African Leaders Urged To Imitate Mandela

mandelaAfrican political leaders have been asked to emulate the leadership qualities of the late Nelson Mandela of South Africa.

This was the message at the second annual memorial lecture of Nelson Mandela after his demise in December 5, 2013.

The Tanzanian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Daniel Njoolai, and his counterparts, who spoke at the memorial lecture in Abuja, decried the selfish and sit-tight syndrome of most African leaders.

According to them, Nelson Mandela’s selfless service to his people stands in sharp contrast to corruption and reluctance to relinquish power which has characterized some African leaders.

Daniel Njoolai commended former President Jonathan for conceding defeat in the last elections in Nigeria, urging African politicians to emulate this act.

The Deputy South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Kenneth Pedro, also used the occasion to remember Nigeria’s contributions to the country’s independence.

Nelson Mandela led a team of other South Africans to earn the country its independence. He died on December 5, 2013 at the age of 95, 23 years after his release from prison in 1990.

Anambra Tribunal Declares Senator Ekwunife Winner

EkwunifeSenator Uche Ekwunife, representing Anambra Central Senatorial zone, has been declared winner of the March 28 Senatorial Election by the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Awka, Anambra State.

Justice Naiyi Aganaba, who read the over 2-hour judgment held that the petitioners, Victor Umeh of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and APGA failed to establish their case which they hinged on alleged mutilations and incorrect figures from which INEC declared Senator Ekwunife winner of the senatorial election.

The court also struck out the relief sought by Mr Umeh, urging the court to declare him winner on the grounds that he got the highest number of lawful votes cast.

Concluding the judgment, Justice Aganaba ruled that the petitioners failed to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt as to have the election nullified and insisted that it lacked merit.

Senator Uche Ekwunife, reacting to her victory, commended the judiciary for restoring hope, once again, to the common man and said that the judgment was a reflection of the wishes of the people.

Earlier, the tribunal had nullified the result of the PDP candidate for Anaocha/Dunukofia/Njikoka Federal Constituency, Prince Emeka Eze and declared the APGA candidate, Mr Dozie Nwankwo, winner of the House of Representatives election.

APC Lists New Cases Of Looting Under Previous Administration

APCThe All Progressives Congress (APC) on Sunday listed what it calls “new instances of the insane looting of the treasury by some officials of the Goodluck Jonathan administration”.

The party maintained that the corruption mess that characterized the administration was so pervasive that until it is cleaned, Nigeria will not be able to actualize its potentials.

A press statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said the cases are heart-rendering which needs the attention of all Nigerians.

“First is a mind-shattering $2.2 billion arms scandal perpetuated under the Jonathan regime.

“Another revelation is a $6.9 million fraud by the Chief Security Officer (CSO) to President Jonathan, Gordon Obuah, committed under the guise of buying three mobile stages for the President.

“Also a 2.5 billion naira scam involving the rent of house boats” was mentioned by the ruling party.

The party further noted that “while those charged with handling of these cases are finalizing the details of bringing the suspects to justice, the APC’s immediate concern is the attempt by the PDP to make a cover up.

“It is clear to all Nigerians that the debilitating impact of 16 years of PDP’s misrule cannot be reversed in just 3 months. It is an obvious truth that it is always easier to destroy than to construct, but nothing will stand in the way of the Buhari Administration’s commitment to improving the quality of life of Nigerians and making our country to function again,” the statement read.

The Party had earlier listed instances of alleged mass looting of funds in Nigeria, saying a total recovery will be acceptable to all patriotic Nigerians.

ASUP Urges President Buhari To Probe Education Sector

asup The leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has urged the President to probe the funding of the education sector at all levels, stating that corruption, misappropriation and embezzlement of funds have been the major issue militating against the growth of the sector.

Speaking at an event organized by the Nekede Polytechnic Chapter of ASUP in Owerri, Imo State Capital, the National President of the Union, Comrade Chibuzor Asomuga, said the union totally supports the present crusade of federal government’s war against corruption.

Comrade Asomuga urged President Buhari to pay more attention to the education sector.

He added that the government needs to do a reappraisal of funding of institutions at every level and track how the funds have been utilized.

Also speaking on the agreement between ASUP and the Federal Government, Mr Asomuga said the former administration failed in achieving any of their  agreement, after many promises that made them call off the over 12 months strike in all the polytechnics last year.

He however urged the present government of President Buhari to be more sensitive to the agitations and plights of the union.

Groups Pledge To Ensure Buhari Fulfils Promises

Muhammadu Buhari APC Presidential candidateMembers of some civil society groups, say they will ensure that President Muhammadu Buhari fulfils his campaign promises to Nigerians.

