Buhari, Police Mourn Former IGP Tafa Balogun

The late Tafa Balogun was from Osun State. Twitter/NPF

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has mourned a former Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Mustapha Balogun.

The former police chief died on Thursday in Lagos State, aged 74.
In a condolence message on Friday by presidential aide Femi Adesina, the Nigerian leader described the former IGP as a patriot.

“The President recalls that Tafa Balogun, during his tenure as IGP, did his utmost to ensure that the police performed its statutory responsibilities under a democratic dispensation; and his penchant for boosting the morale of officers and men in the Force has been acknowledged by those who served under him,” the statement added.

“President Buhari’s thoughts are with the family, the government and people of Osun State, as well as colleagues and former colleagues of the deceased police chief. He prays for the peaceful repose of the soul of the departed.”

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In the same vein, the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has also condoled with the family and associates of the former IGP.

“The Inspector-General of Police hereby condoles with the immediate family, relatives, fellow course mates, and friends of the late IGP and prays for the repose of his soul,” Force spokesman Olumiyiwa Adejobi said on Friday.

According to him, the late Balogun achieved major feats during his stint as the IGP.

“IGP Mustapha Adebayo Balogun, NPM, fwc, who hails from Ila-Orangun in Osun State, was Inspector-General of the Nigeria Police Force between March 2002 to January 2005, and achieved major operational milestones including facilitating the establishment of the Police Mobile Force Training College, Ila-Orangun, Osun State,” the police said.

“A graduate of the University of Lagos and the University of Ibadan where he studied Political Science and  Law respectively, the former IGP served in various administrative, operational, and investigative positions all around the country. Late IGP Tafa, as he was fondly called, was a fellow of the National War College, as it was then called but now National Defence College, Abuja.”

The late IGP will be buried in his country home at Ila-Orangun, Osun State on Saturday 6th August 2022, according to Islamic rites.”

Attacks: Buhari To Hold Security Meeting With Service Chiefs On Thursday

 

Barely 48 hours after the Presidential Brigade Guards came under attack by terrorists; President Muhammadu Buhari has summoned the Service Chiefs to an emergency security meeting which will hold on Thursday.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, disclosed this on Wednesday during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

“Tomorrow the President has summoned another security meeting with the heads of the security agencies,” Adesina said.

Opposition Senators Stage Walkout Over Call For Buhari’s Impeachment

Terrorists Attack Troops Of Presidential Guards Brigade In Abuja

Troops of the 7 Guards Brigade which provides security for the Presidential Villa and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) were ambushed in the late hours of Monday while on patrol along the Kubwa-Bwari Road in the nation’s capital.

The situation, which led to the death of three soldiers, forced the authorities to close down academic institutions in the FCT.

A photo combination of president Muhammadu Buhari and the service chiefs.

 

Two days after the incident, senators from opposition parties issued a six-week ultimatum to President Buhari to tackle the security challenges bedeviling the country.

Briefing reporters after plenary on Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader, Senator Phillip Aduda, also threatened to commence impeachment proceedings against the President should he fail to address the insecurity within the period given by the lawmakers.

Reacting to the impeachment threat, the presidential spokesman was of the opinion that the opposition lawmakers were merely playing to the gallery, adding that there is not much they will do after the drama which played out in the Upper Chamber.

Downplaying the impeachment threat, he said: “I think it was just bravado, and sadly, security is not something you subject to bravado.

“You don’t begin to issue flippant ultimatums in something that is a matter of life and death,” Adesina asserted.

He further averred that “those who spoke today are the minority of minorities, they will have their say as is needful in a democracy but it will not go beyond that.”

But the presidential spokesman admitted that gunshots were heard in the area, but one shouldn’t conclude that the shots heard were from the terrorists.

Those expected to attend the meeting include the Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari and the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major Gen. Babagana Monguno; the Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Farouk Yahaya; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Gambo; and the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Isiaka Oladayo Amao.

Others scheduled for the meeting are the Chief of Defense Staff, General Lucky Irabor; the Inspector-General of Police, Alkali Baba Usman; the Director-General of the Department of State Service (DSS), Yusuf Bichi and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.

You Truly Belong To Everybody And Nobody, Tinubu Tells Buhari

Tinubu visits President Buhari at the State House on June 10th, 2022. Credit: State House.

 

The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, has described President Muhammadu Buhari as a “true leader, brother and friend” who demonstrated a “sense of purpose, composure, and maturity” in the weeks leading to the Special Convention of the Party.

Spokesman for the president, Femi Adesina in a statement on Saturday disclosed that Tinubu’s compliments were contained in a letter personally signed by the APC chieftain.

Tinubu expressed gratitude for the President’s congratulatory letter to him, adding that while all the contestants expected President Buhari to “choose” his successor, he simply allowed a level playing field.

“You belonged to everybody in the party and you belonged to none of the individual candidates of the party,” Asiwaju’s correspondence partly read.

He congratulated the president for the successful conclusion of the convention and assured him of an issue focused campaign leading to the 2023 general elections.

Below is the full text of the letter as presented by Mr Femi Adesina


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Dear Mr President,

DEEP APPRECIATION

I bring you sincere fraternal greetings and congratulations on the successful conclusion of the special Presidential Convention of our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).

On behalf of my wife, Oluremi, and my entire family, I want to express my sincere gratitude for the very special and personal congratulatory letter you sent to me. I am deeply honored. Your words in that letter were reassuring, reenergizing, and reinvigorating.

Your Excellency, one must admire the sense of purpose, composure, and maturity you demonstrated in the weeks and months preceding the primary elections of our great party. As aspirants and party leaders, we all pleaded with you to “choose” your successor.

Naturally, this is expected especially in African democracy. Up until the 6th of June, 2022, the day of the APC Presidential primaries, the whole of Nigeria, including myself, was waiting for you to announce your preferred candidate. All of us thought and believed this was a very simple matter.

