IBB Advises Muslims On Proper Conduct In Holy Month

Former military president, Ibrahim Babangida, on Thursday enjoined Muslims to conduct themselves well during the holy month, to maximise the

Former military president, Ibrahim Babangida, on Thursday enjoined Muslims to conduct themselves well during the holy month, to maximise the spiritual and physical benefits inherent in the fasting period.

Babangida made the appeal in a statement on Thursday in Minna.

“I join all to congratulate Muslims in Nigeria and across the world for seeing yet another Ramadan month.

“It brings to note the transient nature of the world, with the realisation that some people we observed the month with last year and many years back are no longer there this year.

“So, we have this and many more reasons to thank Allah (SWT) for His mercy to be alive, to witness this holy month.

“We are no doubt faced with various challenges at personal and national levels; but we are always strong and believing in divine intervention to always take us through the right path with prayers, to find solutions to our challenges.”

“I enjoin Muslim Ummah and scholars to pray and preach, so that all Muslims will, in this month, accord Ramadan as an important pillar of Islam with the needed devotion for the good of the religion, humanity and the society at large,” IBB said.

 

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Nobody Gives Me Credit For Conducting Nigeria’s Freest Election – IBB

General Ibrahim Babangida   Nigeria’s former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida (Rtd), cares to know the real reason why the

Nobody Gives Me Credit For Conducting Nigeria's Freest Election – IBB
General Ibrahim Babangida

 

Nigeria’s former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida (Rtd), cares to know the real reason why the presidential election conducted in 1993 was annulled, or give him credit for how fair the poll was.

General Babangida said this during an exclusive interview on Roadmap 2019, a Channels Television programme that aired on Monday.

READ ALSO: IBB Asks FG To Use Psychological Approach Against Insurgency

The late Moshood Abiola, a philanthropist and successful businessman, had won the election which was later cancelled by the then military junta headed by General Babangida.

The poll, which was adjudged as one of the freest and fairest in Nigeria’s democratic history, was the first presidential election held in Nigeria since 1983 when the military took power in a coup.

The late MKO Abiola of the then Social Democratic Party (SDP) had defeated Bashir Tofa of the defunct National Republican Convention (NCP).

Twenty-five years later, General Babangida was displeased that despite explaining why the June 12 election was cancelled, nobody cared to listen to him.

He said he had a good relationship with the presumed winner of the election whom he said they had communicated at different occasions.

“Nobody has ever sat down to say the two persons are friends, what went wrong? We tried to rationalise why we had to do what we did but nobody is prepared to listen to us,” the elder statesman said.

“I have never seen anybody write anything on this to try to give people a different version altogether. He (Abiola) knew my feeling; I knew his feeling about the country generally because I do talk about Nigeria with the presumed winner of the truly democratically freest election. We even talked about it during the crisis itself.”

Babangida stressed further that the election was widely accepted to be the freest in the history of Nigeria, but he has yet to get a credit for conducting the poll.

He decried that Nigerians were instead interested in ‘he cancelled the freest election, noting that he loved being criticised.

On whether is he is planning to write an autobiography, the former military president said, “People may not read it because it’s coming from a dictator. Yea, he cancelled June 12 and that will kill the thing about the book, but I will try.

“I hope one day if God spares my life I will discuss about it (June 12 elections) because I still believe people don’t get what we were trying to put across.”

The post Nobody Gives Me Credit For Conducting Nigeria’s Freest Election – IBB appeared first on Channels Television.




PDP National Working Committee meets IBB in Minna

John Adams, Minna Members of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP (PDP) national working committee, led by the National Chairman Prince

John Adams, Minna

Members of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP (PDP) national working committee, led by the National Chairman Prince Uche Secondus on Monday in Minna, the Niger State capital, met with former military president General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida at his hilltop mansion.

The delegation was also at the residence of a former member of the Board of Trustees of the party and late governor of Niger state Alhaji Abdulkhadir Abdullahi Kure.

Other members of the PDP in the entourage included National Publicity Secretary Kola Ologbodinyan, National Financial Secretary Alhaji Abdullahi Maibasira, and the National Woman Leader.

The team arrived at the Minna airport via a chartered flight and were driven in about four vehicles to the residence of the retired General and former military head of state.

The delegation was led IBB’s residence by the former State Governor Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, and met at a closed door meeting with the former military president.

All members of the Niger State working committee of the main opposition party, led by the chairman Alhaji Tanko Beji, were also in attendance.

General Babangida was reported to have commended the work the NWC had been doing since getting into office, especially in the area of reconciling aggrieved members of the party ahead the 2019 General Elections.

