Nigeria Is Yet To Fully Embrace Democracy – The Week In Quotes

 

Corruption is a major concern threatening Nigeria’s democracy, even as the nation and the world at large continues to battle the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. 

Here are some top quotes from the passing week, that highlight the socioeconomic and political atmosphere within the country at this time, as well as giving us a feel of the tension around the globe.

1. Nigeria attaches great importance to poverty eradication. It is for this reason that in May 2019, on my inauguration for 2nd term in office, our government committed itself to starting a new programme of lifting a 100 million Nigerians out of poverty within a 10-year period.

President Muhammadu Buhari reiterates the plan of his administration to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty within the next 10 years.

2. At least I am bold enough to come out in the open and say that I will not support Obaseki. It would have been different if I was hiding or pretending to be supporting him and doing some damages.

A member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Kassim Afegbua, says he will not support Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki for the second term in office.

3. The agreement here is that there is not going to be any increase in the tariffs on July 1st.

A file photo of the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, during plenary at the upper chamber of the National Assembly in Abuja.

The leadership of the National Assembly says it has convinced the Distribution Companies (DISCOs) in the country to defer the hike in electricity tariffs scheduled to take effect from July 1, 2020.

4. We are mistaken in assuming that we have had a transition from dictatorship to democracy. We still haven’t.

The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Matthew Kukah, says Nigeria is yet to fully embrace democratic norms and values.

5. The PDP leadership turned Dubai into their “Strategic” meeting place ahead of the 2019 general elections in Nigeria, and ‘Hushpuppi’s’ affinity with the PDP leadership is not mere coincidence.

Ramoni Igbalode aka Hushpuppi, was arrested by Dubai Police in June for fraud, among other crimes.
Ramoni Igbalode aka Hushpuppi, was arrested by Dubai Police in June for fraud, among other crimes.

The All Progressives Congress says there were links between major opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party and the US indicted fraudster, Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, also known as ‘Hushpuppi’.

6. We all want this to be over. We all want to get on with our lives, but the hard reality is this is not even close to being over.

The WHO warns that the Coronavirus pandemic is “not even close to being over.

7. The number one job creator under the Ministry of Information and Culture is the Digital Switch Over (DSO) in broadcasting, which is set to create one million jobs in the next three years through the manufacturing of set-top-boxes (decoders) and TV sets, TV and Film production, as well as TV and Online advertising and Data, among others.

Mr Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, says his ministry will create more than two million additional jobs within the next three years.

8. The US is mistaken if it thinks things like negotiations would still work on us.

In this picture taken on July 2, 2020 and released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on July 3, 2020 North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks during the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) meeting in Pyongyang. STR / AFP / KCNA VIA KNS

North Korea says it does “not feel any need” to resume talks with Washington.

9. Buhari could have dealt with Wike and Fayose but he let them be.

Mr Femi Adesina says President Muhammadu Buhari refused to move against Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and former Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose because of his role as the father of the nation.

10. President Buhari is committed to electoral reforms.

Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, made an appearance on Channels Television on June 30, 2020.

The Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, says President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to improving electoral reform in the country.

Army Flags Off ‘Exercise Sahel Sanity’

 

The Nigerian Army has flagged off ‘Exercise Sahel Sanity’ to mitigate the current spate of banditry, kidnapping, cattle rustling and other related crimes bedeviling Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto, Kaduna and Niger states.

Launched in Faskari, one of the front line LGAs of Katsina state, the exercise which is aimed at restoring peace in the regions is expected to metamorphose into real time operation.

Speaking during the official flag off of ceremony on Monday, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai announced that the exercise is carefully designed to plush out armed bandits, terrorist groups and other criminal elements hibernating in the forests of Dumburum, Gando, Subobo and Kagara in Katsina, Zamfara and parts of Sokoto states.

