Buhari Does Justice To Every Part Of The Country – Adesina

A file photo of Mr Femi Adesina.

 

Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, has insisted that his principal has been fair to all regions of the country.

Adesina’s statement comes on the heels of claims and accusations suggesting that President Buhari has been nepotistic in his dealings within the five years of his administration, with some stating that the administration has not been fair to people from the South East.

Reacting to the claims, Mr Adesina says the President has from the onset of his ambition to serve Nigeria, carried everyone along.

According to the presidential aide, some people have simply closed their minds, eyes, and ears, and have concluded in their minds that the President can just do no good.

In an article titled ‘Buhari & S’East: Arthur Eze nails it,’ Mr Adesina said that the President, within his 5 years in office, has funded “69 different projects being undertaken by the Federal Government in South East alone, all amounting to about N680 billion.”

He further argued that Buhari cannot be said to dislike the South East, in the 2007 presidential election he picked former Speaker, House of Representatives, Chief Edwin Ume-Ezeoke as his running mate, after he had picked the late Chuba Okadigbo in 2003 for the same position.

The presidential aide recalled that when former Vice President, Dr Alex Ekwueme fell ill, “President Buhari arranged his evacuation abroad by air ambulance. When he eventually passed on, he was given a most befitting national burial. Do you do that for people you don’t like? Hardly.”

Adesina said that Buhari is a man that “gives every man his due, every region what they deserve. Fairness to all.”

READ ALSO: Buhari Affirms Magu’s Suspension, Directs Mohammed Umar To Take Charge

Below is the full statement by Adesina.

BUHARI & S’EAST: ARTHUR EZE NAILS IT

There’s a wise saying in Yoruba land, which goes thus: “If you like, feed the entire city with pounded yam, egusi soup and stockfish on a daily basis, there’ll still be people who won’t like you.”

Let’s be honest and frank with ourselves. There are some people with primordial antipathy towards President Muhammadu Buhari, despite the man’s strong commitment towards transforming every part of the country. Some people have simply closed their minds, eyes and ears, and the President can just do no good.

President Buhari, however, equally has very committed loyalists in every part of the country, not minding some people who have chosen to believe the worst things, and addled their minds in the process.

Last weekend, wealthy businessman and philanthropist, Chief Arthur Eze, struck the nail on the head. He looked deeply at his own South East region of the country, and came out with a conclusion: “The President is man of the moment for the Igbo and the entire South East.

“President Buhari has demonstrated uncommon goodwill towards the people of the South East geopolitical zone, and should now rest assured of our unalloyed support and loyalty.”

Bull’s eye!

But what did Chief Eze see, that brought him to such conclusion, though he had been a supporter of the President for some time? Roads. Bridges, Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Owerri Interchange, Zik’s Mausoleum, great infrastructural projects that the region has not seen in a long while, if at any time.

In late 2018, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, unfolded a minimum of 69 different projects being undertaken by the Federal Government in South East alone, all amounting to about N680 billion. Of course, top on the list is the Second River Niger Bridge, which was built with mouth in the 16 years of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in power. The project is about 48% gone, and billed for completion in first quarter of 2022.

You have the Enugu-Port Harcourt road. Enugu-Onitsha road, and at least 67 other projects. The list is in the public domain.

Just recently, President Buhari approved a Zonal Police Headquarters (Zone 13) located at Ukpo Dunukofia, in Anambra State. It was inaugurated during the week, and will go a long way in addressing the security concerns of people of the region.

Now, do you do all these for people you don’t like? Not at all.
It is disingenuous for anyone to claim that President Buhari does not like any part of the country, most especially the South East.

When the former Major General joined the political fray in 2002, and contested for President in 2003, who was his running mate? Former Senate President, Dr Chuba Okadigbo,
a true Igbo son.

In 2007, who ran with Buhari? Another true Igbo son, and former Speaker, House of Representatives, Chief Edwin Ume-Ezeoke.

And when former Vice President, Dr Alex Ekwueme fell deathly ill, President Buhari arranged his evacuation abroad by air ambulance. When he eventually passed on, he was given a most befitting national burial. Do you do that for a people you don’t like? Hardly.

After Ekwueme’s burial, Dr Chris Ngige, another illustrious Igbo son, came to the Federal Executive Council meeting, and gave the appreciation of the region to the President. What did Buhari say?

“I’ve only done what the Constitution prescribes should be done for a former Vice President. In flying him abroad when it became necessary, in giving him national burial, I just did what should be done for a former Number 2 man in the country.”

That is President Buhari for you. He gives every man his due, every region what they deserve. Fairness to all.

Evergreen is the testimony of retired Ambassador Ignatius Olisemeka about the then General Buhari, shortly before the 2015 presidential election.

“Without ever knowing or meeting me, Buhari gave me a chance,” the Ambassador, then 83 years old, wrote.
“As I now write, I have never met him one-on-one. We have never spoken to each other. It is an extraordinary experience of an unusual man.

