JUST IN: Osinbajo receives security briefing at Aso Rock

The Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, is currently receiving security briefings from service chiefs and heads of other security agencies.

The briefing is taking place at the Situation Room of the Ask Rock Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali said the briefing is aimed at “allowing the service chiefs and other heads of security agencies to brief the acting president on the security situation in the country”.

Mr. Dan-Ali also said the meeting affords the security agencies an opportunity to express the “unflinching support, commitment and loyalty of the Nigerian Armed Forces to the present administration.”

The minister said the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has provided the needed support to the armed forces which has impacted positively in its capacity to fight the insurgent Boko Haram and other security threats across the country.

He said relative peace has been restored to the restive north-east and that what the Nigerian Armed Forces is doing in most areas is to prepare for the return of civil authority and policing.

He said operations in the area have led to recovery of “weapons, communication equipment and arrest of many Boko Haram fighters.”

He also said part the successes recorded by the armed forces of recent is the rescue of many women and children held captive by the Boko Haram, while many commanders of the sect were arrested.

He said many more surrendered to the armed forces.

Mr. Dan-Ali, a retired brigadier general, said the Nigerian military is also providing aid to many displaced persons camps in the form of good clothing and water supplies, while roads hitherto closed have been reopened.

On Southern Kaduna, Mr. Dan-Ali said the Nigerian Army is in the process of building a new barracks in Kafanchan town to consolidate the military presence in the zone.

He said peace talks are currently ongoing among the people of the area to address constant clashes between farmers and herders.


Source: Premium Times

People believe Boko Haram would have captured Aso Rock if PDP had remained in power – Garba Shehu

Garba Shehu, spokesperson of President Muhammadu Buhari, says many people believe that Boko Haram “would have taken over Aso Rock by now” if the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had remained in power after 2015.

Shehu said this while speaking over the weekend in Abuja at an interactive session with Nigerian youths.

He said the Buhari administration had achieved a lot in terms of security.

The president’s spokesman said Nigeria has attained the record of the second largest producer of rice in the world despite the fact that the rice revolution “just started a year ago.”

“Look at all of the way the efforts that has been put in rolling back Boko Haram. There are many people who believe that if not for president Muhammadu Buhari, PDP had continued in this country in 2015 they would have taken over Aso Rock by now. We have achieved so much in terms of security,” Shehu said.

“As I speak to you now Nigeria just achieved the record of the second largest of rice in the world. The rice revolution just started a year ago.

“A newspaper did an investigation in Kebbi and they found out that there were 48,000 new millionaires in Kebbi state alone for growing rice. Over reliance on oil has killed this country and we cannot continue like this.”

He said the whistle blower policy initiated by the federal government was an opportunity given to Nigerians to make an income.

“The important policy of whistle blower that the president has instituted, it gives an opportunity to me, you and to every citizen of this country,” he said.

“If you see stolen money going anywhere, you will not only be honoured for pointing it out for discovery but you can earn a commission. So reward by exposing that. About 10 million USD and they give 2.5 of that. That money can change one’s life.”

Shehu appealed for the patience with his principal saying: “President Muhammadu Buhari is a long distance runner he is not looking for short-term gain that people will just clap at him and those advantages just disappear.

“The jobs are being created last year we promised half a million jobs, the economy couldn’t support it but before the close of the year we had done more than 300,000 the balance that will be carried into the new year.

“And another 500,000 will be given jobs and I’m happy that the economy is getting better, oil price is going up and the policies of government in the Niger Delta are beginning to calm things down.

“You can see that exploration and exportation of oil is growing, gas is coming back and power is getting better. He wants to build a future of prosperity, a future that will be everlasting. Something that will stay for generation upon generation and I assure that this is a beginning of the good things to come.”


Source: The Cable

Falcons To Storm Aso Rock– Report

The Super Falcons will reportedly  march to the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja on  Wednesday to protest against the non-payment of their entitlements.

The eight-time African champions, who are owed bonuses and allowances by the Nigeria Football Federation,  have  been  protesting  since they won the  African Women’s Cup of Nations  in Cameroon.

According to  a statement by one of the organisers of the planned protest, Aderonke Bello-Ogunleye, obtained by AfricanFootball.com,  the team are ready to carry placards and proceed on a peaceful protest to the State House, where the Federal Executive Council meeting will take place today.

“This is unfortunately a regular occurrence to female football in Nigeria, we treat our victorious girls with disdain and total disrespect as all the time,” said Aderonke.

“It is inconceivable that the NFF/Federal Government are unwilling to pay the players their dues after winning the trophy. This has to stop and the girls must be paid their dues.

“We are going to protest the unfair treatment meted out to these champions who have won the tournament eight  times, making them the most successful football team in Nigeria, and we hope the federal government will listen to their plea.”

Credit: punchng

$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.

Rejoinder: The Second Coming of Goodluck Jonathan – By Ayantunji Benjamin Gbenro

I have refrained myself from reading Chief Dele Momodu’s weekly articles for some months simply because of his penchant for churning out outright lies or half truth and my allergy to misinformation. I once responded to his article and the furor my response generated made me to resolve out of respect as a well brought up Yoruba to avoid his articles. My reason for doing that is what you don’t know won’t hurt you.


His latest article with the above title first came to my notice via comments that strayed into my TL on twitter but I never bothered to read it. I knew the penchant of our dear Chief to do PR job for the highest bidder without really being convinced about the things he writes. I cannot fault him for this because it is his job, believe me, he is very good at it. My opinion changed however due to calls I received from friends about the said article. I was forced to read it to know what could have so much infuriated a gentleman of honour to that extent. The article is riddled with misinformation as expected and I will try to correct them.


The article went through memory lane to justify his assertion that the Former President Goodluck Jonathan can become President again in 2019. Though I don’t have power of clairvoyance to be able to predict what will happen or not, I can say the premises for the assertion were faulty. Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo and late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe loss to Alhaji Shehu Shagari in 1979 cannot be said to be a surprise or be compared to Trump’s triumph, at the recent US election. Shagari was clearly the candidate of the military establishment, which made the two political colossi to be engaged in an apparently unwinnable fight.  Aside that, the two political juggernauts hardly have any identifiable political structure beyond their respective regions. The political dexterity of Awolowo and the philosophical mind of Azikiwe all disappear into oblivion in the face of the factors above. Not to sound disrespectful, Dr. Jonathan has neither the political dexterity of Awolowo nor the philosophical mind of Azikiwe. His electoral value even within his region and beyond is questionable. He might also be fighting against the establishment. All this factors will make Chief Momodu’s conclusion almost impossible.


