Buhari Is Duty-Bound To Bequeath Free, Fair Elections, Says Jibrin

Dr Abdulmumin Jibrin is a chieftain of the NNPP. Channels TV/Taiwo Adesina.

 

A chieftain of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), Abdulmumin Jibrin, on Tuesday said President Muhammadu Buhari is duty-bound to conduct a free and fair election in 2023.

Buhari had on September 21 told world leaders at the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York that his administration will bequeath credible elections next year.

But Jibrin, who spoke in Abuja during a citizens’ election dialogue on the theme, “What makes a good election in Nigeria,” said the Commander-in-Chief should not think he is doing Nigerians a favour by the pledge.

He claimed that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) was against taking Nigerians for granted in the quest for good governance.

“It is important for us not to take Nigerians for granted. Yes, President Muhammadu Buhari made that comment internationally that he will bequeath a free and fair election,” he said.

“It is not a favour to Nigerians, it is a responsibility. So, we should not wrongly interpret that,” the ex-Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation added.

He also spoke about the 19 Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) nominees recently forwarded to the National Assembly.

The ex-lawmaker said his party – NNPP – is worried, the same way Nigerians are concerned over the perceived partisan nature of some of the nominees.

According to him, the President had last year appointed one of his aides, Lauretta Onochie, as National Commissioner for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

READ ALSO: Nigeria Has Moved Beyond ‘Do Or Die’ Politics, Says Oshiomhole

Confidence Booster

The former lawmaker representing Kogi West senatorial district, Dino Melaye, spoke in Abuja during a citizens’ election dialogue on the theme, “What makes a good election in Nigeria,” on October 4, 2022. Channels TV/Taiwo Adesina.

 

Jibrin was not the only one who spoke at the event.  The spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) campaign council, Dino Melaye, who graced the programe, accused the President of appointing APC members as RECs.

Melaye, a former lawmaker representing Kogi West senatorial district, Dino Melaye, explained that the conduct of INEC can either make or mar the 2023 general elections.

“As a party, we made some complaints that some names mentioned as Resident Electoral Commissioners as nominated by Mr President are card-carrying members of the APC,” Melaye said, reiterating the PDP’s worry over the nomination.

“Some of them even participated in open APC activities as nominees for the REC for some states. That is the complaint of my party. If that is rectified, then we must quickly appoint REC because it will boost the confidence of the electorates and show the seriousness of the entire system for the 2023 general elections.”

Some REC Nominees Are APC Members, Says Dino Melaye

The former lawmaker representing Kogi West senatorial district, Dino Melaye, spoke in Abuja during a Citizens’ Election Dialogue on the theme, “What makes a good election in Nigeria,” on October 4, 2022. Channels TV/Taiwo Adesina.

 

The former lawmaker representing Kogi West senatorial district, Dino Melaye, on Tuesday, said some persons nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari as Resident Electoral Commissioners are members of the All Progressives Congress (APC)

President Buhari had written to the Senate on July 26, asking the upper chamber to confirm 19 RECs for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Speaking in Abuja during a citizens’ election dialogue on the theme, “What makes a good election in Nigeria,” Melaye accused the President of appointing people he described as partisan into the electoral body. The development, he stated, has made his party – the Peoples Democratic Party – to be disenchanted. The senator, who is also the spokesman of the PDP presidential campaign council, explained that the conduct of INEC can either make or mar the 2023 general elections.

READ ALSO: FG Breaks ASUU’s Rank, Registers Two Academic Unions

“As a party, we made some complaints that some names mentioned as Resident Electoral Commissioners as nominated by Mr President are card-carrying members of the APC,” Melaye said, reiterating the PDP’s worry over the nomination.

“Some of them even participated in open APC activities as nominees for the REC for some states. That is the complaint of my party. If that is rectified, then we must quickly appoint REC because it will boost the confidence of the electorates and show the seriousness of the entire system for the 2023 general elections.”

Noting that election is a process, the PDP chieftain charged INEC to wake up to its responsibilities ahead of next year’s polls.

He stated that Nigerians are worried that of the 36 states, RECs have not been assigned to 19 states despite how crucial their duties can be during elections.

