanaged, diverted or stolen in the guise of implementing the duplicated and mysterious projects. Anyone suspected to be responsible should face prosecution as appropriate, if there is sufficient admissible evidence, and any stolen public funds should be fully recovered.”

In the letter dated 8 May 2021, and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said: “The misallocation of public funds for duplicated and mysterious projects has seriously undermined the ability of the indicted MDAs, and the government to ensure respect for Nigerians’ human rights through developing and implementing well-thought-out policies, plans, and budgets.”

SERAP also said: “We are concerned that the N39.5bn duplicated and mysterious projects may have been used as a ploy to divert and steal vital resources from MDAs. Budget allocations and expenditure ought to be well-suited to ensure access of Nigerians to basic public services, and responsive to the people’s needs in order to prevent corruption or unnecessary or wasteful spending.”

The letter, read in part: “BudgIT had in a report last week stated that there are 316 duplicated capital projects worth N39.5 billion in the 2021 budget. The duplicated and mysterious projects are contained in the 2021 appropriation bill of N13.588 trillion signed into law in December 2020.”

“These damning revelations suggest a grave violation of the public trust, and Nigerians’ rights to education, health, water, sanitation, and clean and satisfactory environment because the indicted MDAs have misallocated public funds at the expense of the people’s access to basic public services, and enjoyment of rights.”

“SERAP urges you to ask the heads of the MDAs involved to explain why they allegedly failed to ensure strict compliance with constitutional and international standards of transparency and accountability in the preparation, processes and decisions on their budgets, and to return any misallocated public funds to the public treasury.”

“Investigating and prosecuting any allegations of mismanagement, diversion and stealing of public funds budgeted for the 316 duplicated and mysterious projects would allow your government to use the budget to effectively promote Nigerians’ access to essential public goods and services.”

“It would also enable your government to meet Nigeria’s human rights obligations in the way the MDAs under your leadership and supervision allocate, spend and audit the budget.”

“Publishing the ‘implementation status’ of the duplicated and mysterious projects would allow Nigerians to hold their government to account in the spending of public funds. This is particularly true for marginalized and excluded groups, such as people living in poverty, women, children, and persons with disabilities, as the budget has a disproportionate impact on their welfare.”

“We would 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 your government to comply with our request in the public interest.”

“The revelations also suggest that the indicted MDAs lack transparent, accountable, effective and credible budgeting processes to prevent and combat corruption. SERAP is concerned that the Federal Government has not complied with Nigeria’s obligations under international human rights law.”

“SERAP notes that the budget is government’s most important economic policy document. A carefully and transparently developed, implemented and evaluated budget is central to ensuring access of Nigerians to essential public goods and services, and to the effective realization of all human rights.”

“SERAP also urges you to direct Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning to publish full details of current ‘implementation status’ of the duplicated and mysterious projects, and any spending on the projects to dated, including the 115 projects inserted in the budget of the Ministry of Health; the 23 projects inserted in the budget of the Ministry of Education, and 10 projects inserted in the budget of the Ministry of Water Resources.

“The following ministries are reportedly involved in the duplicated and mysterious projects: Ministry of Health with 115 projects; Ministry of Information and Culture with 40 projects; Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development with 25 projects; Ministry of Education with 23 projects; Ministry of Transportation with 17 projects; and Ministry of Science and Technology with 17 projects.”

“Others are the Ministry of Environment with 13 projects; Ministry of Power with 11 projects; Ministry of Labour and Employment with 11 projects, and Ministry of Water Resources with 10 projects.”

“According to our information, the security sector received N10.02tn between 2015 and 2021 but without details about how the money has been spent. A total of 117 federal agencies received allocations in the 2021 budget for “security votes” worth N24.3 billion.”

The letter was copied to Mr Malami; Professor Bolaji Owasanoye, Chairman Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC); Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa, Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC); and Mrs Ahmed.

Kolawole Oluwadare
SERAP Deputy Director
9/5/2021
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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APC National Chairman warns Presidential Aspirants, says it is insubordination to start campaigning for 2023


The All Progressives Congress (APC) on Friday in Abuja said there is no crisis among its national leadership over the race for 2023 presidency.
Alhaji Mamman Mohammed, Director-General Press and Media Affairs to Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State and National Chairman, APC Caretaker and Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), said this in a statement.
Mohammed urged the media to resist any form of manipulation and stand for truth and justice at all times.
He said that the plan was to distract the CECPC from the onerous task of rebuilding the party and discredit the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government.
“For the avoidance of doubt, there is no disagreement between the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, and the Governor of Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni.
“They have remained good brothers in a very good relationship with a common goal of contributing to the development of their state, party and country.
“The Governor of Yobe and Chairman APC CECPC wish to make it abundantly clear that he is heavily preoccupied with the task of governance of his state and rebuilding the party,’’ he said.
Mohammed said it amounts to insubordination for any loyal party member to start canvassing for any political office two years into the tenure of a sitting president from the party.
He noted that President Buhari had two more years to complete his tenure, adding that it was compulsory on the party and every loyal member to support him and the APC administration.
“We cannot contemplate anything outside the set plans of the party,’’ he said.

