Vice President Yemi Osinbajo will preside over the nation’s affairs for two weeks while President Muhammadu Buhari is away on a medical trip to London in the United Kingdom.
Buhari stated this in Abuja on Sunday while briefing reporters at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport before the presidential plane, Air Force 1, took off from the Presidential Wing.
Buhari said he is not running the administration alone as other key officials including the vice president, the chief of staff, the secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), and others are carried along.
“Well, I cannot claim to be doing the work alone. The government is fully represented; the vice president is there; constitutionally when I’m away, he’s in charge,” President Buhari said.
The President, who initially planned to embark on the trip to London from Nairobi, Kenya, where he attended the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) 50th-anniversary event, returned home last Friday.
He also spoke about the forthcoming national convention of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), expressing confidence that the event will be conducted smoothly.
“Well, they should wait and see. How did we come as a party to take power from the ruling party who had been there before us for so many years? So, we have the capacity, everything will be alright,” he said.
Buhari has come under criticism, notably from the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), for his trip to London. The PDP accused him of abandoning Nigerians amid the petrol scarcity and industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), amongst others.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), has said that to address the issue of inadequate housing in the country, the Buhari administration remains determined in its vision to build a nation where low income earners have the dignity of a decent home and livelihood.
According to Professor Osinbajo, this will not only improve the quality of lives of Nigerians, but also boost the economy through a vibrant housing market.
The Vice President stated this on Friday in Masaka, Nasarawa State at the commissioning of 248 housing units and commemoration of the 1,000th home built by the Millard Fuller Foundation, MFF.
Describing the commissioning as “a watershed event in the important work of providing housing for Nigerians who need it most”, the Vice President stated that “while the challenge of inadequate or no-housing undermines the quality of life of many Nigerians on low income, it also denies our economy and, therefore, our collective welfare the growth that is possible through a vibrant housing market.”
The Vice President emphasized that the Buhari Administration is taking the challenges seriously by addressing the concerns.
The most recent initiative regarding this is the N200 billion National Social Housing Programme under the N2.3 Trillion Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP), which is aimed at delivering homes for Nigerians on low income, as well as providing jobs for the local industry.
According to Prof. Osinbajo, to ensure that these initiatives are sustained, the Federal Government is in the final draft stages of a comprehensive 10-year National Housing Strategy. The strategy is the first of its kind with input from the private and public sector players.
The VP disclosed that under the ESP Social Housing programme, which will create up to 300,000 homes, 18 States have so far given land for free, while 19,478 homes have been built, including 582 purchased from the Millard Fuller Foundation.
“We are negotiating another 400 homes with them,” Prof. Osinbajo stated, adding that “the one-bedroom self-contained costs N2 million and N3.2 million for the two-bedroom. We negotiated with Dangote, BUA and Lafarge to give the Family Homes Fund cement at 30% discount. So we now have low cost cement.”
Highlighting the Millard Fuller Foundation’s housing units in Nasarawa State as an example of private sector partnership with Government in reducing the social housing supply gap, the Vice President hoped that “it can serve as a model for many others to follow, with the potential for creating homes that are affordable to Nigerians on modest income, particularly our young people as they start out in life.”
The VP, who was received in Masaka, Nasarawa State by Governor Abdullahi Sule, later inspected the affordable housing units built by the foundation. Speaking at the event, Governor Sule thanked the Vice President for finding the time to commission the housing units and “to share in the joy of the beneficiaries, especially those of the Fuller Foundation,” describing the gesture as a demonstration of the VP’s care for the people.
The Governor also commended the effort of the Federal Government in finding solutions to the challenge of affordable housing and gave assurances that the State Government is commitment to fixing the access road to the housing estate.
Earlier, Mr Sam Odia, the National Director of the Millard Fuller Foundation expressed appreciation for the Vice President’s presence to commission the housing units. He described the VP as a “man of his word, and a man who has a heart for the poor.”
He added that the foundation is working with the Family Homes Fund to advance the cause of social housing in Nigeria.
