Buhari Came To Power At Difficult Time, Says Orji Kalu |The Republican News


Former Governor of Abia state, CEO SLOK Group, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu

•Says Nigeria will exit recession in 2019

Sunday Ani

Former governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu has said that President Muhammadu Buhari came to power at a time there was recession all over the world, adding that the situation was made worse by the fact that the president equally met an empty treasury.
Kalu, who spoke on AIT monitored programme said the President was putting every necessary stimulus into the economy to ensure that the country exits recession by 2019. He disagreed with those who said that the country was already out of recession, saying, “When I see people who said they are economists saying we are out of recession, I say they don’t understand what they are talking about because we are not out of recession. Government already has a roadmap to be out of recession and I can assure you that this government is determined to see it happen. But, you can’t just tell people that we are out of recession; you can’t do that because the indices are there. What the president and the government are doing is to continue to pump in stimulus, which is what the economy needs to come out of recession. And I can see us moving out of recession in 2019.”
The former governor also said that the president is under pressure from the international intelligence communities not to say more of what he had seen about looting in Nigeria. “The president is restraining himself because if he opens his mouth to say what happened in NNPC or central bank, Nigerians will not feel good about governance,” he said.
Kalu equally said that the problem in Libya, which led to upsurge of emigrants into Nigeria and the president’s health challenges, caused a lot of havoc on his plan for the country. He said: “And secondly, with the world recession, you also had problem of people migrating into the country from Libya because of the problem there, and some of them came in with a lot of arms. You also see that the president became sick and the medical attention also caused a lot of havoc on his plan. I am not speaking for him because I am not his spokesman but as a party man, I believe he has done well in some areas.”
He noted that the president has not done very well in terms of economy, but added that “he is grappling with it. There is a lot of stimulus going into the economy.”
On why he ventured into politics, having achieved so much before the age of 29, he said he went into politics to help communities and serve the people. “That is why when people talk, I laugh at them because by the time I was going into politics, I have worked anywhere I liked. I was a member of First Bank, Hallmark BanK and Oando boards. I was also chairman of two banks and I was solidly a cocoa trader, a rice trader and a successful industrialist. I have one of the largest furniture factory in Maiduguri and the Happy Home furniture in Kirikiri, Lagos,” he said.
As the governor of Abia State, he said his major achievement was giving education to the people of Abia and its environs. “I was able to give education to our people; they had no education and I am very proud to say that. The kids get excited when they see me on the road today,” he said.
He also narrated an incident where a young lady openly accepted that what she got in Abia State under his administration was real free education. He also stated that Abia State under his administration had started with free education up to the secondary school level even before former President Olusegun Obasanjo introduced the Universal Basic Education (UBE) programme.
“People were paying N7000 in Abia State university because I was paying N93,000 for 35 students. We wrote cheques every month to give back to the university. They pay N7000 and we made it up to N100,000 by paying N93,000. Even before Obasanjo came up with the UBE programme in primary and secondary schools, we had full free education for secondary schools in Abia State. People from other states enjoyed it. The greatest investment we made was in education. We also built a lot of roads but those roads have collapsed today,” he stated.
When asked the rationale behind his eating akara on the road side with common people, Kalu said: “It is not about common people; it is to practice what I started with. It is only fools who think that they have arrived and that they cannot go back.”
He said that during the last Christmas festivities, he visited many houses to dine and wine with them in his Igbere community. “In a day we visited almost 50 houses. That is how I started and I can’t stop. Even if you make me president tomorrow, I will still do the same thing because that is the right thing to do.”
He argued that when the rich interact with the poor and give back to society, there would be peace. He also said that there is zero percent robbery and violent crimes in Igbere because as a community, the rich have decided to associate and socialize with the poor and give back to the community.
“In Igbere, there are good people who are sociable and religious. We are trying to portray our community for what it is. There are so many people who do community service; they give back to community. We agreed as a community that we must be giving back to the people. Our last cultural festival was superb. We don’t do medicine in my community. In Igbere, there is no native doctor because we don’t believe in it. We believe in God,” he submitted.   (The Sun)

