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Jan 10 – Jan 13 News

January 10

SERAP Asks EFCC To Release Shehu Sani

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has called on the Economic and
Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to immediately release former Kaduna lawmaker, Shehu Sani.

We reports that Operatives of EFCC on Thursday reportedly invaded the Abuja residence of Senator
Shehu Sani over alleged extortion.

It was gathered that the EFCC officials stormed the apartment in Wuse, Abuja at about 3:30pm on
Wednesday to look for incriminating evidence against the former Kaduna senator.

This is following arrest of Sani last week for alleged extortion of $20,000 from the owner of ASD

The government critic, who represented Kaduna central senatorial district between 2015 and 2019,
allegedly collected money from Sani Dauda, owner of ASD Motors, promising to pass it on to Ibrahim
Magu, acting chairman of the anti-graft agency.

Reacting, in a post on its official Twitter page, SERAP called on EFCC to charge Sani with a
recognizable criminal offence rather than prolonging his detention.

The group noted that the continued detention of Sani without charge was against the principle of being
innocent until proven guilty.

SERAP, therefore, urged the anti-graft agency to release Sani on bail pending investigation.

The post reads: “EFCC should immediately release activist Shehu Sani detained on allegations of
extortion or charge him with a recognizable criminal offende.

“By prolonging his detention without charge or trial, Mr Sani is being treated like a convicted criminal,
in violation of national and international law.

“The continued detention of Mr Sani without charge is against the principle of being innocent until
proven guilty.

“Nigeria is a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Article 9 of the
ICCPR states that “anyone who is arrested shall be brought promptly before a judge or other officer
authorized by law to exercise judicial power.”
“There are similar provisions in the Nigerian Constitution 1999 (as amended).

“The EFCC should promptly investigate any allegations against Mr Sani and release him on bail
pending the conclusion of any such investigation.”

Shehu Sani cries out from EFCC custody, raises

critical questions on bribe allegation
Former Senator and Civil Rights Activist, Shehu Sani who has been in detention since the past two
weeks has described the bribery allegation against him as spurious and an attempt to dent his name at
all costs.
Sani, who personally sent a statement to DAILY POST in Abuja on Thursday, insisted that he was been
incarcerated using a Kaduna based automobile businessman as a result of his criticism of the current
He vowed to speak louder, when he comes out alive.
“The allegations of “extortion” against me is baseless, factless, unfounded, and hollow.
“It is a scripted stream of mischievous concoctions and utter fabrications using a puppet state agent; all
aimed at splashing faeces and mud on me.
“The extortion allegation is nothing but a wholesale falsehood, packaged in a phantom anti-graft facade
to taint, stain and mute me. That shall never happen if I am alive.
“I have made my statement and provided all my facts against their package of lies and I demand the
EFCC to make public all the sheets of our statements and supporting documents for the world to see.
“My detention is unfair, unjust, prearranged and politically motivated.
“Alhaji Sani Dauda and his hidden sponsors have not been able to provide any proof of their
allegations. I’m unjustly incarcerated on the ground of an arranged two page petition backed with no
evidential or documentary proof.
“Fascism thrives in frame up of its critics.
“They claim extortion and here they are closing my bank accounts, searching my houses and offices
and demanding that I declare my assets of which I have already done that at the CCB last year when I
left the senate.
“Frame up cannot silence me!!!
“I have never ever met with the CJN or any judge or judges or ever called directly or indirectly to offer
to give or to give directly or indirectly any form of gratification from Alhaji Sani Dauda
“I have never ever discussed with ASD on any form of bribe or gratification to be given to any judge or
any EFCC official
“The bribe story is phantom, the bribe story is a fake, imaginative work of fiction, cruelly crafted to
smear me, to frame me and to justify my persecution.
“The bribe story is a heap of blatant lies falsehood concocted and fabricated, using a front and the
EFCC to premiere a state drama.
“ASD is a barely educated front for a state mission.
“Criminalizing me or “framing me” will not silence me, bend me or compromise me.”

Amotekun: Don’t Betray South-west, Ooni Tells Personnel

The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, has called on personnel of the Western Nigeria Security
Network known as ‘Operation Amotekun’ not to betray the region on the ideals behind setting up the
security outfit.

Ogunwusi stated this on Thursday in Ibadan during the launch of Amotekun by the governors of the
South-West region.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Amotekun was evolved by the governors in the South-West
region to complement the efforts of the Nigeria Police in tackling security challenges in the region.

The Ooni said that the governors in the region had done their best, adding that it was left for the
personnel and the residents of the region to work together for the success of the security outfit.

“All the traditional rulers are in support, the Federal Government is not opposed to it, let all and sundry
support it for peace to reign in the region.

“The success of this security outfit will be of benefit to the present generation and generations yet
unborn,”he said.

The leader of the Yoruba World Congress, Prof. Banji Akintoye, said that the governors and the people
of the region had risen up to the security challenge in the region.

“The people that will work in Amotekun are going to be trained properly by highly educated people for
them to relate properly with the police and the army,” he said.

The National Public Relations Officer, Vigilante Group of Nigeria, Prof. Nelson Fashina, said that his
personnel were properly qualified for the security outfit.

Fashina said that the group was capable of taking up the responsibilities of community policing as
members were conversant with the terrain.
The governors present at the occasion were Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo
and Seyi Makinde of Oyo while Osun and Ogun were represented by their deputies.

Kano Anti-graft Commission Can’t Investigate Emirate, District

Head Tells Court

The district head of Gwale, Mannir Sunusi Danburam and two others are before a federal high court in
Kano to challenge the powers and competence of the state public complaint and anti-corruption
commission (PCACC) to investigate the finances of the Kano emirate council.

Sagir Sulaiman Gezawa, a counsel on the side of the plaintiffs, said Thursday that though the matter
was scheduled for hearing, it could not go on because of “some oversight on the part of all the counsel
in respect of the matter.

“On the last adjourned date on the 14th of November 2019, the court ordered that fresh copies of all
the processes be exchanged because there was a joinder of additional parties. But parties were unable
to comply with that order to file fresh processes bearing the names of the new defendants, so the
matter could not go on and was further adjourned”, Gezawa said.

Buhari: Graduates Must Have Credible School Certificates

Elders and of course Nigerian philologists have expressed concern over what they described as ‘semi-
literate graduates’ Nigerian universities produce in recent time.

Displeased by this notion, Buhari promised to give more attention to improving personnel and
infrastructure of universities to produce quality graduates.

“The future of the country depends on quality education and our certificates must be credible to inspire
confidence,’’ he said. He disclosed this when the leadership of Academic Staff Union of Universities
(ASUU) led by Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi paid him a visit at the State House.

Buhari assured that education will, henceforth, be a top priority in development goals of the country,
stressing that effective and efficient operation of universities will go a long way in improving the
economy, especially with focus on science and technology.

The President directed the Ministry of Education to put in more effort in ensuring that Nigerian
universities are properly funded, with adequate infrastructure and staffing.

Recall that Buhari had issues with his WAEC certificate during the 2019 presidential election. He
told the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, that his school certificate was with
military authorities. A statement rejected by some Nigerians. Buhari was lashed upon by the opposition
parties, who demanded his withdrawal from the presidency race. Not quite long after his critics had
lampooned him, the president Tweeted via his official handle that he had received the attestation and
confirmation of his result.

“Today I received the attestation and confirmation of my 1961 West African School Certificate
(WASC) Examination result, from the Registrar of the West African Examinations Council (WAEC). It
was also an opportunity for me to thank WAEC for upholding its integrity over the years.

Amotekun: North West Governors To Copy South West

Counterparts(The Nation)
The Governors of the North Western States said they are ready to copy their south western states
counterparts by launching a joint security operation to check mate the growing state of insecurity in the
region including kidnapping and banditry activities

Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina State who is also the Chairman of the Governors of the
region made the above disclosure on Thursday during a media chat with news correspondents in the

The Governor further admitted that the North West Governors have a lot to learn from the
arrangements by their south west colleagues, adding that he will invite them for a meeting on the matter

He said “We have a lot to learn from them, I will call a meeting of the states affected by insecurity, to
see what they are doing and how we can borrow from them”

He described those spreading the rumor that the dialogue the state recently signed with bandits is dead,
saying they are alarmists that are not only spreading falsehood but putting Katsina on bad map

He said “criminality has now come to the cities and towns from the forests, the criminals in the cities
now invite the bandits from the forest to kidnap for ransom

“We are going to deal with the unrepentant bandits located particularly in Jibia and Batsari.The peace
deal has not collapsed; it has its problem, but has not collapsed”

On the Almajiri system the Governor disclosed that Education enjoyed the highest percentage
allocation of 20% in this year’s budget because of the plan by government to review the Almajiri
education system in partnership with the Universal basic education commission, UBEC in the state

He said “the reality on ground is that the state is doing all it can to revive education and the Almajiri
school system in the state”

Umahi Pays N30k New Minimum Wage On January 10

It was all joy for Ebonyi Civil Servants in the capital city of Ebonyi, Abakaliki today as queue was
observed in all the the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) within Abakaliki as jubilating workers were
observed to be carrying out transaction after early morning alerts of their January salaries which the
Governor, Engr. David Nweze Umahi FNSE FNATE ordered their payment to effect the new minimum
wage of N30,000.

With this, it's crystal clear that Ebonyi has taken the lead in the states that aligned with the Federal
Government and Nigeria Labour Congress agreement for the new minimum wage of 30,000 Naira.

Recall that Governor Umahi on his last 2019 EXCO meeting promised that workers in Ebonyi State
will start receiving the new minimum wage, effective January 1st, 2020, a promise which he further
confirmed when he directed the State Accountant General and LGAs Chairmen to seek for overdraft
and ensure the payment of Ebonyi workforce, the January salaries which must reflect the new
minimum wage on January 10th to enable them start the new year with ease.

Just this morning, the promise and directive came alive as several civil servants were cruising to their
banks and ATMs for their transactions.

Truly, a visit to any ATM machine in Abakaliki today will without doubt send the message of joy and
appreciation in the hearts of Ebonyians to Governor Umahi for always putting smiles on their faces at
the right time.

Ebonyians are celebrating Governor Umahi.

Francis Nwaze
Special Assistant to Ebonyi State Governor on Media
10th January 20.

Jonathan: We Didn’t Completely Plug The Loopholes In Fight

Against Corruption
Immediate past President Goodluck Jonathan has said that his administration did not plug all loopholes
in its bid to end corruption in the country.

The former President, however, said it was wrong to assume that the economy would have been in a
worse shape if he was not kicked out of power in 2015.

Jonathan spoke at the Eagles Square, Abuja on Saturday during the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP,
non- elective national convention.

He was flanked by his former deputy, Namadi Sambo, some serving and former governors, and
chieftains of the party.
Jonathan also pointed at the 2012 flood in the country as a major set back to his government.

According to him, “Though we didn’t completely plug the loopholes in the fight against corruption, but
we did well.

“I learnt that some people said that if the PDP had remained in power beyond 2015, the economy
would have been worse. This couldn’t have been the case, because we had a sound economic team in

“Let us not forget that the great floods of 2012 were a major calamity that damaged homes and
farmlands on the plains of River Niger and Benue.

“But despite the devastating effects of this natural disaster, there were no food shortages or arbitrary
increase in prices, because of what we were able to accomplish with our agriculture transformation
agenda, which considerably boosted food production.

“If we say that we rekindled hope in our people and regained international goodwill, it is because we
pursued a number of policies and programmes that were not only richly rewarding for our people, but
were also being copied by many countries across the globe, a few of which I will mention here.”

Malcolm Omirhobo Sues FG, CBN, AGF Over Arabic

Inscription On Naira, Army Logo
A Nigerian lawyer and Human Rights activist Barr. Malcolm Omirhobo has Thursday sued the Federal
Government, Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria Army, Ministry of Defense and Attorney General of the
Federation over the continuous Arabic inscription on the naira notes and the flag of the Nigerian Army
without considering Nigeria to be a secular nation.

He is seeking a Federal High Court to interpret the provisions of Section 10 of the 1999 Constitution of
the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He filed two suits.

The defendants in the suits are Central Bank of Nigeria, Attorney-General of the Federation, the
Nigerian Army, as well as the Ministry of Defence.

Plaintiff is seeking a court interpretation whether by a community reading of Sections 10 and 55 of the
1999 Constitution, it is lawful and constitutional for the defendants to permit the Naira notes to be
adorned with Arabic inscriptions.

In the same vein, the plaintiff is asking whether by a community reading of Sections 1(1)(3), 10 and 55
of the 1999 Constitution, it is proper for the defendants to permit the Nigerian Army logo to be
adorned, or inscribed in Arabic insignia.
He is seeking a court interpretation whether by the true letter and spirit of Section 10 of the 1999
Constitution, Nigeria is a secular state without any official religion.

He wants the court to declare that it is illegal, unlawful, and unconstitutional to allow the Nigerian
Army logo to be adorned, and inscribed in Arabic language, instead of the official English language or
Hausa, Yoruba and Igbo which are the three main languages or ethnic groups in Nigeria.

The defendants are yet to reply. The Court also is yet to fix a date for the hearing of the case.

Why Rt Hon Rotimi Amaechi Might Be Guilty If Odili Is Guilty

As it would seem the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has finally taken decided to
give ears to the wailings of thousands of Rivers residents to probe the Rivers state government accounts
since 1999. This is obviously a giant leap and everyone here is appreciative of the development.

I am aware that apologists of the former governor and now Transportation minister Rt Hon Chibuike
Rotimi Amaechi are in celebration mood as though they know something that the majority of Rivers
residents don't. Some of them seem to believe that their principal is spotless as he himself has always
stated even when no law enforcement agencies have declares him free or guilty.

The thing is most of these Amaechi sympathizers feel any such inquest would only begin and maybe
end between 1999 and 2007 when Sir Dr Peter Odili was governor. They seem not to remember that
their boss was the legislative head of that administration and as such would be held also to account if
there is any financial malfeasance discovered by the anti-graft agencies. Well some may think the case
of former Abia state governor, Orji Uzor Kalu didn't include the legislative arm and so he may not be
mentioned well i won't argue with them.

Between 2007 and 2015, Rt Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi in a calculated move by his then boss,
Odili became governor maybe to cover his tracks who knows. Whether he did so or not remains only to
be seen by the time the lid is removed by the EFCC now or in the future.

Another factor to this recent move by the EFCC to investigate the Rivers books of accounts and why
the Amaechi camp should not be in such a hurry to dance naked in the public is the fact that his
confidant Prince Tonye Princewill directly accused him of misappropriating state funds to sponsor the
then opposition party, the APC. The Kalabari Prince mentioned a lot of cleared instances where in his
view financial malfeasance were done against the state. To further indict the man, one Livingstone
Wichie of the Integrity Group petitioned the EFCC to take note of his activities as governor and compel
him to give account to the state.

Again, the Rivers state government under Gov Nyesom Ezenwo Wike issued a white paper after the
Judicial panel headed by Justice Omeregi indicted the former governor and now minister of the Federal
The conclusion of the whole matter here is that the Amaechi camp should not celebrate because the
EFCC is seeking to vacate the perpetual injunction barring it from investigating the Rivers state
government. Rather they should be concerned if that order is vacated and Dr Odili is tried, then even
Amaechi won't escape the ripple effect. I rest.

Umahi Sacks Aid For Commenting On 2023 Governorship

Election After Warning
Recall when news made headlines of Umahi warning aides during swearing-in, to refrain from
commenting on 2023 elections as such act would attract sack? Well, the governor just gave life to his
threat after an overzealous aide of his govt and a Senior Technical Assistant (STA) on media to the
governor, Monday Eze, went against that instruction.

Monday Eze had written a post on Facebook where he accused the Senator representing Ebonyi North,
Sen. Sam Egwu of plotting to go third term in the senate by supporting governorship to go to Izzi.

His post is believed to have wrongly accused the senator who has not mentioned such ambition to
anyone, and also heating up the Ebonyi polity.

It is believed that Monday Eze being from Ezza in Ebonyi central was just expressing the view held by
many Ezza people of the state that since power has gone round the senatorial zones, that it must not
necessarily start from the North again but that any part can contest and in fact, it's their turn.

Amotekun Can Use Guns Like Hunters, Says Ex-police

A former Lagos State Police Commissioner, Fatai Owoseni, says the new South-West security outfit,
Amotekun, will be allowed to carry Dane guns just like the way hunters are allowed to do.

Owoseni, who is the Special Adviser to the Oyo State Governor on Security, said this during an
interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Friday.

When asked if the Amotekun would be allowed to use Dane guns, he said, “(Yes) if it is necessary for
them to use in some instances because hunters do carry their Dane guns with their dogs. Those are their
tools and it is not illegal.”

He, however, explained that the Amotekun would not run a detention facility but would purely be an
intelligence-gathering group.

When asked if they would be allowed to make arrests, the retired CP said, “The power they have to
make arrests is the same power you have. Every citizen has the power of arrest. When you arrest, you
take to the police station. That is the same power. They are not going to operate a detention facility. It is
non-state actors participating in security.”

The governor’s aide said the idea of Amotekun originated from a paper presented by the United
Kingdom’s Department for International Development.

He said the paper was adopted by the Nigeria Police Force and was thus not inimical to the security
structure of the country.

The governor’s aide said Amotekun would act like CCTVs and be a source of intelligence to the
conventional security forces.

Owoseni said the North-Central states had also operated a similar outfit known as the G8 in the past.

He added, “They (Amotekun) are vigilantes but South-West is just formalising them like different
states have one vigilante group or the other. Even in Oyo State, the police command had been working
with the vigilantes who are registered at every area command.

“The procedure and the guidelines for the support and harnessing them with the non-state actors and
the conventional security were drawn by DFID the Force headquarters bought into it. A strategic paper
was prepared and it was out of that the Nigeria Police issued the Force Order guidelines on community
partnership with the police.

“So, it is not a new thing. The networking thing is not new. There used to be a G8 for the North-Central
when I was in the FCT command. The G8 then was formed by the governors of the North-Central as
the conventional security people but this one being done with the South-West are the community
people, non-state actors.”

Akin Abayomi Inaugurates Traditional Medicine Board

Research Group
Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi has inaugurated Traditional Medicine
Board Research Group for the State Traditional Medicine Board, with a call on members of the
group to ensure the protection and preservation of the State ecosystem.

The Commissioner, who observed that the state ecosystem is currently being threatened, warned that if
conscious efforts are not made to address the trend, all efforts aimed at preserving and sustaining the
practice of traditional medicine would end in futility.
Abayomi made this call on Wednesday at Alausa, Ikeja during the inauguration of members of the
Traditional Medicine Board Research Group saddled with the responsibilities of developing practical
solutions to problems associated with the practice of traditional medicine.

He said "I want members of this team to know that the task ahead of them is enormous considering the
rate at which our biodiversity is being destroyed. You must make it a point of duty and ensure that the
ecosystem does not die. Divert all your energy to restore the elements of the original ecosystem and
work for hand in hand with neighbouring states to achieve this."

He also challenged members of the research team to strive to produce evidence-based information at all
time in order to help instil confidence of the potency of traditional medicine in the consciousness of
members of the public.

"We want our practitioners to be accorded the same honour and respect given to the modern-day
medicine practitioners like it is the situation in other developed climes like India, Cuba among others
where patients could even choose to opt for traditional treatment against modern-day medical treatment
because the two practices had proven to be very potent in healing processes." the Commissioner stated.

He said that the state government cannot afford to undermine the contributions of traditional medicine
practitioners to the health of its citizens considering the fact that traditional practitioners outnumber
their modern-day medicine counterparts in the State and the country as a whole.

He disclosed that the practitioners are at a greater advantage because they are not threatened by brain
drain unlike what obtains among medical doctors who usually leave their country of practice for
greener pastures in other countries.

According to the Commissioner, the decision of the State Government to increase resources allocated
to traditional medical practice in its 2020 budget and the inauguration of the research team further
testify to the fact that the health sector occupies a key place in the administration of Governor Babajide
Olusola SanwoOlu.

Addressing members of the research team, the Commissioner declared that "you are integral in my
strategy to deliver universal health coverage for residents of this State and in bringing this into fruition,
it is important that you operate within the ambit of the law and coordinate your activities in an orderly

He opined that with the constitution of the research group, Lagos State will be the first to start offering
scientific and rational explanations for the use of herbal medicine in the management of human health

The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health, Dr Olusegun Ogboye said that the State Government is
aware of the several challenges inhibiting the effectiveness of traditional medicine over the years,
stressing that the Ministry of Health is at the forefront of championing efforts at addressing some of the

In his words, “The field of Traditional Medicine is plagued by an implausible explanation of the
efficacy of herbal products coupled with standardisation arising from dosage administration as well as
multi -various claims associated with the effects of herbal products in the management of health

Represented at the inauguration by the Director of Pharmaceutical Services, Ministry of Health, Dr

Moyosore Wuraola Adejumo, the Permanent Secretary described the inauguration of the Research team
as first of its kind in the country, saying that it will open numerous opportunities in research in the field
of traditional medicine, while also attracting international and global interests in addressing challenges
confronting the Practice.

“This we believe will align with the international clamour for the conduct of research into the use of
herbal products in the treatment of health challenges through integrative approach and facilitate the
integration of traditional medicine into healthcare delivery systems,”

Also speaking at the event, one of the members of the research team inaugurated by the Commissioner,
Prof. Kemi Odukoya, advocated for proper positioning of the traditional medicine, stressing that
referring to the practitioners as alternative medicine practitioners were erroneous and should be

"We are advocating for proper recognition of traditional medicine as the original medicine, not an
alternative medicine because healing processes started with the use of herbs and from nature." She

She commended the State government for standing tall among other states across the county in the
promotion of traditional medicine, especially for the yearly celebration of traditional medicine day
among several other recognitions accorded the practitioners.

Buhari: I joined Politics Because I’m Not Corrupt

President Muhammadu Buhari has revealed why he decided to become to join partisan politics after
release from prison.

Speaking when he received the youths leaders of the All Progressives Congress, APC, who came from
across the country to pay him a visit in Abuja, Buhari said he took interest in politics after a clean bill
on his integrity by those who detained him after the 1985 military coup and who thoroughly checked
his record as governor of the North East, Minister of Petroleum and Head of State and found nothing

“After I was released and nothing was found on me I took interest in politics. This is what pushed me
into partisan politics; to serve with integrity. So I decided to try leadership as a civilian, after taking off
the military uniform,’’ he added.

Speaking on his second tenure, the President assured that he would be more firm, focused and
relentless in delivering results, especially in securing the country, stimulating the economy to work for
all, and fighting corruption.

“I am currently serving my last term in office. I swore by the constitution to defend the country, and I
will do the needful for the country,’’ President Buhari said.

In his remarks, National Youth Leader of the APC, Comrade Sadiq Shuaibu Abubakar, congratulated
the President for winning the Presidential elections in 2019, assuring him that the youths will continue
to support his policies and vision of greatness for the country.

Abubakar urged the President to get more youths involved in governance so as to learn from his
“treasured wisdom.’’

2023 Presidency: We'll Hand Over Power To Nigerian Youths

- The president of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, has said that whether the present generation of
leaders like it or not, they will one day hand over the youths of the country

- President Buhari therefore called on youths to brace up for the huge responsibilities that come
with power

- The president said that as long as the issue of nation building is key, no one should be taken for

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday, January 10, called on Nigerian youths to get themselves
ready to take on the mantle of leadership of the country.

Speaking to All Progressives Congress (APC) youth leaders from all regions of the country who paid
him a visit at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, President Buhari said that the fact that youths will
eventually rule Nigeria is inevitable even to the present generation of leaders.

The president said that this is an enormous responsibility which the youths must be very prepared for,
Nigerian Tribune reports.

Making reference to the tragedy of the Nigeria-Biafra civil war that claimed the lives of many citizen,
according to him, about 2 million, Buhari said that the nation has learned its lesson, adding that no one
is unimportant as long as nation-building is concern

He said: “With all certainty, someday you will have to take up the mantle of leadership in this country,
and you should be prepared for huge responsibilities

“And you have to brace up for leadership. Some interest groups will come up with ethnic, religious
issues, but you have to look at the broader picture."

Meanwhile, reported that the presidency had reacted to the call by Pastor Tunde Bakare
on President Muhammadu Buhari to choose his successor in order to maintain his legacy.

The special adviser to President Buhari on media and publicity, Femi Adesina, said that Nigeria's next
leader will not be handpicked or merely nominated by his principal.

Ohanaeze Lauds Establishment Of Amotekun

Apex Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has applauded the launch of Amotekun by the
South-West states.

In a statement signed on behalf of Chief Nnia Nwodo by his media adviser Emeka Attamah, Ohanaeze
praised the courage of the people of South West in establishing the security outfit.

Ohanaeze states: “The launching of Operation Amotekun by the South West is laudable. We have in
Nigeria today ethnic controlled Armed forces. Our Army and Air Force are commanded by officers
who should have retired according to established laws.

“The violation of our extant laws in this regard is simply to satisfy a desire for ethnic hegemony. To do
this their more competent seniors are retired not minding the huge resources the nation invested in their
training. Posting, promotion, arrest, prosecution of offenders are carried out with an ethnic mindset.
Ethnic cleansing appears to influence premature retirements. If you are a Fulani herdsman you have a
license to kill and escape arrest.

“Our troops fighting Boko Haram have low morale and motivation. In the South East mere traveling on
the highway attracts an illegal tax to law enforcement agencies sometimes carrying pos machines to
exploit cashless travellers who are forced to make transfers to private accounts. Who can resign his
private security to this kind of arrangement?

Read Also; OYC backs Operation Amotekun

“Can you run a federation where the Federating units cannot control their domestic security. If a
President in violation of our immigration laws and extant treaties governing the movement of persons
in our sub region and continent orders all Africans including Boko Haram recruits to come freely into
our country without screening won’t you be scared that everywhere is now a war front! What about the
12 million children out of school and the over 60 million unemployed youths waiting to vent their
anger on all of us? What of our decapitated judiciary and moribund bar association who sit helplessly
as court orders are refused by government and citizens waste in illegal imprisonment unless Americans

Zulum Releases 70 Hilux Vans For Fighting Insurgency

Borno Governor, Babagana Umara Zulum on Friday released 70 new surveillance vehicles to support
the Nigerian Army, police and volunteers in the civilian JTF and hunters involved in fighting boko

The vehicles were released at the launch of a rapid response squad which held at the Shehu's palace in
Maiduguri. Top officers of the military, police and volunteers were at the venue.

The Governor had released 160 surveillance vehicles between June and September, 2019 also handed
to security agencies and volunteers fighting the insurgents.

Of the latest Hilux vehicles released, Governor Zulum directed that a number be used by hunters and
civilian JTF to patrol Maiduguri - Damboa road. Vehicles painted in military colours were received by
the theatre command of operation lafiya dole. Police and other security agencies were also part of the

The Governor assured citizens of his administration's commitment to security of lives and property.

"I have said a number of times that this administration will not hesitate to take any measure or make
any sacrifice in order to ensure peace and security returns to our state. As the chief security officer of
Borno state, it is my constitutional and moral responsibility to do whatever I possibly can in trying to
secure the lives of citizens and doing that is the whole essence of government in the first place” Zulum

The Governor called on traditional and community leaders to re-dedicate themselves to mobilizing
participation in vigilance and generating local intelligence. He warned that under no condition must
any citizen harbour insurgents and those perpetrating criminal activities.

"We cannot succeed in winning a lasting peace if we do not give maximum support to our security
operatives by giving them information about the identities of culprits and their hideouts. On no account
should we protect or hide anybody with the evil intention of destroying our state. The consequence of
conspiracy is gracious”.

Zulum praised the military, other security establishments and volunteers for their sacrifices in battling
boko haram in Borno.

Theatre commander of operation lafiya, represented by the deputy, Major General M.G. Ali thanked
Zulum for being consistently in support of the military through far reaching interventions.
Before remarks by the commander and the Governor, Commissioner of Justice and Attorney General of
the state, Bar. Kaka Shehu Lawan, whose ministry deals with public rights to security protection, said
the launch was part of multiple approaches being deployed in trying to contain the boko haram.

EFCC Speaks On Arresting Atiku Abubakar

JUST IN!!! EFCC Speaks On Arresting Atiku

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has urged the general public to disregard
report circulating(Not on Igbere TV ) that the commission arrested former Vice-president of Nigeria,
Atiku Abubakar.

The commission in a statement made available to Igbere TV said its attention has been drawn to an
online report which claimed that the Commission on Thursday, January 9, 2020 arraigned former Vice
President Atiku Abubakar before Justice Mojisola Dada of the Special Offences Court, Ikeja, Lagos for
an alleged fraud of N75.3biilion and wishes to state categorically that nothing of such took place.

The Commission also wishes to state that no statement or press release emanated from the
spokesperson of the Commission, Mr Wilson Uwujaren to that effect as claimed in the report, nor was
there any involvement of any sort from the Commission’s prosecutor, Joy Amahian in the imaginary
arraignment. It remains imagination of the author of the fake news.

The Commission, therefore, urges the general public to disregard the fake news as handiwork of
mischief makers.

Amotekun: OPC Slams Northern Youths For Standing Against

Security Outfit
The Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) sends a strong warning to the Northern Youths Council of Nigeria
(NYCN) over the latter's comment on 'Amotekun' - OPC's coordinator in Lagos, Alhaji Mutairu
Adesina, asks the NYCN where it was when herdsmen attacked the south western part of Nigeria - The
OPC argues that Amotekun is not different from Hisbah in some parts of the north The Oodua Peoples
Congress (OPC) has warned the Northern Youths Council of Nigeria (NYCN) against continued
comments considered as inciting and relating to the newly launched Amotekun, south west's security

OPC's coordinator in Lagos, Alhaji Mutairu Adesina, said the comment credited to the leadership of the
NYCN against Amotekun is capable of causing tension. Alhaji Isah Abubakar, NYCN's national
president, had kicked against the establishment of the security body moments after it was launched in
Oyo state. Reacting, Adesina described Abubakar's comment as saddening.

He added: "It shows that the group is one of the sponsors of this suspected herdsmen that killed
our people and destroyed our farms" "Where was Alhaji Isah Abubakar of NYCN when gunmen
and suspected herdsmen invaded our farms and communities, kidnapped and killed our people in
the southwest? Where was he?" Adesina, who boasted that the OPC had never been found
wanting since inception in 1994 and despite its spread across 30 states of federation, wondered
why Abubakar would refer to the body as militant.

"However, I am happy that we are beginning to see them, the enemies of our nation, and region. "It
only shows that the northern groups are afraid of us because they know for sure that OPC is the
only group that can curtail their nefarious activities. "The issue of security is sensitive because it is
between life and death and now that our governors have risen to the occasion with the launch of
Amotekun, why is this group crying over spilt milk?"

He queried. Adesina argued that Amotekun is not a new idea when compared with the Hisbah in Kano
and Civilian-Joint Task Force (C-JTF) that complements the efforts of the police and military in Borno,
eight states in middle belt and other north east states.

He said over 200 people had been recorded dead in the south west in the last four years while
over 400 people have also been kidnapped and released after paying a ransom. Adesina
commended the governors, the national coordinator of the OPC and other stakeholders for the
establishment of Amotekun. earlier reported that Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, at the launch of the security outfit,
explained the rationale behind its establishment. Fayemi, who governs Ekiti and chairs a forum of
Nigerian governors, said Amotekun, which is also called the Western Nigeria Security Network
(WNSN), is not a form of the regional police.

Extortion: Shehu Sani Has A Case To Answer, Says EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has said the embattled former lawmaker, Senator
Shehu Sani, has a case to answer for the alleged involvement in extortion and name-dropping.

The commission stated that Sani was being detained for allegedly obtaining $25,000 from an auto
dealer, Alhaji Sani Dauda, in order to shield him from criminal investigations by the anti-graft agency.

