South East governors move to curb pro-Biafra agitations

A fresh move to contain the agitations by pro-Biafra groups, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), was launched yesterday by governors of the South-East region.

The move, which will see the governors meeting with leadership of the pro-Biafra groups, would also seek ways of ensuring the release of the detained leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, from detention as well as other members of the groups in various prisons nationwide.

The Guardian gathered that the move was part of the efforts by the governors to address some issues of interest in the zone that have hindered its economic growth and development.

Chairman of the South-East Governors’ Forum and Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, told reporters at the end of their meeting in Enugu yesterday that the governors were committed to addressing issues concerning the groups as well as the release of Nnamdi Kanu.

In another development, the Igbo Ekunie Initiative (IEI), which comprises individuals in Nigeria and the Diaspora, has called on the governors of the South-East region to float a regional investment corporation. It said that through this, a renascent East would be ushered in.

The group also said that the last time quantum development was heralded in the East was during the First Republic when the defunct Eastern Nigeria Development Corporation (ENDC) built many landmark development projects across the then eastern region.

A statement by the president of the group, Maazi Tochukwu Ezeoke, stated: “We note that the world over, provinces, states, regions and nations are coming together to create economic blocs and integrated development agencies.

“The regional investment corporation like the defunct ENDC will then invest in major capacity-building generative infrastructure across the region such as super-highways with toll-gates, real estate with particular emphasis on high density buildings/skyscrapers (for population management).”

Ezeoke also said that all the proposed projects would be “generative” infrastructure that would bring returns as soon as possible so that dividends from revenues earned at the end of every year could be paid to all share and bond owners at the end of every fiscal year.

The group, which also called for an enlightenment programme to encourage maximum participation of all stakeholders, stressed: “In order to encourage maximum participation by a broad spectrum of south-easterners and other interested parties at home and in the Diaspora, a public enlightenment programme should precede the floating of the regional investment corporation possibly to be known as Oriental Investment Corporation or East Niger Investment Corporation (ENIC).”


Source: The Guardian

Why I barred governors from visiting me in London – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has revealed the reason he did not allow governors to visit him all through his 49-day medical vacation in the United Kingdom.

Apart from Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun, no governor visited Buhari during his vacation.

Speaking on Thursday at the national economic council meeting chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, Buhari said he stopped governors from coming to see him because he did not want “government to move to London”.

Buhari, who went round the council chambers to greet the governors one after another, apologised to them for over the development.

“I apologise to the governors for barring visits while I was away. I didn’t want government to move to London; I wanted it to remain in Abuja and I am glad it did,” he said.

He thanked them profusely for their display of “love and respect” to him, and commended them for working together.

The president said he was moved by how governors, irrespective of political differences charged their citizens to pray in mosques and churches for his well-being.

After narrating what he went through while in London, Buhari noted the suggestion by the governors for him to add more rest, but insisted that he would be relentless in the pursuit of the interest of the Nigerian people at all times.

This, according to him, was the only way to show his gratitude to the people who, he said, “had given so much to me.  I was overwhelmed by the celebration of my return all across the country.”

High profile politicians like Senate President Bukola Saraki; Ahmad Lawan, majority leader of the senate; Yakubu Dogara, speaker of the house of representatives; Bola Tinubu, national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC); and Bisi Akande, former governor of Osun state, were among those who visited Buhari at the Abuja House in London.

Governors slam Nigeria’s forex policy as Naira falls; demand urgent review.

Worried by the continued widening gap between the inter-bank foreign exchange and parallel market rates, the National Economic Council, NEC, on Thursday demanded the immediate review of the current foreign exchange policy by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Nasarawa State Governor, Tanko Al Makura, who briefed journalists at the end of the meeting in Abuja said the Council, presided by acting President Yemi Osinbajo, expressed serious concern over the current situation of the exchange rate, especially the gap between inter-bank and the parallel market rates.

The council therefore called on the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, to do something immediately.

The National Economic Council has as members governors of the 36 states, as well as CBN governor. It is headed by the vice president.

Prior to the introduction the flexible foreign exchange policy June last year, the exchange rate for Naira stood within a band of N197 and N199 to the dollar.

But, the removal of the exchange band, which was expected to increase supply of the dollar and help the nation’s weak economy, lessened government controls on the exchange rate.

While the government retained partial control at interbank and BDC rates, while the parallel market rate spiraled over the past months.

Since then the gap between the interbank (the official rate) and parallel market rates has been widening, raising concerns.

While the interbank rate stood at N280 to the dollar on the first day of the unveiling of the policy by the CBN, the parallel market rate was as high as N310 to the dollar.

Since then, the rate has been on the upswing, with interbank rate standing at about N305.50 to the dollar on Thursday, against the parallel rate of N510 to the dollar.

However, the CBN Governor at the meeting pleaded for patience and understanding, assuring that the situation was being closely managed.

During the Monetary Policy Committee meeting in January, Mr. Emefiele had said despite claims that there were almost seven different exchange rates in the country, the only rate recognised by CBN was the official inter-bank rate.

No query

Meanwhile, following reports that the bank was queried by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice over issues relating to the sale of foreign exchange, its spokesperson, Isaac Okorafor, denied that neither the CBN governor nor the Director, Legal Services Department had received any communication to that effect.

Mr. Okorafor said as a responsible and responsive arm of government, the CBN would “always provide clarifications on any matter within its purview for the purpose of educating and enlightening all concerned.”

He said CBN had no direct dealings with any bank customer on foreign exchange transactions, pointing out that such transactions were always consummated strictly between the customers and their respective deposit money banks.

The figures of foreign exchange sold, he explained, had always been published in national dailies or on its arguing that transactions referred to in the publication were those between the banks and their customers.

Consequently, the CBN directed banks to ensure that henceforth returns on foreign exchange allocations in third currencies, such as Japanese Yen and South African Rand, Euros, Dollars should be reported in a new format approved by the CBN.

“The CBN has directed ALL Deposit Money Banks to render their returns in a uniform format converting all forex sales and purchases to NGN/USD. All third currency transactions are also to be converted to NGN/USD,” Mr. Okorafor said.

Okonjo-Iweala, Sanusi begged us to save but we refused, says Peter Obi.

Former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, yesterday said governors under the Goodluck Jonathan administration refused to save for a rainy day.

Obi said former Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Lamido Sanusi Lamido, now emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II, begged the Federal Government to build its savings but the governors kicked against the idea.

Speaking on CNBC Africa, Obi said he was not against the Muhammadu Buhari government’s plan to borrow, but he was against borrowing without a plan.

“I was in government when the likes of Ngozi Iweala, Aganga, Sanusi were crying let’s save; we collectively said we don’t want savings, and we are now in this mess; we cannot afford to increase it by going to borrow without a clear road map on what we would use it for,” Obi said.

“People start saving in crisis. Go and check most nations that save, they started it in crisis situation, because they could see the point of not saving yesterday; and that is where we are.

“I have said it before that even if we saved five percent of all our oil earnings from 1960 to date, which is about $1.2 trillion, considering a compound interest of about five percent, we should have about 150 billion today.”

Obi said the country could put up a savings plan that helps prepare for tomorrow, and could possibly allow government to borrow today.

“Imagine what would have been happening if we were in that situation. That was 56 years ago; we have 44 years to our 100th year of independence.

“What I am saying is that if we decide today to save on 50 percent of our own budgeted output of 2.2 million barrels per day, we decide to save on just 1 million barrels per day, with our earnings at $50 per barrel, in the next 44 years, we would be at 50 to 60 billion dollars.’’

Speaking about Okonjo-Iweala’s effort, he said: “ I was in government when Okonjo-Iweala was crying meeting after meeting, let’s save money; we need to save for a rainy day. We said no. Some said this woman should not be found near this country.

“We even went to court as a body to challenge savings, and look at where we are today.

“Change that constitution that says we cannot save; what type of constitution is that? When we are talking about constitution amendment, we should amend things that are immediate.

“Issue of savings should be included in our constitution today; oil is a depleting asset, and we are not even saving for tomorrow,” Obi added.

He urged the Federal Government to embrace restructuring and let the country’s strength be found in its diversity.

Fayose lacks decorum & capacity to lead PDP Governors’ Forum – APC

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State says Gov. Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State lacks decorum to function as the Chairman of Governors’ Forum of Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).


APC made its stance known in a statement issued in Akure on Monday by its Publicity Secretary, Abayomi Adesanya.


“PDP is on a voyage of total destruction and abandonment with the emergence of uncultured governor like Mr Fayose that lacks decorum, whose past records, attitude and public utterance are seen as affront.


“It shows PDP is lacking in men and women of proven integrity with high level of mental alertness considering the enormous challenges facing our dear country as a result of the PDP’s 16 years of misrule.


“It is unfortunate that Fayose, who was alleged to have beaten up a Judge in his state, who is seen to be suffering from ‘diarrhea of the mouth’ could be allowed to lead PDP Governors’ Forum,’’ Mr. Adesanya said.


He said that the PDP was in comatose under the leadership of the outgoing Governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko, as the chairman of its governors’ forum


Mr. Adesanya advised the opposition party to criticise constructively in the interest of Nigerian democracy and to always propagate good leadership.


Source: NAN

Northern Governors Meet In Kaduna To Tackle Security Issues

19 northern state governors are meeting on Monday morning in Kaduna state, for the first meeting of the group in 2017.


The Governor of Borno state, Kashim Shettima, who also doubles as the Chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, is expected to preside over the meeting.


The meeting which would be holding at the Government House in Kaduna, would involve northern elders and traditional rulers who would be giving a briefing on the security situation across the northern states.


Elder statesman, Maitama Sule, would be in attendance and will be delivering a keynote address on the need for diversification on the economy of the northern state against the backdrop of the economic recession.


The northern states have faced tremendous security challenges since July 2009


This meeting is expected to address the issues raised and further unite the northern region.


In the most recent attack, Unknown gunmen attacked Zankan village in Kaura Local Government Area of the state, killing one person and injuring five others.


Source: Channels TV

Supreme Court Strips Governors of Power to Sack Local Government Officials

A ruling by the Supreme Court has made it impossible for State Governors to ever sack or dissolve democratically-elected local government councils.


The Supreme Court on Friday stripped Governors of the power to sack local government chairmen. It described it as “executive recklessness” to rampantly dissolve democratically-elected local government councils in their states and replacing them with caretaker committees.


The apex court ruled that the provisions of the laws enacted by the states’ Houses of Assembly empowering governors to carry out such dissolution and replace them with caretaker committees was null and void.


This was the decision reached by a five-man panel of the apex court led by Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour on Friday.


The appeal in which the Supreme Court made the pronouncements arose from the dissolution of 16 local government councils in Ekiti State by the then Governor Kayode Fayemi.


Fayemi, who is now the Minister of Mineral Resources, was said to have announced the dissolution of the councils in a radio announcement on October 29, 2010, when the chairmen still had up till December 19, 2011, to complete their three-year tenure.


But in the lead judgment delivered by Justice Chima Nweze, the apex court condemned the decision of the then governor.


The apex court adopted an earlier order made by the Court of Appeal on the case in its judgment delivered on January 23, 2013, directing the Ekiti State Government to compute and pay all the allowances and salaries accruable to members of the dissolved councils between October 29, 2010 and December 19, 2011, both dates inclusive.

Governors Who Refuse To Conduct LGA Elections Should Be Removed – Dogara

House Speaker, Yakubu Dogara has said that governors who refuse to conduct council elections should be removed from office for gross violation of the Constitution.
He accused governors of violating the 1999 Constitution by undermining local councils’ independence.
The Speaker accused governors of using local government funds instead of making the money available to the councils.


He described the state/local government joint accounts as “evil”, adding that governors had emasculated councils and turned them into cash cows.
According to him, “it is unfortunate that most governors have ‘pocketed’ Houses of Assembly, making them toothless, hence their inability to impeach governors who violate the constitution.”
To Dogara, failure to conduct council elections amounted to “serious violation of the provisions of the constitution”, which he said was “one of the biggest grounds for impeachment”.
Speaking with newsmen on Wednesday, Dogara said the constitution provided that the local government officials must be democratically-elected.


He said: “As a matter of fact, joint account is one of the biggest evils because it gives the authority to local government ministries in the state.
“In most states, especially in the north where we don’t have oil and co, the ministry of local government in the state is regarded as the ministry of petroleum resources.


“So, we all know when funds are allocated to the councils. Instead of getting to the councils, they are hijacked at that (state) level and appropriated according to the whims of the powers that be.”
On what is to be done, Dogara said: “We will have to make this local government system a bit independent.


“I am not saying absolute independence because we may not achieve that since ours is a strong federation. It is not a weak federation like what you have in the United States where councils and states join their own money and then appropriate it and pay royalties in taxes to the federal government.
“So, what we can therefore do is make sure that in the spirit of the constitution, the local government administration is democratically-elected to ensure that by provision of the constitution, that any local government that is not democratically constituted will not have access to any funding from the federation.

Senate uncovers govs, minister’s imported luxury cars in Lagos.

There are strong indications that influential Nigerians, including a serving governor and a minister, are among owners of about 1,500 exotic vehicles parked in the Volkswagen Yard, on the Mile 2-Badagry Expressway in Lagos since 2015.

Another governor from the South-East (name withheld) has also been identified as the owner of 15 Sports Utility Vehicles intercepted and impounded by officers of the Nigeria Customs Service and parked in the agency’s office in Ikeja.

The Senate Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariff, led by its Chairman, Hope Uzodinma, had visited the VON premises last week on oversight assignment when it discovered that the place looked deserted with disused equipment in its assembly plant.

The officials of the company, who had earlier declined to open the store to the lawmakers for inspection, were forced to grant the visitors access into the warehouse when the lawmakers threatened to force the door open.

