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Nigeria Is On Auto-pilot And Drifting To The Precipe, PDP Tells Lai Mohammed |RN

 

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Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has reacted to a statement credited to the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed. The minister had said that Nigeria is in “very safe and competent hands,” with President Muhammadu Buhari piloting the affairs of the country.

Mr Mohammed, who addressed a mini town hall meeting with the staff of the Nigerian Embassy in Madrid, Spain over the weekend, had also assured the gathering that “there is no cause for alarm.”

The PDP, however, criticised the Federal Government over the statement, saying the reality on the ground shows that the nation was on auto-pilot and drifting to the precipice.

In a statement issued on Monday by its National Publicity Secretary Kola Ologbondiyan, the opposition party claimed that Nigerians have suffered untold hardship due to the incompetence and corrupt proclivities of the All Progressives Congress (led) government.

They further noted that it was either the minister had lost touch with the reality or was trying to play with words to defend the government.

The statement read in part: “If a minister of information who ought to give the correct state of affairs can announce that a government which collapsed the nation’s once robust economy and plagued it with political tension, is indeed a safe hand, then our nation is in much more trouble under the All Progressives Congress (APC).

“How can anybody say that the same Presidency whose incompetence and bad policies are directly responsible for the massive unemployment and job losses, the collapse of businesses and even the lingering fuel crisis which has brought untold hardship in the land, is indeed a safe hand?

“This is a government, under whose watch, the nation has become heavily polarised along dangerous fault lines and where citizens now live in fear and mutual suspicion; where citizens are slaughtered by the day by marauders; where hunger and strange diseases ravage the people.

“The reasonable takeaway from the statement of the information minister is that this government has come to its wit’s end and has no solution for the troubles it caused the nation.

“More so, the minister’s statement has further exposed the fact that this failed administration is not the least remorseful for the pain it has caused the people, which underpins its arrogance and disdain towards Nigerians.

“We, however, urge Nigerians not to despair as the repositioned PDP stands with them in the collective quest to end the misrule of the APC in 2019.”           (DailyTimes)

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Onaiyekan To Buhari: You Have Failed To Deliver On Your Promises |The Republican News

By Correspondents

 

The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, yesterday, yesterday told President Muhammadu Buhari that the change he promised Nigerians was becoming a mirage. Onaiyekan, who delivered a homily at the opening Mass of the first 2018 plenary of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), also told the president that Nigerians deserved more than they were getting from him. He therefore called on Nigerians to use the 2019 election to effect a radical change for the betterment of the country.

He argued that in the last three years, Nigerians have been hearing much about change, but have seen rather little of it. He said: “Yes, our nation is in a state of uncertainty and confusion. A few things are going well in the society and the economy for which we thank God and congratulate our leaders.

They tell us that they are doing their best. But a lot still needs to be done and too many problems have been left to fester. Our nation surely deserves far better than it is now getting in terms of good governance, social justice and peace and minimum of well being for our people.”

The former President of CAN said so far, government has spent so much time and energy demonizing its predecessor that it seemed to have forgotten its promise of a better life for Nigerians. He added:“It has unfortunately allowed the initial massive goodwill it enjoyed to be depleted, almost to nonexistence.

It is no wonder that many Nigerians are looking for a new political organization that can truly bring about genuine change for the better. Having tried our two major political parties and found none of them up to our expectation, the nation is on the verge of despair….” “Another election is fast approaching.

We must seize this God-given opportunity to radically change things around. We should no longer allow politics to remain business as usual in the hands of the same gang of speculators and opportunists. We must change the rule of the game, not the faces of the players.” However, Buhari, who was represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, said the CBCN was the only Christian platform that gave the president a listening ear prior to the 2015 presidential election. Mustapha added that the president believed that the CBCN was a strategic partner in building the nation, even as he noted that the CBCN have a lot to offer the nation.

“And for that reason, he remains eternally grateful. And I remember at that engagement, they asked very pertinent questions – direct, bullets to the face. And he provided answers. And because of that reason, he believes that the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria is a strategic partner in the enterprise of growing the Nigeria nation and he believes that they have a lot to offer,” Mustapha said. Also speaking, a former Governor of Abia State, Dr Orji Uzor Kalu, maintained that the current administration has done well, particularly in the area of infrastructural development.