Acting EFCC spokesman, Tony Orilade, explained in a statement in Abuja on Friday, that Sani is
currently facing a criminal investigation, and is being detained “in a very conducive environment based
on a valid court order.”

The commission dismissed insinuations that Sani was held for being a critic of the President, Major
General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), stressing that those defending the ex-lawmaker were not
conversant with his alleged crime.

It stated, “Invariably, claims in some quarters of the breach of his fundamental human rights are merely
in the imagination of the purveyors of such claims.

“Let it be stated clearly that Senator Shehu Sani has questions to answer as regards his alleged
involvement in name-dropping, and particularly that he obtained $25,000 from Alhaji Sani Dauda, the
ASD Motors boss, in order to help shield him from investigations being carried out by the EFCC.”

The anti-graft agency took a swipe at those defending Sani, saying it was unfortunate that they were
supporting evil for pecuniary gains.

It said, “For certain people to brazenly come out to defend a suspect who is being probed for a serious
offence as the one committed by Sani shows that they are not really conversant with his offence.

“It is unfortunate that certain people are ready to do anything to support evil for pecuniary gains.”

Minimum Wage: Ebonyi Govt merely added N1000 to our salary

Civil servants in Ebonyi State, on Friday expressed mixed feeling over the payment of N30,000
minimum wage to them by the state government.

The governor, Chief David Umahi had last year December, 2019, during an EXCO meeting promised
that workers in Ebonyi State will start receiving the new minimum wage, effective from January 1st,

He had equally directed the State Accountant General and the 13 Chairmen of LGAs to seek for
overdraft and ensure the payment of the said minimum wage to workers in local government areas
effective from January 10 to enable them start the new year with ease.

But some civil servants, who spoke to DAILY POST in Abakaliki, capital of Ebonyi state, lamented
that the said payment was just a little adjustment in salary of workers and not minimum wage.

According to one of them “They said it is a minimum wage but it is not. It is just a little increment.

“We are not happy with the amount. If they had told us that it was an increment, it would have been
better. Indeed, they said it is minimum wage but it is a disappointment on the workers.”

Another civil servant, who also spoke, said “I am in level 8, what they added to my salary is only
N1000. I am not happy with the situation.”

Another civil servant, who is a teacher said: “I can tell you, the whole money added to the salaries of
civil servants in the state may not be up to N2 million. Why should they say that they are paying
minimum wage, when it is obvious that they are not, but an increment?” He stressed.

Meanwhile, the governor of the Ebonyi state, Chief David Umahi, according to investigation, is the
first governor to pay minimum wage in the south east geopolitical zone.

The state government while briefing journalists on Friday through the State Commissioner for
Information and State Orientation, Barr Orji Uchenna Orji said that the payment of the Minimum Wage
was in consonance with the agreement reached by the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC and the State

According to him, the payment of the Minimum Wage to workers was in line with the Governor’s
promise of improving the welfare and standard of living of workers at all levels.

The Commissioner further noted that apart from the payment of the National Minimum Wage, which
commenced today (yesterday), all public office holders have so far received their salaries.

“I wish to use this medium to inform the general public of the payment of Minimum wage by the State
government. The government has again kept it’s promise of paying minimum wage in the country.
Ebonyi is the first to pay minimum wage in the Southeast geopolitical zone.

“The governor has not renege in his responsibility. The government negotiated with NLC and
consensus was reached. He has paid the 13 LGA and State workers. In addition to the 13 month, he
paid the minimum wage. He has the welfare of workers at heart. It will spur them to work better. He is
taking the lead.” He said.

Orji also added that the State government had begun the enumeration of all unemployed Ebonyi
citizens in order to make them self reliant.

Buhari Unveils $732 Million Broadband Project To Boost

Economy - Bloomberg
Buhari Invests $732 Million on Broadband

- Public-private partnership targets 65% penetration by 2024

- Program is part of government’s strategy to diversify economy

Nigeria plans to invest 265 billion naira ($732 million) in broadband infrastructure over the next four
years as the government sets its sights on nationwide coverage and to boost an economy recovering
from a 2016 contraction.

The government will provide 65 billion naira for the project and six private infrastructure companies
the balance under a public-private partnership, according to Umar Danbatta, the chief executive officer
of the Nigerian Communications Commission.

The government of Africa’s biggest producer of crude oil wants to increase connectivity for the nation’s
almost 200 million people as part of a drive to boost business and help diversify the economy away
from the commodity.

The West African nation plans to roll out an additional 30,000 kilometers (19,000 miles) of fiber across
its 774 local governments, taking the total to 71,000 kilometers by 2024, Danbatta said in a telephone
interview from the nation’s capital, Abuja. The penetration rate could rise to 65% from 38%, he said.

The commission plans to start the project this year after obtaining government approval. Danbatta said.
“There will be data everywhere in the country and it will be cheap.”

Atiku Abubakar Accused Of Contract Breach, Unpaid Salaries

By Workers
The workers, who claimed they are owed several months of salaries, revealed that they left Nigeria
hapless and with only promissory notes instead of monies owed them by Gotel.

Atiku Abubakar and John Chiahemen tour the Gotel Communications compound in Yola, Adamawa.
Members of the international team are present.

A handful of international broadcast journalists drawn from CNN, NPR, CNBC and other reputable
networks have accused Nigeria's former Vice President and owner of Gotel Africa Media Limited,
Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, of breaching a one year contract they had with the company as consultants.

The workers, who claimed they are owed several months of salaries, revealed that they left Nigeria
hapless and with only promissory notes instead of monies owed them by Gotel.

The affected persons include David Guinan, Ebong Udoma, William Chu, Devon Petley, Susie Iliyan,
Teddy Vuong, Hannington Osodo, Kostas Sergiadis and Richard Spiropoulos.

They were all hired between late 2014 and early 2015 by Atiku's company based in Yola, Adamawa

According to the team, their mission was to launch an international news channel based in Abuja for
Atiku but barely 10 months after they arrived Nigeria, they were forced to leave with major outstanding
salaries despite having valid work visas issued by the Nigerian Government.

Narrating his sad ordeal, Chu revealed that all the promises made to them by Atiku's company were
never fulfilled.

He said, “Before I left New York, John Chiahemen and Gary Alfonso gave me the rundown of what I'd
be doing when I arrived.
“I was told that I'd be based in Abuja for a year. I was told that the project was fully funded, to the tune
of several millions of United States dollars.

“I was told that we had a facility ready to build out and funds budgeted for equipment. None of this
was true.”

Guinan, who was hired in 2014 to act as Gotel’s Director of Television and Digital Media, said, “I was
told to bring my family, my wife and our baby girl, who wasn’t even two years old at the time.

“My contract promised a three-bedroom house in Abuja and a driver. From the moment we landed
almost nothing promised was delivered.

“We were immediately placed in substandard accommodations, a motel and unfriendly staff.”

In his remarks, Osodo from Kenya and former producer with Reuters, said, “I lost most of my
belongings due to indebtedness.

“My house was repossessed by the bank because of delayed payments by Gotel.

“By the way, I couldn’t make the payments for months because I had banked on the contract I signed
that bore the name and bond of Abubakar Atiku.”

Efforts by the affected persons to get their salaries via serial of letters through their lawyers to Gotel
and Atiku have yielded no results.

Atiku’s spokesperson, Paul Ibe, didn't respond to calls and text messages to his mobile telephone line
by SaharaReporters over the matter.

Hanan Buhari Arrives Bauchi For A Photoshoot In A

Presidential Jet
Anger as Buhari’s daughter arrives Bauchi in presidential jet for ‘Special Durbar’ photoshoot

Hanan Buhari, the youngest daughter of President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday visited Bauchi on
a presidential jet to attend a special durbar ceremony organized in her honour by the Emir of Bauchi,
Rilwanu Adamu, at his palace.

Hanan Buhari, the youngest daughter of President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday visited Bauchi on
a presidential jet to attend a special durbar ceremony organized in her honour by the Emir of Bauchi,
Rilwanu Adamu, at his palace on Wednesday January 9, 2020

Hanan Buhari, the youngest daughter of President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday visited Bauchi on
a presidential jet to attend a special durbar ceremony organized in her honour by the Emir of Bauchi,
Rilwanu Adamu, at his palace.

Miss Buhari’s visit on presidential jet has caused social media storm, with most people condemning the
use of the Nigerian Airforce aircraft for “personal use”.

DAILY NIGERIAN reports that Miss Buhari is a certified creative photographer who recently bagged a
first-class degree in Photography from a London University.

The photography aficionado arrived at Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa International Airport, Bauchi on
Thursday, and was received by the First Lady of Bauchi State and other government officials.

It was gathered that the durbar was specially organized to avail the president’s daughter of the
opportunity to take photographs of the traditional durbar, Bauchi architecture and other cultural sites in
the state.

As a professional photographer, Miss Buhari is expected to document her experiences in pictorial form
in her gallery.
January 11

Ikoyi, Victoria Island Clean-Up Begins, 36 Vehicles Impounded

The Lagos State Government on Friday commenced the enforcement exercise to clean-up Ikoyi and
Victoria Island and impounded 36 exotic cars as well as trucks from an illegal car mart and mechanic
workshop located on the pedestrian walkway along Murtala Mohammed Drive, formerly Bank Road in

During the enforcement action led by the Chairman, Task Force on Environmental and Special
Offences, CSP Yinka Egbeyemi, four persons were also arrested and promptly arraigned before a
mobile court.

The individuals were arrested for various reasons including the conversion of a walkway on Bank Road
into a beer parlour as well as transforming a pedestrian route into a car mart with 36 fairly-used
vehicles displayed for sale.

The team also visited Adekunle Lawal (formerly McGregor Road) and Olawale Daudu Road (formerly
Lord Rumens) to dismantle a makeshift Car Wash opposite Abraham’s Court, towing away four
wrongly parked vehicles.

After arraignment, a culprit, Mr. Olowu Oladipupo was charged for converting the walkway into a beer
parlour and fined N50,000 while all the cartons of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks displayed were

On the other hand, three other persons - Lateef Olatunde, Damilare Taiwo and Lukman Jatto - who
converted the walkway into a Car Lot were fined on each of the counts after pleading guilty while the
36 vehicles were impounded by the court.
Speaking with newsmen at the end of day one of the exercise, CSP Egbeyemi advised other owners of
the illegal structures to remove them immediately, warning that today’s exercise was just a tip of the

He affirmed that the Committee will actualise its mandate to rid Ikoyi and Victoria Island of all illegal
structures and all environmental nuisance, hinting that the cleanup exercise would span the next six
months with the support of other agencies such as KAI, Neighbourhood Safety Corps and LAWMA.

“As the exercise continues, commercial motorcycle riders plying restricted routes and commercial
vehicles driving against traffic as well as those picking passengers on the main roads would also be
apprehended and prosecuted”, Egbeyemi said.

The Task Force Chairman added that “night club owners and karaoke operators who encourage their
customers to park their cars on main roads and make life difficult for residents to gain free access to
their homes would also not go unpunished during this cleanup exercise”.

Recall that the Special Committee had earlier embarked on several awareness campaigns through the
electronic, print and social media to sensitise residents, owners of illegal structures on setbacks,
walkways, drainage alignments, roadside mechanics and squatters in the affected areas as well as the
general public on the need for compliance, maintaining that anyone caught will be punished in
accordance with the environmental laws of the State.

Amotekun: Lagos, Osun, Ekiti Recruit 1,320 Militiamen. "They

Can Use Guns"
Operation Amotekun: Lagos, Osun, Ekiti to recruit 1,320 militiamen

– as police map out 52 deadly black spots in Yorubaland

– ACF, PANDEF, Ohanaeze, Middle Belt, MASSOB back security outfit
– North will emulate South-West govs –Lalong
– Herdsmen won’t accept injustice from operatives –Miyetti Allah

The new security outfit geared towards tackling kidnapping and criminal activities in the South-West,
Operation Amotekun, gained momentum on Friday as Lagos, Osun and Ekiti state governments
announced they would recruit about 1,320 militiamen for the purpose.

The announcement came barely two days after South-West governors led by Governor Rotimi
Akeredolu of Ondo State inaugurated the outfit, also called Western Nigeria Security Network.

The development came just as the police have identified about 52 deadly blackspots they would focus
on in collaboration with the militiamen.

The development came amid the announcement by some social-political groups across the country
endorsing the outfit, saying it would help tackle insecurity in the region.

The groups are the Arewa Consultative Forum, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Ijaw Youth Congress, Pan Nigeria
Delta Forum, Middle Belt Forum and Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra

Announcing their plans to recruit militiamen from the Oodua Peoples Congress, Agbekoya, Vigilantes
and hunters, Lagos, Osun and Ekiti said the recruitment would be handled by each state in
collaboration with the security agencies.

The Chief Press Secretary to Osun State Governor, Ismail Omipidan, said the state planned to recruit
700 locals that would work with the conventional security outfits in the state.

Omipidan also said all security agencies were involved in the recruitment, which according to him, was
going on smoothly.

He added that the role of the militiamen would be restricted to intelligence gathering.

Herdsmen won’t accept injustice from Amotekun, Miyetti Allah warns

He said, “The success of the Civilian JTF initiative in the fight against insurgency has encouraged us to
engage the locals primarily in the area of intelligence gathering.

“We are recruiting 700 locals and all security agencies are involved in the recruitment process. It is
ongoing and I believe it will be completed soon.”

A top official of the state close to the Operation Amotekun said the state would inaugurate its own
chapter of the outfit before the end of the month.

He said, “ Osun will use the Olajokun Park in Gbongan as their operational base. We are still perfecting
the operational procedures and we should complete that next week.

“What we want to do now is to have men on patrol to know the areas very well. The people we will
recruit will gather intelligence and send it to the operational base in Gbogan.

“They will not arrest anyone, they will only gather information. We will recruit about 10 people each
through the local government areas and the local council development areas.

“These people understand the terrain, they understand the culture, beliefs and other things that can
make them function better. It will be successful.”

Also, the Special Adviser on Security to Ekiti State Governor, Brig Gen Ebenezar Ogundana (retd),
said on Friday that Operation Amotekun would fully take off as soon.

Ogundana said the states were awaiting the operational procedure which would define the mandate of
the operators.

The security adviser said, “It will take off as soon as possible. The only thing we are waiting for is the
standing operational procedure that is going to define our mandate so that we don’t send people out and
something happened that we will not be able to explain. When we get the document, we will read it to
them and we begin operation.”

Ogundana said they would not do any recruitment in Ekiti because “we have people we are going to

He added, “We are using members of the Vigilante Group of Nigeria, it is an institution that is already
on the ground. The Oodua Peoples Congress is a regional organisation that is fully on the ground that is
registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission. The hunters have a national association registered
with the CAC too.

“These are the people we will use and we have them in Ekiti, we have them in every local government.
We have contacted the local government and they will forward their lists to us. The kabiyesis are the
ones coordinating the hunters and the head of the vigilante group has the list. That is what we are

“In Ekiti, we are looking at between 400 and 500 people for a start.”

Ogundana said the vigilantes, hunters and OPC members to be recruited would be trained to enhance
results for the outfit.

He said, “The roles they are going to play is in terms of gathering information which will be localised
and they will be located in their own atreas.”

Also, the Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, on Friday said
the state had donated 20 vehicles and would recruit 120 people to support Operation Amotekun.

Omotoso, who spoke with one of our correspondents, said although the state already had its local
Neighbourhood Watch similar to Operation Amotekun, it would continue to support any thing that
would promote peace in the region.

He said, “Lagos has donated 20 vehicles and in terms of personnel, we are going to contribute no fewer
than 120. We also have a template on the same security. We have been running Neighbourhood Watch
and it is working for us. But it does not mean that if there is any regional idea we would not
support.That is why we have contributed vehicles in terms of equipment and 120 personnel in addition
to other things that we are doing.”

The commissioner said Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu was not able to attend the inauguration of the
outfit on Thursday because he already had a scheduled programme for that day.

ACF, PANDEF, Ohanaeze, Middle Belt, others back security outfit

Meanwhile, the Arewa Consultative Forum, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Ijaw Youth Congress, Pan Nigeria Delta
Forum, MASSOB and Middle Belt Forum, and the National Association of Nigerian Students on
Friday said they were happy with the South-West security initiative.

The President, Ohanaeze, John Nwodo, who described it as laudable, said, “Nobody needs to tell any
Nigerian today that your security is in your own hands.”
He said, “Can you run a federation where the federating units cannot control their domestic security?”

Also, the Secretary General of the Arewa Consultative Forum, Mr Anthony Sani, said Operation
Amotekun would help tackle the security challenges facing the region.

This was contrary to assertion from some youths in the region that the formation of the security outfit
was a “military wing” of the Oodua Peoples Congress.

The ACF chief said there was nothing wrong with the South-West governors coming together to
proffers solution to the security issues in their region.

Sani said, “There is no harm in coming together against collective challenges for common good.

“Similarly, it is in the place of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice to guide and protect the
observance of the constitution. If the South-West goes against the constitution there is a way to caution

The leader of the youth wing of the Pan Niger Delta Forum, Mr Famous Daunemigha, said, “There is
nothing wrong with what the South-West has done if they did it within the confines of the law.”

MASSOB leader, Uchenna Madu, said, “We salute the courageous spirit of the Yoruba governors and
their political, traditional, religious and opinion leaders in unity.”

IYC President, Mr Eric Omare, called on other regions like the South-East and South-South to emulate
the South-West and establish their own security outfits to remain alive.

The MBF President, Dr Bitrus Pogu, said the only way to defend the country was for every community
to set up their own security arrangements, noting that the security forces had failed to defend the

Amotekun can use guns like hunters, says ex-police commissioner

A former Lagos State Police Commissioner, Fatai Owoseni, said Operation Amotekun officials would
be allowed to carry Dane guns just like the way hunters are allowed to do.

Owoseni, who is the Special Adviser to the Oyo State Governor on Security, said this during an
interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Friday.

When asked if the Operation Amotekun men would be allowed to use Dane guns, he said, “(Yes) if it is
necessary for them to use in some instances, because hunters do carry their Dane guns and go with their
dogs. These are their tools and it is not illegal.”
He, however, explained that the outfit would not run a detention facility but would purely be an
intelligence gathering group.

When asked if they would be allowed to make arrests, the retired CP said, “The power they have to
make arrest is the same power you have. Every citizen has the power of arrest. When you arrest, you
take to the police station. That is the same power. They are not going to operate a detention facility. It is
non-state actors participating in security.”

North will emulate South-West govs –Lalong

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum, Mr Simon Lalong, has said the North
will soon launch its own outfit to combat the “peculiar” security challenges facing the region.

Lalong, who is the Governor of Plateau State, spoke in Abuja shortly after meeting with the President,
Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), at the Presidential Villa. He, however, clarified that the
outfit would complement the work of the police and other security agencies.

He visited Buhari to brief him on the renewed killings in Mangu Local Government Area of his state on
Thursday, where at least 13 people were officially confirmed dead.

The governor was reacting to a question on the decision to launch Operation Amotekun to confront
insecurity in the South-West.

Speaking with State House Correspondents, Lalong said, “I am the Chairman of Northern Governors’
Forum. We took a decision sometime last year. The situation in the South may not be the same with the
North, but in the North we are also looking at some ways that will also address these issues. So, we
have gone ahead to set up committees, those committees have done their work and we are going to
meet to address these issues once and for all.

“Two, we have also agreed to key into the community policing idea and at the level of the committee
we have already gone far. Each state is already neck-deep in community policing.”

On the latest killings in Plateau, he said the problem was caused by cattle rustlers.

Herdsmen won’t accept injustice from Amotekun, Miyetti Allah warns

Herdsmen under the umbrella of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore have expressed scepticism over the
inauguration of Operation Amotekun.

Miyetti Allah, however, warned that it would not condone acts of injustice meted out to any of its
members by the officials of the outfit or any other vigilance group.
The National Secretary of the group, Alhassan Saleh, said this on Friday during an interview with
Saturday PUNCH.

Saleh said, “We have no problem with them as long as they will not target our herders. We have our
own defence mechanisms. We fight injustice anywhere, not only in Nigeria. So, if they end up meting
out injustice to us, we will fight back. That is the truth but we are law-abiding.

“And as herders, we must herd our cows until there is an alternative provided for us. If they give us
alternative, we will go there and if they say they don’t want us, those that want to leave, will leave but
what we will not sanction is anybody taking the law into their own hands because we have a history of
fighting injustice anywhere there is oppression.”

He stated that Miyetti Allah was not in support of cows straying into people’s farms but movement as
guaranteed by the constitution must be respected.

Saleh recalled that herdsmen suffered acts of injustice when the Benue State Government set up the
livestock guard which ended up extorting money from innocent herders.

The secretary said Operation Amotekun could be used by politicians to perpetuate themselves in power
by election rigging.

Saleh argued that South-West governors should have remained true to their call for state police rather
than opt for the Operation Amotekun option.

He stated, “When you empower groups and give them arms, the possibility is that others will follow
suit and the central government will begin losing its power. Definitely, our politicians will begin to
abuse these outfits.

“When it is election time, sitting governors will use the outfits to their advantage. The first casualties of
such malfeasance will be the people of that state, because when they want to impose themselves, they
use these people because they are already trained and armed just like in Benue State.

“At the end, the livestock guards ended up killing people. It is on record because people have been tried
and jailed. So, it is not the way forward. If they cannot push the debate for state police, they should not
do such half measures.”

Police identify 52 blackspots

According to police officials in Ekiti State, there are blackspots Operation ‘Amotekun’ need to cover in
a bid to intensify security in Ekiti State.

These are: Iyemero Ekiti axis, area between Ayede Ekiti and Isan Ekiti, Ilejemeje council area, Iwaraja
– Efon Alaaye, link road between Osun and Ekiti states, and Erio Ekiti – Efon Alaaye Road.

In Ondo State, police officials identified blackspots as Akunnu-Auga Road, Sobe along Benin-Owo
Expressway, Oba Akoko along Owo-Ikare Road, Benin-Ore Expressway, Ore-Shagamu Expressway,
Ipele-Ido Ani-Isua Road and Akure-Ado road.

The Public Relations Officer, Femi Joseph, said the command was ready to work as soon as the
operation started. He did not mention the blackspots.

“On the Operation Amotekun, we are ready to work with the state governments of the South-West,
once the operation begins. We too are ready to work with it, we will focus more on the black spots and
I believe it will be a successful exercise,” Joseph declared.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Abimbola Oyeyemi said blackspots had become
notorious for various criminal activities such as kidnapping and robbery in the state.

He listed them as Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta Road, Fidiwo, Onigarri, Kara Long
Bridge, Ogbere J4 ,Odogbolu Junction and Owode-Ilaro Road.

“We have some places we marked as vulnerable points like the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway especially
along Fidiwo, Onigari, then towards Lagos, he added.

Police officials in Oyo State said there were over 20 black spots in the state. These, they said, were
scattered around Ijebu Ode axis, Ogbomoso-Oyo axis, Oke Ogun axis and Oyo-Ogun border. They said
some were also located in Moniya, Iseyin and Ogbomoso

Others in Ibadan are located in Akobo, Born Photo area, Beere, Iwo Road, Oojo, Gate and General Gas.

Officials in Osun State Identified over 15 black spots located around Ife-Ibadan Expressway and
Ilesha-Akure Expressway.

Others are located in areas around Ikire, Ikoyi, Iwaraja, Akure-Ilesha Road, Ife-Ibadan Expressway
among others.

According to police officials in Ekiti State, there are black spots Operation ‘Amotekun’ need to cover
in a bid to intensify security in Ekiti State.

These are: Iyemero Ekiti axis, area between Ayede Ekiti and Isan Ekiti, Ilejemeje council area, Iwaraja
– Efon Alaaye, link road between Osun and Ekiti states, and Erio Ekiti – Efon Alaaye Road.

However, the Commissioner of Police in Ekiti State, Mr Asuquo Amba, believes security strategies and
mode of operations should not be revealed to public in order to achieve the goals.
In Ondo State, police officials identified black spots as Akunnu-Auga Road, Sobe along Benin-Owo
Expressway, Oba Akoko along Owo-Ikare Road, Benin-Ore Expressway, Ore-Shagamu Expressway,
Ipele-Ido Ani-Isua Road and Akure-Ado road.

The Public Relations Officer, Femi Joseph, said the command was ready to work as soon as the
operation started. He did not mention the black spots.

“On the Operation Amotekun, we are ready to work with the state governments of the South-West,
once the operation begins. We too are ready to work with it, we will focus more on the black spots and
I believe it will be a successful exercise,” Joseph declared.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Abimbola Oyeyemi said black spots had become
notorious for various criminal activities such as kidnapping and robbery in the state.

He listed them as Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta Road, Fidiwo, Onigarri, Kara Long
Bridge, Ogbere J4 ,Odogbolu Junction and Owode-Ilaro Road.

“We have some places we marked as vulnerable points like the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway especially
along Fidiwo, Onigari, then towards Lagos, he added.

Police officials in Oyo State said there were over 20 black spots in the state. These, they said, were
scattered around Ijebu Ode axis, Ogbomoso-Oyo axis, Oke Ogun axis and Oyo-Ogun border. They said
some were also located in Moniya, Iseyin and Ogbomoso

Others in Ibadan are located in Akobo, Born Photo area, Beere, Iwo Road, Oojo, Gate and General Gas.

Officials in Osun State Identified over 15 black spots located around Ife-Ibadan Expressway and
Ilesha-Akure Expressway.

Others are located in areas around Ikire, Ikoyi, Iwaraja, Akure-Ilesha Road, Ife-Ibadan Expressway
among others.

FG Warns Kukah Not To Divide Nigeria

The Federal Government on Friday warned the Catholic Archbishop of Sokoto Diocese , Rev Fr
Matthew Kukah, against indulging in “ actions that are capable of dividing the country along religious
lines ” .

The regime , however , advised him to use his “ high ecclesiastical office to work for religious harmony
in Nigeria” .

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, gave the warning in a statement by
his Special Assistant , Segun Adeyemi .

He was reacting to a statement credited to Kukah , in which he compared the Federal Government with
Boko Haram .

The government said it was “ not only disingenuous , but also a great disservice to the men and women
in uniform who are daily battling the Boko Haram and ISWAP terrorists to keep all Nigerians safe ” .

According to Mohammed , the position of the retired Major General Muhammadu Buhari regime is that
the terrorists do not subscribe to any religion , irrespective of their pretence.

He said they were being driven by “ their primitive propensity to kill mindlessly and destroy without
restrain , irrespective of their victims’ creed, gender or tribe” .
He added, ‘’To now attribute the actions of these mad bunch to an orchestrated and systematic plan to
elevate one religion over the other or decimate adherents of a particular religion is not only unfortunate
but divisive , incendiary and insensitive. ”
The minister appealed to religious leaders to be “ more circumspect in their comments, especially on
religious issues , because of the deeply emotive nature of religion and the tendency for it to be
exploited for political gains by naysayers ” .

FG Withdraws $2bn Tax Claim Against MTN

MTN Nigeria yesterday disclosed its legal counsel has received a letter dated January 8, 2020 from the
Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice (AGF) formally withdrawing his demand
for N242,244,452,215.97 and USD$1, 283,610,357.86 alleged revenue indebtedness.

According to the company in a press statement sent to Saturday Sun and signed by Uto Ukpanah, MTN
Company Secretary , the letter confirmed that following careful review and due consultation with
relevant statutory agencies, the AGF has decided to refer the matter to the Federal Inland Revenue
Service (FIRS) and Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) with a view to resolving contentious issues. MTN
consequently said it will follow due court process to withdraw its legal action against the AGF and
engage with the FIRS and NCS on the issues adding that MTN remains committed to conducting its
business in accordance with applicable laws in Nigeria.

Expressing satisfaction at the development, MTN Nigeria CEO, Ferdi Moolman said “we are very
pleased with the decision of the AGF and we commend him for his wisdom. We maintain our
dedication to building and maintaining cordial relationships with all regulatory authorities in Nigeria
and remain fully committed to meeting our fiscal responsibilities and contributing to the social and
economic development of Nigeria.”

Recall that, the Attorney General Abubakar Malami had alleged that MTN owed taxes relating to the
import of equipment and payments to foreign suppliers from 2007 to 2017.
MTN, which began operation in Nigeria in 2001, is the country’s largest operator with some 60 million

The company last year settled a $1.5 billion fine levelled by the NCC for failing to disconnect
unregistered subscribers.

Gombe Shutdown Bread Bakery Over Torture Of 14-year-old

Gov. Inuwa Yahaya condemns torture of boy by a bakery operator over alleged bread theft

...says perpetrators must face full wrath of the law

Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe state has described as dehumanising and unjustifiable,
the reported torture of a 14 year old boy inside a bread oven for allegedly stealing bread at a bakery in
Bajoga, Funakaye Local Government area of the State.

The Governor said he received the report of the incident with much sadness, saying it is unacceptable
for anyone to inflict such a high degree of pain on a fellow human being for whatever reason.

The manager of the bakery, who was said to have put the boy inside a hot bread oven and tortured him
has since been arrested by the police, arraigned before a magistrate court and has been remanded in
prison custody while the bakery has been shut down by the state Government.

Governor Yahaya ordered relevant state agencies to follow up the matter and ensure that the perpetrator
of the dastardly act faces the full wrath of the law to serve as deterrent.

The boy is currently receiving treatment at a medical facility in Gombe.

While disclosing that the state would foot all the hospital bills, Governor Yahaya assured that his
administration will continue to protect the lives of all citizens of the state and ensure that their rights
are upheld at all times.

He also charged the people of the state to always report criminal activities to the Police rather than take
the law into their hands.

Ismaila Uba Misilli

Senior Special Assistant
( Media and Publicity)
Ben Kalu Visits Bola Tinubu
National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Friday said Nigeria
remains proud of Hon. Benjamin Kalu, spokesman of the House of Representatives.

Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos state, stated this when he received Kalu representing Bende
Federal Constituency on a courtesy visit to his Lagos home.

Igbere TV gathered that the Abia born federal lawmaker was in Lagos to thank the APC national leader
for the role he played during his election last year 2019.

Our correspondent reports that Kalu specially thanked Tinubu over the role he played on his
appointment as Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs.

Hon. Kalu specifically thanked "Jagaban" for supporting his nomination as member representing
Southeast House of Representative members’ in the National Executive Council (NEC), the top
decision-making body of the APC.

The meeting afforded Hon. Benjamin Kalu, popularly known as The Oracle of the House, the
opportunity to discuss other pressing issues bothering members of the party in the state and most
especially his constituency.

Speaking at the meeting, the APC national leader thanked Hon. Kalu for all he has been doing as Reps
spokesman, while hailing his special bond with the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila.

He said, “We thank the Almighty God for using us to assist in one way or the other, we are a family and
therefore owe it to one another from time to time.

“We are proud of you for raising the bar for our party APC in a PDP dominated state of Abia State. It is
not easy for an opposition party in any state to win elections the way you did.

“It shows one thing; the people are with you and you are with the people. Keep it up for at the end only
the people matter in politics; therefore, always put them first the way you are doing and don’t relent.

“Make the party prouder with your representation. We will always be around to support good young
leaders like you”, Bola Tinubu added.

You Can't Have Biafra And Presidency At The Same Time, ACF
Spokesman Tells Igbo
Anthony Sani, secretary-general of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), says the Igbo community cannot
pursue their agitation for Biafra and presidency at the same time.
Sani said this while reacting to an articleon the advice of Isa Funtua, an associate of President
Muhammadu Buhari, gave to the south-east on its aspiration for the number one seat in the land.

Funtua had asked the Igbo to review their ways of playing politics in order to get the presidency. This
had generated different reactions.

But Sani said Nigerians would be too scared to entrust the Igbo with the presidency in 2023 if “they are
seen to also be agitating for secession from the federation”.