Gbajabiamila seeks stronger ties between Nigeria, Sao Tome & Principe

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, has called for stronger socio-economic and political ties between Nigeria and Sao Tome & Principe in the spirit of African brotherhood.
Gbajabiamila said both countries could partner in the areas of agriculture, tourism and commerce.
He spoke in Abuja on Friday when he received the President of the Parliament of Sao Tome and Principe, Hon. Delfim Santiago Das Neves, who paid him a courtesy call at the National Assembly.
The Nigerian Speaker, who noted that he had looked forward to such a meeting, added that the world had become a “big village” where countries must work together closely to harness their areas of common interests.
Gbajabiamila cited an example with the 9th Assembly, which he said had deliberately embarked on “parliamentary diplomacy” since 2019 to help build friendships between Nigeria and other countries, especially on the African continent.
He explained that such parliamentary friendship groups helped to resolve issues through legislative interventions and dialogues.
“I am excited because this meeting will strengthen and deepen economic and socio-political ties between Nigeria and your country…
“Sao Tome and Principe is rich in agriculture and tourism. This is an area Nigeria can tap into.
“In our house here, we have, since 2019, embarked on parliamentary diplomacy.
We have established friendship groups with many countries and I use this opportunity to invite Sao Tome and Principe to be part of this process”, he added.
The Nigerian Speaker also invited Sao Tome and Principe to join the Conference of Speakers of African Parliaments, which would hold its inaugural meeting later in October this year.
Sao Tome Principe goes to the polls on July 17 to elect new political office holders, and Gbajabiamila seized the opportunity of Das Neves’ visit to wish the country luck and pray for the success of the exercise.
Speaking earlier, Das Neves said Nigeria and his country were one, as he recalled that the first settlers in Sao Tome and Principe actually came from Nigeria.
He called for improved relations between the two countries, which Das Neves admitted had not grown much in the last 10 years.
Das Neves called for a partnership to promote free trade zones and the establishment of a joint maritime security force to protect people and goods on the Gulf of Guinea.
Das Neves, who said he was happy to visit Nigeria, also solicited Nigeria’s support for the upcoming general elections in Sao Tome and Principe.
Signed:
Lanre Lasisi, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Speaker, House of Representatives, Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Soso Music, SMW Fashion launch in Lagos

Dubai-based businessman, Mr. Philip Ikezahu has announced the launch of his dual business entities in Nigeria- ‘Soso Music worldwide and SMW fashion line’.

Disclosing this together with his team at their Lekki office recently in Lagos, Mr. Ikezahu, noted that while the Soso Music worldwide is focused on music recording, publishing, promotion and artiste management, the clothing line targeted creating and setting of fashion trends across Africa with youths being its major audience.

Mr. Ikezahu who is also a jewelry merchant in Dubai added that the aim of synergizing both music and fashion is to creatively “create our own market in pop culture and harness it to its fullest. This is because there is a reason to invest in the fastest growing sector of economy in Africa.”

“If you look closely, with Nigeria championing Music and Fashion indusrty in Africa, you will discover that these two sectors are the biggest things to come out of Africa to the entire world. And this has been made possible evidently through our diversity of sound, culture and tradition and content.”

“As we speak, we have rolled out about twenty-five thousand pieces pilot fashion merchandise set to be distributed nationwide; and we expect them to gain huge acceptance from our audience because of the heavy craftsmanship and creativity we have put into the production.”

“We would like the general public to also know that we have created various products for different class strata and we have also set aside a good promotional and advertising budget to ensure that every youth in Nigeria is involved.”

Ikezahu further revealed that the record label arm of the establishment will be announcing the official signing of two recording and performing artistes who are currently ‘warming-up’ to take the Nigerian music industry by storm.

He added that the fashion line on the other hand will in future also expand into model scouting, management, organizing of fashion shows, and exporting talents across Africa.

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Uzodimma’s Stance On State Police Exposes A Sympathy For Bandits, Says PDP

May 6, 2021
Press Statement
…Blames Gov for Crisis in Imo
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) alerts that the frenzy by Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma, against demands by the PDP and other well-meaning Nigerians for the establishment of state police, exposes his sympathy for terrorists and bandits who are killing, kidnapping and ravaging our nation.
PDP’s position is predicated on Governor Uzodimma’s interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Wednesday, wherein he also attempted to justify President Muhammadu Buhari’s failure to wake up to the statutory demand of his office and take expected steps to rescue Nigerians from terrorists and bandits.
The party asserts that Governor Uzodimma’s anti-people stance against efforts to establish state policing system also exposes his insensitivity to the plight of Nigerians in the face of manifest failure by the All Progressives Congress (APC)-controlled federal security apparatus to protect the people.
It is however not surprising that Hope Uzodimma, who is in the Imo State government house as a beneficiary of criminal manipulation of our electoral and judicial processes by the APC, cannot but found himself justifying the failures of his benefactors at the expense of the lives of other Nigerians, including the people of Imo state.
Nigerians are now seeing the faces of the APC leaders who have sympathy for terrorism and should hold such individuals responsible for the activities of such deviants in our country.
Governor Uzodimma, as a former legislator, knows that the Second Schedule (Exclusive Legislative List) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) vests the operation of the police, the military and other armed services; the control of arms and ammunitions as well as criminal records among other statutory paraphernalia of national security on the Federal Government and not the states.
Against this backdrop, any well-meaning leader ought to be lending his or her voice to the call by Nigerians on President Buhari to wake up to his statutory responsibilities as well as initiating the required executive instrument to accelerate legislative actions towards the amendment of relevant sections of the constitution to establish a desirable state police system.
Furthermore, the PDP cautions Uzodimma against politicizing the current security crisis in Imo state which is occasioned by his mismanagement of the sensibilities of the citizens.
Governor Uzodimma should end his pursuits of imaginary traducers and blame nobody but himself and his APC for the crisis in Imo state.
Our party is grief-stricken over the devastation that Governor Uzodimma and the APC have brought to Imo state and urges the people to continue to be peaceful and law-abiding despite the provocations by APC thugs who have been causing mayhem in the state.
Signed:
Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

NIGERIA, GUINEA BISSAU TO TAKE BILATERAL TIES TO HIGHER LEVELS

President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday said Nigeria was ready to raise the existing cordial relations with the Republic of Guinea Bissau higher to align them with the strategic and economic priorities of the two nations.
President Buhari, who described the relationship between the two countries and their leaders as “robust and stable,” commended President Umaro Sissoco Embalo as a brother and a true friend of Nigeria, endowed with a good vision for his own country and its people.
The President, who spoke shortly after hosting his visiting Guinean counterpart to a private, one-to-one dinner to break their fast said they had candid discussions as friends and brothers.
Throughout the Iftar dinner, the warmth and goodwill between the two leaders was evident for all to see.
President Embalo, in Nigeria for a two-day official visit, said the trajectory of bilateral relations points to a bright future for the two nations and the entire West African sub-region.
He thanked President Buhari for the role he played in the stabilization of his country, saying that Guinea Bissau had been on the agenda of ECOWAS in the last twenty years. He expressed happiness that his country was no longer a problem for its neighbours.
President Embalo said he thought the best moment to visit and say “thank you” and express his country’s appreciation to President Buhari was the period of the Ramadan.
Garba Shehu
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
May 6, 2021

