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NJC Advises Buhari To Confirm Tanko Muhammad As Substantive CJN

Buhari, Onnoghen, Tanko

by Ojike Ebere

***President weighs options on Onnoghen

WITH the recommendation of the National Judicial Council (NJC), the coast seems clear for Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad to mount the saddle as CJN.

President Muhammadu Buhari is likely to accept the NJC’s recommendation that Justice Muhammad should be CJN, The Nation learnt yesterday.

But Buhari is said to be weighing whether or not to accept the NJC’s recommendations on the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria ( CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen.

Buhari, who had a meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on the issue before flying out to Jordan yesterday, is also said to be seeking legal opinions on the NJC’s decisions.

The NJC absolved Justice Muhammad of any blame in deferring to the President to be sworn in as the Acting CJN.

He accepted the appointment, having been presented with an ex parte order of the CCT, which led to Justice Onnoghen’s suspension.

The Nation learnt that after receiving the NJC’s recommendations, the President elected to seek legal advice on them.

A top government official, who pleaded not to be named because he was not permitted to talk on the matter, said the President was considering:

  1. whether or not NJC’s conclusions on findings on Onnoghen did not amount to indictment;
  2. if he should accept NJC’s soft-landing decision to retire Justice Onnoghen with full benefits;

  3. Onnoghen’s retirement without benefits; and

  4. whether the law should run its full course, including the conclusion of Onnoghen’s trial by the Code of Conduct Tribunal and a fresh trial by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Buhari is also believed to be thinking of asking NJC to recommend deterrence for Onnoghen or seeking further consultations with the council.

The President is also said to be planning to seek advice on whether the input of the Senate necessary in retiring Onnoghen?

The source said: “Since he received the NJC’s recommendations, the President has been thinking of how to manage the situation without rubbishing the anti-corruption agenda of his administration. He has the right to accept or reject the council’s recommendations on Onnoghen.

“The President is already seeking legal opinion on legal issues surrounding the NJC’s decisions. He does not want to set a bad precedent in tackling this Onnoghengate”.

The source confirmed that the President met with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo. He believed Onnoghen’s case and other matters were discussed.

Responding to a question, the source said: “What NJC decided was a kind of soft-landing for Onnoghen with moral and legal implications.

“Apart from stepping down, there are concerns about what Onnoghen is really offering as deterrent. Some are saying why can’t the law run its full course?

“Others are pressurising the government to take advantage of the window created by the NJC to rebuild the ties between the Executive and the Judiciary as a result of Onnoghen’s travails.”

It was unclear whether or not the President would need the consent of the Senate to retire Onnoghen.

“This is part of the legal opinion being sought by the President,” a presidency source said, pleading not to be named.

Section 231 of the 1999 Constitution says: “(1)The appointment of a person to the office of Chef Justice of Nigeria shall be made by the President on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council subject to confirmation of such appointment by the Senate.

“(2) The appointment of a person to the office of a Justice of the Supreme Court shall be made by the President on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council subject to confirmation of such appointment by the Senate.

“(3) A person shall not be qualified to hold the office of Chief Justice of Nigeria or of a Justice of the Supreme Court, unless he is qualified to practise as a legal practitioner in Nigeria and has been so qualified for a period of not less than fifteen years.

“(4) If the office of Chief Justice of Nigeria is vacant or if the person holding the office is for any reason unable to perform the functions of the office,’ then until a person has been appointed to and has assumed the functions of that office, or until the person holding the office has resumed those functions, the President shall point the most senior Justice of the Supreme Court to perform those functions.

“(5) Except on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council, appointment, pursuant to the provisions of subsection (4) of section shall cease to have effect after the expiration of three months from the date of such appointment, and the President shall not reappoint a person whose appointment has lapsed.”