The ex-lawmaker also knocked the current administration for the delay in assigning the nominees to their respective domains.

Ozekhome Writes Buhari, Seeks ‘Political Solution’ To Nnamdi Kanu’s Travails

A photo combination of President Muhammadu Buhari and Mr Nnamdi Kanu.

 

Mike Ozekome, the chief counsel to the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has written to President Muhammadu Buhari demanding the immediate release of his client.

In the letter dated October 3, Ozekhome premised his petition on the need to seek a political solution to the embattled IPOB leader.

Kanu was re-arrested on June 25, 2021, and brought back to Nigeria from Kenya to face his trial. Kanu and his co-defendant are facing treasonable felony charges at the Federal High Court in Abuja. He has been in the custody of the Department of State Services for 15 months.

But the letter, which has in copy Abubakar Malami, the Minister of Justice, Ozekhome asked the President to direct the Attorney General of the Federation to facilitate the release.

READ ALSO: Kanu’s Lawyer Expects Justice As Court Hears Case Oct 4

The directive, the Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) argued, is necessary to restore normal businesses that have been paralysed in the South-East as a result of the sit-at-home order declared by the secessionist group.

“The petition is to humbly urge you to order the immediate release of Nnamdi Kanu through a more productive political solution,” the letter partly read.

“You can do this by instructing the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation to wiled his powers under Section 174 of the 1999 Constitution to enter a nolle prosequi.

“This will immediately halt the present restlessness and sits-at-home mantra currently ravaging the South East and paralysing business and normal life.

“Thank you, sir, as you attend to this lengthy petition promptly and right the current wrongs against Nnamdi Kanu by ordering his immediate and unconditional release.”

Meanwhile, Justice Evelyn Anyadike of the Federal High Court Umuahia, Abia State has reserved October 27 for ruling on Kanu’s 8-point application over the alleged Federal Government’s attack on his country home and extraordinary rendition from Kenya.

Justice Anyadike on Tuesday announced the new date for the ruling owing to the submission of counter-affidavits brought before her by Kanu’s counsel, Aloy Ejimakor, who is seeking justice for the extraordinary rendition and abuse; violation of human rights of Article 12 (4) of the Africa Union.

Gbajabiamila Meets Buhari Over ASUU Strike, Submits Report

A photo combination showing President Muhammadu Buhari and the ASUU logo.
A photo combination showing President Muhammadu Buhari and the ASUU logo.

 

Worried by the lingering Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) strike, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, on Tuesday met with President Muhammadu Buhari.

Gbajabiamila led the leadership of the House to see the President at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

During the meeting, he present some recommendations to Buhari as part of the lawmakers’ contributions to ending the industrial rift between the aggrieved varsity lecturers and the Federal Government.

READ ALSO: FG Breaks ASUU’s Rank, Registers Two Academic Unions

While addressing State House correspondents after the meeting, the Speaker said the lawmakers are hopeful because the President had granted a good listening ear and accepted the details of the report.

Gbajabiamila disclosed that another meeting has been scheduled with the President for Thursday, the 6th of October.

He further noted that the House leadership came to the Villa after a series of engagements with ASUU and, having submitted the recommendations to the President, would be awaiting his final decision.

“After a series of engagements with ASUU, the leadership came up with recommendations to the President for approval. They came to discuss with the President, the recommendations,” Gbajabiamila said.

“The president had a good listening ear; he accepted the details of the report. We have another meeting on Thursday to take a final decision after he has digested the report.

“We are done with our meeting with ASUU. We are hopeful because we had a good engagement and he accepted the report and we clarified a few grey areas.”

ASUU has been on strike since February 14.

In August, the union declared a “total and indefinite” extension of its industrial action, noting that the government has failed to satisfactorily meet its demands.

The academics are seeking improved welfare, revitalisation of public universities, and academic autonomy among other demands.

One bone of contention for academics is the non-payment of university revitalisation funds, which amounts to about N1.1 trillion.

But the Federal Government has said it doesn’t have the money to pay such an amount, citing low oil prices during the Muhammadu Buhari administration.

Nigeria Will Be Safer Before Buhari Leaves Office – Chief Of Staff

 

Nigeria will be a safer and more secure country before President Muhammadu Buhari leaves office on May 29, 2023.

