Buhari Pays Tribute To ‘True Patriot’ James Ocholi At Valedictory FEC Meeting

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday paid tribute to the late James Ocholi, who served under him as Minister of State for Labour until his death in a road accident on March 6, 2016.

The President paid tribute to the late minister during the valedictory meeting of the Federal Executive Council inside the Presidential Villa.

“Some of our colleagues, with whom we started this journey, unfortunately, are not here to join us in celebrating our successes,” the President told those present at the meeting before urging them to remember Ocholi, who was killed in the car crash along with his wife and son.

“Specifically, I must recognise our late brother, James Ocholi SAN who passed away in a fearful motor accident with his wife, Blessing and son, Joshua only four months after being sworn in as a Minister.

“I want us to all put him, and indeed his family, in our memory. He was a true patriot committed to our CHANGE agenda.”

President Buhari also acknowledged the contribution of ministers who had resigned, while praising the cabinet members for their roles in the successes recorded by his administration.

READ ALSO:  What Buhari Told Ministers At Valedictory FEC Meeting

Four years after sweeping to power, promising to fight corruption, improve the nation’s security and strengthen the economy, President Buhari believes much has been accomplished.

He said, “We inherited a broken economy which eventually went into recession in the second quarter of Fiscal Year 2016. The situation was further compounded by insecurity and massive corruption.

“Many would have given up. Indeed, many outside commentators said our situation was well nigh hopeless. However, we all came together and pushed forward to deliver our campaign promise to rescue our country from its parlous state.”

Change Will Be Evident Before 2017 Ends – Femi Adesina

femi-adesina-politics-todayThe Special Adviser to the Nigerian President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina has again assured Nigerians that the end of the country’s economic challenge is nearer than ever.

Speaking on Politics Today, Mr Adesina said that all efforts of the Buhari administration to get Nigeria and Nigerians back on their feet would begin to materialize before the end of 2017.

He added that projections by notable international agencies have also predicted that Nigeria would exit recession in 2017.

“World Bank has said it, IMF has said it and before those institutions, the government has said it,” he said.

Adesina refused to have the Buhari administration blamed for the recession that hit the country saying Nigeria had been ‘primed for recession’ at the time Buhari became President.

“That recession was inevitable (with) the way Nigeria had been run two to four years prior the time we went into recession. There was no way it would not have happened,” he said.

He explained that President Buhari remained committed to correcting the mistakes of the past.

“What he is doing is good governance which will translate to better life for the people. It’s not going to be by a sudden flight, it’s not a magic wand that he will wave – policies that will yield over time and lead to improvements in the life of the people,” he said.

President Not Sick

Mr Adesina also debunked the rumours that President Buhari has been ill and wondered why critics altered the sequence of the statement issued regarding the President’s trip to the UK in order to make the President appear ill.

“Don’t forget, the statement we issued said he was going on holiday and during that holiday he would do medical checkups. The sequence is very important – holiday first, medical checkups second.

“Nigerians want to turn the sequence to medical checkups instead of holiday first.”

Mr Adesina’s explanation also triggered questions regarding the President’s trust in the quality of medical services in Nigeria but he argued that it is usually important to consult doctors who have the patient’s medical history.

“Before he became President, he has been using those same set of people. So, it stands to reason that the same people continue to attend to him,” he explained.

Cabinet Rejig?

There have been questions regarding the current makeup of the President’s cabinet, with many wondering if there would be a rejig of ministerial appointments.

The death of the Kogi state-born former Minister of State for Labour, James Ocholi, and the impending exit of the Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed for her UN appointment have also fuelled the speculation that there could be a rejig.

However, Mr Adesina insisted that it remained the prerogative of the President to rejig his cabinet.

While admitting that citizens have the rights to criticize the cabinet in the face of economic challenges, he maintained that the President has the final say on who works with him.

He gave the assurance that President Buhari is in touch with the grassroots and understands the challenges Nigerians have been going through.