Gbajabiamila commiserates with Pastor Adeboye over Son’s death

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila, has commiserated with the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye, over the death of his son, Dare.
Gbajabiamila said it is painful for a father to lose his child at any point in time, saying the younger Adeboye lived a life full of worship to the Lord and service to humanity.
The Speaker recalled how Dare took after his father in the work of God and rose to become one of the leading youth pastors in RCCG.
Gbajabiamila expressed sadness over the loss of such a “promising young man”.
In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, the Speaker sent his condolences to the entire Adeboye family, especially Pastor Enoch Adeboye and his wife, Folu Adeboye.
Gbajabiamila said one could not question God over the loss, but urged the Adeboyes to find solace in the fact that Pastor Dare was a perfect example of how our youth should be and became a role model to many.
“I was saddened by the news of the demise of Pastor Dare Adeboye. His demise is painful, especially now that we need youth like him to serve as role models to their peers.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the Adeboye family and the entire RCCG family at this difficult moment.”
“I pray that the good Lord will find a peaceful resting place for Pastor Dare Adeboye,” Gbajabiamila said.
Signed:
Lanre Lasisi, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Speaker, House of Representatives, Federal Republic of Nigeria.

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

SANWO-OLU COMMISERATES WITH PASTOR ADEBOYE OVER SON’S DEATH

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has commiserated with the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye and his wife, Pastor Folu Adeboye, on the death of their beloved son, Pastor Dare Adeboye.

Pastor Dare Adeboye, an Assistant Pastor in charge of Youth in Region 35 of RCCG and third surviving child of the renowned cleric, died in his sleep on Wednesday in Eket, Akwa Ibom State. He was 42-year-old.

Governor Sanwo-Olu in a statement issued on Thursday by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Gboyega Akosile, expressed his heartfelt sympathies, urging the deceased family, friends, associates and entire members of RCCG to take the death of Pastor Dare Adeboye in good faith.

Governor Sanwo-Olu said: “no doubt the death of a loved one is usually painful as it is irreparable but we must always take solace in God especially if the deceased had lived a good life, just like the late pastor Dare Adeboye.”

He said “The pastoral and wise counsel of Pastor D as he was fondly called will be sorely missed by his family and the entire members of RCCG, especially in Eket, Akwa Ibom, where he played active roles as a cleric before he passed on.

“I sympathise with Pastor Enoch Adeboye, his wife, siblings and widow of the deceased and the entire members of RCCG. I pray that God will grant the late Pastor Dare Adeboye eternal rest and grant the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.”

SIGNED
GBOYEGA AKOSILE
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY
MAY 6, 2021

PRESIDENT BUHARI COMMISERATES WITH PASTOR ADEBOYE ON DEATH OF SON

President Muhammadu Buhari extends deepest sympathies to the family of Pastor Enoch Adeboye, the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), on the passing of his son, Pastor Dare Adeboye.
Also commiserating with members of the RCCG on the demise of the Assistant Pastor in charge of Region (Youth) 35, President Buhari urges them to find comfort in the teachings of the Holy Scriptures that those who have chosen to serve God faithfully will see Him as He is in eternity.
The President prays God Almighty to grant the departed rest in His everlasting kingdom and comfort grieving family, friends and associates.
Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
May 6, 2021

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

SANWO-OLU COMMISSIONS 66-CLASSROOM BLOCKS IN FOUR LAGOS SCHOOLS

…As Governor connects 100 schools to broadband Internet to aid learning
…State to unveil 300 more education projects next week

Four magnificent newly completed school buildings were unveiled on Thursday by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu across three Local Government Areas (LGA) in Lagos State.

The multi-level ultra-modern buildings are part of the infrastructure projects completed by the Ministry of Education under the Lagos Metropolitan Development and Governance Project (LMDGP), which is covering 970 basic and secondary schools across the State.

Sanwo-Olu inaugurated the school projects amid praises by teachers, students and their parents. As he stopped in each of the beneficiary schools to formally open the buildings, the Governor was warmly received by cultural troupes made up of pupils, singing in appreciation of the gesture.

Four-storey buildings of 18 fully furnished classrooms each were commissioned by Sanwo-Olu in Fazil Omar Senior High School, Iwaya, Yaba; Onike Girls Junior High School, Onike-Iwaya, and Igbobi Junior High School, Somolu. The fourth school project is in Akintan Junior Grammar School on Clegg Street, Surulere, where the Governor opened a single-story building of 12 fully furnished classrooms.

Sanwo-Olu said his administration’s intervention in education was predicated on revamping the learning environment and introduction on technology to raise quality and deliver excellent results.

He said education remained one of his Government’s building blocks to achieve its vision of Greater Lagos, adding that the projects would further strengthen the effort to achieve the goals in “Education and Technology” pillar of his T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda.

He said: “The move to actualise our Greater Lagos vision is hinged on delivering quality education as building blocks. We flagged off the upgrade of infrastructure in schools to deliver 300 classrooms, including seven new hostel blocks across our boarding schools.

“Some of the projects are being commissioned today and they include a block of 18 classrooms with administrative offices, library, laboratory, toilets, and water supply systems each at Igbobi Junior College, Fazil Omar Senior High School Iwaya and Onike Girls High School, Iwaya.

“We aggressively embarked on these projects to accelerate our children’s access to world-class learning environments, thereby providing requisite facilities and security in the schools that cut across Education Districts and Local Government Councils. All of these efforts are taken to expand access to quality education for our children irrespective of their location.”

In complementing the facility upgrade, Sanwo-Olu said the State Government had started to roll out fibre optics across the State-owned schools to aid learning through high-speed Internet connectivity.

Before end of the month, the Governor said broadband Internet infrastructure would be completed and commissioned in 100 schools selected for pilot scheme.

