Buhari Blames Corruption For Boko Haram’s Late Defeat

Muhammadu Buhari, Corruption, Boko Haram,President Muhammadu Buhari said Wednesday in Abuja that corruption was largely responsible for the inability of the Nigerian military to quickly defeat Boko Haram.

Speaking at an audience with the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Dr. Ahmed El-Tayeb, President Buhari said that the loss of 14 local government areas to Boko Haram had greatly tarnished the reputation of the Nigerian Armed Forces.

The President noted, however, that with measures taken by his administration to curb corruption and provide better weaponry, logistics, training and welfare for soldiers on the front lines, the Nigerian military has now almost totally incapacitated Boko Haram as a fighting force and recovered all territories that were lost to the terrorist sect.

“When we curbed corruption and removed the injustice in the military, we began to make progress,” he said in a statement by his spokesman, Mr Garba Shehu.

Welcoming the support of Muslims across the world for Nigeria’s war against the dreaded sect, the President said that the war against terrorism was also a war against injustice, which is not condoned by Islam and all the major religions.

“You can’t kill the innocent in churches or in mosques and shout Allahu Akbar,” President Buhari said, adding that the visit of Dr. El-Tayeb and his expression of solidarity with Nigeria in the war against terrorism was a clear indication of global Muslim support for Nigeria against the unjust killing of the innocent by terrorists.

Reaffirming the Federal Government’s determination to resettle all persons who were displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency, he thanked the Grand Imam for the donation of scholarships, educational and medical supplies to Nigeria’s Internally Displaced Persons.

In his words, Dr. El-Tayeb told President Buhari that Muslims all over the world share Nigeria’s pains from terrorism and would continue to support efforts to ensure the return of peace and unity amongst all faiths in the country.

Foreign Investment: Presidency Defends China Trip

Foreign InvestmentSix billion US dollar is what the Presidency claims that Muhammadu Buhari’s trip to China has attracted as the Asian country appears to be the new bride in Nigeria’s foreign investment drive.

The President’s Media Adviser believes that the country hasn’t seen anything yet and more investments will flow in within the next few days.

Mr Femi Adesina was the guest of Channels Television programme, Sunday Politics, where he answered some of the questions raised by Nigerians concerning President Buhari’s recent trip to China.

“It is not like going to the market and then you come back home at the end of the day and they ask how much you have sold, because investments take time to yield but this trip to China has been particularly productive because it is a continuation of what has been started by the previous administration.

“Like it is said, government is a continuum, some of the things started by the Goodluck Jonathan administration have now been consummated by this administration through this trip.

“For example, we know China is well endowed in the area of infrastructure, while Nigeria today has plenty infrastructural deficit. So we have a lot to gain in the areas of power, agriculture, housing, railway, transportation generally and so many other areas,” he said.

 

Buhari’s China Visit Yields Billions In Investment For Nigeria – Presidency

Muhammadu-Buhari-China-Nigeria-Power-InvestmentPresident Muhammadu Buhari has expressed satisfaction with the outcome of his working visit to China, which has yielded additional investments in Nigeria exceeding six billion dollars.

President Buhari believes that the several agreements concluded with the Chinese during the visit would have a huge and positive impact on key sectors of the Nigerian economy including power, solid minerals, agriculture, housing and rail transportation.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu disclosed the President’s views in a statement on Friday.

“In the power sector, North South Power Company Limited and Sinohydro Corporation Limited signed an agreement valued at 478,657,941.28 dollars for the construction of 300 Mega Watts solar power in Shiriro, Niger State.

“In the solid minerals sector, Granite and Marble Nigeria Limited and Shanghai Shibang signed an agreement valued at 55 million dollars for the construction and equipping of granite mining plant in Nigeria.

“A total of one billion dollars is to be invested in the development of a greenfield expressway for Abuja-Ibadan-Lagos under an agreement reached by the Infrastructure Bank and Sinohydro Corporation Limited.

“For the housing sector, both companies also sealed a 250 million dollars deal to develop an ultramodern 27-storey high rise complex and a 2.5 billion dollars agreement for the development of the Lagos Metro Rail Transit Red Line project,” the statement read.

Other agreements announced and signed during the visit include one billion dollars for the establishment of a Hi-tech industrial park in Ogun-Guangdong Free Trade Zone in Igbesa, Ogun State.

The Ogun-Guangdong Free Trade Zone and CNG (Nigeria) Investment Limited also signed an agreement valued at 200 million dollars for the construction of two 500MT/day float gas facilities.

“An agreement valued at 363 million dollars for the establishment of a comprehensive farm and downstream industrial park in Kogi State was also announced at the Nigeria-China business forum.

“Other agreements undergoing negotiations include a 500 million dollars project for the provision of television broadcast equipment and a 25 million dollars facility for production of pre-paid smart meters between Mojec International Limited and Microstar Company Limited,” the statement read.

About 100 Nigerian businesses and 300 Chinese firms participated in the Nigeria-China business forum, which took place a day after President Buhari began his visit to China.

