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Politics / 2019: Adesina Warns Against Fake News, Hate Speech by agwom(m): 8:15pm On Aug 16, 2018
The Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina on Thursday urged journalists and media organisations in the country to be on the guard against the menace of fake news and hate speech as the country gears up towards the 2019 general election.

Adesina, who spoke in Lokoja at the grand finale of the 2018 Press Week of the Kogi State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists while delivering a lecture on "Media and News Reporting in an Election Year", urged journalists to uphold the code of ethnics and global principles that guide journalism practice in their election reportage.

He pointed out that the manner the media go about their reporting in the build up to the election and during the election proper would have significant impact on how things would turn out eventually in the country, either peaceful or violent.

Adesina maintained that the journalists and media organisations must rise against the influx of fake news and hate speech, saying there are capable of plunging the nation into upheaval as witnessed in other countries of the world such as Rwanda and Kenya.

"One thing the media needs to be alert to is the influx of fake news, and the impact on the outcome of elections. Fake news is made-up information, concocted, without any authentication. It is fiction masquerading as news.

"Very close to the phenomenon of fake news is hate speech. In fact, the two are like Siamese twins. The intention of fake news is often to generate hate, demean, demonize and de-market.

"By the time fake news and hate speech team up, a huge bomb is waiting to explode. It can consume a nation, as we have seen in places like Rwanda, Kenya, and many others. The Nigerian journalist must be wary of this deadly duo, as we approach national elections", he said.

He urged the Nigerian media not to attempt to "reinvent the wheel" but should only seek to be ethical in their reporting by imbibing the journalism principles of truthfulness, accuracy, fairness, objectivity and social responsibility in their reportage.

Adesina also advised journalists to try as much as possible to abide by the codes for election coverage to avoid running foul of the law.

The Chief of Staff to the Kogi State Governor, Edward Onoja on the occasion urged journalists and media organisations to shun the temptation of purveying fake news in order not to lose public trust.


Politics / Re: Uche Secondus Meeting With Ibrahim Babangida At His Hill Top Mansion In Minna by agwom(m): 4:18pm On Aug 16, 2018
Politics / Re: Is Wike Now A Herbalist by agwom(m): 11:39am On Aug 16, 2018
grin grin
Politics / Whistleblower: 5000 Tips Received, N11bn Recovered - Adeosun by agwom(m): 5:33am On Aug 16, 2018
The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, has said that the Federal Government recovered N11.6 billion so far from the tips they received since the Whistleblower Policy was launched in December 2016.

Speaking yesterday in Abuja at the fifth Bureau of Public Service Reform (BPSR) Lunch Time Seminar, with the theme: ‘The Whistleblower Policy and its Implications for Public Servants’, Adeosun said that out of the 5,000 tips received government only acted on 365 of them and that N375.8 million had been paid to 20 whistleblowers who provided information that led to the recovery.

She said the Whistleblower Policy had been one of government’s most successful new initiatives, adding that over half of the tips came from public servants touching on issues like contract inflation, ghost workers, illegal recruitment, misappropriation of funds, illegal sale of government assets, diversion of revenues and violation of Treasury Single Account (TSA) regulations, among others.

She said 39 per cent (144) of the actionable tips related to misappropriation and diversion of funds/revenue, 16 per cent (60) related to ghost workers, illegal recruitment and embezzlement of funds meant for personnel emolument, 15 per cent (56) related to violation of TSA regulations, 13 per cent (49) related to contract inflation/violation of the Procurement Act and failure to carry out projects for which funds had been released and nine per cent (34) related to non-remittance of pension and NHIS deductions, while others included concealed bail-out funds and embezzlement of funds from donor agencies.

“Part of our work is to analyse trends and take corrective actions. For example, many of the salary, tax and pension under remittance cases shared a common thread. Several cases where institutions were found to have insufficient funds to meet there obligations often had illegal recruitments which bloated the wage bill and agencies responded by part-paying or short paying salaries, whilst applying to FG for salary shortfall payments. We are revising our procedures for approval of recruitment, which will improve our budgeting and control.

“Equally, in many cases where revenue has been diverted to accounts outside TSA, we have reviewed our reconciliation and receipting processes. So the information being provided is useful in driving process improvements. If as a civil servant you have information about a possible misconduct or violation that has occurred, is ongoing, or is about to occur, we implore you to come forward and report it. You can submit your information anonymously and confidentially through the online portal, by email or by phone and if you choose to disclose your identity, I assure you that it will be fully protected.”


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Politics / Why 2019 Elections Will Be Nigeria’s Most Expensive – INEC by agwom(m): 5:19am On Aug 16, 2018
The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Prof Mahmud Yakubu said the 2019 general elections will be the most expensive in Nigeria’s history.

Prof Yakubu said yesterday during a budget defence session for the 2019 elections funds with members of the Senate Committee on Electoral Matters that the commission needs N189 billion for the conduct of the elections.

He said the amount is N69 billion higher than the entire expenditure for the 2015 elections, which cost N120bn, representing an increase of about 58 per cent.

Daily Trust had on August 3 exclusively reported that the 2019 general elections were set to be Nigeria’s most expensive.

The INEC chairman said the increase was necessitated by a number of factors, including additional political parties, increased number of registered voters, among others.

“From today we have exactly 184 days to the opening of polling units on Saturday, February 16, 2019.