According to a source close to the meeting, the former military president said that with the efforts being put into the management of the party at all levels, it should record success in next year’s election.

Chief Secondus, according to an insider, briefed general Babangida about developments in the party and the plans for the Osun and Ekiti states governorship election.

The NWC members also visited the residence of late Governor Abdulkhadir Kure, where they condoled with Senator Zaynab Kuey, the widow of the late Board of Trustees member.

The chairman assured Senator Zaynab Kure “that we are always with you,” before appreciating the role her late husband and herself had played in the shaping the PDP.

Afterwards, the visiting delegation left the Kure residence for the airport for the return trip to Abuja.

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Babangida drums support for SDP, Falae, urges Nigerians to get behind party

John Adams, Minna In what could be described as a formal endorsement, Nigeria’s former military president, Ibrahim Babangida, has urged women

John Adams, Minna

In what could be described as a formal endorsement, Nigeria’s former military president, Ibrahim Babangida, has urged women and youths in the country to rally behind the Chief Olu Falae led Social Democratic Party (SDP) for the 2019 General Elections.

General Babangida made the call in Minna on Saturday when the national leadership of the party, led by its national chairman, Chief Olu Falae, visited the ex-head of state at his hilltop mansion.

“If I hadn’t being too old, I would have loved to join the youth vanguard of your party,” said IBB, continuing that “I have faith in the political party for what it is and what it stands for.

“When I heard in the news that a party has come on board, the first thing that occurred to me was that the name sounds familiar. So I made a decision that I will wait and see how it plays out. I was looking at how the SDP will populate itself. And then the next pleasing thing that I heard was that it has people like Olu Falae, Professor Jerry Gana, Professor Adeniran.

“After that I said this party is real, because most of the names are names that I have known and I have worked with for the sake of this country. So I said the party is smart to convince all these gentlemen to come and join it.

“That was why I did not hesitate to give direction to those who to came me to seek advice on which direction to go.”

Babangida pointed out that the vision he had for the country was the same vision that shared by those driving the party, adding that, “the security and wellbeing of Nigerians is very important and you have identified this in your programme, so Nigerians must rally round you and support you to ensure that this is realizable.”

The former military ruler went on to commend the party, saying: “I know it can be done, I have never said this to any political party before, but I can tell you that the party has people who have contributed a lot to this country, people whose contributions to Nigeria is legendary; and what you have put ahead of you is what this country needs.

“I remember when Jerry Gana was the Chairman of MAMSA, one of the primary things he was doing was to educate the ordinary person. The level of awareness then was not as high as it is now, so you should take advantage of the digital age now and pass a lot of information to the young men and women of this country because they form over 65% of the population; and if you succeed in doing that I think it will be better for this country.”

“So I call on all the younger generation, including Nigerian women, to rally behind SDP because it is populated by men of integrity, men who when they work, they work well, when they speak, they speak well,” Babangida said.

While emphasizing the importance of security to the overall development of the country, IBB congratulated Chief Olu Falae for coming out of his abduction ordeal alive, saying: “I want to say that God has kept you for a purpose. You now know how important security is because you were kidnapped.

The retired General advised Falae to “remain firm in this your project because the country has a lot to benefit from you.

“The people are willing and ready to follow whoever is going to lead them aright, and I am sure your leadership of the party is going to do that.”

Babangida also advised the leadership of the party to, as a matter of necessity, make its manifesto public to Nigerians so that they can be held accountable.

“You must tell Nigerians what you intend to do for them because this is very important. The people must know if we vote SDP what do we expect so that it become politics of issues not politics of insult and name calling,” he said.

Earlier, the national chairman of the party, Chief Olu Falae, explained General Babangida that the leadership of the SDP were in his house as part of nationwide consultations, part of which was to brief him on the activities of the party and to equally solicit for his support and counsel.

Falae said he decided to come to Minna with the party leadership as its first port of call as a mark of respect because Babangida brought him into political limelight 32 years ago when he appointed him Secretary to the Government of the Federation, and since then he has remained active in national politics.

“32 years and four months ago, I had the privilege of sitting with President Babangida for the first time in Council Chamber at the Dodan Barracks, Lagos,” Falae recalled.

“That was when he appointed me Secretary to the Federal Government and, to me, that was the day he me recruited into politics

“So, Babangida recruited me into politics 32 years ago and he didn’t know it was going be permanent because I thought at the end of my tenure, I will return to my banking industry at Broad Street in Lagos. But that was not to be. Till today I am still in politics,” he said.

