The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has admitted that the Nigeria Police Force is not properly funded, attributing it as the major challenge facing the security agency.
Speaking during the commissioning of the Police Barracks, Special Protection Unit (SPU) base 6 at Omagwa in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State, Osinbajo said the Federal Government worked with the National Assembly to enact the Police Trust Fund Act.
Osinbajo, however, maintained that despite the challenges, the Federal Government is committed to improving the livelihood of police personnel.
He explained that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has been developing the Niger Delta region through the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
“Funding of the Police Force remains a huge challenge, which is why we worked with the National Assembly to enact the Police Trust Fund Act,” Osinbajo said.
“We are looking at other measures to improve funding for the police. This event meets two objectives – It is an important part of our government’s efforts to improve the lives of our police officers and it is also another important milestone in our administration’s pursuit in the peace and development of the Niger Delta.”
The vice president commended the NDDC for constructing the sixth base of the police Special Protection Unit (SPU) in the state, adding that the new building consists of 66 apartments for the security men.
On his part, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike said the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) is a cash cow for politicians in the country.
While noting that the problem of the NDDC is not just the Niger Delta region but the entire nation, Wike asked the commission to work for the people.
The governor also advised the commission to work closely with the state to avoid duplication of projects.
The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, called on journalists to remain steadfast in the rule of law and press freedom in the country.
He stated this on Monday when he received the President of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr Chris Isiguzo, at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
According to the vice president, it is the duty of the press, as well as politicians and others, to ensure Nigeria remains safe, secure, and united.
Stressing the importance of such as responsibility, he thanked journalists for their civic vigilance and appealed for more collaboration with the government to protect the information space.
The vice president equally called on stakeholders in Nigeria to replicate such efforts in the interest of security and unity.
Read the full statement issued by the Vice President’s office below:
OSINBAJO TO JOURNALISTS:
YOUR CIVIC VIGILANCE, STEADFAST BELIEF IN RULE OF LAW, COMMENDABLE
*NUJ commends Buhari administration for youth empowerment, job creation initiatives
Nigerian journalists got kudos from Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN for what he described as their commendable “civic vigilance” regarding the country.
He then reminded the journalists that like other Nigerians, “this country is ours, whether we are press, politicians or religious people, the country is ours, and we must do everything to ensure that the country remains safe, secure, and united, and this so important.”
Prof. Osinbajo stated this today when he received at the Presidential Villa, the national executive of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) led by its President, Mr Chris Isiguzo.
According to the VP, “I thank you for your civic vigilance, for the very kind words you have spoken about Nigeria, and for remaining steadfast in your belief for the rule of law and press freedom in the country.”
He said further that “as I keep saying, the elite in our country, those of us who have had the benefit of education, positions and all of that, we owe millions of our people who are poor, who have no access and have no voice, a duty to ensure that we don’t let things become worse for them.”
Referring to other places where the press and government collaborated to protect the information space, the VP called on stakeholders in Nigeria to replicate such efforts in the interest of security and unity.
His words: “There are so many countries faced with a national challenge and where you have people who are prepared to subvert the entire republic, the press works actively with the government to ensure that the information space is protected in such a way that people who want to subvert the republic are not allowed to do so.
“But I think it is important because your voices as respected members of the fourth estate of the realm, your voices are very important in moderating the kinds of views that we hear constantly which in the end, (if care is not taken) subverts the polity.”
Continuing, the VP noted that “it is important for us to continue to emphasize that the unity of this country is crucial because if this country breaks up in any way or becomes the subject of what some people will like it to be, all of us will lose out. Obviously, the elite will survive in any way but the vast majority of our people will not.
“So, I will urge that we should as much as possible do whatever we can in our spaces that we occupy to keep emphasizing that we cannot afford a situation where the national unity of this country is compromised or where the country is made the theater of conflict and all sorts of insurgencies and crimes.”
Earlier in his opening remarks, the President of the union, Mr Isiguzo commended the initiatives of the Buhari administration in the areas of employment opportunity creation, skills training for the youth, among others.
