The former Chairman of the Benue State Primary Education Board, Mr Augustine Dzever, has been arraigned over an alleged illegal transfer of N104.9 million belonging to the board to another account.
Dzever is being prosecuted by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) on a 9-count charge.
ICPC in a statement by its spokesperson, Rasheedat Okoduwa, said Dzever was charged before Hon. Justice S. A. Itodo of the Benue State High Court, sitting in Makurdi.
The commission is accusing the former SUBEB chairman of transferring N140, 878, 378 from the personnel account to the overhead account of the board.
ICPC’s counsel, Bako Along, informed the court that Dzever committed the offence in 2005 that is “contrary to and punishable under Section 22(5) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.”
“The court also heard that the accused person, Dzever, had in 2005 allegedly transferred the sum of N24, 477, 918. 98 from the personnel account to the overhead account of the Board, thereby contravening Section 22(5) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.
“Other allegations levelled against the accused include that he transferred the sums of N2, 477, 918. 00 and N20, 000, 000 on different occasions from the personnel account of the board to the overhead account,” the statement read in part.
In his ruling, the presiding judge, Honourable Itodo granted the accused person bail on self-recognition and the sum of N1 million.
This follows Dzever’s plea of not being guilty when the charges were read to him.
The matter was however adjourned to June 24 for his trial.
Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who led an active, reformist tenure as African Union chair, on Sunday passed the baton to Egypt, seen as more likely to focus on security issues than expanding the powers of the body.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will officially take over the post of ceremonial head of the AU which rotates between the five regions of the continent at the start of the two-day summit in Addis Ababa.
The meeting got underway after a ceremony inaugurating a commemorative statue of the late Ethiopian emperor Haileselassie I at the AU headquarters, in honour of his role in the formation of the continental body.
While multiple crises on the continent will be on the agenda of heads of state from the 55 member nations, the summit will also focus on institutional reforms and the establishment of a continent-wide free trade zone.
The Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) was agreed by 44 nations in March 2018, but only 19 countries have ratified the agreement, with 22 needed for it to come into effect.
The single market is a flagship of the AU’s “Agenda 2063” programme, conceived as a strategic framework for socioeconomic transformation.
Cairo is backing the initiative, but analysts say it will be less likely to focus on the financial and administrative reforms pushed by Kagame.
Sisi is however expected to focus more on security, peacekeeping and post-war reconstruction, issues closely tied to the AU’s 2019 theme of “Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons”.
“Egypt has an interest in Africa, they want to strengthen their position on the African continent and they don’t want to be seen as a country only focused on the Arab world,” said Liesl Louw-Vaudran, an analyst at the Institute for Security Studies.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Saturday that peaceful elections in DR Congo, Mali and Madagascar, as well as peace deals in South Sudan and the Central African Republic and the truce between Ethiopia and Eritrea, were signs of a “wind of hope” on the continent.
Resisting AU power
Kagame, who has been leading institutional reforms since 2016, pushed for a continent-wide import tax to fund the AU and reduce its dependence on external donors, who still pay for more than half the institution’s annual budget.
But member states have resisted this along with reform of the AU Commission, its executive organ. In November 2018, most states rejected a proposal to give the head of the AU Commission the power to name deputies and commissioners.
Like other regional heavyweights Nigeria and South Africa, Egypt is not keen on a powerful AU, an African diplomat told AFP.
This is especially because Cairo has “never forgotten” its suspension in 2013 after Egypt’s army deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, who in 2012 became the country’s first democratically elected president, the diplomat said.
“Traditionally, leaders of big powers have not really helped the position of AU chairperson, as they don’t want an AU which is too strong or too intrusive,” said Elissa Jobson of the International Crisis Group.
“The AU and the AU commission are only as strong as its members want them to be. Unlike the EU, African countries have not transferred some of their sovereignty to the AU.”
Kagame suffered a crushing blow from the AU after expressing “serious doubts” about the results of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s recent presidential election, which was officially won by Felix Tshisekedi.
