Millions Of Nigerians Will Defend President Buhari, Says Abdullahi

 

The Vice Chairman (Media) of the Buhari Campaign Organisation, Aliyu Abdullahi, has said millions of Nigerians will defend President Muhammadu Buhari.

He stated this on Thursday during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

“If there is even one person in this country that deserves to be promoted or defended, I am telling you that it is President Muhammadu Buhari.

“I will defend him today, I will defend him tomorrow, I will defend him next year, I will defend him even after he is long gone or has long left the seat.

“And I have millions of people, more than 15 million Nigerians that have spoken with their voices and they will do that, they will continue to defend him and there are even more to come,” he stated.

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According to him, the next level agenda of the new administration affords more Nigerians the opportunity to defend the President.

He regretted that the nation’s resources were looted by previous governments in the last 16 years since the return to democracy.

Abdullahi promised that the President will, however, work hard to justify his second term mandate by ensuring that he governs with equity.

He explained that the last four years has afforded the Federal Government the opportunity to lay the foundation after coming out from what he described as the a ‘rot’ allegedly perpetrated by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

“The second term of this administration, we are going to witness an increased level of good governance from the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“I believe that what we had in the first term was laying the foundation after coming out from the rot of PDP 16 years in power.

“Now we are going to be rebuilding this country to the greater height to the potential of what the country ought to be,” he stated.

Abdullahi’s comments come 24 hours after President Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo were sworn in for another term in office at the Eagles Square in Abuja.

Senate Considers Magu’s Re-nomination As EFCC Chair

Senate, Inmates' BabiesThe Nigerian Senate has read a letter sent to it by President Muhammadu Buhari re-nominating Mr Ibrahim Magu, as the substantive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, read the letter during plenary on Tuesday that began after a closed-door meeting that lasted for one hour 30 minutes.

It was earlier believed that the re-nomination of Mr Magu may have topped talks at the meeting, but the Senate President explained that the Senate simply discussed the issue of welfare of the Senate and National Assembly.

‘Satisfactorily Clarified Allegation’

When Plenary began, the Senate President then read the letter from the President, re-nominating Mr Magu for approval as the Chairman of the EFCC.

In the letter, which was sent to the Senate on Monday, President Buhari explained that the nominee had satisfactorily clarified the allegation, which led to the earlier rejection by the Senate.

Buhari Re-nominates Ibrahim Magu As EFCC Chairman
Mr Ibrahim Magu is currently the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission

The President also rejected the recommendation of the Senate, asking for the removal of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation over allegation of corruption.

However, the Chairman of the Senate ad-hoc Committee on the Humanitarian Situation in the North East, Senator Shehu Sani, dismissed the president’s response, describing it as a distortion of facts.

The federal lawmakers had in 2016 turned down the President’s request for the confirmation of Mr Magu who is currently the acting chairman of the anti-corruption body.

They cited security report by the Department of Security Services (DSS) which the Senate claimed indicted Mr Magu.

The decision by the Senate had been a subject of controversy as former Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, had insisted that Mr Magu was not rejected by the lawmakers but his confirmation was only stepped down for further consultation with the Presidency.

Explaining the reason behind the decision, the Senate said that security report available to it showed that Mr Magu is not fit to be chairman of the body.

Addressing journalists at the National Assembly after that decision was taken, Senate Spokesman, Aliyu Abdullahi, said that based on security reports, the Senate cannot proceed to confirm the acting EFCC Chairman.

A lawyer, Daniel Bwala had earlier said that he expected the Senate to confirm the acting Chairman of the anti-graft agency, but stressed the need for the lawmakers to allow him respond to the allegations against him.

Niger Governor Reshuffles Cabinet

Niger, Abubakar BelloNiger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, on Tuesday made a minor change in his cabinet.

The governor redeployed the Commissioner for Land and Housing, Haliru Jikantoro, as well as his counterparts in Agriculture and Rural Development, Aliyu Abdullahi and that of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Kabiru Musa.

A statement by the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Jonathan Vatsa, after the last State Executive Council meeting for the year 2016 revealed that there would be more changes in 2017.

Governor Bello, who thanked the commissioners and council members for their cooperation and contributions, was not so impressed with their performances saying he could only give a pass mark of 60%.

“I commend every one of you but you must all sit up because 2017 will be a year of fulfilled promises. I can give you a pass mark of 60% but much is expected of you by next year.

“Everybody must sit up because we must deliver the dividends of democracy to the electorates,” he said.

Governor Bello redeployed the Mr Jikantoro to Local Government Affairs while Mr Abdullahi is to take over from him.

He also directed Mr Musa to take over from the Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development.

Similarly, the Permanent Secretaries of Ministry of Health, Dr. Umar Ibrahim Tiffin, that of Justice, Mr Ndagi Wali and the Director of Hospital Management Board, Dr. Makunsidi are to report to the Head of Service for new redeployment.

The Director of Planning and Statistics in the Ministry of Health would also resume at the Hospital Management Board.

While wishing all members a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in advance, Governor Bello tasked them to show more commitment in carrying out their functions in accordance with his mandate.

He said that “more changes will come with the new year”.

Former Sports Minister, Bolaji Abdulahi Is New APC Spokesman

Former Sports Minister, Bolaji Abdulahi Is New APC SpokesmanThe former Minister of Sports, Bolaji Abdulahi, is set to replace Mr Lai Mohammed as the National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) after north central leaders adopted him.

