President Muhammadu Buhari is not responsible for promotion in the Nigeria Police Force, the presidency said on Thursday.
Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, stated this shortly after the Police Service Commission (PSC) promoted 24 Commissioners of Police to the rank of the Assistant Inspectors General of Police (AIG). Among others.
However, the former acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu was declined promotion.
Reacting to the development, President Buhari’s media aide said promotion in the nation’s police structure is determined by the PSC, noting that his principal had no hand in the exercise.
“President Buhari, or any Nigerian President for that matter, is not responsible for promotions in the Police. That is the business of the Police Service Commission, PSC,” Shehu stated.
“In the case of the gentleman in question, who is currently under investigation, common sense dictates that his eligibility will be determined by that outcome. The PSC could have given you the correct position on this if there was an effort to reach them.”
Shehu’s reaction followed some rumours suggesting that President Buhari was pushing for the Magu’s promotion who has been under probe over allegations of misuse of his office.
Some reports had emerged that Magu had been penciled down for promotion from present CP rank to AIG by the PSC despite the alleged adverse recommendations of the Justice Ayo Salami panel that investigated the allegations.
But the PSC in a statement by its Head, Press and Public Relations, Ikechukwu Ani, “declined the promotion of CP Magu pending clearance from the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice and the Office of the Inspector General of Police.”
The ex-EFCC boss served as acting chairman of the anti-graft agency from 2015 to 2020, and was rejected twice by the Senate.
Magu was later suspended along with several others for allegedly mismanaging funds of the commission, an allegation he repeatedly denied.
He was probed for over three months by a judicial panel of inquiry led by a former President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami.
State Governors of the Peoples Democratic Party on Thursday said the current crop of presidential spokespersons “do not represent or position” the President in a proper manner.
The Governors Forum, in a statement signed by its Director-General, Hon. C.I.D. Maduabum, was responding to a statement issued by presidential spokesperson Garba Shehu.
Mr Shehu had been responding to a communique put out by the PDP Governor’s Forum on Monday.
According to the Thursday statement, Mr Shehu’s response had been “poorly worded” and was “pedestrian.”
The PDP Governors lambasted Mr Shehu’s views on revenue remittance by the NNPC and the state of Nigeria’s foreign exchange market.
They also tackled him on his position on the ongoing Twitter ban in Nigeria, the administration of mining across the country and the role of local governments in national development.
“There is no doubt that President Buhari’s spokespersons are his greatest undoing as a President,” the PDP Governors said. “They do not represent or position him well.
“The PDP Governors’ Forum Communique in Uyo was patriotic, well thought out and offered solutions to the myriad of problems facing the nation. Mr President and the APC led Federal Government should listen.”
Read the PDP Governors’ statement below:
PRESIDENTIAL RESPONSE TO PDP GOVERNORS’ FORUM COMMUNIQUE IS A DISGRACE
Our attention has been drawn to a poorly worded and pedestrian statement issued by Alhaji Garba Shehu on behalf of Mr President in response to the patriotic and weighty issues of state raised by the PDP Governors’ Forum (PDP-GF) in their Communique after meeting.
2. The statement betrays the abysmal ignorance, lack of appreciation of the issues raised in the PDP Communique. It is unbelievable that such low quality response could come from Nigeria’s seat of power.
3. He celebrates the non remittance of funds by NNPC to the Federation Account because they should not “break the bank” for PDP Governors. What a pity!
The duty and responsibility of NNPC to pay revenues into the Federation Account is not a matter of discretion by NNPC. It is an imposition of law.
4 The constitutional provisions on Public Revenue is clear. Section 162. (1) of the Constitution says: “The Federation shall maintain a special account to be called “the Federation Account” into which shall be paid all revenues collected by the Government of the Federation, except the proceeds from the personal income tax of the personnel of the Armed Forces of the Federation, the Nigeria Police Force, the Ministry or Department of Government charged with responsibility for Foreign Affairs and the residents of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.”
