READ: John Mahama’s Full Concession Speech.

“I would have cherished an opportunity to even do more but I respect the will of the Ghanaian people.”

With those simple words, President John Mahama, who thought he would wake up Wednesday with a resounding second term mandate but crashed to a defeat to Nana Akufo-Addo, ended his Flagstaff House quest.

Below, is the transcript of his full speech:

 

My fellow Ghanaians,
My Brothers and Sisters,

A while ago, I phoned Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and offered him my congratulations for emerging the winner of the 2016 Presidential Elections.

Every election is a hard-fought battle, and this one was no exception. For those of us who choose to be contenders and go into electoral contests, we go about it as a win-lose proposition.

We believe that only one person can emerge as the winner. And while it is true that only one person can be elected President, in reality, and certainly in a democracy such as ours, every election is an opportunity for the people of this nation to express their will, to have their say in who will lead them in the shaping of Ghana’s future.

In this way, each victory belongs to the people. And the true winner is always Ghana.

It is precisely on account of my belief in Ghana and its future that notwithstanding the irregularities associated with this election, I have decided at this stage to congratulate the President-elect.

With this understanding, I would like to assure the people of Ghana of my commitment to the sustenance of our country’s democracy and would work to ensure a smooth and peaceful transition to the incoming administration.

I remain committed to the unity and stability of our great nation.

I am profoundly grateful to the almighty God and the people of Ghana for the opportunity to serve in the high office of President.

As President, I have done my bit and made a contribution to the political, social and economic development of our country. I would have cherished an opportunity to do even more, but I respect the will of the Ghanaian people.

I would be remiss if I did not take a moment to express my deepest gratitude to the individuals who have made this journey with me.

I wish to thank all of the people who worked on my campaign for their dedication and tireless efforts.

I wish to thank the leadership of the NDC, all of our members, foot soldiers and sympathizers for their belief in the principles of social democracy and their commitment to the vision.

Likewise, I would like to thank the members of my administration for their diligent service and for bringing to fruition many of the plans we set out to accomplish—the numerous programs that have been implemented and the infrastructural projects that have been completed and ongoing.

I wish to thank my able Vice President Kwesi Amissah Arthur for his unflinching support and loyalty during our period in office.

To the service commanders and men and women in uniform, I wish to extend my profound gratitude to you for your selfless service to Ghana.

I thoroughly enjoyed working with you to ensure the internal and external security of our country.

I am very proud of you.

To organised labour, the civil and public services, traditional rulers, the clergy, workers, youth groups and all identifiable bodies, I am immensely appreciative of your contributions to the development of our country in the last four years.

I wish to thank my family: my children, my brothers, and sisters, and especially my wife, Lordina, for standing as firmly with me through the times of challenge and difficulty as they have through the times of achievement and promise.

Most importantly, I am grateful to the almighty God who has sustained us through the implementation of the Agenda for Transformation. I am eternally grateful.

Ghana, this land that we all call home, is a powerful nation with a history of taking the improbable and making it possible.

We have been a leader on so many fronts, not just on this continent but also in the world–from our attainment of independence, to our development of a democracy that maintains at its core a pledge of stability and a respect for the rule of law, to our formation of much-needed peacekeeping and other humanitarian missions for other nations in need.

And we have been able to do all of these things because we have always functioned as one nation, one people.

Notwithstanding our diversity, religious faiths, ethnic groups and political affiliations, we have always recognized that we are all, ultimately, on the same side—the side of Ghana and its progress.

We see all throughout the world in countries that are much older than ours the devastation that division and intolerance bring.

So I pray that as we move forward, even as we voice our differences and possibly even disagree on agendas and decisions and other details of governance, we always keep in mind the fact of our shared destiny and the undeniable possibilities of power that exist in our unity.

It has been, without a doubt, one of the most tremendous privileges of my life to serve this great nation as President and to work on behalf of all Ghanaians.

I will leave it to history to be the judge of my time and contributions while in that highest office.

To all of the people who cheered us on, who gathered at rallies to show their support, and who queued in long lines to vote for me, I know that this is not the outcome that we wanted and hoped for, but I say to you that this day should not mark the defeat of your role in this nation’s political process.

We must do our part to ensure that the progress of all our past governments, from the very first one led by our nation’s founder, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah to this most recent one that I have led, continues—because progress does not happen all at once; it takes time and dedication.

In the words of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, “Forward ever, backward never.”

At this point let me commend the electoral Commission for living up to its constitutional duty in successfully conducting the 2016 elections. My thanks also goes to the media and all stakeholders for their role in the election.

Again, allow me to offer my sincere congratulations to the President-elect, Nana Akufo-Addo.

I thank you for your kind attention.

May God bless you all, and may God continue to bless our homeland Ghana.

