Ghana’s Ex-President Mahama Hints At 2020 Presidential Run

Ghana’s former president, John Mahama.

 

Ghana’s former president, John Mahama, has hinted at a bid for leadership of the opposition party, in a move that has triggered speculation ahead of presidential elections due in 2020.

Mahama, who campaigned as the National Democratic Congress (NDC) candidate, lost his re-election bid to President Nana Akufo-Addo in 2016.

“To you the teeming supporters and sympathizers calling and requesting me to declare my intentions for the future, I wish to assure you today, that as a servant-leader, I have listened to your calls and reflected,” Mahama said Saturday in a statement posted to his official Facebook account.

“I will not disappoint you even as we await the publication of the party’s guidelines for selecting a new leader,” Mahama said.

If he formally declares, Mahama will be contesting the nomination at the party’s primary in November.

His announcement has been hailed by party executives and supporters, who believe he is the favourite for the ticket.

Kofi Adams, NDC’s national organising secretary, told AFP on Monday that the news was “welcome”.

“He has a track record and the party can only campaign based on his achievements so it is an excellent decision for John Mahama to contest as flag-bearer for the NDC party. Ghanaians are looking for the return of the NDC,” Adams said.

Pollster Ben Ephson said Mahama still controls the support base of the party which will make it difficult for anyone to contest him.

“The more candidates they have the more advantageous it is for Mahama. They can get talking to see if they can join forces to beat Mahama,” Ephson told a local radio station on Monday.

Mahama lost the 2016 election to Akufo-Addo’s New Patriotic Party (NPP) over a faltering economy and corruption allegations.

Ghana is one of Africa’s fastest growing economies in 2018, fuelled by a surge in oil and gas production.

The West African country is also a major producer of gold and cocoa.

AFP

Buhari Congratulates Jonathan At 60

Jonathan
File photo of President Muhammadu Buhari and former President Goodluck Jonathan.

President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated former President Goodluck Jonathan on his 60th birthday.

Buhari in a statement by his special adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina on Sunday, November 19 celebrated the history of Jonathan who rose from being a deputy governor to becoming Nigeria’s president for six years.

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‘’President Buhari joins members of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), professional colleagues, associates of Dr Jonathan, and his family in celebrating the unique history of the Nigerian leader, who within a short period rose from being a Deputy Governor, Governor, Vice President to becoming Nigeria’s President for six years,’’ the statement read in part.

Buhari said Jonathan’s foray into politics and ascendency to the highest political office in Nigeria from a humble riverine background testifies to the greatness and inclusiveness of Nigeria’s democracy, and serves as an invitation to all those with interest to add value to the nation.

He therefore prayed that the God will bless Jonathan with good health, wisdom and strength to continue serving the country.

Nigeria’s Infrastructure: Obasanjo Advocates Strong Public-Private Partnership

Olusegun Obasanjo, Nigeria, Public-Private Partnership, infrastructureFormer President Olusegun Obasanjo has identified the public and private sector as the two legs for Nigeria’s socio-economic development, hence one cannot work effectively without the other.

He lamented that both the present and past governments in the country have not paid sufficient attention to work together with the private sector to develop the sector.

The former president made the remark at a seminar organised by the Kaduna Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture at the International Trade Fair Complex in Kaduna State.

The audience at the one-day seminar cuts across the business community, students, academia and political class.

Obasanjo, who was the chairman of the occasion, decried that Nigeria has not been able to harness her natural potentials in order to be at the same pace with other nations.

He faulted the reversal of the sale of refineries by the Umaru Yar’adua administration, which he said was largely responsible for the instability in the oil and gas sector.

The former president further stressed the need for government at all levels to collaborate with the private sector, in order to get Nigeria out of its present economic recession.

Need To Concession Critical Assets

A former Minister of Finance and National Planning, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman, also presented a paper with the theme: ‘Promoting Public-Private Partnership (PPP) as Panacea for Accelerated Growth and Development’.

Dr. Usman emphasised the need for government to concession some of its critical assets like the sea port terminals, airports and roads to enable them work effectively and also reduce financial burden on government.

