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‘Buhari will defeat Obasanjo, Babangida, others who asked him not to re-contest’ – Aide

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The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari, Garba Shehu, has said that Buhari will defeat all the former Presidents and heads of state, who recently asked him (Buhari) not to re-contest in  a presidential election.

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Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and General Ibrahim Babangida, are among Nigerians who have told Buhari to forget recontesting the number one seat next year.

Garba Shehu, who said that Buhari richly deserves a second term in office, said that rather than asking Buhari not to contest in 2019, the former leaders should come out and contest against Buhari next year.

Reacting to the call by the former leaders urging Buhari not to contest, Garba Shehu said “My response to them is that if they like they can come and contest against President Buhari. He will defeat them, all of them.”

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On the belief by some Nigerians that President Buhari should not be talking of recontesting when there is hunger in the land, he said “With all the noise the PDP is making, even during their tenure as President did they give breakfast lunch and dinner to every citizen? Is there any country in which someone does not go hungry?

“I am not saying it is perfectly in order but they are just politicizing these issues. This is a government that has removed this country from the shame of food importation, every state of the country now is into rice production, and we are feeding not only Nigeria but west Africa.

“And the government is working on having respectable prices for food items, food inflation is coming down grossly. Everyone complaining of hunger should go and work. And you know that this is the only government that has introduced social investment schemes, we pay out now for the poorest of the poor, the least they will get is N5,000.and a lot of these job that are been created are from loans with little or no interest from the central bank, Bank of industry, Banks of Agriculture, Development Bank and the rest.

“So there is a lot going for people who really want to go out there to work especially in Agriculture.”

He also faulted those Nigerians who believed that it was a weakness for the President not to be able reshuffle his cabinet members since 2015.
He said “The President is the one who wears the shoes, he know where it pinches. if the president hasn’t sacked his ministers, it means that he wants to continue to work with them.

“Maybe those agitating for the sack of the ministers are also looking for a chance to come in to replace those who are there, in that case then they are driven by selfish motive.

“As president and commander in chief he reserves the right to hire and fire. For the fact that he hasn’t done that does not mean that he does not have the power to do that. I am sure if he wants do it, he will do it at his own pace and time but people who want to become ministers, how many minister can we even appoint in this country?

“I think people should just be busy. Let them go and start farming instead of sitting down to speculate whether they can be made minister or not.” he said.

Mallam Shehu also rated the administration high on infrastructural development.

According to him, no past administration has invested so much in capital projects like the current administration.

He said “Thank you for this opportunity and I want to say that the records are there for everyone to see that no government, no past administration in Nigeria has invested as much as we have done or let me say we are currently doing in infrastructure development.

“From day one when he took power, the president gave a target of not less than 30% of annual appropriation devoted to infrastructure development. Without infrastructure we can not lay the foundation for growth.

“When this administration came to power, between 95 and 96 percent of public expenditure was going into overhead cost leaving only about five or six percent for infrastructure. The allocation of 30 percent under this administration has led to tremendous improvement in the provision of infrastructure so far in the country. Now there is a lot of work going on, building new rail lines and the rehabilitation of the old rail system networks, roads are been done all across the country, you only need to drive around to see for yourself.

“The amount of work this administration has done on Roads i.e the expressway from Enugu to PortHarcout has not been done in the eight years of the previous administrations. We are hoping that within this year before the next election Lagos -Ibadan will be completed, it’s a lot of money, we are doing it Government is laying the sod now for the construction of a 6 lane road from Abuja to Kano.

“So there is so much that is going on in terms of that. We are doing power, you know that this administration has doubled availability of power in the country when we came in its stood at about 3,000 MWatts, we have hit 7,000 MWatts and we are doing more so it depends on what you are looking at.

“This is a government that has spent N1.3 Trillion In capital expenses under 2016 Budget and has also spent as much as that under the 2017 budget and it’s almost closing on records for last year which was N1.3 Trillion.” he said.

Asked if the farmers/ herders crises have not rubbished the administration’s goal of securing lives and properties, he said “The problem between farmers and Herdsmen predates the independence of Nigeria, if you read history you will see that farmers and herdsmen had fought for space in this country even British colonial rulers were here so this is not something new.

“I am not saying it is welcome but I think it is over amplified now, there is a media spotlight on it because the opposition cannot engage Buhari administration on any other issue other than this lacuna that they have found.

“They cannot discuss the war against corruption because that’s a very uncomfortable area for them, they don’t want to discuss issues of infrastructure with Buhari, they don’t want to discuss economic diversification which this administration has achieved a lot of success, today we have 12 million Rice farmers in this country, six million new jobs are been created in other sector by Agriculture alone, food import has gone down by 95 Percent, we are feeding ourselves.

