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.

Nigeria Had Always Been Divided, Presidency Replies Soyinka

 

The presidency has been reacting to recent comments by Professor Wole Soyinka, suggesting that under the present government Nigeria has become more divided than ever before.

Mr. Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, says while the Nobel Laureate is respected and revered, not everything he utters should be taken absolutely.

“Professor Wole Soyinka is somebody we respect, you don’t have them too many in a country, even on a continent. Professor Soyinka is an icon, he is an avatar, we respect him, we listen to him but then we don’t take everything he says hook, line, and sinker,” the president’s special adviser said.

According to Adesina who on Wednesday was a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today, President Buhari inherited a “terribly” divided country, one which he has been trying to reunite since he came to power back in 2015.


Obasanjo’s Comment: Not Every Criticism Should Give You Sleepless Nights – Adesina

Obasanjo Says Nigeria Is Falling Apart Under Buhari, Offers Solution

Nigeria More Divided Than Ever Before, Soyinka Backs Obasanjo


The president’s media aide said, “Nigeria had always been divided. Always. Right from amalgamation in 1914, Nigeria has always been divided. Nigeria is an inconvenient amalgamation but we have worked at it and I tell you that there is no time in the history of this country that the country was not divided but then we had kept at it and we were trying to make it work.

“As of 2015, when President Buhari came, Nigeria was terribly, terribly divided; divided along religious lines, divided along ethnic lines; divided along language, divided hopelessly, terribly and that is the division that the President had been working at. But you see that a lot of people instead of letting harmony return to this country, thrive and luxuriate in widening the gulf. They play politics with everything.”

Similarly, Adesina said not every criticism against the Buhari-led administration should be taken seriously.

Addressing recent comments by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the media aide said all criticisms must be thoroughly looked at to ascertain what value they add to discussions around moving the nation forward.

Obasanjo while delivering a speech titled ‘Moving Nigeria Away from Tipping Over’ at a consultative dialogue attended by various socio-cultural groups, said Nigeria is falling apart under Buhari.

At the consultative dialogue attended by members of various groups, including Afenifere, Middle Belt Forum, Northern Elders Forum, Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo, and Pan Niger Delta Forum, Obasanjo noted that the country is becoming the world capital of poverty.

A file photo of Mr Femi Adesina.

He said, “I do appreciate that you all feel sad and embarrassed as most of us feel as Nigerians with the situation we find ourselves in,” Obasanjo said. “Today, Nigeria is fast drifting to a failed and badly divided state; economically our country is becoming a basket case and poverty capital of the world, and socially, we are firming up as an unwholesome and insecure country.

“And these manifestations are the products of recent mismanagement of diversity and socio-economic development of our country. Old fault lines that were disappearing have opened up in greater fissures and with drums of hatred, disintegration, and separation and accompanying choruses being heard loud and clear almost everywhere.”

In reaction to Obasanjo’s comments, Adesina argued that “not every criticism should give one sleepless night”.

According to Adesina, there is no government that Obasanjo has not criticized.

“Obasanjo has criticised every government since the Shehu Shagari government that succeeded him in 1979. The only government he has not criticised is the Olusegun Obasanjo government”.

The media aide added that Obasanjo has a right to air his opinions, he, however, stressed that it is in the Buhari government’s right to take the former president’s reproval or dismiss them as mere claims aimed to detract from a performing administration.

AfDB: Obasanjo Hails Buhari Over Adesina’s Re-Election

Adesina Visits Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari greets AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina inside the Presidential Villa on Thursday… September 10.

 

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has commended President Muhammed Buhari’s led Federal Government for the support given at ensuring the successful re-election of the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina.

Obasanjo, in what appeared to be his first official reaction, since Adesina’s re-election penultimate week, also thanked some past and present African leaders for their supports during the period.

The former President made these disclosures when the leadership of the Freelance and Independent Broadcasters Association of Nigeria (FIBAN), led by the National President, Desmond Nwachukwu paid him a courtesy call at his Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) Pent House residence in Abeokuta, Ogun State capital.

Obasanjo who was responding to remarks made by the FIBAN President on the support given to Adesina, added that education played a vital role in the success so far made by him and other Nigerians doing the country proud in their different endeavour.

“I must commend the Federal government for the support given to him to get this second term ticket. You know that the former President, Goodluck Jonathan recommended him before this new government came on board. The government could have rejected him. So, I must commend the President for supporting him all through.

“Also, let me acknowledged and commended some of my colleagues, the 14 former Presidents in Africa for joining me immediately I drew their attention to it. Some present Presidents also deserved commendations too,” Obasanjo said.

The former President emphasized on the importance of education, noting “if Adesina had not gone to school, no matter the innate ability God might have given him, he would not have got to where he is today.

