‘It Is Unlawful For Buhari’s Daughter To Use Presidential Jet For Private Affairs’ – Falana

 

 

Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Femi Falana, has said that the private use of the Presidential Jet by members of President Buhari’s immediate family, is not in accordance with law. 

Falana in a statement on Sunday urged President Buhari to stop members of his family from using the aircraft within the presidential fleet.

The erudite scholar noted that the “official policy” of the federal government “does not authorise the children of the President to use the presidential jets to attend to private social functions”.

He added that there is no precedent whatsoever for such privatisation of the presidency of Nigeria.

Falana further stressed that at the inception of his government, President Buhari had promised to reduce the cost of maintaining aircraft in the presidential fleet, which according to him, stands at N8.5 billion in the 2020 budget.

“On October 27, 2016, the Presidency confirmed the newspaper reports of the planned sale of the two Presidential aircraft, a Falcon 7x executive jet and Hawker 4000.

“In a press statement issued by the Presidency through the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu the Nigerian people were informed that President Buhari had directed that the aircraft in the Presidential air fleet be reduced to cut down on waste.

“The presidential spokesman reminded Nigerians that President Buhari was elected in 2015 on a commitment to crack down on the country’s systemic corruption, hence downsizing the outlandish presidential fleet had been among his campaign pledges.

“‘In particular, Mr. Shehu had said inter alia:

“‘When he campaigned to be President, the then APC candidate Muhammadu Buhari, if you recall, promised to look at the presidential air fleet with a view to cutting down on waste’.

“His directive to a government committee on this assignment is that he liked to see a compact and reliable aircraft for the safe airlift of the President, the Vice President, and other government officials that go on special missions.”

“President Buhari’s directive on the use of the presidential fleet which was adopted by the Federal Government was popularly acclaimed by Nigerians.

“Since then the national assembly has ensured that the annual Appropriation Bills enacted into law have made provision for the maintenance of the aircraft in the presidential fleet in line with the official policy.

“In the 2020 Appropriation Act the sum of N8.5 billion was earmarked for the maintenance of the aircraft in the presidential fleet,” Falana explained.

READ ALSO: Presidential Fleet Not For Hanan’s Photography Trip, PDP Tells Buhari

Falana went on to argue that when on January 10, 2020, one of the daughters of President Buhari was reported to have travelled from Abuja to Bauchi in a presidential jet for a private engagement, it was in utter breach of the official policy of the Federal Government.

Hanan Buhari, the president’s daughter, had flown in a presidential jet to Bauchi on Thursday for a private function.

Many Nigerians condemned the action, but the presidency defended it.

Mr. Garba Shehu, a presidential spokesman, said it is normal practice for the president’s family to use the presidential aircraft.

Reacting to the presidency’s claim, Falana stated that instead of apologising for the breach of the official policy, the Presidency has defended the use of the presidential jet for the private visit of a member of the first family.

He said the presidency is incorrect as it is at variance with the official policy of the Federal Government, adding that the official policy does not authorise the children of the President to use the presidential jets to attend to private social functions.

“In fact, there is no precedent whatsoever for such privatisation of the presidency of Nigeria. Having publicly declared that his administration would maintain “a compact and reliable aircraft for the safe airlift of the President, the Vice President and other government officials that go on special missions” President Buhari is estopped from allowing members of the first family to use the jets for their private affairs,” Falana opined.

The rights advocate stated that the so-called ‘normal practice’ of using the aircraft in the presidential fleet by members of the first family to attend to private engagements is not backed by any extant law or official policy.

According to Falana, the use of the aircraft in the presidential fleet by the Senate President, House Speaker and Chief Justice of Nigeria has not been approved by the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission which is the statutory body empowered by the Constitution and the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission Act to determine the remuneration and allowances of all political office holders in Nigeria.

The Senior Advocate was of the opinion that a country which is said to be the headquarters of the greatest number of poverty-stricken people in the world cannot afford to waste billions of Naira on the use of presidential aircraft and the hiring of commercial jets by state governors that are owing workers several months of unpaid salaries.

