Category Archives: News

Open Letter To Femi Gbajabiamila On Refusal To Attend To 2021 Budget Because of End SARS

Mr. Speaker sir, my decision to write to you at this material time is necessitated by the fact that your recent outburst and insistent on being a sectional leader using your position as the Speaker of the House of Representative is not only disgusting but a clear sign that you have lost touch with reality, especially considering how our Northern Representatives rally around you in your bid to be the leader of the House of Representatives in this 9th Assembly.

Your recent annoying insistence that you will only sign the 2021 Appropriation Bill for onward transmission to the President for assent if the End SARS Protesters are considered for compensation, despite the apparent undertone that the so called protest is targeted more at disrupting and destabilizing the popular government of President Muhammadu Buhari is another sign that you are somehow in concord with the real aim of the protest and that to me will be a betrayal trust.

Before your recent behavior which has succeeded in revealing your true colour, I used to consider you as a modern Nationalist, but not anymore, because, this your call has shown that you have no feelings for your fellow compatriots in the North, considering the number of years the people of the north, especially, that of the North East and recently the North West had suffered insurgency, banditry and senseless killings, which had led into an unquantifiable loss of means of livelihood.

Furthermore, according to amnesty international who reported that some security personnel used unnecessary and excessive force on some Shiite and IPOB members from the North West and South East geo political zones of the country in 2015 and 2016 respectively which resulted in multiple deaths and injuries. Likewise, some security challenges like banditry, kidnapping, and armed robbery which also claimed innocent lives in Kaduna, Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Plateau, Nassarawa and Benue states.

Sagaciously, to my greatest surprise, I thought Mr. Speaker, is a concern Nigerian and also a voice for all Nigerians regardless of region, religion, social or political background, but unfortunately, you are not, otherwise, you should have included the aforementioned incidences in your Plenary speech at the Chambers of the Honourable House of Representatives.

Since Mr. Speaker, has failed to do that. That is why I decided to give you ample time to ponder over your dummy split about the lives that End SARS claimed as you stated and apologies to each and every Nigerian for your trabalistic approach to this very sensitive issue.
Therefore, I want to use this medium to draw your attention to the fact that during the time of your immediate predecessor Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, the leadership of the House of Representative had successfully shun all divisive tendencies, the people of North East will remain ever grateful and appreciative of his modest effort towards the establishment of the North East Development Commission, which has contributed in no small major in addressing their daily plight for meaningful life, but we cannot remember any time in our recent history when Dogara or anyone before him threating to jeopardize the collective interest of the people of Nigeria for the interest of some few nonentities.

Mr. Speaker, we want you to know that what you are doing at the moment is nothing but an attempt to destroy the long political investment you have made in the minds of Nigerians, especially in the North, don’t also forget that the seat you are occupying at the moment supposed to be that of the North Central if the APC political realignment is to be taken into consideration.

Mr. Speaker, my call to you at this very stage is to honorably step down from your position since you are not capable of serving as a speaker for all Nigerians, so as to give way for a more competent and capable hand, capable of leading us to the Promised Land.

It is also my call to all well-meaning members of the National Assembly, particularly, those of the House of Representatives, to start a movement for the removal of Femi Gbajabiamila from the Speakership of the House of Representatives if you did not apologies for your arrogant contempt to the nation in the next seven (7) days.

Mr. Speaker, I will also like to remind you that the followership you have being enjoying from the members of the House of Representatives, is not that of a slave-master relation, but understandably for the good of the country, so don’t mistaken that for cowardice, as we are keenly watching and it appears it is high time they begin to withdraw their support for your insensitive leadership.

Finally, should you see any reason to be a responsible leader, then refused only to do any of your obligation in solidarity with the victims of Boko Haram, who have being pounded continuously for over ten (10) years now for no good reason and not the End SARS Protesters who have cost this nation greatly. What I expected from you in all this is to take the side of the men of our hardworking security operatives who were killed in broad day light for protecting the lives and properties of your fellow citizens, but that is not to be.

At the end, I will keep praying for these security challenges to come to an end. And I also pray for peaceful coexistence in every part of the country going forward.

United we stand and divided we fall, long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.


Yours in humanity.

