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2019: Tinubu Visits Afenifere Leader, Says No Automatic Ticket For Buhari |RN

Bola-Tinubu
                                          APC National Leader, Bola Ahmed Tinubu

Peter Dada, Akure

The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, on Wednesday declared that the party would follow the normal democratic process in choosing its standard bearer for the 2019 presidential election.

He said the leadership of the party had not endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari as its sole candidate for the forthcoming presidential election.

His declaration was against the recent endorsement of President Muhammadu as the sole candidate of  the APC for the 2019 election by the APC governors.

Tinubu held a closed meeting with the leaders of the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, the Afenifere, at the residence of the leader of the organisation, Pa Reuben Fasoranti, in Akure, the Ondo State capital.

Tinubu, who was at the meeting with the Governor of Ondo State, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, the Deputy Governor, Mr. Agboola Ajayi and the Acting Chairman of the APC in the state, Mr. Ade Ademehin, said Buhari was a man who believed in democratic  process and the rule of law.

Tinubu in response to a question on an alleged automatic ticket for President Buhari, said, “I have not heard about that and the APC spokesman has not said that. No governor can appropriate the power of endorsement to himself. President Buhari is a believer in process; the Buhari I know believes in the rule of law and due process.

“We wanted him even before the last convention and primaries of the party and Akeredolu is here standing with me, he was not the governor then. He was one of the leading delegates that voted properly and Buhari was a clear winner.

“We follow all the constitutional provisions and an individual opinion does not matter at this stage. Buhari will want a normal process – Buhari that I know. Who says he will lose at any convention?

“But if the national body, the NEC and all of us as members, endorse him as our single candidate, we will not be violating INEC regulations, we will not be violating our party’s constitution. What you are hearing is just a campaign. Buhari has not excluded anybody, and he has not stopped anybody from aspiring or contesting.”

On his meeting with the Afenifere leader, the former governor of Lagos State said he came to see Fasoranti to seek his advice and prayers as one of the leaders in Yorubaland.

He said, “I am in Akure to acknowledge the leadership of Pa Fasoranti in our own race; he is a great leader of the Omoluwabi and in his twilight, we want him to be happy. He has been a great leader to all of us. His intellect is still very intact. We are here to seek his advice, seek his understanding and prayers. That is why I am here.”

Fasoranti, in his remark, noted that Tinubu’s visit was an indication of great things to come, particularly to the unity of the Yoruba race.

He said, “With the coming together of Yoruba leaders, there will be an understanding on major issues affecting the Yoruba race. We will consult and move ahead. As it is now, there will be a great understanding among the leaders as Tinubu is a leader in his own right.

“I think it (the visit) should lead to reconciliation, ARG and the mainstream, as Tinubu has a leg there. They are his supporters.  This signal shows we will come together.”. (Punch)

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2019 Election: The North Plots Against Buhari |The Republican News

Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari

By KENNY ASHAKA

Athe debate on whether or not President Muhammadu Buhari should seek re-election in 2019 continues, indications have emerged that some northern political heavyweights are plotting to stop him by all legitimate means.  Although the All Progressives Congress, APC, led by Chief John Odigie Oyegun and the governors elected on the platform of the party appear disposed towards giving him the ticket of the party, feelers by Sunday Sun indicate that the president may not get it on a platter of gold as several groups and individuals from the North, easily the hot bed of the party are intensifying efforts to stop the bid.  Indeed, it was learnt that the move had taken concrete shape with several meetings held where allegations ranging from poor performance, betrayal and nepotism were levelled against him.  The twist in the saga is whether he should be given automatic ticket, the right of first refusal, or be dropped outright for another gladiator.  But the man at the centre of it all has kept silent over his ambition as he faces one of  the toughest moments of his almost 30-months presidency. Will Buhari be given the ticket on a platter of gold should he decide to contest? The months ahead will tell. What is sure, however, is that Buhari is sitting on thin ice. Nevertheless, the odds in the larger political setting appear to favour a second term for the president, but the enemies he has made in his northern base and what they see as his yet unimpressive performance may be his source of harm.

Two and a half years in the presidency is more than mid-term for President Buhari. In America, regarded as the liberal bastion of the presidential system, the various parties should by now be preparing to be hard hit against one another in a mid-term election. Even then, strong emotions are beginning to build up in the political landscape in Nigeria with plots and counter-plots. Within the APC, some top officials are angling for Buhari to be given the ticket in a way that will be done by prior arrangement. Indirectly and by implicit understanding, Odigie-Oyegun, the APC National Chairman, is saying there is no vacancy in Aso Rock. That disposition towards the election of the party’s applicants for the office of the president in the 2019 poll has left not a few APC faithful to believe that the party is not deserving of support.

The justification is simple. After about two and a half years in power, they say the Buhari administration has left the country prostrate. According to those who spoke with Sunday Sun, only two of the promises made have enjoyed a veneer implementation. Thus, many APC members are now saying that two and a half years in office, Buhari has not reached any milestone that would warrant his preparation to be the party’s candidate in 2019. The young elements are drawn against Buhari on account of age which has been made worse by his illness. To this class of young politicians, the North cannot afford a repeat of the Abacha and Yar’Adua experience.

But the plot against Buhari in the North cuts across party lines and is most characterized in a determined way among Northern elements in the APC who helped Buhari to come to power but who have been sidelined by the president.  “A lot of our leaders have deviated from the foundations and essence of the APC and we are not happy with that. They are running exclusive governments, non-inclusive administrations; they are running administrations that alienates rather than create greater popular participation. They have abandoned the key issues that were supposed to inform why APC was voted for, so overwhelmingly by Nigerians,” a prominent member of the Akida group, a platform that exists to keep alive the basic essence of the APC notes. Thus, they say Buhari has left northerners and indeed Nigerians worse than he met them.

Now, many northerners see Buhari as a president who is inclined to stick together with his friends and relations as a group and exclude those he considers outsiders. He is accused of stocking his kitchen cabinet with people from Katsina and the North East only and that at a time of grave economic crisis, the man they relied on to turn the tide in favour of the masses is not providing firm and decisive leadership. Corruption, they say, is bursting with impunity in a government that professes to be fighting corruption. “Simply put, this government is our party’s government, but it is one that is promoting dishonest exploitation of power, extreme immorality and depravity,” another APC chieftain in Kaduna who prefers to be anonymous “for now” says. They compared his tenure with that of his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan and say nothing has changed. In fact, they noted that Nigeria is heading for the descent into the kind of hardship Nigerians never witnessed before. “All we have heard from Buhari up till now are prevarications and sickening recurrence of policy somersaults.”

