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Showing posts with label Democracy. Show all posts

THE ONLY THING BETTER THAN DEMOCRACY FOR NIGERIA IS MORE DEMOCRACY" - COAS TELLS TROOPS

THE ONLY THING BETTER THAN DEMOCRACY FOR NIGERIA IS MORE DEMOCRACY" - COAS TELLS TROOPS

As 239 Army Cadets Get Presidential Commission







The Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Nigerian Army (NA) Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja has declared that 'the only thing better than democracy for Nigeria in this modern era, is more democracy'. The Army Chief made the declaration today Saturday 5 August 2023, while addressing Officer Cadets at the Passing Out Parade and Commissioning  cum Oath Taking Ceremony for Executive Commission Course 1/2023, held at the Major  Bulama Biu Parade Ground, Military Cantonment, Jaji, Kaduna.


Speaking further, Gen Lagbaja averred that all officers and men of the Nigerian Army must be reminded that subordination of the military to constituted authority remains the most fashionable means of promoting military professionalism. He emphasized that the desire of every Nigerian is a flourishing, uninterrupted constitutional democratic governance, that promotes national values and the interest of every well-meaning Nigerian, irrespective of ethnic or religious affiliation. "I therefore charge all Nigerian Army personnel to be proud champions of our flourishing democracy and remain apolitical in discharging their constitutional duties", he unequivocally added. He reaffirmed that the NA remains committed to ensuring the security of lives and property across the country, stressing that the Army is working assiduously to protect the territorial integrity of the nation and support relevant security agencies in ensuring the security of lives and property within the country. 


The COAS, afterwards,  conferred Presidential Commission on the Passing out Cadets, to the rank of Lieutenant, after which the Oath of Allegiance was administered to them at the Lieutenant General Ihejirika Auditorium.


The 239 Passing out Cadets comprising 12 female and 228 male Cadets were already in service as soldiers and were drawn from various Corps of the NA, before they were selected for  Executive Commissioning, after three months of intensive military training, spanning1 May to 5 August 2023. In the passing out ceremony, three Cadets emerged in flying colours amongst their contemporaries. Cadet A Saminu came first in order of merit, while Cadet SC Nwokanta came second and Cadet OY Yahaya bagged the third position. 


The Commandant Nigerian Army School of Infantry, Major General Oluyemi Olatoye, who superintended the training of the Cadets, noted that they have been imbued with requisite skills to function as officers. He pointed out, that the newly commissioned officers have been trained to be loyal, courageous and dedicated in their service to the nation.

Highpoint of the event was the presentation of Parchment of Commission to the newly commissioned Officers.


All after the Commissioning ceremony, the COAS paid an empathy visit to officers and soldiers who were wounded in action during operational engagements at the 44 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital, Kaduna 


More Photos;









 ONYEMA NWACHUKWU

Brigadier General

Director Army Public Relations

5 August 2023



© Latest News Plus®


Admission Into All Classes are in progress at A1 PREMIER MODEL ACADEMY LTD, OSOGBO, OSUN STATE, NIGERIA

ADDRESS; KM4 GBONGAN/IBADAN ROAD, OPPOSITE OLD FRSC OFFICE, OGO OLUWA AREA, OSOGBO.

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As 239 Army Cadets Get Presidential Commission







The Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Nigerian Army (NA) Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja has declared that 'the only thing better than democracy for Nigeria in this modern era, is more democracy'. The Army Chief made the declaration today Saturday 5 August 2023, while addressing Officer Cadets at the Passing Out Parade and Commissioning  cum Oath Taking Ceremony for Executive Commission Course 1/2023, held at the Major  Bulama Biu Parade Ground, Military Cantonment, Jaji, Kaduna.


Speaking further, Gen Lagbaja averred that all officers and men of the Nigerian Army must be reminded that subordination of the military to constituted authority remains the most fashionable means of promoting military professionalism. He emphasized that the desire of every Nigerian is a flourishing, uninterrupted constitutional democratic governance, that promotes national values and the interest of every well-meaning Nigerian, irrespective of ethnic or religious affiliation. "I therefore charge all Nigerian Army personnel to be proud champions of our flourishing democracy and remain apolitical in discharging their constitutional duties", he unequivocally added. He reaffirmed that the NA remains committed to ensuring the security of lives and property across the country, stressing that the Army is working assiduously to protect the territorial integrity of the nation and support relevant security agencies in ensuring the security of lives and property within the country. 


The COAS, afterwards,  conferred Presidential Commission on the Passing out Cadets, to the rank of Lieutenant, after which the Oath of Allegiance was administered to them at the Lieutenant General Ihejirika Auditorium.


The 239 Passing out Cadets comprising 12 female and 228 male Cadets were already in service as soldiers and were drawn from various Corps of the NA, before they were selected for  Executive Commissioning, after three months of intensive military training, spanning1 May to 5 August 2023. In the passing out ceremony, three Cadets emerged in flying colours amongst their contemporaries. Cadet A Saminu came first in order of merit, while Cadet SC Nwokanta came second and Cadet OY Yahaya bagged the third position. 


The Commandant Nigerian Army School of Infantry, Major General Oluyemi Olatoye, who superintended the training of the Cadets, noted that they have been imbued with requisite skills to function as officers. He pointed out, that the newly commissioned officers have been trained to be loyal, courageous and dedicated in their service to the nation.

Highpoint of the event was the presentation of Parchment of Commission to the newly commissioned Officers.


All after the Commissioning ceremony, the COAS paid an empathy visit to officers and soldiers who were wounded in action during operational engagements at the 44 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital, Kaduna 


More Photos;









 ONYEMA NWACHUKWU

Brigadier General

Director Army Public Relations

5 August 2023



© Latest News Plus®


Admission Into All Classes are in progress at A1 PREMIER MODEL ACADEMY LTD, OSOGBO, OSUN STATE, NIGERIA

ADDRESS; KM4 GBONGAN/IBADAN ROAD, OPPOSITE OLD FRSC OFFICE, OGO OLUWA AREA, OSOGBO.

WHAT'SAPP; 08080895259

#2023ELECTION ; TINUBU AND BURDEN OF HISTORY

#2023ELECTION ; TINUBU AND BURDEN OF HISTORY

 By Biodun Olamosu


At the inception of the 4th republic in 1999 after the tormentors struggles by the prodemocracy movement against the military rule, the new political elite came under the scrutiny of the microscope of vigilant Nigerian press that sought for impeccable politicians to drive the new political administrations rather than having not good for nothing politicians replacing the military dictatorship of the old that share common banners of corruption, oppression, and exploitation against the people.


Among the politicians that came forth to participate in the new government were those that could not in any way be differentiated from what Abacha-Babangida stood for among other right-wing tendencies.


Not long thereafter the inauguration of the National Assembly, the presiding officers of both houses of the National Assembly – Uche Enwerem and Salisu Buhari of the Senate and House of Representatives respectively were found to have misrepresented themselves as contained in the affidavit filed with INEC. They claimed to attend schools they never attended. Buhari on his part misrepresented his age too to make up for age qualification that is a condition for anyone contesting into the House of Representatives. Such act of fraud and perjury were disowned by Nigerians including those that voted for them to be elected as their representatives. 


The human right community and the press in unison raged against those politicians and called for their resignation from the National Assembly and as the presiding officers. While Enwerem managed to retain his seat at the Senate but lost his position as the presiding officer, Buhari was not lucky as he lost everything and apologized to the nation for mercy before stepping out of the National Assembly for infringing on the principle of utmost good faith that his conduct of misrepresentation has caused the nation.


This first step in testing the principle and practice of democracy emanating from below having been achieved was a landmark in the potential of what vibrant press and public opinion could achieve on their own; especially as this was against the background of prodemocracy movement that had taken a decade to transit from military to civil rule. This also had its attendant advantage of strengthening the confidence of the movement in achieving greater heights.


The vigilance was not restricted to the central government as the new governor of Lagos State, in person of Bola Tinubu was alleged of the same offence that include misrepresentation of both his age, primary school and university attended. He claimed to have attended Government College, Ibadan and University of Chicago for his high school and tertiary institution respectively. The name he bared as a toddler did not tally with the one he now bears as an adult. Not only this, he was alleged of being involved in drug business which caused his bank account where drug money was laundered to be confiscated.  The discrepancy in his particulars worth being scrutinized to get the truth of the matter like it was the case with Enwerem and Salisu Buhari before it. 


Gani Fawehinmi became vociferous in championing the cause of getting to the root of the matter; while the press and the NGOs were recasistrant to do so. The State House of Assembly waded into the matter in order to save him in the hand of Gani Fawehinmi. This was not unusual as the legislative house was dominated by one party, Alliance for Democracy led by him in Lagos State. The intervention of the House was therefore to cover-up the certificate forgery and other allegations committed by Bola Tinubu. This is understandable from this quarters as most members of the Assembly held their positions at the instance of the governor and they were therefore expected to reciprocate in turn with unflinching loyalty at all circumstances. 


The situation at the National Assembly was a bit different and made possible against the interest of the extant president, Olusegun Obasanjo that gave both officers his support but for the pluralistic nature of the assembly that comprised strong opposition parties – All Peoples Party and Alliance for Democracy as against that of the ruling party, People Democratic Party, a cover up was made difficult to achieve.


On understanding that no good result would come from the Lagos State House of Assembly on the matter, Gani Fawehinmi had to expound the scope of the fight to involve the police that has the constitutional responsibilities to investigate on any matter of fraud and criminality. This he commenced by writing a letter to the Inspector General of Police and informed his office that he has a duty to investigate the alleged misrepresentation by Bola Tinubu in his particulars as contained in the affidavit swore under oath by him or his agent. Such step taking by Gani got Tinubu and his cohorts napping as they were earlier hiding under the cover that a seating governor could not be prosecuted as he was covered by the immunity clause provided for in the 1999 Constitution. They were made to realise by Gani’s argument that even if immunity is to prevent the governor from prosecution, but that such provision do not prevent him from being investigated. Before long Senator Afikuyomi showed up at Gani Fawehinmi’s Chambers to confess that the errors in Tinubu affidavit came from him and that Gani should forgive Tinubu on this.


It was at this juncture that the character of what comprised the hitherto outspoken Nigerian press and human rights activists became exposed. They came like angry flood in greater speed and strength to challenge Gani and in defence of Tinubu. Not a few theories were propounded to establish why Gani should be snubbed by Nigerians as canvassed by these combined forces. Some of the information from this end to chastise Gani was at the level of sentiment and personal attack. The first fervor came from an equally respectable prodemocracy fighter, Beko Ramsome-Kuti* through a letter he caused to write to Gani. In the letter, he insinuated that “Gani is not a Saint that he claims to be.” According to him, the #6million naira that he raised in saving Gani’s properties from being confiscated by way of award granted by court judgment against him while in prison for libel suit by Akilu and Togun, - two Babangida’s boys that Gani hitherto alleged of responsible for the killing of Dele Giwa on behalf of their principal; was kept by Gani after his release by a superior court order and that some of the money were raised from outside the shore of the country.* He also vent his anger against Gani’s role in supporting Buhari-Idiagbon military government some years earlier. This he attributed to reason of what Gani was going to gain by doing so as a professional legal practitioner in defending corrupt politicians. The very reason, according to him, NBA sanctioned him for flouting their order of boycotting the military tribunals* In his words, he further reiterated, “permit me to recall that you decided to form the National Conscience Party in 1994 after you have failed to get the Campaign for Democracy to transform into a political party of your dream*” “Only recently you resigned as chairman of the joint Action Committee of Nigeria when the members rejected your renewed campaign against the civilian government that was yet to take off*.” 


“The question that some members of the human rights community are asking: “when have we decided to be the defenders and policemen of some selected provisions of the transition programme decrees? It is for this reason that most of us distanced ourselves from the Buharigate and Enwerem affair. It will be recalled that it was you and your compatriot Femi Falana who had cause to play professional roles in both cases. In other words while Falana acted as the solicitor to The News magazine which published the Buhari’s story, you were the counsel to the Tell magazine which reported the Emwerem’s story”* “In the Tinubu case I have enquired and confirmed from the entire human rights community that you never deemed it necessary to discuss the Tinubu matter with anyone or group. Yet after you have taken your position and issued your ultimatums you expected everybody to line up behind you in your crusade to remove an elected governor without regard to dueprocess.* Because of your inability to secure the support of other human rights organisations in this your crusade you have resorted to name calling and abuses.” 


