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.

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.

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.

Presidency, Ministers Mourn Ocholi

James OcholiThe Presidential Villa has been in a sober mood as more reactions continue to pour in following the death of the Minister of State for Labour, Barrister James Ocholi, his wife and son, who were involved in a ghastly motor accident on Sunday.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geofrey Onyeama, described him as a fabulous human being and one of the friendliest in the cabinet.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina described the death as a terrible tragedy.

He said that as an active member of the Federal Executive Council, the late Ocholi will be accorded the full honours when the council sits on Wednesday.

He said that the President misses Barrister Ocholi who he reposed implicit confidence in because of the role he played during the presidential election that brought President Buhari to power.

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.