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Presidency Replies Arewa Youths Letter To Osinbajo Supporting Biafra’s Peaceful Secession

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Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo

From: Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

The Presidency has reacted to Arewa youths’ letter to Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, urging him to allow agitation for Biafra to succeed through peaceful means.

According to the Presidency, the ongoing  consultations with leaders of thoughts and traditional rulers from the North and Southeastern regions of the country, following the escalation of ethnic tensions occasioned by the agitation for Biafra and the vacation order  issued by Northern youths for Igbo to quit the North, was the best way to approach the issue.

A top Presidential source, who pleaded not to be named, told Daily Sun that, “our response is the ongoing consultations Mr Acting President is engaged in with leaders of thoughts from both regions. It is the best way to get everyone to see reason. The Presidency doesn’t want to escalate the matter by responding to individual groups. The ongoing parley is the best approach.”

The coalition of northern youth groups that recently gave all Igbo persons resident in the North three months ultimatum to vacate the region had, in a letter on Monday urged Osinbajo to take allow agitation for Biafra to succeed through peaceful means.

The group, in an open letter to the acting president, urges him to take “steps to facilitate the actualization of the agitation in line with the principle of self-determination as an integral part of contemporary customary international law”.

The coalition, while commending Osinbajo for initiating series of discussions with leaders from the north and south-east, however, said going by recent events, the talks would not yield any positive results.

The letter, which was signed by five leaders of the group insisted that  principle of self-determination has, since world War II become a part of the United Nations Charter which states in Article 1(2), that one of the purposes of the UN is “to develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples”.

” We submit that this protocol envisages that people of any nation have the right to self-determination, and although the Charter did not categorically impose direct legal obligations on the Member States; it implies that member States allow agitating or minority groups to self-govern as much as possible,” they said.  (Punchng.com)

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IPOB Condemns Meeting Between Osinbajo And Some Igbo Leaders, Calls It Futile

 

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Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo with some Igbo leaders

”The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has condemned the meeting between the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo and some Igbo leaders of Thought, saying it was a “senseless, futile” gathering.

Recall that Osinbajo hosted some Igbo leaders at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. Issues bordering on the ultimatum issued by Northern youths that Igbos should vacate their region in three months and the struggle for secession by various pro-Biafra groups were discussed.

Reacting to the meeting, IPOB described those who attended the parley as political jobbers, who have no mandate to speak for people of the South East. The pro-Biafra group also berated the Acting President for allegedly using “scarce” resources that could have been
channelled for useful purposes to host Igbo leaders.

In a statement by its spokesperson, Emma Powerful, IPOB said the meeting was an “insult to the sensibilities of Biafrans all over
the world.”

The statement reads, “We the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) under the supreme leadership of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu wish to
place on record our unequivocal condemnation of the wholesomely senseless and futile gathering of a few compromised political jobbers from core Igbo states of Biafraland
in Abuja yesterday.

“This meeting we understand was convened at the instigation of the Nigerian Acting President Professor Yemi Osinbajo following
the political fallout from the hugely successful IPOB sit-at-home order of 30th of May 2017.
“With one or two exceptions and with the greatest respect to the attendees to this Nigeria sponsored gathering in Abuja, the so-called South East delegation is in no way representative of the views of the leadership of IPOB worldwide, neither can they claim with any degree of sincerity to be speaking for the masses.

“Therefore all Professor Osinbajo has succeeded in achieving with this meeting is to waste scarce resources that could have been channelled towards more useful purposes. None of those that attended this meeting with Osinbajo gave the order for people to sit at home on May 30th.

So we are at a loss to understand the justification for their invitation to the meeting to discuss something they know nothing about.
“IPOB viewed the meeting with certain Igbo politicians who are sympathetic to APC as an insult to the sensibilities of Biafrans all
over the world, especially the memory of the dead and injured.

The group affirmed the stance of its leader that any discussion with the Nigerian government must include a date fo a referendum or such discussion is an “exercise in futility.”