Chief Falae told his host that the SDP was child of necessity, born out of the desire to rescue the country from its present troubles in every sphere of life.

“When I was approached to accept all the progressives who have been frustrated from different political parties to come together to form a formidable team to rescue Nigeria, I readily agreed because this country must be rescued from the present state of corruption and impunity,” Falae stressed.

He described as unacceptable the killings of Nigerians by rogue Fulani Herdsmen across the country, pointing out that any government that failed to provide security for its people is a failed government.

“I am sure you must have heard and read about the killings by the cattle herdsmen and what they did to me. When I was kidnapped, I was machetes all over my body and for four days I was sleeping in the bush. But I thank God I came out because I believed that I am serving a living God,” said Falae, recalling his high-profile abduction.

“The current situation is not good enough for this country. I know when I was growing up as a child, the Fulani herdsmen mingled with our people as they grazed and there was no problem at all, so why now?

“Since this present government came on board, the herdsmen seem to think that they now own Nigeria, and it is a lie. Their arms must be taken away from them, their minds must be disabused and, while doing that, provisions must be made for them to be able to do their business legitimately so that the rest of us can also do our farming business as well, because both agriculture and animal husbandry are good for the country’s economy.

“Nigeria as a country is passing through a terrible time, the present government talks about fighting corruption all the time but corruption today is worse than it was in the immediate past,” said Falae.

“When SDP takes over the government in 2019, by the grace of God, we will reduce corruption to the nearest minimum. If I am preaching against corruption and I am stealing money, people will not follow my example. But if I am totally committed to fighting corruption without bias, people will surely take me seriously. Corruption can be fought if we, the leaders, genuinely embrace transparency not what we are seeing today,” he concluded.

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OBJ, IBB, Danjuma, and the rest of us

Three fabulously wealthy retired generals, two of them, former heads of state and one, a former defence minister are visibly

Three fabulously wealthy retired generals, two of them, former heads of state and one, a former defence minister are visibly agitated and even on the loose. The latest and the most incendiary is the outburst of retired General Theophilus Danjuma, who struck unfathomable person fortune when he sold an oil well for nearly US$2billion.

There is no comparable fortunate retired General in the world, who got such breathtaking state hampers as oil field, and exploded in wealth without consumerate drop of sweat.

Talking about why headsmen and farmers are in murderous encounter over depleting resource, the state’s art of parceling out of common national patrimony to very few tiny elites, account for one of the remote causes of the widening and terrific conflicts in which the toxic contradiction of peoples ever growing needs meets with shrinking opportunities.

Danjuma at a convocation ceremony of Taraba State University lashed out the army, which President Muhammadu Buhari is the current Commander-in-Chief as criminally colluding with murderous marauders to attack helpless communities, decimating their population and pillaging their properties. He calls on Nigerians not to place their security in the constituted authority of a government they freely elected but to rise in self-defence against maunders and their military backers.

Coming soon after the copious letter of former President and retired army General Olusegun Obasanjo, who owns billions of naira worth of private university and presidential library, in which he accused the government of incompetence and feeble anti-corruption war, followed by half-hearted and unsolicited counsel of former president, Ibrahim Babangida to President Buhari to forfeit any second term ambition, the impression cannot be lost in any discerning and fairly intelligible quarter, that the inordinate tantrums the retired soldiers dressed up as patriotic outrage is more than what meets the eye. When did they actually began to care or is Nigeria’s characteristic periodic and exponential upheavals, for which they have been collectively and even privately privy to, a new phenomenon? Is the state of affairs of a weak state and dysfunctional institutions, toiled to perpetuate influence peddling and power-grab not the crucible of  a prebendal polity and socio-economic system, benefiting men of power, money influence, even when they have exited formal state apparatus? Has the edifice of a rigged structure designed to be manipulated from outside under threat and has the influence peddling maneuvers of retired General, on state authority under threat.

If President Buhari is eventually disrupting and dismantling paternalistic structure of the state, in which a tiny elite exercise a disproportionate suzerainty over it, to its benefit and allied surrogates to the exclusion of the majority of Nigerians, then a backlash of coordinated outbursts is only to be expected and is even welcome.

Both presidents Obasanjo and Babagida helped entrench fragile state structure, and weak public institutions, reinforced by elite impunity, lawlessness and corruption that is at the root of contemporary Nigeria’s challenge.

Having established the corrosive network through which the state is rendered hollow and vulnerable to insidious manipulations by handful of elites, from where they thrive and enjoy questionable appellations of “statesmen”, any prospective disruption of the informal network of state control would naturally draw the ire of the “big men” who have enjoyed the status of a state within state.

