Buhari Greets Morocco’s King Mohammed VI On 22nd Anniversary

File photo of President Muhammadu Buhari

 

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has extended warm felicitations to His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco on the 22nd anniversary of his ascension to the throne.

The President, on behalf of the people of Nigeria, and of himself, wishes the King good health, and prosperity. The letter below:

“On the occasion of the 22nd Anniversary of Your Majesty’s ascension to the throne, I have the pleasure to express, on behalf of the people of Nigeria and myself, warm congratulations and best wishes for good health and prosperity.

“Your Majesty’s reign has witnessed very impressive economic and social development in the Kingdom of Morocco for the benefit of all your people. Under your reign, the Kingdom has also significantly contributed in advancing regional peace, stability and development.

“We value the excellent fraternal relations between our two countries and look forward to building on the significant progress so far achieved under our renewed bilateral relation.

“While wishing Your Majesty continued good health, please accept the assurances of my highest esteem.”

Terrorism War: We Are Available To Help, Boris Johnson Tells Buhari

 

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that the UK is available to assist Nigeria in its war against terrorism. 

Johnson stated this while holding bilateral talks at the sidelines of the Global Education Summit in London on Thursday.

President Buhari had earlier reviewed the security situation in the different regions of the country, while PM Johnson pledged Britain’s preparedness to lend a helping hand.

“We are available to help,” he said.

READ ALSO: Why President Buhari Travels To The UK For Medicals – Femi Adesina

At the meeting, the two leaders agreed that in a bid to bring the various forms of terrorism to an end, then it is important that the judicial process runs without interference, no matter who was involved.

According to a communique by the President’s special media aide, the two leaders equally discussed how to increase trade between the two countries, develop solar and wind power, the leadership of the Commonwealth going forward, and other matters of mutual interest.

Nigeria’s power needs and efforts which are being made, as well as initiatives geared at achieving food security, were also brought to the table.

Document Us Properly For Posterity, Buhari Urges Historians

 

President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Daura, Katsina State, implored historians and intellectuals to be factual in keeping the records of the administration, especially in guiding the electorate to make the right choices of leadership for the country.

The President, who received some governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at his country home, said the future of the country would be shaped by the diligence and honesty of those who document history and provide analysis of situations, knowing the value of what obtained in the past, and afterward.

According to a communique by his special aide, Garba Shehu, President Buhari said it would be unfortunate to mislead the electorate with lies, and personal bias, reiterating the need to put the larger interest of the country beyond other colorations.

“For the time remaining, and for those who have one more term in office based on the provision of the constitution, the elections are important to the parties. Intellectuals and historians should be fair to us so that those who are looking for leadership positions will not exploit the political ignorance or lack of knowledge of the people,’’ he said.

The President told the governors to remain steadfast in delivering their promises to the people.

READ ALSO: Nigeria Is No Longer at Ease, She Has Lost Her Soul – Catholic Bishops

“We have done our best and thank God for what we have been able to achieve with the available resources, otherwise we would have been in trouble,’’ he added.

The President said the security situation had improved compared to the instability in the North East before 2015, and the South-South, where some parts of the north were directly under the control of terrorists, while the south was facing serious challenges.

“The subsequent development in the North West is the most amazing, where people who lived together, spoke the same language, and shared common faith started killing each other and rustling cows.

“I had to change the security chiefs and we had to get down to the fundamentals of providing security. If you look at the situation in relation to time and resources, you will find out what we have been able to achieve, ’’ the President noted.

He said oil prices fell from more than 100 dollars to less than 38 dollars under his administration, and the output that was 2.1 million barrels a day dropped to about 500,000 barrels, yet a lot was achieved.

In his remarks, the Governor of Kebbi State and Chairman of Progressive Governors Forum, Atiku Abubakar Bagudu, thanked the President for providing vision and strong leadership for the APC, noting that the efforts to mainstream agriculture as the mainstay of the economy was yielding results.