“I was sitting on my desk in the Ministry of External Affairs, 40 Marina, Lagos, in 1984, when I received a letter appointing me Ambassador to the United States of America. My place of origin did not matter… My religion did not matter. I had no worthwhile contacts with Dodan Barracks…”

That’s the same Buhari that revisionists would want us to believe is nepotistic, myopic, insular, and who would never appoint a non-Fulani into any position of substance. Tufiakwa!

I remember something they twisted against the President in 2015, and which they have stuck stubbornly and irrationally to, despite our many clarifications.

We were in Washington, USA, on an official visit. And the President met with Nigerians based in that country. A question came on how he would fill political positions, since he got less than 5% votes in some parts of the country.
The President said in politics, it made sense to reward those who voted for you, more than those who didn’t. If you got 95% votes in some areas, and 5% votes in others, it stood to reason that those who voted more should get more positions. Then he added: “But the Nigerian Constitution forbids any leader from doing such, and I will do as the Constitution prescribes.”

What did mischief makers do? They took the video recording of the earlier part of the President’s speech, cutting off the part where he balanced it. And they began to share it far and wide, just to portray nepotism. They repeat it till tomorrow, despite many explanations, simply because it suits their heinous purpose.

Despite the sparse number of votes in the South East in 2015 and 2019 elections, would we be right to say the entire region is arrayed against the President? Not so. After the 2015 election was won, I remember a piece I wrote in Daily Sun Newspaper, under the headline, ‘Igbo Heroes of Change.’ I mentioned people who contributed significantly to the Buhari victory like Chief Ralph Obiora, Dr Chris Ngige, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu, Hon Juventus Ojukwu, Osita Okechukwu, and many others.

Also today, we have great admirers of the President from the South East, and some of them will stand by him through thick and thin. I am talking of people like Joe Igbokwe, Dr Uche Diala , Peter Claver Oparah, Emeka Oparah, Dr Kelechi Nwagwu, Zara Gift Oyinye, Jewel Ifunaya Chika, Dr Emmanuel Nwusulor, Anozie Emeka, Abuchi Anueyiagu, Egondu Okorie,and uncountable others, which space won’t permit me to mention.

For President Buhari, when he does anything in any part of the country, he does it because it’s the right and fair thing to do. Most of the 69 projects going on in the South East had been awarded before 2015. But they were never funded. The President reversed the trend, and most of them are proceeding apace, and will be legacies by the time the man exits from office.

President Buhari has his eyes on history, and he will have his place in the pantheon of honor. At the onset of COVID-19 and its devastation on the economy, I was glad to hear him instruct the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed: “No matter what happens, salaries of workers must not fail, pensions must not fail, and funding of infrastructure must not stop.”

Don’t you like the commitment of this President? I sure do.

I commend Chief Arthur Eze for being forthright and true about the President and the South East. Coming a week after Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State expressed similar sentiments about the fairness of the President, it’s time for those in entrenched positions to open their eyes and see, open their ears and hear, lest they become perpetually blind and deaf. Willfully so.

President Buhari does justice to every part of the country. Those who had imbibed a lie should now wake up, and smell the coffee.

In the course of his administration, President Buhari has been accused of being a nepotist, especially when it comes to making appointments.

There are some persons who believe that most of the appointments made under President Buhari were lopsided and tailored to favour a particular section of the country over others.

Those who are of this opinion believe that the country has already become “dangerously polarised” under the present administration.

While some think that President Buhari has not been fair especially regarding his appointments, there are others who think that he should be given a chance to justify his appointments.

The proponents of this view say people should not be quick to criticise President Buhari, arguing that there are pieces of evidence which show that those chosen are delivering on the jobs for which they were picked.

Buhari Could Have Dealt With Wike And Fayose But He Let Them Be – Adesina

A file photo of Mr Femi Adesina.

 

 

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

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity said his principal did not make a move because he is a father willing to tolerate his many children, irrespective of their differing idiosyncrasies, propensities, and predilections.

In an article published on his website, Mr. Adesina said Wike, was particularly combative, truculent, if not at times insulting; but the President did not let that influence his decision.

Adesina argues that Buhari did what was right, fair and just, irrespective of party affiliations, or personal inclinations.

Below is the full publication by Mr. Adesina.

It came like a bolt out of the blue. Early this week, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, issued an advertisement, which went in a completely different direction compared to what he had always said of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Wike we knew was either usually crying wolf where there was none, alleging that the Federal Government wanted to kill him, or claiming that he was not answerable to the central government at Abuja in any way, or even pontificating that the President and his political party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), had failed the country in diverse ways.

If not for the maturity, and the avuncular attitude of President Buhari to all state governors, it would have been easy for one to conclude that he and Wike were enemies. Forsworn ones.

There was also the then Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose, who had formed a tag team with Wike in the anti-Buhari tendency. The President could have dealt with them in many ways, either overtly or covertly, but he let them be. He was a father ready to tolerate his many children, irrespective of their differing idiosyncrasies, propensities and predilections.