S.162(1), defines Revenue thus: “For the purpose of subsection (1) of this section, “revenue” means any income or return accruing to or derived by the Government of the Federation from any source and includes – (a) any receipt, however described, arising from the operation of any law; (b) any return, however described, arising from or in respect of any property held by the Government of the Federation; (c) any return by way of interest on loans and dividends in respect of shares or interest held by the Government of the Federation in any company or statutory body.”
It is a demonstration of impunity and gross abuse of law for NNPC to continue to disregard the unmistakable mandatory constitutional provisions above. It is even more shocking for the PRESIDENCY as an institution to embody the desecration of our Constitution in such a flippant, brazen and unserious manner as portrayed by the presidential spokesman.
5. NNPC and other Revenue generating agencies of the Federal Government have mandatory obligations to pay into the Federation Account all its revenue after deducting legitimate cost of operations. Fuel subsidy or other profligate expenditures are not part of the cost of production. When NNPC makes its contributions to the Federation Account, the Federal Governments share in the Federation Account can be spent by it in a manner it desires. NNPC cannot spend money belonging to the other tiers of government for them.This is the way the Constitution is designed by its authors. Mr President cannot change the Constitution at his pleasure. Perhaps these matters are too complex for Garba Shehu to comprehend!
6 The States and Local Governments in Nigeria bear the brunt of education, health care, water, food production, infrastructure such as roads, and increasingly the security of lives and property among others. The States and Local Governments share of the Federation Account does not belong to Governors. Certainly not to PDP Governors. The case made by the PDP Governors Communique concerns all the States and Local Governments in Nigeria, not only PDP.
7. Garba Shehu celebrates the fact that Naira is now over N500 to a Dollar in the parallel market. If his statement represents the thinking of the APC Federal Government, then we are in more trouble than we think. The implication of the fall of the Naira for cost of goods and services, including the price of food and basic needs of Nigerians is becoming unbearable for the average Nigerian. It has made even the recent minimum wage increases almost useless. But of course, those ensconced in the Presidential villa do not feel it.
8. On the issue of Mining, it is once again a demonstration of abysmal ignorance not to know at the presidential level that mining is on the Exclusive Legislative List of the Federal Government. The PDP Governors were merely asking for better coordination with State Governments who administer the land under the Land Use Act.
9. Perhaps the most insensitive is on the issue of Twitter suspension. How can a presidential spokesman be so tone deaf. He is unable to see the grave assault of Freedom of speech embodied therein. He doesn’t see the need to motivate our youths. He trivialises serious matters of state. It is very unfortunate.
10. He repeats his assault on the sensibility of Nigerians in the way he addresses the Herder – Farmers conflict. Calling the legitimate request for ramping up ranching as a denial of the right of Nigerians to live and work anywhere in Nigeria, is perhaps the most illogical of the entire response.
11. On Local Government, the President has not initiated a single legislation or amendment of the Constitution to make it a real third tier of Government, if the APC government so desires. He only flexes muscles with State Governments by issuing unconstitutional Orders through Federal Government Agencies.
13. There is no doubt that President Buhari’s spokespersons are his greatest undoing as a President. They do not represent or position him well.
14. The PDP Governors’ Forum Communique in Uyo was patriotic, well thought out and offered solutions to the miriad of problems facing the nation. Mr President and the APC led Federal Government should listen.
Hon C.I.D. Maduabum, LL.M, Director General PDP Governors’ Forum
The Presidency has said that the latest Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum communiqué is a spectacular demonstration to Nigerians as to why the opposition party and its representatives should not be entrusted with the national leadership of the country at any time soon.
This comment is in reaction to the PDP governors’ take on the operations of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the deteriorating economic and security situation in the country,
Governors elected on the platform of the PDP had on Monday raised an alarm over what they termed the ‘OPAQUE’ manner in which the NNPC carries out its operations.
The governors decried the recent NNPC’s decision not to make its statutory contributions to the Federation Account, thereby “starving the States and Local Governments and indeed Nigerians of funds needed for employment, development and general well-being”.
The governors maintained that under the Constitution, the NNPC is duty-bound to make proceeds of sale or business of Petroleum available to the Federation Account which belongs to the three tiers of government, excluding reasonable and verified and verifiable cost of operations.