Kalu particularly mentioned the Second Niger Bridge; Enugu-Onitsha Expressway; Enugu-Port Harcourt- Okigwe; Aba-Umuahia Expressway, while also saying that the president is doing everything within his power to salvage the economy. Speaking with journalists, Kalu prayed for the good of the country and wished Nigerians well, that they can enjoy the dividends of democracy. “This is not media hype. I am not a spokesman for the president. Everybody knows that I speak the truth. APC have done very well.           (New Telegraph)

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2019: Buhari Will Re-contest, Others Have Nothing To Offer – Mustapha (SGF) |RN

Boss-Gida-Mustapha                                                     SGF, Boss Mustapha

Adelani Adepegba, Abuja 

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, on Thursday affirmed that President Muhammadu Buhari will seek re-election in 2019.

 He stated that there is no alternative to Buhari, stressing that other presidential aspirants have nothing to offer.

The SGF spoke at the Unity Fountain in Abuja, while addressing a rally organized by the Democratic Youth Congress, led by its National Chairman, Kassim Mohammed.

The group had urged President Muhammadu Buhari to declare his intention to contest in the 2019 elections.

 Mustapha said, “We do not have an alternative to President Muhammadu Buhari for now. I will present your entire message to him. I congratulate you for your support for President Muhammadu Buhari to run in 2019.”

The SGF, who was represented by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Political Matters, Gideon Sammani, said Buhari was widely known for his stance against corruption and indiscipline, noting that many people feared him because of his uncompromising position on graft.

Mustapha argued that it was the corrupt individuals that were against the President because they were apprehensive they may be brought to book.

He added, “We all know that Buhari is transparent, honest. He has come with the change philosophy. He has lived for this, to bring change to this nation. Since his military days, he stood to fight corruption, indiscipline.

“Many people fear him because he does not compromise corruption and corrupt people are afraid that they will be brought to book. And those who have already looted the treasury of this nation are followed by the security agencies. By the grace of God Buhari will not relent in this fight.”

 “He will continue; The politics of this nation is no more the politics of money or do-or-die politics. Anybody who wants to lead this nation must make sacrifices. Buhari has already transformed and changed the image of leadership and that of our leaders this country, both locally and internationally,” the SGF noted.

 The Convener of the rally, in his remarks, stated that his team was ready to work for  Buhari’s re-election in 2019, adding that they were working with over 15 state governors to actualise the goal.   (Punch)

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I’ll Take Nigeria To The Next Level, Says Buhari |The Republican News

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                         File Photo: President Muhammadu Buhari

Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday promised to take Nigeria to the next level despite the nation’s current challenges.

Buhari made the promise in his remarks at the induction of the Nigerian Air Force’s Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, Tsaigumi, in Kaduna.

A copy of his speech was made available to journalists by the Presidency’s media office.

The President said his administration was determined to overcome all challenges militating against the country’s security and development.

He therefore appealed to all Nigerians to support his administration to achieve its objective.

Buhari said, “Let me again reiterate our commitment and firm resolve to take this nation to the next level.

“We remain determined to overcome all challenges to our security and development as a nation.

“I enjoin all well-meaning Nigerians to join hands with us to make our collective dreams of greatness a reality.”

The President said his government was committed to delivering the much-needed change that would make the difference in the nation.

“Government remains determined, despite numerous challenges to bring about the much-needed change that will lift our beloved nation to its rightful place as a major economic and political force on the world stage,”he added.

Buhari disclosed that part of government’s drive to achieve the goal is to enable enterprise and the improvement of the quality of life through massive improvement of national infrastructure.

He said as he outlined in his New Year Day broadcast to the nation, the present administration has designed a series of key projects to dramatically overhaul national infrastructure and overcome the deficit in that vital area.  (Punch)

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BREAKING: Buhari Is In A Trance – Soyinka |The Republican News

Wole Soyinka

Nigerian writer Wole Soyinka at “Le Conversazioni” on Capri, July, 2012

Gbenga Adeniji

Revered playwright, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has said President Muhammadu Buhari is in a trance.

Soyinka, while reacting to a question on the three things he would tell the President if he meets him, stated, “I will say Mr. President you are in a trance.”

He added that the sooner the President got out of the trance, the better for the nation.

Asked the form of trance the President was in, the Nobel laureate said, “I don’t know. So many unforced errors. Take for instance the suspended Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, Usman Yusuf,  reinstated by the President.