A couple of weeks back, the Federal Executive Council (FEC), of which President Buhari is the Chairman, had approved the refund of N148 billion to five states in the country for repair of Federal roads. They included Rivers, Cross River, Bayelsa, Ondo and Osun.

Of the five states, only Ondo and Osun belong to the APC. The other three are of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Rivers, under Wike, was particularly combative, truculent, if not at times insulting. But the President did not let that influence his decision. He did what was right, fair and just, irrespective of party affiliations, or personal inclinations.

Rivers State got the highest figure of N78.9 billion, and I remember some people asking me why the President should give such money to a governor who would call him names the next day. But that was where Wike surprised everybody. Last Monday, he issued newspaper advertisements with the title, ‘Thank You Our Dear President.’

Dear President. False? True. Was it the Printer’s Devil? Not so. The Governor boldly appended his signature to the document.

He thanked the President for approving the refund, noting: “Mr President has by this remarkable and heart-warming gesture shown not only your love for the Government and people of Rivers State, but also, demonstrated expressly that you are, indeed, a President for every State of the Federation and all Nigerians.”
False? True. Printer’s Devil? Not so.

The Governor went on:

“I assure you that the Rivers State Government is willing and ever ready to cooperate and partner with the Federal Government to advance the developmental aspirations of Rivers State in particular, and our nation in general.”

On seeing the above, I am sure millions of people must have cleaned their eyes, wondering if they were reading correctly. Having satisfied themselves that there were no cataracts, they went ahead:
“I wish to, therefore, appeal to Mr President to kindly oblige us a State visit when invited, to see what we have accomplished for the State and our people with the money.”

Wike, inviting President Buhari on a State visit. False? True. Printer’s Devil? Not so. He meant every word of it, and therefore appended his signature.

Many times, I had responded as spokesman to the President, to wolf cries by the Rivers State Governor. At a point, I began to ignore such cries, just as I did to Fayose before him. Mr President simply took all the wild allegations in his strides, and continued working for the country, all parts of the country.

In January 2018, there had been vicious killings in some parts of the country. States affected were; Benue, Taraba, Plateau, Yobe, Rivers and Zamfara. The President decided to embark on sympathy and solidarity visits to the states. All the Governors were receptive, except Wike, who said the visit was a smokescreen, meant to revive the dying APC in Rivers State.

“Apart from Jesus Christ, we don’t know of anyone who has risen a dead thing. APC is a dead party in Rivers State. No matter how you fast and pray, it will never wake up, “ he had said.

Again, he declared at another time, talking of the President: “We are the only state that the Federal Government refused to pay us our money used to execute Federal projects, because I don’t go to see him in the night, and I won’t go. He is not my friend, he is not doing well…”

When about 20 people were killed on New Year Day 2018, in Omoku area of the state, and the President wanted to visit, Wike demurred. He said there were killings everyday all over the country, and it meant the President must visit every State on a daily basis.

The circle has turned fully round, and Governor Wike is inviting the President to visit. He says he’s “a President for every State of the Federation and all Nigerians.” Wonderful!

Some people say it is N78.9 billion that is working, and the Governor is clearly inebriated by that windfall. But I don’t think so. Rivers is by no means a poor state. The amount is handsome, no doubt, but the state is oil rich, and can hold her own when it comes to finances. I rather choose to believe that Governor Wike had been playing a curious kind of politics all along, and now, fairness and justice have touched him in a positive way.

“He is not my friend, he is not doing well, ‘ he had said. Now, he is calling the man “our dear President “ asking him to be “assured of our profound esteem.” Wonders, indeed, shall never end.

There are millions upon millions of us round the country, who love President Buhari, and believe in him. We are called Buharists, and we have no apologies. They abuse us, deride and malign us, at times, they even threaten us. But we remain who and what we are: Buharists. Come rain or shine.

Why do we love the President, and unconditionally too. Is he a flawless, perfect man? Does he run a perfect, flawless government? Not exactly so, and I’ve not seen any in this world. But we stand by him, through thick and thin. Like Dr Okolo Oteri Eme, one of the Buhari Amazons posted on Facebook earlier this week, “We do not support him because we like him but because he gives us solid, verifiable reasons to love him on a daily basis.”

I see a man with solid integrity, honesty, sense of accountability, in a forest of crooked, perverse people, and you ask me not to follow him? I will follow him from Benin to Beijing, from Cape to Cairo, anywhere, everywhere.

I see a man bringing enduring change to agriculture, to infrastructure; roads, rail, bridges, airports, laying a $2.8 billion gas pipeline, money he could have craftily diverted for himself and for generations unborn, and you ask me not to believe in him? #We Believe! Ask Maryam Shetty, another Buhari Amazon.

I am glad Governor Wike has now seen what we had seen long ago, some of us as far back as 1983. And he has realized that it was time to stop the kind of politics he had played all the while.

My friend, Lorenz Mba, summed it all up in a message he sent to me on Wednesday. “For those who constantly maligned PMB, and called him all sorts of unprintable names, N78.9 billion is your answer. You simply won’t give those you hate N78.9 billion. I see that this gesture has truly humbled Nyesom Wike.