Part 1 of the Third Schedule to 1999 Constitution says: “The National Judicial Council shall have power to:

(b) recommend to the President the removal from office of the judicial officers specified in sub-paragraph (a) of this paragraph, and to exercise disciplinary control over such office’s;

(c) recommend to the Governors from among the list of persons submitted to it by the State Judicial Service Commissions persons for appointments to the offices of the Chief Judges of the States and Judges of the High courts of the states, the Grand Kadis and Kadis of the sharia Courts of Appeal of the States and Presidents and Judges of the Customary Courts of Appeal of the States;

(d) recommend to the governors the removal from office of the judicial officers specified in sub-paragraph (c) of this paragraph, and to exercise disciplinary control over such officers;

(e) collect, control and disburse all moneys, capital and recurrent, for the judiciary;

(f) advise the President and governors or any matter pertaining to the judiciary as may be referred to the Council by the President or the covernors;

(g) appoint, dismiss and exercise disciplinary control over member and staff of the Council;

(h) control and disburse all monies, capital and recurrent. for the services of the Council; and

(i) deal with all other matters relating to broad issues of policy and administration.

Meanwhile, the NJC has recommended the confirmation of Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad as the substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria.

Another source said: “The council actually did not find him culpable of infractions. He actually did not even want to be inaugurated as the Acting CJN until there was evidence of an ex-parte order from the CCT on Justice Onnoghen’s suspension.

“As the next in-command, the NJC said he should take over from the CJN.”

When contacted, a source in NJC said: “In line with Section 26 of the Judicial Discipline Regulations of 2017, the council has reached out to all those affected by its decisions.

Section 26 says: “The decision taken in regulation 25 of these Regulations shall be notified to the following persons: (a)The subject of the decision; (b)The Complainant and (c) The relevant Head of Court

“Upon a request made to the Council, the decision may be notified to any other person. The grant or refusal of such request is in the absolute discretion of the Council.”. (The Nation)

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Buhari Runs A Government With No Direction, Says Financial Times London |RN

Buhari-on-microphone

President Muhammadu Buhari

Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja

 

The Financial Times of London says President Muhammadu Buhari has been running a government that lacks a clear direction in the last four years.

The respected newspaper therefore called on the President to see his re-election as an opportunity to do the right thing.

The Financial Times said this in its editorial which has been read and shared thousands of times around the world.

It said there was no clear economic policy like that of Rwanda and Ethiopia.

It read in part, “With his renewed mandate, it is now Mr Buhari’s task to rebuild faith by running a dynamic and successful administration and by building the institutions that can lay firmer foundations than in his previous term.

“The omens from his first four years in office are not good. During that time, the former military leader ran a lacklustre administration with no obvious sense of direction. There was no coherent economic strategy of the sort being attempted by the likes of Ethiopia, Rwanda or west African neighbours Ghana and Senegal to produce the rapid growth needed to haul tens of millions of people out of poverty. It is an indictment of its leadership — both military and democratic — that the continent’s biggest oil producer should have more people living in absolute poverty than any other country in the world.”

FT advised the President to appoint more technocrats in his second term who can help turn things around.

The newspaper said the anti-corruption war must be more holistic and less selective.

FT added, “Mr Buhari’s priority this time must be to set out a coherent agenda, implemented by technocrats rather than ideologues, to turn things around. Nigeria desperately needs to create a level playing field for business in which access to foreign currency, permits, and other requirements is both predictable and rational.

“His much-vaunted crackdown on corruption must go beyond taking action against a few minor officials. Some big scalps would help. More important still is to implement systematic changes — whether by reforming institutions, using technology or by removing arbitrage opportunities — to create a more transparent environment. People should prosper in Nigeria based on what they know and how much value and employment they can create, not by their connections.”    (Punch)

 

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Supreme Court Affirms Interim Forfeiture Of Patience Jonathan’s $8.4m |RN

 

The Supreme Court, on Friday, dismissed the appeal filed by the wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Mrs. Patience Jonathan regarding the forfeited sum of $8.4m.

