Goodluck Jonathan Challenges Political Leaders On Accountability

Former president, Goodluck Jonathan and Nyesom Wike in Port Harcourt
Former president, Goodluck Jonathan and Nyesom Wike in Port Harcourt

The former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, has challenged those in political leadership to commit to making a difference in the lives of the people.

Dr. Jonathan was speaking when he visited the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, at the Government House, Port Harcourt, the state capital.

Also present during the visit were the Chief of Staff to the governor, Emeka Woke, the Secretary to the Rivers State Government, Kenneth Kobani and the Edo State PDP Chairman, Chief Dan Orbih.

The former President commended the governor for his developmental strides in the state, adding that Wike shared some similarities with him in terms of the desire to always make a difference when in office.

Thereafter, he expressed gratitude to Nigerians for accepting his person (Jonathan) even after leaving office.

Xenophobic Attacks: Obasanjo Lays Blame On SA Government

Xenophobia Attacks: Obasanjo Lays Blame On SA GovernmentNigeria’s former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, says the current xenophobic attacks on Nigerians living in South Africa, is a result of the insincerity of the government of that country.

He made his position known in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital, while receiving the leadership of the Nigeria Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, Jos.

His statement follows the recent attacks and looting of Nigerian-owned businesses in Pretoria West.

The former president said the latest development in South Africa betrayed the struggle for the emancipation of the country against the apartheid regime.

He has therefore called on African heads of governments to ensure good governance for overall development of the continent.

Also, the Senior Special Assistant to Nigeria’s President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Honourable Abike Dabiri-Erewa, in a statement, described the attacks as an unnecessary setback.

Meanwhile, South Africa’s President, Jacob Zuma, says the narrative that his country is xenophobic is incorrect.

President Zuma said this is because South Africa is placed quite high among those that welcome and allow foreign nationals to thrive.

He made the remark after a walk in the township of Soshanguve, as part of efforts to tackle crime hot spots in the country.

Obasanjo Wants More Support For Police From Community Leaders

Olusegun obasanjo on more support for policeA former president of Nigeria, Mr Olusegun Obasanjo, has enlisted the support of religious and community leaders for the Nigeria Police Force in the onerous task of securing lives and property of citizens.

Mr Obasanjo made the request in Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State at the maiden meeting of the Eminent Citizens Forum and the launch of the “Change Begins With Me” initiative by the Ogun State Police Command.

The former president, however, asked Nigerians to always give useful information to the police to aid them in reducing the level of insecurity.

”The task of policing our communities, our state and our country is not alone for the police. It is for all of us and they want to get all of us engaged in helping the police to effectively provide the much needed security of life and property. The police no doubt has to be supported in this regard,” he said.

The State Commissioner of Police, Ahamed Illiyasu, while welcoming stakeholders to the maiden edition of the Eminent Peoples’ Forum also emphasised that the task of effective policing should remain the concern of all citizens.

”Security is now the concern of all citizens in the country as crime has no creed and map. Everyone is a stakeholder in this renewed security project. The Inspector General of Police directed that membership of the Eminent Peoples Forum should comprise critical stakeholders, religious leaders, community leaders, traditional rulers, elder statesmen, retired senior security officers, captains of industry as well as politicians’.

”The forum will support the Nigeria Police Force in proffering solutions to security challenges through mediation and social control to reduce the workload on police and bring policing close to the people.

“It (the forum) will no doubt help the police in sensitising their people to be law abiding and if there is a problem in the area, we can proffer a quick solution through the assistance of these group of eminent persons within the area,” the police commissioner said.

The Secretary to Ogun State Government, Mr Taiwo Adeoluwa, who represented the state governor, Ibikunle Amosun, however, asked the police authority to intensify efforts on the rising tides of kidnapping and land grabbing activities which have led to many deaths among others

“Both the issues of security, of course, we must admit that there is so much more to be done. So, as we celebrate the Nigeria Police on this initiative, we still want to charge that we are not where we are supposed to be yet. We still have cases of kidnapping, particularly in a section of our state. We have the intractable crisis of land grabbers in several part of the state. Recently the governor signed into law a bill designed exclusively to tackle the menace and I believe that you are doing your best to see that this is contained,” the secretary to the government said.