Presidential Fleet Not For Hanan’s Photography Trip, PDP Tells Buhari

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that President Muhammadu Buhari directly abused his office and exhibited the worst form of corruption by detailing the officially restricted Presidential jet to chauffeur his daughter, Hanan, reportedly, for her private photography event in Bauchi state.

The party noted in a statement on Saturday that the action was provocative, condemnable, completely improper and an unpardonable slap on the sensibility of millions of Nigerians, particularly, the youths, who look up to Mr. President for integrity, uprightness, and respect for rules.

The PDP holds that the development is a strong pointer to the recklessness that pervades the Buhari Presidency and the indefensible annexation of our national assets and resources for illegal private use.

It is even most appalling that instead of apologizing to Nigerians, the Buhari Presidency, in its arrogance, is resorting to falsehood and trying to justify the inexcusable.

“Our party holds that Mr. President should apologise for approving that her daughter uses the Presidential jet just for the purpose of allegedly taking photographs in a Durbar event in Bauchi state.

“Perhaps, the Buhari Presidency forgot that it is public knowledge that the Presidential fleet can only be authorized for use by the President, the First Lady, Vice President, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, former Presidents, Presidential delegation and no one else.

“Moreover, the rules do not grant the President any powers to transfer any paraphernalia of office or privileges of his position to any of his children,” the party stated.

The PDP further stated that the Presidency’s defence on the subject matter is a direct spat on millions of Nigerians who cannot freely ply our highways because Mr. President and his party the APC, have failed to fix and rid our roads of kidnappers and bandits, who have practically taken over major routes under their despicable watch.

“The PDP notes that never in the history of our nation has a Presidency exhibited such arrogance, impunity and corruption, adding that the action has further shown that the Buhari Presidency had only been parading and getting away with false integrity.

“Nigerians could recall how President Buhari heavily accused and criticized previous administrations of voting and wasting huge resources to maintain the Presidential fleet and promised to sell off most of the planes to save cost.

“Since President Buhari assumed office, none of the planes had been sold. Instead, the Buhari Presidency had continued to budget more funds for the fleet with N8.5 bn budgeted for 2020 alone, only to approve that his daughter uses a Presidential jet for her private photography event,” the party’s statement partly read.

The PDP also urged the Presidency to respect the sensibilities of Nigerians by immediately withdrawing his provocative justification and show leadership by apologizing to the nation for this abuse of office.

Decision To Detain Dasuki, Sowore Despite Court Orders Backed By Law, Presidency Insists

Omoyele Sowore                                                                                                                    Sambo Dasuki

 

 

The Presidency has insisted that the Federal Government’s decision to hold Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd) and Mr Omoyele Sowore did not go against the laws of the land.

Dasuki, a former National Security Adviser (NSA), spent more than four years in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) while Sowore, the convener of #RevolutionNow protests, was held for almost five months.

Defending the position of the government on the prolonged detention of the duo, a presidential spokesman, Mr Garba Shehu, stressed that the government has always obeyed the orders of the court.

He, however, clarified that Dasuki and Sowore remained in detention on the advice of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Abubakar Malami.


RELATED
DSS Releases Omoyele Sowore
Sambo Dasuki Released After Over Four Years In Detention


 

A Right To Appeal

“The Attorney General of the Federation who is the chief law officer, as far as the government is concerned, has convinced everyone and the government inclusive that there is a basis for their continued detention because the individual right must not undermine the collective right,” the President’s media aide told Channels Television on Wednesday in an interview on Politics Today.

He added, “The Attorney General of the Federation has explained the position of the government. If you like call it a new leaf, if you like accept the fact that the government has a renewed determination to show the example of how the court should be treated even when you are feeling aggrieved.

“In this particular case, the government has its own right as to how and why the bail was given, and an intention to appeal.”