The statement was made by the groups in reaction to President Buhari’s inaugural speech delivered in the eagles square in Abuja.

According to them, the President should walk the talk especially his promise to be a President for Nigeria and not for some individuals.

Security, economy and cross border cooperation to fight terrorism and other criminal activities took prominence in President Buhari’s inaugural speech at the eagle square.

A rights activist and the Head of Research, Youth Initiative for Advocacy Growth and Advancement, Samson Itodo, said his speech reflected his perfect understanding of some of the root causes of some challenges currently confronting Nigeria.

While some support the President’s decision to relocate the Army Service Command to Maiduguri, others wish such attention would be given to the power sector during his tenure.

Having been sworn in as Nigeria’s President, all eyes, including those of the international communities, are now on President Buhari’s administration and how he would deliver his promises to Nigeria.

Full Text: President Muhammadu Buhari’s Inaugural Speech

The Full Text of MuhamBuharimadu Buhari’s inaugural speech.

I am immensely grateful to God Who Has preserved us to witness this day and this occasion. Today marks a triumph for Nigeria and an occasion to celebrate her freedom and cherish her democracy. Nigerians have shown their commitment to democracy and are determined to entrench its culture. Our journey has not been easy but thanks to the determination of our people and strong support from friends abroad we have today a truly democratically elected government in place.

I would like to thank President Goodluck Jonathan for his display of statesmanship in setting a precedent for us that has now made our people proud to be Nigerians wherever they are. With the support and cooperation he has given to the transition process, he has made it possible for us to show the world that despite the perceived tension in the land we can be a united people capable of doing what is right for our nation. Together we co-operated to surprise the world that had come to expect only the worst from Nigeria. I hope this act of graciously accepting defeat by the outgoing President will become the standard of political conduct in the country.

I would like to thank the millions of our supporters who believed in us even when the cause seemed hopeless. I salute their resolve in waiting long hours in rain and hot sunshine to register and cast their votes and stay all night if necessary to protect and ensure their votes count and were counted.  I thank those who tirelessly carried the campaign on the social media. At the same time, I thank our other countrymen and women who did not vote for us but contributed to make our democratic culture truly competitive, strong and definitive.

I thank all of you.

Having just a few minutes ago sworn on the Holy Book, I intend to keep my oath and serve as President to all Nigerians.

I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody.

A few people have privately voiced fears that on coming back to office I shall go after them. These fears are groundless. There will be no paying off old scores. The past is prologue.

Our neighbours in the Sub-region and our African brethren should rest assured that Nigeria under our administration will be ready to play any leadership role that Africa expects of it. Here I would like to thank the governments and people of Cameroon, Chad and Niger for committing their armed forces to fight Boko Haram in Nigeria.

I also wish to assure the wider international community of our readiness to cooperate and help to combat threats of cross-border terrorism, sea piracy, refugees and boat people, financial crime, cyber crime, climate change, the spread of communicable diseases and other challenges of the 21st century.

At home we face enormous challenges. Insecurity, pervasive corruption, the hitherto unending and seemingly impossible fuel and power shortages are the immediate concerns. We are going to tackle them head on. Nigerians will not regret that they have entrusted national responsibility to us. We must not succumb to hopelessness and defeatism. We can fix our problems.

In recent times Nigerian leaders appear to have misread our mission. Our founding fathers, Mr Herbert Macauley, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Alhaji Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto, Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Malam Aminu Kano, Chief J.S. Tarka, Mr Eyo Ita, Chief Denis Osadeby, Chief Ladoke Akintola and their colleagues worked to establish certain standards of governance. They might have differed in their methods or tactics or details, but they were united in establishing a viable and progressive country. Some of their successors behaved like spoilt children breaking everything and bringing disorder to the house.

Furthermore, we as Nigerians must remind ourselves that we are heirs to great civilizations: Shehu Othman Dan fodio’s caliphate, the Kanem Borno Empire, the Oyo Empire, the Benin Empire and King Jaja’s formidable domain. The blood of those great ancestors flow in our veins. What is now required is to build on these legacies, to modernize and uplift Nigeria.

Daunting as the task may be it is by no means insurmountable. There is now a national consensus that our chosen route to national development is democracy. To achieve our objectives we must consciously work the democratic system. The Federal Executive under my watch will not seek to encroach on the duties and functions of the Legislative and Judicial arms of government. The law enforcing authorities will be charged to operate within the Constitution. We shall rebuild and reform the public service to become more effective and more serviceable. We shall charge them to apply themselves with integrity to stabilize the system.