From next week, Sanwo-Olu disclosed that members of the State’s Executive Council would be commissioning iconic schools projects across the State, as part of the activities marking his second year anniversary in office.

The Governor acknowledged the national feats in academic recorded in the 2021 National Junior Engineers, Technicians and Scientist (JETS) Competition held last February in Abuja, in which pupils of Lagos State origin won 11 medals and 10 trophies in various categories of the academic contest.

Also at the recently concluded Maltina School Games, Lagos emerged the Overall Best State, clinching 21 gold medals. Sanwo-Olu described the feats as part of the results of his administration’s investment in education.

He promised to continue to improve the standard of education and quality of teaching personnel to make Lagos schools a positive reference point.

He said: “The infrastructure being put in place in our schools would amount to nothing if they were not complemented by competent, dedicated and passionate teachers. I assure all parents that the standard of education will continue to rise and we will not stop until Lagos schools become a positive reference point across the globe.”

Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folashade Adefisayo, said the Governor’s focus was not on infrastructure upgrade alone. She said the State’s intervention had also touched all elements of the value chain in education, including teachers’ recruitment and training, teachers’ rewards, curriculum review, investment in technology for learning, and provision of teachers tablets, among others.

She said the inaugurated projects were parts of the 1,097 projects being undertaken by the Sanwo-Olu administration, covering comprehensive upgrade of 970 public primary and secondary schools.

In the LMDGP, the Commissioner said the State Government had supplied 86,000 dual furniture sets to 775 schools, constructed 70 new school buildings, renovated 197 schools and built eight new hostel blocks in the State-owned boarding schools.

Adefisayo said: “The State Government’s ultimate purpose is to ensure that all students in our schools receive sound and quality education in a good environment. It is wonderful to see that these promises are being kept. In less than 2 years, the State Government has met every one of these promises to a significant extent.”

Chairman of Special Committee on Rehabilitation of Public Schools (SCRPS), Mr. Hakeem Smith, highlighted the details of the projects, pointing out that the intervention addressed spatial functionality, design efficiency, building durability, adequate ventilation and natural lighting.

He added that the Committee, since its inauguration in November 2019, had embarked on the construction of several classroom blocks, school hostel accommodation cutting across 100 primary and secondary schools in the State.

On the top most floors of the inaugurated schools are laboratories, assembly grounds and office spaces for teaching personnel.

SIGNED
GBOYEGA AKOSILE
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY
MAY 6, 2021

PRESIDENT BUHARI SAYS IDENTITY KEY TO PEACE, STABILITY, URGES MORE COMMITMENT TO NIN REGISTRATION
President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Abuja called on Nigerians to fully participate in the ongoing synchronization of National Identification Number (NIN) with SIM cards across the country as it will provide a digital framework for improving security and strengthening of the economy.
Launching the National Policy for the Promotion of Indigenous Content in Nigerian Telecoms Sector and Revised National Identity Policy for SIM Cards registration, the President said proper identification of all Nigerians and legal residents in the country and ability to conveniently access a data base will provide impetus for more effective planning and security oversight.
“The NIN will cover one of the weaknesses in our security structure. We will be able to easily identify and know the personality of Nigerians. We will identify people easily, including the crooks,’’ he said.
The President said the launch of the Revised National Digital Identity Policy for SIM Card Registration was quite timely and will support efforts to enhance security and develop the economy.
“The National Identification Number is the foundational digital ID for the country; both Nigerian citizens and legal residents are expected to obtain the NIN. It will provide access to government services and will give government useful insights that will enable us to utilize scarce resources in a more efficient way,’’ he added.
President Buhari noted that the first National SIM Policy was launched in February 202o, and the revised policies were in full alignment with the objectives of the administration in the areas of economic development, security and anti-corruption.
“The Digital Economy sector has made significant progress and recorded a number of unprecedented achievements since we expanded the mandate of the Ministry of Communications to include the digital economy mandate.
“The Information and Communications Technology sector was the fastest growing sector in both the fourth quarter of 2020 and the entire year 2020, based on the Report by the National Bureau of Statistics.
“The sector’s 14.70 per cent double digit growth rate played a principal role in supporting our country to exit the recession triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. The growth rate of the sector exceeded four times the next fastest growing sector of Q4 2020, ICT Sector which had a growth rate of 3.42 per cent. This is truly commendable,’’ the President added.
President Buhari said the digital economy sector provided online options for activities that were hitherto restricted to offline channels, while minimizing the disruption to activities of both public and private sectors, and reducing cost of meetings.
Accordingly, he said the National Policy for Indigenous Content in the Nigerian Telecommunications Sector was in line with the administration’s commitment towards ensuring that Nigerians become active participants in the different sectors of the economy, including the telecommunications sector.
“The Federal Government embraced institutionalizing online meetings through the approval of the National Policy on Virtual Engagements in Federal Public Institutions. As a result of this, we now have virtual Federal Executive Council, virtual Council of State and virtual National Economic Council meetings, among others, even though this development was triggered by COVID-19,’’ he said.
“As a country, our desire to produce what we eat, and consume what we produce is not limited to the literal meaning; rather we want to work towards being self-sufficient in every sector of the economy. For the telecom sector, we want Nigerians to play a major role in the design and manufacture of devices, in meeting the manpower requirements and in becoming an active part of the telecommunications ecosystem of the country.
“The policy aims to achieve this and I have earlier directed the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Pantami, to develop the structure for its implementation and forward this to the Nigerian Communications Commission to implement. We are confident that the execution of the Policy will further enhance our economy and lead to the creation of jobs,’’ the President noted.
President Buhari said there had been many futile attempts to promote the use of digital identity in the past: “Previous attempts have been unsuccessful due to a number of reasons, including sabotage. Our focused approach shows that this administration is dedicated to ensuring that we derive the benefits of a secure and robust digital identity system.’’
The President assured that his administration was fully committed to the safety of Nigerians and linking the SIM to NIN will significantly enhance security, aid in national planning and budget preparations.
In his remarks, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy appreciated the President for the continuous support to the telecoms sector, including regulators and operators, thanking him for the keen interest in ensuring that the security sector gets a boost with more information on Nigerians and legal residents.
The minister noted that the NIN Registration had recorded a huge success with 54 million Nigerians already captured in the process, adding, “within six months over 12 million enrolled.’’
Dr Pantami said it was now possible to have virtual ID cards that can be used in various transactions, assuring that the NIN and Sim card registration for Nigerians and legal residents will cover 99.9 per cent.
He said the buoyancy of the telecoms sector had given Nigeria many leadership roles in international organisations, listing the impact on education, training, health and welfare of many, including the establishment of 600 computer centres, and a world class sim card manufacturing company in the country.
Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
May 6, 2021

