Seven APC Governors Ask Buhari To Seek Re-Election

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, briefs journalists after the governors met with President Muhammadu Buhari


Seven governors from the All Progressives Congress have asked President Muhammadu Buhari to seek re-election and get more time “to keep running the country in the right direction”.

Governors Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano, Simon Lalong of Plateau State, Abubakar Bello of Niger State, Jibrilla Bindow of Adamawa State and Ibrahim Geidam of Yobe State declared their support for the President when they visited him in Abuja on Friday.

El-Rufai told journalists that their decision was influenced by their interest in continuity and policy stability.

“We are politicians and those of us that you see here want the President to contest for a second term of office. So, everything is about 2019; there is no hiding that. We have no apologies for that,” he said after they – with the exception of Lalong – attended the Jumaat service with President Buhari.

“We believe in the President, we want him to keep running the country in the right direction. So, people can speculate about 2019; we have no apologies.”

El-Rufai who said everyone is entitled to his opinion, added, “Most of us here, except the Governor of Yobe, are first-time governors. We are interested in continuity and policy stability, and we want the President to continue.”

The governors were also excited to find the President in good health after the health challenges he faced in 2017.

“We just happened to be here for prayers and we went to pay our respects to the President and feel gratified that anytime we see him, he is getting better and better,” the Kaduna State governor added.

Meanwhile, the governor once again defended the decision of his administration to fire more than 21,000 teachers in Kaduna State for failing a controversial competency test.

The controversial decision has attracted heavy criticism and the Nigerian Union of Teachers in the state along with the Nigeria Labour Congress held a protest in the state on Thursday to condemn the move.

But the governor is adamant that the state government will not succumb to pressure.

In an appearance on Channels Television’s News At 10 on Thursday, hours after the protest, El-Rufai said no amount of protest will make the government change its decision.

He restated the position at the Presidential Villa on Friday.

2019 Election: Akwa Ibom Youths Support Gov. Emmanuel

Gov. Emmanuel Promises More Support For Akwa-Ibom Youths

Thousands of youths from Eket senatorial district in Akwa Ibom, on Friday stormed the Government House, Uyo, to declare their support for the Governor, Udom Emmanuel in the 2019 governorship election.

Prior to that, the youths marched through major roads of Uyo to express their solidarity.

Code named “10,000 Man March for Udom”, the rally drew youths from all the 12 Local Government Areas in Eket senatorial district.

Addressing them at the gate of the government house, the convener of the rally and Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mr Victor Antai explained the rationale behind it.

The chairman of Akwa Ibom State Youth Council, Mr Emem Daniel and the Caretaker Committee for Eket Local Government Council, Mrs Abigail Edoho Eket described the governor as a competent man for the job and went further to declare their support for his second term bid.

In response, Governor Emmanuel expressed appreciation to the youths for their support.

Furthermore, he noted that as the largest oil producing senatorial district in the state, Eket deserves a second term ticket for equity and fairness as the other two senatorial districts of Uyo and Ikot Ekpene have both served out their two terms each.

Buhari Did Not Order National ID Card Use For 2019 Elections – Presidency

President Buhari Did Not Order National ID Cards Use For 2019 PollsThe Presidency has denied claims in the media that President Buhari has given “orders” that national identity cards be used in the 2019 elections.

The statement from the Office of the Vice President was in reaction to newspaper reports on Friday which referred to the Vice President’s speech delivered on Thursday by the Deputy Chief of Staff to the President, Mr. Ade Ipaye at the Policy Roundtable on Identity Eco-System in the country to make the claim.

Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity, Laolu Akande, insisted that no such orders were made by the President and the said speech by the Vice President made no mention of the 2019 elections at all.

According to him, what the speech said was that the President has taken an initiative to harmonize identity management in the country so as to ensure that every Nigerian has a unique identifier.

And in the same vein, the speech added that it is the “President’s charge that the national identification number, (NIN) is used to authenticate eligible voters in the near future, as well as in the areas of access to health insurance, registration of SIM cards, access to social welfare, financial transactions, etc”.

Mr Akande then explained: “What this means is that such a unique identifier as the NIN can, when eventually issued, help to confirm age and nationality status of eligible voters, for instance. Or even help determine eligibility of persons presenting themselves for health, social welfare, financial and other available services in the country.