For their part the legislative arm must keep to their brief of making laws, carrying out over-sight functions and doing so expeditiously. The judicial system needs reform to cleanse itself from its immediate past. The country now expects the judiciary to act with dispatch on all cases especially on corruption, serious financial crimes or abuse of office. It is only when the three arms act constitutionally that government will be enabled to serve the country optimally and avoid the confusion all too often bedeviling governance today.

Elsewhere relations between Abuja and the States have to be clarified if we are to serve the country better. Constitutionally there are limits to powers of each of the three tiers of government but that should not mean the Federal Government should fold its arms and close its eyes to what is going on in the states and local governments. Not least the operations of the Local Government Joint Account. While the Federal Government can not interfere in the details of its operations it will ensure that the gross corruption at the local level is checked. As far as the constitution allows me I will try to ensure that there is responsible and accountable governance at all levels of government in the country. For I will not have kept my own trust with the Nigerian people if I allow others abuse theirs under my watch.

However, no matter how well organized the governments of the federation are they can not succeed without the support, understanding and cooperation of labour unions, organized private sector, the press and civil society organizations. I appeal to employers and workers alike to unite in raising productivity so that everybody will have the opportunity to share in increased prosperity. The Nigerian press is the most vibrant in Africa. My appeal to the media today – and this includes the social media – is to exercise its considerable powers with responsibility and patriotism.

My appeal for unity is predicated on the seriousness of the legacy we are getting into. With depleted foreign reserves, falling oil prices, leakages and debts the Nigerian economy is in deep trouble and will require careful management to bring it round and to tackle the immediate challenges confronting us, namely; Boko Haram, the Niger Delta situation, the power shortages and unemployment especially among young people. For the longer term we have to improve the standards of our education. We have to look at the whole field of medicare. We have to upgrade our dilapidated physical infrastructure.

The most immediate is Boko Haram’s insurgency. Progress has been made in recent weeks by our security forces but victory can not be achieved by basing the Command and Control Centre in Abuja. The command centre will be relocated to Maiduguri and remain until Boko Haram is completely subdued. But we can not claim to have defeated Boko Haram without rescuing the Chibok girls and all other innocent persons held hostage by insurgents.

This government will do all it can to rescue them alive. Boko Haram is a typical example of small fires causing large fires. An eccentric and unorthodox preacher with a tiny following was given posthumous fame and following by his extra judicial murder at the hands of the police. Since then through official bungling, negligence, complacency or collusion Boko Haram became a terrifying force taking tens of thousands of lives and capturing several towns and villages covering swathes of Nigerian sovereign territory.

Boko Haram is a mindless, godless group who are as far away from Islam as one can think of. At the end of the hostilities when the group is subdued the Government intends to commission a sociological study to determine its origins, remote and immediate causes of the movement, its sponsors, the international connexions to ensure that measures are taken to prevent a reccurrence of this evil. For now the Armed Forces will be fully charged with prosecuting the fight against Boko haram. We shall overhaul the rules of engagement to avoid human rights violations in operations. We shall improve operational and legal mechanisms so that disciplinary steps are taken against proven human right violations by the Armed Forces.

Boko Haram is not only the security issue bedeviling our country. The spate of kidnappings, armed robberies, herdsmen/farmers clashes, cattle rustlings all help to add to the general air of insecurity in our land. We are going to erect and maintain an efficient, disciplined people – friendly and well – compensated security forces within an over – all security architecture.

The amnesty programme in the Niger Delta is due to end in December, but the Government intends to invest heavily in the projects, and programmes currently in place. I call on the leadership and people in these areas to cooperate with the State and Federal Government in the rehabilitation programmes which will be streamlined and made more effective. As ever, I am ready to listen to grievances of my fellow Nigerians. I extend my hand of fellowship to them so that we can bring peace and build prosperity for our people.

No single cause can be identified to explain Nigerian’s poor economic performance over the years than the power situation. It is a national shame that an economy of 180 million generates only 4,000MW, and distributes even less. Continuous tinkering with the structures of power supply and distribution and close on $20b expanded since 1999 have only brought darkness, frustration, misery, and resignation among Nigerians. We will not allow this to go on. Careful studies are under way during this transition to identify the quickest, safest and most cost-effective way to bring light and relief to Nigerians.

Unemployment, notably youth un-employment features strongly in our Party’s Manifesto. We intend to attack the problem frontally through revival of agriculture, solid minerals mining as well as credits to small and medium size businesses to kick – start these enterprises. We shall quickly examine the best way to revive major industries and accelerate the revival and development of our railways, roads and general infrastructure.

