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PDP Charges DSS to Invite Pantami for Questioning over Alleged Affiliation with Al-Qaeda, Taliban


April 18, 2021
Press Statement
PDP Charges DSS to Invite Pantami for Questioning over Alleged Affiliation with Al-Qaeda, Taliban
…….. Asks Buhari to Sack Minister

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) charges the Department of State Services (DSS) to immediately invite the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, for questioning over alleged affiliations with the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
The party also demands that President Muhammadu Buhari should immediately sack the minister, given the sensitivity of the issue at stake.
Our party’s position is predicated on the heightening concerns in the public space and in the international arena of possible compromises by the communication minister, who has access to sensitive government documents and information, in addition to data of all individuals including high profile personalities in the public and private sectors as well as the traditional and faith-based circles.
The PDP is particularly worried about allegations in the public suggesting that the minister compromised the NIN registration exercise by giving room for the registration of aliens and invaders from other countries as our citizens.
The party tasks the DSS to investigate the allegation, which has created apprehension, particularly given the rise in banditry and other terrorists activities in our country.
The PDP urges Nigerians to remain at alert and very sensitive to their environment, while not hesitating in providing useful information to our security agencies in the interest of our nation.
Signed:
Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

April 18, 2021
Press Statement
PDP Savours Sweeping Victory in Rivers LG Polls
…Says Victory Signposts Repositioning For 2023
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says its sweeping victory in the 23 local government areas as well as the 319 wards in Rivers state, is a further demonstration of its political supremacy and repositioning to take back its dominant position in the affairs of our nation at the center, come 2023.
The party asserts that the overwhelming victory in a state like Rivers, with its egalitarian population and political exposure further confirms that parties like the fizzling and shambolic All Progressives Congress (APC) and its leaders have lost all footholds not only in the state but also in the South South region and the nation at large.
The PDP says the election has shown that the APC only exists in the empty boasts of their few disoriented leaders, who have lost credence in the sight of the people and are only hanging around waiting for President Buhari to complete his second and final term in office.
Moreover, the PDP’s wholesale electoral victory is a reaffirmation of the popularity and acceptance of Governor Nyesom Wike in his unprecedented development of the state in all sectors in line with the manifesto and ideology of the PDP.
The PDP congratulates Governor Wike, the newly elected local government chairmen and councilors as well as the people of Rivers state for the triumph of democracy in the state.
The party urges the newly elected council officials to emulate Governor Wike and hit the ground running in the development of the state in line with the vision of the governor and the PDP.
Signed:
Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

April 18, 2021
Press Statement
PDP Debunks Purported Suspension of Kwankwaso, Babangida Aliyu
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) debunks claims in misleading documents being circulated by some mischievous individuals purporting that former Kano State Governor, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, has been suspended from the party.
The PDP states clearly that Senator Kwakwanso is not suspended from the party adding that any claim of suspension by any individual or group, purporting to be representing any organ of our party at any level, is mere fabrication and should be discountenanced.
The PDP stresses that the provisions of the constitution of the PDP are very clear on the suspension of a member of the National Executive Committee (NEC), if and when such occasion arises, and cautioned those behind the misleading claims to desist henceforth.
The PDP strongly cautions that it will not accept such reckless adventure by such misguided individuals, which its notes, is capable of destabilizing our party and bringing it to public disrepute.
Similarly, the PDP states that the former Niger state governor, Dr. Babangida Aliyu, has not been suspended by the party as mischievously published in certain quarters.
Our party frowns as such fabrications aimed at subverting the stability of our party and trigger disagreements and suspicions within our ranks.
The PDP urges our leaders and teeming members in Kano and Niger states to be at alert, resist distractions and continue to work together as Nigerians earnestly look up to the PDP for solution and direction at this critical time.
Signed:
Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

40th Wedding Anniversary: My Crossing the Niger worth it- Ondo First Lady

.charges couples to understand each other, communicate, give room for compromise

It is forty solid years today that the number one citizen of Ondo State, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN tied the knot with his heartrob, Betty-Anyanwu.

Narrating her experiences so far, the wife of the Governor, Arabinrin Betty-Anyanwu Akeredolu affirmed that marriage is not a bed of roses but they were able to come this far by making use of Communication tool and by understanding each other.

Betty-Anyanwu, a bonafide indigene of Emeabiam in Owerri Imo state, noted that despite the fact that herself and the Governor are from different tribes, she enjoyed total support from her spouse, saying, “I couldn’t have asked for a better husband. Infact, my crossing the Niger was worth it”.

She explained that for different people from different background to survive the storms of marriage, there’s a need for them to identify each other’s likes and dislikes, while advising young couples to give space to each other to grow in the union, saying: “Marriage MUST not be a master and slave relationship”.

She lamented a disheartening situation where an educated woman is being subjugated in marriage due to her husband’s lack of support in her career advancement, while appreciating her late father and the Governor for giving her voice and the liberty to explore her potential in life.

Her words: “There is nothing more depressing than for an educated woman to feel suffocated in marriage due to husband’s lack of support in her career advancement or in some extreme cases, outright stoppage of a wife pursuing a career for fear of a woman having a voice in her home or being in control of her wealth.

“This state of mind leads to frustration and unhappy home. Its ramification is better imagined.
“My case is different. My husband and I believed in building our home together and from the scratch. With love and understanding, we feel fulfilled, today, 40 years. While my father gave me the wings to fly, my husband oiled the wings for me to soar. I have a supportive husband in all my endeavours”.

The First Lady of Ondo State who asserted that one cap fits all does not apply in marriage, further enjoined young couples to see marriage as partnership where both sides should contribute to make it succeed.

“There will be quarrels and fights but once you understand yourselves, each other’s likes and dislikes and give room for compromise, your marriage will last”.

According to the mother of four and grandma, it is a beautiful thing to fall in love before marriage. She noted that her union with Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, was love at first sight which could have been a physical attraction but it endured the test of time.

“Ours is, indeed, a true love. As love leads into marriage, you do not rest on your oars. You have to work on it to keep the flame aglow. It requires understanding each other and the handy tool is communication. Once you can communicate with each other, it becomes easy to iron out your differences. Make no mistake, marriage is not a bed of roses. Roses after all have thorns”, she noted.

PRESS RELEASE
SANWO-OLU: WE’LL PROVIDE SUPPORT FOR DIGITAL SWITCH OVER IN LAGOS

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu says his administration will support the Digital Switch Over (DSO) being embarked by the country, saying it would enhance job creation and content development.

Governor Sanwo-Olu who acknowledged that the DSO would be of immense benefits to residents said Lagos State would be providing publicity support for the rollout.

Speaking on Saturday when the Ministerial Taskforce of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture on Digital Switch Over led by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, paid him a courtesy visit at the Lagos House, Marina, Governor Sanwo-Olu said the DSO will provide job opportunities for youths and many businesses, especially those in the entertainment and tourism industry.

He said the DSO will also provide opportunity for government to use the content to inform and engage the citizens as well as bring governance closer to the people.

Governor Sanwo-Olu who advised the Ministerial Taskforce on the Digital Switch Over to make the FreeTV box and after sale support easily accessible, said making the FreeTV Set Top Box a one-off payment with a yearly renewal, will provide opportunity for millions of Nigerians who cannot afford to pay the subscription fees being charged by the PayTV platforms to enjoy the benefit of digital television.

He said: “The movement from analogue set up that we currently have to digital is apt and it speaks to reality of what we have today. Everywhere in the world, technology is now a fundamental and critical deliverable of government. It presents an opportunity for citizens to have access to local, national and international space.

“As a forward looking state, we are in partnership and we see it as bringing the future to our citizens, so we do not have a problem with it at all. Even for us as a state, we have been developing our metropolitan fiber optics to provide fiber connectivity as one of the solutions for our citizens to have access to cheaper data.

“We will support the DSO. We want Lagos to continue to set the pace for the nation. We will help our people to be exposed to modern and international best practices. We will be willing to work with you and ensure that we deliver jointly on April 29.”

Speaking earlier, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said the proposed rollout in Lagos would be a critical milestone for the DSO and the creative industry as over one million jobs would be provided nationwide.

He said with the FreeTV of the DSO, Nigerians would have opportunities to watch over 60 channels with great contents at a cheaper rate and without subscription to pay TV.

Mohammed who presented Governor Sanwo-Olu with the Set Top Box for the DSO said it would also enable government to get the data of every household with television, thereby making the collection of television and radio licenses easier, adding that the Nigerian Broadcasting Code (NBC) had been amended to make provisions for the switch over from analogue to digital.

The Minister of Information and Culture also disclosed that six months after the rollout of the DSO in Lagos, the NBC would ask television stations to shut down their analog broadcast equipment, thereby making more spectrum available for data and other telecommunication services.

Mohammed who noted that the DSO is relevant to the Lagos Smart City Project and the Lagos Broadband initiative, urged Governor Sanwo-Olu to direct the Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA) to provide out-of-home boards, lamp post and other publicity support for the DSO launch for at least three months.

He said: “The rollout in Lagos reflects our decision to take the DSO to commercial centres across the country. With a population of over 20 million, and projected TV Households of over five million, the launch of FreeTV in Lagos State will be a critical milestone for the DSO and for Nigeria’s broadcast and creative industry.

“Lagos State, which is the hub of the Creative Industry, will take a large share of the 1 million jobs to be created. Since FreeTV helps to provide Value Added Services, the 20 Local Government Areas and 37 LCDAs in Lagos State will be supported in the collection of Television and Radio Licenses from residents. With FreeTV’s push system for information services, the FreeTV platform can be used to broadcast information on Lagos State activities to all viewers.

