Nigeria Has A New Opportunity To Be Great Under Buhari – Obasanjo

-A former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo, says the oil-rich nation has a new opportunity to be great again under the leadership of the President elect, General Mohammadu Buhari.

He expressed this hope in a meeting with Women Leaders from the south-west states of Ogun, Oyo, Ekiti, Osun, Ondo and Lagos at his hilltop residence in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.

Mr Obasanjo, however, urged Nigerians to be patient with the administration, as it finds solution to those challenges facing the country.

The former President also asked all Nigerians to continue to pray and support the administration in its onerous task of rebuilding the nation’s socio-economic and political life.

The leader of the delegation of the Women, Mrs Alaba Lawson, asked the former President to continue to offer the leadership that would ensure the success of the new administration, especially in the task of ensuring growth and development in the face of the challenges facing Nigeria.

Addressing the delegation, Obasanjo asked Nigerians to be patient with the incoming administration and also urged General Buhari to take the right steps in the right direction, especially in his first three months in office, as Nigerians’ expectations are high.

While asking Nigerians to play their path in the development of the country, he, however, expressed his willingness to continue to offer support until his service is no longer needed.

He also asked the president-elect to leverage on his acceptability both at home and abroad by providing the much needed leadership and direction for Nigeria.

Adebanjo Confident Jonathan Will Implement National Conference Recommendations

National ConferenceElder Statesman, Ayo Adebanjo, believes in Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan’s sincerity to implement the over 500 recommendations from the National Conference held earlier in year.

While expressing his confidence in the President, he said that Nigerians have expressed too much doubts in the sincerity of the President to convene the conference in the first place but he has so far fulfilled every promise he made regarding the matter.

Speaking on Politics Today on Channels Television, Adebanjo argued that President Jonathan deserved some trust from Nigerians based on his sincerity to Nigerians and his determination to convene a national dialogue that surpassed similar attempts in the past.

He noted that the quality of representation at the conference, which was that of top quality and made up of persons like him who had the interest of the country at heart, showed how committed President Jonathan was to the dialogue and change that Nigerians had clamoured for since the end of military government.

Adebanjo, who was one of the delegates, added that he was one of those who fought for Nigeria’s independence and there was no way he would not understand how much the original constitution Nigeria was expected to be operating had been manipulated by the military.

He said that the conference has been able to tackle the main issues affecting the progress of the country and so far no one has been able to fault the quality of work done by the delegates.

Disparity With National Assembly Resolutions

The National Assembly recently passed resolutions amending parts of the Nigerian constitution but some of their resolutions have been seen to negate the recommendations of the National Conference.

The National Conference had recommended the removal of immunity for the executive arm of the government but the National Assembly voted against this in its recent constitution amendment.

Adebanjo noted that the National Assembly was one of the problems they went to the National Conference to solve and he did not expect them to approve the removal of policies that they have been “enjoying adversely against the interest of the people”.

He particularly took exception to the National Conference’s resolutions being compared or being discussed in relation to the National Assembly’s recent constitution amendments.

He questioned the quality of persons in the National Assembly and the elections that took them into the legislative houses.

Although the National Assembly also voted in favour of granting autonomy for the Local Government, which was also one of the recommendations of the National Conference, Adebanjo maintained that the National Assembly lacked the integrity to champion the change that Nigeria needs.

Adebanjo also aligned with the view expressed by former President, Olusegun Obasanjo that the idea of a Muslim-Muslim ticket allegedly being nursed by the All Progressives Congress towards the 2015 presidential election.

He said that this move showed insensitivity to the current state of mind of Nigerians and would be counter-productive.


Law Weekly: Boma Ozobia Speaks On Possibilities Of More Responsive NBA

Boma OzobiaThe judicial staff workers strike, delayed justice, the politics in the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and more, that’s our focus on this week’s episode of law weekly.