By: Alh. Umar Mohammed Maifata (Baraden Yalwa),
Yalwa, Bauchi, Bauchi State.
umarmuhdumar1970@gmail.com

Politics: WHY I LEFT PDP – GOV. DAVID UMAHI

Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State has said he wants to be a martyr who will be sacrificed to achieve the much-sought Igbo presidency.

David Umahi made the declaration on Tuesday in Abakaliki while briefing newsmen, noting that only martyrs make sacrifices for the peoples’ interest in difficult times.

The governor, who confirmed that he is defecting from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressive Congress, said he will not regret the decision no matter its outcome.

“I have to lead the protest against the marginalisation of the Igbos by the PDP and I don’t have to consult anybody to lead such a protest.

“I don’t want the PDP to collapse in the South-East but it can collapse itself in the zone if it does not heed the peoples’ advice to entrench justice, fairness, and equity.

“The PDP should be bold to declare its stand on zoning of the presidency to the South-East and if it cannot, should tell us why we are not capable of holding such a position but will come for our votes during elections,” he said.

Umahi said that the decision to leave PDP was not about leadership but about patriotism, justice, fairness and the overall interest of the people.

“I am not vying for any position in the APC so anybody who does not like me over the defection will be fighting the air.

“I will instead play the fatherly role of guiding anyone who wants to vie for any position because it is a waste of time for any governor to seek to replace himself.

“When you are looking for everybody to be loyal to you in politics, you might not get to your destination because destinations are not straight but full of obstacles,” he said.

Umahi said that he will not be disturbed if the APC fails to zone the presidency to the South-East but will depend on God to determine the matter.

“The APC, however, appears to be amenable towards working with the South-East even though the South-East never supported it the way it supported the PDP since 1999.

“We would be 24 years with the PDP by 2023 and Ebonyi, under my administration, will testify the numerous feats we have attained with the support of my friend and father, President Muhammadu Buhari,” he said.

He said his defection has created a political gathering and mass movement, unprecedented in Ebonyi history with both PDP and APC faithful coming together to pursue a common cause.

“I will have no regrets if our agitations are not met in APC as it will be on record that a governor was sacrificed for the betterment of his people on what is rightfully, their due.

“We will still protest if we are still unfairly treated in the APC because protest is the beauty of democracy and if it doesn’t work now, it can work in future,” he said.

Breaking: EFCC Grills Babatunde Fowler Over Fraud Allegations Against Alpha Beta

The EFCC Grills The Federal Executive Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service, Babatunde Fowler.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is presently interrogating a former Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Babatunde Fowler, over the N100 billion tax evasion allegations levelled against a tax firm, Alpha Beta Consulting.

Fowler, who was also a former Chief Executive Officer, Lagos State Internal Revenue Service, responded to an invitation from the EFCC on Monday.

A former Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Alpha Beta Consulting, Dapo Apara, had accused the firm of tax fraud to the tune of N100bn.

In a petition to the EFCC in 2018, Apara stated that Alpha Beta, the firm given exclusive rights to monitor and collect Internally Generated Revenue on behalf of the Lagos Government, “has become an avenue for official corruption of government officials, a conduit pipe for massive money-laundering scheme, tax evasion, among other vices.”

In the petition which was written by his lawyer, Adetunji Shoyoye and Associates, the ex-CEO claimed that the fraud had been covered by powerful politicians in the state.

The petition signed by Adetunji Adegboyega on behalf of the law firm, read in part, “Over the years the company has been protected and shielded by some powerful politicians and people in the society which made them to always boast of being untouchable, but our client, feeling the need not to keep quiet again and strengthened by his belief in the fact that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari is keen on fighting corruption, which has been the bane of our country, is of the firm belief that it’s time to expose and open the can of worms called Alpha Beta Consulting.”

The EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed that Fowler was with the commission.

“Yes, Fowler responded to an invitation this morning. I believe he is still here,” he explained.

Uwujaren, however, did not comment on the investigation.

Borno State: Zulum Shares Building Materials, Cash To Families of 25 Villages In Jere LG

Gov. Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum of Borno State, shares building materials, cash to families of 25 villages in Jere.

Borno State Governor, Babagana Umara Zulum on Saturday supervised the distribution of building materials and cash to 1,111 families who will reconstruct their homes across 25 villages in Jere local government area.