“A major advantage of the DSO is that viewers will not pay subscription fees. Once they have acquired the Set Top Box and pay the once-a-year access fee, which is a token, it is free viewing all the way. Millions of Nigerians who cannot afford to pay the rising subscription fees being charged by the PayTV platforms can now enjoy the benefits of digital television. This is the meaning of bridging the digital divide.”

SIGNED
GBOYEGA AKOSILE
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY
APRIL 18, 2021

SERAP writes Buhari, seeks probe of ‘missing N106bn in 149 MDAs in 2018’

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 allegations that N106bn of public funds are missing from 149 ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), as documented in the 2018 annual audited report by the Auditor-General of the Federation.”

SERAP said: “Anyone suspected to be responsible should face prosecution as appropriate, if there is sufficient admissible evidence, and any missing public funds should be fully recovered.”

SERAP also urges him “to direct Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning to create a system of public announcements to name and shame the indicted 149 MDAs, including those that reportedly failed to remit over N55bn of their revenue; awarded contracts of over N18bn for services not rendered; and spent over N23bn without any supporting documents.”

In the letter dated 17 April 2021, and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said: “The reported missing public funds reflect the failure of the indicted MDAs to ensure strict compliance with transparency and accountability rules and regulations, and the failure of leadership of the MDAs to foster institutions that uphold the rule of law and human rights.”

According to SERAP, “Recovering the alleged missing public funds would reduce the pressure on the Federal Government to borrow more money to fund the budget, enable the authorities to meet the country’s human rights obligation to progressively realize Nigerians’ rights to quality health care and education, as well as reduce the growing level of public debts.”

The letter, read in part: “SERAP urges you to ask Mrs Ahmed and Mr Ahmed Idris, the Accountant-General of the Federation to explain why they allegedly failed to ensure strict compliance with relevant legislation, rules and regulations across all MDAs, despite the warning and recommendations by the Auditor-General.”

“SERAP also urges you to direct Mrs Ahmed to publish full details of the yearly budgets of all MDAs, and issue regular updates that accurately detail their expenditures, including by making any such information easily accessible in a form that can be understood by the public.”

“The Auditor-General stated that the alleged infractions by the 149 MDAs could have been prevented if the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, and the Accountant General of the Federation had heeded his warning to ensure strict compliance with relevant legislation, rules and regulations across all MDAs.”

“SERAP is concerned that the alleged missing public funds have hampered the ability of the MDAs to meet the needs of average citizens, as the missing funds could have helped your government to invest in key public goods and services, and to improve access of Nigerians to these services.”

“Investigating and prosecuting the alleged grand corruption documented by the Auditor-General would improve the chances of success of your government’s oft-repeated commitment to fight corruption and end the impunity of perpetrators. It will improve the integrity of MDAs, as well as serve the public interest.”

“Any failure to promptly investigate the allegations and prosecute suspected perpetrators would breach Nigeria’s anti-corruption legislation, and the country’s international anti-corruption obligations.”

“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.”

“SERAP has carefully analysed the recently released 2018 audited report by the Auditor-General of the Federation and our analysis reveals the grim allegations that N105,662,350,077.46 of public funds are missing, misappropriated or unaccounted for across 149 MDAs in 2018.”

“According to the Auditor-General, 35 MDAs failed to remit N48,551,274,468.35 of generated revenue, and N5,418,780,747.23 of statutory deductions including value added tax, withholding tax, and stamp duties in 2018, thereby ‘depriving the government of the much-needed fund to pursue its agenda.’”

“Similarly, 25 MDAs awarded contracts amounting to N18,369,595,564.47 in violation of the Public Procurement Act (PPA), 2007, including disregard to due process, irregularity in payment for contracts, excessive pricing of procurements, payment for services not rendered, and payment in full for uncompleted projects.”

“Another N23,486,881,920.49 was spent by 48 MDAs without following the rules and regulations relating to spending procedures and policies, and without any documents to support such spending. Furthermore, 11 MDAs paid N8,389,842,637.88 for store items that were not taken on store charge. The Auditor-General fears that the items may be ‘missing/misappropriated.’”

“In addition, 18 MDAs paid N354,223,774.67 as cash advances to staff without duly retiring the money, contrary to the Financial Regulation 1405 and Financial Regulation 1420. According to the Auditor-General, ‘unretired cash and personal advances may be a deliberate attempt to divert public funds for personal use.’”

“Moreover, 12 MDAs spent N371,750,964 as cash advances, above the approved threshold of N200,000.00, contrary to the Treasury Circular Ref. No. TRY/A2&B2/2009OAGF/CAD/26/V, which requires all local procurement of stores and services costing above N200,000.00 to be made only through the award of contracts.”

“There are several other infractions documented in the report, a copy of which can be obtained from the Auditor-General’s office. The 2018 audited report therefore suggests a grave violation of the public trust. These damning revelations also suggest that the indicted MDAs lack effective and credible internal processes to prevent and combat corruption.”

“Our requests are brought in the public interest, and in keeping with the requirements of the Nigerian Constitution 1999 [as amended]; anti-corruption legislation, and the country’s international obligations including under the UN Convention against Corruption; and the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption to which Nigeria is a state party.”

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); Mrs Ahmed; and chairmen of the Public Accounts Committees of the National Assembly.

Kolawole Oluwadare
SERAP Deputy Director
18/4/2021
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

April 16, 2021
Press Statement
Currency Printing: PDP Calls Out President Buhari
…Demands Finance Minister’s Sack

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Signed:
Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

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Youths restate Niger Delta support for Buhari, Akpabio


Youths in the Niger Delta region on Tuesday endorsed the current drive by the Federal Government to eradicate corruption in the country.

They also said the Federal Government had started well in the Niger Delta region by approving auditors for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC)

‘’It requires time to complete the forensic audit’’ the youths said.

At a meeting of the Niger Delta Youth Forum (NDYF) in Calabar, the youths praised President Muhammadu Buhari for opting to entrust the affairs of the Niger Delta Ministry on Chief Godswill Akpabio.

‘’We are grateful to Mr. President for the perspicacious judgement’’

Particularly, the youths praised the Federal Government for giving the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) new and strategic direction aimed at achieving viable development in the oil rich region.

‘’President Muhammadu Buhari and Chief Godswill Akpabio deserve our commendation for the changes so far in the oil rich Niger Delta region’’ the youths said.

The youths in a statement signed by NDYF Chairperson, Dr. Roseline Umoh, defended the administration’s role in appointing a sole administrator for the interventionist agency.

The youths explained that the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs had a minister who is committed to doing things right.

They underscored Akpabio’s long trail of legacies in Akwa Ibom State, his inspiring leadership in the Senate and the effort he was making to develop the oil rich region.

The youths enjoined South-South governors to cooperate with the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and give him the needed support for success.

They advised the governors to be patient with the Federal Government.

The youths also called for greater understanding amongst all stakeholders in the region.

‘’We must not set roadblocks before ourselves. We must unite. The harmony which has now been achieved between the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and the National Assembly is here to stay’’

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THE LION THAT CANNOT BE CAGED

THE LION THAT CANNOT BE CAGED

Over the last one week millions of Nigerians have expressed concern about which direction I am going politically and much has been said.

Some have gone out of their way to reach out to me and offered their counsel out of genuine love and concern.

Others have not reached out to me and have written or spoken out of ignorance, hate and malice imputing the worst motivations for actions which they claim I have purportedly taken.

This contribution is an attempt to provide answers to just a few of the oftentimes asinine and absurd assertions and observations that the latter group have made.

Some say they warned me and that I have fallen into a trap whilst others say my voice has been silenced, I am a spy and that this signals the end of my political career.

My response to them and others who have conjured up even stranger motivations and conspiracy theories when it comes to FFK is as follows.

To whom it may concern: spare me your crocodile tears and be rest assured that I am too big, too intelligent, too experienced and too forthright to fall into any trap.

It is impossible to castrate a lion, render it impotent or silence its roar.

I stand on all my beliefs, core values and principles. I am the voice of the voiceless, I am a warrior, I fear nothing, I fear no-one, I am as constant as the northern star and I will ALWAYS stand against evil.

Speaking to other leaders across party lines in order to build bridges, engender peace, foster stability and enhance national unity ought not to create such national and international rage, panic and pandemonium.

Are we so divided that we can’t even talk to one another and take pictures together without causing a public stir and setting the Internet on fire?

You insult me and say I am scared of prison because I had a meeting with two APC Governors?

Do you know how many PDP and APC Governors and leaders I interact with and meet regularly? Do you know how many I talk to on a daily basis?

Do you know that I was prosecuted for 7 years by PDP Governments who tried to jail me simply for speaking out against them yet it did not deter me? Ask those that were in the Yar’adua and Jonathan administration.

After a while they got tired because the more they tried to intimidate me into silence or make me flee the country the more I stood my ground and fought my corner till they gave up.

Does that sound like a man that is scared of death or prison?

You insult me and say I am broke because I had talks with two APC Governors.

Do you know that I spend more on my monthly salary bill in one month than some of these people that are claiming I am broke earn in 5 or 10 years.

I have 55 domestic staff in my house alone. Not one of them gets below 70,000 naira per month which is higher than the national minimum wage.