“However, the government is saying, ‘let us do this to show respect for the court of the land so that all of this thing about the lack of respect for due process will just give us a chance and leave the table for now,” Shehu stressed.

The convener of #RevolutionNow protests, Mr Omoyele Sowore, celebrates as he departs the DSS office in Abuja on December 24, 2019. Photo: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

 

Dasuki was arrested in December 2015 over allegations of diverting $2.1billion arms funds while Sowore was charged along with his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare, with counts of treasonable felony and money laundering among others.

The defendants have since pleaded not guilty and were granted bail by various courts.

 

A Sudden U-Turn

Following widespread outrage over the continued detention of the former NSA and the #RevolutionNow protests convener, the AGF ordered the DSS to release the duo on Christmas eve.

But President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesman argued that the sudden U-turn by the government has nothing to do with pressure from any individual or group.

According to him, the AGF made it clear over time that there is a major principle of the law which says that the rights of a majority and that of a community under threat override the rights of an individual.

Shehu added that the minister took the case to a conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), adding that it was underscored by a major decision of the Supreme Court.

He stressed that it was a major principle to sacrifice the freedom of an individual for that of a larger community when the need arises, pointing out the case of Dasuki and Sowore.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu speaks about Sowore and Dasuki’s release. (file photo).

 

No Compromise

The presidential aide, however, said there was a need for those granted bail not to misinterpret their release as an acquittal but abide with the terms upon with the bail was granted.

“The government is not compromising anything but the government wants to set an example of the obedience of the law even when it disagrees with what the court says it should do,” the President’s aide clarified, adding, “The government has a position on the non-release founded in the laws of the country.”

“The Attorney General of the Federation is convinced that their continued detention did not breach the laws of the country; that it is consistent with the laws and the adjudication of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

“Our understanding is that he (AGF) believes that the decision to keep them there was strongly founded in the law and so, therefore, it is not something that is extra-judicial,” he said.

Sowore: Though FG Disagrees With Court Ruling, We Want To Set An Example – Presidency

The Presidency has reacted to the release of the Convener of the Revolution Now protest, Mr. Omoyele Sowore and a former National Security Adviser, Mr. Sambo Dasuki by the Department of State Service (DSS).

While Dasuki was arrested in December 2015, Sowore was rearrested on December 5 after his initial arrest on August 5.

Although both men regained their freedom yesterday, the Attorney General of Justice and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said the release was in compliance with subsisting court orders.

But speaking during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Wednesday, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Garba Shehu, said the President Muhammadu Buhari administration ordered their release despite not agreeing to the verdict of the court.

READ ALSO: Nigerian Govt Orders Release Of Sowore, Dasuki

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu speaks on Sowore and Dasuki’s release. (file photo).

According to him, the act by the Federal Government was to set an important example that to the world that it adheres to the rule of law.

“The government is not compromising anything. The government wants to set an important example of obedience to the law even when you disagree with what the court says you should do,” he said.

When asked to clarify some comments reportedly credited to them that there are some cabals in the current administration, the presidential spokesman accused Nigerians of coining the word.

He recalled that when ex-President Goodluck Jonathan was in power, people also accused his government of being controlled by cabals.

“When Mr Jonathan was in office, wasn’t it said that he had a cabal? When President Yar’adua was in office, wasn’t it said that he had a cabal?

“So what we are saying is that Nigerians have formed the practice by labelling people that are in an advisable position of the President as a cabal,” he said.

Sowore: We Won’t Allow Troublemakers To Incite Nigerians, Presidency Warns

Garba Shehu                                                                                                                      Omoyele Sowore

 

 

The Presidency has insisted that the Muhammadu Buhari administration will not allow any individual or group to incite the public.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, stated this in a Facebook post on Wednesday while clarifying the controversy trailing the arrest of Mr Omoyele Sowore.

Shehu stressed that Sowore, the publisher of online news platform Sahara Reporters, was not arrested as a journalist but for calling for a revolution.