“So, the first thing is how do we get about 14m children, who are out of school now back to school. 14m children who should have been in school, undergoing education training that will make them contribute to the development of the country in the near future.

“It is having a good education, that will make them a good product to market in the global world like Adesina. Not only him, we have several like him, including the AFRISM President, Dr. Oramah,” Obasanjo said, even as he observed that the country’s present image was not fairing to assist these potentials.

Obasanjo appreciated the members of the Association for the visit, moreso for the commendation on his support for the AfDB President.

The FIBAN national president had earlier disclosed that the former President’s penchant for grooming talents for leadership positions led to the emergence of Adesina, and as such, “the association is therefore using this opportunity to congratulate you on the historic re-election of Adesina.

“And we are ready to make our doors opened for you to equally tap from many of our qualified members for such leadership positions.”

Nwachukwu also hinted that the proposed School of Broadcasting in Abeokuta is to be named after the former President.

On the entourage of the President were the 2nd National Vice President, Hellen Okon, Member of the Board of Trustees Gbenga Adebayo-Oladunni, Veteran Broadcasters Ibiyemi AJADI and Asamu Akinrinde.

Others include Femi OMILANI – Chairman, Ogun State chapter, Adekunle Abolade, Chairman, Osun State Chapter, and Seun Awodele of the Oyo State Chapter among others.

You Made Us Proud, Buhari Tells AfDB’s Adesina During Visit

President Muhammadu Buhari and AfDB President, Akinwumi Adesina (left), exchanging greetings during the meeting. Photo: [email protected]

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday received the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina in the Presidential Villa, praising him for his performance and successful re-election.

The President especially commended Dr Adesina for supporting Africa in general and Nigeria in particular, especially in terms of addressing infrastructural deficits.

“There can’t be sustainable development without infrastructure. Our efforts should be seen in the context of lack of resources, but you do your best to support us. I wish you all the best in your final term,” President Buhari said.

It was Adesina’s first visit to the President since he was elected and sworn in for a second term at the helm of Africa’s top bank and the Nigerian leader used the occasion to explain his reason for backing him for the job in the first case.

Buhari says Adesina has made the country proud. Photo: [email protected] Nigeria.

 

“I have told so many people why I backed you,” President Buhari said referencing questions about why he picked Adesina who served as Minister of Agriculture under the Goodluck Jonathan-led PDP administration.

“In 2015, in your first term, you were a Minister with the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) government, and I was of the All Progressives Congress (APC). But you are a good Nigerian. So I recommended you the first time. You proved to be competent, you made us proud, and I recommended you the second time.”

 

The AfDB President is thankful to Nigeria for “giving him oxygen” when he needed it the most. Photo: [email protected] Presidency Nigeria.

 

Dr Adesina had overcome stiff opposition last month to win an unprecedented 100% votes from the regionals and non-regionals that make up the Bank and was inaugurated for a second term of five years as AfDB President on September 1.

In the face of the opposition, he received strong support from Nigeria and several other places and people who praised him for performance.

A Proud Citizen

The AfDB President thanked the Nigerian President and people for their support, saying he was proud to be a citizen of the country.

“Home is where dreams are born. Home is where nurturing is provided. It is where support is given for the realization of dreams. I am glad to belong here,” Dr Adesina said.

“When I came in June, you received me, and I shared my successes, and the difficulties facing me. You listened and said you would stand by me. And you did. You not only stood behind me but also beside me. No greater honour for a man than for his Commander-in-Chief to be his Supporter-in-Chief, and his Defender-in-Chief,” he added.

Adesina said Nigeria gave him air, “when I badly needed it in my lungs,” and pledged to always support the country in his private capacity, and as AfDB President.

Adesina was inaugurated for a second term of five years as AfDB President on September 1. Photo: [email protected] Nigeria.

 

He then asked for a round of applause for the President, which was truly resounding.

AfDB Probe: Ex-Liberian President Sirleaf Congratulates Adesina

A file photo of President of the African Development Bank, Akinwunmi Adesina
A file photo of President of the African Development Bank, Akinwunmi Adesina

 

 

A former Liberian President, Ellen Sirleaf is the latest in the list of those congratulating the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr Akinwunmi Adesina after he was cleared of corruption allegations levelled against him by an anonymous group.

Sirleaf said the declaration of Adesina as innocent, came as expected, according to a tweet on her official handle, Thursday night.

“We rejoice that, as expected, AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina has been declared fully innocent of all accusations by the Independent Panel headed by Mary Robinson,” the former Liberian leader said.

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Earlier in the week, President Muhammadu Buhari had in his message to the AfDB chief, said Adesina’s exoneration is further validation of his competence and integrity to lead the institution.