The apex court upheld the decisions of the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal and affirmed an order of interim forfeiture made by the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court

The decision was contained in a unanimous judgment reached by the five-man bench of the apex court led by Justice Dattijo Muhammad.

Other members of the panel include Justices Muhammad, John Okoro, Eko, and Sidi Bage.

The court also rejected Jonathan’s prayer to strike down the provisions of section 17 of the Advanced Fee Fraud Act and other Fraud related offences Act, which was relied on by the Federal High Court to issue the order of interim forfeiture.

Ruling, Justice Kumai Aka’ahs, in the lead judgment of the apex court, read by Justice Ejembi Eko, said:

“I do not find any reason to interfere with the decision of the lower court”.

“Appellant is to go back to the trial court (the Federal High Court) to show cause why the interim order should not be made permanent,” he added.

The EFCC had last year approached the Federal High Court in Lagos with an ex parte application seeking the forfeiture of the sum of $8,435,788.84 and other various sums in various bank accounts linked to the wife of the former President.  (ElombahNews)

 

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BREAKING: NBA President Usoro Re-arraigned, As Court Issues Arrest Warrant On Four Others

Paul-Usoro-NBA-President1
                                NBA president, Paul Usoro

President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Paul Usoro, on Friday appeared before Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the Federal High Court, Lagos, to answer to the 10 counts preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

He pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

Meanwhile, the court has issued a bench warrant for the arrest and production in court of four others named in the body of the charge, who are said to be at large.

They are: Uwemedimo Nwoko, Margaret Ukpe, Linus Nsikn and Mfot Udomah.

(NAN)

Details coming…….

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BREAKING: N5bn Loot In DSS By Buhari’s Relatives Bursted, Whistblower Goes Public |RN

DSS-Corruption5

By Ike A. Offor,  Editor

This is a grand scale corruption that has been busted in the DSS, the Department of State Secret Service.  The five-men gang, also known as the Aso Rock cabal are involved in the looting of N5bn, which was initially slated to be double the amount until the unfortunate sacking of DSS Chief, Lawan Daura by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

The name of the whistleblower is Mr Jackson Ude, who is not in Nigeria and now wanted by the DSS to secretly come into the country to investigate the DSS treasury without going public to avoid them being exposed in this critical time of the election.

 

According to Mr Ude, the DSS want him to fly into Nigeria any day or anytime and he would be given unfettered access to the DSS account department to scrutinise their finances .

The four family members of President Buhari who are involved in this grand case of corruption are the ex-Chief of DSS, Mr Lawan Daura,  Babagana Kingibe, Abba Kyari and Isa Funtua and Mamma Daura.

 

According to Mr Jackson Ude, these five men have also vowed to make sure that Buhari is returned back to power in this next Saturday election. This obviously is to help them be in charge and permit them more time and years to loot more.

They do not want the whistleblower to go public citing obvious national security but Mr Ude has refused bluntly and wants to drop the ball on them.

According to Mr Ude, he has been called thrice in a day by the DSS and he said that they are panicking because they know that he has detailed information about the scandal in the agency and they obviously do not want him to go public with his facts.

At some point the DSS via the Director of Operations want to know who is paying him to expose them. The DSS claimed that he is jeopardising the national security and heating up the polity especially now during the elections.

Few months before the former DSS Chief was sacked by the Acting President, he had prepared the budget for the DSS and he created a special package for the operation of the secret police for the 2019 general elections.  Perhaps, a ploy to embezzle this said amount using a false secret police operation unit.

 

Lawan Daura requested  for N10 billion to be spent by the DSS for the elections. Initally, Mr Lawan wanted N7bn but Alhaji Babagana Kingibe, Isa Funtua asked him to inflate it to N10bn. He did inflate it to amount they requested and the N10bn budget was approved.

Not long after the budget was approved, Mr Lawan and DSS incident of invasion of the Senate caused the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo to axe him.  This created a problem for the five-men gang, who now have a problem on how to extricate their loot from the accounts of the agency.