While also disputed by the Catholic church, the results were validated by DRC’s constitutional court and saluted by continental heavyweights South Africa, Kenya and Egypt.
“This whole thing was an embarrassment for the AU, it showed the limitations of what the AU chairperson can do,” said Jobson.
Amnesty International expressed fears that Egypt’s chairmanship could undermine human rights mechanisms in the AU.
“During his time in power President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has demonstrated a shocking contempt for human rights. Under his leadership the country has undergone a catastrophic decline in rights and freedoms,” said Najia Bounaim, Amnesty’s North Africa Campaigns Director.
Mitsubishi Motors executives ousted Carlos Ghosn as chairman on Monday following his shock arrest for alleged financial misconduct, capping a stunning fall from grace for the tycoon credited with saving the scandal-hit Japanese firm.
The move follows Ghosn’s sacking as chairman of Nissan as he faces questioning in a Tokyo detention center over claims he under-reported his salary to the tune of $44 million over several years.
The firm’s CEO Osamu Masuko told reporters it was “heartbreaking” to propose ousting Ghosn but in the end, it was a unanimous decision.
The 64-year-old Brazil-born Ghosn rode to Mitsubishi Motors’ rescue in 2016 when the firm was battered by a fuel efficiency cheating scandal, tying it to his Nissan-Renault alliance and turning its fortunes around.
Together, the three-way alliance is the world’s top-selling car group, with some 10.6 million vehicles rolling off the production line. It employs around 450,000 people worldwide.
But the future of the tie-up is now uncertain as the talismanic Ghosn was seen as the glue binding together a fractious Franco-Japanese alliance with headquarters 10,000 kilometers (6,000 miles) apart.
“We (have) had two years of the alliance and there were positive parts… and parts that needed to be revised a little from Mitsubishi Motors’ point of view,” said Masuko.
A seven-person Nissan board decided unanimously on Thursday to jettison the once-revered leader “based on the copious amount and compelling nature of the evidence of misconduct presented”, said a company spokesman.
Meanwhile, further claims continued to leak out in the Japanese media of Ghosn’s alleged misconduct.
Officially, prosecutors are looking into allegations that he conspired with another executive, American Greg Kelly, to understate his income by around five billion yen ($44 million) between June 2011 and June 2015.
But the Asahi Shimbun said authorities are planning to re-arrest him on charges of understating his income by a further three billion yen — for a total of $71 million — for the following three fiscal years.
Under Japanese law, suspects can face additional arrest warrants, which can result in heavier penalties. The current allegations could see Ghosn facing 10 years behind bars and/or a 10-million-yen fine.
Separately, Kyodo has reported that Nissan paid $100,000 annually since 2002 to Ghosn’s sister for a non-existent “advisory” role.
And the Mainichi Shimbun reported on Monday that Ghosn used Nissan’s corporate money to pay a donation to his daughter’s university and also charged family trips to the company.
Both Ghosn and Kelly have reportedly denied the allegations.
Nissan’s current CEO Hiroto Saikawa told staff on Monday he was “shocked” at his former mentor’s alleged misconduct.
At a 45-minute meeting attended by hundreds of staff at the firm’s Yokohama HQ and broadcast internally to other sites, Saikawa stressed that the scandal should not affect day-to-day operations.
Saikawa, who rose through the Nissan ranks under Ghosn’s wing, has already spoken of his “great resentment and dismay” at the allegations.
According to Japanese media, Nissan formed a “secret” cell within the firm to look into the alleged financial misdeeds.
Executives accelerated the probe amid concerns Ghosn was working on a fully-fledged merger between Nissan and Renault, Kyodo News said without naming its sources.
Renault is the dominant partner in the alliance, holding 43 percent of the shares in Nissan, but the Japanese firm outsells its French counterpart — sparking concern in Tokyo about the balance of power.
Renault, which is 15-percent owned by the French state, has decided to stick by Ghosn for now, appointing Thierry Bollore as interim boss while the current CEO and chairman is “incapacitated”.