Commenting on the issue through the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the presidency argued that in bemoaning the decision by the NNPC not to make contributions to the Federation Account, the governors appear to believe NNPC can spend the same money twice: once on the petroleum subsidy – which they all support – and then on their States via the Federation Account.
In a communique on Wednesday, Mr. Shehu noted that the “NNPC is a trustee for the nation – and this means it must manage its finances with prudence and for the long-term to safeguard the financial support it bestows on our country. What the governors are asking of NNPC is to “break the bank” for their own profligate political ends”.
“Similar profligacy and contradiction are in full view with their call to the Central Bank to appreciate the value of the Naira. This would damage exports – including oil revenues on which NNPC depends – as well as damage small businesses and employment. But an appreciated currency would benefit those spending on luxuries from abroad – this, no doubt, being the leading desire of a typical PDP governor.
“When the governors claim a lack of federal institutions’ money pouring into their States’ coffers is an affront to democracy, constitutionalism, and federalism, they fail to mention the ugliest trend against the integrity of Nigeria comes by own hands with their refusal to support the Federal Government’s earnest desire to reinstate the local government as the third tier and finding a lasting solution to farmer-herder conflicts costing the nation lives and livestock.
“This initiative brings rights and support for generations of all ages to bring solutions to challenges that different communities of our country have faced but the PDP governors reject it – denying all Nigerians their constitutional right to live and work in any state of the Federation – preferring to appeal to ethnic division and hatred rather than support the first practical solution offered since independence,” the president’s spokesman stated.
Mr. Shehu also was of the opinion that the governors appealed to each other for more involvement of states in mining and geophysical activities within their states, which does beg the question as to why it has taken them so long.
According to him, such opportunities and states’ powers have been fully available since independence – yet only now do the PDP realise it.
“And, of course, the PDP grieve over the Federal Government’s action over Twitter – for it represents the curtailment of their ability to use the platform to spread fake news and invented stories to the detriment of community and good-neighbourliness between the peoples of Nigeria,” the president’s media aide stressed.
In his summation, Mr. Shehu said the PDP Governors propose no solutions to any of the nation’s challenges in the face of COVID and global economic downturn: “instead, they grasp for more money and mourn their lack of access to social media to spread falsehoods and hate”.
He further opined that their statement is evidence if any were needed, as to why the President and the APC ended the PDP’s one-party rule in 2015, why the ruling party was re-elected by an increased margin in 2019, and why their winning trend is set to continue far into the future.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, has lamented over the spate of attacks by Boko Haram, saying the terrorists have disappeared and merged into a bigger threat.
Boko Haram launched series of attacks in the northeast in 2009 after its leader, Mohammed Yusuf, who was captured by the military authorities died in police custody.
In 2014, the group pledged its allegiance to the Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) and has targeted military formations, civilians, religious centers among others.
But Shehu, who spoke during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, said ISWAP is being funded by the remnants of the Libyan Army in collaboration with Iraq and Iran.
“What we are seeing today is that the Boko Haram that we knew has virtually disappeared and has merged to a bigger threat – ISWAP that is funded and financed by the Libyan Army and alliances that have been formed including Iraq,” he said
“This is a challenge not only to Nigeria, Lake Chad Basin but to the Sub-Saharan region, and the whole of West Africa is tackling this together.”
When asked if Nigeria is in a safer place to live in before President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, the Presidential spokesman replied in the positive.
Shehu said since his principal was inaugurated as President in 2015, he has taken adequate measures in tackling several threats, including the farmers/herders clashes.
He stated that with respect to banditry activities, the south-western region of the country is the safest part so far.
Nigeria has been experiencing a series of security threats ranging from terrorism, banditry, militancy, cultism among others in several parts of the country.
The country has been battling terrorism for more than a decade which has killed at least 36,000 people and displaced hundreds of thousands in the northeast.
The Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) split from the jihadist group Boko Haram in 2016 and has since become a dominant threat in Nigeria, attacking troops and bases while killing and kidnapping passengers at checkpoints.