 

 

The sacking of Mr Lawan by Yemi Osinbajo got the cabal very angry because this has made it difficult for them to remove their loot from the DSS budget as previously planned.  Also, if someone else who is not the original clique to the plan takes over the leader of the DSS, it will be impossible for them to take the money out.

When the Bayelsa-born Matthew Sayeifa was appointed, the cabal never wanted him to last in that position because they had their eyes on the N10bn loot. So, they did everything to get him sacked as soon a Buhari, who was on medical vacation in London returned back to Aso Rock.

Few weeks back, Mr Lawan Daura launched a plan and made a move to get a cut from the N10bn and he made the request to the current DSS DG Bichi and was rebuffed. He then went to the trio Abba Kyari, Babagana Kingibe, Isa Funtua who then summoned Bichi and demanded for the loot.

DSS Boss, Bichi still put up a resistance but Babagana Kingibe, Isa Funtua and Lawan Daura and exerted more pressure on him. Helpless Bichi finally agreed to offer them N2bn. The trio refused bluntly rather asked for N5bn. Mr Bichi caved in and directed the release of N5 billion to the cabal. They smiled away with N5bn meant for the election budget for the DSS.

DSS-Corruption4

 

Abba Kyari, Babagana Kingibe, Isa Funtua and Lawan Daura have all shared the N5 billion leaving the entire DSS with only N5 billion for election operations.

The current DSS boss, Mr Bichi is threatening to resign due to this scandal. The rank and file of the agency are all grumbling .

The top officers are doing their best to suppress the story to avoid destroying the morale of the DSS officers.

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Buhari: Fighting Corruption In Nigeria Is Difficult |The Republican News

NAN

 

President Muhammadu Buhari said in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday that in spite of the difficulty his administration was facing in the fight against corruption, it would not be discouraged.

“We are fighting corruption but it has not been easy. “But we told the security agencies to keep tab on those on our watch list and ensure that no stone is left unturned to ensuring that those who have cases to answer do not escape justice,’’ Buhari said as he campaigned for re-election.

The president who was with the Vice-President,  Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and other senior party members, told the mammoth crowd at the 15,000 capacity Ekiti Pavilion that he would not be discouraged to rid the country of graft as he promised in 2015.

He said that in addition to the fight against corruption, his administration had made efforts in the last three and a half years  to revamp the economy and rebuild social infrastructure, such as roads, rail services and power generation.

Buhari said he was conscious of the promises he made four years ago, particularly the ones that had to do
with corruption, insecurity and economic diversification.

“As part of our promises, we are building roads, rail lines ,fighting corruption . We introduced Treasury Single Account and increased  power  supply, so Nigerians can have their own businesses.

“I want to be grateful to Ekiti voters because the two times I came here, I achieved successes . I came here in 2014 and I also came here to campaign for Fayemi, he won the governorship election, so I thank you”, he said.

The president said the efforts in infrastructure repair had started yielding positive results and urged the people to vote for All Progressives Congress(APC) to fully deliver on its promises.

Other party leaders at the rally were  governors Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti), Gboyega Oyetola, (Osun), Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo State), Rotimi Akeredolu, (Ondo State) and Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun).

Also at the rally were a former Interim National  Chairman of APC, Chief Bisi Akande, the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola  Tinubu, Afenifere Leader, Ayo Fasanmi and Chief Olusola Oke, a party chieftain.

At the rally, a former deputy governor of Ekiti, Chief Abiodun Aluko, formally defected to APC and so did some members of Ekiti State House of Assembly, who moved from Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The lawmakers  who were led by the Speaker, Mr Ebenezer Alagbada, are Mrs Cecelia Dada representing Ilejemeje Constituency and Mr Olanrewaju Olayanju from Emure Constituency.