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Fayose Criticies Buhari Over Appointment Of Northerner As NIA DG |RN

Says, ‘Buhari is unrepentant sectional leader’

Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State has chided President Muhammadu Buhari over replacement of the sacked National Intelligence Agency (NIA) Director General, Ambassador Ayo Oke with Ahmed Rufai Abubakar, a northerner, saying; “The President has further demonstrated to Nigerians that he is an unrepentant sectional leader, who does not care about the feelings of people from other parts of the country.”
The governor said; “With the appointment of Ahmed Rufai Abubakar as the NIA Director General, all heads of security agencies are now northerners and the question is, is this what those who enshrined federal character in our constitution envisaged?”
The governor’s Special Assistant on public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, quoted him as saying in a statement issued in Ado Ekiti on Thursday, that “seeing what President Buhari has turned the country to, the forefathers of Nigeria, who laid the foundation of the country on equity, justice and fairness will be lamenting wherever they are now.”
He said; “Ambassador Ayo Oke was removed from office the same day Babachir Lawal was removed as Secretary to the Government of the Federation. While Lawal’s replacement came from his home State, Oke’s replacement came from the north. That is unacceptable.”
Governor Fayose, who reminded Nigerians of the President Buhari’s directive that the World Bank should shift its focus to the northern region of Nigeria, maintained that “because of the President’s nepotism, religious bigotry and favouritism, Nigeria is now more divided than ever before.
He said it remained on record that President of the World Bank Group, Jim Yong Kim reportedly said that in his very first meeting with President Buhari, he (Buhari) said specifically that he would like the World Bank to shift its focus to the northern region of Nigeria.
The governor said “President Buhari has consistently demonstrated that he is an ethnic champion, a religious bigot and the number one promoter of disunity in Nigeria. This he has done again with the appointment of yet another northerner as the NIA Director General.
“Even at a point, the National Chairman of the President’s party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), John Oyegun had to openly fault the appointments made by the President, saying that as many as three people were appointed from one ward in a local government in the north.
“The implication of what the President has done is that, when Security Council meeting is held today, apart from one or two insignificant people, those in the meeting will be people from one section of the country.
“Even para-military agencies are headed by people from President Buhari’s section of the country. This is unfair.”
Reminding Nigerians of his earlier warnings that President Buhari was operating as a president of the Northern Nigeria only and the the appointments made by the President negated the principle of federal character, Governor Fayose said; “Those who argued then that the President made the appointments on merit should come to the open to tell Nigerians, especially those from the south that there is no one that merited appointment as Director General of NIA.
“Like I said before, those politicians, who painted the picture of a changed President Buhari to Nigerians before the 2015 presidential election must have seen now that he (Buhari) can never change from an ethnic champion to a nationalist,” Governor Fayose said. (The Sun)

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2017: Tough Year But Better Days Ahead , Buhari Says During Christmas Call |RN

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that 2017 had been a very tough year for Nigeria, but expressed optimism that 2018 will be a more prosperous one.

The President stated this when he received a delegation of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) residents who paid him Christmas homage in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Buhari noted with delight that God had answered the prayers of Nigerians as the rainy season was good and farmers recorded bumper harvest across the country.

“It has been a tough year for Nigeria and I hope next year will be a much more prosperous one.

“But God listened to the majority of us, the rainy season was very good and some states have got very good information from home; I never knew that the people from Kano who are more resourceful used to go to my area and hire farms, this year nobody hired farm, and nobody regretted it.

“And again the second one from the Gov. of Sokoto State said all the people that really registered early to perform last pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia were farmers. But he didn’t tell me if they took additional wives.

“But I am very pleased that people have gone back to the land with very good harvests,’’ he said.