The writer also tried to draw a parallel between the victory of Chief Kashimowo Abiola at SDP’s convention in Jos in 1993 and his subsequence victory at the national poll without recourse to factors that may help the younger ones in understanding the time in reference. First, MKO Abiola was not a political neophyte as the article portrayed. He took on Chief Awolowo in the Southwest in 1983 and his party, NPN, won some states against all odds. Whatever means that was employed, the fact is NPN won some states and MKO was an active player. MKO was also a close friend of General Ibrahim Babangida who invited him to join the Presidential race in 1993. He was one of the richest Nigerians, if not the richest, as at that time. His philanthropic gesture extended to all regions and religions. He was arguably the most visible and popular civilian of that time. All these combined to make his emergence not a surprise as portrayed. Dr. Goodluck doesn’t possess these qualities and that makes the comparison a daydream.


The emergence of Trump in the US can also not be said to be a surprise to some of us though we silently wished it never happened. To those that are close to me or follow my ideas, I said before the election in the US that there is a silent majority that saw Obama’s Presidency as an aberration. These silent majorities are intrinsically racist, bigoted and wanted a closed nation. These sentiments were what Trump appealed to and it worked for him. What are the national sentiments that Jonathan will appeal to? There is hunger in the land no doubt but Nigerians are not as stupid as assumed. When the chips are down, blame will be apportioned appropriately. Nigerians will remember the bazaar that preceded Buhari. The wastage of national resources. The fact that at inception of Buhari’s administration he had to bailout twenty eight states across the federation that couldn’t pay salary despite coming out of a period of record oil sales in price and volume. We will remember the infrastructural deficit despite record earnings from oil. We will remember the killing field that was Nigeria before Buhari. We will remember that there was a time that stealing was not corruption. We will remember there was a time that the measure of our national prosperity was the number of private jets that landed in Kenya when our President went for a State visit while majority at home languished in abject poverty. We will remember there was a time we were laughing stock in the comity of nations. We will remember so many things. The fact that we demand more from Buhari does not mean we forgot where we were.


The writer also made it to look as if this administration has been fighting Jonathan. This is far from the truth. President Goodluck Jonathan has visited Aso Rock on several occasions since he left office and it has never been reported that the meetings ended in fisticuffs with Buhari or that he was not accorded the respect due to him. Just as the visit of Trump to Obama never resulted in a brawl. Are we applauding that because it is Obama and turning blind eye to happenings in Nigeria because it is Buhari. President Buhari is an honourable man. He is trying hard to keep whatever agreement reached before handing over; else, I cannot fathom why neither President Jonathan nor his wife has been brought in for questioning despite odiferous revelations of financial recklessness against them. Many of Buhari’s supporters are not happy about this but we still accuse him of going after Jonathan. President Obama recently said he will go against the tradition of former Presidents not publicly going against incumbents if Trump decided to carry out his campaign rhetoric, but we are blind to that. Like Obama, Buhari’s loyalty should be to the nation and not an individual. If a crime is committed against the state it is his responsibility to ensure such criminals are brought to justice.


The writer also alluded to the economy inherited by Buhari’s administration. Which economy are we talking about? Are we talking of the economy that was borrowing over 400 billion naira to pay salaries despite record oil sale in price and volume? The economy where millions of barrels of oil was stolen daily without solution? Economy where large chunk of our arable land was taken over by insurgents? Which economy did Buhari inherit? Let’s not pretend about it Buhari inherited a carcass. It is actually a miracle that the carcass is stuttering.  He was supposed to be an undertaker.


The funniest of all alluded to by the writer was the placard carrying crowd in Sokoto urging Jonathan to come back as a sign of rising popularity. How much does it take to rent a crowd anywhere in Nigeria? How much will it cost the likes of Bafarawa from the over four billion naira for spiritual consultation to put up such a show? Anyway, let’s pretend we don’t know.


To conclude, I will like to advise three sets of people. First, I want to advise PDP to please give its party presidential ticket to former President Jonathan come 2019. It will save the party the hassles of primary election and give him ample time to campaign. Secondly, to President Goodluck Jonathan, please don’t allow bootlickers to hoodwink you into an exercise in futility. Remember the billions of dollars they pushed you to spend in 2015 that went into their private pockets. Now that you no longer have access to national treasury, they will strip you naked and you will be left to rot away. You will be sixty by next year (Happy 59th Birthday in arrears); please don’t allow the hawks to deceive you.  Finally, I want to advise President Muhammadu Buhari, you’ve done much, but more is still expected. Do all you can to get us out of recession. Kudos for the two hundred thousand youths employed under N-power but it’s just a drop in the ocean. We need massive infrastructural development. There are three sets of people criticizing you, those whose access to national till has been blocked, and those whose parents, leaders or financiers have lost access to our common patrimony and those genuinely interested in the progress of this country. Please listen for the sake of the third group and posterity.


Ayantunji Benjamin Gbenro (PhD) can be reached via Twitter handle @bengbenro

4 Reasons Nigerians Cannot Afford To Have Atiku In Aso Rock – Tonye Barcanista

I have been observing the recent moves by a former Vice President of Nigeria Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who is also a veteran aspirant for the office of the President. Atiku Abubakar has suddenly shifted from his subtle campaign for President to what seem to be like an almost direct campaign for the number one seat in the country. In the Social media, some sycophantic groups and individual with inspiration from their stomach have been making noise by endorsing the Turaki Adamawa-perhaps, with expectation of gratification “when the time comes”.

While I am not against Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to exercise his right to aspire for the office of the President in 2019 or any office in Nigeria, I have the responsibility as a young man, a patriot and a youth leader in my own right to enlighten Nigerians and eligible voters about Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s candidacy (just like I would to any other aspirant for the office).

I shall give some reasons why Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is unfit to occupy the office he is aspiring for;

1. Lack of Integrity:

During the period when he was the Vice President of the country, Atiku was appointed to chair the Petroleum Technology Development Fund by the President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. As Chairman of Petroleum Training Development Fund(PTDF), Atiku lodged over $30million and $164 in Trans International Bank and Equatorial Trust Bank respectively from the account of PTDF according to EFCC’s forensive indictment in 2006. In fact, ‘loans’ that yielded interest as high as 15% to the banks were collected from the said banks by Atiku and his proteges AFTER PTDF millions of dollars has been lodged with the illegal account. It was all business! When the deal was busted in 2006, Atiku simply said that he ‘kept the monies for safe-keeping’ and even claimed that he deserves commendation. He brought back the PTDF “capital” that he put in private account and benefited hugely from it.

Atiku Abubakar was indicted by EFCC, Senate, and a Presidential Committee. He is yet to clear his name. As usual, a court that he went to never discussed whether he was innocent or guilty, but simply said the FG Committee lacks power to investigate and indict Atiku Abubakar because they weren’t courts.

You may look these for reference.


It is a shame that we are in a country where we forget easily. Otherwise, how could sane Nigerians be asking for Atiku’s Presidency when Nigerians in unison were asking for him to come out clean as for back as 2006.

Apart from the PTDF, Nigerians are yet to understand how Alhaji Atiku Abubakar from a humble background became an extraordinary billionaire despite the fact that most of his productive adult life was spent in the Nigeria Custom Service.

There is also an indictment on Atiku in the USA, I am yet to see him take up the challenge to take a trip to the United States as requested by exPresident Olusegun Obasanjo in 2014.