On the programme, former President, Commonwealth Lawyers’ Association, Mrs Boma Ozobia shares her thoughts on how to make the Association more vibrant and responsive to national issues.

Ozobia is a cross border solicitor & advocate, a commercial & ADR specialist, who has held many titles and won so many laurels.

NHRC To Investigate Alleged State Sponsored Killings

NHRCThe National Human Rights Commission says it will commence a public hearing into allegations of state sponsored killings spanning  from 1995 to date.

A statement signed by the Chief Press Officer of the commission, Fatimah Agwai, says the commission would inaugurate a panel that would conduct the public inquiry at the headquarters of the commission in Abuja to unravel alleged cases of state sponsored killings within the period.

It would be recalled that following the request of President Goodluck Jonathan for the National Human Rights Commission to investigate allegations raised in the letter of the former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, the commission resolved to hold a public hearing to inquire into the allegations.

Against this background, the commission had in February 2014, issued a public notice inviting memoranda from members of the general public in respect of the subject.

The statement adds that the Executive Secretary of the commission, Professor Bem Angwe, called on the general public and all persons to whom specific requests have been made for submission of memoranda, to do so before September 2, 2014.

Obasanjo Eulogises MKO Abiola’s Sacrifice For Nigeria

obasanjoIn what seems a deviation from his former comment on the late MKO Abiola, former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, said that the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, late Chief MKO Abiola, sacrificed a lot to the development of the country.

Obasanjo made the remark while speaking as Eminent Guest of Honour at the Fourth Founder’s Day Celebration and 85th Birthday Anniversary of the Founder/Patron of the Nobel House College, Chief Olatunde Abudu, in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.

The former president acknowledged the contribution of the late business mogul to the development of Nigeria in all areas of human endeavour.

Obasanjo – who re-echoed what was earlier said about Abiola by the Alake and Paramount Ruler of Egbaland, Oba (Dr) Adedotun Gbadebo, that Ogun State and indeed Egbaland would have produced three presidents – attributed the failure to achieve this to “bad belle”.

This remark comes few days to the 15th anniversary of the annulled election adjudged to be the freest election in the country

“Indeed, Abiola contributed to the development of this country. He sacrificed everything for the development of this country”, OBJ added.

Also speaking, the State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, stressed the essence of developing the education sector by all stakeholders, maintaining that Government would always be ready to provide the enabling environment for its growth.

Network Africa: S.Sudan, CAR Search For Funds As Nigeria Searches For Missing Girls

Network AfricaNetwork Africa looks at how far things have gone concerning bringing back the missing schoolgirls in Nigeria, amidst claims by the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, that the military had located the girls.

Demonstrators in the Bring Back Our Girls campaign, however, have vowed to carry on with their protests.

South Sudan is relying heavily on the international community as more funds are also needed to save the people of Central African Republic.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees says more assistance is needed in an overcrowded and flooded South Sudanese Refugee Camp where almost 100,000 people are sheltered in tents.

Illegal immigration is also on the rise, as migrants from the Middle East, Asia and Africa penetrate the United Kingdom in search of greener pastures at all cost.

We bring you interviews and reports.


Network Africa: Quest For Justice In C.A.R, S. Africa, As Nigerians Cry ‘Bring Back Our Girls

Chibok Girls NAThis edition of Network Africa focuses on ‘Bring Back Our Girls’, getting justice for Nigerians, conflict resolution and more brow raising details concerning the trial of the decade.

While protests continue both in Nigeria and many parts of the world, the dastardly Boko Haram group which is responsible for the abduction conveniently made a video which was released by the French news agency, the AFP, on Monday may 12.

The video supposedly showed images of the schoolgirls who were kidnapped by them.

The terror group claims many of the girls have been converted from Christianity to Islam while being held and all those in the footage could be seen wearing headscarves. The group’s leader said that it will release them in exchange for militant prisoners being freed.