France’s economy minister Bruno Le Maire has urged the Japanese firm to share “quickly” whatever evidence it has gathered and stressed Ghosn will stay at the helm of Renault “until there are tangible charges.”
However, Le Maire has said he did not believe in a “conspiracy theory” amid talk of a so-called “palace coup” within Nissan to prevent Ghosn merging the firm with Renault.
The difficulty now will be to find a replacement to lead the three-way alliance, whose statutes require Renault to appoint the CEO and Nissan to choose the deputy.
A source close to the case in Paris told AFP: “The reality is that they are already looking for a replacement. Not to do so would be irresponsible. It needs to be someone palatable to the Japanese and the French.”
Investors appeared to be recovering from the initial shock of the arrest, which sent shares in all three firms tumbling.
At the Tokyo close, Nissan was up nearly two percent and Mitsubishi Motors enjoyed an even sharper bump — up more than three percent just ahead of the board meeting.
The Federal Government has directed the Chairman of the Special Investigation Panel on the Recovery of Public Property, Chief Okoi Obono-Obla to desist from carrying out any operation in his capacity as head of the panel.
In a letter addressed to the panel’s chairman dated November 1st, 2017 with file number HAGF/SH/2017/VOL/1/60 and signed by the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami it states that this was based on the strength that Obono-Obla’s actions of late have run contrary to the enabling act establishing it.
The letter also notes that the activities of the panel have contravened established administrative procedures and protocols in the nation’s civil service structure, insisting his immediate and strict compliance with the directives.
Obla is also instructed to henceforth seek clearance from the AGF before granting any media interview or making press releases on official matters, while he is directed to promptly provide a detailed up-to-date report on the activities of the panel to the Minister for onward transmission to the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
Malami’s letter titled, Re: Directive In Respect of Chief Okoi Obono-Obla, Chairman of The Special Investigation Panel on The Recovery of Public Property emanates from an earlier one sent to him by the Vice President.
It read thus that, “I have received a letter Ref. SH/OVP/DCOS/FMJ/0424 dated 20th October, 2017 in respect of the above subject from the Office of the Vice President.
“In the said letter, the Vice President expressed his concerns on the activities of the Special Investigation Panel on the Recovery of Public Property which runs contrary to the enabling Act establishing it. He also noted that the activities of the Panel run foul or contrary to established administrative procedures and protocols in the Federal Civil Service structure.
“In view of the foregoing coupled with the directives contained in the letter under reference, you are hereby directed to refrain from any further action or taking any step in your capacity as the Chairman of the Special Investigation Panel on the Recovery of Public Property with immediate effect until directed otherwise by His Excellency, the Vice President.
“While you are to await further instructions in respect of the Panel’s mandate, you are hereby directed to promptly provide a detailed up-to-date report on the activities of the Panel to the undersigned for onward transmission to the Vice President.
“Furthermore, you are required to henceforth seek clearance from the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice before granting any media interview or making press releases on official matters.
“While appealing for immediate and strict compliance with the contents of this letter, please, accept the assurances of my warm regards and best wishes,” the letter concluded.
The National Judicial Council (NJC) has replaced a former President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami, as the head of the Corruption and Financial Crime Cases Trial Monitoring Committee (COTRIMCO).
The Director of Information of the NJC, Mr Soji Oye, said on Tuesday that Salami was replaced by a retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Suleiman Galadima.
Galadima replaces Ayo Salami, retired president of the court of appeal, who earlier rejected the appointment for personal reasons.
Mr Oye in the statement said Galadima and other members of the committee would be inaugurated at the Supreme Court by 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 1.
The statement read, “The National Judicial Council under the chairmanship of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Honourable Justice Walter Nkanu Onnoghen, GCON, has picked a retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Honourable Justice Mr Suleiman Galadima, CFR, as the new chairman of the Corruption and Financial Crime Cases Trial Monitoring Committee,” the statement read.