DSS Invitation: Magu Must Step Aside To Ensure Evidence Is Not Destroyed – PDP

EFCC Recovers Over N117bn, Secures 192 Convictions In Three Months
A file photo of Mr Ibrahim Magu

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu to step aside, following the invitation he got from the Department of State Services (DSS) on Monday. 

Mr Magu was invited to appear before a Federal Government panel set up to investigate the allegations of corruption levelled against him.

The invitation generated great buzz with many reporting that the EFCC boss had been arrested by the security agency.

Reacting to the event, the PDP asked President Muhammadu Buhari to show the genuineness of its war against corruption by allowing the unhindered investigation of Mr Magu.

The PDP stated that Nigerians are already aware that Magu has been called for questioning, adding that the fact that he has to be accompanied by an attorney showed that the said “invitation”, was beyond the routine.

The party held that that the development around the EFCC acting Chairman as well as the desperate attempt by the Commission to cover or wave off his investigation, only raise more integrity questions regarding Magu’s activities in the EFCC.

PDP’s statement further reads, “Only last month, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minster of Justice, Abubakar Malami, released a memo in which he indicted Magu of alleged diversion of recovered funds and fraudulent sale of assets seized by the EFCC.

“Our party, Nigerians and indeed, the international community are keenly monitoring the development and expect the Buhari Presidency to muster the courage to carry out a comprehensive investigation and make its findings available to the public.

“Now that Magu has been pulled in for investigation, the Federal Government should preserve the integrity of the office of the Chairman of the EFCC by ordering him to step aside while investigators take charge of every activities of the office to forestall destruction of evidence as well as unnecessary interferences in the matter”.

The PDP argued that with the allegations and investigations, Magu has lost the moral rectitude to continue to preside over the anti-corruption agency.

PDP advised Magu to step aside until he proves himself innocent.

‘You Are A Barefaced Treasury Looter’, PDP Tells Ganduje

Re-election: Buhari Made ‘A Desperate Declaration', PDP Says
File photo: Mr Kola Ologbondiyan

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Campaign Council for the Edo governorship election, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, as a barefaced treasury looter, who has no moral rectitude to speak on corruption.

The PDP described as a huge irony that Governor Ganduje, who has become a butt of national shame after being seen on viral video stuffing his robe with gratification in foreign currency, to accuse the PDP of corruption intentions in the Edo state governorship election.

In a communique on Monday, the PDP said it is a paradox that an individual who has earned himself the disgraceful public sobriquet of “gandollar”, after being caught collecting gratification, would attempt to accuse others of having intention of looting the treasury of a state.

The PDP further pointed out that it is only in a party like the APC, under a Buhari Presidency, that such a tarnished individual can be selected to speak in public, let alone lead a governorship election campaign.

“Apparently, Governor Ganduje and other APC leaders are so used to looting public treasuries that such is his first mental direction after his inauguration to lead the Edo governorship campaign.

“Governor Ganduje has further confirmed the real intention of the APC, which is to use their morally embattled candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu (of course, birds of the same feathers flock together) for their desperate effort to regain access to Edo state treasury, after Governor Godwin Obaseki liberated the state from the stranglehold of APC treasury-looting godfathers.

“Our party invites Governor Ganduje to note that there is no free dollars for him and other APC leaders to loot in Edo state.

“Under the PDP, the resources of Edo state, and indeed other PDP states, belong to the people and not to any political cabal and their godfathers.

“Of course, this is why the people of Edo state are solidly behind Governor Obaseki for firmly resisting APC looters.

“Moreover, Governor Ganduje, with his infamous “gandollar” video, is no match to the Chairman of the PDP National Campaign Council for the Edo election, Governor Nyesom Wike.

“Whereas Governor Wike is a highly respected, upright, honest, transparent, people-based and development-driven leader, who is firmly in touch with the people of Edo state and enjoys their confidence and trust, Governor Ganduje, on the other hand, represent a leadership that is fraught with dishonesty, corruption, non-performance and public shame.

