Insurgency: Buhari Faults Use Of South African Mercenaries

BuhariNigeria’s President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, has expressed disappointment over the hiring of South African mercenaries by the Nigerian military authorities to confront the Boko Haram insurgents in the north-east.

General Buhari wondered why the military was incapable of ending the insurgency in just 14 out of the 774 Local Government Councils in Nigeria’s north-east, without the assistance of the South African mercenaries.

At a meeting with the National Executive Council of the Arewa consultative Forum (ACF) in Kaduna on Tuesday, Buhari said on assumption of office, his administration would concentrate on four major areas which include insecurity, economy, unemployment and corruption.

He added that his administration would also ensure that every Nigerian would live within his means or earnings, noting that a situation where people live above their earnings would not be tolerated.

Earlier in his address, ACF chairman and retired Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Coomassie, told Buhari that Nigerians voted for him because they believed in his integrity, knack for transparency, accountability, honesty and commitment to security of lives and property.

Mr Coomassie further stressed that Nigeria had never experienced the level of decay, collapse of moral values, high level of corruption, crime, unemployment and impoverishment of the citizenry like in the last six years.

Official Portraits Of The President-Elect And Vice President-Elect Released

Portraits Portraits The official portraits of the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, and the Vice President-elect, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, are being released to the public.

This comes as the inauguration ceremony, which will take place on Friday, May 29, 2015 in Abuja, approaches.

The photographs were taken by Bayo Omoboriowo, the StateCraft Inc. photographer responsible for many of the images from the recently concluded election season that culminated in Buhari’s victory.

Buhari won the March 28, 2015 Presidential elections as a candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Earlier in the day, President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, had said that he would drop the title “General” from his name immediately after being sworn-in on May 29, 2015.

General Buhari, through his Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, said in a one paragraph statement on Sunday, that he would like to be known after the swearing as, Muhammadu Buhari, President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.

The statement also stated that the Vice President-elect would also be officially referred to as Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Buhari winner of March 28 presidential election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), defeating the incumbent, President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

PDP Says It Is Open To Merger

PDP
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says despite losing control of the federal government to the All Progressives Congress, it still has the strength and spread, enough to make it regain pre-eminence at the centre.

The party’s National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, in a press statement on Sunday May 17, dismissed rumours that the party was contemplating a change of identity.

He, however, said that the party was willing to absorb any political party or association looking in the direction of merging with the PDP.

According to him, “We have good name, tradition and values. 16 fruitful years as the guardian of Nigeria’s democracy cannot be nullified by temporary setback.

“We shall rise beyond all and remain our rhythm. Our colour remains green white red and power still belong to the people.”

He then called on all the members of the party to ensure that they are not in any way distracted but stay focussed.

Mr Metuh also insisted that the unity, cohesion and regenerative capacity of the PDP is very much intact and election loss not withstanding, the party would bounce back.

The PDP lost the March 2015 presidential elections to the All Progressives Congress (APC), and by May 29 2015 the APC would formally take over government.

Buhari To Drop ‘General’ Title On May 29

Buhari Nigeria’s President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, says he will drop the title “General” from his name immediately after being sworn-in on May 29, 2015.

General Buhari, through his Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, unveiled in a one paragraph statement on Sunday, that he would like to be known after the swearing as, Muhammadu Buhari, President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.

The statement also noted that the Vice President-elect would also be officially referred to as Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The Minister of Information, Patricia Akwashiki, had earlier stated that May 29 remains the date for the handover of governance from President Goodluck Jonathan to the President-elect, General Muhammudu Buhari.

Mrs Akwashiki made the clarification at the end of a Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, presided over by President Jonathan.

Muhammadu Buhari, born December 17, 1942, is a retired Major-General of the Nigerian Army. He was Head of State of Nigeria from December 31, 1983 to August 27, 1985, after taking power in a military coup d’état.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared him winner of March 28 presidential election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), defeating the incumbent, President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

He had contested unsuccessfully for the office of President in the 2003, 2007 and 2011 elections.

