Monday, 24 July 2017

Politics (113)

Nigeria’s ailing president Muhammadu Buhari and the country’s acting president Yemi Osinbajo are meeting in London, the Presidency said on Tuesday.

“AgP @ProfOsinbajo meeting with President @MBuhari in London today, and returning to Abuja immediately afterwards,” the Presidency tweeted. But there was no detail on the subject of the discussion.

The president has spent most of this year in London receiving treatment for an unspecified medical condition. He left for London for a medical check-up on May 7, leaving Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to lead the country. His aides said only his doctors can determine when he can return to the country.

“The length of the President’s stay in London will be determined by the doctors. The government will continue to function normally under the able leadership of the Vice President,” presidential spokesman Femi Adesina said in a statement.

Adesina, however, insisted that there was “no cause for worry.”

Buhari had left earlier Nigeria on January 19 for London to “undergo routine medical check-ups” during a short holiday. He only returned on March 10 after an extended period of medical treatment.

Though he hinted at the possibility of him going back for more treatment and acknowledged that he was terribly sick, he did not disclose the true nature of his ailment.

His office released an audio message during the Eid-el-Fitr celebrations purported to be from him. The message delivered wholly in Hausa angered more than a few Nigerians who accused him of being sectional with the choice of language he conveyed his message in.

Last month, Ekiti state governor Ayodele Fayose advised Buhari to resign but his supporters rejected the suggestion.

Posted On Wednesday, 12 July 2017 01:06 Written by

The Senate on Tuesday demanded that the acting President Yemi Osinbajo must obey the resolutions of the Senate, including the immediate removal of the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu.

It also suspended all confirmation of appointments until compliance with its resolution.

Recall that the Chairman of the EFCC, who was appointed in Acting capacity by President Muhammadu Buhari on November 9, 2015, has consistently been rejected by the Senate.

Upon his appointment, Magu said he was committed to the anti-corruption war, drawing a connection between the economic challenges facing the country and the endemic corruption in the country.

Posted On Tuesday, 04 July 2017 15:04 Written by

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Monday released a timetable for the recall of Senator Dino Melaye (APC-Kogi West) from the Senate in spite of a lawsuit instituted by the senator to stop the Commission from proceeding with the process.

According to the timetable, the process will begin on July 10 with notice of verification of constituents to be posted at INEC’s Lokoja office and end on August 19 with the conduct and announcement of the outcome of the verification of the constituents who want the senator out of the Senate.

The constituents of the senatorial district on June 21 submitted a petition to INEC demanding Melaye’s recall, citing his “abysmal performance” at the Nigerian Senate and as their reason. The senator was also accused of distancing himself from his constituents.

“For the past two years, Senator Melaye has not organised one town hall meeting anywhere in Kogi West to meet with the people to present his scorecard or stewardship,” Leader of the constituents, Chief Cornelius Olowo, told State-run News Agency of Nigeria shortly after submitting the petition for the recall to INEC.

“He has been completely disconnected from the people. Since he won his election and the legal battle at the court, he is no longer reachable.

“He has no constituency office in Kogi West as we speak, as a way to reach him on the matter of interests from the people that elected him,” Olowo said.

But the Senator insisted the petition against him was sponsored by agents of the Kogi State Government because of his criticisms of Governor Yahaya Bello’s administration.

Melaye also alleged that they claimed to have gotten over 188,000 signatories of electorates in Kogi West when the total vote cast, both valid and rejected, in the last senatorial election of 2015, was merely 111, 000 for all the candidates that participated.

“This recall exercise was hatched in Kogi Government House due to the manner in which Senator Dino Melaye consistently challenges and engages the government over non-payment of workers’ salaries and pensioners for over 15 months; and also the constant closure of tertiary institutions,” he stated.

Posted On Tuesday, 04 July 2017 14:55 Written by


Kenya is striving to end human trafficking but government actions remain inadequate in several respects, the United States Department said today.

An assessment puts the country in, for the third consecutive year, the Tier 2 category in the US global ranking of compliance with Washington’s anti-trafficking standards.

Those in this category fall short of the standards but are making “significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards”.

Kenya last year launched a national referral mechanism and issued registration requirements and a code of conduct for private labour recruitment agencies, the report said, and added information on its anti-trafficking law to the basic police training curricula.


In addition, the Ministry of Labour has assigned labour attachés to Kenyan missions in Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia to protect citizens employed in those countries.

The government was also found to be falling short of minimal standards in several key areas. For instance, it did not allocate funding to a victim assistance fund last year after providing Sh7 million in 2015, the report said.

“Kenyan authorities continued to treat some victims as criminals, and the availability of protective services for adult victims remained negligible,” the US asserted.

Posted On Thursday, 29 June 2017 01:34 Written by

The U.S. Supreme Court says it will consider the case of President Donald Trump's executive order restricting travel - and in the meantime much of the order may take effect.

Trump’s revised executive order, known as the travel ban, halted travel from six mostly Muslim countries for 90 days and halted the nation’s refugee program for 120 days. The order said these steps were necessary in order to revise security screening to safeguard the nation from external threats.

The travel order had been placed under restraining orders by two separate courts, one in Hawaii and one in Maryland. Both rulings were sustained by separate appeals courts.

But the nation's highest court took a more nuanced view, allowing the ban on travelers from Libya, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen and the suspension of the refugee program.

The justices, however, said the ban on travel cannot be enforced against "foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States."

The court goes on to define relationships that would qualify: for individuals, a family relationship; for students, admittance to a college or university; for workers, a job offer.

Travel Order Exceptions

In reinstating much of President Trump's order banning travelers from six mostly Muslim countries and all refugees, the U.S. Supreme Court included exceptions for those with "a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States."

Here are examples the court provided of such relationships:

Family relationships
A  foreign  national  who  wishes  to  enter  the  United  States  to  live  with  or  visit  a  family  member.
Those students from the designated countries who have been admitted to a school in the U.S.
Employees/guest speakers
A  worker  who  accepted  an  offer  of  employment  from  an  American  company  or  a  lecturer  invited  to  address  an  American  audience.
Posted On Tuesday, 27 June 2017 00:25 Written by

NIGERIA: The Supreme Court has ordered the Senator representing Taraba North Senatorial District, Sani Abubakar Danladi of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to vacate the seat immediately and refund all salaries and allowances he received within 90 days.

The presiding Justice, Justice Amina Augei in the judgement also declared Mr Shuaibu Lau, as the Senator representing Taraba North.

The order was contained in the judgment of the court on the appeal filed by Shuaibu Lau challenging the decision of the court of appeal that had upturned his victory during the primary that he was wrongfully substituted.

The Apex court also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to issue a fresh certificate to of return to Lau.

The apex court in the unanimous decision of a five member panel held that the “the appellant has the right to participate just like any other candidate in the primary and of he feels his right was infringed upon, as he has the right to approach the court.

“And His substitution at the primary election is null and void since the appellant scored the highest number of votes, the only option is to declare the appellant as the winner of primary,” the court stated.

Posted On Saturday, 24 June 2017 03:46 Written by

Controversial senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye, has continued his verbal onslaught on Governor Yahaya Bello, for allegedly sponsoring a large number of his constituents to demand his recall.

In a post on his Instagram page, the outspoken lawmaker said the Kogi governor suffers the “most chronic form of madness”, adding that it is the prelude to his final destruction.

He wrote: “Well, like the good NAPOLEON said: never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.

“It is normal for mad people to conceive impossibility.

“Let them dance the dance of madness and schizophrenics. Recall who???

“When the gods want to destroy a man, they make him mad in the first instance. Yahaya bello is suffering from most chronic from of madness already and that is the prelude to his final destruction.”

Governor Bello had earlier said there is no rift between him and Dino Melaye.

Two days ago, Melaye described his State Governor, Yahaya Bello as an “olodo governor” over his inability to pay civil servants in the state.

Posted On Sunday, 04 June 2017 13:39 Written by

Prof Ango Abdullahi, a former Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, is the spokesperson for the Northern Elders Forum (NEF). In this interview, Abdullahi speaks on the two years of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration and the agitation by some Igbo elements for the Biafra state, among other issues of national importance.

The government of President Muhammadu Buhari is two years. What is your take?
My take is the Nigerian take. You are the people who move around to speak to Nigerians to find out if things have changed in the way that Nigerians had hoped before they cast their last vote for the current leadership in the country. But, to me, personally, life has not changed for me and my family; maybe I was out looking out for anything other than the hope for peace and tranquility to prevail in the country. So, on that score, I will say that, perhaps, the country is a little bit more peaceful now in the sense that the insurgency has been reduced, even if not completely removed.

On the other hand, I receive visitors, young people who come in asking to be assisted to secure jobs and so on and so forth. They know that something is not totally correct with the economy; two major indicators, our naira has been decimated, to me, to nothing because, at my age having seen one Naira exchanged for one dollar and forty cents and to now put together 300+ Naira officially for me to get one dollar something is basically not right there. And until, I have always made this very clear, we can do something about this foreign exchange rate- and for-a country that produces nothing, it has to buy everything, we are going to have a hard drive, if we are able to drive at all, to recover. It is going to be near impossible to recover with this exchange rate, it is a major problem.

But the Minister of Finance spoke a few days ago, saying Nigeria is recovering. She should tell us how we are recovering. Check your pocket if we are recovering, check your soup pot if we are recovering, check everything in terms of cost; how are we recovering?

If the government must change gear, what must the government do now?
It is going to be difficult for this government or any government for that matter because these decisions as they affect the economy require an approach which is not orthodox.

Take for example, Donald Trump, who only recently assumed office as the President of the United States of America, said ‘America first, America second, America third, employ America by America’ and so on and so forth. This is what every country now has to do. This is a policy to protect America, annunciation by the leader of the capitalist world, protecting the American economy and the American people and this is the kind of courage that African leaders require to get up and say ‘my country first, my country second, my country third’. This is what happened to quite a number of countries: The Chinese did the same, they disappeared for some time and now they have resurfaced as one of the leaders of the world because they protected themselves, they protected their country.

In Africa today, there are only two or three countries that are going in that direction: Rwanda, Zimbabwe and the same thing perhaps to some extent Uganda. But the rest of the countries (in Africa) are just appendages of colonial mentality and Nigeria is one of them. Nigeria is an appendage of colonial mentality and that is why we have not moved, 60years; Nigeria cannot produce 4,000megawatts of electricity that is not big enough for a village in Europe, for about 200million people. Something is wrong basically.

Is the problem with the people in power?
The problem is with all of us. One major conference that is required is a conference on attitudinal change by Nigerians, particularly those of us the elite.

Who should organize that?
Nigerians who worry about Nigeria. I attended four constitutional conferences in the last 20years but where are we? Our paper work, well-written and so on, but nothing on ground. And when you look at it very carefully, it is we the elite and that is why I keep talking about the elite being responsible for what is happening to Nigeria and they have to do something about it.

2019 is about two years away, but some people are already talking about it. What shape should it take?
The shape that Nigerians want it to take because if Nigerians are complaining that things are not going well for Nigeria and, by implication, things are not going well for Nigerians, 2019 means an opportunity for them to ‘shine their eyes well’ well and look for leadership because the problem, in my view in this country, had always been poor and inept leadership, particularly after our fathers politicians of the First Republic) have gone. Each time I speak, I give very high credit to our founding fathers, they did extremely well with very little. In their hands, the country had no means of getting huge resources except from our agricultural products, yet these people did what they did; infrastructure, tell me what infrastructure has been added seriously on top of what they have done? The railway, the ports, the airports and so on, just tell me; in spite of the billions of naira that is coming or that is supposed to be coming into the Nigerian coffers, what has happened?

At what point did President Muhammadu Buhari get it wrong?
I gave a number of interviews on the man; good man, no doubt, but he got it wrong because he got the wrong team, that is it. Not one single person to run the country, you need competent hands everywhere to get it going.

Did he consult with people like you before he made his appointments?
No, no. But if there had been sufficient guidance through consultations, a lot of the initial mistakes about the take-off could not have been avoided It is better to say that the team he has chosen to deal with the socio-economic challenges of this country was not quite well chosen and I think what happened was that the choice of the team was driven more by political patronage than really looking at the competence of people that will come and help the President and the government to run a more efficient system of administration.

How should the Federal Government respond to the renewed Biafra agitation?
Well, we should be mindful of the fact that the renewed agitation cannot be detached from the politics of Nigeria. It is not new and not different from normal politicking that has been taking place in Nigeria since independence.

Politics? Why lump the agitation with politics?
Biafra agitation arose from the Nigerian political process. It came from a power struggle in the First Republic, which culminated in the assassination of the First Republic leaders and the subsequent emergence of Ojukwu. Incidentally, it was Ojukwu, who suspected that the Igbo were being attacked whereas it was the Igbo who attacked Nigeria.

Attacked Nigeria? Is this revisionism or what? They were the ones being attacked in the North and they had to flee…
(Cuts in) It should be noted that Ojukwu, assisted by Igbo intellectuals, thought they should pocket the rest of Nigeria. Thus, the so-called Biafra agitation is rooted in the 1966 coup and I want to say that if people are still asking for Biafra almost 50 years after the civil war, then it is necessary for us to sit down and ask ourselves how we want the nation to be. That’s exactly what the Igbos are asking for – let’s sit down and discuss but it seems that is not falling on good ears? In dealing with the renewed Biafran agitation, the Federal Government should adhere strictly to the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution relating to the rule of law. Accordingly, the Federal Government should be firm in dealing with any individual or group trying to create problems for the rest of Nigeria under any guise.

Posted On Sunday, 04 June 2017 02:56 Written by

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.”

Posted On Thursday, 27 April 2017 02:34 Written by

SPONSORED BY X365RADIO.COM: ABUJA—AMIDST increasing concerns over the health status of President Muhammadu Buhari, indications emerged, yesterday, of his imminent return to the country, having reportedly finished with the extended medical tests his United Kingdom-based physicians ran on him.

The latest public declaration that the President is in fine fettle was given by Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, and Speaker Yakubu Dogara who, in separate tweets, acknowledged that the President is in fine shape. 

Also yesterday, a very close associate of the president, who had been in close touch with people around him, confirmed the positive news of his health, saying the President was expected to return any time from today. Meanwhile, President Buhari, yesterday, received two prominent leaders of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Chief Bisi Akande, in London. The assertions came as the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, and the Jama’atu Nasril Islam, JNI, in separate calls, also urged Nigerians to pray for the well-being of the President, asserting that as a human being, he is also prone to ill-health. A prominent official of government who also maintains a close personal and family relationship with the President, equally confirmed the well being of the President, yesterday. “I found out from the family and I was told that the tests had been carried out and it is being envisaged that he could come back anytime from tomorrow (today),” the public official, who spoke on the strict condition of anonymity, said. Another senior Presidency source spoke in the same vein, saying there is nothing holding the President back, though he could not give a clear date for his return.

The well being of the President was further accentuated by pictures of the President with APC leaders, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Chief Bisi Akande, which Vanguard confirmed to have been taken yesterday afternoon. In one of the pictures, the President was sitted between the two party leaders in a sitting room and, in another, Buhari was sandwiched between the two men with all of them smiling.

Asserting that the President is hale and hearty, Saraki in a tweet at 11:35 p.m. on Wednesday, confirmed that he spoke with Buhari, adding that the President even cracked jokes with him during their discussion. Noting that he is happy to have interacted with the President, Saraki in his tweet, said: “Happy to have spoken with @NGRPresident @MBuhari tonight. He was in good spirit and joked about my working late into the night, as usual. – @Bukolasaraki on Twitter Wednesday 8th of February 2017, 11:35 pm.” Saraki’s assertion came three days after Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, also disclosed that the President is hale and hearty. Speaker Yakubu Dogara also went on Twitter, yesterday, to confirm speaking with Buhari, who he claimed professed his pains at the sufferings Nigerians endured last year and had as such, resolved to ensure a better life for the people. Dogara in his tweet said: “MBuhari called me yesterday evening. He talked about what the Executive/Legislature must do to ensure food security for all Nigerians. “He said he was pained by the suffering endured by most Nigerians last year and he is resolved not to let events of 2016 repeat themselves.  He also asked me to extend his best wishes to all Honourable members.” Ahead of the President’s return, the expectation was also being raised among APC members.

At the national secretariat of the party in Abuja, a big banner was placed inside the parking lot with the inscription, “Welcome Mr. President, Baba, Oyoyo” the banner produced by the National Youth Council of Nigeria, had pictures of Buhari and Youths and Sports Minister, Mr. Solomon Dalung. Pray for his quick recovery, CAN urges Nigerians Meanwhile, the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, yesterday called on all Nigerians to pray for the quick recovery of the President and his safe return. In a statement by the Director of Legal and Public Affairs, Barr. Kwamkur Samuel, CAN  also called on the Presidency not to hide information from the people.

The statement read: “We wish to call on all Nigerians to join hands in prayers for the quick and full recovery of Mr. President and his safe return to Nigeria instead of dwelling on the needless rumour on the President’s health. “President Muhammadu Buhari is human, hence subject to health challenges sometimes. CAN appreciates the anxiety of Nigerians to hear Mr. President speak, but sues  for understanding as we await that. It is very clear that our leader is passing through health challenges. “We advise the Presidency to update Nigerians on how he is faring and the full progress of his recovery. “We call on all Christians and indeed, all God-fearing Nigerians to dedicate time of prayers for our President and the nation. We owe our leaders prayers and support at all times while shunning divisive opinions that only generate strife. “CAN also calls on Nigerians to give the Vice-President who is also the Acting President full support and prayers to lead well. “We acknowledge that government is a continuum. Hence, we call on Acting President, Professor  Yemi Osinbajo to be bold in handling critical state matters and not to be distracted by those who do not wish Nigeria well.” JNI condemns death-wish peddlers The Jama’atu Nasril Islam, JNI, on its part, condemned those it said were wishing the President dead instead of praying for his full recovery. The JNI also termed those it said were calling for the resignation of Acting President  Osibanjo as “callous and mischievous.”

In a press statement  by its Secretary General, Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, the group said:  “JNI is, indeed, perturbed over the series of rumours making the rounds on the state of President Muhammadu Buhari’s health. “It should be, however, noted that as with every mortal, illness is inevitable, likewise life and death. Thus, JNI is very concerned about the pandemonium generated as a result of the rumoured illness of the President and the dimension it is unfortunately taking. ‘’ Does that mean he can no longer get ill? Agreed that reports from the Presidency stated that President Muhammadu Buhari is currently undergoing a cycle of tests as recommended by his doctors, hence the extension of his leave. “We must as patriots, be cautioned on spreading inaccurate information. More so, Muslims should be cautioned not to join the bandwagon of rumour-mongers. This is so because already some unpatriotic elements are wishing that the President is dead. Interestingly, those who wish him death will certainly not live till eternity. Aren’t we supposed to wish each other good well-being? Let alone, the President of the country? “Therefore, following the unnecessary excitement in the President’s delayed return to Nigeria, we implore all and sundry, particularly Muslims to persistently supplicate on daily basis for President Muhammadu Buhari’s safe return, restoration of good health and the ability to continue with the task of piloting Nigeria to greater heights with his team.

“In the same vein, we are all implored to fervently pray for the nation, the Vice President, governors and all those in positions of authority, for Allah’s guidance in the discharge of their respective duties. “We nonetheless, condemn in the strongest terms those calling for the resignation of Professor Yemi Osinbajo, as the Vice-President, Federal Republic of Nigeria. Whatever, the intent may be, we see such calls as callous, mischievous and unpatriotic. “ Moreover, why must that vacuum be created now, if not for sinister motives? We, therefore, call on all Jumu’ah Imams to include the matter in their respective Friday sermons tomorrow and beyond.”

Posted On Friday, 10 February 2017 01:38 Written by
Page 1 of 9