His election held on Thursday at the Zonal Congress of the party in Abuja.

Among the delegates to the congress were Governors Simon Lalong of Plateau and Sani Bello of Niger States.

The congress was chaired by the National Vice Chairman of APC from the zone, Zakari Idde.

Abdulahi was unanimously confirmed via a voice vote by the delegates, after the Nasarawa State House of Assembly Deputy Speaker, Godiya Akwashiki, nominated him and was seconded by Senate Spokesman, Aliyu Abdullahi.

Mr Abdullahi told journalists after his emergence that he would adopt a fresh strategy on his new job as he was aware that the post is different from his former position of sports minister, as they “demand different approaches”.

“I have a fair understanding of what I am expected to do even though you never know until you really get there.

“What I can assure is that I will do the best I can, not only in the improvement of our party but also in contributing to the progress of this country especially at this challenging period,” he said.

On the pressure that comes with the office of the National Publicity Secretary for a ruling party, Abdulahi said that he had the experience to manage this.

“However, what I know is that every human being is under pressure. Mr President, the ruling party chairman and everybody including the journalists are under pressure. There will always be pressure because the expectations of people are very high.

“So, irrespective of the economic challenges, we have to continue to weather the storm especially now that I am brought in to be part of the process. All I can reassure is that I will give the best I can to ensure that we continue to move forward,” he said.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, held the position until hi appointment as Minister by President Muhammadu buhari.

Senate Accuses Executive Of Attempts To Silence Legislature

Senate, Legislature, Aliyu Abdullahi,
Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Aliyu Abdullahi

The Senate is alleging that there is an attempt by the executive arm of government to muzzle the legislature and criminalize legislative processes in order to cause leadership change in the National Assembly.

A statement issued by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Aliyu Abdullahi, alleges that this is being done by the executive to cause leadership change in the National Assembly and in the process bring about a return to the era of impunity and lack of respect for due process.

While appealing to President Muhammadu Buhari to call the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, to order, the statement says that Nigerians have had enough economic hardship at this time requiring the full attention and cooperation of the three arms of government, instead of these attempts to distract and politicize governance.

“It is clear that the Attorney General and party leaders behind this action either lack the understanding of the underlining principles of constitutional democracy, the concept of separation of powers, checks and balances and parliamentary convention or they just simply do not care if the present democracy in the country survives or collapses in their blinded determination to get Saraki and Ekweremadu by all means necessary, including abuse of office and sacking the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“We are in a state of economic emergency such that what the National Assembly needs at this time are executive bills and proposals aimed at resolving the crises of unemployment, currency depreciation, inflation, crime and insecurity.

“What the National Assembly needs now are executive bills to build and strengthen institutions to earn revenues, fight corruption and eliminate waste.

“Instead, we are getting hostile actions aimed at destabilizing the National Assembly, distracting senators from their oversight functions and ensuring good and accountable governance.”

Senator Abdullahi said that if the legislative branch falls, democracy fails as there will be no other institution empowered by the constitution to check and balance the enormous powers of the executive branch.

Senate Clears Air On Alleged ‘Missing 2016 Budget’

Senate on 2016 BudgetControversy appears to be trailing the passage of the 2016 budget, as there are reports that the budget is missing.

A federal lawmaker, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Channels Television that there were fears that the 2016 budget had disappeared from the National Assembly.

President Buhari on December 22 presented the 2016 budget to a joint session of the National Assembly.

The Senate on resumption of plenary on Tuesday went into a closed-door session which lasted for nearly two hours.

The lawmaker said the issue of the whereabouts of the budget was discussed during the closed door meeting.

The source further said the Senate had directed its Committee on Ethics and Privileges to investigate the matter.

No Truth To Insinuations

But the Senate spokesman, Aliyu Abdullahi, in an interview with Channels Television said he was not aware that the 2016 budget was missing.

“To the best of my knowledge, I am not aware of any missing budget. What we discussed today is how we are going to work assiduously, as Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to consider the budget as submitted by the president.

“Added to this, we have agreed that we should work hard to make sure that by the end of February the budget is ready for approval or assent by the President,” Mr Abdullahi stated.

The Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations, Honourable Abdulmumin Jibrin,  said that there was no truth to insinuations that the 2016 budget document is missing.

He said that the claims may have been inspired by the initial insufficiency of the copies of the budget available to all the lawmakers.

“As far as I am concerned, that story does not hold water. We were expecting copies to be printed and sent to the National Assembly but there was a bit of delay.

“As at yesterday, I can confirm to you that the Appropriation Committee in the House received a lot of copies of the budget. By the time the Clerk counted it today, it was not sufficient to go round members.

“I spoke with the Minister of Planning earlier today [Tuesday] and he assured me that before the end of today he will deliver the remaining copies.

“For the soft copy I also reminded him and he sent it to me and I handed it over to the House,” he explained.

Honourable Jibrin said the rumour of missing budget may have been triggered by the delay in the production of more copies of the budget.

“You should realise that we have a new government in place and I think that there is little issue of communication gap and they are trying to get themselves settled. We should be able to excuse them and support the President wherever there is a bit of limitation from his own side,” he told Channels Television’s correspondent, Charles Eruka.

Earlier, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, after a closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari declined to comment on the budget issue when reporters asked him questions about the alleged missing 2016 budget.