On March 1, jihadist fighters burnt down a United Nations humanitarian compound in the town of Dikwa after dislodging troops, killing six civilians.
Nigeria’s jihadist violence has spread to neighbouring Chad, Cameroon, and Niger, prompting a regional military coalition to fight the insurgents.
Mr Garba Shehu has slammed the critics of the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, for their unwillingness to forgive him.
He believes the failure to forgive the minister for the comments he made in support of extremist groups in the past is worse than the offence he committed.
The President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity made the remarks on Friday during his appearance on Politics Today on Channels Television.
He said, “I am saying to you that people who stand in criticism of this position of the man who said he had wronged himself, he had wronged the society, and has apologised that he has changed, and they are not willing to forgive to move on; they are the ones who are the problem.”
Pantami has been widely criticised by various individuals and groups for the comments he made in the past in support of extremist groups.
‘We Change And Transform’
Recently, the remarks he was said to have made many years ago sparked debate and controversy, with many calls for his resignation or removal by the President.
The minister has since renounced his comments and said he was a changed person, but that was not enough for those calling for his removal.
Rather than sacking the minister as widely demanded, the Presidency said it was in support of Pantami and all Nigerians to ensure they receive fair treatment, fair prices, and fair protection in ICT services.
Defending the government’s position, Shehu stressed that it was wrong for any individual to deny their fellow beings a chance to be a better person.
“In all our lives, we change and transform … we don’t remain in the same position. The people just assume that he cannot change; if the One who created you gives it to you that from being bad, you can become good, what tells you to deny some other persons this right?” he questioned.
The President’s spokesman added, “They are the ones who are deeply intolerant, and who are telling the world that in this country, we have the set of people who don’t forgive, who don’t want to move on; they are the problem of the society.”
The Presidency has maintained its position in support of the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami.
Appearing as a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Friday, Mr Garba Shehu compared the case of Pantami with that of Mrs Kemi Adeosun, a former minister of finance.
Shehu, a spokesman for the President, believes the Presidency would have acted differently if the communications minister had committed forgery.
“If Pantami had forged a certificate to come into office, the attitude (of the Presidency) would have been different,” he said.
The presidential spokesman added, “In the second case which is that of Pantami, you are probing the thoughts and this what Americans have called ‘McCarthyism’.
“You search the inner recesses of the minds of individuals, bring out things they have said, or they are about to say, or you think they would say, and use that against them.”
Adeosun, a Commissioner of Finance in Ogun State between 2011 and 2015, was appointed as the Minister of Finance by President Muhammadu Buhari in November 2015.
About three years after serving in the President’s cabinet, the former minister was caught up in a controversy after a report emerged that she failed to participate in the compulsory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
The report indicated that Adeosun did not only fail to take part in the one-year scheme but also supposedly obtained a fake exemption certificate.
This sparked a widespread call for her removal, forcing the 54-year-old to resign as a minister in September 2018.
Pantami, on the other hand, was widely criticised by various individuals and groups for the comments he made many years ago in support of extremist groups.
Amid the calls for his resignation or removal by the President, the minister renounced his comments and said he was a changed person.
Unlike in the case of Adeosun, the Presidency declared its support for Pantami, saying he was being subjected to a “cancel campaign” instigated by those who seek his removal.
The Presidency on Tuesday criticised calls for secession noting that President Muhammadu Buhari will not be bullied.
Addressing journalists during a media parley at the headquarters of the All Progressives Congress in Abuja, presidential spokesman Mr Garba Shehu said those advocating for secession are the problem of the country.
He said that although the Federal Government is working to address challenges being faced in the country, those calling for secession and national conference are unelectable people who do not care for the nation’s democracy.
“One thing with this president is, you can’t intimidate Buhari, you can’t bully him,” he said. “A lot of these people who are calling for secession, they are the problem of this country. And I am happy that reasonable opinions, voices are now rising.
“Is it not only yesterday we read about Afenifere — the most credible faction of Afenifere — saying ‘we’re not for secession’? Ohanaeze Ndigbo said this over and over again.