Buhari used the opportunity to commend religious leaders for partnering with government in ensuring peaceful co-existence among the diverse ethno-religious groups in the country.

He stated that reports reaching him from security organisations across the country indicated that the religious leaders had been assisting the security agents in the maintenance of peace and tranquility in the society.

“I thank you very much for coming, especially the religious leaders.

“I am very pleased you are doing your best from the intelligence I am getting to make sure that people live as good neighbours and good Nigerians,’’ said the president.

Buhari, who also spoke on his recent miraculous medical recovery, said his absolute adherence to doctors’ instruction and orders was responsible for his improved health conditions.

He said: “It has been a tumultuous year. I thought I was 74 but I was told I was 75 I have never been so sick even the 30 months civil war (when) I was stumbling under farm of yams or cassava but this sickness I don’t know but I came out better.

“All those who saw me before and when I came back said I look much better, but I have explained it to the public that as a General I used to give orders now I take orders; the doctors told me to feed my stomach and sleep for longer hours that is why I am looking much better.’’

The delegation and Minister of the FCT, Alhaji Musa Bello, had earlier thanked God for not only restoring the President’s health, but also making him stronger and better looking.

“This is the third homage and we have never seen you better as you look today,’’ he said.

The Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), FCT Chapter, Mr Jonah Samson, lauded the Buhari administration for its performances in the fight against corruption and insurgency in the country.

Samson, who also commended the administration’s efforts towards ensuring security of life and property of citizens, urged the government to provide additional employment opportunities to address youth restiveness in the country.

The highlight of the event was the presentation of Christmas cards to the president by the FCT minister and the Chaplain of the Aso Rock Chapel.

(Source: NAN)

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Forget About Biafra Being Promoted By IPOB, Buhari Tells Igbo |The Republican News

…Promises South East better deal in 2018

From Obinna Odogwu, Abakaliki

President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to the people of South East region not to buy into the idea of Biafra being promoted by the members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

He assured Igbo of fair share of his developmental projects next year, revealing that some key projects had already been designed for the region, especially in the area of road infrastructure, agriculture and social services, captured in the 2018 budget.

Speaking at the Abakaliki Township Stadium, as part of programmes lined up for his one-day visit to Ebonyi State, President Buhari asked Igbo to work for the country’s unity, saying  the agitation for the realisation of Biafra was “a senseless propaganda” being promoted by “some misguided youths” in the region.

He said dividing the country across ethnic lines was tantamount to betraying the efforts of Nigeria’s founding fathers.

“I am asking you all not to buy into the senseless propaganda on secession. Igbo is Nigeria and Nigeria is Igbo, both are inseparable.

“We must, therefore, continue to commit ourselves to the development of Nigeria by sustaining our national unity without compromising our cultural identities, a Nigerian where the aspirations of its people is guaranteed without prejudice to tribe or religion, a Nigerian where we can sleep at night knowing that tomorrow will be better than today.

“The task of nation building is a continuous one. Our founding fathers from all corners of this country worked together to actualise the creation of one Nigeria. After independence, the same founding fathers worked together to maintain this one Nigeria.

“Yes, they had differences of opinion at times; after all, they were only human. And yes, they had moments of weaknesses and doubt, but again no one is perfect. However, one thing they all protected until the end of their lives was having one Nigeria for all Nigerians. Today, Nigeria is 57 years old. Nigeria has gone through many pains, but has also achieved significant successes.

“Its citizens are leaders in all aspects of human development, but we rarely celebrate these successes. Some misguided Nigerians will rather channel their energies to propagating negative stories and senseless rumours. Over 68 per cent of Nigeria’s population is under 25 years old. They have little knowledge of Nigeria’s journey. They were not born during the dark days of the civil war and nation building afterwards.  The task of nation building is a continuous one; it relies on the successful transition of factual knowledge from one generation to another. This means it is our collective responsibility to ensure we do not betray our founding fathers as we transfer the Nigerian project from one generation to the next.