However, it was only as the primary went into the night and as the candidates walked up to the podium and spoke that I fully and truly appreciated your position and stance to be neutral and non-aligned to any of us. As the first person to speak, I also had the special vantage point to carefully hear, without any distraction, what the other candidates had to say.

As the hours rolled by that evening, it became clear to me that all of us were your preferred candidates. As you captured it aptly in your letter to me, the “spirit” of 2013 and 2014 when we created and built APC was there for all to see.

In your letter and in our many meetings over the years, you fondly reminisced on fraternal attitude in the days and months before and after formation of the APC, when we all worked day and night to create, sustain and nurture our nascent movements into a credible opposition party and ultimately, become the ruling party. That time, no one spoke about tribe; no one spoke about religion. That was not what drove us. We were driven by a common desire to save and transform Nigeria.

One by one, I saw my colleagues and partners stand on the podium, full of the same passion and patriotic zeal they had in 2013/2014, presenting their ideas on how to build on your successful legacy. Back then, as it is now, we were from all parts of the country, all tribes, and all religions. We all had deep personal and strong bonds with you. We were together back then and our bonds remained strong up till now.

Mr. President, as the night of 6 June turned to morning of 7 June, I fully understood and appreciated your stance. “You belonged to everybody in the party and you belonged to none of the individual candidates of the party.” A true leader, brother and friend.

Mr. President, the delegates from all over the country nominated my humble self to be their candidate. I must acknowledge that my nomination would not have become a reality without your support and that of the party leaders across the country. Indeed, as I reflect on my political journey, most of the 2022 APC presidential aspirants, members of the Progressive Governors Forum and National Assembly leaders and members all had a role to play in my successes and achievements thus far.

I will forever be grateful to them for shaping my political journey over the decades. I want to assure you that I will continue to work with them going forward. My emergence as a candidate is also a victory for them.

I have met most of them in the past few days and will continue these engagements as we plan for the general elections. Mr. President, APC is united and will remain united as we move towards the general elections.

I have taken note of the message you sent to all Presidential Candidates in your Democracy Day speech to the nation on the 12th June, 2022. Our country is going through a very sensitive period and no one should put their personal desires above and beyond the nation’s peace and prosperity. As you said, the “message we set at the top will be replicated in our followers.” At this point, I will take this opportunity to assure Your Excellency of my commitment to running an issue focused campaign as we move into the general elections. I will personally engage the candidates from other political parties to urge them to do same. Voters should elect us based on our policies, programmes, and projects. By the grace of God, we as candidates will avoid having divisive, destructive and disruptive campaigns.

I will conclude by once again thanking you for being there for all of us. By the grace of God and with your leadership, guidance and support, I am confident that we will lead our great party, the APC, to victory in the February 2023 general elections. We will ride on the back of your successes. We will build on the foundations of transparency and integrity which you have laid.

Mr President, together, side by side, in the spirit of 2014, we will win and Nigeria will move forward to a progressive, peaceful and prosperous future.

Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu

APC Presidential Candidate

Nigeria Will Never Forget Buhari If Only For The 2nd Niger Bridge – Adesina

A file photo of President Muhammadu Buhari used to illustrate the story.

 

The Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, has said that his principal will forever be remembered in Nigeria, at least for the Second Niger Bridge, which will be completed this year.

Adesina made this claim in an article titled, ‘NDABOSKI! If Only For 2nd Niger Bridge, This Country Won’t Ever Forget Buhari’.

He asserted that previous governments led by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) failed to deliver on the project, even though they made promises for sixteen years. According to him, President Buhari has taken up many major infrastructure works, most of which would be due for commissioning before he exits next year May, and as such, “we must appreciate the ramrod straight man from Daura for succeeding where many other leaders before him had failed.”

READ ALSOPDP Governors Ask Buhari To Resign As Petroleum Minister

Below is the full article as published by the president’s spokesman on Facebook:

“This year, the long wait for Godot will come to an end. The second bridge over the River Niger will be commissioned and put to use. And what a dream come true it would be.
Last December, a friend had traveled from Lagos to the South East for the Christmas holidays. When he had spent six hours on the River Niger bridge, a journey which should take less than five minutes, since the bridge is only 1.6 kilometers long, he called me in frustration. He was almost bursting a blood vessel.
I consoled and comforted him, and added for good effect: “This is the last time you and other travelers would be stranded on that bridge. By next Christmas, there would be two bridges in operation, and it would be a jolly good ride.”
He said a resounding amen, and went off the line. What trauma and travails users of the River Niger bridge have passed through. Built in 1965, the artery between the South East, South South, and the rest of the country has become grossly inadequate, and a torture to navigate at peak seasons. There was a year travelers even spent the night on the bridge.
There is a long history to the building of a second bridge over the River Niger, and it had over the years become a tool of false promises, lies and propaganda. When politicians want the votes of South Easterners as elections approach, they go and offload shovels, pick axes, wheelbarrows, cutlasses and others at the site, as if that is what is required to build a bridge of that magnitude. After they’ve got the votes, they come to remove their miserable implements. Goodbye basket, I’ve carried all my apples. The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) did it for 16 years, building the bridge with their mouths.
The first recollection was during the campaign for the 1979 presidential election. Candidate of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN), Alhaji Shehu Shagari, went to the South East, and promised a Second Niger bridge. That was all it was. A promise, though the NPN government lasted from 1979 to 1983.
Then came the military regimes headed by Muhammadu Buhari, which lasted only 20 months, that of Ibrahim Babangida, which endured for eight years, Ernest Shonekan-led Interim National Government, 84 days, Sani Abacha, five years, and Abdulsalami Abubakar, 11 months. Nothing was heard about the bridge.
Under Babangida, an alarm was raised about the deteriorating condition of the bridge. Ever the master of artifice and sleight of hand, the then military president challenged Nigerian engineers to design a new bridge. They did! End of story.
Then came Olusegun Obasanjo, a former military head of state, as civilian President. He promised to build the bridge. It didn’t happen in eight years.
About five days before he left office, Obasanjo flagged off the project, to cost N58.6 billion, and handed it to his successor, Umaru Yar’Adua. No action in the three years that the administration lasted. Understandably so, for Yar’Adua was infirm.
Then came Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, who even at a point added Azikiwe to his name. He promised Heaven on earth, saying he was a South easterner, and he would build the bridge. During a Town Hall meeting on August 30, 2012, in the region, he said what would he claim he had done for his Igbo brethren, if he didn’t build the bridge.
Later, Azikiwe disappeared from Jonathan’s name, and the Second Niger bridge disappeared with it. All that happened in the about six years that the administration lasted was a Federal Executive Council approval for final planning and design of the bridge. All motion, no movement.
And then came the man from Daura, a Fulani, with no affinity with the South East. He didn’t make promises, he didn’t boast. He just went to work quietly.
From September 1, 2018, without fanfare or swashbuckling, action started on the Second Niger bridge. Babatunde Raji Fashola, Minister for Works and Housing, was the chief executioner. Doggedly, he and his principal set to work. And here we are today. What has defeated many military and civilian administrations is now reality in our country.
I will never forget the day I traveled to Onitsha for a private event. I was on the same flight from Lagos to Onitsha with His Royal Majesty, the Obi of Onitsha. When we alighted, and were walking towards the arrival hall of the airport, I went to pay my courtesies to the distinguished monarch.
He greeted me warmly, asked after President Buhari, and told me to pass his appreciation for the work being done on the Second Niger bridge.
“Every time I drive on the old bridge, and I look to my side, seeing the new upcoming one, joy wells in my heart,” the Obi said.
And that is the thing to do. We must appreciate the ramrod straight man from Daura for succeeding where many other leaders before him had failed. Where there is a will, there is a way.
President Buhari has taken up many major infrastructure works, most of which would be due for commissioning before he exits next year May. Roads, rail, airports, bridges, many others. If only for the Second Niger bridge, Nigerians will never forget Muhammadu Buhari. But then, you can add Loko-Oweto bridge, Bodo-Bonny road, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Enugu-Port Harcourt, Abuja to Kaduna and Kano, AKK Pipelines, rail network across the country, and many others. Surely, this country will always remember Muhammadu Buhari for good, no matter how revisionists have tried to shroud the successes with only talk of insecurity ravaging the country. While the security challenges are being met frontally, infrastructure proceeds apace. It takes determination and doggedness.
Indaboski! Nigeria will always remember Buhari for his strides in infrastructure, when the country was earning far less than it used to do.
Indaboski? What does it mean? Search me. Ask Prophet Chukwuemeka Odumeje what the word means. He coined it.
But I repeat: Indaboski! This country will never forget Buhari, if only for the Second Niger bridge.”

We’ll Defeat Forces Of Evil, Buhari Assures On Condolence Visit In Sokoto

File photo of President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has again directed the nation’s Armed Forces and other security services to deal decisively with any person or group undermining efforts at achieving sustainable peace, security, and stability in the country, assuring that the country will ultimately defeat the forces of evil.

Speaking at the palace of Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, President Buhari said: “I gave them specific orders not to spare any bandit or terrorist threatening the lives and property of innocent Nigerians.”

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The President, who commiserated with the Government and people of Sokoto over the recent loss of lives and property as a result of outrageous attacks by bandits and other criminal gangs, assured the people that he remains unrelenting in his resolve to end heinous criminal activities in the state and other parts of the country.

The President wrote in the visitors’ register: “My condolences to the Sultanate, the Government, and people of Sokoto State over the recent mindless killings by bandits and terrorists.

“Nigeria shall win the battle over evil,” the president’s special media aide, Femi Adesina, quoted his principal to have written.

The Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal, and the Sultan thanked the President for the show of sympathy assuring him of continued support towards peace and stability in the country.

Youths Need Investments And Not Handouts, Says Adesina


 

The President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina has advised Nigeria to make its youths drivers of the new economy through the creation of Youth Entrepreneurship Investment Banks.

He said that making Nigerian youths the drivers of the economy will put new financial ecosystems around them to fully unleash their potential.

Mr. Adesina stated this on Monday at the opening of a two-day Mid-Term Ministerial Performance Review Retreat organized to assess progress made towards the achievement of the nine key priorities of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

“We must move away from so-called ‘youth empowerment programs.’ The youth do not need handouts. They need investments,” the former minister added. 

“This is why the African Development Bank is currently working with central banks and countries to design and support the establishment of Youth entrepreneurship investment banks”.

He explained that 75% of youth in Nigeria are under the age of 35 and more decisive actions are needed to turn this demographic asset into an economic dividend.

“We must unleash the potential of the youth of Nigeria. Today, over 75% of the population is under the age of 35,” he explained. 

“A young, productive, youthful population, with access to education, skills, social protection, affordable housing, and medical care, will power Nigeria’s economy, now and well into the future”.

He said the establishment of the new financial institutions, run by young, professional, and highly competent financial experts and bankers will develop and deploy new financial products and services for businesses and ventures of young people.

According to him, several African countries have already indicated their readiness to establish Youth Entrepreneurship Investment Banks, hence Nigeria should make its youth the drivers of the new economy.

“One of the industries that will dominate the future is the FinTech industry. By 2030, 650 million Africans will have smartphones, and 50 million will have 5G phone networks. Digital payments, mobile money accounts, savings, credit, and money transfers will revolutionize businesses.

“Nigeria’s FinTech is surging as one the leaders in Africa today. Google recently announced plans to invest $1 billion in Africa. That tells you something: they see the demographic and mobile tech growth and how this will rapidly change the future of e-commerce, trade, health, and finance.

“The African Development Bank will support the Federal Government efforts, being led by Vice President Osinbajo, on Digital Nigeria. The Bank is preparing investment in the Digital and Creative Enterprises (I-DICE) program, a $600 million investment to be co-financed with several partners, which will promote entrepreneurship and innovation in the digital technology and creative industries,” Adesina said. 