All said, the race for 2019 promises to be interesting as contending forces against Buhari prepare their strategies. For them, it is like the 2019 poll will take place tomorrow even though it is still about a year and a half away. The political space is already booming underground in some parts of the North with Kaduna being the hot bed. Hustles have started over who succeeds Buhari. In many ways, it is like a civilian equivalent of a military coup. For weeks now, endless nocturnal meetings are being held in obscure locations around the North where various arrangements are being put in place and plots hatched. “Those holding the meetings now to stop Buhari are championing the cause by trying to show that at the time the North stood up to be corrected they were the people who were the coordinators. That is what is happening. It is not the usual political meeting to chart the way forward. No. It is to close the door to Buhari,” a reliable source disclosed.

The source hinted that Dr. Junaidu Mohammed and some of those opposed to a Buhari presidency in 2019 have been holding meetings. “It is better for the North not to have Buhari there. We are wasting our time. For Buhari to continue as president, many of the people across the region will die of hunger. The cabal has hijacked him and it is blackmail; that is why they have a hold on him.

“All the Buhari qualities have fallen from 90 percent to 10 percent, let’s be fair, to 20 percent. How can a Buhari value now that has fallen to 20 percent get the presidency with these meetings going on? Junaidu Mohammed is a medical doctor and politician. They were the strong forces that floated CPC. Hameed Ali, the present Customs chief, Sule Yahaya Haman, a former Chief of Security in NIA, Sam Nda-Isaiah, those were the people that lifted Buhari up and stayed by him.  But when Buhari now saw the light of the day he surrounded himself with a cabal and left all the people who did the ground work for him. He dumped all of them completely.

“So now it has come to time for them to understand they have been dumped. So that is why Junaidu Mohammed Mahmoud does not want this issue to continue because for all he cares, he is a masquerade. The people operating him are different from him. And honest enough, Junaidu Mahmoud, Hameed Ibrahim Ali, Yahaya Sule Haman, Buba Galadinma they were the people who worked for Buhari. They fought for him, they brainstormed on issues of Nigeria and they gave the answers to him. They were his computer but now he has no computer, because Mamman Daura, Abba Kyari and Samaila Isa Funtua are not even calculators. They are all consumers. They cannot give added value to anything Buhari.

“That is why many northerners feel Buhari should not be president.  You remember Mohammed Nuru Abubakar, he is a journalist. He has been in the trenches promoting Buhari. Buhari has not said thank you to anybody who has helped him. All the people who have added grace to Buhari coming out as APC…because when he came into APC he needed a new infrastructure that will back APC because it was now an alliance which he was not ready to go with the ACN. He was ready to carry the icing with the cake and leave them with the crumbs, but he needed people to float his own leverage as a presidential candidate. They had to do the groundwork. All the people who helped him, two people complained to me that he never remunerated them.  He never said thank you to them,” the source explained

The plot is to neutralize the nest that some northerners want to create. “They are working to close the doors against Buhari. The meeting is to make all the poor people and the clerics who have been in the bandwagon of Buhari to realize the issue and back off Buhari. I am assuring you about that, because that is what the two people who told me about what is going on told me; that this is what is going to be achieved, and asked if I could give them my blessing.

“Some of the people involved are apolitical and you can never mention their names in politics, but they are the leaders of the North,” the source told Sunday Sun.

A long list of accusations are being drawn up and of course, several loyalists recruited in secrecy. Since late October, some influential members had been holding meetings. To many party stalwarts, especially those very selective in judgment, the timing of these meetings seems marked by good signs and therefore promises to be successful.

Although APC performed well in most states of the North, many party members are reluctant supporting the party if Buhari clinches the ticket of the party. They feel APC could have “captured” more states than it did in 2015 if not for what they see as the mis-application of power and authority by the president and his men.

The meeting of the aggrieved APC members apart, there is another meeting of select like minds, comprising northerners opposed to the Buhari agenda for a second term on account of the ACN/CPC alliance. This group is pushing for an Osinbajo presidency.  They are deeply aggrieved that Buhari has scuttled the smooth arrangement that brought him to power. The group believes that a second term for Buhari would not have been under attack if he had played according to the rules of governance which dictates that in a multi-ethnic and religious country like Nigeria, not only the people of Katsina State origin and the few members of the cabal are fit enough for appointments and attention. This meeting, attended by about 21 members of the group in the house of a chieftain of the APC in Ungwar Rimi last week, concluded that this is the appropriate time to stop Buhari from seeking re-election. The meeting passed a vote of no confidence on Buhari and a programme of action was drawn up.

Their concern was what they perceived as the marginalization of the people of the South-west, South-east and South-south in the affairs of governance. They noted that if Buhari was given a second chance, he would do worse things to southerners. “We are concerned because forget about the fact that some of us did not get anything working for Buhari’s emergence, but what he is doing to the South, especially the South-west that worked for his emergence can rub off on our party in the next election if he becomes our candidate,” Idrissa Makama, who said he is the Publicity Secretary of the group told Sunday Sun.

The group, according to Idrissa, has agreed to push for a “western” president since they believed it has become obvious that the Yoruba have lost out in the Buhari administration on account of “Buhari’s nepotistic stance in government.” Some northern presidential aspirants, sources said, also felt threatened. One of them met with his prime supporters in Kaduna last week to deliberate on “what to do with the Buhari issue who they regarded as a cog in the wheel of their aspirations. At the meeting, the decision to stop Buhari was unanimous. Reliable sources informed Sunday Sun that almost all the party members who attended the meeting wanted Buhari to be stopped as the APC presidential candidate but that they did not agree on the procedure to be applied.

While the young members of the party at the meeting supported an all-out war against the national chairman, which could turn out to be a bitter long drawn battle, the elders counseled against it on grounds that this may break up the party. They proposed that a “smoother style” of stopping Buhari which would have little adverse effects on the party be adopted.

Bolaji Abdullahi, the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, said he is unaware of the plot by the North against Buhari and directed Sunday Sun to the president’s spokesperson or the president’s political adviser “who will be in a position to answer such queries.” However, Abdullahi said “as far as the party is concerned, we are not aware.” “We held a NEC meeting last week and at the meeting the members passed a vote of confidence on the president and of course you should know the caliber of people that attended the NEC meeting which includes the governors of the party. Of course, majority of them are from the North. So we are not aware of any meeting by anybody or groups. In any case, the president has not said that he is going to contest. So whoever is doing anything now is just embarking on a fruitless exercise.”