“What is that about? What is going on?”

Soyinka had earlier held a press conference in Lagos on the state of the nation titled ‘Nomads and Nation: Valentine card or valedictory rites.’   (Punch)

Details soon.

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The Real Enemies Of President Buhari |The Republican News

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President Muhammadu Buhari

By Richard Akinola
Sometime in February 1995, l told Chief Gani Fawehinmi l wanted to have a private meeting with him. I had noticed certain things around him which l didn’t like and because of our close relationship, l felt l needed to discuss with him one-on-one.

He fixed the date and at the beginning of the meeting, l instructed his office assistant that she should not allow any visitor or staff members to come in.

I spoke with Chief candidly, shooting from the hips. “I need to save you from yourself”, l told him. He was nodding intermittently. In the course of our meeting, the intercom buzzed and he attempted to pick it up but l “ordered” him not to pick. “Sorry Chief, you can’t pick that call”. And he complied. At the end of the meeting, he thanked me profusely and promised to make amendments.

He was not bound by my suggestions but because he respected me and he knew l did that out of genuine love, he appreciated my intervention.

Few days after, we were in his office and a close staff, instead of disagreeing with Chief over an issue, rather prodded him on by saying ” beeni sir”. I got angry and told the person “stop deceiving this man by telling him ‘beeni sir”.

Why am l saying this? The greatest problem of leaders are their diehard, blind supporters. To them, it is ” see no evil, talk no evil”. That is the stage Buhari is in right now. The “beeni Sir” crowd, both on the social media and around him, have blinded him not to see the reality, making him to live in the fools paradise, so to speak.

Everything the government does, no matter how stupid, is rationalised. Criticism is an anathema. But you see, praise singing would send a leader into perdition. Let the president feel the heat so that things can improve. It is in his own interest. “Beeni sir” syndrome would not help him, if you really claim to love PMB. (Post Nigeria)

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Mistake Buhari Made, Obasanjo’s Coalition Is Continuation Of Coup Against Democracy – Rev Kukah

BUHARI-BISHOP-KUKAH
… SAYS OBASANJO’S COALITION CALL, CONTINUATION OF COUP AGAINST DEMOCRACY

 Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja

The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Most Revd Dr Matthew Hassan Kukah, has said that the Coalition of Concerned Nigerians proposed by ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo in his 18-page letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, to take Nigeria out of the woods, is a continuous coup against democracy in the country.

In this online interview with Sunday Sun, Kukah, a social critic and public commentator, also said he would have thought that if Obasanjo thought he made a mistake, he should at least, apologize to Nigerians before offering the people another recipe to correct the current state of affairs in the country.

Taking a look at the current administration, Kukah further said one of the main mistakes that the Buhari administration made was to assume that everything that happened before them was wrong and everyone who came before them was a criminal.

Kukah also said he had no regret in participating in the General Abdulsalami Abubakar-led Peace and Reconciliation Committee that ensured a peaceful transfer of power from former president Goodluck Jonathan to incumbent President Buhari.

You are a cleric who is supposed to be primarily concerned with spiritual affairs, yet, your name cannot be wished away when it comes to national affairs, more importantly, when one considers the important assignments you have handled for the nation and your constant chastisement of the government. In view of this, how do you see the recent letter written by former president Olusegun Obasanjo to President Muhammadu Buhari?

 You are generous with your observations. It is very interesting how politicians map our roles for us priests. When you say something that makes them happy, they hail you, but when the shoe is on the other foot and you say the same thing, they charge you to mind your spiritual duties and leave politics out. I am a free citizen of my country and will continue to make my little contributions. I am not out to entertain and make people happy. In fact, the sadder they are, the more likely it is that you are saying the right thing, only they are unhappy. What do you expect me, an ordinary citizen to say when a General has written a letter to another General, a former president has written to a sitting president whom he himself brought to power? I prefer to choose the battles I can win. But at another level, I would have thought that if people think they made a mistake, they should at least apologise to us before offering us another undated youghurt.

 

In x-raying the letter, which areas do you think ex-President Obasanjo was right and wrong? 

I have no x-ray machine and I do not know if the one in the Villa clinic is working now. The letter was not written to me and, if you saw the banter between the two people last week (during the just concluded 30th Ordinary Session of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia), then you will be more restrained in your response.

The coalition proposed by Obasanjo: is it feasible in our clime?