The statement added, “Our leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has made it abundantly clear that any discussion or dialogue with Nigerian
government that doesn’t include an agreement on a referendum date to determine the issue of Biafra once and for all time, is an exercise in futility.

“In this regard, we wish to inform the government of Nigeria that the gathering and deliberations they thought they had yesterday is
a complete waste of time and will continue to be until the Federal Government does the needful.

“We note and respect the presence of Chief Nnia Nwodo the Ohaneze Leader and two others at that very meeting, however the
rest are nothing to write home about.

We do not think that presiding over the distribution of monthly allocation from Abuja
qualifies any political office holder to discuss issues pertaining to IPOB and Biafra restoration when the leadership can be directly contacted.

“Since August 2015 that Nigerian Government and her security operatives, especially the Army, Navy, DSS and Police, have been killing and abducting innocent and peaceful IPOB members, none of the governors that attended this meeting in Abuja rose to condemn the brutal and barbaric repression of IPOB peaceful
agitation for an independent homeland for Biafrans.

“None of them offered any comment in condemnation of the well documented atrocities despite the existence of overwhelming evidence to substantiate the facts alluded to in the widely received Amnesty Report on the senseless slaughter of IPOB
members.

“How can such persons now go to Abuja to discuss issues bothering on the activities of IPOB when they know nothing about
the modus operandi of the organisation. Only IPOB can and will discuss issues pertaining to her activities, not compromised politicians.

“From time, we firmly resolved that nobody among the governors or politicians can set an agenda for IPOB except our leader Mazi
Nnamdi Kanu. The sooner Nigerian Government understands this, the better.
Therefore, any meeting without the consent of our leader or those nominated by him in a representative capacity, is a complete waste and unacceptable to IPOB.”

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Anti-Igbo Threat: Osinbajo Meets Igbo Leaders |The Republican News

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                              Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo

Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja

The Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, is currently meeting with leaders from the South East in continuation of his consultations over the recent quit notice handed down to people of Igbo extraction to leave the northern part of the country.

He had on Tuesday met with leaders of thought from the Northern part of the country on the same issue.

Osinbajo told his guests that the consultations were necessary, and important, because of recent events in the country.

He recalled that there had been loud and sometimes hostile agitations by youths in the South East, calling for secession from Nigeria.

He added that there was the recent ultimatum by a group of youths from the North, asking South Easterners living in the North to leave by October 1.

“I firmly believe that we ought to address these agitations and proclamations urgently and decisively,” the Acting President told his guests on Wednesday.

Details later…….

(Punchng.com)

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Quit Threat: Osinbajo Reads Riot Act For Troublemakers, Vows Full Weight Of Law

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                                Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo

Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja

The Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, on Tuesday, read the Riot Act to all those beating the drum of war across the country, saying the full force of the law would be applied where necessary.

Osinbajo gave the warning while addressing leaders of thought from the Northern part of the country at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The meeting which was held behind closed doors was called in the wake of the recent quit notice youths from the Northern part of the country handed down to people from the South East to leave their region.

Osinbajo, however in his opening remarks before journalists were excused from the venue, said the Federal Government was determined to ensure unity in the country.

He said hate speeches and other divisive behaviours would be met with the full force of the law.

He said the government would take very seriously any attempts to cause violence or disrupt the peace of the country.

The Acting President said, “As a government, we are determined to ensure the unity of the country along the lines of our Constitution and I want to say that hate and divisive speech or divisive behaviour where it is illegal will be met with the full force of the law.

“I want to ensure that there is no doubt at all that it is the resolve of the government that none will be allowed to get away with making speeches that can cause sedition or that can cause violence.

“This is especially because when we make these kinds of pronouncement and do things that can cause violence or destruction of lives and property, we are no longer in control. Those who make those speeches are no longer in control.

“So I want to emphasise that government will take very seriously any attempts to cause violence or disrupt the peace of this country. And that is very important because you cannot control violence once it begins.”

