President Buhari Heads To The Gambia For ECOWAS Mediation Mission

President Buhari Heads To The Gambia For ECOWAS Mediation MissionPresident Muhammadu Buhari will travel to Banjul, the capital of The Gambia and Bamako, the Malian capital from January 13 to 14, 2017.

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday.

In Banjul, President Buhari, as the Mediator in The Gambia, is scheduled to meet with President Yahya Jammeh of The Gambia and the President-elect Adama Barrow to continue dialogue on the political situation in the West African country.

The President will be joined by President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia and Chairperson of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, President Ernest Koroma of Sierra Leone, and the immediate past President of Ghana, John Mahama, who is the co-mediator of The Gambian mission.

Later on January 13, President Buhari will travel to Bamako, Mali to participate in the 27th Africa–France Summit.

The Summit for Partnership, Peace and Emergence, convened by French President Francois Hollande, is aimed at strengthening cooperation between France and African countries in the areas of peace and security, economic partnership and development.

Recognising the role played by France in the successes so far recorded in the implementation of the regional initiative against terrorism, President Buhari will reaffirm Nigeria’s commitment to global efforts on the war against terror and underline the need for improved collaboration to address the menace of terrorism in the region.

President Buhari will use the opportunity of the summit to underscore the efforts government is making to improve Nigeria’s business environment to attract more foreign direct investment.

The President will be accompanied by Governors Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State and Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Interior and Defence.

Buhari, Other ECOWAS Leaders To Visit Gambia Again

muhammadu-buhari-and-sirleaf-johnsonNigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, Presidents of Sierra Leone and Liberia will visit Gambian President, Yahya Jammeh, on Wednesday, in another push for him to hand over power to the winner of the presidential election.

The decision for a second visit was reached at a meeting of West African Leaders held in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja.

It had in attendance, the President of Liberia, Madam Ellen Sirleaf Johnson; Ghana’s John Mahama and the President of Senegal, Macky Sall.

The leaders discussed the Gambian presidential election outcome, where President Jammeh is refusing to step aside after losing an election.

Jammeh has been in power since a 1994 coup, but he lost a December 1 election to businessman Adama Barrow. He has contested the results in a move condemned at home and abroad.

President Buhari will lead the mediation team to Gambia, Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, who briefed reports after the meeting, said.

“They agreed on the determination to resolve the Gambian political crisis in a manner that at every step of the way, conforms with the constitution of The Gambia and respects the will of the people of Gambia.

“They expressed particular concern at the deteriorating situation that has been reported in respect of security in The Gambia, in particular the closure of some of the radio stations and media houses, arrests that have been taking place and also the refugee situation that is being created with the mass exodus of a large number of people to the interior and to neighbouring countries.

“In view of this, the meeting agreed that a certain number of presidents will visit again, in two days time, President Jammeh in The Gambia,” he said.

Committed To Resolution

A spokesman for the Nigerian presidency, Mr Garba Shehu, had said on Friday that President Buhari, as “the chief mediator of the crisis” is committed to “ensuring that the logjam is resolved”.

Jammeh initially accepted his loss in the December 1 election, shocking Gambians who have lived through his rule since he took power in a 1994 coup, and triggering celebrations in the streets.

But a week later he changed his mind, saying the electoral commission had been biased by “foreign influences” and vowing to hang on despite regional and international condemnation.

Jammeh says ECOWAS has no right to interfere in Gambia’s internal affairs, and that Gambians should await the outcome of a legal challenge that his APRC party has lodged at the Supreme Court.

ECOWAS Leaders To Take ‘Major Decision’ On Gambia

NGO Warns Jammeh Over Rejection Of Gambian Election ResultWest African leaders will take a “major decision” on the political impasse in Gambia at a meeting in Ghana on Saturday, a spokesman for the Nigerian presidency said on Friday.

The West African ECOWAS bloc said last month it would take all necessary steps to uphold the result of a December 1 election in Gambia, where veteran President Yahya Jammeh says he will not step down after losing to Adama Barrow.

Reuters reports that ECOWAS has placed standby forces on alert in case Jammeh attempts to stay in power after his mandate ends on January 19.

Jammeh has called the bloc’s stance “a declaration of war”, and said he will defend himself.

“A major decision on the impasse is expected to be taken at that all-important meeting,” said Garba Shehu, spokesman for Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari.

“President Buhari is the chief mediator of the crisis and he is committed to ensuring that the logjam is resolved,” he stated.

Jammeh initially accepted his loss in the December 1 election, shocking Gambians who have lived through his rule since he took power in a 1994 coup, and triggering celebrations in the streets.

But a week later he changed his mind, saying the electoral commission had been biased by “foreign influences” and vowing to hang on despite regional and international condemnation.

Jammed says ECOWAS has no right to interfere in Gambia’s internal affairs, and that Gambians should await the outcome of a legal challenge that his APRC party has lodged at the Supreme Court.

Accidental Discharge: Presidency Reassures Villa Is Safe 

Accidental Discharge: Presidency Reassures Villa Is Safe The Nigerian Presidency has issued a statement on an incident involving an accidental discharge in the seat of power, reassuring Nigerians and foreigners that the Presidential Villa is safe.