Presidency Reacts To Brouhaha Over Buhari’s Telegraph Interview

BuhariThe State House has described as misconstrued, the various interpretations of President Muhammadu Buhari’s comments in an interview granted to the UK’s Telegraph newspaper on February 5.

In a statement released in Abuja on Tuesday, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, said that the wave of negative reactions to the President’s remarks about the reputation of Nigerians abroad was as a result of an incomplete understanding of President Buhari’s point.

“President Buhari was asked about the flood of migrants from Nigeria and the fraudulent applications for asylum put in by people desperate to leave their motherland at any cost, and it was this question that elicited his response,” Mr Shehu said, encouraging Nigerians to avail themselves of a full text of the interview, which has now been made available on the Telegraph’s website.

The President’s spokesman added that it was preposterous for anyone to imagine that the President of Nigeria would describe all the citizens of the country he leads as criminals, when he himself is a Nigerian – obviously not a criminal – and when there are many Nigerians of honest living making their country proud all over the world.

“Unfortunately, there are also Nigerians giving their country a bad image abroad and it is to those Nigerians that the President referred in his comments,” he said.

Mr Shehu maintained that people may play politics and online games with the President’s comments, but the fact of the matter remained that Nigeria’s reputation abroad has been severely damaged by her own citizens.

“These Nigerians who leave their country to go and make mischief on foreign shores have given the rest of us a bad reputation that we daily struggle to overcome,” he said.

The President’s aide called attention to the many efforts of President Buhari to clean up Nigeria’s image such as the war on corruption, stating that “Acknowledging you have a problem is the first step to preferring a solution.

“President Buhari is very aware of the problems the people of Nigeria face both at home and abroad; and he is not shying away from admitting them even as he focuses on solutions to bring them to a permanent end,” he said.

Buhari To Honour Outstanding Athletes On January 21

Buhari  to honour athletes Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, is set to honour all athletes that won different medals for the nation in various international sporting tournaments in 2015.

The Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, confirmed that the President would host the athletes at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Thursday, January 21.

Among those yet to be rewarded are the Golden Eaglets of 1985, who were promised houses for winning the maiden edition of the FIFA U-17 World Cup in China and the current FIFA U-17 world champions.

Others are the victorious national men’s Basketball team who won the 2015 FIBA Africa Basketball Championship in Tunisia, Team Nigeria at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa, and World Scrabble Champion, Wellington Jighere.

In November last year, President Buhari assured the 1985 batch of Golden Eaglets that his administration would fulfill the promises made 30 years ago.

The promises were made during a reception held at Dodan Barracks with the players, in celebration of their outstanding victory.

In a statement on November 10 by a spokesman for the President, Mr Garba Shehu, Buhari said it had been brought to his attention that a directive which he gave to the state governments at the time had not been complied with.

“It is a pity that those promises were never fulfilled,” he said.

General Danjuma To Lead Committee On Northeast Rehabilitation

Theophilus DanjumaPresident Muhammadu Buhari says a committee to rehabilitate infrastructure and resettle Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Nigeria’s northeast is soon to be formally inaugurated.

The committee, to be led by a frontline statesman, Lt.-Gen. Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma (rtd), would also include Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote.

Speaking at the State House, Abuja on Friday, in response to a goodwill message delivered to him by a group, Women In Politics Forum (WIPF), President Buhari announced that all forms of assistance and aid in this respect generated locally and from foreign countries, as promised by the Group of Seven of Industrialised Countries (G7), would be channelled through the committee when it is inaugurated.

A statement by a spokesman for the President, Mr Garba Shehu, said President Buhari had compiled a list of damaged infrastructure, including schools and bridges and handed it to the leaders of the G7 and the United States.

“I didn’t ask for a Kobo (in cash). It is up to them to choose what they will undertake. Already, some of them have sent teams to verify our assertions,” the President, however, stated.

Source Of Concern

President Buhari decried the impact of the Boko Haram violence on women and children, declaring that they were its worst victims.

“In the North-East, what I saw for myself and on those clips is a source of concern for people with conscience.

“They are mostly women, and children who are orphaned. Some of them don’t even know where they come from. This is the pathetic situation in which the country has found itself,” The President told the women.

He said that the fight for the return of the Chibok girls is ongoing and “continues to be a most worrying issue” to his government, emphasising that the administration would do all within its powers in making the best efforts to secure their freedom.

‘Gender Equity’

The President acknowledged the case made by the WIPF for better representation of women in his government and assured them that women would fare well in the composition of parastatals and their boards in the first quarter of this year.

He also defended the records of the administration in response to criticism that it is slow, arguing that steps must be taken with caution to avoid mistakes.

“People say we are slow. We are trying to change structures put in place by our predecessors in office for 16 years. If we hurry it, we will make mistakes. That will be a disaster.”

President Buhari assured them that the country had a budget proposal for the New Year that is good for employment and manufacturing.

“By the end of the second quarter, the full impact of these positive measures will be felt,” he told the visiting women.

