Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has again attacked the Federal Government, stating that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration is incompetent and incapable of addressing the killings and poverty in the country.
He argued that the administration was confused and had reached the end of its tether while the nation was being left perilously to drift.
Instead of proffering solutions, the former leader said the government had been wringing its hands and “giving one unrighteous and unacceptable justification after the other.”
Obasanjo said this in a letter read on his behalf at a one-day national summit on insecurity and killings in Nigeria convened by the Northern Elders Forum, Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, Ohanaeze Ndigbo and Pan Niger Delta Forum on Wednesday in Abuja.
The ex-President, who was represented by a former governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, noted that Buhari was, by his action and inaction, doing a lot of harm to the nation’s commonwealth and heritage.
In the letter which was addressed to the NEF Chairman, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, the retired general recalled the discussion he had with the elder statesman about the danger to the nation’s democracy when he hosted him (Ango) in Abeokuta some weeks ago.
Obasanjo said, “When you kindly paid me a visit a couple of weeks ago, we deliberated on the danger to our democracy, our common identity, our commonality of purpose, our dream and our unity in diversity.
“We lamented the harm that the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, by his action and inaction, has done and is doing to our commonwealth and our common heritage.”
The Owu chief added that the nation had never been so divided along religious and regional lines as being witnessed today.
“The obvious indication is that the government is seemingly confused and has got to the end of its tether and the nation is being left divisively and perilously to drift.
“Earlier last week, I noted in a speech some undesirable elements being allowed and being introduced to our democracy by this administration. If these are not stopped, they could be the death knell of our democracy,” he stressed.
The elder statesman, however, expressed hope that in spite of the unfortunate situation created by the government, his consultations with people had given him hope.
“People are not ready to give up in despair and leave their fate and their present and future in the hands of inept leadership for their lives to be ruined. I see common concern across the nation irrespective of tribe, religion, language and social standing that the situation should be retrieved and the nation should be saved,” he stated.
The former President admonished the elders to continue with the dialogue which he said was necessary to clear misgivings, misunderstanding, misperception, misrepresentation, erroneous beliefs and outdated ideas and concepts.
‘Only Visionary Leaders Can Save Nigeria’
Other speakers at the summit including Abdullahi, Ohanaeze President, Chief John Nwodo, PANDEF leader, Chief Edwin Clark and the Afenifere leader, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, called for measures to address the security and economic situation in the country.
Clark noted that Nigerians were living in poverty, corruption and inequity, adding that state governors who hitherto had no class had created one for themselves.
He said, “Even military governors were more liberal than the governors you have today as they only think about themselves and not the people. If we keep silent, a revolution is coming, if we fail to take quality decisions, our children will not forgive us. I don’t care who becomes the President as long as he is competent.”
A politician, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, called for the retooling of the nation’s security infrastructure which he said must be completely rebuilt on a new philosophy, structure and commitment to security as the prime function of the state.
Baba-Ahmed, who is the Chief of Staff to the Senate President, said there were compelling grounds for restructuring of the federal system in a manner that would benefit all sections and interests in the nation.
“In this respect, the recent initiative of the Senate to initiate a review of the constitution towards creating state police should be supported as a matter of the highest national priority.
“The amendments on devolution of powers should also be revisited by the National and state Houses of Assembly. Nigerians demand that their leaders must operate with requisite sensitivity to the challenges of our existence, and must put aside parochial and divisive sentiments in dealing with national issues,” the former All Progressives Congress chieftain argued.
A former Ondo State governor, Olusegun Mimiko, called for urgent action against the killings, warning that the situation might get out of hand, noting that some victims believed they were attacked on the grounds of their ethnicity, religion and class.
A former Inspector-General of Police, Suleiman Abba, blamed reckless speeches by politicians for the killings, insisting that they laid the foundations for the killings in Plateau State by creating enmity between the Hausa/Fulani and the indigenes.
He disagreed with the opinion that state police could address the bloodshed, noting that only Lagos State could afford to fund a police force.
“Is it a state that cannot pay teachers that would pay policemen? Do you know the cost of a gun? Only Lagos is ready to fund state police,” Abba asserted.
The summit in its communique said its aim was to forge a national consensus on the key pillars required for building national security, unity and survival in a just and democratic society.
