You Are A Living Legend, Buhari Celebrates Gowon On 85th Birthday

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has described former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon as a living legend and a symbol of national unity.

The President stated this in a birthday message to Gen. Gowon on the occasion of his 85th birthday.

As Nigeria’s youngest leader since Independence, President Buhari affirms that Gen. Gowon’s visionary leadership style, wisdom and disciplined outlook kept the country as one, extolling the former Head of State for faith and steadfastness in God in times of adversity, and courageously pursuing the interest of majority Nigerians for a unified and stronger country.

The President believes the elder statesman laid a solid foundation for the country to thrive, with the creation of federating units, and implementation of futuristic policies like the National Youths Service Corps, that has consistently served the purpose of fostering unity, harmony and expanding the horizons of young Nigerians for lifetime opportunities.

READ ALSO: Winning War Against Drug Abuse Is Crucial To Next Level Mandate – Buhari

President Buhari commends Gen. Gowon’s simplicity and humility, leaving the highest position in the country to return to school for further studies, and returning to provide wise counsels to leaders, encouraging good governance and setting up an organisation, Nigeria Prays, that consistently upholds the nation in prayers.

The President notes that the former Head of State has stayed relevant in Nigeria and beyond, and enjoys wide respect from far and near.

President Buhari congratulates all family members, friends and close associates of the exemplary leader on the auspicious occasion of his 85th birthday, praying that the Almighty God will always remember his sacrifices for the nation, and grant him longer life, good health and strength to keep working for the good of country and humanity.

 

Winning War Against Drug Abuse Is Crucial To Next Level Mandate – Buhari

Buhari wades into Tiv-Jukun crisis

 

President Muhammadu Buhari says winning the war against drug abuse remains one of the critical elements of the Next Level mandate of his administration.

The President stated this on Friday when he received the report of the Presidential Advisory Committee on the Elimination of Drug Abuse (PACEDA).

He reiterated the commitment of the government to the welfare of the citizenry by fighting the scourge of drug abuse.

“Winning the war becomes one of the critical elements of the Next Level mandate of this administration. As a government, we have the responsibility to ensure the security and well-being of our people.

READ ALSO: You Are A Living Legend, Buhari Celebrates Gowon On 85th Birthday

“Our findings have shown that it is more difficult to bring down crime rate to acceptable levels without clearing our country of substance abuse,” the President said.

President Buhari, however, realising the enormity of the menace, solicited for the cooperation of all and sundry. He called on all well-meaning Nigerians and international partners to join hands with relevant government agencies in the fight against drug abuse.

While thanking the committee for its timely and diligent prosecution of the assignment, the President assured that the matter was of utmost importance, and the report would be studied along with the recommendations.

Earlier, the Chairman of the committee, Brigadier-General Buba Marwa (retd) had told the President that since the committee was inaugurated on December 2018, it interfaced with a wide spectrum of stakeholders including Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Non-Governmental organisations, Civil Society Organisations, Faith-based Organisations, professional bodies, international partners and members of drug user communities with their parents, teachers and caregivers.

He added that the assignment, which took members to all the geopolitical zones of the country, confirmed the fears of President Buhari that Nigeria had a very strong drug problem that needed to be tackled as a national emergency.

He, however, said the key to tackling the menace is a formal launch of a War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) as part of the declaration of a state of emergency on the menace as well as the establishment of a National Drug Control Commission.

PHOTOS: Buhari Meets With Calabar Leaders

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday met with leaders of the Calabar community.

They include His Eminence, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi, Otu V, Obong of Calabar, at the State House in Abuja.

The President said that though the City had lost its preeminent status as the first capital city of Southern Nigeria to Lagos but his administration will not lessen ongoing efforts to open the City to the rest of Nigeria but will increase the efforts to ensure happiness and betterment of the people of the City in particular and Cross River State in general.

See Photos Below:

 

 

APC Commends Buhari On New Travel Guidelines For Govt Officials

 

 

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has commended President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval of the immediate implementation of sweeping cost-saving measures aimed at instilling financial discipline and prudence, particularly on government trips.

In a statement by the spokesman, Lanre Issa-Onilu, the party welcomed the presidential directive to ministers and other heads of government agencies to suspend foreign travels and defend their budgets before the National Assembly.

“This will not only foster legislative-executive relations but also ensure that budget passage is speedy and returned to the January-December cycle.

READ ALSO:  FG Gives New Travel Guidelines For Govt Officials

“This is another fulfillment of the president’s election promise to cut the costs of governance, curb leakages, end impunity and ensure adherence to the rule of law by all departments of government.