He said in acknowledgment of its role in the society, the union has over the years “engaged in training and retraining of Journalists with assistance from various development partners to build the capacity of journalists to effectively bring to public attention humanitarian situations in the country in a fair manner, honestly, and constructively.”
Mr Isiguzo noted that the union frowned against fake news and would do everything in its powers to check the menace, calling on “journalists to be careful not to be tempted into propagating fake news by ensuring proper and adequate checks before stories are written and transmitted for public consumption.”
The NUJ president also restated the call for a bailout fund to be provided for the media industry, noting that many media houses are forced to cut salaries or lay off their workers because of the increasing difficulty to sustain operations.
National executive members of the union present at the meeting include the Deputy President, Alhaji Mukhtar Gidado; National Secretary, Shuaibu Leman; President of the National Association of Women Journalists, (NAWOJ), Ladi Bala; FCT Chairman of the union, Mr Emmanuel Ogbeche, among others.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity
The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has said the Federal Government’s plan to reform the Nigeria Police Force would be a game-changer to end impunity in the country.
According to a statement issued on Friday by his spokesman, Laolu Akande, the Vice President disclosed this while receiving a United States Government delegation at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
Professor Osinbajo said at least 13 states in the country including Lagos, have since established Judicial Panels “to seek justice and to compensate those whose rights have been breached.”
See Full Statement Here:
OUR POLICE REFORM AGENDA IS A GAME CHANGER TO END IMPUNITY – OSINBAJO TELLS US DELEGATION
The plan of both the Federal and State Governments to investigate police brutality and prosecute erring police officers, create new State-based Security and Human Rights Committees, as well as providing compensation to victims of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and other police units, would be a game-changer in ensuring an end to impunity, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.
Prof. Osinbajo stated this on Thursday when he received at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, an American government delegation including the US Assistant Secretary, Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour, Bob Destro; US Assistant Secretary, Bureau for Conflict Stabilization Operations, Denise Natali; the Counselor of the US Department of State, Thomas Ulrich Brechbuhl; and the Charge d’Affairs, US Embassy, Kathleen FitzGibbon. Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama was also at the meeting.
According to the Vice President, at least 13 states in the country including Lagos, have since established Judicial Panels “to seek justice and to compensate those whose rights have been breached.”
The VP also disclosed that the President has already supported the decisions of the National Economic Council.
It would be recalled that on October 12, the Council, which is chaired by the VP with all State Governors and FCT Minister as members, resolved on the immediate establishment of State-based Judicial Panels of Inquiry across the country to receive and investigate complaints of police brutality or related extra-judicial killings to deliver justice for all victims of the dissolved SARS and other police units.
According to Prof. Osinbajo, NEC also agreed on the provision of monetary compensation to victims and prosecution of erring officers.
While responding to the concerns of the US government on instances of impunity in the country, the Vice President noted that these efforts are part of the Nigerian government’s commitment to implement extensive police reforms adding that the establishment of Judicial Panels of Inquiry nationwide will further ensure that the Police and other security agencies ensure the protection of human rights of citizens.
He said, “The concerns around impunity are some of the concerns that informed the establishment of Judicial Panels of Inquiry across states. Each state is now required to establish judicial inquiry that will look into cases of impunity, excessive use of force, extrajudicial killings etc., especially by law enforcement agents.”
“Aside from two representatives of Civil Society groups, these Judicial Panels will have youth representatives and a representative from the National Human Rights Commission, among others. Each State is also required to have what is called the Special Security and Human Rights Committee to ensure that law enforcement and security agencies protect the Human Rights of citizens.”
“Government is paying attention. The point we are making is that protests are a means to an end, but they cannot be the end. We are very optimistic that what we have put in place would eventually yield the best possible results for us,” Prof. Osinbajo stated.
The VP also highlighted what he termed false narratives about Nigeria, including the herder-farmer crisis, especially in North Central states, and the politics behind the allegations.
According to the VP, the herder-farmer crisis was exacerbated mainly because of land and resources struggle than from the misinterpreted Christians-versus-Muslim narrative.