The distribution is one of government resettlement policies even though the government at many instances, builds and reconstruct thousands of homes on major projects.

Each of the 1,111 families empowered for resettlements, has at least six members.

They will be returning to safe communities they lived before they were displaced years ago.

At a brief ceremony which took place in Yawuri each family, called a household, received building materials and cash to renovate their houses and pick up the pieces of their lives.

Zulum assured the communities of Government’s continued assistance in ways that will boost access to livelihoods in irrigation agriculture taking advantage of potentials in the shores of Lake Alau.

The governor also promised to construct a new school and a hospital for the families.

The returning communities had been taking refuge in parts of Jere Local Government and Maiduguri Metropolitan for over 3 years.

Commissioner for Reconstruction, Resettlement and Rehabilitation, Engr. Mustapha Gubio informed the Governor that only displaced persons who indicated interest to to return were listed for the self-reconstruction empowerment.

Meanwhile, Governor Zulum was at Dalwa, a community in Konduga Local Government Area where the ministry for reconstruction already mobilised to site for construction of 500 houses.

President Buhari Assures Okonjo-Iweala of Support For Her WTO Ambition

President Muhammadu Buhari Monday in Abuja assured Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance and Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, that the country will explore every opportunity and deploy its entire energy to ensure that she becomes the Director-General of World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Dr Okonjo-Iweala is one of two candidates contesting for the top position of the multilateral institution.

President Buhari, who received the former Managing Director (Operations) of the World Bank at the Presidential Villa, said she deserved more support to get the top job because of her profile and diligence in serving the country, and the world.

“I assure you that we will do all that we can to ensure that you emerge as the Director-General of WTO, not only because you are a Nigerian, but because you are a hardworking Nigerian. You deserve this,’’ he added.

The President assured Dr Okonjo-Iweala that he will make more phone calls, and send letters to some world leaders for more support.

“I did the same for Dr Akinwunmi Adesina for President of the African Development Bank. Both of you served the country under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). You are both highly qualified. We will continue to support you. I will immediately make those calls,’’ the President told Dr Okonjo-Iweala.

In her remarks, Dr Okonjo-Iweala, a renowned development economist, thanked the President and his ministers, particularly the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, and Ministers of Industry, Trade and Investment for supporting her staunchly.

“I feel very proud of Nigeria. I am getting so much support from you, Mr President, Chief of Staff, Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Ministers of Industry, Trade and Investments. The ministers have been working around the clock to ensure that I succeed,’’ she said.

The former Minister of Finance also appreciated ECOWAS leaders for their endorsement, mentioning in particular the outstanding contributions of President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger Republic and immediate past Chairman of ECOWAS as well as President Alhassan Quattara of Cote d’Ivoire.

She asked the President to “make one final push within the week to beat the Koreans and bring this to Nigeria by sending a few letters and placing telephone calls to some world leaders, and also thank others for their support.’’

“Mr President, put a smile on my face,’’ she said, “I am very proud of the country.’’

The statement was made available today by Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity.

SARS: Senate President Commends President Buhari For Acceding To The Demand of The People

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for listening to the voice of the Nigerian people over their dissatisfaction with the operations of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad(SARS) of the Nigeria Police Force.

Lawan said with the courageous decision to dissolve the police unit, the President and his government have shown themselves as responsive to the feelings of the people.

“I am applauding the President because it is a demonstration of good leadership to yield to the demand of the populace in difficult situations like this,” Lawan said.

He also commended the Inspector-General of Police for the decision and challenged him to come up with measures for the transformation of the Nigeria Police into an effective law enforcement and crime fighting agency that is also a true and respected friend of the Nigerian people.

The Senate President said the measures should fully address all the issues that earned the dissolved SARS the odium of the Nigerian people, and in particular of the articulate Nigerian youths.

“The expectation is that this situation offers us another opportunity to reform the operations of the entire Force.

“I also reiterate my call for the prosecution of all security personnel whose extra judicial killings and other acts of misconduct brought us to this sorry pass.

“I hope that the steps taken by the Inspector-General of Police will be followed with more comprehensive reform of the Police,” Lawan said.

The statement was made available yesterday by Ola Awoniyi, the Special Adviser on Media to the President of the Senate.