He said Nigeria should take the FinTech industry as a major driver of the economy and invest heavily in digital infrastructure and as an economically resurgent country, Nigeria must be a more peaceful and secure nation.

“Today, more than ever, several African countries are spending a significant share of their budgets on security, displacing the resources needed for development.

“Increasingly, the investible space in many parts of Africa, including Nigeria, is shrinking due to insecurity and insurgencies. Yet, resources are not there to enable countries to cope with these rising challenges. We must recognize the strong linkages between security, investment, growth, and development,” the AfDB boss noted. 

“This is why the African Development Bank is working on developing Security-Indexed Investment Bonds to help African countries and Regional Economic Communities to mobilize resources to tackle these challenges”.

The AfDB leader added that the Security-Indexed Investment Bonds will raise funds on the global capital markets to support countries to upgrade their security architecture, rebuild damaged infrastructure in conflict-affected areas, rebuild social infrastructure and protect zones where there are strategic investments.

Presidency Lists ZIK Mausoleum, NDDC, EFCC Buildings, PIA Among Buhari’s Milestone Achievements

File photo of Mr Femi Adesina.

 

The Presidency has released a list of what is describes as jinxes broken and milestone achievements by President Muhammadu Buhari since he assumed office six years ago.

Special Adviser, Media, and Publicity, to the President, Femi Adesina, in an article on Sunday, reeled out the milestones achieved by his principal.

He listed the completion of the headquarters of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Niger Delta Development Commission complexes, which his administration completed in 2018 and 2021, respectively among the milestones.

Mr Adesina added that the Zik mausoleum started in 1996, was completed, and inaugurated in 2018 by Mr Buhari’s regime as another feat.

Adesina also noted that under Buhari, the NNPC announced a “first-ever profit” of N287 billion.

He said, “A giant-sized jinx was broken recently when the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) announced a first net profit in the 44-year history of the organisation.”

READ ALSO: ‘I’ll Feel Bad If APC Doesn’t Give Southeast An Opportunity’ – Weekly Quotes

He, however, emphasised that this is not the only major jinx broken in the lifetime of the Buhari administration.

The media aide went on to reel out a list, which he says, is by no means exhaustive.

On the list were the Petroleum Industry Bill signed into law in 2021, after almost two decades in the works, and the “first National Social Investment Programme in the country’s history”. “Today it is the largest Social Investment Programme in Africa and one of the largest in the world,” Mr Adesina said.

Others are; restoration of the federal budget to a January-to-December cycle, enabling the NCDC Act and the Nigeria Police Act, 2020.

He also mentioned the Nigeria Correctional Service Act, 2019, Finance Acts, 2019, and 2020.

In addition, Adesina listed the Piracy and Other Maritime Offences Bill (SPOMO), 2019.

The media aide noted that the Discrimination Against Persons With Disabilities (Prohibition) Act, 2018 was “another unprecedented piece of legislation in Nigeria” along with the Treasury Single Account (TSA), which started in 2012.

He added the completion of projects like the Maritime University, Delta, dams (in Taraba, Delta, Enugu, Katsina, Kaduna, Imo, Benue, etc.), inherited from the previous government to the list of the “jinxes” broken.

Furthermore, he named Gashua Water Supply Scheme in Yobe; Kwami Gadam and Bojude Water Supply Project in Gombe; the Saki Town Water Supply Project; and the Zobe and Kazaure Water Supply Projects in Katsina and Jigawa, respectively as part of the president’s masterstrokes.

‘I’ll Feel Bad If APC Doesn’t Give Southeast An Opportunity’ – Weekly Quotes

 

The passing week has been a very eventful one globally with the world still battling COVID-19 and trying to adjust to the new reality.

Nigeria is never left a week without drama, as events continue to take different turns, leading the authorities to take certain drastic actions that got tongues wagging.

Having reviewed most of the major stories from the passing week, both locally and on the foreign scene, here are top quotes that tend to paint a vivid picture of what transpired and perhaps give us a hint of some things we must expect in the coming days:

1. “If I follow APC for this length of time, and they don’t give the Southeast an opportunity, I will feel bad.”

A file photo of Ebonyi Sate Governor, Dave Umahi. Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television
A file photo of Ebonyi Sate Governor, Dave Umahi. Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television

 

Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, says he will feel bad if the All Progressives Congress (APC) does not give the South-East a chance at the presidency, come 2023.

2. “I remain committed to his agenda for our great Nation and shall continue to support him in any way possible.”

A file photo of the former Minister of Power, Sale Mamman, at his office in Abuja. Photo: Twitter- @EngrSMamman

 

Former Minister of Power, Sale Mamman, declares his support for the Muhammadu Buhari administration following his sack by the President.

3. “Today at the executive meeting, (party) president Suga said he wants to focus his efforts on anti-coronavirus measures and will not run in the leadership election.”

Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga leaves at the end of an extraordinary Diet session at the Upper House of parliament in Tokyo on September 17, 2020. / AFP / Behrouz MEHRI

 

Secretary General of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), Toshihiro Nikai, reveals that Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will not run for re-election as party leader in September.

4. “The sooner the Taliban will enter the family of civilised people, so to speak, the easier it will be to contact, communicate, and somehow influence and ask questions.”

File photo: Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during the opening ceremony of the International Military-Technical Forum “Army-2021” held in the Patriot Park, in Kubinka outside Moscow on August 23, 2021. (Photo by Ramil SITDIKOV / SPUTNIK / AFP)

 

Russian President Vladimir Putin says he hopes the Taliban will behave in a “civilised” manner in Afghanistan so the global community can maintain diplomatic ties with Kabul.

5. “I am the landlord, I didn’t give myself, the constitution gave me that power.”

