Babangida: Two Party System Best For Nigerian Politics

Babangida: Two Party System Best For Nigerian PoliticsFormer Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida (rtd), has said that the two party system remains the best option for Nigerian politics.

General Babangida said his long time suggestion about the practice of a two party system was gradually coming to fore in the nation’s politics.

He made the remarks when he received the Strategy and Inter-Party Affairs Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), chaired by Professor Jerry Gana at his residence in Minna, the Niger State capital.

“In 1999 when I was advocating for a two party system, some of my colleagues came to me asking why I am for a two party system and I told them the good thing about a two party system is that it provides a choice, which is the first essence of democracy,” the former Military President stated.

According to him, the PDP can rule for 60 years if they put their house in order, and it is the only political party whose presence has been felt, known and accepted by Nigerians.

“PDP’s presence is felt not only in Abuja or Lagos, but down to the lowest level, if you go to the grassroots, the ordinary man will talk about PDP.

“That is the asset the party has and can use to come back on board. Already it is accepted and known and all you have to do is to work on this,” he said.

In his remarks, Professor Gana described General Babangida as a leader who sees ahead of the politics of Nigeria by advocating for a two party system.

“If only Nigerians had accepted your move for a two party system, we would have gone far now because gradually the nation is moving towards a two party system,” he said.

The PDP chieftain challenged the All Progressives Congress (APC) led government on the need to allow a healthy opposition.

“In democracy, it is healthy to allow political parties to develop. PDP is not a nuisance to the people, we are not a threat, we are very essential partner to government.

“We offer alternatives that will allow the people the right to choose. We want to be allowed to play a formidable opposition,” he stated, adding that the PDP was ready and willing to take over government.

Professor Gana was accompanied by Ambassador Aminu Wali, Dr. Raymond Dopesi, Mr Tom Ikimi, Mr Jide Adeniji and Mr Mohammed Imam.

Others are Honorable Emeka Ihedioha, Professor Rufai Alkali, Mr Abubakar Tanko, former Governor Babangida Aliyu and members of the Niger State PDP Executives.

The delegation presented a report of its recommendations of the committee to the former Military President.

Nigeria Urged To Explore ECOWAS Trading Opportunities

A former Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi

The Nigerian government has been advised to tap into the gains of the establishment of the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) as a single large trading bloc.

At an event to commemorate 40 years anniversary of the ECOWAS in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, a former Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, expressed worries that in spite of the commission’s achievements, Nigeria still grapples with industrial and trade growth among other West African countries.

One of the co-founders of ECOWAS and a former Nigerian Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, also joined Professor Akinyemi to implore future leaders to retain the credible flag of an economically viable Africa.

General Gowon also retained an analysis that Nigeria had attained some level of maturity that could only be fostered by an economically strong Africa.

In May 1975, the Leaders of 15 West African countries established the ECOWAS, to advance regional co-operation and self-sufficiency.

Forty years after, a common currency and dismantling of trade barriers remain elusive.

Celebrating the anniversary in Nigeria are diplomatic corps led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Aminu Wali.

Nigeria Warns Diplomats Against Interference In Internal Affairs

Aminu-WaliThe Nigerian government has warned foreign missions against interference in the internal affairs of the nation.

The warning by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Aminu Wali, is coming on the heels of comments by the US and EU on the postponement of Nigeria’s general elections.

Addressing over a hundred Heads of Mission in Abuja, Ambassador Wali said the shift in date should not be misconstrued in a negative manner and advised diplomats to operate strictly within their mandates.

Unacceptable interference

At the meeting, which was the first since the year began, the Minister referred to various comments made barely 24 hours after the announcement by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to shift the polls by six weeks, saying “political interference in Nigeria’s internal affairs is unacceptable”.

The Minister assured the international community that the elections would be conducted as re-scheduled

“There is no need for the unnecessary comments by the foreign missions,” he said.

In that session, some diplomats equally complained about the difficulty by foreign journalists in getting visas to enable them cover the elections in March.

The Minister further assured the envoys that over 300 visas has been issued to the foreign media as part of the nations commitment to upholding the tenets of democracy.

The INEC had on Saturday announced a shift in the general elections dates to March 28 and April 11.

The new schedule was announced by the Chairman of the commission, Professor Attahiru Jega, after meetings with political stakeholders.

Professor Jega said that the Presidential Election would hold on March 28 while the Governorship election would hold on April 11.

At a press briefing after the last meeting for the day between Professor Jega and other top officials of the INEC, Professor Jega said that the commission’s decision was not influenced by any group or individuals.

“We have done wide reaching consultations to enable us have as much input as necessary before taking an informed decision,” Professor Jega said.

After the postponement was announced, the United States said it was ‘deeply disappointed’ by the decision.