Your Excellencies, My fellow Nigerians I can not recall when Nigeria enjoyed so much goodwill abroad as now. The messages I received from East and West, from powerful and small countries are indicative of international expectations on us. At home the newly elected government is basking in a reservoir of goodwill and high expectations. Nigeria therefore has a window of opportunity to fulfill our long – standing potential of pulling ourselves together and realizing our mission as a great nation.

Our situation somehow reminds one of a passage in Shakespeare’s Julius Ceasar
There is a tide in the affairs of men which,
taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life,
Is bound in shallows and miseries.

We have an opportunity. Let us take it.

Thank you

Muhammadu Buhari
President Federal Republic of NIGERIA and
Commander in-chief-of the Armed forces

Muhammadu Buhari Sworn-In As President of Nigeria

BuhariHistory has been made in Nigeria today, as at exactly 10.55AM the new President, Muhammadu Buhari, was sworn in.

The event held at the Eagles Square in Abuja the Federal Capital Territory.

Past Nigerian leaders as well as other world leaders converged on the Federal Capital Territory to witness the inauguration.

Moments before this, Prof Yemi Osinbajo was invited to the podium to be sworn-in as Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

This is the biggest event to hold in Nigeria in 2015.

In his inaugural speech, President Buhari commended the determination of Nigerians, crediting them for the peaceful elections and successful transition into a new government.

He called the event of his inauguration an occasion to celebrate the freedom of Nigeria and cherish its democracy as it is a triumph for the country.

President Buhari also had kind words for his predecessor, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, who conceded defeat in the presidential election held on March 28.

“I will like to thank President Goodluck Jonathan for the display of statesmanship in setting a precedence for us that has now made our people to be proud to be Nigerians wherever they are,” he said.

Moving on quickly to his plans for the country, President Buhari highlighted the economy and security as major tasks for his administration.

President Buhari believes that the Nigerian economy is in trouble and called for capital management to tackle the problems facing the economy.

Highlighting the major problems facing the economy as falling external reserves and power shortage, he appealed to workers and employees to unite to increase productivity to grow the economy.

He also plans to revamp the education sector.

Click HERE for the full text of President Muhammadu Buhari’s inaugural speech.

Dignitaries, World Leaders Witness Buhari’s Inauguration

BuhariPast Nigerian leaders as well as other world leaders have converged on the Federal Capital Territory to witness the inauguration of Muhammadu Buhari as the President of Nigeria.

This is the biggest event to hold in Nigeria in 2015.

The Presidents of Chad, Guinea, Mali, Zimbabwe and other African countries were at the Eagles Square, venue of the historic event.

South-African President, Jacob Zuma as well as a delegation from the United States, led by Secretary of State, John Kerry, were also present at the Eagles Square to witness the historic inauguration of the 5th Executive President of Nigeria, Mr Muhammadu Buhari.Buhari

Past Nigerian leaders, Olusegun Obasanjo, Ibrahim Babangida, Shehu Shagari, Abdulsalam Abubakar, Earnest Shonekan, Yakubu Gowon were also in attendance.

Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Tinubu arrived earlier in company of the APC Chairman, John Oyegun as well as former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar.

Former President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan was ushered in to the colourful event to get the ceremony underway with the President and his wife as well as Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo and his wife welcoming him.

Ahead of these arrivals, P-Square, Faze, fuji legend – K1 Ultimate and other popular artistes have graced the stage to perform carefully selected renditions with messages of hope for the country.

Buhari’s Government To Be Inaugurated Today

BuhariIts by far the biggest event to hold in Nigeria this year as over 50 Heads of State and Government including a delegation from the United States, led by Secretary of State, John Kerry, will all witness the historic inauguration of the 5th Executive President of Nigeria, Mr Muhammadu Buhari.

Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city is already filled with visitors from across the country and outside Nigeria.

Our correspondent reports that there is a beehive of activities in town with citizens anxiously waiting for the hour to come as the city is already wearing a new look.

Security has been beefed up and the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Solomon Arase, has given assurances that the city would be effectively policed during and after the inauguration.

He has also ordered a tight security around the Eagles Square, venue of the event.

Also, key hotels and seemingly vulnerable places within the Federal Capital City are being manned by Police officers.

The President-elect, who just arrived from the United Kingdom, has been taken round the Presidential Villa by the President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.

This is the first transfer of power from the ruling party that has been in government since 1999, to the opposition party, All Progressives Congress APC.

The military have been seen patrolling the city to ensure that there is no breach of peace at the FCT.