Beko was not without avalanche of supporters among journalists and human rights activists. Prominent among these include Femi Falana that claimed Bola Tinubu has being his long time client and for this reason he would rather abandon principle than to abandon his client of many years*. This was Femi that his client, The News started Salisu Buhari’s saga. Other known human rights lawyers involved in defending Tinubu include Olisa Agbakoba, Fred Agbaje, Dele Adesina and Nurudeen Ogbara were all present at the Lagos State House of Assembly to defend the interest of Bola Tinubu.


Writers like Soji Omotunde put the whole saga into perspective in defending Tinubu by stating that: “If Tinubu had accepted that errors were made, not necessarily in bid to gain advantage over his competitors for the office of governor; and the Lagos State House of Assembly has found him fit to continue in office, and the people of Lagos State who elected him, are not interested in getting him out yet, who then could a crusader be representing”.* He further stated that: ”Governor Tinubu might have perjured, and so what? President Bill Clinton perjured over the Monica Lewinsky affair.” “If Tinubu is riding the storm against the fancy of his adversaries that might as well be the reward for his past activism against evil. Like it or not, the man shot himself to the forefront of those who campaigned against the evil of thwarting the legitimate wishes of the people as expressed on June 12, 1993. To now expect those who struggled along with him to buckle and turn against him because he has sinned and because they need to make those who once supported atrocity happy is a wishful thinking. It is simply realistic that Tinubu’s moment of trial is when he needs his true friends most. Why then blame Afenifere or the radical wing of the media for not helping to roast a colleague in trauma?” He further stated that: “Gani has fought a gallant fight. He should leave it at that. Swimming against the tide can never be in his ultimate interest. If indeed he loves his people and wants democracy to survive, he should not yet carried away by a gobbled morality crusade and be used at pulling down. He should not claim to be more nationalistic, patriotic or morally upright than a Beko Ramsome-Kuti, Femi Falana or Olisa Agbakogba, his comrades in the social struggle who are not aligning with him on the Tinubu affair. Such right-righteousness would amount to destructive vainglory.”


These defences on the side of Tinubu are smack of inconsistency, common sense and belittle those engaging in it. It in fact corroborate the position of Gani Fawehinmi the more, that there must be reason for why such supporters have descended so low from their hitherto Olympian height as fighter for truth, equity and justice to that of clappers and jobbers to a political degenerate, granted the fact that he was once an activists as being canvassed.


Richard Akinola position on the matter was the most ridiculous as he preferred to approach the discussion purely on personal level, even letting out intimate personal information confined in him by Gani (as he claimed), as a trustworthy friend. He said Gani told him for reason of personal safety why he used different birthday (1940) as opposed to his authentic birthday of 1938.*


It is for this reason that Olumide Fusika lashed at those opponents of Gani. He stated: “If anybody has spoken or made any statement considered uncomplimentary (against Gani) there is nothing to gloat about without subjecting it to critical evaluation: why are they saying all these about Gani now? What is the relevance of the information being supplied about Gani? Beko say this, Akinola says that, Keyamo says his own, what is the relevance? I agree with Beko that Gani is not a Saint. Gani himself has not said that to me. I am close to him (too). The issue at stake is not about Sainthood, the Tinubu question is about setting standard for public office holders. That is what this issue is all about and it is unfortunate that people refuse to understand it from that perspective. Private wrongs can be forgiven and over looked. If anybody beats his wife, it is a matter between the individuals involved. If somebody commits fornication, the spouse can choose to forgive but public wrongs in the realm of public office holders who do or seen to have done things inconsistent with public interest or morality, every citizens must ensure that redress is sought in accordance to the law. It is not really, a personal thing and I do not agree with the people who are presenting this matter as personality conflict. “What Chief Fawehinmi is saying … is that: one, what is good for A is good for B. Two, that the reputation of the Yoruba race is greater than the demands of friendship and our pity for one man. Now you begin to hear arguments, some say like Professor Bolaji Akinyemi that ‘dogs don’t eat dogs’ and that we should treat the man with compassion. I agree completely that we should treat him with compassion but compassion does not mean overlook it. Others (like Soji Omotunde and Richard Akinola) are saying ‘he is our man, it does not matter what he is said to have done. We must overlook it’. If a vigilante group is harbouring a suspected armed robber it would not be extremist to say that it is no more than a gang of armed robbers. Gani is saying that the Yoruba race in Nigeria has always been known to stand by what is right irrespective of individual interest. All I am saying is that this controversy is needless and can be put to an end without further delay. That can be done by Bola Tinubu coming out to show to the world his credentials, particularly his Nigerian Secondary School Certificate or the American equivalent as well as his other credentials. If he had done that when Gani gave the ultimatum, this matter would have been settled a long time ago.” “But to leave the issue and begin to call Gani names, that he is tyrant, and has stolen a non-existence N6million, sponsoring articles and interviews with persons who have personal grouse to settle with Gani cannot end the problem. If anybody feels Gani has done anything worthy of public censure, let the person go to court”.


The fact also surfaced that Gani did not have anything to do with Gani Fawehinmi Solidarity group as well as the account of the organization after being released from prison. The organization was being led by Dipo Fasina and it maintained its independence without any iota of interference from Gani. Such allegation by Beko who was a very close supporter of Tinubu was like giving dog bad name in order to hang it. On the allegation of forming National Conscience Party after his advice on Campaign for Democracy led by Beko to transform into a political party was rejected, should be counted as a plus for him rather than being a minus. The cause of the struggle would have been enhanced if the advice was yielded to and there was the possibility that the party coming from fighting tradition would have endured for long in challenging for power rather than being limited to act of pressurising the government in power only.  


Events of our political life has no doubt subsequently confirms Gani argument in respect of the NGOs as the different groups had fought themselves to almost extinction, you hardly heard the old names after factional struggles that came about when funding of NGOs  dropped for reason of the donours that felt civil rule has been achieved in Nigeria. Gani as an insider was not unaware of the atrocities perpetrated by the NGOs in being funded. This author was privy to such act by a top NGO/prodemocracy group that resorted to publish editions of its tabloid in arrears in order to have something to show to their foreign donours and claim funds in return.  


Thereafter, the NGOs looked towards the established governments – the state and the central for the funding of their programmes and to survive as groups or individuals. Bola Tinubu led government was the first government to provide hand outs to those NGO organizations together with the press and this informed why the people involved are so desperate and will be ready to do anything for the sake of Tinubu against anyone having critical position not in his favour. The government of Tinubu that could be described as a philanthropist form of government for eight years on this kind of goodwill provided for its hangers-on in strategic position. And this was the very reason on leaving office while he was asked to summarise his achievement in office, he retorted to say unabashedly that he achieved being succeeded by Babatunde Fashola having seen the new government of Fashola performance that dwarfed his, whatever might be the shortcoming of the government.


The government led by Goodluck Jonathan was like behind the scene populated by the NGO people that served as its foot soldiers and there was nothing to show for it beyond personal survival as they represent nothing significantly different from the extant ruling elite and the government made no difference in the life of the people and even made this worse. Some of the defenders of human rights external funding in responding to Gani Fawehinmi have come to argue that there is nothing new in this as it is not restricted to Nigeria but a world phenomenon. But they fail to say that such funding was not without string being attached. A typical instance was the case when the foreign donours wanted the NGOs loyal to them to drop the June 12 part of the agenda of the prodemocracy movement. This was responsible for why NCP was not part of the UAD initiative as there was no agreement on this new agenda at the pre inaugural meeting of UAD held between the organisations that make up the coalition. Such agenda was later resisted by groups that were still loyal to June 12 movement and this was how anti-June 12 could not be sustained by the collectives.


It is not fortuitous that greater percentage of the leading members of the NGO groups are today in PDP and some others in APC which in a way is a clear indication that they are not in any way different from the extant ruling elite. Gani and the party he helped to put in place thought differently as what we now have in the polity do not match what we were fighting for. He might not have achieved his entire objective in this regard but the principle could not be disputed. Much could be achieved if others in the NGO business saw reason with him not to follow the old politicians and crooks that constituted the new polity.


Though Bola Tinubu hegemony was sustained up to the present but this could hardly qualify to be a hegemony in the service of the poor. And this is the very reason that in Lagos State and other parts of the South West where he controls the bountiful legacy of free education, cheap housing facility, provision of market, recreation, free and access to health services, rural electrification, leadership with awe of integrity, etc. that were left behind by the preceding generation led by Obafemi Awolowo and Lateef Jakande in Lagos have been uprooted while the gap between the rich and the poor widen each day.


Gani shall for ever be remembered in legal statutes that being in power does not guarantee any person cover by immunity from being investigated and for this reason impunity is being checked by the people on the corridor of power. The intervention of Gani Fawehinmi on Bola Tinuba’s case of certificate forgery and criminal record of money laundering and drug trafficking at the inception of the 4th republic is hunting Bola Tinubu today especially now that he is being sponsored by All Progressive Congress for the position of president. The issue has come up again into front burner of political discourse. 


The new NGOs in difference with the hitherto social movements before it aim to achieve human rights and democracy in the country like Nigeria and other African countries in the post-cold war era. In comparing the two forms of social movement and the periods which they operate, it would be understood that they share some similarities as well as differences. In the past, up to the 1980s social movements were voluntary and based on ideological persuasion as socialist philosophy was strong as a way of social change. Issues were perceived from class perspective rather than ethnic consideration.


Organisational structures as a vehicle to carry out the philosophical mission of the movement depended largely on voluntary memberships that were also responsible in financing its activities out of their monthly dues. Sometimes such movement might be a broad left organization composed of different left tendencies with a common mission of anti imperialist agenda.


Things changed abruptly in the late 1980s with the collapse of Stalinism and the arrival of neoliberal variant of capitalism during this period. In Nigeria with the introduction of Structural Adjustment Programme since 1986, policies such as privatization, liberalization, devaluation and deregulation became the common phenomenon in causing more harm than good rather than addressing problems of the economy. The resultant effect of this was the huge debt incurred, deindustrialization and large scale social inequality. 


It was against this background that the political arms of economic neoliberalism had to be introduced in the creation of the Non-Governmental organizations that were to fight for human rights and one issue base activism like that of prison congestion, abuse of judicial process, illegal detention, right or freedom to exercise fundamental rights – of speech, movement and association. Others include agitation against environmental right abuse, campaign for child right, women rights, etc. Unlike in the past, the new NGOs were to be sponsored from abroad – USA, Canada and Western Europe. They were meant to serve as filling the gap associated with the pervaded poverty that became the lots of the poor masses. In this wise they were to serve the purpose of providing palliatives to the poverty ridden people with the new associated concept of making “end to poverty history” rather than the old concept of end to capitalism or path to socialist revolutionary transformation of the capitalist society. It was in this way there emerged avalanche of donour NGOs to provide aid in financing social services such as providing water boreholes, credit facilities to traders in form of micro finance, workshops in advancing human rights education consciousness that were hitherto the prerogative of the public sector but now carried out by the private sector under the umbrella of NGOs. Not only this, such important role as policy making is now being carried out by the private oriented NGOs under the auspices of providing consultancy services. More auspicious in the role of the NGOs is in the realm of intervention in politics as to help in navigating democracy. NGOs are thereby misconceived as non-partisan in politics and therefore meant to occupy one of the tripods of public, private sectors and NGOs. Such assumption could hardly match as NGOs just like any of the stakeholders in the tripod could hardly be excluded from political interest as this is largely a function of the economy especially in a capitalist society that determine the associated civil society in such environment.


There is no doubt that not a few people that constituted the leadership of the later day NGOs were rooted in the radical student movement of the past but their orientation changed with their new role in the later dispensation. They thereby became attached to the new philosophy of the neoliberal induced reforms to be carried out by the NGOs, a very important part of the imperialist role in the post-cold war era of globalization. 


The NGOs platform thereby become a base for the new educated elites for survival as well as playing their politics as new representatives of the imperialist interest even though without capital but with enough resources to eke a living and sustain life as a middle class. This was why Edwin Madunagu once remarked in the case of Comrade Ola Oni being described by the popular press as a human rights activist; that he was an activist in the real sense of the word, but did not belong to the imperialist inspired human right activists of late. The same comment could as well be extended to cover Gani Fawehinmi that claimed never to have collected money from any donour agency to prosecute his human right activism which predated the later day human rights activism of the 1990s to the 21st century. The problem actually is not only in being financed by the external NGOs but also in embracing their philosophy unconditionally. This was how Gani differed in comparison with other NGO’s leadership that combined to fight him for exposing them for what they were in reality having jettisoned the principle of social justice and fight against exploitation and oppression of the poor masses. The very reason their interest coincided with their alter ego as Tinubu and other members of the ruling class.      


