Jonathan Directs MDAs To Submit Hand-over Notes

Jonathan-FECThe President has directed all ministries, departments and agencies to submit their handover notes to the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation by the 20th of April.

President Goodluck Jonathan further stressed that  the directive is to ensure a smooth transition to the next government.

Briefing state house correspondents on the outcome of Wednesday’s Federal Executive Council meeting, the Minister of Information, Mrs Patricia Akwashiki said that the President also asked the ministers to come up with a list of the inherited projects.

The Minister further said that President Jonathan also directed the ministers to submit a list of the projects that have been executed as well as all projects initiated by his administration, as well as on-going or abandoned ones so that he would have a comprehensive package to hand over.

Mrs Akwashiki added: “This does not mean that government activities have come to an end as the government would continue to function until the hand over date on May 29.”

Balarabe Musa Urges Buhari To Form Government Of National Unity

buhariThe former Governor of Kaduna State, Balarabe Musa, has urged the president-elect,General Muhammadu Buhari, to be magnanimous in victory and consider forming a government of national unity that will involve all parties for national integration and development.

In an interview with Channels Television, Mr Musa noted that, instead of the usual winner takes all system, General Buhari should bring members of other political parties into his government and also carry all the zones along in the distribution of infrastructure and appointment, irrespective of how each of the zones voted.

He added that, the unity government if formed, would not only douse the acrimony that characterized the electioneering campaigns, but would also assist the government in power to effectively deliver on its promises.

The former Kaduna State Governor, while describing the election as relatively credible, expressed doubt that the incoming All Progressives Congress (APC)  government would be different from the current Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administration.

According to him, members of both political parties are the same and do not have the interest of Nigerians at heart.

Mr Musa also commended President Goodluck Jonathan for conceding defeat and congratulating the winner, General Buhari.

President Jonathan Launches Development Bank Of Nigeria

jonathanPresident Goodluck Jonathan has launched the Development Bank of Nigeria designed to provide loans to support Medium and Small Scale Enterprises in the country.

The Bank is expected to disburse over 200,000 new loans to micro, small and medium enterprises that would create over one million jobs in the first five years of its operation.

The President used the occasion to present “Jonathan’s next four years-my vision for Nigeria that works for all”.

President Jonathan also called on beneficiaries of the YouWin programme to key into the development band to access more funding to expand their businesses.

He described the launch as a defining moment in his efforts to cater for the needs of Nigerians in the area of job creation and funding to run such businesses.

President Jonathan said that he is happy that the bank would revolutionise the small business sector in the country.

The Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo Iweala said “this signals the end of high cost of finance which has been a major deterrent to the growth of Small and Medium Scale Enterprise”.

While her counterpart in the Trade and Investment Ministry, Mr Olusegun Aganga, described the launch as a realization of the President’s dream for the Nigerian people to see a positive change from the administration.

Buhari Meets Private Sector Leaders, Reels Out APC Manifesto

Muhammadu Buhari APC Presidential candidate2The Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari, on Saturday met with private sector leaders, promising to strengthen and make government institutions more independent if elected.

At the meeting held in Abuja, General Buhari reeled out the manifesto of the opposition party, saying it took the party six months of service and painstaking analysis of the Nigerian condition to develop.

The former military president said that the APC had come out with a comprehensive economic development plan geared towards promoting agriculture, power supply, infrastructural development, industrialisation and job creation among others.

He said that the party would provide the necessary regulatory framework for a conducive business environment.

Value Chain Of Opportunities

“We will provide level playing field and we will not allow politics to creep into and constrain the business climate.

“We will embark on multiple tracks reform in the oil and gas sector, especially government institutions like the NNPC, to block revenue transmission leakages and make them more efficient and accountable.

“We shall promote sound micro economic positive environment, run an efficient and transparent government. Restore and strengthen financial confidence by putting in place a more robust monitoring, supervision and regulation of all financial institutions.

“We shall embark on natural infrastructural development programme that will promote road, air and water transportation in the country to make Nigeria a hub of the West African sub-region,” General Buhari said.

The APC Presidential candidate also said that the party would embark on roads and rail construction that would unlock a value chain of opportunities for construction companies, builders, engineers, architects, quarry operators cement and iron rod production and supply.

General Buhari earlier in a rally in Nasarawa urged all Nigerian voters to come out en masse and vote in the general election that will hold on March 28 and April 11.

Boko Haram Attacks Chad, Kills One

Boko HaramFighters from Boko Haram sect in the north-east of Nigeria attacked a village in Chad early on Sunday, killing one person, local residents said.

Boko Haram, which is seeking to carve an Islamist emirate out of north-eastern Nigeria, has expanded its zone of operations over the past year, but attacks on Chadian territory remain rare.

Reuters reports that a resident of the targeted village, who asked not to be named, said that “Boko Haram elements this morning attacked the village of Djargagoroum, between Ngouboua and Kaiga. The attack was repelled. We count one dead and two houses were burned.”

Boko Haram raided nearby Ngouboua, on the shores of Lake Chad, last month in the group’s first known lethal attack on Chadian soil.