He described the Igbo as suffering from “superiority and inferiority complexes”, accusing them of
playing both victim and also having a sense of entitlement.

“When I read a letter by one Frederick Nwabufo on page 18 of The Nation newspaper under the
caption “Isa Funtua, Igbo and 2023 presidency” in which the author berated Isa Funtua of being an
arrogant man who suffers from a sense of entitlement, I wonder the wisdom,” Sani said.

“As far as I am concerned, it is Igbo who is obsessed with a sense of entitlement by their insistence that
it is their turn to produce the president in a country which boasts of over 250 ethnic nationalities. Igbos
suffer from both superiority and inferiority complexes.

“At one point, they tout their superiority by claiming to be over and above any other nationality in
Nigeria because they are better at the use of their superior commercial acumen for trade.

“At another, they play the victim by crying of marginalization the most. Power in a multi-party
democracy is never secured through threats and intimidation, nor is it obtained by jeremiads out of pity.

“This is because democracy is a contest of ideas and reason and is never a bullfight.

“Igbos cannot agitate for separation and hanker for president by still expecting the country would not
be scared of voting them for the presidency.

“Igbos may wish to recall that Senator McCain lost the elections because he had [Mrs Palin] who was
governor of the state of Alaska. This was also because her husband was accused of attending a meeting
of separatists who wish the state of Alaska to leave [the] USA and join Russia.

“I do not see how somebody from Scotland, Catalan, Quebec, Aceh or Xinjiang could dream of being
voted president of their countries. Reason: Such a person would most likely play Gorbachev.

“So when Isa Funtua says Igbo should belong, he meant “belong to where the majority [is]”. That is to
say, Igbo must develop their winning game plan by reaching out to build bridges and break barriers.
“The North does not comprise the caliphate alone but is very diverse. In fact, the caliphate today is not
ruled by the ruling party.”

Amotekun: IPOB Commends South-West Governors, Blasts

Ohanaeze, Others
The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, on Saturday commended Southwest governors for establishing
a security outfit, South West Security Network also known as Operation Amotekun.

IPOB said the establishment of Amotekun was a dogged and courageous move to protect people of the
South West.

Recall that six governors of the region had on Thursday launched the Operation Amotekun in Ibadan,
the Oyo State capital.

However, a statement by IPOB’s spokesperson, Emma Powerful reads: “We the global family of the
Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) ably led by our great and indomitable leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu
commend South-West governors, elders, stakeholders and politicians for their doggedness and courage
to protect their people and their region from the evil hands of Fulani terrorists herdsmen and Nigeria
government jihadi soldiers- the systematic strategy and effort of the ruling Fulani cabal to continually
provide financial and logistical support to Fulani terrorists and Islamic extremists in military and police
uniforms to rampage and kill innocent citizens at will.

“This is not the first time in recent weeks that our leader’s position and approach has been vindicated
by events and utterances from other ethnic groups within Nigeria. The inescapable truth remains that
Bishop Kukah’s commendable utterances about the Jihadi intent of the present regime in Nigeria and
formation of a Yoruba vigilante by OPC are all lines of reasoning and event consistently canvassed and
championed by IPOB in the past. The fact remains that Nigeria as presently constituted is the greatest
threat to life and peace.

“The Yoruba decision and effort to launch Operation Amotekun security outfit just like our leader
launched BSS in 2017 is most commendable.

“What we find horribly appalling however is that those who were at the forefront of misrepresenting
and condemning our leader for having the vision and foresightedness to challenge Fulani terrorism in
Nigeria are today praise-singing the introduction of Amotekun.

“Even the shamelessly treacherous Ohaneze Ndigbo and South-East Governors Forum that actively
connived with their Fulani masters to launch a deadly military invasion of Biafraland on the back of the
launch of BSS are today openly praising Yoruba leaders for backing OPC’s Amotekun project when
they themselves heartlessly sold out IPOB for a pot of porridge.
“Notwithstanding the barefaced envy and jealousy directed towards IPOB by some political class and
sections of uninformed talking heads, we IPOB are delighted that we continue to set the pace of radical
thinking and social change within and outside Nigeria.

“IPOB wholeheartedly welcome Amotekun and say good morning to those who out of ignorance, poor
sense of vision, lack of reasoning and self-consuming jealousy fought against the formation BSS. They
should cover their faces in shame if they have any face left after this.

“It is about time people acknowledged openly and without shame that Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is always

PDP Bars Members From Comments About Party's Strategies

For 2023
A chieftain of the party says the decision was taken to prevent a situation whereby mischief makers will
be setting PDP members against one another.

In a bid to protect its strategies for the 2023 general elections, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has
reportedly directed all members of the party not to comment about strategies for the elections.

A PDP chieftain, who spoke toTheNation said the opposition party took the decision to protect the
strategy it intends to adopt in the zoning of its 2023 presidential ticket.

The source said, “Yes, it is true that we had an enlarged meeting where we took a collective decision
that none of us should comment on our party’s plans, particularly as regards the zoning of our party’s
presidential ticket for 2023.

“That decision was taken to avoid a situation whereby mischief makers and their sponsors will be
setting our prominent chieftains against one another to the detriment of our collective interest as a

“You must have read a recent media report where a harmless interview granted by the chairman of our
Board of Trustees (BoT), Senator Walid Jibrin, was twisted to serve some sinister purposes.”

Alhaji Atiku Abubakar recently advised his party, PDP to focus on rebuilding the party first before
talking about 2023 elections. (Pulse)
Alhaji Atiku Abubakar recently advised his party, PDP to focus on rebuilding the party first before
talking about 2023 elections. (Pulse)

Recently, it was reported that the BoT chairman, Senator Walid Jibrin alleged that some people
threatened him because he refused to endorse Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as PDP’s presidential candidate
for the 2023 general elections.
But Jibrin in a chat with TheNation on Friday, January 10, 2020, said he was shocked by the reports.

He said, “When I met Atiku shortly after that report, he was the first to burst into laughter over the
report and I could not help but to join him in laughing because we both knew that it could not be true.
That was how it all ended.”

While confirming the ‘no comment’ stance of the party on the 2023 general elections, Jibrin said
whoever wants to know about PDP’s plan should contact the National Publicity Secretary of the party.

“If you have questions about our plans for the 2023 presidential election, then contact the National
Publicity Secretary of the PDP. He is the one that speaks for the party,” he said.

When contacted for comment about his party’s zoning and PDP’s preparation for 2023, the National
Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan said, the opposition party has not taken any decision on that.

“I have said it over and over that we have not taken any decision on 2023. I am still saying it again that
the PDP has not taken any position on zoning. We are not even discussing it, ” he said.

Nigerians To Get 18-Hour Electricity Supply Soon – Sale

Mamman, Power Minister
The Minister of Power, Engr. Sale Mamman has assured Nigerians of 18-hour electricity supply daily
once the country hits 7,000 megawatts power generation and distribution.

Mamman stated that the country would hit 7,000MW power generation target by the end of 2020.

However, he explained that sufficient electricity for everyone could be elusive until the nation hits
11,000MW power distribution.

“On the part of government, we are trying to improve through the expansion and I said by the end of
the year, we will get 7,000 megawatts.

“By the time we get that, we may get 18-hour power supply daily and by the time it is 11,000
megawatts, everybody will have sufficient power,” Daily Trust quoted Mamman as saying recently.

Weighing in on the proposed hike in electricity tariffs, the power minister said that it was in honouring
agreements entered into between the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and the
distribution companies during privatisation.

“It’s no longer in the hands of government because 60 per cent is in the hands of the private sector but
we regulate the sector.
We just have to ensure it is standardised like other countries. We are inviting investors to come but if
we don’t do that (get real tariff), they will not come but I believe we cannot go out of the standard,” the
minister said.

Arewa Youth Leader, Shettima Lauds South-west Govs Over

Contrary to insinuation in some quarters, leader of the Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF),
Yerima Shettima, has expressed support for the newly inaugurated security measure in the South-west,
named Amotekun. Shettima said he was an advocate of Community Policing all along

Shettima also distanced himself from a northern group who earlier condemned the South-west’s move.
He urged Nigerians to disregard social media insinuations that he and his group were against the
inauguration of the Amotekun arrangement in the South-west. Reacting through a statement he
personally signed and made available to newsmen in Abuja on Saturday, Shettima said if the federal
government cannot put measures in place to secure lives and property of Nigerians, state or regional
efforts to secure citizens should not be opposed. “I am an advocate of Community Policing. If I now
come out to condemn the inauguration of Amotekun in the South-west, that is counter productive.

So, I commend the initiative and I will encourage the citizens to cooperate with the system to ensure
effective operation which certainly will bring about secured society,” Shettima stated. While urging the
Nothern Governors Forum (NGF) to come up with a similar programme constitutionally recognised to
protect the North, Shettima added that “it is a good thing that even the North-west governors are
already thinking along that direction.

Ganduje , Abba Kabir Trade Jabs At Supreme Court Monday,

May Not Get Judgment
The Supreme Court of Nigeria on Friday served on parties in the election petition between Abba Kabir
Yusuf and Abdullahi Umar Ganduje notice that Monday, 13th January, 2020 has been scheduled for the
hearing of the arguments of both parties.

It is not clear whether the court would give judgement on Monday, as the notice received by all parties
indicated that the matter was listed for hearing.

The Supreme Court reserves the right to give judgement in the appeal on the same day because all
parties have already filed their processes with the court over a month ago.

Counsel for both sides told that they would be in Abuja on Monday in readiness for
anything that may come their way from …
El-Rufai: I Will Not Release El-Zakzaky So Long I’m Governor
‘So long as I’m Kaduna governor, no amount of pressure will make me release El-Zakzaky
The governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El-Rufai, says he would not bow to pressure to release
Shi’ite leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.

The governor spoke on Friday night in a live radio interview monitored by DAILY
NIGERIAN in Abuja.
Mr El-Rufai said the state government went tough on the Shi’ite leader because the people
of Kaduna state suffered under Mr El-Zakzaky’s excesses.

“We agree [his fate is in our hands] but with a correction. The fate of El-Zakzaky is not in
the hands of Kaduna State Government but the Kaduna State High Court. What the federal
government means here is that it did not charge El-Zakzaky to court. The federal
government detained him in Abuja after the [Zaria] crisis.

“While El-Zakzaky was in detention in Abuja, we sat down and conducted investigations
on the atrocities, crimes, infringement of rights he and his followers committed in the last
30 years in Zaria.

“After the conclusion of the investigation, we requested the federal government to hand
him over to us for trial in Kaduna.

“The clamour for the release of El-Zakzaky was not directed at us but the federal
government. Since we took him to court nobody asked us to release him.

“And we will not release him until court he is cleared by the court. It was Kaduna State
High Court that ordered for his detention in the Kaduna prison.

“He was the one who requested that he be detained by the SSS not prison. If a person is
awaiting trial, he is normally remanded in prison custody. But he opted for the SSS
detention facility where he will not suffer.

“Since the SSS is detaining him without the order of the court, our lawyers sought order
from the court for El-Zakzaky to be taken back to prison.

“As we speak now, Sheikh El-Zakzaky and his wife are in Kaduna prison, and they will
remain there till the end of their trial.

“We don’t know when the court will decide, but we will not release him because of the
atrocities he and his followers committed against the people of Kaduna State.

“If the court acquits him, we have no option. But we will not release him no matter the
public outcry, no matter the demonstration, no matter the pressure from foreign countries…
They are just wasting their time. As long as I am the governor, El-Zakzaky will never be
released until the end of his trial. But whatever the court decides, I will execute the
Nobody Zoned Governorship To Me, I Struggled For It-Wike
2023: I will not impose anybody on Rivers State says Governor Wike

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has declared that he will not work towards imposing any
Governor on Rivers people at the expiration of his second term in 2023.

Speaking during a Solidarity Visit by the Orashi Region of Rivers State at the Government House Port
Harcourt on Saturday, Governor Wike said power can never be extended as a gift to any group.

He said: "For the position of Governorship, if you have the capacity, come out and contest. Nobody
zoned Governorship to me, I struggled for it.

"I will not impose anybody on Rivers people as Governor in 2023. I will not do it. I don't even have
that power, not to talk of giving it out. You cannot give what you don't have.

"To be Governor of Rivers State, you must have the capacity to deliver."

Governor Wike warned against the politics of bitterness, which he said has denied several Rivers
communities access to developmental projects.

He said: "Don't allow anyone to sow seeds of discords among you. Politics should not divide us.
Politics of bitterness does not make sense.

"All of us must not be in one political party. But you must support yourselves to attract projects to your

Governor Wike urged the people of Orashi to remain steadfast in their march towards development. He
advised them not to be intimidated as they seek development.

The Governor called on Orashi people to form a united front as they work for their people.

He said: "We must be able to work as a people. We will not abandon any projects awarded by the State
Government. You must work as a team to achieve results."

He called on communities to take steps to protect ongoing Government Projects. He regretted that in
Ahoada East and Ahoada West Local Government Areas, noting that some youths disrupt execution of
projects through vandalism and kidnapping.

He particularly decried the invasion of Western Ahoada County Grammar School, the Zonal Hospital
Ahoada and Government Secondary School, Okarki by the people of the Area.

Governor Wike thanked the people of Orashi for their support, saying that their early support gave him
the leverage to win his election.

Former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt Hon Chibodum Nwuche thanked the
Rivers State Governor for siting key projects in Ekpeye land.

He described Governor Wike as a beacon of hope, who plays politics of inclusiveness.

He said: "We thank Governor Wike for the projects in Ekpeye land. He has been a beacon of hope and
has shown inclusiveness. He is a man with a large heart and he is very accommodating."

The Former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives commended the Rivers State Governor
for the key bridges and roads that have opened up Port Harcourt City.

Senator Wilson Ake said the shower of rain on Saturday is symbolic, signifying that God has blessed
the solidarity visit of the Orashi region.

He said: "I accepted to come here because you have done well. The finishing of your jobs show class ".

He praised the Rivers State Governor for developing key infrastructure in Port Harcourt, because it
accomodates majority of Rivers people.

Also speaking, Barrister Moses Ofori thanked the Rivers State Governor for key projects across the
length and breadth of Orashi region.

Senator Representing Rivers West Senatorial District, Senator Betty Appiafi commended the Rivers
State Governor for supporting women to grow politically.

Former Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Stephen Ezekwem said Governor Wike
has displayed commitment to the development of Rivers State.

In an address on behalf of the people of Orashi, Eze Egi of Ogba land, Prof Anele Nwokoma
congratulated the Rivers State Governor for his victory at the polls despite the political gang-up against
the state.

He said: "We use this forum to congratulate Your Excellency in all the legal and political victories
recorded to date, in spite of the organised gang up against Your Excellency's Government and of course
our common course. We urge you to remain firm, focused and fearless. The people of Orashi stand with
you and are proud to call you, our own."

The people of Orashi said that they have never waivered in their support for Governor Wike. He said
that Governor Wike has effectively discharged his responsibilities as Rivers State Governor, rekindling
the hope of the people by his utterances and actions.
While thanking the Rivers State Governor for the numerous projects, programmes and positions
accorded to Orashi people, they urged Governor Wike to direct contractors handling ongoing projects
to return to site to complete the projects.

He said that the Orashi region remains a key economic block, hence it requires more attention from the
Federal and State Governments.

They called on Rivers State Governor to support the emergence of his successor from Orashi region.

He said: "in view of these enormous resources continually being contributed to the national coffers of
Nigeria and on the foundation of the immutable principles of equity, justice and fairness, we solemnly
but firmly demand and graciously request that Your Excellency should deliberately and deftly support
the emergence in 2023 of the Governor of Rivers State from Ekpeye, Ogba and Abua as these ethnic
groups have never been hitherto, so favoured. "

The solidarity visit by Orashi region ended in a carnival of sorts, as the people danced and celebrated at
the Government House Port Harcourt.

Simeon Nwakaudu,
Special Assistant to the Rivers State Governor, Electronic Media.
11th January, 2020.

Ritual Killings A Challenge In Osun, Says CP

Newly deployed Police Commissioner in Osun State, Johnson Kukomo, has identified ritual killing as a
challenge that must be dealt with by the Command under his leadership.

The Commissioner of Police spoke in Ile Ife during a visit to the Ooni, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, in his

A statement by Moses Olafare, Director of Media and Public Affairs, Ooni’s Palace obtained on
Saturday in Osogbo, said the police commissioner sought the cooperation of the residents to end the
menace of ritual killings.

The statement quoted Kokumo, who was accompanied on the visit by the Command’s Spokesperson,
Folasade Odoro, and other top management officers, as saying, “Ritual killings have been identified as
a major security challenge in Osun and we need the synergy of the community particularly the royal
fathers to end such.

“We have been trying on our own, but it is obviously impossible for us to achieve an end to this in

“We have a target which is to get rid of criminals especially ritualists and also ensure that policing in
Osun is community-interest driven and we won’t renege on this. We are aware of the state’s
peculiarities and we will be guided by this.”

Speaking further on how the command would relate with the public, Kokumo assured the Ooni that he
would ensure mutual respect between the police and the residents.

“Osun Police Command under my leadership will have huge respect for human rights. A suspect shall
remain a suspect until his conviction by a law court.

“My leadership will have zero tolerance for corruption. We want people to go about their normal
businesses without fear of molestation from the police,” Kokumo concluded.

Responding, Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, expressed confidence in Kokumo’s ability to further
strengthen the peace currently being enjoyed in the State.

If Asset Declaration Isn’t Public, What’s Its Point?

If Asset Declaration Isn’t Public, What’s Its Point?

By Farooq A. Kperogi, Ph.D.

Twitter: @farooqkperogi

In response to the request by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP)
that all elected public officials publicly declare their assets, presidential spokesman Femi
Adesina said on January 7, “The president will do what the law requires of him and I can say for
a fact that the president has declared his assets. Declaring that publicly is not in our law but
voluntary. Therefore, he cannot be compelled to do so."

Adesina’s reaction conveniently ignored the fact that it was Buhari who voluntarily said he would
publicly declare his assets—like the late Umaru Musa Yar’adua did without prompting from
anyone in 2015.

The Punch of February 20, 2015 reported Buhari to have said: “I pledge to PUBLICLY declare
my assets and liabilities, encourage all my appointees to publicly declare their assets and
liabilities as a pre-condition for appointment.”

This was the first promise Buhari broke upon his ascension to the presidency. In the early days of
the regime, when I still cherished the illusion that his incipient drift was salvageable, I frantically
reached out to people in the presidency with whom I had a personal relationship and begged
them to prevail upon Buhari to make good his campaign promise.

When they weren’t forthcoming, I wrote a column on June 13, 2015 titled “Mishandling of Asset
Declaration May Doom Buhari’s Presidency.” I republished it weeks later.

The very first paragraph of the column, which seems pretty prescient in retrospect, read: “Although
many of us still nourish the hope that Pres.Buhari’s administration will represent a substantive
departure from the blight of the past,Buhari has so far done little to inspire the confidence that he will
live up to the hopes we have invested in him.

Perhaps the biggest germinal error he has made, which might haunt his administration, is his
seeming reluctance to publicly declare his assets, contrary to the promise he made during his

I added: "The social and cultural basis of Buhari’s legitimacy and popularity revolve around the
notion of his transparency and incorruptibility. But the secretiveness, disingenuousness and
overall informational poverty of the handling of the asset declaration issue is eroding Buhari’s
very credibility and giving people cause for what psychologists call post-decision cognitive
dissonance. If this issue is not handled artfully and transparently, it will set the tone for his entire

After the column was published a second time, one close aide of Buhari’s told me in confidence that
Buhari would NEVER publicly declare his assets because it would demystify him. I asked why and he
said it was because the man was very wealthy and that his base in the North and his supporters down
South would feel betrayed if they knew how much he was actually worth.

He said Buhari declared close to a billion naira in his asset declaration form and had choice
property all over the country worth billions of naira. What was worse, he said, Buhari didn’t
even officially declare everything. That was when it dawned on me that Buhari was a deodorized
and carefully packaged scammer.

He was also the sole signatory to the donations that everyday Nigerians made to his campaign
through scratch cards between 2014 and 2015. The money was never used for the presidential
campaign, and it has not been accounted for up to now. (An old woman in Kebbi State donated
her entire life saving of N1 million that she got from selling kosai (bean cake) and died in penury
a year later.)

In December 2014, Buhari had said, “I have at least one million naira in my bank, having paid N5.5
million to pick my form from my party APC. I have around 150 cattle because I am never comfortable
without cows. I have a house each in Kaduna, Kano, and Daura which I borrowed money to build. I
never had a foreign account since I finished my courses in the USA, India and the UK. I never owned
any property outside Nigeria. Never.”

They say a liar must have a good memory. But Buhari is a bad liar. After so much pressure from
many of us, then the Buhari’s strategists came up with a plan to deceive Nigerians and deflect
attention from Buhari’s asset declaration fraud. His spokesman was told to issue an intentionally
vague and incomplete “public asset declaration” that would leave room for plausible deniability
in case he is caught.

That was why there were no specifics other than unhelpfully broad claims that the president had
a house in Abuja (which he didn’t acknowledge during the campaigns), Kano, Kaduna, Daura,
and Port Harcourt; some cattle and livestock; “not less than 30 million naira” (how more
deceptively vague can you get than that?)

Recall that a few months earlier, he said he had “at least one million naira” left in his account. He went
from “at least one million” to “no less than 30 million” in less than a year!). The “declaration” also said
he had “a number of cars” (we weren’t told how many); and so on. Compare Buhari’s "public asset
declaration" with the late President Umaru Musa Yar'adua's or Governor Seyi Makinde’s more
transparent, public declaration and the face of Buhari’s fraud will become even more starkly apparent.
Many Nigerians weren’t deceived by the fraud, though. They asked that he make
public a copy of his declaration like Yar’adua & later Makinde) who didn’t even
campaign to publicly declare their assets did. In response, the president’s
spokesperson said, “As soon as the CCB is through with the process, the documents
will be released to the Nigerian public and people can see for themselves.”

It’s been more than three years,& the asset declarat ation form still hasn’t been
released to the public.To make matters worse, Adesina now says Buhari won’t declare
his assets publicly because the law doesn’t require him to do so. Well, we’ve always
known that. Even perpetually “unaware” Buhari knew that when he promised he
would publicly declare his assets.

This double-dyed fraud becomes even more infuriating when you remember what Buhari says
when he' asked to publicly show his asset declaration form as he promised he would. For
instance, during the one and only media chat he did as “president,” he challenged journalists to
use their skills in “investigative journalism” to find the form.

Well, I used my “investigative journalism” skills to find the form and discovered that there is no
paper trail of his asset declaration form at the Code of Conduct Bureau.

Other journalists invoked the Freedom of Information Act and requested the CCB to release
Buhari’s asset declaration form to them. On September 21, 2016, Code of Conduct Bureau
Chairman Sam Saba said the Bureau couldn’t release Buhari’s asset declaration form because
the law that set up the bureau forbids him from making the forms public without Buhari’s

So why did Buhari ask journalists to deploy “investigative journalism” skills to find his form
even when he knew only he has access to it? On his own volition,he promised to publicize his
asset declaration form. Then he took it away from the only place it’s legally supposed to be, and
then he turned around to challenge journalists to use their investigative skills to find it. Did he
want reporters to invade his home, hold him at gunpoint, and force him to produce it?

So, get this: Buhari is the ONLY elected public official whose asset declaration form does not
exist at the Code of Conduct of Bureau. Of course, it’s because he wants to hide his fraud and
intentional lies from public scrutiny.
The Bureau also declined requests to release the asset declaration forms of other
higher-ups in the Buhari regime. Now, how did Dennis Aghanya, Buhari’s former
media aide and current SA on justice, get access to former CJN Walter Onnoghen’s
asset declaration form when the law forbids the public disclosure of public officials’
asset declaration forms without their consent?

Why was Onnoghen isolated for punishment for an offense that everyone, including
the people meting out the punishment, is guilty of?

What is the point of asset declaration if it isn’t public, if it can’t be used to determine if public
officials have corruptly enriched themselves? Why is Buhari in dread of publicly declaring his
assets even when he proclaims to embody “integrity”?

Garba Shehu: Buhari's Children Have The Right To Use

Presidential Jets
The Presidency has said that members of the family of President Muhammadu Buhari have the right to
use the presidential jets provided that due process is followed, IgbereTV reports.

This news was made known to IgbereTV by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and
Publicity, Garba Shehu, on Saturday while reacting to criticisms from some Nigerians over the decision
of the President to allow his daughter, Hanan, to use the Presidential jet to attend a private function in

Shehu said Hanan received approval from her father who in turn informed the National Security

Shehu said, "It’s true that a member of the First Family was flown to Bauchi yesterday on a mission
duly authorised. It wasn’t an impromptu or improper trip because it followed normal procedure. The
Presidency informed the National Security Adviser of the mission who in turn informed the
Commander of the Presidential Air Fleet”.

"The normal practice in existence for a long time is that the Presidential Air fleet is available to the
President and the first family and four others. These four are the Vice President, the Senate President
the Speaker and any other person(s) authorised by the President.”

Kano To Enrol Almajiri Children In Public Schools

Determined to reduce out-of-school children in Kano, Governor Abdullah Umar Ganduje pledged to
evacuate almajiri children from the streets to public schools.

Governor Ganduje disclosed the plan while flagging off distribution of instructional materials worth
N150 million to public primary and secondary public schools in the state.

Ganduje said the policy targeted to reduce the increasing number of out-of-school children as part of its
free and compulsory education policy.

there are about 12 million out-of-school children across northern Nigeria, with Kano accounting for 3
million. Ganduje had attributed the high number to an influx of almajiri children migrating from other

Ganduje affirmed readiness to fully enforce the implementation of free and compulsory education. He
said about 98 per cent primary school’s teachers now met basic teaching requirement.

“Our commitment to effective and full implementation of the free and compulsory education knows no
bound,” he said.

“Our government has resolved to zero tolerance to out-of-school children. That is why we took bold
steps to ensure our primary school teachers have undergone the basic teaching qualification. We can
reliably say we have about 98 per cent qualified teachers in our primary schools.

“Today, we are distributing instructional materials to make the policy on free education smooth. Now,
no children in our public schools will make any payment. We have taken statistics of basic needs and
very soon, we shall start the rehabilitation of public schools and build additional new ones”. Ganduje

Commissioner for Education, Alhaji Mohammad Sanusi Saidu Kiru urged teachers in public schools to
remain dedicated to their entrusted duties. He disclosed that the government will no longer tolerate
indolence and abscond from the class henceforth.

Irate Hausa Youths Set Apapa-iganmu Local Council

Development Area Ablaze

The Hausa youths who’re majorly motorcycle riders (Okada Riders) within the council stormed the LG
area office of the council, located at Marine Beach, Lagos, on Thursday, 9th January, 2020, to protest
the seizure of their colleagues ‘Okadas’ by some council officials over non payment of ‘riders permit’.
Our source who posted this of his Facebook account;

Source informed Breaking Times that this incident took place at around 5pm on Thursday. It took the
interventions of men of the Nigerian police and fire service which was timely.
Garba Shehu: Buhari’s Children Have Right To Use Presidential
• Action Provocative, Unpardonable And Amounts To Abuse Of Office –PDP
• Party Wants President To Apologise
The Presidency, yesterday, declared that there was nothing wrong in President Muhammadu Buhari’s
last daughter, Hanan, flying the presidential jet, having been given the all-clear by the National
Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Mongonu (rtd).
Miss Buhari’s visit to Bauchi on the Presidential jet had triggered a Twitter storm, with most Nigerians
condemning the use of the Nigerian Air Force craft for “personal use” and questioning Buhari’s
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that President Muhammadu Buhari directly abused his
office and exhibited the worst form of corruption by detailing the officially restricted presidential jet to
chauffeur his daughter, for a private photography event.
The party described the action as “provocative, condemnable, completely improper and an
unpardonable slap on the sensibilities of millions of Nigerians, particularly, the youths, who look up to
Mr. President for integrity, uprightness and respect for rules.
But, the Presidency defended the development via the Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu.
Shehu, a Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, told The Guardian that the President’s
daughter, a member of the First Family, belonged to the group of special Nigerians entitled to fly the
He said: “It’s true that a member of the First Family was flown to Bauchi, Thursday, on a mission duly
authorised. There is nothing wrong there. It wasn’t an impromptu or improper trip, as it followed
normal procedure…
“The normal practice, in existence for a long time, is that the Presidential Air fleet is available to the
President and the First Family and four others. These four are the Vice President, the Senate President,
the Speaker and any other person(s) so permitted by the President…”
Buhari’s last daughter, Hanan Muhammadu Buhari upon arrival at the Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa
International Airport, was picked up in a convoy of about 15 vehicles heading to the Government
Bauchi Emirate, in a colourful display, had reeled out its cultural architecture for the President’s
daughter’s photography project.
The Head of research in the Palace of Dr. Rilwanu Adamu Suleiman, Alhaji Ado Dan Rimi (Wakilin
Tarihi) said Hanan was in the state for a personal visit.
Ado, who conducted and organised the emergency cultural display, said Hanan was in the Palace for
her photography project after her graduation from a London university.
In 2019, the President’s daughter was said to have graduated with a first class in photography from
Ravensbourne University, London and was said to be writing her project on Northern culture.
He said: “She is undertaking her project, while focusing on our cultural Durbar. She requested for three
horses, but we prepared 12 well-decorated horses for her. I was part of those that conducted her round
in horse racing and dancing, while she was taking pictures of the event organised within the Palace.
“Though the Durbar is an occasional event done a day after Sallah every year, the Emir can order for its
display for a very important persons, and you know President Buhari’s daughter is also an important
Hanan was said to have selected three northern states of Bauchi, Kano and Katsina as her scope of
study. She left shortly after her assignment.
The PDP, in a statement, yesterday held that the development is a strong pointer to the recklessness
that pervades the Buhari Presidency, and the indefensible annexation of the national assets and
resources for illegal private use.
According to the party: “It is even most appalling that instead of apologising to Nigerians, the Buhari
Presidency, in its arrogance, is resorting to falsehood and trying to justify the inexcusable.
“Our party holds that Mr. President should apologise for approving that his daughter uses the
presidential jet just for the purpose of allegedly taking photographs in a Durbar event in Bauchi State.
“Perhaps, the Buhari Presidency forgot that it is public knowledge that the Presidential fleet can only
be authorised for use by the President, the First Lady, Vice President, Senate President, Speaker of the
House of Representatives, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, former Presidents, Presidential delegation and
no one else,” the statement added.

Tambuwal, Ishaku, Ortom Battle For PDP Governors’

•Winner likely major factor in 2023 presidential run

With the tenure of the Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson, ending soon, together
with his chairmanship of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum, the battle to succeed
him has begun to gain momentum. At least three governors from the North are gearing up to contest the
position, when it becomes vacant. The occupant is expected to be a critical factor in the next
presidential election in 2023.

The position of the PDP Governors’ Forum started with former Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill
Akpabio in 2014, when a crisis of succession erupted in the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), with
then Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State and Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State squaring
up to each other.

Chairmanship of the PDP Governors Forum is rotated between the North and South. The immediate
past governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, had handed over to his colleague from Gombe State,
Ibrahim Dankwambo, who at the expiration of his tenure handed over to the current chair, Dickson.

However, as Dickson is billed to bow out this February, the governor of Sokoto State, Aminu
Tambuwal, his Benue State counterpart, Samuel Orton, and the Taraba State governor, Darius Ishiaku,
are said to be lobbying intensely to become the next chairman of the PDP governors.

Their aspiration is already generating tension, which is quite understandable, because the next
chairman of the forum would either be a major factor in the 2023 presidential run or in serious
consideration as the party’s standard-bearer. It is widely believed that there is a subtle understanding
among key actors in the two leading political parties that the next president of the country would be
chosen from former governors.

According to a source, which pleaded anonymity, the PDP Governors Forum chairman is seriously in
contention, as the governors are believed to control the delegates and are also the major financiers of
the party.