“I drove from Kebbi State to Daura, and stopped to pick the Governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle, and realized that for the eight hours of coming here, we didn’t see more than 10km of land that was not cultivated.

“It goes to show that the efforts to improve security are also paying off. Farmers are taking advantage and planting. In six weeks, Your Excellency, you have commissioned projects in Lagos, Kano, Katsina, and the Borno States, and also launched some projects virtually.

“We appreciate the projects the federal government is doing in every state of the country and supporting governors, even those that are not so progressive,’’ he said.

Bagudu said three governors, Prof Ben Ayade of Cross River, David Umahi of Ebonyi, and Bello Matawalle of Zamfara left their former parties to join the APC because of the fatherliness, equitable character, and focus of the President on bottom-up development.

“We are proud to have you as our leader. Your achievements and ideals are inculcated in all of us,’’ he noted.

The governors at the meeting with the President also include Prof Ben Ayade of Cross River, David Umahi of Ebonyi, Bello Matawalle of Zamfara, John Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, who is Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina, Solomon Lalong of Plateau and Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano.

Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos, Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger, Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun, and Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa States were also part of the homage to President Buhari’s country home.

Be Fair In Documenting Us, Buhari Tells Historians And Intellectuals

President Buhari believes his government has done much with little. Photo: State House.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari is calling on the country’s historians and intellectuals to be fair in documenting his government, asking them to reflect on the level of insecurity in Nigeria before he assumed office. 

He said this on Thursday when some governors under the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) paid Sallah homage to him in his hometown in Daura, Katsina State.

The 78-year-old noted that it would be unfortunate to mislead the electorate with lies, and personal bias, emphasising the need to put the larger interest of the country beyond other considerations.

“For the time remaining, and for those who have one more term in office based on the provision of the constitution, the elections are important to the parties,” Garba Shehu, one of his media aides, Garba Shehu, quoted him as saying.

“Intellectuals and historians should be fair to us so that those who are looking for leadership positions will not exploit the political ignorance or lack of knowledge of the people.”

READ ALSO: Police Rescue Two Abducted Bethel Baptist School Students

Doing Much With Less?

Buhari (left) exchanging greetings with Governor Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State and Plateau Governor Solomon Lalong. Photo: State House.

 

President Buhari recalled that oil prices fell from more than $100 dollars to less than $38 under his government, with the output that was 2.1 million barrels a day dropping to about 500,000 barrels. In spite of these, he said  his government was able to achieve much.

When compared to what his admiration met on the ground in 2015, Buhari argued that his government has done credibly well to secure the nation.

“The subsequent development in the North West is the most amazing, where people who lived together, spoke same language and shared common faith started killing each other and rustling cows,” the Nigerian leader added as he called on the governors to be steadfast in delivering quality governance to their people.

“I had to change the security chiefs and we had to get down to the fundamentals of providing security. If you look at the situation in relation to time and resources, you will find out what we have been able to achieve.”

Photo: State House

 

Governors who visited Buhari’s country home included Prof Ben Ayade of Cross River, David Umahi of Ebonyi, Bello Matawalle of Zamfara, John Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, who is Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina, Solomon Lalong of Plateau and Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano.

Others are Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos, Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger, Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun and Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa States.

Catholic Bishops Criticise Buhari’s Govt Over Selective Justice, Allocation Of Posts

 

Catholic Bishops of Ibadan Ecclesiastical Province on Wednesday criticised the Buhari-led administration over nepotistic tendencies which they say have led the nation into unease. 

The bishops, from the Ibadan Ecclesiastical province in a statement after their meeting at the Domus Pacis Pastoral Institute, Igoba in Akure, argued that the spike in insecurity across the country is occasioned by the government’s inabilities to serve on the principles of equity and fairness.