The senators, who were there in company with security operatives and officials of the NCS, saw no fewer than 1,500 pieces of various models of Volkswagen products and other brands of vehicles in the warehouse.

It was learnt that the senators were curious when they found out that there were port tags on the vehicles, indicating that they were imported.

One of the lawmakers said that his colleagues were not convinced by the explanation offered by officials of the company that the firm did not abuse the auto policy introduced by the Goodluck Jonathan-led administration with its action.

The senator added that the team discovered that about 15 Sports Utility Vehicles, on the premises of the NCS office in Ikeja, Lagos, which were impounded by the service when the dealer attempted to evade payment of duty, belonged to a serving governor in the South-East.

He said the vehicles carried Federal Government’s official number plates in an attempt to deceive officers of the customs service.

Uzodinma had alleged in an interview with journalists in Abuja that there were indications that the company was not assembling vehicles in Nigeria as it claimed.

He stated that his committee discovered different vehicle brands in the company’s warehouses which were already assembled before they were shipped to Nigeria.

The Managing Director of VON Automobiles, Mr. Tokunbo Aromolaran, however, refuted the Senate claim that the company was sabotaging the country’s economy.

Aromolaran said, “The Chairman of the Senate Committee, in company with about 30 people, comprising senators, officers of Nigeria Customs Service, journalists and police officers, descended on the VON premises on October 28, 2016, without prior notification.

“They were given free access to our plants and warehouses, and found nothing other than what you would expect to see in an auto assembly plant – an inventory of vehicles assembled, awaiting delivery.

“We also confirmed that applicable duties were paid at the ports when the components were imported into the country.

He said, “All applicable duties and levies on Volkswagen vehicles stored at VON have been paid to the NCS (SKD vehicle kits and fully built units). This can be verified by the service.

Uzodinma, however, said on Saturday that the committee was convinced that VON was sabotaging the nation’s economy, adding that a public hearing would be organised soon to unravel the alleged sharp practices.

The Public Relations Officer, Nigeria Customs Service, Mr. Wale Adeniyi, said the affected vehicles had remained under NCS custody because duty was not paid on them.

Adeniyi stated, “There are no separate laws for top government officials or highly-placed Nigerians. The laws are the same for everybody and the laws specify that all imported vehicles attract duty. If duty was not paid, the vehicles cannot be released.”

He, however, added that if the owners paid the required duty, the SUVs would be released.

On the 1,500 vehicles found in the premises of Volkswagen, Adeniyi said, “I do not have details of that development.”

NEC: Osinbajo, governors meeting in Aso rock.

Reports reaching Omojuwa.Com has it that the Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo, and state governors are currently in a meeting.


The meeting which started about 11.10am is holding inside the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.


They are meeting under the aegis of the National Economic Council, NEC.


Details later…

Now that the Senate has thrown out the Grazing Bill, what next? – Adeeko Ademola

The Senate yesterday stepped down three bills on the controversial issue of grazing in the country.

They are: “A Bill for an Act to Provide for the Establishment of Grazing Areas Management Agency and Other Related Matters 2016”, sponsored by Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso (APC, Kano Central); “A Bill for an Act to Provide for the Establishment of National Ranches Commission for the Regulation, Management, Preservation and Control of Ranches and Connected Purposes 2016”, sponsored by Senator Barnabas Gemade (APC, Benue North-East); and “A Bill for an Act to Control the Keeping and Movement of Cattle in Nigeria and Other Related Matters 2016”, sponsored by Senator Chukwuka Utazi (PDP, Enugu North).

The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, said the Senate lacked the constitutional authority to legislate on the issues.

In as much as I would have loved that we find a lasting solution to the issue of animal grazing in Nigeria in the national assembly, I’m also of the opinion that the state governors do have a huge part to play in resolving the crisis that follows destruction of farmlands by Fulani herdsmen and their livestock.

As I have always opined that the Grazing Bill is dead on arrival basically because it does not address the fundamental questions raised by the victims of the herdsmen versus farmers carnage.

The Grazing Bill seeks to allocate portions of lands all over the federation to herdsmen for grazing. Any critical thinking person should know that this move will but only further the escalation of the feud between herdsmen and host communities. Using constitutional powers to allocate lands to nomads in host communities cannot count as a just method to solving the crisis.

Creating a grazing route in 36 states of the federation is like favoring settlers with the ownership rights to lands over the indigents of a particular area and considering how deeply divided the Nigerian people are along tribal and ethnic lines, the bill simply seeks to institutionalize the existing tension between herdsmen and farmer which in turn tends to be more dangerous than what we presently witness.

For instance, allocating grazing lands to a Fulani man in a Yoruba land like Ekiti is not a move that will sit well with the original indigents unless of course it is a business transaction of which in this case, is not.

Apart from the land-grabbing outlook of the allocation of lands for grazing, we are simply seeking to elaborate an already over-bloated government. In a time of recession, when the government is expected to reduce the size of it’s operations in order to save cost, we are looking to pass a bill that seeks to establish a Grazing Route Agency which intends to have a secretariat in all 36 state of the federation and thereby incurring running costs in operation and staff remuneration.

In a corruption-ridden country like ours, we cannot afford to use tax-payers money to create avenues for corrupt practices. As the struggle to cleanse ministries, parastatals and agencies of corruption, it’s not advisable to encourage corrupt practices by creating unneeded and inconsequential government agencies.

What To Do:

It is a laudable move for the government to put into consideration the plight of the herdsmen but that should not come at the detriment of people with other sources of livelihood. Therefore, the Grazing method of animal husbandry should be replaced with immediate effect by Ranching.

Ranching is the practice of raising herds of animals on large tracts of land. A ranch is an area of landscape, including various structures, given primarily to the practice of ranching, the practice of raising grazing livestock such as cattle or sheep for meat, diary, skin or wool.

One of the major reasons why Ranching should be adopted over Nomadic Grazing is the elimination of the movement of animals from one part of the country to another thereby infringing on the rights of other citizens. Apart from averting crisis, research has also shown that animals that are ranched tend to be healthier than those that are being moved around.

In furtherance, ranching is a good source of revenue generation for state governments. Providing ranches in the 19 Northern States of Nigeria will go a long way in ensuring that cattle owners do not have to leave the state in search of vegetation for their animals thereby helping the government to keep tabs on revenue opportunities. For instance, if there are ranches in a state like Sokoto, the Sokoto Government can lease out such ranches to willing herders in exchange for money. Proper sensitization of herdsmen by the government can be carried out to give better understanding about the benefits that come with ranching.

SECURITY: Herdsmen over time, have always had dangerous encounters with cattle rustlers. Cattle rustling is the act of stealing cattle, which is made easy because of the nomadic nature of Fulani Herdsmen. Despite bitter encounters, the government have not been able to find a solution to cattle rustling and that is basically because it is almost impossible to provide security for an entity which happens to be on the move constantly. Animals that are ranched up in one location can be adequately provided with necessary security. The risk of being attacked and robbed in open fields will be greatly minimized because animals can be efficiently tracked and appropriately secured.

HEALTHCARE: As part of the benefits herdsmen will enjoy, ranches also enable animals to be tracked and properly given the needed medical attention. Government can set up veterinary facilities to ensure quality of animal production. This feature will be impossible if animals are being moved from one place to another in a nomadic method. In ranches, when animals need medical attention, all the farmer needs to do is to contact the closest veterinary facility to get help and because the veterinary personnel readily knows the location of the animals, response is swift and precise. Also, laboratories for animal medical researches can be set up to have a proper study of livestock in terms of behavioral patterns in comparison to weather, nutrition, climate and so many other factors. Such researches help in projections and provisions of certain inventions that may yet be beneficial to both farmers, animals and consumers of animal products such as leather, beef, dairy and other by products.

If government can generate funds from herdsmen by providing them with ranches, the outcome benefits of such collaboration is not quantifiable. From security, to healthcare, to improvement in livestock production, the benefits trump whatever benefits derived from the nomadic method of animal husbandry.

Since the Senate has stepped down the Grazing Bill and made it known publicly that finding a lasting solution to the issue of grazing is the sole responsibilities of State Governors, it is time the governors especially northern governors came together in a forum with sole purpose of mapping out plans to ensure the clashes between herdsmen and farmers come to a perpetual halt.

I have, in this piece made their job 50% easier. All the need to do is; do a little more research, fine-tune it and then implement.

South-East Governors Are Too Lazy – TUC

Chairman of the Trade Union Congress, TUC, in Enugu State, Chukwuma Igbokwe, has accused governors of the Southeast region of being too lazy and over dependent on federal allocation.

He noted that this attitude had hindered development in the region.

Igbokwe said the governors were not willing to harness natural resources in their states to generate additional revenue.

The TUC chairman was speaking in an interview with The Punch in Enugu, where he noted that the impact of the decline of the country’s oil revenue would not have been severe in the Southeast states if successive administrations since 1999 had not abandoned large-scale agricultural enterprises established during the first and second republics.

According to the labor leader, “The problem with the South-East is over-reliance on federal allocation by the state governors.

“Since 1999, the governors have been lazy; no attempt was made to harness abundant and viable natural resources available for revenue generation and development.

“The palm oil and cashew plantations, rice farms, poultries and similar ventures that were established across the South-East at industrial scale during the first and second republics are wasting away. They have all been abandoned.

“They can still be revived but the governors are not thinking about that, they only think of the monthly federal allocation.”

He said the reports that Anambra State had been given a waiver to export scent leaves was a welcome development.

He pointed out that this was a clear indication that there were numerous exportable resources in the states, if only the governors were willing to invest in agriculture.

“I don’t see why the states cannot export palm oil and other agricultural products on a large scale,” he noted.

Igbokwe said claims in some quarters that the South-East was the worst hit by the economic recession cannot be true because they share from the federal allocation.

He said, “I can’t say that the South-East is the worst hit by the recession. Are Southeast states not getting their allocations from the Federation Account?

“The only concern is that, in bad practice, the South-East has always taken the lead. By bad practice, I mean it is only in the South-East that you will see major contracts being awarded to people who will pocket the money and refuse to execute the projects.

“Our problem in the South-East is not using our natural resources and allocation to develop our people.”

Blame FG, govs for corruption in judiciary – CJN

Twenty-four hours after two Supreme Court Justices facing corruption allegation, Inyang Okoro and Sylvester Ngwuta, stepped down from adjudicating over cases pending conclusion of investigation, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mahmud Mohammed, has blamed the executive arm of government for corruption on the Bench.

Okoro and Ngwuta, alongside five other judges, were arrested in sting operations on October 7 and 8 by the Department of State Services (DSS) on allegations of bribery and corruption. While the duo of Okoro and Ngwuta voluntarily recused themselves from judicial functions since their homes were raided, others were still at their duty posts adjudicating on cases before them.

However, Justice Mahmoud exonerated the judiciary and its highest organ, the National Judicial Council (NJC), from any guilt as he said the third arm of government should not be blamed for the endemic corrupt practices on the Bench.

Instead, he said blames should be put on the executive, as “the failure on the part of the executive arm of government to act upon recommendations by the NJC cannot be blamed upon the NJC.”

CJN said this in a letter dated October 26, addressed to a group, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) that asked NJC to take over the alleged corruption case against the embattled judges from the DSS.

The letter, with reference No. CJN/Gen/MISC/ A37/Vol.XXI/8 and signed by CJN’s Senior Special Assistant, H. S. Sa’eed, was in response to SERAP’s request to Justice Mohammed, asking him to “take over from the DSS the cases of all the seven judges released by the DSS and refer the cases of those judges to anti-corruption agencies for conclusion of investigation and prompt prosecution.”

CJN said: “While restating the willingness of the NJC to act upon any petition as well as commitment of the Nigerian judiciary to the fight against corruption, his Lordship opines that any significant involvement in the fight against corruption will be upon a similar commitment of the prosecutorial agencies to actively prosecute their cases expeditiously when information about same is received.

“It is necessary to restate that the NJC is a creation of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended) being established under Section 153 with its mandate clearly set out in Para 21, Part One of the Third Schedule to the Constitution.

“This provision clearly stipulates at Para 21(b) and (d) that the Council may only ‘recommend’ to the President and the Governors, the removal from office of judicial officers and to exercise disciplinary control over such judicial officers, which in effect is the extent of its power to discipline. Hence, the Council cannot, suo moto dismiss any judicial officer.

“The NJC can also neither ‘hand over corrupt judges to law enforcement agencies for prosecution nor recover proceeds of corruption, as you have suggested, it can merely recommend to act upon its findings as it has always done.

“However, in exercise of its constitutional mandate, the NJC has enacted the Judicial Discipline Regulations, 2014 in order to ensure that petitions are received, investigated and addressed as appropriate. As SERAP’s own Report attests, 64 judicial officers have been disciplined within five years even preceding the institution of the new guidelines. Any failure on the part of the executive arm of government to act upon such recommendations cannot, therefore, be blamed upon the NJC.

“To be sure, every citizen of Nigeria inclusive of judicial officers, are entitled to the protection of the law and a key provision of the Constitution is the presumption of innocence, as enshrined in Section 36(5) of the Constitution (as amended).

”I must also remind us that the seven judges, like all other persons, are entitled to a fair hearing as stipulated in Section 36 of the Constitution. As such, it would be presumptive and, indeed, pre-emptive to sanction the said judges without exhausting the proper procedure for their removal.”

South-East Governors are Incompetent – CNPP, CLO

The Conference of Nigeria Political Parties, CNPP, and the Civil Liberties Organisation, CLO, yesterday protested what they called insensitivity of South-East Governors to the plight of the people.

The two organisations also concluded that the governors had performed below expectation.

According to reports, hundreds of the coalition members, bearing placards, marched round Enugu metropolis before moving to Government House to register their grievances.

Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Elder Gabriel Aja, who represented Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, addressed the protesters.

