Only Thing Lacking In Obasanjo’s Statement Is An Apology To Nigerians – Abati

A former Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Reuben Abati has said that has shared his thoughts on a statement written by former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, in which he criticised the performance of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Mr Abati who was a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Tuesday said the statement reflects certain levels of consensus within society.

He, however, noted that the only thing that was not mentioned was an apology to Nigerians especially as the former president was one of those who voted for the ‘change’ administration.

He also said the there was no better time for him to respond to the state of the polity than now.

The former President in the statement written on Tuesday accused President Buhari of failing, especially in one of the areas his administration pitched as its ‘key point of action’ when it assumed office – the fight against corruption and therefore, asked him to honourably “dismount from the horse”. See Top Quotes Here.

Dripping With Frustration

“It’s probably the most important subject of the day. Its been the main subject that everyone is discussing and that should be understandable considering the stature, the capacity, the influence of the author of the letter,” Abati said.

“Before now, many Nigerians had been waiting on the former president Olusegun Obasanjo to say something about this administration and he has chosen his time very well to come out and do a full assessment of the administration so far.

Read Also: Obasanjo Blasts Buhari, Warns Him Against Seeking Re-election

“If you look at that letter it drips with frustration, disappointment, even regret. The only thing president Obasanjo does not do in that letter is to apologise to Nigerians but he admitted that he was part of the efforts to bring about change in 2015 and he not only supported the incumbent president, he also voted for him and now he says he is disappointed.

“The letter probably reflects certain levels of consensus within society because you know of late, a lot of people have been saying some of the things that president Obasanjo said in that letter but coming from Obasanjo, those statements acquire a special significance and resonance both locally and I believe, internationally.”

While the Presidency has yet to respond to the letter, Abati believes that “there would be meetings upon meetings and there will be persons who would have sat down with that letter to try to deconstruct it.

“I imagine also that the President would have read it over and over again and people around him would be offering advice and they will be trying to provide strategy.

“It is necessary for the President to look at the letter and make up his mind about whether he wants to do a formal response because the time has come for this administration to change the narrative.”

Also responding the statement on the programme, was a member of the Buhari support group, Aliyu Abdullahi.

He, however, believes that the Buhari administration has performed beyond average especially in the areas of the economy – having recovered from a major recession, as well as infrastructure developments in transportation among others.

“It was just a matter of time for that letter to come, as we all know. Dr Rueben Abati has received a similar letter during his own time so of course this administration will receive its own,” Abdullahi said, stressing the fact that the former President has the right to air his opinion as much as President Buhari has the right to seek re-election, as provided in the constitution.

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Soyinka’s Essay On Violent Killings Is A Wake-Up Call – Abati

Reuben Abati

A former Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Reuben Abati has said that Nigeria may not recover from the spate of renewed herdsmen attacks in parts of the country if it is not nibbed in the bud as soon as possible.

He stated this on Thursday during an appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today, hours after the Benue State Government conducted a mass burial for over 70 persons killed by suspected herdsmen in the state.

“We are going into an election year now. If this matter is not dealt with decisively and if no attempt is made to address the Miyetti Allah and other stakeholders, we may not require from this crisis in another 25 years,” he said.

Abati also advised the Federal Government to take up the issues a renowned Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka raised in his recent article.

Professor Soyinka had alleged that former President Jonathan refused to accept the news of Boko Haram had abducted the pupils of Chibok Girls Secondary School in Borno four years ago.

He said, “President Goodluck Jonathan refused to accept that marauders had carried off the nation’s daughters; President Muhammed Buhari and his government – including his Inspector-General of Police – in near identical denial, appear to believe those killer herdsmen who strike again and again at will from one corner of the nation to the other, are merely hot-tempered citizens whose scraps occasionally degenerate into communal clashes.”

Abati noted that the development was similar to the way insurgency started in the country a few years back.

He added, “Professor Soyinka made a point that all of us should pay attention to, the fact that we seem to be in a state of denial. The government seem to be in a state of denial on this s particular matter.

“And that was how the Boko Haram crisis started. At the end of the day, Nigeria is paying the price for it. So Professor Soyinka’s essay at the end of the day is a wake-up call,” he added.

2018 Budget: NASS Should Play Its Roles Without Being Partisan – Abati

A former presidential spokesman, Mr Reuben Abati, has challenged the National Assembly to carry out its duties objectively and thoroughly in order to ensure a smooth process.

Mr Abati said this in reaction to the Senate’s rejection of the 2018 budget proposal presented to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday.

The Senate had complained that the 2018 Appropriation Bill was filled with inaccuracies, inconsistencies and was being padded.

While addressing the issue during an appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today, Mr Abati opined that if indeed the budget was being ‘padded’, it was the responsibility of the Senate to un-pad it.

“The job of the Senate, even if it has been presented with a budget that has been padded, is to un-pad it because it is a proposal and from being a bill, it becomes law.

“So the question to raise is this – how diligent has the National Assembly been, before raising these issues.