“This year the government is planning a ban on rice importation. So we are doing so well moving from over reliance on oil to Agriculture and manufacturing.

“Therefore, I am not saying that it is okay that the farmers and herdsmen are fighting but we are doing a lot. You can see that the recent activity especially the military operation now in the North Central Section of the country has led to the recoveries of large quantities of weapon illegally held by militias and even herdsmen.

“So something is being done about it. I know by the time this is done with, I don’t know what else the opposition will be talking about.” he said
Speaking on the assertion in the social media that President Buhari is shielding herdsmen from prosecution and begging them to accept amnesty, he said “Well, I hope you also realize that the social media has brought a lot of good things to the world and it has also brought a lot of problems not only in Nigeria but everywhere in the world.

“Nations of the world are talking about regulations and control, this is happening in Germany in the UK even the US you see that a lot these technology companies are been fined for infringements that they cause.

“The thing is that there is a tendency to see things from a negative point of view when your point of view is shaped and colored by the social media.

“It’s always been heard that the default position of the social media itself is to be negative, so people have turned out to ignore grand reality and project images that are very negative.

Otherwise I wonder , this is an administration that has done so so extremely well and to a president who has sworn to an oath to defend the constitution and protect every life and property, it is very unfair and uncharitable to say that he will shield anybody, and In any case, the president controls only one layer of authority, what are the governors doing, is the social media also saying that the governors are protecting the herdsmen from the law, are they saying the local government are also protecting them?

“You see it has to take everyone at various levels of authority to shield somebody from the law in those circumstances, and the president himself, his passion is for the country, this is a president whose passion is not even for the office, even when everyone is asking him to go for a second term he is keeping quiet because his focus remains the nation and the problem of the country.

“Whoever is peddling these rumours that Boko Haram is being granted amnesty and so on I would ask them who doesn’t want to make peace with the enemy? In any case as it is proverbially said all wars end up in the Boardroom. You can defeat people technically in the field but at the end you must come to the conference room to resolve all issues.

“So if Boko Haram would lay down their arms and stop fighting and stop preaching that negative ideology , the country should be able to embrace them welcome all of them so that they continue to live normal lives and be useful to the nation.

“What that mean is that we will be saving cost, saving lives that are being lost through bombing, killing of service personnel and we will be saving money that we are using to procure weapons so that such money can go into services and infrastructure and welfare of the citizens of this country. It is a win -win situation.” he stated

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Politics

Former Rivers Assembly Speaker, Colleagues Caught On Tape Lying Over Defection to APC

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Former Rivers Assembly Speaker, Colleagues Caught On Tape Lying Over Defection to APC

*Former Rivers Assembly Speaker, Colleagues Caught On Tape Lying Over Defection to APC

 

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A viral video has confirmed the defection of the former Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Martins Amaewhule, his deputy, Dumle Maol and others from the People’s Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress.

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Former Rivers Assembly Speaker, Colleagues Caught On Tape Lying Over Defection to APC

According to a letter signed by Maol and read by Amaewhule, their “defection was necessitated by the division in the PDP, particularly, the tussle around who the National Secretary of the party is”.

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Although, there was no information on the date the letter was written, it appears to be in December 2023 when the lawmakers publicly defected to the APC.

Amaewhule had stated that their action was in line with Section 109 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, which allows serving legislators to defect if there is a division in the party upon which they hold the House of Assembly.

However, a Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, the state capital, has since granted an interim injunction restraining Amaewhule and others from parading themselves as legislators.

This was after Victor Oko Jumbo, the lawmaker Representing Bonny State Constituency emerged as the new Speaker of the state assembly.

Justice Charles N. Wali gave this order in a case in suit number PHC/1512/CS/2024, filled by Jumbo, Sokari Goodboy, Orubienimigha Timoth and other members of the Assembly.

Despite the overwhelming evidence, Amaewhule and the other ex-lawmakers have filed an application at the Rivers State High Court denying their defection from the PDP.

This was as a legal practitioner, Dr Malachi Onyema, said that Section 40 of the Nigerian Constitution guarantees freedom of association, which includes the right to join or leave a political party.

Onyema further claimed that Amaewhule and his colleagues were still PDP members as they have had an afterthought of their actions.

But the Centre for Accountability and Good Governance said Section 68(1)(g) of the 1999 Constitution clearly states that a lawmaker who defects from the party that sponsored their election to another party can be deemed to have vacated their seat.

In a statement signed by its Director, Dr Francis Nwogu, the Centre said the defected ex-lawmakers must face consequences for their actions.

