On Saturday, America celebrated 239 years since its hard-won independence from Britain. Beyond the fireworks and parades and lofty tributes, I think there’s an important lesson for us in Nigeria: that our diversity and our differences should not/never stand in the way of our development.
Months after the 2015 elections ended, Nigerian youths are still hung up on those elections. Nowhere is this more obvious than on social media which our youths have turned to a battle ground divided into pro People Democratic Party (PDP) and pro All Progressives Congress (APC) youths. So ingrained is this animosity that each group targets elected officials and party chieftains of the opposing parties and go after them just on the basis of their party affiliation. Things reached a comical stage when a youth attacked me for a tweet on Twitter and hours later was praising a popular youth for his tweet. Unbeknownst to him was the fact that the youth had merely tweeted my exact words but had not credited me with the quote!
These shenanigans makes me concerned for our youth. Where they should be getting closer and breaking down barriers, they are holding a candle for politicians who in reality are not as divided as they lead these youths to believe.
The South-East governors say Radio Biafra does not have the endorsement of South-East governors.
The governors rose from a day forum held at Imo Government House, Owerri, on Sunday with a decision not to recognise the radio station.
Governor Rochas Okorocha, at the end of the forum, said “the radio does not have the endorsement south east governors.”
He said that he governors equally resolved to tackle the issue of insecurity and other social ills that had beset the people of the region.
He said the forum was concern especially over the issue of kidnapping, cultism and baby factory, among others.
Okorocha said the governors agreed on the need to adequately equip the security agencies in the region for efficient security delivery.
He said they also agreed to retain Enugu as the headquarters of the south east governors’ forum office and its economic hub.
The governors also deliberated on the agitations by the people of the zone against the Boko Haram prisoners transferred to Anambra prisons.
They appealed to the Federal Government to take a second look at the development and re-transfer the prisons to another place because of the agitations and the worries it had so far created in the zone.
PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari is a man who has tremendous goodwill, perhaps more than any other Nigerian leader before him. That is highly understandable for two reasons. The first is the President’s personal attributes as a man of impeccable integrity, honesty, discipline and Spartan tastes. All these the President had demonstrated in his first coming as Head of State between December 1983 and August 1985 and in retirement.
Secondly, things had gone so bad under his immediate precedessor, former President Goodluck Jonathan, that Nigerians desired change so desperately. Apart from the worsening insecurity that had almost reduced the country into a jungle where life is “short and brutish,” the economy was (and still is) in a wobbly state owing to dwindling oil revenue and more by mismanagement and profligacy under the last administration.
A cursory survey of media reports on the downstream oil sector suggests that the prevailing popular belief is that a predatory cabal has a vice grip over the business of fuel importation. There is concern, therefore, that this, presumably, vicious class of businessmen would do everything to ensure that refineries will never work, and that the subsidy regime would subsist, while fuel supply will continue to be carefully manipulated to regularly induce artificial scarcity so that bountiful profits can be harvested from the attendant sufferings and economic dislocation deliberately caused by the oil cabal.
Nonetheless, it will be useful to examine the process of fuel importation more closely to actually identify the real beneficiaries in this business. Indeed, the major oil marketers, Total, Mobil, Oando, Conoil, NNPC inclusive, and a few others have not been fingered for collecting subsidy with fake import papers. However, it may be more difficult to vouch for the innocence of the motley subset of hundreds of indigenous independent marketers, as this class also accommodates the ubiquitous briefcase importer, who is clearly, a more footloose buccaneer.It would probably be more difficult to find a contrary view to the above popular perception, than it is to find the proverbial needle in a haystack. Besides, the widely reported ‘extreme’ annual subsidy values seem to also confirm that these fuel barons make a kill on the back of fellow Nigerians. Furthermore, despite several allegations that marketers collect billions of Naira as refund of subsidies on fuel supplies which were never delivered, no convictions have, surprisingly, so far resulted from EFCC’s tenuos efforts.
Following criticisms that trailed the appointments made so far by President Muhammadu Buhari which many argued were lopsided in favour of the north, the president, yesterday, dismissed insinuations that he was implementing a northern agenda in his appointments.
It will be recalled that President Buhari since taking over the reins of power on May 29 has, so far, made 11 appointments, out of which only one came from the South West.
Although some people considered the appointments to be “unserious positions”, many Nigerians condemned its alleged lopsidedness, saying they were signs of what to expect from the Buhari presidency.
Sunday Vanguard was reliably informed by Presidency sources, yesterday, that part of the reasons for the seeming prolonged process of resolving the crisis in the All Progressives Congress, APC, may be the slightly differing positions of President Muhammadu Buhari and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State, regarded as a leader and financier of the party.
Specifically, the sources disclosed that the Friday NEC meeting of the party “brought to the open the seeming centrifugal positions of Mr. President and Asiwaju.”
One of the sources added: “At the meeting between the governors and the warring parties that followed the APC NEC parley, Sokoto State governor, Aminu Tambuwal, was mandated to chair a committee of three that would come up with possible resolutions to the crisis.