He reiterated the party’s stand on the presidential ticket of the party, saying “we have said it; there is no automatic ticket for Mr. President. Even if he is going to be unopposed, which is most likely, there will still have to be an affirmation. So there is no provision for automatic ticket in the party’s constitution.”     (The Sun)

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Buhari Is Unstoppable In 2019, Says Mohammed Lawal |The Republican News

buhari1

President Muhammadu Buhari

Former Deputy Director of Buhari Presidential Campaign Council, Mohammed Lawal, has dismissed opposition to the re-election efforts by President Buhari’s friends and supporters, saying it is certain that no one can stop the moving train in 2019.  Lawal, who is a director on the Board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), in an interview with VINCENT KALU, insists that there are more than enough strategies in place to defeat anyone standing against the president at the next general elections.

Not minding that some governors have endorsed President Buhari for second term, there are indications that some people want to stop him. Do you see that coming to pass?

We know that within the party there are some people who still bear grudges, as a result of resounding defeat they suffered in 2015, and some of them are still presidential aspirants, and they will like to re-contest. In Nigeria’s party politics, the president has the first right of refusal.

During the meeting of the highest stakeholders of the party, a motion was moved for a vote of confidence, and the party said, ‘we have confidence in the way you are leading us, leading the party and leading the country.’ That was a vote of confidence passed on President Muhammadu Buhari to continue.

All the party’s major stakeholders were there. The only major stakeholder who was not there and who contested 2015 presidential primary election with President Buhari was former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.

Some of the governors individually came out to say that they have absolute confidence in the President, and they moved a motion in very clear words that he should continue in 2019. The stakeholders also chorused, and it is only the president who can say no.

The president wants to take it easy, he is a human being and not an angel, and some people felt offended in one way or the other, and have complained. The president in his humility, apologised, and gave example and reasons for the appointments he has made, which may be tenable to some and untenable to others.

He wants to go about to make people to understand that there are problems, and that things may not work as expected and we have come far, and what is of paramount importance to us is the country; the legacy we are going to leave behind for our children and grand children and generations to come.

In-fighting in a party that came and took over from a ruling party that misruled and ravaged the country for 16 years is not going to get us anywhere; so let us understand each other, and sit down and lay a fresh foundation for this government and country with President Buhari in the saddle.

God willing, nobody can stop him, and he is going to contest to continue to do the good work that he has started for this country.

Recently, the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service and a member of President Buhari’s kitchen cabinet, Hameed Ali, during the official opening ceremony of Buhari Support Organisation’s (BSO) national headquarters in Abuja complained that Buhari appointed people who didn’t work for him during the 2015 presidential election. How can this be addressed so that it won’t jeopardize the president’s re-election bid?

Hameed Ali’s BSO meeting came earlier than the APC NEC meeting. As I told you earlier, during the NEC meeting the president apologised for such. What is important is, there are people placed in positions, and the president has finished his own.

For example, if the president made me the chairman of the Nigerian Ports Authority, it is now left for me to go and continue to do what I’m supposed to do to others to give back the goodwill the president gave to the people who are lower than me. There are people who are supposed to carry on with the mandate, by giving back to the electorate; giving back to the people, but they didn’t do that. They shouldn’t come and complain, blaming the president. The president cannot go and begin to give appointments at local governments, in ministries etc.

Once he gives at a level like our own, NNPC as board member, I thank him so much for that, I didn’t expect it, but it is not for me to go and tell the president to put these people in NNPC refinery or any of the NNPC parastatals, it is me that should do that. I shouldn’t go and complain or blame the president for not doing that, I should do that. As far as NNPC is concerned I represent him there, and I should do what I’m supposed to do so that the goodwill will go back to the president.

People shouldn’t be complaining, they know what to do and they have been given all the encouragement to do that. That notwithstanding, the president tendered his unreserved apology during the NEC meeting. He gave reason and that reason is tenable. Everybody knows that the economy is in a bad shape, and we are working to bring it back to life. Even the World Bank is giving thumb up on the management of the economy by the Buhari government. As it is picking up, the benefits will get to everybody.

The key issue is, work for the president, and defend the programmes and policies and work towards actualizing the mandate. Like I said earlier, the president is not a magician or an angel, he can’t be 100 percent perfect. If mistakes are made, they shall be corrected.

Even the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that stayed for 16 years, I’m sure that by the time they left, there were people who complained that they didn’t get anything. The president will continue to do his best to carry everybody along. Those who are in position and complaining that he didn’t do this or that; they should do what they are supposed to do.

Some of your party leaders are accusing some people who decamped from PDP to APC as polluting and causing crisis in the party. Do you agree with them?

Party dynamics dictate that people from PDP in this government are not APC members by hearts; they were pushed as moles, spies in order to spoil the goals or activities of APC. We are the ruling party, but PDP will want to come back as they were humiliated and shamed. So they can employ any tactic to come back, including deploying moles and spies to spoil our work.

I’m not surprised hearing that. They exist as moles and spies. They left PDP for our party, but they don’t want to be patient. Buhari started this battle over 15 years ago, he began with APP, ANPP, CPC and APC, and he has been patient, he didn’t jump from one party to the other.

You were in PDP, they didn’t give you the presidential ticket, you jumped to ACN, and you didn’t get it; and you didn’t get it in APC and you are going back to PDP, that is the Nigerian politician for you.

   The PDP says Buhari running will make it easy for it to win in 2019. According to its National Publicity Secretary, the president doesn’t have record of achievements, and has put the country in a worse state than he met it. How do you react to this?

Let us pray for God to give us life to reach that period and you will see. The situation Buhari found this country can be equated to somebody that found himself in 16-kilometre deep well.

PDP threw this country into a deep hole of 16 kilometers, and when we came we met Nigeria there – deep down 16 kilometers well, and we are trying to come out. We have been sweating to bring the country out from the deep well, and we thank God that we are on top. Price of oil was at its lowest level, selling at about $25 per barrel, but during their time, oil was selling for over $100 per barrel, they didn’t save anything. Agriculture was at zero level during their time, and look at the quantum of loot discovered and recovered.