Six Medical Doctors Die In Road Accident In Kaduna

Road AccidentA road accident along Abuja-Kaduna expressway has claimed the lives of seven medical doctors traveling from Ekiti to Sokoto State.

The accident which claimed the life of the driver of the bus, also left seven others severely injured.

The Kaduna State Chairman of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Dr Muhammed Ibrahim, who confirmed the incident to our correspondent in Kaduna on Monday, said that the accident occurred around Doka area along the expressway, when one of the tyres of the 18-seater bus they were traveling in busted.

The vehicle hit the side breakers and somersaulted several times before it stopped.

He disclosed that the doctors left Ekiti on Saturday to attend the Nigeria Medical Association delegates’ conference in Sokoto State before the incident occurred.

He attributed the death of the six medical doctors to lack of proper medical attention at Doka General Hospital where they were rushed to, stating that there was no single doctor and first aid facilities to attend to the victims.

He also disclosed that the seven surviving medical doctors were receiving treatment at Saint Gerald’s Catholic Hospital in the state capital.

The accident occurred very close to the spot where the late Minister of State for Labour and Employment, James Ocholi, his wife and son lost their lives in a similar road mishap.

Ministers Visit Late James Ocholi’s Residence

OcholiMinisters of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on Wednesday paid a condolence visit to the family of their late colleague, Mr James Ocholi, at his Abuja residence, after the Federal Executive Council meeting.

The delegation, led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, assured the children that the Presidency would support the family of the late Mr Ocholi.

Also at the residence to sympathise with the family was a notable politician in Kogi State, James Faleke, who said that the late minister’s death was a great loss to Nigeria, especially to Kogi State.

Friends of the deceased described him as an upright and brave man who made a great impact within a short period of time.

The visit came after the Federal Government announced automatic employment at the Federal Ministry of Justice for Aaron, the eldest son of the late Minister.

The Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, revealed this to the Ocholi family when he paid them a visit to convey his and President Muhammadu Buhari’s condolence message.

He also told the family that Aaron’s other siblings would enjoy scholarships for their educational pursuits, courtesy of the Federal Government which had pledged to cushion the effect of the loss of their parents.

FEC Receives Ocholi’s Accident Report

James OcholiThe Federal Executive Council (FEC) has received reports on the cause of the accident that claimed the lives of the Minister of State for Employment, James Ocholi, his wife and son on the Abuja-Kaduna expressway on Sunday.

Briefing the Council on their finding on Wednesday, the Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Mr Boboye Oyeyemi, said that beyond the burst tyres, the driver of the Minister sped excessively, his application of brakes was bad, there was no trye maintenance and he also didn’t use his seat belt.

Investigations also showed that the Minister’s driver’s licence was not found on the data base of the Road Safety Corps.

President Muhammadu Buhari, while paying tribute to the Minister, narrated his experience with the Minister, his contributions towards his emergence as President.

He described him as a humble chap that would be missed in the cabinet.

While the Minister of State for Niger Delta described Ocholi as a strong minded, lovely and fearless being, the Minister of Water Resources urged his colleagues to imbibe the lessons learnt from his death.

The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs in her tribute, described Ocholi as a family man whose exit is tragic.

The Federal Government also extended sincere condolences to the people of Kogi State and prayed that the memories he left behind would always be a legacy.

The burial has tentatively been fixed for March 16, 17 and 18.

 

Health Workers Shelve Planned Strike Over Ocholi’s Death

Health workersThe Joint Health Workers Union (JOHESU), has shelved their planed strike, initially scheduled to commence on Thursday, March 10.



The President of the Union, Mr Biobelemoye Josiah, said the suspension of the proposed strike action is to enable the workers mourn the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr James Ocholi,.

The Minister was the Chairman of a Negotiation Committee set up by the Ministry of Labour to address the issues raised by the health workers union in their notice of the proposed strike addressed to the ministry.