Another issue generating a buzz is the death of Oluwatoba Falode; his grieving mother suspects foul play in the murder of her son, who was a 19 year old student in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.

Her speculation contradicts the report of the Dubai Police, which recorded that the boy fell off the balcony of his 17th floor apartment in Manchester Towers, Dubai Marina.

Outside of Nigerian shores, the U.S President, Barack Obama, has imposed sanctions on Central African Republic’s former president, François Bozizé, and four other men linked to violence and human rights abuses in the country.

The country has been plagued by sectarian violence for a year after Seleka rebels, who are mostly Muslim, seized power, and “anti-Balaka” militias, mainly Christian, fought back.

Thousands have been killed and about a million people displaced. The Interim President, Catherine Samba Panza is, however, determined to bring a change to the conflict ridden country.

The trial of the decade continues, a judge in the trial of South African athlete, Oscar Pistorius has ordered that he should undergo a mental evaluation.

She took that step based on the fact that psychiatric evidence before the court could not replace “a proper enquiry” into his mental health. Network Africa speaks to a clinical psychologist to find out his view on the matter.

Band members of Basi Na Mizik rehearsed for an upcoming festival, an event that many hope will become an important fixture on the Congolese music calendar. Founders of Basi Na Mizik – which means “women in music” in the local Lingala language – hope to create a movement that will give Congolese female artistes more prominence in the industry.

Jonathan Congratulates Shagari At 89, Commiserates With Emir Of Kano

Nigeria’s first democratically-elected President, Shehu Shagari

President Goodluck Jonathan has written to congratulate Nigeria’s first democratically-elected Executive President, Shehu Shagari, on the occasion of his 89th birthday, on Tuesday, February 25, 2014.

According to a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, the letter was addressed to the former President at his residence in Sokoto.

President Jonathan praised his continued dedication to the unity and well-being of the nation.

“On behalf of the Government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and on my own behalf, I write to felicitate with you as you celebrate your 89th birthday anniversary.

“May Almighty Allah ceaselessly prosper you and bless you with robust health as you continue to give of yourself in the service of our dear nation,” President Jonathan wrote.

President Jonathan wished Alhaji Shehu Shagari a very happy birthday and also conveyed assurances of his highest consideration and warm personal regards to the former President.

The President has also written to commiserate with the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero on the death last Friday of the Tafidan Kano, Alhaji Tijani Abubakar.

“On behalf of the Government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and on my own behalf, I write to commiserate with Your Highness, the people of Kano Emirate, and the entire people of Kano State on this sad loss,” President Jonathan wrote.

He prayed that Almighty Allah would grant the Emir, Alhaji Tijani’s family and the people of Kano the fortitude to cope with the painful loss of the Tafidan.

National Conference: Imoke Wants Bakassi Revisited

The Cross-River State Governor, Liyel Imoke, has identified loss of territorial boundary without due compensation to victims of Bakassi Local Government Area of the state, as a major challenge facing his state and that should be discussed during the national dialogue.

Ahead of the proposed National Conference, he also said that lack of maintenance of federal roads across the state by the Federal Government was a major challenge facing the state, and it should be addressed at the forum.

He was speaking to a cross-section of Cross-River State citizens drawn from all classes at the Governor’s Lodge in Calabar, the State Capital on the need for them to be fully involved in the exercise and serve as true representatives of the state.

He noted that the many challenges of the state, if addressed, would give residents of the state a sense of belonging and enhance the transformation agenda of his administration before the end of his tenure come 2015.

According to Imoke, the state was in full support of the national dialogue, considering the many challenges threatening the unity of Nigeria as a country.

He expressed belief that, the forum would serve as an avenue to dialogue and discuss on the federation, the unity of Nigeria and its development as intended by its founding fathers.

Contrary to some beliefs that similar exercise had in the past not achieved positive results, Imoke averred that the last one held during the administration of former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, led to the amendment of the Nigerian Constitution.