US Election 2016: Full text of Donald Trump’s victory speech

Below is a transcript of Donald Trump’s speech in full as obtained from Vox:
Thank you. Thank you very much, everyone. Sorry to keep you waiting. Complicated business, complicated. Thank you very much.
I’ve just received a call from secretary Clinton. She congratulated us. It’s about us. On our victory, and I congratulated her and her family on a very, very hard-fought campaign.
I mean she fought very hard. Hillary has worked very long and very hard over a long period of time, and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country.
I mean that very sincerely. Now it is time for America to bind the wounds of division, have to get together, to all Republicans and Democrats and independents across this nation I say it is time for us to come together as one united people.
It is time. I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all of Americans, and this is so important to me. For those who have chosen not to support me in the past, of which there were a few people, I’m reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so that we can work together and unify our great country. As I’ve said from the beginning, ours was not a campaign but rather an incredible and great movement, made up of millions of hard-working men and women who love their country and want a better, brighter future for themselves and for their family.
It is a movement comprised of Americans from all races, religions, backgrounds and beliefs, who want and expect our government to serve the people, and serve the people it will.
Working together we will begin the urgent task of rebuilding our nation and renewing the American dream. I’ve spent my entire life in business, looking at the untapped potential in projects and in people all over the world.
That is now what I want to do for our country. Tremendous potential. I’ve gotten to know our country so well. Tremendous potential. It is going to be a beautiful thing. Every single American will have the opportunity to realize his or her fullest potential. The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.
We are going to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals. We’re going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none, and we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it. We will also finally take care of our great veterans who have been so loyal, and I’ve gotten to know so many over this 18-month journey.
The time I’ve spent with them during this campaign has been among my greatest honors.
Our veterans are incredible people. We will embark upon a project of national growth and renewal. I will harness the creative talents of our people and we will call upon the best and brightest to leverage their tremendous talent for the benefit of all. It is going to happen. We have a great economic plan. We will double our growth and have the strongest economy anywhere in the world. At the same time we will get along with all other nations, willing to get along with us. We will be. We will have great relationships. We expect to have great, great relationships. No dream is too big, no challenge is too great. Nothing we want for our future is beyond our reach.
America will no longer settle for anything less than the best. We must reclaim our country’s destiny and dream big and bold and daring. We have to do that. We’re going to dream of things for our country, and beautiful things and successful things once again.
I want to tell the world community that while we will always put America’s interests first, we will deal fairly with everyone, with everyone.
All people and all other nations. We will seek common ground, not hostility, partnership, not conflict. And now I would like to take this moment to thank some of the people who really helped me with this, what they are calling tonight a very, very historic victory.
First I want to thank my parents, who I know are looking down on me right now. Great people. I’ve learned so much from them. They were wonderful in every regard. I are truly great parents. I also want to thank my sisters, Marianne and Elizabeth who are here with us tonight. Where are they? They’re here someplace. They’re very shy actually.
And my brother Robert, my great friend. Where is Robert? Where is Robert?
My brother Robert, and they should be on this stage but that’s okay. They’re great.
And also my late brother Fred, great guy. Fantastic guy. Fantastic family. I was very lucky.
Great brothers, sisters, great, unbelievable parents. To Melania and Don and Ivanka and Eric and Tiffany and Barron, I love you and I thank you, and especially for putting up with all of those hours. This was tough.

Tony Ademiluyi: Unmasking Jonathan’s Speech

The defeat of King Harold by the Norman William the Conqueror in the Battle of the Hastings in 1067 saw the ascent of French culture in England. French became the language of the court with the English language being reduced to the vernacular not to be spoken in public by the Nobles.

Cultural nationalism slowly began a decade later with the subtle push for the English culture to regain its pride of place. The nationalists saw education as an effective tool for the rapid diffusion of ideas. Around 1096, Oxford University became the first institution of higher learning to be established in the country which later became the world’s largest empire. From 1167, it gained immense popularity as King Henry II banned English students from attending the University of Paris that was the then popular destination. It was a surreptitious victory for the nationalists as the King was more French than English as he had more lands in France. His later estranged wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine was permanently domiciled in France where minstrels composed poems in her honour.

Less than a century after its establishment, it became the pre-eminent citadel of learning in the entire Europe and had the admiration of Kings, Popes and the thought leaders throughout the continent.

After the defeat of former President Goodluck Jonathan last year, some pundits wondered how he would spend the rest of his time! He didn’t have the gift of the garb and so we weren’t expecting another Bill Clinton or Tony Blair.

His speech to students of the University of Oxford on the 24th of October this year is not surprisingly generated a lot of interest from within and outside the country. As the former leader of the most populous black nation in the globe, he was bound to be in the spotlight.

Some of the key points made are worth examining carefully. He acknowledged the critical role that entrepreneurship plays in the continent when he said ‘This discussion is topical for our global search for development and security. The issue of youth entrepreneurship in Africa is very critical, as Africa is the only continent in which we will witness a population boom in our lifetime’. It is a well-known fact that other continents of the world most notably North America and Europe are experiencing an ageing population. Africa has the potential to give a combination of China and India a fierce run for their population size which explains the more than passing interest in the investment opportunities in the world’s second largest continent. The massive youth unemployment is a combination of bad leadership and the inability to prepare the youths to key into the changing times. The sinister role of corruption in Africa and by extension Nigeria’s underdevelopment has already been well rehashed but how prepared are these youths in Nigeria for the challenges of living in the fast-paced 21st century which is largely characterised by disruptive innovations?

He mentioned that he gave education top priority both as the Governor of Bayelsa State and President of the country when he said ‘After much soul searching, my conviction in regards to these questions is this: wealth is a creation of the human mind properly prepared by education.

It is my firm belief that any Nation that does not spend its wealth and resources to developing the capacity of its youth  will eventually be forced to devote its resources to fight insecurity amongst those same youths.

As a leader, you can decide through your policies to educate the youths, or face the consequences of failing to do so. The problem all African leaders have is how to manage the youth bulge. Do we consider this a ticking time bomb or an opportunity?’