“To list a few of the approved measures to instill financial discipline and prudence on government trips, all public-funded trips must be strictly for official purposes and must be backed with documented evidence.

“The classes of tickets approved for government officials on official trips have been clearly spelled out. In effect, Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, Special Advisers, Senior Special Assistants to the President, Chairmen of Extra-Ministerial Departments and Chief Executive Officers of Parastatals are allowed to fly Business Class. Other categories of Public Officers are to travel on Economy Class.

“The government will no longer fund extended stays. The duration of official trips is limited to only the number of days of the event as contained in the supporting documents to qualify for public funding.

“Clearly, the era of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s governments when ministers and other senior government appointees splashed our commonwealth on private jet trips, first-class tickets and limousines to ferry family and cronies around are over. Our public resources are now being rightly deployed to address our national infrastructure needs, social investments and other initiatives that directly benefit the people.

“The APC administration remains resolute in fulfilling its promises to the people of Nigeria”.

 

Buhari Promises To Make Calabar Historic City

Buhari Meets with His Eminence, Edidem Ekpo Abasi, Otu V, Obong of Calabar

 

President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Abuja assured full Federal Government’s support for the development of the historic City of Calabar.

At an audience granted His Eminence, Edidem Ekpo Okon Abasi, Otu V, Obong of Calabar, at the State House, the President said that though the City had lost its preeminent status as the first capital city of Southern Nigeria to Lagos, his administration will not lessen ongoing efforts to open the City to the rest of Nigeria, but will increase the efforts to ensure happiness and betterment of the people of the City in particular and Cross River State in general.

“We will open up that part of Nigeria to the rest of the country,” President Buhari assured, adding that a number of projects are being executed by the Federal Government in the State.

According to him, “three road projects – Calabar-Ugep-Ikom-Ogoja; Calabar-Itu-Ikot Ekpene and Sapele-Ewu – are at various stages of completion.”

The President noted that in order to speed up work on the Calabar-Ugep-Ikom-Ogoja road, plans are underway to incorporate it in the Sukuk Bond to increase the level of funding of the construction work.

He assured that the dredging of the Calabar harbour will be undertaken as soon as some legal issues are settled by the Ministry of Transportation and the Nigerian Ports Authority with the contractor.

President Buhari pledged full support to the Calabar Deep Sea Port project of the State, adding that a number of electricity projects would soon follow after a visit to the State by the Ministers of Power in the upcoming two weeks.

Enumerating other projects in the State being undertaken by the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs such as the Industrial Park which is one of the three set up through the Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Board, the President also noted the construction of roads and water projects by the Niger Delta Development Commission; the development of a Skills Acquisition Centre for youths; and the construction of houses among others.

In his address, the Obong of Calabar decried the disregard and neglect of the Calabar Kingdom in spite of its national historical significance, and called for the reversal of the “demotion” through the execution of projects in the areas of roads, power, maritime access, security and border issues as well as the plight of displaced persons from the Bakassi Islands.

The Royal Father congratulated President Buhari on his “overwhelming victory” in the February election and at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, and urged his administration to restore Calabar to what it lost to Lagos and Abuja.

 

FG Will Do Everything To Look After Families Of Slain Officers, Says Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the Federal Government will do everything in its powers to look after the families of officers who lost their lives while fighting the war against insurgency.

The President said that it is the duty of the government to ensure that the loss of these officers does not relegate the families to a life of want and deprivation.

READ ALSO: Avoid Actions That Emphasise The Country’s Differences, Buhari Tells Nigerians

“The unfortunate cost of the war against insurgency and other Internal Security Operations is the loss of lives of some of our officers and men in the Armed Forces.

“These very sad occurrences create deep wounds to loved ones. It is, therefore, our duty to ensure that the loss of these breadwinners does not relegate the spouses and dependents to a life of want and deprivation.

“The government will do all in its powers to look after the bereaved”.

He stated this on Wednesday while launching 2020 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Emblem and Appeal Fund in Abuja.

Read Full Statement Below: 

REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE ARMED FORCES, FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA, ON OCCASION OF LAUNCHING 2020 ARMED FORCES REMEMBRANCE DAY EMBLEM AND APPEAL FUND WEDNESDAY, 16TH OCTOBER, 2019

PROTOCOL

I heartily welcome you all to the formal launch of the 2020 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration Emblem and Appeal Fund. Today, we are once again gathered to acknowledge and commend the sacrifices of our fallen heroes and veterans of First and Second World Wars, Nigerian Civil War and Peace Support Operations around the world.