According to him, some international news outlets have been making mistake by describing the release of the #RevolutionNow movement convener as that of a journalist.


RELATED
DSS Releases Omoyele Sowore
Sambo Dasuki Released After Over Four Years In Detention


The presidential aide said, “For the avoidance of doubt, the Buhari administration has never, since coming into office in 2015, detained a journalist, seized copies of newspapers or shut down a medium of information.”

“No government will allow anybody to openly call for destabilisation in the country and do nothing.

“The government believes strictly in observing the rule of law but must safeguard public security and will not allow troublemakers to incite the public and cause a breakdown of law and order,” he added.

The president’s spokesman accused the activist of calling for a revolution to overthrow the democratically elected government of Nigeria.

Sowore, according to him, did so on television and from a privileged position as the owner of a widely-read digital newspaper run from the United States.

“He founded an organisation, Revolution Now, to launch, in their own words, “Days of Rage”, with the publicised purpose of fomenting mass civil unrest and the elected administration’s overthrow,” Shehu alleged.

He made the clarification a day after the Sahara Reporters publisher left the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) after being held for almost five months.

The DSS released Sowore on Tuesday following the directive of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami.

Malami gave the directive for Sowore’s release, as well as that of former National Security Adviser (NSA), Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd), who has spent over four years in DSS custody.

The DSS arrested Sowore, the publisher of online media outfit Sahara Reporters, on August 3.

Sowore and his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare, are standing trial on a 16-count bordering on treasonable felony and money laundering amongst other charges.

They have since pleaded not guilty and were granted bail in the sum of N100 million and N30 million respectively.

The DSS had refused to release them on bail even after they met their bail application, forcing Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu to issue a 24-hour order for their release.

Sowore and Bakare were later released on December 5, but the Sahara Reporters publisher was rearrested barely 24 hours after by the DSS.

Read Garba Shehu’s post below:

‘Lead By Example, Publish Your Spending’, PDP Challenges Presidency

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on the Muhammadu Buhari presidency to lead by example by publishing details of its spending and financial transactions, as an impetus to enforce its financial reporting directives on Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs).

The party made the call in a statement on Monday by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, a week after the Federal Government launched the Open Treasury Portal.

President Buhari had directed the Accountant-General of the Federation to issue a daily treasury statement of government’s transactions.

READ ALSO: Nigerian Govt Launches Transparency Portal To Fight Corruption

Welcoming the directive, the PDP challenged the Presidency to publish the details, including the beneficiaries, the purpose, and the amount of each payment, in line with the mandate to the MDAs.

According to it, it is not enough for the President to issue spending directives to MDAs without his Presidency, which received billions of naira in budgetary allocation, leading by example.

“Nigerians deserve to know how much is allocated to the Presidency, the various expenditure subheads, process of award of contracts, the contractors, the beneficiaries, amounts paid and payment system,” the party said.

It claimed, “Perhaps such would explain why certain individuals who are close to the Presidency live in ostentatious opulence and flaunt very expensive lifestyle in the same country where millions of citizens wallow in abject poverty, hunger, homelessness and disease.

“It is worrisome that the Buhari Presidency has failed to make details of its yearly budget and expenditure public, despite several demands for openness, which raises anxieties and allegations of huge sleazes and corrupt concealments against certain officials and cabal in the Presidency.”

The PDP noted the arrest of a suspected fraudster, Abdulrauf Illyasu, and one Nasir Danu who was accused of international passport scam and money laundering.

It also recalled the case of a former aide to Mrs Aisha Buhari, Mr Sani Baba-Inna, arrested for alleged fraud and the arrest of a suspect who paraded herself as the first lady of Kogi State to gain access into the Presidential Villa to defraud people.

“The PDP, therefore, challenges the Presidency to clear these anxieties by opening up and publishing details of its budget and expenditure for Nigerians to see,” the party said.

