Comparing Osinbajo and Buhari is ‘mischievous’ – Presidency

Comparing Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and President Muhammadu Buhari, and concluding that Mr. Osinbajo is doing better as he acts on behalf of the president who travelled on medical leave, is mischievous, the presidency has said.

Mr. Buhari left Nigeria for the United Kingdom on January 19 for what was initially scheduled to be a 10-day medical leave, but later extended his stay indefinitely.

He transferred power to Mr. Osinbajo before traveling, plugging a potential power vacuum and constitutional crisis once witnessed when late President Umaru Yar’Adua travelled for treatment in 2009.

As acting president, Mr. Osinbajo has amongst other things, supervised the implementation of a new foreign exchange policy that has managed to strengthen a rapidly sliding naira.

The government has also announced a reduction in attacks on oil and gas infrastructure in recent weeks, cuts that follow Mr. Osinbajo’s tour of the Niger Delta and talks with community leaders.

Many Nigerians view those decisions as swift and firm, and have compared them with President Buhari’s often unhurried response to needling national problems.

But the president’s political adviser, Babafemi Ojudu, on Monday condemned the assessment, and said it was done by “mischief makers” whose intention is to cause disharmony in the presidency.

“These are mischief makers, those who do not wish this country well, who are always promoting crisis, who will not allow the people to benefit from this democracy,” Mr. Ojudu told journalists. “They are the ones promoting this kind? of divisive tendencies.”

Mr. Ojudu said all steps taken by Mr. Osinbajo were with the approval of Mr. Buhari.

“There is nothing that has been done since the vice president started acting that is not something that started far back in the past. A good example is the Niger Delta initiative.

“The President called the Vice-President and said ‘I am giving you the mandate, go into the Niger Delta and meet with everyone who is a stakeholder, all the communities, talk to the militants and make sure you solve this problem for the benefits of Nigerians.

“We are losing 1.2 million barrels of oil per day, all the gas pipelines powering the turbines are being blown up. And the President has said unless and until we resolve this problem we will not get out of recession.

“The VP took up the mandate and went to the Niger Delta, it is the initiative of Mr. President not that of the Vice-President.”

On the foreign exchange policy, Mr. Ojudu said claims of superior leadership capacity in favour of Mr. Osinbajo are touted by “The same people who said we never had economic team, no policy, nothing”.

“It is now that the policies we are implementing are maturing and they are seeing the result. It is not a question of one person being better than the other person,” he said.

Also, a lawmaker representing Kankia/Ingawa/Kusada Federal Constituency, Katsina State, Ahmad kaita, told PREMIUM TIMES that “baseless, ill-motivated” comparison of Messrs. Buhari and Osinbajo was capable of affecting Nigeria’s unity.

“It is one presidency; and whatever anybody does in this administration is to President Buhari’s credit,” said Mr. Kaita.

“Meanwhile, all we now see that means progress takes root from the time before the President travelled, with the two leaders working cordially for the good of the country based on the manifesto of our party, APC.”


Source: Premium Times

Ogidigben gas project activated under Buhari – Presidency

With the renewed interactive engagements of the Federal Government with oil-producing communities in several states in the Niger Delta region, the Presidency on Monday said that there is now a process to put in place a gas industrial park valued at about $20 billion through a Public-Private Partnership model.

A statement by the Senior Special Assistant on media and publicity, Laolu Akande, said that the project tagged the Gas Revolution Industrial Park, GRIP, Ogidigben, envisaged to be a regional hub for all gas-based industries, will cover 2700 hectares with fertilizer, methanol, petrochemicals, & aluminium plants located in the park that has already been designated as a Tax Free Zone by the Federal Government.

The statement said that the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo spoke during a meeting with international developers and investors of the project at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

According to him, the Buhari administration is committed to the development of the Niger Delta, and the importance of the project is underlined by the presidential attention it is attracting.

“The presidency is very interested,” he said.

Before going on vacation, President Muhammadu Buhari had mandated the Vice President to embark on visits to oil-producing communities to demonstrate the resolve of the administration to the pursuit of a new vision for the Niger Delta.

It reads “The building of an industrial gas hub in Ogidigben, Delta State was one of the feedbacks that was received during the visit to the state.

“As a follow-up on the Niger Delta trips, Acting President Osinbajo, alongside the Honorable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources; Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation Group Managing Director; Dr. Maikanti Baru and other top government and NNPC officials met today with a group of international investors and developers put together under a consortium by Dubai-based firm, AGMC.

“The consortium is made up of Fortune 500 companies like the GSE&C of South Korea, the China Development Bank, Power China and several others global operators from Asia and the United Arab Emirates in the Middle-East.

“Under the plan presented today by the consortium to the Acting President, about $20B would be invested to develop the Gas Revolution Industrial Park, and generating 250,000 direct and indirect jobs in the process.

“The industrial park would be a cluster for several industries in one location benefiting from an efficient, cost-competitive and abundant supply of natural gas, proximity to a deep sea port and centralized utilities, & services such as uninterrupted power, world class telecommunications and processed water.

“The park, originally conceived by NNPC, is located about 60km from Warri, and is about 1km away from the operational base of Chevron Nigeria Limited. It will be connected to over 18 trillion Cubic Feet of gas reserves in fields such as Odidi, Okan, Forcados, located within a 50km radius. It is equally planned that the park will be connected to Nigeria’s most dominant gas pipeline network-ELPS, enabling supply of gas to and from the park.” it added

The Acting President said “we already have a Steering Committee in place, chaired by the Honorable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and that shows the level of our commitment. We are unwavering.

“We take the project very seriously and glad to see you are committed and ready to make several other commitments. This is a process that we intend to see happen.”

In his own remarks, Dr. Kachikwu expressed confidence that the GRIP will bring the much needed succor to the people of the Niger Delta, and the oil-producing states.

Speaking earlier the leader of the group of investors and developers, Sheik Mohammed Bayo reiterated the commitment of the consortium, adding also that the project is important to solving the Niger Delta crisis.


Presidency orders vacation of DMI security from villa, DSS takes over.

The presidency may have carried out the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari to withdraw soldiers drawn from the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI) from the Presidential Villa. They have now been replaced with operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS).

Buhari had, on assumption of duty on 29 May, 2015 dislodged the DSS as first-ring security around him and replaced them with soldiers drawn from the DMI.

The redefinition of the roles of the DMI and the DSS in the Presidential Villa may check their rivalry, and improve security in the presidency.

The soldiers were initially moved into the inner circle of the security network in the villa when President Buhari took over, while DSS operated at the periphery.

It was learnt that the directive for the removal of the soldiers was handed down by President Buhari shortly before he went on his vacation in the United Kingdom (UK).

A top source who confirmed the development yesterday, disclosed that the two security agencies had been at daggers drawn behind the scene over who provides protection to the president since Buhari moved into his Aso Rock official residence in 2015.

According to another source, “protection of the president by body guards is actually the work of the DSS but Mr. President did not have confidence in the service when he first came in, because of the way they treated him during the 2015 election.

“The soldiers were moved into the inner circle of the security network while DSS operated at the periphery. This has not gone down well with the DSS,” he noted.

Specifically, it was learnt that there had been a subtle disagreement between the former Chief Security Officer (CSO) Abdulraman Mani and the Aide de Camp (ADC) to the President, Col. Lawal Abubakar over which of the plain-clothes security agencies should provide close quarter protection to the president and his immediate family.

It was learnt that while Mani insisted on allowing men and officers of the DSS to provide the statutory shield around the president and the first family, the ADC was more disposed to having the plain-clothes operatives of the DMI to carry out the function.

The disagreement between the two aides, The Guardian learnt, was what led to the eventual removal of the former CSO who was replaced by Abubakar.

Mani had, in a memo dated Friday, June 26, 2016 countered the ADC’s directives which shoved aside the DSS. He had insisted that the order was a misrepresentation of the president. This was before his eventual removal.?

Mani who in the memo quoted relevant sections of the constitution which grant powers to the DSS to carry out such security duties was said to have copied the National Security Adviser, the Chief of Defence Staff and the Director -General of the DSS. He had also noted that the various security agencies at the villa would be educated on their various responsibilities.

The memo read in part: “In fact, the issues raised in the aforementioned (ADC’s) circular tend to suggest that the author may have ventured into a not-too-familiar terrain.

“The extant practice, the world over, is that VIP protection, which is a specialised field, is usually handled by the secret service, under whatever nomenclature.

“They usually constitute the inner core security ring around every principal. The police and the military by training and mandate are often required to provide secondary and tertiary security cordons around venues and routes.

“However, all other security agencies, including the army, the police and others, also have their roles to play. It is on this note that heads of all security agencies currently in the Presidential Villa and their subordinates are enjoined to key into the existing command and control structure.

“They are to work in harmony with each other in full and strict compliance with the demands of their statutorily prescribed responsibilities.

“Meanwhile, joint training programmes and other incentives will be worked out in the days ahead to ensure that all security personnel at the Presidential Villa are properly educated to understand their statutory roles and responsibilities.

But, it was learnt yesterday that the removal of the soldiers last Monday came after Buhari was convinced to facilitate a reversal to the original architecture and allow full charge of close quarter security within the purview of the DSS.

As at the time of filing this report, operatives of the DSS had taken positions in the villa previously manned by plain-clothes soldiers.


Source: Guardian

Over 200 cars missing from the Presidency – Spokesman

Ghana’s new government has set up a special task force to track down more than 200 missing vehicles that should have been handed back when President Nana Akufo-Addo took office.

Presidency spokesman Eugene Arhin told reporters on Wednesday that an audit of vehicles indicated that many appeared not to have been returned.

He said officials could only find:

– 74 of the presidency’s 196 Toyota Land Cruisers

– 20 out of 73 Toyota Land Cruiser Prados

– 11 out of 24 Mercedes

– two out of 28 Toyota Avalons

– two out of six BMWs.

“The president of the republic currently has virtually only one vehicle at his disposal,” said Arhin.

“This is the vehicle which was purchased in 2007 during the Ghana at 50 celebrations. It is a BMW.”

The vehicles were assigned to former government officials and appointees under the previous administration of president John Dramani Mahama, whom Akufo-Addo beat in elections last December.

Presidency chief of staff Akosua Frema Osei-Opare said in a statement that the retention of state assets was illegal.

“Persons with state properties unlawfully in their possession should endeavour to contact the task force and make arrangements to surrender (the) same with immediate effect,” he added.

There was no immediate response from Mahama’s National Democratic Congress (NDC) party but the party faced a similar situation when it took power in 2008.

With just 3 days left, Presidency may still confirm Onnoghen as CJN – Official

Three days to a constitutional deadline to confirm Walter Onnoghen as substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria, the presidency has given the clearest indication yet that it may still confirm the judge.

The spokesperson to Acting President Yemi Osinbajo,  Laolu Akande, gave this indication on Monday in an interview with PREMIUM TIMES.

When asked if Mr. Onnoghen’s name will be submitted by the acting president to the Senate before the February 10 deadline, Mr. Akande said, “There is still time, today is February 6, we will find out what will happen, there is still time.”

PREMIUM TIMES had reported how Mr. Onnoghen’s role as Acting Chief Justice will lapse on February 10 after which President Muhammadu Buhari or Mr. Osinbajo as acting president would be unable to submit the judge’s name to the Senate any more based on a constitutional provision.

Several lawyers and activists have since condemned the president for not submitting Mr. Onnoghen’s name and not addressing Nigerians on reasons for his inaction, since the name was forwarded to him in October, 2016 by the National Judicial Council, NJC.

Influential statesman, Abubakar Umar, advised the NJC not to submit any other name to the president should he fail to submit Mr Onnoghen’s name to the Senate as appropriate.

“Already, many analysts view this action as a ploy to deny a Southerner his right to succession  based on  his seniority in keeping with the appointment protocol observed (by) the NJC in making the appointment,” Mr. Umar, a retired colonel, said.

“In the event of this occurrence, the NJC must not forward any other name nor should the Senate confirm any other nominee.”

Also at its meeting on January 31, the Yoruba Socio-Political group, Afenifere, condemned Mr. Buhari for ‘refusing’ to forward the recommendations of the National Judicial Council for the confirmation of Mr. Onnoghen as Chief Justice of Nigeria.

“Afenifere is worried that almost few days to the end of the three months tenure in acting capacity allowed by our constitution, the President has refused to forward the recommendations of the NJC in respect of Justice Onnoghen to the National Assembly for confirmation.

“We see this as an assault on the constitution if the three months tenure expires and he is not confirmed as the CJN of Nigeria.

“It is an attempt to cruelly end the career of a worthy Nigerian. Therefore, we call on the President to within the few days left to the expiration of the tenure of the Acting CJN to send his name to the Senate for confirmation as Nigeria’s CJN,” the group said.

Mr. Onnoghen has also spoken on the controversy, asking Nigerians not to pressure Mr. Buhari into submitting his name as substantive chief justice.

Many Nigerians had expected President Buhari to arrive Nigeria by Monday when he was scheduled to resume after an announced 10 working days vacation. The president was expected to, upon his arrival on February 6, address the controversy surrounding the appointment of the head of Nigeria’s judiciary.

However, the onus now lies on Mr. Osinbajo to act after Mr. Buhari extended his vacation.

It was in reaction to what action his principal would take that Mr. Akande made the statement.

Mr. Akande also spoke on the media report that Mr. Onnoghen has been cleared by the State Security Service, SSS (also called DSS), of any wrongdoing.

“I did not know of any investigations and I am not going to talk on that,” he said.

Mr. Onnoghen has also said he is not aware he was investigated or cleared by the SSS.

In an interview with PREMIUM TIMES on Monday, his media assistant, Awassam Bassey, said he was not in the know of any investigation of his principal by the SSS or of any report on him.

“We were just informed through the media like yourself. I was just with His Lordship and we were looking at it. Frankly speaking, we are not the source quoted in that report.

“I don’t have any information as to where that report is coming from,” Mr. Bassey said.

A report by The Nation newspaper quoted unnamed sources as saying that Mr. Onnoghen was investigated by the SSS and that he had been given a ‘clean bill of health’.

“All hurdles against the nomination of Justice Walter Onnoghen as CJN have been resolved. He has been absolved of all allegations against him.

“As a matter of fact, the nomination was delayed as a result of the need to address these allegations. Now, Justice Onnoghen has been given a clean bill of health.

“Every allegation was investigated and proofs indicated that Onnoghen has no case to answer. The government went to this extent to ensure that the holder of the office of CJN is above board,” the report stated.

The SSS is known to conduct background investigations on public office holders including judges, ahead of their appointments, in line with its constitutional obligation to ensure the security of Nigeria.

No ban on ‘peaceful protests,’ Presidency declares.

The Nigerian government has said it will not prevent people from registering their displeasure with the state of the nation through peaceful protests.

“This administration will not prevent Nigerians from expressing themselves in peaceful protests,” said Laolu Akande media aide to Vice President Yemi Osibanjo Friday on Twitter. “It’s a fundamental right of the people.”


Akande’s clarification came after the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr Fatai Owoseni, said his command would not allow the  protest planned by popular artist, Innocent Idibia, also known as Tuface, to hold in any part of the state.

“We know that Tuface does not have the capacity to contain such a crowd and we will not fold our hands and watch while things go out of hand,” he stressed.

Tuface had announced that he would a ‘massive nationwide’ protest on February 5. He later postponed the planned mass action to February 6.

He said there was a “need for Nigerians to rise against what is happening in this country having waited patiently for the legislatures that were elected to represent the people all to no avail.”

“A call for good governance,” he said. “A call for urgent explanation into the reckless economic downturn nationwide. A call for nationwide protests as we say No to the Executive, No to legislatures, No to judiciary…. You have all failed us.”

But Akande said the government has been investing in social programmes aimed at easing off the suffering of millions of Nigerians, claiming that the level of such investment has never been seen in the country.

“No government has ever laid out the kind of Social Investment Programme the Buhari govt is now running across the nation that will touch millions,” he said.


With rising prices of commodities, the effects of the programmes are yet to be felt by the people. The government acknowledged this problem on Wednesday at the Federal Executive Council and announced that it had set up a committee that would ensure a steady flow of produce to markets and reverse the rising food prices across Nigeria.

On 2019 Igbo presidency: who shall we send? – By Sheyi Babaeko

The Nigerian ex-president, a life senior fellow cum elder stateman, Olusegun Obasanjo during this year’s thanksgiving service in his palatial mansion, Ottah Ogun State called for an Igbo President in 2019.

Though this has generated mixed reactions among Nigerians, the call for Igbo presidency according to the elder statesman is in the “interest of Justice and Fairness”. I quite agree with the position of Obasanjo, and I would like to add that the high “Egba Chief” has right to voice his personal opinion whether anyone agrees or not. It will be unfair to attack Obasanjo over his opinion.

While Obasanjo remains a controversial figure in the political history of our dear country, providence have always laid on him the responsibility of navigating the ‘ship’ of Nigerian state away from predictable collisions with “political icebergs” that would have pushed us ashore or sink this country totally and finally. We may not always agree with him but there are credentials we cannot just take away from him.

Baba came back into lime light when he became the Nigeria civilian president in 1999 and many of his achievements are noticeable. I peculiarly respect him for keeping his promise of “reinstatement” of student union activists. Prominent among these was the reinstatement of Anthony Fasayo (Dr Anthony Fashayo was the student union activist who spent 21 years in the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife before graduating. He sacrificed all his energy and ambitions to fight for Nigerian students).

Now that Baba has lent his voice to those calling for Igbo presidency in 2019 general election, who shall we send? The issue of Igbo presidency is expected to generate questions and tensions and we all know that Igbo presidency is long overdue, but the question again is “who will go for us?” These are questions begging for answers.

Igbo race lack unity, and this lack of unity has caused a bi-polar trend within them. Some have opted for “self-determination” while the other extreme believes that “Igbo presidency” in the future is a better option that will address their yearnings and aspirations. Nigeria needs a visionary leader to reposition this country and redirect the sinking ship to its serene watercourse.

The south eastern part of Nigeria is the most marginalized, underdeveloped and neglected region. Hence, the clamor for an Igbo presidency cannot be said to be an inappropriate call. If opting for an Igbo President in 2019 can right the wrong, calm secessionist movements, satisfy their yearnings and re-unite this country, so be it. This call is understandable and I support it without being immodest.

In my own personal opinion I urge the Igbo people particularly the youths to unite and quickly call for a summit of Igbo sons and daughters with the view of producing a credible candidate for this noble task ahead before it’s too late (Perhaps If providence will offer them this golden opportunity). We should go beyond “sermony” of peace and Justice when we are not ready to entrench them on the altar. Peace and Justice are like the South Pole and the North Pole of two ‘lodestones’. They attract and embrace each other; there is therefore no peace without justice. Justice MUST prevail for peace to reign.

