Jonathan, Obasanjo Absent At Buhari’s Inauguration

 

Former Presidents Goodluck Jonathan and Olusegun Obasanjo were absent at the inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari for a second term on Wednesday.

Also absent at the Eagle Square, Abuja, where the ceremony held was former Military President Ibrahim Babangida.

While the three former heads of government were absent at what the government had said would be a low-key inauguration ceremony, former military Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (retd) was among other prominent Nigerians, diplomats, top government officials, and politicians at the ceremony.

Read Also: President Buhari Sworn In For Second Term

Acting Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Mohammed Tanko, administered the oath of office to the President at 10:42 am, shortly after Vice President Yemi Osinbajo took his oath of office.

Based on the Constitution, the President swore that as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria he would discharge his duties to the best of his ability, faithfully and in accordance with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the law, and always in the interest of the sovereignty, integrity, solidarity, well-being and prosperity of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

He also swore that he would preserve the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy contained in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and that he would not allow his personal interest to influence his official conduct or official decisions.

Wednesdays ceremony was also witnessed by members of the first families including the wives of the President Buhari and Osinbajo, Aisha and Dolapo, respectively.

‘Suffering But Smiling’: Rewane Presents Scorecard On Nigeria’s Economy

 

The CEO of the Financial Derivatives Company, Bismarck Rewane, has presented a scorecard of Nigeria’s economy in the last five years.

Speaking at the Town Hall organized by Channels Television ahead of the Inauguration Day, he reeled out what he described as 19 indicators and how they influenced the nation’s growth in the last five years as well as predictions for the next two years.

According to him, of the 19 indicators, 11 moved negatively while nine moved positively.

He, however, noted that what was most important was the citizens’ scorecard.

Staple foods such as Garri, Rice and Beans were sold for 13,500, 9,500 and 14,000 in 2014, but now, a bag of each costs 6,500, 15,000 and 19,000 respectively.

Tomatoes which cost N4,300 for a 50kg bag, has now also gone up by 319% to become N18,000.

Read Also: Chibok Parent Insists 49 Towns Are Occuppied By Boko Haram, Adesina Reacts

Other key indicators which Rewane mentioned were unemployment and underemployment which according to him, was 29.4 per cent in 2014 but is now 43.2 per cent.

The Misery Index was 38.7 in 2014 and its 54.57 in 2019, while the life expectancy in 2014 was 52 years, and is now 53 years.

As part of efforts to keep the key indicators growing positively, Mr Rewane gave some recommendations as stated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“The IMF says economy is recovering – they are recommending that we stop multiple exchange rates, improve tax collection, stop the waivers and exemptions and tighten money supply,” he said.

Buhari’s Second Term Is For Legacy Building – Adesina

Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity

 

Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, says Buhari’s second term is for building up a lasting legacy.

He stated this on Wednesday during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

“The second term is a term for legacy building. The President would do all that will stand in good stead in the memory of Nigerians as a President that came, that saw and that conquered,” he said amid criticism that trailed the President’s slow handling of the nation’s affairs.

When asked if the cabals, a group of individuals considered to be wielding large influence over the president are still holding sway over the presidency, Adesina denied knowledge of such.

READ ALSO: President Buhari Asks Ministers To Handover By May 28

The presidential spokesman claimed that the cabal is neither visible to the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo nor himself.

“Unless you tell me who they are. The Vice President has told the media that he doesn’t know of a cabal, (they are not visible to the vice president) neither are they visible to me.

“No, unless you can prove to me that there is indeed a cabal. If I have not seen a cabal, nothing like that has affected my work in any negative sense, then I can’t agree with you that there is indeed a cabal,” he stated.

Adesina’s comments come shortly after the President presided over the valedictory session of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting ahead of his inauguration for a second term on May 29.

During the meeting, he directed ministers to continue till May 28, and handover their schedules to the permanent secretaries of their respective ministries.

‘Many Would Have Given Up’: What Buhari Told Ministers At Valedictory FEC Meeting

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has praised his ministers for the “successes recorded” in his first term.

Speaking during the valedictory Federal Executive Council meeting on Tuesday, he explained that the administration inherited a broken economy which eventually went into a recession in 2016.

According to him, the situation was further compounded by insecurity and massive corruption and many would have given up but rather, they remained resilient.

“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,” the President said.

While thanking the ministers for their efforts and contributions, he asked them to continue their duties till May 28, 2019, when they would hand over their schedules to the permanent secretaries of their respective ministries.

Read his full speech below.

CLOSING REMARKS BY H.E. PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI
AT THE VALEDICTORY SESSION FOR MEMBERS OF THE FEDERAL EXECUTIVE COUNCIL (2015 – 2019) AT THE STATE HOUSE COUNCIL CHAMBER ON 22ND MAY, 2019.