The occasion also witnessed the’ change begins with me’ initiative which tends to ensure the police is accountable to Nigerians by ensuring all citizens and residents of the country have a platform through which all complaints against police actions and inaction are taken up and redressed

The maiden edition of the forum brought together religious and community leaders, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the management and officers of the Ogun Police Command with the purpose of rubbing minds and fashioning out ways of ensuring security of life and property at the grassroots.

Obasanjo Admonishes Nigerian Youths To Do Right Thing At Right Time

Olusegun Obasanjo, PDP, Party, Ali Modu SheriffA former President of Nigeria, Mr Olusegun Obasanjo, has asked Nigerian youths to do the right thing at the right time, if they wanted to be good leaders in future.

He gave the admonition on Wednesday at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Abeokuta, at a youth empowerment programme organised by one of the arms of the library, the Centre for Human Security.

The event was organised in conjunction with UNESCO Institute for African Culture and International Understanding and Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers, Nigeria, and it attracted 400 pupils from 16 secondary schools across the South West, such as Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, and Osun among others.

It has the theme “Empowering the youth for a sustainable future”.

Respect Constituted Authority And Law 

The former President, who spoke to the pupils on ‘The Obasanjo 20 golden rules for young leaders in the 21st Century’, was represented at the occasion by a former Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Universities Commission, Professor Peter Okebukola.

He enumerated further that for the pupils to become good leaders, they must have respect for constituted authority and rule of law.

Professor Okebukola said: “Other golden rules that will help you to be good leaders are: Always set good examples for others. Be a good team player, accept your mistakes and learn from it. Have respect for time and treat everybody with respect, especially the elders.

“You must embrace philosophy of life and core values that are of high standards, which borders on honesty, loyalty, hard work and obedience. You must be bold, courageous, and firm.

“You must think Nigeria and work for Nigeria’s unity, development and progress, and say ‘we’ instead of ‘I’. Show care for public property. Always remember to say thank you and please and have the fear of God and be prayerful”.

He later spoke to the pupils on the topic: ‘From Millennium Development Goals to Sustainable Development Goals’, telling them that Nigeria performed woefully on the MDGs.

Professor Okebukola further urged the youth to contribute their own quota in achieving the SDGs, which would lapse in 2030.

While he noted that the workshop was aimed at raising crop of young people that would be responsive to the actualisation of the 17 SDGs, which he pointed out involved living a life that would be beneficial for the generations yet unborn.

The workshop also witnessed sessions on financial education, dangers of drugs abuse and abstinence from youth related health risks.

Obasanjo, Soyinka Want Ooni To Intensify Unity Move

Adeyeye-Ogunwusi-Ooni-of-IfeA former President of Nigeria, Mr Olusegun Obasanjo and Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, have declared their support for the moves to unite traditional rulers in Yorubaland by the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja II.

They spoke at the one year anniversary of the ascension of throne by the Ooni and launching of a book – ‘Venerated’ – detailing his background and emergence.

Both Obasanjo and Soyinka asked the Ooni to ignore comments or moves that could spur disunity among people of Yoruba race.

Obasanjo said he had been monitoring the activities of the Ooni since his ascension to the throne, urging the monarch to take the unification agenda as a key factor for the development of the Yoruba nation.

“I have paid keen interest in the unification move of the Ooni since his ascension to the throne. It is commendable. We need someone like the Ooni to ensure that the Yoruba nation remained undivided,” he said.

“We Know What We Know”

Professor Soyinka, who also identified the need for people of Yoruba race to unite, maintained that one of the controversial matters among the Yoruba leaders remained the origin of Ile-Ife.

He also argued that anyone who considered Moremi as a traitor was not saying the “reality”, referring to a statement by another monarch, the Olugbo of Ugbo, few days ago.