A file photo of Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku. Photo: Sodiq Adelakun/ChannelsTV
A file photo of Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku. Photo: Sodiq Adelakun/ChannelsTV

 

Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku issues a stern warning to residents of the Mambilla Plateau, urging them not to sell lands to “selfish politicians” who storm the area in order to benefit from compensations meant for the Mambilla hydroelectric power project site.

6. “The report of the audit committee showed that there are over 13,000 abandoned projects in the Niger Delta and even before the submission of the report, some contractors have returned to site on their own and completed about 77 road projects.”

A file photo of the Niger Delta Development Commission headquarters building in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
A file photo of the Niger Delta Development Commission headquarters building in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

 

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio says the Forensic Audit Report of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) indicates that there are over 13,000 abandoned projects within the coastal region.

7. “Nigeria has 10.6 million cannabis users, this is the highest in the world, isn’t it sad?”

File photo of NDLEA Chairman, Brigadier-General Buba Marwa (rtd)

 

Since January 2021, drugs worth over ₦100 billion have been seized and about 1,630 criminals arrested by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, says Brig. Gen Buba Marwa.

8. “The principle would be a grouping of qualifiers every year, and at the end of the season a major competition, World Cup or continental championship.”

Arsenal’s former coach Arsene Wenger was named FIFA’s world football development director, the Zurich-based body said on November 13, 2019. Ozan KOSE / AFP

 

Former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger calls for World Cup to be held every two years in an interview with French sports daily L’Equipe.

9. “This is to confirm to you that suspected kidnappers at about 06:45hrs along Lagos-Benin expressway, by Isuwa, kidnapped five unidentified persons and in the process shot to death one Sowore Felix Olajide, male, a pharmacy student of Igbinedion University, Okada.”

The late Olajide Sowore.

 

The Edo State Police Command confirms the murder of Olajide Sowore, brother to Sahara Reporters Publisher, Omoyele Sowore by suspected kidnappers.

10. “The trajectory into the future is bright. If you see some of the things we have been able to do under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari to exit recession in record time, most established democracies are still battling with the recession.”

A file photo of Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha.
A file photo of Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha.

 

Despite the current challenges facing Nigeria, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, is optimistic that the nation’s trajectory is good.

11. “For us to reach the level of development that we need in our country, every part, segment and strata of the society must have a developed, deliberately focused leadership, so that what we do at the local level compliments what we do at the state level and from there, terminating at the apex – at the Federal level.”

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, briefs reporters after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on June 24, 2021.

 

Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, attributes leadership deficit as one of the factors preventing Nigeria from achieving sustainable economic growth and development, and addressing insecurity and other socioeconomic problems.

12. “We apologize to anyone who may have seen these offensive recommendations.”

In this file illustration photo taken on March 25, 2020, a Facebook app logo is displayed on a smartphone in Arlington, Virginia. Olivier DOULIERY / AFP
In this file illustration photo taken on March 25, 2020, a Facebook app logo is displayed on a smartphone in Arlington, Virginia. Olivier DOULIERY / AFP

 

Facebook apologizes and disables its topic recommendation feature after it mistook Black men for “primates” in video at the social network.

13. “The committee is to identify grazing routes and work with states and map them. It is not to recover grazing routes, it is to identify the scale of the problem.”

Kebbi State Governor Atiku Bagudu appeared on Channels Television’s Politics Today on September 2, 2021. Sodiq Adelakun/Channels Television

 

Kebbi State Governor Atiku Bagudu, argues that mapping out grazing routes will help to identify the scale of the herder-farmer crisis.

14. “Police have located the man and he has been shot. He has died at the scene.”

New Zealand flag.

 

Authorities in New Zealand speak after police shoot dead a man who wounded six people in an attack at an Auckland supermarket.

15. “You come with what you know how to do best.”

A screengrab of Ric Hassani during an interview with Channels TV’s “Sunrise”.

 

Pop singer, Ric Hassani, reveals why his sound differs from the normal “Nigerian music” sound.

16. “He asked me what I was willing to do for music.”

 

In bombshell testimony, a 32-year-old man says he became associated with Kelly’s entourage and pleaded guilty in 2021 to attempting to bribe a woman who would potentially testify against the musician.

17. “What has happened is largely a repeat of the things we have seen in the past.”

Chairman of the Northern Governors' Forum, Mr Simon Lalong made an appearance on Channels Television on February 9, 2021.
Chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum, Mr Simon Lalong .

 

A former member of the House of Representatives, Bitrus Kaze, says the Governor Simon Lalong-led administration has not done enough to change the dynamics of the conflict in Plateau State and secure the lives of the people.

18. “If you look at the President’s statement, in no place will you see that; not at all. In no place will you see those words that performance was weak, he didn’t say that.”

A combination of file photos of Mr Mohammed Nanono and Mr Saleh Mamman.

 

President Buhari’s media adviser, Femi Adesina, makes clarifications regarding the sacking of two ministers.

19.  “Well, it happened because, perhaps for the first time in the history of the country, and of the NNPC, there is a President who is not using the place like a personal Automated Teller Machine (ATM).”

The Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina speaks during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on October 23, 2020.

 

The Media Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari, Femi Adesina, explains why the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) recently declared profit.

NNPC Declared Profit Because Buhari Didn’t Make It An ATM, Says Adesina

A file photo of President Muhammadu Buhari.

 

The Media Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari, Femi Adesina, has explained why the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) declared profit.

He believes the corporation was able to declare a net profit after tax of N287 billion in a COVID-19-hit year because the President did not turn it into a personal purse.

Adesina stated this in a piece titled ‘How Buhari Broke The Jinx At NNPC’, posted on his Facebook page on Thursday.

“Well, it happened because perhaps for the first time in the history of the country, and of the NNPC, there is a President who is not using the place like a personal Automated Teller Machine (ATM),” he said while explaining the rationale behind the feat recorded for the first time in over four decades.

“He (Buhari) is not collecting millions upon millions of dollars by fiat, nor is he giving directives for any under-the-table deal. And that President also happens to be the Minister for Petroleum Resources.”

