Buhari Accepts Role In AU Fight Against Corruption

File Photo: President Buhari in his office

President Muhammadu Buhari has accepted his nomination as the leader of the ‘2018 AU Theme on the Fight Against Corruption’.

The President was nominated on July 4 by African leaders at the 29th Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in a statement on Tuesday disclosed that President Buhari has accepted the nomination.

He said the acceptance was contained in an appreciation letter addressed to the President of Guinea and Chairman of the Assemblies of Heads of State and Government of the African Union, Alpha Conde.

“I wish to express my readiness to accept this new important role and to reiterate my commitment to contribute towards our collective efforts to strengthen good governance and development on the continent.

“I, therefore, look forward to working closely with you in the realisation of this objective,” President Buhari said.

Emefiele Briefs President Buhari On Economy

Emefiele Briefs President Buhari On Economy
Courtesy: Femi Adesina

President Muhammadu Buhari has held a closed door meeting with the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, in the Presidential Villa.

The meeting, held on Tuesday, was designed to brief the President on the state of the economy while the he was away on vacation in London.

Although the CBN Governor did not speak to journalists after the meeting, reports say they may have discussed fiscal policy issues of the bank and the effort to cushion the effect of recession on the economy.

Also on the same day, the President held a meeting with the leadership of the National Assembly at the Presidential Villa.

The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, were at the President’s office for about 40 minutes.

Dr. Saraki said it was a normal consultation designed to brief the President on some of the issues that happened in his absence.

The Senate President also stated that the National Assembly was happy to have the President back in office, doing his work very well.

He added that all issues pending such as the budget, would be given expeditious passage.

Archbishop Of Canterbury Visits President Buhari

buhari2The Archbishop of Canterbury and the most senior bishop in the Church of England, Hon. Justin Portal Welby (rtd), has visited Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, at the Abuja house in London.

The President confirmed the visit on Thursday in a tweet saying: “very pleased to welcome the Most Revd and Rt Hon Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, to Abuja House this afternoon”.

The President, who had been on vacation since January 23, has received quite a number of dignitaries since he extended his leave to take care of his health.

Those who have visited him include the Senate President, Dr. Bukola saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, APC Chairman, Chief John Oyegun and APC Leader, Senator Bola Tinubu.

The President had handed over to his Vice, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, before proceeding on leave.

Although the President had made several calls to some leaders back home, including the governors of Kano and Niger states, as well as former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon and former President Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, there have been calls for him to address Nigerians directly.

One of those who believe the President should address Nigerians from London, is a Professor of International Law and Jurisprudence at the University of Lagos, Akin Oyebode, who in an interview with Channels Television said that Nigerians have a right to know the whereabouts of their president and it would only be fair for him to address citizens in order to dispel rumors in the country about his health.

PICTURES: Buhari Hosts Tinubu, Akande In London

PICTURES: Buhari Hosts Tinubu, Akande In LondonPresident Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday played host to two leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the UK where he has been on vacation.

Pictures of the President in a high spirit, hosting his guests were released by the Presidency via Twitter.

The President has been on a 10-day vacation in the United Kingdom since Monday January 23 and was billed to return to work on Monday, February 6, 2017.

He, however, requested a day earlier to have his leave extended in order to complete and receive the results of a series of tests recommended by his doctors.

The move generated controversies across the country with many citizens expressing fear that the President might be critically ill.

There have also been calls for the President to reveal details of his health status as some have doubted his capacity to manage the stress that comes with his job.

The Presidency has consistently assured Nigerians that the President is hale and hearty and the recent pictures are part of efforts to prove that he is indeed not in any critical condition.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has since taken charge as Acting President.

Nigerians Need To Know Buhari’s Health Status – Falana

Nigerians Need To Know Buhari's Health Status – FalanaA senior lawyer and rights activist, Mr Femi Falana, has advised the Presidency to do more in telling Nigerians about President Buhari’s health status as it did in 2016.