There are 15 governors currently elected on the platform of the party,

The forum, as a powerful bloc, is a formidable force in the party, especially for the second term
governors, who still nurse future political ambitions. Wherever the governors throw their weight is
almost always where the majority of the people head.

Tambuwal is the deputy chairman of NGF, the main umbrella body of the 36 governors in Nigeria.

The source told THISDAY regarding Tambuwal, “If he becomes the next chairman of the PDP
Governors’ Forum, coupled with the fact that he was Speaker of the House of Representatives for four
years, then, he would be unstoppable in his presidential quest in 2023.

“This is why his alleged resolve to become the chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum is causing some
ripples among his colleagues. He is also going about his ambition discretely. PDP as a political party
cannot intervene in who becomes the chair, but the party always has interest because of the enormous
powers the forum usually enjoys.”

On the other hand, Ortom is not being taken seriously. He is a newcomer, who just defected from the
All Progressives Congress (APC).

Although he was National Auditor of PDP from where he was appointed minister during the
administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, before ending up as governor, the odds are not
in his favour.

According to the source, “Ortom’s consideration in the race is basically because he is a second term
governor from the North-central and the only PDP governor from the zone.”

Ishaku, on his part, is one of the second term governors of the PDP from the North-east and also a
former minister during the administration of Jonathan. The source considered his aspiration critical, as
former Vice President Atiku Abubakar is from the zone. But it is not clear if Atiku is nursing a
presidential ambition ahead of 2023 or whether he would support Ishaku. However, many believe it
might not be in Atiku’s interest for Tambuwal to emerge the next chairman of PDP governors’ forum.

“It is obvious both Atiku and Tambuwal still have their eyes on the presidential job,” the source
explained, adding, “Whoever becomes the next chairman of the PDP governors is entirely the
prerogative of the governors.

“But don’t rule out intervention from some politicians.”

On the role of the South-east governors, the source said, “They are qualified especially, the second term
governors, but the rotation of the office of the chairmanship of the forum between the North and the
South basically rules them out.

“The first term governors were ruled out of contention because they are, though equal, it was resolved
during the tenure of former Governor Dankwambo that out of respect for seniority, first term governors
should not contest. That was why former Governor Fayose handed over to the Gombe State governor.”

Inside PDP’s Early Plans To Topple APC In 2023

2023 will mark another significant milestone in the political history of Nigeria as eligible voters will be
going to the polls to decide who takes the presidential mantle. Our correspondent ex-rays the early
plans and how the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is strategising to topple the All Progressives
Congress (APC).

Nigerians will be hoping to once again exercise their franchise and determine new leaders through the

Political parties that would participate in the elections will embark on vigorous campaigns. Tongues
will wag, and hard talks in form of accusations and counter-accusations among the various parties will
take the centre stage.

Political pundits believe that it is likely to be a straight battle between the two leading parties in the
country – the ruling APC and the leading opposition, PDP, except a powerful third force emerges in the
buildup to the election year.

After its defeat in the 2015 and the 2019 general elections, the PDP has remained resolute in its
determination to reclaim power in the next elections, especially considering that President
Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure would elapse in 2023.
Findings by Daily Trust on Sunday revealed that interactions among major gladiators, stakeholders and
key players in the party have begun.

This is especially so as 2023 will also throw up the election of new governors, senators, members of the
House of Representatives and members of the state Houses of Assembly respectively.

Strategic reforms and zoning

The national publicity secretary of the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, told Daily Trust on Sunday that the
party was embarking on strategic reforms and repositioning ahead of the 2023 elections. He said the
issue of zoning was not yet on the agenda, but the national leadership of the party would make its
position public at the appropriate time.

“We have not reached a decision on where our presidential candidate would come from. The other
party (APC) understands politics, not governance. What we are concerned about now are reforms to
further reposition the party ahead of 2023,’’ Ologbondiyan said.

He said one of the early plans of the PDP ahead of the elections was to activate its structures and
strengthen its formation as one big, united and formidable family. He stressed that party members and
supporters had nothing to fear as reconciliatory efforts within the party were yielding the needed

Ologbondiyan said the PDP had already started galvanising all segments of the voting population
across the country, adding that “no shenanigan by the violence- prone APC’’ would stop the PDP from
reclaiming power at the centre and in many other states of the federation in 2023.

“The PDP assures that it is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that all aggrieved members are
appeased so that our party would face the elections as a family. The party commends the understanding
and spirit of sportsmanship being exhibited by critical stakeholders, as well as their commitment to
ensuring success,’’ he said.

The chairman of the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT), Senator Walid Jibrin, also told our reporter on
phone that the party was yet to commence serious action about 2023, especially as it was still
undecided on which zone to produce its presidential candidate for the election.

“Don’t forget, the party has a constitution and guidelines. We have not even discussed zoning. So, why
are some people so concerned about the presidential ticket being zoned to a particular region?

“We have to make a lot of consultations. The National Working Committee (NWC) has to make a lot of
consultations; our governors have to make a lot of consultations,’’ he said.
Averting crisis

The party fielded its February 23, 2019 presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar from the North, but his
defeat at the polls has sparked fresh agitations between the North and South.
Top party sources told our reporter yesterday in Abuja that the NWC was being tactical and meticulous
in order not to articulate a 2023 template that would spark crisis and result in mass exodus of members.

“Agitations are already raging as to whether it is the North or South that would produce the presidential
candidate. But at the same time, consultations are ongoing on the matter.

“We are trying to avoid a crisis situation after zoning. We are also going to engage our former
presidential aspirants in the process. So we need time to do all these before zoning. Otherwise, there
will be crisis of interest and divisions in the party,” a chieftain of the party from the North-East told our
reporter on phone yesterday

PDP stalwarts in secret battle

Investigation by Daily Trust on Sunday, however, revealed that some PDP bigwigs have commenced
underground politicking, battling for the presidential ticket of the party and preparing grounds for soft

Already, the social media space is awash with posters of a former governor of Kano State, Senator
Rabiu Musa Kwakwaso, who came fourth at the 2018 presidential primary election held during the
PDP national convention in Port Harcourt ahead of the 2019 elections.

Some of the posters seen on Facebook by our reporter yesterday carried inscriptions like “Our Mission
and Vision, 2023; Kwankwaso for President, Federal Republic of Nigeria; Best Choice, 2023.’’

The posters were adorned with the portrait of the former governor and colours of the PDP – red, white,
green, and its umbrella logo.

It was learnt that some PDP stalwarts in the South are also warming up for the presidential contest. A
former deputy national chairman (South) and former national chairmanship contender, Chief Bode
George, has already indicated interest.

George’s political associates confirmed to Daily Trust on Sunday that he was activating his structures
in the party to challenge other contenders.

Jonathan, Atiku speak

Former President Goodluck Jonathan has, however, denied online reports that he said he was under
intense pressure to contest the 2023 presidential election. He also denied saying that he was billed to be
allotted the presidential ticket of the PDP ahead of the poll.

The former president’s special adviser on media, Mr. Ikechukwu Eze, said the social media reports
were not true. He explained that some online platforms were bent on publishing malicious stories based
on insinuations, adding that Jonathan never made such comments about 2023.

“There was nothing like former President Jonathan saying he is under pressure to contest,” he said.

Some pundits said former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who was PDP’s presidential candidate in the
2019 election, might consider re-contesting in 2023.

But in a tweet recently, Atiku advised that PDP members should not focus on elections but ways to
rebuild the party.

“Our preoccupation at this point in the PDP should not be on elections, but on rebuilding and
strengthening our party for the challenges ahead of us,” Atiku tweeted.

As an opposition party, the PDP has continued to criticise the policies and programmes of the ruling
APC, pointing to what government ought to be doing to deliver good governance to the people.

January 12

Zamfara: Troops Kill 100 Bandits, Recover Several Items

At least 100 bandits have been killed by the troops of Operation Hadarin Daji (OPHD) in Zamfara and
parts of Katsina State between December 2019 and January 2020, the Acting Force Information
Officer, Captain Ayobami Oni-Orisan, has said.

Oni-Orisan said in a statement to journalists in Gusau on Saturday that troops comprising personnel of
the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Air Force, Nigeria Police, Department of State Services
and others conducted several clearance operations to neutralise bandits who refused to repent.

“So far, OPHD troops have flushed out bandits hibernating around Tashar Kuturu, Dankalgo, Gobirawa
junction, Bagega, Kawaye, Duhuwa, Sabon-Birni, Dankurmi, Dangulbi, Hayin Bawa, Zango, Unguwar
Shanu, Tundu Mali, Magazu, Mayanchi and Gando forest, in Anka, Talata Mafara, Tsafe, Maru and
Bukkuyum Local Government areas of Zamfara.

“Additionally, OPHD ground troops backed by the fighter jets of the Air Component also cleared
Shinfida in Jibia Local Government Area of Katsina State, neutralising several bandits in the process,”
he said.

The information officer said the renewed use of force against the bandits followed their refusal to
embrace the peace process introduced by Gov. Bello Matawalle of Zamfara about six months ago as
well as the recent upsurge of the bandits in the affected areas.

He said during the operations, 10 kidnap victims were rescued, while 500 rounds of 7.62mm special
ammunition 23 Motorbikes, 15 AK 47 rifles, four General Purpose Machine Guns (GPMG), one PKM
Machine Gun, one Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) bomb, one Rocket Propelled Grenade (RPG) tube,
11 fully loaded magazines, 600 rustled cows and 300 rustled sheep were recovered.

He further said that during the clearance operations, the troops in collaboration with the Defence Forces
of Niger Republic apprehended a high profile gunrunner, popularly known as “Kunene” who was
responsible for the inflow of arms, ammunition and other dangerous weapons into the region.

In addition, Oni-Orisan said, the troops also apprehended three suspected bandits; Abubakar Kiri
Koloma, Abubakar Ibrahim and Haruna Alhaji Yaro, as well as two notorious drug dealers; Kabiru
Abubakar Isah and Hamisu Dan-kwanba at various locations in Zamfara during the period.

He said all the suspects had been profiled and handed over to the relevant security agencies for further
investigation and prosecution.

Calabar-Itu Road: Senator Ita Enang Has Indicted President

Buhari - Group
Calabar - Itu Road: Senator Ita Enang has Indicted President Buhari - Group

A socio-political organization based in Uyo, Akwa Ibom Liberation Movement, AILM, says the Senior
Special Assistant to President on Niger Delta, Senator Ita Enang, by calling on the presidency to
compel Governor Emmanuel to construct Calabar Itu high has questioned President Mohammedu
Buhari's true intention on the road.

The group reasoned that this is an indictment of the president and calls to question all efforts made by
federal government on the dilapidated federal road just before the 2019 elections.
Speaking in Uyo, the group’s Secretary-General, Solomon Abasiekong Esq., said Senator Enang,
having given himself to frivolities as seen in his letter, has made people question Buhari’s sincerity in
constructing Calabar - Itu road.

“We are forced to ask what Ita Enang has turned himself to. Enang’s recent demand for Governor
Emmanuel's assistance in the construction of Calabar Itu road is an indirect indictment on the so called
integrity of President Mohammedu. It shows that either the President was lying to the people of Akwa
Ibom State or was using the road to curry support for his reelection.

“Does it mean Ita Enang was not given briefs for his new office as Special Assistant to President on
Niger Delta Affairs? Everyone had expected Enang to get so busy in his new office instead of delving
into frivolities. It is either Enang doesn’t know what to or does not have what to do.
“Ita Enang must realize that elections are over, as such he should be tired of spewing lies. He should
see how to press forward the needs of Niger Deltans to the presidency.

“Akwa Ibom people are satisfied with the transparent nature of Governor Udom Emmanuel’s
administration, as such, we have no question for whatever he uses Akwa Ibom money to do because he
has the people’s interest at heart", the statement read in parts.

Read full press statement below!


Motto: Together we shall liberate Akwa Abasi Ibom State


Few days ago, Akwa Ibom people woke up to read an absurd letter authored by the Senior Special
Assistant to President on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Ita Enang,advising the presidency to stop
Governor Udom Emmanuel from going further to extend the airport road to 8 lanes.

As a shown in the letter, Senator Enang's reasoning has deteroriated to into bizarre logic, which could
immediately be seen as he struggles to suggest to the Federal Government to compel Governor
Emmanuel to inject such fund into constructing Calabar Itu high way.

Ita Enang knows that the Calabar - Itu Road project is among many lies that will continue to haunt him
and his governorship aspiration as such he is seeking whatever means to get it done. It can be recalled
that Enang, in October 2019, while fielding questions from Journalists in Uyo, urged the people to
remain calm, assuring that the contractor, Julius Berger, would soon return to site after the rains.

He disclosed that the federal government had awarded the contract for the construction of the road
since 2017, however, only N3 billion was released in 2018 budget.

He explained that the total span of the road from Odukpani Junction in Cross River to Ibiakpan
Junction in Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom was about 22 kilometres with a cost of about N51 billion.

“We have taken steps to ensure Julius Berger returns to site. In 2019 budget, we secured N3.9 billion
but much has not been released to the contractor.”

We are forced to ask what Ita Enang has turned himself to. Enang’s recent demand for Governor
Emmanuel's assistance in the construction of Calabar Itu road is an indirect indictment on the integrity
of President Mohammedu. It shows that either the President was lying to the people of Akwa Ibom
State or was using the road to curry support for his reelection.
Does it mean Ita Enang was not given briefs for his new office as Special Assistant to President on
Niger Delta Affairs? Everyone had expected Enang to get so busy in his new office instead of delving
into frivolities. It is either Enang doesn’t know what to or does not have what to do.

Ita Enang must realize that elections are over, as such he should be tired of spewing lies. He should see
how to press forward the needs of Niger Deltans to the presidency.

Akwa Ibom people are satisfied with the transparent nature of Governor Udom Emmanuel’s
administration, as such, we have no question for whatever he uses Akwa Ibom money to do because he
has the people’s interest at heart.
Enang should not behave like his name implies, he should think before he acts.


Solomon Abasiekong Esq.,


Life Pension: SERAP Asks Court To Order 36 Govs To Publish

Payment Details
Life pension: SERAP asks court to order 36 governors to publish payment details since 1999

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has filed a lawsuit asking the Federal
High Court, Abuja to order the 36 state governors in Nigeria to “publish details and breakdown of
payment of pensions to each of the former governors and other ex-officials, and the names and number
of ex-governors and other officials receiving pensions under their respective State pension laws
between 1999 and 2019.”

In the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/19/2020 filed last Friday, SERAP is seeking: “an order for leave to
apply for judicial review and an order of mandamus to direct and/or compel the 36 state governors to
publish names and number of former governors and other officials that have received pensions and the
total amounts received between 1999 and 2019 and have at the same time served and/or serving as
members of the National Assembly.”

The suit followed SERAP’s Freedom of Information (FoI) requests dated 9th December, 2019 to the
governors, expressing concern that: “granting pension for life to ex-governors and other officials
represents the use of public office to advance private interests, suggests the misuse of legitimate
discretion for improper reasons, and has created a more cynical public view of politics and politicians.”
According to SERAP, only two governors—Delta state governor, Mr Ifeanyi Okowa and Kwara state
governor, Mr Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq—have responded to its FoI requests. Although Mr Okowa
directed his Head of Service to send the details requested, no information was received as at the time of
filing the suit.

SERAP also said: “governor Abdulrazaq provided a copy of the pension law and list of former
governors and ex-officials receiving pensions in Kwara State under the state’s Governor and Deputy
Governor (Payment of Pension) Law, 2010, naming Cornelius O. Adebayo; Mohammed Shaaba
Lafiagi; Sayomi Simon Adediji; Bukola Saraki; and Ogundeji Joel Afolabi as recipients of life pensions
in the state. However, the governor did not state the amounts that have so far been collected, and
whether the state would pursue recovery of the pensions paid.”

According to the Kwara state pension law (as amended), governors and deputy governors “from the
year 1967 shall be entitled to pension for life at the rate equivalent to the annual basic salary of the
incumbent and other benefits as provided by the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal
Commission. The pension shall include: furnished 5-bedroom duplex, 300% for furniture replaceable
every 4 years; free medical treatment for governor and deputy governor and their immediate families;
car maintenance; drivers [pensionable]; house maintenance; and two cars for the governor in addition
to 1 pilot car to be replaced every 3 years.”

The Kwara state pension law also provides that: “governor and deputy governor shall be entitled to
domestic staff including cook, steward, gardener and two other domestic staff who shall be
pensionable. Governor shall be entitled to 2 SSS detail and 1 female officer, in addition to 8 policemen.
Deputy governor shall be entitled to 1 SSS detail in addition to 2 policemen.”

According to SERAP: “both governor Okowa and governor Abdulrazaq did not in their responses make
any commitment to repeal the pension laws in their states and to seek refund of the pensions already
collected by former governors and other ex-officials.”

SERAP’s suit is coming on the heels of the landmark judgment delivered last week by Justice Oluremi
Oguntoyinbo of the Federal High Court, Lagos ordering the Attorney General of the Federation and
Minister of Justice Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN to challenge the legality of states’ pension laws
permitting former governors and other ex-public officials to collect such pensions.

The judgment followed the invalidated pension law for former governors and other ex-public officers
in Zamfara State, which provided for the upkeep of ex-governors to the tune of N700 million annually.
The state has produced three former governors since 1999.

SERAP is also seeking “a declaration that the failure of the 36 state governors to provide SERAP with
the requested information on Pension Law in their respective states as requested constitutes a breach of
SERAP’s right under the FoI Act, 2011, and for such further order(s) the Honourable Court may deem
fit to make in the circumstances.”
The suit filed on behalf of SERAP by its lawyers Kolawole Oluwadare and Opeyemi Owolabi, read in
part: “There is a statutory obligation on the 36 state governors, being public officials, to proactively
keep, organize and maintain all information or records about its operations, personnel, activities and
other relevant or related information or records such as payment of pensions to former governors, in a
manner that facilitates public access to such information or record.”

“The public interest in the disclosure of details of payment of pensions to former governors and names
of the recipients of such pensions sought by SERAP outweighs any private interest the 36 state
governors may be protecting.”

“The suit is in the national interest, public welfare, public interest, social justice, good governance,
transparency and accountability. There is no justifiable reason for the governors to refuse to provide
SERAP with the details of payment of pensions and other related information requested.”

“Public officials should not encourage, sustain, or implement jumbo pension laws that show an
appearance of conflict of interest, impropriety or create situation of personal enrichment. The pension
law negates the duty to act honestly and to represent the needs and concerns of the people, and to
refrain from activities, which interfere with the proper discharge of public functions.”

“Those who manage the resources of the state ought to protect the interest of the people in their states.
Public officials while entrusted with duties and discretions are not to act in their own best interest, but
to discharge those duties and exercise those powers in the interests of the public.”

“The duties on public officials including governors flowing from their position as trustees to the public
also include the duty to refrain from activities which interfere with the proper discharge of their
functions, and the duty not to place themselves in a position where public duty conflicts with private

“By Sections 2(3)(d)(V) & (4) of the FoI Act, there is a binding legal duty to ensure that documents
containing information relating to any life pension law for former governors and other senior ex-
officials and the details of payments to such officials over the years are widely disseminated and made
readily available to members of the public through various means.”

“The right to truth allows Nigerians to gain access to information essential to the fight against
corruption. This is in line with the Government’s anti-corruption strategy of citizen involvement in the
fight against corruption. Access to information will ultimately foster development of democratic
institutions in Nigeria.”

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

Senator Adeyeye: Buhari Has No Choice But To Leave In 2023
Senator Sola Adeyeye, a Professor of Biology, was the Chief Whip in the 8th Senate where he
represented Osun Central Senatorial District. He featured as a guest on Channels Television where he
spoke on latest developments in the polity such as rumoured Third Term agenda, state police,
restructuring and other issues. TEMIDAYO AKINSUYI who monitored the session brings the excerpts:

President Buhari recently said he is not contemplating going for a Third term, but the PDP said he
doesn’t need to say that while Pastor Tunde Bakare said he should pick his successor. Where do you
stand on this?

First and foremost, there has been so much rumours in the press and social media about third term. If
the President had kept totally quiet, the same PDP will say ‘oh, he has kept quiet because he is planning
third term’. Now the man now said and I believe him that he is going to leave in 2023, and he has no
choice than to leave because that’s what our constitution says. Even if we change that constitution, the
beneficiary will not be the present occupier of that office. In any case by the grace of God, we will not
change that constitution in that respect. Therefore, I believe the President when he said he is not
considering a third term and I believe that the PDP is playing extremely poor politics that the nation
does not need at this critical time.

What is the extremely poor politics?

We need to focus on the problems of the nation. We need to focus on the problem of federalism; we
need to focus on the problem of resources. For a nation of about 200 million people, we just passed a
budget of $29b, a bit more than the budget of Harvard University for one year. Egypt with only about a
hundred million people passed a budget of about $90b. South Africa with only about 34 million people,
that is about 17 percent of the population of Nigeria passed a budget of about of $130b. We are in a
mess. We are pathetically poor and Nigerian politicians are acting as if things are honky-dory. They are

As a chieftain of the APC, you said the problem of Nigeria is the present constitution, but why has your
party not done anything about this constitution?

Unfortunately, the issue of amending the constitution belongs primarily to the legislature. People can
blame Buhari for all they want; People can blame Oshiomhole for all they want. As far as I am
concerned, the bulk begins on the table of Dr. Ahmad Lawan , the President of the Nigerian Senate and
Barrister Femi Gbajabiamila, the Speaker of the House of Representatives. Let them begin the process
now. That does not mean we should go through the same exercise we went through in the past. If we
do, we will end up with the same result that we had in the past. What do I mean by that? If we try to
revive the whole thing, you get bogged down by all kinds of issue, and at the end you achieve nothing.
Let them take specific items, debate them and set for this republic a target of what we can achieve in
the next three years. If we don’t achieve them in the next three years, by the time the election stream
gets full blast in 2022, it will be too late to do anything.
Where do you leave the issue of the 2014 national conference?

Had anybody gone to court to challenge that conference, he would have won because even the
constitution does not have room for such a body. That is why I believe we should hold to the tip of the
current legislature. Let us not deceive ourselves. There is nowhere in the world where constitiutions are
changed drastically overnight. Some of these things will be done piecemeal but I believe there are five
or six items that we can look at critically. If we look at them, we will begin to move this nation
forward. For example, I am glad that the federal government and the governors now are talking about
state policing. Only this past week, we read about ‘Operation Amotekun. Whatever it means, I know
that some state governors will take it. Here in Lagos, we have LASTMA. Whether we like it or not,
LASTMA is a kind of police. There is a way in which this current constitution, we can push it to its
limit and I believe that the state governors should be bold enough to do that.

How can they do that?

Under President Olusegun Obasanjo, the then governor of Zamfara state, Ahmed Yerima pushed this
nation to its limits with his Sharia law and he got away with it. The whole thing has now created some
kinds of problems that we have in some states in Nigeria, because as Obasanjo said and I believe
correctly, what Yerima was doing then was political sharia. But the truth is, he pushed the system and
some governors in the South needs to be courageous; some governors in the Middle-Belt need to be
courageous and I dare say that some governors in the North need to be courageous to say ‘Some of
these things are not working for us, what can we do to make this Republic work? Why should the
import of a Republic of about 200 million people go through only one port? Ports in the United States
don’t even belong to the federal government, they don’t even belong to the state, they belong to the
cities and yet, in all of those ports, they are manned by federal agents. Let’s give Warri a chance to
build a port, let’s give Port Harcourt a chance to build a port, give Calabar a chance to build a port .
Just put checks in places that they don’t become places where the integrity of the country can be
compromised. Once you do that, we will free Lagos. Apapa right now is a chaos and it is a shame to all
Africans, especially Nigeria.

Customs Generates N1.3tr In 2019, Exceeds Target By N404bn

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) said it generated N1.341 trillion as revenue for the year 2019,
exceeding the target of N937 billion by N404bn revenue.

The 2019 revenue generation milestone also exceeded the N1.202tr generated in 2018 by N139.2bn,
Customs said in a statement issued by the Public Relations Officer, Deputy Comptroller Joseph Attah.

Commenting on the feat, the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col, Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd),
described it as a result of resolute pursuit of what is right rather than being populist by compromising
national interest on the altar of individual or group interests.
He said the service revenue generation profile had continued to be on the rise annually as the ongoing
reforms in the Service insists on strategic policies.

Ali said those policies includes the strategic deployment of officers strictly using the standard operating
procedure, strict enforcement of extant guidelines by the tariff and trade department, and the
automation of the Customs process thereby, eliminating vices associated with the manual process.

2023: I May Anoint A Woman As My Successor:

Nasir El-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state says his successor might be a woman but debunked
claims that he has anointed as anyone for the position come 2023 elections in the state.

He said he may decide to pick a female just as he did when he selected his deputy Hadiza Balarabe.

El-Rufai however noted that, it’s too early to start talking about the 2023 election, saying only God
knows who will replace him as the governor of the state.

He said this during a media chat which aired on major private radio stations in the state.

The governor who was reacting to rumours in social media about his decision to anoint one of his aides
as a successor said that 10 persons had already shown interest.

The governor said, “I heard a lot of things where people say I have already anointed a successor. I
didn’t have anybody in mind that I want to replace me.

“I have many people working under me which I will want them to replace me because they are all
qualified but to say I have an individual in mind, I will say I don’t. Let the masses elect the next leader
for themselves and remember, only God can choose a leader.

“I went out to seek for people’s support before I was voted. So, let anybody interested in replacing me
to also seek the support of the people. My prayers always is for Allah to choose the right person for the
state so that the state can move forward,” he said.

EFCC ‘freezes’ Shehu Sani’s bank accounts, ‘asks’ him to

declare assets
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has frozen the bank accounts of Shehu Sani,
a former senator from Kaduna state, his aide alleges.

In a statement on Sunday, Suleiman Ahmed, senior special adviser to Sani, also said the former
lawmaker was “forced to declare his assets”.

The EFCC had arrested Sani for allegedly demanding money from Sani Dauda, owner of ASD Motors,
to bribe Ibrahim Magu, acting chairman of the anti-graft agency, so as to influence an investigation.
Although the former lawmaker denied the allegation, the anti-graft agency insisted he had questions to
answer on the matter.

In the statement, Sani’s aide accused the EFCC of bias in his principal’s case, and he listed 11 questions
for the agency to answer.

He wondered why the anti-graft agency has not detained Sani’s accuser “who admitted to giving bribe”
and why it has not invited “Alhaji Samaila Isa Funtua who was mentioned in the frame up against
Shehu Sani?”

“Mr. Orilade, what is the connection between allegations of extortion of $25,000 and then searching his
residence, blocking his accounts and forcing him to declare his assets?” he asked the EFCC.

The other questions Sani’s aide posed to the EFCC in the statement are:

What can you say on the allegation that the accuser of Shehu Sani can neither read nor write; that it was
the EFCC that guided him on what to say?

We have in (it) on record that Shehu Sani’s accuser has no pending case with the Supreme Court, how
comes did he give (gave) Shehu Sani bribe to give the CJN?

We have it on record that Shehu Sani’s accuser has no pending or ongoing case with the EFCC, how
comes did he give (gave) Shehu Sani bribe to give the EFCC or its chairman?

The CJN denied the bribe allegations and Shehu Sani denied the bribe allegations, where did Tony
Orilade get his fact?

It is not enough posting statement about Shehu Sani. If you have any evidence or fact, why not post it

You said people defending Shehu Sani are doing it for pecuniary gain, are you defending EFCC for

Shehu Sani petitioner said $24,000 and you said $25,000, are you the one that added $1,000

Mr. Toni Orilade should stop lying and threatening people. If you have any cheque or draft or anything
to show please do so.
Nigerian, Dauda Onoruoiza Among Victims Of Crashed
Ukrainian Airliner
A Nigerian, Dauda Onoruoiza, has been confirmed to be among the 176 passengers and crew that were
killed on Wednesday when a missile from the Iranian forces hit Ukraine International Airlines flight
PS752 departing for Kiev.[/b]

The missile destroyed the Boeing 737-800 aircraft few minutes after taking off from Tehran’s Imam
Khomeini International Airport.

THISDAY learnt that Onoruoiza until his death worked with Boeing on a three-month training in
Ukraine and was attached to the Boeing 737-800 to fly with and study the mechanical noise of the
aircraft and report back to the company because the said plane was scheduled for maintenance on
Monday, January 13, 2020 in Ukraine.

Iran admitted Saturday that it mistakenly shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet, blaming human error
and “US adventurism”.

In a statement, the Iranian armed forces said it targeted the passenger plane unintentionally. It attributed
the crash to radar activity and fear of US action.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran deeply regrets this disastrous mistake. My thoughts and prayers go to all
the mourning families,” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said.

Ukrainian Airlines Flight 752 crashed Wednesday after take-off from Tehran’s airport. The crash came
hours after Iran fired missiles at Iraqi military bases housing US troops in retaliation for a drone strike
at Baghdad airport that killed Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani.

After the missile operation in Iraq, US military flights around Iranian borders increased and Iranian
military officials reported seeing aerial targets coming toward strategic centres, according to a
statement by Iranian armed forces headquarters.

Reports indicate that the aircraft came close to a sensitive IRGC military centre at an altitude and flight
condition that resembled hostile targeting.

[b]Under these circumstances, the aircraft was unintentionally hit, which unfortunately resulted in
death of the many Iranian and foreign nationals,” the statement read.

The victims include 82 Iranians, 63 Canadians, 11 Ukrainians, 10 Swedes, four Afghans, three
Germans and three British nationals.
Why Anthony Okolie Was Arrested By DSS For Using Hanan
Buhari’s Line
A man, Anthony Okolie, who was recently released from the custody of the Department of State
Services (DSS) was allegedly using a phone number that belonged to President Muhammadu Buhari’s
daughter, Hanan, to defraud unsuspecting persons, a reliable security source disclosed to The Nation at
the weekend.

A reliable source revealed to that the number belonged to Hanan, but after not using it for a while, the
number got dormant was reassigned as is the usual practice with mobile service providers.

The source revealed that Okolie, who eventually got the line on realising who the previous owner is,
due the the calls he was receiving, decided to use it to make money for himself.

It was learnt he used female accomplices to pretend to be the president’s daughter and extort money
from unsuspecting victims.

“It was when someone who knew Hanan very well called and suspected something was fishy that he
decided to report the matter to the DSS, who investigated and arrested the suspect.

“Okolie was held on criminal intent not because of the line he owned. It is standard practice that when
line has been dormant for a long time, service providers reassign lines.

The person who inherited it discovered who the former owner was and realized a fraudulent intent. He
got some female accomplices who spoke Hausa and to collect money from unsuspecting persons who
thought they were relating with the president’s daughter.

“One of his potential victims suspected something fishy when he called the line and the person he
spoke with who claimed to be Hanan begged for money.

The man immediately got doubtful as Hanan was supposed to be out of the country at that time and
even if she was not, would not have requested for such money.

“The man then laid an official complaint after which investigations began and the suspect was
arrested,” the source said

Apc’ll Lose If Igbo Gets 2023 Presidential Ticket –okunola, TNN

The National Coordinator , Nigeria Unity Forum , an umbrella body of Tinubu- Not -Negotiable
2023 , Mr Mutiu Okunola , tells MUDIAGA AFFE about plans to project the National Leader of the
All Progressives Congress , Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, for the 2023 presidential race, among other issues
Ahead of the 2023 election , different groups, including yours , have started canvassing for a
presidential aspirant ; don ’t you think it is too early ?