Presidency Confirms Sack Of Osinbajo’s Aides, Gives Reasons

N5.8bn Approval: Reps Insist Osinbajo Has Questions To Answer
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (file)

 

 

The Presidency has confirmed the sack of some political appointees in the office of the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

Mr Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, gave reasons for the action in a statement on Friday.

The statement came amid reports that dozens of persons appointed in the office of the Vice President have been relieved of their duties.

The Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) was reported to have distributed letters to the affected aides on Wednesday.

Professor Osinbajo is said to have scores of aides deployed in strategic positions in government such as the Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs).

READ ALSOOverhaul Of Nigeria’s Seat Of Government Ongoing – Presidency

Barely two days after the news of the sack surfaced, Mr Shehu confirmed that there has been “a streamlining of staff” going on for a while.

The President, according to him, had always had fewer staff than the Vice President and there were always plans to reduce the number of staff at the Aso Villa.

The presidential aide said, “The Presidency wishes to confirm that there is, on-going, an unprecedented overhaul of the nation’s seat of government, arising from which a number of political appointments have either been revoked or not renewed in the second term.”

Shehu explained that the exercise to relieve the appointees of their duties was in line with the directive of the President, adding that a number of political appointees among the few that served in President Muhammadu Buhari’s office were not returned for the second term.

According to him, the exercise aims to streamline decision-making, cut down multiple authorities and reduce the cost of running the present administration.

“The office of the Vice President, His Excellency Yemi Osinbajo has, in compliance with the directive of the President, equally been shed of a number of such appointees.

“In carrying out these exercises, the overriding objective is to save taxpayer money and deliver needed service to the public,” the presidential aide added.

He, however, denied reports of a rift between the President and the Vice President, stressing that the exercise was not targeted to undermine Professor Osinbajo’s office.

Read the full statement below:

BUHARI, OSINBAJO WILL, TOGETHER, SCRIPT A GLORIOUS FUTURE FOR NIGERIA

The Presidency wishes to confirm that there is, on-going, an unprecedented overhaul of the nation’s seat of government, arising from which a number of political appointments have either been revoked or not renewed in the Second Term.

The exercise, which has been ordered by the President, is to streamline decision-making, cut down multiple authorities and reduce the cost of administration.

It is also an appropriate response to the general perception that the Presidency has an oversized and bloated workforce which acts as a drag on efficiency.

As may have been noticed by discerning members of the public, a number of political appointees among the few that served in the office of the President were not returned for the Second Term.

The office of the Vice President, His Excellency Yemi Osinbajo has, in compliance with the directive of the President, equally been shed of a number of such appointees.

In carrying out these exercises, the overriding objective is to save taxpayer money and deliver needed service to the public.

As far as the President is concerned, there is no scope for an excuse for administration after getting a huge mandate to run the country for four more years.

In the light of this, the Presidency wishes to strongly deny rumours of a rift between President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

The relationship between the two leaders remains excellent and trusting. Together, they will script a glorious future for the nation.

The media reports of a soured relationship are originating from the minds and mouths of mischief-makers, who are desperate for entertaining stories from the Aso Rock Villa with which to titillate the public.

This ulterior motive is the basis of the wrong interpretation given to the recent exercise in the Presidency.

There has been a streamlining of staff going on for a while.

The President has always had fewer staff than the Vice President, and there were always plans to reduce the number of staff at the Villa.

The streamlining was not personal or targeted to undermine the Vice President’s office, as the so-called insider sources quoted by the media appear to make it seem.

The President is in absolute control of his government.

The media should stop attributing non-existent powers to some people.

There cannot be anyone too powerful for President Buhari to control.

Garba Shehu

Senior Special Assistant to the President

(Media and Publicity)

November 8, 2019

Overhaul Of Nigeria’s Seat Of Government Ongoing – Presidency

A file photo of President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

 

 

Some appointments have been revoked at the Presidential Villa, the Presidency has confirmed.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, disclosed this in a statement forwarded to Channels Television on Friday.