“He is to replace Honourable Justice Mr Ayo Salami (retired) who excused himself from the committee as the chairman, after initially accepting to serve.
“The committee will be inaugurated tomorrow, Wednesday, November 1st, 2017 by Honourable Justice Mr Onnoghen, at the Council’s Conference Hall by 2:00 p.m.”
Honourable Justice Mr Galadima, CFR, was born October 1946 in Nasarawa State. He attended Government College Keffi where he obtained the West Africa School Certificate in 1965 before he proceeded to Ahmadu Bello University where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in Law in 1977 and was called to the Bar after he graduated from the Nigerian Law School in 1978.
He later received a master’s degree in Law from the University of Jos in 1985.
He joined the Anambra State Judiciary as Magistrate on July 1988 and in 1990, he was appointed as Attorney General and the Commissioner for Justice, Plateau state. On May 1991, he became the High Court Judge of Plateau State. At the creation of Nasarawa State in 1996, he was appointed as its pioneer Chief Judge of the State.
On December 9, 1998, he was appointed to the Court of Appeal and on August 2010, he was appointed to the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
He retired on October 10, 2016, at the mandatory retirement age of 70 years.
Galadima is famous for his leading judgement in Shina Oketaolegun Vs. State, SC. 334A/2012, wherein he held that the Court of Appeal correctly reviewed the evidence led by both the prosecution and the defence in which he agreed that the evidence of one credible witness can justify the conviction.
The newly set up Corruption and Financial Crime Cases Trial Monitoring Committee which will be inaugurated tomorrow, November 1, is made up of the following:
The Committee is made up of:
Hon. Justice Suleiman Galadima, CFR
Hon. Justice Kashim Zannah (OFR),
Chief Judge, Borno State
Hon. Justice P.O. Nnadi,
Chief Judge, Imo State
Hon. Justice Marsahal Umukoro,
Chief Judge Delta State
Hon. Justice M. L. Abimbola,
Chief Judge, Oyo State
Mr. A.B Mahmoud OON, SAN,
President, Nigerian Bar Association,
Chief Wole Olanipekun OFR SAN,
Former NBA President
Mr. Olisa Agbakoba OON SAN,
Mr. J.B Daudu SAN,
Mr. Augustine Alegeh SAN,
Dr. Garba Tetengi SAN,
Mrs. R.I Inga
Mrs. Hajara Yusuf
Representative, Ministry of Justice
Alhaji Kabiru Alkali Mohammed, mni
Representative, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN).
A former Nigerian Ambassador to Germany, Prof Tunde Adeniran, has reiterated his commitment to ensuring a sound victory in the forthcoming Presidential election if elected National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
He made this known while appearing on Channels Television’s Hard Copy on Friday, where he spoke on the corruption drive of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
He said, “The anti-corruption thing to me, is largely a farce because of the framework of it, you have to deal with the institutions first, and then deal with some specific areas.
“I have no doubt in my mind that we are going to shed it. We have Senator Ahmed Makarfi, what he is doing; he is demonstrating a high degree of transparency. That is sending signals, not just to the members, also to the nation to show that this is a new PDP emerging.
“The type of corruption they were talking about at that time was quite appalling because when you look at quite a number of things, you will see people disregarding rules, regulations, sabotage and make sure that things do not go the way they should go.”
Although the PDP Chief admitted that his party was shocked following the recent corruption allegations against some of its members, he however was quick to say it was a deliberated ploy by the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government to ‘witch-hunt’ the party.
He added, “As a party, we have been shocked. As an individual, I have been shocked by some of those things, but these are allegations. We have not seen someone who has been really convicted and say, ‘Look, this is as a result of due diligence, justice following the normal process.’
“As far as we are concerned, both personally and the party, we believe that corruption should be stamped out from the society, from this country. But then when you are doing it, you have to do it judiciously. You have to be equitable in what you are doing”.
The Chairman of the All Progressives Congress in Ondo State, Mr Isaacs Kekemeke, has been suspended by the executive committee members of the party.