I do not owe salaries and I feed each of them three square meals every day. I do all this just to help them and to ensure they can look after and feed their families. Does that sound like a broke man to you?

That is my little contribution to the welfare of our people because I certainly do not need so many staff. I employ them just to keep them off the unemployment line.

Apart from that do you know how many people I give scholarships to and how many peoples children I feed and educate? Do you know how many other families I am responsible for in terms of day to day living?

The Bible says be your brothers keeper and I do these things unto the Lord. I do them and I will never stop even when my good is repaid with evil.

The Lord has always provided for me and given me the fat of the land. He has always caused me to be a blessing to others though I do not make noise about it.

For the last 60 years of my life He has been good to me. He has caused me to excel, prosper and flourish and from beginning to end He has always been with me and mine.

You say I make money through politics meanwhile I left public office in 2007 which is 13 years ago! Does that make sense to you? In any case is politics my only source of income in the world?

Am I your conventional politician who craves for elective office? Do I even attend their meetings? I have been in this game since 1990! Do you know that?

I have been making my contributions to current affairs, political discourse and politics for the last 31 years which is long before most of today’s Governors or Ministers even knew the meaning of the word.

And it was always a struggle which involved sacrifice. Where were my detractors when I was in NADECO and fought against military rule?

The records are there and so are the essays and some of the people I worked with.

Where were they when we set up September Club in 1989 and some of the nations greatest leaders and elder statesmen and top politicians over the last 30 years, including Presidents, Governors, Ministers and legislators across party lines, were members.

Where were they in the days of NRC, SDP and Choice ’92 when politics was real, when the greats held sway and when men honored their word.

Where were they when we risked all for MKO Abiola’s stolen mandate and June 12th and even had to go into exile for years because of it?

Where were they when we stood against the annulment of June 12th and fought against the Government of General Sani Abacha?

Where were they when we formed the Progressive Action Movement in 1999 and some of the nations brightest and best young stars and minds made their contribution to national affairs?

Where were they when we fought against Senator Ali Modu Sheriff who was sent to high jack and destroy the PDP?

Where were they when I led President Goodluck Jonathan’s presidential campaign in 2015 and took the battle to the gates of the enemy?

Where were they when I stood behind President Olusegun Obasanjo and faced down ALL his detractors?

Where were they when I was targetted and almost assassinated om two separate occassions during the Obasanjo Presidency simply because I was the President’s defender in chief and armour bearer and was totally committed to his cause?

I did all this in the past and present and you say I am making money from it? Do you know the risks involved in these things?

Do you know I could have been killed together with members of my family long ago and most certainly would have had it not been for God?

Can my detractors give up so much and risk so much just for politics? Honestly it really is the deepest insult.

Some of us were born into wealth and have never lacked it. We were born into politics too. We were born into the circles of power so nothing moves us.

For us politics is a noble calling and not a profession. It is about proferring solutions to complex national issues and not about the acquisition of primitive wealth.

We gave up all for the struggle for democracy and the opportunity to help to develop our country and move her forward and now we are insulted and mocked and told we did it for money? Which money?

How much can I be bought or bribed with? All the money in the world could not move me because I have never lacked it.

What have I not had or enjoyed in life from a very young age? Where have I not been?

I came to the conclusion long ago that all is vanity and that material wealth means nothing. I would never sacrifice my principles or integrity for it.

Mallam Abba Kyari, the President’s late and powerful Chief of Staff, was my brother for over 40 years and we interacted regularly whilst he was in power.

I never asked him for ANYTHING from his Government just as I never asked or got ANYTHING from any of the previous Federal Governments between 2007 and 2021.

If I had done so I would not have been able to criticise those Governments publicly and I would have been exposed. You cannot criticise where you eat from.

I did not join APC when Abba was in Government and I did not compromise my principles when I could have asked him for anything I chose in return since he had the ear of the President.

I respected and loved him for who he was and NOT for the position he held and the feeling was mutual.

I opposed his Government in spite of our friendship and did not share his views yet we remained friends because our friendship was well above politics.

That is what civilised people do. They agree to disagree and respect each others views. They never let it come between their friendship.

I opposed Abba’s Government and risked losing an old and loyal friend and brother because I believed passionately in all I said. I believed all that I said then and I still believe it today.

All that and now you dare to question my resolve and consistency? It is laughable.

You say I am inconsitent. Meanwhile I have been more consistent in my views over the last 30 years than 95% of Nigerian leader and I have stuck to my guns despite all manner of persecution and suffering!

You say I have no relevance meanwhile millions all over the world read my words avidly every day and follow my actions religiously because I inspire them due to the fact that I have always had the courage of my convictions and I have always spoken truth to power.

Unlike most politicians I actually inspire people and give them hope. And most important of all they trust me and trust my judgement.

They have also acknowledged the fact thst more often than not my words are prophetic and I have displayed remarkable insight and foresight when it comes to national affairs.

How many of your so-called “relevant” leaders have done that? How many of them have displayed such courage under fire for years on end?

How many of them can have their newspaper columns in three national dailies closed over the years due to threats to the publishers from the Government and yet keep writing his essays on social media with millions of people all over the world still reading them and receiving the message?

How many of them can be blacklisted by the nations newspapers and television stations with threatenjng orders from above and still keep talking?

How many of them across party lines can mould the thoughts and guide millions in this way with their counsel, words, actions and thoughts?

First 7 years of persecution under PDP then 5 years of persecution under APC! HOW many of your leaders can stand such fire and pain and still fight on?

Almost all of them ever do is sell you down the river, tell you lies, ignore your pain, deceive you, mock you, use you and give you crumbs in return for your acclamation, support and loyalty but you love them for that.

You say I am scared of even more persecution. At the age of 60 you believe I am scared?

What more can they do to me that they have not done already? And what more am I looking for in life that I have not enjoyed over the years?

Yet you say I am scared! And those that say so can barely endure one tenth of what I have endured.

Some of them make noise from the safety of other countries and stay away from Nigeria out of fear of being locked up yet they mock those of us that live on the doorsteps of our oppressors in Nigeria and dare them to their faces.

Some of them have not been able to face hardship or deprivation and neither can they bear it when their rights are being violated.

Yet to many of us this has become the norm ahd we are used to it yet we still continue to struggle and fight the system regardless. Let me give you just one example.

Do you know that I have not been able to travel out of Nigeria for the last 13 years because my passport was first seized by a PDP Government for 8 and then by an APC Government for 5?

Do you know that I could not even go for medical check ups outside the country because of that?

Did you ever hear me complain or did this ever stop me from speaking truth to power, standing firm against injustice or speaking up for the weak, the persecuted and the voiceless?

Do you know I was locked up by both PDP and APC Federal Governments for no just cause?

Do you know I was even locked up in Boko Haram detention centers with Boko Haram suspects and convicts?

Do you know that only terrorists were kept in the facility that they kept me? Do you know that that place is worst than Gauntanamo Bay and that it was built by the British Government?

Do you know how terrifying that was and that I could have been killed or maimed whilst there?

Yet did you ever hear me complain about it, submit, compromise, give up or back down from criticising the Government or previous Governments because of these trials and tribulations?

How many of your so-called “relevant” and “great” leaders can bear such torment and injustice without cracking? Did you ever see or hear me crack? Did I ever break?

Do you know what horrors my first wife Regina and my daughter Remi were subjected to by a PDP Government? Do you know why they had to go into exile and live abroad?

Do you know what hell my ex-wife Precious and first son Aragorn were subjected to by the APC Government?

Do you know the tears we shed secretly and the number of times we suffered and were forced to go underground for no just cause?

Do you know the kind of stress and torment this put us through? Do you know that all our bank accounts have been frozen for five years?

Did all that stop me or stop us from standing? Did we not endure and bear it all with dignity for years and still continue to make our contribution to national affairs with zeal and passion.

Yet leaders like me that make these sacrifices and speak truth you describe as having no relevance, no consistency and you hate.

You mock, ridicule, insult and believe the very worst about us at the drop of a hat. Some even have the nerve and effontry to say we are not politicians simply because we have not run for elective office.

It is those who speak truth and that are courageous enough to expose and confront evil that you hate, judge and always think and assume the worse of at the drop of a hat.

Do you know that despite facing the most vicious persecution and prosecution for 7 long years the court found me not guilty of corruption whilst I was Minister of Aviation and Minister of Culture and Tourism and acquitted and discharged me?

How many of your leaders can endure going to court for seven years before 4 different judges and in the midst of a vicious media witch hunt in which most people who knew nothing about the case had declared me guilty?

How many of you could have survived that without capitulating, cracking, begging and bending the knee?

Do you know that I have been facing prosecution for the last 5 years in two separate courts for doing absolutely nothing wrong except leading a presidential campaign against Buhari and for Jonathan in 2015 and as a consequence of politically-motivated and malicious charges which were filed only because of my bitter and vicious opposition to the Buhari Government?

Do you know that under my tenure as Minister of Aviation there were no plane crashes whilst the year before I came in there were 5 and 453 died in those crashes?

Do you know that I put a stop to those crashes and that I am the only Minister of Aviation in Nigerian history under which there were NO plane crashes?

Do you know that despite all the challenges and persecution I was recently polled by 85% of the readers of Vanguard Newspaper that I was the loudest and most consistent voice of opposition against the Buhari Government over the last five years?

All this yet you label me a coward and someone that has achieved nothing?

Do you know that most of those leaders you rever and love so much are cowards who are unable and unwilling to risk all and speak truth to power.