President Buhari Says Farmers Will Reap Benefits of Our Policies

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that Nigerian farmers stand to reap the benefits of his government’s reforms as he continues to accord the highest priority to agriculture, describing it as the country’s largest employer of labour and engine of growth.

At a meeting with Katsina State Elders Forum at the State House in Abuja on Thursday, the President said his administration will continue to take steps to enhance output and productivity by ensuring the availability of cheap agricultural credits, farm inputs, fertilizer and the introduction of latest technologies.

President Buhari said the choice of practicing farmers as ministers in charge of agriculture, first Chief Audu Ogbe and now, Alhaji Sabo Nanono, was a reflection of his strong wish to protect the interest of farmers and the attainment of national food self-sufficiency.

He agreed to look into the request of the Katsina Elders for the expansion of existing irrigation schemes at Zobe and Sabke dams to enhance employment and profitability in agriculture, saying that a situation in which 60 per cent of the state is productive in rain-fed agriculture for three to four months, and idle for the rest of the year was unacceptable.

The President told the meeting that he had charged his ministers of agriculture to work with the states to rediscover the lost animal grazing routes and reserves as a means to ending the frequent outbreak of violence between farmers and herders.

He also pressed the necessity of educating school-age children, saying that once the opportunity of early education is lost, it often turns out very difficult for them to make up.

According to him, “This is the best preparation we can give to them. We destroy their lives by denying children education.”

President Buhari also broached the issue of armed banditry and kidnapping that had bedevilled Katsina and other northwestern states and gave assurances that the situation will be overcome in the same way the farmer-herders attacks were subdued.

The leader the delegation, Alhaji Aliyu Balarabe Saulawa representing the Chairman, Alhaji Ahmadu Kurfi, Maradin Katsina, commended the President for returning peace to most parts of the state and for the various infrastructure projects, including the Kano-Jigawa-Katsina-Maradi rail link.

They welcomed the recent decision by government to elongate the service of teachers and improve their condition of service.

Garba Shehu
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
October 9, 2020

The Inspector General of The Nigerian Police Banned SARS And Other Tactical Squads

The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has banned the personnel of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) and other Tactical Squads of the Force from embarking on routine patrols.

This IGP’s ban was contained in a statement issued on Sunday by the Force, Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba.

The Inspector-General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu, NPM, mni has banned the personnel of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) and other Tactical Squads of the Force including the Special Tactical Squad (STS), Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Anti-Cultism Squad and other Tactical Squads operating at the Federal, Zonal and Command levels, from carrying out routine patrols and other conventional low-risk duties – stop and search duties, checkpoints, mounting of roadblocks, traffic checks, etc – with immediate effect. In addition, no personnel of the Force is authorized to embark on patrols or tactical assignments in mufti. They must always appear in their police uniforms or approved tactical gear. The IGP’s directives come against the backdrop of findings by the leadership of the Force that a few personnel of the Tactical Squads hide under these guise to perpetrate all forms of illegality, contrary to the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), Code of Conduct and Rules of Engagement establishing the squads.

Specifically, the IGP has warned the Tactical Squads against the invasion of the privacy of citizens particularly through indiscriminate and unauthorized search of mobile phones, laptops and other smart devices. They are to concentrate and respond only to cases of armed robbery, kidnapping and other violent crimes when the need arises.

The IGP notes that the FSARS and other Police Tactical Squads remain a critical component of the Force in confronting prevailing and emerging violent crimes in the country. He however condemns every act of unprofessionalism, abuse of human rights and high-handedness by some personnel of the Squads. He has therefore ordered the X-Squad and the Monitoring Unit to embark on immediate and massive nationwide monitoring of activities of Tactical Squads and other police officers on the road. They are to ensure prompt arrest, investigation and prosecution of all erring police officers who violate these directives and other extant regulations of the Force.

The IGP has equally warned, that henceforth, the Commissioner of Police in charge of FSARS, Commissioners of Police in charge of State Commands and the FCT as well as their supervisory Zonal Assistant Inspectors General of Police, will be held liable for any misconduct within their Area of Responsibility (AOR). He therefore charged them to ensure effective supervision and mentoring of the personnel of the Tactical Squads under their jurisdiction.