2. We must not forget those currently engaged in Internal Security Operations, particularly the on-going war against insurgency in some parts of the country. It is indeed befitting to honour the memory of the gallant officers and men who paid the supreme sacrifice to keep the country united. For those who survived with varying degrees of incapacitation, they require our attention and care and we will continue to provide and cater for them.

3. The Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration was intentionally fixed for 15th of January, annually, to commemorate the end of our civil war. It reminds us of the need to guard jealously the unity of our country which was won at a great cost.

4. This day calls to mind the negative impact of strife and conflicts and demands that as responsible citizens, we must at all times avoid actions that emphasize our differences. There is no doubt that the strength of Nigeria lies in her diversity. It behoves us therefore, to engage in activities and endeavours that feed our diversity as a source of strength not weakness.

5. The nation is appreciative of the gallantry and sacrifices of Officers and Men of our Armed Forces in the campaign against insurgency and other Internal Security Operations. This has led to the return of normalcy in affected parts of the nation. The Boko Haram terrorists have been substantially defeated and degraded to the extent that they are only daring soft targets.

6. However, all hands must be on deck to check the attacks on soft targets, mostly innocent Nigerians. The peace and security of Nigeria is non-negotiable and the security agencies must continue to do their work diligently. As a government, we will continue to provide necessary logistical support to ensure that our Armed Forces operate with the best modern warfare equipment, while at the same time adequately addressing the issues of their welfare.

7. Likewise, government will remain steadfast in developing our alliances with neighbours and friends in the international community for the total defeat of the insurgents. The task of resettling and rehabilitating our citizens as well as the reconstruction of territories affected by the war will continue to be one of the priorities of this Administration.

8. We shall not rest until all our displaced persons are safely resettled into their communities without fear of further attacks. It is for this reason that the North East Development Commission and Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development were established. The Executive Arm of Government hereby commends the National Assembly for the passage of the Bill establishing the Commission.

9. It is our hope that with prudent management of limited resources and support from well-meaning Nigerians and Corporate bodies, the Commission working in close collaboration with the Ministry and friends abroad will be able to deliver on their mandate.

10. We are aware that it is the business of Government to provide the enabling environment for businesses to thrive. We will not fail to provide our citizens with an atmosphere that is devoid of security threats and criminality, where life is stable and progress is certain.

11. Government is also well aware that an insecure environment stifles businesses and undermines growth and prosperity. For this reason, we will like to commend and reinforce our gratitude to our men and women in the Armed Forces who have risen to the challenge of securing our nation and providing enabling environment for national progress.

12. It is on this note that we acknowledge and commend the rising trend, where business concerns offer discounted services to our men and women in the Armed Forces in appreciation of their selfless sacrifices to the fatherland. We commend these laudable initiatives and urge more of our business concerns to do likewise. Such gestures would no doubt encourage them in defence of our country and its people.

13. The unfortunate cost of the war against insurgency and other Internal Security Operations, is the loss of lives of some of our officers and men in the Armed Forces. These very sad occurrences create deep wounds to loved ones. It is, therefore, our duty to ensure that the loss of these bread winners does not relegate the spouses and dependents to a life of want and deprivation. Government will do all in its powers to look after the bereaved.

14. Service leaders must take urgent steps to settle the entitlements of these affected citizens as well as the welfare packages designed for their dependants. It is the responsibility of government to ensure that the families of our fallen heroes do not suffer the loss of their loved ones and at the same time be deprived of their due benefits.

15. To ensure that our veterans continue to share the comradeship that existed while in Service and adequately cater for their welfare at exit, the Federal Government established the Nigerian Legion. It is delightful to note that the Legion is carrying out initiatives in transportation, agriculture, housing and other ventures in partnership with the private sector.

16. I am happy to note that the Legion has continued to be a rallying point of veterans and has done its part in catering for the welfare of their ailing members. I enjoin the leadership of the Legion to continue in this spirit. I also urge Nigerians to accord them the needed support, friendship and patronage.

17. As the Grand Patron of the Nigerian Legion, I wish to pledge my continued support and that of the Federal Government to the organisation. My appreciation goes to the State Governors who are patrons in their respective States for the support they are providing to the Legion.

18. Government agencies at the Federal and State levels should continue to patronise services of Nigerian Legion Corps of Commissionaires in the provision of security services. The potentials of our ex-servicemen are enormous and the economy can tap into this for national development.

19. As I launch the emblem shortly, I wish to call on all Nigerians and others resident in Nigeria to procure and wear the emblems with pride to identify with those who laid down their lives for the peace and security of our fatherland. I encourage all to donate generously in support of our veterans and dependants of fallen heroes.