Today’s Federal Executive Council meeting is the last time we will meet as a cabinet before the commencement of the second and final term of this Administration.

2. Our first meeting in this chamber was in November 2015. Over the past three and a half years, we worked together to deliver our campaign promises. I strongly believe that it is this teamwork that led to the successes recorded during our first term.

3. Some of our colleagues, with whom we started this journey, unfortunately, are not here to join us in celebrating our successes.

4. Specifically, I must recognize 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.

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

6. I also acknowledge the contributions of other Council members who resigned before the completion of our tenure to pursue other opportunities.

7. You will recall that when we started this journey, our country was facing numerous challenges.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. Although we all had a common vision, we frequently had heated debates in this room on the best way to achieve our goals. These differing views are what made the decisions we took all the more rational.

11. It is this quality that made me retain my cabinet for the full term.

Each of you in this room has a unique skill and strength. We are a reflection of the Nigeria we aspire to achieve. A diverse but tolerant nation where no one is silenced and where every opinion should be heard and considered.

12. I want you all to leave this meeting proud to have served your nation to the best of your ability.

13. You should be proud to have been part of the Government that liberated the local governments previously under Boko Haram rule.

14. You should be proud to have contributed to our food security and economic diversification agenda which led to the revival of our rural agrarian economy.

15. You should be proud to have been part of the team that developed the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan which led Nigeria exiting its worst recession in decades.

16. You should be proud to have introduced the social investment program that enhanced the livelihoods of millions of Nigerians.

17. You should be proud to have participated in settling outstanding pensions of many senior citizens abandoned by previous governments while supporting state governments to meet their salary arrears.

18. And of course, you should all be proud to have overseen the most ambitious road, rail and airport rehabilitation programs in the history of our country.

19. I want to put on record, that your achievements in the last three and a half years has guaranteed your position in the history books of this nation. You have certainly built the foundations for an improved economy and a more purposeful government.

20. Although today is our last council meeting, I expect all of you to continue working until Tuesday, 28th May 2019 when you will officially hand over your schedules to your respective Permanent Secretaries. Your handing over letters should be submitted to the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

21. I want to conclude by thanking all of you for agreeing to serve our nation during these difficult times. I want to use this opportunity to recognise the silent partners to this cabinet, your spouses, families and friends, who supported you through these years.

22. I wish you the very best of luck and pray for your successes, for dear families and our for country in the years ahead.

Thank you and God Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Presidential Inauguration: Nigeria Is Safe For World Leaders To Come, Says Lai Mohammed

 

The Federal Government has assured that the Presidential Inauguration Day and National Democracy Day will be safe for foreign dignitaries and world leaders coming into the country.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, made this known at a world press conference in Abuja, where he reeled out the program of events for days leading to both programs

“I can assure you Nigeria is safe for all the world leaders to come and attend.

“Swear-in of the President and Vice President is slated for Wednesday, May 29 at the Eagles Square, followed by a state banquet at the state house in the evening of the same day.”

READ ALSO: Buhari Approves Rabiu Yadudu’s Appointment As New FAAN MD

He further explained that the Democracy Day celebration, which will kick-off on June 7, will feature three main events, and end with a parade and Gala night on June 12.

“The events celebrating the June 12 and Democracy Day will kick-off on Friday, June 7 and Tuesday, June 11 will feature three events; the PMB oratorical contest at ICC, an Anti-corruption summit at Transcorp Hilton and the First Lady’s commissioning programme in Yola, Adamawa State.”

He added that; “Wednesday, June 12 will start off with a parade at the eagle square and the democracy programme will wrap up with a dinner and gala night at the statehouse conference centre.

Mr Mohammed also clarified that the Federal Government has declared May 29 and June 12 as public holidays to mark the events.

“On the issue of public holiday, I believe that May 29 still remains a public holiday, of course, June 12, the National Assembly has proclaimed a national holiday.”

Security: Odumakin Rates Buhari’s Administration 3/10, Says ‘We Are Losing The Country’

Yinka Odumakin, the spokesman for the Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere.

 

Yinka Odumakin, the spokesman for the Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, has rated the President Muhammadu Buhari administration 3 over 10 in addressing the nation’s security challenges.

Appearing as a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today, Odumakin decried the state of insecurity, stressing that the citizens may lose the country to bandits if efforts aren’t geared towards tackling the menace.

“I will rate them (the Buhari administration) three over 10 based on the state of insecurity, the whole country is ungovernable.

We must face the brick; we must have a country. We are losing the country at the moment,” he stated.

READ ALSO: Atiku, PDP Doing Everything To Sabotage Buhari, Overheat Polity – Lai Mohammed

Odumakin, a former spokesman to President Buhari, also noted that the fight against corruption hasn’t yielded the desired result.

While recalling the nation’s corruption index by the Transparency International (TI), Odumakin stated that Nigeria was ranked 136.