“So, this thing about secession is they had used it in the past. You cry secession and breakup Nigeria and then you intimidate the sitting leader and then he opens the vault and he brings money to settle people.
“President Buhari will pay no one. He is not going to pay, and now it is clear that having ignored all of that, reasonable opinions are coming from those states and from those regions.
“The governors in the southwest — we have all heard them — they have denounced all of these things.
“So, it’s a sham. Nigerians want to be one. They want to continue. Yes, there are problems and we are hoping that as people united and loving of one another, we will come together and solve our problems.”
In March, the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno had been quoted by the BBC as suggesting that funds for arms procurement had gone missing under the immediate past Service Chiefs.
The Office of the National Security Adviser later put out a statement saying Monguno had been quoted out of context.
But with an insurgency still alive in the country’s North-East and the increasing threat of banditry in North-West, critics have continued to question how well-equipped the country’s military is.
Mr. Shehu himself has admitted that the army has had some problem with procuring equipment, as they arrive “in bits and in pieces.”
According to Mr. Shehu, during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today last March, procurements made have not been fully delivered.
“In August 2018, they allowed the Nigerian government to buy 12 super Tucano aircraft suitable for the kind of war we are fighting in the North-East,” he said at the time.
“In addition to that, other arms of the military have also made procurements. The navy has done nearly 100 percent of their procurement — equipment delivered.
“The airforce has bought a number of attack helicopters — 35 helicopters from Ukraine. Some of them have been commissioned on national television.
“We have bought a lot of drones, but with the army, there have been problems with procurement. Equipment has been coming bits and in pieces.
“This is not ideal. In fact, our biggest procurement is coming from the UAE. As I speak to you now, it is held up in a situation only diplomacy will resolve. We were talking to them last week; the Nigerian minister of defence actually had a meeting with the ambassador of the UAE to Nigeria, and the idea is to resolve this so that the equipment held up will be released. We need them here.”
“But, in saying that the Boko Haram terrorism is worse than it was in 2015, he did not speak like a man of God. Kukah should go to Borno or Adamawa to ask the citizens there the difference between 2014 and 2021,” the statement partly read.
“Furthermore, the Hijab issue in Kwara State on which he dwelt is a state matter which the courts of the land have adjudicated. They are matters that have appeared in several states as far back as the Obasanjo administration. In all of that, when and where did the name of President Buhari feature?”
SEE FULL STATEMENT BELOW:
KUKAH’S BUHARI BASHING IS UNGODLY
All citizens have their individual ideologies, even their own versions of the truth.
But if you profess to being a man of God, as Father Mathew Hassan Kukah does, ideology should not stand in the way of facts and fairness.
Father Kukah has said some things that are inexplicable in his Easter message.
But, in saying that the Boko Haram terrorism is worse than it was in 2015, he did not speak like a man of God. Kukah should go to Borno or Adamawa to ask the citizens there the difference between 2014 and 2021. Furthermore, the Hijab issue in Kwara State on which he dwelt is a state matter which the courts of the land have adjudicated. They are matters that have appeared in several states as far back as the Obasanjo administration. In all of that, when and where did the name of President Buhari feature?
He is playing partisan politics by dragging the President into it.
An administration that has created a whole Ministry, for the first time in the country’s history, appropriating enormous resources to it, to deal with issues of internally displaced persons cannot, in all rightfulness be accused of not caring for them.
Some of the comments are no more than a sample of the unrestrained rhetoric Fr. Kukah trades in, which he often does in the guise of a homily.
We urge well-meaning citizens to continue to support the ongoing efforts by the administration to secure the country and move it forward.
The Presidency on Tuesday said it has identified Bureau De Change (BDCs) facilitating money to terrorists, insisting that people will be shocked when details of the investigation on how the sums of money were transferred to the group will be fully disclosed.
Mister Shehu said the government will soon make public the names of those who are behind these evil acts.
“Bureaus de change are facilitating money to terrorists. We have already worked with the UAE,” a presidential media aide, Garba Shehu said during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Tuesday.
