Ekweremadu Projects ‘A President Of Igbo Extraction’ In 2023   

Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu has projected that in 2023, “A president of an Igbo extraction” is imminent.

In an interview on Channels Television’s Roadmap 2019, Ekweremadu said that the presidency of Nigeria is dependent on the mood of the nation.

Speaking on the role of the southeast in the Nigerian political landscape, he noted that “no one part of Nigeria can decide to take the presidency and succeed in taking it”.

Ekweremadu said that the presidency of Nigeria is dependent on the mood of the nation.

READ ALSO: PDP Congratulates Buhari At 76, Tasks Him On Rule Of Law

Taking a walk down memory lane, the lawmaker said that in 1999 when Former President Olusegun Obasanjo was elected into power, “the mood of the nation was for a southern president from the western part of Nigeria”

Adding that when Obasanjo was to leave in 2007, the mood of the nation shifted to the north, hence the emergence of late Ex-President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua .

He further noted that in 2015, Goodluck Jonathan would have been re-elected but the mood of the nation at the time was still for a president from the north.

According to the lawmaker, this was the major reason why President Muhammadu Buhari won his election into office.

Having established the role of ‘moods’ in Nigerian polity, Ekweremadu projected that the mood of the nation would be “a product of Igbo extraction” in 2023.

Speaking on the performance of the legislature, Ekweremadu who said that Nigeria’s legislative arm of government is mostly misunderstood because the public doesn’t really know too much about it noted that the nations needs institutional memories.

He said so much money is spent on training parliamentarians but most of those trained are often kicked out of the parliament before they can impact the nation with the skills and knowledge acquired.

The Deputy Senate President also talked about other pressing issues including security challenges.

Labeling the recent attempt on his residence as unfortunate, the lawmaker said the incident is one that raises questions regarding the security of the ordinary citizens of the country.

He charged the authorities to ensure that every Nigerian is well protected and hoped that the police will get to the root of the attempt on him and his family.

Selfish PDP Governors Were Behind Third Term Agenda – Obasanjo

Olusegun ObasanjoFormer president, Olusegun Obasanjo, has accused former governors of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) of masterminding the plot to extending his tenure by an extra term.

Chief Obasanjo, in his autobiography, titled ‘My Watch’ chronicles the his political, military and personal life, maintains that the governors involved acted based on selfish interests.

Chief Obasanjo also accused his late successor, Umaru Musa Yar’adua of deceiving him about the severity of his ill health before he became the presidential candidate of the PDP in 2007.

He also didn’t spare incumbent president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, as he noted that he resorted to writing open letters because all efforts to speak to Dr Jonathan personally were frustrated.

The former president also cleared the air on why he went ahead to publish the book in spite of a court order barring him from doing so.

The Chairman, Organisation and Mobilisation Committee of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the South West, Mr Buruji Kashamu, had approached the court to stop the official launch of the book.

Mr Kashamu has vowed to press criminal charges against the former president.

Mr Kashamu said he would drag Chief Obasanjo and other people who assisted him in the launch to court.

In the book, the former president threw darts at the PDP for making Mr. Kashamu a leader of the party in south west despite his alleged involvement in hard drugs abroad.

Nigerian Government Recovers Ajeokuta Steel From Indian Firm

After years of litigation, the Federal Government of Nigeria has recovered the Ajaokuta Steel Complex in Kogi State.

Speaking in an interview with journalists at the National Assembly complex, a Senator lawmaker representing Kogi state, Smart Adeyemi said the federal government is also in the process of negotiating the return of the Iron Ore Mining Company, Itakpe, also the state.

The Federal Government has been locked in arbitration with Global Steel Holdings Limited (GSHL) and Global Infrastructure Limited at the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), London, for the return of Ajaokuta since 2007.

The legal tussle started in 2008 when Global Steel dragged the federal government before the ICC.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo during his administration concessioned the complex to (GSHL) in 2005, despite criticisms from steel workers and labour leaders.