All they are able to do is to mislead you and their followers to hate and insult those of us that really care for you.

Honestly some people need mental health checks and medical attention!

And for anyone to say I will not be welcome in a party that I have not publicly expressed a desire to join amazes me.

The joker that claimed I was rejected by the APC needs to tell me where and when I applied to join them and what my registration number was!

Did I tell you I am leaving PDP for APC? Or did I tell anyone that I will stay in PDP forever no matter what happens or no matter what they do to me or to the country?

You see unlike most I am a one man army and riot squad and I am accountable to no man or party. I am only accountable to God!

Unlike most I do not do things in the dark and I do not shy away from speaking the truth or my mind once it is set.

When and if I ever choose to make a move I will be clear and categorical and I will let the world know so hold your hate fire till we get to that bridge.

Yet know this: I owe no-one any explanation for what I will do or will not do tomorrow, I will gladly live with the consequences of my actions and decisions and I will defend myself and explain my actions when I choose to do so if I believe it is ever necessary.

I do not know what the details are yet but before 2023 there WILL be many realignments and new alliances. Both parties will see many shifts and many individuals will change sides.

This is because we must get it right in 2023 and we must ensure that whoever takes power at the center, regardless of party affiliation, restructures our country and takes our nation to the promise land.

We must build bridges and secure the peace, unity and progress of this country and most important of all we must avoid civil war and do all we can to save our nation from armed conflict and fratricidal butchery.

That is the challenge before us today and that is the reality of Nigerian politics.

Whilst others meet secretly and hide from the cameras in their quest to achieve these objectives, I will not. I am the beloved of the Lord and I am a LION!

No man born of woman can silence my roar!

I am who I am. I am FFK.

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Prudence, Novelty in Governance: Ebonyi under Umahi as a case study

Presence’s, Novelty in Governance: Ebonyi under Umahi as a case study

By Senator Anthony Agbo

Several national, societal and individual factors infringe on the burden of leadership in Africa and our nation, Nigeria in particular which combine to deny us the classic record of achievements which the western nations and other developed nation-States have recorded over the centuries which compulsively draw the rest of the world to them to directly and indirectly continue to feed their economies and assuage their national propaganda yearnings.

Among these numerous toxic factors that impede our development, two of them shall form the subject of my discussion here; namely: our incurably loose procurement practices that tragically erase prudence in government expenditure, as well as absence of novelty of ideas in the conception, design and execution of projects.

Contract and contract financing has consistently been weaponized by the privileged “business” cum political class, as well as the heartless bureaucrats in the salacious alters of Nigeria’s high echelon civil Service to feed the bottomless pit of greed and white collar thievery. It is an unabated whirlwind that has for decades blown away the huge resources of this nation into the deep pockets of individuals of privilege and advantaged class.

A co-victim to prudence in the challenge of governance in Nigeria is novelty of ideas in our conception, design and construction of projects that produce finished works which possess uniqueness of concept, high durability index and exceptional aesthetic appeal.

Among the developed and ambitious nations of the world, every piece of public and private infrastructural project is strictly guided in design and construction to emerge as an enduring time capsule and imperative instrument of national propaganda which must add something novel to the attraction of the city and the nation to visitors and citizens. Hence, buildings, roads, bridges and flyovers etc, are not just utilitarian public facilities alone, but also elements of co-ordinated artistic embellishment and ornamental totems to the nation. And when a nation makes this a rigid national policy with permanent regimentation and control, the whole nation with its component cities becomes a giant piece of irresistible art work, which when combined with whatever imperative transactional services, such nation can render to others make it an unavoidable attraction to the outside world whose nationals throng there for investment, business, holidays, tourism and for pleasure. Through this, foreign capital from ceaseless traffic of foreigners robustly feed the economy of the nation to make her an indispensable economic power.

Great leadership requires bold and courageous decisions and actions which yield landmark projects whose utility value last for generations. And to achieve this, extreme prudence in management of resources must be a guardian angel of the leader.

Among whatever number of leaders in Nigerian’s political landscape that has recognized the above truisms and have put same in practice, Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State stands out.

Before going ahead, the reader is invited to look up the position of Ebonyi State in the Federal Revenue allocation among the 36 States and Abuja. The State which was carved out of the rural tail of the South-Eastern Nigeria which decades-long agitation for its creation was predicated on total absence of all indices of development, virtually receives the least among the 36 States.

But curiously, Governor Umahi seems to have discovered a secret and magical element of prudence unknown to others which seem to conjure up the mightiest of works out of the least financial resources.

In the border town of Inyere in Afikpo South LGA, as one heads to the boundary between Ebonyi and Abia State, a traveler encounters Ebonyi State version of the historic, notoriously deadly Enugu Milken Hill. Here, an undulating range of ferocious hills has created a forbidden landscape in which the mother earth seem to have opened a deep, dark and angry mouth to swallow up whatever man or machine that may mistakenly tip from the precarious narrow road that snake round the delicate slope of the foothills. This old road was long ago constructed by expatriate contractors to carefully avoid a deep and wide gorge created by pre-historic geological convolutions that formed the hills. This wide, deep and fearful gorge sits at a depth close to 100 metres below sea level. As I passed through this road over 3 months ago, I had beheld a stunning sight of a majestic forest of high density steel rods sitting on massive decorative columns, shooting out solemnly from the dark depth of the great gorge to announce a multiple-step flyover bridge that will beam across this fearful gorge to permanently nullify the pathological fear and horror associated with travelling the precarious road that dangerously circle the edge of the hill range.

The kind of defiant courage required to tackle this kind of fearful project considering the factors of the enormous financial resources involved, extra-ordinary feat of Engineering required, including fear of sinister natural forces; is approximately similar to the ones exhibited by President Muhammadu Buhari in confronting the 2nd Niger Bridge (which every leader in this country since Independence had ran away from) as well as criss-crossing the wide and wild landscape of Nigeria with rail lines and rail transportation, not to talk of transnational gas pipelines, among others.

Hence, from the Ebonyi State International Hospital/College of Medicine, which the like of it cannot be found anywhere in the African Continent; to the hundreds of kilometers of novel, imperishable concrete roads that transverse and connects virtually every community of the state to the state capital; through Ebonyi State International Airport project; to the new State Olympic Stadium; to the dizzying State Ecumenical Centre, with the intricate network of classic road tunnels that lead to it; then to the new state of the art Government House Complex that incorporates Governor’s Lodge and offices, Presidential Lodge, House of Assembly and other facilities; to the State’s International Shopping Mall, which is a marvel to behold; and then to the spectacularly Custom-made Ebonyi designer flyover in every busy and semi-busy intersections all over the state; through the dualization and rehabilitation of Federal roads in the state up to the boundary with sister states; among several other projects. Each and every of these projects are conceived, designed, constructed and finished with calculated strength and durability, delicate refinement of taste and spectacular ornamental appeal.

All these put together staggers the imagination and defies common sense, in the context of meager resources available to the state.

A question may then be asked by a curious and objective enquirer; as to what previously unknown, critical and high-yield procurement formular and advanced principles of prudence has Governor Umahi discovered that can yield projects which ordinarily are beyond the capacity of the state resources to deliver?

Speaking from outside the platform of eulogy, I can make bold to say in succinct terms that Governor Umahi’s governance style and the unique consequent infrastructural accomplishments that result from it as narrated above stands out as a veritable school of leadership that has so much to offer in the troublesome areas of prudence in the management of resources, as well as novelty of ideas in the conception, design and execution of projects.

Since Umahi defected from PDP to the ruling APC, a multitudinous flurry and volleys of incendiary attacks, blackmail as well as outright machinations have ceaselessly rained upon him and woven around him from those who feel wounded or threatened by his bold and courageous decision.

The most curious and outstanding of these attacks have come in the manner of wilde and factless accusations of looting the treasury of Ebonyi State; as well as that of accusing the Governor of building white elephant projects that have no direct relevance to the needs of Ebonyi people.

The accusation of looting the treasury of the state could be the most absurd, pathetic, wicked and treacherous which any bonafide, sane-minded citizen of Ebonyi State could make against Umahi who has simply done the impossible with the little revenue that trickle into the coffers of the state, by putting in place unique models of infrastructure that shall last for generations. Outside fictional, politically motivated accusations, insidious blackmail and deliberate destructive machinations; naked and obvious facts point to the truism that Umahi is a towering reference totem of prudence and fiscal discipline to a level that is rarely seen in African leadership landscape.

The accusation of the Governor investing on white elephant projects that do not benefit the masses as pitiable and pathetic as it is, squarely borders on the same primitive mindset and lack of cultural literacy which has kept African Continent in retrograde motion for several decades.

It is such primitive mindset and absence of cultural literacy that makes even the educated critics not to understand how concrete roads; street lights; International Hospital, farming grants to farmers, civil servants and public officers; International Airports, Olympic Stadium etc, all impact on the lives of the people.

In enlightened climes, and among visionary and ambitious regimes all over the world, leaders don’t work or build for the present and near future in order to just assuage the ephemeral elementary appetite of some restless stakeholders. No! Rather civil works and other infrastructure are conceived, designed and constructed as imperishable time capsules that stand as mute witnesses to the distant and endless mist of time.

The Anglo-Saxon heritage that formed the foundation of western nations of Britain, Europe and America, for instance had from day one of their nationhood set out to build cities and infrastructure which for centuries have remained as historical masterpieces of human accomplishments. They did not wait to first conquer hunger, or to first accomplish a besotted state policy of “stomach infrastructure” before going ahead to build enviable cities.

