Saturday, 18 November 2017

BUSINESS AND ECONOMY

Items filtered by date: April 2017

SPONSORED BY X365RADIO.COM: ABUJA-Presidency Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday told former President Goodluck Jonathan to be afraid of probe only if there is skeleton in his cupboard. The president also refuted claims that he was harassing the family of the former Nigerian leader in any way.

Buhari’s remarks followed an outburst by Jonathan in a new book, “Against The Run of Play”, written by the Chairman of ThisDay Editorial Board, Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi that the present administration was hounding members of his family with its anti-corruption crusade.

In a statement by Buhari’s spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina on Wednesday, President Buhari told Jonathan that “fear belongs only to those who have abused trust while in office.” The president asked anyone with valuable grievances to approach the courts for redress.

The statement read thus: “The Presidency is constrained to respond to the banner headline story in a national newspaper of Wednesday, April 26, entitled: Buhari’s govt harassing my family, saying Jonathan. “The paper said former President Goodluck Jonathan made the allegation in a new book, “Against The Run of Play”, written by the Chairman of ThisDay Editorial Board, Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi. “The former president also reportedly disagreed with the style being used by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in fighting corruption.

“We make bold to state unequivocally that President Buhari harasses nobody; he merely allows the law to take its course. For the umpteenth time, we say that anybody without skeleton in his or her cupboard, has nothing to fear about the bared fangs of the anti-corruption initiative. “Fear belongs only to those who have abused trust while in office. Anybody who feels aggrieved is free to approach the courts to seek redress or justice. President Buhari believes in the rule of law and that is why his campaign against corruption is anchored on that plank.

“With regard to President Buhari’s anti-graft style, which the former president deprecates, given the scale of revelations and recoveries so far by the anti-corruption agencies, it is obvious that corruption had an uninhibited course during our recent past. “In any case, time will give the verdict on whose style of fighting corruption ultimately yielded the most dividends. “For now, President Buhari is resolute and single-minded in the fact that his crusade against graft is not targeted at any individual or group. “He firmly believes that national interest must always be placed above personal interest, no matter who is involved.”



Published in Politics

SPONSORED BY YES434.COM: Abuja – Prof Babalola Borishade, 71, former Nigerian minister of education is dead. He died in London on Wednesday after a brief illness. He was initially rushed to Reddington Hospital in Lagos, last week from where he was taken to London. The cause of death was lung and heart –related. Borishade was born in Usi- Ekiti on March 7, 1946 into the Ebi Ilotin family.

He served as a minister for four times, between 1999-2011. The electrical engineer was also a teacher and a political strategist. Between February 2001 and May 2003, he served as the Minister of Education. In recognition of his contributions to Education in Nigeria, Africa and the World at large, Borishade was elected the Vice- Chairman of the E9 Group of the United Nations, President of the UNESCO International Conference on Education, as well as Chairman Education for All (EFA) Forum of African Ministers of Education.

In 2004, Borishade was appointed as Minister of State, Power and Steel. He initiated the ‘Gas to Power Project (G2P), a World Bank sponsored project designed to ensure sustained gas development and availability for power production to meet Nigerian electricity demands. Between July 2005 and November 2006, Borishade was Minister of Aviation, during which a Civil Aviation Bill was passed to replace the 1964 Act and the direct flight between Nigeria and the United States of America was restored. His initiation of various reforms and development in the aviation sector resulted in Nigeria scoring 93 per cent in the ICAO Universal Audit which made Nigeria a benchmark to African Aviation Industry.


Published in Business and Economy

SPONSORED BY KODUGA.COM: ABUJA — Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has said that former President Goodluck Jonathan from his first days as President showed he  was too small for the office, saying he, Obasanjo, acted more as an opponent of Jonathan than a supporter of Muhammadu Buhari ahead of the 2015 presidential poll. Ex President Jonathan and Gen. Obasanjo (Rtd) Obasanjo, who said Jonathan deceived him that he would not give Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke the petroleum portfolio in his cabinet was deceived into believing that he could use money to buy the 2015 presidential election.

Obasanjo in the book, Against the Run of Play: How an Incumbent President was defeated in Nigeria, written by former presidential spokesman, Segun Adeniyi, also revealed that Jonathan was gripped by the fear that Buhari, as president, would jail him or lead him to an early grave. In the 204-page book, former President Jonathan is himself quoted as saying he could not be held accountable for provocative remarks made by some of his supporters, even as former Senate President, David Mark, is also quoted in the book as alleging that he forewarned the former president about the alleged conspiracy against him in the north but to no avail.

Problems of  minority agitation

Obasanjo in the book is quoted as saying that following Umaru Yar’Adua’s death in 2010, he endorsed Jonathan for the 2011 presidential election principally to solve the problems of minority agitation in Nigeria. The former President said: “I saw the emergence of Jonathan as an opportunity to solve the problem of minority agitation. The three majority ethnic groups in Nigeria can always sort themselves out but not so for the minority. A good example is my state here in Ogun. “Despite the best of intentions, nobody from Ogun West has been able to become governor because of this minority issue and it will take a conscious effort to make it happen. So, it was in the context of that I had to plead with prominent people in the North to allow Jonathan run for a term.”

I warned him not to make Diezani petroleum minister

But in a tone laden with regrets, Obasanjo pointed out that there were certain things Jonathan did that fell below his expectations as a former president. “There were certain decisions taken by Jonathan very early in his administration that pointed to the fact that the office was bigger than him and one of them was the appointment of a petroleum minister,” he said.

According to Obasanjo, he cautioned Jonathan not to appoint Diezani Alison-Madueke to such a sensitive sector but the president ignored his counsel. “Jonathan gave me the impression that he was not going to give her the portfolio but at the end he did and we can see the consequence. He, of course, knew what he was doing,” Obasanjo stated.

Why I opposed Jonathan

The former president also hinted at what riled him against Jonathan and why he parted ways with him in the run up to the 2015 election, a development which has given the impression that he was actively working in support of Buhari’s candidature. But Obasanjo denied any direct support to Buhari. He said: “I didn’t join them in supporting Buhari; I joined in opposing Jonathan so Buhari was just a beneficiary of my opposition to Jonathan since my position was AOBJ: meaning Any Option But Jonathan.”, Obasanjo explained that Jonathan and his handlers believed that they could buy the last election and that they were so arrogant about it that the PDP would print only one nomination form for him and him alone. He said: “If he was wise, he would have yielded the ticket to somebody else in the PDP.”

Jonathan was not really afraid about life after office but Buhari

The former president, who also criticised the role played by the military in the last election, said he suspected that Jonathan was not really afraid about life after office but Buhari, his successor. “I believe the President’s concern or fear is not about life after office per se, because he and I have had occasions to talk about this both seriously and jovially. I believe the President’s fear is particularly motivated by the person he sees as his likely successor, that is General Buhari. I believe the people would have been telling him that Buhari is a hard man; he would fight corruption and he (Jonathan) may end up in jail if not in the grave,” Obasanjo narrated in the book. The book also placed the defeat of Jonathan at the 2015 poll on the utterances of those close to the former president, chief among them being his wife, Patience.

The book recalls the allegation by former Niger State Governor, Babangida Aliyu, accusing the former first lady of insulting the North with incendiary language, thereby alienating them from Jonathan during the election. It quoted Mrs. Jonathan as making a denigrating remark against Almajiri in the north, by saying “Our people no dey born children wey dem no dey count. Our men no dey born throw way for street; we no dey like people from the other side”, an apparent reference to the concept of Almajiri common in the north.

Reminded in the book that some persons close to him, especially Chief Edwin Clark and Asari Dokubo, were rather vocal and provocative in their utterances, Jonathan wondered why he should be held accountable for their personal opinions. The former president retorted: “Okay,  let us agree for the sake of argument that Chief Clark and the others were offensive, what about those from other ethnic groups who were also making incendiary statement about my person with insinuations about people who wear bowler hats? “I am not defending whoever may have crossed the line among Ijaw people but let us  be fair, why should I be held accountable for that and you would not hold other leaders accountable for what politicians from their own ethnic groups also said? he queried.

On why Jonathan lost the election, former Senate President, David Mark, said that he saw the defeat coming and had pointed out the unrealistic voting projections made by the party about the North to the former president and the conspiracy against him but he was not taken seriously. He said Jonathan should have seen the handwriting on the wall and done something about what was pointed out to him but no action was taken.

Mark lamented, “I saw it and at difference times, I pointed out to him and the party that the projections being made by some people around the president about what the voting pattern in the north would were wrong. “I could see the conspiracy and the gang-up building up in the north against the aspiration of Jonathan but my  voice was drowned out by those who took it for granted that a sitting president, and one from PDP, could not lose,” Mark said.

The former Senate President also mentioned that the former Vice President, Namadi Sambo, was also aware that Jonathan was not strong in the North but apparently had little to say in the campaign to re-elect Jonathan. “Some people were deceiving the president with the kind of false scenarios they were painting for him. The VP could see the conspiracy but I don’t know how much influence he had on the campaign. Why Jonathan couldn’t see it until it was too late is what I find difficult to understand,” Mark pointed out.

Published in Headliners

Former Niger State Governor, Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu and the People’s Democratic Party gubernatorial candidate of the 2015 general elections, Umar Nasko have been remanded in the Minna Medium Security Prisons by a Minna High Court Judge, Justice Aliyu Mayaki.
The duo are to remain in Prison until the May 3 when a hearing for their bail application will be heard and ruled upon.
The decision to keep them in prison was taken after six hours of fierce exchange by Counsel of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Gbolahan Latona and counsels to Aliyu and Nasko, Ayodele Oladeji and Mamman Mike Osuman.
“The case is to be opened on June 12, 2017 and to be held day by day till 16th June and the ruling on bail is to be delivered on 3rd May, 2017. They are to be remanded in Medium Security prisons in Minna,” Justice Maiyaki ruled.
The Lead Counsel to the EFCC, Gbolahan Latona levelled a Six count charge against Dr Muazu Babangida Aliyu as the first defendant and a five count charge on Umar Mohammed Nasko as the 2nd defendant.
The duo pleaded not guilty to the charges read to them.

Published in Headliners

SPONSORED BY CHIQUEMAGAZINE.COM: Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial scored on their returns to the side as Manchester United improved their hopes of a top-four Premier League finish with a 2-0 win at Burnley on Sunday.

The convincing victory — United made light of the season-ending injury to top-scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic — sets up an intriguing Manchester derby visit to City, now just one point above United, on Thursday.

Martial’s strike in particular was a perfect response from the French international, whose form had been criticised by boss Jose Mourinho this week, even if it costs his current club £8.3 million (10 million euros) in a bonus payment to his former club Monaco.

Martial responded to those recent public criticisms by starting, and finishing, a goal of devastating pace and simplicity after 21 minutes.

Having dispossessed Joey Barton inside his own half, the Frenchman initiated the counter attack with a sprint and pass to Ander Herrera.

The Spanish midfielder returned the favour, picking out the run of Martial perfectly and sliding through a pass for the striker to collect, take a touch and beat Tom Heaton from six yards.

It was the 21-year-old’s 25th goal for the Premier League side and activates an incentive clause which means United must pay Monaco that additional 10 million euros.

United’s important second goal, after 39 minutes, was far more scrappy but, potentially, vital for the fates of both clubs this season.

Martial was again pivotal as he gathered a clever pass from Paul Pogba and darted towards goal, producing a shot which Heaton did an unconvincing job of blocking.

The ball broke to Rooney, who responded more quickly than his marker Michael Keane inside the six-yard area and forced the ball over the line off the defender, despite the efforts of Stephen Ward to clear.

It was only Rooney’s third league goal of a season that had threatened to end with the club’s all-time leading scorer playing only a bit part in proceedings.

But the injury to Ibrahimovic, who damaged his knee ligaments in Thursday’s Europa League win over Anderlecht, and Mourinho’s desire to rest Marcus Rashford ahead of Thursday’s derby brought him and Martial recalls.

The pair combined early, with the help of Herrera, for a promising Rooney shot which was well blocked by Ben Mee.

A powerful Marouane Fellaini header from a corner was held by Heaton on his line and Rooney side-footed a shot just over from a Jesse Lingard pass.

Burnley, searching for a much-needed victory in their bid to remove lingering fears of relegation, offered little first half threat with Mee’s wayward header, from Robbie Brady’s corner, their only real threat.

Burnley’s sloppy performance continued in the second half with too many unforced errors and misplaced passes preventing them finding a quick way back into the contest.

Indeed, it took Heaton to keep his team even vaguely in contention as he scurried to his left and kept out a low shot from Pogba which seemed to be destined for the corner.

When Burnley did enjoy a rare United error, with Andre Gray getting the better of Daley Blind on the right, his cross was cut out well by the impressive Eric Bailly.

Rashford was brought on as a substitute midway through the second half and gave Burnley’s defence more to occupy them.

Last hopes of any sort of recovery from the home side disappeared on 78 minutes when Keane arrived to meet a free-kick from Brady but could only head over the crossbar.

 

 
Published in Sports
 SPONSORED BY 234NAIRA.COM:

The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Bishop Matthew Kukah, tells TOBI AWORINDE his issues with the modus operandi of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption war

You have consistently criticised the anti-corruption war of President Muhammadu Buhari’s government. Do you still doubt the anti-corruption war in view of recent developments?

Like millions of other Nigerians, you both overstate my intention and may have read too much into my text because this led the ignorant to conclude that I was against the war. I was, and still am, against the lack of vision, clarity, diagnosis, strategy and intellectual depth of what we call a fight against corruption. Conceptually, I was and am against the idea of the metaphor of war as a strategy because once we saw it as a war, the government believed it only needed to rally its army and then go to the war front. Sadly, even if we took that metaphor, we were unlikely to get the desired results because this was a war without timelines, without a proper understanding of the enemy, his strength and his landscape. The result is what we now see.

It is not enough to say we will fight the corrupt, especially when the President is still stuck in a mindset of his military days, which sees corruption as something that wicked and unpatriotic politicians and office holders are doing. Still, we believe that corruption is what the political class has done. Every day, the predicament of the government is a more visible and palpable illustration that we were right all along: an assembly led by the ruling party and the President cannot agree on the choice of the chairman (of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission), the leader of this fight. What does this tell you? My contribution was made as a public intellectual, not a partisan (individual). What is more, even the President has a fair idea of where I stand on these issues and we agreed on that.

A common criticism of Buhari has been that members of his government are unaffected by the anti-corruption war, despite several strong allegations against some of them. What do you think?

The President’s wife and most of those close to him have made it clear that the President did not really know the team he assembled. Notwithstanding, it is actually not necessary for the president to appoint those he knew and it is impossible. However, given the nature of the tendencies that came together to win the elections, it is clear that, perhaps, consolidating the party, getting the buy-in of his team was important. They missed good opportunities of composing a song and rather concentrated their energies on the Peoples Democratic Party that had lost elections and was too wounded to hurt them.

The President assumed wrongly that his people necessarily were interested in a fight against corruption. After all, apart from the President and the Vice President’s mouths, where else do you hear so much talk about fighting corruption? This is Nigeria and this is Nigerian politics by Nigerians. Here, politics is a conveyor belt for opportunistic self-enrichment. Politicians might make some pretensions here and there, but the fact is that local government chairmen and (state) commissioners want to be governors; governors and ministers also want to be presidents. Servicing these ambitions require primitive accumulation and some of that is now playing out as you can see.

Are you now encouraged by the suspension of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, and the Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ayodele Oke?

Well, it is not a question of being encouraged. Let them have their day within the process and, hopefully, we shall know the truth, which, in turn, if really told, will set us free. As usual, people are ecstatic and showing this off as evidence of a renewed fight against corruption. As for me, I will wait and see.

Do you think the suspension is belated?

There is a time for everything. Justice has no clock.

Are there other people you would want the security and anti-corruption agencies to beam their searchlight on?

How do you want me to answer this question? Who am I to decide where the agency beams its searchlight? There are no sacred places, I assume.

How would you rate the performance of the EFCC so far?

I wish they were less preoccupied by the politics of the moment. On the whole, I believe that they will continue to do their best. However, I wish that there was less drama and theatre. I wish they would appreciate that it is better to take time, examine information and data, rather than rush to conclusions, and then face the kind of embarrassment about who owns what has been found.

Why do you think the EFCC is being dramatic?

The poor love drama, but drama is what it is; it entertains but does not resolve any problem. I recall one of my friend’s children who is a big man now. He was about two years old or so. I was in their house and playing with him when he saw a Maggi advertisement with a pot of delicious (-looking) and steaming soup. He left me and went to the television screen. By the time he got there, the advertisement had moved on and he broke into uncontrollable tears because he thought it was real soup. All these monies that our sensibilities are being assaulted with, what do they do to us? Are we supposed to salivate or what? We have been showing armed robbers on television for years. Has it reduced armed robbery?

Are you surprised that the EFCC has yet confirmed the identity of the owner of the apartment in Osborne Towers, where over N13bn cash was uncovered?

Exactly! That is what I am saying. How can you invite us for your wedding and then you turn around and say you do not know who the bride is? They have made themselves quite vulnerable in terms of what people will believe. People will get cynical and ask, ‘Was this planted or what?’ It is not professional at all. And, do we need to be assaulted with all these gory details? After all, from there, where does the money go to?

What do you make of the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, laying claim to the seized N13bn cash?

Is there not something like burden of proof, as the lawyers say? This is what makes all these so sad, that our nation is being presented in this light. Where in the world can you say that amount of money is lying around and its ownership is in dispute?

Do you agree with the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN) that Wike should prove ownership to be able to claim the money?

It only makes common sense.

You accused the EFCC of showing the country in a negative light. Shouldn’t looters be the ones to blame for the bad image of Nigeria?

I am not sure the word accusation is correct. My argument is still that there are many ways of dealing with these issues. Of course, there is no doubt that what we are witnessing is lamentable, but surely, we must not forget that it has long-term implications and effects on our national integrity, given the fact that we are already dealing with a negative image problem. I do not deny that those criminals have done us damage, but to merely show us all these when the search has not been concluded does not give us a real picture of the story, especially as it is still rolling.

Are you happy with the whistle-blower policy?

It is a great step and definitely one of the greatest incentives in the issues of corruption. It is yielding results and it is also one of the reasons I said we needed to be more imaginative and innovative in the issues of corruption. The challenge is to sustain it before it deteriorates to something completely different, given the nature of our society.

Do you think the anti-corruption agency would record the level of success it has recorded in the last few months without the whistle-blower policy?

There is no perfect system. Perhaps other innovations could have equally yielded results, but the overall issue should be to make us all whistle-blowers, as opposed to merely feeding on the selfish motivations of individuals. Had the policy not been self-serving, would these individuals not have kept quiet? The ultimate goal is to make us all whistle-blowers for justice and equity, and that is why I keep saying that how the government deploys the proceeds of the corruption fight will determine how all citizens buy in. We must all see that we have much to gain if we succeed. So far, citizens are made to think it is only a business of government and that some of the money will equally be stolen again.

What other policies do you think will further the Federal Government’s anti-corruption agenda? 

No policy is perfect. I would have loved to see government involve the academic community, especially those in the social sciences. We need the other arm of science that will ultimately move us away from this primitive way of moving so much money around in bags and so openly. It is scientific innovations that bring out change, not mere moral persuasion and open threats especially against the backdrop of weak institutions.

The Federal Government has not been able to secure a conviction of any of its corruption-related prosecutions. Do you think it is doing something wrong?

Again, this was why some of us felt that we needed to do more than merely focusing on law as a way out. I believe that if the security agencies and the banks are serious, it would not have been impossible to confront citizens with the huge resources that are managed through the banking system. I warned that the corrupt have better lawyers and have the capacity to corrupt the system. This is what we mean when we speak of the corruption in the judiciary. It is also a measure of the quality of legal advice and services available to the government and its agencies.

Do you think the failure to secure a conviction is tied to the alleged corruption in the judiciary?

I feel that the president could have engaged the judiciary in a more collaborative manner. He has one of the finest legal minds in the country as his deputy. I believe that even before launching this fight, he could have taken the judiciary into confidence, appreciating their independence, but enlisting their support and asking for suggestions, while respecting them as an independent arm of government. There is corruption everywhere in this country. Everywhere! There are no sacred grounds and this is because of the malfunctioning nature of the state.

The bureaucracy, the conveyor belt of public services, is immersed in corruption and an awareness of all these would have ensured that the president appreciates that this is not a war he can win on his own. This is how we got to be where we are. The hero worshippers created the impression that the president would fight corruption based on his credentials and this may have led to the feeling of alienation by other important arms like the judiciary. They have not been accorded their respect and they should be.

Do you agree with the argument that the legislature is using strong-arm tactics against the executive, especially in the light of corruption cases bedevilling several federal lawmakers?

I am not sure I know what you mean by ‘strong-arm.’ The President of the Senate and the Speaker are not controlling any agencies such as the army and police, so which ‘strong-arm’ can they use against the Commander-in-Chief? Again, both the Senate President and the Speaker are All Progressives Congress members. How is it that they have not been able to deal with all these issues through the means of simple breakfasts and so on? This war should be theirs as a party, but sadly, there is no unanimity in orientation; everyone is fighting (in) their corner to defend what they have.

It has been observed that the EFCC’s approach seems to be: arrest suspects, recover loot, publicise efforts, prosecute and search for incriminating evidence. Is that the way you see it too? 

You said so, not me. I am sure you know better than me.

It would appear that the EFCC’s effectiveness is tied to the president’s desire or political will to fight corruption. What do you think?

Again, I do not understand why they would make an individual the issue and it is also a measure of the lack of behind-the-scenes diplomacy that this government does not seem to appreciate. It is a great pity and it accounts for why so many simple things continue to fester for a long time.

Do you agree with former President Olusegun Obasanjo on his view on corruption in churches?

You are a journalist and you don’t need (ex-) President (Olusegun) Obasanjo to remind you of corruption in the churches. Are some church men and women not in prison today? Have you not followed stories of criminals who masquerade as pastors and so on? Corruption is everywhere and that is why I think it is a great mistake that we do not have a holistic conversation but merely an ad hoc obsession, defining corruption as what politicians and people in public life do. The religious institutions are made up of Nigerians, not angels and no one should be allowed to use an institution to cover themselves and that is why Nigerians are crying for the removal of the immunity clause in our constitution, especially as too many people are using this as a cover.

How do you feel about the payment of N42m by a man as tithe to a church in Benue State?

This is chicken feed compared to what contractors and businessmen and women are paying to corrupt church men, who are largely partners in crime and claim to be praying for rich people. So, it is important to check and cross-check your facts. You should educate us by telling us what really happened now that the right hand knows what the left is doing.

Do you think concerned religious bodies, like the Christian Association of Nigeria, should swoop in?

Swoop in to take away the money or to ask for its own tithe? Does CAN have an EFCC wing?

The Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, reportedly said he offered money to herdsmen to stop the killings in Southern Kaduna. What is your reaction to this?

Well, if it is true that the governor paid money to those whose family members were purported to have been killed in 2011, and if the decision was to stop them from killing our people, then someone should explain to our people why they took the money and the killings of our people has not stopped. Surely, the truth of the story is trapped in the cracks, but God knows.

Some believe the unrest in Kaduna should not be linked to religion. What do you think?

The crisis in Southern Kaduna is (about) religion only to the extent that there are those who say that there is no difference between religion and politics. Even if it were about religion, does being of a particular religion necessarily diminish my humanity? The crisis in Southern Kaduna is the unravelling of a structure of oppression and exclusion, the seeds of which were sown even before independence. It is true we have always lived in peace, but this peace is not because of what successive governments in Kaduna have done, but largely in spite of what they have failed to do.

I am convinced that for the people of Southern Kaduna, it is a new dawn. Despite deliberate policies of exclusion, they have broken their nails to climb out of the dark tunnel of exclusion constructed by the invidious members of the Kaduna mafia. Change began to come only during the administration of Obasanjo. I believe there is a future to hope for and we must not surrender to despair. If anyone thinks that terror, intimidation and blackmail are substitutes for justice, they should do well to read history and read it properly. For now, Southern Kaduna is a theatre for the politics of both today and the future of Nigeria.

Published in Business and Economy

SPONSORED BY X365RADIO.COM: The first civilian governor of Osun State, Senator Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke, died in the early hours of Sunday at the age of 65.
Adeleke, who dacamped from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress ( APC ) in 2014 to become the Senator representing Osun West senatorial for the third term died at Biket Medical Centre, Osogbo where he was rushed to after complaining of stomarch ache.

Hale and hearty till early Sunday morning, he attended a social fuction of a party member in Iwo on Saturday evening.
A family source said he was complained of serious stomach upset after he arrived from the Iwo function and asked his aides to call his younger sister, Dupe, whom he was fond of. He also reportedly complained of pain in one of his legs.

Adeleke was rushed to the hospital at 6.00 am and died few hours after being admitted.
Adeleke was governor on the platform of the defunct Social Democratic Party in 1992 to 1993. Chairman, Senate Committee on Independendent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from 2003 to 2011.

He attempted to run for governorship of the state on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party in 2014 but was stopped in a controvercial circumstance by PDP chieftains and he later decamped to the APC where he was given the tickect to run for Senate.

Published in Headliners

SPONSORED BY HIRING234.COM: Hundreds os supporters of Senator Isiaka Adeleke including his neighbours in Ede are in tears and wailing as the corpse of the politician is brought back to his residence.

The corpse was dressed as a living being and brought in seated in a Sienna car.

Sympathisers waiting at the entrance of the mansion surged in and rushed inside to catch a glimpse of their political leader and benefactor.

Mourners including the youths and aged ones were seen wailing and rolling on the ground as they rain curses on those who they claimed poisoned him.

Some of those who entered into the living room said the corpse was being bathed now in preparation for the burial.

Some imams are sighted at the premises which indicated that he might be buried very soon.

AFP

Published in News & Stories

SPONSORED BY KODUGA.COM: A groundswell of condemnation has trailed alleged mismanagement Arik Airline following additional revelations by the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) that the former managers systematically plunged the airline into N387 billion debt.

Former Director of Flight Operations at defunct Nigeria Airways, Capt. Dele Ore, heaped the blame on the door step of Arik Air Chairman for allegedly appropriating what he said was the property of Nigerians.

Ore said Nigerians are eagerly waiting for the KPMG report, which outcome he said would help the government to take appropriate action against former managers for deliberately leading the airline to its present pitiable state.

He said it would be most appropriate for the government to arrest and prosecute him to serve as deterrent to other business men like him. According to Ore: “He (Arik Chairman) previously depended on Federal protection, which some us knew would be short-lived as it has eventually played-out with change of government. With such huge debt profile no right-thinking government would continue to cover it up, which was why the government ordered AMCON to step in the fleet of 30 aircraft was fast disappearing among other discoveries.”

Speaking in the same vein, Managing Director, Merchant Express Cargo Airlines Limited, Capt. Sina Akinfenwa, said the revival of Arik could take two or more years because of the rot that was allowed to permeate the airline.

Akinfenwa said the airline collected aviation intervention fund but frittered it away. According to him: “I want Nigerians to ask the former managers of Arik what happened to that fund. At that time they collected the intervention fund, they claimed it was meant to bail out the airlines so what happened to the money?

“If it is gone should that government pump in another fund without asking questions? We are talking about billions of naira the government injected into Arik and other operators. Arik’s problem is primarily man-made because they were not doing the right thing. If you are doing the right thing, government will be willing to encourage you, but as it is now, how do you expect government to support you when you owe the same government so much money? “Be that as it may, the essence of business is that you are credit-worthy. You cannot ignore your creditors, which Arik was notorious for,” he said.

Published in Business and Economy

ON March 22 this year, the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission  (NDDC), Mr. Nsima Ekere, revealed the Federal Government’s plan to establish a Niger Delta Development Bank, ostensibly to speed up the development of the region. Addressing representatives of youth groups and ex-agitators at the NDDC headquarters in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Ekere expressed optimism that the proposed bank would assist people from the region, especially youths, in establishing modular refineries.

He said: “Instead of doing the small illegal refineries, government wants to help us with the technology to do this in a big manner so that we will be involved in refining, in such a way that the environment will not be destroyed. The challenge will be how the youth of the region will get enough money to buy into these modular refineries. The Federal Government has mandated the NDDC to work out the modalities with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources. We want to ensure that whether the youth have money or not, they can key into this.  So,  we are going to set up a Niger Delta Development Bank to drive the development of the region. An inter-ministerial committee has also been set up in the Presidency to look into all the issues raised during the visit of the vice president to the region. The NDDC has been mandated by the Federal Government to work out the framework with the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, so that youths of communities in the Niger Delta will be empowered through the establishment of modular refineries.”

No doubt, the Niger Delta remains a sore point in Nigeria’s history. Despite being the pillar of the nation’s economy, the region has suffered criminal neglect resulting in restiveness and other crises over the years. In this connection, we salute the resolve of the NDDC to facilitate the economic empowerment and development of the region. However, while we  do not dispute the claim that the NDDC was set up by the Federal Government to address the problem of underdevelopment in the Niger Delta, we frankly do not think that establishing an NDD Bank is the right thing to do. This is because there is nothing in the government’s proposal that cannot be conviniently executed using the instrumentality of the existing banks. The NDD Bank, as currently proposed, can only add to the long list of failed or failing government institutions in the Niger Delta. There are extant institutions with mandates that are very similar to that of the proposed NDD Bank. To a large extent, those institutions have only empowered the political class. More fundamentally, a regional bank for the Niger Delta region has to be the handiwork of the states making up the zone, not a bank established by the Federal Government.

Indeed, implicated in the current issue is Nigeria’s convoluted federalism whose dire consequences   manifest almost on a daily basis. The weird and unfathomable federal arrangement resulted in the abysmal neglect of the constituent units of the country with the attendant razor-sharp tension and conflicts that continuously dog the country’s steps. The proposal for an NDD Bank is just one of the frantic attempts to defuse tension in the region. But that is a short-sighted goal.  What really are the inadequacies of the existing banks that constitute encumberances to the quest to fast-track the peace, progress and development in the Niger Delta?

With the prevalence of specialised banks in the country, most of which have failed to engender the anticipated effects on critical sectors of the economy, it is unwise to embark on another project that would only constitute a drain on a national economy that continues to gasp for breath. We urge the Federal Government to shelve the idea of establishing an NDD Bank. Instead, it should ensure that the existing federal institutions in the zone deliver on their core mandates.

Published in Parliament
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