The presidential aide listed some of the steps taken by the management of the NNPC, attributing them to previous remarks by the NNPC Group Managing Director, Mele Kyari.

According to him, the corporation has sustained the publication of its Monthly Financial and Operations Report (MFOR) in the last one and a half years.

The NNPC, Adesina revealed, also took its transparency drive further by publishing its audited financial statement for the 2018 and 2019 financial years on its website.

On the new order of transparency in NNPC, he quoted Kyari as saying President Buhari never made any demand nor asked for anything for himself or any individual, as the minister of petroleum resources.

The President’s spokesman, however, took a swipe at those saying they would sell the corporation prior to the 2019 presidential poll.

A file photo of NNPC Group Managing Director, Mr Mele Kyari.

 

“Remember they had said they would sell NNPC before the 2019 elections, which they had thought they would win. They lost. Flat,” he said.

“And the would-be sellers and the prospective buyers were naturally not happy that the oil corporation had made a profit: under Buhari.”

Read the full article by Adesina below:

HOW BUHARI BROKE THE JINX AT NNPC

The news came like a thundering typhoon last week. For the first time in its 44 years history, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had made a profit.

Net profit after tax stood at N287 billion in Year 2020, sequel to the completion of the statutory Annual Audit exercise. What year? 2020. Year of the Coronavirus pandemic, when most of the world, including Nigeria, was under lockdown! And here was NNPC, recording profit first time in its history. How did it happen? How can it?

Well, it happened because perhaps for the first time in the history of the country, and of the NNPC, there is a President who is not using the place like a personal automated teller machine. He’s not collecting millions upon millions of dollars by fiat, nor is he giving directives for any under-the-table deal. And that President also happens to be the Minister for Petroleum Resources.

Before we discuss how Muhammadu Buhari broke the jinx, let’s consider how naysayers responded to the good news. They first pretended it didn’t happen. The announcement came, and it didn’t resonate. They didn’t share it widely on social media, some traditional media platforms didn’t even publish it. Those who reluctantly did, made it sound more like an obituary announcement. What a country!

Remember they had said they would sell NNPC before the 2019 elections, which they had thought they would win. They lost. Flat. And the would-be sellers, and the prospective buyers, were naturally not happy that the oil corporation had made profit: under Buhari.

After first trying to downplay the news, they began to pick holes in it. The profit was only on paper and didn’t exist in real terms. It was money that should have gone into the Federation Account and was withheld by NNPC. Blah, blah, blah. The same NNPC they had wanted to sell to their friends.

I like the online interventions to the development by two friends and patriots. Simbo Olorunfemi, author and publisher, said: “To habitually doubt good news, yet never hesitant about embracing bad news, is an eloquent proof of the state of mind.”

Profound. Deep. Food for thought. All the years oil prices hit the rooftops, and NNPC recorded losses, they believed. Now, to hear that the same outfit made profit in a lockdown year, they disbelieved. Thomases! Doubters. Unless I see the mark of nails on his hands, and the spear wound on his side, I wouldn’t believe. “Then said he to Thomas! Be not faithless but believing.”

The second intervention online is by Kurtis Adigba, a lawyer and ‘one-man battalion’ for Buhari, and for Nigeria. He submitted: “Hate is not a stock or equity we must own a piece of. It pays dividends but only in death and destruction.”

Yes. They hated the news of NNPC profit because it came under a most unlikely man. How dare he? Who permitted him! Anything we don’t do, can’t be done by anybody else.

Now, how did Buhari do it? What did he do differently, that made NNPC a winning corporation? Permit me to recall this piece I did in November last year, which answers most of the questions. It was under the headline; The Essential Buhari: NNPC GMD’s Testimony:

On Friday last week, Mallam Mele Kolo Kyari, Group Managing Director of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), held an engagement with energy editors across diverse media platforms. Yours truly was invited.

I currently serve as media adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari, but I remain essentially a newspaper man. There’s nothing I love better. And when done in government, the media still beckons, by the grace of God. So, I felt quite at home at the NNPC event, which was designed to update the media on current developments in the petroleum industry.

When a General Officer Commanding (GOC) moves, the brigade commanders and all other brass hats move too. At that outing with the GMD were the managing directors of subsidiaries, group general managers, and Who is Who in NNPC. The information garnered was worth its weight in gold.

NNPC is transforming from an integrated oil and gas company into an energy company, Mele Kyari disclosed. And quite contrary to the opacity of the past, operations of the energy company are as transparent as possible. His words:

“Over the past one and a half years, we have tried to keep that promise by sustaining the publication of our Monthly Financial and Operations Report (MFOR). No company, to my knowledge, does this.

“We have taken our transparency drive a notch higher by publishing our Audited Financial Statement for the 2018 and 2019 financial years on our website for all interested persons to see the significant turnaround in our performance recording 99.8% year-on-year.”

Which corporation was the GMD talking about? NNPC? Didn’t we know the place as the automated teller machine of presidents, oil ministers, any political party in power, and also the object of pillage by those who run the place? But under President Muhammadu Buhari, it is a new energy company, because a new broom was in town, and was sweeping so clean. More about that later.

Kyari said there was no information anybody wanted about NNPC operations that was not already in the public domain, adding: “I can say that we have kept our word as far as transparency and accountability are concerned. We will continue to do more until the word opacity is no longer associated with the Nigerian oil and gas industry.”

Some exploratory successes by NNPC, according to the GMD, include oil find in commercial quantity in the Upper Benue Trough, very high prospect of oil find in Kolmani River III Well, while seismic data collection is ongoing in the Bida Basin, “and we are relaunching exploration work in the Chad Basin.”

The world focuses more on gas as energy of the future, rather than petroleum, and the NNPC Boss said Nigeria was not left behind:

“We are investing aggressively in gas to take advantage of the energy transition and get Nigeria ready for the future in the face of the dwindling fortunes of petroleum liquids.