The open revolt of Nigeria’s rich retired army Generals whose personal fortunes are way beyond the imaginations of their peers around world, calls for sober reflection within intelligible quarters and not the mere partisan roars of many commentators.

Against their own records in office, what is the current government doing so incompetently that could draw their irate backlash? Former President Obasanjo enjoyed rare goodwill of a national consensus that followed the anger of General Babaginda’s questionable and endless transition to civil rule. Basking in the rare national unanimity of an elected civil administration, former President Obasanjo has the unique privilege to turn such goodwill into credible institutional process of state building. He bucked the party that brought him into office, grossly undermined state institutions and fostered surrogacy through planting minions accountable only to him and to not formal institutions of state.  He oversaw the largest turnover of the leadership of National Assembly, as he cherry picked the most malleable and pliable. President Buhari even against the prodding of his party and associates rejected meddling in the leadership of National Assembly, allowing the institution to sort out its leadership question. Ganging up against the current administration with open incitement to rebellion against it, the Generals are on a dangerous adventure. General Danjuma’s charge of a security breakdown which he alleged that the military colludes with criminal marauders to perpetuate murder and pillage against Nigerians is hot air and a mere smokescreen to hide deeper antipathy. For President Obasanjo, the latest outburst of an incompetence and even Babangida feeble attempt to put the Buhari regime to a corner are willful orchestrated outrage designed to bring the regime to an informal negotiating table of keeping alive the informal back channel through which Nigeria has been run aground that paved the way for its numerous crises. President Buhari must refuse to oblige them.

The Buhari administrations have undoubtedly numerous self-inflicted problems, but the wolf-cry of Obasanjo, Danjuma and Babangida are national distractions, that the country cannot afford. But President Buhari must be alive to his responsibility especially in drawing the line where free speech begins and outright incitement to anarchy begins and not mistake one for another, before it is too late.

Former French President Nicholas Sarkozy has just answered questions about his possible infractions of the law, while in office, and his Nigerian counterparts should not  be held no less accountable.

 

  • Onunaiju is journalist based in Abuja.

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2019: Buhari ‘ll defeat Obasanjo, IBB, others, says Presidency

Should President Muhammadu contest in 2019, he will defeat the former leaders who are asking him not to seek reelection,

‘Buhari, Masari deserves second term’

Should President Muhammadu contest in 2019, he will defeat the former leaders who are asking him not to seek reelection, presidential spokesman Garba Shehu said yesterday.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and General Ibrahim Babangida (retd.) have advised the President not to seek reelection.

Obasanjo has launched the Coalition for Nigeria Movement (CNM), which he described as a third force to the two dominant parties – the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Although the President has not declared his intention to contest, but the popular thinking is that he will.

Shenu, fielding questions from reporters yesterday, said the President “richly deserves a second term in office.”

He added that rather than asking Buhari not to contest in 2019, the former leaders should contest against him next year.

“My response to them is that if they like they can come and contest against President Buhari. He will defeat them, all of them,” Shehu said

On the belief by some Nigerians that President Buhari should not be talking of re contesting when there is hunger in the land, he said: “With all the noise the PDP is making, even during their tenure, did they give breakfast, lunch and dinner to every citizen? Is there any country in which someone does not go hungry?

“I am not saying it is perfectly in order but they are just politicising these issues. This is a government that has removed this country from the shame of food importation.

Every state of the country now is into rice production, and we are feeding not only Nigeria but West Africa.

“And the government is working on having respectable prices for food items,food inflation is coming down grossly. Everyone complaining of hunger should go and work. And you know that this is the only government that has introduced social investment schemes.  We pay out now for the poorest of the poor; the least they wll get is N5,000.and a lot of these jobs that are being created are from loans with little or no interest from the Central Bank, Bank of industry, Banks of Agriculture, Development Bank  and the rest.

“So, there is a lot going for people who really want to go out there to work, especially in agriculture.”

Shehu also faulted those saying it was a weakness for the President not to be able reshuffle his cabinet since 2015.

He said: “The President is the one who wears the shoes; he knows where it pinches. If the President hasn’t sacked his ministers, it means that he wants to continue to work with them.

“Maybe those agitating for the sack of the ministers are also looking for a chance to come in to replace those who are there, in that case, then they are driven by selfish motive.

“As President and commander-in-chief, he reserves the right to hire and fire. The fact that he hasn’t done that does not mean that he does not have the power to do that. I am sure if he wants do it, he will do it at his own pace and time but people who want to become ministers, how many minister can we even appoint in this country?