I was reading the other day that former President Jonathan on the eve of election signed $500 million and N100 billion from the Central Bank of Nigeria to PDP machinery. That is how we found our economy. Everybody was desperate, and nobody knew that tomorrow was going to come. Manufacturing was zero.

We are now on the ground level from the deep well, and the World Bank as I said earlier has applauded the management of the economy and said we are out of recession and that there is good prospect, and if we continue like this, we are not only going to smile, but rejoice.

Look at Boko Haram that was everywhere. They terrified Kano, Abuja, Niger state. One side of Borno was in their hands and one side of Adamawa was also in their hands. With this, a right thinking person is saying that Buhari didn’t do anything, let them come to the field, we are waiting for them. Is it because we are not talking, when we start campaigns they would hear more? Nigerians will chase them with stones. They want to distract us, so that we put somebody they can overrun. I have been in this for almost 20 years. Buhari is there and I said earlier, God willing, nobody can stop him in 2019.

PDP is foreseeing an implosion in APC that will force some of your members returning to the opposition party

In any association, be it political, business, etc, there abound skirmishes and problems, which are addressed to arrive at a compromise. Like I said the president apologised to those who felt bad. There is no need for any implosion in the party as PDP is praying for.             

There was one time they said Tinubu was complaining. I said in an interview that he should not complain, and that if he was, I would interpret it that the vice president was complaining because he put him there. Tinubu is an experienced politician, and was not complaining as people insinuated. Buhari is not God and so cannot satisfy everybody 100 per cent. We are pleading with Nigerians to bear with Buhari, he is poised to make everybody to rejoice and as things improve and get better he is going to accomplish that. Let us continue to give him support and encouragement to continue to do the best to take Nigeria out of the woods that the PDP put us. 


Why some APC leaders are angry with Buhari–Dr Olufunmilade

•Party members now calling for ‘change the change’

Dr Femi Olufunmilade, a member of the Governing Council of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta is a stalwart of the All Progressives Congress (APC). He chaired the Buhari Survey and Strategy Committee during the 2015 presidential campaign. In this interview with IHEANACHO NWOSU, Olufunmilade explained the reason the incumbent administration is not succeeding in some areas. He expressed frustration that most key APC members who worked for the emergence of the government are still sidelined. He also spoke on the 2019 election, the ambition of some APC members and other happenings in the country.

Recently the southwest APC met and declared that the presidential ticket should be open to everybody, do you feel that is the way to go for your party?

You know we are in a democracy. In a democratic system, the rule of the game is the rule of law. If we get to a point where presidential candidates have to emerge, the normal procedure is for primaries to be organized and those who are interested that might have taken nominations will be free to compete, at the end of which a winner will emerge. So what Chief Bisi Akande echoed was nothing new, he was just stating the obvious that we will be as democratic as required; and whosoever feels he has what it takes to be president of this country should be free to contest as the flag bearer of the party. And he also added that whosoever emerges at the end of the day will get the full support of all stakeholders including themselves.

Don’t you see it affecting the unity of the party, because the party’s governors and NEC have given tacit endorsement of the president for another term?

Well, I don’t think it will impair the unity of the party in anyway, rather it will strengthen it because you are saying that anybody who has ambition is free to throw his hat into the ring. And since that statement was made, it is on record that prominent members of the party who have declared interest in contesting are from the north. Senator Adamu Alero is from the north and has indicated interest, you are aware of former vice president Atiku Abubakar, these are northerners; there has not been any prominent southern member, to the best of my knowledge ,whether prominent or non prominent, who has come out to say that he will contest. So, if anyone is aggrieved in the north, he doesn’t represent the entire north.

There is also this belief that it is a smart way by the southwest to make the contest difficult for the incumbent because of a seeming displeasure in the way the government has been handling not only the party but also governance  The incumbent, for all I know, has not even indicated interest in the office for a second term. Baba Akande said that he has not indicated interest for a second term. If he has indicated interest, then it will be a different ball game. Whether we like it or not, the mobilization for 2019 elections with the use of INEC timetable has started informally and it is for the president to come out and tell us if he will be contesting. As regards the issue of members of the party not being satisfied, I don’t think that is limited to the southwest. If it is an issue, it cuts across the entire country. I was privileged to coordinate a research to support his candidature in 2015, it was called Needs Assessment Survey of 36 States and the FCT, which he approved through his then chief of staff, Colonel Hameed Ali on the platform of Buhari Support Organization. Approval was conveyed to me by Dr Ibrahim Dauda, who gave the contacts of the BSO coordinators across the 36 states and the purpose of the research was to find out if beside the general items of the manifesto, the specific needs peculiar to the various states of the federation. I organized that and all the people that assisted me in doing that were senior members of the APC.

At the end of the day, most of them have been sidelined in the way things are done in this government. Most of them have not been given any appointment. What is more annoying is that most of the appointments made in this administration went to the party that we fought to remove from power. A lot of their members are getting appointments while members of the APC are left behind. Some critical appointments were not only given to PDP members, they were given to those we defeated. I’ll give you examples, you look at the NDDC, Senator Ndoma Egba was the Senate majority leader for the PDP, I personally cannot place my finger on when he defected to APC before the election but today he is the chairman of the NDDC. You look at someone like the Minister of National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, I don’t know if at anytime he formally moved into the APC, and so on and so forth.

So if you find people aggrieved, you can’t blame them. It is not all about appointments, there are also many positions we thought would have been open to members of the party, but as we speak, they are still being held by PDP appointees in various MDAs.

Is your grievance only in the area of appointments or are you also displeased with the president in the handling of things?

It is not about appointment per say; but you know that in the United States, when the president has won an election, the president has the power to appoint about 4,000 appointees. It is during the transitional period, the period between when he wins the election and when he is sworn in that he makes most of the appointments. It is taken as a very serious business. It is taken as a very serious business because the understanding is that those who share your philosophy and ideology and have bought into your manifesto will be better drivers of the manifesto and agenda you have for your country than those who were in the opposing party. So when we are talking about the way Buhari appointed a lot of people, this is what we are talking about. Even his own wife echoed it in the famous BBC interview. She said those who didn’t share our vision and mission are getting the appointments. It is not as if we are crazy about appointments, there are people you could appoint who are not necessarily APC members if they are professionals who have unique skills that can help to drive the change agenda forward. But to retain people and appoint people that were on the opposite side of the pole to us and put them in critical positions shows that the government lacks focus.

More than two years after, are you okay with the policies of this government?