Members of the United States delegation from Washington DC offered to collaborate with the Federal Government on these issues, a suggestion welcomed by the Vice President hoping that such cooperation will create better understanding of the issues.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity
The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, says the Federal Government is thoughtful and sensitive about the young people in the country.
Speaking during a media parley on Thursday in Abuja, Osinbajo said the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is focused on investing in infrastructure that will provide opportunities for young people to express themselves and become entrepreneurs.
He, therefore, said young people should believe that the government will do its best to attend to their demands as long as the resources are available.
“What young people need to know is that this government is thoughtful, sensitive and concerned about them,” he said.
“We intend to do the very best that we can given the resources that we have. The youths must also see that we were very quick to respond to make amends where we see that things may not be exactly right.”
Protesters Storm NASS
Protesters against police brutality and extra-judicial killings have taken their demonstration to the National Assembly complex in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
The protesters in their numbers on Thursday stormed the complex displaying placards lamenting extra-judicial killings and demanding justice for victims of police brutality.
They sang songs of solidarity, recited the national anthem, and chanted ‘EndSWAT!’ ‘EndSWAT!’.
Security agents could, however, be seen forming a barricade at the entrance to the National Assembly complex.
Thousands of protesters across the country have been protesting in the last one week against the harassment, extortion, and extrajudicial killings perpetrated by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police Force.
The police authorities in response to the outcry of the protesters disbanded the SARS unit and announced the setting up of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) unit as its replacement but the protests and demonstrations continue nationwide with hashtags #EndSWAT, #EndSARS, #EndPoliceBrutality dominating social media trends.
President Muhammadu Buhari is presiding over the 16th virtual cabinet meeting at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The meeting started at 09:00 GMT and it has the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, and Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari physically in attendance.
Ministers physically present at the Council Chambers are Ministers of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, Finance, Zainab Ahmed, Justice, Abubakar Malami, Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, Works, and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, and State-Petroleum, Timipre Sylva.
Other Ministers are all participating in the weekly cabinet meeting form their various offices in Abuja.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday received the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye at the State House in Abuja.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, and the Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari, were also in attendance during the visit.
Details of the meeting were not, however, made known to reporters.
See Photos Below:
Pastor Adeboye is the first high-profile clergyman to have visited the Nigerian leader since the COVID-19 pandemic started.
Worried by the security situation in the country, Adeboye had in February led members of his congregation in a prayer walk against insecurity in Nigeria.
The directive to members of the RCCG followed the declaration of a prayer walk by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to address the spate of killings across the country.
About 25, 000 parishes of the RCCG took part in the prayer walk, according to the Assistant General Overseer of the church, Funso Odesola.
Adeboye’s visit is coming a few weeks after President Buhari signed the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) 2020, a development which has sparked debates among religious leaders.
CAN, the umbrella body of Christians had “outrightly” rejected the Act, describing it as “unacceptable, ungodly, reprehensible, and an ill-wind that blows no one any good. It is a time bomb waiting to explode.”
A statement by CAN said while the body is not against the government’s resolve to fight corruption, “the Church cannot be controlled by the government because of its spiritual responsibilities and obligations.”
While speaking during the recently-concluded conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Vice President Osinbajo gave an insight into why CAMA has raised eyebrows among Christians.
“As a general position, I do not think it will be right to say that pastors don’t want to be accountable,” he said.
“I believe that several Christian organizations and pastors are willing to be accountable. The problem that they may have is ensuring that processes are not abused in such a way as to compromise the entire organization.
“And I think that if all that is required is some process of accountability, I think it will be easier for organizations to accept that.”
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has asked all Nigerians to set aside ethnic and religious sentiments and join hands with the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to build a better Nigeria.
Prof. Osinbajo was quoted as saying this in a statement by his spokesperson, Laolu Akande, on Saturday, shortly after casting his vote, alongside his wife, Dolapo, at the VGC Polling Unit, in Lagos, for the Governorship and State Assembly elections.