He explained that a smooth public-private collaboration must have the highest political support, credible reward sharing formula and transparency.

The former minister added that most of the successful PPP projects were done during the Obasanjo-led administration, due to strong political will.

The host governor, Mr Nasir El-Rufai, on his part, highlighted some of the collaborative efforts of his administration with the private sector to be able to finance its multi-year plan in the major sectors of the economy.

Participants at the event noted that infrastructure in Nigeria is poor, due to old age, overburden or poor management, to meet the needs of over 170 million population.

They added that the competing needs of the economy have placed a huge burden on the government which they said cannot solely provide all the services required.

Jonathan Hosts PDP Leaders, Says Losing Presidency Is Temporary

Goodluck Jonathan Hosts PDP LeadersNigeria’s Former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, on Monday received the leadership and Strategy Review Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at his home in Abuja.

The visit was to inform the former president of the issues surrounding the party’s leadership and winning elections convincingly under the current leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Dr. Jonathan thanked the committee for the visit and was hopeful of the PDP’s chances in 2019.

He also commended the Senator Ahmed Makarfi led faction of the party for wooing other politicians of like minds ahead of 2019.

The former president emphasised the need to increase delegations to party conventions, in order to avoid imposition.

He expressed belief that the loss of power at the centre is only temporary, insisting that the PDP would do better in the next general elections.

“We lost the Presidency but that does not diminish PDP. Every other party in Nigeria also know that PDP is still the number one party.

“I think losing the presidency is temporary; we should be able to get that position back,” Dr. Jonathan said.

Dr. Goodluck Jonathan in a meeting with some PDP leaders
Dr. Goodluck Jonathan in a meeting with some PDP leaders

Forming A Merger

The Chairman of the committee, Professor Jerry Gana, who led the delegation, stated that apart from meeting with leaders of the party, they would also reach out to other political parties of like minds with a view to forming a merger.

He further highlighted some of the steps taken by the committee in repositioning the PDP for victory in 2019.

“Since the PDP is already on the ground and the All Progressives Congress (APC) has emerged, we thought we should reach out to all the other parties that are friendly with the PDP,” he said.

Professor Gana hinted that the committee had met with seven of the other parties, and that the National Conscience Party as well as two others have expressed their willingness to merge with the PDP.

Arms Probe: “Courts Will Decide Dasuki’s Fate” – Presidency, APC Tell GEJ

Presidency, APC, Sambo Dasuki, Goodluck Jonathan, Arms ProbeThe Presidency says only a competent court can decide if former president, Goodluck Jonathan’s National Security Adviser (NSA) stole over two billion dollars meant for purchase or arms for the country.

In statement released on Tuesday, the presidency urged Mr. Jonathan to allow the court to decide the fate of his former NSA, retired Colonel Sambo Dasuki.

Dasuki is accused of misappropriating monies intended for the procurement of equipment for the Nigerian military in its battle against the Boko Haram insurgency.

This follows comments by former president Goodluck Jonathan that his embattled former NSA could not have stolen about $2.2 billion as alleged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Mr. Jonathan said this on Monday during a debate on youth entrepreneurship at the Oxford Union Society in England as he defended his administration’s policies, especially in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgency ravaging North Eastern Nigeria.

Goodluck Jonathan
Dr. Goodluck Jonathan

“They said the National Security Adviser (Sambo Dasuki) stole $2.2bn. I don’t believe somebody can just steal $2.2bn.

“We bought warships, we bought aircraft, we bought lots of weapons for the Army and so on and so forth and you are still saying $2.2bn was stolen. So, where did we get the money to buy all those things?” Dr. Jonathan said at the Oxford Union.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, however, says Dr. Jonathan’s comments are sub-judicial since there is already an existing legal action against the former NSA over how the monies in question were spent.

“The matter is sub judice. Let the courts decide,” he said.

APC queries GEJ’s assertions

The Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, Timi Frank, also challenged the former president to help Mr. Dasuki prove his case in court since he does not believe such an amount was misappropriated.

timi-frank-apc-spokesman
APC Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Timi Frank

Mr. Frank said rather than make those claims, it would be more appropriate for Mr. Jonathan to assist in the investigation and prosecution of the case.