Hence, in such environments, you see stunning masterpieces of classical architecture, quaint designer bridges and flyovers, historical monuments done in spectacular vibrancy of style; you encounter centuries-old stone-cast roads snaking through some thickly wooded forest that lead into medieval Castles nestled on top of seemingly inaccessible mountains; you encounter iconic city landmarks and structures erected as far back as the historical infant days of the nation and city; all standing to decorate the high metropolis of these nations and bear testimony to the towering vision of iconic leaders of past era. These are cultural inductions and elevated governance baptism which Governor Umahi is a proud initiate.

In 1904, the United States under President Theodore Roosevelt began the construction of Panama Canal, to create a man-made waterway over an 80km stretch of mountains and plains that will link the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans, across the Isthmus of Panama, the objective of which was to shorten the navigation distance between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. This project engaged over 75,000 workers, engulfed $350 million and took the lives of 5,609 workers. But it removed 8,000 miles from the ocean trip between Atlantic and Pacific Oceans; and currently employs 9,000 workers and generates annual revenue of about $2.5 billion. If the $350 million spent on this “white elephant” project was shared to desperate stakeholders and opportunistic citizens for ephemeral satisfaction to draw cheap and brief applause for the leader, the problem this project solved for America and the world (8,000 miles less of sea route) will still be there, and the nation will be $2.5 billion poorer annually with extra 9,000 unemployed workers.

What critics of visionary governments in Nigeria call “white elephant” project is what civilized, and well-guided governments all over the world do every other time: Projects that will serve the interest of successive generations of citizens, and capture the imaginations of visitors. The great pyramid of Giza, in Egypt, built by Pharaoh Khufu, 6,000 years ago is still one of the frontline sources of revenue (in tourism) for the Egyptian governments of today. The Eiffel Tower designed and constructed for French government by the French Engineer, Gustave Eiffel in 1887, has remained the number one tourist attraction in France and a major source of revenue for the French government. Underground railway tunnel that is a common phenomenon in all civilized nations of the world would have been a “white elephant” project here. And other innumerable bold and visionary projects all over the world.

I would kindly advice the honored critics of Governor Umahi to kindly begin to think like Umahi in order to hasten the greatness of our country.

With appreciative solemn opinion, I must offer my reverential acclaim of Umahi’s family members; his wife and children, his brothers and sisters and relations, all of whom are highly cerebral, very successful, cultured and exceedingly accomplished set of human stock; who at all time and in all ramifications have exhibited the highest principles of civilized conduct and cultured bent, that is rare in the circumstance of their position. I adore and reverence this family because, in a society like ours, families pull down governments, destroy visions and sway the noble intentions and focus of their own person in power, that it is their turn and opportunity to chop. But Umahi’s family has been different. At the background you see them offer copious, valuable and complimentary ideas, gratifying encouragement and delightful helping hands.

Also deserving of my reverential acclaim is Umahi’s team of appointed and elected officials, particularly the young, patriotic, sharp and witty speaker of the House and his members.

Governor Umahi’s illustrious ethos of prudence and novelty in governance and his consequent achievements represent imaginative giant leaps in Nigeria’s leadership landscape. And I am persuaded to aver that his biggest story has not been heard.

Jesus Christ is Lord.

Senator Anthony Agbo, an astute politician and author, is a Chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC) from Ebonyi State

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APC: Reminder about Our Values

APC: Reminder about Our Values

Salihu Moh. Lukman
Progressive Governors Forum
Abuja

Around late evening of Monday, February 8, 2021, Nigerian media, especially social media, became alive with photos of our National Chairman, HE Mai Mala Buni and our Kogi State Governor, HE Yahaya Bello, in the company of Mr. Femi Fani-Kayode, a notable leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The speculation is that Mr. Fani-Kayode is on his way to joining the APC. The verdict in most media platforms is quite disturbing, but justifiably so, if the news about Mr. Fani-Kayode joining the APC is true.

Without recalling all the terrible statements of Mr. Fani-Kayode against the APC and our leadership, this development may be confirming James Comey’s argument in the book A Higher Loyalty – Truth, Lies and Leadership when he points out that ‘The danger in every organization, especially one built around hierarchy, is that you create an environment that cuts off dissenting views and discourages honest feedback. That can quickly lead to a culture of delusion and deception. And in a leader, the tendency of too much confidence to swamp humility can lead to a dangerous self-indulgence at the expense of others.’

That our leaders will be meeting with Mr. Fani-Kayode in such a compromising way, suggesting that he may be on his way to joining our party, clearly indicates that either those of us saddled with the responsibility of advising them have failed or we have been completely cut off. How can a person who just few days, if not few hours, ago wrote to one of our leaders and derogatorily and condescendingly condemned his political prospects of emerging as the Presidential candidate of our party, be given such a high-level reception? Assuming the open letter to our National Leader, which is all over our media at the time of such reception, wasn’t offensive, what of the open letter he wrote to President Muhammadu Buhari last year?

Besides the open letters, what abusive language has he not used against our party and our leaders? Most of these are unprintable. A typical example of the kind of abuses he spat on our leaders and our party can be demonstrated with his response to a tweet by Mr. Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to President Buhari on Information, last May 2020. Mr. Adesina argued that President Buhari’s emergence as President saved the country. Responding, Mr. Fani-Kayode said: “Not so my friend. The emergence of Buhari in 2015 annihilated Nigeria and plunged her into darkness, death and destruction. “He came to steal, kill and destroy and for the last disastrous 5 years that is all he has done.”

Compared to most of Mr. Fani-Kayode’s barrages of insults on APC and its leaders, this would appear to be very civil. Most Nigerians, both APC members and non-APC members would appear to be in agreement that any association between APC and its leadership with Mr. Fani-Kayode is indicative of problem of values. Without being academic in anyway, the issue of values is basically about the qualities of people and the vision they hold. What kind of people are we aspiring to attract into our party? Do we want to reduce our party into one in which everybody is welcome? Can we for instance in anyway or form contemplate having an Nnamdi Kanu or Abubakar Shekau as a member? If that were to be the case, why don’t we just have INEC register IPOB and Boko Haram as political parties and allow them to field candidates for elections?

We may be tempted to argue that Mr. Fani-Kayode is not Nnamdi Kanu or Abubakar Shekau. It is however difficult to fathom what qualifies him to be associated with our leaders at that high level? At this rate, one day, Nigerians will just wake and see some of our leaders presenting Mr. Fani-Kayode to President Buhari as a new member of our party. Although, we can confidently argue that President Buhari will not approve such deranged possibility, it is important to caution that such consideration will be stretching the trust of party members beyond acceptable limits.

Although issues of values in politics easily gets compromised, as Mr. Barack Obama, former President of the United States cautioned in the book The Audacity of Hope – Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream, it is important to appeal to our leaders to moderate their consideration in terms of who they associate with, especially if it will lead to invitation to joining the APC. Mr. Obama in particular noted ‘the fact that the practice of modern politics itself seems to be value-free. Politics (and political commentary) not only allows but often rewards behavior that we would normally think of as scandalous: fabricating stories, distorting the obvious meaning of what other people say, insulting or generally questioning their motives, poking through their personal affairs in search of damaging information.’

For our leaders to associate themselves with Mr. Fani-Kayode, is simply rewarding scandalous behaviour. Mr. Fani-Kayode has fabricated stories, distorted, insulted and damaged information about our party and our leaders. Elementary rule of decency would require some good distance between our leaders and such a person. Not even the Ward leaders where he is located should be associated with him except for reasons of family ties. By the way, the Caretaker Committee of our party should avoid a situation whereby it takes decision on issues that are very weighty without consultations. On no account should anyone with the kind of baggage of Mr. Fani-Kayode be invited to join the party without clearance from a statutory structure of the party. In this particular instance, the National Caucus should be the clearing house.

APC emerged with a commitment to social democracy. Social democracy is about values of collective justice and individual freedom where everyone’s basic needs are fulfilled. This, among others upholds respect for the dignity of the individual party members. We need to appeal to all our leaders, especially the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee and all the thirteen members to always remember that they are entrusted with the responsibility they have today to democratise our party. They are not Sole Administrators. To democratise will require more meetings and consultations. Their actions should reflect decisions taken at meeting or at least from wider consultations!