According to the communique signed by the province Chairman and Secretary, Rev. Gabriel Abegunrin and Rev. Akin Oyejola, respectively, the country is plagued by “inept, uncaring leadership which functions by selective allocation of posts, privileges, and resources and by selective application of justice”.

The clergymen lamented that the Buhari-led administration has cost Nigeria its soul, adding that this is the reason for the insecurity and economic woes experienced at this moment in the nation’s history.

Those Representing Nigerians Are Saboteurs

The Bishops also took a swipe at the National Assembly, stating that those representing Nigerians are saboteurs who have “perfected the art of sabotaging the progress” of the people they represent.

They urged Federal Lawmakers to prioritise the interest of Nigerians above those of their political and selfish ambitions.

In the passing weeks, there have been heated debates over electoral reforms, electronic transmission of electoral results, press freedom, and the Petroleum Industrial Bill (PIB), issues which the priests believe must only be tackled with the people’s best interest at heart.

READ ALSO: Police Rescue Two Abducted Bethel Baptist School Students

They lamented that often “the work of those who represent the people on the federal level in Nigeria does not seem to bring much satisfaction to the people for whose interest they were allegedly elected, with the national assembly at various occasions prioritizing party and privileges over people’s rights and interests, relief and progress continue to elude Nigerians”.

The clerics condemned the passage of the amended Electoral Act and the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and urged Nigerians to challenge the Senate and the House of Representatives’ decisions.

They appealed to Nigerians not to lose hope in the possibility of a peaceful, united, and prosperous country, urging the media and civil society groups to sustain the momentum on increased public awareness and education on the importance of political participation at all levels of governance.

In the priests’ opinion, it is indeed “time for Nigerians to no longer simply roll over and accept non-representative decisions of the assembly but to challenge them by all legitimate means”.

I Was Surprised To Hear Only 2.5 Per Cent Of Arable Land In Nigeria Is Being Cultivated – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday in Daura, Katsina State, urged more Nigerians to embrace farming, saying he was surprised to hear only 2.5 per cent of arable lands in the country is being cultivated.

President Buhari told newsmen at his residence, after the Eid-el-Kabir prayers, that the Presidential Economic Advisory Council had notified him that only a small percentage of the land in the country had been used for farming, directing security outfits to work more with communities to create a more friendly environment for farmers.

The President mandated security outfits to be more relentless in maintaining peace in the country, and ensure a more harmonious relationship with communities so that they can glean intelligence.

He said the security situation had improved considerably over time in the North East and South South, and efforts were being made in North Central and North West, assuring that more will be done to fish out those that had been troubling the peace of the nation and citizens.

Earlier at the prayer ground, the Emir of Daura, Faruk Umar Faruk, called on citizens to be more supportive of the President so that he can actualize his vision of improving security and boosting the economy.

“Since the President came into power we have seen some positive changes in the country.

“May God continue to strengthen the President with good health and courage to bring peace to the country. God will not allow Nigeria to see shame,’’ he said.

“God has been keeping the country and he will keep the country.’’

Buhari Urges Stronger Synergy With States To Develop Infrastructure

 

President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Dustin-Ma, Katsina State, called on state governments to build stronger partnerships with Federal Government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies to provide the infrastructure that will meet the growing needs of Nigerians.

The President also urged the National Assembly to pass the National Water Resources Bill.

Speaking at a ceremony for the commissioning of the Zobe Regional Water Supply Scheme in Katsina State, the President said the project was initiated by a previous administration in 1992, and the Federal Government had to work in collaboration with the state to ensure completion.

“I am particularly delighted to be physically here today for the commissioning ceremony which has been on hold for over one year due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

“As you all know, the implementation of this very important project that commenced in 1992 suffered neglects under past administrations primarily due to lack of attention that resulted in poor funding and ultimate abandonment.

“It is therefore gratifying to note the positive efforts made by the Federal Ministry of Water Resources to salvage the project leading to its completion and eventual commissioning today.