“You may be aware of the NLNG Train 7 and other gas infrastructure projects…all these are aimed at ensuring that Nigeria takes its rightful place in the emerging global energy order where natural gas is envisaged to play a pivotal role.”

The Yuletide season is often characterized by severe fuel scarcity. But the GMD assured that the energy company has solid arrangements in place to sustain fuel supply across the country., “and we are sure of maintaining zero fuel queues throughout the Christmas and New Year festive season into 2021.”

Can there be a parley between the media and NNPC at this time, and deregulation of the prices of petrol not feature? It would sure be incomplete. Hear the GMD: “Even though gasoline price is as high as N464/liter in Niger and more than double our N160/litre range in most West African countries, we would continue to ensure Nigerians benefit from lowest comparative prices in West Africa and beyond.”

He gave comparative prices of gasoline in some West African countries as of November 16, 2020, thus: Senegal, N549. Mali, N438, Chad, N368, Sierra Leone, N274, Liberia, N328, Ghana, N325, Cameroon, N446, and many others.

The GMD used the opportunity of the parley to debunk allegations that NNPC failed to remit funds that should accrue to the Federation, and that it illegally withdrew money from the NLNG Dividends Account.

“Such is not possible under the TSA (Treasury Single Account) arrangement,” he posited.

Talking further on the new order of transparency in NNPC, he said President Muhammadu Buhari, who doubles as Minister of Petroleum, “has never made any demand of us, has never asked for a single thing for himself, or for any individual.”

He added: “Anytime I see him, and we need to take a decision, he only asks; ‘is this in the interest of the ordinary Nigerian? Is it in the interest of our country?’ Once we can defend that, he gives approval. Not once has he asked for anything personal.”

In this Nigeria? A President will not give orders to NNPC to cut corners, and bring out millions upon millions of dollars, to fund private projects, or simply stash such money away? This Buhari is sure a strange one, a worthy example of probity, transparency, accountability. No wonder the Hausa man calls him Mai Gaskiya (the honest one).

He was military governor. Oil Minister for over three years. Head of State for 20 months. Chairman, Petroleum Trust Fund. Now President for six years running. Yet, he owns no petrol station, not to talk of an oil bloc. Do they make them like this anymore? I doubt.

I recall a testimony also given by Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola, former two-term Governor of Lagos State, when he was Minister of Power, Works, and Housing. He said not once, not even half of a time, did President Buhari ever send anyone to him for patronage of any kind, nor did he show a preference for anybody. And I ask again: do they make them like this anymore? I doubt.

A final recall. One night, I had visited the President at home, just on a social call. It was about 8 pm, and just two of us were in his waiting room. The other man is ex-this, ex-that in the country, having held many prominent positions. He told me: “Look at this sprawling place. Only two of us waiting to see the Big Boss. It didn’t use to be like this. This place would be like a market till about 3 am daily, as people come to cut deals and take a slice of the National cake. But President Buhari does no deal with anyone. That’s why only two of us are here.”

What a man! What testimonies all round! Surely, they don’t make them like this anymore. Or do they?

Adesina is Special Adviser to President Buhari on Media and Publicity

#EndSARS: Buhari Acted As A Father, If Not We’ll Be Talking Of Something Else – Adesina

A file photo combination of President Buhari and #EndSARS protesters.

 

Presidential aide, Femi Adesina has said his principal, President Muhammadu Buhari’s fatherly role during and after the #EndSARS protests, prevented the country from slumping into anarchy. 

“If President Buhari hadn’t exercised the restraint and tolerance of a father, at a time that even hitherto respected people instigated the protesters to carry on (and they promptly went underground when anarchy ensued), we would have been talking of something else in the country,” Adesina said in an article published on his website on Thursday.

“The rivers of Nigeria could have turned crimson, and mourning and lamentations would have suffused the land. But we are thankful for the father in President Buhari, patient and enduring, almost to a fault.”

A file photo of EndSARS protesters.

 

In the article captioned “We Have Not Many Fathers,” Adesina explained that Buhari exercised patience during and after the protests which rocked Nigeria in October.

He said the country has “many tutors, many instructors, but not many fathers. President Buhari is one, and that is why the country is experiencing relative calm today.”

According to him, even when the protests were hijacked and misdirected, the Nigerian leader was unmoved on his instructions to security agencies. Buhari, he explained, accepted the five demands made by the protesters.

“What better display of accommodation and readiness for dialogue. But the protest was prolonged, and eventually hijacked and misdirected,” Adesina added.

“But thank God for fathers, who kept their heads. No wonder it is said that what the elders see sitting down, young people would not see, even if they climbed trees. May God continue to give this country good fathers, who remain calm in turbulence, who keep their heads when others are losing theirs.”

Protests Against Police Brutality

Early last month, Nigerians took to the streets, protesting against police brutality and extrajudicial killings.

The protesters sought the scrapping of the now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a unit of the police accused of human rights abuse.

 

A file photo of buses/cars burnt by hoodlums during the violence in Lagos on October 21, 2020.

 

However, the protests continued after the disbandment of the unit with the shooting of some of the protesters in Lagos State, sparking a looting spree and destruction of properties in some parts of the country.

What Jonathan, Other Ex-Heads Of State Told Buhari About #EndSARS – Presidency

 

Immediate past President, Goodluck Jonathan, has said the root cause of the recent protests in the country had been with Nigeria for a long time. 

Presidential aide, Femi Adesina said Jonathan made the comment during a virtual meeting between Nigeria’s former heads of state and President Muhammadu Buhari held on October 23rd.

In a post on his website on Friday captioned “Inside PMB’s Parley With Former Heads of State,” Adesina who is the Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to the President, noted that the former Nigerian leader said some fundamental questions needed to be answered.

The former Bayelsa State Governor said posers like “what led to the crisis?” would help the country in forestalling future occurrences.

