Abdulsalami Asks FG To Review Nigeria’s Foreign Policy

 

Former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, has called on the Federal Government to review Nigeria’s foreign policy in the interest of the nation.

He made the appeal on Tuesday, at the maiden edition of the annual Foreign Policy Public Lecture by the Association of Retired Career Ambassadors of Nigeria (ARCAN) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abuja.

According to him, the lecture is timely, considering these current times of uncertainty in global affairs.

Also speaking at the event, President of the association, Ambassador Oladapo Fafowora, said the decline in the quality of Nigeria’s Foreign Service and Foreign Policy made the lecture necessary in order to reset them and make them more effective.

The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada, was also in attendance among others.

The former Minister states categorically that Nigeria’s foreign policy is too foreign and has not been harnessed to ensure national development.

Abdulsalami Challenges Nigerians To Promote Peace Globally

 

Former Military Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd), has called on Nigerians to play their roles in ensuring peace in the country and across the world.

He made the call on Saturday while addressing an audience at the second edition of the Second General Abdulsalami Abubakar Foundation Annual Peace Lecture organised to commemorate the International Day of Peace in Minna, the state capital.

Abdulsalami said, “A lot has been said about our role in making peace. It is my prayer that peace reigns not only in Niger State, not only in Nigeria, not only in Africa; but indeed, the world over.

“Each and every one of us here, as it has been said, has a role to play and I hope we will play that role.”

The former Head of State informed the gathering that his greatest dream and hope was to have a peaceful and united Nigeria.

He, therefore, called on the people of the country irrespective of their political and ethnic background to be tolerant of one another and urged the youths to shun violence.

 

Bad Politicians?

Speaking as the guest lecturer at the event, the state governor, Mr Abubakar Bello, highlighted the importance of dialogue in tackling the security challenges in the country.

Former Military Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd), speaks at the Second General Abdulsalami Abubakar Foundation Annual Peace Lecture in Minna, Niger State on September 21, 2019.

 

According to him, military intervention in the nation’s security challenges is not necessary except dialogue fails.

The governor identified population explosion and lack of clear cut grazing routes as catalysts for most of the security challenges in the country, as reflected in the clashes between farmers and herders.

He commended the Abdulsalami Institute for Peace for its efforts in promoting peace in the country and called on other eminent Nigerians to contribute their quota towards Nigeria’s development.

Governor Bello also advocated the engagement of traditional rulers, especially village and district heads in peace-building and conflict resolution process, noting that they are closer to the people.

He decried that situation where many eminent personalities, including those in active public service, have become complacent and doing nothing to proffer solution to the challenges in the country.

The governor described some politicians as bad people who promote violence and unhealthy rivalry and asked them to desist from acts capable of disrupting the peace and progress of the country.

He alluded to the Rwandan genocide and the Civil War in Nigeria as clear examples of what could happen to a nation when eminent citizens channel their efforts in the wrong direction.

Governor Bello, therefore, urged Nigerians to see good in themselves and the nation, stressing that no investor would come to a country where the citizens do not see anything good about themselves.

Former Head Of State, Abdulsalami Abubakar Calls For Peace Ahead Of Results

 

Former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar has called on Nigerians to maintain peace during and after the elections.

General Abdulsalami stated this after he and his spouse finished casting their votes at the Hill Top, Water Tank polling unit in Chanchaga LGA on Saturday.

He called on the contestants to be aware that only one of them will emerge the winner and whoever loses should concede defeat for peace.

READ ALSO: Governor Tambuwal Expresses Satisfaction With Conduct Of Polls

General Abdulsalami who said without peace there would’ be no election, appealed to all contestants to accept what the results when they are released, regardless if they win or lose.

“I want to appeal to all contestants to know that only one of them will emerge the winner, and whoever emerges the winner I hope the losers will accept,” he stated.

He equally appealed to the electorate and party representatives to maintain order while sorting out the results.

Rise Up To Defend Our Democracy, National Peace Committee Tells Nigerians

 

The National Peace Committee (NPC) has called on Nigerians to put the disappointment of the postponement of the general elections behind them and respond to the call to patriotism when the elections eventually hold.