“I have also noted the effective collaboration between the Ministry and Katsina State Government for the execution of different components of the project as enshrined in the Memorandum of Understanding entered into by both parties way back in October 2017 when the project was resuscitated,” he said.

READ ALSO: Bandits Kill 13 Police Officers In Zamfara

President Buhari enjoined other sectors to emulate the good practice of federal and state governments’ partnership to accelerate infrastructure development.

The President said the administration will work towards ensuring that all Nigerians, irrespective of location in the country, have access to adequate potable water supply and sanitation facilities as enshrined in the SDG target.

“However, for this national aspiration to be realized, we need to mobilize funds from all sources including the private sector. This is where the need for quick passage of the National Water Resources Bill that made provision for the National WASH Fund, as well as regulatory environment for private sector involvement in the sector, become relevant.

“I therefore call on the National Assembly to give attention to the Bill towards its passage into law as soon as possible,” he added.

The President noted that from the inception of the administration there had been a serious commitment to the development of the water sector through various efforts.

“Approval of the National Water Resources Policy by the Federal Executive Council in September 2016; Approval of a 15-year Roadmap developed by the Federal Ministry of Water Resources in 2016; Approval and Launching of Partnership for Expanded Water Supply, Sanitation, and Hygiene Program in November 2016; Approval of the National WASH Action Plan for the revitalization of the sector and declaration of a “State of Emergency” on the sector in November 2018 and Launching of the “Clean Nigeria Campaign” in 2019 to make Nigeria Open Defecation Free by 2025.”

He said Executive Order Number 9 was signed in support of the Clean Nigeria Campaign Implementation and improved funding of the sector from special sources.

According to President Buhari, “the transformation being witnessed in the sector under the above-listed efforts is highly commendable. I enjoin the Federal Ministry of Water Resources to continue the good work towards meeting our national aspirations as well as meeting the targets for water supply and sanitation under the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.”

He urged the Katsina State Governor, Aminu Bello Masari, who signed an agreement ceremony to take over the project from the Federal Government, and community leaders to operate the facility efficiently, and jealously guard against vandalization.

In his remarks, the Kastina State Governor said the Federal Government had shown a strong commitment to the development of communities, pointing out that the Zobe Regional Water scheme will address a major concern by supplying water for households, businesses, and farms.

He said the project had to be separated into two phases in 2016 to enable completion, noting that by 2018 the first phase had been completed to provide more than 50 million litres of water to some communities in the state.

The governor called for more partnerships to develop the state, adding that the government will keep providing the enabling environment.

Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Hussein Adamu, said 106 water projects were left uncompleted by various administrations, and the Federal Government would keep working hard to ensure that Nigerians get adequate supply of water.

He said the Zobe multi-purpose dam will provide the needed water that will be treated to meet acceptable national and global standards.

Deputy Governor of Katsina, Mannir Yakubu, who is the Chairman of the water project scheme, and Emir of Kastina, Abdulmumini Kabir Usman, thanked President Buhari for his intervention.

“He who gives water gives life,’’ the Emir said.

SERAP Gives Buhari Govt 24 Hours To Withdraw ‘Gag Order’On Reporting Of Terrorist Attacks

A photo combination of SERAP and President Muhammadu Buhari

 

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has sent an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari urging him to use his leadership position “to urgently instruct Mr. Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, and the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to withdraw the directive containing a sweeping gag order banning journalists and broadcast stations from reporting details of terrorist attacks and victims across the country.”

The NBC had in a letter dated 7 July, 2021 issued a directive asking journalists, television and radio stations in Nigeria to stop “glamourising and giving too many details on the nefarious activities of terrorists and kidnappers” during their daily newspaper reviews.

Reacting, SERAP in a letter dated 17 July, 2021 and signed by its deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare said: “The contents of the directive by the NBC to journalists and broadcast stations are entirely inconsistent and incompatible with Nigeria’s obligations under article 9 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”

SERAP said: “We would be grateful if the repressive directive is withdrawn within 24 hours of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, the SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions in the public interest.”