Politics is all about propaganda. I salute PMB for his show of maturity in all these grandstanding by Southeast and South-south politicians. Go to Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway, Onitsha-Enugu, 2nd Niger Bridge today. Talk was cheap. PMB showed up. Enough of rhetoric, Biko.”

We said it that President Buhari hates no part of the country. He has come to serve, and not to be served. He is fair and equitable to all. But they said our mouths were smelling, and we should shut up. Governor Wike has now vindicated us. We are glad. We Believe!

Graft Allegation: Ignore Calls For An Independent Investigation Of Adesina – Obasanjo

 

Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo has called on the board of the African Development Bank to ignore calls for an independent investigation of Akinwumi Adesina by the US treasury secretary.

Chief Obasanjo argued in a recent communique that the call negates the ethics of the Bank.

Obasanjo also called on former African leaders to collectively issue a press statement in support of the laid down procedures used to evaluate the allegations against the President of the Bank, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina.

The elder statesman who made the call in a letter dated May 26, and addressed to thirteen former African leaders, said, “If we do not rise up and defend the African Development Bank, this might mean the end of the African Development Bank, as its governance will be hijacked away from Africa”.

READ ALSO: ‘I Maintain My Innocence’ AfDB Chief, Adesina Hits Back Over Graft Accusations

He said, “We should speak against the introduction of alien practices being recommended by some parties given that such recommendation falls outside the laid down procedure, laws, rules and regulations of the Bank. It is also critical that we emphasize the need for the AfDB to remain an Africa-focused development Bank rather than one which serves interests outside Africa”.

He lamented that “Unfortunately, the US Government, through the US Treasury Secretary, has written a public letter (that was also distributed to the Press globally) to disagree with the conclusions of the Ethics Committee of the Board of Directors and the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Bank. Instead of accepting the exoneration of the President of the Bank, they called for an “independent investigation”.

This is outside of the rules, laws, procedures and governance systems of the Bank. The US Treasury Secretary disparaged the Bank and ridiculed the entire governance system of the Bank, which has been in place since 1964. This is unprecedented in the annals of the African Development Bank Group.

The letter partly read: “I am writing to you in respect of developments at the African Development Bank. As you may be aware the President of the Bank, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina has performed very well in this position over the past five years. He has taken the Bank to great heights”.

“In 2020, he led the Bank to achieve a historic general capital increase, raising the capital of the Bank from $93 billion to $208 billion, an increase of $155 billion, the highest in the history of the Bank since its establishment in 1964”.

“I have been made to understand that the Bank also successfully raised funds from donor countries of over $7 billion for the African Development Fund 15th replenishment for low-income countries, an increase of 35%.

“Under his leadership the Bank launched the Africa Investment Forum (AIF) to mobilize massive flows of capital to Africa. The inaugural launch of the AIF held in Johannesburg, South Africa, secured 38.7 Billion of investment interests within less than 72 hours. The AIF event held in 2019 went even further and secured $40.1 Billion of investment interest in less than 72 hours. Africa has never seen these kinds of financial and investment interests”.

The former President emphasized that “The Bank has been effectively positioned as an effective global institution, ranked 4th globally in terms of transparency among 45 multilateral and bilateral institutions by Publish What You Fund, an outfit that consists of 19 developed economies. Dr. Adesina led the Bank to successfully launch at the G7 Summit in Biarritz, France, the Affirmative Finance Action for Women (AFAWA) to mobilize $3 Billion for women businesses and entrepreneurs in Africa, with strong support and resources from G7 leaders and nations”.

“The Bank has also substantially aligned its financing and operations to help accelerate Agenda 2063 and the High 5 agenda of the Bank (Light Up and Power Africa; Feed Africa; Industrialize Africa; Integrate Africa; and Improve the Quality of Life of the People of Africa) are achieving good results”.

“Over the past four years, it is estimated that 18 million people were provided with access to electricity, through ‘Light Up and Power Africa’: 141 million people gained access to improved agricultural technologies for food security, through ‘Feed Africa’; 13 million people benefited from access to finance from private sector investment projects, through ‘Industrialize Africa’; 101 million people benefited from access to better transport through ‘integrate Africa’; 60 million people benefit from improved access to water and sanitation under ‘Improved quality of life for the people of Africa’. In summary: in less than five years under Dr. Adesina’s leadership, the Bank’s investments have benefited and impacted a total of 333 million Africans”.

“You will agree with me that these achievements are commendable and the Bank has been placed in a strategic position to fast track Africa’s development”.

“Finally, under Dr. Adesina’s leadership of the Bank, it has continued to maintain its Triple A (AAA) rating by all global rating agencies over the past five years”.

Obasanjo added  that “As Africa faces COVID-19, Dr. Adesina again took bold measures to ensure the Bank can respond proactively to support African countries and got its Board of Directors to approve a $10 Billion crisis response facility to support African countries”.