“I wish to draw the attention of this committee to a very important thing. Compared to N120bn that the 2015 elections cost, we’re now proposing N189.2bn.

“For 2015, we had 70 million voters. But now we have 82m registered voters. This will increase because of the additional period for registration that we added. So, there is addition of about 17.1 per cent compared to 2015.

“Second, the number of political parties then was 40, but we now have 91. The size of the ballot papers would increase and the quality and colour won’t be the same. That means additional cost.

“As part of the cost, we have to monitor political parties’ congresses, primaries and conventions, which also mean additional funding.

“Processing nominations from political parties is another thing. We have to process about 70,889 nominations for the elections if all parties nominate candidates.

“This time around, the logistics is higher because pump price of petrol is higher now. Some of the components are in US Dollars, so it would have an impact going by the current exchange rate compared to the 2015 elections.

“The FCT area councils’ elections would be coming at about the same time with the general elections, so that means additional cost because we need more hands for the elections and ballot papers among others,” the INEC chairman said.

Giving the breakdown of how the N189.2bn would be spent, Prof Yakubu said N134.4bn would be for election operations cost; N27.5bn for election technological cost; N22.6bn for election administrative cost and N4.6bn for contingency/miscellaneous.

Lawmakers raise concerns over increasing elections budget

At the session, some senators raised concerns over the increased elections expenditure by the commission.

Sen Isa Hamma Misau (PDP, Bauchi) demanded to know why the commission’s elections budget has been on the rise over the years, noting that the electoral umpire keeps purchasing certain equipment like vehicles for every election.

Responding, Prof Yakubu said, “Much of the cost we pay for elections is because of lack of trust. Why must we print ballot papers to currency quality and give to the CBN to keep? It’s all because of lack of trust.

Sen Mohammed Hassan (APC, Yobe) expressed concern that while President Muhammadu Buhari in his letter of request for the election budget said the sum of N143.512bn should be approved for INEC under this year’s budget and another N45.7bn under the 2019 budget, the electoral umpire was demanding for the total amount at once.

But the INEC chairman said, “I’m not sure there’s a conflict. In terms of the totality of figure, I don’t think there’s any conflict because if you add everything together, it will give you the N189bn.

“Our preference is for the sum of N189bn to be appropriated. But as to the nitty-gritty, that is between the National Assembly and the Executive,” he said.

Chairman of the committee, Suleiman Nazif demanded to know why there is a separate N5.1bn for continuous voter registration (CVR) in the elections budget when an amount was earlier approved for the commission for the same purpose under the regular budget.

Prof Yakubu said ýbecause CVR is done almost on daily basis all year round, the amount approved for it in the 2018 budget was grossly inadequate and that due to the need to register more eligible voters ahead of elections, there was need for additional fund.

N6bn needed to feed police personnel on election duties

At the House of Representatives, ýthe sum of N6bn to feed policemen on electoral duty was contested by the lawmakers.

Wole Oke (PDP, Osun), said, “It is important that we look into the estimates and reconvene later to discuss.”

Rima Shawulu (PDP, Taraba) and Timothy Golu (PDP, Plateau) drew attention to the repetition of most of the items in the budget, especially with the expenditure for the feeding of security personnel as well as the provision for hiring of vehicles for security personnel.

In his response, Prof Yakubu said the feeding of security officials on election duty is very crucial since there is similar provision for ad hoc staff.

He added that the commission does not envisage any postponement of the 2019 general elections.

Politics / 2019: Top Presidential Candidates Who Have Visited Obasanjo Recently by agwom(m): 9:23pm On Aug 15, 2018
With the 2019 general elections coming closer, top presidential candidates have been taking turns to seek supports from statesmen across the country.

Recently, former president Olusegun Obasanjo have been receiving visitors.

Obasanjo ruled the nation for 12 years, first as a military Head of State for four years and eight years as civilian president.

Here are some prominent candidates who have met with the former president:

Atiku Abubakar

The former vice president of Nigeria, who has been at loggerhead with Obasanjo was seen with his former boss recently.

The PDP chieftain had earlier declared his intention of running for the presidential seat at Abuja.

On the 27th of July 2018 during an event by the Gusau Institute on “A New Era for China-Africa Cooperation”, he was seen exchanging pleasantries with Obasanjo which has been interpreted to be an endorsement by the former president of his former vice's candidacy.

Sule Lamido

The former Governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido, on the 7th of August held a two hours closed-door meeting with former President Olusegun Obasanjo at his Presidential Library, in Abeokuta, seeking support for his 2019 presidential ambition.

Bukola Saraki

Following the recent defection of the Senate President Bukola Saraki to PDP, there have been rumour that he will be declaring for the presidency formally soon.

He too has joined in paying the former president visit in Abeokuta. He met with Obasanjo at his presidential library on the 14th of August from 5.27pm to 7.12pm.

Saraki however, refused to disclose the subject of discussion during the closed-door meeting.

Ibrahim Dankwambo

Also, the Presidential aspirant under the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Ibrahim Dankwambo on Tuesday met behind closed door with the former president in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

Dankwambo, Governor of Gombe State, arrived the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential library complex at exactly 1.10pm with his entourage.


Politics / There Is Massive Corruption At The Presidential Villa — Lamido by agwom(m): 8:57pm On Aug 15, 2018
A former Governor of Jigawa State and Presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) , Alhaji Sule Lamido on Wednesday accused the All Progressive Congress (APC) led administration of massive corruption, saying its acclaimed fight against graft was insincere.