I am committed and resolute towards Igbo presidency in 2019. It is in view of this that I am joining Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo, well meaning Nigerians at home and abroad and the Igbo race in particular for an Igbo president come 2019. May God continue to bless the federal Republic of Nigeria.


Babaeko, a policy analyst and security adviser, is based in the UK.

23,000 Artisans, Traders Get FG’s Soft Loans in 13 States – Presidency

The Presidency on Monday said 23,000 persons have so far benefited from 23, 400 loans in 13 States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in the Government’s Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), under the Social Investment Programmes (SIPs).

A statement by the Senior Special Assistant on media and publicity, Laolu Akande, listed the States as Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Ekiti, Kogi, Kwara, Niger, Lagos, Osun, Ogun, Oyo, Ondo, Rivers and the FCT.

He said the loans ranged between N10,000, to N100,000 per applicant.

The loans, he said would be paid directly to individuals, while they are expected to belong to registered associations and/or cooperatives to ensure that they were peer-endorsed as credible, and to facilitate timely repayments.

“All beneficiaries must have BVNs and bank accounts.” the statement stated

Stressing that the Micro-credit scheme is a no-interest loan scheme, with only a one-time 5 per cent administrative fee for costs, the statement said the loan is targeted at micro-enterprises: traders, artisans, market men and women, entrepreneurs, farmers with the involvement of cooperatives and executed through the Bank of Industry, BOI.

It added “Although over 23,000 people have benefited from the loans, altogether, over 1 million people have already enrolled for the programme across the country and are expected to benefit this year.

“To facilitate the loan disbursement, four payment providers have been signed-on for the programme mostly in the urban areas. The next wave of payment providers, coming on stream by March 2017, would provide a much wider coverage in the rural areas.”

“About 8,436 market associations and cooperatives nationwide have been registered for this scheme through the web portal (, as well as through paper application forms.”

On the progress made with the National Homegrown School Feeding Programme, the statement said that “actual feeding of pupils is expected to commence this week in Ogun and Oyo States, while Ebonyi State will soon follow

It also gave details of the cost of the feeding programme, stating that N70 was the cost of the one meal per pupil.
“Contrary to insinuations in some quarters and inaccurate reports in some sections of the media, there are no payment issues or any kind of food rationing taking place in states where the Homegrown School Feeding Programme has kicked off.

“While the Federal Government has paid all approved cooks based on the number of pupils allocated to each cook, it is the State that provides the number of pupils to be fed. And where those figures change, the next batch of FG payment would reflect it.

“Specifically, where the number of pupils increase, the State will communicate the increase and approve the review. The numbers of the new pupils are then physically verified, before a commensurate number of cooks are engaged, trained and then paid.

“The FG has also adopted a system where it pays the cooks a 10-day advance payment for feeding. The programme is designed to ensure that no cook feeds more than 150 pupils a day, but in some cases, the numbers are as low as 35 children per cook.

“The meal which must be sufficient and nutritious is costed around locally sourced items and approved by the State under the N70 per child provision by the Federal Government. Food quality is monitored at the school level through the head teachers, the Parent Teachers Association, PTA, and the State monitoring teams.

“11 States have so far indicated their readiness to commence the school feeding programme having met FG’s set criteria.

“The progress so far recorded with the Homegrown School Feeding Programme, the N-Power Teach for unemployed graduates, the Conditional Cash Transfer for the poorest, and the GEEP underscores the Buhari Presidency’s commitment to the plight of poor Nigerians and unemployed youths in the country.

“Efforts to ramp-up all the schemes are in top gear currently”, it said.

Presidency, Saraki dismiss rumours of plot to force Osinbajo’s resignation

The presidency and Senate President Bukola Saraki have dismissed rumours that some governors are putting pressure on Mr. Osinbajo to step down as acting president.

Mr. Osinbajo is currently acting as Nigeria’s president after a letter to that effect was sent to the Senate by President Muhammadu Buhari shortly before he jetted out to the UK for vacation.

Rumours were rife on social media that Mr. Saraki was working with some governors to force Mr. Osinbajo to resign paving the way for him to serve as acting president.

Mr. Saraki is constitutionally next in hierarchy after Mr. Osinbajo.

In his reaction to the rumours, the political adviser to the president, Babafemi Ojudu, on Wednesday said such reports were “ridiculous.”

“I have read many ridiculous stories saying the Vice President Prof Yemi Osinbajo is being held hostage by some governors who are trying to compel him to resign.

“I have equally received several calls regarding this. The story is simply not true. It is a fabrication. Don’t be a purveyor of fake news,” Mr. Ojudu said.

He also said the Vice President is “behind his desk carrying out his task” and that he presided over the meeting of the Federal Executive Council earlier on Wednesday.

On his part Mr. Saraki advised those peddling the rumour to leave him out of it.

In a statement also on Wednesday by his spokesperson, Yusuph Olaniyonu, Mr. Saraki said his first reaction after the rumours emerged was to ignore them.

Mr. Olaniyonu said Mr. Saraki was “inundated with calls from across the country and abroad, it became necessary for me to make clarifications from our own end.”

Mr. Saraki said it is a good thing that the Presidency had also dismissed the speculation and showed that there is no substance to it.

“However, I feel it should be known that those behind this baseless, empty and unintelligent mischief are those who do not love this country,” he said.

“Such suggestions as contained in the speculation can only bring ill-will, disunity and crisis to the country and I therefore advise the sponsors to desist immediately. More importantly, these trouble makers should refrain from linking Senator Saraki’s name to their evil plot.”


Source: Premium Times

Presidency orders immediate payment of N150 billion subsidy claims to marketers

The presidency on Tuesday ordered the immediate payment of the N150 billion outstanding subsidy claims owed petroleum products marketers.

The order is coming amid speculations that government was considering increasing fuel price in the country in the face of rising fuel importation and distribution costs.

The speculations were fuelled by reports ahead of the scheduled meeting of the Board of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, on Thursday to review the existing petroleum products pricing template fundamentals, among other issues.

Since May 2016, when the template was adjusted, raising petrol price from N86 per litre to between N135 and N145 per litre, prevailing market conditions have fuelled calls for further review of the retail pump price.

Global crude oil price, which rose from below $30 per barrels then to the current price of $52 per barrel, and the Central Bank of Nigeria foreign exchange policy have resulted in the scarcity of funds for petroleum marketers.

The rising cost of fuel importation had caused major and independent petroleum marketers to abandon importation of petroleum products for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, which accounts for more than 60 per cent of the total national stock.

A senior NNPC official told PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday in Abuja that the corporation was bearing the bulk of the almost N90 billion cost incurred as subsidy on importation of petroleum products.

The official, who requested that his identity should not be revealed as he was not authorised to speak on the issue, said the cost was as a result of high landing cost, distribution margins and port charges by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency.

Ahead of the meeting of the PPPRA Board, close watchers of the market said the regulatory authority could be considering a review in the pricing template to allow for adequate accommodation of the costs to sustain importation of products.

But, the Nigeria Labour Congress President, Ayuba Wabba, in a telephone interview on Wednesday allayed fears by Nigerians about any plan by government to increase fuel prices, describing any such decision as a ‘no go area.’

“It is not true,” Mr. Wabba said of alleged plans by the PPPRA to take a decision during its meeting to raise fuel price.

“Nobody would dare go to that area. We have just finished a meeting this evening at the (Presidential) Villa on the issue, and it was very clear and emphatic that nobody would make any attempt to touch that issue.

“The meeting of the PPPRA Board would dare not include that on its agenda. It was clear at the meeting at the Villa that fuel price increase is a no go area. Even the petroleum products marketers are aware of this.

“Government knows that fuel price increase is a very sensitive issue at this time and therefore nobody should take Nigerians for a ride. It is commitment given by the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, on behalf of the federal government.

“Every marketer, both major and independent, NNPC, PPMC (Pipelines and Petroleum Products Marketing, Company) were there at the meeting.

Mr. Wabba said the meeting, called to address the challenges in the shortage of diesel, kerosene and other products, also resolved to ensure that products were available across the country, particularly in the rural areas.

The meeting attended by all the relevant ministers, including those in charge of petroleum resources, labour and productivity as well as the Central Bank governor, resolved to take steps to encourage more involvement of other marketers in fuel importation.

“Government was very emphatic during the meeting that nobody should contemplate anything about increment in price of petroleum products,” the labour leader said.

Oil workers have said they would not accept another increase in petrol price at this time.

PENGASSAN President, Francis Johnson, said all the participants at the meeting would not like to go back on their pledge, describing any attempt to increase fuel price as “suicidal.”

Part of government’s efforts to encourage marketers to resume the importation of petroleum products includes the approval for the payment of the N150 billion Petroleum Equalisation Fund debt owed petroleum marketers.

The National Secretary of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, Zarma Mustapha, said the money was part of the subsidy refund on the cost of distribution of petroleum products across the country.

Why El-Zakzaky, wife are still in detention – Presidency

The presidency yesterday justified why the leader of Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, is still been detained by the authorities.


Outlining the impediments inhibiting his release, he said the Federal Government is looking into the case with the public and security interest dimensions among others above any other individual claim of right.


A top presidency official who craved anonymity yesterday explained that public interest and national security implications must be considered in line with international practices that conventionally place national security and public interest above any other individual claim of right.


His words: “The major constitutional policy objective of government as stated in section 14 (2) (b) is public and not individual security.


“The issue of the release of Zakzaky is not exclusively legal. It has security and public interest as against individual interest undertones.


“The Federal Government is looking into the case and taking security interest dimensions into consideration,” the official said.


Making further clarification on the alleged detention of the religious leader’s wife along side her husband, the source stated that El-Zakzaky’s wife was not of any security interests and therefore was merely keeping her husband company in the apartment in which he is kept.


“She is not under detention. If it is her wish, that of her husband or of the IMN, she will be allowed to go home in a matter of hours,” he said.


Source: Guardian

BREAKING: Presidency warns against the sale of SIP forms

No scheme under the Federal Government’s Social Investment Programmes, SIP, attracts an application fee and Nigerians should refuse paying anyone money, just as the Presidency disclosed that five more states would be joing in the implementation of the Homegrown School Feeding Programme.

Making this disclosure on Sunday while giving a weekly media update on the SIP, Mr. Laolu Akande, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Office of the Vice President said ” we have been receiving reports about instances where Nigerians are being asked to pay application fees for SIP forms. We want to make it clear that such action is illegal and could warrant criminal prosecution.”

” Let us make this very clear: in order to benefit from N-Power, you don’t have to pay any application fees at all. The way to apply is to go online to the N-Power portal. But it is not open right now as we are still working on the 200,000 unemployed graduates already engaged.”

Regarding the CCT, he also explained that there are no application forms or fees to be paid either. According to him, “we are using a Community-Based Targeting template of the World Bank and as we have explained this is the mode of identifying the poorest of the poor and the most vulnerable.”

He observed that there were instances during the N-Power online application process when some leaders decided to gather information of their people and then upload them onto the N-Power Internet portal to meet the online application requirement.

“We don’t frown on such an effort as long as the information of the N-Power applicants are properly in-putted online. But we frown at anyone selling forms to Nigerians for this programmes,” he said.

On claims that some party agents have been involved in such illegal form sales, Akande said “the rule affects everyone. No one should sell forms for N-Power or any of the President’s Social Investment Programmes. That is exploitation and it is fraudulent.”

On the progress so far recorded on the CCT, Akande said payment is now taking place in all the 9 pilot states, adding that altogether FG has already made cash available to keep the payments going.

Akande said while the CCT payments have started in the pilot states, not everyone in those states have been paid due to logistics and banking challenges. He disclosed that three banks Stanbic, Access and GTB have been very helpful in the process, including supporting the implementation of aspects of the CCT pro bono.

Equally the Vice President’s spokesman disclosed that the Homegrown School Feeding Programme would also proceed this week with the addition of five states who will now be getting FG funding to ensure that primary school pupils in those states start enjoying one hot meal a day.

Those states are Ogun, Oyo, Ebonyi, Enugu, and Osun. When added to Anambra where the school feeding programme kicked off last year, there would now be 6 states implementing the scheme using FG funds.

At least 5.5 million Nigerian primary school pupils would be fed for 200 school days under the free Homegrown School Feeding Programme, according to the 2016 Budget, which has an allocation of N93.1B appropriated for the feeding scheme.

Laolu Akande
Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity
In the Office of the Vice President
January 15, 2017

I’m Under Pressure to Contest for Presidency in 2019 – Goodluck Jonathan Reveals.

Former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has said he is under intense pressure to contest in the upcoming 2019 presidential election.
Speaking while addressing his kinsmen who paid him an end of year visit in his hometown, Otueke in Bayelsa State on Wednesday, former President Goodluck Jonathan, reportedly disclosed that he is under intense pressure to contest the 2019 presidential election.
According to a reports, the former president said he has been receiving calls, messages and e-mails from both local and international groups, asking him to contest in 2019.
Jonathan, however, said he is not thinking of contesting for now, as he believes he has done his best for the country while in service, adding that he believes that his successor(s) would continue from where he stopped.
Recall that since leaving office after he lost to President Muhamamdu Buhari in the last general election, Jonathan’s profile internationally has risen, and there have speculations that Jonathan may stage a comeback bid in 2019, but he has now finally laid those rumours to rest.

BREAKING: A new name has been forwarded to the DSS for screening, to replace Magu

Omojuwa.Com sources in the Presidency have confirmed that a new name has been forwarded to the DSS for screening to replace Acting EFCC boss, Ibrahim Magu.


The said name has been forwarded over 2 weeks ago which lends credence to the speculation that the Presidency was aware of Magu’s dirty dealings and eventual rejection by the Senate.


From speculations, the new intending EFCC chair may be from a Yoruba speaking North Central state.


Recall that the Senate on Thursday afternoon announced the rejection of the nomination of Ibrahim Magu as the substantive chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over security report at its disposal.


Follow our updates for more details.

We did our best for Super Falcons – NFF

The Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, on Friday expressed heartfelt appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for directing that players and officials of African champions, Super Falcons be paid within days.

This was sequel to the team’s protest at the Three Arms Zone on Wednesday.

“We are grateful to the Presidency for the prompt action, and we believe this will put the minds of the players at rest.

“It has been a very difficult time for the NFF; no official of the Federation was happy that the players and officials could not be paid their entitlements immediately after the tournament.

“It is not as if the Federation did not plan to pay the players and officials their entitlements. The NFF expected some money from a number of sources but this did not work out.

“They are champions and deserve to be treated as such; there are no doubts about that,” Ademola Olajire, NFF’s Director of Media and Communications, said in the statement.

Mr. Olajire also stated that there was no time the NFF directed that the players should be ejected from their Agura Hotel, and decried claims that no official went to see the players at the hotel.

“The NFF is at the receiving end of all these, but at the end of the day, fair is fair.

“Before they left for Cameroon, the country’s Vice President went to meet with them at a training session.

“Also, despite the difficulties, the Federation was able to make the sum of $5,000 available to the Team Administrator for logistics.

The NFF President personally visited the team and prayed with them,” Olajire said in the statement.

Olajire added that “Before the team played South Africa in the semifinals, the NFF reached out to some sources and raised money to pay each player the sum of N500,000.

“The NFF President was on the tarmac of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos to receive the team and celebrated with them on arrival.

“He also impressed it on NFF partner Emzor to host the ladies to lunch and the company gave the team the sum of N1.6million.

“On arrival in Abuja, the team was received by the NFF General Secretary, Head of Protocol, Head of Women’s Football and the CEO of Jedo (a private organization), Dr. Aliyu Oroje Wammako.

“The NFF impressed it on the management of Agura Hotel to ensure the comfort of the players and officials while the Federation went about trying to raise money to pay their entitlements,’’ it said.

The statement added that Minster of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung visited the team in company of the NFF General Secretary, Mohammed Sanusi in their hotel.

“Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung who personally visited the team at their hotel, NFF General Secretary, Mohammed Sanusi was at the hotel on two occasions.

“Also, the Head of Women’s Football, Ruth David has been at the hotel on regular basis.

“After his visit, the Honourable Minister directed that the NFF should look for money to give to the players to take them home.

“The players appealed that the amount of N50,000 proposed by the Federation should be doubled, and the NFF squeezed out N100,000 to each player and official.

“Surprisingly, the players said they would no longer leave the hotel even after that payment,’’ the statement said.

It added that “While the monies paid to the team so far may not amount to much, these are challenging times and we expect the players to understand with the Federation.

“They did not, but we thank God all these issues are almost behind us.

“This unfortunate situation calls for calm and patience on the part of all. The NFF cannot praise the Presidency enough.

“The players cannot say that nobody came to see them in the hotel, or that the Federation ordered that they be ejected; that is not correct.

“We passionately appeal to the players not to allow themselves to be used by some persons against the Federation and the Federal Government, as such persons do not mean well for them,’’ the statement said.

Why Defence Chief is stepping down — Presidency

The presidency has denied a news report that President Muhammad Buhari has approved the replacement of Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, and Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, as Service Chiefs.

Presidential spokesperson, Femi Adesina, said the report was “not completely true”.

He however admitted that the defence chief was stepping down.

” The newspaper, rather than rush to print an unsubstantiated story, would have done better to confirm the information at its disposal, from many available military and government information channels. It then would have avoided the self-inflicted wound of publishing a one-legged story that is not completely true, and damaging its brand in the process.

“Gen Olonisakin is due to retire from the Army next week, having satisfied the official number of years in service. He is yet to be replaced. But the Chief of Naval Staff has a short while more, and President Buhari could, therefore, not have approved his replacement yet.”

Mr. Adesina said the administration had repeatedly pledged commitment to transparency and accountability, and one of the hallmarks of that is making information available to the media.

“But when some sections of the media would rather speculate, than cross-check and double check information, then it borders on deliberate mischief. That, surely, is not the way to go, for national cohesion and development,” he said.

No Plans To Replace Service Chiefs– Presidency

The Presidency on Monday denied report in the media of plans by President Muhammadu Buhari to replace the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin, and Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, as Service Chiefs.

It said Olonisakin, who is due to retire from the Army next week, is yet to be replaced.

A statement issued by the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Femi Adesina, reads: “It is necessary to respond to a fictive story published in today’s edition of New Telegraph Newspaper, to the effect that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the replacement of Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin, and Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, as Service Chiefs.

“The newspaper, rather than rush to print an unsubstantiated story, would have done better to confirm the information at its disposal, from many available military and government information channels.

“It then would have avoided the self-inflicted wound of publishing a one-legged story that is not completely true, and damaging its brand in the process.