If anyone has a good chance of breaking the Boko Haram insurgency, it is President Muhammadu Buhari. He has the experience – having chased killer Maitatsine Muslim fundamentalists all the way into Chad in the 80s.
He has the knowledge of the terrain, having worked in several senior capacities in the North East. Although he would not be functioning as an officer on the battlefield, his background as a one-time army general should help him relate better with those charged with doing the fighting today.
His job has been made easier by the fruits of former President Goodluck Jonathan’s last throw of the dice. It wasn’t too long ago when at least 14 local government areas in three states in the North East were under Boko Haram control.
Though the immediate past Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala may have left office, controversy continues to trail her performance while in office. The recent one is the accusation by the governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole that the former Coordinating Minister of the Economy spent $2.1bn from the Excess Crude Account without the approval of National Economic Council (NEC).
However, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala has responded to the allegation by describing it as political witch hunting. According to a statement by her spokesperson, Paul Nwabuiku, she described the allegation as an attempt by governors who are over whelmed by the current financial challenge to win sympathy.
“It is curious that in their desperation to use the esteemed National Economic Council for political and personal vendetta, the persons behind these allegations acted as if the constitutionally recognised FAAC, a potent expression of Nigeria’s fiscal federalism, does not exist. But Nigerians know that collective revenues, allocations and expenditures of the three tiers of government are the concern of the monthly FAAC meetings. It is important to acknowledge the efforts of governors who are working hard to overcome the current revenue challenges facing their states without resorting to character assassination and blame games,” she said.
This is not the first time Okonjo-Iweala is involved in a controversy over her performance in office. Last March, a civil society group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability (SERAP) took the former Minister to court over the claim by former governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi that the country lost about N30trillion due to corruption and mismanagement. The present accusation appears to have diminished Okonjo-Iweala’s achievement when she was the Minister of Finance during the tenure of former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Also former governor of CBN Prof. Charles Soludo while responding to the accusation by Okonjo-Iweala that his tenure as CBN governor was the worst in the country accused her of grounding the country’s economy.
Nigeria’s Presidency has the second largest number of aircraft in its fleet in the world. In the first position is Russia, with about 40 aircraft, followed by Nigeria –15 aircraft.
Russia can be forgiven for such large number of airplanes designated for its political leaders because all the aircraft in the fleet are produced and maintained by the state-owned aircraft manufacturing company. In Nigeria, the 15 aircraft are imported, and maintained abroad.
It is virtually inconceivable to note that the Presidential air fleet (PAF) is also the second largest fleet in Nigeria, after Arik Air with 26 airplanes. The combined number of fixed wing airplanes, operated by the five schedule airlines in the country is less than the number of aircraft in the Presidency.
Any Gmail user, who regrets a message they just sent, has the option to undo the action, provided they are quick enough, a report said on Wednesday.
It added that the new “Undo Send’’ option allowed a message to be retrieved, so long as it is clicked upon within 30 seconds of the “Send’’ command being hit.
Dubbed “Undo Send,” the new functionality was born of an experimental feature that has been available in Gmail Labs for quite some time. As Google announced on its official App blog in the U.K., Undo Send is now available to all users.
Here’s how to enable Undo Send:
- On the Gmail website, click the gear icon in the top-right corner and select Settings.
- On the General Tab, you should now see Undo Send listed as the tenth option.
- To enable it, check the box next to Enable Undo Send.
- Now choose the length of time you’d like to have the ability to recall your sent emails from the drop-down menu. Options include 5, 10, 20 and 30 seconds.
A PROMINENT leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ekiti State, Chief Dayo Okondo, has faulted his appointment as a member of the Governing Council of the College of Education, Ikere Ekiti by Governor Ayo Fayose.
Okondo, a former PDP Board of Trustees (BoT) member, said he was shocked to have heard his name on the radio as he was not consulted before the appointment was made.
Addressing a press briefing on Friday in his Ikere country home, Okondo stressed that membership of the College of Education Governing Council won’t be beneficial to him as it falls short of his status in the party.
The former Chairman of the State Local Government Service Commission emphasised that his appointment as a governing council member belittles his status as a founding father of the PDP and as a party leader that brought Fayose into the party.
Gov. Adams Oshiomhole of Edo on Friday advised public officers and politicians to get rid of their private jets as President Muhammadu Buhari had begun blocking financial leakages in the country’s economy.
Oshiomhole made this known at a public lecture titled “Labour and the Nigerian Economy: What needs to be done”, held at the University of Port Harcourt.
He said that businessmen who connived with some officials of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to defraud the nation through subsidy claims would be probed.
“Few people (in Nigeria) are taking away so much wealth, while majority of the people are going home with almost nothing.
“A clear example is when you arrive at the private wing of the airport in Abuja; you will find more than 40 to 50 private jets parked there in one airport alone.
There was a hit song in the 80s that had a refrain which went something like this: ‘Now that we’ve found love what are we going to do with it?’ This song came to my consciousness each time the APC members went from one comedy of error to another in their quest to acquire or consolidate power. Substitute the word love with power and you will have the APC scenario which has found power but is fumbling so terribly with it.