Also present at the event were the Managing Director of the Family Homes Fund, Mr Femi Adewole; the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Infrastructure, Ms. Imeh Okon; officials of the State and Karu Local Government Council; the Etsu Karu, HRH Luka Panya-Baba; and representatives of partners in the project, among others.
The Millard Fuller Foundation was founded in 2006 and has been working on more inclusive housing for low-income Nigerians. The Foundation is supported by the Fuller Center for Housing Inc., USA, Selavip International, Belgium, Family Homes Funds Ltd, and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ). The Federal Government’s N-Power programme also partners with the MFF “as an official building skills training centre.”
The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, on Thursday said that the Nigeria University Games Association (NUGA) has shown that every part of Nigeria is valuable.
He stated this at the Presidential Villa while receiving the games’ torch of unity, recalling the exploits of great athletes discovered at previous editions of the competition.
“Indeed, the socio-economic value of the NUGA games is not lost on us. For years, the Nigerian University Games Association has not only provided a space that allows us see the value that every part of the country has to offer, it has also provided a platform for the discovery and honing of individual sporting talent, many of whom have gone on to represent Nigeria successfully on the world stage,” the Vice President was quoted as saying via a statement issued by his spokesman, Laolu Akande.
“We encourage the athletes who will be competing this year and representing their respective universities to do so proudly and in true sportsmanship. This is only a prelude to bigger achievements and greater laurels for yourselves and for Nigeria.”
He also recalled the achievements of some athletes discovered at the games.
“Going through Nigeria’s sporting history and almost everywhere we have excelled on the global stage, you will find athletes whose talents were nurtured in our universities and given a competitive boost by NUGA at one time or the other.
“The now legendary Nigerian goalkeeper, Vincent Enyeama, who we fondly remember for his role in leading the Super Eagles to victory in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, and who in his prime was considered one of the best goalkeepers in the world, was once a university athlete and a proud product of NUGA’s talent pipeline.
“Olusoji Fasoba, who won 100 meters gold, running for the Obafemi Awolowo University at NUGA many years ago, eventually went on to anchor Nigeria’s bronze medal win in the 4 x 100 meters relay race at the 2004 Olympic Games, and until recently, was the African record holder in the 100 meters.
“And, of course, there is Olabisi Afolabi, the famed NUGA alumnus from Ilorin, who helped Nigeria to a silver medal in the 4 x 400 meters at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, the highlight of a very successful athletic career, which included gold at the World Junior Championships in 1994, silver at the 1999 All-Africa Games, and bronze at the 1995 All-Africa Games,” he added.
In his remarks, the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, reiterated the commitment of the Ministry towards providing opportunities for young Nigerians to excel in their chosen disciplines, including sports, commending the support of the Vice President for youth and related issues.
Ahead of the 2023 general elections, the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has denied plans to declare his presidential ambition after the All Progressives Congress (APC) Convention slated for February 26.
This comes amid reports in a section of the media that Professor Osinbajo would officially declare to run for the presidency next year.
In a statement via Twitter, the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, described the report as false and speculative.
According to Akande, any information on the Vice President’s action would come directly from his office and not the press.
“I’ve seen “news” that VP’ll announce presidential bid after APC’s convention. Anyone reading the story‘ll know it’s all false and speculative snippets,” he said on Monday.
“Any information on activities and actions of the VP will come directly from his office and not sponsored speculations in the press.”
I’ve seen “news” that VP ‘ll announce presidential bid after APC’s convention. Anyone reading the story ‘ll know it’s all false &speculative snippets. Any information on activities & actions of the VP will come directly from his office & not sponsored speculations in the press…
“In 2021, Prof. Osinbajo participated in meetings of leaders across the sub-region on the issues exploring solutions,” the statement read.
“On September 8, the VP participated in a virtual summit of the regional body where sanctions were imposed on the military junta in Guinea, and on the 16th of the same month, attended another ECOWAS summit where further sanctions on individuals and groups fueling the crisis in Guinea and Mali were discussed.
“Later in November 2021, Prof. Osinbajo again joined other leaders in Accra for the 3rd Extraordinary Summit of leaders across the sub-region to review decisions and the political situations in Mali and Guinea.”