Lamido who stated this in Lokoja when he met the delegates of Kogi State chapter of People Democratic Party noted that the present APC government beside alleged massive corruption, has continued to impoverished the people in order to lord over them.

He pointed out that, Nigerians must rise, unite and rescue the country from "injustice perpetually imposed on the citizens by the current APC government".

The Presidential aspirant who is seeking the support of the state delegates in the forthcoming PDP convention also said the current leadership in the country has succeeded in causing pains, and disunity among Nigerians.

"I was ashamed when I entered Kogi State. When I looked into the eyes of many Kogites and Nigerians, it was clearly written in their faces that all is not well.

"They said they are fighting corruption in this government which is not true. I can tell you that there is massive corruption at the presidential villa and many states belonging to APC are owing months of salaries.

Politics / Re: Al-mustapha Speaks On Controversial Abacha Loot, Blasts EFCC by agwom(m): 8:42pm On Aug 15, 2018
Politics / Mama Taraba, 27 Others At FEC As Osinbajo Presides by agwom(m): 1:41pm On Aug 15, 2018
Twenty - eight out of the 35 minsters are attending today's Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting being presided over by the acting President, Yemi Osinbajo.
Our correspondent reports that the meeting which is taking place at the Council chamber of the State house Villa, Abuja started around 11am.
After the National Anthem, the Acting President requested the Minister of State for Education, Anthony Anwuka to say the Christian prayers while Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu was asked to lead the Muslim prayer.
At the meeting, our correspondent reports that key national issues would be discussed. At the end of the meeting, the State House Reporters would be addressed.
Some of the ministers in attendance are Okechukwu Enelamah (Trade and Investment ) Muhammadu Bello (Federal Capital Territory) Udo Udo Udoma (National Planning ), Chris Ngige (Labour and Employment )Heineken Lokpobiri (State Minister for Agriculture )

Others are Zainab Ahmed (State Minister, Budget and Planning), Sen Hadi Sirika (Aviation), Abubakar Malami (Justice), Lai Mohammed (Information), Babatunde Fashola ( Power, Works and Housing ), Kemi Adeosun (Finance ), Aisha Abubakar (Trade and Investment), Aisha Alhassan Taraba (Women Affairs) among others.

Politics / Why We Need More External Debt – FG by agwom(m): 5:08am On Aug 15, 2018
The Federal Government has insisted that failure to obtain external debt as contained in the 2018 Appropriation Act will slow down the implementation of the capital component of the budget.

This is even as the Debt Management Office (DMO) put Nigeria’s debt profile at N22.38tn as of June 30, 2018.

Speaking exclusively to Daily Trust, the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, said the external debt is necessary because of the huge deficit in the 2018 budget.

“The borrowing is one component of the funding, which is the major one for now and if we are not able to realise the two borrowing as projected in the budget, it will affect the performance of the budget,” she said.

The minister however said “that doesn’t mean that the budget will not be implemented because we have national revenue too.”

The N9.12 trillion 2018 budget has a deficit of N1.95 trillion, equivalent to 67 per cent of the total N2.87 trillion capital expenditure for the year. The deficit is to be financed mainly by borrowing of N1.643 trillion both from external and internal sources.

However, the government’s borrowing plan is yet to get the approval of the National Assembly as the lawmakers have since gone on 2-month recess.

According to a report presented by the DMO, Nigeria’s public debt status for the first half of the year indicated an increase of 3 percent debt increase within the period.

Presenting the report, the Director General of the DMO, Patience Oniha, said the country’s total public debt, which encompasses the domestic and external debt stock of the Federal and 36 States including the FCT, stood at N22.38 trillion as at June 30, 2018.

The DG noted that the 3.01 percent increase was marginal over the public debt stock for December 2017, adding that the increase in the public debt stock over the six months period was due to the 2.5 billion dollars Eurobond issued in February 2018.

She said the debt stock decreased to 1.44% when compared to the debt data for March 2018, “from N22.707 trillion in March 2018 to N22.38 trillion in June 2018,” adding that the “decrease was due to a 3.38 percent decline in the FGN’s domestic debt stock between March and June 2018”.

Oniha said there was a consistent decrease in the federal government domestic debt which declined from N12.589 trillion in December 2017 to N12.577 trillion in March 2018 and N12.151 trillion in June 2018.

According to the DG, the reduction in the FGN’s domestic debt stock followed the redemption of N198 billion Nigerian Treasury Bills in December 2017 and another N639 billion between January and June 2018. It will be recalled that a total of $3 billion was raised through Eurobonds to refinance maturing domestic debt as part of the implementation of the debt management strategy for the purpose of substituting high cost domestic debt with lower cost external debt to reduce debt service costs for the government.

The DG further noted that the implementation of the public debt management strategy to ensure that Nigeria’s debt is sustainable is already yielding positive results.

‘Domestic borrowing already commenced’

The minister told Daily Trust that the borrowing for the 2018 budget will be 50 per cent local and 50 per cent foreign and that the approval for the domestic borrowing was done when the Appropriation Act was passed by the National Assembly.

“We have the approval of the domestic borrowing. It is on-going. But we are not being able to do any foreign borrowing now until we get that extract of the resolution from the National Assembly.

“A request to that effect had been sent to the National Assembly before the commencement of the recent recess.