A native of Daura in Katsina State, north west Nigeria,  Gen. Buhari is of the Fulani ethnic background. He is a Muslim of the Sunni Islam.

Buhari Assures Tony Blair Of Continued Nigeria-UK Collaboration

Muhammadu Buhari and Tony BlairNigeria’s President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, has met with a former British Prime Minister, Mr Tony Blair, with further collaboration between both countries topping talks.

At the meeting, General Buhari assured Mr Blair that Nigeria would continue to explore areas of collaboration with the British government to achieve development.

Addressing reporters at the end of the closed-door meeting on Wednesday, the President-elect said issues of interest for both countries were discussed.

He thanked the U.K. Government for their role in the 2015 general

The former British Prime Minister commended Nigerians for their contributions to the success of the elections.

Mr Blair expressed optimism that Nigeria could address its security challenges if the kind of effort put into achieving a credible election was also deployed in tackling the insecurity.

He pledged the United Kingdom’s support for Nigeria.

Gowon Praises President Jonathan And Buhari

GowonNigerian Former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd), has praised Nigeria’s President, Goodluck Jonathan and the President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), for their statesmanship in the 2015 election.

General Gowon, who spoke to State House correspondents in Abuja, the nation’s capital on Tuesday, after the Council of State meeting, particularly praised the outgoing President for conceding defeat and putting a call across to his opponent, the first of its kind coming from an incumbent president.

The former Head of State also stressed that future politicians and Nigerians have a lot to learn from President Jonathan and General Buhari in future elections in the country.

General Gowon said that the act had gone a long way to deepen the democratic process which Nigeria had sought for over the years.

Senators Will Resist Imposition Of Leaders – Sani

SaniSenator-elect representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District, Shehu Sani, says the incoming 8th National Assembly will not be a rubber stamp of the executive.

Mr. Sani told journalists at his campaign office in Kaduna State, that the incoming Assembly would be different from the outgoing one, which he alleged was virtually pocketed by the executive.

He maintained that only men of integrity and good reputation would be elected to lead the incoming Senate, adding that the leadership positions would be purely based on merit.

The senator-elect explained that the era of imposing leadership in the Senate is over, and that the crop of elected members would not succumb to such undemocratic system of governance.

He stressed that the incoming Senate would ensure the normal democratic election process of the next Senate President, and other principal officers will follow the same pattern.

Mr. Sani assured the people of the South-East and South-South regions of equal treatment with the remaining parts of the country under the leadership of the President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari.

He also appealed to northerners not to see General Buhari as a northern President who should concentrate development only in their region, but as the leader of every part of the country.

Meanwhile, the human rights activist has appealed to the President-elect to scrap the National Scholarship Programme for students initiated by the outgoing Jonathan administration on the basis that the programme does not reflect federal character, equity and justice.

He also called on the President-Elect to revoke the pipeline surveillance contract that was awarded to former Niger Delta militants.

Okonjo-Iweala Tasks Incoming Government On Job Creation

Okonjo-IwealaNigeria’s Minister of Finance has tasked the incoming administration of the President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), on job creation and infrastructural development.

During a session on Sunday with reporters in Abuja, the nation’s capital, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said that over 1.4 million jobs had been created annually in the past four years, by the Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.

She also noted that over 3,000 youths in the country had benefited from the Youth Enterprise With Innovation in Nigerian Scheme, popularly called “YouWIN”.

“That they are 3,900 young people called YouWinners today. You cannot take it away that the mortgage institution was created. The new enterprise bank will provide needed funds for SMEs,” she said, listing the achievements of the administration in the area of job creation.

However, Dr Okonjo-Iweala advised the incoming administration to focus on how to create jobs through the newly established development bank, as well as continue with other policies put in place by President Jonathan’s administration.