He, however, lamented that the nation is currently 144, thereby faulting the Federal Government’s claims on the graft war.

“On corruption, in 2014, we were 136 in TI rating. In 2018, we are 144, we have dropped points. So what corruption are we fighting?

“The President used to say that we must secure Nigeria and manage it. So we have to secure the country at the state we are now,” he said.

When asked if he is confident of the second term of the President that begins on May 29, Odumakin responded saying, “The last four years have been what they are, except there is an attempt to retool,” he said.

We Want The World To See June 12 As Nigeria’s Most Important Day – Garba Shehu

 

The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, has shed some more light on the comments made by the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, about the President’s inauguration on May 29, being a low-key ceremony.

During an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Monday, Mr Shehu explained that while May 29th remains significant as the inauguration day, all ceremonies associated with the inauguration have been deferred to June 12.

“We want the world to see June 12 as this country’s most important (day) as far as democracy is concerned,” he said.

He further explained that the May 29 inauguration will still be marked because according to the Constitution, the four-year term officially ends on the 29th.

“Let me say emphatically, it is important that the President and the governors are being inaugurated on the 29th.

“Constitutionally, that must take place because their four-year term (2015-2019), expires on the 29th.

“However, the President will be swearing an oath, taking the oath of office as would the governors be doing, but the big ceremonies associated with the inauguration have been deferred to June 12, in order that we empower, we activate this day in a big way”.

READ ALSO: May 29: Buhari’s Inauguration Will Be Low-Key, Says Lai Mohammed

On the venue of the event, he noted that it would take place at the Eagles Square, Abuja and the missions in the country, embassies, and other key figures will be duly represented.

“Delegations will come but we are welcoming them on June 12,” Shehu added.

Also speaking on the matter, a senior Advocate of Nigeria Adetokunbo Kayode, explained that it is economical to avoid multiple ceremonies and public holidays.

He said, “I think that prudence actually determines that it is done in a low-key fashion because of the ceremony that will come on June 12, so I think it’s okay.

“Holidays cost money, secondly, ceremonies cost money so it may be that the President wants to be very circumspect about how much he spends on these ceremonies”.

The Information Minister had during a press conference earlier today, explained that the country cannot afford two major celebrations within a two-week interval.

He noted that details of the events slated for the two ceremonies will be unveiled at a world press conference on May 20, 2019, in Abuja.

May 29: Buhari’s Inauguration Will Be Low-Key, Says Lai Mohammed

Kajura Attack: FG Sends Security Operatives After Killers Of Nigerian, Briton
Mr Lai Mohammed addresses a press conference in Abuja on December 10, 2018.

 

The Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, has said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s inauguration for a second term will be ‘low-key’.

He explained that some of the events slated for the inauguration will now be held during the first observance of June 12 as the National Democracy Day.

According to Information Minister, the decision to have a low-key inauguration was taken at the meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday, May 8.

“Invitations have been sent to all world leaders to attend the ceremonies marking the observance of the Democracy Day on June 12.

READ ALSO: Buhari Receives Emefiele, Congratulates Him On Re-Appointment

“Since the first observance of June 12 as Democracy Day falls into an election year, and as a measure to sustain June 12 as Democracy Day, the celebration of the inauguration and the advancement of democracy in the country will now take place on June 12.

“The country can ill-afford two major celebrations within a two-week interval”.

Details of the events slated for the two ceremonies will be unveiled at a world press conference on May 20, 2019, in Abuja.

Groups, Foreign Interests Plotting To Disrupt May 29, Army Claims

New Salary Scale Has Not Been Approved For Armed Forces – DHQ

 

The Nigerian Army has drawn the attention of the Federal Government and Nigerians of plans by some groups, foreign interests to disrupt the May 29, handover.

Army in a statement by Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Colonel Sagir Musa on Saturday, said some unpatriotic individual groups and foreign interests, are determined to cause mischief and exacerbate the security situation in Nigeria and the West African Sub-region.

“These persons and groups are making concerted efforts to further induce ISWAP/Boko Haram terrorists and bandits with funds and other logistic supports.

“Their body language and unguarded utterances seem to be in tandem with above and imply tacit support for the criminals. For example, a credible source has shown that some individuals are hobnobbing with Boko Haram terrorists, while others are deliberately churning falsehood against the security agencies with a view to set the military against the people and the government.

“We also noted that foreign interests are also working assiduously to cause disaffection and divide the coalition Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) to give room for the so-called Islamic State for West African Province (ISWAP) and its defeated local franchise, Boko Haram terrorist group to resurrect.

“They are also demoralising troops and security agencies through false accusations and fake news. Therefore, it has become necessary to inform the public and warn such persons and groups to desist as the consequences of their actions would be calamitous to themselves and our great country,” he stated.