“Gen. Olonisakin is due to retire from the Army next week, having satisfied the official number of years in service. He is yet to be replaced.

“But the Chief of Naval Staff has a short while more, and President Buhari could, therefore, not have approved his replacement yet.”

The statement noted that the administration has repeatedly pledged commitment to transparency and accountability, which resulted in the availability of information to the media.

Read More:

No plans to replace service chiefs – Presidency

Hunger Will Not Kill Nigerians, Presidency Faults UN Report

The Presidency says the government of President Muhammadu Buhari is responsible and will not allow starvation to kill millions of Nigerians.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity Mallam Garba Shehu said this on Sunday in a reaction to the recent alarm by some aid agencies that starvation would kill one million internally displaced persons in the northeast next year.

He said the nation appreciated the increasing humanitarian assistance complementing the federal and state governments’ efforts in the region currently facing humanitarian crisis.

Shehu explained that the crisis was a problem Buhari’s administration continued to handle with great sensitivity.

He stated: “This notwithstanding, we’re concerned about the blatant attempts to whip up a nonexistent fear of mass starvation by some aid agencies; a type of hype that does not provide solution to the situation on the ground, but more to do with calculations for operations financing locally and abroad. In a recent instance, one arm of the United Nations screamed that 100,000 people will die of starvation next year. A different group says a million will die.

“The displacement pattern as revealed by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) with the International Organisation for Migration indicates that there are currently about two million people who are displaced. Only about 20 percent of this is however in IDP camps. This much reduced numbers are in Borno in 13 formal and 16 satellite camps; four of such camps currently operating in Adamawa and about the same number in Yobe. The larger number of the IDP population is living either in self-settled camps or with host communities. The affected states with active collaboration with NEMA and the recently inaugurated Presidential Committee on Northeast Initiative are deeply involved in efforts to cushion the humanitarian challenges especially on food security and nutrition.

“Through an ongoing arrangement, NEMA provides raw food items to IDPs at formal camps, self-settled centres, host communities and satellite centres. The states for their part provide condiments, firewood and maintain environmental quality of the IDP camps. Beyond the IDP camps, government agencies are  distributing food in host communities. The T.Y Danjuma-led PCNI is currently doing this in Borno State. In addition to the supply of food, the Federal Government, through NEMA and the PCNI, has made the provision of drugs to some major hospitals in the zone as a priority. These agencies have also been deploying on continuous basis, medical teams and equipment to the North-East to support the provision of medicare to the IDPs.

“This country has a responsible government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari which is doing a lot to bring relief to the displaced people. The Nigerian government which has been making the most efforts in the entire endeavour will continue to work closely with the local and international response groups to overcome this humanitarian crisis. At this time when the focus is gradually shifting to towards rehabilitation, reconstruction, resettlement, recovery and the dignified return of IDPs back home, we can do with all the support out there in the donor community.

“We do not, however, see the reason for the  theories and hyperbolic claims being made ostensibly to draw donor support by some of the aid agencies. The situation on the ground, as it exists, provides sufficient motivation to all well-meaning donors to come and do a decent part. The hype, especially that which suggests that the government is doing nothing is therefore uncharitable and unnecessary.”

Credit: dailytrust

$29.9b Loan: Aso Rock Replies To Emir Sanusi Lamido Sanusi

Nigeria’s Presidency has replied the Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi over the proposed external borrowing of $29.9 billion.

Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, said the money is meant for the execution of developmental projects across the country.

President Muhammadu Buhari had in October requested the National Assembly to approve a foreign loan of 29.9 billion dollars to fund developmental projects across the country between 2016 and 2018.

However, the Emir was widely reported on Friday as expressing his disapproval of the borrowing plans by the Buhari-led administration.

Sanusi, a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), was speaking at a policy dialogue forum organised by Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development in Abuja.

“I can tell you for free, if the Senate today approves that we can borrow $30 billion, honestly, no one will lend us.

“It should be approved and I will like to see how you will go to the international market with an economy that has five exchange rates,” Sanusi was quoted as saying.

The Presidential spokesman, however, said: “With every respect to the Emir, you know he is my ruler because I come from Kano.

“He does not have his facts as far as those issues are concerned.”

According to him, the issue in CBN, that government has overdrawn its Central Consolidated Account is true, but it is within limits.

He said: “The overdraft does not exceed N1.5 trillion. It is incorrect to say, as he did that the account was overdrawn by N4.5 trillion.”

On the Emir’s opposition to the loan, Shehu said the Minister of Finance would respond appropriately.

“As a private citizen, I want to read his statement again. I thought that the borrowing is for projects that include the railway and electricity development in the country,” he added.

In his widely publicised critique of the government Emir Sanusi, who was also a former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), said the apex bank is illegally lending to federal government.

Sanusi also said “the problem of the current government is not having the right policies to fix the current economic woes”, according to TheCable reports.

Sanusi claimed the CBN had been lending to the government above the limits stipulated by the CBN Act of 2007.

“The CBN-FGN relationship is no longer independent. In fact, one could argue their relationship has become unhealthy,” he said.

“CBN claims on the FGN now tops N4.7 trillion — equal to almost 50% of the FGN’s total domestic debt. This is a clear violation of the Central Bank Act of 2007 (Section 38.2) which caps advances to the FGN at 5% of last year’s revenues. Has CBN become the government’s lender of last or first resort?”

Sanusi claimed that no one would lend to the Nigerian government, further stating that “if senate approved, I want to see who will lend you $30billion when you have five exchange rates”.

Sanusi said the country is enmeshed in heavy debts, stating that out of every N1 Nigeria makes, 40 kobo goes to debt and 60 kobo is left for salaries, health, education, power, infrastructure.

How we’ll deal with fraudulent claims in N-Power jobs – Presidency

Over 90% of the 200,000 unemployed Nigerian graduates selected in the first batch of the N-Power Volunteer Corps, NPVC, have been verified using the Bank Verification Number, and any untrue information submitted in the process of application is a ground for disqualification.

This clarification was given Sunday by the Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity in the Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande, while giving an update on the N-Power Volunteer Corps which is now advancing with assignment of beneficiaries to their places of deployments in their states of residence.

Mr. Akande, who referred to a BBC report last week regarding the testimonials of some of the selected Nigerian graduates noted that “it is most gladdening that those who were selected are now telling the stories of how they have not been employed for years, but now grateful to the President for this initiative.”

Some of them, he added, expressed satisfaction that even though they knew no one in government, they were selected for the paid volunteer job program, attesting to the transparency of the selection process.

Mr. Akande said that all the states and the FCT, through the focal persons they appointed, have since received the list of the 200,000, and now working on deploying the beneficiaries to their places of assignment.

He also explained that by using the BVN, which is one of the most viable means of identification in the country today, there is hardly any way anything fraudulent can sail through in the process.

“We are confident that the selection process, all the way through with BVN, and physical verification at the points of deployment in the states and the local government areas, are both transparent and impossible to abhor ghost beneficiaries, or any kind of fraud,” he said.

Mr. Akande said already 93% of those selected have been screened through the BVN, with the commendable assistance of the Nigerian Inter-Bank Settlement System Plc, NIBSS, and only authentic and verifiable beneficiaries will be paid the N30,000 monthly stipends starting December.

Responding to reports about random searches conducted on social media platforms, the SSA dismissed them, saying such cannot be better than “biometric identification we have secured through the BVN.”

“Besides the BVN, there is going to be physical verification, through an in-built component in our selection system that requires that information submitted online during the application would have to be authenticated at the point of deployment across the country, including verification of academic credentials and residence status.”

According to him, just as is normal when someone gets a job or even admission to school, he or she would proceed to present papers that have been submitted during application for verification. “This is also going to be like that, so claims about some applicants claiming to be residents of states would be dealt with if it turns out such claims are false. If an applicant cannot supply proof of residence, the selection is terminated.”

Besides, he explained that in a local government such as Abadam in Borno State, where there have been claims that nonresidents applied and were selected, Akande assured that there is no cause for alarm because such people would have to show up for verification on the spot.

He added that there was also a likelihood that a number of applicants may have input Abadam inadvertently considering that Abadam LGA is number one on the list of LGAs under the list as posted on the N-Power portal. “There is a good chance,” he continued, “that some applicants may have failed to complete the forms online accurately.”

Such errors are being reviewed and anyone found not to be resident in the LGA would be removed and replaced using the waiting list of applicants.

Said he: “an important aspect of the application was that applicants were told in clear terms that any false information would be grounds for disqualification.”

On how the 200,000 people were selected, the SSA Media explained that the selection was not only fair and done transparently, but also with adequate care.

Firstly, 40% of those who applied for the N-Power Teach and Agric were selected, and 50% of those who applied for the Health category, all based on an assessment test.

Then to mitigate the adverse socio-economic circumstances in the North- East an additional 4800 applicants from the region were selected with Borno State getting 1200 and Adamawa, Yobe, Taraba 800 each and Bauchi and Gombe 600 each.

Also to bolster states with low application numbers, an additional 4208 was selected and shared between Bayelsa, Jigawa, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara States. The Federal Ministry of Agric also additionally allocated 6799 applicants in the Agric category to all states across specific crop, fish and livestock targets in order to support government’s self-sufficiency target in Agric produce.

Gender and disability factor were also key in the selection. 46% of those selected, Mr. Akande disclosed, are females, while a total of 1126 were successful applicants with disabilities.

Mr. Akande then assured that those not selected in the first batch are now in the waiting list until the subsequent batches when they would be considered again, since there are still 300,000 to be selected under this budget cycle.

On why the selection process was based on states of residence rather than states of origin, Mr. Akande simply noted that for example, over 42,000 Nigerians applied for the N-Power from Lagos but only 3568 of them originate from Lagos. “Would it then be tenable to say almost 40,000 Bona fide Nigerians who are applicants resident in Lagos should just forget it since they are resident but not origins of the Lagos State?

Buhari Won’t Be Alone In 2019, Presidency Says.

President Muhammadu Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, has dismissed suggestions that the masses will desert the president in 2019 as unfounded and utterly ridiculous. He asserted that ordinary Nigerians are the backbone of Mr. Buhari’s mandate and the only reason he ran for the office was to protect them against the rapacious merchants of corruption, who have held Nigeria back for decades.

Reacting to allegations by a former Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) member, Buba Galadima, that Mr. Buhari would be abandoned by the people in 2019, Mr.  Shehu said Mr. Galadima’s calculation and prediction is utterly confused and misleading.

He said the masses are solidly behind Mr. Buhari because he is not stealing their money and their future, that the president’s enormous goodwill remains ever strong because the people are convinced the president is acting in their best interest, despite the temporary unintended consequences of reforms.

“President Muhammadu Buhari is far from isolation. He enjoys a very strategic relationship with ordinary Nigerians. This relationship is as solid a the proverbial rock. If Buba Galadima thinks that because he has no role and no job in this government that means president is isolated he is putting himself up to ridicule,” Mr. Shehu said.

According to him, Mr. Galadima cannot speak for the masses as far as their steadfast loyalty to the president is concerned. While acknowledging that Mr. Galadima was entitled to advance his own political agenda, Mr. Garba said Mr. Galadima did not have the right to decide for ordinary voters.

Mr. Shehu recalled that Buba Galadima’s disagreement with Mr. Buhari was based on principle. He explained that the president is committed to a level playing field and would not want anyone to link his name to injustice.

The presidential media aide said Mr. Galadima’s disagreement with Mr. Buhari started in 2011 when a group within the party orchestrated an organizational mess by which the CPC embarked on the imposition and substitution of candidates for cash payments at the expense of those duly and democratically elected.

He said Muhammadu Buhari was embarrassed by the incidents and complaints about the imposition and substitution of candidates, adding that he, as a democrat, would not suppress the will of the people to please selfish interests. Consequently he dispensed with the service, such as they are, of Buba Galadima and ran and won the 2015 elections without them.

“Let Buba Galadima go to his constituency, stand for election and see what will happen to him,” Mr. Shehu concluded.

Presidency Implies Buhari Will Run In 2019

With just one year and seven months into the four years term of the administration of president Muhammdu Buhari which will terminate in 2019, presidency has given sure indication that the president would seek a second term in office.

It also vehemently dismissed comments that it would be a lonely walk for the president, a development expected to serve as a punishment for perceived bad governance.

The refutation was a sharp reply to a statement credited a former member of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, Alhaji Buba Galadima that the people of Nigeria would abandon Buhari should he choose to seek re-election. In a strong worded statement last night, the presidency through the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu stated that the “suggestions that the masses will desert President Buhari in 2019 as unfounded and utterly ridiculous”.

Shehu asserted that “ordinary Nigerians are the backbone of his mandate and the only reason he ran for the office is to protect them against the rapacious merchants of corruption, who have held Nigeria back for decades”, saying that ” Galadima’s calculation and prediction is utterly confused and misleading.”

According to the presidential spokesman “the masses are solidly behind Buhari because he is not stealing their money and their future. President’s enormous goodwill remains ever strong because the people are convinced the President is acting in their best interest, despite the temporary unintended consequences of reforms.”

Read More:

Presidency Announces Slight Growth In Non Oil Sector

The presidency has said third Quarter GDP figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), reveal a consistent growth in agric and solid mineral sectors, indicating the success of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s economic policies even though overall economy is still in recession.

According to a statement by the spokesman of the Vice President, Laolu Akande, the over-riding impact of the oil and gas sector, where vandalism and sabotage of critical installations negatively affected production output, explains the persistence of the recession, as the non-oil economy posted a very slight growth.

 He said the assertions were made  by the Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters, Dr. Adeyemi Dipeolu on behalf of the Economic Management Team  on their reaction to the latest NBS reports.

According to him, efforts to resolve the Niger Delta situation are however continuing as the Federal Government has opened several channels of communication with all relevant groups in the Niger Delta.

He added that also, urgent fiscal and monetary measures to spur the economy back to overall positive territory are certainly in the offing including those targeting manufacturing.

Dipeolu said:“The third quarter results just released by the National Bureau of Statistics show that the Nigerian economy is still in recession. Growth in Gross Domestic Product fell by -2.24% in the third quarter as compared to the decline of -2.07% experienced in the second quarter.

“The slight deterioration in national economic performance owes largely to the continued poor performance of the oil and gas sector which worsened to -22.01% in the third quarter as compared to -17.48% in the second quarter of 2016.

”  The immediate cause of this, as is now generally recognised, is the steep decline in oil and gas production in the third quarter of 2016 due to acts of vandalism and sabotage of oil export facilities.”

He asserted that remote causes include the continued outsized influence of the oil and gas sector on the rest of the economy as typified by its contribution to government revenue and foreign exchange earnings, which continue to be important motors of economic activity.

He, however, said pointed out that due to time lags, it is still too early for policy interventions of the Federal Government to begin to impact fully on economic activity saying” there are however some ‘green shoots’ of economic recovery beginning to emerge.

Read More:

Buhari did not donate $500m to Clinton’s campaign – Presidency

The Presidency on Friday denied reports that President Muhammadu Buhari donated $500m to the campaign of Hillary Clinton for the US Presidential elections.


Senior Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in a statement said the president does not have such money to throw around.


Shehu said the President would not make such donation for any reason.


He said the United States is paying Nigeria instead as the country has won judgement on $480 million Abacha loot.


He said, “President Buhari’s Nigeria doesn’t have this kind of money to throw around. Even if the money is there, this President is the least likely person to give it as donation, and for what?


“As we speak, President Buhari is concluding agreements with the U.S. to return our stolen money in their banks.


A FGN account has already been given for the return of one million Dollars from Alamisiegha.


“Judgement on the USD 480 million Abacha loot has been won and our Attorney-General, Malami (SAN) will be in the US next week to speak to the Department of Justice, USDOJ, on the next steps for the return of that as well.”

Buhari Didn’t Donate $500m To Clinton Campaign– Presidency

The Federal Government on Friday dismissed as untrue claims that President Muhammadu Buhari donated $500m to Hillary Clinton campaign in the just-concluded US election.

A video, purportedly circulated by a US non-governmental group, the American Black Group for Democracy, had last week alleged that Nigeria donated $500m (about N150bn) to Clinton’s failed bid for the White House.

It claimed that the money was “pledged to the US Secretary of State, Sen John Kerry, and US Ambassador in Abuja”; adding that “the donation may create a huge misunderstanding between Nigeria and the incoming Trump’s US government.”

But in a reaction on Friday, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President, Mr. Garba Shehu, described the accusations as crazy, insisting that “Nigeria doesn’t have this kind of money to throw around.”

“What is the craziest accusation made against President Buhari?” Shehu posted on his Twitter handle, @GarShehu.

“That he donated $500m to Hillary’s campaign and that Donald Trump is angry. This has gone viral, sadly Nigerians are believing it!

“President Buhari’s Nigeria doesn’t have this kind of money to throw around. Even if the money is there, this President is the least likely person to give it as donation, and for what?”

Mr. Shehu noted that President Buhari is in discussion with the US government to repatriate loots stashed in American banks.

He said, “A FGN account has already been given for the return of one million dollars from Alamieyesiegha.

“Judgement on the $480m Abacha loot has been won and our Attorney-General, Malami (SAN) will be in the US next week to speak to the Department of Justice on the next steps for the return of that as well.

“The U.S is paying to Nigeria, not the other way round.”


Niger Delta militants not ready for dialogue – Presidency

The Presidency has said that despite the Federal Government’s effort at pursuing dialogue with the Niger Delta stakeholders, militant groups have not reciprocated the government’s gesture towards finding peaceful solution to the crisis in the oil-producing areas of Nigeria.

A statement issued on Wednesday quoted the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, as making the observation in an interview he granted to a Kano-based radio station, Express Radio.

The statement read in part, “Despite the government’s demonstration of goodwill by bringing stakeholders to the roundtable, militant groups have continued to blow up national economic assets.”

Shehu said the continued destruction of oil installations had frustrated peace talks.

Shehu appealed to Niger Delta leaders to facilitate the stoppage of violence and economic sabotage in the area.

“We must keep national interest above all else and give priority to eschewing violence and destruction,” he said.

Shehu also said the Federal Government was facilitating development by speeding up ongoing projects and investing in construction and repair of highways, railways and electricity plants.

According to the presidential spokesman, a number of projects that existed only on paper are being executed.

“Kano-Katsina dual highway was awarded three years ago by the last administration. They didn’t pay a kobo for its start-up. President Buhari just paid money for the first tranche of 75 kilometres and work has begun,” he added.

Shehu underscored the essence of infrastructure in the country’s economic and industrial take-off, describing it as playing the same role that the arteries play in the human body.

“Without infrastructure, the country will not witness growth,” he noted.