20. Esteemed veterans, ladies and gentlemen, it is now my honour and privilege to launch the 2020 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration Emblem and Appeal Fund.

Thank you and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Avoid Actions That Emphasise The Country’s Differences, Buhari Tells Nigerians

 

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has charged Nigerians on the need to avoid actions that emphasise the country’s differences but instead work together for a united nation.

He also called on citizens to be security conscious while restating his government’s commitment to secure lives and property.

President Buhari made the call during the emblem appeal launch for the 2020 Armed Forces Remembrance Day which held at the council chamber of the Aso Rock Villa.

READ ALSO: We Are Very Concerned About The Security Challenges In The FCT – Lawan

Highlight of the event was the decoration of the President, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Senate President Ahmed Lawan, with the emblem.

A sum of ten million Naira was also donated by the Federal Government to support the work of the Nigerian legion.

The Chief of Defense Staff, the Service Chiefs, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and members of the Federal Executive Council were present at the ceremony.

Buhari Commiserates With Victims Of Floods

 

 

President Muhammadu Buhari commiserates with victims of natural disasters especially floods which have ravaged some states of the Federation recently. Particularly, there have been more occurrences in the Southwest and Southeastern parts of the country.

While the President notes that this phenomenon is not peculiar to Nigeria as is evident in other parts of the world, he assures that the occurrence, attributable in part to climate change, is attracting his attention and those of other world leaders, as evidenced by series of meetings and conferences on the phenomenon, the latest of which happened on the margins of the recent United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York.

READ ALSO: We Are Very Concerned About The Security Challenges In The FCT – Lawan

Commending the efforts of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) for its intervention activities so far, bringing succour to victims in different parts of the country, President Buhari expresses concern that there is an overwhelming recourse to the federal body to come to the aid of the distressed whenever disasters occur, which should normally not be the case.

The President reminds other stakeholders of their roles as spelt out in the policy document on disaster management in the country, specifically calling on local and state governments to live up to their responsibilities by coming to the assistance of victims that fall within their purview.

President Buhari assures all Nigerians of his steadfast commitment to issues bordering on their welfare, promising that his administration is determined to inculcate better coordination of the plight of the citizenry through the newly created Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.

Buhari Seeks Senate Approval To Refund Kogi Govt’s N10.06bn

President Buhari Signs NCDC Bill Into Law
President Muhammadu Buhari (file)

 

The Senate on Tuesday received a request from President Muhammadu Buhari for approval to pay Kogi State Government N10.069 billion being a refund of money spent by the state on behalf of the Federal government.

The request was contained in a letter dated 10th October 2019 and read by the President of the Senate, Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan, during plenary.

The requested amount is for the settlement of inherited local debts and contractual obligations of the Federal Government to the State for projects executed on behalf of the Federal Government.

READ ALSO: Minimum Wage: “We Will Pay More Than N30,000″ – Sanwo-Olu

President Buhari recalled that 24 out of 25 State Governments had received the approval of the National Assembly for the settlement of claims on projects executed on behalf of the Federal Government.

He added that the sum of N10.069 billion is the outstanding amount due to Kogi State Government which is the only State yet to receive a refund.

The letter reads: “The Distinguished Senate President would recall that, based on my request for the Resolution of the National Assembly approving the establishment of a promissory note programme and a Bond Issuance to settle inherited Local Debts and Contractual Obligations of the Federal Government, the 8th National Assembly passed Resolutions approving the Issuance of Promissory Notes to refund State Governments for projects executed on behalf of the Federal Government.

“The Resolutions of the 8th Assembly were conveyed through three different letters from the Clerk of the National Assembly as follows: Letter dated July 27, 2018, and referenced NASS/CAN/106/Vol.10/277 which approved the Issuance of Promissory notes to 21 states.

“Letter dated January 29, 2019, and referenced NASS/CAN/106/Vol.11/004 which approved the Issuance of Promissory Notes to Delta and Taraba States; and letter dated May 23, 2019, and referenced NASS/CAN/106/Vol.11/164 which approved the Issuance of Promissory Notes to Bauchi State.”

“The three Resolutions approved the Issuance of Promissory Notes to 24 out of the 25 State Governments requested, and the only State for which approval has not been given is Kogi State, with an outstanding claim of N10,069,692,410.15 (Ten billion, Sixty-Nine million, Six Hundred and Ninety-Two thousand, Four Hundred and Ten Naira, Fifteen Kobo).