“I think people should just be busy; let them go and start farming instead of sitting down to speculate whether they can be made minister or not.”

Shehu rated the administration high on infrastructural development.

According to him, no past administration invested so much in capital projects like this.

“From day one when he took power, the President gave a target of not less than 30 per cent of annual appropriation devoted to infrastructure development. Without infrastructure we cannot lay the foundation for growth.

“When this administration came to power, between 95 and 96 per cent of public expenditure was going into overhead cost, leaving only about five or six per cent for infrastructure. The allocation of 30 per cent under this administration has led to tremendous  improvement in the provision of infrastructure so far  in the country. Now there is a lot of work going on, building new rail lines and the rehabilitation of the old rail system networks. Roads are being done all across the country, you only need to drive around to see for yourself.

“The amount of work this administration has done on roads, like the expressway from Enugu to Port Harcout, has not been done in the eight years of previous administrations. We are hoping that within this year before the next election Lagos -Ibadan will be completed. It’s a lot of money; we are doing it. Government is laying the sod now for the construction of a six lane road from Abuja to Kano.

“So there is so much that is going on in terms of that. We are doing power; you know that this administration has doubled availability of power in the country. When we came in, it stood at about 3,000 megawatts. We have hit 7,000 megawatts and we are doing more. So it depends on what you are looking at.

“This is a government that has spent N1.3 trillion  in capital expenses under 2016 budget and has also spent as much as that under the 2017 budget and it’s almost closing on records for last year which was N1.3 trillion,” he said

Asked if the farmers/ herders crises had not rubbished the administration’s goal of securing lives and properties, Shehu said “The problem between farmers and herdsmen predate the independence of Nigeria; if you read history you will see that farmers and herdsmen had fought for space in this country; even when British colonial rulers were here. So, this is not something new.

“I am not saying it is welcome but I think it is over amplified now. There is a media spotlight on it because the opposition cannot engage Buhari administration on any other issue other than this lacuna that they have found.

“They cannot discuss the war against corruption because that’s a very uncomfortable area for them. They don’t want to discuss issues of infrastructure with Buhari; they don’t want to discuss economic diversification in which this administration has achieved a lot of success. Today we have 12 million rice farmers in this country; six million new jobs are being created in other sectors by agriculture alone, food import has gone down by 95 per cent, we are feeding ourselves.

“This year the government is planning a ban on rice importation. So we are doing so well moving from over reliance on oil to Agriculture and manufacturing.

“Therefore, I am not saying that it is okay that the farmers and herdsmen are fighting but we are doing a lot. You can see that the recent activity, especially the military operation now in the North Central section of the country, has led to the recoveries of large quantities of weapon illegally held by militias and even herdsmen.

“So something is being done about it. I know by the time this is done with, I don’t know what else the opposition will be talking about.” he said

Speaking on the assertion in the social media that President Buhari is shielding herdsmen from prosecution and begging them to accept amnesty, he said: “Well, I hope you also realise that the social media has brought a lot of good things to the world and it has also brought a lot of problems not only in Nigeria but everywhere in the world.

“Nations of the world are talking about regulations and control. This is happening in Germany, in the UK even the US you see that a lot these technology companies are being fined for infringements that they cause.

“It’s always been heard that the default position of the social media itself is to be negative, so people have turned out to ignore grand reality and project images that are very negative. Otherwise, I wonder , this is an administration that has done extremely well and to a President who has sworn to an oath to defend the constitution and protect every life and property, it is very unfair and uncharitable to say that he will shield anybody, and, in any case, the President controls only one layer of authority; what are the governors doing, is the social media also saying that the governors are protecting the herdsmen from the law, are they saying the local governments are also protecting them?

“You see, it has to take everyone at various levels of authority to shield somebody from the law in those circumstances, and the President himself, his passion is for the country, this is a President whose passion is not even for the office, even when everyone is asking him to go for a second term he is keeping quiet because his focus remains the nation and the problem of the country.

“Whoever is peddling these rumours that Boko Haram is being granted amnesty and so on I would ask them, who doesn’t want to make peace with the enemy? In any case as it is proverbially said, all wars end up in the boardroom. You can defeat people technically in the field but at the end you must come to the conference room to resolve all issues.

“So, if Boko Haram would lay down their arms and stop fighting and stop preaching that negative ideology, the country should be able to embrace them, welcome all of them so that they continue to live normal lives and be useful to the nation.

“What that means is that we will be saving cost, saving lives that are being lost through bombing, killing of service personnel and we will be saving money that we are using to procure weapons so that such money can go into services and infrastructure and welfare of the citizens of this country. It is a win -win situation,” he said.