Council Of State Approves Holding Of National Conference

The Council of States on Tuesday approved the convocation of a National Conference as suggested by President Goodluck Jonathan.

The Council meeting, presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan ended at the Presidential Villa, with the body endorsing some key national programmes.

Some of the decisions taken by the council after a comprehensive deliberation by its members include the approval of the appointment of a new chairman for the National Population Commission, NPC.

At the end of the meeting, the Benue State Governor, Gabriel Suswam told journalists that the Council of State is worried about the insecurity situation in the country, and following a briefing by the National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (Rtd), the council said that some of the unguarded statements by some politicians are capable of inciting the people.

It therefore warned politicians to be careful, to avoid issues that would incite the generality of the people.

Present at the meeting were former president, Shehu Shagari, Generals Yakubu Gowon, Ibrahim Babangida and Abdulsalami Abubakar, as well as Senate President, David Mark, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, some state governors, and former chief justices of the federation.

The meeting lasted for about six hours, from 10.45am till 5pm.

Jonathan Never Agreed That He Would Not Run – Akinjide

A former Attorney-General of the Federation, Richard Akinjide, has declared that Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan has the rights to seek re-election at the 2015 elections.

The veteran politician and former Minister for Justice, made this declaration on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’.

“It is not true that he agreed that he would not run”. Revealing that he was part of the system and there was never a time that such an agreement was signed, he said: “I challenge anybody to bring evidence to dispute that.”

In spite of the crisis and the decamping of governors and lawmakers from the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Akinjide assured members of the party that the party was not falling apart, as politics without altercations and debates is not politics. He expressed belief that after the elections, the party would come out stronger and still produce the next president of Nigeria.

He said: “I like the altercations going on but the flogging, beating, destroying of cars is what I don’t like” as he condemned the political crisis that has engulfed Rivers State in South-South Nigeria.

He also said that he did not accept that the aggrieved governors and lawmakers had left the PDP; else they would have resigned their positions as stated in the Nigerian Constitution.

In dismissing the claims that the constitution provided for decamping if there was faction in their party, Akinjide argued that there was no split in the PDP and that legally the governors and lawmakers were still members of the PDP as they must resign their positions for them to decamp to the APC.

Obasanjo Should Never Have Released His Letter To The Media

Speaking further on the PDP crisis in relation to former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, and his public criticism of President Jonathan, Akinjide noted that both Jonathan and Obasanjo were well known to him and they were good men who have both done well for Nigeria. However, what Nigerians must avoid is excessive criticism in the papers; “we overdo it and overkill ourselves.”

Although, He refused to condemn the validity of the claims in the 18-page letter written by Obasanjo to the President, he stated that he would never have put such letter in the papers if he was Obasanjo. “Some things should be kept highly confidential”.

He revealed that during his time as the Attorney-General of the Federation, he wrote several letters of such importance but they were never made public as confidentiality was very important in governance.

Assuring Nigerians that both men have done well and would continue to do so, he appealed to leaders to be very careful about what they say to the public.

On President Goodluck Jonathan’s performance, he said “He is a good President” and he would give him 80% to 90% if he was asked to score him. He added that Jonathan would turn out to be one of the best presidents Nigeria ever had.

Jonathan Drags Obasanjo To Rights Commission

The Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, has submitted himself to the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, for probe over criminal allegations against him by former president, Olusegun Obasanjo.

Acting on the instruction of the president, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke, forwarded Chief Obasanjo’s letter to the commission for investigation into the alleged rights violations contained in the letter.

The AGF, in a memo dated December 23 and addressed to the Executive Secretary of the NHRC, Professor Bem Angwe, requested the commission to investigate the allegations bordering on human rights violations contained on page 9-10 of the letter.

President Goodluck Jonathan, who denied the allegations in his response, is specifically inviting the rights commission to unravel the truth in the allegation that his government had begun training over 1,000 snipers to terminate his political opponents.