Mr Falana said on Channels TV’s Sunday Politics that Nigerians need to know the state of the President’s health.

Although he admitted that the law does not mandate the President to disclose his health status, he argued that citizens should not be left speculating about their president’s condition.

“Under the Freedom of Information Act, the right to health is supposed to be shrouded in secrecy but I am saying now that henceforth, this situation calls for a review of the law so that we won’t be left guessing next time.

“We are talking of the President. Many state governors go in and out of the country, some for a month or two, some for three months without anybody asking any question and without any handover to their deputies.

“But I am saying that with what we are going through now, we must come to appreciate that if you are going into public office, you have no secrecy,” he said.

He said that since the Presidency started on a good note by informing the nation of the treatment of an ear infection last time, more information this time around would remove speculations and erase any form of rumour.

“It is our duty and right and the President took cognizance of that last year when he disclosed to Nigerians what he was going abroad for. This year should not be an exception.

“This is what has given room to a lot of rumours and speculation which are totally uncalled for,” he said.

Buratai Lays Foundation Of Military Battalion In Southern Kaduna

Buratai Lays Foundation Of Military Battalion In Southern KadunaThe Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, has laid the foundation stone for a military battalion in Kafanchan, the headquarters of Jemaa Local Government Area of the state as part of effort to end Southern Kaduna crisis.

Speaking during the ground breaking ceremony, General Buratai said that the decision to establish a military formation in the area was in line with the mandate of the military to protect the territorial integrity of the nation as well as providing internal security of lives and property of the citizens.

He warned that the Nigerian military will not spare anyone or group that is behind the restiveness in the area, and assured residents that the presence of the Army in Southern Kaduna is basically to restore peace.

The atmosphere was that of joy and optimism as the people rolled out their drums to celebrate the ground breaking ceremony for the building of a military formation in the area.

For too long, the people have been faced with incessant attacks by suspected herdsmen, with many killed, injured and rendered homeless.

Asides the Army boss and the state governor, traditional rulers and other dignitaries were also present to perform the ground breaking ceremony.

The Army boss was optimistic that with the deployment of troops to the troubled communities, the present crisis will come to an end.

He also appealed to all the warring parties to sheath their swords.

“Anywhere that my troops were sent to maintain peace, it is part of my schedule to visit them and to see how they are carrying out their statutory functions in line with rules of engagement.

“The present crisis is coming to an end. Now, we have restored normalcy in the troubled areas. People have started coming back to their homes. I was in Ninte this morning. I saw the farmers and the Fulani. I spoke with them on the need to live in peace with one another.

“You can’t separate the farmers and the herdsmen. They have a long history of co-existence. So, they must live together. The better they live together the better for them and everyone,” the COAS said.

On his part, the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and the military authorities for deeming it fit to site a military battalion in Southern Kaduna.

He acknowledged that this will help in curbing the security challenges in the area.

He also reiterated that all those involved in the attacks that have claimed so many lives must be brought to book in order to serve as a deterrent to other criminal elements.

He assured Buratai of the state government’s commitment to fast track the deployment of troops by providing accommodation and other facilities for their operation.

“We thank President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the two military battalions in Kaduna South senatorial zone. We will provide military with facilities to deploy its personnel as many as they can to secure Southern Kaduna” the said.

Only Buhari Can Reveal His Own Health Status – Femi Adesina

Only Buhari Can Release His Own Health Status – Femi Adesina The Special Adviser to the Nigerian President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, says all that President Buhari needs from Nigerians is prayer.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, Mr Adesina said via the telephone that knowing the actual health condition the President has been treating is not compulsory for Nigerians to pray for him.

He had few hours earlier released a statement announcing the President’s request to have his vacation extended as advised by his doctors to enable him receive the results of series of tests carried out on him.

Mr Adesina insisted that the reason for the extension was not more than he had stated in his statement.

He called on Nigerians to continue to pray for the President rather than allowing the latest news sway them into believing recent rumours that he had died.