PRESIDENT BUHARI GREETS TOP FLIGHT ADMINISTRATOR, AL-HASSAN YAKMUT SALEH, AT 60

President Muhammadu Buhari felicitates with quintessential administrator, Al-Hassan Yakmut Saleh as he turns 60 May 5, 2021.
The President appreciates decades of service to the country by Saleh, in different areas of endeavor, including sports, management and administration, rising to the position of Director-General, National Sports Commission.
Equally worthy of note, President Buhari says, are top flight appointments held by Saleh, including; Chef De Mission, 12th All African Games, Deputy Chef De Mission, Olympics Games, and Secretary, Civil Defence, Correctional, Fire and Immigration Services Board, urging the younger generation of Nigerians to emulate such devotion to duties.
Rejoicing with the Yakmut Saleh family, professional colleagues, friends and well-wishers of the administrator, the President wishes him Godspeed, good health, and greater service to motherland.
Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media and Publicity)
May 5, 2021

PRESIDENT BUHARI REJOICES WITH SENIOR JOURNALIST, ABUCHI ANUEYIAGU, AT 60
President Muhammadu Buhari felicitates with journalist and fervent Buharist, Abuchi Anueyiagu, as he clocks 60 May 6, 2021.
The President salutes the staying power of Anueyiagu, a long-time supporter, who has weathered all storms to stand by his convictions, saying; “more of such men are needed at times like this in our country.”
President Buhari rejoices with the media fraternity, the Anueyiagu family, friends and associates on the milestone occasion, wishing the journalist good health and length of days to continue serving his community, profession, and the country at large.
Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media and Publicity)
May 6, 2021

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EBIRERI HENRY IN DELTA STATE, BEREAVED

Renowned Journalist, Henry Ovie Ebireri, is due in Delta State today.
Ebireri is participating in the burial of his brother, Mr. Tony Ebireri.
Tony Ebireri died in Warri.
The well-known media professional told newsmen in Lagos ‘’I am bereaved. I lost my brother, Tony Ebireri. He died in Warri’’
The funeral service will take place on Thursday, May 6, 2021 in Sapele. He will be buried on Friday, May 7, 2021 in Ugbimidaka-Elume, Delta State

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FULL TEXT OF A WORLD PRESS CONFERENCE ON THE STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESSED BY THE NATIONAL CHAIRMAN OF THE PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY, PRINCE UCHE SECONDUS, AT THE NATIONAL SECRETARIAT, ABUJA ON MAY 3, 2021