It made a call in a statement jointly signed by its Chairman, former Head of State General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd), and Convener, Bishop Mathew Kukah.

“We understand your right to feel disappointed by INEC. However, we appeal to you all to see this as a watershed in the life of our fledgling Democracy. The only way we can ensure a steady Democracy is for us to learn the lessons from these sad developments,” the statement read in part.

“Therefore, we appeal to you not to count the cost of the setback, but respond to the call to patriotism. Do not relent, go out and fulfil your duty to your family and country on Election Day. We will soon turn the corner in hope. Rather than despair, rise up to defend our Democracy.”

The postponement of the election by a week had attracted widespread criticism. But with so much blames already traded, the NPC believes the nation must show faith.

It said, “There is enough blame to pass around. The real challenge now is for us as a nation, to reach out to the deepest instincts of faith in God and our country. We must put everything aside and see this as a battle that all of us must win. The challenge is not who to sacrifice, but what sacrifice to make.”

Also, the committee called on politicians to look beyond the struggle for power, show character and grace and work with the Independent National Electoral Commission “to inspire our people to new heights”.

“The challenge before you goes beyond the narrowness of political opportunities. This is not time to trade blames or to incite your supporters. Be temperate in your language so that we do not inadvertently set up our people for violence,” the NPC said.

As for INEC, the National Peace Committee challenged it to work toward reclaiming its integrity.

To do that, the committee urged the electoral body to “patiently continue to focus on attaining internal cohesion and coordination”.

“Do not give room to external enemies to infiltrate and destroy the confidence and trust that your organisation has earned,” it added.

Read the full statement below:

NIGERIANS: RISE UP AND OBEY THE NATION’S CALL
STATEMENT BY THE NATIONAL PEACE COMMITTEE

1: We have a common saying in Nigeria: God’s time is the best. However, in real life, certain experiences often tempt us to pause and ask whether this statement need to be edited. This is one of such moments.

However, we must remain hopeful because God is perfect and all knowing. We are humans, He is the God of history and all power belongs to Him alone. He will give to whom He wishes, how and when He wishes. We are merely instruments of His plans. It is against this background that we wish to appeal to our fellow citizens.

2: We recall that two days to the elections, specifically on February 13th, 2019, the President, Alhaji Muhammadu Buhari, other Presidential candidates of the different parties gathered at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, to sign a second Peace Accord. Distinguished members of the international community such as the Commonwealth Secretary General, Rt. Honourable Patricia Scotland, QC, four former African Heads of State (Festus Mogae (Malawi), Ellen Sirleaf Johnson, Professor Amos Sawyer, (Liberia), Jakaya Kikwete (Tanzania) some of our own distinguished citizens, such as General Yakubu Gowon, our former Head of State, distinguished Religious and Traditional rulers, members of the general public from all walks of life witnessed the event with joy and hope.

3: On Friday 15th, February, we all went to bed joyfully and anxiously looking forward to casting our votes for the next President of our country. However, nothing could have prepared anyone for the shock announcement by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, barely six hours to the elections in the morning of February 16th. Although, the Chairman of INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu has already addressed the nation and the leaders of all the Political Parties, very little has happened to assuage the deep feeling of embarrassment, pain, and disappointment across the land. The impact of this decision has permeated every stratum of our lives and has the potential to dampen the confidence of our people in the political process. It has further deepened anxieties within the international community about our country.

4: There is enough blame to pass around. The real challenge now is for us as a nation, to reach out to the deepest instincts of faith in God and our country. We must put everything aside and see this as a battle that all of us must win. The challenge is not who to sacrifice, but what sacrifice to make. We therefore make the following appeal to our people:

5: To all Nigerians:

We understand your right to feel disappointed by INEC. However, we appeal to you all to see this as a watershed in the life of our fledging Democracy. The only way we can ensure a steady Democracy is for us to learn the lessons from these sad developments. Therefore, we appeal to you not to count the cost of the set back, but respond to the call to patriotism. Do not relent, go out and fulfill your duty to your family and country on Election Day. We will soon turn the corner in hope. Rather than despair, rise up to defend our Democracy.