   


 Biodun Olamosu

Centre for Social Policy and Labour Research

Dugbe Ibadan

+2348175109802



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 By Biodun Olamosu


At the inception of the 4th republic in 1999 after the tormentors struggles by the prodemocracy movement against the military rule, the new political elite came under the scrutiny of the microscope of vigilant Nigerian press that sought for impeccable politicians to drive the new political administrations rather than having not good for nothing politicians replacing the military dictatorship of the old that share common banners of corruption, oppression, and exploitation against the people.


Among the politicians that came forth to participate in the new government were those that could not in any way be differentiated from what Abacha-Babangida stood for among other right-wing tendencies.


Not long thereafter the inauguration of the National Assembly, the presiding officers of both houses of the National Assembly – Uche Enwerem and Salisu Buhari of the Senate and House of Representatives respectively were found to have misrepresented themselves as contained in the affidavit filed with INEC. They claimed to attend schools they never attended. Buhari on his part misrepresented his age too to make up for age qualification that is a condition for anyone contesting into the House of Representatives. Such act of fraud and perjury were disowned by Nigerians including those that voted for them to be elected as their representatives. 


The human right community and the press in unison raged against those politicians and called for their resignation from the National Assembly and as the presiding officers. While Enwerem managed to retain his seat at the Senate but lost his position as the presiding officer, Buhari was not lucky as he lost everything and apologized to the nation for mercy before stepping out of the National Assembly for infringing on the principle of utmost good faith that his conduct of misrepresentation has caused the nation.


This first step in testing the principle and practice of democracy emanating from below having been achieved was a landmark in the potential of what vibrant press and public opinion could achieve on their own; especially as this was against the background of prodemocracy movement that had taken a decade to transit from military to civil rule. This also had its attendant advantage of strengthening the confidence of the movement in achieving greater heights.


The vigilance was not restricted to the central government as the new governor of Lagos State, in person of Bola Tinubu was alleged of the same offence that include misrepresentation of both his age, primary school and university attended. He claimed to have attended Government College, Ibadan and University of Chicago for his high school and tertiary institution respectively. The name he bared as a toddler did not tally with the one he now bears as an adult. Not only this, he was alleged of being involved in drug business which caused his bank account where drug money was laundered to be confiscated.  The discrepancy in his particulars worth being scrutinized to get the truth of the matter like it was the case with Enwerem and Salisu Buhari before it. 


Gani Fawehinmi became vociferous in championing the cause of getting to the root of the matter; while the press and the NGOs were recasistrant to do so. The State House of Assembly waded into the matter in order to save him in the hand of Gani Fawehinmi. This was not unusual as the legislative house was dominated by one party, Alliance for Democracy led by him in Lagos State. The intervention of the House was therefore to cover-up the certificate forgery and other allegations committed by Bola Tinubu. This is understandable from this quarters as most members of the Assembly held their positions at the instance of the governor and they were therefore expected to reciprocate in turn with unflinching loyalty at all circumstances. 


The situation at the National Assembly was a bit different and made possible against the interest of the extant president, Olusegun Obasanjo that gave both officers his support but for the pluralistic nature of the assembly that comprised strong opposition parties – All Peoples Party and Alliance for Democracy as against that of the ruling party, People Democratic Party, a cover up was made difficult to achieve.


On understanding that no good result would come from the Lagos State House of Assembly on the matter, Gani Fawehinmi had to expound the scope of the fight to involve the police that has the constitutional responsibilities to investigate on any matter of fraud and criminality. This he commenced by writing a letter to the Inspector General of Police and informed his office that he has a duty to investigate the alleged misrepresentation by Bola Tinubu in his particulars as contained in the affidavit swore under oath by him or his agent. Such step taking by Gani got Tinubu and his cohorts napping as they were earlier hiding under the cover that a seating governor could not be prosecuted as he was covered by the immunity clause provided for in the 1999 Constitution. They were made to realise by Gani’s argument that even if immunity is to prevent the governor from prosecution, but that such provision do not prevent him from being investigated. Before long Senator Afikuyomi showed up at Gani Fawehinmi’s Chambers to confess that the errors in Tinubu affidavit came from him and that Gani should forgive Tinubu on this.


It was at this juncture that the character of what comprised the hitherto outspoken Nigerian press and human rights activists became exposed. They came like angry flood in greater speed and strength to challenge Gani and in defence of Tinubu. Not a few theories were propounded to establish why Gani should be snubbed by Nigerians as canvassed by these combined forces. Some of the information from this end to chastise Gani was at the level of sentiment and personal attack. The first fervor came from an equally respectable prodemocracy fighter, Beko Ramsome-Kuti* through a letter he caused to write to Gani. In the letter, he insinuated that “Gani is not a Saint that he claims to be.” According to him, the #6million naira that he raised in saving Gani’s properties from being confiscated by way of award granted by court judgment against him while in prison for libel suit by Akilu and Togun, - two Babangida’s boys that Gani hitherto alleged of responsible for the killing of Dele Giwa on behalf of their principal; was kept by Gani after his release by a superior court order and that some of the money were raised from outside the shore of the country.* He also vent his anger against Gani’s role in supporting Buhari-Idiagbon military government some years earlier. This he attributed to reason of what Gani was going to gain by doing so as a professional legal practitioner in defending corrupt politicians. The very reason, according to him, NBA sanctioned him for flouting their order of boycotting the military tribunals* In his words, he further reiterated, “permit me to recall that you decided to form the National Conscience Party in 1994 after you have failed to get the Campaign for Democracy to transform into a political party of your dream*” “Only recently you resigned as chairman of the joint Action Committee of Nigeria when the members rejected your renewed campaign against the civilian government that was yet to take off*.” 


“The question that some members of the human rights community are asking: “when have we decided to be the defenders and policemen of some selected provisions of the transition programme decrees? It is for this reason that most of us distanced ourselves from the Buharigate and Enwerem affair. It will be recalled that it was you and your compatriot Femi Falana who had cause to play professional roles in both cases. In other words while Falana acted as the solicitor to The News magazine which published the Buhari’s story, you were the counsel to the Tell magazine which reported the Emwerem’s story”* “In the Tinubu case I have enquired and confirmed from the entire human rights community that you never deemed it necessary to discuss the Tinubu matter with anyone or group. Yet after you have taken your position and issued your ultimatums you expected everybody to line up behind you in your crusade to remove an elected governor without regard to dueprocess.* Because of your inability to secure the support of other human rights organisations in this your crusade you have resorted to name calling and abuses.” 


Beko was not without avalanche of supporters among journalists and human rights activists. Prominent among these include Femi Falana that claimed Bola Tinubu has being his long time client and for this reason he would rather abandon principle than to abandon his client of many years*. This was Femi that his client, The News started Salisu Buhari’s saga. Other known human rights lawyers involved in defending Tinubu include Olisa Agbakoba, Fred Agbaje, Dele Adesina and Nurudeen Ogbara were all present at the Lagos State House of Assembly to defend the interest of Bola Tinubu.


Writers like Soji Omotunde put the whole saga into perspective in defending Tinubu by stating that: “If Tinubu had accepted that errors were made, not necessarily in bid to gain advantage over his competitors for the office of governor; and the Lagos State House of Assembly has found him fit to continue in office, and the people of Lagos State who elected him, are not interested in getting him out yet, who then could a crusader be representing”.* He further stated that: ”Governor Tinubu might have perjured, and so what? President Bill Clinton perjured over the Monica Lewinsky affair.” “If Tinubu is riding the storm against the fancy of his adversaries that might as well be the reward for his past activism against evil. Like it or not, the man shot himself to the forefront of those who campaigned against the evil of thwarting the legitimate wishes of the people as expressed on June 12, 1993. To now expect those who struggled along with him to buckle and turn against him because he has sinned and because they need to make those who once supported atrocity happy is a wishful thinking. It is simply realistic that Tinubu’s moment of trial is when he needs his true friends most. Why then blame Afenifere or the radical wing of the media for not helping to roast a colleague in trauma?” He further stated that: “Gani has fought a gallant fight. He should leave it at that. Swimming against the tide can never be in his ultimate interest. If indeed he loves his people and wants democracy to survive, he should not yet carried away by a gobbled morality crusade and be used at pulling down. He should not claim to be more nationalistic, patriotic or morally upright than a Beko Ramsome-Kuti, Femi Falana or Olisa Agbakogba, his comrades in the social struggle who are not aligning with him on the Tinubu affair. Such right-righteousness would amount to destructive vainglory.”


These defences on the side of Tinubu are smack of inconsistency, common sense and belittle those engaging in it. It in fact corroborate the position of Gani Fawehinmi the more, that there must be reason for why such supporters have descended so low from their hitherto Olympian height as fighter for truth, equity and justice to that of clappers and jobbers to a political degenerate, granted the fact that he was once an activists as being canvassed.


Richard Akinola position on the matter was the most ridiculous as he preferred to approach the discussion purely on personal level, even letting out intimate personal information confined in him by Gani (as he claimed), as a trustworthy friend. He said Gani told him for reason of personal safety why he used different birthday (1940) as opposed to his authentic birthday of 1938.*


It is for this reason that Olumide Fusika lashed at those opponents of Gani. He stated: “If anybody has spoken or made any statement considered uncomplimentary (against Gani) there is nothing to gloat about without subjecting it to critical evaluation: why are they saying all these about Gani now? What is the relevance of the information being supplied about Gani? Beko say this, Akinola says that, Keyamo says his own, what is the relevance? I agree with Beko that Gani is not a Saint. Gani himself has not said that to me. I am close to him (too). The issue at stake is not about Sainthood, the Tinubu question is about setting standard for public office holders. That is what this issue is all about and it is unfortunate that people refuse to understand it from that perspective. Private wrongs can be forgiven and over looked. If anybody beats his wife, it is a matter between the individuals involved. If somebody commits fornication, the spouse can choose to forgive but public wrongs in the realm of public office holders who do or seen to have done things inconsistent with public interest or morality, every citizens must ensure that redress is sought in accordance to the law. It is not really, a personal thing and I do not agree with the people who are presenting this matter as personality conflict. “What Chief Fawehinmi is saying … is that: one, what is good for A is good for B. Two, that the reputation of the Yoruba race is greater than the demands of friendship and our pity for one man. Now you begin to hear arguments, some say like Professor Bolaji Akinyemi that ‘dogs don’t eat dogs’ and that we should treat the man with compassion. I agree completely that we should treat him with compassion but compassion does not mean overlook it. Others (like Soji Omotunde and Richard Akinola) are saying ‘he is our man, it does not matter what he is said to have done. We must overlook it’. If a vigilante group is harbouring a suspected armed robber it would not be extremist to say that it is no more than a gang of armed robbers. Gani is saying that the Yoruba race in Nigeria has always been known to stand by what is right irrespective of individual interest. All I am saying is that this controversy is needless and can be put to an end without further delay. That can be done by Bola Tinubu coming out to show to the world his credentials, particularly his Nigerian Secondary School Certificate or the American equivalent as well as his other credentials. If he had done that when Gani gave the ultimatum, this matter would have been settled a long time ago.” “But to leave the issue and begin to call Gani names, that he is tyrant, and has stolen a non-existence N6million, sponsoring articles and interviews with persons who have personal grouse to settle with Gani cannot end the problem. If anybody feels Gani has done anything worthy of public censure, let the person go to court”.


The fact also surfaced that Gani did not have anything to do with Gani Fawehinmi Solidarity group as well as the account of the organization after being released from prison. The organization was being led by Dipo Fasina and it maintained its independence without any iota of interference from Gani. Such allegation by Beko who was a very close supporter of Tinubu was like giving dog bad name in order to hang it. On the allegation of forming National Conscience Party after his advice on Campaign for Democracy led by Beko to transform into a political party was rejected, should be counted as a plus for him rather than being a minus. The cause of the struggle would have been enhanced if the advice was yielded to and there was the possibility that the party coming from fighting tradition would have endured for long in challenging for power rather than being limited to act of pressurising the government in power only.  


Events of our political life has no doubt subsequently confirms Gani argument in respect of the NGOs as the different groups had fought themselves to almost extinction, you hardly heard the old names after factional struggles that came about when funding of NGOs  dropped for reason of the donours that felt civil rule has been achieved in Nigeria. Gani as an insider was not unaware of the atrocities perpetrated by the NGOs in being funded. This author was privy to such act by a top NGO/prodemocracy group that resorted to publish editions of its tabloid in arrears in order to have something to show to their foreign donours and claim funds in return.  


Thereafter, the NGOs looked towards the established governments – the state and the central for the funding of their programmes and to survive as groups or individuals. Bola Tinubu led government was the first government to provide hand outs to those NGO organizations together with the press and this informed why the people involved are so desperate and will be ready to do anything for the sake of Tinubu against anyone having critical position not in his favour. The government of Tinubu that could be described as a philanthropist form of government for eight years on this kind of goodwill provided for its hangers-on in strategic position. And this was the very reason on leaving office while he was asked to summarise his achievement in office, he retorted to say unabashedly that he achieved being succeeded by Babatunde Fashola having seen the new government of Fashola performance that dwarfed his, whatever might be the shortcoming of the government.