“How well has it investigated this alleged padding that it is bringing up. You might say that there are a lot of inconsistencies but before it is passed into law, it is part of its job to clean it up.”

Read Also: Senate Condemns 2018 Budget Proposal

Speaking further, Mr Abati said the response of the Senate might infact be a delibrate attempt to “demonise” certain persons.

“Look at the process, the MDA submits to the ministry, the ministry submits to the Ministry of Budget and Planning and from there it goes to the President who now lays the budget before the National Assembly. But I have seen in what we have read in the last 48 hours an attempt to demonise persons. In particular, the Ministry of Power, and to call Fashola names. I don’t think that is the way to go about it.

“What Nigerians expect is a thorough budgeting process and where there are mistakes, the National Assembly is expected to play its oversight role without being partisan or indolent,” he added.

Also reacting to the situation, the President’s Special Adviser on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Eniang, dismissed the claims that the budget had been padded.

According to him, the term ‘padding’ describes an unlawful insertion into a lawful document but in this case, the document presented before the Red Chamber, was only a proposal yet to be passed.

“I think it is not a disappointment for the president’s economic team because when a budget is presented to the legislature, what is presented there is a budget proposal and it is for the legislature to consider it and pass it as it deems fit. I understand padding to be an unlawful insertion into a lawful document – A document that has become legitimate – has become law.

“Meanwhile what Mr President laid on the table of the National Assembly is a budget proposal and I do not for now understand what could be called padding because it is only if the budget is considered, passed, harmonized between the House and the Senate, transmitted to the President, it is assented into law and after assent, some other thing is added thereafter, that is what may be termed to constitute padding in law,” he stated.

Reuben Abati Offered Bail

Reuben AbatiFormer presidential spokesman, Dr Reuben Abati, has been offered administrative bail by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

A source within the commission told Channels Television on Thursday evening that the former spokesman was offered bail on the conditions that he submit his travelling passport and provide a surety who must be a top civil servant.

But it is not clear whether the detained journalist would be able to meet the bail conditions immediately.

Dr Abati, a newspaper columnist and spokesman to former President Jonathan was arrested on Monday for what has been speculated to be in connection with the ongoing probe of the mismanagement of fund meant for arms by the detained former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (Rtd).

EFCC Says Anti-graft War Is Boosting Foreign Investors’ Confidence

EFCC, Magu on anti-graft warThe anti-graft agency in Nigeria says the fight against corruption by the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has redeemed the image of Nigeria in the international community and has also encouraged foreign investments in the country. 

The Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, made the assertion on monday when he visited the headquarters of National Union of Textile Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN), in Kaduna State, north-west Nigeria.

Speaking to reporters during the visit, the EFCC boss, stressed the determination of the Federal Government to rid the country of corrupt practices.

Mr Magu urged all Nigerians to support the anti-graft war in order to create a conducive environment for foreign investors to come in.

On his part, the General Secretary of the NUTGTWN, Mr Issa Aremu, emphasised the need for the government to come up with a national strategic policy that would give a strong backing in combating corruption at all levels.

He says the collapse of many industries in Nigeria was due to corruption and calls for total support to the fight against corruption.

The comment of the EFCC’ boss came on the same day the former Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Mr Reuben Abati, was taken into custody by the anti-graft agency.

He was spotted at the EFCC premises at about 5:30PM on Monday.

Abati’s detention may not be unconnected to the anti-corruption campaign of the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration which has intensified with a clampdown on some public officials from the previous administration.

He has not been named in any of the ongoing corruption cases.

Former Presidential Spokesperson, Reuben Abati In EFCC Custody

Reuben Abati, YouthsThere are reports that former Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Mr Reuben Abati, is in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

He was spotted at the EFCC premises at about 5:30PM on Monday.

Abati’s detention may not be unconnected to the anti-corruption campaign of the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration which has intensified with a clampdown on some public officials from the previous administration.

He has not been named in any of the ongoing corruption cases.

The former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Bala Mohammed, has also been arrested by the anti-graft agency.

Mr Mohammed was arrested at the airport on arrival in the country.

Jonathan Condoles With Bauchi Governor On Mother’s Death

Jonathan Nigeria’s President, Goodluck Jonathan, has extended heartfelt condolences to Bauchi State Governor, Isa Yuguda, and members of his family on the death of his mother, Hajiya Hauwa Yuguda.

In a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati, on Thursday, the President joined the Governor and the entire Yuguda family in mourning Hajiya Hauwa, whose modest, cheerful and compassionate disposition and lifestyle would remain a source of inspiration for her offspring and all who knew her.

The President believes that Governor Yuguda, his siblings, members of their families and all others whose lives were positively touched by the late Hauwa, would forever treasure memories of her exemplary motherliness, as well as her benevolence to the less privileged.

President Jonathan prayed that Almighty Allah would receive Hajiya Hauwa’s soul and grant her eternal rest.