6: To the Political Class:

What we have before us is well beyond the struggle for power. Our predicament calls for character and grace. The Politicians must own this process by showing their readiness to collaborate with INEC and to inspire our people to new heights. The challenge before you goes beyond the narrowness of political opportunities. This is not time to trade blames or to incite your supporters. Be temperate in your language so that we do not inadvertently set up our people for violence. Sadly, for us, politics of the last few years have further polarized our people along dangerous religious, regional, ethnic and party lines. We must aim at trying to avert this precipice and try to heal our nation.

7: To the Independent National Electoral Commission:

After trying to explain your situation, it is now important to focus on how best to reclaim your credibility and integrity. Patiently continue to focus on attaining internal cohesion and coordination. Do not give room to external enemies to infiltrate and destroy the confidence and trust that your organisation has earned. Avoid panic measures, continue to communicate effectively with Nigerians and build up your confidence. Listen to the politicians but do not be distracted. Perhaps, just perhaps, your being accused by both sides might be your vindication. You might still be vindicated in the end. Focus on the big picture.

8: To our international Visitors and Observers:

We appreciate the sacrifices that you have made to come to Nigeria to monitor our elections. We see your engagement with us not as an act of interference but as the extension of the hand of friendship and encouragement. With your co-operation and encouragement, we will deepen our political culture and turn Democracy into a tool for development and progress for our people. We know it is a long road and we are prepared to walk it to the end. We understand the emotional and financial strain that this has placed on you. We appeal to the relevant Agencies in our government to kindly facilitate the visa processes of our guests at no cost and with the least inconveniences.

9: A Prayer for Nigeria:

We thank God for the gift of this great country. We know that our selfishness and greed have delayed our march to greatness. We commit our country to you at this very delicate and difficult time. Take control of all the relevant agencies in this election and let your will be done. We know that you are a perfect God and that in the end, may your will be done. We commit the future into your hands. Save us from further violence and bloodshed. Forgive our many sins. We believe that your time is the best for us.

General Abdusalami A. Abubakar, GCFR,
Chairman, NPC

Bishop Matthew Hassan KUKAH
Convener, NPC

Contact
Fr. Atta Barkindo
Head of Secretariat
National Peace Committee, NPC
09031149816
[email protected]

Keep Faith And Trust INEC, Abdulsalami Tells Nigerians

Former Head of State and Chairman of the National Peace Committee, General Abdulsalam Abubakar (retired).

 

A former Head of State and Chairman of the National Peace Committee, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, has asked Nigerians to keep faith and trust the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct credible elections.

General Abubakar stated this on Saturday while addressing journalists at his residence in Minna, following the postponement of the general elections by the commission.

He urged Nigerians to conduct themselves peacefully and shun acts capable of dividing the country.

READ ALSO: Postponement Of Elections: I Am Deeply Disappointed – Buhari

The commission in the early hours of Saturday postponed the election, less than five hours to the polls.

Although the Chairman of the INEC, Mahmood Yakubu, explained that the postponement was due to a careful review of the implementation of its logistics and operational plan, and the determination to conduct free, fair, and credible elections, noting that the commission came to the conclusion that proceeding with the elections as scheduled is no longer feasible.

However, General Abubakar further stated that the postponement was disappointing when Nigerians from across the country had travelled to various locations to vote, but noted that “the logistical reason given by INEC is understandable”.

The Presidential and National Assembly elections have been postponed to Saturday, 23 February 2019, while the Governorship, State House of Assembly, and Federal Capital Territory Area Council elections are rescheduled to Saturday, 9 March, 2019.

VIDEO: More Tributes For Shagari As Abdulsalami, Atiku Visit Family

 

More tributes have continued to pour in on late former President Shehu Shagari more than one week after his death.

Former Military Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar are the latest to pay a condolence visit to the family house of the former president in Shagari town, Sokoto State.

After signing the condolence register on Saturday, both leaders described former President Shagari’s lifestyle and approach to governance as a legacy that the present generation of leaders should emulate.

They also described the late former Nigerian leader as one of those who strengthened democracy in the country and as such his death has become a national loss.

Addressing reporters, General Abdulsalami said the nation has lost a legend and a complete gentleman who believed in democracy.

