President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday paid tribute to the late Lagos State Governor, Lateef Jakande, and described him as one whose legacy would be remembered for long.
The Nigerian leader believes the former Governor of Lagos State sacrificed his life for others, restating that his imprint in the commercial centre will continue to be a source of inspiration.
While condoling with family, friends and associates of the elder statesman, Buhari in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, hailed the contributions of the first civilian Governor of Lagos State and former Minister of Works to the growth of democracy and good governance in the country.
He described Jakande as a patriot, whose wisdom will run through generations, especially in putting people first in development plans.
‘Last Of The Titan’
In his tribute to Jakande, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, said the former Lagos governor was the last of the titans.
The former Lagos governor in a statement he signed and released on Thursday said Jakande “could appropriately be described as the last of the titans ranking with the likes of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Adekunle Ajasin, Pa Abraham Adesanya, Chief Bola Ige, Chief Olabiyi Onabanjo, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, Alhaji Aminu Kano, among others.“
According to him, Jakande was a “mature statesman never given to histrionics or fanning the embers of disunity,” noting that “at difficult moments in the nation’s history, such as the struggle against military dictatorship, he took personal painful decisions that cost him a lot, but his integrity was never impugned.”
While condoling with the family, and friends of the late journalist, Tinubu said, “Whatever we have been able to accomplish in Lagos State is because of the groundwork Pa Jakande set out before us. In so many ways, he is the inspirational father of modern Lagos State.
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has congratulated George Obiozor, as the newly elected President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
He commended the process that led to his election saying it was in line with established democratic tenets.
In a statement signed by himself, he described Obiozor as a man of quality and experience.
“I can attest to his brilliance, wisdom, and experience, qualities that I am confident will come to bear as he pilots the affairs of Ohanaeze Ndigbo”.
Read Full Statement Below:
Yesterday, I spoke with Prof. George Obiozor, newly elected President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo. I congratulated him on his election.
I am elated that the process that led to his election and that of the new executive was concluded in line with established democratic tenets.
Like many, who have followed with keen interest the goings-on, I had wondered how the group will pull through the process of the election and still come out unscathed and still remain a cohesive and strong force with its integrity intact.
By the outcome of this election, Ndigbo has not only proved the pundits wrong but have shown that they are real democrats.
I have known Prof Obiozor since his days as Director-General of Nigeria Institute of International Affairs, and a one-time Ambassador of Nigeria to the United States of America, Israel and Cyprus.
I can attest to his brilliance, wisdom and experience, qualities that I am confident will come to bear as he pilots the affairs of Ohanaeze Ndigbo.
I also take note of the “big shoes” left behind by Obiozor’s predecessor, Chief Nnia Nwodo, who elevated Ohanaeze Ndigbo to enviable heights such that he was appointed as the Coordinator of all the notable socio-cultural groups in the country.
I know that Obiozor will tap into his experience and the networks he had built to further push the group to higher heights.
My prayer is that God should grant Obiozor the needed wisdom, strength, boldness, strong character, good health, protection, candour, maturity and capacity for the assignment.
All eyes are on you to see the value you will bring to the table especially as it concerns the reconciliation of the groups and individuals who felt offended by the outcome and process leading to your election.
They should be brought back to the fold and fully integrated for the sake of harmonious relationship between members of the group in particular and Ndigbo in general.
Meanwhile, I urge you to sustain and improve upon the cooperation between Ohanaeze Ndigbo and other ethno-social groups across the country to ensure that the unity of Nigeria is stronger and that peace reigns across the country. My mind tells me that you have the interpersonal skills and enough group dynamics experience for the job and to weather the storm.
I will keep praying for you and your management team. Once again congratulations.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has asked Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court, sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos to dismiss the no-case submission filed by Abdullahi Babalele, a son-in-law to former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar.
Babalele was re-arraigned on Thursday, October 8, 2019, on a two-count charge, bordering on money laundering to the tune of $140,000.00.