The Indian firm was allegedly accused of going against the concessional agreement, which led to a faceoff between the firm and the company’s workers. The agreement was terminated in 2008 by President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua , who set up an Interim management Committee (IMC) to oversee it.

Jonathan Urges Nigerians To Emulate Late President Yar’adua’s Leadership Qualities

President Goodluck Jonathan today remembered with an “undiminished feeling of great personal loss, the fulfilling partnership he enjoyed with the late President at the helm of Nigeria’s ship of state.

The president made this known in a statement by his special adviser on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati.

He said “On this third anniversary of the passage of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, President Goodluck Jonathan remembers with an undiminished feeling of great personal loss, the fulfilling partnership he enjoyed with the late President at the helm of Nigeria’s ship of state”.

“As always, President Jonathan continues to honour the memory of the immensely humble, insightful, patriotic and dedicated servant leader who truly served his countrymen and women with all his strength and God-given abilities.”

President Jonathan “urged Nigerians, especially public officials at all levels of government to rededicate themselves to emulating President Yar’Adua’s exemplary commitment to upholding due process, the rule of law and other globally-accepted principles of democracy and good governance.” On the third anniversary of the former presidents demise.

He also joined “late President Yar’Adua’s wife, children, relatives, the people of his home-state, Katsina as well as his friends and associates across the country in praying that the soul of the departed   President continues to rest in perfect peace.”

 

 

Reps To Probe Ezekwesili’s Allegation

The House of Representatives has mandated its committees on Finance and Appropriation to investigate allegations and counter allegations by the former Minister of Education, Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili and the federal government.

In a motion presented by Mr. Umar Bature, the lawmakers decided to wade into the on-going war of words between the federal government and Dr Ezekwesili over allegations that the administration of the late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and President Goodluck Jonathan squandered $45 billion foreign reserve.

She had alleged that the squandering of $45 billion in the foreign reserve and another $22 billion in the excess crude account from increased earnings from crude oil, which the Obasanjo administration handed over to the successor administration has worsened poverty in the country.

Mr. Bature asked the House to conduct an investigation into the matter, noting that Dr Ezekwesili as a Special Adviser to a former President was in the position to know the status of the country’s foreign reserve during that period.

You Wasted N458 Billion As Minister, FG Replies Ezekwesili

The Federal Government on Sunday accused former minister of education and former World Bank group for Africa vice president, Obiageli Ezekwesili, of misappropriating a total of N458 billion allocated to the country’s educational sector when she served as minister between 2006 and 2007.

Former minister of education and former World Bank group for Africa vice president, Obiageli Ezekwesili

The government also described as factually incorrect Mrs Ezekwesili’s claim that late President Umar Musa Yar’adua and President Goodluck Jonathan squandered $67 billion in reserves, comprising $45 billion in the external reserves and $22 billion in the Excess Crude Account left by former President Olusegun Obasanjo at the end of May 2007.

The Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, who spoke on the behalf of the Federal Government, argued that Mrs Ezekwesili’s made no single reference of what she did during her stay in office in such sectors.

The Minister said, “We also found Mrs Ezekwesili’s interrogation of the educational system somewhat disingenuous and borderline hypocritical. During her tenure as minister of education between 2006 and 2007, she collected a total of N352.3 billion from direct budgetary releases.

“In addition, she received about N65.8 billion under the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) fund, and over N40 billion from the Education Trust Fund (ETF). In view of these humongous allocations, a few legitimate questions arise: what did she do with all these allocations? What impact did it have on the education sector? One wonders if our educational system would have been better today if these allocations were properly applied.”

Mr Maku further alleged that Mrs Ezekwesili’s alleged claims during UNN’s convocation ceremony on January 24, 2013 “betray a surprisingly limited understanding of government finances.”

He said, “These statements are even more curious in the light of the fact that she has held senior positions in government, and, more recently, a position as a vice president of the World Bank. However, rather than speculate about her motives, we would focus on the facts.”

Mr Maku further stated that the government did not intend to take her to court “but we will only explain and leave her in the court of public judgement.”