The organization expressed “grave concern that the contents of the NBC directive would impermissibly restrict the rights to freedom of expression, information, and victims’ right to justice and effective remedies that are central to public debate and accountability in a democratic society.”

READ ALSO: We Have Capacity For Electronic Transmission In Remote Areas – INEC

SERAP said: “Reporting on the growing violence and killings in many parts of the country is a matter of public interest. The NBC directive to journalists and broadcast stations to stop reporting these cases, coupled with the possibility of fines and other punishment, would have a disproportionate chilling effect on the work of those seeking to hold the government accountable to the public.”

The letter, read in part: “The broad definitions of what may constitute ‘too many details’, ‘glamourising’, ‘divisive rhetoric’, and ‘security issues’ heighten concerns of overreach, confer far-reaching discretion on the government, and suggest that the NBC directive is more intrusive than necessary.”

“These words and phrases do not indicate precisely what kind of individual conduct would fall within their ambit.”

“The vague and overbroad definitions of ‘too many details’, ‘glamourising’, ‘divisive rhetoric’, and ‘security issues’ also raise concern that the NBC directive unduly interferes with the rights to freedom of expression and information, and is disproportionate to any purported legitimate governmental aim. Ill-defined and/or overly broad directives are open to arbitrary application and abuse.”

“The use of these words and phrases by the NBC, given their opaque and ambiguous meaning, leaves open the possibility for application beyond unequivocal incitement to hatred, hostility or violence. Such words and phrases may function to interpret legitimate reporting by broadcast stations, journalists, and other Nigerians as unlawful.”

“Exacerbating these concerns are growing restriction of civic space, the suspension of Twitter in Nigeria, and the attempts by your government to push for the amendment of the Nigeria Press Council Act and the National Broadcasting Commission Act, to further suppress media freedom, freedom of expression and access to information.”

“Allowing the media to freely carry out their duties is essential to building a secure society and leaving no one behind. Conversely, imposing impermissible restrictions on broadcast stations, journalists and other Nigerians undermines the security that builds a healthy and vibrant society.”

“Article 19(1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights establishes the right to freedom of opinion without interference. Article 19(2) establishes Nigeria’s obligations to respect and ensure this right, which includes the freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, and through any media of one’s choice.”

“Under article 19(3), restrictions on the right to freedom of expression must be ‘provided by law’, and necessary ‘for respect of the rights or reputations of others’ or ‘for the protection of national security or of public order, or of public health and morals’.”

“Although article 19(3) recognizes ‘national security’ as a legitimate aim, the Human Rights Council, the body charged with monitoring implementation of the Covenant, has stressed ‘the need to ensure that invocation of national security is not used unjustifiably or arbitrarily to restrict the right to freedom of opinion and expression.’”

“Since article 19(2) promotes so clearly a right to information of all kinds, this indicates that your government bears the burden of justifying any restriction on reporting of cases of violence and killings, and withholding of such information as an exception to that right.”

“Any restrictions should be applied strictly so that they do not put in jeopardy the right itself. The NBC directive to broadcast stations fails to meet the requirements of legality, necessity and proportionality.”

“The requirement of necessity also implies an assessment of the proportionality of restrictions such as those being imposed by the NBC, with the aim of ensuring that restrictions target a specific objective and do not unduly intrude upon the rights of targeted persons.”

“The interference with the constitutional and legal duties of journalists and broadcast stations cannot be justified in the context of the right to information, as the NBC directive has not shown that their reporting would impose a specific risk of harm to a legitimate State interest that outweighs the public’s interest in such information.”

“The NBC directive may also create an environment that unduly deters and penalizes broadcast stations and journalists, and the reporting of government wrongdoing more generally.”