He said, “There is controversy about the origin of someone whom we know as the origin of Yoruba race, kingdom, black race and humanity. The controversy may continue for long but the reality is that Kabiesi, the Ooni of Ife above all Ile-Ife is the cradle of humanity.

“We know what we know. We know what we accept and believe and that remains the fact. I have just gone to see the statue of Moremi and the controversy on Moremi, I have heard and learnt that some people said that Moremi, the heroine, is a traitor. That does not touch any part of reality of what Moremi is or was. And I don’t want you (Ooni) to spend any time or energy at all responding to counter or alternative theories. It is not necessary,” the Nobel Laureate told the Ooni.

According to him, the influence of Ile-Ife transcends Nigeria and Africa.

“If you walk on the street of Cuba or Brazil, somebody will tap you on your shoulder because they know you are black, they say ‘who are you?’ And you say ‘I am Osun, Ogun, Sango’. At the end, they will ask you how is the Ooni? It means the Yoruba race, culture is beyond this environment,” he added.

He, however, assured the Ooni of his support, saying, “I can see that you are sent on a mission of the unity of the Yoruba people wherever they are in any part of the world. We promise to work with you to bring that dream to reality.”

While emphasising the importance of peace and unity, the Ooni vowed not to stop his moves to make the Yoruba nation one.

He explained that his one-year of ascension to the throne was focused on tourism, agriculture and youth emancipation.

He said: “There must be peace in Yoruba nation and entire country. It is when there is peace among Yoruba leaders that we will progress and develop. Our peaceful co-existence is non-negotiable that is why we are preaching peace and I will continue to preach it.

“We won’t stop working and we will continue to seek partnership with the three tiers of government,” he added.

Absence of EFCC Counsel Stalls Trial Of Jonathan’s Aide

Judges, Court, Judges, Court, Absence of EFCC Counsel Stalls Trial Of Jonathan's AideThe trial of Waripamo-Owei Emmanuel Dudafa, the former Special Assistant on Domestic Affairs to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, could not go on Tuesday at the Federal High Court in Lagos, owing to the absence of the EFCC’s counsel, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo.

Presiding judge, Justice Muhammad Idris, told the court that he received a letter from the EFCC counsel seeking for an adjournment.

In the letter, Mr Oyedepo asked the court to grant the adjournment to enable him attend to an appeal filed by Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Ricky Tarfa against the commission

Counsel to Mr Dudafa, Gboyega Oyewole, did not object to the request for an adjournment. He however informed the court that he was surprised that his client was not present in court.

Upon enquiry from the prison’s officials, Mr Oyewole said he was told that Dudafa is seriously sick.

He complained about the EFCC treatment of his client.

Justice Mohammed Idris has granted the prosecutor’s application and adjourned the matter till Thursday November 10, for the continuation of the defendants’ trial.

Dudafa and one Iwejuo Joseph Nna, are standing trial before Justice Mohammed Idris on alleged 5.1 billion naira fraud.

In the first count, the defendants on or about June 11, 2013 in Lagos allegedly conspired amongst themselves to conceal the sum of 1.667 billion Naira said to be the proceeds of crime.

The Offence was said to be contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and punishable under Section 17(a) of the same Act.

In the other charges, Mr Waripamo-Owei also allegedly used six companies – Seagate Property Development and Investment Limited, Avalon Global Property Development Company Limited, Ebiwise Resources, Pluto Property and Investment Company, Rotato Interlink Services and De Jakes Fast Food and Restaurant Nigeria Limited  – to conceal varying sums of money between June 2013 and April 2016.

The EFCC’s Prosecuting Counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, had listed 21 witnesses to testify against the defendants, including Representatives of some banks.

Obasanjo Suggests Way Out Of Economic Recession

Olusegun Obasanjo on economic recessionA former President of Nigeria, Mr Olusegun Obasanjo, is suggesting increase in the volume of trade internally and externally and the establishment of commodity exchange to bring stability in the price of agricultural produce.