One of the counts reads: “That you, Abdullahi Babalele, on or about the 20th day of February, 2019 in Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, procured Basir Mohammed to make a cash payment of the sum of $140,000.00 (One Hundred and Forty Thousand United States Dollars) without going through a financial institution, which sums exceeded the amount authorized by the law and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(C) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 16(2)(b) of the same Act.”
He pleaded “not guilty” to the charge preferred against him, thereby prompting his trial.
The prosecution, before closing its case against the defendant on November 25, 2020, had called two witnesses and tendered several documents that were admitted in evidence by the court in the course of the trial.
At the resumed sitting today, counsel to the defendant, Mike Ozekhome, SAN, brought a no-case submission, dated November 27, 2020, urging the court to hold that the defendant “has no case to answer at all to be called upon to enter any defence in the case.”
Mr Ozekhome, in the application, also argued that the prosecution had not lent any credible evidence in support of the counts in the charge preferred against his client.
He, therefore, asked the court to hold that “no prima facie case has been established in any way or manner against the defendant”. He also asked the court to discharge the defendant.
The prosecution counsel, Usman Buhari, in his response, urged the court to dismiss the defendant’s no-case submission.
Buhari submitted that the prosecution had been able to link the defendant to the offence and, therefore, “he has a case to answer.”
After listening to both parties, Justice Aneke adjourned till December 21, 2020, for ruling on the defendant’s no-case submission.
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar has condoled with the families of an auto accident in Enugu State.
Atiku sympathised with the families through his Twitter handle on Friday.
He said, “My deepest condolences to the affected families, management and staff of Presentation Nursery and Primary School, the Catholic Diocese of Awgu, owners of the school, and the government and people of Enugu State. May their souls rest in peace.
“The gruesome accident in Mgbowo, Awgu Local Government Area of Enugu State, in which scores of lives, many who are school children is heartbreaking”.
The gruesome accident in Mgbowo, Awgu Local Government Area of Enugu State, in which scores of lives, many of them school children were lost is heartbreaking.
While many say the bullet which killed Isiaq was from the police, the force claim they only used canisters of tear gas to disperse the crowd.
Several videos making the rounds, however, show security operatives firing live arms at those calling for the scrapping of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
In reaction to the use of force against those protesting, Atiku was of the opinion that the fundamental rights of Nigerians to freedom of assembly and freedom of expression must be protected at all costs.
“Nigerians should be provided with a non-toxic environment for #EndSARSProtests.
“It is their constitutional right and an ingredient of democracy.
“They deserve to be heard and not killed or maimed,” Atiku tweeted.
Atiku who had in a previous tweet noted that SARS has morphed into an oppressor of the Nigerian masses said he stands with all those who are peacefully protesting to end police brutality in a bid to enthrone a new policing order that underscores the interest of the citizens.
The elder statesman commended the tenacity of protesters who he described as brave youths who have stayed out on the streets all day and night to make their voices heard.
Further appealing to the dissidents, the former vice president was of the opinion that “If Nelson Mandela could reconcile with those who imprisoned him for twenty-seven years, we can reconcile with those who have disagreed with us.
“I call on those who have taken up arms against Nigeria to have a rethink. Whatever differences they may have with the rest of Nigeria, whether religious, ethnic, or political terror, violence and separatism are not the way. Let us learn from history.
“In Ireland, Israel, and the Balkans, such groups have seen the wisdom in giving up the armed struggle for participation in the political process. There is much wisdom in the saying that to jaw-jaw is better than to war-war. We must accept the reality that we are all brothers and sisters sired by our fatherland.
“We cannot defeat separatist groups by force of arms alone; we can only defeat separatism by making all Nigerians feel they belong. This is only possible when we live up to the words of our national motto: Unity and Faith, Peace, and Progress.”
In the spirit of Nigeria’s 60th Independence Anniversary, Atiku called on the federal and state governments, to release all political prisoners and detainees, and to discontinue the prosecution of such individuals.
Congratulatory messages have been pouring from chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after Godwin Obaseki was re-elected as the Governor of Edo State.