“First, I wonder why it took former President Jonathan such a long time to speak out. Why now? If Colonel Dasuki is as clean as he wants us to believe, it would be nice if he can assist his former NSA to prove his case in court.

“The courts deal with evidence; let them prove their case,” he said.

The former NSA was arrested in December 1, 2015 by officers of the Department of State Services and has since been in detention for allegedly misappropriating about $2.2 billion.

dasuki
Sambo Dasuki, a retired colonel, is accused of misappropriating billions of dollars meant for arms purchase

The scandal dubbed Dasuki-gate has evolved to the prosecution of top government and military officials who allegedly benefited from the largesse.

Niger Delta Avengers Deny Negotiating With FG

Niger Delta Avengers, militant groupThe Niger Delta Avengers have denied agreeing to enter into a dialogue with the Federal Government.

A statement issued by the self-acclaimed spokesman for the dialogue group, Mr Ballantyne Agiri, claimed that the group had agreed to enter into dialogue with the government.

However, the Avengers, in a tweet by their spokesperson, Mudoch Agbinibo, said that Mr Agiri’s claim was a fabrication.

The militant group added that they do not know Agiri and that he cannot say that he was speaking on their behalf.

Earlier, another group, Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA) had purportedly announced its split from the Avengers.

The RNDA said they resolved to split after former President Goodluck Jonathan appealed to them to stop the attacks on oil installations in Nigeria’s South-South region.

In a statement signed by one Cynthia White, they said that Nigeria would be amazed when they expose the identities of their leaders and sponsors.

In a swift reaction to the claim, the Avengers took to their new twitter handle to announce that the RNDA had never been part of them.

The Niger Delta Avengers is a militant group that has claimed responsibilities for a chain of attacks on Nigeria’s oil pipelines which have not only affected the nation’s economy negatively, but also neighbouring countries in West Africa.

Despite appeals from various stakeholders in Nigeria and other foreign bodies, the group has refused to dialogue with the Federal Government.

Avengers Debunk Split Rumours

Reformed Niger Delta Avengers, militansA militant group, Niger Delta Avengers, has dissociated itself from a group which claims it broke away from it.

The Avengers took to their new twitter handle on Saturday to announce that the new group, Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA), had never been part of them.

A tweet on their handle read:

The disclaimer comes after the RNDA said that it had decided to split from the Avengers after former President Goodluck Jonathan appealed to them to stop the attacks on oil installations in Nigeria’s South-South region.

In a statement signed by one Cynthia White, they said that Nigeria would be amazed when they expose the identities of their leaders and sponsors.

Part of the statement read: “We have decided to join the MEND Aaron Team 2 peace initiative through the clearing house of Niger Delta Dialogue and Contact Group (NDDCG) headed by HRH King Alfred Diette-Spiff.

“We will also cooperate with the government by exposing the identities of our comrades who remain stubborn in their insistence to continue attacks.

“For example, it will shock the nation to know the Jekyll and Hyde personality behind the pseudonym ‘Brigadier General Murdoch Aginibo’ and our sponsors.”

The Niger Delta Avengers is a militant group that has claimed responsibilities for a chain of attacks on Nigeria’s oil pipelines which have not only affected the nation’s economy negatively, but also neighbouring countries in West Africa.

In spite of appeal from various stakeholders in Nigeria and other foreign bodies, the group has refused to dialogue with the Federal Government.

Jonathan Urges Niger Delta Militants To Sheathe Their Swords

Muhammadu-Buhari-Goodluck-JonathanNigeria’s former president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday called on Niger Delta militants to sheathe their swords and let peace reign in Nigeria.

He added that no one should make any attempt to balkanise Nigeria.

Dr Jonathan said this while speaking to State House correspondents after a closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, which lasted for about 15 minutes at the Presidential Villa.

“You’ll see that it’s not just about me. All the traditional rulers, elders and opinion leaders of the Ijaw ethnic nationalities have been in touch to see that peace reigns in the country.