“As our national anthem says, the labours of our heroes past shall never be in vain. So, parents, speak to your children about the importance of their heritage, culture and being open-minded. Teachers, teach your students about the history of the nation and how it was a correlation of diversity that brought it to existence. And as leaders, we must lead by example, tolerance and acceptance of diversity.”

Also speaking earlier, when he addressed stakeholders, Buhari had said his visit to Ebonyi State was  a demonstration of the belief in the unity of Nigeria.

“When I met with the leaders of the South East in Abuja last month, they raised several issues of concern, including the state of the roads and infrastructure in the region. I want to assure you that we will deliver on our promises. Our 2018 budget included many strategic projects for the region in the area of road, power, agriculture and social services.”

President Buhari expressed delight to be in Ebonyi State, noting that he was glad that the state has fared well.

He praised Governor Dave Umahi for his developmental strides while thanking traditional rulers in the state for bestow on him a chieftaincy title.

He said: “I am delighted to be in Abakaliki today to interact with the good of Ebonyi State and again with the South East region as a whole. I want to extend my gratitude to the people of Ebonyi State for their hospitality and the warm reception since my arrival a few hours ago.

“I will like to commend His Excellency, Governor David Umahi, for his vision and commitment to the development of Ebonyi State, which included some of the projects I commissioned since my arrival. They are laudable.

“I am also grateful to the traditional rulers of Ebonyi State who bestowed on me the traditional title: Ezi Enyi Oma 1 (Good friend 1). I thank you for this honour and kind gesture.”

Governor Umahi thanked the president for “supporting the state in many ways.”

“You have helped us quite a lot, especially in the area of agriculture revolution and solid mineral. Today, you made us a giant in agriculture and so, we have here with us 2,000 bags of rice and 2,000 pieces to give to our president.

“It is a prayer answered because you have sown in the land of Ebonyi and God has given you the strength and health to partake in that seed that you planted. We are grateful to give back to our father who has given so much to us,” Umahi said.

The president, incontinuation of his visit to the South-East would be in Anambra State today where he is expected to meet with chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC).  (The Sun)

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Nigerian Man Whose Cousin Works In London Hospital Says Buhari Is In Coma, Surgery Unsucessful


G7 Leaders Meet For Summit At Schloss Elmau

President Muhammdu Buhari

One Twitter user, Deriano Agada, has claimed that his cousin who works at a London hospital, supposedly the one where the president is being administered, said the President is in a coma, as he had an unsuccessful surgery.

The rumour about President Muhammadu Buhari being operated for prostate cancer has made rounds, with so many media houses reporting on it. Though, all were denied by the presidency, this account, which is somewhat personal close contact with the ailing president wouldn’t ease the tension either.

He says doctors have advised PMB to resign from his work and attend to his health – this further proves that the president is not dead.

So, this piece of news puts to rest one speculation or rumour, that is that Buhari is still alive, but his state is something that is still open to rumours since the presidency is keen in not telling more about his state.

Read his tweets below:

UPDATE!!! His Account Has Now Been Suspended By Twitter

partly culled from Nigeria News Mill

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Onnoghen Gets Clearance To Be Chief Justice Of Nigeria

Yusuf Alli

Onnoghen gets nod to be CJN

•Justice Onnoghen

•Presidency to submit name

Those pushing for Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Walter Onnoghen’s confirmation are likely to carry the day.

He has been cleared of all allegations impeding his appointment as the head of the nation’s Judiciary.

The Presidency may send his name to the Senate for confirmation “any moment from now”, The Nation learnt yesterday.

The nomination may either be sent by President Muhammadu Buhari or Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, depending on when the President’s vacation ends. He has asked for an extension.

A security report on Justice Onnoghen is said to have been centred on “the fact that he is reform-minded and suitable for the anti-corruption agenda of the Buhari administration”.

The Presidency is believed to have received the report.

A government source said: “All hurdles against the nomination of Justice Walter Onnoghen as CJN have been resolved. He has been absolved of all allegations against him.