Presidential Spokesperson, Mr Garba Shehu, stated that the security official involved in the incident is not attached to the State House.

Rather, he came on invitation as a witness in an ongoing investigation and was required, as is the rule, to surrender his weapon at the gates before entry.

Investigation revealed that the operative conducted the normal safety precaution as professionally required when the pistol accidentally fired.

The lady by his side, a caterer was hit by a pellet of the bullet. Both of them were attended to at the clinic and discharged.

Buhari Is Busy Cleaning PDP’s Augean Stable – Presidency

BuhariThe Presidency, in reaction to the PDP’s criticism of Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari’s first 30 days in office, says the administration has been kept busy cleaning PDP’s “Augean Stable”.

The opposition, Peoples Democratic Party, on Sunday through its National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, referred to President Buhari’s first 30 days in office as “30 days of motion without movement“, asking Nigerians to pray for the administration.

In a swift reaction, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, said that it was amusing to read what the National Publicity Secretary of the defeated Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh, considers a 30 days appraisal of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

According to Mr Adesina, “He (Metuh) wants Nigerians to join hands in prayers for the government, so that things would begin to move (but) what he does not know is that Nigerians had long formed such coalition.

“They are hands in hands, and that was what gave victory to President Buhari in the March 28, 2015 poll. They had teamed up to uproot an administration that had brought the country to her knees, and was about to tip her off the precipice. And Nigerians have resolved that never would they allow any government to divide them along regional, religious and ethnic fault lines again.”

He stated that the Buhari administration is naturally contemplative because there was no reason to the way PDP ran the country, particularly in the immediate past dispensation and that is why the “Augean Stable is being cleaned”.

Explaining that the Buhari administration has only been scrupulous and painstaking in its approach, he said, “Across all sectors, our national life was devalued, and it takes meticulousness and sure-footedness to repair all the breaches.”

While maintaining that the Buhari administration would deliver on its promises, Mr Adesina added that after all that is being planned by the current administration has matured, and bearing fruits, Nigerians would be able to determine who is serving them acceptably, and who has taken them for a ride.

The Presidency also says siphoning money from the treasury “was the pastime of the immediate past administration, and the enormity of the sleaze will be evident when stolen money, to the tune of billions of dollars, is recovered, and returned to the national treasury soon”.

Supreme Court To Hear Constitution Amendment Suit May 25

Goodluck-Jonathan-and-House-of-Representatives-in-NigeriaThe Supreme Court of Nigeria has rescheduled the ‎hearing of the case between the National Assembly and the Presidency on constitution amendment to Monday, May 25.

The rescheduling of the hearing date was done to ensure the resolution of the face-off between the National Assembly and President Goodluck Jonathan over the dispute on the legality of the Fourth Alteration Bill for the amendment of the constitution which the President had refused to sign into law.

The apex court had earlier adjourned the suit between the two parties to June 19, when the current National Assembly would have ceased to exit.

The National Assembly through its lawyer, Mr Adegboyega Awomolo, had appealed to the Supreme Court to have the case re-listed for hearing before the expiration of the tenure of the current National Assembly.

A copy of the new hearing notice, which was obtained by Channels Television reads: “Take notice that the above motion will be listed for hearing before the Supreme Court of Nigeria sitting in Abuja on Monday, ‎25th day of May 2015”.

The National Assembly is asking the apex court to discharge the interlocutory orders of injunction made on May 7, which barred the lawmakers from overriding the President’s veto.

In the application, they are also asking the court to dismiss the originating summons filed by the Attorney General of the Federation, Barrister Mohammed Adoke, on the grounds that: “the originating summons dated  April 22 is incompetent, fundamentally and incurably defective and thereby robs the Supreme Court of its jurisdiction”.

They also argued that “there is no known or reasonable cause of action disclosed in the originating summons to ground jurisdiction of the Supreme Court”. They claimed that it was improper and a reckless invocation of the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court.

They also insisted that the Attorney General was not competent to invoke the original jurisdiction of the apex Court under the Supreme Court Act.

Ex-militants Order Presidency To Pay Allowance Within A Month

A faction of former Niger Delta militant group on Tuesday issued a one month ultimatum to the presidency to release unpaid allowances to them or risk another bout of crisis in the region.

Addressing the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Kingsley Kuku, leaders of the ex-militants in Ughelli demanded that funds be released to members of the various camps, who are yet to recieve payment.

The group said the leader’s entrepreneurship training is yet to be implemented and that some members were sent for training, by the amnesty office, without duly notifying the leaders of the camps.

Two of the group’s leaders, Owonama Edward and Charles Akatakpo while speaking with journalists in the state, disclosed that they observed irregularities in the payment procedure as some members had not been paid.

“We have been experiencing a situation where some of the boys will receive their salaries in a particular month and have their names omitted the next month. We are insisting that the pending allowances should be paid,” they said.

They stressed that all the leaders should be carried along in all plans and procedures, adding that, “we the leaders are being treated like nuisance by the amnesty office; why? They should work towards the implementation of the leaders’ entrepreneurship training.”

The presidency had in January stated that the amnesty programme granted to ex-militants will not continue despite the agitation by several groups springing up in the region demanding to be accommodated in the programme.