People are misconstruing our movement for a campaign but this is Nigeria Unity Forum which cuts
across Nigeria . Other groups are campaigning for sectional leadership ; they do not have the national
reach unlike us . We are trying to reform the system because we have identified some lacunas in the
Nigerian constitution and the political class which we are trying to correct . What we are doing is
structure formation that cuts across the country irrespective of religion , tribe , political affiliation or
education . We believe in one Nigeria and we respect the individual opinion of all Nigerians
irrespective of where they belong. We sure know that nobody will debar our progress . This forum is
the mother body of the TNN (Tinubu - Not -Negotiable ) and the project at hand is that we are in
support of is power rotation because we believe in using political solutions to unite the country. All the
factors that bind Nigeria together are no more there except power rotation. The federal character in
terms of appointment is no more there because the President is empowered by the Constitution to
appoint whosoever he deems fit . The only singular reason why we are still together is power rotation
and whatever treatment that might have been meted when it is your turn you could do the same . Power
rotation is sacrosanct for the unity of Nigeria . We should not make the mistake because it is the only
factor that has held us together since 1960 , anything other than that is war .

But a group in the North recently said that the region would hold on to power in the 2023 presidential
election , what is your reaction to that ?

That position taken by that group is not that of the North in general . It is for the reason of reaching out
to all parts of the country that we have started this movement . That position might be the thinking of
some elites in the region that are advocates of divide and rule system . If you look at the configuration
of Nigeria today , you will notice national spread by all the ethnic groups in different parts of the
country and we have been coexisting with the troubles . But when it comes to elections the elite will
always throw up power play because it is to their advantage. Most of those who propagate such
positions are misfits who have not done anything for the benefits of the generality of Nigerians . They
are trying to use people who are not fit to keep ruling the country so that they will continue to siphon
our resources .

There is also the argument that if the South is to produce the President in 2023 , it should be given to
the South - East , what is your view on that ?

Presently we have the North and South structure in terms of rotation . We can only start talking of
regions when we have become advanced in our democratic practice . So , if it is the North or South,
you will have to place yourself in a vantage position that you can take charge . Yes , if the South- East
is agitating for power , I must state that they are long overdue for it, but power is not served on a platter
of gold. In honouring the tradition of power rotation , we must follow the principle of democracy
through voting. If the ruling party , APC, out of sentiment zones it ticket to a region where it does not
have relevance , it may not work. Take note that we do not have any APC governor in the five South -
East states , and we know what the power of incumbency is all about . If the South- East wants power ,
they know the party that they have worked for because as of today they are predominantly PDP states .
So , they should struggle that position from the former presidential candidate , Atiku ( Abubakar ) to
bring the power to the South . They cannot tell us (South -West) not to aspire but they too have the
right to set up a movement that will be logical to the political realities on the ground . We believe in the
unity of our country and we believe in using a political solution to solve our problem , but not by war
or sentiment or religious consideration and that is what we stand for as a group . If we ( APC) give it to
the South - East , any minority party will win the election.

So how far have you been able to propagate the National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu
through the TNN ?
I am not emphasising on the party , but TNN is Tinubu - Not - Negotiable , same is the issue of power
rotation . We arrived at using Tinubu as our standpoint because you cannot sell a product without a
price tag ; we cannot operate on a blank cheque . What we are saying is that if the power comes to the
South, it should be Tinubu . If we are clamouring for power rotation to the South , then we should
know the candidate that we aspire to give the power to and it is on that note that we have tagged our
movement as TNN 2023 . If the power rotates , we should let our northern brother know that it is going
to this person. If the South -East wants to do the same thing then they must also project someone with
the capacity to contest for President . However , antecedents matter ; we have to reward those who
worked and placed themselves in a position of leadership. Tinubu was a former governor of Lagos
State for eight years and he has built structures and placed people in positions of authority . Any person
who has ruled Lagos can govern the country because the state has the largest gathering of all the tribes
in Nigeria . We should begin to look at the precedents of our leaders before we elect them. We should
look for leaders who do not have tribal or religious sentiments just like my mentor , MKO Abiola .

In 2015 when the present regime of the President , Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd . ), came
into power , he promised to tackle insecurity . How well has the government fulfilled that promise?

We should not politicise the issue of insecurity in Nigeria and that is why I said that our movement
would try to use the political solution to solving our problems . Power rotation is one of the tools that
can be used to address the problem of insecurity in the country. We are craving for Tinubu to address
some of these challenges . When former President Olusegun Obasanjo came into office , he was faced
with the challenge of the Oodua People Congress members that were terrorising the South - West, he
tried to find solutions but they were not forthcoming until the power rotated to the late Umaru Yar ’
Adua and Dr Goodluck Jonathan . Immediately the power went to the North under Yar ’ Adua , the
issue of Boko Haram started and the Niger Delta unrest became high too. But Yar ’ Adua addressed the
issue of Niger Delta militants by granting amnesty but when he died the problem of militancy escalated
under Jonathan because he is from the region . When Jonathan left and Buhari came in , the issue
militancy went underground and Boko Haram became the major matter again . This Boko Haram issue
is still there because the President is from that region . I am sure that the moment power rotates to the
South all those issues will vanish immediately. But it should be noted that between 1999 and 2007
when other governors in the South - West were using ethnic militias , Tinubu never engaged them.

Nigerian Army Has Lost Its Integrity – Wike

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, said on Sunday the Nigerian Army has lost its integrity for
allegedly aiding elections rigging in the country.
Wike, who stated this at a church service marking the 2020 Armed Forces Remembrance Day
Celebration in Port Harcourt, noted that Nigerians would never honour members of the Armed Forces
involved in election rigging.
He said: “We are not honouring those who are unprofessional and carry ballot boxes to influence the
electoral process. I urge members of the Armed Forces to choose the right path in the interest of the
“It is unfortunate that the military has lost its integrity because of some unprofessional personnel.
Nobody is afraid of the military because of their unprofessional conduct. Those who come to rig
election or kill Rivers people, heaven will never remember them.”

“I thank God that the chairman of INEC has owned up that the problems with elections are the security
agencies. This confirms all I have said in the past.”
The governor, however, praised the Armed Forces for preserving the unity of the country, saying “but
for them, kidnappers, cultists, insurgents and armed robbers would have taken over the country.
Wike called for the institution of a reward system to encourage soldiers to put in their best for the

Falana, Kperogi, Bukarti Slam Buhari Over ‘personalisation’ Of

Presidential Jet
Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has joined angry Nigerians in condemning what he called the
“privatisation of the presidency of Nigeria.”

Falana in a statement he issued on Sunday condemned what President Buhari did in allowing his
daughter to enjoy the exclusive usage of the private presidential jet for her private affairs was a new
development that lacks precedence in policy and law.

Buhari’s last daughter, Hanan, had flown in a presidential jet to Bauchi state on Thursday, January 9,
2020, for a personal engagement at the palace of the emir of Bauchi, and presidential aide, Garba has
sort to justify the action by saying it is a normal practice because the president’s family has rights to
use the aircraft in the presidential fleet.

But Falana refuted that there was precedent, saying the “official policy” of the federal government
“does not authorise the children of the President to use the presidential jets to attend to private social

A constitutional lawyer and scholar, Muhammad Bello, told that it could be an
offence to have any person other than the president and those specifically allowed by law to use the
presidential jet, especially because the aircraft carries the country’s coat of arm.

Yet another lawyer, Audu Bulama Bukarti, said it was “sad, disgusting and frustrating” to have
President Buhari who “rode on the back of fighting corruption to become president” doing this.

Journalism scholar, Farooq Kperogi called it an “unprecedented abuse of presidential powers.”

Kperogi said it is untrue that there was no legal violation or subversion of convention for Buhari’s
daughter to use a publicly funded presidential jet for private purposes, adding that “even if it were true,
things don’t always have to be illegal for them to be condemnable. Something can be condemnable
because it’s unethical or immoral, even if it’s legal.

“Making a tax-funded presidential jet available for the private use of Buhari’s daughter is straight-up
unethical, even borderline illegal. Of course, it’s entirely defensible, even expected, for Buhari’s family
members to get on a presidential jet WITH him. That’s one of the perks of the presidency. But Buhari’s
daughter, not being a Vice President, a Senate President, or a Speaker, cannot, on her own, use a
presidential jet—certainly not for private purposes”. He said.

How B’haram Kidnapped Soldier, Wife, Others – Survivors

Survivors of the last Thursday Boko Haram attack on a commercial vehicle conveying some travelers
including soldiers and police personnel on Borno highway have revealed how Boko Haram abducted
seven people.

Suspected Boko Haram militants in military camouflage and two military-coloured 4-wheel drive
vehicles intercepted a mini bus along Maiduguri-Damaturu highway last Thursday at about 11:40am.

Two survivors who were in another vehicle behind the mini bus told Daily Sun on condition of
anonymity how the insurgents with assault rifles, stopped the driver of the vehicle conveying some
travelers around Jakana town.

“A soldier came out of the Sharon car and identified himself as a personnel. He thought those who
stopped the vehicles were military personnel. He didn’t know they were Boko Haram but in military
uniform,” one of the survivors said.

He said the soldier had come out of the Sharon mini bus thought the men in military camouflage were
soldiers he persuaded them to allow the vehicle pass as is often with military personnel in plain clothes
traveling along the road.
“They asked if he was actually a soldier and he brought out his army ID card. So he was asked to stay
aside while they evacuate the other commuters in the Sharon bus,” another survivor said.

A military source said his wife and a policeman were among the other six abducted from the vehicle by
Boko Haram who fired several guns into the air before they zoomed off in their vehicles with the

Neither the military nor the police have commented on the incident, the first of such attack on the road
this year.

Barely two days earlier, the convoy of the Theatre Commander, Maj Gen Olusegun Adeniyi was
attacked by the terrorists around same area. Two soldiers were wounded and the commander’s official
car was badly damaged.

Nigeria Moves Against Illegal Chinese Miners, Others

The Nigerian government has commenced moves to stop the illegal activities of Chinese and other
artisanal miners across the country.

A senior official of the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Fran Odoom, made this
known to PREMIUM TIMES in a telephone interview. The official said that illegal mining activities
”are killing Nigeria’s economy and environment.”

Mr Odoom, the Director of Department of Mines Inspectorate, Ministry of Mines and Steel
Development, said the government has set up a special mining surveillance team for the purpose.

“The government has set up a special mining surveillance team that go into the forest in different states
to monitor those who are behind illegal mining activities. They started fully this year to see how best
they can stop activities.

“The surveillance team consists of EFCC, Immigration officers, Customs and all other members of
security parastatals. We must rescue this country because illegal mining is killing us.”

He also told our correspondent that the ministry is aware that some police officers compromise. But
with “our special team who are already across all states, we will curb the economic crime.”

The ministry’s action comes weeks after two reports by PREMIUM TIMES exposed illegal mining
activities in Osun and Ondo states.

Mr Odoom admitted that the reports influenced the actions of the ministry.

While one of the reports revealed how artisanal illegal mining activities from Osun to Ondo undermine
Nigeria’s economy, the other report exposed how a large number of illegal miners pursued from
Zamfara now carry out their unauthorised business in Osun.

Nigerians on social media, while reacting to the report, charged the authorities to take appropriate steps
to stop illegal gold mining in Osun State and other places.

Also, public health experts warned that if not properly tackled, illegal mining will lead to
environmental and human health problems.

Mr Odoom also told our correspondent that efforts are in place to deal with illegal foreign miners in
different states.

“We noticed your report also indicted the foreigners and we noticed that they were not conforming with
our laws which is shameful,” the official said.

“The minister is trying to speak with the Chinese government to have a record of Chinese in Nigeria. It
would be easier to get details through their embassy here. This allows us to know those who are
milking our resources dry.

“We will check their papers and if we realise that they are not in places where they have to be, we send
them away. But we don’t want the bad eggs to spoil the reputation of the good ones. The government
will start checking the papers of these persons.”

Culpable traditional rulers

While reacting to a question on how the government plans to deal with monarchs supporting Illegal
mining activities, he told PREMIUM TIMES that ”indicted kings and chiefs will face the law.”

“There are no two ways about it. The community leaders are also guilty and it is because they are not
patriotic,” he said.

“This country belongs to all of us and it appears that the traditional rulers don’t understand that giving
their blessing to people involved in illegal mining activities is a crime. It kills the nation.

“We have appealed to their conscience(s) on several occasions but if they continue to flout the rules,
they will face the law. They will be adequately prosecuted and jailed if found guilty of misconduct.”

CBN Governor, Emefiele Risks Prison Over $53m Garnishee

The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin I. Emefiele risks being committed to prison for
failing to honour a Garnishee Order Absolute to pay the balance of $53m due and payable under the
said Order to Mr. Joe Agi (SAN) and team of lawyers that facilitated the Paris Club fund matter for the
Federal Government.

Justice I. E. Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, had on November 20, 2019 under form 15, issued
the judgment summon to Emefiele in a case with suit no: FHC/ABJ/CS/1193/2017 instituted against
Central Bank Of Nigeria as Garnishee/Respondent, Linas International Limited and the Hon. Minister
Of Finance as Judgment Debtors Garnishees by Mr. Joe Agi Judgment as Creditor/Applicant on behalf
of a team of benefitting lawyers.

This order is coming barely 48 hours after an Abuja High Court, presided over by Justice Jude Okeke,
sentenced the Director-General of the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Olusegun
Runsewe, to prison in a ruling on a motion drawn from a suit filed by Ummakalif Limited against
Minister of the FCT, Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), DG of NCAC, and the Minister
for Culture and Tourism, as the first, second, third and fourth defendants respectively.

This judgment summon, which was issued by Justice Ekwo and made available in Calabar at the
weekend said: “the plaintiff/judgment creditor obtained Garnishee Order Absolute against the Central
Bank of Nigeria in this matter on the 5th day of July 2019, for the sum of $70,000,000.00 (Seventy
million US dollars) and the same sum remains partially unsatisfied till date to the tune of $53m.

“The Judgment Creditor has filed an affidavit in this Court, a copy whereof in hereunto annexed,
wherein it is alleged that you the above-named Godwin Emefiele are liable (as the Governor of the
Central Bank of Nigeria, the Garnishee) to pay the sum payable under the said Garnishee Order

It would be recalled that there is a judgment on Paris Club fund, where the Federal Government
approved the payment of money, and the court ordered that they should pay 20 percent of the fee to be
paid to a team of lawyers, led by Agi. But the CBN governor ignored the order and paid less to all the
lawyers out of the total sum of $70m.

BREAKING: 89 Niger Soldiers Feared Killed In Jihadist Attack

BREAKING: 89 Niger soldiers feared killed in jihadist attack

A jihadist attack on a military camp in western Niger three days ago left 89 soldiers dead , according to
a new toll announced by the government on public radio Sunday .
“ After a thorough search , the toll has been established as 89 dead among friendly forces , and 77 dead
for the enemy , ” said spokesman Zakaria Abdourahame.
The previous toll given for Thursday ’ s attack on the Chinegodar camp was 25 soldiers killed .
I Will Contest For President In 2023 – Ex Zamfara Governor
I will contest for President in 2023 – Ex Zamfara Governor
Sani stated this yesterday in Bauchi while answering questions from reporters after he paid a
condolence visit to the Families of a renown Islamic Scholar Sheikh Dahiru Usman Bauchi over the
death of his wife and the Families of Late prime Minister Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa over the death
of his last surviving wife.

Amaechi’s Leaked Audio On $30b Loan: “buhari Promised To

Go To Jail For Me”
In leaked audio, Transport Minister, Rotimi Amaechi disclosed how he convinced Buhari to borrow
$30billion. Amaechi in the tape said Buhari said they would go ahead and borrow and Nigerians can
say whatever they like. President Buhari also promised to go to jail on Amaechi’s behalf, according to
Amaechi in the leaked tape.”
I wake up in the morning pushing for…I call people on the phone, I look for money. It is not my job to
look for money, it is the job of the Minister of Finance but I get out…I went to Russia to look for
money, I brought the letter given to me by the company and I give it to the President and I am writing
to the Minister of Finance…Because if we can get…And I like the President’s disposition. He said let’s
borrow it, they can say whatever they like. When we finish…Once we are borrowing for infrastructure
and we finish developing< Amaechi, don’t worry, I will go to jail on your behalf, you won’t go to jail,”
Amaechi said in the tape obtained by
Sources told that the tape was recorded shortly before the 2019 general election.
President Muhammadu Buhari had urged the National Assembly to approve an external loan of $29.96
billion to execute key infrastructural projects across the country.
In a letter to the National Assembly in November 2019, the President said he decided to represent the
request for the external loan of $29.96 billion, part of which was rejected by the eighth National
Assembly, to finance key projects in different sectors of the economy. The President said the approval
of the borrowing plan will enable the government to fund some of the projects listed in the plan.

Babatunde Gbadamosi: Let Us Break Nigeria If North Retains

Power In 2023
Let us break if North retains power in 2023 — Gbadamosi

The governorship candidate of the African Democratic Party in the 2019 election in Lagos State, Mr
Babatunde Gbadamosi, speaks with MUDIAGA AFFE on the need to expand roads in the metropolis
and other national issues

How can the government tackle the problem of gridlock in Lagos?

The gridlock has always been with us, it is just that it has become far more intensive now. During the
1970s, the military tackled the gridlock the best they could. They expanded the roads from the original
two-lane express to the 10 lanes that it was from Jibowu to Ketu, among others, to be more precise. I
think that subsequent regime in Lagos, starting with the late Gen Mobolaji Johnson did a sterling job
and after him, many other governors did theirs. They did the best they could under the circumstance in
terms of road expansion. The military, under the Olusegun Obasanjo administration, started the Third
Mainland Bridge project but I think for some reason the civilian administration of the late Shehu
Shagari was not too enthusiastic about it, and also the regime of Muhammadu Buhari did not also look
into it until that of Ibrahim Babangida. In my opinion, a lot of the roads that are still dual carriageways
in Lagos today ought to have been expanded to 10-lane expressways just like we have in Abuja- that is
what Lagos needs without a shadow of the doubt.

Under the present economic downturn, is the expansion of road networks feasible?

Yes, we must expand our road infrastructure and we must expand it properly. We should start with the
proper engineering of the roads. What we have at the moment is bad. We need to go back to the
drawing board and re-engineer the roads, we are building for the future and not something that should
last us for three or four years. The only way to do that is to do it the same way it is done globally. Give
the road a concrete foundation on top of a rock layer to ensure that the coming generations will only
need to scrape the surface asphalts and relay it if there are potholes.

Why did you defect from the PDP to the ADP?

I did not defect from the PDP. I resigned from politics when I left the PDP. I was in my house when the
ADP came calling and I had left PDP for up to seven months then. When they (ADP) came, I gave
them my conditions and they met it and so I joined them.

Do you have plans to go back to the PDP?

My foray into partisan politics started with the PDP. I did the best I could for the PDP; I worked very
hard for the party. At this point, the situation in Lagos calls for a bipartisan approach or perhaps a non-
partisan approach in solving the problems of Lagos. To that end, I have been giving advice publicly to
the APC government on the things that they need to do and how to do them. That does not mean that I
want to join the APC, it simply means that I want the best for Lagos. I have good friends and leaders in
the PDP whom I have a lot of respect for and at the last election there was some synergy that came very
late in the day, but it came. Perhaps if it had come earlier the results might have been extremely
different. There may be a continuation of that synergy based on the fact that the monster we are facing
in Lagos cannot be conquered unless there is unity amongst the opposition- that much is clear.
Anybody that says otherwise is not a realistic politician or not a politician at all. So, there will be some
synergy. As to whether I am going to join the PDP, I do not know at this moment. I am a one-way
person, I have already joined the ADP and I have not seen what would make me leave the ADP at this
point. If I leave the ADP, it is more than likely that I would be leaving politics again.

The polity is already over heated with debate on the 2023 election and where the presidential candidate
should come from; don’t you think it is too early for that?

No, it is not too early to start discussing the 2023 presidential election because in my opinion, we made
some foolish choices in 2015 that have led us to where we are. When I say, we, I mean members of the
PDP, the public and Nigerians in general. We ignored the antecedents of General Buhari. For whatever
reason, many Nigerians refused to take account of his (Buhari’s) antecedents when they were going to
vote in the 2015 election and more especially the millennials were deceived because they formed the
bulk of the electorate. Of course, we also knew there were irregularities, under-age voting in the North.
We know that the majority of the votes that came from the North will not ordinarily count in a real
democracy. Unfortunately for us, we are where we are today because of those decisions. So, if we are
going to be talking about the presidential election in 2023, we had better start so that we can interrogate
the past of the people that would want to take us to the ‘extra level’ because we are now in the ‘next
level’. We need to bring them into the cold light of the day and examine their antecedents. If any person
is presenting himself for public office he needs to be scrutinised and investigated otherwise some of
these things impact us as people when they get into office. Look at the disgraceful scenes in the villa
where the First Lady is being locked out from some rooms by some people who were not elected to be
in government and yet they have an immense amount of power in this administration. How much more
lowly do we want to drag the seat of office in Nigeria? We need to know who our leaders are, their
family, children, economic lifestyle or extravagant displays of wealth. We need to know if they have
done anything in the past that could bring the office to disrepute.

There are also arguments as to where the presidency should go to. While some believe that it
should come to the South and specifically the South-East, some proponents in the North believe it
should remain in the North, what is your position on this?

I think it is unfair that the Igbo people have been shut out from the office of the President of Nigeria for
as long as Nigeria has existed. I think it is grossly unfair and it is deliberate. I think it is also to the
detriment of our unity if indeed we want to remain a united country, then we need to give everybody a
chance because if we are not ready to do that, we need to break up and everybody should go to their
separate ways. We say we are one united country; everybody must be given a chance to steer us in the
direction they think would make a place for everybody. The northerners have had their chance from
different parts of that region (North-Central, North-East, and North-West).

But those canvassing for the North to continue in 2023 are looking at the situation from the onset
of the Fourth Republic, is that a good assessment?

We cannot cut any period out of the history of Nigeria unless we are being foolish because the actions
that were taken impacted on us. The constitution was written during the military era, are we going to
throw it away? If that is the case we would need to take the opportunity to write a fresh constitution
that makes more sense. You say we are a secular state and yet the word Sharia appears in the
Constitution uncountable number of times, but our country is not a theocracy. Who are we playing
with? Is it some kind of joke of some people playing with our intelligence? We also have a Chief
Justice of Nigeria that has made some statements that are triumphal like a conquering invader that they
are more in number and can change the laws. So, what kind of justice can the Christians receive from
his court? Some issues need to be addressed- let us rewrite the constitution so that the one that was
written in 1999 can go out of the window. You cannot apply something that we did not approve of all of
us. Even in countries where they have one major religion like the United Arab Emirates, for instance,
they are fighting hard to deemphasise religion in matters of the state. These are countries that want to
make progress. We need to wake up to decide whether we want to live together or live apart. If they say
the Presidency should not come to the South in 2023, then let us end Nigeria and stop deceiving

Are you saying it is not feasible for the North to retain power in 2023?

It is not. If they insist then let us break Nigeria. Let each region go their separate ways. It is either that,
or we have a loosed confederation with an option to secede, depending on the available option upon the
start of the confederation. I disagree with those that say the unity of Nigeria is not negotiable because
there is nothing in this world that is created by humans that is not negotiable. It is only the law of God
that is not negotiable. Are they saying the unity of Nigeria is some kind of gods that we must worship?
If the concept of Nigeria is not serving the people that live in that space then let’s break it and let each
person go and paddle their own canoe. Those that are saying if we break up some of us would go
hungry let us go hungry because it is the hunger that made Singapore what it is today. Singapore has
zero oil and yet they have three of the biggest refineries in the world. We have this problem of being
unified with people who have no ambition. If Nigeria is not working, just like the Soviet realised that
the USSR was not working and they broke up and allowed each country to go and do their own thing
and are making huge technological advances, we should do that. It is not about size for those that keep
arguing that we are better when we are bigger.

Africa’s Sahel Seeks New Ways To Fight Terrorism

Heads of state from West Africa and France will gather in the French town of Pau to find new strategies
against jihadists in the Sahel. But resistance to the presence of French troops in the African region is

At least 25 soldiers and dozens of jihadists were killed by suspected Islamic militants on Thursday
during an attack on a military camp in the western Niger town of Chinagodrar near the border with

Earlier in the day, 20 people were injured in northern Mali’s restive Kidal region, including 18 UN
peacekeepers from Chad, in a rocket attack on a military base for UN, French and Malian forces. Six of
the peacekeepers from the MINUSMA mission were seriously wounded by the attack on the base in the
town of Tessalit.
The attacks happened just days before French President Emmanuel Macron hosts a summit of Sahel G5
leaders from Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Chad.

Next week’s three-hour meeting in the French city of Pau is due to focus on the fight against terrorism
in Africa’s Sahel region.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, EU Council President Charles Michel and the President of the
African Union Moussa Faki have also been invited to the working lunch.

Anxiety As Supreme Court Rules On Imo Gov Monday

There is anxiety among residents of Imo State particularly, in government circles, as the Supreme Court
prepares to rule on the governorship election in the state on Sunday.

Currently, there is a mixture of hope and anxiety as residents wait for the ruling of the Supreme Court
concerning the state’s governorship election.

But both sides expressed optimism that the judgment would favour them.
The battle is between Senator Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Governor
Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

While the PDP expressed belief that the judgment would be delivered in its favour, the APC is hopeful
that it would defeat the former.

It was gathered that the APC and the PDP expressed confidence that their candidates would be declared

The APC permutation is lately re-in enforced by the recent prediction of Rev Father Ejike Mbaka who
had said in his prophecy that Uzodinma will take over reins of leader ship in the state from the
incumbent PDP-led government of Ihedioha.

Although Mbaka said he could not explain how it would happen, he however told a shocked
congregation that his prophecy would come to pass because others delivered on the same prayer
grounds in the past did the same.

Since that prediction, the state has been in confusion as both party members and supporters have taken
to consulting prayer houses on the judgment. Some supporters of PDP have taken to facebook to
express their feelings over the case.

According to a philanthropist, Princess Ogbuefi Ezinwa: “I am extremely tensed about Monday

Supreme Court judgment more than many Governor Ihedioha’s appointees. My party, my people and
the entire Imolites, God please keep us all alive to be a witness, in Jesus name I pray.”

The state publicity secretary of APC, Barrister Enyinnaya Onuegbu however expressed confidence that
evidence so far shows that Senator Uzodinma won the election.

Efforts to get the publicity secretary of PDP, Damian Oparah proved abortive as he could not pick
several calls put across to him.
However, an official of PDP who pleaded not to be mentioned, said that the party is optimistic but not
without some anxiety over the case.
“We are praying that the judgment goes in our favour but we are not at peace with the situation,” he
However, the Police Command said its men are fully set for the outcome of the judgment of the
Supreme Court.

The state PPRO, SP Orlando Ikeokwu, said that the command is fully prepared though the judgment
would be delivered in Abuja, adding that the command is working with other security agencies to
ensure that there was break down of law and order,

He also advised the people to freely go about their businesses without fear of intimidation or

“We also warn other parties involved to maintain decorum. If you must rejoice or jubilation you must
do that with respect. Somebody is bound to lose but there is an opportunity for next time.”

January 13

Empty Treasury: Obaseki Asks PDP To Prove Allegation

Obaseki, who spoke through his Special Adviser on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe
Osagie, described the allegations as completely false and full of lies.

Osagie challenged Orbih to show Edo people the fact of the allegations since he (Orbih) has
information about the state treasury.

He reasoned why Orbih did not display any documents to proof his allegations as used to be done in the

Osagie said the Debt Management Office (DMO) recently praised Governor Obaseki of being prudent
in borrowing.

He said the Director General of the DMO, Mrs. Patience Oniha, confirmed Edo was not among the
states that borrowed commercially during her speech at the last Alaghodaro summit.
Osagie stated that the DMO boss said Edo has been prudent in managing debt and that the figures the
state has achieved in revenue has been impressive.

“There is no such thing as Orbih claimed. Information of state indebtedness is not a secret.

“If Orbih is saying the state treasury is empty, he should show proof. It is a false statement.”

Sen. Elisha Abbo Shares Malt, Fanta To His Constituents As

Form Of Giving Back
Senator Abbo shares malt and other soft drinks to members of his constituency as a way of giving back.

Ishaku Elisha Abbo is a Nigerian politician and senator representing the Adamawa North Senatorial
District who made rounds few months ago for assaulting a woman at a intimacy gadget shop.

In a video we obtained, the senator was pictured personally sharing the soft drinks to his constituents as
a form of giving back. This didn't really go down with online users who now feel public servants ate
now turning into gods.

Operation Amotekun: Carry Illegal Arms, Be Arrested, Police

Warn OPC, Hunters
The police on Sunday strongly warned the South-West Stakeholders Security Group working with the
Western Nigeria Security Outfit codenamed Operation Amotekun (leopard), against any breach of

The police commands in Ekiti, Ogun and Ondo states during separate interviews with our
correspondents, said they would not tolerate illegal possession of firearms by the members of the

They said anybody in possession of illegal weapons would be arrested.

Also, a top police officer, who confided in The PUNCH, said the operatives could only use Dane guns,
which do not use cartridges.

The SSSG, comprising the Oodua Peoples Congress, the Vigilante Group of Nigeria, the South-West
Hunters Association, the South-West Agbekoya Group, Agbekoya Farmers Society Group, Yoruba
Youth Council and the Community Security Awareness Initiative Corps of Nigeria, is led by Aare Ona
Kakanfo of Yorubaland, Chief Gani Adams.
Lagos, Osun and Ekiti state governments had, on Friday, said they would recruit about 1,320 operatives
from the OPC and other groups for the Operation Amotekun, which was launched by the South-West
states on Thursday.

The states, had before the launch, said the OPC and other members of the SSSG, would be used for
intelligence gathering.

But Adams, in an interview with The PUNCH on Monday, said the OPC members and others should
not be used for intelligence gathering alone.

He said for effectiveness, they should be trained and supervised by the police. “Security is about life
and death. The police and other security agents can train them and license their gun use to greatly assist
in the operation. They should not detain suspects but hand them over to the police,’’ Adams said.

Following serial killings and kidnapping in the South-West, governors in governors in the zone had at a

in June decided to set up Operation Amotekun.

No fewer than 120 patrol vehicles were on Thursday made available to the security outfit.

The Police Public Relations Officer for the Ekiti State Police Command, Sunday Abutu, said any OPC
member that had prohibited firearms would be arrested.

Abutu said it was the responsibility of the police to arrest and prosecute any individual or group
bearing arms illegally.

The police spokesman, who said the community security outfits like the vigilantes and hunters could
not carry prohibited firearms, said, “The approved local vigilante groups can only carry Dane guns.

“Even people that are going to use those ones (Dane and local guns) have to be approved by the police.
The police know those ones that are prohibited and the ones that such groups can use.

“Once we see anybody or group with prohibited firearms, we will arrest them because they are not
allowed to carry such.”

You can’t carry AK-47 rifles, police tell Amotekun operatives

The Police Public Relations Officer in Ogun State, Abimbola Oyeyemi, also warned that any civilian
member of the Operation Amotekun found guilty of using unlicensed firearms would be arrested.

He said the command would not condone any form of possession of prohibited firearms from members
of the Amotekun security operation.

According to him, anybody that does not belong to any security agency, such as the army, the police,
and the customs, cannot carry AK-47 rifles.

According to Oyeyemi, the essence of issuing the firearm licence is to have biometric data of the bearer
in such a way that if the person uses it to commit a crime, the police will arrest such a person.

He said, “You cannot be in the possession of prohibited firearms and you expect us to condone that. For
example, somebody who does not belong to any security agency such as the army, the police and the
customs cannot carry an AK-47 rifle. You can’t carry a pump-action.”

Also, the Ondo Police Command said it was illegal for anybody to possess firearms without being

The state Police Public Relations Officer, CSP Femi Joseph, said anyone who wished to get firearms
should get the licence.

He said, “There are categories of firearms. The ones that are prohibited are those ones using cartridges.
If you are carrying them without being licensed, it is illegal, but the Dane guns used by local hunters in
the farm are not prohibited because they don’t use cartridges.”