“The PDP therefore counsels Governor Ganduje and the APC to quietly perish the thoughts of looting Edo state treasury like they are doing in APC controlled states, as the people of Edo state will humiliate them in the September 19 election,” the PDP’s communique stated in part.

Beach Volley Ball: Nimrod Gives Olympics Qualification Assurance

 

The President of Nigeria Volleyball Federation, Musa Nimrod is optimistic the country’s beach volleyball women’s team will qualify for next year’s Tokyo Olympics.

Nimrod admits the COVID-19 will play a vital role whenever the Confederation of Africa Volleyball decides to choose host for the final round.

He assured that the country will not have a repeat of what happened four years ago where Egypt clinched the sole beach volleyball ticket in Nigeria.

Nimrod said, “Nigeria intends to host the final round of the Tokyo 2021 Beach Volleyball women’s Olympic qualifiers and we do not want to miss the Olympic Games this time around like what happened four years ago.

“The nation failed to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympics in Abuja where Egypt got the ticket in front of our home fans”.

He added that “The Federation is indicating interest to host the final round of the women’s qualification in the country but we hope not to commit silly mistakes for the second time on home soil.

“The men’s beach volleyball team should have played their own qualifiers in Mozambique last March but our players are still keeping fit during the COVID-19 lockdown because we told them to stay fit”. Immediately sporting activities resumes, the men’s team will be on their way to Mozambique for the second round of the Beach Volleyball Qualifiers”.

Commenting on the possibility of sporting activities resuming soon, the administrator said the decision making process is entirely up to the Federal Government and the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has given directives.

“Players, coaches and referees are eager to return to the court but as law abiding citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, we must await directives from the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 and the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development.

“Immediately the embargo on sports is lifted the League Organising Committee of the Nigeria Volleyball Premier League will meet to deliberate when the league will resume”.

Buhari Mourns Victims Of Boat Accidents In Benue, Lagos

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has commiserated with the families of victims of recent boat mishaps on inland water ways in Benue and Lagos States, describing their deaths as “sad and unfortunate”. 

President Buhari, while calling on state authorities and surrounding communities to step up rescue efforts of passengers still missing, called on would-be passengers of water transportation to adhere strictly to safety regulations outlined by national and state authorities in order to prevent avoidable accidents and loss of lives and property.

According to the President, “Such a call has become imperative in view of prevailing COVID-19 guidelines against overcrowding and night travels.”

He prayed that God will comfort the bereaved families and grant rest to the souls of the departed.

How Shehu Sani Collected $15000 Bribe from Me – Dauda

(File): Senator Shehu Sani at the Federal High Court in Abuja on January 27, 2020. Photo: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Monday, July 6, 2020 presented two more witnesses against Senator Shehu Sani before Justice I.E Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

One of them is Alhaji Sani Dauda (ASD), who is Chairman ASD Group of Companies and a board member, Peugeot Automobile Ltd and a plaintiff in the criminal matter.

Sani is facing prosecution by the Commission on two-count criminal charges, bordering on name-dropping, influence-peddling and obtaining the sum of USD$25,000.00 (Twenty-five Thousand United States Dollars) from Alhaji Sani Dauda (ASD), ‘under a false pretence’ that he would use the sum to bribe the Acting Chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, to shield the plaintiff from EFCC’s investigation and prosecution and to prompt the Commission to arrest and prosecute Dauda’s estranged son-in-law, one Abubakar Musa.

At the resumed sitting of the matter on Monday , Dauda who testified as prosecution witness six (PW 6), told the court how Shehu Sani allegedly blackmailed him into parting with the said sum.

“Shehu Sani came to sympathize with me on November 12, 2019 when the husband of my daughter, Abubkar Musa divorced her about three years ago and we had issue where the Inspector- General of police arrested and detained me and my family.

“Then, Sani told me that he was going to Abuja and promised to help me out of the case.

“When he reached Abuja, he called me on November 19, 2019 that he wanted to see me, and that the issue will not be discussed on phone, that it was better we met in person. I then came to Abuja and Sani came to my Maitama residence where he informed me that he spoke with the CJN (Chief Justice of Nigeria) about my matter.