“I hope now that the Senate will reconvene they will address it, because we have been borrowing and financing the budget locally but we need the foreign borrowing to do the large capital expenditure,” she said.

The minister added that besides the loans, there are other sources of funding the budget such as oil and non-oil revenue and “other revenues from the government-owned enterprises which we classified as independent revenue and then borrowing.”

“So the borrowing is not alone, it also includes the recovery of the looted funds. They are all used as financing options to fund the budget,” she added.

Construction firms warn of poor capital release

Meanwhile, construction companies have warned that poor implementation of the 2018 budget will affect various on-going projects in the country.

The President of the Federation of the Construction Industry (FOCI), Engr. Nasiru A. Dantata, said his members will definitely be affected by late release of 2018 Capex funds for on-going projects.

According to him, the 2017 wonderful releases by the federal government have cleared a lot of the outstanding and his members are confident of same for 2018.

He however raised concern over new projects, noting that any late payment of advance may delay the projects mobilizations. “We are benefitting from the various special funds for key projects. There is an increased confidence with our members in the ability of the Federal Government to perform projects in a more timely manner,” he added.


Politics / 2019: Obasanjo, Defections Can’t Stop Buhari - Tinubu by agwom(m): 4:58am On Aug 15, 2018
The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, yesterday, said he is confident President Muhammadu Buhari will win in 2019.

Tinubu made the statement in Lagos while addressing party members at a stakeholders meeting of the state chapter.

He said the president had acquainted himself as a leader so far despite the challenges of governance.

The APC leader condemned what he called the frequent attacks on the Buhari-led administration by a former President, Olusegun Obasanjo.

Tinubu said the criticisms of Obasanjo were in bad faith, pointing out that he could not stop Nigerians from re-electing the president.

“President Muhammadu Buhari has done well, he deserves another term, and we will support him to win because he is our man.

“Forget about Obasanjo’s letter and his frequent attacks on our president, he cannot stop the president because Nigerians would re-elect him.

“Obasanjo has spent his own time; he should leave Buhari alone and face his business because he cannot tell us who to vote for.

“He is part of some of the challenges we are facing in the country today because he did not lay the right foundation when he was president,” he said.

Tinubu added that the exit of some members from the APC would also not stop the re-election of President Buhari.

The chieftain said the party was unshaken by the defections and was on course to recording victories in the 2019 elections.

Tinubu said the results of the Kogi, Katsina and Bauchi by-elections in which the APC was victorious, were a precursor to the pattern of the general elections.

“I congratulate the winners in the elections, their victory is proof that our party is getting more popular by the day.

“Those who want to defect can defect; that is their problem. APC remains unshaken and these people will know the reality in elections,” he said. He commended the National Chairman of the party, Mr. Adams Oshiomole, saying members were pleased with what he was doing in the party.

He said the direct primary system was good for democracy, and that the party would adopt it to conduct its primaries. Tinubu urged members to play by the rules in electing candidates at the primaries.

He urged the members to mobilse others to obtain their PVCs as that was necessary for victory in 2019.

Meanwhile, there were concerns among political stakeholders who attended the meeting with Tinubu when the deliberation ended without the much expected endorsement of Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode for re-election.



Politics / How Kwankwaso Stashed Kano's $1million In Ukraine — Ganduje by agwom(m): 2:45pm On Aug 14, 2018
Kano state government said it has discovered the sum of over $1 million allegedly paid by former governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso to a university in Ukraine where no Kano state student was studying, reports The Nation.

The senior Special Assistant to Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, on Higher Education, Dr. Hussaini Akilu Jarma, let the cat out of bag, Tuesday, during the inauguration of the State Scholarship Disbursement Committee.

Jarma said the questionable payment was made by Kwankwaso as part of his foreign scholarship programme.

A statement by Abba Anwar, chief press secretary to the Kano state Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje said, “Investigation reveals that a sum of $1,304,618 was abandoned in one University in Ukraine, when the sum was taken there during the last administration in the state.”

“No student was sent to the university at all. The money was sent unattended and un-utilised. We said business should not be as usual anymore,” he added.


Politics / 2019: I Want To Rescue Nigeria From Collapse ― Makarfi by agwom(m): 8:12pm On Aug 13, 2018
The former interim national chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Ahmed Makarfi, in Benin, gave reasons why he is seeking the party's ticket for the 2019 presidential election.

Makarfi who was at the Edo state PDP secretariat to garner support for his presidential ambition told party faithful that he wanted to rescue the country from an imminent collapse.

He told the party supporters which included the chairman. Chief Dan Orbih, Senator Mathew Urhoghide, former Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly, Mr. Friday Itulah and other party heavyweights that the field should be opened to all the aspirants so that the best candidate can emerge.

The ex-governor said experience garnered in running a state like Kaduna which he likened to a mini Nigeria in terms of the ethnic and religious make up will be handy if he clinches the party ticket and eventually wins the election.
Politics / Misau Mocks Presidency, APC: You Should Be Ashamed Of Indicting Buhari by agwom(m): 7:23pm On Aug 13, 2018
Chairman, Senate Committee on Navy, Senator Isa Hamma Misau, has stated that the Presidency should be ashamed that it is pushing the conspiracy script that top officials of the nation’s security apparatus are working for the Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

Reacting to the EFCC statement that debunked the allegations credited to the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Babafemi Ojudu, that the EFCC was working in tandem with Saraki, Misau said that both the APC Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole and Ojudu, were spinning the same conspiracy theory to hide the lack of coordination and discipline amongst the security agencies.