 

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2019: Buhari will defeat Obasanjo, IBB, others, says Garba Shehu

The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari, Garba Shehu, has said that Buhari will defeat all the former Presidents

Buhari

The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari, Garba Shehu, has said that Buhari will defeat all the former Presidents and heads of state, who recently asked him (Buhari) not to re-contest in in a presidential election.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and General Ibrahim Babangida, are among Nigerians who have told Buhari to forget recontesting the number one seat next year.

Garba Shehu, who said that Buhari richly deserves a second term in office, said that rather than asking Buhari not to contest in 2019, the former leaders should come out and contest against Buhari next year.

Reacting to the call by the former leaders urging Buhari not to contest, Garba Shehu said “My response to them is that if they like they can come and contest against President Buhari. He will defeat them, all of them.”

On the belief by some Nigerians that President Buhari should not be talking of recontesting when there is hunger in the land, he said “With all the noise the PDP is making, even during their tenure as President did they give breakfast lunch and dinner to every citizen? Is there any country in which someone does not go hungry?

“I am not saying it is perfectly in order but they are just politicizing these issues. This is a government that has removed this country from the shame of food importation, every state of the country now is into rice production, and we are feeding not only Nigeria but west Africa.

“And the government is working on having respectable prices for food items, food inflation is coming down grossly. Everyone complaining of hunger should go and work. And you know that this is the only government that has introduced social investment schemes, we pay out now for the poorest of the poor, the least they will get is N5,000.and a lot of these job that are been created are from loans with little or no interest from the central bank, Bank of industry, Banks of Agriculture, Development Bank  and the rest.

“So there is a lot going for people who really want to go out there to work especially in Agriculture.”

He also faulted those Nigerians who believed that it was a weakness for  the President not to be able reshuffle his cabinet members since 2015.

He said “The President is the one who wears the shoes, he know where it pinches. if the president hasn’t sack his ministers, it means that he wants to continue to work with them.

“Maybe those agitating for the sack of the ministers are also looking for a chance to come in to replace those who are there, in that case then they are driven by selfish motive.

“As president and commander in chief he reserves the right to hire and fire. for the fact that he hasn’t done that does not mean that he does not have the power to do that. I am sure if he wants do it, he will do it at his own pace and time but people who want to become ministers, how  many minister can we even appoint in this country?

“I think people should just be busy let them go and start farming instead of sitting down to speculate whether they can be made minister or not.” he said

Mallam Shehu also rated the administration high on infrastructural development.

According to him, no past administration has invested so much in capital projects like the current administration.

He said “Thank you for this opportunity and I want to say that  the records are there for everyone to see that no government, no past administration in Nigeria has invested as much as we have done or let me say we are currently doing in infrastructure development.

“From day one when he took power, the president gave a target of not less than 30% of annual appropriation devoted to infrastructure development. Without infrastructure we can not lay the foundation for growth.

“When this administration came to power, between 95 and 96 percent of public expenditure was going into overhead cost leaving only about 5 or 6 percent for infrastructure. The allocation of 30 percent under this administration has led to tremendous  improvement in the provision of infrastructure so far  in the country. Now there is a lot of work going on, building new rail lines and the rehabilitation of the old rail system networks, roads are been done all across the country, you only need to drive around to see for yourself.

“The amount of work this administration has done on Roads I.e the expressway from Enugu to PortHarcout has not been done in the 8 years of the previous administrations. We are hoping that within this year before the next election Lagos -Ibadan will be completed, it’s a lot of money, we are doing it Government is laying the sod now for the construction of a 6 lane road from Abuja to Kano.

“So there is so much that is going on in terms of that. We are doing power, you know that this administration has doubled availability of power in the country when we came in its stood at about 3,000 MWatts, we have hit 7,000 MWatts and we are doing more so it depends on what you are looking at.

“This is a government that has spent N1.3 Trillion  In capital expenses under 2016 Budget and has also spent as much as that under the 2017 budget and it’s almost closing on records for last year which was N1.3 Trillion.” he said

Asked if the farmers/ herders crises have not rubbished the administration’s goal of securing lives and properties, he said “The problem between farmers and Herdsmen predates the independence of Nigeria, if you read history you will see that farmers and herdsmen had fought for space in this country even British colonial rulers were here so this is not something new.

“I am not saying it is welcome but I think it is over amplified now, there is a media spotlight on it because the opposition cannot engage Buhari administration on any other issue other than this lacuna that they have found.