Mr Ocholi, died in a road accident along the Kaduna-Abuja highway.

Narrating how the incident occurred, the spokesman for the Kaduna State Police Command, Zubairu Abubakar, told our correspondent that the accident occurred while the family were returning from a private visit in Kaduna at Rijiana village along the expressway on Sunday afternoon.

He confirmed that while the Minister and his son died on the spot of the incident, his wife died few minutes after, at Doka General Hospital, about 60 kilometres to Kaduna, having sustained severe injuries.

According to an eyewitness, the Minister’s Sport Utility Vehicle had a burst tyre before somersaulting several times.

FG Employs Ocholi’s Son, Gives Others Scholarship

OcholiAs part of efforts to support the children left behind by the late Minister of State for Labour, Mr James Ocholi (SAN), the Federal Government has announced automatic employment at the Federal Ministry of Justice for Aaron, his eldest son.

The Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, revealed this to the Ocholi family when he paid a visit to his Kado Estate residence at about 3:00pm on Tuesday, to convey his and President Muhammadu Buhari’s condolence message.

He also disclosed that Aaron’s other siblings would enjoy scholarships for their educational pursuits, courtesy of the Federal Government who has pledged to cushion the effect of the loss of their parents.

The Minister added that the Senior Advocate was a very critical part of the change effort of the Federal Government.

He said that President Buhari personally mandated him to inform the family of the late Minister that his administration would do all within its power to ensure he is not missed.

Mr Malami consoled them that death was a necessary end that was bound to happen, adding that God in his infinite mercy had a reason for allowing them to depart the way they did.

“I am here to convey Mr President’s condolence message and he has asked me to personally inform you that you have been given automatic employment in the Federal Ministry of Justice. The employment letter is in process and you can resume work after now”, he told Ocholi’s eldest son.

“Your father was a very hardworking and conscientious member of the Federal Executive Council who was very passionate and worked hard for the realisation of the change agenda of this government.

“Indeed, it is a sad moment for all of us and the vacuum which his death has created is not only for the family, but the leadership as well. He was a great pillar in the struggle which brought this administration to power. He played a major role in the merger process,” the AGF said.

Mr Malami also recalled that as far back as the days of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Ocholi was one of those who stood strong behind President Buhari and was one of those who took part in the judicial struggle afterward in an effort to claim the presidential mandate at the election tribunal up to the Supreme Court at that time.

He prayed that his departed soul rests in peace.

The Minister of State for Labour and Employment died in a road accident along the Kaduna-Abuja highway on Sunday, March 6, along with his wife and son.

The deceased and his family were returning from a private visit in Kaduna.

FRSC To Commence Training For Drivers Of Political Appointees

FRSC boss-Boboye OyeyemiNigeria’s Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has announced plans to commence training for drivers of all political appointees in the country.

The Chief Executive of the FRSC, Boboye Oyeyemi, made the announcement on Monday in Abuja Following the death of the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, James Ocholi.

The FRSC boss said that the initiative would help improve the driving skills of drivers and reduce crashes on the nation’s highways.

“We have successfully completed about 75% training of convoy drivers involving State Government drivers and we are already working to also increase the tempo in the training of the drivers of the newly appointed members of the executive council which is very important.

“We need a kind of proficiency – driver’s improvement programme. If you observe of recent, we have done it for drivers at the State Government level involved in the convoy of governors, that is why you’ve seen a drop in the crash of governors.

“The death of Mr. Ocholi has forced me to fast track the training of the drivers of the members of the executive council so that all their drivers would get trained as appropriate on defensive driving techniques before the end of the month.

“The conduct of the training is very critical because we need to work with members of the Federal Executive Council especially the Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing (Babatunde Fashola), to ensure that all what is required as road furniture is put in place in respect of this.

“We have been getting maximum support from the Minister and I think that we partner more in respect of this,” Mr Oyeyemi said.