It lamented that the country had witnessed “unprecedented incompetence and enthronement of mediocrity in dealing with the horrendous spate of killings and general insecurity across the country.”
The communique, which was signed by Clark, Abdullahi, Adebanjo and Nwodo read, “In the eyes of many affected communities, there appears to be palpable government complicity in the killings. These killings claimed 3,500 lives in 2017, a figure that could be much higher in 2018.”
On the economy, the summit noted with dismay the mismanagement of the economy which it said was characterised by significant loss of output, massive youth unemployment, rising level of poverty, instability and irregular migration of skilled and unskilled labour.
It observed with concern that the nation had been adjudged to be more corrupt than it was in 2015 by Transparency International, adding that it was alarmed by the flagrant disregard for the rule of law.
The summit resolved to insist on “the emergence of a visionary and dynamic leadership which will deal with our security and economic challenges and ensure good governance in the country.”
It demanded the revamping of the security architecture, removal of killers from the communities they had occupied and return of same to their rightful owners who now live in camps.
The elder statesmen said they would strive to reach a consensus on the positions of the various Nigerian communities and arrive at an agreed template on the issue of federalism and restructuring.
IG Must End Killing Of Policemen Now – Reps
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives on Wednesday asked the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, to end the killing of policemen by unknown gunmen before the attacks deteriorated to a fresh security challenge for the country.
Lawmakers gave the directive in Abuja as the House debated a motion on the killing of four policemen in Edo State by yet-to-be-identified attackers.
They asked the IG to “act fast by empanelling a crack team of detectives to arrest the culprits.”
The four policemen were reportedly murdered on July 14 at Sabongida-Ora, in Owan-West Local Government Area of the state.
The Deputy Whip of the House, Mr Pally Iriase, who drew the attention of lawmakers to the incident under matters of urgent public importance, said the killers went a step further to set the bodies of the victims ablaze.
“The deceased policemen were later packed into their operational Hilux pick-up and set ablaze.
“The residents of Sabongida-Ora, Uzebba and environs in Owan-West Local Government Area now live in fear,” Iriase informed the House.
The policemen were said to be on patrol duty in the area when the assailants shot them at an intersection.
He recalled that the Edo attack came about two weeks after seven policemen were gunned down in Abuja by unknown persons on July 2.
Making his contribution to the debate, the Minority Whip, Mr Yakubu Barde, observed that the attacks might soon take a new security dimension if the police authorities did not move fast to end the killings of policemen.
He said, “Only on Tuesday, two other policemen were killed along the Birnin-Gwari Road; so, we are talking about seven plus four and another two policemen. That is 13 policemen gone in about two weeks. This pattern is reminiscent of how Boko Haram insurgency started and nobody appeared to pay attention to it.
“When they started, their first strategy was to attack policemen and police stations just to weaken the ability of the law enforcement agents to respond swiftly to any security threats. If nothing is done to end these killings, very soon, we may have another group to contend with.”
Some lawmakers, including Mr. Nicholas Ossai, Mr. Johnson Agbonayinma and Mr Adamu Kamale, seized the opportunity to demand adequate funding of police operations and welfare.
For example, Ossai told the House that a hungry policeman could do little to stop a crime from being committed.
“I have always advocated the payment of reasonable salaries to policemen. The least-paid policeman should not earn less than N50,000 every month. But, as I speak, there are many of them who earn far below N50,000.
“These are the people we rely on for all the security duties every 24 hours,” he added.
FG Engages Monarchs To Tackle Killings In M’Belt
Meanwhile, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has disclosed that the Federal Government has engaged traditional rulers in the Middle Belt to address the killings in the region and chart a new and collective course of understanding.
He stated that the traditional institutions played a crucial role in the peace process in the Niger Delta and the South-East geopolitical zones in the wake of secessionist agitation by some Igbo youths.
Addressing the 10th National Development Summit of Traditional Rulers with the theme, “Make Nigeria great again,” in Abuja on Wednesday, the VP appealed to the traditional rulers to deepen partnership with the government to achieve peace and security in the country.
He said the partnership between traditional authorities and the government was crucial at a time the country was witnessing increased killings and violent attacks.