Governor Obaseki, returned elected on Sunday after polling the highest votes in the keenly-contested poll conducted on Saturday, defeated his main rival and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Osagie Ize-Iyamu.
And for a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, Obaseki’s win is an “end to godfatherism” and a “new dawn” in Edo State.
“There is a new dawn in Edo State, and the hard-won victory of Governor Obaseki is not just a victory, but a Declaration of Independence from the anti-democratic forces of godfatherism and militarism,” Atiku who contested the presidential seat under the PDP in 2019 tweeted Sunday.
“No victory could be sweeter than this, and I heartily congratulate the Governor and the good people of Edo state for their resilience in the face of the forces arrayed against them.”
Although they were fears in many quarters that the election might turn violent, Atiku said the poll was largely peaceful, describing Obaseki’s re-election as “new record” in Nigeria’s democracy.
“I also seize this opportunity to thank His Royal Highness, the Oba of Benin, Omo N’oba N’Edo Uku Akpolopkolo, Ewuare II, for the fatherly role he played as a neutral catalyst for peace,” Atiku added.
He equally lauded members of the PDP for supporting Obaseki who had defected from the APC after he was disqualified from the party’s primary, urging him to deliver good governance to the people of Edo State.
“In good times, we will walk beside you. In bad times, we will be your loyal ‘comrade’,” he assured while calling on him to extend a hand of friendship to Ize-Iyamu. “We will never be a turncoat.”
The Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, equally sent his congratulatory message to the re-elected Edo leader and believes that another term for Obaseki is an indication that the people’s choice will always prevail.
With their loud and irrefutable votes in #EdoDecides, the people of Edo State have sent a strong message that they choose to continue under Governor Godwin Obaseki’s development agenda to Make Edo Great Again! #EdoDecidespic.twitter.com/9skm0bi0C1
“With their loud and irrefutable votes in #EdoDecides, the people of Edo State have sent a strong message that they choose to continue under Governor Godwin Obaseki’s development agenda to Make Edo Great Again!”Okowa tweeted, Sunday.
‘Power Belongs To The People’
“I congratulate my colleague and brother, Governor Obaseki on his victory at the just-concluded Edo State gubernatorial elections,” the Governor of Bauchi State, Senator Bala Mohammed, also said in his message to the Edo Governor.
“Your win is a victory for Edo State and our great party, PDP. It also validates that truly, power belongs to the people.”
‘The Beauty Of Democracy’
While hailing Obaseki for his victory, the former Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, said the development captures the “beauty of democracy.”
“And if there is a moral lesson to be learnt, it is also that no man can successfully play God, for God will always put men in their place,” the PDP Chieftain said on Sunday, expressing hopes that “we can get our elections right.”
Ekweremadu called on Obaseki to see his popular mandate as both an approval of his stewardship in the last four years and a call to lead Edo land on the path of greater peace, prosperity, and all-round development.
A Deserved Victory
The Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Ndudi Elumelu was not left out in the streams of messages pouring in since Obaseki’s election.
Elumelu, who described Obaseki’s re-election as well-deserving, attributed the governor’s success to his sterling performance in developing the state and empowering the people during his first tenure.
A Job Well-Done
Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State equally commended the Edo Governor for a “well deserved victory,” and hailed the PDP for the win.
Former Vice President and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the last election, Atiku Abubakar, has frowned at the sudden increment of the pump price of petrol by the Nigerian government.
Atiku in a tweet on Tuesday said the hike in fuel price does not in any way support certain claims regarding deregulation in Nigeria.
According to Atiku, his view on the matter stems from his experience as a businessman who is seeing things from an economic perspective.
The elder statesman argued that in the US and Europe, fuel prices are far lower than they were in 2019, adding that if Nigeria truly deregulated, then fuel prices should have dropped.
I am a businessman. I look at things from an economic perspective. Questions beg answers.
The price of crude is down from where it was in 2019.
In the US and Europe, fuel prices are far lower than they were in 2019.