“As a matter of fact, the nomination was delayed as a result of the need to address these allegations. Now, Justice Onnoghen has been given a clean bill of health.

“Every allegation was investigated and proofs indicated that Onnoghen has no case to answer. The government went to this extent to ensure that the holder of the office of CJN is above board.”

The source dismissed the insinuations that the delay in nominating Justice Onnoghen had to do with his being a Southerner.

“There were issues against him and it became imperative to get to the roots of these allegations,” he said, adding: “More importantly, the outcome of the security checks rated Onnoghen as ‘reform-minded and suitable for anti-corruption agenda of Buhari administration’.

Justice  Onnoghen’s appointment as Acting CJN will end on February 10.

Justice Onnoghen underwent security checks by the Department of State Services (DSS) and other agencies in the light of the ongoing probe of some judges of the Supreme Court.

Some of the checks focused on:

  • Justice Onnoghen’s antecedent as a lawyer.
  • What the 1994 Justice Kayode Eso (JSC) panel said on Onnoghen
  • How NJC Review Committee of 1999 on the Eso Panel’s report, headed by Justice Bola Babalakin(JSC), addressed issues against Justice Onnoghen
  • Outcome of recent investigation of bribery allegations against some Supreme Court Justices  by the DSS
  • Recommendations of the Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC) and the National Judicial Council (NJC) on Onnoghen.

Another government source added: “These agencies sent independent  confidential assessment to the President on the credibility and competence of Justice Onnoghen.

“Some  of the allegations bordered on observations  made on Onnoghen  in 1994 by a Judicial Reform Panel which was headed by late Justice Kayose Eso (JSC).

“The panel, which was raised by the late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha, indicted 47 judges and recommended their dismissal or retirement from the bench.

“Members of the National Judicial Council (NJC) however rose in favour of Justice Onnoghen by producing evidence that Justice Bola Babalakin Review Panel, set up ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo, cleared Justice Onnoghen in 1999.

“They said it was on the basis of the clean bill of health that the NJC strongly recommended the confirmation of Onnoghen as the Chief Justice of Nigeria.”

The source also said further checks revealed that Justice Onnoghen had been incorruptible.

The source added: “Onnoghen was also rated as a conscientious judge and one of the three justices who wrote dissenting judgement on the 2007 Presidential Election in favour of the then candidate of the then All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Gen. Muhammadu Buhari.

“The other judges were Justice Oguntade and ex-CJN Mariam Aloma Mukhtar.

The tenure of the immediate past  CJN, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, ended on November 10.

Both the Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC) and the National Judicial Council (NJC)  recommended Justice Onnoghen to President Muhammadu Buhari as the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN).

But the President appointed Justice Onnoghen as Acting CJN, a development which drew much criticism.

The appointment of CJN is always in accordance with Section 231 of the 1999 Constitution, but subject to confirmation by the Senate.

The section says: “The appointment of a person to the office of Chief Justice of Nigeria shall be made by the President on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council subject to the confirmation of such appointment by the Senate.

“A person shall not  be qualified to hold the office of CJN or of a Justice of the Supreme Court, unless he is qualified to practice as a legal practitioner in Nigeria and has been so qualified for a period of not less than 15 years.

“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 appoint the most Senior Justice of the Supreme Court to perform those functions.

“Except on the recommendation of the NJC, appointment pursuant to the provisions of subsection(4) of this 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.”  (The Nation)

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Patriotism: A Look At Buy Made In Nigeria, Medical Tourism, Vacations Abroad

By Ike A. Offor


Buhari on vacation in London

One of the very interesting discourses in Nigeria right now is  patronising products that are made in Nigeria. The present government of APC led by president Muhammadu Buhari faced with tremendous pressure from the economic downturn has made sketchy efforts to get the slogan going. But have they been honest about it, that remains to be seen.