He says it is a way of getting out of the current economic recession.

The former leader made the call in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, when the Minister of Trade and Investment, Mr Okechukwu Enelamah, and his entourage paid him a courtesy call before the commencement of the 8th national council on industry, trade and investment currently holding in the state capital.

Aggressive Coastal Shipping System

He, however, asked the Nigerian government to reinvigorate an aggressive coastal shipping system to boost trans-African trade with sister African States from its current 12% to about 22%.

Mr Obasanjo had in September advocated borrowing to finance critical sector of the nation’s economy.

He gave the advice at the opening session of the National Council on Finance and Economic Development, held in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital with the theme ‘Enhancing Revenue Generation and Obtaining Best Value for Money in Expenditure’.

He explained that there was need to spend less on goods that the nation can do away with, earn more from the manufacturing sector and borrow to finance the economy.

The former president also advocated financial discipline with necessary political will to implement the various policies and programmes of government aimed at taking the country out of the recession.

Mr Obasanjo raised his voice against the constituency projects by members of the National Assembly, saying this must stop.

Nigeria’s economy had slipped into recession in the second quarter of the 2016, with the Gross Domestic Product contracting by 2.06%.

The Naira is on a decline against the dollar, due to rising demand for foreign exchange that is not so much in circulation.

Most products used in the nation are imported, since the poor power supply had stifled the manufacturing sector.

Out Of Recession 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that the recession would be short-lived.

He said changes would come ‘once the Federal Government is able to resolve the issues concerning pipeline vandalism and focus on sustainable diversification policy’.

Professor Osinbajo said that the loss of about 60 per cent of gas and 60 per cent of revenue were largely responsible for the economic challenges Nigerians have been facing.

The Vice President dismissed predictions that the recession would last till year 2020 and assured Nigerians that the Federal Government would not rest on its oars.

Nigerians fears about the recession was cushioned a little when the International Monetary Fund predicted that the economy would grow by 0.6% in 2017, effectively lifting the country out of an officially declared recession.

The IMF in its World Economic Outlook report said Africa’s Biggest Economy’s real Gross Domestic Product is expected to increase marginally by 0.6% with Consumer Prices rising by 17.1%.

Nigeria’s Current Account Balance is however forecast to slump further by 0.4% next year.

According to the Bretton Woods institution, the projected increase in global growth in 2017 to 3.4% hinges crucially on rising growth in emerging market and developing economies.

Obasanjo Says Local Governments Autonomy Will Aid Development

Olusegun Obasanjo, Telecommunications, NigeriaA former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, has described as unconstitutional and abuse of the process the usurpation of local government functions and duties by state governments in Nigeria.

He says such act has hampered the necessary development at the grassroots

The former President was speaking at a meeting with the national leadership of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees led by its national president, Mr Ibraheem Khaleel.

The meeting was held on Wednesday at his presidential hilltop residence in the state capital, Abeokuta.

Members of the union sought his support and understanding on the issue of autonomy for local government.

While expressing his displeasure over the current challenges being faced by the third tier of government across Nigeria, the former president, however, appealed to state governments and members of State and National Assemblies to ensure the sanctity and constitutionality of the local government administration.

EFCC Charges Jonathan’s Aide, Waripamo-Owei

EFCC, Dudafa Waripamo-Owei, Goodluck JonathanThe Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has filed a 23-count charge against the Senior Special Assistant on Domestic Affairs to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Dudafa Waripamo-Owei.

Channels Television’s judiciary correspondent, Shola Soyele, who obtained a copy of the charge, said that Mr Waripamo-Owei was charged alongside one Iwejuo Joseph Nna, also known at various times as Taiwo Ebenezer and Olugbenga Isaiah.

In the first count, the defendants on or about June 11, 2013 in Lagos allegedly conspired amongst themselves to conceal the sum of 1.667 billion Naira said to be the proceeds of crime.