This is according to the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, who spoke on Sunday at the 20th convocation lecture of the graduating cadets of regular course 69 of the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Kaduna.

President Muhammadu Buhari speaks at the State House while receiving members of the Nigeria Medical Association On August 9, 2022.
President Muhammadu Buhari speaks at the State House on August 9, 2022. Sunday Aghaeze/State House

 

Gambari reiterated his principal’s commitment to tackling the menace of banditry, terrorism, and other violent crimes ravaging different parts of the country. According to him, the President is consistently supporting the nation’s armed forces with the necessary and most sophisticated equipment to enable them to perform their constitutional duties effectively.

READ ALSO: I Share Your Pains, Buhari Tells Nigerians In Last Independence Day Address

“It is on record that he has provided the military with sophisticated equipment with which to perform their duty,” he said.

“By the end of his tenure around May next year, Nigeria will (be) a safer, more secured country than when he assumed office as President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic.”

While saluting the military for displaying professionalism in defending the nation’s territorial integrity, Gambari said the Federal Government has taken the welfare of personnel a priority.

He equally said the Commander-in-Chief is more concerned about the security of Nigerians, adding that the deployment of ICT has helped the military in confronting some security challenges.

National security, the President’s aide, said is a collective responsibility and as such, Nigerians should not just leave the matter to security agencies.

Gambari’s remarks come a day after President Buhari said his administration has taken steps to address the security challenges across the country.

In his last Independence Day Anniversary address on Saturday, Buhari said he has made “appreciable progress” in core areas of economy and security since he assumed office in May 2015.

He also identified with the pains of millions of Nigerians, assuring them that their resilience and patience would not be in vain.

“As we continue to de-escalate the security challenges that confronted us at the inception of this administration, newer forms alien to our country began to manifest especially in the areas of kidnappings, molestations/killings of innocent citizens, banditry, all of which are being addressed by our security forces.

“I share the pains Nigerians are going through and I assure you that your resilience and patience would not be in vain as this administration continues to reposition as well as strengthen the security agencies to enable them to deal with all forms of security challenges,” the President said.

Adeboye Laments Incessant National Grid Collapse, Cost Of Flight Tickets

pastor-adeboye-rccg
Adeboye is one of Africa’s most influential preachers. [email protected]

 

Pastor Enoch Adeboye has rued the incessant collapse of the national grid, the rising cost of flight tickets as well as bread. 

The General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCGG) in his sermon during the church’s monthly thanksgiving service on Sunday, said these developments however do not affect Aso Rock, the nation’s seat of power.

“No matter the amount bread costs, there will be bread in Aso Rock. It does not matter how many times the national grid collapses, there will be light in Aso Rock,” the clergyman told the worshippers during the service.

READ ALSOI Share Your Pains, Buhari Tells Nigerians In Last Independence Day Address

Pastor Adeboye also lamented the increasing cost of flight tickets, recalling that he was recently told Lagos to Abuja costs around N250,000.

“It used to be about N60,000,” he added. “I asked what happened and they told me what happened.”

But the preacher, who referenced 2 Chronicles 7:14 and Proverbs 21:1, asked Christians to pray for their leaders so the situation can change.

“If our leaders make mistakes, who is going to suffer? If you love yourself, pray for our rulers whether they are close to you or not because you are the most important fellow in a nation!

“Pray to God who can turn the heart of these rulers so that the rulers will do the right thing and then we the people will enjoy,” the preacher maintained.

Buhari To Confer National Honours On Okonjo-Iweala, Mohammed, Kyari, 434 Others – Reports

President Muhammadu Buhari speaks at the State House while receiving members of the Nigeria Medical Association On August 9, 2022.
President Muhammadu Buhari will confer the honours on the recipients on October 11

 

 

The Federal Government has listed 437 persons that are to receive national honours.

According to reports, five persons are expected to receive the honour of the Grand Commander Order of the Niger (GCON).

However, the Presidency is yet to make a confirmation of this.

President Muhammadu Buhari will confer the honours on the recipients at a ceremony on October 11 in the State House

The supposed five are comprised of the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Amina Mohammed; Senate President, Ahmed Lawan; Chief Justice of Nigeria, Olukayode Ariwoola, and former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Muhammad.

