President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday failed to give specific details of recovered loot as part of his anti-corruption war during his Democracy Day speech, consequently reneging on an earlier promise he made to that effect.
Mr. Buhari had on May 14 said in London that he would personally provide specific details of all recovered stolen public funds because he believed that what Nigerians were being fed through the media were not detailed enough.
My situation had become rather desperate. I could not afford to stay any longer in New York. I just had to get on that plane. Bolaji Ogundimu had only recently been appointed as my Secretary when she put in an application for a housing loan. I had put aside a lump sum of money that could be borrowed by my staff interest-free.
This was operated as a round robin. As some paid back every month, new loans could be disbursed. However, Bolaji’s chances of getting a loan in the short-term were slim because many others were on the queue before her. But then two “Good Samaritans” came to see me. They insisted that Bolaji should be given a loan right away. What kind of favouritism is this, I wondered? “Bolaji has just applied,” I pointed out.
General Conrad Dibia Nwawo from all accounts was a soldier’s soldier. Accounts of his numerous exploits as part of the United Nation’s Peacekeeping forces in Katanga, Congo, led by General Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi are legendary. His exploits as a commander of some of the fiercest Biafran forces, the 11 Div, the 13 Div, and the dreaded Biafra Commando Forces, are also, for a generation that lived through that era, nothing short of the heroic – the source of much myth. Conrad Nwawo was a warrior, born as he himself once acknowledged, of the lineage of warriors.
But he was not “eaten” by war; he lived a long, and storied life. General Nwawo died this past February in his Onicha-Olona home in Delta state, and he was laid to final rest this past weekend at his Akwubili, Ogbeobi home in Onicha-Olona, Delta state. Conrad Nwawo was in the very eye of the storm of modern Nigerian history, and was a key player in the events that shaped the foundations of modern Nigeria in very unique ways. Born in 1922, Nwawo was educated at the Aggrey Memorial School in Arochukwu, run by the legendary Dr. Alvan Ikoku, and at the Ilesha Grammar School. From 1944-46, Conrad Nwawo trained at the School of Agriculture, Moore Plantation, and thereafter worked as an Assistant Agriculture Officer Grade III in Ibadan, and briefly in the Cameroon. He transferred to the colonial Civil Administration as clerk in the Accountant-General’s office in Kaduna in 1948, while also taking private tuition for the University of London degree in Economics, passing part II of the Inter B.Sc. in Economics in 1950.
In 1998, some Nigerian political leaders who described themselves as likeminded decided to set up political parties as channels for taking-over government from the departing military administration. The most formidable of such parties was known as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). It was so powerful that at a point its leaders boasted openly that they would govern Nigeria for at least 50 years.
Perhaps many people believed them on account of the solid points they canvassed as their objectives. Among other things, they promised to organize Nigeria’s productive labour and be responsive to the aspirations of the people. They also pledged to support the rule of law through devolution and power rotation as well as to fiercely defend democracy.
On security, for example, failure of the Nigerian military to subdue Boko Haram and rescue the over two hundred secondary school girls allegedly abducted from Chibok was seen by critics of Dr. Jonathan as evidence that his government cannot provide adequate security for our people. Concerning the fight against corruption, the former President could have done better, but his temperamental weaknesses, the shambolic federal civil service system and nefarious activities of the vicious cabal or “invisible government” prevented him from mounting a credible anti-corruption programme.
“By When all think alike, no one thinks very much.” Walter Lippmann, 1889-1974. (VANGUARD BOOK OG QUOTATIONS, VBQ, p 245).
Last week a promise was made to present some pictures from Agatu. Unfortunately, the article was too long to allow for the pictures. So permit me to start this week’s column by presenting some of the pictures. Over fifty of them were taken by the freelance photographer engaged who has not been paid.
Until he gets paid fully, readers can at least see from these pictures some of what went on at Agatu. The Chinese told us that “A picture is worth more than a thousand words. But, the pictures from Agatu don’t even begin to tell the real story behind the mayhem. And that is the reason I find most of the comments by Christian Southerners, columnists, commentators, journalists, professors, clergy, legislators, who had not bothered to go to Agatu so annoying. For the most part it has been the blind leading the blind.
The current travails of Femi Fani-Kayode in the hands of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had long been expected. In fact, with developments leading to his arrest, Fani-Kayode thinks the EFCC came too late. This is because owing to the current administration’s aversion to criticism even of the slightest and lightest type, Femi Fani-Kayode knew, with his relentless criticism of the Buhari administration for their gross inadequacies and obvious crass incompetence leading to a near-total absence of security of lives and property, and the irredeemable erosion of our socio-political and economic life, had put himself in the line of fire.