This position does not represent the view of any APC Governor or the Progressive Governors Forum

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EKITI STATE UNIVERSITY 2020/2021 WEEKDAY AND WEEKEND PART-TIME PROGRAMME ADMISSION IN PROGRESS

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EKITI STATE UNIVERSITY, LAGOS STUDY CENTRE, IKOTUN EGBE: DEVELOPING THE KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS EMPLOYERS ARE LOOKING FOR

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ABIA STATE Abigborodo ABUA ODUAI Abuja Abuja News Abuja People Abuja Pilot Abuja Punch Abuja Sun Abuja Times Abuja Vanguard Adegbarassa; Ajakimonu; Ajamikawa; Amukpe; Amuogodo; Aruowon; Atamua; Ebada; Egbeku; Egborode; Emuaegbedi; Gana; Ikwewu; Ogorode; Okirigwre; Okuovwori; Oton; Sapele ADEJE ADVERTISING Africa Aghalokpe AHOADA EAST AHOADA WEST AIR FORCE Ajamikawa AKUKU TORU AKWA IBOM STATE Alaka community ALAUSA NEWS America Amukpe Amuokpokpo; Elume; Igbimidaka; Inabome; Jakpa; Ogiedi; Okuoke; Olan; Onoghro; Oyohe Anambra State ANDONI ANIOCHA SOUTH Anioma Annang Another world Anthony Village APC APEX NEWS APPEAL COURT ARMY Art Arts ASARI TORU Asia Aso Rock Villa Australia Auto mobile Banking BAYELSA STATE Beauty Beauty Ebireri Benin News Benue People Benue State Benue Weekly Bola Ahmed Tinubu BOMADI BONNY RIVERS Book Review Breaking News Broadcast to the Nation Brutality Buhari BURUTU Business Business Men Catering and Hotel Management Celebrity Charles Ebireri CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY Chieftaincy Affairs Christianity Citizens City News CIVIL DEFENCE Civil Society Groups Community News CONCERNED NIGERIANS CONSULTING CONTACT THE EDITORS Contact The Publishers Corruption COURT NEWS Crime CROSS RIVER STATE Culture DAILY BREAK WEEKLY DAILY BREAKFAST DAILY BULLETIN REVIEW DAILY SUN David Ebireri DEGEMA RIVERS Delta Central DELTA CHRONICLE DELTA HERALD Delta North Delta South Delta State DELTA STREET TIMES Discourse DISPATCH NEWS DSS EASTERN PUNCH Ebonyi News Ebonyi State Economy Edo Edo State Edo Today Education EGBA EGBEMA NDONI Ekeresan; Okopkooro; Okuodede; Okuovu; Ugbokurusu; Ugborhen Ekiti News Ekiti State Eko Daily Eko News Eku el-Rufai Electricity ELEME RIVERS ELUME Elume District EMOHUA Encounter Energy Environment Epe LG EPOCH NEWS ETCHE Ethiope East Ethiope West Eti Osa Europe F. O. and Sons Faces Fashion Fashola Federal character Federal government FEDERAL HIGH COURT Federal Roads Festus Omajemite Ebireri Fiction Financial Crime Fitness FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION Godwin Obaseki GOKANA RIVERS Government GOVERNMENT HOUSE Hausa Health Henry Ebireri Henry Ovie Ebireri Housing Ibadan Times Ibarapa News Ibeju. Lekki ICPC Igbimidaka Igbo Ijaw IKA NORTH EAST IKA SOUTH Ikpera Sawmill Ikwerre IMO STATE IMO Voice Industries Infrastructure INSIDE LAGOS Institution Interest Group International International News INTERNET Iponri Islam Isoko ISOKO SOUTH Issues and Ideas Itsekiri JOURNALISM JUDICIARY TODAY Kaduna State Kalabari Ken Ochonogor KHANA RIVERS Kokori Labour and Productivity Lagos LAGOS BLAZERS LAGOS BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL TIMES Lagos Central LAGOS CHRONICLE Lagos Chronicles LAGOS CITY NEWS LAGOS DAILY LAGOS DAILY NEWSPAPER LAGOS DAILY OBSERVER LAGOS DISPATCH Lagos East LAGOS ENTREPRENEURS LAGOS EVENING NEWS LAGOS EXPRESS LAGOS FINDER LAGOS FREE PRESS LAGOS GAZETTE LAGOS GOVERNOR LAGOS GRAPHIC LAGOS GREEN DOVE LAGOS GUIDE LAGOS HERALD LAGOS HERITAGE LAGOS INDEPENDENT NEWS LAGOS INSIGHT Lagos Island LAGOS JOURNAL LAGOS MAIL LAGOS MATTER LAGOS MESSENGERS LAGOS MIRROR Lagos News LAGOS OBSERVER Lagos People LAGOS PEOPLE AND PLACES LAGOS PIONEER LAGOS POST LAGOS PRESS LAGOS PUBLIC AGENDA LAGOS SCOOP LAGOS SEARCHLIGHT LAGOS SHOWBIX LAGOS SPECTATOR LAGOS SPORTS LAGOS SQUARE LAGOS STANDARD LAGOS STAR Lagos State Government LAGOS STATESMAN LAGOS TIMELINE LAGOS TIMES LAGOS TODAY LAGOS VIBE LAGOS VOICE Lagos West LAGOS WORDS Lamonde Kevwe Ebireri Law Leadership Letters Lifestyle Local government Local News MAGISTRATE COURT MANAGEMENT Marford Close MARKETING Media MEDIA FREEDOM IN NIGERIA Media Watch MEDIAGATE MEDIAGATE BROADCASTING SERVICE MEDIAGATE GLOBAL NEWS MediaGate Management and Consulting Limited MEDIAGATE NEWS MEDIAGATE NEWSPAPERS MEDIAGATE RADIO MEDIAGATE TELEVISION MERCURY NEWS METROPOLITAN DAILY Middle Belt News Military MINISTRY OF JUSTICE MODEST NEWS Mohammadu Buhari Monarch Monica Ochu Ohwavborua motoring MOVIE INDUSTRY National Assembly National Security Nationwide Address NAVY NDDC Ndokwa East Ndokwa Nation Ndokwa West NEW MEDIA News Newspaper Owners NGO Niger Delta Niger Delta News Nigeria NIGERIA NEWS DAY NIGERIAN CYBER SPACE NIGERIAN WORKERS North Central North East North West Novena University NYESOM WIKE Oba Akiolu Oba of Lagos OBALENDE OBIO AKPOR Obituary Odd world Office of the Chief Press Secretary Office of the President Office of the Special Adviser Oghene Ochuko Ogoni OGU BOLO Ogume OGUN STATE Oil and Gas Okpara-waterside OKPE Okpe Kingdom OKPE UNION OKRIKA OMUMA Ondo State Opobo OPOBO NKORO OREROKPE OSHIMILI NORTH OSHIMILI SOUTH Osun State Ovie Ebireri OVIRI OKPE Owerri Sun Oyabewei Dieghwolo OYIGBO Oyo News OYO STATE PATANI PDP Peace and Conflict PEACEFUL ASSEMBLY Personality Phillip Shaibu Police Police Affair POLITICAL COMMUNICATION Political Institutions Political Parties Politics PORT HARCOURT PORT HARCOURT MAIL PORT HARCOURT MIRROR PORT HARCOURT NEWS PORT HARCOURT SUN RAY PORT HARCOURT SUN SAY PORT HARCOURT TELEGRAPH Port-Harcourt Power Power and Energy /Electricity Presidency Presidential News Presidential Villa Press Release PRESS STATEMENT Professional women Protest Public Administration PUBLIC RELATIONS Reclamation Road Reform REFORMER NEWSPAPER Religion RIVERS RIVERS MIRROR RIVERS PEOPLE Rivers State RIVERS TIMES RIVERS VANGUARD RIVERS VOICE SANWO OLU Sapele SAPELE CITY STAR SAPELE POST SAPELE TRIBUNE Security SERAP SOCIAL MEDIA Society South East South South South West SOUTH WEST DESPATCH SOUTH WEST MID DAY SOUTH WEST MIRROR Special report Sport's Sports Gate State governments Stock Market Watch SUPREME COURT Surulere TAI RIVERS Talk to us Telecommunications THE CORE ISSUE THE GOVERNOR SPEAKS The Leader Speaks THE MEDIAGATE EPITAPH THE NEWS WAVES THE PATRIOT The President Speaks THE SOUTH WEST EXPRESS THE TIMES OF SOUTH WEST THE TIMES OF YORUBA The Veterans THE YORUBA ECONOMIC TIMES THE YORUBA TRIBUNE Theatre THIS DAY THIS WEEK TODAY'S NEWS Traditional Institutions Traditional Ruler Transparency TWITTER UDU Ugbeku Ugbimidaka UGBORHEN UGHELLI NORTH UGHELLI SOUTH Ukwuani Uncategorized University Urhobo UVWIE Veronica Ikpera Ebireri Victor Oki Victor Okpako Ebireri Victoria Ebireri Unubreme Viewpoint WARRI NORTH WARRI SOUTH WARRI SOUTH WEST West Africa Wike Works WORKS AND HOUSING World Yoruba YORUBA CHRONICLE YORUBA DEMOCRATS Yoruba Elders YORUBA EXPRESS YORUBA FLASH YORUBA HERALD Yoruba Leaders Yoruba Mirror Yoruba Nation Yoruba News YORUBA NEWS TODAY YORUBA POLITICAL LINE Yoruba Vanguard Yoruba Voice Young people Youths

Niger Delta leaders predict economic buoyancy

Night Delta leaders predict economic buoyancy

· Make case for Buhari’s administration

· Commend Sylva for creating 35,000 Jobs in Bayelsa State

Some prominent leaders in the Niger Delta region on Monday urged Nigerians to encourage the government of President Muhammadu Buhari in its efforts to create jobs, develop the oil rich Niger Delta region and tackle youth unemployment in the country.

The eminent leaders also praised President Buhari for his resolve to make the lives of all Nigerians better.

In a statement in Yenagoa, capital of Bayelsa State, the leaders praised the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva for going the extra mile, using his good office to pursue the Niger Delta cause and helping the business image of Nigeria in the international scene.

‘’Certainly, Chief Timipre Sylva has further shown that his politics is driven by character, integrity and development’’ the leaders said.

They emphasized the country’s vast endowments, revenue generation, supports for gas based industries and import substitution for methanol needs of the nation.