Addressing journalists on the suspension, the Publicity Secretary of APC in Ondo State, Mr Abayomi Adesanya, said the executive committee of the party unanimously suspended Mr Kekemeke.
He said the allegations that led to the chairman’s suspension include gross abuse of office, financial impropriety, negligence and dereliction of duty as well as anti-party activities.
Mr Adesanya added that a three-man panel has been set up to investigate the Chairman and the other party members that were indicted based on the allegations.
The suspended APC chairman, however, told journalists in Akure, the state capital, that he had not been notified of his suspension and that he only read about it on the social media.
He expressed shock at the action, saying he wished he could walk away and have nothing to do with those behind the suspension.
He, however, said numerous leaders of the party have urged him to stay and stand for the party.
Kekemeke, who blamed the action on his detractors, said their plan was to take over the party and use it the way they like in subsequent congresses and primaries.
He said although he was not interested in the position of the Chairman, he would not allow some people to rubbish the party, insisting that he would stand for the generality of the party members who had been sidelined.
The APC Chieftain also said he owed nobody an apology for having his own preference concerning who should fly the party’s flag in the last governorship election in the state.
He added that despite his preference, he did not manipulate the election or jeopardise anybody’s chances.
Kekemeke also said that no formal report had been made to the national leadership of the party on his purported suspension from office, saying the constitution of the party would be used to channel any complaints first to the zonal executive committee and subsequently to the national executive committee of the party.
The Enugu State Board of Internal Revenue has sealed off eight banks in the metropolis, for failure to remit about 1Billion Naira tax to the government.
The exercise which started on Monday morning at about 5:30am, affected Access Bank PLC, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Skye Bank, Union Bank, Unity Bank, Heritage Bank, Keystone Bank and Sterling Bank, in the metropolis.
The Chairman, Enugu State Board of Internal Revenue, Mr Emeka Odo made this known to newsmen in Enugu, that the board obtained an order from the state High Court to seal the affected banks.
Mr Odo, said sealing of the banks which is the first phase of the enforcement exercise on the major companies and institutions will remain under lock and key, to ensure that they perform their civic obligations to the state government.
He however called on customers of the affected banks not to panic as the banks are expected to take necessary actions, to enable the government serve them better.
The transport sector in Nigeria will soon be witnessing increased activities in the railways, following renewed collaboration between the federal government and foreign partners.
The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, revealed that negotiations were at advanced stage with General Electric, an American multinational conglomerate and the China Exim Bank on the revival of the rail system.
Mr Amaechi told reporters shortly after he visited the dry inland port in Jos, the Plateau State capital, that work would commence on the narrow and standard rail line gauge across Nigeria as soon as the negotiations were concluded.
The minister, who was at the Heipang Inland Container Depot to inspect its facilities, was accompanied by officials of the Ministry of Transportation, the Nigerian Shippers Council, members of the Plateau State Executive Council as well as the concessionaire of the port.
Having inspected the site which borders the Yakubu Gowon Airport and a railway station, Mr Amaechi stressed the need to develop facilities in the inland dry ports on a tripartite arrangement involving the Federal Government, the host state government and the private investor.
In his response, Governor Simon Lalong assured the minister that Plateau State would contribute its part in the development and implementation of the project, with assurance that the project would receive urgent attention by his administration.
The Chairman, Plateau Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Bulus Daren, highlighted some of the advantages of the development.
He expressed optimism that apart from decongesting the seaports, the inland dry port would bring shipping services to the door steps of shippers across Nigeria, as well as assist in the overall costs of cargo to hinterland locations.
It is speculated that the Nigerian Shippers Council has been promoting and facilitating the establishment of inland container depots on the basis of public-private partnership with six approved locations in Aba, Ibadan, Jos, Kano, Funtua and Maiduguri to service the Nigerian populace.