“The President was not giving any directive to INEC or any order regarding 2019.

“Mr. President and this administration fully respect the autonomy of the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) and also very determined to preserve the integrity of the electoral process at all times.”

The full text of Vice President Osinbajo’s speech at the Policy Round-Table Meeting On Identity Eco-System is published on

VP Osinbajo’s Speech At The Policy Round-Table Meeting On Identity Eco-System



I am delighted to welcome you all to this policy roundtable on identity management in Nigeria. I am particularly happy with the representation of all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), the World Bank and other Development Assistance Agencies here today. The importance of this policy discussion necessitated my acceptance to chair the meeting, which is aimed at optimising the benefits of digital identity and leveraging its use for accelerating development. The particular focus on harmonisation and integration of disparate government identity management databases is of course a matter of crucial importance to Nigeria.

Identity plays a pivotal role in our lives and cuts across so many sectors of the economy. As a government, we recognise the huge importance of moving towards a Digital Government. Therefore, we must embrace and harness the potentials inherent in digital identity to build and develop our country. Nations all over the world and, in particular, developed countries, have utilized identity as a foundation to transforming governance and enhancing service delivery in the areas of healthcare, agriculture, voting, transportation, financial inclusion, access to basic services and welfare programmes, amongst others.

A case in point is Estonia, a country of just over 1.3m population (WorldBank estimate in 2016). According to Digital Nomads, “Estonia currently has one of the most advanced e-government systems in the world. This includes a single digital ID that enables citizens to access all of its secure services. Applicants can obtain a digital ID that will let them register their business within a day, open a bank account, use e-tax services and sign contracts from anywhere in the world. There, you don’t need to input any data manually for your tax declaration as all data is gathered and prepared automatically. And it can make digital nomad life and business much easier.”

The Nigerian National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has commenced work on the harmonisation of all our disparate Identity Management Systems into a concise system to ensure completeness, accuracy and integrity of such a national asset. In this regard, I believe that Nigeria must use its digital strategy to establish a global reputation for technological leadership and business dynamism, building digital ecosystems in which innovation can thrive. We will invest in smart infrastructure, platforms, and services; digitise our records and classify them accordingly; review and upgrade the legal and regulatory framework; and nurture digital talent.

Virtually all the developed nations have a single identifier that forms the core of their identity. For instance, in the UK, it is the National Insurance Number, which is mandatory to have as soon as a citizen turns 16 years of age and becomes eligible to work and pay tax accordingly. In the USA, it is the Social Security Number and, in India, it is called the Aadahar number. This unique number, which encapsulates the identity of the individual, is used for all of the activities relating to the identification of the person – in terms of planning for security, health, immigration, budget, etc. An accurate identity management system with quality data is no doubt a national asset to a country. It is time for Nigeria to also offer a unique identity to every person in the country.  Nigeria as a global player and a developing nation must work towards leveraging digital identity as a reliable tool for uniquely identifying its citizenry and residents and accelerating socio economic development.

I am aware that different sectors in Nigeria in response to their peculiar needs, have developed a means to identify individuals in order to perform their specific statutory functions. This has resulted in duplication of efforts, wastage of resources, uncoordinated identity approach, as well as unreliable identity information due to lack of interoperability and disconnected databases. The importance of the confidentiality of the information/data inherent in the identity management system cannot be over-emphasised. We must therefore ensure absolute integrity and security of this information.

It is important that, as a nation, we have an interoperable and connected system to verify that each person or beneficiary is who he claims to be. Our strategic plans, as a government, in the area of identification scheme must therefore converge to make harmonization and integration of the existing and new databases a reality.

Our policies must be articulated and refined in such a way that government agencies must work together; collaborate with each other, share infrastructure and government investments to serve their customers who are potentially the same citizens and residents. The fiscal cost of implementing disparate and unconnected biometric-linked identity databases is increasingly becoming a huge burden and needs to be streamlined going forward as government cannot continue to fund the unnecessary duplication of efforts and overlapping identity functions that further deplete its scarce resources. Clearly, there are potentially large benefits from the integration of the ID programs of our government institutions and we must take advantage of the opportunity that has been presented for us to get it right.