He noted that this was done in line with the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari, although he denied the reports of a rift between the President and the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

Shehu said, “The Presidency wishes to confirm that there is ongoing, an unprecedented overhaul of the nation’s seat of government, arising from which a number of political appointments have either been revoked or not renewed in the second term.

“The Presidency wishes to strongly deny rumours of a rift between President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.”

READ ALSO: Presidency Confirms Sack Of Osinbajo’s Aides, Gives Reasons

The presidential aide explained that the development was an exercise that has been ordered by the President to streamline decision-making, cut down multiple authorities, and reduce the cost of administration.

According to him, it is also an appropriate response to the general perception that the Presidency has an oversized and bloated workforce which acts as a drag on efficiency.

“As may have been noticed by discerning members of the public, a number of political appointees among the few that served in the office of the President were not returned for the second term,” Shehu noted.

He added, “The office of the Vice President, His Excellency Yemi Osinbajo has, in compliance with the directive of the President, equally been shed of a number of such appointees.”

 

An Excellent Relationship?

The President’s spokesman stressed that in carrying out the exercises, the overriding objective was to save taxpayers’ money and deliver the needed service to Nigerians.

He believes there is no scope for an excuse for the present administration after getting the mandate to run the country for another four years, as far as the President is concerned.

Contrary to reports of a rift between the first and second citizens, Shehu insisted that the relationship between the two leaders “remains excellent and trusting”.

“Together, they will script a glorious future for the nation,” he said.

The presidential aide, however, decried that reports of a soured relationship were originating from the minds and mouths of those he described as mischief-makers.

He alleged that there was an ulterior motive behind the reports, saying that was the basis of the wrong interpretation given to the recent exercise in the Presidency.

The President, according to his media aide, has always had fewer staff than the Vice President and there were always plans to reduce the number of staff at the Presidential Villa.

He stated that there has been a streamlining of staff going on for a while and the exercise was not personal.

Shehu insisted that the exercise was not targeted to undermine the Vice President’s office, as it was reported.

“The President is in absolute control of his government. There cannot be anyone too powerful for President Buhari to control,” he said.

No Misunderstanding Between Buhari And Osinbajo – Presidency

 

The Presidency has debunked reports of a misunderstanding between the Office of the President and the Vice President.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters Senator Babajide Omowurare made this clarification while briefing journalists at the National Assembly.

READ ALSO: Buhari Signs Bill Amending Deep Offshore Act

Responding to critics who have questioned President Buhari’s decision to sign the amended deep offshore Act in London, Senator Omowurare insisted that the constitution permits the President to work from anywhere.

He explains that the scenario is different from that of former President Umaru YarAdua and Vice President Goodluck Jonathan where the former was at the time unable to discharge his duties because of ill health.

He was however silent on why the President did not transmit a letter to the National Assembly, handing over responsibilities to the Vice President.

States, Communities Frustrating FG Projects – Presidency

Presidency, BBOG

 

The Presidency has faulted some state governments and communities for allegedly frustrating projects of the Federal Government in the country.

In a statement on Saturday by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, it warned against creating unnecessary impediments in the allocation of land or access to such lands for federal projects.

It added that the Federal Government might be forced to re-allocate the projects elsewhere from communities or states where such challenges occur.

“The idea of chasing away contractors on site or making undue demands from them by local communities or the deliberate actions of state governments to frustrate the allocation of lands for federal projects is an antithesis of the people’s welfare,” the statement quoted President Muhammadu Buhari as saying.

READ ALSO: Kogi Deputy Governor’s Impeachment, A Grave Constitutional Violation – PDP

In a recent directive, the Presidency said President Buhari asked his ministers to have the states clear all lingering land issues threatening federal projects under their supervision or have such projects moved to willing states where that becomes impossible.

He regretted that some communities in the states were frustrating the siting of federal projects in their areas by making impossible demands for land compensation on contractors and even chasing them away from the site where they were unable to meet up.

The Presidency said to compound matters, contractors kept away from the site often make further demands on payment whenever they return to site.