“In addition, the Bank successfully launched a $3 billion ‘Fight COVID-19’ social impact bond on the international capital market, secured at 0.75% interest rate. The social bond is the largest US dollar denominated bond ever in world history. The bond is now listed on the London Stock Exchange where it has been oversubscribed at $4.6 billion”.

“Given these great achievements, Dr. Adesina was unanimously endorsed for re-election for a second term as President of the Bank by all Heads of State and Governments of the ECOWAS region. At the Africa Union Summit in February of 2020, all 55 African countries endorsed him for re-election for his second term, as the sole candidate as President of the African Development Bank”.

“Despite these achievements and impressive leadership for the Bank and passion for Africa’s faster-paced development, and his clear endorsement by all of African countries for re-election for his second term, there are some attempts, led by some non-regional member countries of the Bank to frustrate his re-election”.

“At issue are some allegations made by some whistleblowers that alleged that Dr. Adesina violated Code of Ethics as President. Dr. Adesina strongly denied the allegations as fabrications and misinformation to disparage and discredit him. The laid down due process at the Bank, the Ethics Committee of the Board of Directors, Chaired by the Executive Director from Japan and with members who represent shareholder member countries evaluated the allegations over a period of three months”, Chief Obasanjo said.

The former military leader said the Ethics Committee of the Board of Directors, after examination of each of the 16 allegations of the whistle-blowers had dismissed each and all of the allegations, as baseless and without any substantiation”.

He further noted that the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Bank following review of the Ethics Committee report exonerating Dr. Adesina concurred with the conclusions and exonerated Dr. Adesina of all the allegations.

Mr Obasanjo was of the opinion that the Ethics Committee and the Chairman of the Board of Governors had performed their duties as laid down in the rules and regulations of the Bank, and as such, their decision must be respected.

No Presidential Broadcast Today – Adesina

Femi Adesina

 

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, has debunked reports that President Muhammadu Buhari will be addressing Nigerians today (Monday).

Mr. Adesina stated this on his Twitter handle, following the first phase of the gradual easing of the COVID-19 lockdown.

Adesina said there will be no presidential broadcast on COVID-19 updates today, stressing that none was planned.

He added that the Presidential Task Force will, during its daily briefing, bring the nation to speed on the next steps to follow.

“No presidential broadcast on COVID-19 updates today.

“None was planned. Rather, the Presidential Task Force will during its usual media briefings bring the nation up to speed on the next steps”.

See Tweet Below:

We Don’t Need Transparency International To Authenticate What Is Going On – Adesina

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, has faulted reports by Transparency International about corruption in the country and how such reports are perceived.

Adesina said this when he appeared on Channels Television’s special Independence Programme on Monday.

“We have spoken many times about that ranking and my position is that that ranking is not strictly about government, it is about Nigeria and her people,” said Adesina when asked about Nigeria’s fall from 136 to 148 on TI’s Corruption Perception Perception Index (CPI) for 2017, two years after the time the Federal Government started its anti-corruption war.

He added, “Some people want to make it seem as if it is a vote of no confidence in government or it is a lower mark for the government. I don’t agree, I think it is a lower mark for the people because the people constitute the country.

“And if things do not seem to have worked as they should work, the people also have part of the blame.”

The Presidency had rejected the Corruption Perception Index when it was released in February and Mr Adesina suggested it would not be taking such reports seriously.

“As much as I respect Transparency International, I don’t think we necessarily need them to authenticate what is going on in the country; because we, Nigerians, know that there is a war against corruption ongoing and that war is succeeding.

“There are strides being taken. It may not be there yet, and we are not there, but we are on the way there. So, let no agency from any part of the world come to think that whatever it says is the gospel to us.”

Linking Buhari’s Tribe To Herdsmen Attacks Is ‘Unkind’ – Adesina

Linking Buhari’s Tribe To Herdsmen Attacks Is ‘Unkind’ – Adesina
File photo: President Muhammadu Buhari

 

Mr Femi Adesina has criticised those who are saying President Muhammadu Buhari tolerating the attacks carried out by suspected herdsmen in the country.

Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, believes such comments are very unfair to President Buhari and his government.

“Something that is disturbing that I’ve heard about it is linking those developments (attacks) to the fact that a Fulani man is president and so, he’s (Buhari) brooking such kind of evil act. I think that is very unkind,” he said in a video on social media.

[READ ALSO] Killings: FG Does Not Lack Capacity To Protect Nigerians – Presidency

The presidential aide recalled that herdsmen attacks have been occurring before his principal took over government and wondered whether such critics were in Nigeria then.

According to him, more than 700 persons were allegedly killed by herdsmen before the All Progressives Congress (APC) came into power in 2015.

Giving a breakdown of the figures, he said: “In 2013 particularly, there were nine cases of herdsmen invading communities in Benue State alone and more than 190 people were killed.

“In 2014, there were about 16 of such tragic developments with more than 231 people killed and then there was a change of government in May 2015. But between January and May 2015, there were six attacks which left about 335 people dead.

“Now the question is during that period, do we have a Fulani president? This is showing us that the issue of herdsmen attacking settlements, attacking communities, attacking farmers is pure criminality and it is something that government must deal with.”