2. Tribal Supremacism:

One of the challenge of President Buhari’s administration is that he is more aligned with his brothers in the north than with the rest of the country, hough Buhari has never hidden where is primary loyalty lies (his north). While many think Atiku is detribalised (we can only be patriotic and not detribalised anyway), the bare truth is that Atiku is a northern supremacist that believe that his northerners should always align with their own. Unlike Buhari, Atiku is pretentious about his- but his sin shall find him out.

In 2010, in their bid to stop Goodluck Jonathan from seeking the ticket of PDP in the 2011 Presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, Aliyu Gusau, Gen IBB and Bukola Saraki(now Senate President) all submitted themselves to Adamu Ciroma led Northern Political Leaders Forum to come up with a consensus NORTHERN candidate to upstage Southern Goodluck Jonathan. Atiku was eventually chosen as the eventual “northern candidate” over Saraki, who wasn’t considered “northern enough” by the Ciroma led Forum. Atiku led a campaign in the north that he christened “Naka Sai Naka” meaning “Northerners go for your own”.

The record is there for all to see http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-12193681

3. Insincerity And Deception:

Atiku is a very wealthy man no doubt, but of late we have seen a picture of him drinking sachet water aka pure water. When did Atiku start drinking such? Who is he trying to deceive? We won’t forget the N40 sacthet Milo/tea gimmicks that the Buhari campaign employed to deceive gullible Nigerians into believing that he was a “poor man”. We won’t forget the “akara” frying stunt of Mrs Aisha Buhari during the electioneering period in 2015. We should realise that when politicians are desperate, they take to any act just to impress and deceiving the gullible into giving them their votes. #NeverAgain should we be falling for such. It amounts to deception in the part of the elite to continue to use such gimmicks.

Also, Atiku has been making case for federalism and stuffs, but in ALL his years in Aso Rock as VeePee, he never initiated nor suggested such. In fact, Atiku was a very powerful VeePee between 1999 and 2003, as he was in charge of home-front while Obasanjo was travelling the world, yet he never thought of any pro-Federalism/restructuring policy. It is true that he fought against the third term agenda of Obasanjo, but we all know that he did it so that he can be able to succeed the president in 2007- he didn’t do it for Nigeria.

4. What Does He Have To Offer That He Can’t Suggest To Incumbents?

Atiku is part of the political system in Nigeria. In 1993 he ran for President, but lost to MKO Abiola in the Social Democratic Party primary election. In 2007, he ran for Presidency under Action Congress, but lost to Umaru Yaradua of PDP, and coming behing ANPP’s General Buhari. In 2011 he ran for Presidency and lost to Jonathan in the contest for PDP ticket. In 2014, he ran again but lost to Muhammadu Buhari in the APC primary, coming behind second placed Rabiu Kwankwaso. Now he is eyeing 2019! What is Atiku looking for after serving as Vice President for eight years? What did he forget in the villa that he wants to go back to get?

Atiku is already 70, he will be 73 in 2019, he is not an outsider of the system (like the American Trump), what does he have to offer that he couldn’t offer as VeePee? What stops him from sharing his “developmental” ideas to the incumbents since 1999 (considering that he was always in the incumbent parties)? What stops Alhaji Atiku from grooming younger, smarter and intelligent politician for the plum job?

Like I said earlier in my first paragraph, I am not against the right of Atiku to seek office, but I am against the idea of him becoming President. Nigeria cannot afford to continue to rotate failures and grannies. We need generational shift in leadership, we need to retire the system elite and bring him visionaries in 2019.

Nigeria has to be great for our own good, and we must make it great!

NEC: Osinbajo, governors meeting in Aso rock.

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


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


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


Details later…

Aso Rock Chaplain Rejects Demons In Presidential Villa

Aso Rock Chaplain, Pastor Oluseyi Malomo, has described as a slap on Christians, news making the round that the Presidential Villa, in Abuja is infested with demons.
He said this shortly after he delivered a lecture at the Economic Empowerment Summit entitled: Empowerment for Wealth Creation, organised by the Precious Cornerstone University (PCU) in conjunction with the Sword of the Spirit Ministries, held at the take-off campus of the university, Garden of Victory, Old Ife Road, Ibadan, at the weekend.
Former special adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan, Dr. Reuben Abati, said recently that the Villa is filled with demons, and advocated its relocation. He also suggested that the present Villa be turned to a spiritual museum.
But, the State House chaplain said there was no need to relocate the Villa because Christians should use the powers given to them by God to cast out demons, and added that prayers have been instituted on the development and prayers are being taken from one church to the other over the matter.
Malomo noted that the presidential villa is the seat of power for the country, and anything that affects the Villa has affected the whole of the country.
He added that spiritual attacks on the Villa could translate to a situation whereby government could evolve a wrong policy.
He, however, appealed to Nigerians to pray for the leadership of the country for God to guide them.
Malomo and other speakers at the summit, including the President and Chief Executive Officer of Integrated Catering Company Limited, owner of the brand name ‘The Promise’, Mr Oluwatoyin Alabi; and pioneer Vice Chancellor, Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti, Prof (Mrs) Sidi Osho, who is the founder of Sidi Osho Foundation, highlighted various business opportunities, how to start and grow businesses as well as the place of God in running a prosperous business.
Founder of the Sword of the Spirit Ministries, Bishop Wale Oke, said Precious Cornerstone University was birthed in November 2007 and the National University Commission (NUC), through its Standing Committee on Private Universities, has completed its assessment of the institution for take off.
“Having been satisfied with our state of readiness, all that is remaining is for public pronouncement to be made by the Federal Executive Council for us to collect our licence,” he said.
Oke stated further that the university “is taking off from the Garden of Victory, but has its permanent site along Ibadan-Lagos Expressway.
The land for the permanent site has a valid title in the name of the Sword of the Spirit Ministries, the owner of PCU. Few structures are already on the permanent site.
“Besides, a N200 million bank guarantee has been procured and submitted, as part of the requirements for granting of a licence.”



Osinbajo, Saraki, Dogara Meeting In Aso Rock

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is currently meeting with the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The meeting is believed to be one of the efforts aimed at resolving the issues arising from the Senate’s recent rejection of President Muhammadu Buhari’s $30bn foreign loan request and the 2016-2018 Medium Term Expenditure Framework.

Osinbajo heads the present administration’s Economic Management Team.

The meeting started at about 2pm with the arrival of the heads of the two chambers of the National Assembly in the Vice-President’s office.

Read More:


$30bn loan: Osinbajo in closed-door meeting with Saraki, Dogara.

Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo is currently holding a closed-door meeting with President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, Daily Trust reports.


The meeting with the leaders of the National Assembly is believed to be in line with reaching a truce on the $30bn loan request currently before the legislature from the presidency.


Both men are believed to have arrived the Aso Rock villa at about 2pm for the meeting, which is holding in the Vice President’s office.


The Senate had penultimate Tuesday rejected the request citing incomplete documentation.