We’re still expecting governors, DAWN’s invitation, says Agbekoya

In a related development, three days after the launch of the Operation Amotekun, the Agbekoya
Farmers Association on Sunday said that the South-West governors and the Development Agenda for
Western Nigeria had not incorporated its security arm into the initiative.

The National Publicity Secretary of the group, Chief Tunji Bandele, stated this in an interview with one
of our correspondents in Abuja on Sunday.

Bandele, who explained that the farmers’ association had over 2,500 men in its security department,
described the Amotekun initiative as the best thing to happen to the Yoruba nation.

Northern elders, Southern Kaduna back Operation Amotekun

Meanwhile, the Convener of Northern Elders’ Forum and former Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello
University, Zaria, Prof Ango Abdullahi, on Sunday commended governors of the South-West for
establishing Operation Amotekun.

His position is contrary to an assertion by some northern youths that Amotekun is a military wing of the
The Northern Youths Council of Nigerian led by Alhaji Isah Abubakar, had on Thursday, urged the
President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), not to allow what he described as
“unconstitutionality” to prevail.

But Abdullahi on Sunday said, “I should support anything which enhances the security of Nigeria and
Nigerians anytime, anywhere.”

On its part, the Southern Kaduna Peoples Union hailed the formation of Operation Amotekun.

The National Public Relations Officer of the SOKAPU, Mr Luka Binniyat, in a statement on Sunday,
called for the establishment of a similar security outfit in Southern Kaduna and the Middle Belt

The union said this became imperative in view of the spate of killings, kidnapping, arson and looting in
the North-Central zone.

It disclosed that the ransoms paid by Christian families, churches and communities in Kaduna had risen
from N300m to N400m as of January 11, 2020.

SOKAPU said, “The recent attacks underscore the urgent need for a vibrant, government funded
vigilante organisation for every community in Southern Kaduna and indeed the entire Middle Belt.”

KAPU seeks similar outfit in M’Belt

“Adopting this security measure for our communities will not only improve security but also ensure
greater safety for our people.

“We strongly support what the Yoruba states have done by establishing Amotekun to secure and protect
all law-abiding citizens in their domain.

“We look forward to Ohanaeze Ndigbo and the Niger Delta leaders toeing the same path of the Yoruba
states to assist security agencies in protecting their communities.”

Amotekun within ambits of law – Ado Ekiti NBA

The Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association, Ado Ekiti Chapter, Samuel Falade, also said that the South-
West governors had not breached any section of the 1999 Constitution by establishing Operation

Falade, who said since the kernel of the existence of any government was to guarantee the security of
lives and property, said t the South-West governors only exercised their rights under the law.
A senior police officer in the force headquarters, who spoke on condition of anonymity in Abuja on
Sunday, said, “The law on the use or bearing of firearms is clear. Only the police and members of the
armed forces are permitted to bear or use firearms.

Mbaka’s New Year Prophecy On Ihedioha Is Just Like Spiritual

Betnaija – Obijiaku
The 2019 SDP Candidate for Ideato North & South Federal Constituency Hon Onyedikachi S. Obijiaku
has reacted to the purported prophecy by Fr Mbaka as laughable, describing it as "Spiritual BetNaija"
and assuring Ihedioha & Imolites that Mbaka's lottery ticket "go cut game this time around".

Obijiaku who hails from Umuobom in Ideato South LGA reminded Ihedioha of Mbaka's antecedents as
a rabble rouser, attention seeker and politico-spiritual merchant who has always danced to the tune of
the highest bidder and advised the Governor not to be distracted in continuing his good works of
uplifting Imolites from the economic and social hellhole that they have been thrown into by his Ideato
South brother, Rochas Okorocha

He further assured Ihedioha that Mbaka or not, he and many politicians of conscience would rather die
or retire from active politics than align with with Uzodinma and Rochas et al

He advised Ihedioha to go on his knees in prayer & humility to that same God that chose him out of
many gubernatorial aspirants and gave him power against all the odds & permutation of men and
assured him that victory will be his on Monday 13th 2020 when the supreme gives its final verdict.

2023: Yarima Declares Interest To Contest For Presidency

A former governor of Zamfara State, Senator Ahmad Sani Yarima has declared interest to contest for
the presidency come 2023. Yarima, an All Progressives Party (APC) member disclosed this yesterday
in Bauchi while speaking with newsmen shortly after he paid a condolence visit to a famous Islamic
scholar, Sheikh Dahiru Usman Bauchi over the death of his wife.

He said that various political groups from different parts of the country had approached him to contest
for the presidency. “And by the grace of Allah, I will contest for the seat in 2023,” he said. Yarima who
served as governor for eight years and senator for eight years, said if elected in 2023, he will fight
poverty, create job opportunities and address the infrastructural gap in the country.

“The APC has set a standard of producing a presidential candidate through direct primaries and by the
grace of Allah I will contest the primaries. People will look for a candidate that has something to offer
for the country, a common man will not look for money but will look for what I can offer to the
country,” he said. He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his fight against corruption and
security challenges, urging him to do more to address poverty and unemployment.
DSS Embarks On Smear Campaign Against Man Unlawfully
Detained For Using SIM Card
Rather than issue a public apology to Mr Anthony Okolie, an Asaba, Delta State-based businessman,
unlawfully detained for 10 weeks for purchasing and using a SIM card previously used by daughter of
President Muhammadu Buhari, Hanan, the Department of State Services, Nigeria’s ruthless secret
police, has embarked on a campaign to tarnish the victim’s image in a bid to justify their heinous act.

Okolie was arrested in September 2019, cuffed with chains and ferried to Abuja from Asaba where he
was held for 10 weeks without a court order for using the SIM card in question.

He had purchased the item in December 2018 from an MTN outlet in Asaba for N2,000 and had used it
up until September last year when he was suddenly arrested by the DSS on the orders of Hanan.

After subjecting him to physical and psychological torture for 10 weeks and with President Buhari’s
daughter failing to show up at the DSS headquarters to testify if Okolie had used the telephone number
for any illegal or criminal act, the secret police eventually released the young man, telling him that his
“sins had been forgiven”.

Speaking with SaharaReporters earlier in the week, Okolie said that he was treated like a criminal for
committing no offence.

He said, “I was seized like a criminal and subjected to threats by DSS officers and transferred to Abuja,
chained in the legs and handcuffed from Asaba to their headquarters.

“After my statement, I was abandoned in custody. They said I was making use of a SIM card
previously used by Hanan Buhari, that I am a criminal and that the President wanted to see me.

“I bought the SIM card legally and committed no offence by so doing. It was however, surprising to see
myself being detained for 10 weeks.”

The young man went on to narrate how his unlawful arrest and detention had destroyed his fish farm
investment worth N5m, shattered his relationship with his fiancée, who he was about getting married to
before the incident, and escalated his mother’s health condition.

However, in a report in its Sunday edition, a national newspaper, apparently doing the bidding of the
DSS, turned logic on its head by offering a counter and uninspiring narrative of the entire event and
facts surrounding Okolie’s illegal arrest.

In the story written by its Regional Editor, Northern Operation, and titled: I’m labourer, not fish farm
investor, Anthony Okolie, man who used Buhari’s daughter’s number, the newspaper and especially the
writer not only shamelessly tried to criminalise the Delta State-based businessman but also failed to
support its claim of him carrying out criminal activities with the SIM card in question without any sort
of evidence.

Alleging that Okolie used the SIM to swindle unsuspecting members of the public especially those,
who knew Hanan with the telephone number, the newspaper’s story failed to mention names of those it
claimed were defrauded by the young man and how much was involved on each occasion.

Apart from citing exclusive documents seen by it, the newspaper and writer of the story didn’t make
any attempt to convince readers with its own version of events by tabling some proof.

Throughout the story by the national daily, there was no attempt by the newspaper or the writer to
contact Okolie to get his own side of the story as good journalism practice stipulates.

Instead, the publication ran wholly with what the ‘exclusive document’ it claimed to have sighted

Describing the story as a deliberate attempt by the DSS to use the media outfit and the journalist
behind the story to defame Okolie and cover its criminal act, legal representative of the victim,
Tope Akinyode, said that they will take the matter to court in the coming days in order to get
justice for the young man.

He said, “Our attention has been drawn to a poorly-written propaganda on a national newspaper in
which the media outfit made spurious allegations against our client, claiming the allegations are the
outcome of its investigations.

“In the publication, even though the newspaper admits that our client lawfully bought the SIM in
question without having any knowledge that the phone number was once used by Hanan Buhari;
President Buhari's daughter, the newspaper howbeit disgracefully proceeded to turn logic on its head by
alleging that our client used the SIM card to perpetrate fraud and illegal activities.

“The newspaper alleged that our client discovered that the name Hanan Buhari was registered against
the phone line on a mobile App; True Caller, and our client should have complained to the network
provider as a result.

“The publication further stated that rather than complain, our client disguised as a lady to defraud
people of money.

“The publication did not state the names of the persons defrauded or the amount received out of fraud.

“For the records sake, it is important we draw the attention of the public to the fact that our
client was illegally detained for 10 weeks at the SSS facility without a detention order and was not
charged to court all through.
“Instead, having discovered that any case against our client would head for the rock, the SSS
cowardly released our client after 10 weeks of detention claiming he had been forgiven.

“We make bold to state that if it were true indeed that our client actually perpetrated fraud, it would
have been illegal, immoral and outrageously insensitive for the SSS not to have charged him to court.

“The refusal to charge him to court is due to the fact that there is absolutely no case against him
because he has not committed any offence.

“We are sorry for the newspaper for deliberately shattering its own integrity by such a distasteful

“As earlier noted, we have concluded plans to file a lawsuit against Hanan Buhari, SSS, and MTN
Nigeria and the lawsuit shall be filed shortly. We shall not allow lawlessness to thrive.”

Okolie’s ordeal is indeed an insignificant fraction of the violation of rights of citizens perpetrated by
the DSS in recent times.

In September 2019, the Nigeria Bar Association said the DSS was carving a notorious image for itself
by constantly disobeying court orders.

In a statement by the association’s National Publicity Secretary, Kunle Edun, at the time, the NBA
described the agency’s attitude towards court orders as unfortunate and unacceptable.

“The NBA notes that the Department of State Security is cutting for herself the notorious image of an
agency that enjoys treating judicial process with disdain, particularly as it pertains to obeying orders of
courts enforcing the fundamental rights of Nigerians,” the statement reads in part.

Fearing what the DSS could be up to next, Okolie told SaharaReporters that he has since switched off
the telephone number in question.

“I've switched off the line ever since that bizarre incident because I'm still scared and don't know what
their next plan may be,” he said.
Border closure effective only in South, difficult
to enforce in North –Ex-Director, Ministry of
Foreign Affairs
In this interview with ADELANI ADEPEGBA, a former Director of Trade and
Investment, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Rasheed Akinkuolie,
examines the issues around the closure of Nigeria’s borders
What is your assessment of the border closure?
Border closure is not something you do casually. You may close it, in case of a war, to prevent an
incursion into your territory. But it is not the kind decision you take for the purpose of stopping
How many borders are in the world? Maybe there are 5,000 country-to-country borders. So you get
institutions that are well equipped to monitor the borders, but you don’t close them. You use
surveillance cameras, drones, and other equipment or facilities because nobody can monitor a border
100 per cent, except you build walls.
In parts of Africa, where borders are very porous, like the Nigeria-Benin borders, for example, the
Yoruba on the side of Benin Republic are not conscious of the modern border created by the British and
the French. They have been trading for decades among themselves and smuggling is part of their
business. You cannot stop it, but you can only minimise it by using intelligence to curb arms smuggling
and other contrabands.
Are you saying the border closure was not well thought out?
It wasn’t well thought out. It was precipitous and sudden. They just said, “We are closing the borders
tomorrow” and then they closed it. It is childish and it was borne out of a military mentality, which is
still playing out in governance.
I was in London in 1983 when Major General Muhammadu Buhari took over power from the civilian
government at the time. When the news filtered in that his regime was jailing politicians for 100 years,
we all laughed. When we heard that the regime was planning to arrest Chief Obafemi Awolowo, I said
that those boys were playing with danger. They overthrew Buhari shortly afterwards.
Closing the borders is not the best decision. Decisions like this should be taken with depth. People
should come together and come out with a position, not that you just announce it overnight. The
closure will not necessarily stop smuggling. If it stops it for a time, then you should put in place strong
institutions that will address the problem.
Do you believe the closure has achieved its objectives?
I think the closure is getting too protracted. Four months, going to five months, is too long. You are
dealing with sovereign states and no state can live in isolation. They need us and we need them.
When I was in Cameroon, domestic products manufactured in Nigeria were taken to Cameroon and
petroleum products were being smuggled with the complicity of the gendarmes. It was business for
Nigerians and the gendarmes. There is nothing you can do about it, especially in a situation where
government agents are the accomplices of the smugglers.
You cannot win that kind of fight; you can only minimise it by ensuring there is a joint patrol team on
both sides of the borders and also create a buffer zone. Any contraband caught should be impounded
Along the northern borders, the closure doesn’t make sense because there is a thousand routes that
could be accessed by using donkeys. Any Customs or immigration official who fails to cooperate with
smugglers on these routes may be risking his life.
READ ALSO: Aregbesola blames porous borders for arms proliferation
Are you saying the closure is only effective in the south?
It is effective mainly in the South and difficult to enforce in the North. The people on both sides of the
borders are the same. The Hausa in Nigeria are the same Hausa in Niger Republic. The Kanuri people
in Nigeria are also on the other side of the border. Many Cameroonians are in the Nigerian Army, the
Foreign Service and other institutions. They simply cross to their home towns on foot and they use the
same market as their Nigerian neighbours. So, the closure is more effective in the south than in the
What is the implication of the closure for Nigeria’s relationship with other ECOWAS member states?
Nigeria needs ECOWAS because the francophone monetary zone is fully integrated by France. They
have a customs union, a common currency and the same educational system. So it is the Anglophone
countries that really need the ECOWAS to align with the Francophone countries. They can afford to
pull out of ECOWAS and abandon Nigeria and that would be the end of the organisation and all the
efforts made almost 45 years ago would just be lost.
It is not enough to have an ECOWAS parliament, ECOWAS court and all the other institutions if
people are not benefiting from them. France’s military bases are protecting the Francophone territories.
They don’t really need ECOMOG as long as you don’t interfere in their affairs.
I was in Cote d’Ivoire when the crisis in that country started and Nigeria wanted to help. I recall that
the President sent two fighter jets to Abidjan, but France requested that the planes should be returned.
Then French brought their troops and they were able to manage the crisis. So, the Francophone
countries are still under the influence of France. They can afford to pull out of ECOWAS and Nigeria
will be the worse for it.
Do you think the conditions given to Benin and Niger for the re-opening of the borders are fair?
One of the conditions is that a Trade Facilitation Committee, which will have the ministers of finance
and trade of Nigeria, Benin and Niger as members, will be set up to promote intra-regional trade and to
introduce sanctions against smuggling. Let us assume, for example, that a shipload of rice arrives in
Benin, we know that they can’t consume it all. Those goods may not necessarily be coming to Nigeria
because they also send goods to landlocked countries, such as Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso, through
their ports. Their imports are not for Nigeria alone.
Nigeria needs her West African neighbours. So border closure decisions must be subjected to very deep
debate by civil servants, experts and the National Planning Commission. Such decisions should not be
taken by a small group of people only.
The government claims the closure has positively impacted the economy? Do you think this is true?
We are looking at the wrong side of the economy. The problem is the open market. Our market is open
to all commodities that are competing with manufactured goods in Nigeria. A country that opens its
market to all kinds of imported goods is bound to have serious issues with unemployment and poverty.
The competition with foreign manufactured products has in the past three decades forced the exit of
many thriving Nigerian brands and companies.
The list includes Michelin and Dunlop tyres, Berec and Exide batteries, Bata, Lennards, Clark shoes,
the assembly plants of Volkswagen, Leyland, Peugeot Automobile, Steyr tractors, Annamco trucks and
the textile mills in Lagos, Kaduna, Kano, to mention a few among hundreds of local industries, which
have gone down with hundreds of thousands of their workers.
The countries, which have developed their economies, rather opened their borders but closed their
markets. India shut its market to all imported manufactured goods for several decades to enable the
local industries to mature. The slogan buy ‘Made in India’ was enforced. The internal demands were
initially met before the qualities were good enough to compete internationally.
Are you saying the current policy cannot grow the Nigerian economy?
Nigeria’s manufacturing industries can neither grow nor come out of the present economic miasma
because of competition from other countries.
In the automobile industry, fully built cars have replaced the once-thriving Nigeria’s automobile
industry. The Volkswagen series ( Bettle, Rio, Passat, Santana, Igala) were until the 1980s
manufactured in Nigeria. The Peugeot series, (305, 404, 504, 505) were official cars used by the
President, ministers, government officials, and the general public. They were also exported to West and
Central African countries, whereas, at the time of their closure, most of them had achieved over 40 per
cent local content components.
The oil refineries are not working and Nigeria, with a crude oil production of over two million barrels a
day, imports petroleum products. This is most incredible, ironical and absurd.
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Do you think that stopping the supply of petroleum products to border communities in the country
check smuggling?
Those involved in smuggling are Nigerians. I lived in Cameroon for three years and in Buoya, there
were no petrol filling stations. The residents bought petrol from roadside sellers.
If you stop supplying fuel to the border communities, people will find a way around it. Denying the
border communities fuel supply is not a good strategy. You have to put in place something effective, a
If our refineries were functioning, we could sell fuel to people living in Cameroon and Benin Republic
just like we sell power. It is painful when you import fuel at great cost and some people smuggle it out.
Most of the people in Francophone countries use motorcycles, the car is not a priority for them. The
right thing is to sell fuel to these other countries officially. By refining products abroad, we are
empowering foreign countries. Turkey has no oil, but it has 27 refineries because oil refinery is big
business for the authorities. They import crude oil, refine and sell to other countries.
Our refineries were built in 1976 or thereabouts, yet they are not functioning. What they are doing in
the Niger Delta is distillation and it is useable. We can distill all the fuel we need in Nigeria, but
racketeering will not make it work.

Mohammed Tahir-Monguno: Why I Sponsored 27 Bills In 7

The Chief Whip, House of Representatives, Mohammed Tahir Monguno (APC, Borno) says he
sponsored 27 bills in seven months to impact positively on the lives of his constituents and other
Nigerians. Speaking to our correspondent, Monguno who was ranked among top bill sponsors in the
ninth assembly, said he was spurred by the zeal to contribute towards building a better Nigeria through
robust and beneficial legislations.

He said: “Coming from an area bedevilled by myriad of security and developmental challenges, I am
duty bound to present bills that will bring succour to my people and other Nigerians.

“All the bills I personally sponsored or co-sponsored with my colleagues are quality, well thought out
proposals which when passed into law will help in bringing the needed legal frameworks for the
development of the country. “Notable among the bills I sponsored are; the bill for the Separation of the
Office of the Attorney General, bill for the Establishment for a body to regulate the Proliferation of
Small Arms and the Onshore/Offshore Production Sharing as well as other important bills.”

Monguno added that, he was particularly moved by the current socio-economic challenges facing the
country which required a review of most of the country’s laws to take care of the realities on ground.
“We cannot move forward without being proactive especially with some of our constitutional
provisions. The dynamism of the present times comes with challenges that need prompt actions
especially from the National Assembly.

“I assure you, with the way the 9th assembly is focusing in making laws, Nigerians will have
legislations that will be geared towards realising the dreams of having a country with progressive ideals
to ensure overall development,” he said. Monguno was ranked second lawmaker ýwith the highest
number of bills in the ninth House of Representatives since inauguration on June 11 last year. So far, he
has sponsored ý27 bills.

We Won’t Take Armed Forces For Granted — FG

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has assured Nigerians that the Federal Government would continue to
recognise the sacrifices of the men and women of the nation’s armed forces. Osinbajo gave the
assurance during an interdenominational Church service organised by the Ministry of Defence to
commemorate the 2020 Armed Force Remembrance Day Celbration AFRDC) on Sunday in Abuja.

He said that the government would continue to prioritise their welfare and the wellbeing of the families
of the fallen heroes. According him, “we do not and will not take our men and women of the armed
forces for granted. “We will do better for our veterans and the families of our fallen heroes and to
improve the conditions of those in service and we shall do so incrementally. “And so, today, we came
together to thank the men and women of our armed forces for their sterling and selfless service to our
nation. (NAN)

NT: Anxiety As NDDC begins audit of contracts

in states
NDDC begins audit of contracts in states
ALL contracts awarded by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in the nine mandate
states will be verified ahead of the forensic audit ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari, acting
Managing Director Dr. Joi Nunieh, said at the weekend.
She added that contractors with fake Interim Payment Certificates (IPCs) will be arrested.
Nunieh wondered how some Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) that are non-profit making,
should get contracts from the commission.
She said such NGOs would need to justify such contracts.
Nunieh spoke during the inauguration of a 50-member Contracts’ Verification Committee, headed by
Executive Director Projects Dr. Cairo Ojougboh.
The committee will verify all contracts in the nine states that the NDDC covers – Rivers, Bayelsa,
Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Edo, Delta, Imo, Abia and Ondo – within a two-week period.
Nunieh said the verification was a prelude to the forensic audit.
According to her, it was necessary because there were so many fake IPC being claimed by NDDC
“Members of the committee will go round all the NDDC mandate states to verify these projects and
contracts,” she said.
The NDDC chief noted that the committee’s assignment, which would last for two weeks, was the first
stage in the commission’s redirection exercise.
She said: “After the initial documentation and verification, we will go out to all the states to identify
and inspect the projects.
“We will work with professional groups such as architects, engineers and quantity surveyors to ensure
that the projects were done to acceptable standards.
“We have selected credible people from the Commission to carry out this important assignment.
“We expect them to be steadfast and resist all manner of external influences from those who may claim
to have connections in high places.”
Nunieh said the NDDC had records of all the contracts, warning that anyone with a fake IPC would be
arrested by the security agencies.
She advised Nigerians not to buy IPCs and contracts purported to emanate from NDDC.
“We are aware that some people are still signing and awarding contracts from hotel rooms.
“Unfortunately for them, we have a comprehensive list of all our contracts. If you come with fake IPC,
you will be promptly arrested.
“We will invite the NGOs to come for verification so that they can explain why they were involved in
profit-making contracts.
“When you claim that NDDC owes you, you will also know that he who goes to equity must come with
clean hands,” she said.
Nunieh thanked the governors of the NDDC mandate states that had set up committees to investigate
the jobs done by the Commission’s contractors, following the list of contracts given to them.
She urged them to help fish out dubious contractors claiming to have executed jobs that exist only on
She assured all contractors that did their jobs according to specifications that they would be paid after
the verification exercise.
“We have started paying consultants and suppliers that have indeed done their jobs well.
“They will be paid without having to bribe anyone. You don’t need to pay gratification to get your bills
paid in the new NDDC,” Nunieh said.
Dr. Ojougboh, said they would approach the assignment with diligence.
“You have made it clear that the revalidation exercise is free. No contractor shall be asked to pay
money and nobody should make any demands from the contractors,” he said.
He assured members of the committee that the NDDC would do all that was necessary to ensure their
safety while they do their job.
Ojougboh said: “The Commission will do its best to ensure that you are not intimidated or harassed.
So, you should not succumb to any pressure.”
NDDC Project Monitoring and Supervision Director, Dr Emmanuel Audu-Ohwavborua, is the Deputy
Chairman; Community and Rural Development Director Mrs Iyingi Numbere is the committee’s

FG Plans N88m Cook Stoves For Institutions

After N9.2bn stoves for rural women project flops Five years into the controversies trailing the
procurement of N9.2 billion cook stoves for rural women, the Federal Ministry of Environment is
shopping for companies to procure and distribute cook stoves to “institutions.”

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) under ex-president Goodluck Jonathan had in 2015 approved

Ortom, Sule To FG: Don’t Withdraw Soldiers From Benue,

Governors Abdullahi Sule and Samuel Ortom of Nasarawa and Benue States respectively yesterday
appealed to the Federal Government not to withdraw Operation Whirl Strokes from their states. The
Federal Government had last December said it would gradually withdraw military operations in some
volatile spots in the country, beginning from the first quarter of 2020.

But Governors Sule and Ortom, at a joint security meeting of Nasarawa and Benue States held in Lafia
yesterday, said troops’ withdrawal would not augur well for affected communities as security there was
still fragile. They said they said they had written formally to the authorities concerned to stay put on the
planned withdrawal of troops till the situations on the border line of both states improved.

Sule asked the federal government to give the two states another two years to work on a complete
master plan for the return of peace among citizens of the states living on the border line. Ortom insisted
that the Benue State Anti-open Grazing Prohibition and Ranching Law had come to stay in the state,
urging governments at all levels to support herdsmen with incentives as done to farmers.

The Emir of Lafia and chairman of the Nasarawa State Traditional Council, Justice Sidi Bage (rtd),
appealed to Ortom to review the Anti-open Grazing Prohibition and Ranching Law.

Reno Omokri Defends Arabic On Naira Note On His Social

Media Page
At the time Arabic was first introduced into Nigeria’s currency, BY THE BRITISH (not by Northern
Nigerians), in 1912 (see attached photograph of the British West African Pound), it was because the
number of Northerners who read and wrote Arabic was higher than the population of Northerners who
read and wrote English.

The British also added Arabic to the emblem of the Royal West African Frontier Force for the same
reason. The British West African Pound eventually became the Naira, while the Royal West African
Frontier Force in Nigeria eventually became the Nigerian Army. The use of Arabic is not an Islamic

Those who know me, know that I would fight such an agenda tooth and nail. We must as Nigerians
learn from history otherwise we will accuse history of repeating itself, when in fact we are the ones
repeating history. The Black man must learn to be factual, not emotional. Truth is really not bitter. It is
actually people that get bitter about the truth. Nigerians should not be be bitter about the truth. Instead,
let the truth make Nigeria better!
Oshodi-abule Egba BRT Corridor Ready In May - Sanwo-olu
…Lagos Gov: ‘Second Phase Of The Project To Start Immediately’

...Corridor To Open With 200 Buses

Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has beamed a special focus on the ongoing
construction BRT corridor from Oshodi to Abule Egba. The 13.68 kilometre-long route will be
completed in May, this year, Sanwo-Olu disclosed while inspecting the project on Sunday.

Construction work has resumed on the project, which was started under the last administration. The
project is being handled and supervised by the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority

Upon completion, Sanwo-Olu said the project was expected to bring relief to residents, as it is expected
to ease transportation challenges along the route.

The Governor said over 200 mass transit buses would be deployed to the corridor for immediate
operations, pointing out that additional buses would be delivered based on an assessment of traffic
situation and utilisation.

He said: “This BRT corridor was conceived with the intention to address congestion and transportation
challenges along the Oshodi-Abule Egba corridor. We are fully back on this project and we are pushing
the contractor to step up the pace of work on it. Once it starts operation, this will significantly bring
relief and reduce traffic congestion and transportation problems along this route.

“We are hoping that by the end of May, we should complete the entire Phase 1 of the BRT
infrastructure along this route. The work has been pushed up and the there entire project is about 75 per
cent to completion. The rest of the construction activities to be done include completion of bus shelters,
rigid pavements and terminals.”

Sanwo-Olu said the Government had started to address some impediments slowing down the
construction work on the path, which, he said, included blocked drainage network along the route. The
Governor said desilting of the identified drain channels at Katangowa market would be done to pave
the way for completion work on the BRT lane.

The ongoing Phase 1 of the project will have 14 bus stations between Abule Egba and Oshodi. Five of
the stations are bilateral, facing both sides of Expressway; nine medium stations. Also, streetlight
facilities will be installed on the route in addition to pedestrian bridges being built along the path.

The Governor also said the Government would be acquiring land to build mega bus depots for the BRT
vehicles to be deployed to the area.
After the completion of the first phase, Sanwo-Olu disclosed that work would commence on Phase II of
the project, which will stretch from Abule Egba to Sango, later this year.

“The extension of the BRT corridor to Ogun State border is part of the solutions we are bringing to
address traffic congestion along Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway and reduce it to the barest minimum.
This will create a robust transportation model for our residents living in border towns.”

The Governor warned against indiscriminate dumping of refuse on the BRT corridor, stressing that the
Government would not condone one-way driving along the route.

Lagos Records 200 Motorcycle Accidents Monthly – Sanwo-Olu

The Lagos State Government has announced plans to halt the abuse of traffic laws by motorcycle
and tricycle riders, saying the menace can no longer be condoned.

A statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, affirmed
that the ongoing enforcement of traffic laws will be stepped up across the State to check motorcyclists
and motorists violating the laws.

The Commissioner explained that the violation of traffic laws by commercial motorcyclists was
unacceptable, thereby necessitating the enforcement of the State Traffic Law 2018 to pave the way for
the implementation of the present administration’s transportation project.

He recalled that the alarming negative statistics resulting from motorcycle accidents and the compelling
need to enhance safety led to the introduction of the Lagos State Road Traffic Law 2012, which was
reviewed in 2018.

Omotoso emphasised that the law makes the use of safety helmets by riders and passengers of
motorcycles compulsory, the obedience of traffic lights and signage mandatory and the conveyance of
more than a passenger, expectant women, adults with babies, as well as children of school age

“Their operations were restricted on 475 roads, including highways and bridges” Omotoso stated.

The Commissioner said: “We cannot fold our arms and watch them disrupt the peace of the State. Over
1500 accidents involving tricycles were reported across the State from 2015 till 2019 while over 70
died and 250 were injured”.

He added that 30 robbery cases involving motorcycles were reported in 2019, out of which 20 were
foiled by the Police, who arrested 25 suspects and recovered 48 arms and ammunition.

While reeling out statistics from the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Omotoso
stated that no fewer than 619 people were killed or seriously injured in motorcycle accidents within
2015 and 2016, noting that a police report released during the same period indicated that of the 30
armed robbery cases recorded between July and September, commercial motorcycle riders perpetrated

“Over 200 cases of motorcycle accidents have been recorded monthly at health facilities across
the State in the last three years”, Omotoso declared.

Bemoaning the era of indecency exhibited by motorcycle and tricycle riders, the Commissioner stated
that their consistent and brazen disregard for the law, in addition to drug abuse by many should be a
matter of concern for Lagosians.

“Okada is being used to escape after robberies. Besides, the influx into the State of many riders without
traceable addresses and valid means of identification, in spite of the provision for a rider’s permit,
remains a huge security and safety threat to residents,” the Commissioner said.

He asserted that “Aside from the sheer size of the industry, the level of indiscipline, security concerns
and, particularly, the level of fatalities being recorded daily, demand appropriate and very serious
sanctions. The government, in line with its T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda, is addressing the challenge

The Commissioner affirmed that the resolve to strengthen security has reinvigorated the government’s
commitment to instilling sanity in the operation of ‘Okada’ and ‘Keke’ business.

Nigerian Senators Express Anger Over 2 million Christmas

In fact, some senators have described the amount — which is only a fraction of a regular stream of
benefits accrued to them — as “a mere drop” in the vast ocean of their Yuletide expenses. Others
threatened to cause the Senate leadership “some headache” upon resumption from their Christmas-New
Year recess later this month.

“It was not enough to meet our Christmas needs,” one senator said. “In fact, some of us are already
coming together to formally complain to our president.”

The lawmakers received the N2 million on December 18 from the Senate overhead and operations
account, according to bank transaction alerts of two senators seen by PREMIUM TIMES.

The purpose of the transaction was not attached to the payments, but lawmakers had been told a few
days earlier to expect the funds as their Christmas allowances, according to three senators who briefed
PREMIUM TIMES on it. The senators spoke under anonymity as of the time they interacted with
PREMIUM TIMES to avoid a potential backlash from their colleagues, but one of them said they may
eventually go public with their complaints if their anger boils over.
“They said we should use the money to take care of our families and constituents,” one senator said. “I
was just standing there without knowing what to say for many minutes.”