“The Special Rapporteur on the right to freedom expression has concluded that national security considerations should be ‘limited in application to situations in which the interest of the whole nation is at stake, which would thereby exclude restrictions in the sole interest of a government, regime, or power group.’”

“SERAP notes the collective interdependency of the compendium of constitutional and international human rights, which function to collectively complement and enhance the advancement of the security and rights of each individual in society.”

“We hope that the aspects highlighted will help guide your actions in acting to ensure that Nigerian journalists and media can freely carry out their constitutional duties as contained in Section 22 of the Nigerian Constitution.”

“While your government has the obligation to maintain national security, this obligation is not set apart from the obligation to protect and ensure human rights. National security is a necessary and integral part of the right to security guaranteed to each person individually.”

“According to our information, the NBC called for ‘caution’ by broadcasters while reporting security challenges in the country. The directive, titled: ‘Newspaper Reviews And Current Affairs Programmes: A Need For Caution’, was signed by the Director, Broadcast Monitoring, Francisca Aiyetan, on behalf of the new Director-General of the Commission, Balarabe Ilelah.”

Buhari Reiterates Commitment To Prioritise Infrastructural Development

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has restated commitment to continue to give priority to infrastructure Development and improve water supply, sanitation and hygiene to better the lives of Nigerian citizens.

Access to adequate potable water supply, sanitation, and hygiene are according to the president part of the indices for socio-economic development of any nation.

The president was speaking in Katsina State while commissioning and handing over the recently completed Zobe Regional Water Treatment Plant Project located at Dutsinma Local Government Area of the state.

Buhari explained that since the inception of the present administration, serious commitment has been demonstrated in the development of the water sector through various efforts.

He urged the Federal Ministry of water resources to continue to work towards uplifting the national aspiration as well as meeting the target for water supply under the sustainable development goals 2030.

Defection: PDP Urges Court To Sack Zamfara Governor

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday, asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to sack the Governor of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle from office over defection to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

PDP, in a suit filed by two of its members in Zamfara State, Alhaji Sani Kaura Ahmed and Abubakar Muhammed, argued that Matawalle having abandoned the party through which he came to become governor, have lost his right to remain in office.

In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/489/2021, the plaintiffs argued that in view of an earlier judgment of the Supreme Court, to the effect that the APC had no candidates in the 2019 governorship election in Zamfara State, has not conducted valid primaries, it would be unlawful for Matawalle and Gusau to retain their offices while defecting from the PDP to the APC and thereby transferring PDP’s victory to the APC.

READ ALSO: PHOTOS: Your People Will Respect You More For Joining APC, Buhari Tells Ayade And Matawalle

They asked the court to among other things, declare that Matawalle and Gusau must resign from their offices before their defection, to allow the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to conduct a fresh election within three months to enable the PDP to replace them.

Meanwhile, following an ex-parte application the Plaintiffs moved through their lawyer, Mr Kanu Agabi, SAN, Justice Inyang Ekwo issued an order for the court processes to be served on Matawalle through substituted means.

Specifically, the court directed that the processes be served on the Defendants through the National Secretariat of APC in Abuja, even as it adjourned the matter till July 16 for mention.

In a related development, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned the reported attempt by the police to undermine the statutory powers of the Deputy Governor of Zamfara State, Mahdi Aliyu Gusau.

PDP’s position is predicated on the reported harassment of the Deputy Governor by the police, including an unlawful and vexatious obstruction of a planned rally by the Deputy Governor, despite the statutory powers vested in a situation where the governor has vacated his office, in line with the extant ruling of the Supreme Court.

“Instead of harassing the Deputy Governor Gusau, the police, as agents of the law, should be providing him all the protection and privileges, particularly as the formal process for his official declaration given the vacation of office by Matawalle has already commenced at the Federal High Court.

The Police should know that by virtue of section 221 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) as well as the judgment of the Supreme Court in Falake v. INEC (2016), that the Zamfara governorship mandate belongs to the PDP and that Gusau, not Matawalle, is now the holder of that mandate, given Matawalle’s willful defection to the APC,” the party stated in a statement signed by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan.