In his address, Osinbajo said it was sad that Nigeria earned 383 billion dollars  from crude oil sales between 2010 and 2014 under the leadership of Dr Goodluck Jonathan but failed to use it wisely.

“That was when we had the highest (earning) but nothing was done with it.

“If that money had been utilised judiciously, all the roads, rail lines and employment we are creating would have long been in place for Nigerians.

” Buhari built three refineries as Minister of Petroleum under military era. No government has ever added one, not even during the 16 years of PDP.

“Don’t let them deceive you, vote for a president you can trust, that is President Buhari,” Osinbajo advised.

He said that youth employment was paramount to Buhari’s government and that was the reason the administration brought about N-power scheme to empower young graduates.

The National Chairman of APC, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, said it would be a big mistake if Nigerians elected the PDP presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, in the Feb. 16 poll.

Oshiomhole said Atiku owed Nigerians explanation over the alleged stealing of millions of dollars belonging to
Petroleum Trust  Development Fund which he supervised during the regime of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

Fasanmi and Akande described the Reuben Fasoranti-led faction of Afenifere  which  endorsed Atiku, as political jobbers, who should not be taken serious.

Fayemi promised the president that he would win in Ekiti and other South-West states in the coming election and urged residents to vote massively for him.
.
“The Buhari-led government  is planning to expand Ado-Akure road, complete the federal housing units, the federal secretariat and also extend  the Lagos-Kano rail line to our dear state

” We therefore have no option than to return President Buhari, because Ekiti people are progressives,” he said.  (The Sun)

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Again, Obasanjo Slams Buhari, Says He’s Not A Saint |The Republican News

FormerPresident Olusegun Obasanjo has again taken President Muhammadu Buhari to the cleaners, rating him far below the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, in competence.

Obasanjo who made the declaration yesterday at the Lagos Island Club Quarterly Business lecture, said unlike Buhari who paraded himself as a saint while being contrived in corrupt practices, Atiku never lied about his personality.

He said he never retracted his words on Atiku but that the former vice president “has done three things which are absolutely imperative for a leader to be followed and believed.

“First, know who you are and present yourself as you are – a human being in blood and flesh and susceptible to human mistakes and human frailties.

“Don’t cover up with sanctimonious veneer of bogus integrity, incorruptibility, uprightness, goodness and false figures and statistics, all of which are contrived to deceive, to cheat, to plunder and to destroy.

“Atiku never claimed to be a saint and I never described him as such. I will never so describe any human being alive let alone calling him a Messiah.

“On an occasion in the past when I said that someone was not a Messiah, some Nigerians out of bad ‘belle’ were up in arms.

“For me, as a Christian, the only Messiah I know and have is Jesus Christ and even then, the man aspect of Him was imperfect while the divine aspect of Him was perfectly messianic.

“Secondly, a leader must be honest to himself and to the people he serves or he wants to serve. He must identify and acknowledge his situation, mistakes, shortcomings and inadequacy; show remorse where and when he has erred, seek forgiveness and repent; and not passing the bulk or keep blaming others and fail to accept responsibility.

“Atiku accepts responsibility for his mistakes, shows remorse and seeks forgiveness from his political party and subsequently from Nigerians.

“He asks for forgiveness from me and as a believer, a Christian as such, I forgave him in accordance with the teaching and instruction of my Saviour, ‘For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins’ (Matt 6:14-15 NIV).

“If anybody blames me for forgiving Atiku, I leave such a person with God Almighty, especially as both Christian and Islamic clerics joined Atiku to visit me to seek forgiveness.

“Anybody who does not forgive when forgiveness is sought with contrite heart cannot be a true believer and should not expect the forgiveness of God.

“Thirdly, as a leader, you must understand the fundamentals of the problems you have to solve and be courageous, visionary and ready to reach out sufficiently to build a credible team of experts, knowledgeable men and women, concerned and interested citizens and non-citizens to work hard and tirelessly for solutions that will benefit all Nigerians and indeed Africans and humanity.