Anthony Eyibio with a medical condition, Congenital Talipes Equinovarus, otherwise known as club foot, will get corrective treatment, facilitated by the Red Cross Society of Nigeria.
Days after Channels Television reported Anthony’s case, and the World Health Organization confirmed that it was club foot; his condition drew attention that has led to the announcement by the Red Cross that it is determined to correct the infant’s condition free of charge.
Anthony will not only be the beneficiary but patients with same condition across Nigeria, as the Red Cross Society says, it is looking at setting up a club foot care project across Nigeria to create awareness on the medical condition and treat patients accordingly.
This was disclosed at the Orthopaedic Department of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UTCH) by a team of senior health practitioners while receiving Anthony brought in by the State government for commencement of the treatment.
Few days into the New Year, Channels Television brought to the fore, the case of one Anthony Eyibio suspected with Poliomyelitis but was later dismissed by the World Health Organization as rather club foot following clinical examinations conducted on the child.
The situation did not just die off but raised concerns on how to better the lots of thousands of children with the same medical condition especially in hard to reach communities across Nigeria but are not aware it could be corrected.
The Red Cross Of Nigeria indicated interest in the situation and decided that Anthony be brought to the University Of Calabar for commencement of the first corrective phase.
Monitoring The Healing Progress
The Cross River State Government led by its Health Commissioner alongside, Channels Televisions’ crew, began a trip to the remote and hard-to-reach community of Ekpene Eki, with little or no road access but several hours on bike to bring Anthony and his mother to Calabar.
The Health Commissioner, Dr. Inyang Asibong, said: “We have actually come here to get this child out there for medical treatment. We had to come ourselves because sometimes, even when people have a problem because of their orientation, it is difficult to pull out. If you tell her, ‘madam come to that health facility’, she may not come, you give her the money and she finds out she has other list of priorities.
“We want to improve the quality of life of this little child”.
Back to Calabar and set for office work, Dr. Asibong hands over Anthony to a team of health experts at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, with promises of monitoring the healing progress of the child till the end.
Assurances were given to the State, Nigeria and the International Community of rendering quality services to the patient till his condition is corrected.
The Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee of the UCTH, Dr. Ngim Ogbu, who stood represented the CMD, UCTH, Dr. Thomas Agan, said the management of the hospital was actually fully aware of the pathology that is called, Club Foot.
“It has been with us for several decades and it is not anything new and as management of this hospital, we want to assure the public that, the treatment for this condition will be done here and at no cost to that. The whole world will see that such treatment is actually available and the patient will have a normal life thereafter”.
A Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon and HOD of the Orthopedics, NRCS, CRS Branch, Professor Ngim Ngim, said: “As the process starts, you will be briefed from time to time the progress that the child makes, but rest assured that, the child will be given the best of treatments that can be obtained anywhere in the world”.
Throwing more light to the club foot project, the Health Adviser, Cross River State Chapter of, Nigeria Red Cross Society Dr. Ernest Ochang, said the society would source for funding and would work in collaboration with the Orthopaedic Department at the University of Calabar for the treatments.
“Using the beautiful case of Eyibio brought about by Channels Television that, a lot of other patients, who are suffering from club foot in very hard to reach areas, will derive benefit from this initiative and we must continue to thank Channels Television for bringing out that information. A little snark at the beginning of the diagnosis but at least, that little effort is beginning to yield fruit and Red Cross is ready to carry it to the next level.
“We are scaling it up across the whole country so each of our branches across the country will benefit from the Club Foot Care project. Tertiary institutions in those states where the branches are will also benefit from the Club Foot Project so down the line, “Channels TV Eyibio’s” case, we will now have other people benefiting from Club Foot care for little or nothing,” he said.
Club foot medically termed, Congenital Talipes Equinovarus is a congenital deformity involving one foot or both and appears to have been rotated internally at the ankle.
Without treatment, people with club feet appear to walk on their ankles or on the sides of their feet.
Research has proven that, with treatment, the vast majority of patients with club foot recover completely during early childhood.