The government led by Goodluck Jonathan was like behind the scene populated by the NGO people that served as its foot soldiers and there was nothing to show for it beyond personal survival as they represent nothing significantly different from the extant ruling elite and the government made no difference in the life of the people and even made this worse. Some of the defenders of human rights external funding in responding to Gani Fawehinmi have come to argue that there is nothing new in this as it is not restricted to Nigeria but a world phenomenon. But they fail to say that such funding was not without string being attached. A typical instance was the case when the foreign donours wanted the NGOs loyal to them to drop the June 12 part of the agenda of the prodemocracy movement. This was responsible for why NCP was not part of the UAD initiative as there was no agreement on this new agenda at the pre inaugural meeting of UAD held between the organisations that make up the coalition. Such agenda was later resisted by groups that were still loyal to June 12 movement and this was how anti-June 12 could not be sustained by the collectives.


It is not fortuitous that greater percentage of the leading members of the NGO groups are today in PDP and some others in APC which in a way is a clear indication that they are not in any way different from the extant ruling elite. Gani and the party he helped to put in place thought differently as what we now have in the polity do not match what we were fighting for. He might not have achieved his entire objective in this regard but the principle could not be disputed. Much could be achieved if others in the NGO business saw reason with him not to follow the old politicians and crooks that constituted the new polity.


Though Bola Tinubu hegemony was sustained up to the present but this could hardly qualify to be a hegemony in the service of the poor. And this is the very reason that in Lagos State and other parts of the South West where he controls the bountiful legacy of free education, cheap housing facility, provision of market, recreation, free and access to health services, rural electrification, leadership with awe of integrity, etc. that were left behind by the preceding generation led by Obafemi Awolowo and Lateef Jakande in Lagos have been uprooted while the gap between the rich and the poor widen each day.


Gani shall for ever be remembered in legal statutes that being in power does not guarantee any person cover by immunity from being investigated and for this reason impunity is being checked by the people on the corridor of power. The intervention of Gani Fawehinmi on Bola Tinuba’s case of certificate forgery and criminal record of money laundering and drug trafficking at the inception of the 4th republic is hunting Bola Tinubu today especially now that he is being sponsored by All Progressive Congress for the position of president. The issue has come up again into front burner of political discourse. 


The new NGOs in difference with the hitherto social movements before it aim to achieve human rights and democracy in the country like Nigeria and other African countries in the post-cold war era. In comparing the two forms of social movement and the periods which they operate, it would be understood that they share some similarities as well as differences. In the past, up to the 1980s social movements were voluntary and based on ideological persuasion as socialist philosophy was strong as a way of social change. Issues were perceived from class perspective rather than ethnic consideration.


Organisational structures as a vehicle to carry out the philosophical mission of the movement depended largely on voluntary memberships that were also responsible in financing its activities out of their monthly dues. Sometimes such movement might be a broad left organization composed of different left tendencies with a common mission of anti imperialist agenda.


Things changed abruptly in the late 1980s with the collapse of Stalinism and the arrival of neoliberal variant of capitalism during this period. In Nigeria with the introduction of Structural Adjustment Programme since 1986, policies such as privatization, liberalization, devaluation and deregulation became the common phenomenon in causing more harm than good rather than addressing problems of the economy. The resultant effect of this was the huge debt incurred, deindustrialization and large scale social inequality. 


It was against this background that the political arms of economic neoliberalism had to be introduced in the creation of the Non-Governmental organizations that were to fight for human rights and one issue base activism like that of prison congestion, abuse of judicial process, illegal detention, right or freedom to exercise fundamental rights – of speech, movement and association. Others include agitation against environmental right abuse, campaign for child right, women rights, etc. Unlike in the past, the new NGOs were to be sponsored from abroad – USA, Canada and Western Europe. They were meant to serve as filling the gap associated with the pervaded poverty that became the lots of the poor masses. In this wise they were to serve the purpose of providing palliatives to the poverty ridden people with the new associated concept of making “end to poverty history” rather than the old concept of end to capitalism or path to socialist revolutionary transformation of the capitalist society. It was in this way there emerged avalanche of donour NGOs to provide aid in financing social services such as providing water boreholes, credit facilities to traders in form of micro finance, workshops in advancing human rights education consciousness that were hitherto the prerogative of the public sector but now carried out by the private sector under the umbrella of NGOs. Not only this, such important role as policy making is now being carried out by the private oriented NGOs under the auspices of providing consultancy services. More auspicious in the role of the NGOs is in the realm of intervention in politics as to help in navigating democracy. NGOs are thereby misconceived as non-partisan in politics and therefore meant to occupy one of the tripods of public, private sectors and NGOs. Such assumption could hardly match as NGOs just like any of the stakeholders in the tripod could hardly be excluded from political interest as this is largely a function of the economy especially in a capitalist society that determine the associated civil society in such environment.


There is no doubt that not a few people that constituted the leadership of the later day NGOs were rooted in the radical student movement of the past but their orientation changed with their new role in the later dispensation. They thereby became attached to the new philosophy of the neoliberal induced reforms to be carried out by the NGOs, a very important part of the imperialist role in the post-cold war era of globalization. 


The NGOs platform thereby become a base for the new educated elites for survival as well as playing their politics as new representatives of the imperialist interest even though without capital but with enough resources to eke a living and sustain life as a middle class. This was why Edwin Madunagu once remarked in the case of Comrade Ola Oni being described by the popular press as a human rights activist; that he was an activist in the real sense of the word, but did not belong to the imperialist inspired human right activists of late. The same comment could as well be extended to cover Gani Fawehinmi that claimed never to have collected money from any donour agency to prosecute his human right activism which predated the later day human rights activism of the 1990s to the 21st century. The problem actually is not only in being financed by the external NGOs but also in embracing their philosophy unconditionally. This was how Gani differed in comparison with other NGO’s leadership that combined to fight him for exposing them for what they were in reality having jettisoned the principle of social justice and fight against exploitation and oppression of the poor masses. The very reason their interest coincided with their alter ego as Tinubu and other members of the ruling class.      


   


 Biodun Olamosu

Centre for Social Policy and Labour Research

Dugbe Ibadan

+2348175109802



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Chief Ernest Shonekan: The end of a democracy traitor - Sowore

Chief Ernest Shonekan: The end of a democracy traitor - Sowore




Shonekan


When I learned of the death of Chief Ernest Shonekan today at the age of 85. I could not hold my anger at the reporting (including at Sahara Reporters) that claimed he was a “Nigerian leader.” 


Truth is that Chief Shonekan wasn’t a leader, he was a traitor who betrayed Chief Moshood Kashimawo Abiola and a betrayer of Nigeria’s quest for genuine democracy before and during the June 12 1993 era. 


Also, Chief Shonekan wasn’t an “Interim Leader” as reported in many news outlets, the illegal contraption he headed known as the “Interim National Government” which was put together by an equally evil traitor, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida was appropriately nullified by a Lagos High Court also in 1993 after he occupied the office of “President” only for 84 days.


Nigerians should courageously address the sins of these bunch of wicked people when they are alive and when they die. The people of Chile recently treated the death of Lucรญa Hiriart, the widow of the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet with scorn even though she died at the  age of 99.


#RevolutionNow




Shonekan


When I learned of the death of Chief Ernest Shonekan today at the age of 85. I could not hold my anger at the reporting (including at Sahara Reporters) that claimed he was a “Nigerian leader.” 


Truth is that Chief Shonekan wasn’t a leader, he was a traitor who betrayed Chief Moshood Kashimawo Abiola and a betrayer of Nigeria’s quest for genuine democracy before and during the June 12 1993 era. 


Also, Chief Shonekan wasn’t an “Interim Leader” as reported in many news outlets, the illegal contraption he headed known as the “Interim National Government” which was put together by an equally evil traitor, General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida was appropriately nullified by a Lagos High Court also in 1993 after he occupied the office of “President” only for 84 days.


Nigerians should courageously address the sins of these bunch of wicked people when they are alive and when they die. The people of Chile recently treated the death of Lucรญa Hiriart, the widow of the Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet with scorn even though she died at the  age of 99.


#RevolutionNow

HUBRIS: Major Gen Muhammadu Buhari's Independence Speech - Femi Ogunsanwo

HUBRIS: Major Gen Muhammadu Buhari's Independence Speech - Femi Ogunsanwo

"No government since 1999 has done what we have done in six years to put Nigeria back on track”- President Muhammadu Buhari
************************************************



#BuhariMustGo protesters
in Abuja


This is pure and unadulterated hubris on steroids overdose. Whoever wrote that press release for nationwide broadcast on Nigeria 61st Independence Anniversary Celebrations do not like PMB at all except they are stating the obvious negativities

Baba Buhari, let me give you this unsolicited advice which you are free to ignore but by the grace of Almighty Allah, it will suffice in the future. Your position as President is transient and that power you wield now is transitory.

Be rest assured, you will be abandoned and ignored by all the hangers on milling round you now on 29th May 2023, the flight that will take you back to Daura will have only you and some members of your family on board

Do not be surprised at all that you might not even be allowed to use the Presidential Jet that day, you might even be barred from using the Presidential Lounge at Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja. So prepare your mind because thats how fickle minded human beings can be (Yorubas call them "awon arire banijฤ™, agbon isalฤ™")

Dolts who wrote the press release are bloody sycophants and I can assure you will be the first few people to turn against you out of power, so do not feed on their silly sycophancy hailing your government as the best since 1999, Nigeria of 2021 under you as President is the worst since independence 61 years ago. Do not be misled by ne'er do well

Cast your mind back to 29th May 2015 when you assumed leadership of this great nation, can you swear that this was how you met the country then? Please read your Holy Quran and let it be your guide always. Ma Salam

#justscribblingmythoughts
Femi Ogunsanwo




READ THE FULL HUBRIS:

INDEPENDENCE DAY ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA ON THE OCCASION OF NIGERIA’S SIXTY FIRST INDEPENDENCE ANNIVERSARY, FRIDAY 1ST OCTOBER, 2021.
 
 
Citizens of Nigeria.
 
It is with full gratitude to God that today, we celebrate Nigeria’s sixty first Independence Anniversary.

 

2. For 1st of October 1960 to happen, all hands were on deck. East, West, North all came together to celebrate freedom. Today should not only serve as a reminder of the day the British handed over the reins of power to Nigerians, but also unified Nigerians from all ethnic groups, religions and regions.

 

3. Today, despite the challenges we face, most Nigerians still maintain the spirit of 1st October. That positive outlook and determination to make Nigeria a peaceful and prosperous nation. It is due to this collective attitude that Nigeria doggedly continues to remain a united and indivisible nation.

 

4. Fellow Nigerians, the past eighteen months have been some of the most difficult periods in the history of Nigeria. Since the civil war, I doubt whether we have seen a period of more heightened challenges than what we have witnessed in this period.

 

5. Our original priorities for 2020 were to continue stabilising our economy following the deep recession while restoring peace in areas confronted with security challenges. But the COVID-19 pandemic and its devastating impact on all nations meant we needed to shift gears and re-strategise. 

 

 

6. Nigerians came together as one to fight against COVID-19. It is this attitude and by the special grace of God, we continue to survive the pandemic as a nation and indeed, provide leadership and example at regional and international levels.

 

7. The doomsday scenario predicted for our country never came. Even as the Delta variant continues to spread, we have built the capacity we need to respond now and into the future.

 

8. I will therefore appeal to Nigerians not to take COVID lightly, adhere to public health and social measures, put your mask on and get vaccinated. We can control this pandemic, but it requires effort on everybody’s part. The investments we made in response to COVID-19 will also serve our country to tackle any future disease outbreaks or pandemics.

 

9. Despite the global inequity in access to vaccines, the Government of Nigeria has continued to explore all available options to ensure Nigerians have free access to safe and effective vaccines.

 

10. Some five million vaccine doses have been administered to Nigerians through efforts led by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency and we will continue to explore options for purchase or acquisition of vaccines such as through COVAX and the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust.

 

11. I will take this opportunity to remind the global community that the current state of access to COVID-19 vaccines is unacceptable. We cannot afford a situation where a handful of countries keep the global vaccine supply to themselves at the expense of other nations.

 

12. We must act now to accelerate equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. This is the message I conveyed to the international community in New York last week.

 

13. As we push to source vaccines for our immediate needs, we shall invest more to support our pharmaceutical and research agencies to come up with ideas for locally developed vaccines. Should another pandemic arise in the future, Our question is simple; will Nigeria be ready?