READ ALSO: Gunmen Attack Nasarawa Community, Kill Two

The Army spokesman also revealed plans by the groups to disrupt the May 29 handover, after failing to alter the 2019 General elections.

“Some of these mischievous elements thought that we would not have a safe and successful general election but were proved wrong, hence they want to derail the scheduled handing over later this month and to scuttle the democratic process in the country.

“The Nigerian Army is a stakeholder in our national security and sustenance of democracy in Nigeria. Additionally, we are making this statement because the military, particularly the Nigerian Army, has always been called upon to intervene in conflict situations in order to resolve crises in most cases when they get worse, while the public expects miracles.

He added that; “We would like to reiterate our unalloyed loyalty to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and we are determined more than ever before, to continue to uphold the constitution and defend the territorial integrity of this nation from both external and internal aggression.

“Nigeria is a sovereign country with the clearly established judicial system, therefore all aggrieved persons and groups should take advantage of that and resolve differences amicably.”

Buhari To Meet German Chancellor, President On Security Issues

Muhammadu-Buhari-on-north-east-StarvationThe President, Muhammadu Buhari will embark on an official visit to the Federal Republic of Germany from October 13- 15, 2016.

While in Berlin, the President will confer with Federal Chancellor, Angela Merkel on issues of shared interests between Nigeria and Germany, including further cooperation on security, the humanitarian situation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and rehabilitation of the North-East, as well as trade and economic relations between both countries.

Thereafter, the President, who will be accompanied by Governors Kashim Shettima of Borno State and Rochas Okorocha of Imo respectively and representatives of the National Assembly, will meet with Federal President Joachim Gauck.

In furtherance of the administration’s objective to attract more foreign investment and create economic opportunities in the country, President Buhari will participate in a Business Forum in Berlin with leading German companies already active in Nigeria and other prospective investors.

Before returning to Abuja, the President is expected to meet with representatives of the Nigerian community in Germany.

President Buhari is committed to deepening relations with Germany and building on the very cordial relations both countries enjoy in several areas of bilateral cooperation including the fight against terrorism, economic relations, rebuilding of the North east, support for IDPs, vocational training, energy partnership and cultural relations.

Shortly after his inauguration on May 29, 2015, President Buhari, on the invitation of Chancellor Merkel, attended the G7 summit in Elmau, Germany – the trip was his first to a non-African country after his assumption of office.

From February 8- 12 2016, President Gauck, accompanied by a delegation of German business community, was on an official visit to Nigeria, where they had fruitful discussions on trade and investments with representatives of government and the private sector in Abuja and Lagos.

Democracy Day: Sowunmi, Ekechi Differ On Buhari’s First Year In Office

#Buhari365Days, BuhariAs Nigeria marks Democracy Day on Sunday, May 29, mixed reactions have been trailing questions about the performance of the President over the last one year.

Speaking on a special coverage of 365 days of Buhari on Channels Television, former Director, Planning and Research for the All Progressives Congress (APC) campaign organization, Dr. Toe Ekechi, described efforts being made by the President to save the nation from further plunging into socio-
economic problems as commendable.

He argued that rather than focus on the current challenges of hike in fuel price, naira depreciating and higher cost of living, Nigerians should consider the factors that brought the country to its current state.

“My opinion is that we were heading for a ship wreck – a colossal disaster but God in his infinite mercy, who never wanted Nigeria to be destroyed provided at the right time a captain that has managed to steer the ship off the course of a ship wreck trying to stabilise it.

“It is not very well fully stabilised, that is where we are now. So I will like to say, it could have been worse if we did not have Buhari.”

Meanwhile, former director of the Jonathan-Sambo Campaign Organization, Mr Segun Sowunmi, accused the APC-led federal government of making excuses and blaming past administrations for the challenges facing the nation.

“If they had not come to Nigerians with a huge promise that a whole lot of our people believed, all of these ‘it could have been ship wreck’ could have been tolerated.

“From the minute this government got in charge, they have only given us excuses,” Sowunmi said.

He recalled that when the PDP took over from the military in 1999, ex-president, Olusegun Obasanjo did not give excuses about past military regimes but rather worked hard to revive the economy.

“What has happened in the last one year is that everything has gone bad,” he maintained.

Nigeria Committed To Democratic Principles, Buhari Assures Int’l Community 

Muhammadu Buhari, Democratic PrinciplesPresident Muhammadu Buhari has reassured the international community of Nigeria’s commitment to strengthening democratic principles and sustaining the fight against terrorism and violent crimes.

In a broadcast to mark his administration’s first year in office, President Buhari said that Nigeria is ready to sustain its partnership in combating cybercrimes, control of communicable diseases and protection of the environment.

The President particularly extended Nigeria’s appreciation to the international community, notably France, the U.S., UK and China for their quick response in helping to tackle the Ebola outbreak in the West African sub-region.