“The emphasis is that we need a united Nigeria and I always emphasise that Nigeria is great, not just because of oil.

“We are great because of our size (the human resources we have and the diversity we have). So if we balkanise the country into small components, we will all be forgotten by the world.

“We are all working collectively to ensure that these issues are resolved,” he said.

Dr Jonathan, who arrived the Presidential Villa at about 2PM, said he was there to give a brief of his recent external engagements to President Buhari

“I have come to brief the President about some of my engagements… leading the AU election monitoring team in Zambia.

“I came to brief the President about some of these external engagements,” he said.

The former President also touched on the fight against corruption, where he said it will be sub-judicious to speak on them as almost all the matters were in court.

He, however, promised to talk at the right time.

Obasanjo Challenges African Leaders To Tackle Unemployment

Olusegun Obasanjo, ECOWAS, AfricaA former president of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo, has challenged African leaders on the worrisome unemployment rate among youths.

He made the clarion call on Monday at his residence in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital in southwest Nigeria.

The former president was speaking when he received the new President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Mr Marcel Alain de Souza.

He asked the leaders to redouble their effort towards reducing the over 50% unemployment rate among the teaming population of youths on the African continent.

Obasanjo noted that the challenge of unemployment might spell doom for the continent if they fail to tackle it.

He said that the aims and aspirations of the founding fathers of the sub regional organisation have remained and have not been achieved in the last 41 years of its establishment.

While challenging Mr de Souza on critical reforms in the commission, the former president said that the fortunes of the 320 million people of the ECOWAS extraction must be met if the much needed development must be achieved.

Jonathan Visits Aso Villa

Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu BuhariThere were some anxious moments for journalists covering the Presidency on Monday when they sighted former president, Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

Although no one was allowed to talk to him, it was gathered that he was on a private visit.

Dr. Jonathan was dressed in his usual Niger Delta attire. He arrived just before 2pm and headed straight to the President’s office. He spent about 30 minutes at the villa.

Last week, the former president was in Tanzania where he led a delegation of Commonwealth observers to monitor general elections in the East African nation.

Buhari Sends Obasanjo To Mediate In Guinea Bissau Crisis

Olusegun_Obasanjo on Election postponementNigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has sent a former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, to Guinea Bissau, as his Special Envoy, to mediate and help find a solution to the crisis brewing in the West African nation.

The Nigerian President had raised concern over the unfolding political situation in Guinea Bissau following the dismissal of the Prime Minister, Mr Domingos Simoes Pereira and his cabinet by President Jose Mario Vaz.

According to a statement by a spokesman to President Buhari, Femi Adesina, former President Obasanjo embarked on the first leg of his mission by consulting with the current Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States Authority of Heads of State and Government, President Macky Sall of Senegal in Dakar on Thursday.

“It is regrettable that while Chief Obasanjo was still consulting with President Sall, President Jose Mario Vaz of Guinea Bissau proceeded to appoint and swear-in a new Prime Minister in the person of Mr Baciro Dja, a development that has worsened the political situation in his country,” President Buhari said.

He further appealed for calm and called on the leadership in Guinea Bissau to exercise utmost restraint and ensure the maintenance of law and order as efforts continue to resolve the current crisis.

Jonathan, Buhari Meet In Abuja

buhariNigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, met with the immediate past president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, at the weekend in the Presidential Villa.

A source told Channels Television that the meeting between both leaders held in the night and lasted for about one hour.

It was not exactly clear what both men discussed, but there were strong indications that the leaders tried to examine the ongoing corruption investigation of the former president’s cabinet.

Channels Television gathered that after the meeting, both men parted chatting and laughing.

May 29, 2015, was the last time former president, Goodluck Jonathan was seen at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

Also at the weekend, it was reported that a former president, Olusegun Obasanjo visited Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa.

Obasanjo’s visit to the Villa is said to be his first since Buhari was elected and inaugurated as the President of Nigeria.

Since assumption of office, President Buhari has met with leaders in both Africa and around the world in order to win the fight against corruption and terrorism.