 

14. Accordingly, I have directed the Ministries of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Health, Education and Science and Technology to work with Nigerian and International pharmaceutical companies and research organisations to enhance Nigeria’s domestic pharmaceutical capacity.

 

15. Already, the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority is raising a $200 million fund for this initiative that will complement the Central Bank of Nigeria’s ongoing N85 billion Healthcare Sector Research and Development Intervention Scheme to support local researchers in the development of vaccines and drugs to combat communicable and non-communicable diseases, including COVID-19.

 

Fellow Nigerians, this is just the beginning.

16. Similarly, on our approach to food security, I am proud to announce Nigeria has commenced its journey to pharmaceutical independence.

17. This journey, which will take years to achieve but will ultimately result in Nigerian based companies developing the Active Pharmaceutical substances and competence needed for us to make our own drugs and vaccines.

 

Fellow Nigerians,

 

18. As our economy continues to open after the COVID-19 related lockdowns, we have also seen the resurgence of insecurity in certain parts of the country.

 

19. In the last four months, the gallant men and women of the Military and Security Agencies have made tremendous progress in addressing these new security challenges. We are taking the fight to our enemies from all angles and we are winning.

 

20. Earlier this year, I launched the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, the Deep Blue Project, which is designed to secure Nigerian waters up to the Gulf of Guinea. I am happy to inform Nigerians that we have taken delivery of key assets for this project and very soon, its impact will be felt.

 

21. In the North East region alone, over eight thousand Boko Haram terrorists have surrendered.

 

22. To support our surge approach to fighting banditry, the Nigerian Armed Forces have recruited over 17,000 personnel across all ranks. Furthermore, I have also approved for the Nigerian Police Force to recruit 10,000 police officers annually over the next six years.

 

23. I am also pleased to note that most of the Air Force platforms we acquired over the past three years have started to arrive in Nigeria. These will positively impact our security operations in all parts of the country.

 

24. In line with section 14(2)(b) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), the security and welfare of Nigerians continue to be the prime focus on which programmes and projects of our government revolves.

 

25. Therefore, as a Government, we are ready to arrest and prosecute all persons inciting violence through words or action. Our resolve for a peaceful, united and one Nigeria remains resolute and unwavering. 

 

26. That said, our hope is not to fight for peace. We can always settle our grievances peacefully without spilling any blood.

 

27. I will therefore take this opportunity, on this special day that symbolises the unity and oneness of our great nation, to ask all Nigerians to embrace peace and dialogue, whatever your grievances.

 

28. The seeds of violence are planted in people’s heads through words. Reckless utterances of a few have led to losses of many innocent lives and destruction of properties.

 

29. Such unfiltered and unsubstantiated lies and hate speeches by a few evil persons must be stopped. Our media houses and commentators must move away from just reporting irresponsible remarks to investigating the truth behind all statements and presenting the facts to readers.

 

30. We must all come out and speak against the lies being peddled. At this point, I would want to sincerely appreciate the large number of our Traditional, Religious and Community leaders as well as other well-meaning Nigerians who, in their various fora are openly spreading the message of peaceful co-existence and conflict settlement through dialogue in their respective communities.

 

31. Nigeria is for all of us. Its unity is not negotiable. And its ultimate success can only be achieved if we all come together with a common goal of having peace and prosperity for our nation.

 

32. We shall continue to work on dialogue based solutions to address legitimate grievances. But we remain ready to take decisive actions against secessionist agitators and their sponsors who threaten our national security. 

 

33. The recent arrests of Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Adeyemo, and the ongoing investigations being conducted have revealed certain high-profile financiers behind these individuals. We are vigorously pursuing these financiers including one identified as a serving member of the national assembly.

 

Fellow Nigerians,

34. This is a clear example of how people abandon their national leadership positions for their selfish gains. Instead of preaching unity, they are funding and misleading our youth to conduct criminal acts that sometimes lead to unfortunate and unnecessary loss of lives and property.

 

35. As the so-called leaders run abroad to hide, our innocent youths are misled and left in the streets to fight for their senseless and destructive causes.

 

36. Government will continue, with greater level of peoples’ participation and in collaboration with our international partners, to improve the security architecture, reduce enabling environment for criminality to thrive and eliminate opportunities for terrorism financing.

 

37. Fellow Nigerians, our unrelenting effort at resolving an almost two-decade stalling on the management of our Petroleum resources and ensuring equitable consideration to our host communities has resulted in the enactment of the Petroleum Industry Act, 2021.

 

38. This Act not only overhauls the Institutional, regulatory and fiscal framework of the Petroleum Industry but also reduces the previous opacity associated with this sector. 

 

39. This is the first step to the reforms as the process is a continuous one. Already, to further improve the governance framework, I have sought for an amendment of sections 11(2)(b) and 34(2)(b). We will also continue to review and amend as appropriate.

 

40. At this juncture, it is very appropriate that I salute the leadership and members of the Ninth Assembly for their patriotism, dedication to duty, candour and most importantly the dispatch with which they have enacted legacy legislations for this nation. I do not take such level of cooperation for granted and hope it continues for the overall efficiency of the Federal machinery.

 

41. Nigeria’s Roadmap on Local Refining is on track with the Commissioning of a Modular refinery in Imo State.

 

42. A second is scheduled for commissioning by the end of this year in Edo State and the third one in Bayelsa State by 2022.

 

43. In addition to the modular projects, we also have the two mega refinery projects coming up in Lagos and Akwa Ibom States.

 

44. As these refineries are commissioned, more employment opportunities are created and there would be increased petroleum products available for local consumption which will significantly reduce our reliance on importation.

 

45. In further demonstrating our plan to reduce our dependence on oil and tapping from our enormous gas resources, this administration remains committed to the “Decade of Gas” Initiative, which is aimed at bringing to focus the utilization of our huge gas resources.

 

46. Already, we are supporting and promoting various gas-based projects including NLNG Train 7 and the mega urea and ammonia projects in the South-South region.

 

47. As we continue to optimise and enhance our oil and gas sector, I am also proud and delighted to state that our economic diversification strategy remains on course with the persistent increase in Non-Oil Sector contribution to GDP.

 

48. We recovered from economic recession in quarter four of 2020 with a GDP growth rate of 0.11%, and grew by 0.51% and 5.01% in real terms in the first and second quarters of 2021.

 

49. The Agricultural sector remains key to our economic diversification efforts as the sector has been a consistent driver of the non-oil sector contributing 22.35% and 23.78% to the overall GDP in the first and second quarter of 2021.

 

50. We have seen significant private sector investments in almost all areas of the agricultural value chain. And these have continued even during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

51. Unfortunately, as our food production capacity has increased, food prices have been going up due to artificial shortages created by middlemen who have been buying and hoarding these essential commodities for profiteering.

 

52. To address this, I am hereby directing the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to rehabilitate the National Food Reserve Agency and also work with security agencies, the Nigerian Commodity Exchange, and the National Assembly to find a lasting solution to these disruptive and unpatriotic hoarding activities.

 

53. To further enhance food production, we have completed several new dams and are in the process of rehabilitating several River Basin Development Authorities to enhance ground water supply for rainfed agriculture as well as surface water for irrigation agriculture.

 

54. The water projects we completed between 2015 to 2020 have improved Nigerian’s access to potable water to 71% between 2015 and 2020. This means 12.5 million additional Nigerians now have direct access to potable water.

  

Fellow Nigerians,

55. This Government remains concerned by the significant transportation infrastructure deficit we have. Addressing the challenges our commuters and lorry drivers face on the motorways is still a high priority to us.

 

56. To complement our budgetary allocations, the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund and the Road Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit Scheme, we recently established a N15trillion Infrastructural Corporation of Nigeria Limited (INFRACO), which is expected to begin operation by the fourth quarter of this year.

 

57. INFRACO will also focus on leveraging resources on a public-private sector basis for infrastructural development in Nigeria.

 

58. We hope through these innovative programs, the additional cost burden on individuals and businesses because of inefficient logistics operations will be reduced and ultimately, eliminated.

 

59. We currently have over 13,000 kilometres of roads and bridges under construction all over the country of which a fair percentage have been completed.

 

60. As we fix our roads, we also continue to extend and upgrade Nigeria’s railway network with the notable opening of the Warri- Itakpe standard gauge rail line.

 

61. To increase capacity, we have introduced more locomotives, coaches and wagons including the establishment of a Wagon Assembly in Kajola, Ogun State.

 

62. The sea ports however still remain problematic. The effect of our various interventions to reduce the gridlocks and inefficiencies have been slower than expected.

 

63. However, the implementation of the Electronic Call-Up System as well as the conversion of the Lillypond Container Terminal to a Vehicle Transit Area will further enhance the ease of cargo evacuation.

 

64. Our prioritisation of developing Nigeria’s Digital Economy has positively impacted the contribution of the ICT sector to our GDP.

 

65. We hope our present efforts to ensure all Nigerians use a National Identification Number as well as our planned roll-out of the fifth generation (5G) network technology will ensure we stay in line with the global innovation curve as a Nation.

 

66. As we embrace the digital economy in Nigeria, we are fully aware of the prospects and the perils. Our policies have been developed to enable Nigerians to take advantage of the prospects and avoid the perils of digital technologies. 

 

67. Social media is a very useful platform that has enabled millions of Nigerians to connect with loved ones, promote their businesses, socialise, and access news and other information.

 

68. However, recent events have shown that the platform is not just an innocuous platform for information dissemination.

 

69. Rather some users have misused the platform to organise, coordinate, and execute criminal activities, propagate fake news, and promote ethnic and religious sentiments.

 

70. To address these negative trends, the Federal Government of Nigeria suspended the operations of Twitter in Nigeria on June 5, 2021 to allow the Government put measures in place to address these challenges.

 

71. Following the suspension of Twitter operations, Twitter Inc. reached out to the Federal Government of Nigeria to resolve the impasse. Subsequently, I constituted a Presidential Committee to engage Twitter to explore the possibility of resolving the issue.

 

72. The Committee, along with its Technical Team, has engaged with Twitter and have addressed a number of key issues. These are:

 

a. National Security and Cohesion;

b. Registration, Physical presence and Representation;

c. Fair Taxation;

d. Dispute Resolution; and

e. Local Content.

 

73. Following the extensive engagements, the issues are being addressed and I have directed that the suspension be lifted but only if the conditions are met to allow our citizens continue the use of the platform for business and positive engagements. 

 

74. As a country, we are committed to ensuring that digital companies use their platform to enhance the lives of our citizens, respect Nigeria's sovereignty, cultural values and promote online safety.

 

75. Nigeria's progressive diplomacy continues to manifest through growing numbers of highly placed Nigerians in positions of regional and global influences. Very recently, Nigeria won election for the position of Commissioner for the expanded Political, Peace and Security Affairs of the African Union.

 

76. Our persistent calls for a reorganized and reformed ECOWAS, to make the organization citizens-sensitive, paid off with the acceptance by the Authority of Heads of State and Governments of ECOWAS to commence the agreed reforms in the organization ahead of the next elections of the organization’s principal officers in December this year.

 

77. At the African Development Bank, World Trade Organization and indeed, the United Nations, footprints of Nigeria's Diplomacy are clearly evident.

 

78. We remain confident that our goal of lifting 100million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years is achievable. 

 

79. Considering the positive impact of our Social Investment Programs, I recently approved an increase in the number of N-Power program beneficiaries from 500,000 to 1,000,000.

 

80. Out of this, 510,000 have started the programme while the competitive selection process for onboarding the outstanding 490,000 beneficiaries is in progress.

 

81. The National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme is currently being implemented in 35 States of the Federation and the FCT. Over 103,000 women have been engaged and empowered as cooks under the programme, while about 10 million pupils are being fed across public primary schools in the country.

 

82. To grant increased access to credit to the most poor and vulnerable, I have directed an increase in the disbursement of Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme loans to an additional one million beneficiaries laying more emphasis on the smallholding farmers through the farmers Moni program.

 

Fellow Nigerians,

83. For far too long we have neglected the centrality of the civil service as the engine of governance and this has manifested in ineffective service delivery.

 

84. There is widespread discontent and disillusion about the efficiency and probity of our civil service.

 

85. It is for this reason that we are refocusing the Nigerian Civil Service to provide World class service to run our country.

 

86. The youths of this great country remain propellants for our today and provide guarantees that we would have a secure tomorrow.

 

87. It is for this reason that I remain focused on expanding opportunities for their participation in politics and governance.

 

88. Recent appointments of young people into positions of authority and their track record so far, gives me confidence that we need to bring more of them into governance and this I promise to do.