It noted that the refusal to allocate lands for federal projects and the growing hostility by communities against contractors on site were hurting the interests of the people governments were elected to serve.

“By denying Federal Government lands for projects and creating unnecessary obstacles for the execution of these projects, it may be unfair to turn around and accuse the same Federal Government of marginalising people in terms of projects allocation,” the Presidency said.

It added, “When it comes to the welfare of the people, governments at all levels should be united by the common goal of improving the well-being of the people, regardless of political affiliation.”

According to the Presidency, it is impossible to spread Federal Government projects when petty demands or politics is allowed to override the higher interest of the people.

Channel N10billion Presidential Fund To Kogi Workers, PDP Tells NASS

Kola Ologbondiyan

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has urged the National Assembly to invoke its statutory powers and directly channel the N10.069 billion Presidential funds for payment of salaries and pensions of suffering Kogi state workers.

According to the PDP, it is scandalous that the Presidency would seek to “mislead the National Assembly by asserting that the fund is for projects done by the state government on behalf of the Federal Government, when in reality no one can point to any such project executed by Governor Yahaya Bello in the last four years”.

In a communique signed by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP described the Presidency’s request as an endorsement of corruption and inexcusable injury to the people of Kogi state.

READ ALSO: Buhari Seeks Senate Approval To Refund Kogi Govt’s N10.06bn

The PDP held that if there are no intentions of pushing the fund to Governor Bello for anti-people purposes, the Presidency is challenged to name and point to the particular project executed by Governor Bello as well as make the terms and payment agreements public for Nigerians to see.

“If the Buhari Presidency means well for Kogi state, it should reword its request and put the interest of the masses ahead of all selfish and parochial political considerations, particularly as the state approaches a critical election in which the people have made up their minds to vote out Governor Yahaya Bello.

“Mr. President cannot claim to be unaware of the critical situation of workers in Kogi state. He cannot claim to be unaware that workers in Kogi state are being owed, in some cases up to 36 months, and that retirees and seniors are dying over non payments of their pensions after giving the best of their lives in public service.

“The PDP therefore urges President Buhari to resist attempts by his handlers and Governor Bello to drag his Presidency into this shameful attempt to steal fund that ought to go to the suffering masses in Kogi state,” the party stated.

Furthermore, the party charged the legislature to be on the side of the people by applying its legislative instruments to commence an immediate investigation into the “alleged squandering” of over N700 billion Kogi state funds by the Bello administration in the last four years.

The PDP also calls on the people of Kogi state as well as financial watch organizations to be at alert, monitor all disbursement of funds to Kogi state and ensure that Governor Bello and the APC do not achieve their aim of diverting the N10.069 billion for their selfish purposes.

Balarabe Wants Presidency Zoned To South-East In 2023

Former Governor Accuses Politicians Of Inciting Southern Kaduna Killings
A file photo of Mr Balarabe Musa.

 

 

A former governor of the old Kaduna State, Balarabe Musa, has proposed that the south-east region should produce the next president come 2023.

He explained that this was necessary to ensure equity, justice, and fairness among Nigerians and in the interest of the country in general.

Balarabe believes zoning the next presidency to the region will not only give the Igbos a sense of belonging in Nigeria but will also promote national unity and cohesion.

He suggested that when President Muhammad Buhari completes his term in 2023, it should be the turn of the south-east to produce the next president, irrespective of which political party it would come from.

According to the former governor, since the North, South-West and South-South have all had a shot at the presidency, it will be morally wrong if any of the zones contest the presidency in 2023 against the South-East that has not tasted power since the return to democracy in 1999.

He also stated that it would be selfish and unfair for any Northerner to aspire for the presidency after President Buhari completes his eight-year tenure.

Balarabe, however, decried that despite staying in power for too long, the North has remained the most underdeveloped region in the country.

He, therefore, urged political parties to consider picking their presidential candidates from the south-east in 2023.

The former governor warned that ruling the region out of presidency is capable of causing political unrest in the country.