The leaders also emphasized Sylva’s approach to the development of the oil and gas sector, foreign direct investment, economic diversification, zero gas flaring and community development

Signed by the Chairman of the Niger Delta People’s Movement (NDPM), Mrs. Ibifuro Thompson Tatua, the leaders commended the management of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and DSV Engineering for the growth of the nation’s economy.

They pointed out that the signing of the Final Investment Decision (FIB) for the construction of 10,000 tonnes/day methanol production plant by the Brass Fertilizer and Petrochemical Company LTD (BFPCL, committing equity investment of US$670m was well timed.

The construction phase is expected to create 30,000 direct and indirect jobs and additional 5,000 permanent jobs during the operations phase.

The leaders described the FID, the Gas Supply Purchase Agreement (GSPA) with the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) led joint venture, off-take agreements and contracts for Engineering Procurement Construction and Technology Provider as another benchmark in the history of Nigeria.

‘’It is a good development that is capable of yielding a beneficial outcome’’ the leaders said.

The statement said the Niger Delta leaders would continue to pray for the success of the President Muhammadu led All Progressives Congress (APC) administration.

President Buhari in July, 2020 approved the development of the Brass Gas Company with the sole aim of aggregating and monetizing all stranded gas in the Brass area.

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ABIA STATE Abigborodo ABUA ODUAI Abuja Abuja News Abuja People Abuja Pilot Abuja Punch Abuja Sun Abuja Times Abuja Vanguard Adegbarassa; Ajakimonu; Ajamikawa; Amukpe; Amuogodo; Aruowon; Atamua; Ebada; Egbeku; Egborode; Emuaegbedi; Gana; Ikwewu; Ogorode; Okirigwre; Okuovwori; Oton; Sapele ADEJE ADVERTISING Africa Aghalokpe AHOADA EAST AHOADA WEST AIR FORCE Ajamikawa AKUKU TORU AKWA IBOM STATE Alaka community ALAUSA NEWS America Amukpe Amuokpokpo; Elume; Igbimidaka; Inabome; Jakpa; Ogiedi; Okuoke; Olan; Onoghro; Oyohe Anambra State ANDONI ANIOCHA SOUTH Anioma Annang Another world Anthony Village APC APEX NEWS APPEAL COURT ARMY Art Arts ASARI TORU Asia Aso Rock Villa Australia Auto mobile Banking BAYELSA STATE Beauty Beauty Ebireri Benin News Benue People Benue State Benue Weekly Bola Ahmed Tinubu BOMADI BONNY RIVERS Book Review Breaking News Broadcast to the Nation Brutality Buhari BURUTU Business Business Men Catering and Hotel Management Celebrity Charles Ebireri CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY Chieftaincy Affairs Christianity Citizens City News CIVIL DEFENCE Civil Society Groups Community News CONCERNED NIGERIANS CONSULTING CONTACT THE EDITORS Contact The Publishers Corruption COURT NEWS Crime CROSS RIVER STATE Culture DAILY BREAK WEEKLY DAILY BREAKFAST DAILY BULLETIN REVIEW DAILY SUN David Ebireri DEGEMA RIVERS Delta Central DELTA CHRONICLE DELTA HERALD Delta North Delta South Delta State DELTA STREET TIMES Discourse DISPATCH NEWS DSS EASTERN PUNCH Ebonyi News Ebonyi State Economy Edo Edo State Edo Today Education EGBA EGBEMA NDONI Ekeresan; Okopkooro; Okuodede; Okuovu; Ugbokurusu; Ugborhen Ekiti News Ekiti State Eko Daily Eko News Eku el-Rufai Electricity ELEME RIVERS ELUME Elume District EMOHUA Encounter Energy Environment Epe LG EPOCH NEWS ETCHE Ethiope East Ethiope West Eti Osa Europe F. O. and Sons Faces Fashion Fashola Federal character Federal government FEDERAL HIGH COURT Federal Roads Festus Omajemite Ebireri Fiction Financial Crime Fitness FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION Godwin Obaseki GOKANA RIVERS Government GOVERNMENT HOUSE Hausa Health Henry Ebireri Henry Ovie Ebireri Housing Ibadan Times Ibarapa News Ibeju. Lekki ICPC Igbimidaka Igbo Ijaw IKA NORTH EAST IKA SOUTH Ikpera Sawmill Ikwerre IMO STATE IMO Voice Industries Infrastructure INSIDE LAGOS Institution Interest Group International International News INTERNET Iponri Islam Isoko ISOKO SOUTH Issues and Ideas Itsekiri JOURNALISM JUDICIARY TODAY Kaduna State Kalabari Ken Ochonogor KHANA RIVERS Kokori Labour and Productivity Lagos LAGOS BLAZERS LAGOS BUSINESS AND FINANCIAL TIMES Lagos Central LAGOS CHRONICLE Lagos Chronicles LAGOS CITY NEWS LAGOS DAILY LAGOS DAILY NEWSPAPER LAGOS DAILY OBSERVER LAGOS DISPATCH Lagos East LAGOS ENTREPRENEURS LAGOS EVENING NEWS LAGOS EXPRESS LAGOS FINDER LAGOS FREE PRESS LAGOS GAZETTE LAGOS GOVERNOR LAGOS GRAPHIC LAGOS GREEN DOVE LAGOS GUIDE LAGOS HERALD LAGOS HERITAGE LAGOS INDEPENDENT NEWS LAGOS INSIGHT Lagos Island LAGOS JOURNAL LAGOS MAIL LAGOS MATTER LAGOS MESSENGERS LAGOS MIRROR Lagos News LAGOS OBSERVER Lagos People LAGOS PEOPLE AND PLACES LAGOS PIONEER LAGOS POST LAGOS PRESS LAGOS PUBLIC AGENDA LAGOS SCOOP LAGOS SEARCHLIGHT LAGOS SHOWBIX LAGOS SPECTATOR LAGOS SPORTS LAGOS SQUARE LAGOS STANDARD LAGOS STAR Lagos State Government LAGOS STATESMAN LAGOS TIMELINE LAGOS TIMES LAGOS TODAY LAGOS VIBE LAGOS VOICE Lagos West LAGOS WORDS Lamonde Kevwe Ebireri Law Leadership Letters Lifestyle Local government Local News MAGISTRATE COURT MANAGEMENT Marford Close MARKETING Media MEDIA FREEDOM IN NIGERIA Media Watch MEDIAGATE MEDIAGATE BROADCASTING SERVICE MEDIAGATE GLOBAL NEWS MediaGate Management and Consulting Limited MEDIAGATE NEWS MEDIAGATE NEWSPAPERS MEDIAGATE RADIO MEDIAGATE TELEVISION MERCURY NEWS METROPOLITAN DAILY Middle Belt News Military MINISTRY OF JUSTICE MODEST NEWS Mohammadu Buhari Monarch Monica Ochu Ohwavborua motoring MOVIE INDUSTRY National Assembly National Security Nationwide Address NAVY NDDC Ndokwa East Ndokwa Nation Ndokwa West NEW MEDIA News Newspaper Owners NGO Niger Delta Niger Delta News Nigeria NIGERIA NEWS DAY NIGERIAN CYBER SPACE NIGERIAN WORKERS North Central North East North West Novena University NYESOM WIKE Oba Akiolu Oba of Lagos OBALENDE OBIO AKPOR Obituary Odd world Office of the Chief Press Secretary Office of the President Office of the Special Adviser Oghene Ochuko Ogoni OGU BOLO Ogume OGUN STATE Oil and Gas Okpara-waterside OKPE Okpe Kingdom OKPE UNION OKRIKA OMUMA Ondo State Opobo OPOBO NKORO OREROKPE OSHIMILI NORTH OSHIMILI SOUTH Osun State Ovie Ebireri OVIRI OKPE Owerri Sun Oyabewei Dieghwolo OYIGBO Oyo News OYO STATE PATANI PDP Peace and Conflict PEACEFUL ASSEMBLY Personality Phillip Shaibu Police Police Affair POLITICAL COMMUNICATION Political Institutions Political Parties Politics PORT HARCOURT PORT HARCOURT MAIL PORT HARCOURT MIRROR PORT HARCOURT NEWS PORT HARCOURT SUN RAY PORT HARCOURT SUN SAY PORT HARCOURT TELEGRAPH Port-Harcourt Power Power and Energy /Electricity Presidency Presidential News Presidential Villa Press Release PRESS STATEMENT Professional women Protest Public Administration PUBLIC RELATIONS Reclamation Road Reform REFORMER NEWSPAPER Religion RIVERS RIVERS MIRROR RIVERS PEOPLE Rivers State RIVERS TIMES RIVERS VANGUARD RIVERS VOICE SANWO OLU Sapele SAPELE CITY STAR SAPELE POST SAPELE TRIBUNE Security SERAP SOCIAL MEDIA Society South East South South South West SOUTH WEST DESPATCH SOUTH WEST MID DAY SOUTH WEST MIRROR Special report Sport's Sports Gate State governments Stock Market Watch SUPREME COURT Surulere TAI RIVERS Talk to us Telecommunications THE CORE ISSUE THE GOVERNOR SPEAKS The Leader Speaks THE MEDIAGATE EPITAPH THE NEWS WAVES THE PATRIOT The President Speaks THE SOUTH WEST EXPRESS THE TIMES OF SOUTH WEST THE TIMES OF YORUBA The Veterans THE YORUBA ECONOMIC TIMES THE YORUBA TRIBUNE Theatre THIS DAY THIS WEEK TODAY'S NEWS Traditional Institutions Traditional Ruler Transparency TWITTER UDU Ugbeku Ugbimidaka UGBORHEN UGHELLI NORTH UGHELLI SOUTH Ukwuani Uncategorized University Urhobo UVWIE Veronica Ikpera Ebireri Victor Oki Victor Okpako Ebireri Victoria Ebireri Unubreme Viewpoint WARRI NORTH WARRI SOUTH WARRI SOUTH WEST West Africa Wike Works WORKS AND HOUSING World Yoruba YORUBA CHRONICLE YORUBA DEMOCRATS Yoruba Elders YORUBA EXPRESS YORUBA FLASH YORUBA HERALD Yoruba Leaders Yoruba Mirror Yoruba Nation Yoruba News YORUBA NEWS TODAY YORUBA POLITICAL LINE Yoruba Vanguard Yoruba Voice Young people Youths

Yoruba women scold Nnamdi Kanu, back police chief

Yoruba women scold Nnamdi Kanu, back police chief

Notable women in the South-West on Tuesday scolded the leader of the Indigenous people of BiafraI (POD), Mr. Nnamdi Kanu for creating enmity and cutting a bad image for the South-East.