Fifty-four persons including the late former Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, and the late former Chief of Army Staff, Ibrahim Attahiru, will be awarded Commander of the order of the Federal Republic (CFR).

In all, 67 persons are listed to receive the honour of Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON), 64 for Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR), 101 for Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON), 75 for Member of the Order of the Federal Republic (MFR), 56 for Member of the Order of the Niger (MON) and 8 persons for Federal Republic Medal (FRM).

Recipients are made up of politicians, public officers, security officials, traditional rulers, religious leaders, lawmakers and more.

.See the full list of recipients below:

US Hails Nigeria On 62nd Independence Anniversary, Pledges Support Against Terrorism

A photo collage of President Buhari and Blinken.

 

The United States of America pledged to support Nigeria in the fight against terrorism, insecurity, and as well as free and fair elections.

US Secretary, Antony Blinken, made the pledge in  a statement on Saturday where he joined Nigerians to celebrate the country’s 62nd Independence Day.

According to him, the partnership between both countries was built on shared values of democracy, diversity, and a spirit of entrepreneurship.

“On behalf of the USA, I extend best wishes to the people of Nigeria on the 62nd anniversary of their independence,” the statement read.

“The partnership between our two countries is strong and is built on our shared values of democracy, diversity, and a spirit of entrepreneurship.

“The US is committed to supporting Nigerian efforts to counter terrorism and insecurity, improve health systems, strengthen democratic institutions, promote respect for human rights, and bolster economic growth including through bilateral trade and investment between the US and Nigeria.

“We stand with Nigeria as a democratic partner in supporting free and fair elections and value Nigeria’s leadership on global and regional issues including the fight to end the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We look forward to expanding our relationship over the coming year and advancing our mutual interests. The US joins in your celebration and extends our sincerest congratulations.”

 

Flooding: Yahaya Bello Asks Buhari To Declare Kogi National Disaster Zone

A photo combination of President Muhammadu Buhari and Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello.

 

Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to declare Kogi a national disaster zone following the flooding that has rendered many households and communities homeless.

Bello made the appeal on Saturday during the 62nd independence anniversary with the state government’s special focus on the flood disaster that has ravaged nine local government areas of Kogi.

According to him, the declaration will help to unlock the nation’s capabilities to respond more aggressively with resources to this perennial disaster.

READ ALSO: Kanu Won’t Appear In Court On October 4 – Lawyer

He stated that the  Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) and the Nigeria Hydrological Services Agency (NIHSA) have earlier predicted that the 2022 floods will be heavier than usual, lamenting that the flood has affected Lokoja, Kogi-Koto, Ajaokuta, Ofu, Igalamela-Odolu, Bassa, Idah, Ibaji and Omala local government areas which lie along the Rivers Niger and Benue.

The 2022 floods, Bello added, have been confirmed as Nigeria’s worst flood disaster that has surpassed the 2012 and 2018, stressing that his administration implemented Flood Early Warning Systems (FEWS) with efforts ongoing to evacuate victims to safer habitats.

In the short term, Bello explained that his administration is providing affected persons and communities with shelter at the various Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Camps, as well as security, food, medicines, clothing and cash grants for necessities, maintaining that in the long term, the state government will need to gear efforts towards more sustainable solutions where possible.

He equally solicited assistance from the National Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Services, Disaster Management and Social Development to cushion the effect of the flood.

Speaking on the lasting solution to end the perennial flooding, the governor said there is a set of common sense and civil engineering solutions to the problem of flooding which could bring permanent solutions, noting that his administration has tried some of the solutions with varying degrees of success.

He added that despite all the efforts, the state continues to harvest an endless cycle of flood disasters every year, noting that the most common sense and humane option left now is to clear human habitations and businesses from the banks of the Rivers Niger and Benue where possible.

He assured that government will embark on clearing the lowlands along the entire floodplains in the flood-endemic local government areas, assuring that such effort will allow the rivers unimpeded flow during their annual flooding.

The Kogi governor pledged to widen the road shoulders along the banks of the River Niger from the NATACO area in Lokoja in order to establish a sufficient buffer zone between the city and the river.