…FG rebuffs our moves for peace –Bakassi militants

A leader of the Bakassi Strike Force, Benjamin Ene, on Wednesday indicated that moves by his group to end hostilities in the Bakassi area of the Niger Delta had been snubbed by the Federal Government.

The group restated its readiness to lay down its arms and work with the Federal Government to ensure that the problems faced by the Bakassi people were addressed.

Ene, also known as G1, had on November 8 returned a General Purpose Machine Gun and AK 47 rifles to the officials of the Department of State Services.

He also said that his group had turned down offers by foreign and local organisations to destabilise Nigeria.

In a statement made available to journalists through his counsel, Mr. Ozinko Ozinko, the militant leader, who is currently on the wanted list of Nigerian Army, said the group had over the years been sidelined in the Federal Government Amnesty Programme.

He said, “As a mark of good faith and demonstration of seriousness, on November 8 by 16.30 hours, we returned weapons our fighters seized during our last confrontation.

“We call on the whole world and the United Nations to note this declaration of ceasefire and the return of weapons while we remain vigilant and wait for the response of the Nigerian government.

“For now, we shall maintain our independence and refuse to take up offers we have been receiving to team up with other international groups and local freedom fighters for more effective confrontation and destabilisation of Nigeria.”

Ene said the group, which consists of over 1, 000 foot soldiers, would name its representative when the Federal Government showed seriousness and readiness to end the war in Bakassi.

FG now engaged in several developmental projects – Presidency

The Federal Government has said the country is taking a giant leap in infrastructure development, as it is now speeding up ongoing projects and investing heavily in the construction and repair of highways, railways and power generating plants across the country.


The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, stated this in an interview program on Express Radio in Kano on Tuesday. Garba said that the Buhari administration had chosen to fast-track projects related to infrastructure in order to pump money into the economy as a way of pulling the economy out of recession.


According to the SSA, an unprecedented amount of N750 Billion Naira has been released for capital projects in the last five months and that counterpart funds for the take-off of the USD 11 billion Kano-Lagos rail project had been paid.


The presidential spokesman said a number of projects existing on paper are now being activated, citing the Kano-Katsina dual road project as an example of what he called “deceitful and ghost projects now being given life.”


In his words, “Kano-Katsina dual highway was awarded three years ago by the last administration. They didn’t pay a kobo for its start-up. President Buhari just paid money for the first tranche of 75 kilometers and work has begun apace.”


Malam Garba explained the essence of infrastructure in the country’s economic and industrial take-off, describing it as the equivalent of the arteries forming the bloodstream in the body. “Without infrastructure, the country will not witness growth,” he noted.


On the resurgence of militancy and pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta region, Malam Garba appealed to militants to maintain peace in the region as the President seeks a permanent solution to the problems that are worrisome to every citizen.


“We must keep national interest above all else and give priority to eschewing violence and destruction,” he urged.


The Presidential spokesman expressed regrets that despite its good faith in pursuing dialogue with the Niger Delta stakeholders, the militant groups have not reciprocated the government’s good gesture in finding peaceful and lasting solution to the crisis in the oil producing areas of Nigeria.


In his words, “Despite the government’s practical demonstration of goodwill by bringing the parties or stakeholders to the round table, the militant groups have continued to blow up national economic assets.”


According to Malam Garba, the continued destruction of oil installations, including those repaired, has thrown a spanner in the works, causing enormous hardships on innocent Nigerians on account of declining oil production output and massive losses of revenues, which in turn, badly affect the ability of governments at all levels to meet their basic obligations, including payment of salaries.


The Presidential Spokesman, while cautioning that violence brings no benefits to anybody, appealed to Niger Delta leaders at all levels to exert every influence they have to stop the violence and economic sabotage “so that normalcy can return to the region.”

Comedian Seyi Law Declares Interest in Running for President Come 2019.

The comedian took to his Instagram and twitter page to declare his interest in running for president come 2019.


Why aim low when you can aim high? I believe that the status quo must change for Nigeria to regain its place as a force to reckon with. The energy and knowledge of the Nigerian Youth must be put to positive use.
It is time we acknowledged the ingenuity of our vibrant men and women to ensure proper representation at the different levels of governance and not mere reduction to PAs and SAs. 
We must ensure we retain our best brains in the country and adequately make provision to reform our educational institutions, healthcare system and industries. Our ways of learning must change to meet required standard.
I am ALETILE OLUWASEYITAN LAWRENCE aka SEYILAW and I am running for the highest office in the land in 2019.

There may be famine in 2017, Presidency warns Nigerians.

Nigerians have been warned to prepare for the possibility of a famine in January 2017.


According to a statement by the Presidency, the disclosure was made by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, during an interview with a Kano-based radio station, Pyramid Radio, on Monday.


Shehu disclosed that the Federal Government has ordered the Ministry of Agriculture to store surplus grains in warehouses in the country.


“The huge demand for our grains in the global market is creating an excellent environment for the mindless export of Nigerian grains across our borders and unless this is curtailed, Nigerian markets will be bereft of food by January next year,” he said.


“Over the past year, providence has blessed Nigeria with bountiful harvests of grains, more than enough to feed the country and to export to other countries.


“At present, there is a high demand for grains from Nigeria, from African countries as distant as Libya and Algeria, and from places as far away as Brazil.


“However, the Ministry of Agriculture has raised concerns about the massive rate of exportation, which could lead to a shortage of grains in Nigeria by January,” he said.


Garba said exporters were taking too much grains out of the country.

Why Buhari’s Appointees, APC Chieftains Are Not Tried For Corruption- Presidency

President Muhammadu Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, has offered reasons why leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, and those in the president’s cabinet are not being prosecuted for corruption.

The presidential spokesman, who made this known while featuring as a guest on a radio programme, Sweet F.M’s Podium in Abeokuta, also argued that the federal government’s anti-corruption fight was not selective.

According to him, APC chieftains and appointees are not being prosecuted because no evidence had been put forward indicting them of being involved in corrupt practices.

“The onus lies on he who alledges to also prove,” he said. “The fact that any PDP member crosses to APC does not provide automatic shield. Whoever is indicted will be prosecuted.”

On the arrest of judges, Mr. Adesina said the raid on judges was only a raid on corruption and not the judiciary.

“Mr. President has said it all. No one is out to intimidate the judiciary. DSS raid was a raid on corruption not Judiciary,” he said.
On the importation of rice, Mr. Adesina clarified that the Federal Government did not ban the importation of rice, but only took steps to curtail the activities of smugglers at the nation’s land borders.

Mr.Adesina lamented the widespread misinformation that the government had banned the importation of rice.

“Importation of rice via our sea borders remain legal,” Mr. Adesina said.

He said the Buhari-led Federal government was committed to the diversification of the economy.

“We have gotten to the point in which we have to diversify or die,” he said.

“The Federal government has disbursed money so as to heavily invest in Agriculture and Mining.

“Dr. Fayemi has told us that the results of the ongoing investment may not be clearly seen in less than 30 years. However, we will lay the foundation.”

Speaking on his appointment, Mr. Adesina said he, perhaps, would have done all he could to stop his appointment as the President’s media aide if he had a hint about the possibility of his appointment.

“I was not expecting it. Maybe if I knew, I would have done all in my powers to make sure it did not happen,” he said.

“I have known him since he started contesting and wrote good things about him but I did not know he will appoint me as his adviser.”


Presidency to partner firm on youths’ empowerment.

The Federal Government has pledged to partner with an indigenous human capital development consultancy firm, Productive People, to help achieve government’s objective of moving from “human resources to human capital.”

A Senior Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation and Youth Employment, Mr. Afolabi Imoukhuede, said this yesterday in Lagos during the first year anniversary of the firm with the theme, A Night of Black Glam with Productive People.

Imoukhuede, a guest speaker at the event, noted that in the diversification drive of this administration, it is their responsibility as a government to create an enabling environment for the private sectors to operate, thereby creating jobs in the process.

He said: “The era of free or cheap money is gone, hence the need to empower the youths. What we are trying to do to ease unemployment. That is why we are here, and we are going to partner with them.”

Founder of the firm, Mark Igbinedion, said though the recession was not the reason for the creation of the firm, added that during recession, “we should all seek to help one another and that is what Productive People is out to do.”

Also, the firm’s staffing specialist on finance and banking, Iyanu Jubreel, noted that the world has “evolved to where we all need to think creatively, productively and innovatively” if the barrier of poverty must be broken.

Judicial Corruption: Buhari Not Involved In Judges’ Travails– Presidency

The Presidency on Sunday frowned at individuals or organisations attempting to link President Muhammadu Buhari to the legal travails of some judges facing corruption charges in the country.

A statement issued in Abuja by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, advised journalists and other Nigerians to stop linking the name of the president to the matter.

Mr. Shehu said that Buhari would be “the last person to authorise anybody to induce a judge to pervert the course of justice’’.

He recalled that despite his personal familiarity with some court judges, the president had never used that familiarity to seek favours from them.

According to him, from 2003, 2007 and 2011 when he was challenging the fairness of the presidential election results, from the lowest to the highest courts in the land during the periods in question, he never sought for favour from them.

Mr. Shehu also explained that, “as a politician, Buhari had never once ever suggested to his lawyers to approach any judge for assistance to win his cases.”

According to him, the president lives by this principle and has never deviated from it.

On the fate of the judges facing corruption allegations, Mr. Shehu said, “the president doesn’t tell courts how to do their jobs and that anybody accused of corruption is protected by law to defend their innocence.”

He explained that the purpose of the law was to punish the guilty and acquit the innocent, noting that “the law protects the rights of everyone.

“The president doesn’t have any powers to force any court to convict anybody who is innocent.’’

He stated that in a democratic society, such interference could not happen without resistance by the people.

Credit: NAN

Presidency orders probe of Buhari’s chief of staff, Kyari, over bribery allegation.

Vanguard newspaper is reporting that Abba Kyari, the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, is being investigated by the Special Investigation Panel of the Nigerian Police Force over bribery allegations.

Kyari is alleged to have received the sum of N500 million from telecommunications company, MTN, as bribe in order to convince the government to reduce the heavy $5 billion fine imposed on it by the Nigeria Telecommunications Commission (NJC) over failure to register sim cards.

The accusation against Kyari was first published by online newspaper, Sahara Reporters, which said that MTN approached Kyari so he could his closeness and influence on the president to ensure the reduction in the fine.

According to Vanguard, the Presidency has directed the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris to investigate the allegation and come out with findings regarding the accusation. The Scoop cannot independently confirm this story.

Here is how the paper reported it:

Sources close to the investigation panel told Vanguard that after days of investigation, all attempts to get the publishers of Sahara Reporters to come forward and avail it with evidence of the N500 million bribe; when it was given, where and how the money was collected, has proved abortive.

Firstly, the source who spoke under condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to speak on the issue, said the fact that the online medium is based in the United States has not helped matters.

“Officials of MTN, who were invited and interviewed over the allegation, have vehemently denied that any such money emanated from the telecommunication company and that since the beginning of the $5billion fine saga, nobody had been approached for bribe.

“Another thing is that if such volume of money was paid through the banks, discreet investigation of financial dealings on the part of MTN and on the part of the COS has so far not revealed any transactions of such.”

The officials of MTN drew the attention of the Police to the fact that the issue of the $5 billion fine resulted into diplomatic exchanges between South African government and their Nigerian Counterpart to the extent that during President Jacob Zuma’s visit to Nigeria, the issue came up for discussion between Zuma and President Buhari. They (MTN Officials) then wondered how issue of bribery allegation can be alleged against a government that abhors and is fighting corruption in all sectors of the economy.

Meanwhile there are indications that the Police Investigation team may conclude the report of the allegation soon if the grace period it has given the online media organisation lapses and they fail to provide evidence to substantiate the allegation.

President Buhari Meets The 21 Released Chibok Girls In State House. [Pictures]

President Muhammadu Buhari received the 21 recently released Chibok girls at the State House in Abuja on Wednesday.

Prior to the meeting, the girls, who were abducted by Boko Haram insurgents in 2014, underwent screening.

The former captives were released last week following negotiations between the federal government and Boko Haram, with intervention from the Swiss government and the International Committee of the Red Cross. The government is allegedly working to release the remaining Chibok girls as well as other Nigerians captured by the terrorist group.

“Today I received 21 dear daughters,” the president said on his Twitter page.

“They have seen the worst that the world has to offer. It is now time for them to experience the best.”




Mr. Buhari gave the following speech:


My dear children. This is a happy moment for me and for all Nigerians. I welcome you back to freedom. It is a moment your parents, the Nation and the International Community have been eagerly waiting for, since your abduction on 14th April 2014.

We must from the onset, thank Almighty God for this day that 21 of the Chibok girls have again breathed the air of freedom and are reunited with their parents. We are equally prayerful, that God in his infinite mercies and benevolence, will see to it that the girls remaining in captivity will be freed and returned to us soonest.

All Nigerians recall, sadly the night of 14th April 2014, 276 young female Nigerian students were abducted from the Government Secondary School in Chibok Borno State by the Boko Haram.

Fortunately, 57 of the kidnapped school girls were able to escape, leaving 219 in captivity. One of the abducted girls, Amina Ali was found in May 2016. And today we are here celebrating the freedom and return of another 21 girls that regained freedom on Thursday 13th October. We are equally as hopeful as we are praying, that the remaining girls will be freed and returned to us without further delay.




The release of these 21 girls followed a series of negotiations between Government and the Boko Haram group, brokered by our friends both local and International. Since this Administration assumed office, we have been working towards the safe release of the girls. The Nigerian DSS, Military and other Security Agencies have spared no effort to secure our girls. These 21 girls are the manifestation of our doggedness and commitments to the release and return of the Chibok girls.

While joining their parents to rejoice and praise the Almighty, we shall redouble efforts to ensure that we fulfill our pledge of bringing the remaining girls back home. Already, the credible first step has been taken and Government will sustain the effort until all the remaining girls return safely

These 21 girls will be given adequate and comprehensive medical, nutritional and psychological care and support. The Federal Government will rehabilitate them, and ensure that their reintegration back to the Society is done as quickly as possible.

Aside from rescuing them, we are assuming the responsibility for their personal, educational and professional goals and ambitions in life. Obviously, it is not late for the girls to go back to school and continue the pursuit of their studies.




These dear daughters of ours have seen the worst that the world has to offer. It is now time for them to experience the best that the world can do for them.  The Government and all Nigerians must encourage them to achieve their desired ambitions.

The Federal Government appreciates the patience and understanding of the parents of all the abducted Chibok girls. We equally thank Nigerians and the International Community for their support and prayers, and for never losing confidence in our ability to secure the safe release of our girls.

Once again, I congratulate the 21 released girls, their parents, the Chibok Community the security agencies and all Nigerians on this day of delight and rejoicing.

Thank You.

Boko Haram ready to negotiate the release of 83 Chibok girls – Presidency

The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammdu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, on Sunday announced that the Boko Haram insurgents have expressed willingness to negotiate with the Federal Government on the release of 83 more Chibok girls.

Recall that the insurgents had on Thursday released 21 of the Chibok girls after over two years in captivity.

Reports filtered in yesterday that the group may give the government two conditions for the release of the girls.

Affirming the report, Shehu, in an interview with Reuters Foundation, said a faction of the Islamic sect released the girls to assure the current administration that they had them.

According to Shehu, “These 21 released girls are supposed to be tale bearers to tell the Nigerian government that this faction of Boko Haram has 83 more Chibok girls.

“The faction said it is ready to negotiate if the government is willing to sit down with them.

The Presidential media aide, also disclosed that the remaining abducted Chibok girls were with the Shekau faction of the terrorist group.

Boko Haram group was reported to have been factionalised, following the appointment of Musab Al-Barnawi by the deadly Jihadist group, ISIS, to head the sect in August.

However, the leader of the group, Abubakar Shekau had dismissed Al-Barnawi’s appointment, insisting he remains the leader of the extremist group.

Expect large scale probes of judges, others – Presidency

Strong indications emerged Wednesday night that more court judges would soon be picked up by the anti-graft agencies in the country for questioning on allegations of corruption and gratification, Vanguard has learnt.

This is coming on the heels of marching orders by president Muhammadu Buhari to widen the scope of investigations in the judiciary.

But speaking to Vanguard,  a presidency source who craved anonymity said that the president doesn’t have to order the anti-graft institutions such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commissions, EFCC before they could do their statutory assignments.

The source who assured that the president would never interfere in the investigation process however stated that there was no stopping of the probes, stressing that it was going to be a large scale exercise.

The source also confirmed that president Buhari has received the report of the meeting of the National Judicial Council, NJC on the earlier sanctioned judges.

“He doesn’t need to approve anything. The DSS and EFCC are independent. They can do their jobs. But I can tell you that the president won’t interfere with the investigation. That’s the kind of president we have. “There is no stopping of the probes.

This is going to be a large scale thing. Yes, the president has received the report of the earlier meeting from the NJC but not the one they are concluding today. I don’t about it”, the source said.

Obama Hits Back At Trump, Says He’s Unfit For Presidency & Has ‘Outright Wacky’ Ideas

U.S. President Barack Obama hit back at Donald Trump on Thursday for criticizing his foreign policy record, saying the Republican nominee was unfit to follow him into the Oval Office and the public should press him on his “outright wacky ideas”.

Speaking in Laos at the end of the second of two Asian summits, Obama said the tycoon’s lack of leadership credentials was exposed whenever he spoke and American voters were aware of that.

“I don’t think the guy’s qualified to be president of the United States, and every time he speaks, that opinion is confirmed,” Obama told a news conference.

“The most important thing for the public and the press is to just listen to what he says and follow up and ask questions about what appear to be either contradictory or uninformed, or outright wacky, ideas.”

Trump declared on Wednesday during a televised forum attended by military veterans that Russian President Vladimir Putin had been a better leader than Obama.

Trump said the progress of U.S. military generals had been stymied, or “reduced to rubble” with Obama as commander-in-chief and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton as his first secretary of state. It was the first time Trump and Clinton had squared off on the same stage since securing their nominations in July.

Read More: reuters

Brazil’s Rousseff Appeals Against Losing Presidency

Impeached Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff filed a Supreme Court challenge Thursday to her removal from office in an early blow to new President Michel Temer’s bid to stabilize the country.

The appeal, filed by Rousseff’s lawyer Jose Eduardo Cardozo and seen by AFP, demands “the immediate suspension of the effects of the Senate decision.”

The Senate voted Wednesday to convict Rousseff on charges of having illegally manipulated government accounts, stripping her of her office and replacing her with Temer, her bitter enemy and former vice president.

Cardozo’s appeal asks for “a new trial” during which Temer — who was sworn in as president up until the end of 2018 — would be downgraded to interim president.