Accountability and the demons in Aso Villa – Ikeogu Oke

Reuben Abati’s widely published piece, “The Spiritual Side of Aso Villa,” deserves very critical attention for its implication for accountability. That implication, which I consider harmful, is that it creates grounds for anyone who has operated and may operate from Aso Villa, our country’s seat of power, to argue their exoneration for any wrong attributable to them on the grounds that the villa, as Abati would have us believe, is a place where “the forces of darkness” hold sway and control the actions of its inhabitants.

Indeed, if we accept that people act under the influence of such forces which they cannot resist, why hold them accountable for their actions even by law, which considers acting under duress – in this case the duress of demons – as a basis for the exculpation of an accused person?

So if we asked the first tenant of the villa as Head of State why he annulled the June 12, 1993, presidential election, an act many consider wrong for the attendant economic waste and injustice to various stakeholders, he would be justified to respond that he couldn’t have acted otherwise considering the influence of such malevolent forces. And if it were possible to prosecute one of his successors posthumously over the loot being recovered offshore and said to belong to him, and ask him why he would engage in such rapacious plunder of the public till while in office, he could argue for his acquittal with a response that those “forces of darkness” made him do it.

And if we continued to blame the first occupant of the villa as civilian president for the disruptive “third term” project and some other wrongs linked to him while in office – like the corruption of the politics of a certain state with violence for which a renowned writer rejected a national honour he gave him – he might overturn our justification for blaming him by claiming that he acted under the influence of the same “forces of darkness.” And if we were to criticise one of his successors whose Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy was quoted as having said that the government under him lacked the political will to save for our country’s future, he might tell us it was the same evil forces that prevented him from saving, and sue for our understanding.

And for those wrongs for which we may feel justified in blaming our leader to whom Abati apparently alludes with the remark, “No Nigerian President should be in spiritual bondage because he belongs to all of us and to nobody,” he may deflect our blame by attributing them to the “spiritual bondage,” and ask us to bear with him, rather than take responsibility for such wrongs.

However, the most intriguing thing, for me, is that “the forces of darkness” said to plague Aso Villa do not prevent its occupants at the top from desiring to exhaust or extend their tenures in office. One of them, on leaving office, said he was stepping aside, implying his intention to step back in someday as he tried to do by trying to run for president. Another military Head of State like him sought to transmute into a civilian president, having set up sham political parties which a former Attorney General and Minister of Justice famously described as “the five fingers of a leprous hand.” Does that mean they would rather prolong their torment by those “forces of darkness”?

Another sought to wangle for himself an extra term in office. And yet another fought probably the most bitter and divisive election in our country’s history apparently to remain in the company of the same evil forces that had tormented him and his aides for almost six years.

Then think of this: in most cases they parted ways with the said “forces of darkness” with better stories to tell about their personal finances. Yet we are expected to believe that the forces, if they exist, are not being maligned as unkind to them.

Here, for the avoidance of doubt, is a summation of Abati’s views to which I respond: “When Presidents make mistakes, they are probably victims of a force higher than what we can imagine. Every student of Aso Villa politics would readily admit that when people get in there, they actually become something else. They act like they are under a spell. When you issue a well-crafted statement, the public accepts it wrongly. When the President makes a speech and he truly means well, the speech is interpreted wrongly by the public. When a policy is introduced, somehow, something just goes wrong … Those mistakes don’t look normal … I am therefore convinced that there is an evil spell enveloping this country. We need to rescue Nigeria from the forces of darkness. Aso Villa should be converted into a spiritual museum, and abandoned … I am tempted to suggest that this is indeed a country in need of prayers …The President … can make wrong decisions based on the cloud of evil around him.”

All the wrongs Abati attributes to “the forces of darkness” can be rationalised or explained in existential terms. For instance, if a president appoints his speechwriters based on primordial considerations rather than merit, and in spite of their questionable competence, then he may end up with speeches marred by embarrassing flaws including plagiarism, on which his critics may pounce.

I think Nigerians are already praying in excess, alas with hardly any proof that our prayers are being answered, unless we do not pray for the good life and a united, just, peaceful, prosperous, well-governed and corruption-free nation. If prayers could generate revenue, Nigeria could be the richest country in the world. Though a very prayerful nation, we import a wide range of goods from an atheist, prayerless nation like China without seeming to ponder what gives a nation that doesn’t pray such an edge of productivity over one that prays.

My favourite definition of prayer is by the American philosopher and transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson. He says, “Prayer is the contemplation of the facts of life from the highest point of view.” It is like reckoning that we cannot pray a bridge over a river with folded hands; but with the right knowledge of bridge building and effort we can build a bridge over a river even without praying. Nor can we pray ourselves to economic prosperity amid unbridled corruption and a poor work ethic. Or expect our prayers to be answered if misaligned with our actions, like praying for peace while fomenting crises.

I believe we can overcome “the evil forces” in Aso Villa with positive and patriotic action. And if we abandon the villa and build a new one, can’t the same forces relocate to the new one and haunt its inhabitants such that they continue to make wrong decisions that derail our collective destiny?

– Oke, a poet and public affairs analyst, lives in Abuja.

Mimiko Rushes To Meets Buhari In Aso Rock, Says Ondo May Boil

President Muhammadu Buhari and Ondo State Governor Olusegun Mimiko  met behind closed-doors at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja.

Governor Mimiko arrived the president’s office at about 11.00am.

It was gathered that Mimiko visited the Presidential Villa in respect of the Thursday’s declaration by the Independent National Electoral Commission of Jimoh Ibrahim as the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the Ondo governorship election.

The INEC had removed the name of Eyitayo Jegede from the list of the candidates of the political parties that would participate in the November 26 governorship election and replaced it with Ibrahim.

The governor told State House reporters today shortly after meeting behind closed-doors with Buhari that the INEC’s action could cause a conflagration in the state.

The governor said there was no moral justification for what the INEC did describing Ibrahim’s declaration as injustice and mischief.

Mimiko said President Buhari promised him that he would look into the matter.

Credit: dailytrust

Gowon pays another visit to President Buhari in Aso Rock

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday met behind closed doors with a former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon (retd.), at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The meeting was held inside the President’s office.

The meeting of the two leaders was the second one in two months.

They had earlier met on August 23 before Gowon travelled out of the country.

The former military leader did not speak to reporters after the Thursday meeting.

Evil spirits exist everywhere, not only in Aso Villa–Presidential Chaplain.

The Chaplain of Aso Villa Chapel, Seyi Malomo, has explained his stance on recent media reports alleging Aso Villa was infested with evil spirits and demons.

Rather than take the report as truth, Mr. Malomo said on Sunday, Nigerians should dedicate themselves to praying for God’s righteousness to take over the land.

“I am not saying there are no evil spirits. I am also not saying there are,” he said.

“I don’t know what people believe. For me, I believe it is only righteousness that exalts a nation.

“Evil spirit is everywhere. Even the street you live, don’t you have witches and wizards there?” he added.