Chad’s military has spearheaded an operation by Nigeria’s neighbours against the insurgency, which has killed thousands and which last week pledged its allegiance to the Islamic State militant group.

Chad is also the base for a French regional counter-insurgency operation “Barkhane” which provides intelligence and logistical support to the Chadian army.

Chad and Niger had launched a joint army operation against Boko Haram militants in Nigeria, stepping up a regional push to end the Sunni Muslim group’s six-year insurgency.

Boko Haram had expanded cross-border raids into Cameroon, Chad and Niger in recent months. This has spurred Nigeria’s neighbours to retaliate, although cooperation between them and Nigeria has been limited.

On Monday morning, troops fighting the terrorist reclaimed the town of Goniri, Yobe State, clearing terrorists from the location.

Governor Yero Accuses APC Of Violent Attacks On PDP Members

yeroGovernor Mukhtar Yero of Kaduna State has told the National Human Rights Commission, that the violent attacks on members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) were carried out by suspected thugs of the All progressives Congress (APC).

He said the development was a sign that the opposition party does not want a peaceful election in the State.

The Governor, therefore, called on the commission and security agencies to call the perpetrators to order in line with the peace accord they signed.

Governor Yero made the declaration during a meeting with the chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Professor Chidi Odinkalu.

political parties

The governor in his speech told the commission how the PDP members and supporters have been intimated and attacked by APC thugs, even going as far as burning down their campaign vehicles and pulling down bill boards.

Governor Yero told supporters and members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to be vigilant and protect themselves from being attacked by suspected hired political thugs of the opposition the APC across the State.

Responding to the Governor’s request, the Chairman of NHRC, Professor Odinkalu, assured the governor that all issues raised would be looked into and asked the ruling party to show tolerance to the opposition in order to deepen democracy in the country.

Professor Odinkalu further asked political parties to respect the peace accord they jointly signed as well as ensuring that their members and supporters also abide by the accord.

After the meeting, he told reporters that unlike in 2011 when perpetrators of election violence went scot-free, the commission was determined to ensure that anyone involved in any violent attacks during the forthcoming polls would be brought to justice.

Odinkalu called on political parties and their candidates to conduct their electioneering campaigns in a peaceful manner in order to ensure a violent free polls.

He said that the commission was already compiling all incidents of human rights abuses across the country and would make its findings known in due course.

Kaduna is among the States in Nigeria that witnessed post-election violence in 2011, which claimed thousands of human lives.

The election is few days away and there are fears of an imminent crisis due to the violent manner the parties have conducted their campaigns so far.

It is against this backdrop that the NHRC is visiting the State across the country to appeal to all political gladiators to shun violence before, during and after the elections.

Insurgency Will Soon End In Borno – Governor Shettima

shettimaGovernor Kashim Shettima of Borno State is optimistic that insurgency will soon end in his State and the whole of north-east.

The Governor said on Friday that with the renewed vigour of the military with support from the multinational Joint Task-Force, the insurgency would soon be history.

He assured residents of the State that his administration would not rest until peace returns to the State.

As the April 2015 governorship election draws near, politicians have continued to canvass for votes from the electorates.

In Borno State, Governor Kashim Shettima, took his campaign to the southern part of the State.

He expressed optimism that the end of insurgency which had ravaged the State throughout his first tenure would soon come to an end, promising that his administration would begin projects implementations as soon as peace returns to the State to alleviate the suffering of the people.

On their part, some traditional rulers and indigenes of the State pledged their loyalty to the Governor.

The Governor also visited victims of the insurgency in hospitals all over the State with a directive that all victims be given adequate medical care, pledging that the government would foot the bill.

MASSOB Demands Sack Of INEC Chairman

Movement foMASSOBr the Actualisation of the Sovereign State Of Biafra (MASSOB) has held a peaceful protest in Umuahia, Abia State capital, demanding for the removal of the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The group claims Professor Atahiru Jega is bias and partisanship in the forthcoming 2015 elections.

The Biafran activists numbering about 1,000, marched through major streets in Umuahia, chanting pro-Biafran songs and carrying placards with various inscriptions.

“Jega must go” and “We the neighbouring ‘State of Biafra’ want to help our brothers in Nigeria,” were some of the inscriptions on the placards.

They said that they want the INEC Boss removed because of his alleged secret parley with the north to conduct the Presidential poll in favour of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari ( Rtd) and work against the electoral fortunes of President Goodluck Jonathan.

The MASSOB group insisted that they were part of Nigeria, and would not close their eyes to any form of injustice or foul play, especially as it concerns the 2015 election.

They urged the Igbos to return home before the elections to avoid becoming the targets of post election violence.

Meanwhile, political candidates in differents states have signed peace accord, pledging to maintain peace before, during and after the elections.

I Will Not Islamize Nigeria – Buhari

buhariThe Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari has described as “unfair and a cheap blackmail” for the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to label APC as an Islamic party.

General Muhammadu Buhari said that such statement is an attempt to stoke primordial sentiments and cause disunity among Nigerians ahead of the elections.

Addressing religious leaders during a town hall meeting in Kaduna on Wednesday, General Buhari who was represented by his running mate, Professor Yemi Osinbajo described the statement as baseless and untrue.