If we truly deregulated, shouldn’t fuel price have dropped?
In its Memo, the PPMC which is a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), stated that the new product price adjustment will take effect from September 2.
However, it did not state the Expected Open Market Price of the commodity.
The fuel price hike stirred various reactions in different quarters across the country.
In his reaction to the increment, President Muhammadu Buhari blamed the COVID-19 pandemic for the hike.
He explained that the outbreak led to a downturn in Nigeria’s finances, making it difficult for the Federal Government to pay for fuel subsidy at this time.
For President Buhari, the COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected economies globally, has compelled the government to make some adjustments which he described as far-reaching.
Although he admitted that such reviews would cause some initial pain for the people, he insisted that they were necessary for the long-term gains.
In a similar vein, the Minister of Petroleum Resources (State), Mr Timipre Sylva has explained the deregulation of the petroleum subsector will be difficult for a while but pay off on the long run.
Mr Sylva said this on Thursday, September 3, during a briefing in Abuja and noted that the government no longer controls the price of the product.
According to him, the Nigerian government spends over a trillion naira yearly as a subsidy payment, explaining that the high cost forced the government to allow market forces to determine the prices of the product.
The former Bayelsa Governor noted that the current price of petrol is a reflection of the global crude oil price, adding that the Federal Government is not working on any kind of policy to cushion the effect of the deregulation. Instead, it is introducing alternatives to petrol.
Mr Sylva revealed that the alternatives include Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), and it will be rolled out by the end of the month.
Stating further, Mr Sylva said that the Department of Petroleum Resources will engage marketers to upgrade their facilities to be able to dispense the alternatives.
Opposition rejects hike in fuel price
The Minority Caucus in the House of Representatives has rejected the reported increase in the pump price of fuel from N148 to N151.56.
Minority Leader of the House, Ndidu Elumelu, made the position of the lawmakers known in a statement on Wednesday.
He described the announced price as unacceptable, saying it would result in an increase in the already high cost of consumer goods and services, as well as worsen the current economic hardship being suffered by Nigerians.
“The minority caucus in the House of Representatives rejects the announced increase in the pump price of fuel,” the lawmaker stated.
He added, “This is because such increase will directly result in more hardship on our citizens, particularly at this critical time when a majority of Nigerians across the country are struggling to survive under the burden of the high cost of living and low purchasing power occasioned by the prevailing economic challenges.
“Any increase in the cost of an essential commodity like fuel will, therefore, bring more hardship to the people and as such should not be contemplated.”
According to the minority leader, the opposition lawmakers are challenging the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government to rather come up with strategies that will lead to decrease and not increase in the cost of domestic fuel.
He stressed that it was important for the government to revamp the nation’s refineries, instead of resorting to fuel price increase at the detriment of Nigerians.
Elumelu, therefore, directed the PPMC to immediately rescind the purported announcement and revert to the former price, with a view to further reviewing it downward.
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has faulted the recent increase in electricity tariff in the country, saying it is “ill-timed and ill-advised.”
According to Atiku who was the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate in the 2019 election, Nigerians are just coming out of the lockdown imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and should be given stimulus, not an increase in electricity tariff.
“I reject the increased electricity tariffs. Coming out of the lockdown, Nigerians need a stimulus, not an impetuous disregard for the challenges they face,” he tweeted on his handle on Thursday.
“Many Nigerians have not earned an income for months, due to no fault of theirs. This increase is ill-timed and ill-advised.”
I reject the increased electricity tariffs. Coming out of the lockdown, Nigerians need a stimulus, not an impetuous disregard for the challenges they face. Many Nigerians have not earned an income for months, due to no fault of theirs. This increase is ill-timed and ill-advised.
On Tuesday, September 1st, 2020, the new electricity tariff approved by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) came into force.
This followed the approval of the implementation of the proposed cost-reflective energy tariff by President Muhammadu Buhari for the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI).
According to the new tariff, some residential areas tagged as “poor” and customers on estimated billing, will not be affected as President Buhari has ordered mass metering of consumers nationwide.