Temer is now in China, attending a G20 summit, while Rousseff remains in the Alvorada presidential palace in Brasilia. She is expected to leave shortly for her personal apartment in the southern city of Porto Alegre.

Rousseff was convicted by a two-thirds Senate majority of taking illegal state loans to patch budget holes in 2014, masking the country’s problems as it slid into economic disarray.

Senators voting for her removal said she had contributed to Brazil’s economic crisis and acted with criminal irresponsibility.

Rousseff, from the leftist Workers’ Party, denied doing anything illegal and claimed to be the victim of a right-wing coup d’etat.

In a surprise move, a Senate vote on barring Rousseff from public office for eight years failed, meaning she is free to reenter political life. The ban had been considered by many to be a standard consequence of removal in an impeachment trial.

Read More:

Reported Probe Of Sanusi, Soludo Untrue– Presidency

The Presidency has refuted social media reports that the tenures of Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II and Prof. Charles Soludo, as Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governors, would soon be probed by the Federal Government.

The reports alleged that the Federal Government had concluded arrangements to probe the tenures of the two former CBN governors over their views on the state of the economy.

Malam Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, however, in a tweeted message, said the presidency was not aware that the Emir and Soludo would be probed for offering suggestions to the president.

“The check I made today indicated that the presidency is unaware of the reported probe of Sarkin Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi 11 and Prof.Soludo

“Where did that report come from? Under our constitution which President Muhammadu Buhari swore to uphold, it is not a crime to offer suggestions,’’ he said.

Credit: dailytrust

Dog Named Buhari, Presidency Explains Why Buhari Didn’t Intervene

President Muhammadu Buhari saw the arrest and prosecution Joachim Iroko, a 41 year old trader arrested by the police in Ogun State for naming his dog ‘Buhari,’ as “a ‘laughable incident”, his spokesman, Garba Shehu, said late Thursday.

In a short reaction posted on his Twitter handle, Mr. Shehu said those criticising Mr. Buhari for failing to act on the matter were “ignorance of the type of person he is.”

“He enjoys cartoons and likes sharing them. The ones he enjoys the most are those that caricature him,” Mr. Shehu said. “People should listen to the real story behind this dog incident and to not waste precious time seeking the hand of the President in a laughable incident!”

Mr. Shehu’s comment was the first time the Buhari administration would comment on the development, which has grabbed the headlines for nearly two weeks and sparked debates about free speech.

It also came a few hours after Mr. Iroko was released from jail, after spending three days behind bars while his family sought funds for his bail bond.

The three days were in addition to the eight days Mr. Iroko spent in a police cell in Sango Otta, Ogun State.

Mr. Iroko was first arrested on August 14 by officers attached to the Sango Otta Division after receiving complaints from a neighbour who said the name he gave his dog was offensive.

Salihu Umar filed complaints against Mr. Iroko with the police, alleging that the ‘Buhari’ name Mr. Iroko gave his dog was the same as his father’s name.

Read More: premiumtimesng

Buhari Never Received Pension, Gratuities From Army- Presidency

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday said he has not been receiving military pensions and salaries as former head of state since he assumed office in May 2015.

Mr. Buhari said, in fact, he did not receive pensions due to him as a retired military officers, unlike many of his contemporaries.

Mr. Buhari was reacting to a narrative circulating on social media which said he has been receiving double payments from the federal coffers.

In a statement released by presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, on Twitter, Mr. Buhari said all financial gratuities, vehicles and even souvenirs due him were not paid to him by the Army.

“The President has never received pension from the army or car as had gone to former Commanders-in-Chief,” Mr. Shehu said. “After his overthrow, they didn’t remember him even  in the annual distribution of diaries or calendars.”

“Buhari stopped collecting allowances paid to former Heads of State the moment he took office as elected President last year.

“Since his overthrow as military ruler, the army never instituted a pension for him. The army is known to supply cars to former heads of the army. President Buhari never got any of that,” Mr. Shehu said.

Mr. Shehu said before Mr. Buhari was elected president, he did not benefit from vehicle supplies to former Nigerian leaders, a claim he said could be verified at the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

Read More:

We Are Committed To Anti-Tobacco Campaign – Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) has reiterated Federal Government’s commitment to the reduction of tobacco use among citizens, particularly exposure of underage children to smoking.


Osinbajo, who spoke at the Presidential Villa yesterday, while receiving leaders of anti-tobacco NGO groups in the country, lamented inadequate information about the dangers of smoking “which has made it difficult to convince many to quit the dangerous habit.”


According to the Vice President, “we need the public behind us in this engagement. We need to change the public perception that smoking is a matter of choice. We also need to be more creative in passing our messages and in developing policies.


While lamenting tobacco products “proliferation” in the country, Professor Osinbajo hinted that government would be exploring strategies on how to reduce tobacco consumption.


The Presidency will give every support that is needed to ensure that tobacco control laws and policies are effectively implemented in Nigeria,” he assured.

He charged the NGOs to work closely with youths to ensure that under-age initiation into smoking was reduced in the country.


Earlier, leader of the delegation, Mr. Akinbode Oluwafemi, Deputy Director of Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria, ERA/FoEN, urged Federal Government to provide all the necessary support for the effective implementation of the National Tobacco Control Act, NTCA, 2015.


We want the Federal Government to demonstrate that the era of impunity is over by bringing all tobacco companies, flouting our laws, to justice,” he said.


Mrs. Hilda Ochefu of the Washington-based Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, CTFK, expressed the readiness of her agency and other international NGOs to support Nigeria in implementing effective tax policy for the tobacco industry.

Buhari Not Part Of Budget Padding Scandal- Presidency

The Presidency has distanced itself from the budget padding scandal rocking the National Assembly, saying the Appropriation Act being implemented was the one passed by the lawmakers in March.

The Senior Special Assistant to President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Ita Enang, stated this on Tuesday at the national secretariat of APC after a closed-door meeting with the party leadership.

The former chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriation, Abdulmumini Jibrin, had alleged that the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, his deputy, Yusuf Lasun, and two other principal officers “padded” the budget with N40 billion.

Mr. Dogara has since denied the allegation. He also refused to resign from office as demanded by some members of the lower legislative chamber.

Mr. Enang said the presidency did not know anything about the scandal.

He said the budget that was signed by President Muhammadu Buhari was the one passed by the National Assembly.

“We are here on the invitation of the party leadership of the APC with my colleague to bring answers to issues raised by the party from the 2016 Appropriation and we have been with the party for a little over three hours and we have given explanation on every issue that there was nothing, to our knowledge, no padding of the budget,” he said.

Read More:


Presidency Picks 30 Nigerians To Pitch Tech Ideas At Aso Villa (SEE FULL LIST)

In fulfillment of its commitment to boost technology and encourage innovative ideas, the Presidency, through the platform of “Aso Villa Demo Day”, has selected top 30 Nigerians among hundreds that pitched at three different events in Lagos, Abuja and Port-Harcourt in June.

(The events were held in Lagos – June 23rd, Abuja – June 25th and Port-Harcourt – June 29th.)

The 30 selected Nigerians will be hosted at the Presidency, Aso Rock, on a date to be announced soon to pitch their winning ideas.

During the pitch events, participating Nigerians presented ideas and solutions for Technology, Agriculture, Communications, Power, Fashion and Entertainment which revealed talents, skills and critical thinking.

In the selection process, each applicant was assessed by a minimum of four judges and some of the criteria used in assessing were:

Can this idea make money?
Has a revenue model been defined and is it realistic?
What is the value proposition to customers?
Is there a functional product?
Does it deliver a compelling and captivating user experience?
How resource- intensive is the idea? Is this idea scalable?


1. Chika Uwaze – Talent Base

2. Obidipe Oluwaseun – Mocapro

3. Tele Ogundipe – Egusi Soupe

4. Amaka Osita – Fuel

5. Tolu Adeyanju – Red Bank

6. Ifedayo Oladapo – Grit Systems

7. Nkem Okocha – Mama Moni Limited

8. Ebuka Nwora – Etyres

9. Dami Olokesusi – Shuttlers NG

10. Amarachi Nwanamodo – Amagzy Global Ventures

11. Oladimeji Sofowora, Wole Ralph, Laolu Ojeniyi – One Medical

12. Mogbeyiteran Tosan – Blackswan

 13. Angela Adelaja – Fresh Direct

14. Ahmed Sodiq – Micro Scale embedded

15. Dimgba Kalu – Projaro

16. Abubakar Garba & Abdul Samad Gorbin

17. Emmanuel Okena – Tracology

18. Lois Auta – Cedar’s seed

19. Kamaludeen Sabiu – Seamless system’

20. Peter Agada – Tiller Cyrus

21. Desmond Okoye – Doctor’s office

22. Uzuq Tim –

23. Alifa Nicholas –

24. Roland Reagan & Edmond Adoku – Meditech

25. Akinola Solomon – Africa on the rise tech community

26. Alison Ukonu – Recycle points

27. Uche Ariolu – Foodstantly

28. Benson Godwin – Tuteria

29. Mina Ogbanga – Ascent GP

30. Odior Yole – GO CV

Laolu Akande
Senior Special Assistant-Media & Publicity
Office of the Vice President
August 4, 2016

Credit: PremiumTimes

BringBackOurGirls Group Hits Back At Presidency

BringBackOurGirls group said yesterday that the statement by the presidency a few days ago, in response to its assessment of the federal government’s effort to rescue the kidnapped 218 Chibok girls — since its engagement with the President in July 2015, was a misrepresentation of the group.

The advocacy group in a statement signed by Aisha Yesufu and Oby Ezekwesili last night, said that contrary to the presidency’s insinuation, the movement could not be insensitive to the loss of lives and livelihoods of other Nigerians, as well as the plight of those facing the humanitarian tragedy, saying its members absolutely reject the ‘’false labelling’.

Presenting its monthly monitoring report for July 2016, BringBackOurGirls said that July 15 was 27 months to the sad day in April 2014, when the Chibok girls were abducted from their dormitories in Government Secondary School, Chibok, adding that 822 days later, 218 girls remain in captivity.

‘’We present this as part of our monthly monitoring of the efforts to rescue our girls and bring an end to the Boko Haram Insurgency’’, the group added.

‘’In a continuation of recent trends, the last month marked the liberation of thousands of our citizens and the opening up of more access routes. We also recorded a declining number of insurgent attacks within our shores and witnessed peaceful Eid celebrations in the capitals of the North East for the first time in over five years.

‘’We continue to commend our security forces for these successes which have inspired renewed hope and conviction in the capacity of our troops to #BringBackOurGirls and ensure an end to the insurgency. Sadly however, the period brought to light the scale of humanitarian crisis in the North East occasioned by acute malnutrition among children and adults, and the real threat to survival of an entire generation of our people.’’

The advocacy group added that nothing reinforced its repeated call for urgency and a more visible, deliberate and result-based humanitarian response to the insurgency than the submission from a July 8 statement by the UN Secretary-General and Regional Humanitarian Coordinator, Toby Lanzer, who said, “A failure to act now will result in deeper and broader suffering, unlike any seen to date in Nigeria’s North East and a steeper bill for all concerned to alleviate suffering and stabilize the situation.”

The group added: ‘’We shudder at the possibility of more suffering for our fellow citizens in the North East, especially knowing what they have been through in the last few years”.

‘’Since the abduction of our girls we have led several initiatives, often times in advance of government. We crowd sourced the Citizens Solution to end terrorism early on and highlighted the need for improved military welfare and a comprehensive de-radicalisation program, among others.

‘’We anticipated the need for a system of handling the movement of affected communities and designed both the Verification, Authentication and Reunification System (VARS) and modalities for a Missing Persons’ Register.’’

The group said it had also mobilised relief materials and campaigned on behalf of the Internally Displaced Persons and Refugees in neighbouring countries, going on to warn of an impending humanitarian tragedy for many months before any action began.

Credit: Thisday

Presidency Questions Accuracy Of Benue Massacre Reports

The presidency has said it is checking the accuracy of the reports claiming that 81 people were killed by herdsmen in Benue State.

The presidency, through its digital communications office, yesterday said some of the pictures in circulation were from the genocide in Congo, back in 2014.

The digital communications arm of the presidency, according to The Cable, said the police are currently investigating the reports and would release a statement shortly.

“Law enforcement agents are working to ascertain the accuracy of reports of fresh killings in Benue State. The @PoliceNG will issue a statement,” presidency said in a Tweet.

Reports had claimed that gunmen believed to be nomadic Fulani herdsmen had killed scores of villagers in the state in a long-running conflict over grazing rights.

A national television had put the number of dead at 81 in the past two weeks after attacks on farming villages in the Logo and Ukum areas of the state.

“The magnitude of killings is enormous. Scores of people were killed in the past two weeks by Fulani herdsmen in at least 10 local government areas of the state,” spokesman Tahav Agerzua told AFP.
The state government was collaborating with security agencies to contain the violence, which is the latest flare-up between local farmers and the herders in the state.

Credit: Thisday

Presidency Denies Secret Recruitments In CBN, FIRS, Others

The Presidency yesterday denied alleged secret recruitment of children and cronies of government functionaries at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and other agencies and parastatals of government, describing such reports as “inaccurate”.
This is even as it gave reasons behind the exclusion of the private sector in the current Economic Management Team (EMT) headed by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, saying the President Muhammadu Buhari administration considers managing the economy its responsibility.
Recent media reports had alleged that cronies of officials of the present government including President Muhammadu Buhari and his vice, are being secretly employed in government agencies described as lucrative.
But the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President, Mr. Laolu Akande, told State House correspondents that there was no iota of truth in the reports. According to him, the government was rather sanitising the recruitment process and the public service systems to make them more transparent. “These reports are inaccurate. What we heard is that government is working to ensure that we develop, going forward, a more transparent process. We are committed in going forward to ensure that some of these procedures are refined, fine-tuned and made to become more transparent,” he said.
On the national economic management team, Akande said that it was government’s responsibility to take on the economy.
He said, ”we have to understand that the attitude of this Presidency is to consider the management of the economy as a government responsibility. It is not something that this government believes should be done by bringing in some of the private interests into the economic team to take a decision that they will be directly involved with. So our stand is that the management of the economy is a government responsibility,” he said.
Akande, however, added that the private sector was not totally excluded as other stakeholders such as the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), have also been engaged by the government.
“For instance, we have started meeting on constant basis with MAN and there have been meetings with arms of the economic sector of the country. There have been meetings with the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) and some other economic interests with companies making presentations.
“But generally, this thing is a government team and the team has been able to set out before the budget trying to figure out what the budget ought to focus on. After the budget was presented and eventually signed, there was also the publication of the strategic implementation plan, which was produced in a reader friendly format.
“All of these are the outcomes of what EMT does and it is also in the team that you have the heap of the whole physical and monetary policy and don’t forget that the monetary policy is always the duty and responsibility of the central bank, which is an economic arm of government,” he said.

Credit: Sun

Presidency Responds To Gov. Fayose’s Claim On Aisha Buhari

The Presidency has dismissed as laughable the desperate attempt by Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State to link President Buhari’s wife, Aisha, to US Congressman William Jefferson’s bribery scandal for which the American lawmaker was convicted in 2009.

Reacting to Mr. Fayose’s allegations in a press statement, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said ordinarily the presidency would have ignored Fayose because he was a man “childishly obsessed with the desire to grab the headlines and insulting people at will because of his incurably boorish instincts.”

Mr. Garba explained however that the presidency chose to respond on this occasion for the sake of innocent Nigerians who might be misled by Mr. Fayose’s shameless and blatant distortion of facts.

He said ignoring Mr. Fayose carried the risk of giving traction and credibility to outright and brazen falsehoods inconsistent with the status of anybody that calls himself a Governor or leader.

According to Mr. Shehu, Aisha had no direct, indirect or the remotest connection with William Jefferson’s corruption scandal in the United States.

He challenged Mr. Fayose to tell Nigerians if the so-called Aisha whose pictures he proudly, but ignorantly shared, was the same Aisha married to President Muhammadu Buhari, or if the Aisha of his idle imagination had any relationship by blood or any relationship in whatever form with President Buhari’s wife.

Mr. Shehu also challenged Mr. Fayose to produce evidence from the records of investigation and subsequent trial of Jefferson to prove that Mr. Buhari’s wife Aisha was in anyway linked to that scandal. He explained that common names alone were not enough to automatically link innocent people to crimes or scandals, especially in an era of identity thieves.

He further challenged Mr. Fayose to show proof when and where Aisha Buhari was invited for interrogation in connection with Congressman William Jefferson’s bribery scandal, let alone indicted for a crime locally or abroad.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Presidency To Pay N5000 Monthly To 1m Nigerians

To cushion the harsh effect of the new pump price of Premium Motor Spirt, PMS also called petrol on the people, the presidency is set to implement the N500 billion earmarked in the 2016 budget for social welfare.

A statement by the media spokesperson for Vice President Yemi Osinabjo, Mr. Laolu Akande in Abuja on Sunday stated “All together the federal government would be directly impacting the lives of more than 8 million Nigerians in different social investment 2016 budget spending that would provide succor and be a ready-made palliative to ordinary Nigerians.”

Giving a breakdown of the interventions and palliatives, Akande said that said that there would “the direct payment of N5000 monthly to one million extremely poor Nigerians for 12 months as provided for in the 2016 budget for which N$68.7B has been appropriated.”

Similarly, the government has also made available a “direct provision of very soft loan -cash for market women, men and traders, including artisans and Agric workers. This would be for a total of 1.76m Nigerians, without the requirement for conventional collateral. Some of the traders will likely get about N60,000. A total sum of N140.3B has already been appropriated for this in the budget”.

The details also showed their there would be “payment of between N23,000 to N30,000 per month to 500,000 unemployed graduates who would be trained, paid and deployed to work as volunteer teachers, public health officers and extension service workers among other responsibilities. They would also be given electronic devices to empower them technologically both for their assignments and beyond”.

According to the media aide, “100,000 artisans would also be trained and paid N191.5B has been set aside for this in the passed budget.” He also said that “At least 5.5 million Nigerian primary school children -ie starting first in 18 states-three per geopolitical zones-would be fed for 200 school days under the free Homegrown School Feeding Programme”, as “N93.1B has been appropriated for this in the 2016 budget.”

Credit: vanguardngr

PDP Against Igbo Presidency– APC Group

The Buhari South East Youth Movement [BSEYM] has accused the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] of working against the emergence of President of Igbo extraction. According to the group, by its recent zoning, PDP has automatically ruled out the possibility an Igbo man becoming the President of Nigeria, saying that singular act has shown that the party does not regard Ndigbo.

BSEYM, in a statement therefore called on Ndigbo, especially the youths and women, to reject PDP, which it alleged “has greatly improvised the zone in their 16 years of misrule”.