NIGERIA MUST NOT FAIL
Following series of meetings in the last one week by various organs of our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) – the National Working Committee (NWC), the National Caucus, the Board of Trustees and the National Executive Committee – the PDP as a political party, has come to the conclusion that the ship of state is adrift and requires help.
We have therefore called this world press conference to brief you and share with you the outcome of our deliberations.
THE STATE OF OUR NATION
As the wise saying goes, the goat does not suffer parturition in tethers while the elders are at home. Thus, the leadership of the PDP come to you today with a very heavy heart regarding the state of our union. It is very clear that Nigeria is on the precipice with arms-bearing non-state actors menacingly overrunning our state and its institutions and daily eroding our sovereignty.
These perilous situations have manifested through terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, arson, and inexplicable murderous rampage across our nation. Government’s monopoly over legitimate coercive powers has been compromised and torpedoed, with criminal gangs let loose across our nation.
It is unimaginable that terrorists, who had been pushed out to the fringes by the President Goodluck Jonathan administration, leading to the successful elections of 2015, have since boldly reasserted themselves and are now taking territories in five local governments of Niger State, which is only two hours from Abuja. It is also important to note that the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, who by his position, is armed with credible intelligence, raised the alarm that terrorists and bandits were making inroads into the towns in Kaduna state. Also, noteworthy is the alarm raised by the Governor of Nasarawa State, Engr. Sule Abdullhahi, that the Boko Haram were occupying territories in his State. A strategic and intelligent interpretation of these is that Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT) is surrounded. Presently, the nation has witnessed an upsurge of kidnapping in the FCT, further giving vent to the assertions of the Governors.
In addition to this, is the escalation of killings, arson, bloodletting, and kidnappings of Nigerians, including our men and women in uniforms across the nation.
Between January and now, no fewer than 741 Nigerians have been murdered by bandits and terrorists; dozens of police formations and security checkpoints, have been attacked, leaving scores dead. An attack on a correctional facility in Owerri, Imo State, led to the release of 1,844 inmates.
Furthermore, from the kidnap of 110 Dapchi school girls, to the kidnap of 344 students from Government Science School in Kankara, Katsina State, kidnap of 42 travellers between Kotangora and Minna, Niger State; abduction of another 27 students in Niger State; kidnap of about 300 students of Government Girls Secondary School, Jangebe in Zamfara State; abduction in March this year of about 30 students of Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, Kaduna, who are still being held in captivity; and the abduction of the students of the Greenfield University, who were intermittently slain without any response from government. Nigeria has become an expansive field of mass kidnapping and murder under the watch of the APC-led Federal Government.
THE ECONOMY
This government has been completely rudderless regarding the economy. We remember that prior to the emergence of this administration, Nigeria’s debt profile stood at less than $9.4 billion, (N1.8 trillion) having benefitted from the efforts of a previous PDP administration led by former President Olusegun Obasanjo for a debt relief of over $18 billion. Presently, Nigeria’s debt burden has since risen to N32.9 trillion. It is curious that the only economic management tool known by this government is just mind-boggling borrowing. This includes borrowing for recurrent expenditure as well as for consumption.
The incompetence and absence of a clear policy for the economy is fast leading us into the woods of insolvency, which was recently confirmed by NNPC’s confession that it would not be able to make remittances to FAAC for the month of April as well as the confusing response of government regarding the appropriate use of Ways and Means (printing money) to address our mounting economic challenges.
It is also very clear that despite the whimsical closure and reopening of borders, the supposed consumption of the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) alone has increased from about 30 million litres in 2015 to over 60 million litres even when the production capacity of the economy has seriously diminished. Many companies and businesses have dumped Nigeria for neighbouring countries because of an apparent inclement operational environment. Therefore, your guess is as good as ours as to whether the subsidy is for us, the citizens, or for the pockets of privileged few in government.
Further source of worry is the exchange rate that was at N180 to a dollar in 2014, now stands at nearly N500 to a dollar contrary to the APC’s propaganda-laden promise of matching a dollar to one naira.
Inflation has been on the rise. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the consumer price index, which measures inflation increased, stood at 18.17 per cent (year-on-year) in March 2021. We have one of the highest unemployment rates in the world; and while one of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals is to end extreme poverty by 2050, APC has continued to lead the nation in the opposite direction. With over 86.9 million citizens living in extreme poverty, Nigeria overtook India as the poverty of the world in 2018, according to the Washington-based Brookings Institution. Nigeria’s corruption rating has been consistently worse under the APC-led administration.
These and more clearly shows that the APC-led government has left the economy more than 100 per cent worse than they met it.
MISMANAGEMENT OF THE NATION’S DIVERSITY AND THE REFUSAL TO ENGAGE
In its formation, character, modus operandi, and belief in the eternal destiny of this country to succeed, the PDP, while not claiming perfection, has always taken deliberate steps to engage Nigerians and take constructive approach to nation-building. In this vein, the PDP in June 12, 2014 organised an all-party conference aimed at de-politicisation of the war against insurgency, which the incumbent President and Commander-in-Chief, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan as well as General Muhammadu Buhari (as he then was) attended.
In January 14, 2015, a peace accord was encouraged and endorsed by all political parties, which led to a successful 2015 election. The PDP also initiated a standing National Peace Committee, which is still in existence. And of course, the PDP initiated and successfully hosted the 2014 National Conference to deescalate tension and chart a trajectory for the social, economic, and political stability and prosperity for our nation.
Having done all these, we are worried that the APC government, in its character, formation, and modus operandi, has successfully mismanaged our diversity. It is clear that the core philosophy of the APC is to run a government of exclusion. They do not constructively engage Nigerians, except for erratic statements by Malam Garba Shehu, which further fans the embers of disaffection. Its sheer arrogance coupled with an aloof President is a disaster waiting to happen.
Increasingly, Mr. President is absent from duty. The symbol of authority of the Executive is simply not there, leading to various centres of power in the Executive, which affect the economy, security and manifest in lack of coordination and synergy in government operation.
The apparent nepotism in the appointment of the top echelon of the security forces, and the commanding heights of the institutions of government further fuel agitations across the country. In fact, winning elections has been reduced by the APC to more of sharing the spoils of war than running a government to the benefit of all citizens. This could be the only discernable reason for the President to appoint and still retains, as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that has access to the sensitive data of Nigerians, a self-confessed bigot, who had voluntarily expressed happiness at the killing of people of other faith. It is also curious that such an individual like Isa Pantami, scaled through the vetting by Department of State Security (DSS) ahead of confirmation by the Senate.
Granted that he may have changed in his views, is it possible that millions of youth radicalised by his preaching have also repented from extreme views and concomitant violent conducts? The PDP holds that our present circumstance is attributable to Dr. Isa Pantami and people who share and preach his views.
The very first step is for Pantami to be immediately relieved of his office and handed over for investigation, and if found wanting, he should be prosecuted.
THE WAY FORWARD
Dear compatriots, we come to you today to reassert our confidence in the future of our union, cognisant of the spirit and letters of our Constitution, and believing that we are all better together; that we are one nation under God, determined to build a formidable nation state. We have not come to play politics, but to work in concert with our compatriots to rescue of our nation from these avoidable perilous circumstances.
COMBATING INSECURITY
We therefore:
1. Demand for the immediate up-scaling of the personnel strength of our men and women in uniform and make adequate provisions of kinetic instruments of war and law enforcement. Our armed forces should be adequately equipped and their welfare a top priority.
In addition, efforts should be made towards partnership with foreign governments and miscellaneous entities for the war efforts. The situation in our country is not normal and exceptional steps should be taken to restore it to normalcy. The PDP, as a body, is willing to give a helping hand in this direction.
2. Call for the establishment of a State Police: We call on all citizens to support the quest for state police as is the tradition in other federations. Mindful of the current plethora of vigilante in various parts of the country, which have not been enabled to carry out all the elements of effective policing, we call on the governors of the 36 states, the leadership and members of the National Assembly, the Speakers of the State Assemblies, relevant agencies of government, to occasion a summit for a one-stop shop regarding the creation, structure, and management of state police. In spite of the concerns over state police, it is doubtful that 36 state police services can be easily overwhelmed, as is the case now with the unitary police. Besides, any challenges can be addressed through legislative framework to make abuse extremely difficult, if not impossible.