Emirate Flight Makes Emergency Landing In Lagos Due To Passenger’s Cocaine Ingestion By Lawani Mikairu
An Emirates flight EK 262 from Sao Paulo, Brazil to Dubai, United Arab Emirates was Saturday forced to make an emergency landing in Lagos due to the deteriorating health condition of a passengers believed to have ingested cocaine. After screening by anti-narcotic officials four other passengers are currently under interrogation after testing positive to drug ingestion.
One of the suspects was immediately hospitalised as doctors battle to save his life. Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Col. Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah (retd.) who said that the suspect is responding to treatment called for stiffer penalty against drug trafficking.
As the man in the saddle, Muhammadu Buhari is not the kind of president Nigerians have been familiar with in the last 16 years. Not known for frivolities and quite aware of the enormity of the task of fixing Nigeria, his body language does not suggest rolling out the drums in celebration of his one in office today.
The much that is being expected is a national broadcast which comes up today barring last-minute change of mind. Recall that the president had, while making his remarks at the signing of the 2016 budget into law on May 6, 2016, stated that he would address Nigerians on May 29, 2016. It may not also turn out to be your usual kind of national address. Buhari, known for his candour and bluntness, may make a statement today. Already, he had said he would unveil the names of those who have looted the national treasury on this occasion. May 29 is historic in Nigeria.
Operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) yesterday launched into a gun battle with members of the militant group, Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), in the creeks of Bayelsa State in the aftermath of twin blasts by the militants on two pipelines belonging to the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) and Aiteo.
Simultaneouly, soldiers laid siege to Oporoza community, Warri South-West council area of Delta State, suspected to be the hideout of wanted ex-militant, Government Ekpemupolo alias Tompolo.
Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, has said the state government would pay salaries to only workers who were not on strike from the “little” monthly allocation from Abuja.
The governor also stated that embarking on strike was not the solution to the poor resources available to the government, which had led to irregular payment of salaries in the last few months.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has released the Managing Director of Fidelity Bank, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, who was arrested last Wednesday for allegedly helping a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, to launder $153m.
The EFCC had taken the bank MD before an Ikeja Magistrate’s Court last week where the court ordered that he remained in EFCC custody for a week.
It is one year today since our administration came into office. It has been a year of triumph, consolidation, pains and achievements. By age, instinct and experience, my preference is to look forward, to prepare for the challenges that lie ahead and rededicate the administration to the task of fixing Nigeria. But I believe we can also learn from the obstacles we have overcome and the progress we made thus far, to help strengthen the plans that we have in place to put Nigeria back on the path of progress.
We affirm our belief in democracy as the form of government that best assures the active participation and actual benefit of the people. Despite the many years of hardship and disappointment the people of this nation have proved inherently good, industrious tolerant, patient and generous.
Hispanic voters in Florida, New Mexico and California have waved Mexican flags and bashed Donald Trump piñatas — clashing with police, at times — to protest the Republican presidential contender’s hard line approach to immigration.
Yet far from the protests, an increasingly vocal Hispanic minority is speaking out in favor of the brash billionaire. They are backing Trump even in the face of resentment and suspicion from friends and family, who are among the overwhelming majority of non-white voters opposed to the New York businessman’s candidacy.
CHEYENNE, Wyo. – A supporter of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders has submitted a challenge to how pledged Wyoming delegates were split 7-7 despite the Vermont senator reportedly winning the popular vote.
Richard Kusaba, a land surveyor from Kemmerer in southwest Wyoming, said the state party’s decision to accept the challenge and forward it to the Democratic National Committee defused animosity that had been building ahead of the convention.
The first fundraiser for Donald Trump’s Trump Victory fund took in $6.6 million, sources told Fox News on Friday.
The amounts collected at the Los Angeles event for the fund — a joint effort between the Republican Party and the Trump campaign — suggests the presumptive GOP presidential nominee is indeed attracting top donors.
Bernie Sanders is attempting to wage a fight to the finish for the Democratic presidential nomination — and to upend the party’s “rigged” system — by trying to remove key convention officials.
The Sanders campaign has called former Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank and Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy “aggressive attack surrogates” for Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton.
A federal judge ordered Friday the release of Trump University internal documents in a class-action lawsuit against the defunct real estate school owned by presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel in San Diego calls for the documents to be released Thursday. The order comes in a response to a request by The Washington Post.
The mayor and police chief of Cleveland next week will outline what security measures they would take for the Republican National Convention, officials said after a civil rights group and a police union criticized aspects of the preparations.
Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, has drawn intense protests at campaign stops this year. At times the demonstrations have resulted in violence between his supporters and opponents.
A year ago, Muhammadu Buhari was Nigeria’s Rorschach test, upon whom Nigerians could project their disparate yearnings, following widespread disenchantment with the administration of Goodluck Jonathan.
To govern, however, is to choose, and the choices the leader of this diverse entity called Nigeria, makes in a 12-month period, must reveal his personality.
Like any new leader, especially one dogged by security threats and plummeting economic indices, President Buhari wishes he could have had it less tough.