He went on to reel out the achievements of his administration when he massively built schools in virtually all parts of the country most especially in the northern part which has the infamy of being the most backward despite the fact that they have produced the most political leaders. We don’t dispute his adding to the number of already existing educational institutions but we are at a loss on how it has solved the major problem of poverty that is the tragic fate of many Nigerian youths. Getting a postgraduate is insufficient to ward off the hunger pangs in this day and age. Many youths go abroad to obtain very expensive degrees which have still left a sizeable number of them economically handicapped upon their return home. The avalanche of institutions of higher learning both public and private has done little to ameliorate the plight of the unemployed.  Of what use is it to create a system that proliferates the establishment of higher learning institutions and not prepare the minds of these graduates to do things differently so that they don’t become liabilities. A major flaw of the Nigerian educational system is the sense of entitlement that it makes its graduates possess. This worked in Jonathan’s generation when the oil boom and the fewer number of graduates got car loans and had job picking options. The educational system tragically has failed to evolve to tune the minds of the graduates to not see a job as a meal ticket but to see their stay in school as an opportunity for self-development to unleash their hidden potential that may be answers to recurring challenges. By 2020 according to the Fast Company magazine, half of the entire workforce of Americans will work on a freelance basis and the independent worker bug is spreading like wildfire throughout the wall. Nigeria is not isolated from the globe. The relationship between modern day employers and employees is one of partners with mutual interest and is well explained in Reid Hoffman’s ‘The Alliance.’ Is it realistic to still be preaching that getting a higher education is enough to succeed as his speech seemed to suggest? Will the cheaper reality of independent contracting make it the employer’s best interest to create more jobs with monthly pay checks? How did his school project which focused on building more schools and exporting some to study in foreign climes create a new independent mindset in the graduates to be solution providers? Did it reduce the heart wrenching queues at job interviews? There was no mention of a government backed philosophy that fuelled an ideology of self-reliance in such a way that the psyche of an average graduate is worked on to get their hands legitimately dirty. We remember the Winneba Ideological Institute which Osagyefo Kwame Nkrumah built shortly after independence to entrench a national philosophy of hard work in all Ghanaians. Everyone from student, civil servant and politician were required to attend and it ended up as an enduring legacy because the culture of hard work was taken by his countrymen to all the ends of the earth when harsh economic situations forced many of them into exile. I recall the preference of Ghanaian workers while growing up. Jonathan failed to work on the minds of the youths. The increases in educational institutions have done nothing to abate the ticking time bomb and that is a colossal failure as a policy maker.

He mentioned the You win programme as his solution to providing entrepreneurship opportunities for the ill equipped youths. How many jobs did the ‘lottery’ create? What was the vision of the extravaganza? What was the incubation process? Why did it collapse even under his Presidency? Did his administration create the enabling environment for entrepreneurs to thrive? He tried to link the success of the Co-Creation Hub to the creation of the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology. If Bosun Tijani and Femi Longe had waited for the ministry’s backing, it would have been worse than Waiting for Godot. What about the mind boggling corruption allegations that dogged his administration? Did that create opportunities for the youths?

It is hilarious that Jonathan has now morphed into a tragi-comedian for some bored folks in the land of our erstwhile colonial masters who need some warmth to brace up squarely for the impending winter.

History can never be re-written even with the best public relations stuff. Stalin, Hitler with the best propagandist machinery failed woefully in that attempt.

The late afrobeat maestro, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti had a major titled where he said ‘Dem don release you but you never release yourself.’ The same colonial mentality that the Bard-Prophet sang decades back played itself out when Jonathan had to seek validation of a wise use of his mandate from a foreign audience.

The loud mouthed Donald Trump may have been right when he said Africa needs a second round of colonalisation.

Tony Ademiluyi

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of www.omojuwa.com nor its associates

 

Plagiarism does less national harm than corruption and stealing – Adegbenga

Plagiarism is the “wrongful appropriation” and “stealing and publication” of another author’s “language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions” and the representation of them as one’s own original work. The idea remains problematic with unclear definitions and unclear rules.

PLAGIARISM IS NOT IN ITSELF A CRIME, but can constitute copyright infringement. In academia and industry, it is a serious ethical offense. Plagiarism and copyright infringement overlap to a considerable extent, but they are not equivalent concepts, and many types of plagiarism do not constitute copyright infringement, which is defined by copyright law and may be adjudicated by courts. PLAGIARISM IS NOT DEFINED OR PUNISHED BY LAW, but rather by institutions (including professional associations, educational institutions, and commercial entities, such as publishing companies).

Although plagiarism in some contexts is considered theft or stealing, THE CONCEPT DOES NOT EXIST IN A LEGAL SENSE, although the use of someone else’s work in order to gain academic credit may meet some legal definitions of fraud. “PLAGIARISM” SPECIFICALLY IS NOT MENTIONED IN ANY CURRENT STATUTE, EITHER CRIMINAL OR CIVIL. Some cases may be treated as unfair competition or a violation of the doctrine of moral rights. The increased availability of intellectual property due to a rise in technology has furthered the debate as to whether copyright offences are criminal. In short, people are asked to use the guideline, “if you did not write it yourself, you must give credit”.

PLAGIARISM IS NOT THE SAME AS COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT. While both terms may apply to a particular act, THEY ARE DIFFERENT CONCEPTS, and false claims of authorship may constitute plagiarism regardless of whether the material is protected by copyright. Copyright infringement is a violation of the rights of a copyright holder, when material whose use is restricted by copyright is used without consent. Plagiarism, in contrast, is concerned with the unearned increment to the plagiarizing author’s reputation, or the obtaining of academic credit, that is achieved through false claims of authorship. Thus, plagiarism is considered a moral offense against the plagiarist’s audience. _(__Wikipedia__)_

I was surprised when the media was eroded with headlines such as “Change Begins with Me Campaign Suffered A Setback” due to Plagiarism.

Speeches of men that changed the face of the World need no reference when being used. Obama fall within this group by virtue of being the only Blackman to have presided over the affairs of United States.

You need no reference when quoting people like Aristotle, Zeus, Socrates e.t.c. The World already knows their speeches are free for all.

It took President Buhari’s Speech Writer’s ignorance to admit guilt on this. Most proverbs being used freely today belong to the Chinese; most people don’t even know and still use them like it’s theirs.

I am very sure that Barak Obama has quoted speeches from Shakespeare, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln e.t.c which his Speech Writer must have written them without citing them; yet Americans has not called for the head of Obama the ways Nigerians are calling for the head of President Buhari.
Though not acceptable by any Standard, plagiarism does less National harm than corruption and stealing which has faced the country under the past administration.