 

89. More specifically, to encourage Girl-Child Education, female scholarship schemes, life skills and digital literacy skills to boost girl’s enrolment, retention and completion of schooling, are all initiatives put in place to ensure gender balance in appropriately positioning our youths for positions of leadership.

 

90. The commitment of this Administration to the well-being of people living with disabilities remains unwavering.

 

91. Government recognises their contributions to development and I have, in this regard, directed that all relevant Government Agencies pay special attention to the peculiarities of different abilities in the implementation of policies and programmes.

 

92. Rape and Gender Based Violence remains a sore point in our Nation as in many countries worldwide and this was worsened during and after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

93. We are currently engaging Heads of Courts to establish Specialised Courts for the speedy and seamless trial of Rape/Gender-Based offences especially to ensure that justice is done for child victims of sexual violence.

 

94. On the other hand, work has advanced in the reformation, reintegration and reunification of Minors involved in one crime or the other.

 

95. The reformation in our Correctional Services has manifested in an increase in modernised custodial centres and a transformation from strictly punitive to attitudinal changes so that criminals do not relapse into their previous lifestyle.

 

96. As we begin to celebrate our sixty one years as a Nation, we need to be conscious that Nigeria does not start and end with the Federal Government. This country is a great collective where Government at all arms and levels as well as the private sector, and more importantly individuals, have a role to play.

 

97. In particular, security is a bottom to top undertaking. Joining hands and hearts together would enable us to secure ourselves and our country.

 

98. I fully understand the anxiety of many Nigerians on the inability of this country to go beyond a never-ending potential for becoming a great nation to an actually great one.

 

99. A lot has been achieved in the last six years on many fronts: in infrastructure, social care, governance, Nigeria’s image and influence in Africa and the international community. 

 

100. But critics misdiagnose incremental progress as stagnation. Since coming to power, this Administration has tackled our problems head-on in spite of the meagre resources. No government since 1999 has done what we have done in six years to put Nigeria back on track. 


101. We shall continue to serve the country: listen to all and protect our democracy and country.

Thank you all and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

"No government since 1999 has done what we have done in six years to put Nigeria back on track”- President Muhammadu Buhari
************************************************



#BuhariMustGo protesters
in Abuja


This is pure and unadulterated hubris on steroids overdose. Whoever wrote that press release for nationwide broadcast on Nigeria 61st Independence Anniversary Celebrations do not like PMB at all except they are stating the obvious negativities

Baba Buhari, let me give you this unsolicited advice which you are free to ignore but by the grace of Almighty Allah, it will suffice in the future. Your position as President is transient and that power you wield now is transitory.

Be rest assured, you will be abandoned and ignored by all the hangers on milling round you now on 29th May 2023, the flight that will take you back to Daura will have only you and some members of your family on board

Do not be surprised at all that you might not even be allowed to use the Presidential Jet that day, you might even be barred from using the Presidential Lounge at Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja. So prepare your mind because thats how fickle minded human beings can be (Yorubas call them "awon arire banijฤ™, agbon isalฤ™")

Dolts who wrote the press release are bloody sycophants and I can assure you will be the first few people to turn against you out of power, so do not feed on their silly sycophancy hailing your government as the best since 1999, Nigeria of 2021 under you as President is the worst since independence 61 years ago. Do not be misled by ne'er do well

Cast your mind back to 29th May 2015 when you assumed leadership of this great nation, can you swear that this was how you met the country then? Please read your Holy Quran and let it be your guide always. Ma Salam

#justscribblingmythoughts
Femi Ogunsanwo




READ THE FULL HUBRIS:

INDEPENDENCE DAY ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA ON THE OCCASION OF NIGERIA’S SIXTY FIRST INDEPENDENCE ANNIVERSARY, FRIDAY 1ST OCTOBER, 2021.
 
 
Citizens of Nigeria.
 
It is with full gratitude to God that today, we celebrate Nigeria’s sixty first Independence Anniversary.

 

2. For 1st of October 1960 to happen, all hands were on deck. East, West, North all came together to celebrate freedom. Today should not only serve as a reminder of the day the British handed over the reins of power to Nigerians, but also unified Nigerians from all ethnic groups, religions and regions.

 

3. Today, despite the challenges we face, most Nigerians still maintain the spirit of 1st October. That positive outlook and determination to make Nigeria a peaceful and prosperous nation. It is due to this collective attitude that Nigeria doggedly continues to remain a united and indivisible nation.

 

4. Fellow Nigerians, the past eighteen months have been some of the most difficult periods in the history of Nigeria. Since the civil war, I doubt whether we have seen a period of more heightened challenges than what we have witnessed in this period.

 

5. Our original priorities for 2020 were to continue stabilising our economy following the deep recession while restoring peace in areas confronted with security challenges. But the COVID-19 pandemic and its devastating impact on all nations meant we needed to shift gears and re-strategise. 

 

 

6. Nigerians came together as one to fight against COVID-19. It is this attitude and by the special grace of God, we continue to survive the pandemic as a nation and indeed, provide leadership and example at regional and international levels.

 

7. The doomsday scenario predicted for our country never came. Even as the Delta variant continues to spread, we have built the capacity we need to respond now and into the future.

 

8. I will therefore appeal to Nigerians not to take COVID lightly, adhere to public health and social measures, put your mask on and get vaccinated. We can control this pandemic, but it requires effort on everybody’s part. The investments we made in response to COVID-19 will also serve our country to tackle any future disease outbreaks or pandemics.

 

9. Despite the global inequity in access to vaccines, the Government of Nigeria has continued to explore all available options to ensure Nigerians have free access to safe and effective vaccines.

 

10. Some five million vaccine doses have been administered to Nigerians through efforts led by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency and we will continue to explore options for purchase or acquisition of vaccines such as through COVAX and the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust.

 

11. I will take this opportunity to remind the global community that the current state of access to COVID-19 vaccines is unacceptable. We cannot afford a situation where a handful of countries keep the global vaccine supply to themselves at the expense of other nations.

 

12. We must act now to accelerate equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. This is the message I conveyed to the international community in New York last week.

 

13. As we push to source vaccines for our immediate needs, we shall invest more to support our pharmaceutical and research agencies to come up with ideas for locally developed vaccines. Should another pandemic arise in the future, Our question is simple; will Nigeria be ready?

 

14. Accordingly, I have directed the Ministries of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Health, Education and Science and Technology to work with Nigerian and International pharmaceutical companies and research organisations to enhance Nigeria’s domestic pharmaceutical capacity.

 

15. Already, the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority is raising a $200 million fund for this initiative that will complement the Central Bank of Nigeria’s ongoing N85 billion Healthcare Sector Research and Development Intervention Scheme to support local researchers in the development of vaccines and drugs to combat communicable and non-communicable diseases, including COVID-19.

 

Fellow Nigerians, this is just the beginning.

16. Similarly, on our approach to food security, I am proud to announce Nigeria has commenced its journey to pharmaceutical independence.

17. This journey, which will take years to achieve but will ultimately result in Nigerian based companies developing the Active Pharmaceutical substances and competence needed for us to make our own drugs and vaccines.

 

Fellow Nigerians,

 

18. As our economy continues to open after the COVID-19 related lockdowns, we have also seen the resurgence of insecurity in certain parts of the country.

 

19. In the last four months, the gallant men and women of the Military and Security Agencies have made tremendous progress in addressing these new security challenges. We are taking the fight to our enemies from all angles and we are winning.

 

20. Earlier this year, I launched the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, the Deep Blue Project, which is designed to secure Nigerian waters up to the Gulf of Guinea. I am happy to inform Nigerians that we have taken delivery of key assets for this project and very soon, its impact will be felt.

 

21. In the North East region alone, over eight thousand Boko Haram terrorists have surrendered.

 

22. To support our surge approach to fighting banditry, the Nigerian Armed Forces have recruited over 17,000 personnel across all ranks. Furthermore, I have also approved for the Nigerian Police Force to recruit 10,000 police officers annually over the next six years.

 

23. I am also pleased to note that most of the Air Force platforms we acquired over the past three years have started to arrive in Nigeria. These will positively impact our security operations in all parts of the country.

 

24. In line with section 14(2)(b) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), the security and welfare of Nigerians continue to be the prime focus on which programmes and projects of our government revolves.

 

25. Therefore, as a Government, we are ready to arrest and prosecute all persons inciting violence through words or action. Our resolve for a peaceful, united and one Nigeria remains resolute and unwavering. 

 

26. That said, our hope is not to fight for peace. We can always settle our grievances peacefully without spilling any blood.

 

27. I will therefore take this opportunity, on this special day that symbolises the unity and oneness of our great nation, to ask all Nigerians to embrace peace and dialogue, whatever your grievances.

 

28. The seeds of violence are planted in people’s heads through words. Reckless utterances of a few have led to losses of many innocent lives and destruction of properties.

 

29. Such unfiltered and unsubstantiated lies and hate speeches by a few evil persons must be stopped. Our media houses and commentators must move away from just reporting irresponsible remarks to investigating the truth behind all statements and presenting the facts to readers.

 

30. We must all come out and speak against the lies being peddled. At this point, I would want to sincerely appreciate the large number of our Traditional, Religious and Community leaders as well as other well-meaning Nigerians who, in their various fora are openly spreading the message of peaceful co-existence and conflict settlement through dialogue in their respective communities.

 

31. Nigeria is for all of us. Its unity is not negotiable. And its ultimate success can only be achieved if we all come together with a common goal of having peace and prosperity for our nation.

 

32. We shall continue to work on dialogue based solutions to address legitimate grievances. But we remain ready to take decisive actions against secessionist agitators and their sponsors who threaten our national security. 

 

33. The recent arrests of Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Adeyemo, and the ongoing investigations being conducted have revealed certain high-profile financiers behind these individuals. We are vigorously pursuing these financiers including one identified as a serving member of the national assembly.

 

Fellow Nigerians,

34. This is a clear example of how people abandon their national leadership positions for their selfish gains. Instead of preaching unity, they are funding and misleading our youth to conduct criminal acts that sometimes lead to unfortunate and unnecessary loss of lives and property.

 

35. As the so-called leaders run abroad to hide, our innocent youths are misled and left in the streets to fight for their senseless and destructive causes.

 

36. Government will continue, with greater level of peoples’ participation and in collaboration with our international partners, to improve the security architecture, reduce enabling environment for criminality to thrive and eliminate opportunities for terrorism financing.

 

37. Fellow Nigerians, our unrelenting effort at resolving an almost two-decade stalling on the management of our Petroleum resources and ensuring equitable consideration to our host communities has resulted in the enactment of the Petroleum Industry Act, 2021.

 

38. This Act not only overhauls the Institutional, regulatory and fiscal framework of the Petroleum Industry but also reduces the previous opacity associated with this sector. 

 

39. This is the first step to the reforms as the process is a continuous one. Already, to further improve the governance framework, I have sought for an amendment of sections 11(2)(b) and 34(2)(b). We will also continue to review and amend as appropriate.

 

40. At this juncture, it is very appropriate that I salute the leadership and members of the Ninth Assembly for their patriotism, dedication to duty, candour and most importantly the dispatch with which they have enacted legacy legislations for this nation. I do not take such level of cooperation for granted and hope it continues for the overall efficiency of the Federal machinery.

 

41. Nigeria’s Roadmap on Local Refining is on track with the Commissioning of a Modular refinery in Imo State.

 

42. A second is scheduled for commissioning by the end of this year in Edo State and the third one in Bayelsa State by 2022.

 

43. In addition to the modular projects, we also have the two mega refinery projects coming up in Lagos and Akwa Ibom States.

 

44. As these refineries are commissioned, more employment opportunities are created and there would be increased petroleum products available for local consumption which will significantly reduce our reliance on importation.

 

45. In further demonstrating our plan to reduce our dependence on oil and tapping from our enormous gas resources, this administration remains committed to the “Decade of Gas” Initiative, which is aimed at bringing to focus the utilization of our huge gas resources.

 

46. Already, we are supporting and promoting various gas-based projects including NLNG Train 7 and the mega urea and ammonia projects in the South-South region.

 

47. As we continue to optimise and enhance our oil and gas sector, I am also proud and delighted to state that our economic diversification strategy remains on course with the persistent increase in Non-Oil Sector contribution to GDP.

 

48. We recovered from economic recession in quarter four of 2020 with a GDP growth rate of 0.11%, and grew by 0.51% and 5.01% in real terms in the first and second quarters of 2021.

 

49. The Agricultural sector remains key to our economic diversification efforts as the sector has been a consistent driver of the non-oil sector contributing 22.35% and 23.78% to the overall GDP in the first and second quarter of 2021.