The senator decried “the failure” of Senate President Ahmed Lawan to understand the scale of
responsibility that usually confronts them whenever they visit their constituency.

Senate President Ahmed Lawan

“There are many local government areas under my district,” the senator said. “How do I tell them that I
only came back home with N2 million?”

“Even when I am travelling for an event or just to visit my constituency, I usually hold at least N50
million,” the senator added.

Another senator said lawmakers usually received far larger amount in Christmas allowances,
wondering why the current assembly that has maintained a cordial relationship with the executive now
finds itself receiving much less.

“We have been struggling in poverty since we came on board months ago,” the senator said. “I asked
my distinguished colleagues why we have to be the one suffering the excesses of past assemblies.”

“We have given this administration every support and people on social media are angry and calling us a
rubber stamp Senate,” the senator said.

“We have started gathering ourselves and we will make our position known to the leadership,” the
senator said. “Otherwise, we may not have a choice left but to publicly call out the leadership and give
them some headache when we resume plenary.”

Two former senators who served in seventh and eight assemblies told PREMIUM TIMES they received
Christmas allowances well over N2 million, but could not recall the specifics.

“We received allowances for Christmas and Sallah holidays during our time in the Seventh Assembly,”
a former senator from Ogun State said. “I am struggling to remember how much we received then, but I
am very sure each one was far more than N2 million.”

The second former senator confirmed that he received more than N2 million in Christmas bonus, but
warned that members of the current assembly should concentrate on their activities rather than
complaining over payment.

“The N2 million may look small,” the senator said. “But I will advise them to remember the millions of
Nigerians who cannot even earn a fraction of that amount throughout the year.”
The former senators insisted on speaking off the background to avoid offending their serving senators,
many of whom they identified as friends and political associates.

Trust issues
While the senators were unable to categorically say how much they should have gotten as Christmas
bonus, they expressed deep suspicion that the share of each member of the 109 body was more than N2

“I have been struggling to reconcile the amount we received as National Assembly budget with the
small-small stipends we have been getting from the leadership,” one senator said. “Unlike the Senate
President, we are not entitled to many official benefits like private jets and free fuel for our vehicles.”

The National Assembly received N125 billion in 2019. Although down considerably from the N140
billion it received the previous year, many Nigerians were still highly critical of government’s priority
in allocating such a vast amount to 469 people in a population hovering around 200 million. About 90
million Nigerians still languish in abject poverty, per official estimates.

Their appropriated budget aside, lawmakers are also seen as the primary beneficiaries of the so-called
constituency intervention projects whose allocation usually suppasses N100 billion per year. Although
the projects are implemented by federal agencies, lawmakers are often accorded sufficient deference in
choosing contractors.

The opaque atmosphere under which contractors are nominated for constituency projectects allows
lawmakers to push their own fronts who would then channel a large chunk of released project funds
back to them — all done under the radar with little or difficult-to-prove paper trail.

But the lawmakers who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES about the N2 million Christmas bonus said the
Nigerian parliament had seen better days.

“Senators in the past left office as billionaires,” one senator said. “But things are no longer the way
they used to be.”

Another senator said the growing awareness of their expenses by everyday Nigerians and civic groups
has made it difficult to spend without any sense of accountability.

“It is becoming more and more difficult by every passing assembly,” the senator said. “I predict fewer
people would be interested in this office in the next few years.”

As of 2018, senators were drawing N13.5 million per month in controversial running cost, amongst a
slew of other consistent allowances known and unknown to the public.

‘Shameful sense of entitlement’

Ola Awoniyi, a spokesperson for the Senate President, told PREMIUM TIMES he was not aware of the
complaints and could not immediately speak on whether or not his principal was aware either. Godiya
Akwashiki, the chief spokesperson for the Senate, did not return calls and messages seeking comments
about the grumbling senators.

While requesting for additional pay may not be inherently objectionable under labour principles, the
manner with which the senators are going about their complaints could cast them as shamefully
entitled, a political analyst said.

“It strikes me as a shameful sense of entitlement for senators to be complaining of receiving N2 million
at a time of economic woes for the country,” Tola Adekoya, a former university lecturer, told

Mr Adekoya said it was provocative that senators would be complaining about N2 million when a vast
majority of the population could barely feed.

“This is something that you hear and your brain would respond like it was hit with a hammer,” he said.
“Do they have any idea how many Nigerians cannot even feed themselves for once per day?”

“They are out of touch,” he said. “Let us hope they desist from disrupting the activities of the Senate
because of their selfish interest.”

Yet, Mr Adekoya said the Senate leadership should look into the complaints of the lawmakers in order
to avoid undue drama that could slow down the progress of critical national assignments.

“They were elected to work for our collective interest,” the analyst said. “Efforts should be made to
minimise complaints that they could use to sabotage the larger interest of Nigerians.”

Governorship Tussle: Tanko Muhammad storms out of Supreme

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad has retired to his chambers over the
congestion in the Supreme Court hall.

Justice Muhammad, who is presiding over the determination of seven outstanding governorship appeals
complained about the rowdy hall.

Supporters of the governors from Kano, Sokoto, Bauchi, Adamawa, Imo, Benue, and Plateau states had
thronged the court premises since 6:00am on Monday.

The Director of Litigation of the Supreme Court, Ibrahim Gold asked persons with no serious business
in the court to leave. He added that only the lead counsel and four others should be in the hall for each
of the parties.

“If you are not appearing as a lawyer for the appellant and respondent, please leave the hall,” he said.
Security agencies finding it hard to clear the hall. Detail later

Letter Seeking To Eliminate Muslims In Ondo State Sent To

Akeredolu - MURIC
A letter has been sent to the Ondo State Governor, Akeredolu over plan to eliminate all Muslims from
the state stating security reasons.

Below is the full letter

MURIC received an S.O.S. from the Muslim community of Oke-Agbe Akoko yesterday. The whole
town was taken over by heavily armed policemen. Properties belonging to the Ansar-Ud-Deen (AUD)
Primary School were forcefully packed out of the school. We strongly condemn this action. It is
arbitrary, intolerant and provocative.

“A letter dated 16th December, 2019 was received by the school a few days ago. The letter with
reference SUBEB/PRS/766 was addressed to the headmaster of the school. The letter under the heading
‘Re: Request For Transfer of Oke-Agbe Mega Primary School to Adekunle Ajasin University,
Akungba, Akoko’ reads inter alia:

“Following the directives given by Mr. Governor that the school, A.U.D. Mega Primary School, Oke-
Agbe, should be handed over to Adekunle Ajasin University, the Education Secretary is hereby directed
to: The pupils of AUD Mega Primary School, Oke-Agbe will be relocated to St. Georges Primary
School, Oke-Agbe, pending the time a permanent place is given to the school by the community. The
board will thereafter construct new classroom building for the school. The Acting Education Secretary
should liaise with the three communities (Oyin, Oke-Agbe and Afin) to get a suitable land to site the
school (AUD Mega Primary School, Oke-Agbe).

“This letter depicts Islamophobia and tyranny. It is a manifestation of totalitarian dictatorship. There
are five primary schools within the town: St Georges, Catholic, Local Authority (L. A.), Christ
Apostolic Church (C. A. C) Orimolade and Ansarud-Deen (A.U.D). Why didn’t the state government
pick any of those four?

“Why must it be the only Islamic school in the vicinity that Akeredolu will take over? Afterall that land
belongs to the Ansar-Ud-Deen. It is unfair to just seize it like that.

“It is a grand plan to uproot AUD Primary School, Oke-Agbo Akoko. This is a school founded since
1975. It is also an attempt to intimidate the Ondo State branch of the Ansar-Ud-Deen Society and an
undisguised attempt to embarrass the organization at the national level. This is unacceptable.
Akeredolu’s action runs counter to civilized norms and the principles of dialogue and religious

“By the way, was the Ansar-Ud-Deen consulted? Akeredolu cannot pretend that he does not know
about the Ansar-Ud-Deen and its educational activities in Yorubaland in particular and Nigeria as a
whole. It is administrative ineptitude to have failed to consult the original owners of the school. It is
true that the past administration of Olusegun Mimiko had rebuilt the school but that was done in the
spirit of public service. At least eighteen other schools were also rebuilt at the same time and they all
retained their original names. So what is the big deal? Islam is simply being victimized by the
Akeredolu administration.

“Where is Donald Trump? Where are the leaders of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN)? These
are people who always make false claims that it is Christians who are being persecuted in Nigeria. Here
is another palpable and indubitable evidence of the persecution of Muslims by a Christian governor.

“It is noteworthy that the state government has no land ready for the Ansar-Ud-Deen school it is
evicting. The government is leaving that issue to three distant and unfriendly communities to decide the
fate of an Islamic school.

“These are the same communities who have been threatening Muslims in their domain? Akeredolu is
deceiving us.

“This move is part of a grand plan to eliminate Islam and Islamic education from Ondo State.
Otherwise why move pupils of a Muslim school to a Christian school? Can Akeredolu claim ignorance
of the ideological differences? Can he assure us that those Muslim pupils will continue to enjoy their
religious freedom? Will St. George allow those Muslim children to observe Salat within its premises?
Will the headmaster of St. George school allow the female Muslim children to use hijab? How will the
morning assembly be conducted: in Christian fashion or in Islamic pattern? Hasn’t the governor
himself ignited bitter religious rivalry between Christian and Muslim children and even the teachers? Is
this not another attempt to subject Muslim children to Christian domination and way of life?

“Already, there has been a potent threat against Islam and Muslims in Oke-Agbe Akoko for some time
now. In fact, it was the intervention of the security agencies that foiled the planned attack on Muslims
at the Id praying ground after the 2017 Ramadan.

“Muslims in the city have been living in fear since then. They complain of intimidation and harassment
and this has led to the conversion of many of them to Christianity, including a biological son of the

“Here lies another concrete example of the persecution of Muslims in the South West. Those who
claim that Yoruba Christians and Muslims enjoy cordial relations need to take a second look at
the real situation in Yorubaland. The so called religious tolerance in Yorubaland exists only
among members of the same family who belong to different faiths, tenants living in the same
house who practice different faith and people working in the same establishment. No more, no

“Religious tolerance in Yorubaland exists only at micro level. It is a horse of another colour at the
macro. A Muslim is welcome as a person among members of his family, in the house where he
lives and in his workplace. But not his religion, not Islam. Non-Muslims in Yorubaland abhor
Islam as an institution. We can authoritatively affirm that many Yoruba critics and writers refer
to Muslim activists as agents of the caliphate and treat them like lepers. That is the bitter truth.

“There is no tolerance for the religion of Islam in Yorubaland. That is why it is only in Yorubaland that
the use of hijab in schools is disallowed. That is why a socio-cultural organization like Afenifere
arrogates to itself the role of protecting the interest of Christianity and opposing anything that dons the
toga of Islam. That is why some governors demolish mosques at will (or threaten to demolish them).

“That is why Islamic schools like the Ansar-Ud-Deen school, Oke Agbo Akoko has been
commandeered. Religious tolerance in Yorubaland is, therefore, a myth, peaceful coexistence is a
mirage and the principle of live and let live is a phantom.

“Akeredolu has elected to uproot Islam in Akokoland by using a popular neo-imperialist gimmick
called ‘elimination by substitution’.

” It is a wicked concoction from the bottom of hell. How can you take over a primary school building
for a university faculty? How can you advance the cause of education by destroying its root? Can you
climb a tree from the top? Must primary schools be dislocated just to locate the faculty of a university?
What kind of logic is that? Who did this to Ondo State? What is Akeredolu doing in the state house if
he cannot protect primary education? Akeredolu has abdicated his responsibility to the citizens of Ondo

“Leaders of the Ansar-Ud-Deen in Oke Agbo Akoko had assured the state government that they are not
opposed to educational advancement but Akeredolu will not listen.

“They suggested that since their school compound is very big and since it has 21 classrooms, the state
government should demarcate their compound. They said they were ready to concede as much as 15
classrooms to the university project while they continue to manage six (6) only. Yet Akeredolu turned
deaf ears.

” It is curious that the state government has rejected this noble idea. It insists on ejecting the Ansar-Ud-
Deen from the premises. This is mean, callous and belligerent. The buck stops on Akeredolu’s table.
“We assure Governor Akeredolu that Nigerians are watching, in particular, the Nigerian Muslim
community is keenly watching Akeredolu’s overzealous and fanatical desire to inflict pain on
Muslims in Ondo State. Akeredolu has killed tolerance. He should not preach the gospel of ‘being
our brothers’ keepers’ to us no more. We reject the eviction of Ansar-Ud-Deen School from its
original location. The government of Ondo State should look for another location for the faculty.

[b]“Before we turn off the ignition key, we call on Nigerians to hold Governor Akeredolu
responsible for anything that happens to the Muslims in Oke Agbo Akoko in particular and Ondo
State in general.
“We urge the Commissioner of Police and the heads of other security agencies in the state to give
adequate protection to all Muslims in Ondo State, both indigenes and non-indigenes, as we have no
confidence in the interest of the state government to protect the lives and properties of anyone who is
not a Christian in his state.”

Osinbajo To Commission Major Road Projects In Kano

•VP to lay foundation for first state-owned Cancer Centre

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo will on Monday commission some major road projects constructed by
Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State.

During the one-day official state visit, the Vice President will also lay the foundation stone for the first
state-owned Cancer Centre in the Nigeria.

Prof. Osinbajo will be accompanied by Governor Ganduje and other senior government officials in the

He will commission the Tijjani Hashim Underpass in Kofar Ruwa, the Aminu Dantata Flyover in
Sabon Gari amongst other project constructed by the Kano State Government under Governor Ganduje.

The Vice President will also make history when he lays the foundation stone of the Kano Cancer
Centre, which is the first state-owned cancer Centre in the country, amongst others.

The official visit to Kano comes a day after Prof Osinbajo headlined the annual Armed Forces
Remembrance Day service at National Christian Centre, Abuja on Sunday.

Osinbajo who paid glowing tributes to Nigeria’s Armed Forces spoke in appreciation of men and
women who have put down their lives to serve Nigeria.
In a speech titled 'A Debt We Cannot Repay' the Vice President said the sacrifice of the men and
women in uniform has never gone unnoticed.

Governorship Tussle: Again, Supreme Court Forced To Stop

Kano Appeal
For the second time, the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad has been forced to
stop hearing in the governorship appeals before the Supreme Court. Justice Muhammad, who resumed
sitting in the appeals after rising earlier due to congestion in the hall, suddenly announced a suspension
of the hearing due to the illness of one of the seven Justices.

The CJN said the Kano matter alongside the six other governorship appeals will be stood down for
medical attention to the unnamed Justice.

Earlier, Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), counsel to the PDP governorship candidate in Kano, Abba
Kabiru-Yusuf, informed the court that he was withdrawing the preliminary objection to the Independent
National Electoral Commission (INEC)’s brief of argument to enable the apex court determine the
matter on its merit.

Governor Bala Mohammed Hospitalised In London

Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Abdulkadir Muhammed has been hospitalized in London for an
undisclosed illness.

A statement signed by Senior Special Assistant on Media to the Governor, Mukhtar Gidado and made
available to newsmen yesterday in Bauchi, quoted a special message sent to the people of the state by
the governor from his hospital bed in London ahead of the supreme court hearing of the appeal against
his election as the governor of the state.

“I am in hospital in London but we strongly believe that Allah is sufficient for us and He is Able and
Capable to give us victory! Cheers, success shall be ours InshaAllah! Cheers to you all.”

The statement reaffirmed the administration’s commitment to the lofty ideals of new Bauchi
Movement, pledged to lead with justice, equity and humility. He however promised to recognise and
reward those who contributed positively to his movement and show loyalty to him and the Bauchi

According to him, the period of the supreme court judgement is a moment that God has shown him his
real supporters while “it is also the time when detractors, within and outside his fold are exposed”. The
Governor expressed gratitude to those he called patriotic supporters.
Nigerians Don't Expect Buhari's Family To Move About In
Public Transport - Momoh
Tony Momoh, a former Minister of Information, has said said arguments over the usage of the
presidential jet by President Muhmammadu Buhari’s daughter is unnecessary.

Speaking with Daily Independent, Momoh said the argument is baseless since the Presidency has
issued a statement that Buhari's daughter got approval to use it.

“When it comes to presidential jet, who can use it? The presidency has said that due process was
followed. That due process was accessed through permission from the president to the NSA who
authorised the head of the fleet to take her to where she went to. So, why is there any argument?

“If people want to know the mission for her trip, that is another issue entirely. People just get involved
in arguing over issue that doesn’t deserve any mention. Has the president no wife or family? So, if they
want to go anywhere, then they should go and take public transport?” Momoh queried.

Amotekun: Anambra, Enugu Differ On South-east Security

Outfit, South-south Delay
The Anambra and Enugu state governments on Sunday differed on the possibility of establishing a
South-East security outfit similar to the South-West’s Operation Amotekun.

The Anambra State Government said he was satisfied with the security measures it had taken
and as such, it was not contemplating a zonal security arrangement.

But the Enugu State Government said it would implement any arrangement for the security of
the South-East.
The two South-East states stated this on Sunday as there were indications that the South-South was
awaiting the result of Operation Amotekun launched by the South-West.
The apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, had on Friday applauded the South-West
security outfit, which was launched on Thursday to check killings and kidnapping in the zone.

You don’t change a winning formula – Anambra commissioner

Asked if it would agree to a similar security outfit in the South-East, the Anambra State Government
described the security system in his state as one of the best in the country.
The state Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, C-Don Adinuba, in an interview
with one of our correspondents, said, There is no need changing a winning formula. We are not
contemplating any change with what we have.
“What we have is very effective. We advise other states about our security system. Even those in
South-West should learn from us. We are willing to share the secret of our success on security with
anybody. Operation Nkpochapu is only one aspect of our security system. We are looking at the
security architecture holistically.
“Planning is key in security. Here you talk about the causes of violent crimes; how do you stop them?
We reward those who give intelligence. We work with the police. We pay them reasonable allowances.
We provide them equipment. We use technology to fight crimes.”

S’East govs have established forest guards – Enugu gov

But the Enugu State Government said it would abide by any arrangement for the security of the South-
The state Commissioner for Information, Mr Chidi Aroh, disclosed this while responding to an enquiry
by The PUNCH.
Aroh said, “The South-East governors established forest guards, but whatever is for the region,
questions should go to South-East Governors’ Forum and whatever they decide, Enugu State will
implement it.”
The South-East Governors had on July 28, 2019 after its meeting in Enugu announced it would
establish forest guards in the five states of the zone.
The Chairman of the forum and Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, who read the resolution of the
governors, said that zone would set up both a committee and a centre for South-East Integrated
Security Monitoring and Intelligence gathering in Enugu to oversee the outfit.

Presidential Jet: Hanan Buhari Was On Official Assignment ―

Buhari Media
Hanan was on official assignment to represent her father ― Buhari Media Organisation
• Says PDP also misused presidential jets

The Buhari Media Organisation has responded to the controversy trailing the use of presidential jet by
Hanan, daughter of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The organisation in a statement claimed Hanaan was not on a private visit to Bauchi State but on
official assignment to the Northeast state to represent her father.

In a press statement issued at the weekend by the duo of Niyi Akinsiju and Cassidy Madueke, chairman
and secretary of the BMO, respectively they declared ”that circumstance, convention and protocol
allowed her to use the aircraft.”

The Buhari Media Organisation further argued wives of past Presidents under the Peoples Democratic
Party used presidential jets for private occasions.

”Even if the opposition party did not fully admit it, members of the First Family are not barred from
travelling in a Presidential jet, especially to an official function.

“In any case, PDP lacks the moral right to make this accusation because the party has a record of
outright abuse and misuse of Presidential jets in its sixteen years in power at the centre.

“There was hardly any time in the PDP years that aircraft in the Presidential fleet were not used like
charter jets, contrary to laid down regulations. There were instances in the past where friends and
members of the extended family of past Presidents were given access to aircraft in the Presidential

“One instance that easily comes to mind was when some of the aircraft were used to ferry guests for a
wedding. This is aside from when a certain First Lady used planes in the fleet for shopping sprees with
her friends.

“Now we have a situation where one of the daughters of President Buhari was running an official
errand for her father but PDP chose to spin it as a private photography trip. This is a very irresponsible
act meant to score cheap political points.”

The BMO further dismissed the remarks attributed to the main opposition party that allowing Hanan to
travel in one of the planes in the fleet amounts to ‘the worst form of corruption’.

“After years of a fruitless search for dirt on the President, to the extent of making unfounded
allegations against President Buhari, PDP now believes it has a smoking gun on corruption in an
awkward place.

“Is it not amusing that a party whose officials and members are standing trial on sundry charges of
corruption has opted to describe travelling in a Presidential jet as ‘worst case of corruption’?

“Several leading lights of the last administration are standing trial, some have even returned funds that
were shared among party members in the run-up to the 2015 election from the $2.1bn arms
procurement fund.

“Some electoral officials have also been convicted for benefiting from slush funds shared by former
minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison-Madueke.

“The jury is still out on the $16bn spent on non-existent power projects between 1999 and 2007, yet
PDP wants Nigerians to see President Buhari’s daughter travelling to Bauchi in a Presidential jet as ‘the
worst form of corruption’.

“Nigerians have not forgotten that one of the phrases that characterised the PDP years is the belief that
stealing is not corruption!” the statement added.

Buhari Signs 2019 Finance Bill Into Law, VAT Now 7.5%
President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the 2019 finance bill into law in Abuja on Monday.
The bill was submitted to the National Assembly alongside the budget but the bill signing is coming 27
days after the 2020 budget was signed into law on December 17.

“I am pleased to announce that this morning I signed into law the Finance Bill, 2019,” a tweet on the
President’s Twitter account read.

“We introduced the bill alongside the 2020 budget, to reform Nigeria’s tax laws to align with global
best practices, support MSMEs in line with our Ease of Doing Business Reforms, incentivize
investments in infrastructure and capital markets and raise government revenues.”

"This is the first time, since the return of democracy in 1999, that a Federal Budget is being
accompanied by the passage of a Finance Bill specially designed to support its implementation, and to
create a truly enabling environment for business and investment by the private sector."

"I thank the leadership and members of the Ninth National Assembly for the hard work and support
that have gone into the passage of the landmark Deep Offshore and Inland Basin PSC Amendment Bill,
and the Finance Bill; both vital to the successful implementation of the 2020 Budget."

The law seeks to amend the Petroleum Profit Tax Act, Customs and Excise Tariff Act, Company
Income Tax Act, Personal Income Tax Act, Value Added Tax, Stamp Duties Act and the Capital Gains

The bill also made provisions for companies with an annual turnover of less than N25 million to be
exempted from paying company income tax.

The Federal Government also raised the threshold from which stamp duty will be charged for online
transactions from the current N1,000 to N10,000.

Breaking: I Never Said Gov. Ihedioha will lose

at Supreme Court ~ Fr. Ejike Mbaka Laments.
The popular Catholic Priest based in Enugu State, Reverend Father Ejike Mbaka said he never
prophesied that Governor Emeka Ihedioha will lose at the Supreme Court.

Father Mbaka who spoke to Nigerian Telegraph on the Phone said his new year prophesy was based on

"I never said Governor Emeka Ihedioha will lose at the Supreme Court, I only prophesied Hope for
Imo State. God said Imo State is on the rise and that there's hope for Imo State. Why not watch the
video of the New Year Prophecy and stop believing what the social media is saying".
The New year prophecy has generated mixed reaction across the State as the Supreme Court is set to
deliver judgment in the gubernatorial case involving Governor Emeka Ihedioha and Sen. Hope
Uzodimma tomorrow.

Francis Fadahunsi: Sack Hameed Ali Over Fraud, Incompetence

The vice chairman, Senate Committee on Customs, Francis Fadahunsi, has called on President
Muhammadu Buhari to sack the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, over
alleged fraud and incompetence in the service.

Speaking in an interview with the Punch on Sunday, Mr Fadahunsi, the Senator representing Osun East
Senatorial District, alleged that Mr Ali’s sheer incompetence and poor border control had resulted in the
proliferation of small arms was now threatening the nation’s existence.

According to him, Customs boss allowed traders to smuggle contraband goods and items into the
country, despite a ban by the Federal Government.

Mr Fadahunsi further said: “I told the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hammed Ali (rtd.), that
his border management is poor.

“You don’t need to carry guns and start running after those people who have settled your boys. It is
wrong, they paid bribes to the boys at the border and they are still running after them now.

“The border management is poor and it has failed. The same failure is seen at the ports, and that is the
cause of port congestion.”

The senator said a competent professional should be in charge of Customs.

“Soldiers are not trained to generate revenue.

They are trained to buy ammunition and to kill.

“This man met more than 30,000 personnel in the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), and today they are
not more than 15,000 left, he has sacked all of them.

“If you see the fraud in the Customs now, you will be shocked, but nobody must talk. They make noise
to cover this up, but if you go into their books, you will be surprised.

“Customs headquarters was awarded for N2.7 billion then, but today the project is going to about N30

“The project has not been completed but the furniture contract for the uncompleted building has been

“Who is fooling who? If Mr. President sees what the man is doing, he will run out of the country.
“That is why I am saying that Mr. President should put a technical person from Customs there; if not,
the man will run the place aground.

“The CG wants to recruit 3,200 persons and he paid N1.6 billion to a consultant to recruit 3,200
persons. The money is not for training but to just recruit them.

“I asked him if the Nigerian army ever used consultants to recruit personnel and he said no. He said
Customs officers are corrupt and he is bringing in a consultant to recruit 3,200 persons and he will pay
the firm N1.6 billion.

“Are you recruiting five million people? The N1.6 billion is even in the budget and that is one of the
reasons the budget was being queried by the leadership of the Senate,” Mr Fadahunsi said.

N2 Million Christmas Allowance: Senators Angered

What could you do with a Christmas bonus of N2 million? The response is faster if you are a Nigerian
senator: not much.

In fact, some senators have described the amount — which is only a fraction of a regular stream of
benefits accrued to them — as “a mere drop” in the vast ocean of their Yuletide expenses. Others
threatened to cause the Senate leadership “some headache” upon resumption from their Christmas-New
Year recess later this month.

“It was not enough to meet our Christmas needs,” one senator said. “In fact, some of us are already
coming together to formally complain to our president.”

The lawmakers received the N2 million on December 18 from the Senate overhead and operations
account, according to bank transaction alerts of two senators seen by PREMIUM TIMES.

The purpose of the transaction was not attached to the payments, but lawmakers had been told a few
days earlier to expect the funds as their Christmas allowances, according to three senators who briefed
PREMIUM TIMES on it. The senators spoke under anonymity as of the time they interacted with
PREMIUM TIMES to avoid a potential backlash from their colleagues, but one of them said they may
eventually go public with their complaints if their anger boils over.

“They said we should use the money to take care of our families and constituents,” one senator said. “I
was just standing there without knowing what to say for many minutes.”

The senator decried “the failure” of Senate President Ahmed Lawan to understand the scale of
responsibility that usually confronts them whenever they visit their constituency.

“There are many local government areas under my district,” the senator said. “How do I tell them that I
only came back home with N2 million?”
“Even when I am travelling for an event or just to visit my constituency, I usually hold at least N50
million,” the senator added.

Another senator said lawmakers usually received far larger amount in Christmas allowances,
wondering why the current assembly that has maintained a cordial relationship with the executive now
finds itself receiving much less.

“We have been struggling in poverty since we came on board months ago,” the senator said. “I asked
my distinguished colleagues why we have to be the one suffering the excesses of past assemblies.”

“We have given this administration every support and people on social media are angry and calling us a
rubber stamp Senate,” the senator said.

“We have started gathering ourselves and we will make our position known to the leadership,” the
senator said. “Otherwise, we may not have a choice left but to publicly call out the leadership and give
them some headache when we resume plenary.”

Two former senators who served in seventh and eight assemblies told PREMIUM TIMES they received
Christmas allowances well over N2 million, but could not recall the specifics.

“We received allowances for Christmas and Sallah holidays during our time in the Seventh Assembly,”
a former senator from Ogun State said. “I am struggling to remember how much we received then, but I
am very sure each one was far more than N2 million.”

The second former senator confirmed that he received more than N2 million in Christmas bonus, but
warned that members of the current assembly should concentrate on their activities rather than
complaining over payment.

“The N2 million may look small,” the senator said. “But I will advise them to remember the millions of
Nigerians who cannot even earn a fraction of that amount throughout the year.”

The former senators insisted on speaking off the background to avoid offending their serving senators,
many of whom they identified as friends and political associates.

Trust issues

While the senators were unable to categorically say how much they should have gotten as Christmas
bonus, they expressed deep suspicion that the share of each member of the 109 body was more than N2

“I have been struggling to reconcile the amount we received as National Assembly budget with the
small-small stipends we have been getting from the leadership,” one senator said. “Unlike the Senate
President, we are not entitled to many official benefits like private jets and free fuel for our vehicles.”

The National Assembly received N125 billion in 2019. Although down considerably from the N140
billion it received the previous year, many Nigerians were still highly critical of government’s priority
in allocating such a vast amount to 469 people in a population hovering around 200 million. About 90
million Nigerians still languish in abject poverty, per official estimates.

Their appropriated budget aside, lawmakers are also seen as the primary beneficiaries of the so-called
constituency intervention projects whose allocation usually suppasses N100 billion per year. Although
the projects are implemented by federal agencies, lawmakers are often accorded sufficient deference in
choosing contractors.

The opaque atmosphere under which contractors are nominated for constituency projectects allows
lawmakers to push their own fronts who would then channel a large chunk of released project funds
back to them — all done under the radar with little or difficult-to-prove paper trail.

But the lawmakers who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES about the N2 million Christmas bonus said the
Nigerian parliament had seen better days.

“Senators in the past left office as billionaires,” one senator said. “But things are no longer the way
they used to be.”

Another senator said the growing awareness of their expenses by everyday Nigerians and civic groups
has made it difficult to spend without any sense of accountability.

“It is becoming more and more difficult by every passing assembly,” the senator said. “I predict fewer
people would be interested in this office in the next few years.”

As of 2018, senators were drawing N13.5 million per month in controversial running cost, amongst a
slew of other consistent allowances known and unknown to the public.

‘Shameful sense of entitlement’

Ola Awoniyi, a spokesperson for the Senate President, told PREMIUM TIMES he was not aware of the
complaints and could not immediately speak on whether or not his principal was aware either. Godiya
Akwashiki, the chief spokesperson for the Senate, did not return calls and messages seeking comments
about the grumbling senators.

While requesting for additional pay may not be inherently objectionable under labour principles, the
manner with which the senators are going about their complaints could cast them as shamefully
entitled, a political analyst said.
“It strikes me as a shameful sense of entitlement for senators to be complaining of receiving N2 million
at a time of economic woes for the country,” Tola Adekoya, a former university lecturer, told

Mr Adekoya said it was provocative that senators would be complaining about N2 million when a vast
majority of the population could barely feed.

“This is something that you hear and your brain would respond like it was hit with a hammer,” he said.
“Do they have any idea how many Nigerians cannot even feed themselves for once per day?”

“They are out of touch,” he said. “Let us hope they desist from disrupting the activities of the Senate
because of their selfish interest.”

Yet, Mr Adekoya said the Senate leadership should look into the complaints of the lawmakers in order
to avoid undue drama that could slow down the progress of critical national assignments.

“They were elected to work for our collective interest,” the analyst said. “Efforts should be made to
minimise complaints that they could use to sabotage the larger interest of Nigerians.”

Nigerian Oil And The Disappearing Money ( Aljazeera Report )

Nigeria has the biggest oil reserves in Africa but who’s cashing in?
Nigeria is Africa’s top oil producer and has its biggest economy.
But it’s also coping with crushing levels of poverty.
So where does all that oil money go?