He also assured that in the process of taking such lasting measures, affected communities will be relocated to higher grounds and structures which fall into the designated work areas will have to give way.

The governor promised that the government will ensure proper resettlement and rehabilitation of those who will be affected.

Full Text Of President Buhari’s 2022 Independence Day Anniversary Broadcast

 

 

INDEPENDENCE DAY ADDRESS BY MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE ARMED FORCES, FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA DELIVERED ON THE OCCASION OF NIGERIA’S 62ND INDEPENDENCE ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION ON 1ST OCTOBER, 2022

Fellow Nigerians,

I address you today, with a deep sense of gratitude to God and a high level of appreciation to all Nigerians whose tremendous goodwill gave me the opportunity to provide leadership for our great country at one of the trying times in her history.

Conscious that today’s address would be my last on an Independence Day as your President; I speak to the millions of Nigerians, who believed in me, propelled and stood by me in my quest to bequeath a country where all citizens have equal opportunities to achieve their lives desires in a peaceful atmosphere.

I am honoured to say that my story in the annals of Nigeria’s history is no household secret. My various attempts, failures and eventual success in being elected as a Democratic President in 2015 was made possible by the majority of Nigerians.

When you elected me, I readily acknowledged that the tasks before me were daunting but surmountable because of the growing national consensus that our chosen route to national development was democracy.

This democracy was to be anchored on a clear understanding, application and the principles of separation of powers supported by a reformed public service that is more effective.

I then pledged to Improve the Economy, Tackle Corruption and Fight Insecurity and this was further strengthened by my commitment to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in ten years as the central plank of my second term in 2019.

To the Glory of God and His Grace as well as the commitment and passion displayed by many Nigerian supporters, we have made appreciable progress in these areas but not yet at our destination.

READ ALSO: Independence Day: Return To Classrooms, Buhari Urges Striking Lecturers

Mindful of the task before us, we took some time in settling down and we re-positioned the Economy by providing strategic interventions in core areas at both the Federal and Sub-National levels.

One of the areas where we have made significant progress is in the eradication of deeply entrenched corruption that permeates all facets of our national development.

We strengthened the Institutions for tackling corruption and also cultivated international support, which aided the repatriation of huge sums of money illegally kept outside the country.

The increasing number of prosecutions and convictions, with associated refunds of large sums of money is still ongoing. Furthermore, we would continue to block opportunities that encourage corrupt practices.

In order to address Insecurity, we worked methodically in reducing Insurgency in the North East, Militancy in the Niger Delta, Ethnic and Religious Tensions in some sections of Nigeria along with other problems threatening our country.

Our efforts in re-setting the economy manifested in Nigeria exiting two economic recessions by the very practical and realistic monetary and fiscal measures to ensure effective public financial management. In addition, the effective implementation of the Treasury Single Account and cutting down on the cost of governance also facilitated early exits from recessions.

Fellow Nigerians, this administration removed several decades uncertainty for potential Investors in the Oil & Gas sector with the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act, 2021. This landmark legislation created opportunities for foreign investments in addition to improving transparency in the management of the sector.

Our administration has given the desired priority to the Agricultural Sector through a series of incentives to Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises that resulted in creating millions of jobs. Leading this initiative, the Central Bank of Nigeria’s intervention in a number of areas as well as the Anchor Borrowers Programme had created the required leverages for Nigerians towards self-sufficiency in food and the necessary attraction for farming as a business.

The growing contribution of non-oil exports, especially in agriculture, information and communication technology as well as the performing arts to our national economy will enhance our foreign exchange earning capacity.

We are confronting current economic challenges such as debt burden, growing inflation, living standards and increasing unemployment accentuated by our growing youthful population. These problems are globally induced and  we would continue to ensure that their negative effects are addressed in our policies.

This administration will continue to ensure that our fiscal policies are supported by a robust and contemporary monetary policy that recognises our peculiarities in the midst of the growing global economic difficulties.

This is evidenced by the recent Monetary Policy Committee decision to maintain all parameters, especially interest rates and marginally increased the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) from 14% to 15.5% and the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) from 27.5% to 32.5%. It is projected that this would further insulate our economy from overexposure to uncertainties at the international market by restraining growth in core inflation.