3. We also call for the deployment of technology in the fight against terror, banditry, and other crimes. The PDP demands that all culprits should be brought to book. The apparent failure of intelligence to track attacks by bandits and follow up on them is a clear failure of the intelligence community. The Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited NIGCOMSAT, established many years ago by a PDP administration, is designed for this purpose and others.
4. States where matters of national security challenges originate or exist should be invited to the National Security Council Meeting for deliberation and problem-solving interactions.
5. We call for the creation of National Boarders Protection Force to secure our borders. This will include an integrated border protection system that will draw personnel and equipment from existing armed service and Immigration
We cannot continue to watch while terrorist and bandits continue to levy war on our nation, through our porous borders. This borders force should be equipped with reconnaissance, intelligence gathering, prevention, and enforcement. It should therefore have air, sea, and land capability.
6. There must be a synergy and cooperation among the armed services, strategically and operationally. There is no reason a theatre Commander should not have within his control the deployment of the Air Force, the Army, and the Navy in his operational area.
7. All culprits, who have levied war on Nigeria, should be brought to book. It is unfathomable that several mass kidnappings have been successfully staged with the culprits not being held to account. It is a shameful irony that a few bandit leaders that have been taken out were killed by rival gangs and not our security agencies.
If Sheik Gumi could detect and engage the bandits, we do not understand why our security agencies cannot track, arrest, and prosecute them.
8. The administration of President Buhari should completely shed weight on arrogance, lack of respect for Nigerians and its pretences of being an island of integrity.
He should begin to engage the citizens directly. He should address the nation on the various issues escalating tension in the land and pushing the nation farther to the tips of precipice.
It is serious political malpractice, for Mr. President to stand aloof, say nothing, do nothing and simply wish that the problems will somehow go away. It is a great disservice to the Nigerian people for Mr. President to abandon his presidential duties to two media handlers who resort to issuing meaningless and annoying PRESS STATEMENTS in the name of an amorphous and questionable organisation called “THE PRESIDENCY”. Enough of trivialising governance and trifling with the lives, livelihoods and wellbeing of the Nigerian people.
Furthermore, Mr President needs to convince Nigerians that his government is not shielding or protecting terrorists.
RESCUING THE ECONOMY
1. We hold that our government should stop borrowing. Our future generations are being mortgaged and railroaded into avoidable debt trap. APC should do away with their nepotism and hire experts that will help creatively navigate the nation through the dire economic challenges they have led the nation into.
2. We also believe that the management of the economy, including the management of Ways and Means should be done in a more professional manner to avert a collapse of the economy. The country is bleeding economically and the operations of the NNPC must be investigated and oversighted by the parliament. The topsy-turvy situation where Mr. President, who is the Minister of Petroleum, approves oil wells only to reverse himself in a matter of weeks as demonstrated in the case of Addax and Kaztech/Slavic consortium (OMLs 123, 124, 126 and 137) and others like that should be investigated.
TURNING THE PAGE ON DIVERSITY MANAGEMENT
1. The tension and current separatist agitations threatening the corporate existence of Nigeria owe their origins to the perfunctory management of diversity by the APC-led Federal Government, as every action of this administration goes to confirm the fears of the victims and legitimises the agitations of the separatist groups.
Worse still, instead of engaging Nigerians, this administration resorts to harassment and intimidation of voices of dissent. They clamp down on democratic expressions against exclusion as well as political opposition, weaponising critical institutions like the armed forces, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), and even regulatory agencies like the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), etc. Even an appearance on a national television or radio could warrant a clampdown by the NBC or invitation by the EFCC or ICPC. We fear that this, if not checked, could soon graduate to assassination of political opponents and voices of dissent.
All calls and entreaties on the Federal Government to accommodate the South East in the headship of the nation’s armed forces and security agencies have fallen on deaf ears to the chagrin of nation-building.
Therefore, we call on the APC-led government to live up to the spirit and letters of our constitution to ensure that all sections of the country are equitably represented in all agencies and organs of government, including the armed forces. This will build loyalty and enhance security both in strategic and real terms. It will give every part of the country a sense of belonging and will be very helpful in intelligence gathering. As known world over, no victim of injustice is ever interested in peace. In this wise, we strongly subscribe to an all stakeholders Security and Solution Summit that will deescalate the current situation. This will now further collaborate the efforts of the leaders of the National Assembly, the state governors, Speakers of Assemblies, and relevant government agencies and other stakeholders in putting together a one-stop summit to find solutions to the menacing security situation in the country.
DEVOLUTION OF POWERS
1. We call for the devolution of more powers to the states and local governments. From our experience since the first military regime in 1966, the Federal Government has increasingly bitten more than it can chew and the nation is crumbling under the weight of a behemoth Federal Government. Items like Railway, Aviation, Power, Police, among others should immediately devolve to trigger productivity and creative leadership that will enable the constituent parts to develop. Such new responsibilities should also come with consequential increment in the resources available to the states.
ELECTORAL ACT
1. It is worrisome that the report of the National Assembly Joint Committee on INEC, which finished its work since February 2021 is yet to be laid in the two chambers of the National Assembly. We are aware that the work of the Committee, which also benefitted from the Joint Technical Committee on the Repeal and Re-enactment of the Electoral Act comprising select members of the National Assembly, INEC, the Civil Society, and other experts made far-reaching recommendations that would benefit our electoral system and democracy. This includes early primaries, such that if approved by the National Assembly and signed by the President, INEC is expected to call for nominations in February 2022, while political parties will have until July 2022 to conduct primaries and submit a list of their candidates.
Importantly, we understand that the report comprises proposals for extensive use of technology in our elections, including electronic transmission of results.
These are critical moves at repositioning our elections by allowing INEC enough time to prepare for elections and reduce the logistical challenges; allow political parties enough time to conduct primaries and handle the contestations; and reduce election malpractices that occur during result collation.
We are therefore alarmed at the decision of the APC-led leadership of the National Assembly to sit on such an important report, contrary to their promise to pass the Electoral Act by March, which has now been shifted to June. It is imperative to state that INEC and government of the United Kingdom have equally raised concerns over these undue delays, as it appears this current amendment is going the way of the Electoral Act amendment in the 8th National Assembly that was ultimately not signed by Mr. President.
We therefore invite well-meaning Nigerians, the international community, the CSOs and stakeholders to apply pressure on the leadership of the National Assembly, President Muhammadu Buhari, and the APC to immediately have the report laid, considered, passed, and signed by President Buhari.
CONCLUSION
Gentlemen of the press, with the tension in the land, it is very clear to us that leadership is made of sterner stuff, not propaganda. From every indication, from the actions and body language of the APC-led administration, it is very clear that there is a mission to deconstruct our country, Nigeria. All men and women of goodwill must not allow this to happen.
We are supremely confident in the words of John Maxwell that some people, in this case, the APC and this administration, could stop the nation and set us back temporarily, but we, the citizens, are the only ones that can stop ourselves permanently.
We therefore believe in the manifest destiny of this nation to succeed because we are one nation under God. But all hands must be on deck. Let us come together and pull the nation from the brink. It is time for all Nigerians to stand up and be counted as we commence the journey to rescue our nation from the current misrule by the APC.
The commitment of the PDP to the Nigerian people is to lead the charge towards the restoration of normalcy to the Federal Republic of Nigeria. PDP will be engaging the international community and friends of Nigeria regarding the volatile situation in Nigeria. We hope they will lend their voices henceforth, knowing the implications of an implosion of Nigeria, God forbids, for the rest of the world. But on the whole, the penchant to emasculate, muscle and intimidate opposition figures will not deter us from this noble cause.
God bless Nigeria.
Thank you.
Prince Uche Secondus
National Chairman