Adesina said it is the duty of government to preserve the lives of the citizen and assured Nigerians that President Buhari’s administration is committed to maintaining law and order.

“Therefore, let nobody say all this is happening because we have a Fulani president,” he added.

On the steps taken to prevent further attacks, the President’s spokesman said eight people have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the Benue killings and are already before the courts.

He also said the killing of the mastermind of the Omoku killings has sent a strong warning to evil doers that the law would surely catch up with them.

“News came from the security forces that the man who masterminded the Omoku killings in Rivers State had been killed. He was killed along with some of his other confederates,” Adesina said.

“After the killings he had escaped to Enugu in Enugu state but the long hands of the law eventually caught up with him and what this tells us is that eventually, there will be a payday for evildoers.

“Whether they be kidnappers, whether they be armed robbers, whether they be herders; whoever they are, as long as you do evil, as long as you shed human blood, as long as you engage in wanton killing; the long arms of the law will catch up with you.”

Buhari’s Documentary Has Nothing To Do With Fuel Scarcity – Adesina

The Presidency has reacted to criticism on the timing of a documentary titled “Buhari: Beyond the Iron and Steel” put together by the President’s media team.

The documentary is aimed at showing the other side of President Muhammadu Buhari and will be aired today and tomorrow by 8:00 p.m on Channels Television and NTA.

READ ALSO: Efforts To End Fuel Scarcity Ongoing – NNPC Boss

Presidency in a statement signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina insisted that the documentary will be aired, describing the criticism about the timing as malicious.

The president’s spokesman, said fault-finding is the stock-in-trade of such people, and if the critics mistakenly find themselves in heaven, they would even complain against God.

”The reactions mainly dwell on the fact that a documentary showing the human side of the President (as against the well-known iron and steel) is coming at a time there is severe fuel scarcity in the country and I say, why not? Is life all about doom and gloom? Must we sit in ashes and wear sackcloth perpetually, and ignore the brighter side of life? God forbid!”

Adesina insists that the current fuel crisis is a deliberate mischief and sabotage by some marketers, who want to force the hands of government to increase the pump price. He assured Nigerians that the government is working to restore normalcy.

“The current fuel crisis is a combination of snafu (situation normal all fouled up) in the distribution process of petrol (which the NNPC admitted at the onset of the problem), and deliberate mischief and sabotage by some marketers, who want to force the hands of government to increase the pump price,” Adesina said.

He said further that the situation is compounded by hoarding of products and panic buying. He said despite the temporal pains, life must continue, and we must look at the cheery side, while the government works hard to bring succour.

Presidency Blasts Claims Buhari’s Appointments Favour Northerners

The Presidency has once again rejected claims that President Muhammadu Buhari’s appointments are lopsided and favour northerners.

“It is, indeed, false for anyone to say that President Buhari’s appointments are lopsided. From all records, majority of the President’s appointees across different portfolios are not from the North,” a statement on Saturday by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, read in part.

The statement was issued in reaction to a report published by Business Day on October 29, in which 81 of 100 of the President’s appointees were identified as northerners.

According to Mr Adesina, the report contained inaccuracies which are either as a result of ignorance or a mischievous attempt to mislead the public and portray the Buhari administration in bad light.

“To claim, suggest or attempt to insinuate that the President’s appointments are tilted in favour of a section of the country is simply untrue and certainly uncharitable,” he said.

The inaccuracies in the report, he said, included the misidentification of the heads of some agencies and the exclusion from the article of “at least 50 names of the President’s appointees” who are not from the North.

Still on the said errors in the article, Mr Adesina said, “For instance, the publication didn’t mention Sharon Ikeazor, Director-General, PTAD, who is from Anambra, South East; Folorunsho Coker, DG, NTDC; who is from Lagos, South West; Ituah Ighodalo, of the National Council of Privatisation, who is from the South-South; Eze Duru Ihioma, Chairman, NPC, who is from Imo, South East, among many others.”

He added, “The article also wrongly named Tunde Irukera as Executive Secretary of CPP,-whatever that is- instead of Consumer Protection Council (CPC). Rather conveniently, the publication ignored mentioning that Mr Emeka Nwankpa is chairman of CPC. Not only that, the writer claimed that the Director-General of the Budget Office is Aliyu Gusau, whereas Mr. Ben Akabueze is the actual DG, Budget Office.”

Adesina who said “a simple enquiry from official sources in the Presidency” would have prevented the situation, insisted that the President would continue to serve all Nigerians.

“President Muhammadu Buhari remains committed to serving all Nigerians, no matter the tribe, ethnicity or region, and he is also determined to ensure that Nigeria remains strong and united. He has, and will continue to keep faith with one Nigeria and has shown this with the administration’s diverse projects in different parts of the country’s geopolitical zones,” he said.

Maina’s Case Not Swept Under Carpet, Presidency Assures Nigerians

Maina’s Case Not Swept Under Carpet, Presidency Assures Nigerians
File photo: Femi Adesina

The Federal Government has restated its commitment to fighting corruption without prejudice as President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration will leave no stone unturned in ensuring its success.