The group urged South members of the party to withdraw their membership of the party in totality, claiming that the party has nothing good for them. In the statement jointly signed by BSEYM’s director-general Engr. Nwabueze Onwuneme and the publicity secretary, Comrade Igwe Samuel Obinna, it said PDP’s zoning of the Presidency to the North ahead of 2019 “goes to show the disdain the PDP has for the people of the zone”.

The statement further said that the zoning “seriously goes against the spirit of justice, fairness and equity in the rotation of power between the North and South”. According to the group, “peradventure the PDP succeeds, it will extend the Igbo Presidency project to year 2027 from the earlier year 2023 been projected for the emergence of a Nigerian President of Igbo extraction, which would now leave the North there for twelve years as against eight years been projected by the APC”.

Urging Ndigbo to reject PDP, the group noted that “by the end of President Muhammad Buhari’s second tenure it will then be ripe for the Igbos as the only ethnic nationality in southern Nigeria yet to produce an elected President after both the South-west and south-south have all had their shots on the Presidency of the nation”.

Credit: Vanguard


Why Board Appointments Are Delayed– Presidency

Key appointments into boards of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) have been held back because of a major restructuring of the executive arm of the government, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, has said.
“A lot of people had expected jobs by way of key appointments in boards, ministries and  parastatals. That has been held back by the fact that the government and the president have promised a major restructuring of the executive. You know he has reduced the ministries to about 24 from 42. That will not go without concomitant challenges on the existing parastatals and agencies which obviously have to be modified to fit into shape and fix into the existing ministerial structure,” Malam Shehu told newsmen in Abuja at the weekend.

He said with the passage of the budget and the subsequent endorsement by President Muhammadu Buhari, Nigerians would begin to feel the positive impact of government’s programmes and activities as money would be released into the economy.
On the purported secret recruitments in federal government agencies, he urged Nigerians to wait for the outcome of the investigation launched into the issue by the National Assembly.
He, said, “I have been approached by a number of people who say can you give me a note to so so, so agency? A lot is happening in this country and I keep saying that Buhari’s government is not a government of notes. I guess that whoever is found doing that would get himself in trouble,” he said.

Credit: dailytrust

Buhari Never Promised Unemployed Youths N5,000 Stipends- Presidency

The Presidency has said that President Muhammadu Buhari never promised to pay N5,000 monthly allowance to unemployed graduates.

The Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, said this in an interview
last night.
According to Akande, the N5, 000 monthly stipend provided for in the 2016 budget is for one million vulnerable Nigerians and the extremely poor.
“The 2016 budget submitted to the National Assembly has made an allocation of N500bn; the first time in the history of this country’s budget where you’ve that huge chunk of money allocated for social investment. In that N500bn, close to about 20% of the entire budget, there are six social safety net programmes. One of them is the conditional cash transfer where the government is going to pay N5, 000 monthly to the vulnerable and extremely poor Nigerians. That promise stands.
“The president never promised to pay unemployed graduates N5000; the president never made that promise, and the government never made that claim that it’ll pay N5, 000 to unemployed graduates,” he stated.
He said the programme for unemployed graduates was the direct creation of 500,000 teaching jobs for which they would be trained and deployed to schools, assuring that “That still stands.”
Akande clarified that: “In addition to that, there is also a scheme to train 370, 000 non-graduate youths for skill acquisition and vocational training. During the time of that training, they’ll also be paid. So, the president did not say that he’d be giving unemployed graduates N5, 000.”

Credit: dailytrust

Buhari Never Called Nigerians ‘Criminals’, Presidency Clarifies

The State House has described as misconstrued, the various interpretations of President Muhammadu Buhari’s comments in an interview granted to the UK’s Daily Telegraph newspaper on February 5.

In a statement yesterday by his media aide, Mr. Garba Shehu, the presidency stated that the wave of negative reactions to the president’s remarks about the reputation of Nigerians abroad was as a result of an incomplete understanding of the president’s point.

Shehu said: “President Buhari was asked about the flood of migrants from Nigeria and the fraudulent applications for asylum put in by people desperate to leave their motherland at any cost, and it was this question that elicited his response.”

Shehu urged Nigerians to avail themselves of a full text of the interview, which he said was available on the Telegraph’s website.
He said it was preposterous for anyone to imagine that the President of Nigeria would describe all the citizens of the country he leads as “criminals”, when he himself is a Nigerian — obviously not a criminal — and when there are many Nigerians of honest living making their country proud all over the world.

“Unfortunately, there are also Nigerians giving their country a bad image abroad, and it is to those Nigerians that the president referred in his comments,” he said, adding that people might play politics and online games with the president’s comments, but the fact of the matter remained that Nigeria’s reputation abroad had been severely damaged by her own citizens.

“These Nigerians who leave their country to go and make mischief on foreign shores have given the rest of us a bad reputation that we daily struggle to overcome,” Shehu said.

He also drew attention to the many efforts of Buhari to clean up the image of Nigeria, such as the war against corruption, stating that acknowledging a problem was the first step to preferring a solution.

He said: “Buhari is very aware of the problems the people of Nigeria face both at home and abroad, and he is not shying away from admitting them, even as he focuses on solutions to bring them to a permanent end.”

Credit: ThisDay

We Put 2016 Budget Proposal On Website To Attract Comments, Criticism – Presidency

The Senior Special Assistant (Media) to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mallam Garba Shehu, has said that the Federal Government will continue to welcome constructive criticism of its policies, budget and expenditure.


Shehu said in a statement in Abuja on Sunday that such criticism would assist the government in fulfilling its promises to Nigerians, adding that “it is the only way the change promised the country will have a meaning’’.


He said that it was on account of this and in line with established tradition that the president directed that the draft 2016 appropriation, now before the National Assembly, be put on the website of the Budget Office.


He said this would enable Nigerians to read the budget with a view to making their observations.


Shehu dismissed the insinuation in some quarters that the presidency was misleading the public on certain aspects of the budget proposal.


“In reaction to a newspaper story that said `2016 Budget: Buhari to spend more on State House Clinic than on all Federal Government-owned teaching hospitals,’ the Budget Office supplied a summary of the allocations to the various sectors under the Ministry of Health, which showed clearly that the published story was inaccurate. The Budget Office has affirmed that in terms of both capital and recurrent allocations, the draft budget has put far more money in the 17 teaching hospitals than it did in the State House Clinic.

Having said this, we are not by any stretch of imagination suggesting that the draft budget is beyond comments or reproach. Nor do we wish to dwell on this simply to make a point.

To do that will drive away good citizens from pointing out needed corrections and, ultimately defeating the change mantra of the administration.

The budget is a Nigerian budget and citizens reserve the right to examine its content and provide their own perspectives.

As the draft goes through the approval process, this and many other aspects will continue to generate interest, criticism, commendation and sometimes condemnation in discussions in the parliament, the media and the court of public opinion.

We believe that the process of “change” will be affected by, and stands to gain from these debates, especially where there is good faith on all sides,’’ he further explained.


Shehu said that the government had no reason to mislead the citizens on the budget and on all other matters for whatever reason.



Why We Proposed N3.87bn For State House Clinic– Presidency

The Presidency, Tuesday night, reacted to reports by an online newspaper that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government is proposing to spend N3.87 billion on capital projects at the State House Medical Centre, Aso Rock, Abuja.

The breakdown of line items in the 2016 Appropriation Bill shows that a total of N3.87billion was allocated for capital projects at the State House Clinic.

Senior Special Adviser to the President on (Media and Publicity), Garba Shehu in a statement explained that the State House Clinic is not the President’s or anyone’s personal clinic but one which looks after government officials and others.

According to him,  increased spending on government health institutions in the current budget should be seen in the light of President Buhari  administration’s plan to improve medical facilities at home, as well as discourage medical tourism by citizens which impact negatively on the country’s foreign reserve.

The statement reads: “We react to the story: “2016 Budget: Buhari to spend more on State House Clinic than on all federal govt-owned teaching hospitals.”

“This report is not simply off the mark but one that is insensitive to the government’s effort to improve medical facilities at home in Nigeria.

“According to the draft 2016 budget presented to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari, the budget for the State House Clinic is N3.8billion.

“Contrary to the published newspaper report, the total for health institutions as given by the Director-General, Budget Office is more than N200 billion.

“The 17 teaching hospitals have more than 50 percent of that allocation.

“Anyone interested can check out the detailed allocations to the teaching hospitals, the federal medical centers and the specialist hospitals owned by the federal government.

“It is also important to explain that the State House Clinic is not the President, or anyone’s personal clinic but one which looks after government officials and many others who are not.

“The increased spending on government health institutions in the current budget should be seen in the light of the administration’s plan to improve medical facilities at home as a way of discouraging overseas trips in search of treatment by citizens which eat away from our foreign exchange.”

Credit: Vanguard

Presidency Revises 2016 Budget, Reduces Allocation For…

The Presidency has drastically cut its N8.09 billion provision in the 2016 budget for the purchase of various brands of vehicles for State House operations during the year.

A review of the fresh copy of the budget uploaded to the website of the Budget Office of the Federation on Friday showed a massive cut by about 83.5 per cent in the total allocation for the vehicles.

The government will now spend only N1.34 billion to buy only five BMW saloon cars and jeeps as well as buses for use by the Presidency during the year.

Apart from the reduction in the provision for vehicles, there were other adjustments in the previous allocations to various departments and units in the Presidency contained in the original budget.

A total of N7.52 billion was provided previously for the purchase of various exotic vehicles, including BMW saloon cars, in addition to another N566 million for the procurement of vehicles, including 16-seater Toyota Hiace coaster buses for the State House.

Credit: PremiumTimes

2016 “Stolen” Budget: Saraki Reveals Interesting Twist, Accuses Presidency

There is a new twist to the saga over the  2016 budget in the Senate.

The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has revealed that the Senior Special Assistant to the President on the Senate, Senator Ita Enag, reproduced a budget document different from what President Buhari originally submitted to the National Assembly.

The Senate President made this revelation during Thursday’s legislative proceedings. Senator Saraki said that the Committee on Ethics and Privileges made this finding in the course of investigating the matter.

Credit: ChannelsTv

Trump’s Comments Disqualify Him From Presidency- White House

The White House on Tuesday challenged Republicans to denounce their party’s presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, claiming his proposal to ban Muslims from travelling to the US should disqualify him from being commander-in-chief.

Painting Trump as a “carnival barker” with “fake hair” whose campaign has a “dustbin of history” quality, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Trump’s proposals were unconstitutional.

“What Donald Trump said yesterday disqualifies him from serving as president,” said Earnest, describing his comments variously as “offensive” and “toxic.”

The unusually strident language from the White House reflects a concern about the impact of Trump’s comments on US Muslims and the fight against the Islamic State group, but it also indicates the White House spies a political opportunity ahead of the 2016 election.

Earnest was quick to pounce on leading Republicans who condemned Trump’s remarks, but said they would still support him if he were the party nominee.

“What he said is disqualifying and any Republican who’s too fearful of the Republican base to admit it has no business serving as president either,” he said.

Credit: AFP

Amnesty: Presidency Urged To Include Bakassi Victims

Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to include the over 3,000 displaced people of Bakassi in the re-integration of the presidential amnesty ?programme for the Niger Delta Region.

Governor Ayade made the appeal in Calabar, the Cross River State capital when he received the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs and Chairman, Presidential Amnesty Committee, Brigadier General Paul Boroh (Rtd).

According to the governor, the daily sufferings the displaced Bakassi people have been subjected to following their forceful? eviction from Cameroon three years ago needed the Federal government’s intervention through the amnesty program.

In his speech. General Boroh assured the Governor Ayade that all eligible and qualified youths from Cross River State would be captured in the re-integration programme in line with the guiding procedures.

Credit: ChannelsTV

Dasuki Lied, Shunned Arms Probe Panel’s Invitation – Presidency

The Presidency has faulted the claim by the embattled former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), that he was not invited by the presidential committee, probing the purchase and supply of arms during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
A source in the Presidency, who spoke on condition of anonymity on Thursday, said that the Federal Government was in possession of evidence to show that Dasuki was duly invited to clear his name.

He said the Department of State Services, DSS, duly invited the ex-NSA, who in turn refused to honour the invitation.
The source close to the presidency said that a summons served on Dasuki was duly acknowledged by his lawyer.
The source said:

“He was invited by the DSS and he refused to honour the invitation despite that his lawyer acknowledged the document.

“Instead for Dasuki to honour the invitation, he remained indoors and was whipping up sentiment.

“If he is taken to any court without his statement, the case will automatically be thrown out.”

He said at the appropriate time, Nigerians would know more about the allegations against the ex-NSA.
Source: Punch

Presidency Denies Spending N6b For Maintenance Of Presidential Jets, Gives Correct Figures

The presidency has vehemently refuted the reports in several quarters that a huge sum of N6b had been lavished on the Maintenance of presidential Air fleet (PAF) in the last 6 months.

The presidency spoke through the Senior Special Assistant to the president on media and publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu.

Shehu in a statement said that only N2.3b had been spent contrary to the figures making the rounds.

He regretted that the president has had to be distracted by some “fictional report”, which he had “caused the government a lot of negative reviews especially in the online media”.

The statement further stated thus: “The government is focused on solving the many major issues our country faces in the areas of the economy, corruption and security. Yet almost every week, the Presidency has to also deal with the distractions which do nothing but distract from the task of government.

“Referring to documents he had requested from the Operational Office of the Presidential Fleet after his attention was drawn to the speculative report, Malam Shehu pointed out that the sum of N2.3 billion was released to the Presidential Air Fleet (PAF) by the office of the Accountant General of the Federation between May and November 2015. This includes releases for personnel cost, overhead and capital expenditure out of the sum of N5,190,381,386.00 appropriated for PAF on the 2015 budget.

“The documents also showed that the sum of N2,127,103,086.66 had so far been expended, leaving a balance of N172,568,912.34 from the amount released.

“However, the sum of N149,062,791.12 was transferred from the PAG’s operation account to the Treasury Single Account, following the President’s recent directive,” he said.

“He added that the sum of N23,801,122.17 remains unutilised out of the funds so far released. During the period 31 May 2015 till date, the Fleet expended the sum of N1,358,910,962.75 to settle outstanding liabilities carried over from last year till May 2015. Furthermore, the sum of N500 million was refunded to the office of the National Security Adviser, NSA for financial support rendered to the Fleet prior to release of funds from the OAGF.

“Thus, the Fleet expended the sum of N449,081,037.25 within the last months comprising N98,500,218.00 for operations, N165,373,176.91 on training and N85,500,116.75 on personnel medicals and overhead. Additionally, the sum of N99,715,493.51 was expended on aircraft maintenance, spares, and subscription services required for operations.

“Any of these documents could have been made available had the newspaper reached out to me or to any one of my colleagues. The damage to the image of government and the good management of the Presidential Air Fleet could have been avoided”.

Credit: Vanguard

Presidency To Decide On MTN Fine

Owing to the absence of a board and concerns over national security, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is awaiting the directive of presidency on whether to insist on the payment of the N1.04 trillion ($5.2 billion) it imposed on MTN Nigeria, accept staggered payments as offered by the firm, or reduce the fine all together.

This is just as the network operator’s parent company in South Africa – MTN Group – announced  monday that it had secured more time to negotiate the fine that has shaved almost a quarter of the market value from Africa’s biggest mobile phone company in the past three weeks.

“Shareholders are advised that the Nigerian authorities have, without prejudice, agreed that the imposed fine will not be payable until the negotiations have been concluded,” MTN said in a statement from Johannesburg monday.

NCC had previously set a deadline of November 16 for settlement of the penalty.
It imposed the levy on MTN for failing to meet a deadline to disconnect 5.2 million unregistered subscribers earlier this year.

Credit: ThisDay

When Buhari May Share Ministerial Portfolios- Presidency

President Buhari may assign portfolios to his ministers this week.

A source from the Presidency said that it is most likely that the President finalizes all plans on the list and might make final pronouncement on the matter.

“Yes it is most likely that the portfolios for the new ministers may be announced this week but remember that this is entirely the President’s prerogative as he has the final say on it and once it is decided, ours is to publicize his decision,” he said.

He said that the list of ministers which has gone viral on the web should be disregarded as those who published those names and portfolios are merely making guesses.

Credit: ChannelsTV

Presidency Denies Speculated Ministerial Portfolios List

Ahead of the swearing in of the ministerial nominees following their successful screening and confirmation by the senate last week, the Presidency has denied releasing any list that assigned portfolios to them.

The denial followed the speculated list of portfolios which made the rounds especially on social media on Sunday.

Responding to Vanguard on the issue, the Special Adviser to President Mohammadu Buhari, Mr. Femi Adesina said that the list did not emanate from the presidency as it was not officially signed.

“Any communication from the presidency must be officially singed. Was that list signed by me or Mr. Garba Shehu? Please, ignore it”, he said.

He also did not reveal when the inauguration ceremony of the Ministers would hold.

Credit: Vanguard

Why Presidency Is Against Naira Devaluation- Osinbajo

The Nigerian Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has given reasons for the government’s disapproval of further devaluation of the nation’s currency, saying it is not an appropriate option in the current economic realities and offers no solutions as far as the Buhari administration is concerned.

President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier expressed his views that a further devaluation of the Nigerian Naira was not healthy for the economy.

At a meeting on Thursday with the Italian Ambassador in Nigeria, Mr Fulvio Rustico and the Canadian High Commissioner in Nigeria, Mr Perry John Calderwood, in his office in Abuja, Vice President Osinbajo emphasised President Buhari’s views and said he would also not support further devaluation of the Naira.

He said: “I don’t agree on devaluation of the Naira and it is not that I am doctrinaire about it. In the first place, it is not a solution. We are not exporting significantly. And the way things are, devaluation will not help the local economy.”

“What we need to do is to start spending more on the economy and then things will ease up a bit”.

He observed that the issues around the economy were no exact sciences, stressing that “what is important is to be reasonably flexible in dealing with them”.

Credit: ChannelsTV

Presidency Opens Up About Senate’s Screening Of Amaechi , Others

The presidency yesterday expressed happiness that former governor of Rivers State, Mr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, was eventually screened by the Senate, after three postponements due to petitions written against his nomination by concerned petitioners.

Briefing Senate correspondents over the screening , the Senior Special Assistant   to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang, said that there was nothing wrong in the senate’s screening process on Amaechi.

Enang, a former member of the PDP, noted that the constitution allows the legislative arm of government to regulate its own proceedings at any given time and in whatever circumstances.

He said: “They (senators) are within their constitutional rights to regulate their own proceedings.

The constitution authorises the Senate and the House of Representatives, and every legislative   house to regulate its own proceedings, including managing matters that are brought before them.