This very slogan was the brainchild of the senate president, Dr Bukola Saraki, who saw further than others and stressed on this and made efforts to kickstart the competition on  #BuyMadeinNigeria# with a hashtag, which did very well among Nigerians.

Then, the very imperative question to ask is, do these Nigerians, the senate President, the rest of the lawmakers, the president, Muhammadu Buhari and his aides and a lot others ‘buy made in Nigeria’? That is a  question they cannot look Nigerians  to their faces and give them affirmative responses.

The slogan is definitely a very good one to rekindle the spirit of patriotism among the citizens but how honest are the leaders in doing this, especially the man at the helm of affairs in the country? But what about them talking the talk and walking the walk?

The all-round patriot since Nigeria gained independence is Dr Goodlcuk Ebelechukwu Jonathan. This humble man has in every way demonstrated that he is an astute humble patriot.

For the very first time in the history of Nigeria from the time of independence till this very tenure of president Muhammadu Buhari, the country has never produced any president that has demonstrated such practical patriotism as Goodluck Jonathan had.

Some folks would ask how and some would try to dispute it but the record is there to vindicated him.

Goodluck has been the only president or head of state who never spent a single day during his holidays during the six years he was in office outside shores of Nigeria. Every single holiday he spent in either at his country home or in Obudu ranch and anywhere else within the shores of Nigeria but never outside.  He made it his priority to spend all those six years of holidays in Nigeria. So, he never took away much-needed finances from Nigeria to some holiday destination abroad.

Also, Goodluck Jonathan demonstrated that no head of state or president need to embark in any medical tourism of any kind outside the borders of Nigeria. He did all his medical diagnosis, treatment and whatever else that has to do with medical attention in Nigeria. There showed that those presidents who frequently leave the shores of Nigeria and engage in expensive and needless medical tourism are mere braggadocio and cockiness. These trips are not needed and is mere waste of money by these heads of state and other politicians.

Jonathan’s children are all studying in Nigeria with none schooling abroad.  If these are not practical demonstration of patriotism, one wonders what then is.  He could easily enroll his children in schools in the United Kingdom like others like Ibrahim Babangida and Sani Abacha and others did during their time in office. But his spirit of patriotism runs very deeper than those of all presidents and heads of state ever in the history of Nigeria. This way, he ensured that the capital flight is checked and the money he could have invested in some expensive schools abroad were all spent within Nigeria.

The most interesting aspect of his spirit of patriotism is that during his declaration of his assets, he made it a point of duty to challenge any Nigerian both home and abroad to prove him wrong that he has no bank account outside the shores of Nigeria.

Up until this day, no journalist, or media outlet has ever taken up such challenge and proved him wrong. It is evidently clear that Dr Goodluck Ebelechukwu Jonathan has no foreign bank account and does not bank any penny of his anywhere else than in Nigerian banks within her borders. He also declared that he has no property, whether, landed or house outside Nigeria.

Now, let’s compare that with the present occupant of the highest office in the land. President Muhammadu Buhari has spent all his holidays abroad and all have been in the United Kingdom. He has also done all his several medical diagnosis and treatments in his barely two years tenure in office abroad. He has travelled outside the country for several medical checks and treatments. He also maintains foreign accounts and has reportedly been revealed by BBC and other UK media that he has a landed property and few houses in the UK. The UK media have also revealed that Buhari has a little over £1.5m in his bank account in London.

It is very clear and well-known fact that all his children attended their schools in the UK. The fact has it that his daughter Zahra attended one of the most expensive Universities in  Sunderland in England.

So, the question is who would Nigerians take seriously when he thrust up the idea of buy  made in Nigeria? Is it the man who ran to abroad for headaches, ear infections, throat aches  and mere medical diagnosis. Or the man who maintains no foreign bank account, and he has his children in schools  in Nigeria and has no single property, whether landed or house abroad, and the man who spent all his vacations in Nigeria?

The ball is now in your court to judge or decide who is really a patriot, who patronizes everything Nigerian.

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