In a brief chat with the media, the Vice President, who celebrated his 62nd birthday on Friday, March 8, was asked about “the greatest gift he would want Nigerians to give him for this birthday.”
In response, he said, “One thing I would like very much is for all of us to work together towards building a great country. I think we all have what it takes to make this country truly great.
“And the greatest gift would be all of us working together, across tribes, across faith and the entire nation coming together to work with President Buhari and the government to achieve the very best that we can.”
Professor Osinbajo also stated that he was pleased with the conduct of the elections at the polling unit thus far.
Later on, he took to Twitter to announce that he had voted and also asked his followers if they had too.
The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, on Wednesday, presided over the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the presidential villa in Abuja.
Osinbajo presided over the weekly meeting based on the absence of President Muhammadu Buhari who is currently in Maiduguri, Borno state capital, for the annual conference of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS).
The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, says the prudent management of resources by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has boosted development in the country.
He believes the current administration has achieved far more in terms of infrastructure and development than previous administrations.
According to a statement issued on Sunday by Laolu Akande, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Vice President, he (Osinbajo) said this during a public lecture organized by the Council of Chief of Imams, Ikeja Division in Lagos on Saturday.
He also listed other achievements of the government such as the N-Power Programme which according to him about 500,000 young graduates have benefited from and the TraderMoni scheme.
The comments come days after the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) asked the government to be more prudent in managing the country’s resources following its plan to donate a sum of $500,000 to Guinea Bissau, among other materials.
BUHARI ADMINISTRATION’S PRUDENT MANAGEMENT OF RESOURCES HAS BOOSTED DEVELOPMENT – VP OSINBAJO
*Says corruption must be tackled by all for the country to make progress *Urges religious leaders to continue to preach peace, work for the country’s unity
The prudent management of resources by the Buhari administration has helped it achieve far more in terms of infrastructure and development than previous administrations, while it has invested heavily on social protection, the largest in the country’s history, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.
Prof. Osinbajo stated this at a public lecture organized by the Council of Chief of Imams, Ikeja Division in Lagos on Saturday.
The Vice President also stated the determination of the administration in its fight against corruption, noting that it was a major challenge which had slowed the country’s development in the past.
He added that the Buhari administration has spent over N2.7 trillion on capital expenditure in the last three years, pointing out that it is the highest amount ever spent on capital in the history of Nigeria.
The Vice President listed some of the infrastructure projects to include, among others, the Lagos-Kano Standard Gauge Railway, the Lagos-Ibadan Dual Carriageway and the Second Niger Bridge.
According to Prof. Osinbajo, the Buhari administration has been able to achieve this through prudent management of resources, despite earning 60% revenue less than the previous administration when the price of crude oil was high.
“Despite earning 60% less revenue, we are spending more on infrastructure in this government, from roads, rails to power,” he said.
The Vice President also said that components of the administration’s Social Investment Programme have impacted the lives of millions of Nigerians.
He explained that through the N-Power Programme, 500,000 young graduates have been engaged by the Federal Government in different areas of public service.
He said similar successes have been recorded in the Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme, GEEP (which includes the TraderMoni Scheme), the Conditional Cash Transfer, CCT, and the Home-Grown School Feeding Programme, which currently feeds over nine million public primary school pupils in 26 states.
Speaking on the impact of the TraderMoni scheme – the N10,000 interest- and collateral-free loans to petty traders nationwide, the Vice President said two million petty traders nationwide will benefit from the microcredit scheme by the end of the year.
He adds, “If the N60 billion that was part of the sum looted from the nation’s treasury in the past, was given out to these traders, 6m petty traders would have been beneficiaries.”
Prof. Osinbajo said at the inception of the administration, over 23 states in Nigeria owed salaries of between three to 12 months, which necessitated the Federal Government giving the states bailout funds to pay their workers.
He said the Buhari administration was also confronted with the drop in Nigeria’s crude oil production of 2.2 million bpd, coming down to around 1 million bpd as a result of the restiveness in the Niger Delta Region.