He said, “A great deal of emphasis is often placed on the role of law enforcement agencies in maintaining peace and security. They are critical elements in determining criminalities and ensuring that perpetrators are brought to justice.
“But if we over-focus on law enforcement and overlook the place of the non-coercive conflict prevention and resolution mechanisms, then we are doing ourselves and the people of Nigeria a great disservice.”
According to him, traditional leaders have the capacity to champion the continuous dialogue and engagement because of the respect they command from stakeholders and parties across the country.
“This is important because we cannot ignore the fundamentals of our society which are the traditional institutions, if we hope to govern well and peacefully,” he added.
Earlier in his address, the Ovie of Uvwie Kingdom in Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Sideso, expressed concern that traditional rulers had not done their best in giving civic education to their subjects.
As the general elections draw closer, Sideso, who is also the chairman of the Summit Governing Council, urged traditional institutions to enlighten their subjects on the need to vote in all elections.
FG Doing Nothing To Secure Lives, Says Secondus
But the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Prince Uche Secondus, on Wednesday decried the incessant loss of lives and property in the country.
He said Nigerians had been living in fear due to persistent killings across the country while the Federal Government was doing nothing to salvage the situation.
Secondus spoke in Sokoto when he led some party leaders to condole with Governor Aminu Tambuwal over the recent killing of 39 people in the state.
According to him, President Muhammadu Buhari should focus on addressing the security challenges bedevilling the country rather than embarking on foreign trips.
“For how long will the government put in place the necessary security architecture to tackle these problems? The Federal Government is doing nothing and the governors have no control over security in their states,” he said.
He stated that Nigerians were going through pains and tired of wanton killings across the country.
“Nigerians are now living in pains and fear of the unknown because the killings are too many, from Zamfara to Sokoto, Borno, Benue, Plateau, Taraba and Adamawa states. What we see every day is bloodshed across the nation,” Secondus said.
He condoled with the government and people of Sokoto over the killing of 40 people by bandits in the state last week.
“We are in Sokoto in solidarity with the people that lost their loved ones and I urge you to take heart in this period of sorrow,” Secondus added.
Responding, Tambuwal thanked the PDP’s leadership for the visit and prayed God to reward them.
End of the Road for Micheno Fraud–Investors Set to Smile Again
According to Micheno cooperative President, Mr Mike Eke, Michenos vision was to build a more stable economy and accomplished the following which where earlier used to cajoled gullible investors into the scheme.
In line with this great vision, we also have lots of projects lined up for execution by MMCS for the benefits of its Members,one of which is Agriculture which MMCS will fully embark on in few months.This will also enable MMCS easily access Agricultural Grants which are meant for Cooperative Societies which will be of great benefit of all Members. Another is the building of a modern estate with standard facilities for members.
We will all agree that the Return on Investments in MMCS is a juicy one and we work round the clock to achieve this.
Sadly all that is history as we speak.
According to report from the long awaited NASS public hearing which was attended by the following bodies;
1. The chairman and honourable members of the committee from NASS
2. The IG representative
3. All affected banks reps
4. The co-operative registration body in abuja; etc
5. And ofcourse the honourable petitioners representing all of lĺyou.
6. And a few of Mike’s spies
The police were not able to present Michael and Mbakara and the reason they gave was that EFCC has overtaken the issue from police; so the chairman ordered the police and EFCC to produce michael, mbakara and all the board members and promoters to appear in the next hearing.
As for the banks, the committee was not impressed with the brief they submitted as they didn’t include some important info about micheal accounts wit them, so the honourable members ordered them to fulfil all requirements on the next hearing. Keystone bank first denied having any business with micheno not knowing that the honourable members are very learned ppl, so they fished dem out.
The chairman asked us wat we wanted him to do; if we wanted our capital or with profit; so we said only capital. The NASS ordered the police to make more arrests and bring dem on the nxt hearing.
Finally he asked us to suggest tym for next hearing and one of Mike’s spies said next year ( wen selections are next year) so we rejected it. So NASS chose next week Tuesday 20th November as the next hearing. I want to appreciate Mr Ihama and his very learned legal team who spoke out to the committee quoting all the laws relevant.
Finally, according to report,categorically refunds are in view.