He urged Nigerians not to be swayed by the continuous allegation by the PDP that the party intends to Islamise Nigeria if elected into office on March 28, advising Nigerians to elect their next leaders based on integrity and capacity to deliver good governance, which “he stands for”.

He reminded the ruling party that it is absolutely impossible to turn Nigeria into one religious country as the constitution does not permit that.

General Buhari who absolved himself of being a religious fanatic as portrayed by the PDP and promised not to rule Nigeria in a dictatorial style if elected president.

The Town Hall Meeting with Muslim and Christian leaders was among one of the various meetings lined up by the APC Presidential Campaign Organization across the country ahead of the March 28 presidential election.

The main purpose was for the party’s standard bearer to rub minds with leaders of the two religions -Islam and Christianity- and put the records straight where there are doubts.

APC National Chairman, Mr John Oyegun and other top party officials were also present to support their candidate.


Iheanacho Decries Lack Of Economic Development In Oguta

IheanachoThe governorship candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) in Imo State Captain Emmanuel Iheanacho has expressed disappointment over the level of decay and lack of economic development in Oguta, one of the oil producing Local Government Areas.

While campaigning at Oguta Local Government Area of the State, he said Oguta is blessed with many natural potentials if harnessed can derive heavy revenue for the State and increase the standard of living of people living in the area.

He further said that if elected Governor he would develop the moribund tourist and economic potentials in the area and provide job opportunities for the unemployed youths in the area.

Captain Iheanacho’s campaign train was on the road again after going on a break since the announcement of the postponement of the elections and this time he visited Orsu and Oguta Local Government as well as Ihiagwa community in Owerri west Local Government Area of the State.

At Orsu, Captain Iheanacho and his team had a stop over at the palace of the traditional ruler of Assah Ubirielem autonomous community in Orsu, His Royal Highness Godwin Okwuaka where he was given royal blessings.

Moving to the campaign ground, he advised the people to vote wisely during the elections and endeavour to vote APGA at all levels.

Thereafter, his campaign train moved to Oguta Local Government Area to woo more supporters ahead of the elections, before moving to the rally ground,he had to pay homage at the residence of the oldest man in Oguta Nda Nzeribe aged 120 years old.

While addressing the gathering at the campaign ground, he said despite of the natural resources Oguta is blessed with, the area is still wallowing in abject poverty and the standard of living of people in the area is still very low.

He however promised that if elected Governor, he would ensure that all the economic and tourism potentials in the area is better harnessed to create an enabling environment for people to live a better life.

Afterwards he visited Ohiagwa community in Owerri west local government where he addressed some youths on the need to get their Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) and vote wisely.

Amosun Approves Bursary of Ogun State Student‎s

ogun stateThe Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, has approved and released the 2014/15 Bursary Awards to Ogun State students in all higher institutions across the federation.

The Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Barr. Segun Odubela, disclosed this in a statement issued in Abeokuta, the state capital, that N117,271, 000.00 would be paid to 14, 550 beneficiaries.

According to him, 4,948 final year students, 9,506 on other levels and 96 Law School students would benefit from the award.

Odubela said that the bursary would be paid directly into individual bank accounts submitted by the students concerned and enjoined them to visit their banks for collection.

He said that the government was committed to the welfare of all Ogun State students ‎in line with its Affordable Qualitative Education policy and would implement it to the letter.

The Commissioner, while urging the students to reciprocate the government’s gesture by being law abiding, advised them to avoid being used by selfish politicians for anti-social activities, particularly electoral malpractices, as the general election approaches.

“In the midst of the current financial challenges occasioned by ‎the dwindling allocation from the Federal Government, the State Government will not relent in its determination to provide affordable and qualitative education while also ensuring the improved welfare of our students.

“‎Therefore, it would not be out of place to enjoin our students to reciprocate this gesture by being law abiding and shun acts that can tarnish the image of the state”, Odubela added.

Police, Stakeholders Deliberate Effective Policing In Osun

For effective and efficient community policing, there must be mutual understanding between the police and the People, a police official said on Friday.

The Commissioner of Police in Osun, Mr Abubakar Marafa at a stakeholders meeting in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, told stakeholders that the cooperation of residents in the state would help the police deliver better service.

Mr Marafa was addressing a gathering of representatives of Various groups, ranging from Civil society organisations, religious leaders, traditional rulers, medical practitioners, Road transport Workers, Men of the Penat, at the hall at the Osun State Police Command.

The meeting afforded the police an opportunity to rub minds with major stakeholders in the State on issues bothering on security and measures that should be put in place to strengthen the long relationship between the police and the people, as it sought to foster peace.

Mr Marafa, who was Represented by the Deputy Commissioner of Police Mr Isaac Akinmoyede, believed that a good police-people relationship would go a long way in combating crime in the society.

He urged the public not to hoard useful information that could help the force in their duties, assuring them that shared information would be treated with full confidentiality.

Different police commands across Nigeria have held such meetings in different states in the last few months, as the nation prepares for a general elections.

It is aimed at ensuring that the general elections are held in a peaceful environment and forestalling violence before, during and after the elections.