Speaking further, the Vice President stated that the struggle in Nigeria is that between good and evil, and not between religions.
“I want to say to you that it’s a battle between good and evil. What we are fighting for in this country is a battle between good and evil, it is not a battle between religions. Corruption is our major challenge. The people that steal Nigeria’s resources are both Christians and Muslims,” he said.
During the event, a public lecture titled: “The Role of Muslim Leaders in the South West Towards achieving Peaceful and Successful 2019 Elections,” the Vice President highlighted some of the programmes and projects of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration since its inception in May 2015.
The Vice President advised the religious leaders to continue to admonish their followers to embrace peace and work for the unity of the country. The first paper at the lecture was presented by Prof. Ishaq Lakin Akintola, the Director-General, Muslim Rights Concern, while Dr. Saheed Timehin, a senior lecturer at the Lagos State University, presented the second paper.
Laolu Akande Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President Office of the Vice President 11th November, 2018
The office of the Vice president has denied reports that Professor Yemi Osinbajo has endorsed the All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial aspirant in Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
The office of the vice president in a statement on Sunday said Sanwo-Olu’s media team took advantage of the Vice President in the pictures taken during Osinbajo’s attendance at a meeting in Lagos.
“Vice President Yemi Osinbajo attended a meeting of the Lagos State General Advisory Council (GAC), where he had been invited by the elders on the council.
“Before the meeting, the Vice President who had been in Lagos to participate in the Presidential primaries in the State had met with Governors Akin Ambode and the APC National Leader Ashiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu.
“APC gubernatorial aspirants Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Kunle Hamzat were also at the premises of the GAC meeting ahead of the Vice President’s arrival.
“Sources at the GAC meetings hinted that Prof Osinbajo, who is believed to be supportive of a second term bid for Ambode, conveyed the view of the Buhari presidency that there should be a level playing field in the overall conduct of the primaries.
“Informed sources at the meeting said the purpose of VP’s attendance at the GAC was to report on a previous meeting held between him and Governor Rauf Aregbesola on how to resolve some of the outstanding issues around Governor Ambode’s second term bid and its fallouts.
“It was while he was coming out of the meeting that Mr. Sanwo-Olu and Mr. Hamzat took advantage of the VP’S presence to take the photos which are now being falsely paraded as proof of endorsement,” the statement read in part.
The statement stressed that the Vice President was not at the meeting to endorse the candidate, adding that, “they only took advantage of his presence.”
The Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has directed the termination of the appointment of the Director-General, State Security Service (SSS), Lawal Musa Daura.
The termination of Daura’s appointment, according to a statement signed on Tuesday by Senior Special Assistant to Osinbajo on Media and Publicity, is with immediate effect.
Daura has since been directed to hand over to the most senior officer of the State Security Service until further notice.
Daura is however in a closed-door meeting with the Acting President, currently holding at the presidential villa in Abuja. The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris is also in the closed-door meeting.
The termination of Daura’s appointment comes few hours after security officials stormed the premises of the National Assembly barricading the entrance.
The masked security operatives and officials of the Department of State Services (DSS) arrived at the National Assembly very early on Tuesday morning and prevented lawmakers, members of staff of the National Assembly and journalists from entering the complex.
Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has called on oil-producing African countries to think of a world beyond oil.
He emphasised the importance of redoubling efforts at using oil and gas revenues to pursue diversification, investment in infrastructure and human capital, which according to him, will ensure future economic growth and development.
The Vice-President said this on Monday while declaring opened the Extraordinary Session of the Council of Ministers of African Petroleum Producers Organisation (APPO).
The event is organised by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Nigeria and is currently holding at the Lagos-Osun Hall, Transcorp Hilton in Abuja.
The Vice President at the event also said Africa needs a united front in the global energy discussion.
He asked that the APPO fund be opened to all, to allow private sector investments just like Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in order to overcome financial challenges as Africa has no reason or excuse to fail.
He underpins that a revitalised APPO will contribute tremendously to the development of the African Oil and Gas industry.