Atiku, on his part, noted that Shagari’s government brought stability to the polity and appealed to all to emulate his virtues.

Responding on behalf of the family, late Shagari’s eldest son, Bala, said it was comforting for the family to hear the soothing words of those visiting to condole with them.

The highpoints of the visit are captured in the pictures below;

2019 Elections: Don’t Endanger The Lives Of Citizens, Abdulsalami Warns Politicians

 

A former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (retired), has warned politicians in the country against endangering the lives of Nigerians ahead of the general elections in 2019.

General Abubakar, who is also the Chairman of the National Peace Committee, gave the warning during an interview on Channels Television.

“Let us do the right thing and ensure we do not endanger the lives of citizens of this country in trying to avoid violence during the election,” he said on the latest edition of Question Time which aired on Thursday.

He added, “And let us campaign on issues and not on personal (basis). I believe these gentlemen who are front-runners are decent people who will avoid violence, who will not allow their followers to take to violence.”

Former Head of State and Chairman of the National Peace Committee, General Abdulsalam Abubakar (retired).

 

The former Head of State’s interview aired following the signing of the peace accord by President Muhammadu Buhari, and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, among other presidential candidates.

Former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili, as well as former governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke, were among candidates that have signed the agreement.

Speaking further about the forthcoming elections, General Abubakar says he is in no ‘tight corner’ amid claims that two of the candidates are considered as his political associates.

According to him, the political elites must ensure they put the interest of the nation first before considering their respective local government areas or states of origin.

The peace committee chairman, thereafter, advised the political parties and persons contesting in the elections to refrain from the politics of bitterness and the use of abusive language.

He said, “We are too happy with how the campaigns are taking place. We want to make sure that the campaign should be focused on issues, not on personalities.

“A party has a manifesto; candidates should try to sell the manifesto of his party.”

“What we have seen of recent is that some people have started using some abusive languages, people carrying weapons, big sticks and so on. And I think this has no role in democracy,” he added.

General Abubakar said the committee would remain committed to bringing harmony and sanitising the nation’s political system.

Obasanjo, Abdulsalami, Others Attend Council Of State Meeting

Obasanjo, Abdulsalami, Others In Abuja For Council Of State Meeting
President Muhammadu Buhari shakes hands with former President Olusegun Obasanjo

 

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd), are among the leaders attending the National Council of State meeting in Abuja.

President Muhammadu Buhari presided over the meeting which held at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa in the Federal Capital Territory.

The National Council of State is the highest constitutional advisory body and it constitutes Nigeria’s sitting President, Vice President, all former Presidents and Heads of State, former Chief Justices of the Federation, the 36 state governors and the leadership of the National Assembly.

It is expected that the issues of insecurity in the country would form part of the discussion at the meeting.

Ahead of the meeting on Thursday, President Buhari exchanged pleasantries with former President Obasanjo, as well as the governors of Ekiti and Lagos states, Mr Ayodele Fayose and Mr Akinwunmi Ambode.

Other leaders at the meeting are former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon; the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, and the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki.

State governors at the Villa include Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), and Nyesom Wike (Rivers).

Also present are Samuel Ortom (Benue), Tanko Al-Makura (Nasarawa), Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Willie Obiano (Anambra), Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom), and Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) among other governors.

 

See photos below:

Ex-President Jonathan Visits IBB, Abdulsalami Abubakar

JonathanFormer Nigerian President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, on Tuesday, paid a visit to former military president, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB) and former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (Rtd) at their Hilltop homes in Minna, the Niger state capital.

Journalists were not allowed into the meetings but Channels Television learnt that the immediate past president arrived first at the home of General IBB about 11am where he spent about one hour before he proceeded to the home of General Abdulsalami Abubakar (Rtd).

IBB reportedly received ex-President Jonathan at his private living room, and not the usual venue where he received visitors.

Dr. Jonathan was accompanied by the former Minister of State for Finance, Bashar Yuguda from Zamfara state and former Chief of Staff, Mike Okhiadome from Edo state.

The former leaders held a closed-door meeting for about 40 minutes while Bashar Yuguda and Mike Okhiadome waited in another section of the house.