“The EFCC’s statement confirms our immediate reaction that both Ojudu and Oshiomhole have been reading from the same conspiracy script.

“Nigerians find it unthinkable that Magu, that the Senate refused to confirm — whose EFCC has also prosecuted Saraki for over 3 years at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) would now turn around and start working for this same Saraki. How is this possible?

“These people think that they can just wake up, think up conspiracy theories and try to sell it to Nigerians, but the public is smarter and more discerning than their shallow fictitious narratives", the Senator stated.

Misau also stated that the APC and Ojudu should be ashamed of indicting the Presidency in such an explicit fashion.

“In any case, shouldn't they be ashamed to even claim that the entire internal security institutions in the country are working for someone else other than the person that appointed them? “Additionally, at what point did they decipher this? Was it before the siege on the National Assembly or after?

“What this goes to show is that in their desperate bid to blame someone else for their crime and incompetence, these people no longer have a sense of shame,” the Senator said.

Misau further amplified the call for an independent judicial panel of inquiry into the National Assembly siege, stating that any other investigation would be seen as biased and flawed in the eyes of Nigerians and the international community.

“In this regard, we hereby reiterate the call for independent judicial panel of inquiry into the invasion. Any other such investigation into the matter would constitute another attempt by these same people to present a biased perspective to the assault on our nation’s democracy and its highest lawmaking body,” Misau stated.


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Politics / 2019: Why Lamido Deserves To Be PDP Presidential Candidate - Group by agwom(m): 4:41pm On Aug 13, 2018
The Sule Lamido Youth Mobilization of Nigeria (SLYMN) has said the former governor of Jigawa state, Sule Lamido deserved to be presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the forthcoming 2019 election due to his loyalty to the party, credibility and transparency.

The group made the disclosure through its National Coordinator, Abdulhadi Abdullahi Sani (Cokali) in an interview with Daily Trust in Jos on Monday.

Alhaji Sani explained that Lamido deserved to be the PDP presidential candidate for the 2019 because of the way he resisted the temptation of defecting from PDP before and after 2015 elections.

He said, “Lamido stayed in the PDP and built the party and if people like Lamido leave the party all the defectors wouldn’t come back and get a properly structured party.”

The group explained that based on records and history, there was no credible, trustworthy and detribalized presidential aspirant in PDP above Lamido.

He added "When you trace the antecedents and pedigrees of all aspirants that have so far shown their interest to contest under PDP, nobody can match Sule Lamido's integrity, transparency and steadfastness in uniting the party members. Nobody can also say that he was tribalistic" .

The group added that what Lamido did when he was the governor of Jigawa state, infrastructural development, security and health among others were unmatched by the aspirants that have declared their interest so far.

Politics / Re: Lessons For Nigeria:the Story Of United Arab Emirates! by agwom(m): 3:03pm On Aug 13, 2018
Politics / A/ibom Sacks 2 Commissioners Over Akpabio’s Defection by agwom(m): 4:57am On Aug 09, 2018
The Akwa Ibom State Government has sacked the Commissioner for Labour, Productivity and Manpower Development, Ibanga Akpabio and that of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Victor Antai.

Ibanga, a younger brother of Senator Godswill Akpabio and Antai, were among those who received Akpabio from the Ibom International Airport on his arrival in the state for his formal defection from the People’s Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress.

Speaking yesterday in Uyo, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Charles Udoh, said the two commissioners were relieved from their positions over gross misconduct, non-compliance with public service rules and anti-government activities.

The Secretary to the State Government, Emmanuel Ekuwem, said the sack was with immediate effect and the affected persons were directed to handover to the permanent secretary in the ministries before close of work yesterday.

He said: “The State Government has dropped the Commissioner, Ministry of Labour and Productivity, Sir Ibanga Akpabio from the state Executive Council with immediate effect. Sir Ibanga Akpabio had to be removed from the State Executive Council following his reluctance to comply with good governance processes of government.”

Politics / Stop Attacking Buhari, Women Warn Obasanjo by agwom(m): 4:38am On Aug 09, 2018
Hundreds of women yesterday staged a rally in Lagos in support of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

The placard-carrying women stormed the Freedom Park at Ojota, Lagos and specifically asked former President Olusegun Obasanjo to keep quiet and allow Nigeria work.

The event, tagged “The Freedom Rally for One Nigeria” was organized by Africa Women Arise for Change Network.

The placards read: ‘We are for progress and development under President Buhari’, ‘Time for Obj to keep quiet and allow Nigeria Work’, among others.

The group’s executive director, Josephine Okpara said the rally was “to remind us all that we should not allow those who once tried to destroy the country to succeed.”

She said Buhari was bold enough to marshal the political will and determination to break away from the destructive cycle that was once the norm in the land.

She said Buhari’s war against corruption had yielded results as monies were being recovered on a daily basis.

The group slammed Obasanjo for criticizing Buhari, saying the ex-president failed to build systems and tighten robes against corrupt elements.

Okpara said: “We are for progress and development under President Buhari. It is something we want to continue. But unfortunately, those that have truncated the fortunes of the country want to be allowed to keep sabotaging the country.