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, who stated this on Wednesday, added that Nigerians would get a feedback from the President in the case involving the embattled former pension boss, Mr Abdulrasheed Maina.

“As far as the government is concerned, it (Maina’s case) is an unravelling matter,” Adesina said in a phone interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

“The last you heard officially from the government was that he was ordered to be disengaged from service and a report was asked for, that report came in and the President has it.

“So, until the President gets back to Nigerians, you can’t say the matter is closed or it is swept under the carpet,” he added.

Miana, who was accused of mismanaging of about N2 billion pension fund, was reinstated into the Federal Civil Service after he was declared wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Maina's Recall Reveals Disjointed State Of Government, Says Shehu Sani
File photo: Abdulrasheed Maina

His reinstatement had sparked criticism from Nigerians, a development which some claimed prompted President Buhari to order his immediate dismissal.

Reacting to anticipations that the government will order a probe into the incident, Adesina said President Buhari only demanded a report on the circumstances that led to Maina’s readmittance into the public service.

“Nigerians love probe, you can’t call that a probe; he’s just asking for a report that led to the circumstance, it’s not a probe,” he insisted.

On the next action from the Presidency, the presidential aide said: “A couple of days ago you gave a timeline on the former SGF and the former DG NIA issue.”

“And you gave it point after point, dateline after dateline – from the April 19 suspension to the submission of the report on August 23, and then on October 29 you had the feedback. So, that tells you that things are never swept under the carpet in this administration; you’ll get a feedback on it,” he added.

Adesina also spoke on the leaked memo in which the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, claimed she had warned of the implication of reinstating Maina into the service when she met with the President.

He said although he had not confirmed if the meeting truly held between President Buhari and Oyo-Ita, he would not make any comment until the HoS acknowledges that the memo came from her office.

“Let her authenticate what is in the public domain that it really came from her. When she owns that memo supposedly written by her, then we’ll take it from there,” he said.

Babachir’s Dismissal: Nobody Pressures Buhari Into Doing Anything – Adesina

Babachir Sack: Nobody Pressures Buhari Into Doing Anything – Adesina
Femi Adesina

In this interview with Channels Television, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, spoke on the sack of former Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Babachir Lawal, and other related issues. 

Apart from the fact that these men have been sacked, what again do we know about the monies found in Ikoyi, and of course, is the Presidency handing over Mr Babachir Lawal to the agencies prosecuting?

From your word, you asked ‘is the Presidency handing over?’ it doesn’t take the Presidency to hand over, rather it takes the security agencies to do the proper thing; to follow up. The Presidency does not interfere in the works of the works of the security agencies, they know what they should do at any given time. So, the onus is on them to do the next thing.

What more can you tell us about the report submitted by the Vice President’s committee?

All I’ll just say is that the President, once again, has shown himself to be a painstaking and a thorough person; somebody who would ensure that the right thing is done at any given time, somebody who does not play to the gallery. He got that report on August 23, it came in six volumes – yes, there was an executive summary but apart from that executive summary, with a fine-tooth comb, he went through the main report and today we have got his conclusions about the report and the recommendations. It shows that the ‘mill of the gods’, like they say, may grind slowly but they grind finely.

You’ve still not told us what exactly is in that report, can you tell Nigerians what that report contains Mr Adesina?

If look at the statement that came today which incidentally I signed, it tells you what was in that report. The statement says, ‘the President has accepted the recommendation of the panel to terminate the appointment of the then Secretary to the Government of the Federation’; and then it also says, ‘the President has also accepted the recommendation to terminate the appointment of the erstwhile DG of NIA,’ and some other things will be done about NIA, there would be a three-member panel to look into the operations of that agency. So, the answer to the question you asked is already in the public domain.

The APC says, “we believe the President could not have made a better choice of Mr Boss Mustapha who they say is a competent lawyer and dedicated leader.” But I’m very certain you must have heard what the PDP is saying on the other hand, the PDP said” “the sack of Babachir Lawal and Ayo Oke is totally unacceptable; we demand the immediate impeachment of President Buhari.” 

I wouldn’t bother myself with what the PDP says, you know the PDP is still reeling from the effect of that 2015 defeat and it will reel from it for a long time because the PDP is down and is going to remain down for a long time to come in this country. So, I don’t bother myself with whatever they say.

Some people are talking on the sideline that the President was pressured to take a decision on Babachir Lawal, some people said that the President wasn’t going to take a decision anyway.

Then they don’t know the President. Anybody that knows this President will know that he’s a man that takes his time but when he makes up his mind, he makes it up real good. Who can pressure the President? There’s nobody that can pressure him. But I tell you as a statement of fact and the party leaders that met, they met with the President in the afternoon. The President had made up his mind and the statement was available earlier today, about mid-day and the party leaders hadn’t met with him as at that time. I tell you, nobody pressures this President into doing anything.