Many people predicted this unfortunately. When I wrote the article: ‘The factors against Buhari’, an old friend somehow found my number and called to plead passionately about the dangers of a Buhari presidency. He is an Igbo man who has lived all his life in Lagos and even has a Yoruba name. His call amongst the many that came in the wake of the article comes to mind today because his was different from the common, if unfounded fears, of the Islamisation of Nigeria, or Buhari being surrounded by greedy crooks who would not allow him to clean the stable.
Aliko Dangote warns on the biggest mistake a businessman can make
Media men had a piece of Aliko Dangote last weekend. And when they were done many appreciated why he is one of the richest in the world. In an interactive session with senior editors Dangote discussed state of the nation while explaining some details in his businesses that are geared towards a better life for Nigerians.
His tremendous knowledge in many areas awed the audience. But what moved them most was his patriotism. He called on Nigerians to invest at home and create jobs. “Five to 10 people can make Nigeria a great economy,” he said. And what with the power situation in Nigeria? “We’ll not have meaningful development until we sort out power problems in the country,” he tells government.
Dangote spoke from his heart. Here’s Africa’s richest man who doesn’t own a house abroad. His is about how to make Nigeria a better place. And, again, his humility thawed many especially those meeting him for the first time.
Below are just a few of the things he said on the night, his own words as captured by ONOCHIE ANIBEZE,Vanguard
Expectations of a resolution of the crisis rocking the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC over the sharing of National Assembly positions came to an anti-climax yesterday after the National Executive Committee, NEC skipped the issue.
Following a scant mention of the rumpus, the NEC passed the buck to the governors to arbitrate. That was despite a caution by President Muhammadu Buhari that the party must not march from victory to violent eruption. The president had in his remarks also tasked the quarrelling gladiators to pocket their personal interests and project the collective interest of the party.
However, the governors in their preliminary meeting with the contending sides in the Senate (led by Senate President Bukola Saraki and Ahmad Lawan) and the contending sides in the House of Representatives, (led by Speaker Yakubu Dogara and Femi Gbajabiamila) were unable to make progress.
Chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum, Owelle Rochas Okorocha and Governor Adams Oshiomole of Edo State who led the arbitration with the two sides following the NEC meeting nevertheless expressed confidence that the crisis would be over by next week. President Buhari had pleaded with party men to forget their grievances and move on. The specifics of their agreement, according to Okorocha, will be made known next week. But Buhari’s appeal for peace and for all to move on may be heeded.
The NEC meeting was also a setback for those canvassing for the removal of Chief John Odigie-Oyegun as national chairman as the party leaders endorsed a vote of confidence on his leadership of the party.
Yesterday was the first NEC meeting since the party’s cruising victory in the last general elections and was graced by the president, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, Senate President Saraki, Speaker Dogara, all the party’s governors, state chairmen among many others.
A few days ago, news broke out from a popular online news platform suggesting that Nigeria’s Senate President, Sen. Dr. Bukola Saraki is not a citizen of Nigeria by virtue of his holding dual citizenship of the Federal republic of Nigeria and that of the United Kingdom.The news, like wild fire, reverberated across the country especially on Social media platforms (Twitter and Facebook) where there is a large concentration of Nigerians as part of its worldwide users. Nigerians of all facets not excluding those in the Diaspora began offering differing opinions and counter opinions as to the legality or otherwise of being a holder of dual citizenship and at the same time holding elective office under the constitution of the Federal republic of Nigeria as amended. This writer is not oblivious of the political wrangling going on especially within the National Assembly that may have triggered this topic but will keep this discussion strictly within what the constitution has provided for and will not descend into the murky waters of Nigerian politics.
The position of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and judicial pronouncements on the matter are very clear, instantly recognizable and have been unswerving in that- holding dual citizenship of Nigeria and another country will not serve as a bar to such holder from contesting and/or holding elective post in Nigeria; but with a rider; provided that the individual holding the dual citizenship acquired his/her Nigerian nationality by birth. It is our humble view that given the very clear provisions of the Constitution on the issue and the interpretations of those provisions by competent courts it will be manifestly frivolous and without any merit to claim that a Nigerian by birth without more has lost his right to contest/hold an elective office by reason of his holding a dual citizenship.
The Consumer Protection Council (CPC), as part of its efforts at safeguarding the interest of consumers, has requested franchise holders of four top world’s car brands in Nigeria to within seven days provide information on the status of their vehicles in relation to the faulty front passenger airbag inflators, which have prompted the recall of the brands’ implicated models from the market worldwide.
The Council, determined to ensure Nigerian consumers, who purchased these implicated models from the franchise holders are not left out of the recall policy, had communicated its position to Toyota Nigeria Limited, Nissan Nigeria Limited, Honda Automobile West Africa Limited and CFAO motors Nigeria, the franchise holders for Mitsubishi vehicles in Nigeria.