‘’We feel very sorry for the people who listen to the sermons of the mischief maker and the voice of disunity, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu’’ the women said.

Expressing concern over the potential implications of statements credited to the IPOD leader, the women condemned Kanu for his parochial reasoning and hatred for Hausa-Fulani.

‘’The statements portray Nnamdi Kanu as one who is ignorant of the police hierarchy in Nigeria. As it concerns Oyo State and the directives of the Inspector General of Police, we feel very strongly, that it is very wrong for Kanu to urge the CP to flout the orders of the IGP’’.

In a three-page statement issued in Akure, the women harped on the need for unity and mutual understanding within the South-West.

Signed by the Chairperson of Yoruba Women in Government (YWIG), Chief Fumilayo Adesanwo, the women poured encomiums on Mrs. Ngozi Onadeko.

They underscored the IGP’s focused and purposeful leadership, the CP’s academic and professional credentials and her vision to set a record in Oyo State’s security history.

The women also emphasized Onadeko’s demonstrable competence, discipline, loyalty and integrity.

Part of the statement reads’’ Another round of ethnic feuding in Oyo State started last week. One Sunday Adeyemo, well known as Sunday Igboho, alongside his followers stormed the Fulani settlement in Igangan, Ibarapa to eject Seriki Fulani, Salihu Abdukadir’’

This antagonistic position towards Fulani can hardly be described as the best thing to do.

It is very obvious that this action appeared not to have gone down well with Nigerians.

However, the order by the Inspector General of Police that Sunday Igboho should be arrested came as a joy to many.

But much ado has been created over the reported order to the Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Mrs. Ngozi Onadeko, to arrest Sunday Igboho.

Indeed, some Nigerians in Diaspora have attempted to denigrate the Inspector General of Police for directing the Oyo State Police Command to arrest Igboho.

For sure, the good people of Oyo State have every obligation to fight crimes ranging from kidnapping, killings, rape to invasion of farmlands at all cost but without promoting anarchy,

Forcefulness, dissent, general bad manners and unruly behavior should not be encouraged in a decent society.

Nigerians should disregard the various lies being peddled by the self-acclaimed Igbo leader against the Inspector General of Police and the Oyo State Commissioner of Police. There is no plan to stop the agenda of the people of the South-West. There is no plan to ferments enmity between the South-East and the South-West.

We commend the Police for doing what they are statutorily assigned to do.

We urge the Oyo State Police Commissioner not to succumb to the propaganda and blackmail daily oozing out of the mouths of some enemies of Nigeria.

We urge the Oyo State Commissioner of Police to ignore calls by the self-acclaimed Igbo leader in Diaspora to resign from office.

It was reassuring to see how thoughtfully the Inspector General of Police responded to the incident.

The police must go the whole hog to put a stop to the acts of lawlessness of some people in the country.

We commend Governor Seyi Makinde for being responsible and responsive to the needs of all.

We urge him to continue to support the police and other security agencies.

We also commend President Muhammadu Buhari for showing that lawlessness and brigandage are alien to our culture

We call on Oyo youths to extend to Hausa/Fulani in the state a hand of fellowship, friendship and brotherhood so that together, they could position the state for economic growth.

We call on the President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Prof George Obiozor to call this Igbo self-acclaimed leader in Diaspora to order

Security of life and property is so fundamental. We urge the police to discharge their duties to the government and heroic people of Oyo State and Nigeria.

Lastly, we appeal for professionalism, restraints and understanding on the part of Igbo and Yoruba youths.

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ABIA STATE Abigborodo ABUA ODUAI Abuja Abuja News Abuja People Abuja Pilot Abuja Punch Abuja Sun Abuja Times Abuja Vanguard APC

SERAP gives FG seven days to disclose details of payments of N729bn to 24.3 million poor Nigerians

SERAP gives FG seven days to disclose details of payments of N729bn to 24.3 million poor Nigerians

 

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged Ms Sadia Umar-Farouk, Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disasters Management and Social Development to “publish details of proposed payments of N729bn to 24.3 million poor Nigerians for six months, including the mechanisms and logistics for the payments, list of beneficiaries, and how they have been selected, projected payments per state, and whether the payments will be made in cash or through Bank Verification Numbers or other means.”

 

SERAP also urged her to “explain the rationale for paying N5,000 to 24.3 million poor Nigerians, which translates to five-percent of the country’s budget of N13.6 trillion for 2021, and to clarify if this proposed spending is part of the N5.6 trillion budget deficit.”

 

Ms Sadia Umar-Farouk had last week disclosed that the Federal Government would pay about 24.3 million poor Nigerians N5,000 each for a period of six months to “provide help to those impoverished by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

 

In the Freedom of Information request dated 23 January 2021 and signed by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization said: “Publishing the details of beneficiaries and selection criteria, as well as the payment plan for six months would promote transparency and accountability, and remove the risks of mismanagement and diversion of public funds.”

 

SERAP said: “Transparency and accountability in the programme would improve public trust, and allow Nigerians to track and monitor its implementation, and to assess if the programme is justified, as well as to hold authorities to account in cases of diversion, mismanagement and corruption.”

 

SERAP also urged Ms Umar-Farouk to: “invite the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to jointly track and monitor the payments.”

 

The FoI request, read in part: “We would be grateful if the requested information is provided to us within seven days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions under the Freedom of Information Act to compel you to comply with our request.”

 

“Providing support and assistance to socially and economically vulnerable Nigerians is a human rights obligation but the programme to spend five-percent of the 2021 budget, which is mostly based on deficit and borrowing, requires anti-corruption safeguards to ensure the payments go directly to the intended beneficiaries, and that public funds are not mismanaged or diverted.”

 

“SERAP notes that the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 [as amended], UN Convention against Corruption, and African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption to which Nigeria is a state party require the government to set the highest standards of transparency, accountability and probity in programmes that it oversees.”

 

“The government has a responsibility to ensure that these requirements and other anti-corruption controls are fully implemented and monitored, and that the payments are justified in light of the huge budget deficit and borrowing, and whether there are better ways to spend N729bn to support poor Nigerians.”

 

“Several questions remain as to the implementation and monitoring mechanisms for the payments, and whether this is the best and most effective way to spend N729bn to support socially and economically vulnerable Nigerians.”

 

“Our requests are brought in the public interest, and in keeping with the requirements of the Nigerian Constitution 1999 [as amended], the Freedom of Information Act, and UN Convention against Corruption, African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption, and African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights to which Nigeria is a state party.”

 

“By Section 1 (1) of the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act 2011, and Article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, SERAP is entitled as of right to request for or gain access to information, including information on details of beneficiaries of the direct payments of N729bn.”

 

“By Section 4 (a) of the FoI Act, when a person makes a request for information from a public official, institution or agency, the public official, institution or urgency to whom the application is directed is under a binding legal obligation to provide the applicant with the information requested for, except as otherwise provided by the Act, within seven days after the application is received.”

 

“By Sections 2(3)(d)(V) & (4) of the FoI Act, there is a binding legal duty to ensure that documents containing information including information on details of payments of N729bn to N24.3 million poor and vulnerable Nigerians are widely disseminated and made readily available to members of the public through various means.”

 

“The information being requested does not come within the purview of the types of information exempted from disclosure by the provisions of the FoI Act. The information requested for as indicated above, apart from not being exempted from disclosure under the FoI Act, bothers on an issue of national interest, public concern, interest of human rights, social justice, good governance, transparency and accountability.”

 

 

Kolawole Oluwadare

SERAP Deputy Director

24/01/2021

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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Florence Ufuoma Ebireri: Family Announces Burial Date

Florence Ufuoma Ebireri: Family Announces Burial Date

The family of the late educationist, public administrator and writer, Florence Ufuoma Ebireri, has announced January 23, 2021 as date for her funeral.

‘’Florence Ufuoma Ebireri is being laid to rest in Sapele, Delta State, forty two days after her death’’ a statement by the head of the family, Mr Wilson Ebireri said.

The statement described Florence Ebireri as a woman of great personal integrity.

‘’Florence Ebireri’s death is definitely a sad news to us’’.

The renowned public administrator and business woman breathed her last on Saturday, December 12, 2020.

A beloved figure in Delta State, the statement underscored her absolute dedication to job and family.

Deeply religious, Florence Ebireri was a noiseless, persistent and disciplined woman

‘’We are experiencing great grief’’ the statement added.