“They cannot discuss the war against corruption because that’s a very uncomfortable area for them, they don’t want to discuss issues of infrastructure with Buhari, they don’t want to discuss economic diversification which this administration has achieved a lot of success, today we have 12 million Rice farmers in this country, 6 million new jobs are been created in other sector by Agriculture alone, food import has gone down by 95 Percent, we are feeding ourselves.

“This year the government is planning a ban on rice importation. So we are doing so well moving from over reliance on oil to Agriculture and manufacturing.

“Therefore, I am not saying that it is okay that the farmers and herdsmen are fighting but we are doing a lot. You can see that the recent activity especially the military operation now in the North Central Section of the country has led to the recoveries of large quantities of weapon illegally held by militias and even herdsmen.

“So something is being done about it. I know by the time this is done with, I don’t know what else the opposition will be talking about.” he said

Speaking on the assertion in the social media that President Buhari is shielding herdsmen from prosecution and begging them to accept amnesty, he said “Well, I hope you also realize that the social media has brought a lot of good things to the world and it has also brought a lot of problems not only in Nigeria but everywhere in the world.

“Nations of the world are talking about regulations and control, this is happening in Germany in the UK even the US you see that a lot these technology companies are been fined for infringements that they cause.

“The thing is that there is a tendency to see things from a negative point of view when your point of view is shaped and colored by the social media

“It’s always been heard that the default position of the social media itself is to be negative, so people have turned out to ignore grand reality and project images that are very negative. Otherwise I wonder , this is an administration that has done so so extremely well and to a president who has sworn to an oath to defend the constitution and protect every life and property, it is very unfair and uncharitable to say that he will shield anybody, and In any case, the president controls only one layer of authority, what are the governors doing, is the social media also saying that the governors are protecting the herdsmen from the law, are they saying the local government are also protecting them?

“You see it has to take everyone at various levels of authority to shield somebody from the law in those circumstances, and the president himself, his passion is for the country, this is a president whose passion is not even for the office, even when everyone is asking him to go for a second term he is keeping quiet because his focus remains the nation and the problem of the country.

“Whoever is peddling these rumours that Boko Haram is being granted amnesty and so on I would ask them who doesn’t want to make peace with the enemy? In any case as it is proverbially said all wars end up in the Boardroom. You can defeat people technically in the field but at the end you must come to the conference room to resolve all issues.

“So if Boko Haram would lay down their arms and stop fighting and stop preaching that negative ideology , the country should be able to embrace them welcome all of them so that they continue to live normal lives and be useful to the nation.

“What that mean is that we will be saving cost, saving lives that are being lost through bombing, killing of service personnel and we will be saving money that we are using to procure weapons so that such money can go into services and infrastructure and welfare of the citizens of this country. It is a win -win situation.” he stated

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Secondus speaks on Obasanjo, IBB, Danjuma’s comments about Buhari’s govt

National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Prince Uche Secondus has charged leaders in the country to stand up

National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Prince Uche Secondus has charged leaders in the country to stand up for the truth and save Nigeria from the President Muhammadu Buhari government.

He specifically commended elder statesmen like former presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Ibrahim Babangida and former Minister of Defence, General Theophilus Danjuma (retd) for “saying the truth about the state of the nation”.

Secondus, in his Easter message on Friday, said: “Indicators are apparent that the country is under siege and Nigerians should use this solemn period of Easter to pray for God to intervene and raise good leaders for the country.”

He advised the APC-led federal government to imbibe the spirit of tolerance and shun all undemocratic tendencies that heighten tension in the land.

Secondus, however, charged Christians to see the Easter festivities which also marks the end of the 40 days special fasting and prayers as an ample period for positive attitude to one another.

He assured Nigerians that the new PDP that would emerge after reformation is going to take the country to the next level having been equipped with the requisite experience.

The PDP chairman admonished Nigerian leaders to take in the lessons of Easter and allow it influence their conducts, especially as it concerns the less privileged in the society.

Secondus wished all Nigerians a very happy Easter celebration as he urged them to live in peace with one another.

SDP speaks on ‘involvement’ of Obasanjo, IBB, Jonathan, vows to shock APC, PDP

Shehu Musa Gabam, national secretary of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) says the party is keen on upstaging the All

Shehu Musa Gabam, national secretary of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) says the party is keen on upstaging the All progressives Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) before the 2019 elections.

The one-time deputy director-general of the Atiku Presidential Campaign Organisation said the country needs to be rescued from the two parties.

“The APC has messed up the process, shown lack of competence and knowledge of Nigeria. It has shown elements of nepotism and ineptitude in managing the affairs of Nigeria”, he told Daily Trust.