“He must have ability to build a credible team, lead them, listen to them and give them enough leeway to achieve and make meaningful contribution without abdicating his responsibility. He must be accessible to them. From my personal knowledge of Atiku, he has these qualities.

“I must reiterate that Atiku is not a saint and who is? But from what I know of Atiku, he will be a performer in all respects. I can say that again from my personal experience. He knows the problems and he handled some of them or similar and in the past.

“We now know that both Buhari and Atiku have issues and all of us as human beings have one issue or the other in different magnitude.

“But judging both of them empirically and for the task at hand, Atiku will perform much better than Buhari and he will seek for good and able people around the country and beyond and make use of them to achieve his mission and vision for the general good of Nigerians and the country.

“He will be a team leader but will not allow the seizure of his mandate by a cabal. A system to prevent impunity and ‘I can do what I like’ attitude and action must be put in place for all concerned.

“One of the most ridiculous claims I have heard on these issues is that I did not give Atiku chance to preside over the Federal Executive Council because I did not trust him.

“That was not correct because he had occasions to preside on a few times that I was out of the country on duty. On those occasions, he was in charge of the Federal Executive Council meetings.

“No Nigerian Chief Executive has devolved to his deputy as much as I did to Atiku. I did not need to designate him Acting President because the Constitution is clear, once the President is not available, the Vice-President automatically acts with full powers and he consults where and if he considers it necessary.

“But since I was not absent from home for 104 days at a time, people may not know that Atiku actually stood in for me whenever I was out.”

Obasanjo, however, said Atiku could not do it alone, he urged that everyone should ensure he is voted as president.

He told Atiku that if voted as next president by majority of Nigerians, he should be the leader of all and not act like the incumbent “who is serving the interest of sectional groups.”

However, the Buhari Diaspora Support Organisation (BDSO), descended on Obasanjo over his continuous verbal attack on Buhari.

Its coordinator, Charles Sylvester, told newsmen in Owerri, Imo State, yesterday that the former president’s “public excoriation showed that he lacked the qualities befitting the status of a former president, such as self respect, decorum, discipline and restraint.”   (The Sun)

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Buhari, Mbaka In Closed Doors Meeting |The Republican News

Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari and the Spiritual Director of the Adoration Ministry, Enugu, Reverend Father Ejike Mbaka are in a closed doors meeting at the State House Villa, Abuja.

Mbaka arrived the forecourt of the president’s office at about 12 noon and went straight to the president’s office.

The cleric, who predicted Buhari’s victory in 2015 recently chastised the Peoples Democratic Party’s vice presidential candidate, Peter Obi, for not donating money to his congregation.   (The Sun)

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2019: A Clarion Call For Change |The Republican News

Chris Nwokeji

With less than two months to go, Nigerians are still pondering which presidential candidate to vote for in the general election of 2019. It will be definitely fun to watch the winner of the election. In the build up of 2015 presidential election, many Nigerians were meant to believe that corruption increased by unimaginable proportions, leading to hardship, hunger, frustration and withdrawal. In fact, one of the strong points the opposition had against the government of Goodluck Jonathan was his seeming inability to curb insurgency. Criticisms were rife. The government was given many ill-labelling that actually smacked of giving a dog a bad name in order to hang it.  The common unfortunate label was ‘clueless.’

Three years after Jonathan, insurgency and daily killing of innocent people seem to have increased throughout Nigeria. Today, some Nigerians are not current in what happens in other parts of the country and the rest of the world due to lack of or inadequate supply of electricity to power their televisions and other modern media devices to access news and current affairs and importantly, information disseminated in the social media.

The power of television is not really in persuading viewers to take one side of an issue or another but is used for decision making; deciding what issues would be given attention and those to be ignored.