It will be recalled that President Buhari on September 8 launched the ‘reorientation’ campaign in Abuja as part of his government’s strategy to make Nigerians eschew “dishonesty, indolence, unbridled corruption and widespread impunity” and embrace daily introspection over their “immoral” conducts, so I am not surprised at the condemnation; using Plagiarism as an excuse.

I am also aware that some corrupt elements that are not comfortable with the ‘Change Begins with Me’ Campaign had used one Akin Fadeyi, creator of ‘Not In My Country’ to accused the Buhari administration of stealing his concept.

The corrupt elements claimed that Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed adapt Mr. Fadeyi’s ‘Not In My Country,’ for ‘Change Begins with Me’ campaign but Lai Mohammed has denied the allegations, saying he started ‘Change Begins with Me’ before he was appointed Minister by the Buhari’s administration.

I know that the ‘Change Begins with Me’ campaign had earned President Buhari denigration from those who are used to corrupt practices but the Federal Government must make the campaign necessary so as to rally all Nigerians to clean the country of corruption and other discontent tormenting it.
Just like President Buhari has urged Nigerians to look beyond this incident and focus on the message of change which the country needs in order to restore our cherished value systems, I stand with President Buhari on the objectives of the ‘Change Begins with Me’.

God bless Nigeria.

– Adegbenga, a Freelance Journalist. kelvinadegbenga@yahoo.com

Buhari To Fire Speech Writer Over Plagiarism Scandal

President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered that prompt and appropriate disciplinary action be taken against those responsible for a wrongful insertion in his speech delivered on September 8, 2016 at the launch of the “Change Begins with Me’’ campaign.

It was observed that the similarities between a paragraph in President Obama’s 2008 Victory Speech and what President Buhari read in paragraph nine of the sixteen-paragraph address while inaugurating the Campaign on Thursday, September  8, 2016 are too close to be passed as coincidence.

There was a mistake by an overzealous staff and we regret that this has happened.

Already, a Deputy Director in the Presidency has accepted responsibility for the insertion of the contentious paragraph.

This serious oversight will be investigated thoroughly and appropriate sanction meted.

The Presidency wishes to state in the clearest possible terms that it regrets this unfortunate incident and will ensure that this does not happen again.

President Buhari urges Nigerians to look beyond this incident and focus on the message of change, which the country needs in order to restore our cherished value systems.

The plagiarized paragraph in President Buhari`s change begin with me speech, reads:  “We must resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship, pettiness and immaturity that have poisoned our country for so long. Let us summon a new spirit of responsibility, spirit of service, of patriotism and sacrifice, Let us all resolve to pitch in and work hard and look after, not only ourselves but one another.

“What the current problem has taught us is that we cannot have a thriving army of rent seekers and vested interests, while the majority suffers.”

President Obama had in a speech delivered after his victory on November 4, 2008, seven years before Buhari`s election, said,

“Let’s resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.

“So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other. “Let us remember that, if this financial crisis taught us anything, it’s that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers.”

Brazil VP ‘Accidentally’ Releases Post-Impeach Speech

Brazil’s vice president — who would take over if Dilma Rousseff is impeached — on Monday accidentally released the speech he’d give to the nation if she were forced to stand aside, reports said. The appearance online of the 14-minute speech in which Vice President Michel Temer addresses “the Brazilian people” was immediately interpreted by Rousseff supporters as evidence for their claims that impeachment proceedings are a coup plot in disguise.

Temer’s office told Folha newspaper that the vice president, who turned on Rousseff to become an opposition leader, was just practicing “on his cell phone and it was sent by accident.” In the leaked speech, Temer states that his “great mission from now is the calming of the country, the unification of the country.”

He calls on all parties to join “to pull the country out of crisis.” Temer would automatically assume the presidency if the Senate votes to put Rousseff on impeachment trial for allegedly illegal government accounting tricks. But for that to happen, the lower house first needs to vote in about a week’s time, with a two thirds majority required for the Senate to take up the case.

The Senate would then have to vote to start the trial. With Rousseff fighting hard to defeat the motion in the lower house, the outcome remains far from sure. Despite the assurances that the recording was just a precautionary measure sent out by accident, some saw darker motives. Rousseff’s Workers’ Party tweeted that Temer’s premature speech to the nation reveals preparations for “a brazen coup plot.”

And the bizarre twist in an already complex fight over Rousseff’s future prompted lively exchanges on social media. Some questioned whether the release of the presidential-style speech, which was quickly given widespread media coverage, really was accidental. Others made fun of Temer, who according to a recent poll would only get one to two percent of the vote in a presidential election.

Credit: Vanguard

I Never Referred To Obasanjo In My Speech– Saraki

The President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, has denied referring to former President Olusegun Obasanjo when he spoke with the Senate Press Corps on Tuesday. A statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuph Olaniyonu, in Abuja on Wednesday described reports that Saraki referred to ex-president as “mere mischief and misrepresentation’’.

Olaniyonu said the Senate president would not use the media to respond to Obasanjo directly or indirectly but would only write officially to him as he had earlier said. He said Saraki only responded to two questions which bordered on the feasibility of the 2016 budget and whether the details of the National Assembly Budget would be made public. “The Senate president’s answer on the first question was that the success of the 2016 Budget will depend less on oil price but more on the non-oil and independent revenue.

“That is why the Senate will lay emphasis on the scrutiny of these areas as well as ensure that leakages are blocked so that the budget can be realised without any hitch. “On the second question, he reiterated his earlier position that the Senate budget will no longer be a one-line item. “He said details of the budget of the National Assembly will be provided for all to see what goes to what budget head.