He thanked them for conducting themselves in a peaceful manner, saying the governor was away on an official assignment.

The SSG, who received a copy of the address delivered by the group, said he would deliver the message to the governor.

Aja said his principal would forward copies to his colleagues in the region, assuring that CNPP and CLO would get response to their letter.

Meanwhile, the Ohanaeze Youth Council, OYC, has demanded an apology from former Abia Governor, Orji Uzor Kalu, for allegedly insulting the Igbo race.

Buhari, Niger Delta Stakeholders, Governors In Crucial Meeting (PHOTOS)

A crucial meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and Niger Delta stakeholders is currently underway in Abuja.

Holding at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, the meeting parades the crème de la crème in the Niger Delta region consisting of 9 States namely Ondo, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Edo, Cross Rivers, Imo, Akwa Ibom and Abia. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as well as governors of Bayelsa, Delta, Imo, Akwa Ibom, Edo, Cross River are in attendance.

President Buhari meets with Niger Delta stakeholders and Leaders in Statehouse on 1st Nov 2016

Also, the secretary to Government of the Federation, SGF, Engr. Lawal Babachair and a handful of other cabinet members are present. The Service Chiefs as well as a critical bunch from the National Assembly are also present. Amongst the stakeholders from Niger Delta included Chief Edwin Clarke, His Royal Majesty, Chief Diette Spiff, former governor of Cross River, Donald Duke, former governor of Akwa Ibom, Obong Victor Atta, Ankio Briggs, Alabo Graham Douglas, Timi Alaibe, Mr. Nduka Ogbegbena and a host of others.

However, former President Goodluck Jonathan, a frontline stakeholder from the region was not present at the meeting, so also Mujahid Dokubo-Asari and Tompolo.

However, it was not known whether they were invited to the meeting. It will be recalled that Niger Delta region had been in rife with untoward activities of militants which had greatly affected oil production, unarguably the mainstay of the nation’s economy.

It is expected that the meeting would discuss the issues and similar ones especially the bombing of oil and gas installations in the area as Journalists await the details.


Alleged N3.2b Fraud: Ex-governor Kalu Insists on Being Tried In Abuja

Former Governor of Abia State, Orji Kalu has objected to the planned transfer of the criminal case against him and two others from Abuja division of the Federal High Court to Lagos.

He has applied to the court, via a motion, for among others, an order of mandamus compelling the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) to prosecute the case in Abuja division of the court.

He has equally filed a motion exparte, through his lawyer, Awa Kalu (SAN) for leave of court to apply for the issuance of an order of mandamus compelling the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court to return the case marked: No. FHC/ABJ/CR/56/07 (Federal Republic of Nigeria Vs. Orji Uzor Kalu & 2 others), which was transferred from the court’s Abuja division to Lagos, back to Abuja for the continuation of trial.

Kalu also asked the court to direct that the leave so granted shall operate as a stay of all actions, matters or issues ancillary to or relating to the case, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

Kalu, his ex-aide, Jones Udeogo, and the former governor’s company, Slok Nigeria Limited were on September 27 this year rearraigned on a 34-count charge before a Federal High Court in Abuja.

They were, in an amended charge, accused of diverting about N3.2bn by the accused from the Abia State Government’s treasury during Kalu’s tenure as governor of the state.

Justice Anwuri Chikere, before who they were arraigned, granted them bail and adjourned to December 6 for the commencement of trial.

Kalu, in his fresh motion, said he was aware the case has been transferred to the Lagos division of the Federal High Court following a request by the prosecution.

Kalu stated, in a supporting affidavit, that the case against him and others were commenced in 2007 after he left office as Governor of Abia State, but that it suffered delay because parties went on appeal up to the Supreme Court. The case resumed on September 27.

He added that, due to the case brought against him by the EFCC, he temporarily relocated to Abuja to face trial alongside others charged with him.

He added that: “In 2016, the Supreme Court ordered that the case be returned to the Abuja division of the Federal High Court for trial.

“Acting in strict compliance with the judgment of the Supreme Court, the Chief judge of the Federal High court, Justice Ibrahim Auta [3rd respondent], assigned the case to justice Anuli Chikere for trial.

“It is the case of the applicant that all parties appeared before Justice Chikere on two occasions and the matter was adjourned due to pending appeal before the Supreme Court.

“On the third occasion, the court ordered that the defendant [Kalu] alongside others should take their plea which they did and were admitted to bail.

“The court alongside the prosecution and defense team agreed for three clear dates and the matter was adjourned to October 6, 7, and 8, 2016 for definite trial, thereafter, all the parties left the court to prepare for adjourned dates.

“Surprisingly and without consultation with other parties and defense team of the applicant, the EFCC [1st respondent] which is the prosecuting agency approached the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court [3rd respondent] and asked for a transfer of the case to Lagos judicial division of the Federal High Court.

“The 3rd respondent yielded to their request and transferred the matter to Lagos judicial division of the Federal High Court.

“Upon becoming aware that the 3rd respondent has transferred the case to Lagos judicial division of the Federal High Court, he petitioned the acting Chairman of the 1st respondent [EFCC], Ibrahim Magu, through one of his counsel, Amobi Nzelu.”

Ambassadorial Appointments: Buhari Tells Governors To Put Complaints In Writing

Governors from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) have urged President Muhammadu Buhari to change some of the persons he had nominated as ambassadors.

The governors said this was necessary to ensure fairness and equal representation among the various zones in the states.

They presented their complaints to Buhari yesterdayduring a two-hour meeting at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja.The president however asked them to put their complaints in writing.
The president had sent the names of 46 non-career ambassadorial nominees to the Senate last Thursday.
Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong told State House reporters after the meeting that the president had promised to look into the complaints by various states.

Commenting on Pauline Tallen who had turned down her nomination,the governor said: “Well, it’s not only about her husband (being sick). I think it’s the dimension of Plateau politics because I had already made complaints to Mr. President that appointments should not be concentrated in one zone.

“So, the complaint coming from our state is not about her own personal interest, it’s the fact that two ambassadorial appointments are coming from the same zone that we had complained. That’s my zone.
“We had complained that the next appointment should go to the other zone, the central and the northern zones. And so, when that appointment came, the kind of uproar that followed that appointment also necessitated an intervention.

“And I think as a matured politician, Tallen stepped down and sacrificed that for the people of Plateau. We’re still working on a replacement for that. It’s not a big issue, but at times, a little consultation would have solved that problem because these are issues in the interest of the state.

“You can’t have two appointments, very key appointments like that coming from a particular zone that’s already overloaded with appointments. All the federal appointments are from the southern zone.

“It would not be fair. So, we are approaching Mr. President to consider fairness and appoint people from those areas that do not have representation.
“All the states that had complaints are going to put it in writing and the president promised he is going to look into it.”

Daily Trust reports that many governors and party leaders were unhappy with the list, even as some of the nominees, including Dr UsmanBugaje, declined the offers saying they were not consulted.

Speaking on the economic challenges facing the country, the chairman of the Progressive Governors’ Forum, Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, said the APC must take responsibility for all the current happenings in the country.
Okorocha said they discussed a lot of issues affecting Nigeria and her development.

Fielding a question on the current hardship in the country, he noted, however, that the problem was not caused by the APC-led government but had existed long before the party came into power, adding that the APC was only trying to clear the mess of the past.

“But we must take responsibility and we must never shift the responsibility to anybody,” the governor said.
Asked whether he meant that the APC was responsible for everything happening in Nigeria, he answered in the affirmative, saying “we are responsible– the good, the bad, the ugly; but we are promising Nigerians that we shall fix it.”

Okorocha asked Nigerians to bear with the APC-led government, assuring them that things would change for better next year.

He stated: “There is no surgery that is not painful. Nigeria is going through a very serious economic surgery, and that’s the pains we’re experiencing. We share the pains of Nigerians; every human being must feel it.

“We also feel what they’re going through, but we’re asking for a little patience. Let’s do things the right way and do it once and for all. I’m sure that by next year, you’ll begin to see changes, the price of rice will drop, prices of dollars will begin to stabilise and we’ll see a lot of changes.

“But at this painful moment, nobody likes it. It’s like a woman in the labour room; when she is in the labour room, there is no joy, but she has to pass through that moment and that moment she doesn’t wear her high heel shoes, no makeup, no champagne, no party; she’s going through a process, but shortly after that process, joy cometh once she sees the child. So, Nigerians should bear with us as a government.”

Okorocha said they resolved at the meeting to ensure the APC win the forthcoming gubernatorial election in Ondo State, emphasising they had decided “to show support for that election so that APC will take over the government of Ondo State.”

He said though to some extent, there was a controversy surrounding the emergency of the party’s gubernatorial candidate, RotimiAkeredolu, the issue would be resolved “because Ondo is coming back to APC and we will do all we can. These were some of the things we discussed.”
Okorocha said he came for the meeting particularly to encourage Buhari and congratulate him on the release of the 21 Chibok girls.

“We said whatever was the action taken to bring back these girls, let the action be repeated so that the rest of the girls can be free. This will help because this is a very big achievement in the life history of this government.

“Again, we came to report to Mr. President that his agriculture policy is producing result. This time around, we have bumper harvest in most parts of the country in rice production and other things. So, that policy should be sustained. And the funding policy by CBN, the anchor borrowers should be encouraged because it’s yielding results. in the next couple of years, Nigeria will be self-sufficient in agriculture and will not need to import anymore food product into this country. That is a great achievement.”

He said they also encouraged the president to continue the fight against corruption. “We know that in the pursuit of good programmes, certain lapses will be noticed, and there is nothing wrong in pursuing a good cause. We encouraged and thanked him for the efforts he is making to move this country forward.”

Okorocha said the meeting did not discuss the alleged corruption in the judiciary.
On what Buhari told them, Okorocha said: “The president was quite happy and said he appreciated our support to him and we’re looking forward to how we can work together to strengthen the economy and the party.”

On the call by a national leader of the APC, Ahmed Bola Tinubu, for the resignation of the party’s national chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun, Okorocha said: “We’re not talking about anybody resigning; we are talking about rebuilding the party to make it a stronger party right from the booth level to the national level. We come from a party that nobody expected would ever win this election. We need to give them kudos and if there are areas of amendment, we must do that.”

APC governors meet Buhari, flay envoy-nominees’ list.

Aggrieved governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have protested against the mode of nominating non-career ambassadors by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The governors who held an emergency meeting with Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja yesterday expressed anger at an alleged decision by the president not to consult them in the selection of the nominees whose names have already been forwarded to the Senate for confirmation.

Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha also recently confirmed the frustration of APC members while fielding questions from State House correspondents over federal appointments made so far by the President Buhari.

Lalong who specifically spoke about the situation in his state said: “All the states that have complaints are going to put them in writing and the president promised he is going to look into them.”

He noted that a former deputy governor in Plateau, Pauline Tallen rejected her nomination as ambassador based on principles in line with the political disposition of the state and not necessarily about her husband as reported in a section of the media.

Governor Lalong said he had already complained to the president that appointment into federal positions from the state should not be concentrated in one particular zone.

“Pauline is an astute politician from my state, and part of the issue we also raised was on some of the appointments that were made.

“It is not only about her husband, I think it is the dimension of Plateau politics.

“All these appointments came again from one zone, in that particular zone. So the complaint that is coming from our state is not about her own personal interest, it is about the fact that two ambassadorial appointments are coming from the same zone,” the governor said.

Governor Lalong also said that “that is my zone. We had complained that the next appointment should go to the other zone, the central and the northern zone. And so when that appointment came the kind of uproar that followed that appointment also necessitated an intervention.”

Also fielding questions, Governor Okorocha said the emergency meeting with the president also discussed the successes made in fighting the Boko Haram sect and the recent release of 21 Chibok girls kidnapped over two years ago.

Teachers Sent Abroad for Training Have Absconded – Jigawa Govt

Jigawa State Government has disclosed that some teachers said to have gone for in-service courses in universities across the world, have graduated but has since refused to report to their place of work.

The action of those teachers compelled the government to further suspend indefinitely in-service training courses and set up special committee to find those involved and other teachers receiving salaries without coming to work, Vanguard reports.

The government was furious that the teachers betrayed its trust by remaining abroad when their expertise was needed back home.

Lamenting the development, the Head of Service, Mohammed Inuwa Tahir, told journalists yesterday that some workers spent 14 to 15 years studying.

He said: “What kind of degree course does a worker spend 15 years studying and still collecting salaries.

“Our government will not condone laziness and unfair act by some workers who have the habit of completing their study and refusing to report back to their place of work.”

The officials said the screening committee was established to fish out absentees and ghost workers, contrary to some insinuations that it was set up to witch-hunt workers.

Anti corruption: Adegboruwa blasts PDP Governors for obstructing DSS, EFCC.

A legal practitioner, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, has lambasted chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for blocking government agencies from doing their jobs.

Reacting to the botched arrest of Chikwendu, wife of former Aviation Minister, Chief Fani-Kayode, by Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, Adegboruwa said stopping EFCC operatives from doing their job was a sign of lawlessness.

He recalled that Fayose stormed the bank to stop her from being picked by the EFCC.

“The other day, it was the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, himself a lawyer, that dashed to rescue a judge from arrest by the DSS, in the midnight,” Adegboruwa recalled.

“There cannot be any justification for this impunity at all, in a democracy. Surely two wrongs cannot make right.

“If there is any perceived overzealousness on the part of security agencies, surely the option cannot be a resort to self help, whereby a governor would deploy his official status to hinder the lawful performance of statutory duties.

“It is an abuse of the concept of executive immunity, for governors to be consciously working to hinder the rule of law and due process. It is totally unacceptable, even though this is not to justify the attempt to arrest and detain Mrs Fani-Kayode, a nursing mother, with her baby.