SERAP said this government now has a real opportunity to reassure a lot of Nigerians who may be worried about the direction of travel of the President’s anti-corruption agenda that there would be no ‘sacred cow’ as far as the fight against corruption is concerned. One major thing that some of these organisations are asking for is prosecution, is the President working on that?

I saw the SERAP statement and it’s within the rights of SERAP to ventilate its opinion. Yes, the onus is on the security agencies to take the next step as long as they have decided that there is something to base prosecution on, but the President does not and I repeat, does not teleguide the security agencies; he allows them to do whatever is fit and proper for them to do.

What about the NIA, who is replacing Mr Ayo Oke?

That has not been determined yet. You know that a three-member panel is to be constituted to look into the operations of that agency and that stands to reason if that volume of money could be found salted away, then maybe there is a lot wrong with the way the agency had been operating. So it’s better to reorganise and refurbish entirely the operations of the agency but then, definitely, leadership will come.

Senator Shehu Sani said, ‘within the President, he handles corruption with deodorant but outside of the Presidency, he does treat it with insecticide’. With all of these issues lied in Maina’s case, what is the President doing in a case like this because some people are saying it is taking the President too long to make his decision on some of these issues?

Senator Shehu Sani, you have quoted has a right to his opinion but his opinion does not constitute gospel; is not the law of the maidens and the Persians that can never change, is his opinion. So you don’t go in quoting him as if his opinion is cast in concrete, no! it’s just an opinion and then what is the President doing about the Maina case? You know what happened, he ordered his disengagement from service and then he asked for a report on circumstances that led to his surreptitious return into service. Now, that report has gotten to the President – we’ll wait until the President gets back to us. The thing about the President is that we trusted him, we voted him to be our leader and we must maintain that confidence. That confidence that made us give him our mandate.

Is the same Presidency that said Mr Babachir Lawal was not guilty of any offence at all but it looks like the same Presidency had been proven wrong this time around. How do you think Nigerians will have confidence in the Presidency on this same matter as this?

You didn’t get it right. The President had no time said anybody was not guilty. What the President said then was that he was not given the right to defend himself. He said the procedure adopted for the indictment that came from the National Assembly was not proper; the President did not give him a clean bill of health, he only faulted the procedure.

Adesina Donates $250,000 World Food Prize To Youths In Agric Business

Nigeria’s former Minister of Agriculture and rural development, Akinwumi Adesina had announced that his $250,000 World Food Laureate Cash prize will serve as funds to African youths that are into agriculture business.

Adesina was honoured due to his commitment to boosting agriculture and food supply and for inspiring youths both as Minister of Agriculture and President of African Development Bank.

He said the $250,000 cash prize will serve as funds to support youths that are into agriculture.

“There wouldn’t be any rest for me until Africa feeds itself and for that, we need the youth. Even though I don’t have the cash in my hand, I hereby commit my $250,000, that’s a quarter of a million dollars, as a cash prize for the World Food Prize award to set up a fund fully dedicated to providing grants, fellowship financing for the youth of Africa in agriculture as a business,” he said.

While receiving his award in Iowa, the United States on Thursday, Adesina expressed gratitude to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo for nominating him as the minister.

He also thanked former President Goodluck Jonathan for giving him the opportunity to serve as a minister and President Muhammadu Buhari for his strong support to achieve the feat.

READ ALSO: Adesina Receives 2017 World Food Prize Laureate Award

“A day is coming very soon when the barns of Africa will be filled and all her children will be well fed when millions of farmers will be able to send their kids to school.

“Then you will hear a new song across Africa; thank God our lives are better for us,” Adesina said.

Former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, Former President of Ghana, John Mahama also attended the ceremony and other dignitaries from Nigeria and African countries.

World Food Prize: We’re Proud Of You, Buhari Tells Adesina

World Food Prize: We're Proud Of You, Buhari Tells Adesina
File photo: Akinwumi Adesina

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday said Nigeria remains proud of its former Minister of Agriculture, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, for winning the 2017 World Food Prize Laureate.

Adesina, who is the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), will today (Thursday) be presented the $250,000 prize and Laureate sculpture at a ceremony at the Iowa State Capitol, United States.

“I received with delight the cheery news of your award as 2017 World Food Prize Laureate,” President Buhari said in a video message.

A statement from the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, also quoted: “Certainly, this did not come to me and many Nigerians as a surprise, given your antecedents and contributions to the development of agriculture across the African continent. We are very proud of you.

“According to the World Food Prize Foundation, you won the prize for driving change in African agriculture for over 25 years and improving food security for millions across the continent.

“Your choice as the winner of the World Food Prize is a clear recognition and appreciation of your long-standing contributions, reflected in your several roles and activities which promote social economic development.

“By dint of hard work, persistence, diligent efforts, and God’s sufficient grace, you have risen above many limitations to emerge as a notable figure and a true champion. Your life story mirrors the resilience of the African spirit and doggedness for which Nigerians are well known.

“On behalf of the government and people of Nigeria, I congratulate you and rejoice with you, your family and the AfDB family on this well-deserved honour.

“Congratulations.”