What I can tell you is that, the APC government is performing to the extent of comparing the government to the PDP government, that is what I can say. We can’t compare APC government by any stretch of imagination to the PDP government. Look at the anti corruption crusade for instance, I don’t think it has ever been this good. It is not as if it is perfect, it falls short of our expectations still. There has not been any conviction and we’re talking of legal processes. What about insecurity, all the territories of Nigeria have been reclaimed from Boko Haram. Without Buhari coming into power, Boko Haram might have been in control of states today not to talk of local government. Money meant for arms were shared and looted, soldiers were afraid of facing Boko Haram because they were not equipped. That trend has been reversed and the international community has come to our support, we have the multinational joint task force, for which President Buhari when he came into power traveled to Niger, Chad , Cameroon, and we were able to cobble this multinational joint task force together. So when you look at this, you need peace for progress, he has been able to achieve relative success in that regard. The idea that impunity can go unchecked, he has checked that to a great extent through the anti corruption war. I’m not saying that he is excellent, there is still insecurity, for instance, the Fulani herdsmen, which he has not been able to fix, a lot of deaths go unreported.

We also have the low side of the anti corruption which one of them is the Maina issue that just came up. Someone who was arraigned on graft of monumental proportion, declared wanted by EFCC, he ran away from the country but he was brought back into the country and was even reinstated in the bureaucracy. That is unacceptable. It is sending a signal that no one can really explain. And it boils down to what someone can call having a government within a government. Some people who have a different agenda from Buhari are busy scheming for men and women of various character to hold positions within the government as a form of self help. And that will explain why a lot of the characters are in government. On that side, I’ll say the president scores a very poor mark. If your aides are doing the wrong thing and everyone is shouting about it, what have you done to check it?

The APC UK recently said it is ready to support a fresh hand, that it will back intellectuals like you for the plum office. What do you make of such position?

Like I said earlier, it is not news. The wife of the President came out to say some of the things happening in government. Recently she also voiced out her dissatisfaction with the financial management and operations of the State House clinic. She said they don’t have panadol or syringe, she needed to do an x-ray and they were advising her to go to London. She made enquiries and discovered they don’t have one functional x-ray machine, she had to go to a private hospital which is 100 percent owned by foreigners. She checked it up and realized that this same hospital had a budget of N3 billion. So it is not just APC UK members that are dissatisfied with the performance of this government, It is widespread even within the country. Look at the APC as a party, how many times do we have meetings as a party? Before the recent NEC meeting, when last did we have NEC last? How many times since we won the election? We are running into the third year now, by May next year we will be in the third year in power. How is the party faring? Are the staff paid? People are not interested in paying party dues, because they don’t see the party as representing their interest anymore. There is a lot of dissatisfaction within the APC and most of it are self inflected because they are really uncalled for. Most of the APC members within the country are also joining the clarion call of ‘change the change.’

The party still has more than a year to go before the next elections. Do you feel that it can correct some of its mistakes?

Well, I think it has gotten too late. A lot of people have made up their minds on what to do already because the way the party is, doesn’t really exist because there are no activities. Go to the party offices across the federation, you visit and you don’t see anybody. The party is just like an abandoned project. A lot of people are unhappy, they may not be as vocal as some of us who come out to say our minds from time to time. People feel that this is not what they worked for. You don’t need to be given an appointment to make impact, but there is even no room on a party platform for you to meet and make proposal on what they think about the expectations of the government in power. The leadership of Chief Oyegun is not inspiring. He ought to have been the one to put his feet down and say how the president should relate with the party, but that is just the case. You can give it to PDP in terms of internal democracy, until they imposed Jonathan. I will score them a high mark in PDP. If there was anything to be done, a lot of input and representation was allowed in the PDP.

Do you see a stronger party coming up for 2019?

I want to go beyond the normal Nigerian traditional way of looking at a political party whereby the objective is mainly to take power. It doesn’t matter who the people scheming for power are, whether they have what it takes to transform the country or deliver public goods to the people. All it is about is who the heavy weight is. They will say someone has a large purse or a large pocket, and those are the things they look when it comes to having a new alignment of forces and all that. Usually, it’s the same old people who are disaffected here and there that come together. It is an ideological alignment of forces. What I want and what many of my colleagues across the country within the APC and even other parties, is where people find themselves to be like fish out of water, people who are ideological, patriotic, principled, people who really want Nigeria transform for good in their life time. What they want is a meeting of like minds. We are not looking for who has money or who has a deep pocket, we are not looking for former this, former that, someone people will say we know him.

So you’re suggesting that if APC insists on Buhari in 2019, the party will likely implode?

I don’t want to use the word APC insisting on Buhari flying its flag. If we have a free and fair primary election in the APC today, President Buhari is going to lose fair and square. And a lot of delegates if they are not picked by the governor of Kastina State to do Buhari’s bidding, even a lot of delegates from Kastina State are going to vote against President Buhari. I know what I’m saying because I interact with them. The northerners are even more blunt, they may not be as outspoken as some of us. They are not happy. They think things can be done better than what we’re having.    (The Sun)

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We Will Shock Buhari In 2019, Says Sule Lamido |The Republican News

Sule-lamido

Former Governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Sule Lamido

•Says APC founders have since deserted the ruling party

In 2015, many thought he was going to challenge former President Goodluck Jonathan, even Jonathan saw him as a potential rival, but former Jigawa State governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido did not run. He told Saturday Sun in January this year that running against Jonathan at the time was like passing a vote of no confidence on him.

Today, however, Lamido has left no one in doubt that he would be seeking his party’s ticket for the 2019 presidential contest. In this interview with ISMAIL OMIPIDAN, held at his home in Kano last Saturday, Lamido declared that Buhari was no threat to the PDP, come 2019.

He said: “What is my business if they endorse him or if he runs? Buhari came from a very small party called the CPC. Without the influence of the ACN and the governors who left the PDP, there was no way he would have won because he came from a very tiny party. If those who came together to make him what he is, are no longer in the party, then he has my sympathy for failing to understand this. Look here, Buhari is no threat to the PDP.

“In PDP, we do not give a damn on whoever the APC presents for 2019 because we are more than two-third. We know that as a party, we have made some mistakes and we apologise to Nigerians. If the likes of Tinubu and Atiku feel concerned about what is happening in APC and those who were originally in PDP leave, what will become of him? He would only be left with his tiny CPC, I don’t know how he would do it, but that is his problem, not mine. In any case, the Buhari of today is not the Buhari of 2015.