“He urged all Nigerians to realise that mistakes have been made by all stakeholders in the past and that we should all move forward by ensuring those mistakes are not repeated. “In fact his position that mistakes have been made by all of us in the past was a reference to all stakeholders like political office holders, the media, civil society, professional and business groups, among others.” The statement said the president of the Senate had maintained that he would only write a formal letter to Obasanjo to explain efforts made on some of the issues raised by the former president.

It restated that Saraki would not use any public event or the media to give any direct or indirect response to the legitimate points raised by the elder statesman and father of the nation. “The president of the Senate further urged the media to refrain from sensationalism which leads to twisting and misrepresentation of the position of public officers. “The urge to sell newspapers should not override the need for ethical standard and accuracy in presentation of news to be maintained.

“The media should equally be sensitive to other people’s feelings,’’ the statement added. Saraki addressed newsmen on Tuesday when he opened the newly refurbished Press Centre for journalists covering the activities of the Senate.

Credit: Vanguard

President Buhari’s Speech At The Inauguration Ceremony of Ministers

Your Excellency, The Vice President;
Professor Yemi Osinbajo;
The Senate President, and the Hon. Speaker, House of Representatives;
The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Rt. Hon. Justice Mahmoud Mohammed;
The National Chairman, All Progressive Congress, Chief John Oyegun;
National Leader of APC, Chief Bisi Akande;
Other APC Executive Committee Members here present;
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation;
Head of the Civil Service of the Federation;
Honourable Ministers;
Members of the Diplomatic Corps;
Members of the Press and Invited Guests.

 

Today we have reached another milestone in the evolution of our new government which Nigerians overwhelmingly voted into office in the March 28th, 2015 general elections. Today we witness the swearing-in of new ministers of the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

 

Since our inauguration on May 29, 2015, the Vice President and I have been mindful of the need to constitute a cabinet that will best deliver our expectations of a better country than we inherited. We want to work towards a prosperous nation respected for the right reasons, and whose citizens can hold up their heads anywhere in the world. And we are optimistic that bringing this set of ministers into the service of our country today is a step in the right direction, a timely move towards realising our positive goals for our country.

 

Since we assumed office in May, I have been mindful of the need to ensure that the appointment of new ministers translates into putting round pegs in round holes while showing sensitivity to our diversity as a people and our various positions as groups of stakeholders in our country.

 

I have also been conscious of the need not to repeat such mistakes of the past where the right people were allocated the wrong portfolios, which translated into their performing poorly to our collective detriment despite their obvious capabilities. Also, I have responded to the counsel to consult as widely as possible, given the need to build a stable and all-inclusive government by reaching across our various ethnic and political divides.

 

With the inauguration of ministers, our government shall continue more decisively to implement its policies in respect of the economy and in other areas. While working hard to maximise revenue from oil in the face of a sharp decline in the price for the commodity, we are determined to diversify the economy in agriculture to enhance employment and explore solid minerals as a major revenue earner.

 

The primary aim is to achieve self-sufficiency in the production of such staples as rice and wheat and to become a major consumer and exporter of both items as well as solid minerals. We intend to pursue policies that will generate massive employment for millions of our youth.

 

We shall also continue with greater determination and focus to pursue our goal of ensuring improved security for our country and its citizens, and without letting up on our fight against corruption. Our commitment to defeat Boko Haram and all the threats it constitutes remains as strong as ever. So is our resolve to root out vices such as kidnapping and neutralise the various forms of criminalities that threaten the social peace of Nigerians.

 

While recognising the challenges we face and the need to surmount them, let us not fail to note the progress we have made in the short life of this government, as an indication of how much better we can do as a people driven by patriotism and a common resolve to do things right.

 

On the moral sphere, trust is slowly but steadily being re-established between the government and the people. Now, when the government speaks, the people listen; and when the people’s expectations are not met, they appreciate that it is not for lack of commitment or trying on the part of government. In effect, government business is now being conducted with transparency and cynicism is waning as a result.

 

Our adoption of the Treasury Single Account has resulted in the blocking of financial leakages in the public sector, making more funds available for the business of governance and ensuring the welfare of our citizens. The Central Bank of Nigeria has also assisted more than 30 States of the federation with concessionary loans to offset salary arrears for their workers. On the monetary side, the CBN has also implemented country-specific and innovative policies that have helped to stabilize the exchange rate and conserve our reserves.

 

Finally, our new ministers must proceed to work speedily and do their utmost to justify the confidence we have placed in them not only by their conduct but also by their performance in their various positions.

 

Over all our economy is poised for sustained job creation, poverty reduction and inclusive growth. Regardless of the present challenges we are confronting, I believe all Nigerians will keep hope alive and sustain their optimism about the future of our economic well being.

 

The Ministries have been rationalised and reduced to twenty-four. These are the Ministries and their Ministers.

 

1 Abubakar Malami – (SAN) Justice
2 Geoffrey Onyeama – Foreign Affairs
3 Khadija Bukar Abba – Ibrahim State Minister Of Foreign Affairs
4 Brig. Gen. Mm Dan Ali -Defence
5 Adamu Adamu – Education
6 Prof. Anthony Anwukah – State Minister Of Education
7 Mrs Kemi Adeosun – Finance
8 Okechukwu Enelamah – Industry, Trade And Investment
9 Ms. A’isha Abubakar – State Minister Of Industry, Trade And Investment
10 Dr. (Sen) Chris Nwabueze Ngige – Labour And Employment
11 Barrister James E. Ocholi – State Minister Of Labour And Employment
12 Muhammadu Bello – Federal Capital Territory
13 Abdulrahman Bello Danbazau – Interior
14 Udoma Udo Udoma – Budget And National Planning
15 Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed – State Minister Of Budget And National Planning
16 Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu State Minister Of Petroleum Resources
17 Babatunde Raji Fashola (San) – Power, Works And Housing
18 Mustapha Baba Shehuri State – Minister Of Power, Works And Housing
19 Chief Audu Innocent Ogbeh – Agriculture And Rural Development
20 Heineken Lokpobiri – State Minister Of Agriculture And Rural Development
21 Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi – Transportation
22 Senator Hadi Sirika – State Minister Of Aviation
23 Isaac Folorunsho – Adewole Health
24 Dr. Osagie Ehanire – State Minister Of Health
25 Senator A’isha Jummai Al-Hassan – Women Affairs
26 Pastor Usani Usani Uguru – Niger Delta
27 Claudius Omoleye Daramola – State Minister Of Niger Delta
28 Barrister Adebayo Shittu – Communications
29 Lai Mohammed – Information
30 Amina Muhammed – Environment
31 Ibrahim Usman Jibril – State Minister Of Environment
32 Eng. Suleiman Adamu – Water Resources
33 Barrister Solomon Dalong – Youth And Sports
34 Kayode Fayemi – Solid Minerals
35 Abubakar Bawa Bwari – State Minister Of Solid Minerals
36 Dr Ogbonnaya Onu – Science And Technology