As we continue to de-escalate the security challenges that confronted us at inception of this administration, newer forms alien to our country began to manifest especially in the areas of kidnappings, molestations/killings of innocent citizens, banditry, all of which are being addressed by our security forces.

I share the pains Nigerians are going through and I assure you that your resilience and patience would not be in vain as this administration continues to reposition as well as strengthen the security agencies to enable them to deal with all forms of security challenges.

At the inception of this administration in 2015, I provided the funding requirements of the security agencies which was also improved in my second tenure in 2019 to enable them to surmount security challenges. We will continue on this path until our efforts yield the desired results.

As we put in place all measures to ensure that Nigeria takes her place in the Comity of Nations, we recognize the importance of a well-educated populace as a panacea to most of the challenges we face.

We have, therefore, pursued policies and implemented programmes designed to create a literate and proficient society that ensures that citizens are availed with opportunities for life-long achievements.

I must confess that I am very pained by the recurring disruption to our tertiary education system and I am using this Independence Day celebration to re-iterate my call for the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to return to the classroom while assuring them to deal with their contending issues within the limits of the scarce resources available. This administration has made appreciable progress in redressing these issues that have been lingering for over eleven years.

The Federal Government will continue to mobilize resources both internationally and nationally towards funding education to ensure that our citizens are well educated and skilled in various vocations in view of the fact that education is a leading determinant of economic growth and employment generation.

Fellow Nigerians, we have also improved our health facilities, especially during and after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which attracted commendation of the global community.

As you are aware, Nigeria was one of the countries that defied global predictions of the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic because of our resilience, commitment and passion with which we individually and collectively managed the pandemic.

This administration embarked on addressing critical ecological challenges across the country in order to mitigate the impact of Climate Change manifesting in the form of flood, soil erosion, desertification, air pollution amongst others

We will continue to ensure that our infrastructure drive remains the key to Nigeria’s economic growth and for which every Nigerian will feel the impact.

The Federal Government is already expanding ports operations to ensure that they provide opportunities for the growth of the Nigerian economy.

We have also continued to accelerate our infrastructure development through serviceable and transparent borrowing, improved capital inflow & increased revenue generation by expanding the tax bases and prudent management of investment proceeds in the Sovereign Wealth Fund.

To further open up our communities to economic activities, we have continued to boost our railway infrastructure with the completion of a good number of critical railways and at the same time rehabilitating as well as upgrading obsolete equipment.

I am pleased to inform my fellow citizens that besides our emphasis on infrastructural development with its attendant opportunities for job creation, employment generation and subsequent poverty reduction, our focussed intervention directly to Nigerians through the National Social Investment Programme is also yielding benefits.

There is hardly any ward, village or local government in Nigeria today that has not benefited from one of the following: N-Power, trader-moni, market moni, subsidized loans, business grants or Conditional Cash Transfers.

All the aforementioned programmes along with various interventions by the National Social Investment programme, direct support to victims of flooding and other forms of disasters have provided succor to the affected Nigerians.

Fellow Nigerians, no matter what gains we make, without a good governance system anchored on electing credible leaders on the basis of free, fair, credible and transparent elections, our efforts would not be enough.

It is for this reason that I have resolved to bequeath a sustainable democratic culture which will remain lasting. The signing of the Electoral Act 2021 as amended with landmark provisions further assures us of a more transparent and inclusive Electoral Process.

Having witnessed at close quarters, the pains, anguish and disappointment of being a victim of an unfair electoral process, the pursuit of an electoral system and processes that guarantee election of leaders by citizens remains the guiding light as I prepare to wind down our administration.

You would all agree that the recent elections in the past two years in some states (notably Anambra, Ekiti and Osun) and a few federal constituencies have shown a high degree of credibility, transparency and freedom of choice with the people’s votes actually counting. This I promise would be improved upon as we move towards the 2023 General Elections.

As we begin the transition process to another democratically elected government, I want to implore all aspirants to conduct issues-based campaigns devoid of hate speeches as well as other negative and divisive tendencies.