In compliance with the decisions of the leaders, ECOWAS mediator and former President Goodluck Jonathan travelled on January 5th, 2022 to Mali to meet with authorities in the country over the timetable for democratic transition.
The former President later briefed President Muhammadu Buhari on the matter a few days ago.
Osinbajo who is accompanied by the Minister of State Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada, is expected back in Abuja today.
The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has stressed the indivisibility of Nigeria, saying that religion, ethnicity or class cannot separate the country.
He stated this on Saturday during the wedding of Fatima, the daughter of the Education Minister, Adamu Adamu in Azare, the headquarters of the Katagum Emirate in Bauchi State.
“This is one occasion where you will find that our country is truly a united country and that nothing can separate this country, not ethnicity or religion or class,” Osinbajo was quoted as saying in a statement issued by his spokesman, Laolu Akande.
“There is nothing that can separate this country. In fact, this is excellent evidence of the fact that this country is united.”
The Vice President, who commended the Emir of Katagum for ensuring unity among everyone residing in the emirate, noted that “Katagum Emirate is a place where your Royal Highness has continuously demonstrated the willingness to accommodate people from all parts of the country.”
He also commended the Education Minister for believing in a united country and also building bridges across party and religious lines to affirm his belief.
“Every one of us is here because of our personal relationship with you, this is the way leadership should be,” Osinbajo stated.
In his remarks, Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed commended the Vice President for his love for the people and most importantly, his leadership qualities.
He stated that Osinbajo made it to the north-eastern state despite his busy schedule, recalling how the Vice President just returned from a foreign trip.
The Bauchi governor described Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, as a leader with distinguished qualities.
Mohammed said, “The people and government of Bauchi State are extremely grateful to you in particular. We know how you defied all the odds to come here from a foreign trip and this morning prepared to come here. This is the amount and the testimony of the respect you have for all of us, not just Mallam Adamu Adamu.
“Thank you very much, sir, you have distinguished yourself as a leader defying all the odds. I remember you came and attended my daughter’s wedding. That was very refined and it was very unique.”
Dignitaries present at the event include Senate President, Ahmed Lawan; Governors Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi; Babagana Zulum of Borno; Mr Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti; Mohammed Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa; Simon Lalong of Plateau; Mai Mala Buni of Yobe and host, Bala Mohammed of Bauchi.
The founding Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Bisi Akande and National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu were also present.
Ahead of the 2023 general elections, a northern group, Arewa Consensus Assembly, on Thursday canvassed for the micro-zoning of the presidency to the South-Western part of the country in the interest of justice and equity.
The group said that the agitation by some people that the presidency should be retained to the North will further divide the country, adding that the focus should be more on equitable distribution of power.
While addressing a press conference after their meeting in Kaduna, Chairman of the group, Daniel Shawulu, said the real interest of the North is about the vast majority of the people and not the parochial interest of a few politicians, who he said are usually more vocal and claim to speak on behalf of the region.
Noting that there need for an urgent responsibility to build and foster confidence between the different ethnicities and geo-political zones of Nigeria, the northern-based group stated that the country at the moment needs someone with requisite insight to consolidate the much-desired results and continuity of the structural programs commenced by the present administration.
He equally endorsed Vice president Yemi Osibanjo as the right candidate to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari.
The decision, according to Shawulu, is based on his competence and knowledge of the current socio-economic and security challenges confronting the country.
“The real solution of maintaining sufficient control relevance in Nigerian national politics is for the north to champion rotation to the South-West.
“The conference admits and recognises that Nigeria is in a delicate situation and our unity is fragile because of security challenges that have been clocked many times in religious and ethnic approach, especially by propagandists.
“The joint conference admits that the acceptable next President of Nigeria must have an appeal that crosses ethnic, religious and demographic lines, especially the youths considering the most recent history and trajectory of Nigeria.
“Such a person must have a demonstrated record of service at the national level and the history of believing in the unity of Nigeria, integrity and a proven record of modesty, energy, experience and conduct that is exemplified and inspired confidence across the entire country and not negotiable.
“The joint conference notes that the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo fits and addresses the question of balance, qualities and attributes expressed and resolved by the joint conference.”
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.