Mr. Malomo said his advice was for citizens to pray for Nigeria and its leaders, particularly President Muhammadu Buhari, his family and all those working in the presidential villa, for God to cleanse the Nigerian seat of government of all alleged demonic influences.

The Chaplain was speaking in Abuja in a exclusive chat with PREMIUM TIMES shortly after delivering a sermon as guest preacher during the African International College (AIC), Abuja thanksgiving/welcome service for its 2016/2017 freshers.

Despite allegations the presidential villa was full of evil spirits, Mr. Malomo said there was nothing above prayers to seek God’s intervention to restore righteousness in Nigeria.

“All we need to do as Nigerians is to pray that wherever evil exists, God should make His righteousness to take over.

“As Nigerians, our responsibility is to continue to pray for the president and his cabinet, and every part of the country, particularly the Villa, for righteousness to take over,” Mr. Malomo said.

The claims of evil spirit at the presidential villa heightened when a former Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Reuben Abati, said in an article in the Guardian that he was “totally convinced Aso Rock Abuja is full of evil spirits.”

Mr. Abati recalled several incidents of fire outbreaks at the Aso Villa during his stay there.

“Around the Villa while I was there, someone always died or their relations died. I can confirm every principal officer suffered one tragedy or the other. It was as if you needed to sacrifice something to remain on duty inside that environment,” he said.

“Even some of the women became merchants of dildo because they had suffered a special kind of death in their homes … and many of the men complained about something that had died below their waists too.

“The ones who did not have such misfortune had one ailment or the other that they had to nurse. From cancer to brain and prostate surgery and whatever, the Villa was a hospital full of agonizing patients.”

A former aviation minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, agreed with Mr. Abati, saying “a lot of very strange things happened there” when he worked at the villa as spokesperson to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo.

He listed some of the strange things he noted happened as the death of Mr. Obasanjo’s assistants, Tunji Oseni and Remi Oyo, who he said contracted terrible terminal illnesses whilst in office and died few years after leaving office.

Mr. Fani-Kayode also said several other aides who worked in the Villa at the time were also afflicted with strange diseases and a sudden and tragic end. He mentioned such people as Mr. Obasanjo’s ex-aide de camp, Solomon Amu, and former Senior Special Assistant on Public Communications, Stanley Macebuh.

Mr. Fani-Kayode had made a similar allegation about the aviation industry. He said that during his time as minister there was a “blood sucking cult” in the ministry that believed shedding human blood brought power and wealth.

“There is definitely a spiritual aspect to this (plane crashes). In my view, there has always been a blood cult operating in the ministry of aviation. There are some people that are very strange,” he said.

Reuben Abati’s Ghost Stories In Aso Rock – Igboeli Arinze

I read with wonderful bewilderment Reuben Abati’s recent article titled “ The Spiritual Side Of Aso Rock Villa” which was supposedly an expose on the influence of rituals, spirits and ghouls on Nigeria’s seat of power and it’s occupants.

Times without number I chuckled to myself as line after line Abati whom I regard as a trailblazer in the media world perhaps running short on reasons why the Jonathan administration failed decided to use this as a trump card to quieten a number of us who blame Jonathan for for failing the nation.

If Abati thought so, then he is largely mistaken as such talk may only expose him further to immense ridicule. I cannot imagine a man like Abati, whose faculties largely impressed me as a student could descend so low and apportion blame of our country’s failings to ghouls and demons!

Abati makes me laugh when he hints at spirits naturally causing fires in the various homes in Aso Rock, wonderful! Just as some persons would scream “ Blood of Jesus!” when they see a cockroach, wall gakor or cat and immediately brand them as witches and wizards or instruments of an attack from the village. I would be sure to inquire what spirit led to a fire in a friend’s apartment or a big government office, where funds have been tampered with! Ah, remember the Nigerian External Telecommunication building that was engulfed with fire in 1983, lets blame it too on the spirits!

Then Abati extends his theories to the third legs of a number of the occupants of Aso Rock, which he said had cease to work in “the other room” forcing their wives to resort to the Love Machine. Haba, this forced me to ask whether Abati had taken a census of all the men in Aso Rock to determine whether their third legs were functional or not? Perhaps he organised SinParties or was invited to these SinParties where all the men became shy of the daughters of eve because they could not “perform” and reorganised these trysts after they lost out in the last elections only to see the spirits release their vigour. I mean such talk remains bizarre and nauseating! But let’s not be offended, just blame it on some spirit!

Abati painted the picture of Aso Rock as a hospital with agonising victims, as well suffering from all kinds of cancers! Ok, I get it only Aso Rock occupants suffer from these cancers, then I guess the issue of people suffering from them in other hospitals were also occupants of Aso Rock! Yeye de smell o!

Even the talk of convoys having accidents, near helicopter crashes or the refusal of air planes to start on a number of occasions was also blamed on spirits by Abati, despite the fact that he had alluded one of the challenges to the miscalculation of the pilot!

Abati alleges that there is also a spirit that made President Jonathan to take wrong decisions! Wonderful! So the decision to loot and steal the country blind under Jonathan was the handiwork of a number of ghouls, he is saying don’t blame Jonathan nor his cabinet for failing to save for the rainy day and the squandermania that occurred under his watch, for they were all victims of such ghouls.

For crying out loud, if the people don’t take a well prepared statement well or if a policy failed then the trouble is with the policy itself, the trouble is with the trust level the government has with the people and not some ghouls or the devil as Abati will want us to believe! Maybe it was the spirits that were behind Patience Jonathan’s “waka come” theatrics too and the kidnap of the Chibok girls!

Abati’s thesis on the witchcraft dimension in Aso Rock is a testament to why we Africans have failed to develop our society. We believe more in ghouls, charms, the power of the blood of a ram than the innate powers God has given to us. We have so sedated ourselves to these stupid beliefs that we have failed to develop our society.

Abati believes that Aso Rock is possessed with demons, inflicting death and pain on the occupants, yet he relentlessly campaigned for his principal and himself to return to power. He says that should he be president that he will that will build a new Aso Rock( waste of funds) and dedicate it to the all-conquering Almighty, he also says that this is a country in need of prayers But come to think of it, was it not the same Jonathan who uncountably visited Jerusalem and church conventions of notable men of God? Was it not the same Jonathan who organised prayer retreats with men of God thundering forth in Aso Rock, how come these prayers did not chase out these ghouls?

When men like Abati begin to reason like this, then it is no wonder how our society remains in the backwaters!

“PMB Didn’t Kidnap Chibok Girls, Stop Coming To Aso Rock” – Presidential Aide

Presidential Adviser on Political Matters, Senator Babafemi Ojudu, has stated, in clear terms, that the Bring Back Our Girls Group, BBOG, group would never again be allowed into the presidential villa again to protest.

The BBOG advocacy, last week, gave President Muhammadu Buhari some tips on how to go about rescuing the captive Chibok Girls abducted since April 14, 2014 by Boko Haram.

Ojudu, yesterday, said the group was making the protest look like President Buhari look like he detained the Chibok girls.