“Therefore, what the Senate did on Amaechi’s screening last week, is domestic to the Senate, and I   am not in a position to speak about it; but they are within their constitutional rights. What they do is domestic to them and internal to them and it is within their powers. So, I am not in a   position to speak in one way or the other about it”.

Credit: Leadership

Presidency Disowns Official Who Reportedly Said Buhari Is Shy Around Women

The Nigerian presidency has released the statement disowning an official who reportedly said President Muhammadu Buhari is shy around women.

Read full statement by Femi Adesina:

“The claim that President Muhammadu Buhari is shy around women, purportedly made by one Gideon Samani yesterday and published by a national newspaper today is totally fallacious.

“The subsequent attribution of the supposedly “low number” of female ministerial nominees to President Buhari’s alleged shyness around women is therefore baseless and a figment of the imagination of the said Mr. Samani, who was falsely described as the “Senior Special Assistant (Political Matters) to the President.

“The assertion by the alleged Presidential Aide that President Buhari is “very shy dealing with the opposite sex” because “he has been interacting mostly with men,” was received by the President with shock and consternation.

“For one thing, there is no Senior Special Assistant, Political Matters, in the office of the President for now and Mr. Samani who was said to have spoken as the Representative of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation at a public function yesterday, is not an aide of the President.

“Mr Samani is certainly not an official spokesman of the President. Therefore, he could not have spoken on behalf of President Buhari, who is the President of all Nigerians, men and women alike.

“President Buhari has a wife, many daughters and female relatives whom he loves dearly. He also had a mother that he adored. How then could he be shy in the company of women, to the point of allegedly not appointing them into public offices, on account of not being comfortable in their company?

“Nigerian women can be assured that the President holds them in the highest esteem and will always give them due consideration in the discharge of his official responsibilities.

“The statements attributed to Mr Samani are untrue and unauthorized. They should therefore be disregarded.”

Credit:  PremiumTimes

Fight Against Corruption Is Priority Of Incoming Ministers- Presidency

The office of the Sec­retary to the Gov­ernment of the Federation, SGF, is set to work harmoniously with the incoming ministers to advance the fight against corruption in line with the desire of President Mu­hammadu Buhari to rid the country of the menace.

Gideon Sammani, Se­nior Special Adviser, SSA, on political matters to the SGF, Engineer Babachir Lawal said this in Abuja weekend, stating that the incoming cabinet members are already aware of Bu­hari’s strong desire to re­vive the national economy, first with the fight against corruption, while they will all enlist in the fight.

Speaking with newsmen during a special reception and thanks giving service orgainsed in honour of the SGF at the International Conference Center, Abuja on Saturday, Sammani said the SGF had already indi­cated resolve to lead in the fight against corruption and hence will mobilise the cabinet members to be anti-corruption crusaders.

Read More: nationalmirroronline

Presidency Dismisses Metuh’s Lopsided Anti- Graft War Allegations

The Presidency has reacted swiftly to the allegation made by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

On the allegation of witch-hunting its members, the President’s Adviser on Media, Mr Femi Adesina, said that ordinarily he would not want to comment on such because they were comments coming from a political party and response are better from the APC leadership.

He, however, said that concerning the President, it was untrue for Mr Olisa Metuh to claim that the President’s anti-corruption war was one-sided.

According to him, “Mr Olisa Metuh is sounding like a broken record. It’s the same thing that he says all the time. But let me assure Nigerians that the President has always maintained that even when it affects APC members, the person concerned must go and defend himself.”

The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr Olisa Metuh, had said at a news conference in Abuja, that unfolding events have confirmed the party’s position that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is only using the anti-corruption posture as a tool to witch-hunt PDP members and perceived political opponents of the APC government.

He stated that no member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), despite the public petitions of corruption and squandering of state funds, has been invited, questioned or arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

But Mr Adesina wondered why the issue was not whether the people facing the EFCC actually committed the crime but Mr Metuh is saying that it is one-sided.

“I think what is of interest to Nigerians is ‘did this people commit the crime?’ not whether it is one-sided,” he said.

Credit: channelstv

Senate free to set conditions for nominees, says Presidency

The Presidency is not opposed to the Senate setting conditions for the screening of ministerial nominees, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang said on Friday.


Enang told reporters in Abuja on Friday that the Senate is empowered by the constitution to set conditions for the screening of prospective ministers.


The Senate has set October 13, 14 and 15 for the screening of the 21 ministerial nominees submitted to it by President Muhammadu Buhari.


Enang, who was responding to questions on the Senate’s request for the nominees to submit certified true copies of their assets declaration, said there is nothing wrong with the request.


He said: “The Senate is the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and it is free to set its criteria for the screening of the nominees appearing before it.


“Our job is to make sure that we work with the respective senators and the nominees to make sure that the senators are satisfied and agree with the nomination.


“We will not dispute with the Senate what they want because it absolutely lies in the heart and mind of the respective and distinguished senators to determine what questions to ask.


“The senators are free to ask questions just like the nominees are equally free to answer them.


“The senators are within their rights to request for what they want.”


Responding to another question on the gains of the recent meeting between the executive and the leadership of the National Assembly, Enang said it has cemented the relationship between the two arms of government.


“I am sure you can begin to feel the political temperature that peace has descended on the minds and psyche of Nigerians and that the relationship between the executive and the legislature which was thought to be on heat, has been fully, perfectly, effectively cemented and the public is now aware.


“I want to say that the conjectures as they were, of a rift between the executive and the legislature were actually and definitely, I am speaking honestly, a conjecture. There wasn’t any rift.


“The meeting between the President and the National Assembly leadership as it were, as stated by the Senate President, really proved that there was no rift.


“The Senate President said those small talks were taken by the public to mean that there was a crisis and division and I think that has laid it to rest.


“The legislature has been conferred with certain powers. Hence President Buhari constantly says that he would respect the functions of each arms of government and the leadership and membership of each arm of government to do their jobs.


“It is impossible, impracticable for any administration, knowing the powers of the other over its own, to want to deprive her of it.”







The Nation

Why Buhari Missed UN’s Boko Haram Meeting- Presidency

The Presidency at the weekend maintained that President Muhammadu Buhari is fully committed to improve national security and succour for Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs.

This was contained in a statement by the Senior Special Adviser (SSA) to the President on Media & Publicity, Garba Shehu, in reaction to a report on Friday that Buhari and his delegation to the United Nations missed the meeting to discuss and proffer solution to the problems of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

The statement reads: ‘’Contrary to the erroneous impression that may have been created by reports that the Nigerian delegation to the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly missed a meeting on help for displaced persons, President Muhammadu Buhari and his administration remain fully committed to the rehabilitation and well-being of all persons who have been displaced or adversely affected by the Boko Haram insurgency.

‘’Indeed, the war against terrorism, improved security across Nigeria and additional measures to give succour to internally displaced persons have been central to discussions President Buhari has had with other world leaders since his arrival in New York on Thursday night.

‘’The issues were dominant in the President’s conversations on Friday with Chancellor Angela Merkel, the King of Spain, His Majesty Don Felipe VI and former Prime-minister Gordon Brown who came with former President Olusegun Obasanjo to discuss the actualization of the safe schools initiative, which is of special interest in parts of Nigeria most vulnerable to terrorist attacks.

‘’President Buhari is handling his duty as leader of the Nigerian delegation to this year’s General Assembly with the greatest possible diligence and will certainly not tolerate any tardiness on the part of the delegation in seizing every possible opportunity to advance Nigeria’s interests…”

Read More: dailytimes

Presidency Denies Closure Of Aso Villa Chapel

The leadership of the Aso Villa Chapel has denied speculations that the chapel has been closed down by the Presidency, describing the rumour as handiwork of mischief makers. The Presidency shared photos from the church service to back up its claim.

Fielding questions from State House correspondents after the church service on Sunday, acting chaplain, Pastor Joseph Sheyi Malomo, admitted that though there were some procedural issues last Sunday that needed to be sorted out, the Presidency at no time or­dered the closure of the chapel. The cleric appealed to Nigerians to ignore the rumour and focus rather on is­sues that will unit the country.

Read Moresunnewsonline

NNPC Begins Recovery Of $9.6billion Owed Nigeria- Presidency

The Nigerian National Petroleum Cooperation (NNPC) has begun the process of recovering over $7 billion in over-deducted tax benefits from JV Partners on major capital projects, the Nigerian presidency has said

Quoting a report submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari by the new Group Managing Director of NNPC, Ibe Kachikwu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said the state oil company  had ‘commenced Performance Measurement & Benchmarking as well as Value for Money Review of NNPC and the JV Companies covering the period 2008 – 2013?. 

Mr. Shehu further quoted the report as saying ‘a reputable International Accounting Firm has been engaged by the NNPC to ascertain the exact amount due government on the Strategic Alliance Contracts entered by NPDC, where up to $2.46 billion of government money is to be recovered’.

Read Morepremiumtimesng

Boko Haram Likely To Fall Before 3 Months Deadline- Presidency

Mallam Garba Shehu, has expressed confidence that the wave of Boko Haram attacks could end before the three months given by President Muhammadu Buhari to end the insurgency.

He also said that hope was not yet lost on the efforts by Nigeria’s security forces to secure the freedom of the Chibok school girls taken hostage by Boko Haram more than a year ago.

Speaking in an interview with journalists in Abuja yesterday, Shehu said the terrorists were now in disarray, having lost their central command and had been broken into splinters due to the efforts of the Nigerian troops under the new leadership.

Read Morethisdaylive

Presidency Insists Buhari Never Promised Specifics in 100 Days

The presidency has again reiterated its position and that of the All Progressives Congress (APC) that President Muhammadu Buhari never promised Nigerians that he would achieve specific things within his first 100 days in office.

It maintained that the document tagged “One Hundred Things Buhari Will Do in 100 Days” and another one, “My Covenant With Nigerians” did not emanate from the authentic channel of the campaign’s media department.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, who made the presidency’s position known yesterday, was responding to criticism that has trailed the denial by both the presidency and the APC that the president made such promises.

Read More: thisdaylive

Presidency Reacts To PDP’s Criticisms On Buhari’s 100 Days In Office

The Presidency has advised the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to stop what it describes as a pathetic effort to play-down President Muhammadu Buhari’s achievements in his first 100 days in office.

Reacting to the PDP statement claiming the economy is going down under the APC-led administration, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, blamed the PDP for the state of the economy.

He said under the PDP administration, the country witnessed an acceleration of poverty, which united Nigerians for change.

Read More: channelstv

Presidency Responds To Jonathan’s Ex Ministers

In a statement signed by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam  Garba Shehu, the Presidency asked the Association of Ex-Jonathan Ministers to do a bit of self-reflection on the sort of government they handed to President Muhammadu Buhari back in May to determine for themselves if it would have been right for any incoming government, not just this one to ignore the issue of the brazen theft of public assets, perhaps the first of its kind we have ever seen in this country,

” In this  regard that there is no witch hunt or malice against anyone in the pursuit of the county’s stolen assets still stand . This war against corruption knows no friend nor foe.

“There is no intention to deny anyone of their good name where they are entitled to it and that President Buhari reserves the highest regards for the country’s former leaders including Dr Jonathan Goodluck who he continues to praise to the high heavens for the way and manner in which he accepted defeat in the last election.

“That singular action remains a feat that has earned the former president and Nigeria as country befitting commendations all over the world, the latest coming from Mr Ban Ki-Moon, the Secretary-General of the United Nations who visited a week ago.

“For the purpose of emphasis, the issue of fighting corruption by President Buhari is non negotiable. It is sine qua non to the overall reconstruction of the economy and social systems  which suffered  destruction and severe denigration under the last administration. President Buhari will not be deterred or blackmailed into retreat and surrender…”

Read More: vanguardngr

Sunday Osanyintuyi: Wailing Wailers Academy Of Nigeria ( WWAN), Presidency & The People

I was one of those who took President Muhammadu Buhari’s assistant on Media & Publicity, Femi Adesina practically to the cross when he referred to the Nigeria main opposition party, PDP, as wailing wailers in May this year. I took that position for many reasons; one of which is name calling has no place decent democracy.  In very sane climes, oppositions are meant to put ruling administration on its toes towards viable and tangible developments. But same appears not the story here, Nigeria.  
Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, had the honour to lead (if you like rule) our nation for 16 years without interference. The party held sway with a stamp of being the strongest political party in Africa nations.  During this period, needless to remind you that there were opposition parties among which the current All Progressive Congress emerged.  So, there was never a time any members of PDP referred to opposition party members as wailing wailers.  I stood against Femi Adesina for these and other reasons meant for another day.
But recently, the events among the two major political parties, APC & PDP are making me think Femi Adesina may be right after all for referring to his arch enemies as wailing wailers.  Femi took over the media assistant job from yet another competent, vibrant and dogged media warlord, Dr. Reuben Abati.  His touch of professionalism to presidency’s activities will be reported on this page another day.
Opposition, like I said earlier, is meant to be an alternative government in waiting. Hence, providing quality and well thought out directions on policies would be positive moves. Sad to say that just less than four months as a leading opposition in Nigeria, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has failed to maintain decency.  From internal rumblings to national show of shame, the recent news from the Wadata National Headquarters, Abuja of the PDP confirms the party has been injurious to us collectively in the last 16 years. Or please how do you explain a party in power for almost two decades unable to pay staff salaries under four months of losing power? An allegation of internal corruption is disheartened.  It amounts to pure charade having such jokers running the affairs of our country for this long.
Back to basics. The wailing wailers now have an academy with a serving governor in the south west as provost.  The same guy picked issues with President Muhammadu Buhari during the electioneering campaigns. He was bold wishing him dead.  Like Japheth Omojuwa puts it “The governor cursed and abused Muhammadu Buhari during the campaign, Buhari said nothing. He has been on PMB’s neck since he became president. Again, silence. I am sure when Buhari begins to bully him, let no small wailers wail”.
Up till now, the funny governor has not relented.  Hear him: “If President Mohammadu Buhari knows exactly where the stolen funds are kept and who looted the funds, he does not need all these public announcements. Rather, he should make public names of the looters and bring back the purported stolen funds, location of which he has identified. It is when he is able to bring back the money that he should make announcements of recovered funds.
“You don’t announce a process to the public; rather, you announce the results because that is what is of interest to the people. It is like you are announcing that you know where armed robbers reside, won’t they change their location?
“What the All Progressives Congress spin-doctors and their collaborators in the Presidency are doing is simple. It is such that when there is nothing to tell the people as per the rising Boko Haram attacks, dollar and other foreign currencies exchange rates, petrol pump price and other seeming failed promises of the APC Federal Government, they will accuse former President Goodluck Jonathan and his men of corruption, insult Peoples Democratic Party and make noise about fighting corruption.” If this not wailing, what is it?
Surprisingly, the governor with almost a year in the office without any tangible, concrete and visible achievement in his state but takes pleasure in attacking the president. He started by begging the president to allow him nominate a minister from his state when in actual sense such is not the story under his immediate past “hero”. I sincerely think the people of his state have to rethink him as a governor or they will live with the consequences of their decision pending his exit.
While I speak not for the presidency, the body language of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s towards corruption is clear. He had said both members of his party and any other party will face the music if found guilty of corruption. Was this the same under the immediate past administration? Can this provost point to one case of corruption fought by his boss to a logical end? Why shouldn’t this man be patient to allow President Muhammadu Buhari fail on his promise? Can the elites in his state call him to order to save the state from these national embarrassments? I think as a forward looking governor, he should find some alignments with the federal government for the overall benefit of his state rather than standing as a clog on the state’s wheel of progress.
Just today ( August 10th) the same governor has lashed out on President Muhammadu Buhari over the appointment of Mrs. Amina Zakari as acting Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, saying that her appointment does not conform with the 1999 Constitution. When did his man become a lawyer leaving his state crucial matters to suffer? He further stated that Zakari’s appointment “was dangerous to democracy” because she is an in- law to the president. How low can a state executive go to stay relevant? Leaving state matters to address non essential matters speak volume of the governor’s priorities.
Yet another wailer note for mentioning is the embattled National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Oliseh Metuh. From the visit of PMB to USA and yet to be appointed ministers, this spokesman has defiled every sense talk. He sees nothing right in the administration despite the no scandal enjoys so far by PMB’s administration.  Little wonder why he lamented recently on an online TV show: “It is cold out here. It is cold because people that have been with you for the past 10 years now decided to change because we are no longer in power. It is cold out here because people allowed themselves to be used against the party. It is cold our here because you are subject to the machination and conspiracy of the ruling party. But in terms of service, being in the opposition renews your commitment.
“The week that we lost the presidential election, some members changed. They are no longer committed and even the staff of the party are no more disciplined because there is no benefit to get. This has, however, separated those who came to reap from the PDP and those who want to really serve. Politics is about service. Those who want to serve will remain.” Wailing on the anti-corruption programmes of President Muhammadu Buhari, Metuh maintained that the government was selective. He described recent probes embarked upon by the government as political lynching. It is clear that most Nigeria politicians feed fat on the people. They barely can make a living outside government. Other wailing wailers are rife on social media parading ignorance.
To the presidency, it needs to be restated that power belongs to the people. The power that brought these set of men there will be invoked and deplored accordingly if the right things are left undone. The quality of lives must improve. Our decayed educational system must be revived with needed speed. Just today, West African Examination Council (WAEC) released May/ June 2015 results with almost 70% failed core subjects. For a thinking government, this should not only call for immediate actions but declaring emergency in the sector while reprioritizing our curriculum better. It appears the current academic curriculum in our schools do not reflect the realities. With the current trends in our educational system, the future is blink for Nigeria. Governments, at all levels, must give a clear stand on this.
 Our politicians should get it straight that the era of stealing us dry is forever over. Accountability is the word. Every citizen is alive and sensitive to government policies and programmes. Every policy not beneficial to the entire citizenry will be resisted, refused and rejected. The current shenanigan at the National Assembly must be halted as soon as possible for proper administration to begin. It is rather dishearten to hear some elements are already scramming for 2019 elections as if they hold their lives.
The mission to rebuild Nigeria has started and must increase in speed. The train of progress has no party affiliation. The idea of new Nigeria should be inculcated into our school curriculum for the sake of our children as these old structure cannot sustain the house called Nigeria. The question will be when will these wailing wailers stop? I am sure the answer is until President Muhammadu Buhari stop to do the right things and join the band wagon of how politicians and corrupt civil servants used to do things for the past 16 years. Until then, I wish the Wailing Wailers Academy of Nigeria (WWAN) “Ijeoma” on their journey to abyss.
 Twitter: @SundayOs
 Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

President Buhari Didn’t Spend N2.2 Billion On US Trip, Presidency Clarifies

The Presidency has dismissed claims in some quarters that President Muhammadu Buhari spent a total of N2.2billion during his four-day state visit to the United States of America.