“Most tragically but unsurprisingly, a former president, Dr. Olusegun Obasanjo, is the arrowhead of this misguided group. He has used the pedestal of the esteemed office he once occupied as a platform to launch attacks on a government that has succeeded in delivering to Nigerians what he failed to deliver in the eight years he led the country and things his party was not been able to deliver in the sixteen years it held Nigeria hostage.

“Had Obasanjo and his party laid the right foundation for Nigeria, the country would by now be past the stage where the present government has to begin building the nation afresh from the ground up.”


Politics / 6 Kano Lawmakers Defect To PDP by agwom(m): 2:22pm On Aug 08, 2018
Six members of Kano State House of Assembly on Wednesday defected from ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The decamped lawmakers are members representing Gwarzo, Gwale, Gezawa, Rogo, Madobi and Bichi local government areas of Kano state.

Details later...



Politics / No Power Tussle Between Buhari And Osinbajo Over Daura Sack — Presidency by agwom(m): 2:00pm On Aug 08, 2018
The Presidency today said there was unanimity on the sack of the Director General of the Department of State Service (DSS), Lawal Daura.

Daura was booted out of office on Tuesday by the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo following the invasion of the National Assembly by the operatives of the DSS. The invasion, according the acting President was done without approval.

Briefing State House Correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, Presidential Spokesperson, Femi Adesina said the," Presidency is one" and that the acting President has all the powers of a President.

Describing the Acting President as a decent man, he said," there is no tussle for power, there is no tough battle between him and the president.

Politics / 2019: Fake News Can Lead To Civil War – Lai Mohammed by agwom(m): 9:38pm On Aug 07, 2018
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has cautioned Nigerians, especially the media against the spread of fake news, saying this could led to civil war.

He spoke on Tuesday in Abuja at a two-day international conference themed “Democracy and Disinformation: How Fake News Threatens our Freedom and Democracy in Nigeria: organised by the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) and MacArthur Foundation.

According to him, fake news is the greatest threat to democracy and security in Nigeria as it played a role in the civil war in the country and that Nigeria could not afford to fall victim to the same circumstances that led to the war.

“The government has been doing its best in educating the public on the dangers of fake news through various avenues. The ongoing infrastructure projects across the country like the agriculture empowerment programs are part of government deliberate effort to stimulate economic growth and create job opportunities. Every one of us must verify information sent to them for authenticity before circulation,” Mohammed said.

Also, the Director-General, National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), Mallam Ishaq Modibbo Kawu, said that the regulation of media stations by the commission was to protect lives and property.

Kawu, who was represented by the Director of Policy and Research in the commission, Mr Mujtaba Sada, said that the regulation was necessary in order to protect citizens from the menace of fake news circulation.

On his part, a Senior Fellow at CDD, Prof. Jibrin Ibrahim, said the conference was meant to strategize on how to protect the future of Nigeria.

He said the conference was also to protect the nation’s democracy against the threat of fake news, as fake news was like a machinery aimed at distorting Nigeria’s election management and the electoral integrity.

He cited many examples of fake news from the social media including the monkey pox scare in 2017, when the army was alleged to be injecting school children with the deadly disease in the South-eastern part of the country.

On her part, the Director of the CDD, Idayat Hassan, said the conference was the culmination of months of research, planning and the realisation that with the upcoming elections, Nigerians must come together, at all levels to deal with the menace of fake news, misinformation and disinformation.

“The experience in the country in the last few weeks is noteworthy. Following the killings of innocent Nigerians in several communities in Barkin Ladi Local Government Area of Plateau State in June this year, the media went agog quoting Mr Danladi Ciroma, a leader of Miyetti Allah in the North-Central, as saying the killings were a retaliation of previous acts of deadly aggression against Fulani residents and pastoralists in the state.

“It was later revealed that the statement credited to him was untrue as there was no evidence to back up the claim. Had Mr Ciroma not cleared the air on this matter promptly, we may not have imagined how it will further damage already battered relationships,” Hassan said.

Politics / You Can’t Impeach Saraki – Senator Danbaba by agwom(m): 1:09pm On Aug 07, 2018
Senator Ibrahim Abdullahi Danbaba representing Sokoto South Senatorial district says they would not regret dumping the APC for PDP as insinuated, just as he warned against attempts to impeach Senate President Bukola Saraki.

“How can you impeach him, you cannot impeach a leader like the Senate President without having 2/3rd, you need 73 senators to be able to impeach him.”

He stressed “The issue is we do not simply allow people to be operating government the way they want, we allow people to operate government based on the rules and provision of the Nigerian constitution.”

Reacting to call by a group for Sokoto Governor Aminu Tambuwal to resign following his defection, he said there was no justification for that.

“He cannot resign because it is not APC alone that gave him the mandate, but the people of Sokoto state,” he asserted.

“The fact is that we contributed to the success of that election so if you want to ask Governor Tambuwal to resign, it means we will go back reflect on what transpired, we have to extract our votes that counted for him to become governor and then add the number of votes that PDP garnered, then the PDP candidate would have been declared the winner of the election.”


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Politics / Re: Akpabio Defection, Big Blow To PDP. by agwom(m): 7:54am On Aug 07, 2018
Politics / APC Leaders’ll Receive Akpabio Tomorrow — Enang by agwom(m): 4:04am On Aug 07, 2018
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senate, Sen. Ita Enang, says the national leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) will be in Akwa Ibom State to formally receive Senator Godswill Akpabio, the Senate Minority Leader, into the ruling party.

