Fraudulent. Not well-thought-out. Greek gift. Action smacks of desperation, hypocrisy. It’s for cheap political gains.These and more were some of the words and phrases that trailed Presdent Muhammadu Buhari’s declaration of June 12 as the nation’s new Democracy Day when he made the pronouncement on June 6, last year. President Buhari had said that his administration shared the view of most Nigerians that June 12th rather than May 29th or even October 1st was far more symbolic of democracy. In a sequel this year, the president had taken the honour for the late Chief Moshood Abiola, the acclaimed winner of the annulled June 1993 election, and his family, a notch higher. He moved the fanfare and speeches that ought to have accompanied his inauguration on May 29 to today as part of activities for the first-ever commemoration of June 12 as Nigeria’s Democracy Day. And the nation is in joyous mood. However, as the nation celebrates its symbol of democracy today, eminent Nigerians have tasked President Buhari on the need to use the occasion to reflect on the survival of Nigeria with a view to entrenching the numerous ideals of the late Abiola and indeed, the June 12 mandate. Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, human rights activist and former President of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), Chief Ayo Opadokun, and the National Publicity Secretary of Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, among others, said it was imperative for Buhari to make major policy statements on and how to
Following the inauguration of Nigeria’s 9th federal parliament on Tuesday and the election of the new leadership of the Senate and House of Representatives, citizens of the West African country have called for a more cordial relationship between the executive and the legislative arms of government to engender prosperity. The previous National Assembly had constant rifts with the Executive, a situation generally perceived to have stifled the country’s growth in the past four years. Senator Ahmed Lawan of Nigeria’s governing All Progressives Congress (APC) party on Tuesday emerged as the country’s new Senate president when the 9th National Assembly was inaugurated in the capital Abuja. Also, Femi Gbajabiamila, representing the southwestern state of Lagos, was elected the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Dozie Ifebi, an economist, opined that the discord among different political parties and also within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) party had fueled the animosity between the two arms of government, “which meant that the good of the country was sometimes affected by political wrangling.” Political analyst Majeed Bakare shared a similar view, noting, however, that though the federal parliament ought not to operate as a rubber stamp, the legislators should work “in tandem with the goals and aspirations of the Executive.” “The negative aspect of governance is the lack of sync between the executive and legislative arms of government. The fact that the ruling party had a majority in both the House of Representatives and Senate, they were unable to work in a cordial atmosphere.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, on Monday, advised wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, to as a matter of urgency engage her husband in a “pillow talk” in order for him to know the true position of the state of the nation. Mrs Buhari had recently raised the alarm on how social intervention programmes for vulnerable Nigerians had failed in the North and the wanton killings of Nigerians by bandits. Obasanjo, who commended Mrs Buhari for speaking out her mind, said, apparently, the President’s wife had not adopted the bedroom approach to get her husband’s attention to the issues. Noting that in recent time, Mrs Buhari had spoken about her displeasure with how her husband’s government was being run, the latest being the challenge to security agencies to find solution to the banditry in the country., the former President said she should engage in pillow talk to draw Buhari’s attention to the issue. Obasanjo, who played host to the Editorial Board of a social media platform, “Penpushing Media”, at his Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) Boardroom, advocated more advocacy and sensitisation to get the desired change in the country. In a statement by his Media Aide, Kehinde Akinyemi, Obasanjo added that the media also played crucial role in the mission to turn the country for better. Obasanjo said the advocacy would raise awareness, “and we have to put all things on table to address these problems. Mind you, we have to be sincere and genuine with ourselves. “It is nice
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari was sworn in on Wednesday for a second term at the helm a country struggling with a sluggish economy and a decade-long Islamist insurgency. The 76-year-old Buhari read out his oath but made no other immediate comments at the open air ceremony in the capital Abuja. He took 56% of votes in February’s presidential election after promising to end violence in the northeast, extend welfare programs and kickstart growth with a program of road and rail construction. But the fighting with the Islamist militants of Boko Haram and other groups has shown no sign of abating. A separate surge of bandit attacks and other violence in the northwest has forced 20,000 refugees to flee to neighboring Niger, the U.N. refugee agency said on Tuesday.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday declined comments about whether it had launched an investigation to find out how former Lagos governor, Bola Tinubu, came about the bullion vans that drove into his home in February. Nigerians have mounted pressure on the anti-graft office to open money laundering probe against Bola Tinubu, after the ruling APC party chieftain was seen on February 22 receiving at least two armoured vehicles believed to be bearing cash. The development raised controversies because it came a day to the presidential election on February 23. Mr Tinubu is a senior leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), and a strong ally of President Muhammadu Buhari, who was seeking reelection at the time. Critics said there was no doubt the vehicles were conveying cash to bribe voters with, especially since such trucks are used in Nigeria almost exclusively to convey cash by banks, government institutions and cash-in-transit firms. Mr Tinubu’s action was widely deemed contrary to Nigerian anti-money laundering laws, which places a cap of N5 million ( about $14,000) on cash handling by individuals. The former Lagos governor admitted the next day that the bullion vans were conveying money to his house, but he defended his action as out of public’s interest because he was not a government official. Transparency deferred Many Nigerians expected the EFCC to investigate the incident for possible violation of Nigerian laws. But the anti-graft office has declined to comment on the matter — and there is