Clarifying the allegation of misappropriation of fund by late President Yar’Adua and President Jonathan, Mr Maku said, “At the end of May 2007, Nigeria’s gross reserves stood at $43.13 billion – comprising the CBN’s external reserves of $31.5 billion, $9.43 billion in the Excess Crude Account and $2.18 billion in the federal government’s savings. These figures can be independently verified from the CBN’s records. The figure of $67 billion alleged in her statement is therefore clearly fictitious.

“However, since President Obasanjo left office, the reserves have experienced fluctuations, rising from $43.13 billion in May 2007, peaking at $62 billion in September 2008 during the Yar’Adua/Jonathan administration when oil prices peaked at $147 per barrel, and falling subsequently to a low of $31.7 in September 2011.

“This fall in reserves was a result of the vicissitudes of the global financial crisis which caused CBN interventions in the currency market to defend the value of the naira. The Excess Crude savings, a component of the reserves, was also used to stimulate the economy at the height of the global financial crisis to the tune of about $1 billion (or 0.5 percent of our 2009 GDP).”

This move, he said, ensured that Nigeria was one of the few countries in the world that did not seek assistance from international financial institutions. He also remarked that the fiscal stimulus used to shore up the economy during that period was shared by all three tiers of government, including commitments of about $5.5 billion made under the Obasanjo administration for power projects.

“No one disputes that Nigeria still faces challenges, most of which were built up over a long time,” the minister further stated, “but we need to acknowledge the significant achievements of this administration in the aftermath of difficult but necessary macroeconomic and structural reforms being implemented in the country.

The minister went on to name some the achievements of the Jonathan government on the economic front, some of which have attracted international recognition.

“This administration,” he said, “has restored macroeconomic stability against the backdrop of global economic uncertainty, slow growth in the United States and high unemployment and unsustainable debt in Europe. In the first three quarters of 2012, Nigeria’s economy grew by about 6.4 percent and is set to continue at a similar pace in 2013 according to independent forecasts. We have reduced our fiscal deficit to only 2.17 percent of GDP in the 2013 budget, while rebalancing our spending in favour of capital expenditure.

“These achievements have already received strong endorsement from international ratings agencies. At a time when many advanced and emerging markets are being downgraded, Fitch and S&P have upgraded our sovereign credit ratings. The inclusion of Nigeria’s sovereign bonds in the emerging market bond indices of JP Morgan and Barclays also testifies to the growing confidence of the international investment community in our economy.”

Mr Maku also listed commencement of rail transport from Lagos to Kano, improved electricity supply, rehabilitation of road and aviation infrastructure and improvement in agriculture value-chain, where new jobs are being created every day, in addition to providing enabling environment for the private sector to create jobs for the youth as some of the good work done by President Jonathan.

We Have Nothing To Do With Henry Okah’s Conviction – FG

The Federal Government has dissociated itself from the conviction of Henry Okah, the leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) by a South African court following threats by the group to resume hostilities.

The government insisted that this is not the time to threaten Nigeria but to stand up in unity for it.

The embattled leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), Henry Okah, who was recently convicted in South Africa for masterminding the 2010 Independence Day bombing in Abuja.

MEND had allegedly threatened to renew attacks and evolve fresh dimensions to it following the conviction of its leader in South Africa.

In a statement dated January 23, 2013 and signed by one Comrade Azizi, MEND insisted that the conviction of Mr Okah by the South African Court on all 13-count charge of involvement in the 2010 Independence Day bombing in Abuja which killed many people amounted to a betrayal.

It said Nigerians would feel its impact when it eventually commences attacks which it disclosed will not be restricted to the Niger Delta region.
Reacting to this threat, the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku insisted that Mr Okah was tried in South Africa under due process of the law of the country.

He said it was very shocking that any Nigerian or group would take up arms against Nigeria on account of that conviction.

The minister said on the contrary, expectation was that all citizens should show higher level of patriotism. He argued that, “We should not live in a nation where we should abandon the law.”

Mr Maku noted that citizens should understand that the country offers the best opportunity to live in and urged for support for the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.