Osinbajo likened violence or hate speech to a stone that is thrown in the marketplace which will hit targets that will be deadly.

He said Nigerians needed to be fully conscious that they do not create a crisis that is not intended.

Osinbajo admitted that as part of living together, misunderstandings and frustrations will always arise and people will always want to get the best part of the deal.

This notwithstanding, he said Nigerians must be careful to recognise that they can only begin to talk about any part of anything if they are together in peace.

“These days, wars do not end and I am sure that those who have seen or experienced war in any shape or form will not wish it on their worst enemies.

“This is not a time to retreat behind ethnic lines, moments like this are not for isolating ourselves.

“I want to urge all of us here and the entire Nigerian populace to come together and work together,” he appealed.

Those at the meeting included President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki; Speaker of the House of Representative, Yakubu Dogara; Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonishakin; Chairman of Arewa Consultative Forum and former Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Comassie; spokesman of the Northern Elders Forum, Prof. Ango Abdullahi; and a former governor of Sokoto State, Aliyu Wamako.

Others are former deputy governor of Plateau State, Pauline Tallen; Publisher of Leadership Newspapers, Sam Ndah-Isaiah;  Paul Unongo,  AVM Murkar and Chairman Liberty Radio/Television, Tijani Ramalan, and the Editor in Chief of Daily Trust, Dan Ali among others.

Osinbajo is expected to meet with leaders from the South East separately before he will eventually meet with both groups together.

His Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Laolu Akande, confirmed this in a series of tweets on his Twitter handle.  (Punchng.com)

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Democracy Day: Be Prepared To Make Sacrifices, Osinbajo Tells Nigerians

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                                            Yemi Osinbajo

Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja

The acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, on Sunday said Nigeria was in dire need of those who could make sacrifices to make the nation great.

He said the country was in need of teachers who were prepared to teach; doctors who were prepared to provide quality health services and those who were willing to fight corruption, despite all odds.

Osinbajo spoke at the 2017 Democracy Day Interdenominational Church Service held at the National Christian Centre, Abuja.

The service had ‘The Dry Bones Shall Live Again’ as its theme.

Buttressing his point with the story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:30-37, the acting President advised Nigerians against emulating the politician and the cleric in the story that looked the other way when they saw the man that was attacked by thieves and left for dead.

He urged them to emulate the Good Samaritan, whom he described as a nobody, that took compassion on the victim, poured oil on his wounds, and took him to the hospital.

Osinbajo said, “When we look at our country, it is not the state it fell into that is the story but the story is how the people react when you see the nation that needs to be helped.

“While the politician and cleric look the other way when they saw the man that was half dead, the Good Samaritan had compassion on him, bandaged him and took him to the hospital.

“Who truly loves the nation? Is it the priest that said a prayer and walked past or the politician that looked and walked past or the Samaritan that took the wounded to the hospital, paid some money and said ‘treat him, on my return, I will offset the bill’?

“The nation requires those that can make the sacrifices to make it great. They are those whom Jesus spoke about; people that may not be of note but are prepared to make the nation great again. Some are doctors, teachers, young graduates.

“There is sacrifice of integrity against corruption. When you speak against corruption, it fights back, so you must be ready to make sacrifice no matter how highly placed or small you are. Teachers who are prepared to teach, doctors who are prepared to provide health services, no matter what.

“Make the sacrifices required to make our nation great whether you are a leader or a follower.”

Osinbajo concluded his address by praying that God would heal President Muhammadu Buhari and bring him back safely to resume his duties.

Earlier in his sermon, Apostle Sunday Popoola of the Apostle of the Word Communication Ministries and Founder of Christ Family Assembly Churches had warned those contemplating a coup in the country to desist from it because, according to him, such moves would not succeed.

“If you are out there like me, you will know that Nigerians are fed up and are waiting for something to spark. We need to be patient with the present government which has something to offer. Coup cannot work now and will not succeed,” he said.