“The PDP has continued to behave with arrogance and disrespect to its own dos and don’ts, and some of us who founded the PDP on the basis of conviction and consolidation to the Nigerian nation believe that the country needs to be rescued.

“We believe that we can put our hands together and bring a platform that can rescue Nigeria. We didn’t go into the APC. Assuming we were looking for power or money, we would have gone into the APC.

“We want to rescue the system once again. So we are a platform that is credible and well known. The SDP is a household name in virtually every community to champion the course of democracy and rescue people who are stranded in the PDP and the APC. That is the fundamental reason all of us came together.

Reminded that he once worked for former head of state, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB) and if it was an indication of the latter’s involvement in SDP, Gabam replied: “What you need to know is that after the convention, we have been consulting, meeting different leaders, including IBB and Olusegun Obasanjo.

“Even before Obasanjo’s letter to President Buhari and that of IBB, we had gone far with our consultations. Virtually all leaders were consulted to say we need a new platform.

“(Ex-President) Jonathan was consulted. He was aware of what was going on because so many people from him were part of the consultation team that went round.

“So in terms of whether IBB is part of us or not; it is neither here nor there. He is not an active politician now, but he is a father figure. He can advise both parties. But the good thing is that he knows where we are and we have his blessings and the blessings of all other senior Nigerian citizens.

“The fact of the matter is that it is not a personal thing; it is a national thing, so we are not doing it for our own personal interest. It is in the interest of every citizen of Nigeria. So that is what it is.

“For us, we will feel happy that all of them are part and parcel of this fight again. They added a lot of value to the PDP, and again, if they have anything to contribute to the new development, we will be happy.”

Iwuanyanwu Commends IBB, Soyinka On Establishment Of FRSC

Chairman and Founder of the Iwuanyanwu Foundation, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, yesterday commended former military president, Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (rtd)

Chairman and Founder of the Iwuanyanwu Foundation, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, yesterday commended former military president, Gen. Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (rtd) and Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka for establishing the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC).

Addressing students and other guests when an orphan, Master Isiting Edet Samuel Eta, was awarded a scholarship from secondary school to the university level by the Iwuanyanwu National Ambulance Scheme, a sister organization of the Foundation, Iwuanyanwu commended the ingenuity of Soyinka who birthed the FRSC idea in Nigeria.

Eta who is presently an SS3 student from Government Secondary School, Wuye, Abuja was given the scolarship during the maiden edition of the Federal Road Safety Corps, (FRSC) Inter Secondary School debate competition organized in collaboration with Iwuanyanwu Scheme in Abuja yesterday.

The event also featured an intellectual drill with the participation of 8 schools within the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.

Specifically, the students were drilled on the basic knowledge of safety.

The drill was part of the strategies to further reduce road traffic crash among school children in 2018.

Expressing his delight over the literary performance of the students, Chief Iwuanyanwu also hailed FRSC Corps Marshall, Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi, for his innovations in championing the cause of road safety through public education campaign in the last 30 years of its existence.

He said, “FRSC is blazing a new trail in grapping some of the academic problems confronting Nigeria as a nation. Problem of road traffic crash can only be solved when the youth are given the right education, orientation right from the cradle. We strongly recommend the stride and the initiatives of catching them young of FRSC to other institutions of government to emulate.”

On his part, the FCT director, Education Resource Centre, Barrister Oniah Edmond, who chaired the occasion admonished students to imbibe safety attitude at all times.

He also commended FRSC for always manifesting sincere commitment to road safety campaign as evidenced by the Corps’ aggressive pursuit of school advocacy and enforcement of traffic rules in Nigeria.

Highlighting the relevance of Road Safety Education to the congregation, the Corps Public Education Officer, Bisi Kazeem who spoke on behalf of the Corps asked students to internalize safety measures.

He noted that the programme was designed to ensure that the safety education was made a priority in our schools warning that the Corps would not tolerate the death of students through road mishaps again.

“FRSC has come to a point where it can no longer tolerate the death of school children on our roads as a result of road traffic crashes”, he said.

Delivering his speech on behalf of the Iwuanyanwu National Ambulance Scheme, the National Coordinator, Mr. Chinedu Nsofor commended the Corps and explained that the Iwuanyanwu National Ambulance has over the years played complimentary services to FRSC through voluntary rescue of accident victims, safety education, raising safety ambassadors amongst others.

These efforts, according to Nsofor, are aimed at complimenting FRSC to achieve its Corporate Strategic Goals of reducing accident by 15 percent and fatality by 30 percent.

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