 

50. We have seen significant private sector investments in almost all areas of the agricultural value chain. And these have continued even during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

51. Unfortunately, as our food production capacity has increased, food prices have been going up due to artificial shortages created by middlemen who have been buying and hoarding these essential commodities for profiteering.

 

52. To address this, I am hereby directing the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to rehabilitate the National Food Reserve Agency and also work with security agencies, the Nigerian Commodity Exchange, and the National Assembly to find a lasting solution to these disruptive and unpatriotic hoarding activities.

 

53. To further enhance food production, we have completed several new dams and are in the process of rehabilitating several River Basin Development Authorities to enhance ground water supply for rainfed agriculture as well as surface water for irrigation agriculture.

 

54. The water projects we completed between 2015 to 2020 have improved Nigerian’s access to potable water to 71% between 2015 and 2020. This means 12.5 million additional Nigerians now have direct access to potable water.

  

Fellow Nigerians,

55. This Government remains concerned by the significant transportation infrastructure deficit we have. Addressing the challenges our commuters and lorry drivers face on the motorways is still a high priority to us.

 

56. To complement our budgetary allocations, the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund and the Road Infrastructure Development and Refurbishment Investment Tax Credit Scheme, we recently established a N15trillion Infrastructural Corporation of Nigeria Limited (INFRACO), which is expected to begin operation by the fourth quarter of this year.

 

57. INFRACO will also focus on leveraging resources on a public-private sector basis for infrastructural development in Nigeria.

 

58. We hope through these innovative programs, the additional cost burden on individuals and businesses because of inefficient logistics operations will be reduced and ultimately, eliminated.

 

59. We currently have over 13,000 kilometres of roads and bridges under construction all over the country of which a fair percentage have been completed.

 

60. As we fix our roads, we also continue to extend and upgrade Nigeria’s railway network with the notable opening of the Warri- Itakpe standard gauge rail line.

 

61. To increase capacity, we have introduced more locomotives, coaches and wagons including the establishment of a Wagon Assembly in Kajola, Ogun State.

 

62. The sea ports however still remain problematic. The effect of our various interventions to reduce the gridlocks and inefficiencies have been slower than expected.

 

63. However, the implementation of the Electronic Call-Up System as well as the conversion of the Lillypond Container Terminal to a Vehicle Transit Area will further enhance the ease of cargo evacuation.

 

64. Our prioritisation of developing Nigeria’s Digital Economy has positively impacted the contribution of the ICT sector to our GDP.

 

65. We hope our present efforts to ensure all Nigerians use a National Identification Number as well as our planned roll-out of the fifth generation (5G) network technology will ensure we stay in line with the global innovation curve as a Nation.

 

66. As we embrace the digital economy in Nigeria, we are fully aware of the prospects and the perils. Our policies have been developed to enable Nigerians to take advantage of the prospects and avoid the perils of digital technologies. 

 

67. Social media is a very useful platform that has enabled millions of Nigerians to connect with loved ones, promote their businesses, socialise, and access news and other information.

 

68. However, recent events have shown that the platform is not just an innocuous platform for information dissemination.

 

69. Rather some users have misused the platform to organise, coordinate, and execute criminal activities, propagate fake news, and promote ethnic and religious sentiments.

 

70. To address these negative trends, the Federal Government of Nigeria suspended the operations of Twitter in Nigeria on June 5, 2021 to allow the Government put measures in place to address these challenges.

 

71. Following the suspension of Twitter operations, Twitter Inc. reached out to the Federal Government of Nigeria to resolve the impasse. Subsequently, I constituted a Presidential Committee to engage Twitter to explore the possibility of resolving the issue.

 

72. The Committee, along with its Technical Team, has engaged with Twitter and have addressed a number of key issues. These are:

 

a. National Security and Cohesion;

b. Registration, Physical presence and Representation;

c. Fair Taxation;

d. Dispute Resolution; and

e. Local Content.

 

73. Following the extensive engagements, the issues are being addressed and I have directed that the suspension be lifted but only if the conditions are met to allow our citizens continue the use of the platform for business and positive engagements. 

 

74. As a country, we are committed to ensuring that digital companies use their platform to enhance the lives of our citizens, respect Nigeria's sovereignty, cultural values and promote online safety.

 

75. Nigeria's progressive diplomacy continues to manifest through growing numbers of highly placed Nigerians in positions of regional and global influences. Very recently, Nigeria won election for the position of Commissioner for the expanded Political, Peace and Security Affairs of the African Union.

 

76. Our persistent calls for a reorganized and reformed ECOWAS, to make the organization citizens-sensitive, paid off with the acceptance by the Authority of Heads of State and Governments of ECOWAS to commence the agreed reforms in the organization ahead of the next elections of the organization’s principal officers in December this year.

 

77. At the African Development Bank, World Trade Organization and indeed, the United Nations, footprints of Nigeria's Diplomacy are clearly evident.

 

78. We remain confident that our goal of lifting 100million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years is achievable. 

 

79. Considering the positive impact of our Social Investment Programs, I recently approved an increase in the number of N-Power program beneficiaries from 500,000 to 1,000,000.

 

80. Out of this, 510,000 have started the programme while the competitive selection process for onboarding the outstanding 490,000 beneficiaries is in progress.

 

81. The National Home-Grown School Feeding Programme is currently being implemented in 35 States of the Federation and the FCT. Over 103,000 women have been engaged and empowered as cooks under the programme, while about 10 million pupils are being fed across public primary schools in the country.

 

82. To grant increased access to credit to the most poor and vulnerable, I have directed an increase in the disbursement of Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme loans to an additional one million beneficiaries laying more emphasis on the smallholding farmers through the farmers Moni program.

 

Fellow Nigerians,

83. For far too long we have neglected the centrality of the civil service as the engine of governance and this has manifested in ineffective service delivery.

 

84. There is widespread discontent and disillusion about the efficiency and probity of our civil service.

 

85. It is for this reason that we are refocusing the Nigerian Civil Service to provide World class service to run our country.

 

86. The youths of this great country remain propellants for our today and provide guarantees that we would have a secure tomorrow.

 

87. It is for this reason that I remain focused on expanding opportunities for their participation in politics and governance.

 

88. Recent appointments of young people into positions of authority and their track record so far, gives me confidence that we need to bring more of them into governance and this I promise to do.

 

89. More specifically, to encourage Girl-Child Education, female scholarship schemes, life skills and digital literacy skills to boost girl’s enrolment, retention and completion of schooling, are all initiatives put in place to ensure gender balance in appropriately positioning our youths for positions of leadership.

 

90. The commitment of this Administration to the well-being of people living with disabilities remains unwavering.

 

91. Government recognises their contributions to development and I have, in this regard, directed that all relevant Government Agencies pay special attention to the peculiarities of different abilities in the implementation of policies and programmes.

 

92. Rape and Gender Based Violence remains a sore point in our Nation as in many countries worldwide and this was worsened during and after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

93. We are currently engaging Heads of Courts to establish Specialised Courts for the speedy and seamless trial of Rape/Gender-Based offences especially to ensure that justice is done for child victims of sexual violence.

 

94. On the other hand, work has advanced in the reformation, reintegration and reunification of Minors involved in one crime or the other.

 

95. The reformation in our Correctional Services has manifested in an increase in modernised custodial centres and a transformation from strictly punitive to attitudinal changes so that criminals do not relapse into their previous lifestyle.

 

96. As we begin to celebrate our sixty one years as a Nation, we need to be conscious that Nigeria does not start and end with the Federal Government. This country is a great collective where Government at all arms and levels as well as the private sector, and more importantly individuals, have a role to play.

 

97. In particular, security is a bottom to top undertaking. Joining hands and hearts together would enable us to secure ourselves and our country.

 

98. I fully understand the anxiety of many Nigerians on the inability of this country to go beyond a never-ending potential for becoming a great nation to an actually great one.

 

99. A lot has been achieved in the last six years on many fronts: in infrastructure, social care, governance, Nigeria’s image and influence in Africa and the international community. 

 

100. But critics misdiagnose incremental progress as stagnation. Since coming to power, this Administration has tackled our problems head-on in spite of the meagre resources. No government since 1999 has done what we have done in six years to put Nigeria back on track. 


101. We shall continue to serve the country: listen to all and protect our democracy and country.

Thank you all and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Blabbing IBB: A hater of democracy, a murderer, a thief who should be in prison now - Sowore

Blabbing IBB: A hater of democracy, a murderer, a thief who should be in prison now - Sowore


Conman, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (IBB) killed students, killed Dele Giwa, Killed Mamman Vasta, killed Gideon Orkar, killed a generation of young army officers in a plane crash so they won’t reach their prime, now he’s blabbing about the quest for a younger generation to lead. A hater of democracy, a murderer, a thief and dissembler,m who should be in prison but here we are with one of these blockheads just running his mouth and getting undue airtime! #RevolutionNow


Omoyele Sowore




It is an indictment on the Nigeria's system which allowed characters like IBB to move freely like a saint.


And indeed very unfortunate that character like Major General Muhammadu Buhari will almost make him a saint.


Comrade Dele Abiola


Conman, Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida (IBB) killed students, killed Dele Giwa, Killed Mamman Vasta, killed Gideon Orkar, killed a generation of young army officers in a plane crash so they won’t reach their prime, now he’s blabbing about the quest for a younger generation to lead. A hater of democracy, a murderer, a thief and dissembler,m who should be in prison but here we are with one of these blockheads just running his mouth and getting undue airtime! #RevolutionNow


Omoyele Sowore




It is an indictment on the Nigeria's system which allowed characters like IBB to move freely like a saint.


And indeed very unfortunate that character like Major General Muhammadu Buhari will almost make him a saint.


Comrade Dele Abiola

NIGERIA: Clampdown on protests negates democracy

NIGERIA: Clampdown on protests negates democracy

Punch Editorial Board


15 June 2021



FOR the umpteenth time, the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has demonstrated its characteristically strong but disturbing disdain for the democratic rights of Nigerian citizens to peaceful protest. This is as heavy police deployments disrupted the June 12 protests at different venues across the country as Nigeria marked Democracy Day 2021. The irony is unmistakable. On a day chosen to mark democracy in the country, the Buhari regime came out charging at the citizens expressing their inalienable right, deploying heavily armed police personnel and armoured personnel carriers to intimidate the protesters, condoning off protest venues, hounding and beating up protesters in the process.


This is unconstitutional, authoritarian and utterly unacceptable. It grossly negates the core democratic tenets of freedom of assembly, association, and expression. As the Open Society Justice Initiative rightly declares, “protests are a catalyst for social change and are essential for citizen participation in a pluralistic democracy. They enable individuals and groups to share their views and interests, express dissent, and make demands of the government or other institutions.” Sadly, despite its importance to democratic sustainability, in both advanced and emerging democracies, “some police and government officials treat protests as an inconvenience, a disruption to be controlled, or a threat to be extinguished,” the group laments.


The police clampdown on the peaceful June 12 protesters demonstrates an aversion to democracy by the Buhari regime. Indeed, it is a detestable act of desperation by a regime that has failed to live up to the expectations of the citizens and lacks faith in a process that birthed it. The action has further depleted Buhari’s low legitimacy account balance.


Democracy does not begin and end in conducting periodic elections. Protests are also an essential element of democracy and provide a veritable outlet for the citizens to interact with the government in a different dimension. Unfortunately, the regime does not see it that way, hence the resort to its criminalisation.


In Lagos, media reports stated that police officers fired tear gas at the crowd gathered at the Gani Fawehinmi Park in Ojota, Lagos. In the Gudu area of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, police similarly tear-gassed and chased away the protesters. Earlier on May 31, an online publisher, Omoyele Sowore, was injured by a tear gas canister fired by a female police officer while he and others under the aegis of the CSO, Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond, demonstrated in Abuja. The group was protesting widespread insecurity in the country. Media reports said Sowore, and other protesters were approaching the protest venue when armed police shut down the place. Unfortunately, the police do not display such sternness and ruthlessness towards the rampaging bandits, kidnappers and outlaws currently holding the entire country to ransom. Ironically, police provided cover for demonstrators who gathered in Abuja in support of the regime, according to reports.


The Cross River State Police Command had earlier threatened intending protesters, promising to deal ruthlessly with anyone who dared it. The command warned, “Everybody should be sober and, in their houses given the experience people had particularly during #EndSARS protests, we will not allow such an incident to repeat itself. We have got intelligence reports on how people are planning to disrupt the peace of the state in the form of a protest and unlawful gathering, as well as to embark on the violent destruction of property; we will not allow that.” This is unacceptable. The duty of the law enforcement agencies in a democracy is not to force protesting citizens off the streets but to ensure such a democratic exercise is not hijacked by unscrupulous elements. That is a breach of their right to freedom of movement and assembly. The failure of the security agencies to do this led to the fatal hijacking of the #EndSARS protests against police brutality across the country in October 2020.