President Muhammadu Buhari inherited an energy crisis in Nigeria when he took charge of the country in May 2015. Now elected for a second term of four years, it is safe to assume that the policies he worked with would not change significantly. Mr Buhari took over an upstream sector gasping for breath: even as crude oil prices were crashing down as he took the oath of office, there were problems that were self-inflicted by the previous administration, which were wrestling with the sector’s legacy challenges. Operations in the oil fields of the Niger Delta had not entirely recovered from the historic MEND attack of February 2006, which had reset the dynamics in the region around the distinctions between licence to – and freedom to – operate. The state hydrocarbon company, NNPC, was owing cash calls in a way that effectively disabled work programmes of operating companies. And by insisting on operatorship without the wherewithal to do so (competencies, governance, processes and funding), the NPDC, the operating E&P arm of the NNPC, had strangled investment in assets that Shell & Co. had sold to five Nigerian independents since 2012. At the time Buhari came in, those companies had lost three years’ worth of aggressive investment to boost production. Midstream, the lresident met proposals to diversify the gas market from export-led to an inclusive, part export, part domestic beneficiation, which could establish an industrial economy with huge absorptive capacity. A crucial part of the challenge here was that a disproportionate percentage
Supreme Court on Friday nullified All Progressives Congress (APC), participation in 2019 elections and declares party with second highest votes as winner in Zamfara. The Apex court heard two election appeals seeking to ascertain authentic candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC), candidates in Zamfara in the last general elections. News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the APC and Malam Sanusi Dan-Alhaji had instituted the case on the primary election conducted by the party for the nomination of candidates to participate in the last general election. Chief Lateef Fagbemi,SAN, Counsel for Dan-Alhaji, while adopting his address, prayed the apex court to restore the Feb.13 judgment of the Zamfara High Court which allowed APC to field candidates in the general election. Fagbemi submitted that the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Sokoto Division, which disqualified APC from nominating candidate for the election on the grounds that the party did not conduct lawful primary should be set aside. He further argued that the lower court erred in law, adding that the decision was a miscarriage of justice. Fagbemi said the APC had shown proof the party conducted a free and fair primary to elect the candidates that contested the governorship election, the National Assembly and the House of Assembly elections respectively. However, Chief Mike Ozekhome,SAN, Counsel for Sen. Kabiru Marafa and 142, all of the APC urged the appellate court to dismiss the appeal and affirm the judgment of the Appeal Court. Ozekhome submitted that the judgment was a copious description
The Federal Government says it has ‘credible evidence” to back up its outcry that the opposition is planning to “sabotage President Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration, generally overheat the polity and make the country ungovernable”. The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said this on Saturday at the 2019 edition of his Annual Ramadan Lecture held at his home town Oro, Kwara. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 12th annual Ramadan lecture was attended by Gov. Abubakar Bagudu of Kebbi, Minister of Communication, Adebayo Shittu, political stalwarts, traditional rulers, clergy men, Muslim and Christian faithfuls. “As you are aware, a few days ago we raised the alarm that either by themselves or via their proxies, the PDP and it’s presidential candidate are doing everything possible to sabotage the Buhari Administration. “Our interventions are based on credible evidence, and no government with the kind of evidence that we have, of plans to subvert the power of the state, attack the nation’s economic live wire and generally unleash mayhem on the polity, will keep quiet. “The security agencies are all alert to their responsibilities and will not sit by and allow anyone to reverse the gains of our democracy under any guise,” he said. The minister noted that similar alarms had been raised by the police, the military and the DSS. He said the government will neither be distracted nor dissuaded by pseudo and partisan analysts that had teamed up with the opposition to “either exhibit their ignorance or
The Friday appointment of four additional emirs in Kano State by Governor Abdullahi Ganduje has significance beyond the perceived move by the governor to get at the controversial Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II. Before the governor’s action, Kano — as a geographical and cultural entity — has maintained single rulership since the establishment of the Sokoto caliphate in 1804. It was, therefore, no surprise that Mr Ganduje’s action generated anxiety and anger in equal measure. Speaking to State House correspondents on Friday, Mr Ganduje defended his government’s swift creation of four additional emirates. “It is not vendetta, I am not against him (Mr Sanusi). In fact, he is supposed to be reporting to the local government chairman according to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” the governor was reported as saying. But even as Mr Ganduje struggled to defend the happenings in the state, the actions of his government, in partnership with the Kano State House of Assembly, have left no room to take the governor’s words. It is public knowledge that Mr Ganduje has barely had a good relationship with Mr Sanusi for most of the last four years. Mr Sanusi was appointed Emir of Kano in 2014 by Mr Ganduje’s predecessor, Rabiu Kwankwaso. Mr Ganduje was then Mr Kwankwaso’s deputy. But since the coming of Mr Ganduje as governor in May 2015, the emir and the governor have been in a frosty relationship. In 2017, what appeared like an engineered plot by the government to