Nigerian celebrities are also preparing for their roles in the May 29 presidential inauguration ceremony which holds at the Eagle Square.

Music duo, P-Square travelled to Abuja for performance rehearsals earlier on Thursday, while Faze announced on social media that he will be also be performing at the event.

Entertainers including Iyanya, Tecno and Ubi Franklin will also be at the event.

President Jonathan Presents Handover Note To Buhari

JonathanThe President has presented his handover notes to the President-elect.

Both men, Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari are perhaps meeting for the last time before the handover.

The presentation was done inside the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja shortly after President Jonathan conducted Buhari round the Presidential Villa.

Jonathan also presented an executive summary of his handover notes and a copy of the National Conference report to the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari.

Mr. Buhari  says the telephone call by  President Jonathan changed the course of  Nigeria’s political history and by that Jonathan has stabilised the system of multi party democracy.

Buhari spoke after a familiarisation tour of the presidential villa and the acceptance of the hand over notes.
According to Buhari, if President  Jonathan had attempted to make things difficult, that would have been at the expense of lives of poor Nigerians.

In the same vein, Vice President Namadi Sambo took the incoming Vice President Prof. Yemi Osibajo round the Vice Presidential office also to show him.

After the tour, every one converged  on the Council Chambers, also present are Ministers in the Jonathan Administration and some other APC chieftains and officials that came with the President and Vice President elect.

President Jonathan from a fifteen page speech  reeled out what his administration has done,  and what they were to do and what he would want the Buhari Administration to implement.

Constitution Amendment: Presidency, Lawmakers Agree To Make Concessions

Goodluck Jonathan and National Assembly on constitution amendment The Presidency in Nigeria and the National Assembly have agreed to make concessions that are mutually beneficial to both parties in resolution of the feud on the 4th amendment of the Nigerian Constitution.

Both parties reached the agreement on Wednesday the deadline date given to both parties by the Supreme Court to resolve the issue.

At the Supreme Court both parties said they had met, as directed, and had agreed to make necessary concessions.

The Agreement

According to the agreement obtained by Channels Television, both parties agreed that the view of the President be considered and that four out of the seven sections complained about by the president be deleted.

Those sections include alterations to section eight of the Principal Act on Referendum with respect to state creation, alterations to section nine dispensing with the assent of the President in the process of constitutional amendment and alterations to section 45 (A) and (B), relating to free basic education and maternal healthcare services.

Others include alterations to section 150,174,195 and 211, relating to the separation of the office of the Attorney-General and Minster of Justice both at the Federal and State level.

The parties also agreed that the suit filed by the Attorney-General be withdrawn and that the President should sign the bill into law.

With the new development the Attorney-General withdrew his suit and it was struck out.

The dispute started when President Jonathan refused to sign the amendment bill into law and asked the National Assembly to reconsider about 10 sections in the amended bill.

However, threat by the National Assembly to veto his decision led to a filing of a lawsuit seeking to stop the National Assembly from over-ridding the President’s veto.

Following the advice of the court that they seek an out-of-court settlement the parties brought a report to the court on Wednesday after talks.

The agreement brought an end three weeks of controversy surrounding the 4th amendment of the Constitution which had gulped about four billion Naira.


Jonathan Gets Award Of ‘Peace-loving Global Citizen’

JonathanPresident Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria has received the award of ‘Peace-loving Global Citizen’, in recognition of his commitment to the unity of the nation has continued to see its ethnic and religious diversity as its strength.

The award was given to the President by the Universal Peace Foundation on Tuesday in Abuja.

Conferring the award on the President at the Presidential Villa, the leader of the group and a constitutional lawyer, Mr Mike Ozhekohme, commended Dr Jonathan for his commitment to ensuring that Nigeria remained united, despite predictions of disintegration.

He will now represent Nigeria at the global peace council taking over from Mr Ernest Shonekan.

In his acceptance speech, President Jonathan reiterated his commitment to the unity of Nigeria, insisting that he will never be part of any action that can lead to Nigeria’s disintegration.

“I will never be a party to Nigeria’s disintegration,” he said.

He said the predictions that the country would cease to exist in 2015 could have come true if he had not taken the decision to concede defeat in the March 28 presidential election.

Dr Jonathan reinstated his position that he would dedicate the remaining part of his life to issues that would bring unity and peace to the country.

Dr Jonathan called on Nigerians to commit themselves to strengthening those issues that would promote the nation’s unity, despite the diversity.

The Nigerian President, who will be handing over to a new administration on May 29, also urged the President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari to appreciate the contributions of well-meaning Nigerians and see how Nigeria could be governed as a country that belongs to all.