The WIPF, made up of women leaders from 26 registered political parties led by Mrs Ebere Ifendu of the Labour Party expressed their full support for the government’s war on corruption and insecurity.

They asked the administration to usher in laws to promote gender equity as well as action towards the implementation of the Violence Against Persons Prohibition Act.

The Women’s group made the record of being the first organisation to be received by the President in the New Year.

Kogi Election: PDP Raises Alarm Over Alleged Rigging

kogiBarely one week to the Kogi governorship election, one of the top contesting political parties, the PDP, is raising an alarm over what it calls plots by the ruling All Progressives Congress and the Presidency to rig the elections in favour of the APC.

In an 11-paragraph press release signed by the National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, the PDP says it has incontrovertible records of secret meeting between the Presidency and the INEC leadership as well as some top security officers and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, on arrangements to take over Kogi State.

According to the PDP “we alert all to be aware of this planned coup against democracy, by the new sheriff, who though, being the biggest beneficiary of free and fair elections in the history of Nigeria, is now out to corrupt the electoral system.”

The statement further read, “Intelligence information available to us shows that at the meeting with the new INEC leadership under Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, the commission was given orders regarding the posting of compromised personnel to strategic areas in the state to manipulate the card readers as well as the actual voting process in favour of the APC, with assurance of adequate protection by government security agencies, particularly the Directorate of State Services (DSS).”

They also alleged that an expected visit of President Buhari to Kogi State to endorse the APC candidate, Audu Abubakar, is part of the rigging process.

The party, however, added that it was sure of the support of the people of Kogi State and their preference for the PDP and its candidate, Governor Idris Wada and that they would not accept any results that do not reflect their wishes and aspirations at the poll.

Meanwhile, in a swift reaction, the Presidency has denied holding any secret meetings on the Kogi elections.

The President’s assistant on Public Affairs, Mr Garba Shehu, told Channels Television on Sunday evening that the PDP is merely afraid of its shadows.

He urged Nigerians to disregard the claims made by the PDP, explaining that the President remains committed to free and fair elections.

Meeting With INEC, Police To Ensure Credible Elections – Presidency

INECSpokesman for the President, Mallam Garba Shehu, has stated that the President met with officials of the electoral body and the Police to ensure free and fair elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states.

This is contrary to the allegation by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party that the Presidency held a meeting with the leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission with the aim of rigging the Kogi governorship election.

Shehu told Channels Television in Abuja that the President has the responsibility of ensuring that the country is governed well and its institutions perform their duties according to the laws of the land

He said that the President told the Police and INEC officials at the meeting that he has been a victim of electoral theft in three elections and he does not want any candidate to suffer the same fate while he is the President of the country.

The PDP has raised an alarm over what it called plots by the ruling All Progressives Congress and the Presidency to rig the elections in favour of the APC.

In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, the PDP said that it has incontrovertible records of a secret meeting between the Presidency and the INEC leadership as well as some top security officers and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, on arrangements to take over Kogi State.

 

Osinbajo To Represent Nigeria At Follow-Up Meeting On Burkina Faso

Yemi-Osinbajo to represent buhari in burkina fasoNigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo will be representing President Muhammadu Buhari at a meeting of six Heads of States and Governments with the leaders of last Thursday’s military coup in Burkina Faso.

President Buhari had on Tuesday hosted Heads of States and Governments of ECOWAS at an extraordinary summit in Abuja, where it was resolved that six Heads of States and Governments hold a meeting with the leaders of the bloodless coup.

In a statement, the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Mr Garba Shehu said that the extraordinary summit  addressed the current political crisis in the West African State.

President Buhari also condemned the coup in Burkina Faso and called for the restoration of civil transitional authority.

The President called for the return to democratic rule after elections due for October 11.

Nigeria had donated 20 vans to the Burkina Faso electoral commission towards a successful conduct of the general elections.

Burkina Faso’s presidential guard under General Gilbert Diendere, seized power from the interim President Michel Kafando in a bloodless coup.

The Vice President is expected back in Abuja later on Wednesday.

SERAP Commends Presidency On Declaration Of Assets

serap on assets declarationA Civil Society Organisation, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has said that the declaration of assets by Nigeria’s President and his Vice has set the tone for a culture of transparency in governance.

The rights group’s statement is coming a day after President Muhammadu Buhari and the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo made a public declaration of their assets,development that have been trailed by series of reactions.

A statement by SERAP lauds the President and his Vice for the gesture, saying they have demonstrated that transparency in governance is not a mirage.

SERAP said it hoped that “this public declaration of assets by the President and the Vice President would bring about the needed transformation in the institutional framework for fighting corruption in Nigeria”.

The civil rights group also asked the President to ensure that other top government officials and the ministers to be appointed would take a cue from him.

According to a statement released by the Senior Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, President Buhari had less than N30 million to his name. He also had only one bank account, with the Union Bank.

It also went ahead to say that the “Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, who had been a successful lawyer before his foray into politics declared a bank balance of about 94 million Naira and 900,000 United States Dollars in his bank accounts”.