The Minister had weeks ago urged the incoming government to look at the economic policies that the current administration had put in place, as foundation and put more policies in place that would further ensure further economic growth.

Buhari Urged To Make Education System Girl-Friendly

Girl-childThe incoming government of Nigeria’s President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, has been advised to make the Nigeria’s educational system girl-friendly.

The Buhari administration has also been urged to put more effort in the publicity of girl-child education, especially in the area of Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

Nigeria’s first female commercial pilot, Captain Chinyere Kalu, who was the guest speaker at a one-day seminar organized for teenage girls by the Youths For Technology Foundation in Owerri the Imo State capital, said a recent European Union statistics shows that out of over 7 million people working in the ICT sector around the world, only 30% are women.

She stressed that the research also concluded that the ICT sector is rapidly growing by the day, thereby creating over 100, 000 new jobs every year.

She further noted that the major way to reverse this trend is to encourage the participation of young girls to take up ICT-related careers, revealing that Nigerian women has one of the lowest participation of women.

Mrs Kalu, however, called on the government to encourage the girl-child through scholarships, free education and good incentives, which would go a long way to motivate the girl-child so as to get more involved in science and technology.

For the Youths for Technology Foundation, investment in the girl child has a multiplier effect on productivity, efficiency and sustained economic growth as it will also provide access to job opportunities and skill development.

Governor-elect Urges Buhari To Carry Opposition Along

Governor-Elect-AyadeCross River State Governor-elect, Senator Ben Ayade, has called on Nigeria’s President-elect to govern Nigeria without party sentiments when he assumes office.

The Governor-elect, who was speaking to journalists in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, urged General Muhammadu Buhari to carry the opposition parties along.

According to Senator Ayade, the time of politics is over and Nigeria has come to a point in its history when governance should not be about party sentiments but about service.

He also noted that they need the federal structure to succeed, adding that Nigeria should not be divided on party lines.

Italy Pledges To Assist Nigeria In Terror Fight

Italian AmbassadorItaly has sent a letter of congratulations and good wishes to Nigeria’s President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari.

The Italian Ambassador, Mr Fulvio Rustico, disclosed this in an interview with journalists after a closed door meeting with General Buhari.

The Italian Ambassador said that Italy would continue to maintain strong ties with Nigeria and would render assistance to Nigeria in the war on terrorism.

The State of Israel has also expressed a willingness to assist Nigeria in the fight against corruption, terrorism and in the development of agriculture sector.

In a letter to the President-elect on Monday, the Israeli President, Reuven Rivlin, noted that his country and Nigeria faced “similar dangers and challenges in our daily struggle against those who want to terrorize our citizens.

“I assure you that in this important campaign, Israel stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Nigeria.

“I wish you every success in the challenging task ahead and trust that under your presidency, the relations of friendship and cooperation between Nigeria and Israel will continue to expand and strengthen.

“Please accept, Your Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration,” Mr Rivlin said.

War Against Terrorism: Israel Pledges Support For Buhari

IsraelThe State of Israel has expressed a willingness to assist the incoming administration of Nigeria’s President elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, in the fight against insurgency.

In a congratulatory letter signed by Israeli President, Reuven Rivlin and delivered to the President-elect by Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria, Uri Palti on Monday in Abuja the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the Israeli leader noted that the two countries faced “similar dangers and challenges in our daily struggle against those who want to terrorise our citizens”.

In his statement, President Rivlin said “the latest news regarding the Boko Haram-ISIS alliance underscores the need for like-minded countries to unite in the fight against such radical terrorist organisations.

“I assure you that in this important campaign, Israel stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Nigeria.

“I wish you every success in the challenging task ahead and trust that under your presidency, the relations of friendship and cooperation between Nigeria and Israel will continue to expand and strengthen.

“Please accept, Your Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration”.

General Buhari, in response, expressed his warm appreciation of the Israeli gesture, and also pledged to work with all countries to their mutual benefits.