“The remedy to such malady cannot be the physical deployment of force, by governor Fayose. Once we get to a stage where all suspects resist arrest, then society will break down and it be the rule of might and force.

“The role of the opposition party in any democracy is to critically analyze the policies of the ruling government and offer constructive and positive alternatives”, he added.

Akpabio: Everybody thinks all former governors are thieves.

Godswill Akpabio, former governor of Akwa Ibom state and minority leader of the senate,  says it is difficult for a former governor to be respected outside Nigeria “because everybody believes that all former governors are thieves”.

Akpabio was speaking on the floor of the senate on Tuesday, during the deliberation of the upper chamber on the raid on the home of seven judges by the Department of State Services (DSS).

He urged President Muhammadu Buhari not to destroy the principles of separation of power, saying: “We know there is separation of power; we must bear in mind the need for the survival of democracy and our perception in the international community.

“We must be careful of the kind of image we give to the judiciary; it is difficult for a former governor to be respected outside this country because everybody believes that all former governors are thieves.

“If we carry that toga, everybody will lose confidence in the judiciary. Even if there is corruption, it should be handled carefully so that it does not jeopardise internal security.”

Earlier, the senate had implored the president to call all security agencies to order and direct the full observance of the rule of law in the discharge of their duties.

The call came after deliberation of a motion by Joshua Lidani, senator representing Gombe south, condemning the action of the DSS raid.

In the motion, Lidani prayed the senate to summon Lawal Daura, director-general of the DSS, for a briefing it on the issue. But his call failed as the lawmakers voted against it after three voice vote sessions.

Still, Chukwuka Utazi (PDP, Enugu north), said the action of the security operatives was wrong and would go a long way in giving the nation a bad name in the international community.

He said that it was condemnable to invade the house of any Nigerian, let alone serving judges.

“This should not have happened even under an unguarded dictatorship, let alone a democracy. Enough is now more than enough,” he said.

Ibn Na’Allah, deputy majority leader, said Nigerians supported the change agenda because of the promise to fight corruption.

He said that the senate was committed to supporting the federal government to fight corruption, but stressed that it must be done within the ambit of the law.

According Na’Allah, the NJC should have been left to do its job and the senate should be careful in condemning the DSS.

Bukola Saraki, president of the Senate, expressed the “total support” of the upper chamber to Buhari’s fight against corruption, especially in the judicial system.

“We must eradicate corruption in all spheres of our society and this is a matter that we must pursue,” he said.

“I think the national assembly has been playing its role to continue to support government in the fight against corruption.

“We must ensure that this fight against corruption is within the rule of law; any act of anti-corruption that goes against the rule of law does not help the corruption fight.

“That is why this action has been seen in this manner, and it is condemned by the senate; all agencies of government must ensure that they act within the rule of law.”

How State Governors Can Survive Recession- el-Rufai

Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, has listed various ways state governors can both survive the economic recession and become less dependent on Federal Government.
Speaking with Daily Sun at the opening of the World Pension Summit (WPS) summit in Abuja Tuesday, el-Rufai advised his counterparts to immediately flush out ghost workers and ghost pensioners using the biometric verification method.
He also asked them to reduce their aides and other personal staff; improve their tax collection machinery while investing in healthcare and agriculture.
“As governors, we need to focus on cutting costs, reducing the machinery of government and the size so that we can live within our means. We also need to look at our state economies and find a way of not relying heavily on federation account. That means developing agriculture, developing mining, improving our tax collection mechanism so that we generate more revenue from taxes. “We also have to focus on education and healthcare because we’ve a growing population. Nigeria is forecast to be the third most populous country in the world by 2050 with a population of about 450 million people. That is not a bad thing if that population is educated. The challenge is for the state governments that are directly responsible for the provision of social services. So, they need to spend a large part of their annual budget on education and healthcare. That’s what we’re trying to do in Kaduna State”, he stated.
El’Rufai said: “Most state governors have inherited huge bureaucracy, a large number of employees they may not need and all that. Most of these Ministries and Agencies were created when the price of oil was over N100 per barrel. Today, it’s down to N40. So, it’s no longer sustainable to keep that size and number of employees. And they have to start by reducing the number of political appointees, reducing number of ministries by merging some of them, looking at the nominal role and ensure ghost workers are eliminated, etc.
“So, you ask whether you need the number of employees you have and if you don’t, get some to exit and then give them a good package so that they can start their own businesses. Then, you’ll have a size of government you can afford.
“Then, you look at the overhead cost, which is the cost of running the government. Look at travelling, the tea and coffee, the estacode, money spent on conferences, workshops, and see ways of cutting them down. I don’t think Nigeria needs a lot of conferences and the problems we have have been debated and solved.”

Credit: sunnewsonline

Governors Support Buhari’s Economic Policies

The Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), comprising the 36 states governors of the federation, have expressed support for the economic policies initiated by President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) government.

The federal government recently admitted that the country was in recession, as Nigerians continue to go through the rigors of hardship.

Chairman of the forum and Zamfara State Governor, Alhaji Abdul’aziz Yari, conveyed the governors’ decision yesterday at the end of their emergency meeting held at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

This comes on the heels of a similar backing last week by the National Council of State (NCS), made up of former heads of states, assuring that if well implemented, the policies would go a long way to addressing the prevailing economic recession in the country.

Addressing State House Correspondents after the NGF meeting, Yari said the Forum would support the Buhari administration’s pursuit of the economic policies for the benefit of Nigerians.



Pictures: Buhari, Jonathan, Shonekan, Others At Council Of State Meeting

The Council of state meeting took place at the state House Abuja today. It was presided over by President Buhari and had in attendance were former president Goodluck Jonathan, former interim president Ernest Shonekan and former military leader Abdulsalami Abubakar.

Also in attendance were some state governors and former Chief Justices of the Federation. 

Ondo Governorship Primaries: I Have No Anointed Candidate – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated that he has no preferred candidate among the 24 governorship aspirants of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Ondo State.

Buhari said this through the Secretary to theGovernment of the Federation, SGF, Babachir David Lawal, during a meeting with all the aspirants in Abuja.

The APC will on Saturday conduct its primary election to pick its candidate ahead of the governorship election in the state.

Addressing reporters after the meeting, Lawal said: “The government of President Muhammadu Buhari wishes to reiterate that it has no preferred candidate among the 24 aspirants and that government would do all in its power to provide a level-playing field for all the aspirants.

“We expect that all the aspirants will work hard to win the votes of delegates. In the tradition of APC, we expect that there will be no inducement of delegates or coercion.”

The SGF also warned that government would deal decisively with anyone who breached the peace of the state during the primaries.

“We will like to once again reassure you that as a government, we have no preferred candidate.

“Government will come hard on anyone that does anything that in anyway jeopardises the peace and security of Ondo state”, he added.

Labour Minister, Ngige Warns Governors Not To Cut Salaries, Work Hours

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, has warned state governors against reduction in remunerations and hours of work of workers.

In a statement issued by Mr Samuel Olowokere, Deputy Director Press in the ministry, Ngige said the warning was necessary to restore industrial harmony and forestall breakdown of law and order.
He said the warning followed protracted industrial crisis involving the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Nasarawa State Government.

The minister said the step was pursuant to the powers invested on him by section 5(1) and (2) of the Trade Dispute Act, Laws of Nigeria, 2004.
He said this was also predicated on a letter to the him by Gov. Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State for labour conciliation by the ministry.
The minister said all parties had been invited for a crucial meeting on Wednesday by 2 p.m. at the Ministry of labour.
He said “sequel to this, I hereby direct the unions to suspend the proposed picketing of government offices and demonstrations.

“I enjoin all parties to maintain the status quo ante pending the outcome of the meeting intended to resolve the issues in dispute.
`Similarly, to avoid further escalation of disputes of this type all over the states of the federation, state governments are hereby advised to always negotiate any issue that touches on the salaries and wages of workers.

“This is in order to ensure that they obtain a Collective Bargaining Agreement (BCA) before these remunerations are tampered with.
“I wish to add for the avoidance of doubt that the issue of minimum wage flows out from the Minimum Wage Act, 2011, ” he said. Ngige said the law of the land must be respected by all in both public and private institutions.

He, however, said the issue of arbitrary reduction in the hours of work was against the International Labour Organisation (ILO) regulation; Convention 1, which had been adopted and domesticated by Nigeria.
He said the law prescribes eight hours of work in a day and not more than 40 hours in a week.

Ngige added that the caution had become necessary to draw the attention of all concerned to these issues in order to avoid unnecessary industrial relations disputes that could be averted through proactive dialogue.

Lagos State Gov. Ambode Leads Top Performing Governor’s List

The Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode is leading other Governors in the ongoing poll organised by the African Leadership Magazine to determine Nigeria’s top performing Governor.

The poll, tagged ‘Good Governance Polls for Nigeria’s Top Performing Governor’ started two weeks ago with Governor Ambode maintaining the lead with increased 36.1 percent of the total vote casts, while Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State closely trailed with 25 percent

According to its organisers, the Poll was designed by the group as part of its strategic engagement tool to monitor performance and gauge the mood of the electorates in Nigeria in line with its objective of providing credible information and support to leaders in Nigeria and Africa at large.

Governor, Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State sits in the third position with 8.8 percent, while Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike is in the fourth position with 7.9 percent of the total vote casts.

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai sits in the fifth position with 5 percent, while as at press time, voting is still ongoing and is expected to close in the next four days.

Osinbajo, Governors Meet Over Economy

The National Economic Council (NEC) met at the Council Chambers of the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja.

 The meeting is being presided over by the vice president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

 Governors in attendance include those of Ogun, Kano, Akwa Ibom, Jigawa, Nasarawa, Abia, Katsina, Kogi, among others.

 The meeting is expected to review the state of the economy.

Credit: DailyTrust

Governors, BoT, Sheriff, Makarfi Meet Over PDP Crisis

Leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), would meet today in Abuja with aggrieved members to find a lasting solution to the crisis within the party.

Stakeholders expected at the meeting at the Ondo Governor’s Lodge in Abuja are, the PDP Governors’ Forum, National Assembly Caucus, Board of Trustees (BoT) of the party, the Makarfi-led care taker committee and the former National Chairman of the party, Ali Modu Sheriff.

Disclosing this yesterday, the Director General of PDP Governors’ Forum, Osaro Onaiwu, said that the agenda of the meeting is to resolve the crisis rocking the party.

He added that decision would also be taken on the forthcoming Edo State gubernatorial election.Onaiwu said: “The leaders of the party, the Governors’ Forum, National Assembly Caucus, BoT, Makarfi group and Sheriff group will meet tomorrow (today) to address the issue in the party. We want to resolve the crisis in the party once and for all. We want to find lasting solution to it. All parties involved are invited for this meeting. The forthcoming Edo election will also be addressed.”

Credit: Guardian

Supreme Court Adduces Reasons For Wike, Ibikunle’s Return As Governors

The Supreme Court on Friday gave reasons while Nyesom Wike was affirmed as the validly elected governor of Rivers.


Justice Mohammad Mahmud, who presided, held that the Governorship Electoral Petition Tribunal that handled the case swayed INEC guideline on the use of card readers for the election.


The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) also held that the tribunal also denied Wike fair hearing.


The Justice said: “While the court commends the introduction of card readers, the innovation, however, cannot supersede the voters register.

“The extant laws of the Federation provides for the use of voters register but the card reader irrespective of its importance does not have a place in any extant law of the land.

“Hence it said that the tribunal was wrong to base it judgment on non-compliance with the use of card readers,’’ Mahmud held.



On the issue of allegation of violence and irregularities during the election, Mahmud held that Dakuku Peterside, candidate of the APC in that election, failed to prove the allegations.


“The APC and its candidate, Mr Dakuku Peterside, were not able to prove the allegations beyond reasonable doubt because they failed to bring witnesses from all the polling units to substantiate the claims.

“For Peterside to prove non-accreditation, he ought to have tendered the voters register and then demonstrate it before the open court.

“We have aligned ourselves with the provision of the law that recognizes the voters register as key element to conduct any elections,’’ he said.


Mahmud, therefore, said the voter register could not be jettisoned for the card reader because it had a place in law while the card reader did not.


According to him, the tribunal and the lower court were unduly swayed by INEC’s directive on card reader usage during the election.



While noting that INEC had empower to make subsidiary regulations regarding conduct of election, Mahmud held that the regulations must not go contrary to constitutional provisions.


On the evidence of INEC staff who described the election as a sham and a mockery of democracy, the court held that his evidence could not take the place of testimonies of voters.


“We however discovered that under cross examination witness did not state whether he personally witnessed any violence at any polling unit, thereby making his evidence hearsay.


“The laws do not give room for arbitrary nullification of an election. A petitioner has to prove that there was substantial non-compliance in all polling units, this we did not see,’’ he said.


Mahmud further said that APC and Peterside failed to bring the issue within this parameter.


The CJN, however, commended the introduction of the card reader but urged the electoral body to approach the National Assembly to give its usage the status of law.


On that of Ogun state, the Court held that Amusu Ibikunle’s return as governor hinged on similar reasons adduced in the Rivers appeal.


Ibikunle contested the election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).


Mahmud held that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Gbeyeoga Isiaka, failed to prove allegations of violence, irregularities and other related malpractices during the election.




Supreme Court Dismisses Appeal Filed Against Delta, Yobe, Oyo Governors

The Supreme Court in Nigeria has dismissed appeal filed against the election of the Governors of Delta, Yobe and Oyo States.

Giving the ruling on Tuesday, the Court held that the appeal filed by Emerhor Otega of the All Progressives Congress and great Ogboru of the Labour Party against Governor Okowa of Delta State lacked merit.

Similarly the Court dismissed appeal filed by Rashidi Ladoja of the Accord Party against Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State as abuse of court process.

All the judgments were unanimous and the court has fixed February 15 to give reasons for the judgement.