Mr Oyeyemi added that the report of investigation into the cause of the accident that claimed the Minister’s life would be ready in the next 72 hours.

President Buhari Mourns Ocholi

OcholiPresident Muhammadu Buhari has expressed shock and sadness at the death of Barrister James Ocholi (SAN), who together with his wife and son were killed in a car crash in Abuja on March 6, 2016. 

In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, President Buhari described the Minister of State for Labour’s death as untimely, regretting that Nigeria has lost a key component of the CHANGE agenda.

“Barrister Ocholi was an accomplished and patriotic Nigerian, who was keen to accept the call to service at a time his country needed him,” President Buhari said, adding that in the few months he had been in office, the Minister of State had already begun to distinguish himself through his commitment and dedication to his portfolio.

President Buhari also condoled with the government and people of Kogi State, whom he described as having lost a distinguished and irreplaceable son. He prayed that God would comfort them and grant them the grace to bear the loss.

“The entire country mourns the loss of this great man, who has sadly left us when we need him most,” he said.

President Buhari has also sent the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, David Babachir, to formally convey the news to members of the deceased family as well as parishioners in his place of worship.

Ocholi has had a long record of political association with President Buhari.

Deputy Labour Minister, James Ocholi Dies In Auto Crash

James Ocholi

The Kogi State Government has confirmed the tragic death of the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr James Ocholi, in a road accident along the Kaduna-Abuja highway.

According to a statement from Kogi State government, the Governor, Yahaya Bello, expressed shock at the incident.

Governor Bello described Ocholi as a pragmatic, dynamic, humane and brilliant Senior Advocate of Nigeria, who is known around the world for his dexterous approach to legal and political issues.

The Governor said that the Minister was one of the most unswerving constitutional lawyers in the country.

Governor Yahaya prayed for the repose of his soul. Three days of mourning will be observed in Kogi State from March 7 to 9.

Narrating how the incident occurred, the spokesman for the Kaduna State Police Command, Zubairu Abubakar, told our correspondent that the accident occurred while the family were returning from a private visit in Kaduna at Rijiana village along the expressway on Sunday afternoon.

He confirmed that while the Minister and his son died on the spot of the incident, his wife died few minutes after, at Doka General Hospital, about 60 kilometres to Kaduna, having sustained severe injuries.

According to an eyewitness, the Minister’s Sport Utility Vehicle had a burst tyre before somersaulting several times.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, has described Mr Ocholi’s death as a great loss to Nigeria, his family and the Nigerian Bar Association.

Mr James Ocholi was appointed Minister by President Muhammadu Buhari in November 2015.

FG Seeks Secret Trial Of Suspected Terrorists

Fasholaa Nazeef Yunus The Federal Government has approached a Federal High Court in Abuja to seek an order to conduct a secret trial of Dr. Nazeef Yunus and two others who are suspected members of the Boko Haram sect in Kogi State.

The suspects, Dr Yunus, an assistant lecturer in Arabic and Islamic Studies at the Kogi State University, Lokoja, Umar Musa and Salami Abdullahi were arraigned before the court for alleged involvement in terrorist activities.

The trial of Dr Nazeef Yunus and the two others had been fixed to begin on May 6, but the prosecutor told the court that the application became necessary in order to protect the identity of witnesses to be called in the case.

The application was, however, opposed by lawyer to the first accused person, Dr Nazeef Yunus. The lawyer, Hassan Liman, argued that a secret trial would jeopardize the rights of the accused person.

Lawyer to the other accused persons, James Ocholi, also opposed the application, saying it attempts to indict and label the accused persons as members of Boko Haram when they were yet to be convicted by a competent court.

The prosecutor, who declined to speak on camera, however insisted that a secret trial would not jeopardize the rights of the accused persons, as journalists would be allowed to cover the proceedings.

With the defendants teeming up to oppose the application, Justice Gabriel Kolawole adjourned the case to May 18 for ruling.