MURIC: Hanan Buhari Flying On Presidential Jet Is An

Inspiration To The Youth


Critics of President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday went hysterical over the use of the presidential jet
by Hanan Buhari, the president's daughter. The latter had used the jet on her trip to Bauchi where she
had been invited by the emir to showcase her talent in photography.

But a human rights organisation has defended the president's action. According to the Muslim Rights
Concern (MURIC), critics are just making a mountain out of a mole hill. This was revealed in a
statement circulated to the media by the director of the group, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Monday
13th January, 2020.

"An emirate has shown keen interest in the uncommon skill of the president's daughter. The emirate
therefore invited her to demonstrate the skill at a public function. So how private is a private function?
Those who described the occasion as personal to Hanan are petty, mean and most uncharitable.

“How private is private? Are we saying that the traditional institution is inconsequential? What
happened to our respect for our norms and values? Are we to assume that our system no longer
recognises the traditional institution? If so, why do governors still appoint emirs, obis and obas? If the
law of the land still recognises traditional rulers, Hanan’s invitation to Bauchi cannot be rightly
described as a private affair.

"Besides, that function passed a strong message to Nigerian youths, especially the Nigerian girl-child.
It poses a challenge to them to eschew laziness. More importantly, it underlines the significance and
relevance of every aspect of human knowledge. This is a very important message wailers missed.

"An intelligent and objective observer will see beyond the use of a presidential jet. Well, only the deep
can call to the deep. We all know that Nigerians will give their right eyes to secure admission for their
children to read choice courses like medicine, law, accounting, banking and finance, etc. They pay little
attention and give complex to those reading what they regard as ‘low profile’ courses like theater arts,
education, religion, photography, etc.

“Hanan Buhari has challenged the status quo. She read photography and made first class. We salute her.
She has done the Nigerian girl-child proud. She elevated a ‘low profile’ course thus raising the spirit of
those poor students reading similar courses.

"We have chosen to address the tangential, not the peripheral. What's in a presidential jet when the
dreams of thousands of Nigerian students have been rekindled? Hanan Buhari is saying, 'Stop looking
down on those who read less glamorous courses. Stop despising artists. They are the gem of the
collection'. Therefore, Hanan Buhari symbolises courage, hope and success. Instead of criminalising
her action, wailers should realise that she has elected to inspire Nigerian youths to be hopeful and

“Besides, President Buhari should not be guillotined for permitting her daughter's use of the jet.
Afterall, it was not for any frivolous jamboree like shopping in Dubai. We may want to ignore the
excesses of past landlords of Aso Rock to justify PMB's action. But it is on record that some first ladies
actually excelled Marie Antoinette, wife of Louis XVI in extravagance. Whereas PMB exhibited
prudence each time he attended the United Nations' events, we know those who went with about 150 in
tow, brandishing pomp and pageantry on the streets of Washingon DC to the consternation of other
delegates. We know past presidents who gave out presidential jets to their cronies and praise-singers,
their aourt jesters and bootlickers. But we will not descent to that petty level.
“It amounts to overzealouness on the part of critics to grab every little straw and make mountains out of
mole hills. They are simply trying to draw the attention of Nigerians away from PMB's monumental
achievements simply because they were merely looking for the president's faults.

“We appeal to politicians to change from politics of negativity, retardation and destruction to
positivism, patriotism and constructive engagement. It is not everything that political opponents do that
we must sensationalise and demonise. It raises true democrats above the herd to appreciate good things
in the opponent.

"As we drop the anchor, we appeal to Nigerians to ignore the razzmatazz in the presidential jet furore.
Rather, attention should be given to the lessons inherent in Hanan Buhari's outing. We call on Nigerian
youth to see light at the end of the tunnel. There is a bright future for those who face their studies and
vocations no matter what field. Politicians should desist from politics of negativism."

Professor Ishaq Akintola,

Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

A' Ibom State Govt Orders Contractors Back To Site



The State governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel has ordered all contractors handling projects in the state to
resume work at their different sites.

He also made it compulsory that soil test should be conducted on all projects sites with proper
documentation to ascertain quality and suitability of work done, warning that anything short of this will
be unacceptable to the State.

The State Governor spoke through the Honourable Commissioner for Works, Akparawa Ephraim
Inyangeyen, Monday, during a meeting with the contractors and Engineers at the Conference Hall of
the Ministry of Works while evaluating the performance of the Ministry's projects implementation and
the way forward to ensure that all infrastructural projects undertaken in the state is completed before
the deadline.

Commissioner Inyangeyen stated that, Akwa Ibom State has 57 ongoing projects so far, some of which
he noted that are nearing completion and some completed.

He said the State Government is going to put funds in all projects to ensure completion and avoid a
slow down of projects.
The Works Commissioner disclosed that, ongoing projects are in three categories, with category A
being those near completion, B for those at 40 percent to 70 percent completion, while C is from 10 -
40 percent completion.

He also said the state government is determined to fund and ensure all projects are completed in the
next two years.

He urged all contractors to work harder to ensure that they deliver.

Federal Govt To Replace ERGP With Medium-term Economic

The federal government is fine tuning the process of putting in place a medium-term economic
blueprint as a successor plan for the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), which runs its full
course this year.

A source privy to the emerging plan, which will most likely be christened Medium-Term Economic
Growth Acceleration Plan (MEGAP) 2021-2024, told THISDAY yesterday that the Ministry of
Finance, Budget and National Planning is putting in place details of the new blueprint in collaboration
with some players in the private sector prior to its formal launch later in the year.

Although the proposed MEGAP will be a medium-term economic blueprint, the source said, a
successive long-term Vision 2040 would follow suit.

According to him, while the underpinning consideration behind the ERGP (2017-2020) is recovering
the economy from recession, when it was launched, MEGAP, as the name epitomises, is being designed
to accelerate growth in the economy.

The three broad strategic objectives of the ERGP are to restore growth, invest in human capital and
build a globally competitive economy.

The ERGP set a rather unrealistic target of seven per cent real growth in gross domestic product (GDP)
by 2020.

However, GDP growth in the third quarter of 2019 stood at 2.3 per cent while it is projected at least
three per cent in 2020, a far cry from the seven per cent ERGP target.

But the source told THISDAY that some of the pitfalls that resulted in the failure of the ERGP from
meeting most of its targets would be addressed.

“You know that revenue challenge is real. It’s a major inhibiting factor to the realisation of many lofty
objectives of the federal government. But with the coming of a successor medium term plan for the
ERGP, the revenue problem is being addressed through various fronts.

“The launch of the Strategic Revenue Growth Initiative (SRGI) is a major launch pad to address
revenue shortages. Revenue generating agencies have also been given a marching order on targets. So,
the new medium term blueprint to succeed the ERGP is to accelerate economic growth.

“That is why the federal government may christen it Medium-Term Economic Growth Acceleration
Plan,” the source, who craved anonymity, said.

He added that the federal government might launch it in the second or third quarter of 2020.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, had recently hinted about
government’s plan for increased coordination of fiscal, macroeconomic, monetary and trade policies

She said: “An important next step will be to transition our 2017-2020 Economic Recovery and Growth
Plan to a successive long-term Vision 2040 Plan. To this end, I am currently working with the
Honourable Minister of State, Budget and National Planning to prepare a Medium-Term Economic
Growth Acceleration Plan for 2021-2024 as a successor to the ERGP.”

Kaduna Govt. To Go After 2,000 Unregistered Private Schools –

The Kaduna State Quality Assurance Authority says it will go after over 2,000 unregistered private
primary and secondary schools operating illegally in the state. The Director General of the authority,
Hajiya Umma Ahmad, disclosed this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna
on Monday. Ahmad explained that only about 2,000 out of the over 4,000 private schools operating in
the state have registered with the state government. According to her, some of the schools have been
operating in the state for over 20 years without registration to avoid regulation and evade tax payment
to the government.

“As at middle 2019, only about 1,000 out of the over 4,000 private schools in the state have registered
with the state government, until we started closing the illegal schools down. “So far, about 2,000 have
registered and we are going after the remaining 2,000 until all have registered.

“This will enable us to effectively monitor and regulate them to ensure they operate within the
stipulated standard in line with our mandate. “That child, regardless of which school he attends is a
child under the care of Kaduna state with obligation to provide such a child with quality education he
or she deserves.

“Therefore, the state government will continue to ensure that both public and private schools provide
quality education for children, so they will grow and become intelligent, skillful, innovative and
creative citizens,” she said. She assured the public that the agency would continue to go after
unregistered and substandard private schools in the state, threatening that all substandard and illegal
public schools would be closed.

The director general also said that the agency would soon publish the list of registered private schools
in the state online to enable parents identify illegal schools and avoid them. “We will also come up with
a form of ranking of private and public schools from the best to the worst in the state, to guide parents
in choosing the best school for their kids. “This will spur competition among schools and encourage
them to improve their facilities,” she added.

Femi Falana Meets With Sowore And Deji Adeyanju

Nigerian human rights activist, pro-democracy campaigner, former presidential candidate, and founder
of an online news agency Sahara Reporters, Yemi Sowore & Leader of Concerned Nigeria group Deji
Adeyanju meet indefatigable constitutional and radical human rights lawyer, FEMI Falana (SAN) in

Ganduje Unite With Sanusi As Osinbajo Commission Projects In

On Monday, Vice President Osinbajo brought Kano State Governor, Ganduje and the Emir of Kano,
Muhammad Sanusi II together when he visited the palace of the Emir.

The Vice President was in Kano to commission a number of road projects that were completed by
Ganduje. He also laid the foundation stone for the first state-owned Cancer Centre in Nigeria.

“This is an act of God to have Emir of Kano and Governor ganduje under the same roof, especially in
the palace,” said Abdullahi Sani, a resident of Kano.

Imo Governorship Election: Supreme Court Adjournment

Unsettle Governors
The Supreme Court on Monday suspended the hearing of the governorship appeals from six states of
the federation, due to sudden illness of one of the judges hearing it.

The appeals are from the governorship elections in Imo, Bauchi, Sokoto, Kano, Plateau and Benue

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared governors Emeka Ihedioha of
Imo, Bala Mohammed of Bauchi, Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto, Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano, Simon
Lalong of Plateau and Samuel Ortom of Benue as winners of governorship elections in their respective
The apex court which started sitting at exactly 9:02 a.m. could not proceed due to the noise level in the

This prompted the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Muhammad, to give an order following the inability
of the security operatives to control the crowd of politicians and their supporters, who had besieged the
courtroom to witness the day’s proceedings.

The seven-member panel rose and said it would reconvene if the noise inside the court is reduced.

Justice Mohammed, before the court rose, directed lawyers representing the parties in each appeal not
to appear with more than five lawyers, in order to decongest the courtroom.

Thereafter, lawyers in each of the cases were limited to five and politicians who were not parties in any
of the appeals were asked to leave the courtroom as the police deployed a dog to assist in the
decongestion process.

After carrying out the directive of the CJN to decongest the courtroom, about ten minutes later, the
court reconvened and lawyers involved in the Kano State appeal announced appearance.

When the lead counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC), Joseph Daudu, stood
up to make his argument, the CJN announced that one of the justices hearing the case is critically sick.

The CJN told the crowded court that “due to unforeseen circumstances beyond control, the court will
abruptly rise because one of us is sick.”

Consequently, Justice Mohammed led the other justices out of the court to their chamber to enable
them to attend to the ailing judge whose name was not disclosed.

At about 40 minutes later, one of the registrars of the court announced that all appeals in the case have
been adjourned to January 14.

The six appeals before the apex court were brought by various aggrieved candidates in the March 9
election in the affected states.

The apex court will hear the appeals filed by the governorship candidates and is expected to deliver
judgement promptly or announce a date for the judgement.
Sarah Alade Sues Alfred Olufemi And Gidado Yushau, Demands
N500 Million
The Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Finance and Economy, Sarah Alade, has
demanded N500 million from two journalists, Alfred Olufemi and Gidado Yushau, over a report on
hemp smoking published on May 19, 2018.

The investigative report titled: “Inside Kwara factory where Indian hemp smoking is ‘legalized,” was
authored by Mr Olufemi, a student journalist at Obafemi Awolowo University.

Mr Yushau is the Editor-In-Chief of NewsDigest, an Abuja-based online newspaper that commissioned

and published the story.

According to the report, Hillcrest Agro-Allied Industry, a company owned by Mrs Alade, a former
Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), allowed the smoking of cigarettes, as well as
Indian hemp by workers within its vicinity.

The report also stated that the firm refused to respond to Mr Olufemi’s inquiry on the situation after he
had put several calls and text messages to the industry’s hotlines.

Last year, the two defendants were arraigned by the police before a Magistrate Court in Ilorin for
criminal conspiracy and defamation based on Sections 97 and 192 of the penal code. The duo pleaded
not guilty.

Following the bail application made by the defence counsel, Usman Belgore, the Chief Magistrate of
the Court, A.O Muhammed, released the defendants on self-recognizance and on the basis that they are
innocent until proven otherwise.

The conditions of bail include two sureties each who are relatives of the defendants with a bail bond of

The case was then adjourned to January 13, 2020. However, when the matter was called on Monday,
the prosecutor could not provide his witness and as such, the magistrate further adjourned to January

Fresh Case:

After the adjournment on Monday, the two journalists were served with a writ of summons by the legal
practitioner of Hillcrest Agro-Allied Industries Limited.

In the document obtained by PREMIUM TIMES, the company demanded N500 million from the duo.
The company also seeks an order compelling the defendants to retract and delete the links of the report
from their platform and ensure the deletion of same from all platforms on the internet that have copied

Hillcrest is also asking for an apology from the online news platform and two national dailies.

The journalists have insisted that the story was accurate and they stand by its content.

Efforts To Reconcile Nigerians After Civil War Had Limited

Impact – IBB
Nigeria former military head of State, General Babangida (rtd), has disclosed that limited impact has
been made to reconcile Nigeria after the civil war
In an interview with Channels TV, General Babangida lauded some initiatives like National Youth
Service Corps(NYSC) Unity Schools
Babangida Said:
For example, the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and the Unity Schools were not pushed harder
by the then government
He continued, we should have pushed all those initiatives hard so that people from different parts of the
country can say that we met at NYSC, Unity Schools together

Amotekun: Ebonyi Said South-West Governors ‘Stole’ Their

Security Idea
The Ebonyi State Government on Monday said Operation Amotekun security outfit launched in the
South-West last week was its brainchild.

It said governors in the South-West region ‘stole’ the security idea from it, saying, “When the Governor
of Kano State, muted something about this kind of security architecture in the South, recently,” he was
referring to the South-East geo-political zone, in particular.

According to the State Government, until the launch of Operation Amotekun, last week, governors and
leaders of the South-East zone, had had elaborate and far-reaching security meetings on how to curtail
insecurity in the region, saying the South-West zone only ‘borrowed’ a leap from its South-East
counterpart, in its establishment.

The Commissioner for Internal Security and Border Peace, Mr Stanley Emegha, stated this in a
telephone interview with our Correspondent, in Abakaliki, on Monday.

Emegha, who disclosed that governors and leaders of the zone, last year, appointed Gen. Obi Umahi, to
coordinate the security architecture of the region, added that much was being done to mitigate all forms
of insecurity in the land.

According to him, by the end of January, the security efforts and plan of the region would have been
made clearer. He added that the creation of the Ministry of Homeland Security, in Abia State, was one
of the moves being made by stakeholders, to reduce crimes in the zone.

“The launch of Amotekun in the Southwest is what is already in vogue in Ebonyi State, in particular,
and South-East, in general. This is so because traces of insecurity like kidnapping, car- snatching,
armed robbery, etc are no longer found in Ebonyi State.

“The actual region the Governor of Kano was talking about for this security initiative, is the South-
East, not the Southwest. What they have done is they have just copied what is already in existence in
Ebonyi. This kind of security strategy is being put in place and has been made possible by the South-
East Security Consultant, Gen. Obi Umahi (retd). But we have been silent about it because we are
waiting to launch at the right time.

“Security as a technical endeavour, and that was why many efforts of governors of the zone in this
regard, had not been made public. Security is a very serious thing. No dull person can be a criminal.
Those who go into criminality are smart and intelligent persons. So we downplay what we do because
we don’t want those we are targeting or fighting to cash in on our strategies.

“This is why we don’t disclose some of the things we put in place, in order not to create room for the
criminals to strike. Currently, all the happenings in virtual all the Discos in Abakaliki metropolis, are
monitored in our server room. Nobody knew when we mounted those cameras and CCTVs.”

Deji Adeyanju Apologizes To Nnamdi Kanu

Let me specially thank Egbon @realFFK for rebuilding the bridge of friendship with my
brother Mazi Nnamdi Kanu & yes, I expressed regrets over many of my criticism of him.
Its only in a Zoo that characters like Buhari are fit to be leaders. Nigeria never had it this
bad before.

Hanan Buhari: I Can’t Wait For Next Project

Following her visit to Bauchi State last week with the Presidential jet to cover the Durbar organised by
the Emir of Bauchi , Rilwanu Adamu , the daughter of the President , Hanan Buhari, said she cannot
wait for her next project.

However, it remains unclear whether she will be using the Presidential jet for her next trip following
the criticisms that have trailed the use of the jet for private affairs by the President ’s children.
On Monday morning , the wife of the President , Mrs . Aisha Buhari, had posted a video of Hanan,
relaxing in the jet and waving .

The video, a panorama of Bauchi cultural heritage , also showed Hanan taking photographs of persons
on cultural display and horseback at the Durbar .

On Instagram it had been viewed 8 , 818 times .

One of Mrs Buhari’s followers , Rukkayah Suleiman , responded, “ It is so beautiful Hanan Buhari.
Your love for culture is what makes your culture unique and beautiful . Telling our story our own way .
Masha Allah Tabaraka Allah. I ’m excited and looking forward to the next one .”
Responding , Hanan said , “ Thank you . Insha Allah I also can ’t wait . ”

The Presidency had on Saturday , argued that the children of the President had the right to use the
Presidential jet for private engagements.

However, some anti- corruption advocates described it as an abuse of power even as they pointed to the
fact that the N 8 .5 bn budget for the maintenance and running of the Presidential fleet was high.

Findings show that the N 8 . 5 bn is equivalent to the combined Internally Generated Revenue of 17
States including Bauchi , Abia , Zamfara , Kogi , Anambra , Bayelsa , Jigawa, Ebonyi , Ekiti,
Adamawa, Nasarawa, Katsina , Kebbi , Borno , Taraba , Yobe and Gombe in the first and second
quarters of 2019 .

Hanan, who is a professional photographer, was said to have been given permission by her father to use
the Presidential jet to attend the programme and cover the event as part of her Master ’s Degree project.

Hanan, who did her undergraduate project in Kebbi State, graduated with a First Class in Photography
from Ravensbourne University , London a few months ago.

Aisha Buhari shares Hanan Presidential jet ride

In the midst of last week controversy
surrounding the use of the Presidential jet by the president's daughter,
Hanan, the president's wife, Mrs Aisha Buhari, posted a video of hanan
on Monday morning, relaxing in the jet and waving.

Following last week’s visit to Bauchi State with the Presidential Jet to cover the Durbar organized by B
auchi’s Emir, Rilwanu Adamu, the President’s daughter, Hanan Buhari, said she couldn’t wait for their
next project.
The video which was featured on instagram also showed Hanan taking photographs of persons on
cultural display and horseback at the Durbar.
One of Mrs Buhari’s followers, Rukkayah Suleiman, responded, “It is so beautiful Hanan Buhari. Your
love for culture is what makes your culture unique and beautiful. Telling our story our own way. Masha
Allah Tabaraka Allah. I’m excited and looking forward to the next one.”
Responding, Hanan said, “Thank you. Insha Allah I also can’t wait.”
However, it remains unclear whether she will use the Presidential jet which caused a national stir,
for her next trip.

Nigerian political leaders responsible for high

poverty rate in Nigeria- Gov Makinde
Seyi Makinde, governor of Oyo state, says Nigeria poverty is high because its leaders have failed to
manage the country’s natural resources.
Makinde made this intimation during a church service marking the 2020 Armed Forces Remembrance
Day celebration at the Cathedral of St. Peter, Aremo, Ibadan.
A statement by Taiwo Adisa, his chief press secretary, quoted the governor as saying the management
of the abundance of mineral resources, can lead a country to prosperity.
Citing Japan as an example, Makinde said no country of the world became prosperous by merely
relying on natural resources.
He added that education remains a top priority of his administration, The Cable reports.
He asked Nigerians to look beyond the natural resources and focus on intellectual development.
“And on the occasion of this celebration, when I came in, as I was listening to what the Archbishop was
saying, I picked some certain things from his statement. He said that God has blessed us a lot in this
country but the leadership has only been managing poverty. That is actually true but I also beg to differ
slightly, because natural resources alone can never take any country or society out of poverty,”
Makinde said.
“The only thing that can take us out of poverty is how we can organise ourselves and how we utilize
those natural resources. We can have an abundance of it and we still waste it.
“As a matter of fact, if we look at the trajectory of countries that have been successful, for example,
Japan, they barely have any natural resources but when we look at their people, they utilise the brain
God has given to them, developed it and utilised it. Even, they take natural resources from other
countries, refine them and sell it back to the countries they got it from at a high cost. So, this is how
they were able to take themselves out of poverty.
“Knowledge is power and that is why, in this administration, education will still remain top priority.”
He thanked the armed forces for their sacrifices in protecting the lives of Nigerians.
“I want to appreciate the officers and men of the Nigerian Armed forces because you have done well
for this country. Your colleagues have made supreme sacrifice for the unity of this country and for
peace of the world because we have a record of members of the Armed forces that actually fought in
the World War,” he said.
“They have contributed to peace in the world, So, we know you have taken a lot of risk on behalf of all
of us and we just want to say thank you.”

Maina Tells Court He Can’t Meet Bail Conditions

Former Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina
The former chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), Abdulrasheed Maina, on Monday, told
the Federal High Court in Abuja that he could not fulfill the conditions of the bail granted to him.

Mr Maina is accused of diverting N100 billion of pension funds, and is facing trial for alleged money
laundering. He is being prosecuted by the EFCC on a 12-count charge, and is also accused of operating
fictitious accounts and carrying out other fraudulent activities.

The former PRTT chairman, who was in hiding for almost two years, was arrested by the State Security
Service last year.

The SSS handed over Mr Maina to the EFCC, which had declared him wanted for over a year.

His son, Faisal, who was arrested alongside the father in September, is accused of operating an account
he used to divert various sums of money, including N58 million.

The two men were arraigned by the EFCC on October 25 on separate charges. They pleaded not guilty.

Bail conditions
The court on November 25 admitted the former pension chairman to bail in the sum of N1 billion.

Justice Okon Abang, who gave the ruling, also ordered that Mr Maina must produce two sureties who
must be serving senators.

The judge said the two lawmakers must not be standing criminal trial in any court in the country.

He also ruled that the two sureties, who must be prepared for a N500 million bond each, must always
be in court with the defendant at each adjourned date.

Court session
At the resumed hearing of the matter on Monday, Mr Maina’s lawyer, Afam Osigwe, informed the
court that his client could not meet the bail conditions.
Mr Osigwe presented an application pursuant to section 181 of the Administration of Criminal Justice
Act (ACJA), seeking a bail variation for Mr Maina.

According to the lawyer, although two senators had indicated interest to stand as sureties, “they have
stated that they neither have properties in either Asokoro or Maitama worth the amount specified by the

Justice Abang asked Mr Osigwe if he obtained documents containing the information of landowners in
Abuja from the land registry and he replied, “No”!

“The land registry treats such documents as confidential,” he said.

Mr Maina’s lawyer added that “to even conduct a search on an identified property, the Abuja
Geographic Information Systems (AGIS), would not permit you to do so unless you produce the
original titled document together with a letter of consent.

“When you approach a person to be your surety and the person says I don’t have this property, I think it
would be disrespectful to go behind investigating whether what the person has told you is true,” he

However, Justice Abang, held that Mr Maina ought to have attached documents to prove their claim.

“The court did not fix those conditions for fun. The court has reasons for imposing those conditions.
So, if you want the court to vary it, convincingly, you have to establish the fact that the applicant is
unable to comply with those conditions,” the judge said.

Mr Abang also added that the defendant failed to challenge the prosecution’s claim that he (Mr Maina)
no longer resides in Abuja and might run away if released on bail.

But Mr Osigwe in his argument said all Mr Maina’s travel passports had been seized by the anti-graft

“All the documentation relating to his residential permit in Dubai, UAE is all with the EFCC and a
High Court of the FCT,” he said.

Enugu Chairperson Gives Out Wheel Barrow On Hire Purchase

n Enugu State a transition chairperson appointed by Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi the state Governor, has given
out wheelbarrows on HIRE PURCHASE to people of Nsukka LGA.

Enugu State is in the hands of God.

2023: Makarfi Sends Powerful Message To PDP Members
2023: Makarfi sends powerful message to PDP members ahead of poll

Senator Ahmed Makarfi, the former acting chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has called
on leaders of the party at all levels to give youths a chance in the building process of the party.

Leadership reports that Makarfi, who stated this when members of the Kaduna state PDP Like Minds
paid him a courtesy visit in Kaduna, emphasised the need for PDP leaders to give youths more
opportunity to contribute their quota in resuscitating the party and eventual taking over of the
leadership as they plan towards subsequent elections.

Ali Ndume reveals why terrorism won't end in northeast

He urged stakeholders of the party in the state to be focused in building the party rather than focusing
on contest which is still far away.

Former governor of Kaduna state, Ahmed Makarfi

”You can only win election on a strong party platform. I will rather be a member of winning party than
a candidate of a dead party.” he said

The chairman of the group, Alhaji Ibrahim Dan’inna, explained that the group was formed as a result of
political development in the state.

Dan’inna commended the party leader for the role he played to increase the party performance in the
last general elections, relative to what was obtainable in 2015 which is evident in the quantum of votes
the party garnered in the last general elections.
He said: “The group has set up a committee to look into what transpired before, during and after the
2019 general election leading to electoral robbery of our mandates that was freely given by the
electorate in the state.”

2020: INEC makes fresh statement on what it will do to make Edo, Ondo elections credible
Other speakers in the meeting urged the leader of the party in the state to ensure that consensus is built
among the stakeholders of the party at the state level and beyond.

Igbo Aspirants Lobby Usa For 2023 Support

An array of potential presidential aspirants stormed the United States to lobby support for election of a
Nigerian president of Igbo extraction in 2023, a move similar to the global campaign undertaken by
members of All Progressives Congress, APC, prior to 2015 presidential election.

At an event held in Washington, D.C. on January 10, and attended by a broad spectrum of academic,
political and economic leaders, there was a consensus that zoning helped sustain stability in Nigeria’s
nascent democracy.

Among the attendees was 2019 APC presidential aspirant, now a stalwart of Peoples Democratic Party,
PDP, Chief Charles Udeogaranya.

The PDP stalwart stated that the group was in the United States “to make a strong case for power
rotation to the South and this time, the South-East zone, at the expiration of President Muhammadu
Buhari’s tenure in 2023. It is imperative this standing rotation agreement is adhered to, as it will help
promote peace, unity, equity and progress in Africa’s most populous nation.”

On his part, from the ruling APC is a primary challenger to President Buhari in 2019, Dr. SKC
Ogbonnia, who highlighted the logic and the necessity of zoning the presidency to the South-East zone,
but also argued that “what is most critical to the masses at this stage is for the international community,
particularly the US, to lend their support to a growing democratic, legal and non-violent revolution to
uproot the status quo perpetuated by the Nigeria’s corrupt cabal, in order to enable good people to be
elected to office.”

In his contribution, former Executive Director of Nigerian-American Council, Dr. Okey Mbonu, 2019
presidential aspirant on the platform of Labour Party, stated that “the world must bear witness that
equity should prevail in Nigeria in 2023, anything less is likely to provoke an unimaginable crisis in

The American audience was concerned about an undertone that Igbo people are denied power
due to their Christian faith.
This prompted Bob Williams, an oil and gas investor, to say “while it is pertinent to note that the US
does not usually interfere with internal affairs of sovereign nations, there are always exceptions where
people are seen to be persecuted because of their religious beliefs.”

2023: Are Atiku, Tinubu In Secret Moves To Float 3rd Force?

Tongues are wagging over recent meetings between former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and
National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Ahmed Bola Tinubu. There are permutations
in the nation’s polity as political pundits believe that a meeting of such heavyweight politicians at a
time the 2023 general elections are under discussion in the country must have a political undertone.

Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State and power broker in the APC, has met twice with Atiku – on
December 14, 2019 and January 11, 2020. The meetings were short but the general consensus is that
the two political gladiators are “cooking a political meal.”

Atiku, Tinubu met at Abuja airport

What is believed to be the first meeting between the two political bigwigs took place on December 14,
2019, when they reportedly ran into each other at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
Tinubu was reportedly on his way to Minna, Niger State, to receive a doctorate degree award from IBB
University, Lapai, when he met with Atiku, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party
(PDP) in the 2019 general elections at the Abuja airport.

Atiku was attending his son’s wedding in Kaduna, but the two politicians exchanged banters and had a
brief meeting at the airport before departing. The meeting was said to have lasted for just few minutes,
but pundits argue that a minute was enough for politicians of such high status and pedigree to discuss
top issues.

Tinubu’s spokesman, Mr Tunde Rahman, also shared a picture of the encounter on his Facebook page.
The caption of the picture as posted by Rahman read, “Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and former Vice President
Atiku Abubakar exchanging views when they ran into each other at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International
Airport, Abuja.”

Atiku, Tinubu met at wedding

Similarly, Tinubu and Atiku reportedly met last Saturday, during the wedding of a former chairman of
the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nuhu Ribadu’s daughter, in Abuja.
Saturday’s meeting was the second time Atiku and Tinubu were spotted together under one month. But
what they might have deliberated on is what is causing a stir within the nation’s political space. Vice
President Yemi Osinbajo also graced the occasion among other dignitaries.

Why the polity is twitching

There are speculations in the social media that Tinubu, Atiku, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State,
former Senate president Bukola Saraki and Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State have an
agenda to float a new political party or revive an existing one as part of the 2023 calculations.

A former minister of Information and governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance
(APGA) in the 2019 elections in Nasarawa State, Labaran Maku, was also alleged to be part of the
team angling for a third force. Maku, however, on Sunday debunked the claim. This has sent the polity
twitching especially as there is a saying that in politics there are “no permanent enemies but permanent

The meetings also generated concerns considering that both Tinubu and Atiku allegedly worked in the
build up to the 2015 general elections, for the emergence of Buhari as president when the latter was still
in the APC. Similarly, there are agitations in both APC and PDP over zoning of the 2023 presidential
ticket of both parties. The major political actors from the South in both parties are agitating for power
shift to the South while some northern elements are clamouring for the retention of power in the North
come 2023. The situation, according to analysts, is dicey and especially as both parties have not
reached any decision on the matter, apparently because of the inevitable intrigues and power play.

Atiku, others dispel claims

The Special Adviser to Atiku on Media, Mr. Paul Ibe, could not be reached at the time of filing this
report but he had told some journalists last Saturday, that the meeting between Tinubu and Atiku had no
political undertone.

“When people are invited to a wedding fatiha, nobody should make undue interpretation beyond that,
otherwise, every other meeting at every other wedding or social event will be interpreted one way or
the other. “How can there be a political undertone? Has wedding become a place for political meeting?
The same way people across political divides attended the wedding fatiha of Atiku’s son two weeks ago
in Kaduna is the same way he attended Ribadu’s son’s wedding fatiha,” Ibe said.

Analysts react

A political Analyst from the South West, Chief Jackson Lekan Ojo, said it was good for the two
political giants to meet in order to define their ambition and determine their direction.