 I do not know anything about the coalition and I am honestly not in a position to make any comment. As a person, I am not sure that this emergency ambulance mentality is the best form of institutionalizing democracy. Most of this is the indiscipline which does not understand how democracy and consensus building works. It is a continuation of this coup against democracy when those who have held Nigeria to ransom, decide on whom they want in power and then go ahead to manipulate the levers of power for their ends. We can only wish them luck.

Looking at the totality of the current state of affairs in the country, what is your verdict on the incumbent administration?

 I take it that what this administration has offered is the best they can offer, given that they have covered over three quarters of the time allocated to them. My verdict is not important and Nigerians should pass their verdict at the next elections. This time, we will be judging based on evidence not propaganda.

In your estimation, where did President Buhari get it wrong?

 Who told you he got anything wrong? What is your marking scheme? I believe that what we have is the best that President Buhari can and has offered. He has not told you or anyone that he feels he has made a mistake or wishes to do anything differently. He says he takes his time and I believe we should respect that.

Even though as a Nigerian, he is eligible to vote and be voted for, taking a look at the nation from 2015 till now, do you think if the resident decides to take a second shot at the presidency, it will be right for Nigerians to queue behind the president and vote for him?

 Why not? He should be free to offer himself to Nigerians. It is left for Nigerians to decide and luckily for us, we have records of his promises, his achievements in fulfillment of those promises. These should be the basis of decision not the issue of if he should or should not contest. The decision is his to make.

You were very prominent in the General Abdulsalami Abubakar-led Peace and Reconciliation Committee that ensured a peaceful transfer of power from former president Goodluck Jonathan to President Buhari. Judging by the activities of the current government, do you regret participating in that committee?

 I am very proud of what General Abdusalam led the committee to achieve. We made our own contribution along with other Nigerian civil society groups. I can only thank God for the miracles of answered prayers. In any case, should we not thank God that the current administration has been given a chance to showcase what they are capable of doing?

 When we finished the elections, we thought we should disband and go home, especially given that the people who were involved in the exercise were extremely busy people who made sacrifices because no one received or asked for a single penny. We had believed that the committee’s work was done. However, we were encouraged by the reaction of Nigerians across the board when we undertook a consultative initiative to find out what Nigerians felt about the committee.

 So, rather than disbanding and going home, we sought the views of the media, the leaders of the two parties, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC). We had audience with the Senate President and the Speaker, former president Jonathan and current President Buhari. Each and everyone expressed satisfaction and encouraged the members to continue in view of the fact that the country still needed some wise counsel and that the people needed encouragement.

Do you think the president consolidated on the gains recorded by your committee?

 It is not for us to judge, but my views are pretty well known. When a midwife helps in a delivery, is she to follow the new mother home to inspect how she is looking after the baby? It is left for Nigerians to judge.

Some people have said that where we are economically, politically, socially, et cetera, is worse than where we are coming from? Do you agree?

 Where are we coming from? The problem is that we always think yesterday was better than today. One of the main mistakes that this administration made was to assume that everything that happened before them was wrong and everyone who came before them was a criminal. They created the impression that they had to drain the swamps and literally write a new script. More energy could have been committed to identifying what was worth continuing and in the process, building confidence in the country.

 Now, they have realized rather late in the day that the team is the same, only the jerseys are different. Can you name one thing that is substantially different today from what it was yesterday after you have mentioned Boko Haram? At the beginning, I made a case for the fact that national cohesion was an urgent project, holding our people together and developing a vision. Now, look where we are as a people, see how divided we have become, see how scattered and littered the landscape is. Can we continue like this into the next election?  

Your brother was kidnapped recently, and at the same time, the nation was grappling with security concerns, most importantly, in Benue State. In your calculation, where are these social ills and odds leading us to?

 My brother’s case was dwarfed by the tragedy of Benue, along with many others in the daily menu of senseless killings that are now our lot. His case is a metaphor for the suffering and pain of many Nigerians who have become more exposed now than we have ever been. What is more painful is the seeming lack of concern by the government and the lack of a clear plan to reverse this sad phase of our national life. It is very saddening indeed.

What can we do to achieve the Nigeria of our dreams?

 The Nigeria of our dreams is made simple: a country where we can live in peace and security, raise our families with some dignity, a nation where we have an idea of what being a Nigerian means. We just want what others have come to take for granted.        (The Sun)

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