The PDP said its mandate is in no way transferable to the APC and the police and all security agencies should be guided by this. The party further cautioned banks and other financial institutions “to be wary of unapproved financial transactions with the cronies of Governor Matawalle, particularly, given the alleged moves to sweep the coffers of the state ahead of Matawalle’s inevitable eviction by the court.”

The opposition party asked Deputy Governor, Mahdi Aliyu Gusau, to remain resolute and not be deterred in any way as the people of Zamfara State are solidly behind him in resisting imposters and deserters at this trying time.

People of Zamfara were also urged to remain united as the mandate, which they willingly gave to the PDP, will never be allowed to be stolen by traitors.

‘Avoid Controversy,’ Jega Advises Buhari To Withdraw Onochie’s Nomination

Special Assistant to the President on Social Media, Lauretta Onochie.

 

Former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Attahiru Jega has advised against the appointment of Lauretta Onochie as a commissioner of the electoral body.

Jega during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today reacting to the appointment of the presidential aide, Lauretta Onochie as INEC National Commissioner, Jega said the controversy trailing her nomination by President Muhammadu Buhari should have been avoided.

He called on the lawmakers to apply the laws regarding the issue, in order to avoid a situation whereby elections she participates in may be viewed as being bias.

READ ALSO: PDP Leaders Storm NASS To Protest Onochie’s Nomination As INEC Commissioner

“This kind of controversy is really avoidable. Any person who generated such a controversy, the appointing authorities should be careful because you don’t want to appoint anybody that can raise suspicions or doubts or can lead to a loss of trust of the electoral management body.

“I’m sorry to say that from some of the documents that I have been privileged to see, both about her British citizenship and the very active participation in a political party up until 2019, you will try to avoid appointing such people into an electoral commission — because it can generate controversy.

“To be honest, the president can also withdraw that nomination. After all, there are so many women with credibility, with capacity, competence in both Delta and across Rivers, so why bring someone that can generate controversy and raise suspicions about the intention of the appointment,” Jega said.

The nomination of Lauretta Onochie who currently serves as Senior Special Assistant on New Media to President Buhari had elicited public criticism from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and civil society organizations who are against her nomination on the grounds that she is an alleged card-carrying member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and is not proper to be appointed as an election officer.

However, during her screening for the position before the Senate, Onochie said she is not partisan. She admitted that she had seen the petitions against her which are not only from the opposition but also from people in the APC. She said the opposition to her candidacy is because she is known to be non-partisan and someone who insists on due process and the right thing to be done.

Senate Approves Buhari’s $6.1bn Foreign Loan Request

File photo of Senate President Ahmed Lawan with the gavel

 

The Senate has approved the Federal Government’s request for a $6.1 billion (N2.343 trillion) loan request.

The Senate gave the approval on Wednesday after it considered a report from its Committee on Local and Foreign Debt which it earlier directed to work on the loan request.

Presenting the report on the floor during plenary, the Chairman of the committee, Senator Clifford Ordia said the request is not new as it was approved in the borrowing plan when the National Assembly passed the 2021 budget noting that it would be used to fund the budget deficit.

READ ALSO: Senate Passes N895.842bn Supplementary Budget

President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier in May asked the National Assembly to approve the loan request, saying it would be raised from multilateral and bilateral tenders as well as the international capital market.

The Committee recommended that the Senate approves Buhari’s request for the issuance of $3,000,000,000 but not more than $6,183,081,643.40 Eurobond in the International Capital Market.

The External Borrowing of N2,343,387,942,848, according to the panel, should be for the financing of part of the deficit authorised in the 2021 Appropriation Act.

The Committee also recommended that the Senate should approve that the amount authorised may be raised from multiple sources such as the International Capital Market and any other Multilateral or Bilateral sources as may be available.