Speaking yesterday in Uyo on the rumoured defection of Akpabio, Enang said the National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, the party’s national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, as well as high powered delegation from the presidency would be in Ikot Ekpene tomorrow, Wednesday, to receive Akpabio.

“We are expecting the arrival of the National Chairman, Comrade Oshiomhole, and the leaders of the party led by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and leaders of government from the presidency. The essence is to formally receive Akpabio to APC.

“The leaders of the PDP in the Senate considered the problem in the Senate as not in the national interest and that they should cross to APC to work for the interest of the nation and the president,” Enang said.

The confirmation from Enang has put to rest speculations surrounding the rumoured defection of Akpabio.

When contacted, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said the story remained a rumour until tomorrow when Akpabio defects.

The State Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr Ini Ememobong, said the party could not speculate why Akpabio was leaving the party until he made his reasons known.

Ememobong said: “We cannot speculate why he is leaving the party except a direct testimony from Akpabio because there is no way to decipher the mind’s construction on the face. He must state why, we cannot speculate.”


Politics / Buhari’s Anti-corruption War Now Dead – Timi Frank by agwom(m): 3:52am On Aug 07, 2018
Former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Timi Frank, has described the anti-corruption war by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government as dead.

Frank in a statement in Abuja on Monday, alleged that the All Progressives Congress (APC) has accommodated those it once termed as corrupt and looters of the economy.

"It is now clear that Buhari is not fighting corruption. The President has killed the anti-corruption crusade.

“If not, how do we explain the administration’s open arms reception for defectors from opposition political parties that it hitherto tagged corrupt into the APC?

“They now wine and dine with opposition political party members - both in Nigeria and in diaspora - they have all along termed corrupt in order to reap political benefits from their states of influence during the 2019 elections.

“However, they want unsuspecting Nigerians and members of the international community to believe that the wide scale violation of the fundamental human rights of innocent Nigerians is a sign that the anti-corruption war is being prosecuted in the interest of the country,” he stated.


Politics / Why Buhari Met Akpabio In London by agwom(m): 5:16am On Aug 06, 2018
President Muhammadu Buhari met with the Senate minority leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio in London ahead of the lawmaker’s defection to the All Progressives Congress (APC) from Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Presidency sources told Daily Trust yesterday.

The President met with Akpabio, 48 hours after Vice President Yemi Osinbajo met with him at the Presidential Villa. Daily Trust exclusively reported the Thursday’s meeting of the Vice President with Akpabio.

It was gathered that the meeting of the President and Osinbajo with Akpabio were in connection with the defection of the former Akwa Ibom governor to the APC.

Buhari commenced his 10 days vacation in London on Friday. Our correspondent reports that his meeting with Akpabio was his first public engagement since the commencement of his vacation.

Contacted, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly (Senate), Senator Ita Enang confirmed the president’s meeting with Akpabio.

Enang who is also from Akwa Ibom State, said the meeting held yesterday morning in London and was in connection with the former governor’s defection to APC.

“He has finished the London meeting with the President. He is the minority leader and for someone of his status to come over to your party you need to discuss with him at the highest level,” Enang said in a phone interview.

He said the former governor would be received in Akwa Ibom on Wednesday by Osinbajo and other APC stakeholders.

Our correspondent reports that if Akpabio decamps, he would be the second senator from Akwa Ibom to join APC. In January last year, Senator Nelson Effiong (PDP, Akwa-Ibom South) joined the APC.



Politics / Pressure Mounts On Saraki To Reconvene N/assembly by agwom(m): 5:05am On Aug 06, 2018
Senate President Bukola Saraki is coming under pressure to reconvene the National Assembly to consider President Muhammadu Buhari’s request on the budget for the conduct of 2019 general election, among others.

But lawmakers loyal to Saraki are interpreting the move as a plot to ease him out as Senate President having defected from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The National Assembly had on July 24 embarked on its annual recess which is scheduled to last till September 25.

President Buhari had in a letter dated July 11 requested the approval of the lawmakers for N242bn for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to commence preparations for 2019 general elections. The fund, according to the letter read by Bukola on July 17, should be provided through supplementary or virement.

Leading the call, the Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan, urged his colleagues to reconvene in order to consider the president’s request on INEC budget, saying there was urgent need for the lawmakers to do so.

Also, speaking last night, chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Abdullahi Adamu, said the senators should not have adjourned without considering the president’s request on the election fund.

“Nobody will deny the fact that we have a serious job to do. The president presented the supplementary budget for the forthcoming elections but the leadership deliberately left the request. Something of national interest, they deliberately don’t want to take it because they want to sabotage the government. They brought our recess forward by two days to achieve their plot. Definitely, there is need for us to reconvene to attend to the request. No doubt about that,” he said in a phone interview last night.

Also, a ranking senator told Daily Trust that no matter what Senate President Bukola Saraki tried to do, the Red Chamber must be reconvened and that the Senate President cannot escape removal.

“Not only election fund, there’s the issue of the confirmation of the ICPC nominees, which is key to the fight against corruption of this administration.

“We also have the confirmation of nominees for FERMA and the Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC), Deputy Governor of the Central Bank, National Judicial Commission ‎(NJC), all these are still pending. We’re supposed to consider them, and between now and September 25 is a long time.