 

A file photo of President Buhari (right) and AfDB president, Adesina.

 

The Nigerian leader said the conclusion of the review should finally draw a curtain on the allegations that created distractions for the entire institution for a period and serve as an impetus for more diligence in handling responsibilities while fuelling the zeal to deliver on the promises of a greater Africa.

 

Cleared Of Corruption Charges

 

An independent panel of experts, headed by former Irish president Mary Robinson, on Monday completely cleared Adesina of all charges in an investigation that has spanned seven months.

The panel of three experts also had the Gambia’s Chief Justice Hassan Jallow and the World Bank’s integrity vice president Leonard McCarthy as members.

Dr Adesina became the first Nigerian to helm the AfDB in 2015 — but a 15-page report in January claimed that under his watch the bank had been tarred by poor governance, impunity, personal enrichment, and favouritism.

In May, the Ethics Committee of the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB), charged with investigating the charges cleared Adesina.

But the United States, which is one of the bank’s biggest shareholders, demanded an independent investigation into the allegations.

The outcome of that investigation was the same – Adesina was exonerated.

“The Panel concurs with the Committee in its findings in respect of all the allegations against the President and finds that they were properly considered and dismissed by the Committee,” Monday’s report concluded.

FG Has Not Dissolved Interim Management Committee Of NDDC – Presidency

A file photo of Mr Femi Adesina.

 

The Presidency says it has not dissolved the Interim Management Committee of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

This position was disclosed in the early hours of Friday by President Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.

Adesina said there is a statement purportedly signed by him which has been making the rounds that the Federal Government has dissolved the Interim Management Committee of the NDDC.

He adds that the publication is an action by the Merchants of fake news.

The spokesman urged Nigerians to disregard the report, stressing that the communication did not emanate from the media office of the President.

In recent times that have been calls by the National Assembly for the dissolution of the Interim Management Committee and the return of the NDDC to the Presidency for direct supervision.

This comes on the heels of revelations into the financial recklessness in the NDDC.

On Thursday, the Senate ad hoc committee investigating the NDDC said the agency had spent N1.3 trillion within four years, with some of the spending unlawful.

The committee revealed the figure during the presentation of its investigative report before the Senate days after the acting NDDC Managing Director, Prof. Kemebradikumo Pondei, slumped at a public hearing.

In the report read by the Senate Committee Chairman, Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi, the NDDC spent the N1.3 trillion between 2015 and May 31, 2019.

Many of the expenses, Adetunmbu said, were extra-budgetary.

He added that the Committee observed process errors and infractions, as well as substantial payments, were made to staff in the form of unjustifiable allowances.

He said the committee observed process errors and infractions, as well as substantial payments, were made to staff in the form of unjustifiable allowances.

The investigation further revealed that the NDDC paid 4.9 billion Naira to staff for numerous allowances including COVID-19 relief, tour duty allowances, overseas travel, and international scholarships.

Curiously, the payment for overseas travel and scholarship was during the lockdown and cessation of flights abroad.

The committee also observed that the ministry of Niger delta is culpable if negligent supervision of the NDDC.

It further noted that the performance of the interim management committee IMC is a major issue as the record of the IMC has not shown any record of prudence and it should be dissolved.

Service Chiefs: Presidency Will Do What Is Right At A Given Time – Adesina

A file photo of Mr Femi Adesina.

 

Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, says his principal will tend to the issue of the service chiefs when the time is right. 

Adesina stated this on Wednesday when he featured on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

His statement comes on the heels of calls by legislators, seeking the sack of the service chiefs.

Reacting to the calls, Mr Adesina said the appointment or sack of Service Chiefs is a Presidential prerogative.

The spokesman added that President Muhammadu Buhari, in his capacity as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, will do what is in the best interest of the country at all times.

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The Senate Tuesday adopted a resolution calling on the Service Chiefs to resign or be sacked due to the multi-pronged security challenges in the country.

Senators made the call during plenary in reaction to a motion by Senator Ali Ndume.

Senator Ndume moved his motion on the back of the recent ambush of soldiers in Katsina and the alleged voluntary resignation of many soldiers.

According to the Senator, both developments and others are worrying.

Despite his concerns about the security situation, Senator Ndume did not call for the dismissal of the service chiefs, neither did he demand that they should step aside.

The call for them to step aside was made following an additional prayer to his motion in the course of deliberations.

Senator Francis Fadahunsi made the call for the service chiefs to step aside as part of his contributions to the discourse on the motion.

Other senators okayed the move and passed the resolution for the service chiefs who have been in office since July 2015 to step aside.

The Senators also mandated a joint defence, army, navy, airforce, police and interior committee to engage with the military to ascertain the state of affairs of the armed forces.