In a statement posted on the Department of State’s website, the Secretary of State, John Kerry noted that “political interference with the Independent National Electoral Commission” is unacceptable, calling on the government to “not use security concerns as a pretext for impeding the democratic process”.

The statement led to the meeting between the Nigerian government and the foreign missions.

Jonathan In Closed Door Meeting With Emir Of Kano

Emir of KanoPresident Goodluck Jonathan, before heading to pick up nomination forms at the PDP headquarters on Thursday, held a closed door meeting with the Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, in the Presidential Villa.

The Emir was accompanied to the meeting, which lasted  for one hour, by members of the Kano Emirate Council.

Others present at the meeting included Vice President Namadi Sambo, National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Bello Adoke and Foreign Affairs Minister, Ambassador Aminu Wali.

This was the second time Sanusi would be visiting Jonathan since he became the Emir of Kano.

Sanusi, alongside other northern traditional rulers led by the Sultan Of Sokoto, Mohammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, had visited the Presidential Villa on July 23 to break the Ramadan fast.

Sources say that Jonathan and Sanusi met to see how they could resolve their differences.

Minister Seeks Review Of Delegates To UN Assembly

Aminu-Wali (1)The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Aminu Wali, has stressed the need to review the size of the Nigerian delegation to the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly that will hold in New York next week.

The Foreign Affairs Minister made the observation during the final inter-ministerial meeting for the 69th session of the United Nations’ general session where the document articulating Nigeria’s position on various issues was adopted.

Preparations are ongoing, but many Nigerians have also called for the reduction of Nigerian delegates that attend international meetings.

Aminu Wali usually had the largest delegations to such events, even though 80 per cent of the delegation add no value to the trip.

One of such meetings is the general assembly that will see over 190 member states gathered to discuss key issues.

The session will open on September 16 while a High-level plenary meeting of the General Assembly to be known as the World Conference on Indigenous Peoples will hold between September 22 and 23.

The assembly will also hold a session as a follow-up to the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development. A “Climate Summit 2014” will be convened by the Secretary-General to look and efforts that countries are making to reduce the effect of climate change on the earth.

FG Re-Evaluates Impact Of International Collaboration In Fight Against Terrorism

TerrorismA security meeting with Foreign Affairs Ministers from Cameroon, France and the United Kingdom, which held in Abuja, has called for international collaboration in tracking sources of funding and supply of weapons to Boko Haram.

According to Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Aminu Wali, the security meeting was organised to identify effective strategies and failures in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria.

The meeting noted with regrets that in spite of local and international supports to curb terrorism, insurgency was still thriving, with the abducted schoolgirls in Borno State still in captivity.

Delegates at the meeting believe that more troops should be committed to strengthen border security and track sources of funding for Boko Haram, if the war against terror is to be won.

They also called for the enforcement of relevant international sanctions against terrorist groups, including Boko Haram.

The meeting urged support for the implementation of multidimensional approaches adopted by the Government to combat terrorism.

While expressing satisfaction with the support from partners in the fight against Boko Haram, delegates at the meeting stated that timely and action-oriented intelligence sharing was also necessary in the fight against insurgency.

It is expected that the outcome of the meeting would provide the needed international support to the Nigerian Government in winning the war against terrorism in the country.

Jonathan To Confer With Other African Leaders On Joint Action Against Terrorism

GEJ2The Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, will fly to Pretoria, South Africa on Friday for high-level discussions with other African Heads of State and Government on combating terrorism in Africa.

This is according to a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati.

The continent’s five regions would each be represented by two heads of state and government at the talks which would focus on collective action to effectively roll-back the scourge of terrorism in Africa.

Others expected at the talks which would take place ahead of South African President, Jacob Zuma’s inauguration for a new term in office, include the leaders of Ghana, Republic of Congo, Chad, Angola, Rwanda, South Africa, Mauritania, Algeria and Ethiopia.

President Jonathan, who would be accompanied by the First Lady, Patience Jonathan, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Aminu Wali and some key aides, would return to Abuja after attending President Zuma inauguration on Saturday.


Insurgency: Nigeria Calls For International Partnership

Aminu-WaliNigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Aminu Wali, has described the challenge of northern insurgency as a global phenomenon which requires international partnership.

In an interview with Channels Television’s correspondent, Gbenga Ashiru, at the United Nations headquarter in New York, Ambassador Wali, said that the Federal Government was doing its best to fight insurgency.

Several villages have been attacked in Nigeria’s north east, with some schools and churches burnt down by the members of the Boko Haram sect.

The Nigerian government had ordered military operations to counter the insurgency but there seems to be limits to what the military can do, as they have to ensure there are no civilian casualties in the cause of their operations.