“The Buhari of today is fatigued; he is faced with what you call political party management in a democracy. It is not where you give orders; here, you have to build some consensus. You can see he cannot even relate well with the Senate President of his own party. So, the Buhari of today is not the Buhari of 2015. Before 2015, he was Buhari the puritanical. Buhari, who they saw as the only man at the helm of 20 million people that Nigerians in the APC were ready to surrender their trust, their reasoning, their honour and everything because they are so lazy. Look at what (Professor Itse) Sagay said about the APC. He said they are all thieves. So if they are calling the PDP thieves, their own man is saying they are all thieves.”

Few days ago, you wrote the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) a letter where you analysed the situation in the country and said the party must take the lead in rescuing the country. What informed the approach that you took?

A political party has its own kind of authority and by my upbringing and culture, the party is very important. We need to pull Nigeria out of despondency and the first thing that I chose to do was to intimate the party faithful that I am offering myself  for the job should the party consider me worthy of flying its flag because I believe that it is time that we share the same concern for our country. PDP is the only party that can set things right in this country.

If you compare how things were in the country three years ago to what it is now, you will appreciate why things have to change. Many others may likely join the presidential race, but what is important is that in whatever we do, we should ensure that we share the same dream and aspiration and put Nigeria first. Whoever will emerge after the primary should be a PDP candidate who knows PDP very well and who is popular with the people and who can tell Nigerians this is what we are offering you. If the party brings a very good person with a common understanding, it will be very easy to make progress. We either do things right, or by 2019, there would be some problems in Nigeria and PDP is the only party with the capacity and passion for Nigeria. We have been there for 16 years and we stabilised Nigeria.

There are speculations that some of your party members that left are likely to return and some of them have presidential ambition; for instance we hear the former vice president is likely to return but that he wants the party to assure him that when he returns, he would get the ticket of the party. How true is this speculation?

Those governors who left the party at the time first raised the alarm that there was something wrong with the PDP. We went round the country and we saw other political leaders. We said then that what we were going through may likely endanger Nigeria’s stability and security in future, and we felt that the problem was even beyond the PDP. The guidelines and constitution of the party clearly states that the party must meet at least quarterly, but for a whole year, the party never met. We wanted the party to meet so that when the key players are gathered, we can push for the party to do the right thing. It was our efforts that caused things to be narrowly corrected, but in the process, five governors, some key players and some parliamentarians left the party. To me, that was a big mistake because the party you formed and you campaigned for and people gave you their trust in the rain and sunshine because you were part of the party, should not have been abandoned like that. But that is history now. They left because at the time, they felt that they were not happy about the prevailing situation, but I believe that you should not let your anger and personal mood affect your leadership position. So, it was the mood and feeling in them that made them take that decision. Having gone to where they went, have they found comfort there? Have they been consoled? Have they been rescued from what they were running away from or have their problems compounded? So naturally, they would want to come back because they are more agonised and pained where they are now. This is where naturally they belong; where they share a common history with their friends before they became what they are, and they are most welcome. They built a house, which is APC, but now, they are coming back into their home, which is the PDP and we are ready to welcome anyone who wants to come back for whatever reason.

In that house, ACN, CPC, ANPP and some parts of APGA came in, but now, that house cannot give them what they are looking for, so they want to come back to their homes. No matter where the likes of Saraki, Wammako, Kwankwaso, El-Rufai Ribadu and all of them who left go, the political blood running in their veins is that of PDP. No matter how much they try, you cannot really run away from your own soul.

About the issue of giving conditions, I do not think that my brother Atiku would give any condition because he knows that no one can give him any guarantee because the party is not owned by one person, it is owned by the people. If the people say that they want him and find him worthy of picking the ticket, then so be it. All of them are very welcome back to the PDP where they are cherished, loved, admired and on which platform they became what they are politically. It is better than where they are now, where they are humiliated every day. Every now and then Lai would abuse them calling them PDP thieves and they are there watching where they are being abused and they cannot even defend their honour. No matter what you say about the PDP, we are in charge of the APC government because it is the PDP that got APC corrugated. If you take away the PDP from the APC, the APC would collapse.

In 1999, 2003 and 2007, they tried so hard to get to power, but they couldn’t, it was only when PDP members joined them that they succeeded. I am sure that by now they are tired of the situation. It is just like running away from your family to run into another person’s family, then the members of the new family reminds you of how all the members of your family were thieves, crooks and rogues. By abusing your former family, they are also abusing you. They ran into APC for comfort; they were frustrated and were looking for a shelter, but they are being insulted every day. This is because by insulting the PDP, they are also insulting those who moved from the PDP to the APC. I’m happy that they have been there and went through what they went through in that party, so, they should come back to where they are loved because they are part of us.

President Buhari has not announced his intention to run, but some within his party have already endorsed him for 2019. Does the PDP have what it takes to defeat Buhari?

What is my business if they endorse him or if he runs? Buhari came from a very small party called the CPC. Without the influence of the ACN and the governors who left the PDP, there was no way he would have won because he came from a very tiny party. If those who came together to make him what he is are no longer in the party, then he has my sympathy for failing to understand this. Look here, Buhari is no threat to the PDP.

In PDP we do not give a damn on whoever the APC presents for 2019 because we are more than two-third. We know that as a party, we have made some mistakes and we apologised to Nigerians. If the likes of Tinubu and Atiku feel concerned about what is happening in APC and those who were originally in PDP leaves, what will become of him? He would only be left with his tiny CPC, I don’t know how he would do it, but that is his problem, not mine. In any case, the Buhari of today is not the Buhari of 2015.

How do you mean?

The Buhari of today is fatigued; he is faced with what you call political party management in a democracy. It is not where you give orders; here, you have to build some consensus. You can see he cannot even relate well with the Senate President of his own party. So, the Buhari of today is not the Buhari of 2015. Before 2015, he was Buhari the puritanical. Buhari, who they saw as the only man at the helm of 20 million people that Nigerians in the APC were ready to surrender their trust, their reasoning, their honour and everything because they are so lazy. Look at what (Professor Itse) Sagay said about the APC. He said they are all thieves. So if they are calling the PDP thieves, their own man is saying they are all thieves.

If you pick the ticket of the PDP, would you describe the state of the economy today as an added advantage to you?