“Defecting from the political party that sponsored their elections is a betrayal of the trust placed in them by their constituents. It undermines the democratic process and destabilizes the political landscape,” Nwogu added.

“We urge the relevant authorities to take swift and decisive action to punish these lawmakers for their anti-democratic behavior. This includes declaring their seats vacant and initiating legal proceedings against them.

“The Centre believes that holding elected officials accountable for their actions is essential for maintaining the integrity of our democracy. We will continue to monitor this situation and advocate for the rule of law and democratic principles.”

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Sanwo-Olu, Cabinet Members Visit Obasa Over Father’s Demise

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Sanwo-Olu, Cabinet Members Visit Obasa Over Father's Demise

Sanwo-Olu, Cabinet Members Visit Obasa Over Father’s Demise

 

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– Governor presents condolence letter to Speaker

 

 

 

 

 

 

– Obasa says Lagos Assembly is governor’s support base

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sahara Weekly Reports That Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Friday led members of his cabinet to the Agege home of the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa, on a condolence visit over the demise of Alhaji Suleimon Atanda Obasa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alhaji Suleimon Obasa, father of the Speaker, passed away on Tuesday at 83 with Governor Sanwo-Olu describing the incident as shocking especially as he was hale and hearty a few days before his demise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“On behalf of the government and the people of Lagos State, I want to extend my sincere condolences to you and the entire Obasa family.

 

 

 

 

 

Sanwo-Olu, Cabinet Members Visit Obasa Over Father's Demise

 

 

 

 

 

“No matter how old one’s parents are, one can never want them to go. So one can imagine the shock that the incident came with, but we have the belief that it was the appointed time.

 

“This is something that all of us owe life. We only pray that we live long and leave good legacies.

 

“It is clear that having produced you, your dad actually left a good legacy. So the onus is now on you to carry on with his good works as a community leader and one that brought together the entire family,” the governor said.

 

Sanwo-Olu also commended the Speaker for his effective leadership of the Assembly and his service to Lagos. He prayed that the Speaker will continue to have the capacity to lead the legislative arm as he had always done.

 

In his response, Dr. Obasa described the House as the Governor’s support base adding that the legislative arm is poised to ensure the success of the current administration.

 

Obasa said the visit by the Governor and his cabinet is a confirmation of the love, cooperation, unity and friendship that radiate in government.

 

“The truth is that I hold you in high esteem always. And because we have the same father in Asiwaju Tinubu, we have always worked for the same goal which is service to the people of Lagos.

 

“I always say there is no amount of money one can acquire that would sustain one better than what one has done in one’s community,” the Speaker said noting that Agege has experienced massive progress because of the Governor’s collaboration and intervention.

 

“Like I continue to say, we should continue to be particular about the people, not ourselves because there will come a time when we will leave office and people will make reference to what we have done.

 

“Mr. Governor, you’re my brother anytime and day. Whatever we achieve in the House of Assembly is because you support us. We are there to work for your success and that is why as part of our religion, we must pray for you, the deputy governor and every other person before ourselves. That’s the only way one can grow,” Obasa added.

 

Eromosele Ebhomele

Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly

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Yahaya Bello: Anti-Corruption CSOs question alleged unusual collaboration between opposition parties, EFCC

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Yahaya Bello: Anti-Corruption CSOs question alleged unusual collaboration between opposition parties, EFCC

. Those still calling for Bello’s arrest ill-informed, sponsored by opposition figures

. We refuse to support lawlessness, EFCC should reform its activities

 

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Again, scores of Anti-Corruption Civil Society Organisations have kicked against what they described as the perceived use of the platform of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission by politicians to fight their political battles.

They said this during an emergency Press conference on Friday, in reaction to a joint press conference by “a civil society organisation and a group, which called itself Kogites United Against Corruption Coalition.”

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The frontline CSOs, led by the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, wondered why a few Nigerians were not seeing the persecution in the current case against the former Governor of Kogi State, considering the anomaly in the undending calls for arrest, mainly by members of the opposition party in the state, in collaboration with alleged sponsored CSOs, when the matter was before the courts.

According to them, the line-up of lawyers, both at the Tribunal and as seen on the current charge sheet against the former Governor, throws up the name of the same lawyer standing for the opposition party at the Tribunal and for EFCC in the suit against the former Governor.

Addressing the press on Friday, Chairman, CACOL, Debo Adeniran, said, “One wonders how opposition politicians and the EFCC now collaborate on a case of corruption allegations as is so glaring in this matter. We are aware of all the clandestine meetings by opposition political parties with some activists with a view to sponsoring protests and Press Conferences against us. For as long as they do that, they’ll continue to spoil their own case in public view and justify the fact that this is beyond corruption investigation but direct persecution.”