The clergyman also called for genuine reforms in the nation’s civil service.  (Punchng.com)

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National Assembly Forwards 2017 Budget To Osinbajo Today |The Republican News

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Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo

John Ameh and Leke Baiyewu, Abuja

The 2017 budget may get to the table of Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday (today), findings by The PUNCH indicated on Tuesday.

It was learnt that the Legal Department of the National Assembly had already concluded work on cross-checking the details of the N7.441tn appropriation bill and was set to route it to the Presidency on Wednesday morning.

Sources at the National Assembly Liaison Office of the Presidency informed The PUNCH that the document had been initially scheduled to be transmitted to prudency on Tuesday.

One of the sources stated, “We have been in communication with the National Assembly. They told us to expect the budget today, but up till now, it hasn’t come.

“We now hear it will be tomorrow (today).”

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (House of Representatives), Mr. Abdulrahman Kawu, confirmed that the office was expecting the budget today.

“It is Wednesday (today); at least, that was what I was told. So, we wait and see,” he added.

Kawu spoke amid speculation that the Presidency had already raised concerns over certain changes in the budget, though he declined to speak on the areas of possible disagreement when The PUNCH sought his reactions.

One of our correspondents gathered that issues were allegedly raised on some sub-heads in the budget of the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing.

“Some changes were made. They cut funds from some allocations by the executive and they added to other sub-heads.

“This will affect the implementation of the projects on these sub-heads,” one official told The PUNCH.

In the budget, power, works and housing ministry has a combined highest sectoral allocation of N586.534bn, up from the N529bn initially budgeted by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The National Assembly had passed a total of N7.441tn as the national budget on Thursday, last week, jacking it up by over N143bn above Buhari’s original N7.298tn.

The President had forwarded his estimates to the National Assembly on December 14, 2016.

The additional N143bn was spread across key federal road projects, the presidential amnesty programme and the National Assembly, among other sub-heads.

For instance, federal roads got additional N25bn.

Both the amnesty programme and the National Assembly got additional N10bn.

This shot up the budget of the National Assembly to N125bn from the N115bn it got in 2016, while the amnesty programme’s budget rose to N75bn from the N65bn proposed by Buhari.

The reconstruction of the runway of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport gulped N5.8bn; additional personnel cost of 18 agencies, N5.1bn; subscription to Shelter Afrique, N3.6bn; National Identity Management Commission, N5bn; and backlog of corps members’ allowances, N13bn.

The total recurrent expenditure was raised to N2.987tn from the initial presidential vote of N2.979tn; and the capital vote from N2.058tn to N2.177tn.

Also, the Senate, on Tuesday, specifically confirmed that the 2017 Appropriation Bill, passed by the National Assembly, would be transmitted to the Presidency for assent latest by Wednesday.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Aliyu Sabi-Abdullahi, on Tuesday, said the National Assembly delayed transmission of the bill as the document was still undergoing legislative processes after it was passed on Thursday.

The Senate’s spokesman, however, explained that there were more legislative processes on the bill before it could be transmitted to the Presidency.

Sabi-Abdullahi stated, “If you are familiar with our procedures, you will see that the budget always carries some signatures.

“So, the two chairmen (of Committee on Appropriations) of the two chambers have to do that. And when they do that, it will be transmitted to the Clerk to the National Assembly, who will make sure that he also puts in his administrative process to form the document to the Presidency.

“The fact that we have approved it does not amount to the fact that it will move straight to the Presidency. Whichever way it goes, those who are responsible for processing this document have been doing that ever since we passed it. Any moment from now, either today or at most, tomorrow, they should be able to transmit it to the Presidency.”

Sabi-Abdullahi recalled that the Senate held a second session on Thursday to fast-track the final processes and transmission of the budget.  (Punchng.com)

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Ikoyi $43.4m: Osinbanjo Panel Compiles List Of Invitees |The Republican News

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Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo

Barely 24 hours after its constitution, the Presidential Investigative Committee on alleged infractions by two senior government officials got cracking yesterday.