There is no gain if a government makes mistakes because it is the ordinary people that would bear the consequences of the mistakes. So, do not celebrate a government’s economic mistakes because you would suffer the consequences too. I am not in any way celebrating APC’s failure in government. This government is Nigeria’s government, but unfortunately, the APC got into government unprepared and because they were unprepared, they kept on churning out lies to mask their own failure.

During the campaigns, they invented lies about PDP; they called us thieves, rogues, evil and all sort of names. Now that they are in government, they failed to metamorphose from a political party seeking election to a party in government where the culture is different. Also, because they do not have that sense of being a government in power, they keep repeating the same thing they were saying while they were in the opposition. I am a Nigerian citizen by right and not by the political party that I belong to, therefore, the government of Nigeria is my government. Unfortunately, by the apparatus and culture of the APC, they have so demonized Nigerians such that if you speak, you are mocked. For the first time in this country, we have a government mocking its own citizens. When you complain, you will be called a wailing wailer. If people are wailing because of what they feel is wrong, what a responsible government should do is to find out why they are wailing.

As a father, if your children are crying, you don’t say, ‘look, why did you steal some of the money I gave you for feeding? Shut up’, and then you start abusing your child. The APC justifies irrationality. They are suffering from ignorance of leadership. They think that you are a citizen of Nigeria by privilege, but you are a citizen by right.

Some of those in government now, what has been their contribution to the development of Nigeria? Nothing! But today, they mock Nigerians. Today, the culture of lies has become an art of governance. When Buhari was in London for treatment, Lai Mohammed and other aides kept telling Nigerians that he was perfectly healthy but when he returned, the President himself told Nigerians that he had not been that sick before in his life, but his aides were saying another thing.

It is very sad. Buhari is Nigeria’s president. When Yar’Adua was ill, the opposition wanted to know everything about him. They accused the then government of hiding the true state of Yar’Adua’s health. Now that they are in government, they are playing a far worse role than the government of Yar’Adua played. They are so overwhelmed and do not know what to do because of the power of falsehood and manipulating people with lies. Again, we are Nigerians and we have the right to talk; don’t demonise, abuse or mock Nigerians when they talk because they are asking questions that are very pertinent.

For instance, they made allocations of billions of naira for Aso Rock clinic, yet they say there is no syringe there, but if you complain, APC would say you are a wailing wailer. Aisha Buhari wailed like me, which means she is also a wailing wailer. When you wail, it is because things are being done wrongly and that is why you are wailing. PDP has been wailing, they are wailers and even some in APC have become wailing wailers too, so we are now a wailing nation.

The PDP is preparing for its convention in December, would you say that the party has learned any lesson from the crisis that rocked it before the apex court came to its rescue?

We are going into election year and the chairman that we will elect now will be symbolic. He cannot have his own authority because the election is about the will of the people where there are key players. People are not voting for him on account of his own instructions. He cannot go to Sokoto or Jigawa or Oyo and give instructions on account of his own personality; it is something collective, a family affair. Even the election of a president is only a symbol because he is going to work for the entire country. In electing a chairman, we are going to ask what the person in his own standing can do for PDP. The earlier chairmen like Solomon Lar was very symbolic because he was part of those that formed the party, but those who came after, like Audu Ogbeh, what was he? We have come a long way and by now, the election of a chairman should be less personal in our affairs over the leadership of the party. No one should say it is going to be A or B or C, because ideally, all those big names in PDP should not align with any aspirant. No stakeholder in the party should be seen taking any aspirant to anywhere, we should allow aspirants to go round and meet leaders. Bode George and Gbenga Daniel came to my house to ask for my support, and that is how it should be. If we decide that for the sake of harmony and stability of the party, we decide that we would have a consensus and support Mr. A or B, we can only do that if we are standing on a high moral ground as not been seen to align with anybody. What we want is a party chairman, whom when he wins, will be the chairman of the party in the entire PDP family and we would all give him our support. As far as I know, there is no crisis in the party.

You were in Kaduna recently to inspect your campaign office, and by the next day, we heard that there was crisis involving your supporters and some hoodlums. What really happened?

I decided to come from Abuja to Kaduna to see the level of development in the office and I went there not to campaign or open the office but to inspect it. While addressing the young people, I told them that we, who are their parents and elders in government, have made some mistakes. I told them that some of us exploited their innocence and their age to manipulate them and because we are their parents and they trust and believe us, they supported us. But now that some of us have failed them, they have every right to be angry. I told them that in the next 30 years, those under 30 will be 60 years; I asked them what will be their future? Do they want to end up as street hawkers or barrow pushers? I told them that in the next 30 years, people like me and Buhari may or may not still be alive, so I left. After I left, I saw a story in one of the national dailies written by someone who was not there at the event. When I read it, I knew that the story was not true because nothing of such happened.

It is believed that Kaduna is the traditional home of President Buhari and you went there…

(Cuts in) No, it is not his home. Kaduna is the home of all former northern governors; and all former leaders of northern extraction, it was the center of the administration during the time of Ahmadu Bello. No one can appropriate Kaduna as his home because it is for all northerners. From 1999 till date, northern elders have been meeting in Kaduna and at one point or the other; all our elders were abused by these youths. Even El-Rufai has been abused by these youths on several occasions, so, it is our failure as northern leaders because we allowed our heritage in Kaduna to be turned into a theatre of hooliganism. Every northerner should feel worried about this trend. Elections take place all the time there but somehow, the youths do not see any effort on our part as leaders to address their needs, future and frustrations. We need to restore these youths to the right path and guide them properly.

All the Mallams, pastors, political leaders and elders have a duty to guide them because in the next 25 years, if these youths are not properly guided, we will be in trouble. It is dangerous for us because the youths are disappointed; they are aggrieved because they feel that they have been shortchanged by their leaders. The first thing leaders should do is fashion out a way on how to restore the innocence and honour of our youths; exorcise the seed of evil in them and plant a seed of integrity and honesty.  So my concern is not about campaigning for 2019 but how to restore the future of our youths. I watched a video of a nine-year old boy who was brutalised by cultists just before this interview and I almost shed tears because it shows the increasing rate of cultism in the country. If that boy as little as he is, was literarily brutalised, then where is the love we the parents ought to give to our children?

What are the plans of the opposition to put the economy on the right track if it wins the election?