The Offence was said to be contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and punishable under Section 17(a) of the same Act.

In the other charges, Mr Waripamo-Owei also allegedly used six companies – Seagate Property Development and Investment Limited, Avalon Global Property Development Company Limited, Ebiwise Resources, Pluto Property and Investment Company, Rotato Interlink Services and De Jakes Fast Food and Restaurant Nigeria Limited  – to conceal varying sums of money between June 2013 and April 2016.

The EFCC’s Prosecuting Counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, had listed 21 witnesses to testify against the defendants, including Representatives of some banks.

The accused have been scheduled for arraignment on Wednesday before Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital.

Forget About Finding Chibok Girls, Obasanjo Tells Nigerians

ObasanjoFormer President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, has called on Nigerians to jettison the thoughts that the 276 girls abducted by the Boko Haram sect in Chibok town of Borno State in 2014 ‎could ever be rescued.

The former President said this while addressing a crowd of the students, lecturers and the Vice Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Professor Bamitale Omole, at the university’s Staff Club in Ile-Ife, Osun State, in southwest Nigeria.

In his speech on the “Reflections of an Elder Statesman”, he stressed that the major problem affecting the development of the nation was lack of continuity.

Mr Obasanjo also pointed out that if the fight against corruption must be entrenched, it has to start from the top government functionaries down the ladder.

He noted that the present organs that was being used to fight corruption – the Economic Financial Crimes Commission – was put in place because of the prevailing existence of corruption when he was in power.

Before his arrival at the venue of the lecture, the former President had visited the palace of the Ooni of Ife‎, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Ogunmuko, Ojaja II, to pay homage to the monarch.

Obasanjo Tasks Petroleum University On Technology Innovation

Obasanjo Tasks Petroleum University On Technology InnovationA former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, has asked the management of the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun in Delta State to innovate necessary technological expertise in the development of the petroleum sector.

Obasanjo urged the management of the institution to think out of the box and evolve the best international practices to develop the sector, especially in the face of the current dwindling fortunes of crude price in the international market.

He made the call in a meeting with members of management and staff of the institution at his Presidential Hilltop residence in Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State in south-west Nigeria.

The former President noted that the major reasons for establishing the academia was to bridge the necessary gap in local content and capacity building deficit in the petroleum sector.

In his remark, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Professor Akii Ibhadode, said the management had come to appreciate the foresight of the former President and also enlist his further assistance.

He disclosed that since inception, the university had continue to produce high level manpower in the oil and gas sector.

Professor Ibhadode then presented the elder statesman with an award of appreciation for establishing and contributing to the development of the first petroleum university in Africa.

The Federal University of Petroleum Resources established in 2007 is the first petroleum university in Nigeria and sixth in the world to provide the required local content and capacity building in the sector.

Obasanjo Asks Police To Ensure Further Reforms

Olusegun Obasanjo on Police reformA former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, has asked police authorities to ensure further sweeping reforms in the Nigeria Police Force, to make police more responsible and responsive to security challenges.

He made the call on Wednesday during a meeting with the Inspector General of Police, Mr Solomon Arase, at his hilltop residence in Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State in south-west Nigeria.

After the meeting with the former President, the the Inspector General told reporters that the Nigeria Police Force was aware of the need for such reforms, saying that steps are being taking to ensure professionalism, discipline and effective service delivery to the general public.

The visit was the first to the state since he assumed duty as the Inspector General of Police few weeks to the end of the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Part of the Inspector General’ entourage were the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone Two, Bala Hasan and the Ogun State Commissioner of Police.

After the meeting with the former leader, the police officials moved to Governor Ibikunle Amosun’s office, where Mr Arase assured the Governor of adequate security before, during and after the burial of the matriarch of the Awolowo family, Mrs HID Awolowo.

While promising his continuous support for security agencies operating in the state, the Governor, however, throw his weight behind the establishment of state police to ensure effective policing

The governor also solicited the understanding and cooperation of the general public by ensuring effective information on the activities of criminals in their communities.