In what he described as “very touching,” he equally quoted most of the former leaders as saying that the #EndSARS protest which began peacefully,  was later hijacked.

“Lives had been lost in scores, countless public and private properties burnt, there was murder and mayhem everywhere,” Adesina explained.

“So, it was needful that all former leaders of the country meet to put heads together, and fashion pragmatic ways forward.”

President Muhammadu Buhari held a virtual meeting with former Presidents on October 23, 2020, in Abuja. Credit: State House.

 

After the National Anthem, he said that former Head of State General Yakubu Gowon who gave the opening speech agreed that the #EndSARS protests which began peacefully, was later hijacked by some “organized miscreants.”

Gowon equally gave some recipes for the government to consider.

Buhari who spoke next issued comprehensive details of how the protests began, and efforts made by the government to address the demands of the demonstrators.

The Nigerian leader “did not mince words that what started as [a] legitimate protest by youths, was hijacked and misdirected by enemies of the country.”

‘Frank But Effable’

Despite a history of antagonism to the President Buhari government, ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo “was frank, but affable, and no tension was discerned” and “lauded the Nigerian leader for his speech the previous night.”

Presidency Responds To Obasanjo's Failure Claim
A file photo of President Buhari with former President Obasanjo at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on February 22, 2018.

 

“On the job and economic situation in the country, he said the interventions being made were good, but not far-reaching enough for a population of 200 million people,” the presidential aide said, referencing Obasanjo.

General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB) expressed sadness at the turn of events in Africa’s most populous nation, extending his condolences to those who lost loved ones and properties.

Although he was worried by the quality of intelligence available to Nigerian security agencies, IBB commended “the government for the efforts so far, to end the protests.”

Chief Ernest Shonekan was brief in his speech and called for proactiveness to curb similar developments in the future, stressing that such meetings should hold often to proffer solutions to national issues.

‘Funding Of Security Agencies’

General Abdulsalami Abubakar also harped on the need for better intelligence on the part of security agencies and believes there is a need for more collaboration with the international body.

Adequate funding for the police is also crucial to safeguarding the country, General Abdulsalami Abubakar argued.

 

“Funding of security agencies should also be looked into, while the media should be adequately engaged,” the former head of state added.

A Hated Unit

At the onset of the month, many Nigerians took to the streets, demanding the scrapping of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a unit of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) hated by many in Africa’s most populous nation.

READ ALSOTinubu Visits Sanwo-Olu, Demands Thorough Probe Of Lekki Shooting

The now-defunct unit of the police was accused of human rights abuses and extra-judicial killings, a development which the demonstrators say had been going on for years.

Despite the scrapping of the unit by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Adamu Mohammed, the protesters stayed on the streets, citing similar pronouncements (scrapping of SARS) which were made in the past but came to nothing.

Deadly Dimension

Things took a dangerous dimension on Tuesday last week when armed soldiers opened fire on the protesters in the Lekki area of Lagos State.

The shooting, witnesses say, resulted in the death of scores of persons but the Nigerian Army later denied responsibility for the incident.

Human rights organization, Amnesty International, however, put the casualty figure from the incident and another one at Ikeja at 12.

 

 

 

#EndSARS Protests: Obasanjo Commended Buhari’s Speech, Says Adesina

 

Femi Adesina says former President Olusegun Obasanjo commended the speech given by President Muhammadu Buhari in reaction to the violence that ensued following the shooting of protesters at the Lekki Tollgate.

The Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to President Buhari, said Obasanjo told Buhari at a virtual meeting of heads of states on Friday that he made points that are commendable.

Adesina revealed this in his statement titled ‘How EndSARS Protest Was Hijacked; Misdirected, President Buhari Tells Former Heads Of State’.

Many had believed that the Buhari’s speech came late and rather lacked empathy, however, the president’s spokesman quoted Obasanjo as saying, ”I commend the speech of last night. The nation had been waiting. You made points that I believe need to be commended. Peaceful demonstration is part of democratic practice. The demands of the genuine protesters were accepted, and you are working on implementation. We commend you.”

Adesina went on to state that President Buhari told the former leaders of the country at the virtual meeting that his government has accepted all the demands of the protesters and proceeded immediately to scrap SARS and started the process of addressing the other demands.

The spokesman said President Buhari told the former heads of state that he would not fold his arms and allow miscreants and criminals continue to perpetrate acts of hooliganism in the country.

Buhari also stated that it is unfortunate that the initial genuine and well-intended protest of youths in parts of the country against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) was hijacked and misdirected.

The President recounted the initial concessions made by his administration on the demands of youths protesting against the excesses of some members of the SARS.

He recalled that the youths had demanded that the squad be disbanded, and further articulated the additional demands, including: ”The immediate release of all arrested protesters.

”Justice for deceased victims of police brutality and appropriate compensation for their families.

”Setting up an independent body to oversee the investigation and prosecution of all reports of Police misconduct within 10 days.

”Psychological evaluation and re-training of all disbanded SARS officers before they can be re-deployed; and increase in Police salary.”

The President said: ”We accepted all the demands and proceeded immediately to scrap SARS and started the process of addressing the other demands.

”Unfortunately, the protesters refused to call off the protest and engage the Government to address their grievances. Instead, they became emboldened and gradually turned violent.”

According to Adesina, President Buhari expressed concern that in the mayhem that ensued, many lives have been lost, a number of public and private properties completely destroyed or vandalized.

The presidential spokesman said his principal reiterated his pledge to Nigerians from the nationwide broadcast Thursday, affirming that his government:

”will continue to improve good governance through our democratic process including through sustained engagement.

”shall also continue to ensure that liberty and freedom, as well as the fundamental rights of all citizens are protected. Here, I want to also reaffirm our commitment to preserving the unity of this country.”

At the meeting were all living past leaders, including: Gen. Yakubu Gowon, President Olusegun Obasanjo, Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida, Chief Ernest Shonekan, Gen. Abulsalami Abubakar, and former President Goodluck Jonathan.