Faced with the question that Nigerians would like to know the actual condition their president is being treated for to enable them offer prayers for him, Adesina insisted that Nigerians can pray for him without knowing the actual health condition.

He noted that the doctor-patient confidentiality must be respected, especially as the President is known to be a straightforward person who could disclose his condition to the citizens if the need arises.

“I am sure it will get to a point when the President has to disclose the status of his health if it needs to be disclosed. If it’s something serious enough to disclose, I am sure he will disclose it,” he said.

He explained that he could not disclose the nature of health challenge the President is dealing with because he was not aware.

“The President is the one who can release his own health status.

“The day he left, we still spoke. He didn’t tell me ‘this is my condition’. He told me he was going to rest and he would do medicals and that was included in the statement we released,” he added.

Asked if he knew when the President would be returning, Adesina said: “If there was a date he would return, it would have been in that statement.

“But the issue now is (that) there is no vacuum in government. No lacuna because power has been transferred to the Vice President who is acting president.

“So, Mr President can take the time he desires and when his doctors give him a clean bill of health, he then can return home.”

Test Cycle

President Muhammadu Buhari wrote to the National Assembly on Sunday, February 5, 2017, informing of his desire to extend his leave in order to complete and receive the results of a series of tests recommended by his doctors.

The President had planned to return to Abuja on Sunday evening, but according to Adesina’s statement, he was “advised to complete the test cycle before returning”.

The notice has since been dispatched to the Senate President, and Speaker, House of Representatives.

“Mr. President expressed his sincere gratitude to Nigerians for their concern, prayers and kind wishes,” Adesina added.

Buhari Extends Return To Nigeria

Buhari Extends Return To NigeriaPresident Muhammadu Buhari has written to the National Assembly today, February 5, 2017, informing of his desire to extend his leave in order to complete and receive the results of a series of tests recommended by his doctors.

This is according to a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina.

“The President had planned to return to Abuja this (Sunday) evening, but was advised to complete the test cycle before returning.

“The notice has since been dispatched to the Senate President, and Speaker, House of Representatives.

“Mr. President expresses his sincere gratitude to Nigerians for their concern, prayers and kind wishes,” Adesina stated.

President Muhammadu Buhari embarked on a 10-day vacation on Monday January 23 and was billed to return to work on Monday February 6, 2017.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has since been performing his duties as Acting President.

The President sent a letter to the National Assembly in compliance with Section 145 subsection (1) of the 1999 Constitution as amended, which mandates the President to transmit a written declaration to the Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives.

The short vacation is part of his 2017 annual leave.

Nigerian Government Plans Mass Evacuation From Libya 

Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Nigerian Government Plans Mass Evacuation From Libya The Senior Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Foreign Affairs and the Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa says the Nigerian government is executing mass evacuation abroad, particularly in Libya where many Nigerians still languish in deplorable conditions.

This is to check the worrisome consequence of illegal migration which is the subsequent mistreatment and abuse of Nigerians in various countries abroad once identified as undocumented.

Hardship and struggle is the experience of many in the cavity of Nigeria’s economic recession, but for some, it started a journey of unraveling.

Desperate for survival, many head for unknown destinations through unknown routes only to find conditions worse at the destination than conditions burdening at the origin, if the destination is ever seen at all.

The presidential adviser acknowledged this challenge but urged Nigerians to weather the storm at home where they are welcome.

She said that the current cash crunch does not shake the commitment of the federal government to prioritize the welfare of its people both home and abroad.

Officials from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) say 669 Nigerians were evacuated from Libya on chartered aircraft in 2016 alone by the federal government in rescue missions.

The Head Of Search and Rescue at NEMA, Bandele Onimode, made this disclosure, adding also that more operations are expected in the coming weeks.

The increasing rate of illegal outflows of migrants from Nigeria into various countries in northern Africa and Europe has become an issue of concern to all countries involved as the global community aims to check illegal migration around the world.