President Jonathan Appoints Ado Bayero As New NPA Boss

UNPresident Goodluck Jonathan has approved the appointment of Mr Sanusi Lamido Ado Bayero, as the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).

Mr Sanusi, a lawyer, from Kano State takes over from Mallam Habib Abdullahi, who has been relieved of his appointment as Managing Director of the NPA.

In a statement by President Jonathan’s spokesman, Reuben Abati, the appointment of the new NPA Managing Director takes effect from Thursday, April 30.

President Jonathan thanked the outgoing managing director for his services and wished him well in his future endeavours.

Governor Okorocha Condoles with Chukwumerije Family

ChukwumerijeThe Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha has condoled with the family of Senator Chukwumerije, who died on Sunday, April 19.

In a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor On Media, Sam Onwuemuodo, the Governor said Senator Chukwumerije had served the nation with a very high sense of commitment and responsibility, and had also dutifully served the Igbo nation.

He said that his death at this time would no doubt create a vacuum that would not be easy to fill both in the politics of the nation and in the life of the National Assembly.

The Governor expressed deep regret that the Abia State born Senator died when his services and his wealth of experience are mostly needed.

Governor Okorocha prayed God to grant the soul of Senator Chukwumerije eternal peace and grant the family members the fortitude to bear the loss.

Governor Okorocha was said to have received with deep shock the news of Senator Chukwumerije’s death.

He refereed to the former Information Minister, who died at the age of 75, as one of the illustrious sons of the South East and an outstanding patriotic Nigerian.

Senate Mourns Uche Chukwumerije

ChukwumerijeThe Nigerian Senate has expressed shock and sadness over the death of Senator Uche Chukwumerije.

Senator Uche Chukwumerije died on Sunday evening of lung cancer in a Hospital in Abuja.

Until his death, Senator Uche Chukwumerije was the Chairman, Senate Committee on Education.

Senate President, David Mark, in a statement said that Nigeria has lost an erudite and extraordinary nationalist.

He described the late Senator Uche Chukwumerije as a political giant and one of the nation’s finest legislators.

The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, also in a statement described Senator Chukwumerije as a fearless politician who fought for the interest of the common man and his people.

He said that Senator Chukwumerije would be sorely missed by the Senate and the entire nation.

President Jonathan Mourns Chukwumerije

ChukwumerijePresident Goodluck Jonathan has extended heartfelt condolences to the Chukwumerije family as well as the government and people of Abia State on the death of Senator Uche Chukwumerije.

In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati, the President also commiserates with the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria over the passage of Senator Chukwumerije whom he refereed to as an ardent believer in national unity, peace, political stability and progress.

The President joined them in mourning “the late patriot and nationalist who has left behind an impressive legacy of discipline, honesty, integrity and hard work in public service”.

“President Jonathan believes that the late Senator Chukwumerije, who had a distinguished career as a journalist, social critic, Minister of Information and Senator, will be long remembered for his dedication and passion for a just and equitable society.

“As the nation mourns him, the President urges Senator Chukwumerije’s family, friends and associates to honour his memory by continually upholding the values and principles which he lived for and never stopped fighting for till his death,” the statement read.

President Jonathan also prayed that Almighty God will comfort all who mourn him and grant his soul perfect peace.

Senator Chukwumerije died on the evening of Sunday, April 19, 2015, surrounded by his family.

Lagos Elections: Lai Mohammed Accuses Jonathan Of Plot To Rig

Lagos ElectionsOn the eve of elections, the All Progressives Congress, APC, has made very strong allegations of rigging against the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

The Spokesperson of the APC, Lai Mohammed, alleged that the reason why the President was in Lagos on Thursday was to put finishing touches to the rigging plot.

“The plan is to use thugs and militants who have also been imported into the state to intimidate voters, snatch ballot boxes and provide cover for the PDP to announce false results.

“Fake ballot papers as well as result sheets are already being issued to the PDP.

“As we said in our press statement earlier today, the President flew into Lagos on Thursday expressly to oversee the PDP’s rigging plans. He met with his point men; Musiliu Obanikoro, Jimi Agbaje and Gani Adams, apparently to hand over the war chest to them,” Mohammed said.

Lai Mohammed Is Wrong – Abati

However, the Presidency has swiftly condemned the claims by Mr Lai Mohammed.

The Presidency described as false
hood and rude, the statement by the APC Spokesman, Mr Lai Mohammed that the President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan was in Lagos on Thursday to rig the governorship and state assembly elections.

Presidential spokesman, Reuben Abati said that there was nothing unusual with the visit on Thursday than the usual homage to the leader of the PDP.

He said the President did not meet with INEC officials, the Police or polling officials or anyone involved in organising the elections.Abati

“So to say the President went to Lagos to supervise rigging of the election is most uncharitable and cruel,” he said.

He added that President Jonathan is “a man of honour who has left a worthy legacy that should not be dented by Lai Mohammed” and that at this point in time “the President should be left alone”.

The Presidency advised that the All Progressives Congress (APC) should look for another target and not the President.