“I then told him that I wanted to meet the CJN in person, but Sani told me that he can’t see me because the DSS and other security men were watching his moves; hence, he can only communicate with me on phone.

“I communicated with someone purported to be CJN, where he asked me if I knew any judge, I told him no, then he said he gave Sani message, and that he will relate it with me. That’s where Sani told me about four judges whom the CJN assigned to help me in my case.

“He further said I should give him some money to sort out the judges, a million naira for each of them and one million naira for an operative of the EFCC to prosecute my in-law Musa because he has case with EFCC, making the total, five million naira.

“I then informed him that I don’t have money, but he insisted, leaving me with no choice but to call one Abubakar, a bureau de change operator the following day to give me five million naira, equivalent of $13,937 (Thirteen thousand, nine hundred and thirty-seven US dollars) . Then I had some dollars with me because I just returned from the lesser hajj. I put them all together to make $15,000 (Fifteen thousand dollars),” he stated.

Shehu Sani, he further stated, informed him that he has an axe to grind with Musa, having allegedly identified him as one of the people who ensured that he did not return to the Senate in 2019.

Earlier, the prosecution witness six (PW 5), Bala Ismail, who has been ASD’s domestic worker for 20 years, narrated to the court how Mr Shehu Sani came to ASD’s residence in Maitama, Abuja, five times and left with an envelope, which he said, he didn’t know the contents on all of the occasions.

Restructure Security Apparatus, Give Igbos A Chance In 2023 – Ohaneze

Ohanaeze President General, John Nwodo

 

Ohanaeze Ndigbo has urged the Federal Government to look into the present security apparatus in the country and find a way of restructuring it in order to combat the security challenges in the country.

President General of the apex Igbo socio-political group, Mr John Nwodo disclosed this when he paid a courtesy visit to Governor Hope Uzodinma at the Imo State Government House in Owerri.

He said if not tackled headlong, the present insecurity challenge in the country is capable of causing serious disaffection across the nation.

Regarding the 2023 Presidency, Mr Nwodo also used the opportunity to appeal to political parties in the country to look the way of the Igbos.

Nwodo said he is confident that if Igbos are given the opportunity they will turn the situation of the country around.

Meanwhile, Governor Hope Uzodinma noted that with this meeting, the people of the Southeast have agreed to partner with the Federal Government in all its policies and programmes for the benefit of the nation at large.

Rivers Development Agenda Is State-Wide, Says Wike

A file photo of Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike.

 

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike says development projects are executed in every local government area of the state to improve the socioeconomic life of the people.

The governor stated that such holistic commitment to development is in keeping with the promise made to the people to serve them efficiently and leave the state better than he met it.

Governor Wike was speaking when the leadership of the Inter Party Advisory Council of Nigeria, ( IPAC) paid him a courtesy visit at Government House, Port Harcourt.

“My administration owes Rivers people a lot and nothing will slow down the tempo of provision of critical infrastructure.

“We are committed to making sure that we do what will make our people happy.

“People are surprised that even though we are in our second tenure, we are working as if we have another tenure to run. But our tenure ends in 2023 and my motivation is that we will continue to give services to the people of the state without relenting.

“I thank God that you just went to see projects within Port Harcourt. But we are doing more in the local government areas.

“There is no local government that will say they cannot find the presence of this administration. I challenge anybody to say we are not doing anything,” he said.

Governor Wike told the leadership of IPAC to put party politics aside and contribute their quota with useful suggestions that would enable him provide good governance to Rivers people.

“The whole essence of IPAC is not to be antagonistic to government,  it is about governance irrespective of political party.

“When elections are over, various parties will be more concerned how the government is serving and contribute their quota.

“What you have done here today is to tell the world what you have seen concerning what we are doing.  When all the parties have seen, it becomes easier to make the kind of suggestions that you have made. We are supposed to work as a team for the good of the state,” he emphasised.