According to sources, the discussions may not be unconnected with the postponed Edo governorship election, the 2019 elections and the present situation in the People Democratic Party (PDP) although IBB has announced that he was leaving active politics.

It was further gathered that the duo of IBB and Abdulsalami, in their separate meetings with Jonathan, must have discussed issues concerning the ongoing attacks in the Niger Delta area by the Niger Delta Avengers militant group and the need to resolve the crisis.

Abdulsalami Abubakar Holds Talks With Buhari

Abdulsalam_BuhariA former Nigeria’s military Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, has held a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa.

General Abubakar arrived at the Presidential Villa at about 12:33pm local time and went straight into the President’s office for a meeting that lasted for about an hour.

After the meeting, the former Head of State told reporters that he was at the Presidential Villa to discuss issues of national interest and international affairs.

When asked about his comments on the issues concerning the Niger Delta and the fight against terrorism, the former military leader said that he did not come to talk to the press and that the government in power was doing its best in handling of the situations.

The former military leader midwifed the peace talks that led to the peaceful hand over from the Jonathan administration to Muhammadu Buhari.

He had also in June said he believed that lasting peace could return to Nigeria.

He called for dialogue between government and various insurgency groups including the Niger Delta Avengers militant group.

General Abubakar also lamented that Nigerians were suffering unduly because of the actions of various insurgents including the Boko Haram, Avengers and Biafra agitators.

The meeting between President Buhari and the former leader is coming days after the Boko Haram sect released a new video of some girls it abducted from Chibok community two years ago.

The group had in the video requested for prisoners swap with the girls.

General Abubakar played a major role in the transition of Nigerian government from military to a civilian government in 1999 and in ensuring a smooth transition from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Party.

Insecurity: Abdulsalami Abubakar Calls For Dialogue

Abdulsalami-AbubakaNigeria’s former Head of State, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (Rtd), believes that lasting peace can return to the country with dialogue between government and various insurgency groups including the Niger Delta Avengers militant group.

Abubakar stated this on Tuesday when he received members of the Niger State House of Assembly who visited his residence to wish him a happy birthday.

He lamented that Nigerians were suffering unduly because of the actions of various insurgents including the Boko Haram, Avengers and Biafra agitators.

“All we need to do is to sit down in a round table and discuss this problem. Even if you fight a war and win you must come and sit down with the people you conquered.

“What is Boko Haram?  Nobody knows what they want. The Avengers are now out, what are they avenging?“, he asked.

He stated the need for the Avengers to understand that they are destroying their own land while oil production had dropped to lowest level in decades.

He cautioned that the constant blow up of oil pipelines by the Niger Delta Avengers would ultimately affect the 13% derivation to the region due to a sharp decline in oil revenue.

In addition, Gen. Abubakar said that the activities of the militants could also lead to a drop in the funding of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) while much harm is done to land and aquatic lives of the region.

“I hope that they will come back to their senses and let us try to give this country peace. We do not deserve what we are going through.

“We need peace and I am begging everybody in the spirit of Ramadan, whatever religion everybody is following. Please let us give peace a chance”, he pleaded.

In his remark the Speaker of the Niger State House of Assembly, Ahmed Marafa, expressed gratitude to God for using the former head of state to restore democracy to the country.

He described General Abubakar as an illustrious son of the state whose counsel has guided the Assembly in its efforts to deliver good governance in the interest of the people.

National Peace Committee To Function Beyond Elections

Peace CommitteeThe National Peace Committee will not wrap up its work following Nigeria’s successful transition from one government to another.

The National Coordinator of the committee, Bishop Matthew Kukah, said this to journalists in Abuja after a closed-door meeting.

He said that the committee, which was constituted by some eminent Nigerians, would continue to work to ensure peace in all parts of the country.

The committee had initiated the signing of a peace accord by the leading candidates in the 2015 presidential election – former President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The National Peace Committee, which is led by former military president, retired General Abdulsalami Abubakar also played a key role in the acceptance of the outcome of the election.

Bishop Kukah explained that the committee would work on a wider scope and not just the conduct of elections in Nigeria.