It is commendable, however, that Nigerians in many parts of the world like the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Canada joined their courageous counterparts at home who braved official harassment to protest against bad governance and insecurity in the country. Citizens should not succumb to police intimidation to shun peaceful protest. It is a democratic right that cannot be circumscribed by any government agency. Protests, experts say, encourage the development of an engaged and informed citizenry and strengthen representative democracy by enabling direct participation in public affairs. Nigeria is a signatory to several constitutional and legal frameworks that support protest as a democratic right. Article 21 of the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, for instance, provides: “The right of peaceful assembly shall be recognised. No restrictions may be placed on this right other than those imposed in conformity with the law, and which are necessary for a democratic society…”


Also, Article 11 of the 1981 African Charter on Human and People’s Rights states, “Every individual shall have the right to assemble freely with others.” Similarly, sections 39 and 40 of the 1999 Constitution guarantee the citizens the right to freedom of assembly and expression. And under Section 45, there must be a state of emergency properly declared before these rights can be violated. The onus is on the government to always protect these constitutional rights and not constitute itself into a stumbling block to their attainment. Violently stopping free protests in a fragile democracy like ours, as has been regularly done under Buhari, tends to radicalise the protesters with dire consequences for the entire country.


The right to assemble freely cannot be abridged without violating the fundamental right to peaceful assembly and association. As a civil rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), argued, the violation can only be done by the procedure permitted by law, under Section 45 of the constitution, in which case there must be a state of emergency properly declared. The criminal law is there to be applied if protesters resort to violence during a demonstration, but once the rights are exercised peacefully, they cannot be taken away.

Ensuring that government works for the public good requires informed, organised, active and peaceful citizen participation. Nigerian citizens should tenaciously hold on to this.

Punch Editorial Board


15 June 2021



FOR the umpteenth time, the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has demonstrated its characteristically strong but disturbing disdain for the democratic rights of Nigerian citizens to peaceful protest. This is as heavy police deployments disrupted the June 12 protests at different venues across the country as Nigeria marked Democracy Day 2021. The irony is unmistakable. On a day chosen to mark democracy in the country, the Buhari regime came out charging at the citizens expressing their inalienable right, deploying heavily armed police personnel and armoured personnel carriers to intimidate the protesters, condoning off protest venues, hounding and beating up protesters in the process.


This is unconstitutional, authoritarian and utterly unacceptable. It grossly negates the core democratic tenets of freedom of assembly, association, and expression. As the Open Society Justice Initiative rightly declares, “protests are a catalyst for social change and are essential for citizen participation in a pluralistic democracy. They enable individuals and groups to share their views and interests, express dissent, and make demands of the government or other institutions.” Sadly, despite its importance to democratic sustainability, in both advanced and emerging democracies, “some police and government officials treat protests as an inconvenience, a disruption to be controlled, or a threat to be extinguished,” the group laments.


The police clampdown on the peaceful June 12 protesters demonstrates an aversion to democracy by the Buhari regime. Indeed, it is a detestable act of desperation by a regime that has failed to live up to the expectations of the citizens and lacks faith in a process that birthed it. The action has further depleted Buhari’s low legitimacy account balance.


Democracy does not begin and end in conducting periodic elections. Protests are also an essential element of democracy and provide a veritable outlet for the citizens to interact with the government in a different dimension. Unfortunately, the regime does not see it that way, hence the resort to its criminalisation.


In Lagos, media reports stated that police officers fired tear gas at the crowd gathered at the Gani Fawehinmi Park in Ojota, Lagos. In the Gudu area of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, police similarly tear-gassed and chased away the protesters. Earlier on May 31, an online publisher, Omoyele Sowore, was injured by a tear gas canister fired by a female police officer while he and others under the aegis of the CSO, Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond, demonstrated in Abuja. The group was protesting widespread insecurity in the country. Media reports said Sowore, and other protesters were approaching the protest venue when armed police shut down the place. Unfortunately, the police do not display such sternness and ruthlessness towards the rampaging bandits, kidnappers and outlaws currently holding the entire country to ransom. Ironically, police provided cover for demonstrators who gathered in Abuja in support of the regime, according to reports.


The Cross River State Police Command had earlier threatened intending protesters, promising to deal ruthlessly with anyone who dared it. The command warned, “Everybody should be sober and, in their houses given the experience people had particularly during #EndSARS protests, we will not allow such an incident to repeat itself. We have got intelligence reports on how people are planning to disrupt the peace of the state in the form of a protest and unlawful gathering, as well as to embark on the violent destruction of property; we will not allow that.” This is unacceptable. The duty of the law enforcement agencies in a democracy is not to force protesting citizens off the streets but to ensure such a democratic exercise is not hijacked by unscrupulous elements. That is a breach of their right to freedom of movement and assembly. The failure of the security agencies to do this led to the fatal hijacking of the #EndSARS protests against police brutality across the country in October 2020.

It is commendable, however, that Nigerians in many parts of the world like the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Canada joined their courageous counterparts at home who braved official harassment to protest against bad governance and insecurity in the country. Citizens should not succumb to police intimidation to shun peaceful protest. It is a democratic right that cannot be circumscribed by any government agency. Protests, experts say, encourage the development of an engaged and informed citizenry and strengthen representative democracy by enabling direct participation in public affairs. Nigeria is a signatory to several constitutional and legal frameworks that support protest as a democratic right. Article 21 of the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, for instance, provides: “The right of peaceful assembly shall be recognised. No restrictions may be placed on this right other than those imposed in conformity with the law, and which are necessary for a democratic society…”


Also, Article 11 of the 1981 African Charter on Human and People’s Rights states, “Every individual shall have the right to assemble freely with others.” Similarly, sections 39 and 40 of the 1999 Constitution guarantee the citizens the right to freedom of assembly and expression. And under Section 45, there must be a state of emergency properly declared before these rights can be violated. The onus is on the government to always protect these constitutional rights and not constitute itself into a stumbling block to their attainment. Violently stopping free protests in a fragile democracy like ours, as has been regularly done under Buhari, tends to radicalise the protesters with dire consequences for the entire country.


The right to assemble freely cannot be abridged without violating the fundamental right to peaceful assembly and association. As a civil rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), argued, the violation can only be done by the procedure permitted by law, under Section 45 of the constitution, in which case there must be a state of emergency properly declared. The criminal law is there to be applied if protesters resort to violence during a demonstration, but once the rights are exercised peacefully, they cannot be taken away.

Ensuring that government works for the public good requires informed, organised, active and peaceful citizen participation. Nigerian citizens should tenaciously hold on to this.

#BuhariMustGo: Protest resumes tomorrow in Lagos, Ibadan

#BuhariMustGo: Protest resumes tomorrow in Lagos, Ibadan


Protest resumes tomorrow in Lagos, Ibadan and probably in Abuja on Tuesday.



Lagos Resumes #BuhariMustGo PROTEST tomorrow at Gani Fewehinmi Park, Ojota Lagos at 9:00 am.


Join the Protest to say No to TYRANNY. 


#June12Protest #BuhariMustGo #RevolutionNow


Protest resumes tomorrow in Lagos, Ibadan and probably in Abuja on Tuesday.



Lagos Resumes #BuhariMustGo PROTEST tomorrow at Gani Fewehinmi Park, Ojota Lagos at 9:00 am.


Join the Protest to say No to TYRANNY. 


#June12Protest #BuhariMustGo #RevolutionNow

June 12 Protest and Democracy in Nigeria

June 12 Protest and Democracy in Nigeria

By Jonathan Ekperusi 

(Chairman NBA, Effurun Branch)


It is the inalienable rights of every Nigerian to free speech, lawful assembly and peaceful protest. Unfortunately, many Nigerians do not even know where our problem lies. We should be protesting for the autonomy of Local Government Council, State Houses of Assembly, State Judiciary, etc. Many states are owing pensioners their pension, ranging from few months to several years putting those that have served Nigeria in pains and penury. States like Benue, Taraba, etc are owing workers over one year salaries, etc. These should be the priorities of protesters, but it seems everyone is misguided to protest against the federal government.


No nation can develop by looking solely on the federal government. If we do not hold our state governors accountable, then we are not ready for a change. If you like vent all your anger on Buhari, he is going to remain as President till his tenure expires. Sowore is shouting around deceiving some gullible Nigerians that Buhari Must Go. He is using these gullible people to collect grants from charities abroad to sustain his dubious lifestyle in Nigeria. The same Sowore contested the last election with Buhari and got about 30,000 votes while Buhari got over 15 million votes, but he wants Buhari go to. Go where exactly?


If you truly want a change of leaders, then use this same energy to organize yourself into structures, register, form a party and create an alliance of several small parties to form a formidable force. Unfortunately, all this protest will end tomorrow and nothing will happen. During the last election, Sowore, Moghalu, Ezekwesili, etc could not even form an alliance to project a single candidate. All of them just want to show on their CV that they are presidential candidate and also want to chop money from their mushrooms parties. No one was truly interested in the Nigerian project.


When Tinubu decided to play national politics, he decided to spend resources including money and time to form a formidable alliance, and he was also willing to remove himself from the scene to make the party work. Don't also forget that when he formed the Action Congress earlier, he didn't also rush to become the party flagbearer, he was willing to give Ribadu the party ticket. Those who truly wants to create things beyond them are always willing to put their own personal interest aside for the greater good. No wonder the name Tinubu has become a scion on the Nigerian political landscape. You can hate or like him, but you cannot deny the fact that Tinubu is a sound political strategist and tactician who knows the game and play it to win.


So, except there is a formidable third force that is rising from the horizon as early as this moment, APC will still remain at the centre beyond 2023. APC have about 21 states and PDP about 14, so take it or leave it, whoever APC endorses as their presidential candidate is most likely the next president of Nigeria, except the party implodes, which is not likely.


Except there is a military coup, which is highly unlikely, once election is over and a leader emerged, there is nothing anyone can do. If you like petition the US, UK, UN and even mars, nothing will change. That's the beauty of democracy. 


Happy Democracy Day to you all.

By Jonathan Ekperusi 

(Chairman NBA, Effurun Branch)


It is the inalienable rights of every Nigerian to free speech, lawful assembly and peaceful protest. Unfortunately, many Nigerians do not even know where our problem lies. We should be protesting for the autonomy of Local Government Council, State Houses of Assembly, State Judiciary, etc. Many states are owing pensioners their pension, ranging from few months to several years putting those that have served Nigeria in pains and penury. States like Benue, Taraba, etc are owing workers over one year salaries, etc. These should be the priorities of protesters, but it seems everyone is misguided to protest against the federal government.


No nation can develop by looking solely on the federal government. If we do not hold our state governors accountable, then we are not ready for a change. If you like vent all your anger on Buhari, he is going to remain as President till his tenure expires. Sowore is shouting around deceiving some gullible Nigerians that Buhari Must Go. He is using these gullible people to collect grants from charities abroad to sustain his dubious lifestyle in Nigeria. The same Sowore contested the last election with Buhari and got about 30,000 votes while Buhari got over 15 million votes, but he wants Buhari go to. Go where exactly?


If you truly want a change of leaders, then use this same energy to organize yourself into structures, register, form a party and create an alliance of several small parties to form a formidable force. Unfortunately, all this protest will end tomorrow and nothing will happen. During the last election, Sowore, Moghalu, Ezekwesili, etc could not even form an alliance to project a single candidate. All of them just want to show on their CV that they are presidential candidate and also want to chop money from their mushrooms parties. No one was truly interested in the Nigerian project.


When Tinubu decided to play national politics, he decided to spend resources including money and time to form a formidable alliance, and he was also willing to remove himself from the scene to make the party work. Don't also forget that when he formed the Action Congress earlier, he didn't also rush to become the party flagbearer, he was willing to give Ribadu the party ticket. Those who truly wants to create things beyond them are always willing to put their own personal interest aside for the greater good. No wonder the name Tinubu has become a scion on the Nigerian political landscape. You can hate or like him, but you cannot deny the fact that Tinubu is a sound political strategist and tactician who knows the game and play it to win.


So, except there is a formidable third force that is rising from the horizon as early as this moment, APC will still remain at the centre beyond 2023. APC have about 21 states and PDP about 14, so take it or leave it, whoever APC endorses as their presidential candidate is most likely the next president of Nigeria, except the party implodes, which is not likely.


Except there is a military coup, which is highly unlikely, once election is over and a leader emerged, there is nothing anyone can do. If you like petition the US, UK, UN and even mars, nothing will change. That's the beauty of democracy. 


Happy Democracy Day to you all.

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