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Corruption: Account For N10tr Security Allocation, PDP Calls Buhari

May 4, 2021
Press Statement
…Alleges APC’s Scheme to Scuttle Strategy for Border Protection
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) calls on President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to account for the N10.02 trillion claimed to have been spent on security under their watch.
PDP’s position is predicated on heightening allegations of diversion of funds meant for security as well as an alert by a pro-transparency organization, BudgIT on the absence of proper audit on the spending of national security funds from 2015 to 2021.
The party asserts that such situation points to why terrorism, banditry, kidnapping and other forms of violent acts had continued to worsen, with widespread complaints of lack of adequate combat equipment for our security forces, for which our gallant soldiers as well as thousands of our compatriots are paying with their blood under President Buhari and the APC.
Nigerians can recall that the APC administration is yet to come clean on claims by the National Security Adviser (NSA), Gen. Babagana Monguno, that billions of naira meant for security could not be traced.
Our party is appalled that the APC and its administration have turned the heightened insecurity in our country which was caused by their incompetence, divisiveness and gross mismanagement of our national diversity, into a bloody merchandise for APC leaders.
The PDP challenges President Buhari, as the commander-in-chief, to speak out on the alleged diversion of security funds under his command.
The party also calls on the two chambers of the National Assembly to immediately commence investigation into the spending of the N10.02 trillion.
The PDP is further alarmed by the clear scheme by the APC and its administration to frustrate the well-intentioned strategies from the PDP to check the tide of terrorism and banditry in our country.
Our party rejects the move by the APC to frustrate the establishment of a National Borders Protection Force as suggested by the PDP to check further infiltration by terrorist elements as well as inflow of illegal arms into our country.
The PDP insist that the setting up of a bureaucratic National Center for Control of Small Arms by the APC administration instead of a pro-active and operational Borders Protection Force that will ensure water tight security at our borders, further exposes the lack of commitment by the APC to secure our borders and check the inflow of terrorists and ammunition.
Our party asserts that by its outlook and operation, such center cannot check the infiltration of terrorist as well as the flow of firearms into our country.
The PDP therefore rejects the resort to a sitting room measure in the face of our porous borders and heightened terrorist activities in our country.
The PDP consequently urges President Buhari to immediately establish the Borders Protection Force which will draw personnel and equipment from the military and other armed services to man our borders and check activities by terrorists and their backers.
Signed:
Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

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ABIA STATE Abigborodo ABUA ODUAI Abuja Abuja Authority Abuja Consults Abuja Daily Abuja Independent

PRESIDENT BUHARI URGES ‘RESPONSIBLE FREEDOM’ ON WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY

On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, observed globally every May 3, President Muhammadu Buhari recommits to freedom of the press, and urges media professionals to wield freedom responsibly, and without licentiousness.
While celebrating the landmark day with the media, the President notes that freedom of the press is an irreducible minimum in a democracy that would flourish, adding that freedom must, however, be used responsibly.
“That everything is permitted does not mean that there are no rules of correctness, particularly in a polity seriously challenged as ours now,” President Buhari says. “The media must be sensitive to what we are going through as a country, and anything that would exacerbate the situation, and further inflame passions and emotions, should be avoided. The media needs to ensure that while informing, educating, entertaining and setting agenda for public discourse, it does not encourage incendiary words and actions that could further hurt our unity in diversity.”
Licentious freedom, the President says, is different from freedom with responsibility, and charges the Nigerian media to embrace the latter, rather than the former.
On the part of government, President Buhari pledges greater cooperation with the media to discharge its duties, in line with the theme of this year’s World Press Freedom Day, ‘Information as a Public Good.’
He charges those who manage information for government to do everything in public interest, while also encouraging the media to use the Freedom of Information Act available to make its jobs easier.
The President submits that it is very vital to have access to reliable information in an era of misinformation, disinformation and hate speech, all to cause discord in society.
Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media and Publicity)
May 2, 2021

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OUR RESPONSE TO DSS ALERT, BY PRESIDENCY

The Department of State Services (DSS), on Sunday alerted on sinister moves by misguided elements to wreak havoc on the government, sovereignty and corporate existence of the country.
Championed by some disgruntled religious and past political leaders, the intention is to eventually throw the country into a tailspin, which would compel a forceful and undemocratic change of leadership.
Further unimpeachable evidence shows that these disruptive elements are now recruiting the leadership of some ethnic groups and politicians round the country, with the intention of convening some sort of conference, where a vote of no confidence would be passed on the President, thus throwing the land into further turmoil.
The caterwauling, in recent times, by these elements, is to prepare the grounds adequately for their ignoble intentions, which are designed to cause further grief for the country.
The agent provocateurs hope to achieve through artifice and sleight of hands, what they failed to do through the ballot box in the 2019 elections.
Nigerians have opted for democratic rule, and the only accepted way to change a democratically elected government is through elections, which hold at prescribed times in the country. Any other way is patently illegal, and even treasonable. Of course, such would attract the necessary consequences.
These discredited individuals and groups are also in cahoots with external forces to cause maximum damage in their own country. But the Presidency, already vested with mandate and authority by Nigerians till 2023, pledges to keep the country together, even if some unruly feathers would be ruffled in the process.
Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media and Publicity)
May 4, 2021