Best of Luck
Muhammadu Buhari

 

More On Obama’s Speech During AU Visit

Closing a historic visit to Africa, President Barack Obama on Tuesday urged the continent’s leaders to prioritize creating jobs and opportunity for the next generation of young people or risk sacrificing future economic potential to further instability and disorder.

He said the “urgent task” of generating jobs for a population that is expected to double to around 2 billion people in the coming decades will be “an enormous undertaking.” But he said it can be achieved with U.S. help.

“Africa will need to generate millions more jobs than it is doing now,” Obama said in a speech to the entire continent delivered from the headquarters of the African Union, a member organization of African nations. “And time is of the essence.”

“The choices made today will shape the trajectory of Africa — and therefore the world — for decades to come,” said Obama, who is seen by the people of Africa as one of their own. It was the first speech to the AU by a sitting American president.

The speech marked the end of Obama’s five-day visit to Africa that included an earlier stop in Kenya, homeland of his late father.

Obama also called on Africa’s leaders to make their countries more attractive to foreign investment by cleaning up corruption, upholding democratic freedoms, supporting human rights, and willingly and peacefully leaving office when their terms expire.

Obama, who is more than halfway through his second and final term, said “I just don’t understand” the phenomenon of leaders who refuse to step aside when their terms end. He referred to Burundi’s leader, who was just elected to a controversial third term although he is constitutionally limited to two. The announcement that President Pierre Nkurunziza was seeking a third term sparked days of unrest across the country.

“There’s still so much I want to get done to keep America moving forward. But the law is the law and no one is above it, not even presidents,” Obama said. “And, frankly, I’m looking forward to life after being president. It will mean more time with my family, new ways to serve, and more visits to Africa.”

He called on the AU to use its authority to help make sure African leaders stick to their term limits and follow their constitutions. “No one should be president for life,” said Obama, who leaves office in January 2017.

Africa’s progress will also depend on security and peace, since businesses and wealthy people won’t want to invest in unsafe places, the president said.

He pledged continued U.S. training assistance and other support in the fight against terrorism carried out across the continent by groups like al-Qaida, the Islamic State, al-Shabab and Boko Haram. He said the world must do more to help, too, and announced that he will host a summit at the United Nations in September to secure additional support for international peacekeeping, including in Africa.

Obama said Africa’s impending population boom could bring tremendous opportunities for the continent on the one hand.

“On the other hand,” he said, “we need only look to the Middle East and North Africa to see that large numbers of young people with no jobs and stifled voices can fuel instability and disorder.”

Before addressing the AU, Obama highlighted his administration’s efforts to combat hunger by touring a Faffa Foods factory that participates in the U.S. Feed the Future program. The initiative focuses on helping smaller farmers in 19 countries, including Ethiopia and 11 other African nations, expand their businesses.

Read More: AP

Read President Buhari’s Speech To Govs Over Unpaid Salaries

ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI, AT THE OCCASION OF THE INAUGURATION OF THE NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL, HELD AT THE COUNCIL CHAMBER OF THE PRESIDENTIAL VILLA, ABUJA, ON MONDAY 29TH JUNE 2015.

Protocol

I am delighted to be here with you at this occasion on the inauguration of the National Economic Council (NEC) for this Administration. The National Economic Council was established by the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999), as amended, Third Schedule, Part I, Section 153: Sub section (18 & 19). The NEC, as one of the Federal Executive bodies, has the mandate to advise the President concerning the economic affairs of the Federation, and in particular on measures necessary for the co-ordination of the economic planning and programmes of the various Governments of the Federation.

2. Your Excellencies, the regular meetings of the National Economic Council have remained the official economic platform for dialogue among the thirty six (36) State Governors, the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria and other co-opted members, chaired by the Vice President, where issues and challenges facing the development of the country, at national and sub-national levels, are discussed with a view to develop and harmonize common strategies for addressing them.

3. You may recall, that in my inaugural speech, on May 29, 2015 I stated that the primary objective of this Administration is to tackle insecurity; youth unemployment, through the revival of agriculture, solid minerals mining, as well as small and medium size businesses. I also highlighted pervasive corruption; fuel and power shortages; public service reforms; and the need to allow every tier of Government to exercise its constitutional responsibilities, among others. We are fully committed to embarking on sustainable visionary initiatives and programmes that will restructure and transform our national economy. We are also committed to ensuring collaboration and facilitation of the International efforts to combat threats of cross-border terrorism, sea piracy, refugees, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), financial crimes, cyber crimes, climate change; the spread of communicable diseases and other challenges of the 21st century.

4. I urge you all to ensure that we surmount these enormous challenges facing us as a country by working to support economic policies, which the government will soon unveil to grow our economy and finance our external promises.