Ojudu stated that: “Since the President came to power, he has met with them thrice. And it is looking like look, you are making this thing appear as if I am the one detaining those girls. I am not detaining them. You are only going to protest to me if I am the one detaining them.

“If you allow the BBOG to go into the villa everyday to carry out their campaign, what time would the President have to do his work?

“Will that not be calling for disorder? In UK, anyone who has something to say goes to Trafalgar Square. The media will meet you there. They don’t enter into 10, Downing Street.

“So, if the BBOG can restrict its campaign to the Unity Square, no body will stop them. But to say that everyday you want to go to the bedroom in the office of the President, that for me is bad,” Ojudu said.

A rights group, SERAP, recently appealed to the United Nations to stop authorities from harassing the BBOG campaigners for legitimately demanding for the freedom of the Chibok Girl from Boko Haram.

You Are No Longer A Military Man – Oba of Lagos Tells Buhari

The Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu has reminded President Muhammadu Buhari not to forget that he is no longer a military man.

The monarch said the ongoing economic hardship in the nation could not be totally blamed on former President Goodluck Jonathan.

He spoke in Lagos during the unveiling of SunTrust Bank Limited, the first commercial bank to be licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria in 15 years.

Other dignitaries at the event included a former Chairman, Economic and Financial Services Commission, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu; Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu; Obi of Onitsha, Nnaemeka Achebe; President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chief Nike Akande; a former Managing Director, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, Mr. Mustafa Chike-Obi, among others.

Behind Closed Doors: Buhari, Wole Soyinka Meet Inside Aso Rock.

Information reaching us has it that President Muhammadu Buhari and Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, are currently meeting inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja.


The meeting is holding behind closed doors inside the President’s office. The meeting is expected to last for hours. However, the agenda of the meeting described as a private one was not made public.


Stay with us for more details later

Aso Rock Security Operatives Lament One Year Unpaid Allowance- Report

Some security operatives attached to the Presidential Villa, Abuja, are currently groaning under heavy debts as a result of the stoppage of their special allowance referred to as the Risk Cautious Allowance, according to Punch.

They have not been paid the monthly allowance since May 2015 when the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari came on board despite repeated promises made to them on the issue.

The security officers include those of the Nigerian Army, the Nigeria Police, the Department of State Services, the Nigerian Intelligence Agency, the Federal Road Safety Commission and the Fire Service among others.

Some of the security operatives, who spoke on condition of anonymity on Tuesday, lamented that they had not been able to meet their various financial obligations because of the development.

They said despite this, authorities of the Presidential Villa kept introducing additional security measures that further tasked them daily.

A policeman said that because of the non-payment of the allowance, some policemen, who could no longer afford increasing transport fares, had converted their beats to temporary homes.

“It is not easy! We can no longer cope with the increase in transport fare. Policemen are now passing the night at their beats. In the evening, you can go to Gate 4 and 5 among other spots in the Villa to confirm this,” he said.

Another operative, a soldier, said they were feeling the brunt of the non-payment of the allowance more because most of them were junior officers who collected far less than N50,000 monthly as salary.

“I could not pay the school fee of my daughter last term. Another term is starting soon. Most of us are junior officers with less than N50,000 as salary. We always augment our salary with this small allowance but they have denied us of it,” he lamented.

Another security operative said it was not fair for the authorities to remain silent in the face of the growing disquiet over the issue.

He said the right thing to do was for them to address the operatives on efforts being made to pay them and when the payment would be done.

He added that the last they heard on the matter was when the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, directed all operatives in the Presidential Villa to fill some forms running into about five pages.

He said not satisfied with the arrangement, heads of about two security agencies asked their men not to fill the forms.

Credit: Punch

Security Operative Quizzed For Shooting Inside Aso Rock

The Presidency is currently investigating a case of security breach that occurred inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The incident, our correspondent learnt, involved one of the security operatives attached to a delegation of the Danish Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Kristian Jensen, who visited Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday.

A source, who pleaded anonymity, said that the incident occurred shortly after Jensen, who was accompanied by the Ambassador of Denmark to Nigeria, Mr. Torben A. Gettermann, and other Danish embassy officials, scaled through the last security checkpoint.

He said the security operative who was in mufti attempted to follow members of the delegation into the venue of the meeting with his weapon.

Based on the rules, security men attached to the Administrative Reception, where the last screening always takes place, were said to have told him that he could not go beyond the point with his weapon.

The source said the man told them that his weapon was not “loaded.”

He said, “When he was told to drop the weapon, the man told those manning the security point that it was not loaded.

“He then removed the weapon. The security guys initially thought he wanted to submit the weapon to them.

“Surprisingly, the guy pulled the weapon and fired it to prove that it was empty.

“Shocked at the development, the security guys on duty quickly rose and got their rifles ready for action.”

Another source who witnessed the incident said he was about running out of the reception to avoid stray bullets hitting him when he discovered that the situation had quickly been brought under control.

He said while Jensen and members of his delegation made their ways to the Conference Hall of the Vice President’s office, the security operative was quickly disarmed.

He was said to have been detained and quizzed for several hours by top security officials attached to the Presidential Villa.

He was reportedly released several hours after the delegation he escorted to the Presidential Villa had left.

“He was taken into a room where he was drilled for hours. He was only released at the close of work in the evening,” the source added.

Credit: Sun

Ooni Of Ife Visits Senate President, Bukola Saraki

The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, yesterday visited the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki. With him were several high profile indigenes of Ile-Ife who live in Abuja, but decided to join the king in paying homage to the Senate President.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Rules and Business, Senator Babajide Omoworare also joined the Senate President in hosting the imperial monarch. See more photos below…

Terror Alert At Aso Rock

To forestall any terrorists attack, ?the Presidency has ordered that extra security measures be put in place inside Aso Rock. The Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the President, Bashir Abubakar, gave the directive in an internal  memo dated January 26, 2016.

He said this was in response to sudden attacks in other parts of the world when terrorists hide inside tinted or hijacked vehicles to hit targets.

Abubakar directed that henceforth, all vehicles entering the Presidential Villa, including those of highly placed persons, must, be throughly checked. 

He also said the practice where drivers of cars with tinted glasses refuse to wind down at security checkpoints would no longer be tolerated. 

The memo, titled: “Use of tinted cars around the Presidential Villa, Abuja” reads: “It has been observed that some staff of the Presidential Villa driving tinted cars, especially security personnel are in the habit of refusing to wind down their windscreens for security checks before driving into the Villa.

“It is most worrisome that some of them used the excuse of either driving official cars or driving VIPs to justify their acts. This act which is not in tandem with standard security drill and procedure, poses serious threat to the safety and security of the Villa. 

“It is important to note that the insistence of security operatives at the pilot gates to properly screen vehicles coming into the Villa whether tinted or not tinted, official or unofficial is not out of place. 

“Therefore, there is the need for all to subject themselves and their vehicles to security checks as the case may be, so as to prevent unscrupulous elements from exploring the situation to launch attacks on the Villa. Moreso, that most of the major attacks by terrorist groups on high profile targets around the world are being carried out using hijacked vehicles or vehicles with tinted glasses. 