Newspapers are the major source of information for the vast majority of Nigerians. Over two-thirds of Nigerians report that they receive all or most of their news from the newspaper. Prior to the invention of television, Newspapers had always reported news, politics, business, entertainment and sports just as they do today. Additionally, the masses of Nigeria always read the news sections of their daily paper and topical issues in the editorial columns.

In Nigeria, the importance of television in transmitting information is a relatively new occurrence. As a result, households with television were reported at 40 percent in 2010, according to the World Bank development indicator. At the end of 2017, 22 percent of Nigerians had television in their homes, thus, showing a decrease in the number of households with television. In most developed countries, television is really the first form of mass communication that reaches nearly everyone such as youths and children.

More importantly, television presents to adults, youths and children visual images rather than printed words. It is quite unlike Nigeria where Newspapers are major source of information due to lack of adequate supply of electricity.

Electricity plays an important part in our everyday lives, at home, school, business or job and our daily activities rely heavily on the use of electricity. It is used at homes and businesses to run electronic components and appliances such as lighting, television, fan, refrigerator laptop, radio, air conditioner, microwave oven and others. In industry, electricity is used to operate huge machines that make foods, cups, clothes, paper, toiletries and many other things. According to World Bank, 90 million Nigerians have no access to electricity. Truth is, Nigeria is blessed with large oil, gas, hydro and solar resources with the potential to generate 12,522 megawatts(MW) of electricity power from existing plants but most days is only able to generate between 4,000- 5,000 megawatts which is grossly insufficient. In short, our leaders are cruel and inhuman because they know that without electricity, Nigeria can never develop and the masses would continue to be separated from the rest of the world.

Since the beginning of this government, many Nigerians are confused at the appropriateness of the anti-corruption war, believing that corruption has increased by unbelievable proportions, leading to hardship, hunger, frustration and withdrawal, practically losing faith in the administration. It is true that the maintenance of law and order is a prime function of the government and is essential to development. The sole aim of government is to provide its people happiness, stability and security. In addition, government is about increasing human and material resources for economic growth and to improve political development and provide support for cultural expression.

Perhaps not to be left out are those policies and programs designed to deal more directly with the people such as access to reasonable prices of food supplies, clean water, affordable healthcare, education, housing, electricity, road, infrastructure, and allowances for the unemployed, the aged, the disable, the blind and the deaf. Again, at no time in the history of Nigeria have the prices of staple foods gone up by 400 percent. For example, in May of 2015, the price for a bag of 50Kg rice was between #6,000 and #7,500. Now the same brands sell at between #18,500 and #20,000 for each. At no time in Nigeria has the price of petrol gone up by nearly 700 percent. At no time in Nigeria has the price of electricity from national grid and the resultant blackouts quadrupled. At no time in Nigeria has Naira been so weakened without any conscious effort by the Central Bank to rectify the currency.

The government seems to have over blown its anti-corruption war and people are beginning to see it as a way to persuade or influence people rather than arresting those that have emptied the nation’s treasury. Furthermore, the President continues to arrest members of other political parties and some organized groups that are opposed primarily ideologically to the government while much more are stolen under his watch. In addition, regardless of one’s ideology, ethnicity, language or background, now is the time for those in positions of leadership in Nigeria to speak out concerning a broken political system. This administration has widespread examples of corruption, ineptitude, ineffectiveness, cluelessness, unproductivity and a disorganized and unschooled group of people flaunting as leaders.

As politicians and leaders of this great nation, we must encourage each other to voice our concerns whenever Nigeria is going in the wrong direction. Perhaps, Nigerians need to understand the importance of upholding the constitution of Nigeria. Moreover, a constitution is a plan for running the government. For example, the freedom of speech, press and politics are some of those rights. It guarantees the voting rights of men and women and also protects citizens’ rights in every aspect.