5. I am pleased to note that the Council meetings have, over the years, been very constructive and productive, and the key outcomes as well as recommendations translated into Government policies at the Federal and state levels. This has not only facilitated national economic planning, but also lead to over- all political harmony. It is also reassuring to note that steps have been taken in the past to strengthen the effectiveness of the Council in its role as prime adviser on developments in the economy. This process must be geared up substantially especially in the difficult times that we have now found ourselves. The National Planning Commission must continue to work to arrive at workable consensus on Government policies among the various tiers of Government, which is a prerequisite for sustained growth and development.

6. Your Excellencies, it is evident that the task of ensuring growth, job creation and equity, is quite enormous. Consequently, we must kick-start this process by cultivating a culture of prudent management of resources at all levels of Government. This will entail looking inwards to secure sustainable ways of increasing Internally Generated Revenue (IGR); and harnessing growth potentials of each State to supplement the Federation Account allocation to States. The States are also encouraged to embark on projects that will meet immediate needs of the people taking account of available resources. I therefore urge Council members to consider, as a matter of urgency, exploring efficient means of gradually liquidating all unpaid salaries of staff, which have brought untold hardship to thousands of families.

Read Morevanguardngr

Read President Buhari’s Brilliant Inaugural Speech

Inaugural speech by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari following his swearing-in as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on 29th May, 2015

I am immensely grateful to God Who Has preserved us to witness this day and this occasion. Today marks a triumph for Nigeria and an occasion to celebrate her freedom and cherish her democracy. Nigerians have shown their commitment to democracy and are determined to entrench its culture. Our journey has not been easy but thanks to the determination of our people and strong support from friends abroad we have today a truly democratically elected government in place.

now5I would like to thank President Goodluck Jonathan for his display of statesmanship in setting a precedent for us that has now made our people proud to be Nigerians wherever they are. With the support and cooperation he has given to the transition process, he has made it possible for us to show the world that despite the perceived tension in the land we can be a united people capable of doing what is right for our nation. Together we co-operated to surprise the world that had come to expect only the worst from Nigeria. I hope this act of graciously accepting defeat by the outgoing President will become the standard of political conduct in the country.

I would like to thank the millions of our supporters who believed in us even when the cause seemed hopeless. I salute their resolve in waiting long hours in rain and hot sunshine to register and cast their votes and stay all night if necessary to protect and ensure their votes count and were counted.  I thank those who tirelessly carried the campaign on the social media. At the same time, I thank our other countrymen and women who did not vote for us but contributed to make our democratic culture truly competitive, strong and definitive.

I thank all of you.

Having just a few minutes ago sworn on the Holy Book, I intend to keep my oath and serve as President to all Nigerians.

I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody.

A few people have privately voiced fears that on coming back to office I shall go after them. These fears are groundless. There will be no paying off old scores. The past is prologue.

Our neighbours in the Sub-region and our African brethenen should rest assured that Nigeria under our administration will be ready to play any leadership role that Africa expects of it. Here I would like to thank the governments and people of Cameroon, Chad and Niger for committing their armed forces to fight Boko Haram in Nigeria.

I also wish to assure the wider international community of our readiness to cooperate and help to combat threats of cross-border terrorism, sea piracy, refugees and boat people, financial crime, cyber crime, climate change, the spread of communicable diseases and other challenges of the 21st century.

At home we face enormous challenges. Insecurity, pervasive corruption, the hitherto unending and seemingly impossible fuel and power shortages are the immediate concerns. We are going to tackle them head on. Nigerians will not regret that they have entrusted national responsibility to us. We must not succumb to hopelessness and defeatism. We can fix our problems.

In recent times Nigerian leaders appear to have misread our mission. Our founding fathers, Mr Herbert Macauley, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Alhaji Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto, Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Malam Aminu Kano, Chief J.S. Tarka, Mr Eyo Ita, Chief Denis Osadeby, Chief Ladoke Akintola and their colleagues worked to establish certain standards of governance. They might have differed in their methods or tactics or details, but they were united in establishing a viable and progressive country. Some of their successors behaved like spoilt children breaking everything and bringing disorder to the house.

Furthermore, we as Nigerians must remind ourselves that we are heirs to great civilizations: Shehu Othman Dan fodio’s caliphate, the Kanem Borno Empire, the Oyo Empire, the Benin Empire and King Jaja’s formidable domain. The blood of those great ancestors flow in our veins. What is now required is to build on these legacies, to modernize and uplift Nigeria.

Daunting as the task may be it is by no means insurmountable. There is now a national consensus that our chosen route to national development is democracy. To achieve our objectives we must consciously work the democratic system. The Federal Executive under my watch will not seek to encroach on the duties and functions of the Legislative and Judicial arms of government. The law enforcing authorities will be charged to operate within the Constitution. We shall rebuild and reform the public service to become more effective and more serviceable. We shall charge them to apply themselves with integrity to stabilize the system.

For their part the legislative arm must keep to their brief of making laws, carrying out over-sight functions and doing so expeditiously. The judicial system needs reform to cleanse itself from its immediate past. The country now expects the judiciary to act with dispatch on all cases especially on corruption, serious financial crimes or abuse of office. It is only when the three arms act constitutionally that government will be enabled to serve the country optimally and avoid the confusion all too often bedeviling governance today.

Elsewhere relations between Abuja and the States have to be clarified if we are to serve the country better. Constitutionally there are limits to powers of each of the three tiers of government but that should not mean the Federal Government should fold its arms and close its eyes to what is going on in the states and local governments. Not least the operations of the Local Government Joint Account. While the Federal Government can not interfere in the details of its operations it will ensure that the gross corruption at the local level is checked. As far as the constitution allows me I will try to ensure that there is responsible and accountable governance at all levels of government in the country. For I will not have kept my own trust with the Nigerian people if I allow others abuse theirs under my watch.