Former Niger Delta militants, under the Presidential Amnesty Programme, are appealing to President Muhammadu Buhari to speedily intervene in the payment of five months’ salaries owed them.
The over 30,000 ex-militants believe that the President’s quick intervention would douse the tension that is already mounting in the region over the unpaid arrears.
The Chairman, Presidential Amnesty Programme, Phase Two in Bayelsa State, Salvation Ibina-Rufus, urged Mr Buhari to order the Federal Ministry of Finance to release money to pay the ex-agitators to avoid another round of restiveness in the region.
“We equally want to use this medium to appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to instruct the Minister of Finance to release the 30 billion Naira approved by the Presidency to the Amnesty Office to enable Boroh to perform his work effectively to avoid another round of restiveness in the region.
“We are optimistic that President Buhari is aware of the sufferings and pains Christians suffered during the Christmas celebration due to non-release of salaries by the Ministry of Finance,” he said.
Ibina-Rufus made the appeal, as he sympathised with the aggrieved ex-militants, encouraging them to exercise patience with the government.
Maintain Peace And Order
He noted that based on the meeting held with Special Adviser to the President on Amnesty, Brigadier General Paul Boroh (rtd), he was hopeful that beneficiaries of the scheme would be paid immediately after the New Year celebration.
The former militant believes that the delay in payment that they were experiencing was due to the Ministry of Finance’s inability to release funds for the Amnesty office to commence payment.
He then commended his members for their patience and understanding, saying, “this is really a tempting time so I am advising you to maintain the existing peace”.
He rationalised that Boroh had shown sincerity and commitment to ensuring the payment of all their arrears and advised other former militants to maintain peace and order, assuring them that he is very optimistic that their salaries would be paid immediately after official duties resumes.
Osun State House of Assembly under the leadership of Honourable Najeem Salaam wants Nigerians to embrace the New Year with high sense of purpose, positive resolve and optimism.
The Assembly hinged its submissions on the determination and signals from the efforts of the government, which it said had rekindled hope that the economic challenges facing the nation would be tackled in the New Year.
In a New Year message of the Assembly, by the Chairman, House Committee on Information and Strategy, Olatunbosun Oyintiloye, the lawmakers noted that the efforts of the government had shown that there was commitment to bring succour to the citizens.
The parliament, which acknowledged the tenacity and perseverance of Nigerians in the face of economic recession, called for more support for government policies and programmes aimed at revamping the economy.
It also encouraged the people to approach the New Year with positive outlook and can-do-spirit, saying, since the act of insurgency has been largely curtailed by the subjugation of Sambisa Forest, the base of Boko Haram, the government would be able to concentrate more on how to tackle the economic challenges facing the country.
The parliament, however, pointed out that there was need for effective collaboration between the government and the people, which, it said, was imperative to overcome the nation’s pressing socio-economic challenges.
It urged Nigerians at the Individual level to be more strategic, proactive, forward looking and look inward in order to add value to the National agenda.
According to the Assembly, the steps that have been taken so far by the present government at the national and state levels are strong indications that within a short term, Nigerian would start counting the achievements and progress recorded by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration in the area of economy.
The Assembly also commended the state government under Governor Rauf Aregbesola for summoning the leadership courage to tackle the hard economic effects.
It said that the state government, with the support of the state House of Assembly, had done remarkably well in addressing some of the burning issues to make life more meaningful to the people in the face of recession.
“The State Assembly is delighted that notwithstanding the negative effects of the economic recession, the government efforts towards addressing the issues, have given members of the House of Assembly hope.
“As Nigerians, we must therefore celebrate and approach the New Year with strong determination and optimism that we will overcome our challenges as a nation sooner than later.
“To achieve this, it is very crucial for the government and the people to continue to work together to ensure total restoration of our economy and set it on the path of progress once more,” it said.
The Assembly then assured residents of Osun State that it would continue to apply appropriate legislative mechanism that would boost economic growth and plug leakages in the state finances to make citizenry more comfortable.