I also want to express my wish that we see more female and youth participation in the forth-coming electoral cycle. I am sure that our teeming and energetic youths now realise that violence generally mar elections and so should desist from being used by politicians for this purpose.

Reforms in the public sector are already yielding results especially in the delivery of services.  On this note, I urge the general public to demand for citizen-centred services from the relevant authorities.

On the international front, we have continued to take advantage of our bilateral and multilateral platforms to explore cooperation with friendly countries and partners whenever these areas of cooperation are to the advantage of Nigeria.

Fellow Nigerians, in the past few years we have witnessed and overcome a good number of challenges that would ordinarily have destroyed our Nation. However, the indefatigable spirit of the Nigerian people has ensured that we overcome our challenges.

It is in this spirit that I call on all of us to individually and collectively bring to the fore in dealing with all our development issues.

I was called to serve, along with my team, I saw an opportunity to create a better Nigeria which we have done with the support of Nigerians. Almighty God and the good people of Nigeria supported us in laying a solid foundation for the Nigeria of our dreams.

I thank you all and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Buhari And Xi Jinping Felicitate On Nigerian, Chinese National Days

I Am Fully Committed To Mambilla Power Project, Buhari Tells Xi
President Muhammadu Buhari and his Chises counterpart, Xi Jinping. Credit: AFP

 

President Muhammadu Buhari and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping have exchanged pleasantries on the occasion of the two nations’ independence anniversary on October 1.

While Nigeria marks its 62nd anniversary, for the People’s Republic of China it’s the 73rd.

In his letter, congratulating the Chinese President on the anniversary, the Nigerian leader said relations between the two countries have “achieved far-reaching and fruitful results on the basis of equity, mutual trust and mutual benefits,” adding that Nigeria seeks to elevate the strategic partnership to a new level.

On his part, the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, said the Sino-Nigerian relations enjoy “sound momentum, with political mutual trust being enhanced, cooperation in various fields yielding fruitful results and coordination on international and regional affairs being closer.”


READ ALSO: How Africa’s Free Trade Area Can Succeed – Buhari


The full texts of the letters are as follows:

Xi Jinping

President of the People’s Republic of China

Your Excellency,

LETTER OF FELICITATIONS

I write on behalf of the Government and People of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to extend warm greetings and felicitations to the Chinese Government and People on the occasion of the 73rd anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

The bilateral ties between Nigeria and China have achieved far-reaching and fruitful results on the basis of equity, mutual trust and mutual benefits. We thank China for its support to us in various ways and ready to seek more collaborations with you, as well as to elevate the Strategic Partnership between our two countries to a new level.

I highly commend China’s accomplishments under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), to which President Xi Jinping doubles as General Secretary.

As the 20th National Congress of CPC will be held in October, I wish this historical Congress a great success, and also hope it will draw up blueprint for China’s future development.

While wishing you once again, happy celebrations, please accept Your Excellency, the assurances of my highest esteem and regards.

Yours Sincerely

Muhammadu Buhari

H.E. Muhammadu Buhari

President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

Abuja

Your Excellency,

On the occasion of the 62nd anniversary of the independence of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I would like to, on behalf of the government and the people of China, and in my own name, extend to you and through you to the Nigerian government and people, the warmest congratulations and best wishes.

In recent years, the development of China-Nigeria relations enjoys sound momentum, with political mutual trust being enhanced, cooperation in various fields yielding fruitful results and coordination on international and regional affairs being closer. I highly value the development of China-Nigeria relations, and would like to join efforts with you to promote the Strategic Partnership between our two countries and the two peoples.

I wish the Federal Republic of Nigeria prosperity and its people happiness.

Xi Jinping

President of the People’s Republic of China

How Africa’s Free Trade Area Can Succeed – Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari says the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will succeed if African governments demonstrate a higher level of commitment to tackle the slow pace of physical integration, political cooperation and tariff barriers that inhibit business integration.

Addressing the second African Sub-Sovereign Governments Network (AFSNET) Conference on Friday in Abuja, organised by the Afreximbank in collaboration with the secretariat of AfCFTA and the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, the President decried the low-level trade among African countries.

”As leaders, we must all be concerned that we are not trading enough amongst ourselves. It is a bitter reality that Intra-regional trade still accounts for a very tiny fraction of total trade in Africa.