As we endeavour to resolve the identity management system challenges, we will also ensure that other forms of identification such as Drivers’ License, International Passports are aligned and in sync. The President has already taken the initiative in recognising the importance of identity and a harmonized identity management system. That is why there was a directive from my office in December 2015 for all stakeholders who have built independent identity management systems to consolidate, aggregate and integrate existing databases as a way to accelerate and scale up the national identity database so as to offer every person a unique identifier. I am aware that a lot of work has been done in this regard by all of the stakeholders represented here. However, it is the President’s charge that the national identification number (NIN) is used to authenticate eligible voters in the near future, as well as in the areas of access to health insurance, registration of SIM cards, access to social welfare, financial transactions, etc.

The development of identity program in Nigeria will greatly help the nation leverage on its potential to improve security of lives and properties, advance service delivery, and fight poverty and corruption. Achieving full scale national Identity management would boost our efforts at better tracking the movement of people, while minimizing issues with external border controls and terrorism. We have an opportunity to change and transform our country and I believe everyone here has a role to play in the growth and development of our nation through digital identity.

I want to commend the World Bank for its concern and interest in the development of the identity ecosystem of Nigeria, including the harmonisation and integration of many disparate  of government identity management databases; and for sponsoring this roundtable meeting. Furthermore, I want to also commend other Donor agencies who have expressed willingness and readiness to support the Nigerian Government in the effort to build a robust identification eco system.

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, It is on this premise therefore, that I am pleased to convey the support and goodwill of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; to the World Bank, other Donor Agencies and to all the MDAs here present. He demands that you all take up the challenge of giving Nigeria a world-class identity management infrastructure, which will be pivotal to the security and socio-economic transformation of the country. His Excellency, the President appreciates your sponsorship, willingness and readiness to support Nigeria.

With the calibre of people here, I am sure that there will be in-depth policy discussions on strengthening the identity eco system of Nigeria and robust action plans to shape the implementation of the Presidential directive for the alignment of all biometric identity databases in the country.

As I conclude, I wish to stress the fact that this meeting is not for us to analyze why the policy cannot work or why more time is needed. This policy meeting is for us to reach a common understanding on what our nation needs right now, what business model and approach should be adopted in ensuring that everyone in Nigeria has a unique identity (an identifier that serves the public and private sectors alike) and consider options and strategies for  streamlining activities of MDAs and optimizing the use of scarce government resources in achieveing a common goal on identification as  an enabler.

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, it is my singular honor and pleasure to declare this meeting open.

I thank you all and wish you fruitful deliberation.

God bless you, God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Released by:

Laolu Akande

Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity

Office of the Vice President

December 9, 2016

Jerry Gana Knocks PDP Over Crisis

Jerry Gana, PDPThe leadership of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP has received a knock from one of its own, a former Minister of Information, Professor Jerry Gana

Professor Gana, at a forum in Abuja says the party is being run in the unhealthiest manner which is detrimental to the sustenance of the party.

The former minister wants key leaders of the party to wade into the current crisis rocking the party or else a worse crisis may hit the PDP.

“The bedrock of our democracy in the PDP is ‘Power to the People’. Let the people choose their leaders in free, fair and credible elections. We hate any manipulation and rigging of elections in any form.

“If the PDP is to be revived and remobilised for electoral victory by the grace of God, we must return to this wonderful principle of ‘power to the people’.

“We received painful reports of the poor and shamelessly undemocratic practices during the recently concluded party congresses in several states.

“After the shocking results of the last general elections in 2015, we had hoped that our leaders would have learned serious lessons to make them resolve never again to impose candidates, never again to practice impunity, never again to rig party elections, never again to take the people for granted.

“Yet we find ourselves, in our very eyes, returning to even worse things within our party,” he said.

Another chieftain of the party, Mr Bwala Inuwa, however disagrees with the former minister, saying he has little to add to the repositioning of the party, going by his recent actions.

“They seem to forget that their generation is no longer relevant to contemporary politics and that is why you did not see any politician of note amongst the gathering.

“That is why you did not see anybody coming from his constituency having gone for the party congresses because they cannot go (as) they don’t have anybody at home.

“Gone are the days of gun flaring politics, these are the days of grassroots mobilisation for support for the PDP,” he said.