All things considered, l think it’s the wrong time for us to start blaming or criticizing the former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan. Noteworthy here is that Atiku Abubakar was the vice-president of Nigeria under president Olusegun Obasanjo while Peter Obi a former Governor of Anambra State, representing the People’s Democratic Party and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (which shares ideological principles  and cooperation with the PDP) respectively. On this basis, one may conclude that Nigerian economy grew rapidly and achieved higher on many other macroeconomic metrics when the president of Nigeria was of PDP than now it is of the APC. For instance, the previous administrations tried reducing poverty by creating jobs monthly, but instead, the present government refuses to create jobs for our teeming youths across the country. Nigerians are yet to see any substantial foreign investment attracted by this administration for the interest of our citizens. Nonetheless, our government is doing all it can to prevent creating jobs in Nigeria. The corporate tax rate of 30 percent for business is too high. Proponents of tax reform argue that lower tax rates will boost business profits, therefore, creating more jobs for our teeming youths and citizens.

  Consequently, the youths should understand that it is time for a clarion call for what kind of economic policies are in place for creating jobs for  them. This is no time to point fingers at one another to rationalise considering a President and members of his party who refused to listen to the masses of Nigeria. With less than two months to go, the politicians will always make you believe that you have freedom of choice while you don’t. The APC government are owners.

Prof. Nwokeji writes from the US

(The Sun)

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Abuja Town Hall Meeting Outing Exposes Buhari |The Republican News

Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Organisation (PPCO), has said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s comments at the Presidential Town Hall meeting, Abuja, on Wednesday, exposed his alleged proclivities for corruption, as well as his insensitivity to the plight of ordinary Nigerians, especially those in the North.

A statement by its Director of Media and Publicity, Kola Ologbondiyan, said: “Particularly revealing was Buhari’s contention on whether Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, could not have used another person to get the money; a comment, which ostensibly exposes how corruption is being covered in the Buhari Presidency.

“Nigerians can now see that the Buhari Presidency is a sanctuary of corruption, where officials thrive in using faceless individuals as fronts to fritter trillions of naira and cover their trails, while Nigerians wallow in hunger, acute starvation and untold hardship.

“Perhaps, this offers an insight into why there has been no investigation into alleged involvement of some individuals said to be close to the Buhari Presidency in the N1.032 trillion alleged corrupt acquisitions in 9Mobile and Keystone Bank PLC.

“This is in addition to the muting of investigations of a former aide to the First Lady, Aisha, Mr. Baba Inna, who was arrested in September last year, over accusations of receiving N2.5 billion from politicians, businessmen and women on behalf of the First Lady.

“Nigerians can also recall the confession of one Amina Mohammed, who while being paraded by the Department of State Services (DSS), stated in public that persons close to President Buhari were involved in serial fraud and looting of public resources under the official cover of the Buhari Presidency.

“This could also explain why investigations into the leaked memo detailing how N9 trillion was frittered through underhand contracts at the NNPC and Ministry of Petroleum Resources has been stalled.

“This is in addition to government’s refusal to open up on allegations that 18 unregistered companied were used to divert N1.1 trillion worth of crude oil in 2017, as well as the alleged stealing of over N18 billion out of the N48 billion approved by the National Assembly for the rebuilding of six North East states ravaged by insurgency among other sleazes in the Buhari Presidency.”

In another statement also signed by Ologbondiyan, the PDP mocked Buhari for referring to the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in Delta State, Great Ogboru as “our presidential candidate,” at the party’s campaign in Warri, yesterday.

“President Buhari is already in the mood of his May 29, 2019 handover of mantle of leadership to PDP Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, following the national consensus to return the PDP back to power in the February 16, 2019 presidential elections.

“Buhari had continued to display that he did not have the intention of seeking for a second term in office. It is evident that he is only being compelled by the cabal in his Presidency, who the First Lady, Aisha, had confirmed are manipulating the President for their pecuniary interest while the nation suffers,” the opposition party stated.

Repeated efforts to reach the APC spokesman, Lanre Issa-Onilu, for reaction were  unsuccessful yesterday, as he did not respond to calls and tex massage sent  to his mobile phone.  (The Sun)

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