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Judge Orders White House To Return CNN Journalist’s Press Pass
Timothy J. Kelly , a Federal judge, has ruled in favour of CNN ordering the White House to reinstate chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta’s press pass.
A lawsuit claiming that CNN and Acosta’s First and Fifth Amendment rights are being violated by the suspension of Acosta’s press pass had been filed on November 13, 2018 in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.
Although Judge Kelly did not give a verdict on the underlying case during his ruling on Friday, he granted CNN’s request for a temporary restraining order.
According to CNN, this result means that Acosta will have his access to the White House restored for at least a short period of time. While explaining his decision, the judge said he believes that CNN and Acosta are likely to prevail in the case overall.
Kelly made his ruling on the basis of CNN and Acosta’s Fifth Amendment claims, noting the White House did not provide Acosta with the due process required to legally revoke his press pass.
He left open the possibility, however, that the White House could seek to revoke it again if it provided that due process, emphasising the “very limited” nature of his ruling, while noting that he was not making a judgment on the First Amendment claims that CNN and Acosta have made.
A statement read: “We are gratified with this result and we look forward to a full resolution in the coming days. Our sincere thanks to all who have supported not just CNN, but a free, strong and independent American press.”
EXCLUSIVE: How Shehu Sani’s Senatorial Ticket Was ‘Sold For $2m’ To Oshiomhole Through Farouk Adamu
Details have emerged of how the Kaduna Central Senatorial District ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was sold for $2million to Uba Sani, Political Adviser to Nasir el-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State.
A source privy to the deal spoke exclusively to SaharaReporters in Abuja on Friday.
According to the source, the Managing Director of the Nigeria Port Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, singlehandedly gave the money to Farouk Adamu. He said Adamu collected the cash in Abuja on behalf of Adams Oshiomhole, National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He revealed that the sum of N50million was offered to the Assistant Publicity Secretary of the party, Yekini Nabena, by Uba Sani, which he turned down. The source also noted that Nabena had issued several press statements that Shehu Sani remained the only candidate cleared for the zone, and Nabena had insisted he would only do what the National Working Committee (NWC) asked him to do, as he had no power to upturn their decision.
Hadiza, however, threatened to do everything possible to stop Shehu Sani from getting the automatic ticket, whether the NWC liked it or not.
SaharaReporters gathered that after the failure of a series of attempts by the proxies to get Nabena’s cooperation, Hadiza decided to channel it through Farouk, who collected the cash.
The source also narrated how the Governor El-Rufai slept in the National Chairman’s office, and threatened to pitch tent with Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), if Shehu Sani’s name was submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the APC candidate for Kaduna Central Senatorial District.
Farouk, who headed a presidential committee on the APC primaries, collected the money without the knowledge of other members. Members of the committee include Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu; Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.
“He ignored the report of the committee and took charge of making phone calls to senators to inform them who made the list and who did not. Why is it that those who got the tickets have not come out to defend Oshiomhole against the myriad of allegations of bribery levelled against him?” the source queried.
Investigations revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to Sani Mustapha, the senator representing Niger South Senatorial District, to return to the party.
Mustapha had announced his resignation from the party on October 22, 2018, stating that his decision to leave the party was due to the injustice done to him by the substitution of his name with that of Bima Mohammed, who was not cleared by the panel.
According to information obtained by SaharaReporters, the president has asked him to go to court to challenge the injustice, and promised that he would get his (president’s) support.
“As I am talking to you now, Senator Sani Mustapha has returned to APC and gone to court to challenge the manipulation of the results of the primaries,” the source revealed.
The backlash that followed the bribery allegations levelled against Oshiomhole compelled his Chief Press Secretary, Simon Ebegbulem, to issue a statement on Thursday, in which Oshiomhole threatened to take legal action against further allegations.
However, Nabena has asked Ebegbulem to stop the media propaganda and face the reality on ground, as it had affected the party negatively.
He stated this while reacting to a statement on the Whatsapp group platform of APC Press Corps.
“Simon, please stop all this media propaganda and face the reality on ground; the damages affecting the party,” he wrote.
Some members of the National Working Committee are said to be pleased with the fact that the amount allegedly paid by the candidates to Oshiomhole is in public domain. A member, who preferred not to be named, said many of the committee members were oblivious of those deals, as they were sidelined from the beginning of the entire process.
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