Meanwhile, two operatives of the FSARS and their civilian accomplice operating in Lagos State, INSPR Sale James, INSPR Monday Uchiola and Okechukwu Ogbonna, have been arrested by the Lagos State Police Command, for acts of professional misconduct including extortion and intimidation of innocent citizens. The operational vehicle of the men has also been impounded and disciplinary procedure has already commenced against the defaulters.

The IGP reaffirms his commitment to bequeathing to Nigerians, a reformed Police Force that is accountable, responsible and ever ready to defend and uphold the rights of the citizens while discharging its duties of keeping the people safe and secure. He enjoins the citizens not to allow the misconduct by a few personnel of the Force to negatively impact on their belief, confidence and trust in the Police.

DCP Frank Mba, the Force Public Relations Officer, Force Headquarters, Abuja.

Nigeria’s Independence Day Address By President Muhammadu Buhari

Nigeria’s Sixtieth Independence Day Anniversary, Today Thursday 1st October, 2020. Except of President Buhari’s Adress To The Nation:

Fellow Nigerians

I speak to you today as your President and fellow citizen on this epoch occasion of our country’s 60th independence Anniversary. As President, I wish to renew my appreciation to Nigerians for entrusting me with your hopes and aspirations for a better and greater Nigeria.

  1. Today, it is my unique privilege to re-commit myself to the service of this great country of great people with profound diversities and opportunities. We are bound by destiny to be the largest and greatest black nation on earth.
  2. At this stage in our nationhood it is important that we reflect how we got here to enable us work TOGETHER to get to where we aspire to be as a strong indivisible nation, united in hope and equal in opportunity.
  3. On October 1st 1960 when Prime Minister Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa received the constitutional instruments symbolizing Nigeria’s independence, he expressed his wish that having acquired our rightful status as an independent sovereign nation, history would record that the building of our nation proceeded at the wisest pace.
  4. This optimism was anchored on the peaceful planning, full and open consultation and harmonious cooperation with the different groups which culminated in Nigeria emerging as a country without bitterness and bloodshed.
  5. Our founding fathers understood the imperative of structuring a National identity using the power of the state and worked towards unification of Nigerians in a politically stable and viable entity.
  6. That philosophy guided the foundation that was laid for our young nation of 45 million people with an urban population of approximately 7million occupying an area of 910,768 square kilometers. These demographics led to development challenges for which major efforts were made to overcome.
  7. Today, we grapple with multiple challenges with a population exceeding 200million occupying the same land mass but 52% residing in urban areas.
  8. Sixty years of nationhood provides an opportunity to ask ourselves questions on the extent to which we have sustained the aspirations of our founding fathers. Where did we do the right things? Are we on course? If not where did we stray and how can we remedy and retrace our steps?
  9. Upon attaining independence, Nigeria’s growth trajectory was anchored on policies and programmes that positively impacted on all sectors of the economy. However, this journey was cut short by the 30-months of civil war.
  10. We came out of the civil war with a focus on reconstruction, rehabilitation and reconciliation that enabled the country to put in place world class development structures and a strengthened public service that well served the government. This positive trajectory continued with a return to democratic government which was truncated by another round of military rule.
  11. For a cumulative 29 of our 60 years existence as a nation, we have been under military rule.
  12. My summary of our journey so far as a nation is necessary to appropriately chart where we need to go and how to get there TOGETHER.
  13. Today, I am aware that our economy along with every single economy in the world is in crisis. We still face security challenges in parts of the country, while our society suffers from a high loss of moral rectitude which is driven by unbridled craving for political control.
  14. An underlying cause of most of the problems we have faced as a nation is our consistent harping on artificially contrived fault-lines that we have harboured and allowed unnecessarily to fester.
  15. In addition, institutions such as civil service, police, the judiciary, the military all suffered from a general decline.
  16. We need to begin a sincere process of national healing and this anniversary presents a genuine opportunity to eliminate old and outworn perceptions that are always put to test in the lie they always are.
  17. The stereotype of thinking of ourselves as coming from one part of the country before seeing ourselves as Nigerians is a key starting point to project us on the road to our deserved nation’s evolution and integration.
  18. To start this healing process, we are already blessed with the most important asset any nation requires for such – OUR PEOPLE – and this has manifested globally in the exploits of Nigerians in many fields.
  19. It has been demonstrated time and time again that Nigerians in the diaspora frequently excel in science, technology, medicine, sports, arts and many other fields.
  20. Similarly, the creativity, ingenuity and resourcefulness of the Nigerian at home have resulted in globally recognized endeavours.
  21. I am convinced that if we pursue our aspirations TOGETHER we would be able to achieve whatever we desire. That informed our adopting the theme TOGETHER to mark this epochal event.
  22. Together we can change our condition for the better and more importantly, together we can do much more for ourselves and for our country.
  23. I chose the path of self-reflection because this is what I do on a daily basis and I must confess that at most times, I always felt the need for a collective reflection as I know that the foundation for a solid future which this administration is laying can only be sustainable if there is a collective commitment by Nigerians.
  24. Nigeria is not a country for Mr. President, any ruling or opposition party but a country for all of us and we must play our part, irrespective of challenges we face, to make this country what we desire.
  25. To achieve this, we must focus our minds, TOGETHER as a people, on ways of resolving the identified critical challenges that underlie our present state. These include:

a. Evolving and sustaining a democratic culture that leaves power in the hands of the people;

b. Supporting the enthronement of the rule of law, demanding accountability of elected representatives and contributing to good governance;

c. Increasing our commitment to peaceful co-existence in a peaceful, secure and united Nigeria;

d. Harnessing and Optimizing our tremendous human and natural resources to attain our goal of being in the top twenty economies of the world and in the process;

e. Lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years;

f. Strengthening institutions to make them stronger in protecting National Interests; and

g. Imbibing tolerance in diversity.

  1. I am a firm believer in transparent, free, fair and credible elections as has been demonstrated during my period as a democratically elected President.
  2. The recent build-up and eventual outcome of the Edo State elections should encourage Nigerians that it is my commitment to bequeath to this country processes and procedures that would guarantee that the people’s votes count.
  3. The problems with our electoral process are mainly human induced as desperate desire for power leads to desperate attempts to gain power and office.
  4. Democracy, the world over and as I am pursuing in Nigeria, recognizes the power of the people. However, if some constituencies choose to bargain off their power, they should be prepared for denial of their rights.
  5. This call is made more urgent if we realise that even after a transparent, free, fair and credible election, desperation leads to compromising the judiciary to upturn legitimate decisions of the people.
  6. It is necessary to, therefore support the enthronement of the rule of law by avoiding actions which compromise the judiciary.
  7. Fellow Nigerians, our history has shown that we are a people that have the capacity to live peacefully with one another.
  8. As a government, we remain committed to our constitutional oath of securing the lives and properties of the citizenry. I, however, call on the citizenry to also support government by providing the necessary community level intelligence in addressing these challenges.
  9. In moving forward together, it is important to strengthen our economy to provide sustainable means of livelihood for as many Nigerians as possible so as to eradicate absolute poverty from our midst.
  10. I want to re-emphasize my dedication and commitment, a dedication and commitment that propelled my public service career and informed my quest to continually seek for an opportunity to improve the lives of Nigerians, set the country on the path of prosperity and lead the country to a better future.
  11. This administration has been focused on rebuilding and laying the foundations for a sustainable Nigeria. Of course, we have met and are still meeting the challenges inherent in any rebuilding initiative – more so that of a nation like Nigeria that has undergone avoidable levels of deprivation – but can be surmounted if we all work together.
  12. I wish to re-iterate that our people and our spirit of excellence remains our most important asset.
  13. In this wise, the need to return to our age-old ethical and high moral values would be necessary and this informed my launching of the National Ethics and Integrity Policy on Monday 28th September, 2020.
  14. The policy would not implement itself and the first contact of the visibility of its implementation is the Public Service whose on-going reforms would be expected to be sustainable and give a radical re-direction in providing services to all Nigerians.
  15. Fellow Nigerians, in addition to public health challenges of working to contain the spread of the Coronavirus, we have suffered a significant drop in our foreign exchange earnings and internal revenues due to 40 per cent drop in oil prices and steep drop in economic activities, leading to a 60 per cent drop in government revenue.
  16. Our government is grappling with the dual challenge of saving lives and livelihoods in face of drastically reduced resources.
  17. In this regard, sustaining the level of petroleum prices is no longer possible. The government, since coming into office has recognized the economic argument for adjusting the price of petroleum. But the social argument about the knock-on effect of any adjustment weighed heavily with the government.
  18. Accordingly, in the last three years, we have introduced unprecedented measures in support of the economy and to the weakest members of our society in the shape of:

a. Tradermoni

b. Farmermoni

c. School Feeding Programme

d. Job creation efforts

e. Agricultural intervention programmes

  1. No government in the past did what we are doing with such scarce resources. We have managed to keep things going in spite of the disproportionate spending on security. Those in the previous Governments from 1999 – 2015 who presided over the near destruction of the country have now the impudence to attempt to criticize our efforts.
  2. In the circumstances, a responsible government must face realities and take tough decisions.
  3. Petroleum prices in Nigeria are to be adjusted. We sell now at N161 per litre. A comparison with our neighbours will illustrate the point;

a. Chad which is an oil producing country charges N362 per litre

b. Niger, also an oil producing country sells 1 litre at N346.

c. In Ghana, another oil producing country, petroleum pump price is N326 per litre.

  1. Further afield, Egypt charges N211 per litre. Saudi Arabia charges N168 per litre. It makes no sense for oil to be cheaper in Nigeria than in Saudi Arabia.
  2. Fellow Nigerians, to achieve the great country we desire, we need to solidify our strength, increase our commitment and encourage ourselves to do that which is right and proper even when no one is watching.
  3. Fellow Nigerians, let us collectively resolve to continue our journey beyond the sixty years on the clear understanding that as a nation we are greater together than being smaller units of nationalities. By the special grace of God we shall come through any transient challenges.
  4. It is my sincere hope that by the end of this anniversary on September 30th 2021, we will all be proud of taking this individual and collective self-assessment for the progress of our great Nation.

Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

God Bless us all. Thank you.

EFCC Probe: I’m Having No Regrets For Chairing Panel To Probe Magu – Justice Salami

Justice Ayo Salami, Chairman of the presidential panel investigating Ibrahim Magu, the suspended Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), says he does not regret his appointment to serve on the panel.

Magu is being investigated over allegations of abuse of office and mismanagement of recovered assets from May 2015 to May 2020 — the time he acted as Acting Chairman of the anti-graft agency.

Magu’s lawyers have always disagreed with the panel. But in a memo on Tuesday, Salami accused the lawyers of planting reports in the media that he regrets chairing the panel.

Justice Salami said in the memo that,“The reports were a figment of the wild imagination of the reporter, the two lawyers quoted as his sources and the medium that published the story,”

“There was no time anything near the unthinkable scenario painted in the false story occurred in any meeting between myself and the lawyers to Magu or any other person, for that matter, since the Judicial Commission of Inquiry began its sittings.

“I have no cause to express any regret over my Chairmanship of the Commission, not to talk of betraying any form of emotion before anyone about it. I see my appointment to serve as the Chairman of the Commission of Inquiry as an honour and call to service, thus my decision to accept diligently and patriotically discharge this responsibility.

“I have never appointed any of the two lawyers or any other person(s) to speak on my behalf as I can express myself without recourse to the lawyers of the persons we are probing. As an eminent jurist, who retired as the President of the Court of Appeal, I have handled much more complex cases than the current one before the Commission. There is no doubt that the false reports were aimed at causing mischief and tarnishing my hard-earned reputation and integrity. I remain resolute and committed to the service of the nation and ready to champion the ideals of justice and fairness.

“I want to point out that such wild claims against me and the Commission are not strange to me, given the manner in which the lawyers to Magu have been carrying on in the conduct of their client’s case before the Commission. Planting such lies in the media about proceedings at the panel has been their pastime. They believe that it is by engaging in such media propaganda against the Commission that their client can be easily absolved of the various allegations that have been brought against him.”

Asking Nigerians to disregard the report, the retired president of the appeal court said the “lies  and blackmail” will not deter him and other members of the panel from discharging their duty and mandate.

He said in conclusion, that the panel which he chairs will continue its investigation of the allegations against Magu with a view to unearthing the truth and ensuring that justice is done.

Source: Political Digest.