“Heads of units/ departments are to advise personnel working under them to always subject themselves to proper security checks and not take the duties of security personnel for granted,” the memo stated.

Credit: Sun

Buhari, Abdusalami Meet In Aso Rock

President Muhammadu Buhari and former military Head of State Gen. Abdusalami Abubakar met yesterday in a closed-door meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Abdusalami arrived at the State House at 3.30p.m for the meeting, which lasted for about 30 minutes.

He declined to speak with State House correspondents at the end of the meeting.


Buhari, Kukah Meet At Aso Rock

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday met briefly with the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Mathew Kukah at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Kukah, who was part of the National Peace Committee delegation that visited the President earlier this month, is believed to be against the government’s move to probe corrupt ex-public officials.

He resisted attempts by State House correspondents to question him on mission to the seat of power.

Kukah, who was almost running from the President’s office to the Council Chamber area, simply told reporter “I have a plane to catch by now”


Suspended Comptroller-General, Gov. Lalong At Aso Rock To Beg Buhari

Plateau State governor Simon Lalong yesterday took his kinsman and suspended comptroller-general of the Nigerian Immigration Service, David Parradang, to Aso Villa to plead with President Muhammadu Buhari.

Parradang was last Friday suspended from office indefinitely over allegations of illegal recruitment exercise and the porous state of the Immigration Service.

Governor Lalong, who came to the presidential villa alongside Parradang, proceeded straight to the president’s office while the suspended NIS stayed behind. Parradang who waited at a reception room directly opposite the Council Chambers, tried as much as possible to keep his presence unnoticed.

As soon Governor Lalong stepped out of President Buhari’s office, Parradang came out the waiting room and joined him, but retreated immediately he noticed that the governor was ready to grant audience to journalists.

Lalong, however, admitted that he discussed Parradang’s suspension with the president.

He said, “I came to see the president on some issues affecting my state. I feel comfortable with the response I got and that is why I am smiling.

“I told him (Buhari) what we are doing on insecurity in our state. Also, we discussed the prevailing issue of the suspension of the comptroller-general of Immigration who incidentally is from my state. When you have issues like this in a political period, you must find ways of looking for reasons. If anything affects any part of your body, you must show concern.”

Read More: leadership

VP Osinbajo meets with Gov El-Rufai, Alake of Egba Land (photos)

The governor of Kaduna state, Nasir el-Rufai, today, August 11, paid vice president Yemi Osinbajo a visit at his office in Aso Rock.

In the photos which were shared on Aso Rock Villa Twitter handle, both men were pictured smiling with Mrs. Ogunbiyi.

Screenshot_2015-08-11-16-10-28-1Screenshot_2015-08-11-16-33-08-1 Screenshot_2015-08-11-16-10-28-2

In similar vein, the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo III was pictured with the vice president Professor Yemi Osinbajo during a recent courtesy visit.

alako2 alako alako1


Buhari Holds First Jumat Prayer Inside Aso Rock

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday joined Muslim faithful for the Jumat service inside the Presidential Villa, Abuja. That was the first time a Jumat service will be held in the premises.

All former Muslim Presidents and Vice Presidents have been taking part in the services at the National Mosque, Abuja. Since his inauguration on May 29, Buhari had taken part in three Jumat services at the National Mosque.  He was in his hometown, Daura, Katsina State, last Friday. The Friday prayer was led by the State House Chief Imam, Abdulwaheed Suleiman. Buhari was joined by aides and other workers in the villa.


Buhari Denies Ejecting SSS From Aso Rock Villa

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday dispelled rumours that State Security Service operatives have been expelled from the Presidential Villa.

Mr. Buhari, who spoke through his Senior Adviser, Femi Adesina, said the speculations on the expulsion of the SSS operatives were unfounded.

A statement from the presidency said: “Rumours that personnel of the State Security Service have been expelled from the Presidential Villa are unfounded. President Muhammadu Buhari has given no such order.

“While it is true that a reorganization of security at the Presidential Villa which involves the realignment of personnel from various services is underway, the exercise does not translate to the expulsion of DSS personnel from the premises in any way. The changes being made are routine adjustments which are not unexpected in any dynamic environment from time to time.”

There had been claims that Mr. Buhari barred SSS personnel from serving as part of his security team. The presidency denied the reports.


President Buhari’s ADC Orders DSS Operatives Out Of Presidential Villa

The inter agency rivalry between the Department of State Services and the Nigerian Army came to head, yesterday, as the Aide de Camp to the President, Lt. Col Abubakar Lawal ordered personnel of the DSS out of the villa.

The incidence which happened at the residence of the President at the Presidential Villa was extended to all other points that had been manned by the personnel of the DSS.

But the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, said what happened was a realignment of security around the President which entailed that members of the armed forces would man the inner perimeter of the President security while operatives of the DSS would man the outer perimeter.

It will be recalled that since assuming office as the President, there has been an intense rivalry
between DSS personnel and the army over who is to provide close body security to the president.

Some members of the armed forces were drafted from the Infantry Corps to the villa after the inauguration of President Buhari to man all the strategic points at the villa, a move that was resisted by the DSS personnel who had constitutionally provided close body protection to the President.

The issue, however, came to a head yesterday evening when the ADC to the president ordered members of the DSS at the Presidential Villa to hand over to men of the Nigerian Army.

The directive, however, almost caused an altercation between the army and men of the DSS whose chain of command is different.

It took the intervention of the Chief Security Officer who directed his men to “stand down,” a euphemism for complying with the directive of the ADC.

According to a soldier who was present at the incidence, “the ADC directed that they should hand over to us and leave the villa. We have now taken over fully as directed by the ADC and we are in charge.”

Already, military personnel have taken over all the strategic points at the villa with a firm instruction that no DSS personnel should be  allowed into the villa.

This is the first time that the DSS which has the professional capability and capacity would be striped of its constitutional responsibility of providing close bodyguard protection to the President and his immediate family.

But reacting to Vanguard enquiry, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Adesina said the action was part of  a realignment of the security apparatus around the President.

According to him, what happened is a realignment of security personnel from various services, saying: ”Rumours that personnel of the Department State Services have been expelled from the Presidential Villa are unfounded. President Muhammadu Buhari has given no such order.

President Buhari Moves To Aso Rock

Three weeks after his May 29 inauguration, President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday evening relocated to the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He joined his wife, Aisha, who had moved in on Thursday.

Before he finally moved in, the President had in the afternoon of Sunday visited the Presidential Villa where he stayed for about 30 minutes.

Those who thought that he had finally relocated to the seat of power were however shocked when Buhari left the premises after spending a few minutes. He later returned finally in the evening.

Credit: Punch

Military To Take Over Aso Rock’s Strike Force

Ahead of the relocation of President Muhammadu Buhari to the Presidential Villa, arrangements have been concluded for the Nigerian military to take over the activities of the Strike Force.