“Under these service-based principles DISCOs will only be able to review tariff rates for customers when they consult with customers, commit to increasing the number of hours of supply per day and quality of service,” the commission noted.
The new tariff, the NERC said, will be reviewed every quarter and the body had told electricity distribution companies (DisCos) to maintain the life-line tariff of N4 for customers consuming less than 50kWh of energy monthly.
The former presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) hailed Nigerian youths for their doggedness and drive towards a better nation, saying this year’s theme, “Youth Engagement for Global Action,” captures how important young people are in the scheme of things.
“I salute the Nigerian youth in particular for their commitment and perseverance towards the attainment of a greater Nigeria,” Atiku added.
“This global picture, which has been on my mind, informed my decision of 40% youth inclusion in my 2019 presidential campaign; a promise I am committed to keeping for the futuristic benefit of our great Nation.”
He explained that with the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world, youths have a huge responsibility in fighting the disease as the future of humanity rests on their shoulders.
“Indeed, the survival of humanity rests largely on the shoulders of the youths, as vigour is required to wear out this plague,” the former vice president explained.
“The vigour and spirit that you embody as youth will play a crucial role in the socio-economic survival of the world, and its rejuvenation, post-COVID19.”
Young women & men worldwide are raising their voices to demand a better future. When provided with opp. to reach their full potential, they can be a driving force for #SDGs.#Volunteering allows youth to address 🌍's most pressing issues & bring about positive change!#YouthDaypic.twitter.com/uPvmpTDWDe
As future leaders, Atiku called on young people to preach and embrace peace, show patriotism, shun nepotism and promote competence.
“Only then can we truly have the Nigeria of our dream,” he said.
According to the United Nations (UN), the 2020 International Youth Day theme is to buttress the “ways in which the engagement of young people at the local, national and global levels is enriching national and multilateral institutions and processes, as well as draw lessons on how their representation and engagement in formal institutional politics can be significantly enhanced.”
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar has asked Nigerian youths to rid themselves of nepotism and promote competence in all levels.
He stated this in a statement on Tuesday while felicitating with youths across the globe on the 20th Anniversary of the International Youth Day celebration.
He said, “I salute the Nigerian youth in particular for their commitment and perseverance towards the attainment of a greater Nigeria.
The theme of this year’s celebration “Youth Engagement for Global Action” gives a critical picture of what the world perceives about the stake of young people globally.
“This global picture, which has been on my mind, informed my decision of 40% youth inclusion in my 2019 presidential campaign; a promise I am committed to keeping for the futuristic benefit of our great Nation”.
Read Full Statement Below:
I wish to felicitate with the youth across the globe on the 20th Anniversary of the International Youth Day celebration.
I salute the Nigerian youth in particular for their commitment and perseverance towards the attainment of a greater Nigeria.
The theme of this year’s celebration “Youth Engagement for Global Action” gives a critical picture of what the world perceives about the stake of young people globally.
This global picture, which has been on my mind, informed my decision of 40% youth inclusion in my 2019 presidential campaign; a promise I am committed to keeping for the futuristic benefit of our great Nation.
In this era of Covid-19 when the entire world is faced with this plague, the youth have a responsibility to guard against being infected, as well as help to stem the rate of infection by observing the NCDC protocols of washing/sanitizing hands, wearing of face mask, avoiding crowded areas and observing social distancing.
Indeed, the survival of humanity rests largely on the shoulders of the youths, as vigour is required to wear out this plague.
The vigour and spirit that you embody as youth will play a crucial role in the socio-economic survival of the world, and its rejuvenation, post-covid-19.
As leaders of today, and tomorrow, I enjoin you all to preach and practice peace; demonstrate patriotism at all levels; rid yourselves of nepotism and promote competence above all forms of sentiments.
Only then can we truly have the Nigeria of our dream.
I shall stay the course and continue to offer my shoulders for you all to climb because as youths, you are “Leaders of Today”.