“Like that of INEC, it’s very critical because they have to procure some equipment, sensitive and nonsensitive materials ahead of the elections.‎ All these are matters of urgent national importance, unless he’s bent on sabotaging the democracy. If he doesn’t reconvene, we know the action we’ll take.

“They’re talking about constitutional requirement for the impeachment of the Senate President, but we don’t really need that. What we’re going to do is not impeachment but removal. The two are not the same. In the case of impeachment, we need to tell him his offences, but in this case we say we just don’t want him.”

However, a lawmaker, who recently dumped the APC, said the National Assembly did not do anything wrong by going on recess, adding that those calling for it to reconvene have sinister motive.

“It is clear that what they want is leadership change. It is more than just reconvening to consider the election fund. Whatever their plan, we are ready for them,” he said.

Presidency appeals to NASS to reconvene

The Presidency on Sunday also appealed to the National Assembly to reconvene and consider urgent matters pending before it as they may affect the running of Nigeria and matters affecting Nigerians.

The Senior Special Adviser (SSA) to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Sen. Ita Enang, made the appeal at a news conference in Lagos.

“We are appealing to Senate leadership and all caucuses of the National Assembly to see this as a clarion call for the good of the nation.

“As the Liason Officer between the National Assembly and the federal government, I know it is not the intention of the Lawmakers to make Nigerians suffer.

“The National Assembly vacation is usually planned to coincide with school vacations so that members can spend time with their children.

However this is an election year and the budget has just been appended to hence the urgent need to give approval for Supplementary funds for it.

“We are not compelling them, we are appealing to them. As a liaison officer between the Presidency and the National Assembly, my duty is to make sure that both arms stay together and work in harmony,” he said.

‘Saraki can’t prevent sitting’

Meanwhile, a ranking senator has alleged moves by the senate leadership to frustrate access to the upper legislative chamber to prevent possible sitting that could lead to the Senate President’s removal.

The senator also said that the Senate must reconvene before September 25 to attend to some matters of urgent national importance.

“They’re ready to do anything to hold on to power including hiding the keys to the Senate chamber. But what they don’t know is that if we want to remove the man (Saraki), we don’t need to do it inside the chamber.

“We can do it anywhere in Abuja provided we have the symbol of authority, which is the mace,” the senator, who did not want to be named for strategic reasons, said.

When contacted, the Special Adviser to the Senate President on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, declined comment on the matter and referred our correspondent to confirm from the National Assembly management if at all Saraki directed them to hand him over the keys to the Senate chamber.

PDP: APC wants to force Saraki, Ekweremadu out

The PDP said ‎any attempt by the ruling APC to forcefully take control of the National Assembly would lead to crisis and anarchy.

‎The party in a statement last night by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, alleged that there was a grand plan “by the APC and its agents” to forcefully oust the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and his Deputy, Ike Ekweremadu.

‎”Any attempt to tempt the will of the people in this direction is a clear recipe for very serious crisis.

“This caution by the PDP comes against the backdrop of yet another plot by the APC and its agents to flood the National Assembly with armed plain clothed security operatives to compromise the security architecture to enable the forceful takeover of the leadership of the Senate by minority APC senators.

“The laid down rules for reconvening the Senate whenever it is on recess, which must be followed when it becomes compelling to reopen the senate on a date order than the earlier adjourned date, are clear and direct.

“In such a circumstance, Order 12(2) of the Senate Standing Rule (2015) clearly vest such powers and functions on the Senate President, who shall give notice of such new date and time.

“Anything outside the provision of the law is a direct coup not only against the National Assembly but also on our entire democratic system.

“It is a clear recipe for anarchy of monumental proportion capable of disarticulating our nation,” the party said.


Politics / Re: Lawyers Speak On Legality Of Saraki’s Defection by agwom(m): 7:35am On Aug 01, 2018
Politics / Re: Defection: APC Suffers Huge Losses by agwom(m): 7:34am On Aug 01, 2018
Politics / Re: We Must Flush Out Buhari For A Secure And Prosperous Nigeria – Lamido by agwom(m): 7:31am On Aug 01, 2018
Politics / Niger Delta Group Endorses Buhari’s Second Term Bid by agwom(m): 5:56am On Aug 01, 2018
A group, Niger Delta Youths, Women and Security Movement for Buhari (NDYW&SMB), said yesterday that its support for the second term bid of President Muhammadu Buhari is hinged on the peace and development being sustained by the APC administration in the Niger Delta region.

The president of the group, Mr Felix Ubokan, who stated this in a statement, said their support for Buhari was not for selfish or political reasons, stressing that they trusted the president and believed in the commitment he made to provide basic social amenities in an atmosphere of peace and dialogue devoid of militancy.

“We know this administration has words of hope for the region; our people are patiently expecting its materialization. We have made our people to appreciate the fact that any government on board is ours to support and there is no government without good plans and programmes for its citizens,” Ubokan said.

The Niger Delta activist also decried activities of some politicians who were allegedly promoting violence by forming militant organisations “in order to destabilise the region for personal gains and to bring the Buhari administration to its knees.”

“The only way we can get what we want is by supporting this government to ensure there is peace in the region. It is only in an atmosphere of peace that good governance, political stability and economic prosperity can thrive,” he said.


Politics / Re: BREAKING: Deputy Senate President Ekweremadu In EFCC Custody by agwom(m): 4:34pm On Jul 31, 2018

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