The human mind is wired to confront challenges. I have seen people create something out of nothing through their ideas. Ideas create wealth and that is why countries like South Korea, China, Japan and other countries are prospering every day. Even if you have a thriving economy on paper, you cannot grow any economy because our chemistry is terrible. This is a country that is not stable; here, people do not have rights and the government does not have respect for its citizens. In the last two years, how much investments have entered Nigeria? Nothing! A country like Angola has been able to attract a $16 billion investment; even Egypt and Rwanda attract investments all the time because there is stability in those countries. Prosperity is not built on wars, but on love and concern for human beings.

In Nigeria, what you get depends on what you can give the political party in government and this is a breach of the oath of office. The government must make everyone feel that they are dignified citizens of their own country; they should show that they love their citizens and they believe in them. When you see that your government is protecting your rights and giving you all that you deserve, you will support it and stand by it because you know that your government is there for you. So, it is not about economic theories because we have so many of them in this country. Prof. Itse Sagay recently said that the ruling party is a party of thieves and corrupt people. Now, if this is the testimony of someone who is part of this government, who will come from Europe and invest?        (The Sun)

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What Nigeria’s 2018 Budget Looks Like: More For Salaries Than Infrastructural Development

Shakirudeen Taiwo

 

This budget shows Nigeria may not be ready yet for development.

President Muhammadu Buhari during 2018 budget preparation.President Muhammadu Buhari during 2018 budget preparation.(Saharareporters)

Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari presented the country’s 2018 budget to the National Assembly on Tuesday, November 7, 2017. In it, there is more to recurrent than infrastructural facilities needed to spur economic growth in the country.

The proposed total expenditure for 2018 is N8.6 trillion, representing 16 percent over 2017 budget. According to Buhari: “The aggregate expenditure comprises recurrent costs of N3.494 trillion; debt service of N2.014 trillion; statutory transfers of N456 billion; the sinking fund of N220 billion; and capital expenditure of N2.428 trillion.”

With this, Nigeria will also be paying more on salaries of its over-bloated civil service.  A cost which tends to gulp over 50 percent of the country’s annual budget since 1999. This concern was also raised by the President during 2018 budget presentation.

Personnel costs is projected to rise by 12 percent in 2018. Although we have made substantial savings by registering MDAs on the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) platform….Furthermore, I have directed agencies not to embark on any fresh recruitment unless they have obtained all the requisite approvals. Any breach of this directive will be severely sanctioned,“said President Buhari.

One fact that may negate this concern, and establish status quo is the promised increase in number of political appointees by the Federal government. A move that shows the government is not really going to address the issue of over-sized civil service.

Since 2015, the country’s budgets have all catered to just payment of salaries with less implementation of the capital components.

Also of more concern is that the high part of the proposed spending would be used in servicing debts. 26% (N2.2 trillion) of the 2018 budget is allocated for this purpose. This amount is 2 percent less allocation to capital expenditure in the year. This, therefore, confirms the development-cost impacts of huge debts profile of the country. A concern well raised by major multinational development bodies and economists in the country.

Also Read: Why government can’t execute capital projects in the 2017 budget – Nigeria’s Finance Minister

Analysis of Nigeria's 2018 budget and revenue assumptions.            Analysis of Nigeria’s 2018 budget and revenue assumptions.(@rumaio/twitter)

The budget proposal also shows a revenue shortfall to expenditure to the tune of N2.36 trillion. And it is expected to fill with domestic and external borrowing. Already, the country’s Eurobond debts currently stood at $1.5 billion.

There is a concern that the 2018 budget may go the way of other previous budgets (2016 & 2017) as over 25% percent of needed revenue are hinged on borrowing. Thus, raising issues about the Federal Government’s gross lack of know-how and poor handling of budgeting procedures.

A member of the Nigeria’s upper legislative house, Senator Foster Ogola, also expressed this fear as regards heavy reliance of the country on debts to finance its annual spending plan.

Mounting external debts of Nigeria is fast becoming a burden.          Mounting external debts of Nigeria is fast becoming a burden.(ATLAS)

Also Read: $54.5 billion public debt may suffocate Nigeria if the economy fails to improve

“The implementation of 2015, 2016 and 2017 budgets have been poor because of the burden that comes with them. Where you prepare a budget of N4trn and 50 percent is to be funded from loans not yet secured, you can imagine what happens. The lender always has a superior hand. And if you don’t meet his conditions, he won’t lend. So, you won’t have enough money to fund the budget,” Ogola said.

Some of the key capital programmes and projects planned for 2018 include N9.8 billion for Mambilla hydro-power project, N12 billion for counterpart funding for power transmission project, N35.42 billion for National Housing Programme, N10 billion for 2nd Niger Bridge and N300 billion for rehabilitation of major strategic roads in the country.

President Muhammadu Buhari during 2018 budget preparation.

(Source: Business Insider)

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Buhari Presents 2018 Budget To National Assembly |The Republican News

Buhari-presents-2018-budget

By Ike A. Offor

President Muhammadu Buhari arrived at the National Assembly Complex to present the 2018 Appropriation Bill to a joint session of the two chambers.

The President, who was dressed in a sky blue agbada, arrived at 2pm, the exact time scheduled for his presentation.

The budget was then formally presented to the joint session of the two houses, the Senate and the House of Representatives.

The formalities were followed and prayers were said in Arabic and in English by both an Imam and Clergy.

The President was then thanked for his fight against corruption and for bringing Nigeria out of recession.

And hopes were raised that this budget would address the economic hardship in the country and truly bring Nigerians away from formal recession to feeling the impact of economic growth.

Details later…

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Buhari, Sultan Of Sokoto, Boko Haram Leader, Shekau, Others Named Global Most Powerful Muslims

President Muhammadu Buhari, the Sultan of Sokoto, Abubakar Saad; and Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, have, again, been listed among the most powerful Muslims in the world.

This was contained in a Muslim publication, The Muslim 500, in its 2018 edition.

The publication, in to a statement obtained by The News Guru, noted that there are approximately 1.84 billion Muslims in the world, making up 24.38 per cent of the world’s population.

The publication is an annual compilation of the good, the bad, and the ugly, in the Islamic world.

Buhari and the Sultan were ranked 19th and 23th, respectively, among the first top 50 Muslims in the world.

It explained that Shekau, head of Boko Haram, a terrorist group in Nigeria, had carried out a number of atrocities.

The publication added that Shekau speaks Hausa, Arabic, and English and claimed to have undergone theological training.

Others Nigerians listed in the publication are Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote: JAMB Registrar, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede and former Justice minister, Prince Bola Ajibola. (The Sun)

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