Nigeria Warns Citizens Against Illegal Migration To Libya

Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Libya, NigeriaThe Nigerian Government has warned its citizens and the people of Africa against the dangers of living in Libya.

The warning was contained in a statement issued on Monday by the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa.

It follows reports of purported killing of black immigrants in the West African state of Libya.

Mrs Dabiri-Erewa said that the Federal Government’s attention has been drawn to a trending video and some pictures depicting the crime.

She noted that while the authenticity of the pictures and video cannot be verified, it was a known fact that Libya has been purportedly executing alleged black illegal immigrants for years.

“I hereby appeal again to Nigerian migrants to avoid Libya as penalty for illegal migration to Libya, when caught, is usually a death sentence.

“While the authenticity of the pictures and tapes in question cannot be verified, it is a known fact that Libya has been executing alleged black illegal immigrants for years.

“As the Chairman Committee on Diaspora in the House of Representatives in the Seventh Assembly, we intervened in the case of 24 Nigerians about to be killed in Libya.

“The committee, in collaboration with SERAP, an NGO, petitioned the UN, AU, ECOWAS, and Ghadaffi yielded to pressure and released them,” the President’s aide said.

Ondo Election: PDP Passes Vote Of No Confidence On INEC

Ondo Election: PDP Passes Vote Of No Confidence On INECBarely 24 hours to the Saturday, November 26 governorship elections in Ondo state, the Ahmed Makarfi-led caretaker committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says it has no confidence in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) conducting free and fair elections in the state.

Spokesperson to the party, Mr Dayo Adeyeye, told journalists in Abuja that the party lost its confidence in the electoral body after it substituted the name of Mr Eyitayo Jegede before it was reinstated by the Appeal Court on Wednesday.

He insisted that the electoral body had no reason not to postpone the elections to another date so as to compensate their candidate for the time lost in his campaign while the court cases lasted.

“As far as am concerned, under this circumstances, INEC is no longer independent. Its name should now be called partial national electoral commission – PNEC.

“It’s no longer independent because it seems to me that there is a cabal dictating to them everything they want to do.

“The national commissioners that are deployed to Ondo state, we have no confidence in them. They are the same people sent to Edo state to rig the elections. They rigged the elections in Edo state. So we don’t have confidence in them going to Ondo state.

“The other issue is the Ondo elections. We called on INEC severally to postpone the elections because they are part of the problem that we are facing. If they had not substituted Jegede’s name illegally, we would not have had this problem.

“I say they substituted the name illegally because they monitored the primary, the name was submitted, you accepted it and you published the name as the candidate of PDP. Then suddenly the court order came and you have two court orders. You choose the one you obey.

“And you know INEC has a panel of legal advisers who work for them; legal consultants made up of SANs. They normally refer these matters to them and they give them advice. And to the best of my knowledge, that panel gave them advice to retain Jegede’s name.”

Jegede Demands Postponement 

Ondo state governorship candidate for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Eyitayo Jegede, on Thursday called for a postponement of the election.

Mr Jegede said that he had been left with no chance of campaigning as the campaigns ended at midnight on Thursday and it was time for INEC to prove that it was indeed interested in giving all candidates equal opportunity.

Alongside the leadership of the party in Ondo state, Mr Eyitayo Jegede, on Friday stormed the INEC office to press home his demand but INEC said that it would go ahead as planned.

The Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Segun Agbaje, insisted: “We have passed that stage. No postponement. We are going ahead on Saturday.”

The PDP man expressed disappointment: “We are asking you to give us the same opportunity and now you say it is expensive. We say give us a level playing ground, you say it is expensive.”

Speaking later on Channels TV’s Politics Today, Mr Jegede argued that by the Electoral Act, INEC ought to display the names of candidates for 30 days.

Therefore, with his name “unlawfully removed” on October 27 and later reinstated to be displayed for only two days, it would be unfair to proceed with the election which saw other candidates’ names duly displayed for 30 days.