However, no matter how well organized the governments of the federation are they can not succeed without the support, understanding and cooperation of labour unions, organized private sector, the press and civil society organizations. I appeal to employers and workers alike to unite in raising productivity so that everybody will have the opportunity to share in increased prosperity. The Nigerian press is the most vibrant in Africa. My appeal to the media today – and this includes the social media – is to exercise its considerable powers with responsibility and patriotism.

My appeal for unity is predicated on the seriousness of the legacy we are getting into. With depleted foreign reserves, falling oil prices, leakages and debts the Nigerian economy is in deep trouble and will require careful management to bring it round and to tackle the immediate challenges confronting us, namely; Boko Haram, the Niger Delta situation, the power shortages and unemployment especially among young people. For the longer term we have to improve the standards of our education. We have to look at the whole field of medicare. We have to upgrade our dilapidated physical infrastructure.

The most immediate is Boko Haram’s insurgency. Progress has been made in recent weeks by our security forces but victory can not be achieved by basing the Command and Control Centre in Abuja. The command centre will be relocated to Maiduguri and remain until Boko Haram is completely subdued. But we can not claim to have defeated Boko Haram without rescuing the Chibok girls and all other innocent persons held hostage by insurgents.

This government will do all it can to rescue them alive. Boko Haram is a typical example of small fires causing large fires. An eccentric and unorthodox preacher with a tiny following was given posthumous fame and following by his extra judicial murder at the hands of the police. Since then through official bungling, negligence, complacency or collusion Boko Haram became a terrifying force taking tens of thousands of lives and capturing several towns and villages covering swathes of Nigerian sovereign territory.

Boko Haram is a mindless, godless group who are as far away from Islam as one can think of. At the end of the hostilities when the group is subdued the Government intends to commission a sociological study to determine its origins, remote and immediate causes of the movement, its sponsors, the international connexions to ensure that measures are taken to prevent a reccurrence of this evil. For now the Armed Forces will be fully charged with prosecuting the fight against Boko haram. We shall overhaul the rules of engagement to avoid human rights violations in operations. We shall improve operational and legal mechanisms so that disciplinary steps are taken against proven human right violations by the Armed Forces.

Boko Haram is not only the security issue bedeviling our country. The spate of kidnappings, armed robberies, herdsmen/farmers clashes, cattle rustlings all help to add to the general air of insecurity in our land. We are going to erect and maintain an efficient, disciplined people – friendly and well – compensated security forces within an over – all security architecture.

The amnesty programme in the Niger Delta is due to end in December, but the Government intends to invest heavily in the projects, and programmes currently in place. I call on the leadership and people in these areas to cooperate with the State and Federal Government in the rehabilitation programmes which will be streamlined and made more effective. As ever, I am ready to listen to grievances of my fellow Nigerians. I extend my hand of fellowship to them so that we can bring peace and build prosperity for our people.

No single cause can be identified to explain Nigerian’s poor economic performance over the years than the power situation. It is a national shame that an economy of 180 million generates only 4,000MW, and distributes even less. Continuous tinkering with the structures of power supply and distribution and close on $20b expanded since 1999 have only brought darkness, frustration, misery, and resignation among Nigerians. We will not allow this to go on. Careful studies are under way during this transition to identify the quickest, safest and most cost-effective way to bring light and relief to Nigerians.

Unemployment, notably youth un-employment features strongly in our Party’s Manifesto. We intend to attack the problem frontally through revival of agriculture, solid minerals mining as well as credits to small and medium size businesses to kick – start these enterprises. We shall quickly examine the best way to revive major industries and accelerate the revival and development of our railways, roads and general infrastructure.

Your Excellencies, My fellow Nigerians I can not recall when Nigeria enjoyed so much goodwill abroad as now. The messages I received from East and West, from powerful and small countries are indicative of international expectations on us. At home the newly elected government is basking in a reservoir of goodwill and high expectations. Nigeria therefore has a window of opportunity to fulfill our long – standing potential of pulling ourselves together and realizing our mission as a great nation.

Our situation somehow reminds one of a passage in Shakespeare’s Julius Ceasar
There is a tide in the affairs of men which,
taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life,
Is bound in shallows and miseries.

We have an opportunity. Let us take it.

Thank you

Muhammadu Buhari
President Federal Republic of NIGERIA
and
Commander in-chief-of the Armed forces

Tit Bits From President Buhari’s Inaugural Speech

He acknowledged the contribution of Nigerians, friends of Nigeria within and outside the country and former President Jonathan for his “statesmanship”. He also acknowledges those who did not vote for him for contribute to the culture of democracy in Nigeria.

“I am for everybody and I am for nobody,” he says.

He thanks Cameroon, Chad and Niger for their fight against Boko Haram. He says his government will be dedicated to fighting terrorism, climate change, power supply inadequacies, spread of communicable diseases etc.

He says Nigerians should not submit to the spirit of defeatism. “We can fix our problems,” says Buhari.

He vows to respect the Rule of Law, to make the public service efficient and effective. He says he will interfere in the duties of the Legislature and the Judiciary. While the Federal Government will not meddle in the activities of state and local governments in  the country, he will not close his eyes to abuse of power and office, he says.

He appeals to the media to be patriotic and responsible.

He promises to hit the ground running while highlighting the importanc of tackling Boko Haram insurgency,  Niger Delta militancy, power shortages and unemployment.

He has announced to move the command headquarters of the Nigerian Military to Maiduguri temporarily. He characterizes Boko Haram as anti-Islam and promises to do all his government can to rescue the Chibok Girls alive.

He says the amnesty programme in the Niger Delta that is due to end in December will be made more effective but streamlined. He asks stakeholders for cooperation.

He says his government will tackle youth unemployment through the encouragement of agricultural entrepreneurship, solid mineral mining, and provision of credit facilities to SMEs.

He ends his speech with a quote from William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar