Twenty-six prison inmates have been granted amnesty on Wednesday by the Ogun State Chief Judge, Justice Mosunmola Dipeolu.
The amnesty came while they were awaiting trials by the prerogative power of the state’s Chief Judge during a three day tour to the five prison formations across the three Senatorial Districts of the state.
Justice Dipeolu said that the second quarter’s prisons jail delivery was aimed to decongest prison formations of inmates after reviewing their cases while inmates with no case files, medical factors amongst others reasons were discharged to go and sin no more.
“The inmates were released with a view to decongest the prisons and the exercise is in accordance with the service of the law under the custody act. I want to appeal to the released inmates to be of good behaviour, so that they do not return to the prison,” Dipeolu said.
China aims to eliminate super-sized classes that accommodate more than 66 students in primary and middle schools nationwide by the end of 2020, according to a guideline released on Wednesday.
The proportion of large-sized classes with over 56 students will be kept to not more than five per cent by 2020, the document said, jointly issued by the Ministry of Education, the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Finance.
Oversized classes have long been a prominent issue in China’s compulsory education system as quality education resources are insufficient in some regions.
The senate committee investigating the alleged misconduct of Elisha Abbo, senator representing Adamawa north, says that the victims of the assault did not honour its invitation.
Sam Egwu, chairman of the panel, made this known during plenary, on Wednesday.
The senate had setup a committee to investigate the assault by one of its members after the video of Abbo attacking a nursing mother at a sex toy shop in Abuja went viral.
The committee was given two weeks to present its report.
During plenary on Wednesday, Egwu said more time will be needed by the committee to complete its job.
He said efforts to make the assaulted lady and the shop owner appear before the committee did not yield result.
Egwu said Abbo; the commissioner of police in charge of FCT; and the lawyers to the victims, refused to make submissions before the panel on the excuse that the matter was already in court.
“We set out to do the investigation and in the course of that, we invited all the people that are involved,” he said.
“We invited our colleague and he made it clear to us that he was invited by the police and the case is already in court and therefore, it is sub judice.”
The chairman requested more time for the committee to investigate the matter.
He said “because it is subjudice, we want to wait until the court has taken their decision.”
Ahmad Lawan, senate president, rejected the request on the grounds that the senate is investigating the misconduct of its member and not the criminality of the offence.
“It is not our concern. We are not investigating criminal activities. We are investigating misconduct. The senate is not investigating what the police is investigating,” he said.
“We can give you more time but we can’t stop our activities because the matter is in court.”
The senate granted one-week extension for the committee to submit its report.
After public outcry, Abbo had tendered an apologyover the incident, describing himself as an “ambassador of Christ.”
Despite the apology, the senator pleaded not guilty to a one-count charge of assault filed against him by the police. (The Cable)
Following a request sent by the body of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to help it check activities of “unpatriotic Nigerians who sell their certificates to unqualified graduates to be able to undergo the youth service”, the acting chairman of the anti-corruption body, Mr Ibrahim Magu, has vowed to fish out the unqualified ones currently serving under the scheme.
Magu made this assurance in Abuja when he received the NYSC Director-General, Brig-Gen Shuaibu Ibrahim, in his office.
The NYSC also quoted Magu in a statement on Tuesday as saying EFCC would support the NYSC in its move to combat fraudulent mobilisation of unqualified graduates for national service.
“We condemn the activities of unpatriotic elements who bring shame to the nation by their insatiable desire to make money at all costs, including the sale of certificates to unqualified graduates”, the statement read.
The NYSC DG also appealed to the EFCC for support “in closely monitoring the activities of unscrupulous higher institutions which present unqualified graduates for mobilisation for national service”.
“It is very unfortunate that some institutions of higher learning, particularly in Cotonou, Benin Republic, present to us people who didn’t go to the four walls of the university as graduates for mobilisation.
“Currently, we are investigating some of such so-called graduates, many of whom cannot write or spell any word in English”, the DG said.
The Senate on Wednesday, confirmed the appointment of His. Justice Tanko Muhammad as the substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria.
The red chamber had on arrival of Muhammad into the chamber gone into attacking closed session to set the template for the screening.
He was accompanied to the red chamber by top judiciary officers in the country.
The CJN answered questions on corruption, administration of criminal justice and the poor funding of the judiciary
Muhammad has been acting as acting CJN since January 25 this year when the then CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen was suspended from office on alleged corrupt practices .
President Muhammadu Buhari had last week Thursday forwarded to the Senate , a letter requesting for confirmation of Muhammad as substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has appointed 27 more aides.
This is coming barely a week after the speaker appointed his six media aides.
According to a statement by Lanre Lasisi, the speaker’s spokesperson, most of the appointees were former members of the house.
The appointees include: Special Adviser on Administration, Odofin David Seun; Special Adviser on Political Matters, Olanrewaju Smart; Special Adviser on Special Duties, Badmus Olufunmi; Special Assistant on Legal Matters, Osazee Melody Ogundijie; Special Assistant on Legislative Matters, Raphael Nnana Igbokwe; and Special Assistant on Gender Equality, Fatima Kakuri.
Read full statement below:
Press Statement from the Office of the Speaker, House of Representatives
July 16, 2019
APPOINTMENT OF LEGISLATIVE AIDES
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila is pleased to announce the following appointments.
These appointments take immediate effect.
- Special Adviser – Administration – Odofin David Seun
- Special Adviser – Political Matters – Olanrewaju Smart
- Special Adviser – Special Duties – Badmus Olufunmi
- Special Assistant – Legal Matters – Osazee Melody Ogundijie
- Special Assistant – Legislative Matters – Hon. Raphael Nnana Igbokwe
- Special Assistant – Gender Equality– Fatima Kakuri
- Special Assistant – IDPs – Hamza Baba Ibrahim
- Special Assistant – Special Needs /Equal Opportunities – Abdulsalam Idowu Kamaldeen
- Special Assistant – Employment and Job Creation – Hadiza Abubakar Talba
- Special Assistant – Budget and Finance – Lukman Oyewole Lawal
- Special Assistant – Former Members Affairs – Hon Bassey Ewa
- Special Assistant – Policy and Inter-Parliamentary – Princewill Tabia
- Special Assistant – Executive Relations – Hon Ibrahim Mohammed Baba
- Special Assistant – Anti-Corruption – Akin Ogunlola
- Special Assistant – Niger Delta / Oil & Gas – Hon. Daniel Reyenieju
- Special Assistant – Research and Public Policy – Dubem Mogalu
- Special Assistant – Members’ Affairs – Dunkwu Nnamdi Chamberlain
- Special Assistant – SDGs – Shehu Saleh
- Special Assistant – Youth Matters – Ibrahim Alli-Balogun
- Special Assistant – Intergovernmental Affairs – Adaku Apugo
- Senior Legislative Aide – Adim Akpapunam
- Special Assistant – Political Matters (North East) – Hon Sadiq Ibrahim
- Special Assistant – Political Matters (South West) – Hon. Ayodeji Joseph
- Special Assistant – Political Matters (North West) – Hon. Bashir Baballe
- Special Assistant – Political Matters (South East) – Hon. Anayo Nnebe
- Special Assistant – Political Matters (North Central) – Hon. Adamu Chika
- Special Assistant – Political Matters (South South) – Hon. E. J Agbonayinma
Short Profile of Some of the New Appointees
Special Adviser on Administration – Odofin David Seun
Until this appointment, Seun Odofin, 50, was Special Assistant to the Leader of the House of Representatives with legislative experience spanning over 15years, with focus on staff administration and office management.
Odofin, holds law and local government administration degrees from the University of Abuja and Obafemi Awolowo University respectively. He has participated in numerous professional courses including World Bank and National Assembly’s improvement courses.
Special Adviser on Political Matters – Olanrewaju Smart
Until this appointment, Wasiu Olanrewaju-Smart, 33, was the Research and Media Assistant to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila during his previous positions as House Minority Leader and House Majority Leader respectively. Having spent his post graduate life in the National Assembly, he comes with a lot of knowledge of the nuances of Nigeria’s federal parliament. He managed the Femi Gbajabiamila Speakership Campaign secretariat in 2015 and played same role in 2019.
He is a graduate of Lead City University and former President of the University’s Student Representatives Council. He has authored many articles and term papers on public policy and legislative reform.
In 2014, Olanrewaju Smart served as an Observer of America’s Mid Term parliamentary elections in North Carolina, Kansas and New Hamsphire. He is an Alumni of the United States International Visitors Leadership Program, Washington DC.
He is an Associate Member of Nigeria Institute of Public Relations and a loyal member of the All Progressives Congress.
Special Adviser on Special Duties – Badmus Olufunmi
Badmus Olufunmi, 37, is a young and dynamic administrator, with several years of experience on the job. He holds an M.Sc in Public Administration & International Affairs. He was Personal Assistant and Constituency Relation’s Administrator to the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives 2011 – 2015.
In 2015, he was promoted to Special Assistant on Special Duties to the Leader of the House. A post, which involved providing a seamless flow of efficient and confidential administrative support for the leader’s personal portfolio, as well as that of his constituency and all office personnel.
He has attended several leadership courses and administrative training within and outside the National Assembly.
Special Assistant on Budget and Finance – Lukman Oyewole Lawal
Lukman Oyewole Lawal, 43, started his professional career as an Account Officer at Obat Oil & Petroleum Ltd Depot in 2005. He spent 10 years in the employment of the Lagos State Government as an Accountant. He was until this appointment the Deputy Head, Investigation & Compliance Unit, under the Directorate of Monitoring & Investigation, Office of the Accountant General, State Treasury Office.
He holds a Degree in Accounting from Olabisi Onabanjo University and Masters in Business Administration (MBA) Degree, University of Calabar. Lawal is an Associate of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria and Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria. Lawal hails from Surulere Local Government, Lagos State.
Special Assistant on Legal Matters – Osazee Melody Ogundijie
He holds a degree in law from Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma with 18 years post call experience. He was the Head of Chambers in Enitan Associates, a thoroughbred commercial and litigation law firm in Lagos before he joined First City Monument Bank in 2008 as the bank’s Legal Representative in Abuja and Northern region. He was appointed as the Senior Legislative Aide to the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives in 2011. Having worked as a private Legal Practitioner, a corporate Solicitor in one of the leading commercial banks in Nigeria and in the last eight years, functioned closely with one of the most experienced Lawmakers in the country, Osazee comes with a wealth of experience in legal and parliamentary business.
Osazee is a member of the Institute of Chartered Mediators & Conciliators and has attended several law seminars and workshops.
Special Assistant on Members’ Affairs – Dunkwu Nnamdi Chamberlain
Chamberlain, 48, until this appointment was the Director General of the Forum of First Term Members of the 9th House of Representatives. He was Special Assistant to the APC National Organising Secretary. He is a loyal and committed member of the All Progressives Congress with experience in party affairs.
He was a board member, Nigeria Swimming Federation 2002 – 2008; first Vice President Nigerian Chess Federation; Member Nigerian Delegation to 2004 Olympics in Greece; Member Nigerian Delegation to 2008 Olympics in China.
He holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration, Anambra State University. Chamberlain hails from Ika North East Local Government, Delta State.
Senior Legislative Aide – Adim Akpapunam
Adim, 24, is a young vibrant Nigerian, who joined the office of the House Leader in 2017 as a Legislative and Information Technology assistant. He holds a B.Sc degree in Information Systems from the Indiana Institute of Technology, USA. Before his return to Nigeria, he worked as an Intern in Britton Marketing and Design group as a Digital Content Marketing Representative.
Special Assistant on Employment and Job Creation – Hadiza Abubakar Talba
Hadiza Talba, 30, is a young human resource professional. Until this appointment, she was Human Resource officer at the Federal Inland Revenue Service.
She holds a first degree from the Federal University of Technology, Yola. Hadiza hails from Yola North Local government, Adamawa State
Special Assistant on Gender Equality – Fatima Kakuri
Fatima Kakuri, 32, is a seasoned young professional with experience in public policy, advocacy and diplomacy. She has years of public engagement experience with Non-governmental organizations and foreign donor agencies on gender advocacy.
She was a Policy Research Assistant with the Society for Family Health in collaboration with the Global Health and the University of California. She is a very loyal youth member of the All Progressives Congress. Fatima holds a degree in accounting, University of Abuja. She is an Alumni of Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Executive Education in Implementing Public Policy.
Special Assistant on Intergovernmental Affairs – Adaku Apugo
Adaku Apugo, 33, is a young professional with focus on public policy and governance. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts Boston, USA with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. She has served as a Program Assistant at Boston Workers Alliance; and is a former S.A on public policy in the National Assembly.
She hails from Umuahia South Local Government, Abia State.
Special Assistant on IDPs – Hamza Baba Ibrahim
Hamza, 39, is a professional management and marketing expert in the health sector. He was Senior Manager Marketing and Product Development at Songhai Health Trust Limited where he served from 2012 – 2019; he also worked at the Royal Exchange Healthcare Limited, Ranbaxy Pharmaceutical and Jawa International Limited.
He holds a Master’s degree in Health Management, Benue State University; MBA , University of Ilorin; BSc. Micro Biology, Bayero University, Kano. He is a loyal youth member of the All Progressives Congress.
Special Assistant on Special Needs /Equal Opportunities – Abdulsalam Idowu Kamaldeen
Abdulsalam Idowu kamaldeen, 49, became physically challenged at the age of three (3) due to polio infection. He lost his mother a year after he lost his legs to polio. Abdulsalam started primary education at age of 8 in 1978 at Erin-Ile, kwara state. He started street begging same year due to financial constraint. Thereafter he finished his primary school in 1993 and came to Lagos, where he found himself on the street begging for alms and sleeping under the Dosunmu bridge at Idumota.
After his secondary school education, he then started evening classes. He gained admission to study political science in UNILAG in 2006 and graduated in 2010. In his determination to become a lawyer he sat for JAMB exams and gained admission to study law at the University of Lagos in 2010, (same year he graduated in political science). He finished in 2015. Abdulsalam proceeded to the Nigerian Law School, passed all his papers at first sitting and was called to bar in 2016.
Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila in his former capacity as the House Majority Leader discovered Abdulsalam Kamaldeen and invited him to the floor of the House in 2017 for Special Recognition by the House.
Kamaldeen, a practicing lawyer, hails from Kwara State.
Special Assistant – Youth Matters – Ibrahim Alli-Balogun
Ibrahim Alli-Balogun, 40, until his appointment, was an Aide on Youth Development and empowerment to Rt. Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, with over 8 years’ experience in coordinating the affairs of Youths within and outside Surulere 1 federal constituency, Lagos. He was also a member of various committees of the All Progressives Congress at the Local Government Level.
He is an advocate of Human Capacity Building and Youth Engagement. He is the National Secretary, Asiwaju Grassroots Foundation; Coordinator, Congress of Southwest Youth, Member, Nigerian Booth Leaders Club. He was a member of 2019 APC Presidential Campaign Council’s National Youth Committee – Lagos State and Member, APC Presidential Election Planning and Monitoring Sub-Committee.
Alli-Balogun is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management, Lagos State University. He hails from Surulere local government, Lagos State.
Special Assistant – Policy and Inter-Parliamentary – Princewill Tabia
Tabia Princewill ,30, is a female journalist, strategic communications consultant and public policy analyst. She was a special assistant to the immediate past Secretary to the State Government (SSG) of Lagos, Hon. Tunji Bello.
Princewill also runs an NGO, TIP of a New Dawn, a youth empowerment initiative. She is bilingual and speaks fluent French.
Princewill is a graduate of the Sorbonne University in Paris, and the London School of Economics and Political science (LSE) with Master’s in Comparative Politics.
Special Assistant – Political Matters (North East) – Hon Sadiq Ibrahim
Sadiq, 54, a former Speaker of Adamawa State Assembly and member, House of Representatives 2015 – 2019. He was a private legal practitioner with Mustapha and Associates in Yola; served at Bells Holdings Ltd. as company secretary/legal adviser.
He was Head, Legal Unit at Habib Nigeria Bank Ltd. He was also former Personal Assistant to the former Minister of Agriculture, Mallam Adamu Bello.
Sadiq holds a Master’s Degree in Law (LL.M) with focus on Constitutional and Business Law.
Special Assistant – Political Matters (South West) – Hon. Ayodeji Joseph
Ayodeji Joseph, 47, represented Apapa Federal constituency in the House of Representatives 2015 – 2019. He was the executive chairman of Apapa Local Government, Lagos 2008 – 2014.
He worked as Senior Banking Officer at Guaranty Trust Bank.
Ayodeji holds a Master’s degree in Geographic Information system, University of Lagos.
Special Assistant – Executive Relations – Hon Ibrahim Mohammed Baba
Ibrahim Baba ,42, was a Member, House of Representatives 2015 – 2019; served as Deputy Chairman, Public Accounts committee of the House of Representatives. He was also Special Assistant to the Commissioner representing North East on the Board of NDDC. Baba was Personal Assistant and later Special Assistant to former Governor of Bauchi State on Telecommunications.
He is an Alumni of Cranfield University, United Kingdom, also a Master’s degree from University of Abuja.
Baba is an Associate of the Institute of Chartered Economists of Nigeria; Associate member of the Institute of Cost and Management Accountants.
Special Assistant – Political Matters (South South) – Hon. E. J Agbonayinma
E.J Agbonayinma, 58, a former member of the House of Representatives 2015 – 2019 Abuja. He was President/CEO of Texoil Energy & Gas Nig Ltd, in Texas, United States of America. He was a Registered Lobbyist with the State of Texas, United States of America.
He is licensed as a Real Estate Practitioner by the Texas Real Estate Commission in the United States of America. He was also Chairman, House Committee on Nig-USA Inter-Parliamentary Relations.
He is a graduate of the University of Houston, Texas, USA.
Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the
Speaker, House of Representatives.
Chief Olusegun Obasanjo,
Obasanjo presidential Library,
I’m Kurtis Adigba, a lawyer, political consultant, and a citizen of Nigeria. I’m an idoma from Benue State. My father; Samuel Ochola Adigba, was a classroom teacher, and retired as a Headmaster. My father, was some years ago, the Benue State Secretary of the National Party of Nigeria( NPN). That was the highest he attained. My mother, was a school teacher who later joined the civil service, and retired as a Head of Department of Adult Education Department of Apa Local Government Area, of Benue State. She died in 2015.
I chose to introduce myself to you upfront so you know I have no pedigree to match yours, and because I know your supporters and attack dogs will come after me, and raised questions about my pedigree. They will ask: “who is his father….who is he to dare write a letter to a former Head of State and President..”. Now you know. And hopefully, they know too!
The only pedigree that I stand on to write you today sir, is my citizenship of Nigeria, a privilege and right I share and enjoy with you. The Constitution of Nigeria, confers on us ( you and me and others)the right to free speech. You have constantly and frequently exercised that right in writing letters to our fellow citizens who happened by good fortunes to be former and present leaders of the country. Only yesterday, you penned and published a letter to President Buhari on the state of our nation. I’m writing you this letter in the exercise of the same right- free speech.
In your open letter to President Buhari, the last in the series, you raised so many critical issues: Boko Haram, Insecurity, Poor Management of our diversity, Unity or Disunity, Economy, Poverty, and of course, the violent death of Mrs Funke Olakunrin, the daughter of Pa Fasoronti, an elder statesman and leader of Afenifere, in the hands of some yet to be determined people. Some people have jumped to conclusions and prejudged the investigation into the despicable act, I have chosen to wait until investigators complete their work and inform Nigerians about their findings.
Sir, apart from the death of Mrs Funke Olakunrin, which is the trigger for the letter, there is nothing new in your new letter. Even her death, is not new in the sense that many Nigerians have been dying on that road and others, unmentioned. The only reason her death attracted your attention and that of others, is because she was the daughter of a powerful figure. After her unfortunate death sir, some Nigerians have died in similar circumstances unmentioned and unannounced, because they are ordinary citizens. As I write sir, many are suffering from the same fate.
Let me talk about the specific issues in your letter:
- Boko Haram. The seed that germinated into Boko Haram, was planted under your Administration. It grew and became a big tree under your handpicked successors due to outright denial, mischaracterization, poor management,and corruption. It was under your government that full Sharia regime was introduced in Zamfara state. You chose to ignore it because you said it will fizzle out because of internal contradictions. It did at some point; but before then, it spread to other states with deadly consequences. One of the groups that emerged from the Sharia revolution that started in Zamfara, metamorphosed into the deadly terror group known today as Boko Haram. It is true that under your administration, Boko Haram, was an unknown group nationally, but it was under the administration of your handpicked successors, Yar’Adua and Jonathan, that Boko Haram exploded into the deadly terror group that it is today.
President Yar’Adua tried to deal with Boko Haram, but his poor health stood on his way. He died and was succeeded by president Goodluck Jonathan. It was under Jonathan that Boko Haram became the most deadly terror group in the world. They abducted over 200 girls from Chibok, killed over 100 children in Buni Yadi, carried out regular deadly attacks at Abuja and different parts of the country. President Jonathan from the onset denied and disputed the Chibok girls abduction. He said it was an orchestrated smear campaign against his person and government. It took a global outrage before he sprang into taking some tepid actions- he set up a panel to determine if the girls were indeed abducted. Sir, you wrote about the same issue in your epistle to President Jonathan. It was one of the issues you used to canvass support for the candidacy of president Buhari in 2015.
In your your previous letter to President Buhari, where you asked him to dismount from the horse of Nigeria leadership, you gave President Buhari some credits for dealing with Boko Haram and fighting corruption. You also called for more efforts in combating Boko Haram and corruption. As you know, President Buhari on assumption of office took the fight to Boko Haram. He relocated soldiers to the epicenter of the terror group’s operations. He recovered territories occupied by them, destroyed their key infrastructures, and forced them into negotiations leading to the release of some of the abducted Chibok girls. Many people hitherto unheard of, but in captivity of Boko Haram, were also set free. The government discovered massive corruption in the management of funds earmarked for procurement of equipment to prosecute the war on Boko Haram. The funds are still being recovered.
You mentioned that the government hastily declared victory against a group that is strengthening, I agree to some extent with you sir. I agree that the government oversubscribed itself when it declared that it has defeated Boko Haram. Boko Haram, is not defeated. It has been weakened, but it is still capable of Carrying out deadly attacks given the time, resources, and opportunity. We saw them abduct over 100 hundred girls from Dapchi after their “ defeat”. All but one of the girls, have been released. Leah Sharibu, is still being held by Boko Haram because she refused to denounce her faith in Jesus Christ. She is today the highest value target because of the religious factors made worst by people playing politics with her. God in whom Leah Sharibu trust as her Saviour and protector, will keep her. She will be freed from her captors. Amen. The government made a mistake in declaring victory over Boko Haram because, Boko Haram is fighting an ideological war. Ideology cannot be defeated, it can only be overcome by superior reasoning.
But on the whole, the current government has done much more to fight Boko Haram and contain their terrorist activities than any other government. It can do more, and it will do more.
- Insecurity in the country. I believe that in the real world, cause has effect, and actions have consequences. The insecurity of today, is the consequence of the failures of the past. I’m talking about the huge and unprecedented corruption in the management of public resources that left us with poor infrastructures, created inequality with some few very rich and many so poor, that they cannot afford the basic things of life. I’m talking about the failure to manage the crisis that arose all over the country sir. When the agitation for better allocation of resources started in the Niger Delta areas under your watch, you responded with maximum force. You sent soldiers to invade Odi under the pretext of looking for the people who killed some soldiers. Many were killed, women and girls were allegedly raped, and the community destroyed. The people regrouped and armed themselves better. They started kidnapping expatriates and local oil workers for ransom. It became a huge business for some governors who claimed to have paid millions as ransom to free the victims. Your government did nothing to stop or prevent kidnapping, and it quickly spread round the country. what about Zaki Biam, where the invasion by the Army helped to militarized the people with deadly consequences for security in the area?
Your immediate successor, President Yar’Adua, tried to end the siege by proposing an Amnesty that was successful to some extent, but kidnapping has become a business. President Jonathan who succeeded Yar’Adua, didn’t do much in tackling kidnapping. President Buhari has made modest efforts in tackling it, but it is not enough because the governors are not playing complimentary roles. Peter Obi, former governor of Ananmbra state, fought kidnappers in the state to a standstill. Governor Obiano is doing the same thing. Lagos State, is also leading in the fight against kidnapping. Kaduna State has just enacted a law against kidnapping that prescribed death as punishment for the offense. Edo State too. Majority of the states, are not doing much sir.
Sir, you mentioned the killing of Mrs Olakunrin in your letter and described it as one death too many. In the statement you issued before then, you said her death has diminished Nigeria. I share in your sentiments and beyond sir. Her death, like the death of any Nigerian in the same or similar circumstances, is regrettable and diminishes the rest of us and the country in more than one way. But as painful and regrettable as her death is, it is not the first in the country. Under your watch as President sir, Chief Bola Ige, our nation’s Attorney General, was murdered in his home at Ibadan. The home, is supposed to be the safest place, but Ige was killed. Up and until now, no one has been brought to justice for his killing. What about Chiefs Harry Marshall and Sekibo? Funsho Williams and others? Of the people listed here sir, only Sekibo was murdered on the road. The rest were killed in their homes. No one has been found guilty for their murders. Do you then have the moral right to pontificate on insecurity sir?
You may not know this sir, but I want to tell you that bad roads and darkness, are also accelerators of insecurity and poverty. Bad roads ensure that motorists cannot move fast,and therefore, become vulnerable to the murderous activities of criminals. Under your watch as President, Billions of Naira were budgeted for roads, the roads were never built, but the funds disappeared. The Lagos-Benin Expressway featured in some many budgets but the funds were never utilized on the road. President Jonathan did a portion of it, and President Buhari, is working on some other parts. Your government did nothing about it. What about power? You claimed to have spent $16B on power, where is the Fower? Apologies to President Buhari. You generated megawatts of darkness with the humongous amount of money. And you don’t want us to talk about it! We can only imagine what that money would have done for the economy sir. Many of the people terrorizing the country today, may have been profitably engaged in other activities,and poverty, would have been significantly reduced. But you failed and betrayed our trust.
- Corruption. Where do I start here? Is it financial or political corruption? Do you know know who started corrupting our political system sir? It is you. Under your watch, we conducted the worst election in Nigeria. Figures were randomly awarded to parties and candidates. You promised it was going to be a do or die Affairs and you delivered on your promise. The major beneficiary of that election, president Yar’Adua agreed with the verdict that it was indeed a horrible event, but you went round western capitals praising the same election. Who introduced garrison command politics in Nigeria? It is you sir. You subjected Governor Rasheed Ladoja to the whims and caprices of your garrison commander, Adedibu, the late Alafin of Molete. You supported and facilitated his impeachment by a minority group in the house of assembly. And when his impeachment was overturned by the Supreme Court, you dithered in enforcing the judgment until the NBA protested against your illegality.
What about the impeachment of Peter Obi In Ananmbra state, and Dariye of Plateau State? In both cases, less than two-thirds of members of the Houses of Assembly, carried out the impeachment under your watch. Maybe we didn’t have a Constitution then sir! Under your watch, Ngige, former governor of Ananmbra state was abducted by the private of Chris Uba, Eselu of Uga, and your man Friday. You did nothing sir.
Former Speaker Ghali Na’Abba, displayed bundles and wads of Naira running into millions of Naira that you bribed law makers with to remove him. You had no convincing deniability. What about the N50M given to law makers as bribe to get them to amend the Constitution and grant you life presidency? You denied it, but your daughter has confirmed it. You were behind it. It is true that you made efforts to fight corruption by setting up the EFCC, but you undermined the fight against corruption by your own actions. Let me remind you about the mismanagement of PTDF funds by you and your new friend, Atiku. The facts were made public during your roforofo fight. In 1999, when you were freed from jail, you had barely N100k. Today, you are said to be worth Billions. How did it happen and what did you do to become so rich? But you keep pontificating on corruption and pointing at others. Your like a sign post- pointing the directions, but never going there.
- Mismanagement of our diversity. You accused the president of mismanaging our diversity, a claim you said is responsible for the myriad of our problems today. You said the president has made lopsided appointments in favor of the North and his people, I don’t have the data, and you also did not provide any to substantiate your claim. You expressed outrage over the pattern of certain appointments and election of leaders of the National Assembly in terms of ethnic and religious balance, but you did the same thing happened under your government. You also believe like some Nigerians that only equitable distribution of public offices and positions, will guarantee Unity and imbue a sense of belonging in all, it is not true. Yes, it a good thing to do, but it does not promote Unity, and it will not guarantee unity. For a moment, let us assumed you managed our diversity well, and that you distributed equitably the opportunities available to you, why was Nigeria not United under you? Why do you keep talking about equity only with respect to the FG? Where is equity in the states, including Ogun where you are an influential and consequential figure sir? I’m not against fair and equitable distribution of opportunities, but it is no promoter of unity. It will only provide jobs and access to the few, and in most cases, not on merit, but on connection.
Islamization and Fulanization. With fairness to you sir, the fear of Islamization has always been with some parts of the Nigeria. You played an active part in creating it. You and your party weaponized it against President Buhari. You said he is an Islamic fundamentalist seeking power to Islamize Nigeria. Many Nigerians believed you, and still believe you, even after 4 years of the man in power. Recently in Delta state, during the Anglican Synod, you upped the ante by declaring that the president had an agenda to Islamize and fulanize Nigeria. The of event, time, and audience, was telling. You tapped into the dangerous mood of the nation arising from the activities of herdsmen to ratchet up the tensions in the land, by telling Christians that Muslims and Fulani were coming after them and their lands and religion. You have created a dangerous and combustible Fulaniphobia in the country. It rings true to your reputation as a master schemer who can execute good and evil with equal efficiency.
Because of your actions sir, today, every criminal activity in Nigeria, is attributed to the Fulani. And I’m not saying that Fulani are not involved in criminal activities, they are in so many areas and cases, but it is not true that they are the only criminals in Nigeria. You singled them out to demonize President Buhari, who is also Fulani by tribe. Before Buhari became president, the Fulani were involved in different crimes and problems in all parts of Nigeria. After Buhari, the problems will continue if we don’t find solutions to them. Under your government, we had Fulani crisis. Same for Yar’Adua and Jonathan. Jonathan was at some point the grand patron of Miyetti Allah. Did he fulanize Nigeria? As a leader in this country, much more is expected from you. Stop encouraging centrifugal tendencies in Nigeria. It is funny that you are suddenly against the Fulani now. You campaigned so hard for another Fulani, Atiku to be president. The same Atiku, you accused of committing the most horrible acts of corruption against Nigeria; the man you said God will not forgive you if you support him to be president knowing what you know about him. He is still a Fulani sir.
Finally, I want to thank you for taking the time to read my long letter. I hope and pray that you find some of my thoughts useful! Nigerians are looking up to you to join other leaders in preferring solutions to the problems of the country. They are asking you to look at Gen. Yakubu Gowan, and make him your role model. My sincere respect and regards to you sir.
God bless Nigeria.
Femi Falana, Nigerian lawyer and human rights activist has sounded a note of warning to the Buhari government on the implications of detaining Shiite leader, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, along with his wife, despite court orders for his release.
The legal luminary said the nation risks another insurgency, should El Zakzaky die in detention, just like it happened with Boko Haram after the leader, Mohammed Yusuf was killed by Nigerian policemen, while in detention in Maiduguri in 2009.
“El-Zakzaky must not be allowed to die due to medical neglect as it may provoke a crisis of monumental proportions. Therefore, the federal government should implement the unanimous resolution of the House of Representatives for the release of El-Zakzaky and his wife without any further delay”, Falana warned in a lengthy statement on Tuesday.
He warned the Federal Government of Nigeria against its violent approach to handling members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria who are protesting the detention of their leader, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, despite numerous court orders for his release.
Falana expressed concerns over the method the Federal Government had adopted in a statement on Tuesday. The legal luminary said the continuous detention of El-Zakzaky and killing of peaceful Shiite protesters by security forces could lead the country into another bloody war that it could not afford.
“This nation cannot afford another war of insurgency which is being provoked by the contemptuous conduct of the Federal Government in the handling of the case of the El-Zakzakys,” Falana said.
Speaking on the arrest and detention of El-Zakzaky and his wife Malama Zeinab on December 12, 2015, Falana said over 1,000 Shiites were reportedly massacred by soldiers on the orders of the Nigerian Army high command and given mass burial in an unmarked grave in Mango village, Kaduna State over allegations of attempt to assassinate Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai.
“Even though the leader of the Shiites, Sheik Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, was not at the scene of the attack, his residence was invaded by the rampaging troops two days later. The troops set the house ablaze, shot at El-Zakzaky and his wife, Malama Zeinab El-Zakzaky and killed three of their sons in cold blood in their presence. As if such barbaric assault was not enough, the army arrested and held El-Zakzaky and his wife in custody before handing them over to the Department of State Services. At that stage, the houses of El-Zakzaky and other leaders in Zaria were demolished by the Kaduna state government on the orders of Governor Nasir El-Rufai.
“After the massacre of the Shiites and the demolition of the houses of their leaders, the Kaduna state government instituted a judicial commission of inquiry to probe the violent attack.
“The detained El-Zakzaky was prevented from responding to the allegations made against him and his group at the inquiry. But the judicial commission found that there was no plan by the Shiites to assassinate General Buratai. It was also revealed at the panel that the 347 Shiites were massacred by the army in violations of the Army Rules of Engagement and the Geneva Conventions.
“Apart from condemning the brutal massacre of the Shiites, the judicial commission recommended that the culprits be prosecuted.
“Instead of implementing the recommendation by prosecuting the well-known murderers the Kaduna state government turned round to charge over 300 Shiites with the culpable homicide of a soldier who was killed by his colleagues during the attack. But the defence team convinced the Kaduna state high court to free the Shiites as they were not involved in the commission of the offence.
“Accordingly, the charge was dismissed for want of evidence while the trial court proceeded to discharge and acquit all the defendants. Meanwhile, the suit challenging the illegal detention of El-Zakzaky and his wife was decided in their favour by the federal high court on December 2, 2016.
“The presiding judge, Kolawole J. (as he then was) directed the Federal Government to release the couple from unlawful custody, pay them N50 million reparation and provide them with a temporary house since the army had burnt down their residence. But the Buhari regime has characteristically treated the court orders with arrogant contempt.
Curiously, the Court of Appeal has refused to hear the application to commit the Director-General of the State Security Service for contempt of court! Upon our legal advice, the Shiites approached three separate high courts to challenge the violation of their right to assemble and protect peacefully.”
He added that despite the orderly nature in which the Shiites had conducted themselves, the Federal Government, through the army, was operating with impunity to disrupt the group’s peaceful protests.
“The Shiites won the cases against the Federal Government as the courts upheld their fundamental rights to freedom of expression, association, and assembly. But out of sheer impunity, the army has killed about 50 Shiites at Abuja for protesting against the continued detention of El-Zakzaky and his wife.
“As the federal government could no longer justify the illegal detention of El-Zakzaky and his wife it directed the Kaduna state government to file a charge against them. Hence, they have been charged with culpable homicide at the Kaduna state high court for the death of the same soldiers.
“Pending the trial, the team of local and international physicians who examined El-Zakzaky and his wife on the orders of the trial court confirmed that their health has deteriorated and recommended that they are allowed to travel abroad for urgent medical treatment. In particular, El-Zakzaky has lost an eye while he is the process of losing the other one.
“The wife can no longer walk as a result of the gun wounds inflicted on her during the military attack of December 2015. Without adducing any reason whatsoever the federal government has ignored the recommendation of the physicians.
“The Shiites are currently protesting the refusal of the Buhari regime to release El-Zakzaky and his wife from custody to enable them to travel abroad to receive urgent medical treatment at their own expense.
“El-Zakzaky must not be allowed to die due to medical neglect as it may provoke a crisis of monumental proportions. Therefore, the federal government should implement the unanimous resolution of the House of Representatives for the release of El-Zakzaky and his wife without any further delay.
“Finally, it would be recalled that the Boko Haram sect declared war on the people of Nigeria in 2009 following the cold murder of its leader, Mohammed Yusuf by the Police. Since then the nation has known no peace. This nation cannot afford another war of insurgency which is being provoked by the contemptuous conduct of the federal government in the handling of the case of the El-Zakzaky.”
Members of the private sector under the aegis of the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) says N6 trillion revenue has been lost to the Apapa gridlock.
Speaking at its recently held 62nd annual general meeting, Mauricio Alarcon, NECA’s second vice president, said there is an urgent need for policy reform so that businesses can operate optimally.
Alarcon said the operational hiccups still exists at the port despite a presidential executive order to promote the efficiency of operations.
“Survey by the OPS shows that Nigeria lost about N3.06 trillion on non-oil export and about N2.5 trillion earnings annually across the different sectors due to the Apapa gridlock,” he said.
“There is the need to fast-track infrastructural development at the Lagos port, diversification programme, market-driven foreign exchange management, sustain and a significant reduction in the cost of governance.
“The government should also fast-track the passage of Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, market-driven electricity supply and billing system.”
For the economy to recover, Alarcon said the government must urgently tackle the insecurity that has already increased unemployment and poverty in the country.
“Unemployment surged from 9% in 2015 to 23.1% in third quarter of 2018, while inflation remains high in spite of tight monetary policy conditions,” he said.
“There is also a spread of poverty. The economy needs to recover.”
He also called for friendly regulatory regime businesses rather than crippling them and enforcement of harmonised taxes and levies by the Joint Tax Board.
Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka on Tuesday denounced the story published by The Nation on his birthday over his comments on the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Soyinka said he never uttered words attributed to him by the newspaper, which sought to cite the plague of violence by nomadic herdsmen for the “erosion of Buhari’s achievements.”
The newspaper had reported that Soyinka lamented the growing challenges posed to the security of Nigerians by herdsmen, saying President Muhammadu Buhari’s failure to resolve them has eroded his administration’s achievements.
Read Wole Soyinka’s full rejoinder below:
Re: Misrepresentation of Statement by The Nation’s Reporter
I denounce, in very strong terms, the report in THE NATION of July 15, 2019, regarding my exchange with school pupils who visited me in Abeokuta, on Sunday, July 14, as part of the organized events on my 85th Birthday. I am appalled that such a twisted and unprofessional account could be disseminated by a paper that has earned itself a high level of public regard, not only for its reporting, but for the galaxy of perceptive contributors on national affairs and other issues of public interest. It is a gross disservice to truth and conscience, and the pursuit of the journalistic profession as a whole.
At no time did I utter the words attributed to me by that paper, which sought to cite the plague of violence by nomadic herdsmen for the “erosion of Buhari’s achievements”. Indeed, at no time in that exchange did the “achievements” of Nigeria’s current government – real or fictitious –come under consideration. The headlining is especially gratuitous, fictitious, and dishonest.
For the avoidance of doubt, a school pupil had requested my assessment of ALL past Nigerian governments. In order to enable these pupils develop as objective, all-round critics, constantly aware of the context in which opinions should be formed, I began by warning them that governance is a difficult undertaking. I went on to add that governing a complex nation space known as Nigeria is especially challenging. The NATION’s report has mischievously detached, then reattached that comment elsewhere in order to introduce achievements of his or her own conceiving. For good measure, comments on rampaging herdsmen were similarly displaced and relocated to provide Buhari’s government alibi for failures. This is crude, mind-boggling, propaganda, unworthy of any but suborned professionals.
Such outrageous ploy is no different from the conduct of social media commentators – especially at election time –who, lacking the courage to propagate their personal opinions, impudently steal the identities of others – mine being a favorite — including pasted photographs, in order to participate in public discourse. It is sad to see this unprincipled conduct being adopted by the print media.
For a reasonably accurate rendition of what was said at that encounter, I recommend the report in The PUNCH of the same event.