“Convictions have been achieved of Nigerians who are transferring money to Boko Haram terrorists and this also happens domestically. And I tell you that by the time we finish this investigation, the shocking details will surprise many Nigerians.”
He also said places of worship are used to harbour killers of security agents in the country, assuring that heads of intelligence agencies are working on it.
“It is shocking to many Nigerian that places of worship and farmland are places where killers of policemen, naval officers and military are being harboured. This discovery will shock you. But this is going on all over the country,” the Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity to the President, noted.
“The new Service chiefs are working with the Inspector General and heads of intelligence agencies and there is a clear lead.”
‘A Clear Connection’
The presidential aide equally said there is a link between kidnapping, banditry and terrorism, corroborating an earlier comment by the Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi who argued that proceeds of banditry are used to fund terrorism.
“There is a clear connection now established between kidnapping, banditry and the terrorism in the country, especially in terms of financing.”
While speaking about the meeting, Shehu explained that the president equally commended them for their efforts in tackling the nation’s security challenges.
“He really was appreciative of the positive and pragmatic approach they have brought since the assumption of office,” he added.
“He has commended their decisiveness in dealing with the security challenges of the country and he has urged them to sustain the momentum. All the problems have not been solved but we are getting somewhere.”
The presidency on Friday accused members of the opposition of exploiting the country’s security challenges in spite of the government’s efforts to tackle issues facing the nation.
A presidential media aide, Garba Shehu, said this during an appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.
“I want to assure Nigerians that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is addressing multiple challenges that are facing the country especially in dealing with security and yet we are still making progress in agriculture, economy, anti-corruption, which are the key policies that brought the party and the government to office,” the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media said.
“It is sad for the country that opposition is exploiting some of these things. It is quite unfortunate and I want to assure that the president remains focused on preserving the security and unity of this country.”
A Focused President
Insecurity has been on the rise in the country in recent times, with kidnapping in schools, especially in the northern part of Nigeria, becoming almost commonplace.
Clashes between herders and farmers have also taken ethnic colouration, leading to threats of secession.
Activist Sunday Adeyemo, known as Sunday Igboho who in January issued a quit notice to criminal herders in the Southwest following clashes between farmers and herders, had declared his allegiance to the Yoruba nation, a development which many believe is an indictment on the Federal Government.
The presidential aide, has, however, said his principal is committed to the unity of Nigeria and focused on securing the country.
“This President is focused on securing this country, he is focused on the unity of this country and he will preserve it,” he added.
“People should be free to say whatever because this country is under the best democratic government that we have had since the fourth republic. The President will not lock up people, there is no assassination by state actors under Buhari and so, therefore, people can say whatever they want to say. They will go home and sleep very soundly.”
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu on Friday said President Muhammadu Buhari is passionate about the unity of Nigeria as well as tackling the myriads of security challenges in the country.
Shehu stated this in Abuja during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, noting that Nigerians enjoy the freedom of speech under President Buhari’s administration.
“This President is focused on securing this country, he is focused on the unity of this country and he will preserve it,” he said.
“People should be free to say whatever because this country is under the best democratic government that we have had since the fourth republic.
“The President will not lock up people, there is no assassination by state actors under Buhari and so, therefore, people can say whatever they want to say. They will go home and sleep very soundly.”
The presidential spokesman also spoke on the banditry activities in the northwestern states, reiterating his principal’s commitment to nipping the menace in the bud.
He said President Buhari has ordered the security agencies to shoot at sight anyone caught in the illegal possession of firearms, notably the AK-47 rifles.
On terrorism, he regretted that some media practitioners carry out reports that seem to glamorise crime by making some Boko Haram terrorists look like heroes.
“We have the most vibrant media community on the continent and we expect robustness or criticism from them.
“Some of the elements, I am careful to say some of the elements in our media that glamorise crime that will make Boko Haram look like heroes. It doesn’t help anybody.”
When asked if President Buhari would relax the shoot-at-sight order considering reports that the bandits are demanding this in exchange for the release of some abducted students, the presidential spokesman neither confirmed nor debunked the claim.
He replied saying, “I am not competent to answer this question. I believe that law enforcement agencies should answer this.”