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They described those who addressed a press conference, calling for the arrest of the former Governor and attacking their activities as “ill-informed folks” allegedly being sponsored by opposition political parties who had seen the EFCC as a reliable ally in actualising their interests.

“Today’s Press Conference by those ill-informed folks, who we have reasonable suspicion are being sponsored by opposition political Parties who are fighting their own political wars on the matter and, even, the Commission against us, was filled with a poor comedy of judgment and an apparently orchestrated blackmail against our coalition. This is why this is so political rather than prosecutorial,” the activists said.

According to them, the EFCC would be doing itself a lot of good by ignoring characters asking the Commission to disobey lawful court orders and apply maximum force by bringing in the military “with a view to violently arresting a defendant we are repeatedly told by the Commission is being investigated for ‘white collar crimes.'”

Adeniran said, “Anyone who has even a little knowledge of our pedigrees in the fight against corruption should know that we have fought many battles against corruption and at the same time against all forms of injustice in this country, even at the risk of our lives and livelihoods. We do not pick and choose which injustice to fight against. We invest time, energy, resources and relationships into pursuing the cause of justice throughout this country for decades now.

“We are not emergency activists and we are beyond compromising even with all the billions in the world. We stand for the cause of humanity which is about justice, fairness and the highest ideals of a decent and free society.

“Therefore, any individual or a group of individuals who allege us of supporting corruption is either ignorant of the subject matter or doesn’t know us at all and, therefore, cannot make an informed judgment on us or our activities.”

The CSOs said their struggle was not only against corruption but also against injustice, adding that they would not be intimidated into silence in the EFCC/Yahaya Bello matter because there was a clear case of injustice and disrespect for the rule of law, which in itself was corruption.

Adeniran stated, “We are not politicians and we are not in the business of partaking of the loot by corrupt public officials, we fight them. Even as a sitting president, we came out vehemently against Olusegun Obasanjo because we believed he had a case to answer. Who paid us to do that?

When the current EFCC Chairman was nominated and there was brouhaha about his qualification for the job due to him not having a security training background, I was among the leading figures who stood by him and insisted that he was qualified enough for the office. Many groups were sponsored against his confirmation, some of whose leaders I personally called to convince them to drop their opposition and they did. How much did the EFCC chairman or anyone pay me for that?

“When he was eventually confirmed, we not only congratulated him but we also cautioned that he should avoid the pitfalls of his predecessors by doing everything according to law and must never act contrary to the orders, rulings and judgments of courts of competent jurisdiction because that would be a recipe for anarchy and his own downfall like the others. We were confident that as a lawyer, a senior one for that matter, he wouldn’t follow the route of disobedience to lawful court orders.

“Therefore, when we saw that the commission under him was tilting towards that direction, we decided to speak up as a reminder to the chairman that this wasn’t the way to go. Nobody should take this as a crime against us. We refuse to be intimidated into silence. We refuse to stop speaking out against injustice. We refuse to support lawlessness.”

The activists said an EFCC chairman should engage in less of media celebrity show and concentrate on the critical assignments of making the Commission work.

“An EFCC chairman should not be someone you see everyday in the media exposing critical information that should even be secret in order to assist in the effectiveness of their investigation. An EFCC chairman should be seen lesser but be heard by the competence and capacity he brings to bear on his office. That is why the Commission has a publicity department. Let them do the talking whilst you provide effective leadership,” they insisted.

“I don’t know Yahaya Bello, I’ve never met him, I don’t intend to meet him. But the same way that the June 12 actualization struggles were not about M.K.O Abiola as an individual is the same way that this intervention is not about Yahaya Bello as a person,” Adeniran noted.

“Already, many of Yahaya Bello’s supporters are alleging an assassination plot. The government would do well to avoid anything that could confirm these suspicions and the only way to avoid this is by playing by the rule of law to the letter,” he said.

Those who represented over 80 Anti-Corruption Civil Society Organisations on Friday were Comrade Sina Loremikan (Campaign Against Impunity); Comrade Olufemi Lawson (Centre for Public Accountability); Declan Ihekaire (Activists for Good Governance); Gbenga Soloki (CAIDOV); and Ganzallo Gbenga (Transparency Advocacy for Good Governance).
Others were Comrade Funmi Jolade (Community Women Forum); Princess Ada Nwandu (Ohaneze Youth); Alh. A. Abdullahi (Justice and Peace Centre); Comrade Adeshina Ishola (Transparency Agenda); Comrade Daniel Oyesola (Stop Impunity Coalition); Comrade Leke Adebanjo (Committee for Amnesty); and Kayode Sampson (Democracy and Justice Forum), among others.

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