“The Senate may wish to note that, subsequent to Resolutions of the National Assembly approving the refunds to the 24 State Governments, the Federal Government has issued Promissory Notes to all the approved States for the settlement of their claims.

“Accordingly, the Senate is hereby requested to kindly approve, the Issuance of a Promissory Note in the sum of N10, 069,692,410.15 as a refund to Kogi State Government for Projects executed on behalf of the Federal Government.”

The Senate President referred President Buhari’s request to the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts for further legislative work.

I Do Not Accept That The Whole 8th Assembly Frustrated Buhari’s Corruption Fight – Clarke

 

Robert Clarke, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) has said he slightly disagrees with the notion which suggests that the Eight National Assembly frustrated President Muhammadu Buhari’s Government in the fight against corruption.

Chief Clarke who was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics made the comment in reaction to a statement by the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption (PACAC), Professor Itse Sagay.

Professor Sagay had said that the capacity of corruption to fight back has been reduced with the expiration of the Eight Assembly.

READ ALSO: Eight Assembly Frustrated FG’s Efforts To Fight Corruption, Says Sagay

Sagay opined that the Eight Assembly did everything they could to frustrate the (Federal) Government in the fight against corruption, a claim which Chief Clarke believes is a very sweeping statement.

According to Chief Clarke, Prof Sagay’s statement is one which would need to be proven with evidence and facts.

“I don’t know what evidence he has, I know he is a very good lawyer and maybe he has facts which I don’t have but I believe and I agree with him that some or the leadership of the 8th Assembly could be described with that tag that he (Sagay) has now given to the 8th Assembly,” Chief Clarke said.

Mr Clarke said it is not fair to place the tag on the whole of the 8th Assembly, adding that he agrees with Professor Sagay that some of those in the legislature at the time could be said to be frustrating the government’s efforts.

“Professor Sagay is correct but it is not to the extent of the whole 8th Assembly, but the core leaders,” Chief Clarke stressed.

PDP Rejects Moves By FG ‘To Gag Media, Freedom of Speech’

The National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Kola Ologbondiyan.

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected alleged moves by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) Federal Government to “further gag the media, subjugate Nigerians and curtail their constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression”.

The party says the decision by President Buhari administration to impose stringent regulations on online media and broadcast organisations as recently announced by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, is completely ‘obnoxious, anti-democratic’, adding that it is a direct violation of statutory rules governing media practice and freedom of expression in Nigeria.

The PDP in a statement by its spokesman, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan also rejected the Presidential declaration of political comments as “Class A” offence, insisting that such is designed to undermine the nation’s constitutional democracy, exterminate the rights of citizens to dissenting public opinion, emasculate the opposition and foist a dictatorship and one party system on our nation.

READ ALSO: Withdraw Life Pensions For Ex-Officials, SERAP Tells Abuja Council Chairman

“Our party alerts that such moves amount to an attempt to amend our constitution to take away the rights of citizens and undermine our democratic institutions; a development that has the capacity to destabilize our dear nation.

“The PDP invites Nigerians to note that this dictatorial pathways which the Buhari Presidency seeks to impose, if allowed, will herald the gradual emasculation of freedom of expression, repression of free press, infringements on the rights of citizens and foisting of siege mentality on the people.

“Nigerians are already apprehensive that the directive is geared towards clearing the ground for the introduction of certain harsh policies in our country.

“The party insists that our constitution has made enough provisions to guide media practice as well as the exercise of freedom of expression, adding that the foisting of unconstitutional and suppressive regulations is not acceptable under any guise,” the party spokesman said.

The PDP called on the members of the National Assembly, as the representatives of the people, to reject what the party termed as presidential directive which is not in the interest of the nation.

Buhari Suspends International Travels For Executive Body Members

 

Sequel to the presentation of the 2020 Appropriation Bill to the National Assembly, President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the immediate suspension of international travels by all Cabinet Members and Heads of Government Agencies as to enable ministers personally lead the process of budget defence at the National Assembly.

This is according to a communique by Willie Bassey, director of information, office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

READ ALSO: #SexForGrades: Report Cases Of Abuse, Buhari Urges Victims

Mr Bassey notes that the suspension of such travels will enable Functionaries and Agencies of the Executive Arm to provide the required cooperation with the Legislature in order to ensure timely passage of the Appropriation Bill.

“Honourable Ministers who have already secured approval to travel are by this directive, required to revalidate such approvals with Mr. President after confirming the Schedule of Appearances with the relevant Committees of the National Assembly.

“Furthermore, all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) have been directed to liaise with the relevant committees of the National Assembly for their Schedules of Budget defence,” the statement read.