The committee, headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, is probing suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Babachir Lawal and National Intelligence Agency (NIA) Director-General Ayo Oke.

Lawal is alleged to have awarded a N200million contract to a company, Global Vision Limited, linked with him by the Presidential Initiative for the North East (PINE) for the clearing of “invasive plant species” (weeds) in Yobe State.

Oke is being investigated over the $43.4million “covert operations” cash, which the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) found in an apartment in Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos.

Contrary to the popular thinking that the NIA hid the $43.4million away from President Muhammadu Buhari, sources in the agency said yesterday that a brief was submitted to the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) detailing the cash at hand as part of a comprehensive report for the President. But it was not clear last night whether the President actually got the report.

The Vice President and committee members met yesterday on their two-week mandate.

A source said: “The VP and members of the panel met to set up the structure for their investigation and list those who are likely to be interrogated.

“Members also got copies of the Interim Report which was submitted to the Presidency by the Acting Chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Magu and briefs from Engr. Babachir Lawal and Amb. Ayo Oke.

“The collation of issues to determine was ongoing as at press time .Once it is done, what is left is to isolate others who will appear before the panel, apart from Magu, the SGF and DG NIA. It is a big assignment with the right foundation laid by different memos/briefs already submitted to the Presidency.”

The committee is also expecting details of the operation in Osborne Towers from the EFCC, whose Acting Chairman Magu returned to Abuja yesterday.

Another source, who spoke in confidence, said: “The committee will certainly interact with all those involved in the request and approval of the funds; the remittance of the cash and those in charge of the management of Osborne Towers.

Some lawyers may represent the embattled SGF, the NIA DG, companies and others who are to appear before the committee. But, it could not be immediately ascertained if the committee will be disposed to the engagement of lawyers.

A source said: “This investigation is about the reputation of some individuals and companies who have decided to engage lawyers to be on their defence team.

“Those affected do not want to appear before the committee and get locked in any technicality which may lead to their dismissal or prosecution.

“Their argument is that it is also the standard practice all over the world to get counsel to come along with those being investigated.”

NIA sources insisted last night that the agency did not hide the $43.4million from President Buhari.

A source said: “Contrary to what is being said, the NIA actually did not hide the $43.4million from President Muhammadu Buhari. This will imply that the agency has an ulterior motive.

“What actually happened was that the agency’s brief was submitted to the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) detailing the cash at hand, including the $43.4m, as part of a comprehensive report for the President.

“We have all the memos written to ONSA. It is also a good development that the NSA, Gen. Babagana Monguno, is a member of Osinbajo’s committee. We hope that at the appropriate time, he will step aside to either corroborate or deny these memos.”

Apart from the Vice President and Monguno, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami(AGF), is also a member of the committee.

The three-man committee is expected to:

  • enquire into the circumstances in which the NIA came into possession of the funds;
  • find out how and by whose or which authority the funds were made available to the NIA; and to
  • establish whether or not there has been a breach of the law or security procedure in obtaining custody and use of the funds.

There were indications last night that the EFCC has ended its search and combing operations in Osborne Towers in Lagos in respect of the $43.4million haul.

The operatives drafted for the assignment have returned to Abuja.

But a skeletal surveillance was left in the controversial Apartment 7B.

Also, it was learnt that the anti-graft commission has obtained some vital documents from the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) on the company used to acquire the apartment by the National Intelligence Agency (CAC).

It was gathered that one of the documents provided a fresh insight into the acquisition of the apartment with EFCC putting another company in Ikeja under watch.

A reliable source, who spoke in confidence, said: “The EFCC has ended its search and combing of apartments in Osborne Towers. Those who went for the operation in Lagos are back to Abuja.

“There is however a surveillance still being out in place in Apartment 7B where over $43.4million was recovered.”

Responding to a question, the source added: “We have also obtained vital documents from the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) implicating another company in Ikeja. The company is now under EFCC watch including the profiling of its accounts.

(The Nation)

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