”We have to understand that if this new drive towards a continental free trade area is to succeed, we must demonstrate a higher level of commitment to tackle the slow pace of physical integration due to geographic and political fragmentations, the pace of political cooperation, and difficult tariff and non- tariff barriers that inhibit business integration.

”I am firmly convinced that with the right collaborative action, we will be able to record a much stronger pace of transformation.

”Through shared knowledge, innovation and creativity, we will be better able to cater for the needs of the African continent’s population of over 1.4 billion people,” the President said, urging the Conference to use the network and support provided by pan-African institutions as a platform for the exchange of ideas, knowledge and skills.

The Conference, he said, should also seek and advance innovative solutions to support our common quest for the expansion of intra-Africa trade opportunities for our people.

The Nigerian leader commended the organizers of the conference for demonstrating innovative thinking by taking the AfCFTA to the grassroots, lauding the President of Afreximbank, Prof. Benedict Oramah, and his team for committing US$250 million as seed capital towards the establishment of the AFSNET.

He acknowledged that the initiative spearheaded by Afreximbank was aimed at firmly establishing and deepening intra-continental trade investment development frontier for Africa, facilitating the reduction in the continent’s dependence on exports of primary commodities as well as minimizing the risks experienced due to strong reliance on global value chains.

”This opportunity, if properly harnessed, is a significant step for Africa to begin carving its own niche in the global value chain, from the constituent units up.

”This will undoubtedly complement broader programmes such as the AfCFTA which remains one of the most strategic pan-African agenda to deliver inclusive and sustainable development,” he said.

The President also recognised the support of the Secretariat of the AfCFTA and the role of its Secretary General, Wamkele Mene, in organizing the conference in Abuja.

He underscored the critical role of the African Union Commission to the development of Africa and expressed delight that this initiative compliments the AU vision of achieving the 2063 Agenda –”The Africa We Want”.

He, therefore, assured the participants of the full support and cooperation of the Nigerian government in the implementation of the programme.

President Buhari also commended the outgoing Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, who also recently emerged as the President of the Forum of Règions in Africa, for embracing this initiative and being at the forefront of sharing and exploring opportunities that improve production and trade facilitation activities with his peers in the region.

The President, who told the conference that he was in the second and final term in office, used the occasion to reflect on the challenges the continent has encountered since he took office as President in 2015.

”In all, we have remained particularly resilient.

”Together, we have endured several challenges, from the collapse in commodity prices in mid- 2014 up till 2016 and again in 2020, to the COVID-19 pandemic, to the worsening impact of climate change, droughts, food insecurity and the depletion of our ecological reserves, and of course our fight against violent extremism and terrorism.

”In this regard, in May this year, at the African Union Extraordinary Summit in Malabo, I backed the recommendation of the AU Commission to set up a Standby Force on Terrorism on the continent. As leaders, we must summon the political will required for development.

”We must entrench synergy, enhance intelligence gathering and bring more urgency in our collective efforts as we seek to guarantee peace and prosperity in our continent.

”Therefore, we must increase our efforts in our fight against cybercrime, money laundering, drugs and arms trafficking, smuggling of persons and the reckless destruction of our precious wildlife.

”These and more we must do in order to engender a safe and productive environment for all.”

In separate messages at the event Governor Fayemi, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo and the President and Chairman of the Board of Directors, Afreximbank, Prof Benedict Oramah welcomed the need for deliberate action to remedy the continued reliance of Africa on external trade partners, noting that the AfCFTA provides the platform to do that.

Pledging the commitment of Afreximbank, Prof Oramah said the bank has disbursed over $20 billion in the 5 years to 2021 in support of intra-African trade and on the way to double this to $40 billion in the next 5 years.

”We have supported the AfCFTA Secretariat through current funding; launched in collaboration with the AfCFTA secretariat and AU Commission, the Pan-African Payment and Settlement System (PAPSS) to support payment for intra-Africa trade in African currencies.

”A USD 3 billion facility for clearing and settlement is available for a continent-wide operation of the system; We have also launched the African Collaborative Transit Guarantee Scheme to enable goods to move across borders easily, ” he said.