On Monday, a former President of Ghana, Jerry Rawlings, warned Nigeria over the use of military in an attempt to end the insurgency being perpetrated by the Boko Haram sect in an attempt to.

The former Ghanaian leader told the BBC in an interview that the military alone could not combat the insurgency.

Mr Rawlings also expressed regrets at the security situation in Nigeria and advised that Nigeria must not succumb to the temptation of seeking the assistance of foreign powers in solving its problems.

But the Mr Wali told the UN Assembly in New York on Monday that the Nigerian government was certainly not leaving anything to chance in its fight against terror.

“We have requested for assistance from those countries that have had experience in this matter to assist us in the efforts  we are making to contain the situation. I believe that in the very near future we will see a change in our security situation,” the Minister said.

He also stressed that steps were being taken in collaboration with neighbouring countries to stop the killings in the north east region.


President Jonathan Swears In New Ministers

President-Goodluck-Jonathan-1The Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, has sworn in 11 new ministers recently screened by the Senate, urging them to bring in positive changes in the administration and work closely with others in the service of their fatherland.

In the list of the new ministers are, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, who is the Minister of State for Defence, Mohammed Wakil, Minister of State for Power, Abduljelili Adesiyan, Minister of Police Affairs, Ambassador Aminu Wali, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Akon Eyakenyi, Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development and Lawrencia Laraba Mala, Minister of Environment.

Others are, Dr Tamuno Danagogo, Minister of Sports, Asabe Ahmed, Minister of State for Agriculture, General Aliyu  Gusau, Minister of Defence, Mr Boni Haruna, Minister of Youth Development and Dr Khaliru Alhassan Minister of State for Health.

The new ministers filed out in batches of four to take the oath, while the president observed. One after the other they also signed the dotted lines.

Dr Danagogo replaced the former Minister of Sports, Mr Bolaji Abdullahi, who has travelled to Poland to attend the International Weightlifting Federation Championship.

Bring In Positive Changes

President Jonathan said that another set of ministers would be sworn in before he would have a full discussion with the ministers.

He said: “Join us to see how we can serve our people. Public office is for service. See yourselves as servants and bring value to what you have been asked to do.

“I always tell my people to find out and detect errors and do adjustments that will bring positive changes. Work closely with others and relate with each other for the success of the administration”.

The President also advised the new ministers to ensure that they do not create problems, saying that the administration will review the schedule of duties to avoid friction among the ministers and minister of state.

He stressed that their responsibilities were mainly administrative and expressed hopes that they would bring their experiences to bear.

Senate Confirms 11 Nominees As Ministers

The Nigerian Senate has confirmed eleven out of 11 nominees forwarded to the legislature by President Goodluck Jonathan as ministers.

The  ministers are Musiliu Obanikoro, Mohammed Wakil, Ambassador Aminu Wali, Mrs Akon Eyakenyi, Mrs Lawrencia Mallam, General Aliu Gusau Mohammed (Rtd), Mr Boni Haruna, as well as Dr Khaliru Alhassan, Alhaji Abduljelili Adesiyan, Asabe Ahmed and Dr Tammy Danagogo.

The screening of the 12th nominee, Hadjia Jamilla Salik from Kano State was deferred.

However, there was stiff opposition from lawmakers from Osun State over the confirmation of Abduljelili Adesiyan.

A lawmaker from Osun State, Senator Olusola Adeyeye, said that all three lawmakers from Osun State unanimously rejected the nominee on the basis of a credibility crisis, having been once accused of involvement in the murder of the former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Chief Bola Ige.

Mr Adesiyan, had told the Senate during screening that he had been wrongfully accused of having a hand in the murder of late Bola Ige, who was assassinated in his Bodija home, in Ibadan, Oyo State on December 23, 2001.

Lawmakers Ask Mark To Declare Defectors’ Seats Vacant At Ministerial Screening

Nigerian Lawmakers present at the screening of 12 ministerial nominees on Wednesday demanded that the Senate President, David Mark, should declare the seats of those who have defected to the All Progressives Congress vacant.

The Senate began screening 12 ministerial nominees which President Goodluck Jonathan sent to the senate for confirmation.

Among the nominees are, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, Hon Mohammed Wakil, Ambassador Aminu Wali, Mr Boni Haruna, as well as General Aliu Gusau Mohammed.

However, Tuesday’s defection drama continued in the senate on Wednesday as some federal lawmakers asked the Senate President to declare the seats of the lawmakers, who openly defected on Tuesday, vacant.

On Tuesday Senator Bukola Saraki, Magnus Abe, Wilson Ake, Abdullahi Adamu and Aisha Alhasan openly informed the senate that they had defected from the PDP to the APC.

But the Senate President, David Mark, refused to act on the request of the lawmakers, saying the matter is still in court.