The Strike Force, which is a special security outfit saddled with the responsibility of protecting the President and the seat of power, is currently comprising only officials of the Department of State Services.

A top Presidency official, who pleaded anonymity, told our correspondent on Tuesday that soldiers might take over their responsibility very soon.

The source said a Lieutenant who will be leading 21 other military personnel had already been transferred to the Strike Force with an instruction to take over from the DSS officials.

Read Morepunchng

Why President Buhari Has Not Moved To Aso Rock- Aide

head of President Muhammadu Buhari’s media team, Garba Shehu, on Sunday said Buhari had yet to move to the Presidential Villa, Abuja because his official residence was not ready for habitation.

Shehu, in an exclusive interview with our correspondent said workers were currently cleaning and refurbishing the President’s official residence. He said Buhari would not move in until that exercise was completed.

Shehu said, “As far as the President is concerned, the place (his official residence) is not ready yet.  Workers are cleaning and refurbishing the place. Once the exercise is completed, the President will move in.”

When asked to be specific on how soon Buhari would move in, Shehu said he believed it would not take time. Meanwhile, personnel of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, especially security operatives are currently at a crossroads on the direction their work will take this week.

The PUNCH’s investigation on Sunday revealed that their dilemma was based on the failure of President Buhari to relocate to the State House and his failure to appoint key aides, three days after his inauguration.

A Presidency official who spoke with our correspondent on the condition of anonymity said they were not yet sure of the President’s schedule and itinerary for the week. This, he said, was because Buhari had yet to appoint a Chief of Staff whose responsibility it is to arrange the President’s day-to-day activities.

He said, “As we are talking now, we do not know his (the President’s) activities for tomorrow (today). We cannot plan for his activities. We do not know which groups he will be meeting or how many people he will be meeting.

“It is when we have an idea of those who he will be meeting that we can schedule them regarding allocation of time and venue.

“These would have been easier for us if a Chief of Staff is in place.”

A security source also said the situation was affecting the security department.

He said because they were not carried along, the inauguration gala night held inside the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa on Friday nearly flopped as people kept trooping in. He however expressed the hope that by the time Buhari’s Chief Security Officer meets with them on Monday (today), there would be a clear direction on their activities.

“For now, we are waiting for the two big men (President and Vice President) to move into the Villa so that we can do our jobs. For now, we are only securing the seat of power without the men of power,” he declared.


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.


Jonathan Meets Buhari In Secret Again

Goodluck Jonathan has again met behind closed doors with the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari. The meeting was held inside the President’s office at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

It is the third time he would be meeting Buhari after INEC declared him winner of the presidential poll. The meeting, which held at night, just like the first one they had on a public holiday (Good Friday), was described as “private” and so it was not open to journalists.

Buhari arrived for the meeting in a convoy of about four cars at about 9pm.

According to Aso Rock sources, the meeting lasted less than 30 minutes. Although there was no official communication on the meeting, it might not be unconnected with the ongoing transition programmes and preparation for Buhari’s inauguration on May 29.

At the end of their second meeting, Jonathan had told State House correspondents that a date would be picked during which he would conduct Buhari round the Presidential Villa before his inauguration day.

But the APC is not ready for such excursion from Jonathan. They believe Buhari knows Aso Rock well.

Diezani Resurfaces In Aso Rock

Former head of state and Chairman of National Peace Committee for 2015 Elections, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, yesterday led embattled Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke, to a private audience with President Goodluck Jonathan in the villa.

This is even as he described as mischievous, comments that he was mediating to save the skin of some ministers that are envisaging prosecution due to their roles in the outgoing government.

Abubakar was first to arrive in the Villa in a light green Jaguar car, while the minister followed shortly in a black four-wheeled drive.

He did not stay up to 20 minutes before he came out, leaving the petroleum minister behind.

When asked the purpose of his visit, Abubakar ?said: “As the chairman of the peace committee, there is always interaction between the incoming government and President Jonathan, in order to ensure that the peace we have been able to get, is sustained. So, naturally I am here to give him a report of what the committee has been doing.”

On whether he was in the Villa to intervene on behalf of the petroleum minister, the former head of state replied: “?I think people are just trying to be mischievous, I have been meeting with a lot of people and a lot of ministers in the course of this transition. So, there is nothing strange in me meeting with anybody.

“I wonder if you go through your records to see the number of meetings I have been engaging in. I don’t know why the last one will be a subject of media chat. This is not the first time I have been meeting her and a number of ministers, so I don’t see what the whole hullaballoo is all about. People are just being mischievous,” he said.


Aso Rock Gives Us 12 Reasons Why Jonathan Deserves Reelection

The Presidency has given 12 reasons why Nigerians must re-elect President Goodluck Jonathan for another term of four years during the March 28 presidential election.

This was contained in a piece, titled, “Twelve reasons to support Jonathan,” published in the current edition of the in-house magazine of the State House, Abuja, called Villascope.

It listed some of the reasons to include the present administration strides in road construction, railway rehabilitation, remodeling of airports, transformed agriculture sector and increased access to education.

Others are increased access to housing, improved power supply, improved water supply, better health facilities, reformed security infrastructures, economic transformation and increased Nigerians’ participation in downstream oil sector.

The Presidency said Jonathan met 4,500km of motorable roads but constructed/rehabilitated 25,000km of roads.

This, it said, had drastically reduced travel time nationwide.

It added that about five million Nigerians now travel by train after the present administration rehabilitated the nation’s railway.

On education, it said, “Jonathan built 125 Almajiri schools, 14 universities and special schools for girls in 27 states.

“He gave 101 scholarships to first-class graduates to pursue postgraduate courses in the best 25 universities in the world.

“He sponsored 7,000 lecturers of federal and state universities and polytechnics for postgraduate studies to improve quality teaching.”

The Presidency further said that 61,000 housing units had been built in the six geo-political zones of the country.

Source – Punch Ng

#BringBackOurGirls at Aso Rock

Protesters demanding the release of more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped six months ago by Islamist militants, demonstrated in front of the president’s home on Tuesday, urging the government to do more to free them. Around 60 people in red T-shirts that read “Bring Back Our Girls” marched to the residence of President Goodluck Jonathan in a leafy part of the Nigerian capital, which was guarded by more than 150 armed police. Scores of other protesters were prevented from joining the rally by other police lines at the top of the street.

“I want the president to try and bring back my friends,” said Rebecca Ishaku, who managed to escape from the clutches of the Boko Haram militants, she adds that, “I can’t even imagine what’s happening to them.”

A leader of the organisation of Chibok parents, Hosiah Lawan, struggled to hold back tears as he addressed the crowd, some of whom were also crying. He said government reassurances of an imminent rescue had originally given him hope. “That hope is now fading fast,” he said.

Jonathan sent his minister for lands and housing, Akon Eyakenyi, to meet the protesters, who were chanting “Bring back our girls now, and alive!” and waving banners. “The president will do something …. by the grace of God the girls will be brought back home,” Eyakenyi said.