Credit: ChannelsTv

Governors Have Become Emperors- Obasanjo

According to former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, some governors in the country are not really engaged in the business of governing their states with the overall objective of improving the lives of the citizens. Rather, they have turned themselves into emperors in their states.

Equally lamenting the state of affairs in the country, former Commonwealth Secretary- General, Emeka Anyaoku, has said that for Nigeria to survive the harsh effects of its political structure amid dwindling government revenue, it must revert to regionalism, such that the six geo-political zones will become federating units.

Obasanjo who spoke at the inauguration conference of the Ibadan School of Government and Public Policy, at the International Conference Centre, University of Ibadan, Ibadan yesterday said some state governors had turned themselves into emperors and that they had even appropriated the funds belonging to the local councils in their states into their private estates.

Credit: Guradian

Resign If You Cannot Pay Minimum Wage, NLC Tells Governors

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has asked any state governor in the country who cannot pay the N18,000 minimum wage to resign from office without delay.

The NLC insisted that the N18,000 minimum wage for Nigerian workers was not fixed but was negotiated through a tripartite system.
The National President of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba, made this declaration in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, at the weekend while speaking with journalists shortly after attending the Janazah prayers organised for the late wife of the former Vice-President of NLC, Mr. Issa Aremu, Hamdalah.

He also warned that any governor reneging on that agreement was breaking the law of the land, adding that such governor should resign from his position.
Wabba also  hailed the ongoing war against corruption by President Muhammadu Buhari, saying corruption had killed more people in the country than auto accidents.

“They have been misinforming the people about the N18,000 minimum wage. Minimum wage is not fixed, it was negotiated through a tripartite system; 10 state governors represented the governors, federal government and organised private sector were also represented. It was a tripartite process of collective bargaining.

“We had looked at all the indices of ability to pay. It is a law and anybody who refuses to pay is breaking the law of Nigeria and we advise such governor to resign.

“Why is it that the salary of councillors to the highest political office all over the country despite their inability to pay is the same? If there is economic challenge, why should it be the workers that will bear the burden? Councillors in least economic viable to the most economic viable states in the country earn the same salaries. So who are they fooling?

“Can they continue to fool us? When the resources were there workers were not enjoying. Now that there is a challenge in the system why should the burden be shifted only to the workers? That is not acceptable to us. This is like a battle for us as we must continue to insist that workers should work in dignity and there must be dignity in labour,” he posited.

Credit: ThisDay

Governors’ Attempt To Reverse Minimum Wage, A Declaration Of War- NLC

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has warned that attempts by the 36 governors of the federation to slash the N18,000 minimum wage over their inability to meet the wage obligations to workers will amount to a declaration of war.

In a statement on Sunday, NLC President, Mr. Ayuba Wabba, expressed concern over the move by the governors, who met under the auspices of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) last week and made the pronouncement at the end of their meeting, to reduce the minimum wage.
He said: “The Nigeria Labour Congress is shocked by the statement credited to the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, Governor Abdulaziz Yari, that the N18,000 national minimum wage promulgated into law in 2011 was no longer sustainable because of the fall in the price of crude oil.

“The governor who was speaking on behalf of his colleagues at the end of a meeting of the forum also claimed that the national minimum wage was ‘imposed’.

“We wish to make it abundantly clear that this attempt to reverse the national minimum wage is a declaration of war against the working people of this country, and we would have no alternative than to mobilise to respond to this act of aggression by the political class on our welfare.

“For the record, the 2011 National Minimum Wage Act came into existence after almost two years of agitation and negotiation by the tripartite of government (represented by both the federal and state governments), the Nigerian Employers Consultative Association (NECA) representing other employers (in the private sector) and organised labour.

“This is in the best tradition of a tripartite negotiation recognised and codified by the International Labour Organisation.

“As organised labour, we submitted a request for N52,000 and provided justification for it as the minimum wage which a worker and his recognised legal dependents need to live a healthy life over 30 to 31 days in a month.

Credit: ThisDay

Workers Threaten Showdown With Governors Over N18,000 Minimum Wage

Governors of the 36 states of the federation may face a major confrontation with Nigerian workers, following Thursday’s declaration that they would no longer be able to pay the N18,000 national minimum wage due to dwindling oil revenue.

The pronouncement has triggered stern objections by various workers’ groups in the country, with organized labour threatening to shut down the country should the governors insist on taking the decision.

The governors, who made the declaration at the end of the meeting of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, in Abuja said the massive drop in global oil prices in recent times had drastically affected their states’ income.

Crude oil prices, which stood at about $62.16 per barrels at the beginning of May 2015, dropped to about $38.52 on Thursday.

The monthly Financial and Operations Report by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, for September 2015 showed that oil revenue payments to the Federation Accounts had consistently dwindled, from N102.99 billion in May; N101.96 in June; N77.4 billion in July; N76.18 billion in August to N73.25 billion in September.

Leaders of the various labour groups, including the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, have however warned against the ugly consequences the governors’ decision.

The President of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba, spoke in strong terms against the governors’ declaration, saying “Nigerian workers would vehemently and totally reject it.”

Mr. Wabba said the NLC would come out with a formal position at the end of its Central Working Committee, CWC, meeting on Friday.

Another labour leader, Joe Ajaero, dismissed the governors’ resolution as “empty threat that should be ignored.”

“The governors should not start a battle they would not sustain or finish, because Nigerian workers have the capacity to retrench them,” Mr. Ajaero said.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Cost Of Governance: Governors To Reduce Salaries Of Political Appointees

The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) has announced plans to reduce the salaries of political office holders as a means of reducing the huge overhead costs of state governments in the face of declining fiscal revenue.

The chairman of the forum, Abdulaziz Yari, announced the decision on Thursday after a 4-hour meeting at the Presidential Villa.

The forum said that it has plans to hold a round-table meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari to find a solution to the economic situation confronting the country.

The governors said that something must be done to address the revenue constraints confronting the economy, promising their commitment to ensuring that a new roadmap is worked out.

Credit: ChannelsTV

Governors Lament Mounting Wage Bill, Plan To Meet Buhari Again

Nigeria’s Governors say they will seek more solutions to the inability of some states to pay its workers and meet other responsibilities.

The decision was reached at a meeting of the governors held in Abuja, which began at about 8:00pm local time on Wednesday.

At least 22 governors or their representatives were present at the Governors Forum seen as crucial, as some governors are still owing some worker salaries of several months.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, the governors said that they discussed sustainability of the wage bill of some states, which had been affected greatly by the dwindling revenue and allocation to states.

Credit: ChannelsTV

Gov. Ambode Joins Security Chiefs On Patrol In Lagos

The Lagos state governor and some of his security chiefs went on an early morning patrol in the Onikan area of Lagos to see the situation for themselves. Many Lagosians have been complaining about the incessant traffic robberies that usually occurs early in the morning or in the evening. The governor has promised to do something about it and has so far increased police patrol on Eko bridge. And true to his word Gov Ambode hit the streets early hours of this morning to see first hand experience of the situation by joining other security agencies on Watch…. is it safe to say Gov Ambode can be called man of the Night Watch? …………….LOL don’t mind me too much Games of Thrones…

Aisha Buhari Urges Governors To Establish Children’s Parliament

The Wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari, has called on state governors to establish children’s parliament with a view to build the capacity of the youths in leadership position.

She made the call on Monday in Abuja at the inauguration of the 4th Assembly of FCT Children Parliament.

Buhari, who was represented at the occasion by Mrs Alayingi Sylva, wife of the former governor of Bayelsa, Timipre Sylva, stressed the need to establish children’s parliament in the 36 states.

She said that the parliament would provide a platform for the children to participate in national development and prepare them as future leaders.

She added that it would give a voice to the youths and inculcate in children the value of dialogue and collective participation that would equip them for leadership roles.

She congratulated the executive members of FCT children’s parliament for their victory at the April elections in which more than 90 schools in the six area council participated.

“This is a clear demonstration that our children have embraced the path to democracy which inevitably has been a course for governance.

“No doubt, your political consciousness will be raised and eventually offer you the opportunity of being valued members of our society and future leaders of this great country.

“I appeal to you to respect the rule and process of operating children’s parliament through which you can realize your dream,” she said.

Credit: Vanguard

‘Other Governors Have Stolen Before, Leave Dieziani Alone’ – Ijaw Youth Council Says

President of the Ijaw Youth Council IYC, Udengs Eradiri has asked the antigraft agencies to leave embattled former petroleum minister, Dieziani Alison Madueke alone and focus on other governors who have been accused of stealing from their state treasuries.
Dieziani is facing money laundering charges in the UK. In a media parley over the weekend, Udeng said that the recent arrest of Dieziani by the British police has shown that president Buhari’s anti-corruption campaign is targeted at the Ijaws. 

“The UK government should stay away from Diezani. This was how they muscled up and now (Diepreiye) Alamieyeseigha is dead. Now they have started with Diezani. They should leave Ijaw People alone. Are there no other governors that have stolen? Go to UK, almost all the streets are owned by northerners who stole Nigeria money. As far as we are concerned, the anti-corruption fight is a fight against the Ijaw people. So why are they just on Goodluck Jonathan’s men, just to demonise Goodluck. As far as we are concerned, the anti-corruption fight is a fight against the Ijaw people. Goodluck should have won Nobel Prize for peace. Goodluck deserves a Nobel peace prize, Goodluck deserves respect from Nigerians,” he said
He also accused the relevant security agencies of turning a blind eye on illegal mining in the north which according to him, is mostly operated by retired generals
“They say oil theft is economic sabotage, what of the illegal mining that are going on in the north? Is that not worst economic sabotage?. At a point there was lead poisoning as a result of illegal mining. The monies that they realize from illegal mining is huge, why do we not have the JTF policing illegal miners, knowing full well that the money realised from gold illegally mined is far much more than money realized from stolen oil. Retired generals have mines of their own in the north, the statistics are there. Why are we not talking about those minerals in the north that are illegally mined to the pockets of individuals? Why is it that only Niger Delta oil that is in the pages of newspapers,” he asked.

Zayyad I. Muhammad: Buhari Is Winning The Boko Haram War; Hence, Governors Have New Challenges

There are enormous challenges for Governors in the northeastern states torn by Boko Haram senseless war. In Borno, Yobe, Adamawa including some parts of Gombe and Bauchi states, there are widespread human movement of internally displaced persons (IDPs), insecurity, destroyed infrastructure and inaccessible land for substituent agriculture.  These problems have depressed the affected communities in these five states.
The governors of Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Bauchi and Gombe are yet to unveil comprehensive and feasible post-war programmes and projects to restore communities to their pre-war peaceful and productive statuses. As the military is winning the war, communities in the northeast of the country expect the governors of these five states to come together, design programmes and projects to tackle the original factors that facilitated the growth of Boko Haram and helped the group in its recruitment and indoctrination – abject poverty, illiteracy and the absence of employment opportunities in these states.
The Borno state governor, Kasim Shettima has announced the creation of a ministry charged with reconstruction, rehabilitation and resettlement of communities affected by Boko Haram insurgency. Kasim’s move is a good one, but what this war-torn states need is a strong collaboration between the states governments to create a multifaceted joint commission mainly for the restoration of basic infrastructure,  integration of  lives and livelihood of thousands of people, the quick rehabilitation of agricultural land; the local economy; places of worship, health-centres, bridges, boreholes, schools including the creation of productive employment for the teeming unemployed citizens and those engaged in unproductive-manual jobs. This will also facilitate the fast healing of the scars of war as well as complement the security restoration and peace building by the military. The creation of a joint commission is necessitated by some basic rationales- a collective approach by affected states, efficiency,  and the opportunity to easily mobilize substantial amount of funds.
The commission should work in this way- affected communities should be identified, then a reductionist approach should be applied to restore the community and also provide it with basic infrastructure that was hitherto not available in the community. For instance, if Gamboro Ngala in Borno state is a community ravaged by the war, the commission should restore the community’s schools, water supply, arable land, market, rural electricity, in fact the entire basic infrastructure. If this is done, the lack of clear direction most war-torn communities suffer will be completely eliminated from Gamboro Ngala.  Ten to twenty communities can be restored at once, because most of affected communities are not very large and reconstruction, rehabilitation and resettlement of a community may not be a billion naira project.
The big question is, where will the money to undertake such a ‘dream’ project come from? The five states of Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Bauchi and Gombe have 96 local government areas (LGAs), there is no LGA in Nigeria that does not receive nearly 100 million naira a month from the federation account. If the 96 LGAs can contribute 5% of their monthly Federal Allocation Committee (FAC) subvention, that will translate into a whopping 5 million naira from each LGA per month. This means 480 million naira per month just from the 96 LGAs. Then, if each of the five states can contribute 50 million naira per month it will translate to 250 million naira. Definitely the federal government and some donor agencies will also contribute some good amount of money. If for instance, a billion naira can be generated every month, the impact can reach many war-torn communities in short time.
If this approach is employed to reconstruct, rehabilitate and resettle the communities ravaged by Boko Haram senseless war, it will fast track the healing of the scars of war, restore basic infrastructure and local economies, including returning these communities to their pre-war or even better conditions. Though, this approach can only work if a time-frame is set for the commission to conclude its assignment. Projects and programs to be carried out in each community is identified and specifically stated while rules and procedures are put in place to avoid turning the commission into a vehicle for awarding contracts to friends and cronies. Finally and most importantly, governors of the affected states must show commitment and strong political will to make the scheme work.
Zayyad I. Muhammad writes from Jimeta, Adamawa State,, 08036070980. He blogs at
Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

PDP Governors Blast Buhari

People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Governor’s Forum, on Tuesday, in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, blasted the All Progressive Congress, APC government of President Muhammadu Buhari, alleging that the nation was sliding into dictatorship under his leadership.

The governor’s who spoke against the backdrop of the recent alleged invasion of Akwa Ibom State Government House by agents of the Department of State Security, DSS, condemned in strong terms, the alleged action, calling on human right groups and the international community to call the APC government to order.

Arising from a two hours meeting of the forum held in the inner chamber of the Bayelsa State Governor’s chambers, the PDP governors led by their chairman and Governor of Ondo State, Mr. Olusegun Mimiko, said the invasion was against the spirit, ethos, values and fundamental tenets of democratic norms and tradition, more so with the existence of a duly elected and sworn in governor of the state.

Read More: nationalmirroronline

Governors, APC Defend Buhari’s Appointments

Critics of President Muhammadu Buhari’s appointments yesterday got a reply; they are based on merit.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) and some governors defended the appointments which have been criticised as sectional.

The President’s men also denied that they were appointed based on sentiment, after three of them took the oath of office yesterday in Abuja.

The Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Southeast’s leading socio-cultural group, urged the Igbo to remain calm. Governors Rochas Okorocha (Imo) and Adams Oshiomhole (Edo) said the appointments came strictly on merit.

Read More: thenationonlineng

APC Governors Meet In Adamawa

APC governors, otherwise referred to as the Progressive Governors Forum have arrived Yola, the capital of Adamawa State, as part of their monthly meetings which rotated among  the 22 APC States.

The Governors arrived at the Government House on Thursday and were ushered into the Government House chambers by the host Governor, Senator Mohammed Umaru Jibrilla.

Governor Jibrilla described the meeting as the first in the State in the history of his administration and prayed that the meeting would be fruitful and wished all present a successful deliberation.

Read More: channelstv

WAEC To Announce Names Of Debtor States

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the West African Examinations Council will today (Monday) release the list of its debtor states, our correspondent has gathered.

The council will also announce the release of the May/June 2015 West African Senior School Certificate Examination.

The WAEC Head of National Office, Lagos, Mr. Charles Eguridu, at a briefing in Lagos two weeks ago, had threatened to withhold results of candidates whose states were indebted to the council.

The debtor states, which Eguridu claimed were 19, owed the council N4bn examination registration fees.

According to him, the huge debts were frustrating the operations of the council.

The HNO, who refused to name the debtor states, promised that the council would make the list public after two weeks if they failed to offset the debts.

But a source in the council told our correspondent on Sunday that with the planned release of the May/ June 2015 WASSCE results on Monday, (today), the council had no option but the expose the debtor states.

She said, “The HNO promised to announce names of the defaulting states while releasing the results, so the expectation is normal. It will not be out of place if he makes the announcement on Monday. Except if he wants to tell the public that the states had cleared the debts.”

We Have Not Received Bailout Funds Promised By Pres. Buhari, Governors Cry Out

36 state governors cried out, yesterday, over the worsening economic condition in the country and the failure of the Federal Government to give them the bailout funds promised by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The governors at their meeting which started Wednesday night and ended in the early hours of yesterday, complained that the comprehensive relief package designed by the Federal Government to salvage the economic crisis of the states was yet to be given to them.
The governors also expressed concern over the exchange rate of the dollar to the naira as well as other foreign currencies which has affected the nation’s economy.

They have, therefore, resolved to meet the President again over the issue.
12 of the 36 states of the federation were said to be owing their workers more than $550 million in salaries and allowances, with some workers not paid for 7 months.

Briefing journalists after the meeting, chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF and Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, said that the Federal Government has not bailed out any state under the bailout arrangement  as publicised, stressing that what the state got so far was the monthly allocation  from the Federation Accounts, Allocation Committee, FAAC and the dividends from Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas, NLNG.

Governor Yari said:

“This is also to inform our friends in the media that the Federal Government has not given any bailout to any of the states. What had been shared the last time was monies from NLNG and FAAC. As we have been saying, rather than look out for bailout, we have been looking for all monies that are in the coffers of the federation to be brought together for the purpose of sharing.

“The CBN governor raised some issues that taking the monies from those accounts, most especially as our reserves are going down, will affect the exchange rate and as well put pressure on the naira. So they decided to make the naira available or its equivalent so that these can be taken as loan for some of the states that are complaining about payment of salaries.

“The Federal Government has, however, not given out any bailout yet. But we have been deliberating on how best the intervention will be done quickly so that we will be able to settle the issue of salaries and other operations of government in the country.”

According to him, the resolutions reached at the meeting were:
To discuss with Mr. President to seek lasting solutions to the worsening macroeconomic challenges confronting the nation, especially on foreign exchange stability. The forum pledges to work with Mr. President to ensure coherent policy actions that will create a clear policy direction for the country and stimulate domestic production and to collaborate with the Federal Government to ensure that the National Health Act is operational and the on percent funding for primary health care is provided for in the budget.

Source: Vanguard 

Workers To Governors: Don’t Blow N713b Bailout Cash

Workers were yesterday in high spirits over President Muhammadu Buhari’s N713.7 billion bailout for states to pay outstanding salaries. The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), hailed the president’s action. The NLC urged Buhari to ensure that the governors spend the money on salary arrears.

It warned against “a situation that the governors that could not manage their allocation properly will be rewarded by being given special recognition”.

The General Secretary of the Congress, Dr. Peter Ozon-Eson, said: “Our appeal is that Mr. President should please prevail on the governors to ensure that when they get these sharing they should not
again blow it on other things. The first priority must be defraying the arrears of salaries and pensions of pensioners who have not been paid for 11 to 12 months. ”

Ozon-Esson, who is also the NLC chief economist, said the congress was happy about the Federal Government’s intervention, recalling that the congress presented the debt profile to the Presidential Transition Committee.

In the three-pronged bailout plan is the N413.7billion special intervention fund, the N413.7b ($2.1b) Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) proceeds and a N300b Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) intervention loan.

Federal workers who are being owed are also to benefit from the plan.

But labour officials warned the state governments against misapplying the cash.

Deputy President of the factional NLC Comrade Isah Aremu said: “President Buhari has been very vocal since he assumed office in making a case for workers to be paid as at when due.

“President Buhari once said that it is a disgrace that Nigerian states could not pay salaries. So, what he has done now is that he has commendably walked his talk. He has also shown that if there is a will, there will always be a way.

“Now, the defaulting governors must learn from the President’s approach – that you don’t have any excuse not to pay workers’ salaries. He has shown that no reason can justify why workers are not paid.

“The governors must also prioritise their needs henceforth in a way that workers are given priority and not rely on the President to give them bailout from the Federation Account”.

Aremu said labour was happy that Buhari already living up to his mandate, adding that what is important now is for it to be sustained.

The Nation

President Buhari Approves N400 Billion For Workers’ Salaries

President Buhari has approved a comprehensive relief package valued at over N400bn to put an end to the lingering crisis of unpaid workers’ salaries in the country. Vanguard gathered that a three-pronged relief package that will end the workers plight include:

The sharing of about $2.1b (N413.7bn) in fresh allocation between the states and the federal government. The money is sourced from recent LNG proceeds to the federation account, and its release okayed by the president;

A Central Bank-packaged special intervention fund that will offer financing to the states, ranging from between N250bn to N300bn. This would be a soft loan available to states to access for the purposes of paying backlog of salaries;

And a debt relief program proposed by the Debt Management Office, DMO, which will help states restructure their commercial loans currently put at over N660bn, and extend the life span of such loans while reducing their debt-servicing expenditures.


Buhari Orders All State Governors To Settle Unpaid Salaries Of Workers In Their States

While inaugurating the National Economic Council in the Abuja earlier today, President Buhari charged all the state governors present at the meeting to endeavour to settle the unpaid salaries of civil servants in their states. He asked the state governors to look inwards and find more ways to increase their Internally Generated Revenue…

Devise Ways Of Paying Workers, Buhari To Governors

President Muhammadu Buhari has called on state governors to consider, as a matter of urgency, exploring efficient means of gradually liquidating all unpaid salaries of staff, which have brought untold hardship to thousands of families.

Inaugurating the national economic council  at the presidential villa Monday morning, ?President Buhari also called on the states to also devise ways of increasing their revenue base in order to cushion the effect s of dwindling revenue from the federation account.
The national economic Council  is made up of the 36 state governors, minister?s of Finance and National as well as the Attorney General of the Federation.

Governors Owing Salaries Did Not Heed Okonjo-Iweala’s Advice – Monye

A former official of the Goodluck Jonathan’s administration has accused Governors in Nigeria owning workers’ salaries of turning a deaf ear to the advice of the Minister of Finance and Coordinator of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Giving his opinion on Monday about the claims that the country’s treasury was empty, a former Senior Adviser to the President on Performance and Evaluation, Professor Sylvester Monye, urged Nigerians to hold Governors accountable for the non-payment of salaries to workers.

Professor Monye said that the Finance Minister had, when revenue allocation dropped,warned the governor’s to give priority to the payment of salaries, which according to him, was ignored by the Governors.

“When the Price of crude started falling down, the former Minister of Finance called a meeting of the Commissioner of Finance in states to advise that salaries should be made first line charge because revenue was coming down.

“No state Governor has no business talking about non-payment of salaries because they continued to receive money from the Federation Account,” he said.

In defence to the non-payment of salaries to some workers in about 18 out of 36 states, the governors said they had used part of their allocation on projects that should have been carried out by the Federal Government in their various States.

At a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari to discuss the salary crisis, the Governors requested that the Federal Government should pay back monies spent on those projects.

However, Professor Monye insisted that the Governors had misplaced priorities, insisting that Nigerians should question why they could not pay.

“If they so choose to do contracts, as they have done, it is their decision.

“Nigerians ought to ask governors what they did with their money. It is the civic responsibility of all Nigerians.

“Did the governors have the authority of the Federal Government to work on the roads, as they claimed?

“The Federal Government never said you should not intervene but you have to discuss with the Federal Government and follow due process,” he insisted.

As part of assurance to the State governments, the Federal Government told the Governors at the meeting that it would look at the projects to know if they followed due process and make refunds.

Weeks after President Buhari took over office, he said that his administration met a virtually empty treasury that could affect the performance of his government within the first 100 days.

On the Buhari’s administration’s claims, Professor Monye said that the new administration was still using the language of opposition, which was completely different from the language of government.

He said the claim was not true.

“In government everything you say has fundamental implications.

“Parties that came together to form the APC have been very effective and they were successful of prosecuting their political campaign to the point of winning the election.

“But now that they are in government, whatever they say, the language must change to language of government.

“When you say certain fundamental things like; empty treasury, the country is broke and the economy is run aground, you are creating bigger problem for yourself because in my own position it is not true.

“It is not an issue of meeting an empty treasury. The fundamental is, are you supposed to meet anything in the treasury?” He questioned.

“Patriotic Illegality”

Explaining the circumstance that could have led to President Buhari’s statement, Professor Monye said that, as contained in the Constitution, the treasury was expected to be empty.

According to him, the Constitution of Nigeria stipulates that monies gotten from crude oil sales should be shared between the Federal and State Governments.

He, however, further explained that a former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, during his tenure, saw the need for excess amount earned from sales of crude to be saved, a situation that resulted in the establishment of an Excess Crude Account.

Professor Monye described the account as a “patriotic illegality”, as he explained further that Governors in Nigeria had gone to court to request that the money in the account should be shared, as it was unconstitutional.

“The constitution says that any money that is made in the country from all revenue sources must be put into the Federation Account and be shared between the states and the Federal Government.

“What is saved in the Excess Crude Account is the excess from what is earned and the current oil bench mark as stipulated in the budget.

“How can you be talking about an empty treasury, where there is a court case that is saying that the money in the Excess Crude Account should be shared?” Professor Monye further questioned.

He stressed the need for a fundamental reform of the Constitution to make provision for the Excess Crude Account which he said was necessary for any government or nation that wanted economic stability.

“What we need to do is to compel the government to save a certain percentage of what it receives from the Federation account,” he added.

Buhari Wants To Clear The Rot Left Behind By The Past Government Before Appointing Ministers – Report

President Muhammadu Buhari may not have ministers any time soon, as the new administration seeks to come to grip with the rot left behind by the previous administration, reports Vanguard.

The news platform stressed that the Buhari-led administration’s stand was due to the acute state of affairs of government finances and resources.

A source close to the president made this known to reporters at the weekend. He spoke in reference to assertions of the president’s slow take-off as reflected in the failure to appoint key actors of government. He dismissed suggestions that the activities of government had been crippled on account of the failure to appoint ministers.

He added that Buhari was very determined not to build his government on a “very rotten foundation.”

“You cannot even begin to imagine the situation we have met on the ground,” the source who has unfettered access to the president and is one of those presently working with him behind the scenes said.

“Almost everything is in a state of decay. There is absolutely no way the new government can hope to achieve anything long-lasting without first building a new foundation.”

In view of the present situation, the source said that the president may take some very hard decisions to salvage the country.

“President Buhari’s plan of action will be likened to that of a doctor who first has to break a poorly set bone afresh, before resetting it to allow for smooth and proper growth.

“The president plans to cut down the number of ministries and parastatals. He wants to cut down the cost of running government. He wants to make sure that all the loopholes that enable corruption to thrive are blocked. All these are procedures that require time and careful planning. You cannot do it in a rush.”

“Remember that he has to make sure that all this is done without any job losses or mass retrenchments,” he said. “All this is not a day’s or one-month job.”

Buhari To Governors: “Days Of Impunity, Lack Of Accountability Is Over”!

Press statement from Presidency below…

President Buhari Tuesday in Abuja assured State Governors that the days of impunity, lack of accountability, and fiscal recklessness in the management of national resources are over in Nigeria. Speaking at a meeting with the Governors in the Presidential Villa, President Buhari also vowed that funds stolen by government officials who abused their offices in the recent past will be recovered and systemic leakages stopped.

“There are financial and administrative instructions in every government parastatal and agency. But all these were thrown to the dogs in the past. Honestly, our problems are great, but we will do our best to surmount them. “The next three months may be hard, but billions of dollars can be recovered, and we will do our best, ” the President told the governors.
Expressing surprise that  the governors had tolerated the atrocities allegedly committed with the Excess Crude Account since 2011, President Buhari promised to tackle the issue decisively.
The President declared that the payment of national revenue into any  account other than  the Federation Account was an   abuse of the constitution, adding that what he had heard  was going on in many agencies and corporations, particularly the NNPC, was clearly illegal.
On the refund of monies spent on federal projects by state governments, President  Buhari assured the governors that the Federal Government will pay, but insisted that due process must be followed.
The President promised special assistance for the three North Eastern  states badly affected by the Boko Haram insurgency.
He also said that  a comprehensive statement  on the economic and financial situation inherited by his administration   will be made to the nation within the next four weeks.
“We will try and put the system back into the right position. What happened in the 2nd Republic has apparently happened again, and even worse, but we will restore sanity to the system,” President Buhari assured the Governors.
On an immediate lifeline for states that owe salaries running into many months, President Buhari said that a committee headed by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, will look at the Excess Crude Account and see what can be shared immediately.
The governors, led by Chairman of the Governors Forum, Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State, had presented a wish list to the President that  included:

Ø Obedience of extant Supreme Court ruling that all monies go into the Consolidated Federation Account;
Ø An order from the President that all revenue generating agencies must pay into the Consolidated Federation Account;
Ø Review of the Revenue Allocation Formula;
Ø Refund of the monies expended by states on federal projects;
Ø A special consideration for the three states of the North East under Boko Haram infestation;
Ø  Full details of the amounts that accrued into the Excess Crude Account from 2011, and how the money miraculously shrank without official sharing.
Femi Adesina Special Adviser to the President
(Media and Publicity) June 23, 2015

List Of States Absent At Pres. Buhari’s Meeting With State Governors

Currently President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo are meeting with all state governors.


The meeting, holding inside the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, is the first of its kind since Buhari’s inauguration on May 29.

However due to one reason or the other, the following states aren’t at the meeting according to PUNCH:

  • Abia
  • Bauchi
  • Enugu
  • Nasarawa

The states in attendance are Rivers, Ogun, Imo, Gombe, Benue, Delta, Niger, Kano, Katsina, Zamfara, Kogi, Borno and Jigawa.

Others were governors of Kebbi, Kwara, Taraba, Ekiti, Ondo, Kaduna, Oyo, Osun, Edo, Anambra, Sokoto, Ebonyi, Lagos, Adamawa, Cross Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Yobe States.

Plateau and Bayelsa States were represented by their deputy governors.

Credit –

Buhari Meets Governors Tomorrow Over Unpaid Salaries

Following an appeal by the 36 state governors seeking President Muhammadu Buhari’s intervention over the inability of some states to pay workers’ salaries, the President has agreed to meet with governors tomorrow.

This is just as the Nigerian Guild of Editors, NGE, has advised affected states to explore available avenues to alleviate the plights of the workers.

The meeting between President Buhari and the governors is expected to focus on the modality of sourcing funds to enable them defray the debts owed their workers. A top government official of the affected states said: “The President has graciously accepted our overtures to him to help us.

Read Morevanguardngr

Buhari Directs Governors To Decongest Prisons

President Muhammadu Buhari has directed state governors across the country to ensure the reduction of the number of prison inmates in their various states.

Kaduna State Governor Malam Nasir el-Rufai, who disclosed this while on a working visit to the Kaduna convict prison, said the president’s directive was in the spirit of decongesting the prisons across the country.

El-Rufai said, “Our leader, President Muhammadu Buhari, has directed all governors to visit prisons and ensure that we reduce to the barest minimum those that have spent many years awaiting trial in our courts.

“It is injustice for a person to be kept for a long time in the name of awaiting trial. This is why President Buhari directed all governors to undertake such visits so that, working together with the Ministry of Justices and the Prison authorities, we’ll ensure we do something about it.”

He assured that the state government, despite its financial challenges, would do its best to ensure that the people prison for wrong reasons and are awaiting trial get justice.

Receiving the governor, the state controller of prison, Mr. Abubakar Garba, noted that the convict prison, established in 1915 with the capacity of 547, is now housing over 1,000 inmates.

Disclosing that about 114 inmates were condemned criminals, with 11 of them citizens of Kaduna State, he appealed to the governor to commute the death sentences of 11 inmates of Kaduna State origin to life imprisonment. He also revealed that the prison had only two functional vans for conveying about 800 awaiting trial inmates, which he said, portends danger to people of the state.


See The List of States Not Owing Civil Servants Salaries

According to Punch Newspaper, the Nigerian states listed below are not owing their workers:

I can not believe that Ayo Fayose of Ekiti state is owing workers yet he had the funds to be placing Buhari’s obituary on newspaper front pages.

Its very strange and sad !!!

APC Governors Set For Showdown With Reps-elect Over National Assembly Leadership

Governors and governors-elect of the All Progressives Congress (APC) are set for a showdown with party members elected into the 8th National Assembly over their insistence on the zoning of the principal offices in the House of Representatives, Vanguard reports.

The stance of the governors is reportedly stoking tension among the stakeholders of the party. They are reported to be trying to use their loyal associates in the outgoing House to also amend the House Rules to compel the voting for presiding officers to be in the open, as a way of forcing their position through.

The members have, however, vowed to frustrate the amendments to ensure that the provision for secret voting that was adopted in the days leading to the emergence of Aminu Waziri Tambuwal is retained.

A recent disclaimer by president-elect Muhammadu Buhari that he was not committed to any of the candidates aspiring to leadership positions in the National Assembly, as against rumours in some quarters, has emboldened everyone interested in the major positions in the Ntional Assembly to push further.

“What the governors are doing is to go against the wishes of the president-elect for an open and democratic process but we are determined to stop them,” Vanguard quoted a supporter of one the popular candidates to have said.

A returning member was also quoted to have said: “What we want is for the process to be taken to the floor and let the most popular candidate emerge, but some of the governors are now openly saying that they would not allow that. Is that fair?”

Governor Sule Lamido As A Role-Model For New Governors? By Zayyad I. Muhammad

Many of the first-term governors-elect are coming on board without a well articulated programme and policy for their people. The ‘change’ phenomenon and the Buhari tsunami have brought in some unprepared governors especially in the northern part of Nigeria. The society must help these set of elected public office holders to start good and end excellent.
The Sule Lamido model of development is an excellent working document for most governors-elect to emulate and benchmark in their developmental strives. I often christen Governor Sule Lamido’s style of development in rural Jigawa as ‘Big Project from Small Money.’ Sule Lamido administration have initiated and completed many projects that are milestones as well as being in line with Jigawa’s needs.
The main reason the new governors-elect especially those in northern states with similar geographical, cultural and economical terrain with Jigawa should religiously adopt Governor Lamido’s development strategies is; the governor‘s development plans are based on new thinking and sound decision making. Governor Lamido’s careful planning and execution of people oriented projects and programmes, including the visibly enhanced economic growth and quality of governance in Jigawa State is clearly an indication that, despite the general poverty of ideas among most public office holders and the scarce resources in most northern states, there are leaders who are genuinely committed to people oriented and sustainable development. For instance, while most states were crying and pointing fingers at the Federal Government for their inability to pay workers’ salaries; Governor Lamido has not only paid salaries, but busy commissioning new projects.
Despite the meagre resources and the population of Jigawa people being mainly rural dwellers and peasant farmers, the governor was able to identify what the Jigawa people dearly want. This is how leaders ought to be- futuristic in thinking. 
Governors-elect who wholeheartedly want to bring real development to their people must adopt the Lamido concept and strategy of development in agriculture, roads, education, electricity, healthcare, water supply, transportation, youth development and other sectors. Governor Lamido was able to achieve the visible remarkable development in Jigawa through the segmentation of the various sectors into their smallest unit, then a head-on tackling of each unit. 
Lamido has become a role model for those aspiring for and holding political offices, because he has exhibited what is expected of elected leadership. For first-term governors-elect who truly want to bring development despite the current meagre resources; governor Lamido’s development strategies will be a great helping-hand. 
Zayyad I. Muhammad writes from Jimeta, Adamawa State,, 08036070980. He blogs
Views expressed are solely that of author and does not not represent views of nor its associates

‘The Hottest Place In Hell Should Be Reserved For Governors’ – Ben Bruce Speaks Up

Ben Murray-Bruce does not hide from the spotlight as he recently took to his social media platform to voice his opinion on the excesses of the present administration and its lawmakers.

Mr Bruce took to his Twitter handle to direct his posts at the executives and legislative arms of the government.

Reactions have trailed Senator-elect of Bayelsa East Senatorial District in Bayelsa state and Chairman of the ever-expanding Silverbird Group’s tweets centering on good governance and public sector accountability.


Since the former Director-General of the Nigerian Television Authority joined Twitter he has dived right into political matters, taking on issues that have been contentious in the National Assembly, such as pay-cuts for legislators, housing for government officials, and banning of imported products to encourage local enterprise.




His tweets come at an interesting time. President-Elect Muhammadu Buhari is known for his tough anti-corruption stance and is widely expected to cut the cost of government.

Notable figures such as Sen. Bukola Saraki and others have admitted to the need to cut the cost of running the National Assembly.

According to civic responsibility start-up Budget, the National Assembly budget is higher than that of 21 states in Nigeria.

This is obviously outrageous and Mr Bruce seems to be unhappy about it.

Still, his words have not come without criticism as many twitter users also reacted and faulting his sudden outburst and attacks on government officials.

Twitter users bemoaned his silence throughout the President Goodluck Jonathan administration while other questioned his effort and dedication during his time as the Director-General of NTA. Still others questioned his ability to champion the causes he has mentioned and the wisdom of some of the policy ideas he has advocated, such as protectionism for products manufactured in Nigeria.

Come May 29th, Nigerians will have an opportunity to hold Sen. Murray-Bruce and the Buhari-led executive government to account for the promises made to Nigerians during their campaigns.

Over the past few days the senator-elect has been going on about how public funds are being wasted by politicians in the country, calling for measures to be taken to curb this

APC Blasts Okonjo-Iweala For Absolving FG Over Unpaid Salaries

Governors on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, have fired back at the Minister of finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for absolving the Federal Government of any culpability over the inability of some state governments to pay their workers’ salaries.

Imo State Governor and Chairman, APC Governors Forum, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, who spoke on behalf of the Progressives Governors noted that President Goodluck Jonathan and the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, must take responsibility for unpaid salaries and the poor state of Nigeria’s economy.

The governor, who spoke on Thursday through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Sam Onwuemedo, argued that Okonjo-Iweala should not have shifted the blame since the complaint of the inability to pay salaries was also coming from some of the Peoples Democratic Party-controlled states.

Okorocha said, “God has begun to do something for Nigerians. The man, Buhari, who is coming in now, is a person who does not joke with discipline. When you talk about discipline, it is all-embracing. He will bring financial discipline into the system.

“By the time the man takes off, most of these things would be corrected. When the man at the helm of affairs is disciplined, invariably, other people must follow. Have you asked yourself the issue of the missing $20bn? All of a sudden, it was linked to somewhere. Nigeria is a rich country because God blessed this country. It will only take a strong leadership to get things moving.

“Buhari must set the ball rolling. Nigerians know why they voted for him. Even though he has said he will not probe anybody, but in the current situation we are, when it becomes necessary, with all these monies taken away by individuals, he should recover them for the country. If need be, he (Buhari) should put some of them on trial so that others will be very careful.

“A few Nigerians cannot be holding the entire nation to ransom. Whatever it takes to recover Nigeria’s money, it does not matter whose ox is gored; he should go ahead and do it. He must deviate from the old system for this country to move forward”.

Source – Daily post ng

Blame Governors Over Unpaid Salaries– Okonjo-Iweala

The Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on Wednesday cleared the FG of blame over the inability of some state governments to pay their workers’ salaries.

Okonjo-Iweala, in a statement by her Special Adviser on Communications, Paul Nwabuikwu said the governors of such states should be blamed for the development in their states because they were told through the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee to make the issue of wage a priority.

She explained that despite the 50 per cent drop in gross federally collectible revenue, the Federal Government had made the issue of workers’ salaries a top priority in order to ensure that the “people do not feel the negative impact of the revenue drop on the economy.”

For instance, the minister said that contrary to the “misinformation being put forward by certain governors to the effect that federal workers are being owed, staff salaries at the Federal level are up-to-date.”

She said in the five paragraph statement that the states, being one of the three tiers of government that receive monthly allocations from the Federation Account, should be blamed for their predicament.

The statement read, “This is to clarify the misinformation put forward by certain governors to the effect that Federal workers are being owed salaries.

“This is incorrect. Staff salaries at the Federal level are up-to-date; workers have received their April salaries.

“Regarding difficulties in salary payments, certain governors are trying to blame the Federal Government for their predicament. This is wrong. They had been told through the FAAC to prioritise salaries but they chose not to do so, hence the backlog that some states are experiencing.

“The 50 per cent drop in revenues simply means that salaries should be prioritised.   The Federal Government should not be blamed for avoidable mistakes made at the state level.”

The APC governors   had during a meeting with the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, in Abuja on Tuesday, expressed frustrations about their inability to pay workers’ salaries.

They therefore appealed to Buhari to consider a bailout plan for all the 36 state governments after his inauguration on May 29.

They said, “One of the issues that became of concern to all of us is the state of the Nigerian economy which is really in a bad shape.

“We have come to notify the incoming president of the challenges ahead of him. As it stands today, most states of the federation have not been able to pay salaries and even the Federal Government has not paid April salaries and that is very worrisome, by May and June, that (salaries) will be in cumulative of three months.

“We wonder with the huge expectation of Nigerians and people who have voted us into power, we are hoping that the president-elect will do everything humanly possible to bring about a bailout not only for the states but the Federal Government, at least for people to get their salaries and turn around the economy.”


NLC Asks Governors To Pay Salaries Before May 29

The Nigeria Labour Congress, has asked the state governors to pay outstanding salaries before the May 29 handover date. Factional Deputy President of the NLC, Peters Adeyemi, said this at the ninth National Delegates Conference of the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria in Abuja.

Adeyemi said workers had commenced the campaign to prevail on the outgoing governors to pay outstanding salaries before they leave on May 29.

The National Administrative Council of the NLC had on March 19, 2015 set up a committee saddled with the responsibility of compelling state governments to pay over eight months salary arrears owed workers.

Last week, the Edo State governor, Adams Oshiomhole, himself a former President of the NLC, had urged labour to unite and compel state governors owing workers’ salaries to pay before the May 29 handover date. The congress had on December 31, 2014, said 11 states owed workers their salaries.

Read More: Punch

Governors Ask Nigerians To Defend Their Votes

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission to investigate and prosecute anyone caught sabotaging or violating the electoral process, no matter how highly placed, during the April 11 governorship and House of Assembly elections.

It also asked the nation’s security agencies to perform their duties professionally and refused to be used to manipulate the electoral process. The Forum also urged Nigerians to troop out en masse to vote for candidates of their choice while also defending their votes. The Forum, which stated this in a statement by its Director General, Asishana Okauru, asked INEC to improve on its performance in last Saturday’s election. It said although there were complaints here and there, local and international observers rated the last elections as largely free and fair.

It said the exercise is a huge progress for Nigeria and its electoral system. “We expect that the Governorship and State Assembly elections will be even better, with INEC correcting the lapses observed in the March 28 elections,” the forum said.

“The logistics of distributing sensitive election materials should be perfected. Steps should be taken to ensure card readers work smoothly while ballot snatching and other forms of electoral fraud should be blocked.

Read Morepremiumtimesng

Only Card Readers Will Be Used for Guber Elections – INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has assured Nigerians that the hitches experienced with the use of the card readers in the just concluded presidential elections will not re-occur when Nigerians troop out for gubernatorial elections on Saturday, April 11, 2015.

The spokesperson to INEC Chairman, Mr Kayode Idowu, enthused that the factors responsible for the said hitches have been discovered with adequate measures taken to avert a repeat.

Idowu said: “Some of the networks that the cards were fixed in had challenges. That was the complaint on that day but you will discover that in the course of time, these card readers that they said were malfunctioning started to function. It was when they got the word across to them that remove those sim cards to heat it with the phone before you insert again but when you do that you have to reconfigure, so those things have been identified and have been taken care of.

“The device itself, in terms of the product quality, is of very high integrity; that we have demonstrated and proven. So we know what accounted for those challenges and we are working on them.

“We had challenges with the card readers in less than one percent of the 155, 000 polling units across the country.

“It was only unfortunate that we had issues in high-profile places like Otuoke [hometown of the president in Bayelsa] and when you have such a thing it overwhelms other areas. But like I said, we have identified those areas and we are working on them.”

INEC has a situation room that you can reach on 0700callINEC.

Revealed !!! This Is How Governors & Ministers Sabotaged Jonathan

Even the Witches too deceived President Goodluck Jonathan this time? Nawao!

Jonathan etched his name in gold in history books when he called president-elect, Muhammadu Buhari on March 31, to congratulate him even before the result of the presidential election had been completely collated and the winner declared by the Independent National Electoral commission (INEC).

But while it would appear that President Jonathan has already moved on after conceding defeat, sources say he is nursing the sting of betrayal by his close allies, which led to his loss to General Buhari.

According to reliable presidency sources, beyond the pain of losing out, Jonathan is disappointed…

because despite all the assurances from his cabinet members and other trusted political appointees as well as high ranking officials of the PDP that they had vigorously campaigned and sold his achievements to the people and were sure from feelers they were receiving that he would be re-elected, it turned out that they had in fact, not campaigned for him as they made it seem.

The president, it was gathered is particularly peeved by the action of some governors of Northern and North-Central states where he suffered the worst defeat.

Of the 19 states in the north, the PDP, the president’s party only won the presidential election in Plateau, Nasarawa and Taraba.

LEADERSHIP Sunday gathered that the sum of N500million was given as campaign fund to each state but those who the funds were entrusted to, rather than use the money for the purpose it was meant, held on to it. The money was disbursed through PDP-led state governors and cabinet ministers or political appointees in opposition-led states.

In Ondo State for instance, LEADERSHIP gathered that the money was disbursed through one of the principal presidency officials from the state but as at night fall on the election eve, the official was yet to deliver the money to the state governor for the campaigns. The leadership of the PDP in the state, it was learnt, resorted to calling managers of banks in the state late in the night on the eve of the presidential election to ask for funds but could only get very little, by which time there wasn’t enough time to reach out to a large number of electorate in the state.

A similar scenario reportedly played out in Oyo State where a minister from the state who was entrusted with the campaign funds allegedly held on to the money. In Kogi State where the PDP also lost out in the presidential election, LEADERSHIP sources said money for the election was also diverted to other uses such as payment of debts, hence the abysmal result the party got in the state.

The abysmal performance of the party in Benue, Bauchi and Kano states, where the PDP has two governors, a Senate president, national chairman of the party and three cabinet ministers, Gabriel Suswam, Isa Yuguda, David Mark, Adamu Muazu, Bala Mohammed, Ibrahim Shekarau and Aminu Wali, respectively, but could not garner votes for the president, was also said to have drawn his ire.

Our source said the president despite having received security reports that a high ranking official of the party was allegedly covertly working for the opposition was particularly annoyed that he had trusted the said official and waved the reports.

Sources in Kaduna State where the vice president, Namadi Sambo hails from and where there is a PDP government in charge, also informed LEADERSHIP Sunday that in one of the local governments in Southern Kaduna, only N100,000 was allotted to two polling units in one of the wards with a voting population of over 1,000 people in sharp contrast with the situation in some local governments in Edo State, where eligible voters with Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) were given N2,000 each to vote for the party, hence the success recorded.

Recall that few days before the election, LEADERSHIP Sunday’s sister publication, LEADERSHIP, had exclusively reported that allegations of embezzlement and diversion of campaign funds were rife in the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation (PDPPCO).

According to the report, coordinators of some of President Jonathan’s campaign groups as well as state and zonal coordinators were taking steps to ensure that they did not lose out completely, in the event that he does not win.

LEADERSHIP’s investigations in Abuja revealed that the coordinators, rather than use the money for campaigns, had been scouting the Abuja property market with dollars, acquiring choice property. The campaigners, it was gathered, rather than use the money for the purpose it is meant, have resorted to investing the money in property, so that in the event that their candidate does not emerge, they would have something to fall back on.

Real estate agents privy to the development told LEADERSHIP Sunday that since the campaigns began and particularly after the postponement of the elections, there had been an upswing in the number of persons looking to buy property and most of them who usually pay in dollars had been linked to the campaign.

Recall also that about two weeks before the presidential and National Assembly election, there was a free-for-all among some PDP officials in Ogun State, following the failure of those entrusted with the money to release same to campaign coordinators across the state. It was gathered that the campaign coordinators suspected foul play when the money which was to be shared among 708 of them was not, over claims that it was yet to be paid into a certain designated bank account.

Similarly, another report had it that a former governor deeply involved in President Jonathan’s re-election campaign had rather than use money given to him for campaign, deposited it in a bank for it to yield interest and possibly remain there till after the election, after which it will be forgotten and he would convert it to personal use.

Sources within the president’s campaign organisation, said such funds were being used by those they were entrusted with as they pleased and that the situation had compelled the president to personally take charge of his campaign especially in the Northern and South-Western parts of the country.

At the time of the report, a high ranking member of the campaign organisation had confirmed to LEADERSHIP that the headquarters of the campaign organisation was in the know of the development.

“State coordinators are responsible for mobilising and organising campaign rallies in their respective states while zonal coordinators do same for zonal campaigns and when people from the headquarters attend such rallies, they take note of the lapses in planning for further action. The money for such organisation and mobilisation is disbursed by the PDPPCO.

Source =

A Vote For APC At The Governorship And House of Assembly Elections Would Be Great For My New Government– Buhari Urges Supporters

The President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, has urged supporters of the All Progressives Congress across the country to come out massively and vote the party’s governorship and House of Assembly candidates in next Saturday’s elections.

In a statement issued in Abuja over the weekend, Mr. Buhari said while thanking Nigerians for voting him into office, there are still greater challenges of consolidating the electoral victory of the opposition party.

According to him, the election of APC governorship and House of Assembly candidates is no less important than his own victory during the March 28 presidential election.

He explained that his election should not be treated in isolation because the APC needs to win at other levels of democratic representation across the country.

The President-elect added that for APC to govern effectively, its supporters should also elect the party’s candidates in the governorship and House of Assembly elections on April 11.

Mr. Buhari used the opportunity to condole the families of his supporters who lost their lives celebrating the APC victory and wished speedy recovery to those nursing injuries.

He also called for total moral support for the Independent National Electoral Commission to enable it improve on its impressive performance, despite logistical challenges and other unforeseen hiccups.

Credit –

Anxiety In APC As Governors Shun Presidential Rallies

There is palpable tension among members of the All Progressives Congress. The tension is caused by the refusal of governors of the party to attend the party’s presidential campaign rallies. Since the commencement of party’s presidential campaigns, some of the governors have not bothered to show up at the event once it is outside their states.

The party has been receiving complaints from members of the party who have said that unlike the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which governors flock to rallies in support of the party’s presidential candidate, many of the APC governors have been holding back their presence from such rallies.

The party has, however, denied that the absence of the governors has nothing to do with any rift between them and the party’s presidential campaign organ.

Garba Shehu,  the Director of Media and Publicity of the party’s presidential campaign organisation, said all the APC governors are committed to the success of the party at all levels at the polls and that they are working towards that.

Read More: DailyTrust

PDP Debunks Okorocha’s Claim that its Governors Plan to Join APC

PDP has debunked planned defection of its Governors to APC. The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Olisah Metuh in a reaction to a statement made by Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha alleging that seven PDP governors were set to defect to the APC, described the allegation as baseless and one of the lies being peddled by the opposition.

 The PDP spokesman also lamented what ?he termed APC’s habit of peddling lies in a bid to win voters over to its side.
Read Moredailypost

Governors are Responsible for Boko Haram; Buhari has Nothing to Offer – Maku

Labaran Maku, has said that governors and not President Goodluck Jonathan should be held responsible for the insurgency in the Northern part of Nigeria.

Maku, the gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Nasarawa State, told newsmen in Awka, the Anambra State capital, that as chief security officers of their respective states who are “unaccountable to the Presidency, the governors are autonomous and closer to the people and as such, should know better than the Presidency what goes wrong in their domains”.

Read More:

“Third Term was not my Agenda”… Obasanjo Reveals Governors Behind 3rd Term Bid

At the launch of his autobiography titled: ‘My Watch’, at the Lagos Country Club, Ikeja, Former President Olusegun Obasanjo denied seeking a third term but admitted he knew about it.

For the first time, he opened up on the third term agenda in the twilight of his two-term presidency, accusing some Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governors of being behind the third term project because they were going to benefit from it. Obasanjo, who said he was not afraid of telling the truth, insisted that everything he wrote in the book was true.

According to him, “People say that it was obvious that I wanted a third term and I ask those who say I was behind the third term to bring concrete evidence to prove that I spearheaded it. I have presented evidence in my book that proves that I was not behind it, even though I knew about it. Some governors were the ones behind it because they felt the governors would benefit from it. If people say that it was obvious that I wanted a third term, they should present concrete evidence to the public that I am telling a lie. I have evidence to prove that everything I wrote is true and anyone that feels otherwise should present concrete evidence to prove his point.

“Third term was not my agenda or intention although I would not say I didn’t know about it. I didn’t mastermind third term. Those who were telling me to go on were the governors that were going to benefit from it.”

The former president also said he had no regrets in his involvement on how both late Yar’Adua and Dr Goodluck Jonathan became presidents saying, “I don’t regret bringing in Yar’Adua and Jonathan. If they don’t do well, those coming from behind should learn from me and do better”. He added that he was not infallible and people should learn from his action.

He also said that he had sought avenues to ventilate his observations and positions with President Jonathan but had to resort to writing open letters to him because his efforts were frustrated. He also commented on the injunction restraining him from publishing his autobiography.

He said: “I had given the book to my editors and to the publisher. As far as I am concerned, my job is done. I had written the book and printed before the court injunction. In a normal judiciary, the judge should be sanctioned and I hope something will be done. We are here legally and lawfully and we will continue to act lawfully and legally.”

Credit: Vanguard Nigeria

PDP Governors Bow, Agree To Primaries

President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday night met behind closed doors with PDP governors at the Presidential Vila, Abuja.

Details of discussions at the meeting, which ended in the early hours of Monday, were not made public.

However, some governors said the discussions centred on the   forthcoming party primary elections and repositioning of the party.

Gov. Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State said that the meeting evaluated strategies for a successful conduct of the primary elections.

The Deputy Governor of Kogi, Mr Yomi Awoniyi, described the meeting as cordial and fruitful.

“Mr President called the PDP governors and we all had a very good meeting, which was all about repositioning the party to serve the citizens very well.

“It was a very cordial meeting and the resolutions reached would be made public by the appropriate quarters,’’ Awoniyi said.

Gov. Theodore Orji of Abia said: “we discussed our party and the primaries that will soon come.

“We looked at how to fortify our party to avoid rancour or infighting to enable us do very well both in the primaries and general elections in 2015.’’