In a statement issued by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity said: “Our attention has been drawn to an editorial published in the Nigerian Pilot of August 2, 2015 and an earlier report in which the total cost of President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent trip to the US was estimated at N2.2 billion.

“It is very sad that in this age of free-flowing information and in this era of ‘CHANGE’, a media organisation would make itself available as a vehicle to peddle a lie of such low and ignominious quality. Continue…

“Contrary to the newspaper’s assertions, the total cost of the trip to the Nigerian taxpayer was at the most minimal, in line with the policy of this administration to cut waste and extravagance.

“In point of fact, the total amount expended on the trip by the Office of the President amounted to nothing near ten per cent of the speculated figure.

“Owing to the free accommodation provided by the host government, all the personal staff who accompanied the President on the trip received reduced allowances.

“His son, Yusuf, received neither allowances nor estacode. The five Governors on the trip each paid his own way. Permanent Secretaries who traveled on the delegation did so in accordance with extant rules and none of them exceeded their estacode entitlements.

“Apart from the Nigerian Pilot’s mischievous mathematics, it is shortsighted and misleading of the newspaper to have claimed that President Buhari’s trip to the US achieved nothing.

“Nigerian-US relations had suffered severely over the past few years. That relationship has now been reset. The benefits of this symbiotic relationship will become more and more evident as the Buhari administration continues to tackle the challenges of corruption, security and the economy.

“Some of the more immediate benefits of the President’s trip to the US include: the proposed $2.1 billion fund from the World Bank for the re-development of the northeast battered by Boko Haram; $5 billion from US investors in Nigeria’s agriculture sector; $1.5 billion investment in the Nigerian health sector; and another $5 billion investment from the US in our country’s power sector.

“Also, as things stand at the moment, the embargo on the sale of weapons sales to Nigeria is in the process of being removed.

“The trip to the US by President Buhari was definitely very successful and beneficial to Nigeria. Only those rabidly determined to find faults unnecessarily will cook up falsehood in a futile effort to rake up murk where none exists,” Shehu said.

Nigeria Assumes Presidency Of UN Security Council

Nigeria has taken over the leadership of the United Nations Security council, a monthly rotational presidency that member countries share.

A statement by the head of Media 1, Tope Adeleye Elias-Fatile, permanent mission of Nigeria to the United Nations said the position starts running from the 3rd of August 2015.

It will be an opportunity to highlight what the country is doing at the highest level of international engagements.


Presidency Explains Why PMB Will Not Intervene In NASS Crisis

The Presidency, yesterday, said President Muhammadu Buhari would not intervene in the lingering crisis rocking the National Assembly, citing separation of powers as reason for that.

This came as Sokoto Governor and Chairman, Peace Committee on House of Representatives leadership crisis, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, said that peace process was on going, promising that soon, the crisis would be resolved.

President Buhari had come under pressure from many quarters for his apparent docility amid the lingering face-off in the National Assembly and his party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, accusing him of not being assertive.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with  in Abuja, yesterday, on the apparent docility of the President amid the lingering crises in the National Assembly and his party, the APC, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said Buhari had since chosen to give recourse to the Constitution of the land and the principle of separation of power on which Nigeria bases its federalism.

Adesina said Buhari’s intervention would portray him as a “dictator or a despot” which he said runs at variance with  democratic ethos and values.

Read More: vanguardngr

PMB Should Address Nigerians On Insurgency – BBOG

Expressing concerns over the resurgence of suicide bombings in the North-East, the #BringBackOurGirls(BBOG) group has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to address the nation on the Boko Haram insurgency.

Speaking during the group’s sit-out, Aisha Yesufu, noted that Nigerians, especially those affected by the bombings, would want to know government’s efforts towards ending the nightmare that had been terrorizing the nation over the years.

According to her, the president’s’ silence on the issue was unacceptable, adding that addressing the nation would not only soothe the pain of the victims of the insurgency and Nigerians, but would give them hope of a better tomorrow.

“Times for excuses are over. Several people have lost their lives. President Buhari was also attacked in Kaduna last year where he almost lost his life; so he knows what it is. We are all scared! We want the president to address us on the issue. We are humans, and not chickens. Where is the change we voted for? We are tired of the killings, we are tired of dying. People go to churches and mosques to worship and are killed for no just cause. We can no longer pray and worship the way we want, because we are scared. The president should come forward to address the citizens.

“Death, we know is inevitable. When we lost someone and people come to sympathise with us, it doesn’t mean that the dead will come back to life, but it gives us some comfort. That empathy is what we need from our president,” she said.

Also speaking, another member, Abubakar Yusuf, said even though Nigerians were not expecting a total turnaround of events, they would appreciate a nationwide broadcast by the president on the state of the nation.

“The silence is worrisome. We don’t expect a turnaround of the event in just over 30 days, but we expect a caring approach to the challenges facing the nation. The people have the right to know what is going,” he said.

On the contrary, another member, Deji Kolawole believes the president has done a lot on the issue of insurgency, urging Nigerians to be patient with him and expect the best for the future.

“We have done something different and we are expecting different results. The president has done a lot on the issue of insecurity. We are not getting results yet, but I am sure we will at the end of the day. The vice president has been visiting IDPs, showing them love and care,” he said.

Buhari Has No Personal Relationship With New INEC Boss, Presidency Tells PDP

The Presidency yesterday said that due process was followed in the appointment of Mrs. Amina Zakari as the Acting Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. Her appointment has generated concerns and reactions from many quarters.

One of such quarters is the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP which accused the President of naming an ally of his to pave way for the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC reclaim the PDP controlled States at the election Tribunal through some dubious means.

The party also accused President of over ruling Jega who had earlier handed over to another senior staff of the Commission.

But reacting to the concerns raised by the PDP, the presidency through the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina said that due process was followed in making the nomination.

In a statement issued late last night, Adesina said that “Mr Metuh’s spurious claims of her appointment having been influenced by “personal relationship with the Presidency” and a Governor in the North-West “to pave the way for the APC” at election tribunals should be disregarded by the public.”

He added that Buhari did not over rule Jega in the appointment of Zakari.

According to him, the allegations were unfounded, deliberately made to denigrate the president.

The statement read thus: “We have noted with regret, the latest tirade against President Muhammadu Buhari issued today by the PDP’s Spokesman, Mr Olisa Metuh.

“Other than boring reporters at his press conference with a rehash of baseless allegations of inaction against the President, Mr Metuh clearly had nothing new to say apart from his charge of nepotism and partisanship in the appointment of the Acting INEC Chairman, which also lacks any factual foundation.

“President Buhari certainly did not “overrule” Prof. Attahiru Jega in appointing Mrs. Amina Zakari as the Acting INEC Chairman, as Mr Metuh alleged.

“Prof. Jega’s purported handing over to another Commissioner cannot be construed as an “appointment” because only the President has the constitutional authority, which he exercised to appoint Mrs Zakari as acting Chairman of INEC.

“Contrary to Mr Metuh’s allegations, President Buhari’s appointment of Mrs Zakari as Acting INEC Chariman was based entirely on merit, her vast experience in the internal operations of INEC and the President’s commitment to affirmative action in support of gender equality, because, apart from being fully qualified for the position, Mrs Zakari was the only woman among the six Commissioners considered.

“Due Process was certainly followed in Mrs Zakari’s appointment. Mr Metuh’s spurious claims of her appointment having been influenced by “personal relationship with the Presidency” and a Governor in the North-West “to pave the way for the APC” at election tribunals should be disregarded by the public.

“The allegations are nothing but falsehoods contrived by Mr Metuh to unjustly denigrate a President popularly elected by Nigerians to undo the damage done to the nation by years of PDP rule.

“His claim that the PDP has rejected Mrs Zakari’s appointment is also laughable after he had admitted that the right and power of the President to make such appointments cannot be questioned.”


Buhari Has Not Ordered Sale of 9 Presidential Jets, Says Presidency

Contrary to reports that President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered the immediate disposal of nine of the 11 VIP transport aircraft in the presidential fleet, the presidency on Friday denied knowledge of any such directive.

THISDAY newspaper had quoted unnamed sources as saying the president had directed the selling of serviceable and unserviceable aircrafts to cut maintenance costs in line with the government’s policy to drastically reduce its annual expenditure.

Eight of the planes in the fleet, including Boeing 737, two Gulfstream 550 jets, Gulfstream V jet, two Falcon 7X planes, the Hawker Siddeley aircraft and Augusta Westland chopper, the report said, are reserved strictly for the president’s movement.

Other aircrafts, including two Falcon 900 planes, the Dornier, the Cessna Citation, the Beechracft King Air, and two AugustaWestland choppers, are reserved for the airlifting of the Vice-President, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Minister of Foreign Affairs, as well as visiting African heads of states.

But speaking to PREMIUM TIMES Friday, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, denied knowledge of such directive.

“The story of the order for the sale of aircrafts in the Presidential Fleet, about which so much interest is being expressed, is not known to us,” Mr. Shehu said.

Mr. Shehu said if anything like that was being contemplated, the Presidency would issue a statement through its official channels to announce it.


Presidency Expels German Radio Correspondent From Aso Rock For Asking “Embarrassing Question”

The Nigerian State House Media accreditation was on Monday withdrawn from a German Radio Deutsche Welle correspondent, Ubale Musa, by handlers of President Goodluck Jonathan.

Mr. Musa’s accreditation tag was withdrawn by security operatives attached to the Presidential Villa, for asking a visiting Chadian President, Idriss Deby, a question they found embarrassing.

Confirming the withdrawal, Mr. Musa said the Chief Security Officer to the President appears not to be comfortable with the question he asked the visiting Chadian leader.

Mr.Musa had asked the Chadian President the link between the troops of the Multi-national Task Force and mercenaries from South Africa that are currently fighting in the Sambisa forest.

He said the Chadian leader responded that he was not aware of the presence of mercenaries in Sambisa fighting alongside the multi-national troops.

Mr. Deby had simply responded that he had no information concerning any mercenaries from South Africa.

However, shortly after the departure of the visiting President, Mr. Musa was invited by security operatives and his tag withdrawn. He was then driven in a vehicle out of the forecourt of the president’s office through another entry known as *the Service Chiefs’ Gate.

Mr. Musa said he told the operatives that some of his work tools were still inside the press gallery where journalists usually operate from. He was then escorted to the gallery where he picked his belongings and led to where his car was parked.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati, however assured a delegation of State House correspondents that the matter would be resolved.

As at the time of filing this report, Mr. Musa’s accreditation had not yet been restored.


Presidency Addresses First Lady’s Whereabout

The Presidency has finally confirmed that the First Lady, Patience Jonathan is currently not in the country.

According to a statement issued on Thursday in Abuja by the media assistant to Mrs. Jonathan, the First Lady has traveled to Congo.

Adewuyi added that Mrs. Jonathan has gone to the country to join her colleagues from Africa for the celebration of the 30th anniversary of a Non-Governmental Organisation, Congo Assistance Foundation, established by the Congolese First Lady, Madam Antoinette Sassou-Nguesso. He was however silent on when she is expected back in the country.

According to the statement, Mrs. Jonathan was received in Congo on arrival by Nigeria’s Ambassador to Congo Brazzaville, Princess ?Onipede, in the company of top Congolese officials.

It will be recalled that Mrs. Jonathan has been absent from all public events inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja, since President Jonathan lost his re-election bid in the March 28 presidential election.

This has fueled speculations over her whereabouts with the presidency keeping sealed lips.

The statement reads: “First Lady, Dame Patience Faka Jonathan, is in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, joining other African First Ladies for the celebration of the 30th Anniversary of Congo Assistance Foundation, an NGO of Congolese First Lady, Madam Antoinette Sassou-Nguesso.

Read More: dailypost

You Cannot Stampede Jonathan Out Of Office, Presidency Warns APC

Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs, Prof. Rufai Ahmed Alkali has chided the All Progressives Congress, APC,  over its recent utterances urging the party to talk less and plan more as the nation moves towards the 29th May inauguration date.

Reacting to the alarm raised by the APC that President Jonathan is running the economy aground before handing over, Professor Alkali  said “the allegation is immature, reckless and out of tune with the President’s desire and patriotic commitment to a peaceful transfer of power”.

“Nigerians will recall that shortly after the results of the Presidential elections were announced, President Goodluck Jonathan inaugurated a high powered transition committee to plan and organize a hitch free transition programme for the inauguration of the incoming administration.

Surprisingly, it took the APC more than three weeks to wake up to its responsibility to constitute its own transition committee. How then can they turn round to accuse the government of frustrating the transition programme?

Read Morevanguardngr

Presidency Denounces Alleged Attacks On Jonathan

The Presidency has expressed worry over alleged attacks on President Goodluck Jonathan after he conceded defeat in the recent presidential election. Jonathan, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate lost to Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress on March 28/29.

Reuben Abati Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity said since then, some people had continued to work hard to diminish the Jonathan Presidency.

“We are particularly worried that since the March 28 and April 11 elections, some persons have continued to work very hard to diminish the Jonathan Presidency. They need to be reminded that the time for politics is over; it is now time to focus on the in-coming government, with emphasis on national development and moving the country forward,” Abati said.

Abati added that President Jonathan has done his best to protect and strengthen democracy and promote peace. “He justly deserves all the accolades that he has received from both Nigerians and the international community for this. Certain persons and interest groups may not be happy that his profile has further risen and that his legacy is assured; but they do their country gross disservice when they act so unpatriotically,” Abati said.

He said anyone who is engaged in imposing a crisis on the country by any means was not being fair to Nigeria. “We can only appeal to the public to be wary of such reckless tactics now on display, which form the substance of an odd, malicious campaign after the elections,” Abati said.

Credit: CAJ News

FG Transition Committee Meets, Discusses Terms of Reference, Handover Guidelines

Vice President Namadi Sambo on Monday presided over federal government’s transition committee’s meeting, where the terms of reference and guidelines for preparing the handover briefs for incoming government were discussed.

The meeting was held at the vice presidential wing of the Presidential Villa.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Anyim Pius Anyim who fielded questions from State House correspondents shortly after the closed doors meeting, said the committee met to discuss the terms of reference and developed the guidelines for preparing the handover briefs.

Gen. Buhari Reveals Secret Behind Presidential Race Success + Proposed First Assignment

In an interview with Christiane Amanpour yesterday, April 1, 2015, the President-elect Muhammadu Buhari,says he is not surprised that he defeated President Goodluck Jonathan at the just concluded polls.
Buhari, who had over two million votes above Jonathan attributed his victory to the successful merger of the All Progressives Congress in 2013. He said the merger had signalled the beginning of the end of Jonathan’s administration.
In his words, , “I am not surprised because of how we came into the merger. The main opposition parties in Nigeria decided to come together to face the ruling party. That means we had an additional spread and politicians across the length and breadth of the country; so, I was not surprised.”
Buhari also said that as soon as he gets sworn in, he would start a process of national reconciliation in Nigeria, especially in the violence-prone areas of the Niger Delta and the North-East.
He said, “The actual division that is worth bothering about in terms of social instability and insecurity are in the North-East and the in the Niger Delta, which I think have been with this country long enough that we know how they started and what stage they are in now and we are confident that we will rapidly give attention to the insecurity in the country and I believe that we will deal with them within a few months in office.”

Presidency Explains Why It Is Against Card Readers

The presidency has come out to defend its earlier position of the ruling PDP on INEC’s use of card reading machines for the 2015 general elections. It did this by questioning the legality and efficiency of using the device in the forthcoming elections.

Vice President, Namadi Sambo who disclosed this argued that while his party was not against the use of card readers, which the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, believes will help curb electoral fraud, it was concerned whether the decision was backed by law and about the possibility of many Nigerians being disenfranchised.

Read More: dailypost

The Main Reason Why We Want Shekau Alive –- Presidency

The federal government, yesterday, said that arresting the leader of the Boko Haram sect, Abubakar Shekau alive, will address the controversy surrounding his identity.

It also restated its commitment to achieve the feat before the rescheduled general election.

Coordinator of the National Information Centre (NIC), Mr Mike Omeri, stated this in Abuja while responding to questions from journalists on the controversy over the identity Abubakar Shekau said that it is important to get Shekau alive so that his real identity would be ascertained.

Omeri recalled that the group’s erstwhile spokesman, Abu Qaqa, “was mutating until it got to a point that he could not mutate anymore; because if one is taken out, they bring another one who will introduce himself as Abu Qaqa.

“That was established until it got to a point that they had to stop. Even when Qaqa was operating, Shekau was there; he now had to assume the role of commander of Boko Haram and spokesperson.

“From intelligence available and the conclusion of the military, the first Shekau was taken out and another one came. So the military say that they have taken out that one and they are going to take out this one; that there is a trend of a merger of their leadership.

“So I will believe that because I have not been there to see the two of them. They are the ones that have met the first one and they are the ones fighting to get this one this time around. So I will believe them until this war against terror finishes. So let’s get the man. That is why it is important to get him alive so that the full story would be told.”

Omeri further stated that the Nigerian military forces had continued to record remarkable success in the ongoing war against terror with stiff resistance against incursion by the militants into the country at several locations.

He said several towns and settlements earlier occupied by Boko Haram had been recaptured, including Gajigana, Gajiram, Gabchari, Abba Jabari, Damakar, Kumaliwa, Bosso, Karisungul, Wanti and Jeram.

He called on Nigerians to be patriotic and appreciate the effort and sacrifice of the military and security personnel by shunning the trend of cynicism among some unpatriotic Nigerians who have chosen to ascribe the recent success in the anti-terror war to external efforts.

Buhari has met the Constitutional Requirements to Contest for President – Constitutional Lawyer

Dr Tunji Abayomi, a constitutional lawyer, on Wednesday in Abuja said that retired Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, the All Progressives Party (APC) presidential candidate, had fulfilled the constitutional requirements to contest for the office of President.

Abayomi, who stated this in an interview with Newsmen said the logic of Section 131(d) of the Nigerian 1999 Constitution focused not on certificates but on educational level.

Recall that the Nigerian Army had on Tuesday said that it was not in possession of Buhari’s original copies of West African School Certificate (WASC) or statement of result.

“All that the constitution plainly requires in section 131(d) is a show that he has been educated up to the school certificate level or its equivalent, not any particular certificate.

“A certificate where available may well prove the education level of the citizen desirous of becoming president, but without it, he can still meet the educational qualification by other modes of proof.

“Buhari’s written profile, with or without the presentation of any certificates, supported by his deposition, puts it beyond doubt that he has been educated beyond School Certificate Level or its equivalent,’’ he said.

Read More: Vanguard Nigeria