Governor Wike urged politicians not to politicise COVID-19 but should work in concert with government to reduce the spread of the pandemic.

The governor announced that if the State receives the approved refund from the Federal Government, part of the money would be used to set up a Cancer Centre.

Leader of the delegation and chairman of IPAC,  Ambassador Desmond Akawor said the group is satisfied with the quality leadership provided by governor Wike and the developmental projects within the state capital that they inspected at the weekend.

Ambassador Akawor noted that the Flyover Projects, Mother and Child Hospital, Judges Quarters and the Real Madrid Football Academy are projects that would stand the test of time.

He assured the governor that IPAC would collaborate with his administration to give the state qualitative leadership.

The IPAC team were later taken on a tour of the ongoing construction of the administrative building and clinic, in Government House.

Arewa Youths Demand Reversal Of Petrol Pump Price, Threaten Mass Protest

File photo

 

A coalition of Northern Youth Organizations has condemned the increase of the pump price of petrol to N143 per litre.

The group is demanding for the immediate reversal of the new pump price.

Addressing a joint news conference in Kaduna, National President of Northern Youth Council , Isah Abubakar and Chairman Nigeria Citizen Action Group, Mohammed Danlamin, said increasing pump price of petrol at a time when nations are doing more to aide her citizens out of the post COVID-19 pandemic is highly insensitive, callous and ridiculous.

According to the northern youths, the major stakeholders in government who led President Muhammadu Buhari administration to hike the price of oil, should resign voluntarily because their action had the potential of inciting Nigerians against the government.

They group however threatens to mobilize Nigerians for a nationwide protest on Tuesday, July 14th, If the Federal government fails to reverse the pump price of petrol.

Kogi: PDP Confident Of Justice At Supreme Court, Shocked At Appeal Court’s Verdict

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) claims that the judgment of the Court of Appeal in favour of Governor Yahaya Bello does not vitiate or detract from the fact, by hard evidence, that it won the November 16, 2019 Kogi state governorship election.

In a statement by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party said it noted with shock that the Appeal Court, in its judgment, decided to discount the merit of the evidences before it, which showed that the PDP candidate, Engr. Musa Wada scored the highest valid votes in the election.

According to the Ologbondiyan’s communique, the PDP observed that the judgment of the Appeal Court will be a major setback to our democratic process if left unchallenged, but expressed confidence that justice will be served on the merit of the case by the Supreme Court.

The statement further reads, “Our party holds that discounting of hard evidence of over-voting, massive thumb printing, voter intimidation, thuggery and other irregularities and malpractices used by the APC and compromised INEC officials to manipulate the results of the election would be reviewed at the Supreme Court.

“Justice on any matter is based on the weight of evidence before a court. The failure by the Appeal Court to consider key and essential ingredients of evidence before it on their merit, as already admitted and upheld by a judgment of a preceding court, amounted to a frustration of the course of justice in the matter.

“The PDP restates its insistence that the evidences are clear that its candidate is the genuine choice of the people in the November 16, 2019 election.

“The people of Kogi state now look up to the Supreme Court to reverse this injustice handed over to them, especially, given the evidence laid, as affirmed by the courageous verdict of Justice Ohimai Ovbiagele at the Election Tribunal”.

The PDP urged the people not to despair over the judgment of the Appeal Court but to remain calm and prayerful, “as justice will definitely be served at the Supreme Court”.

Benue Varsity Deputy Vice Chancellor Dies From COVID-19

 

There’s been another high profile death from COVID-19, this time in Benue State University, where the Deputy Vice-Chancellor in charge of academics, Professor Godwin Achinge is the victim.

Professor Achinge, who was also the Vice-Chairman of Benue State Action Committee on COVID-19, had earlier tested positive for coronavirus.

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Channels Television gathered that he died this afternoon at an undisclosed hospital in Jos, the Plateau State capital.