• SHOCKING! Nigerians stare at AMAECHI open-mouthed, pop-eyed as he says Nigeria fast becoming a failed state

    01/Oct/2016 // 1165 Viewers

     


    PARIS, OCTOBER 1, 2016: (DGW) IN  an interview with the Vanguard newspapers, Mr Amaechi bares his mind and spoke on a wide range of  sensitive national issues ranging from the ongoing economic recession, call for restructuring , amid others, to the hunger and starvation ravaging the nook and crannies of Nigeria which has doubtless caused Nigerians so much pains.

    Chief Mbazuike Amaechi , a former Minister of Aviation , in the Second Republic talks extensively about other challenges plaguing the country that have brought the country to its knees which informed his desire to say Nigeria as a country has indeed become a failed state. 

    Here are excepts:

    *It’s yet another independence celebration for Nigeria but its different now because of the recession in the country. With benefit of hindsight, where did we go wrong?


    I think it is a long story. I was part of the struggle for Nigeria’s independence. After independence came, I was a member of the parliament. I was a minister. I remained a minister until the military coup of 1966. Now, when we were in government, Nigeria did not have the benefit of oil. Nigeria depended on cocoa from the West, palm produce from the East and groundnuts in the North. We managed the resources the best way we could.

    Then, in January 1966, some unpatriotic military men overthrew the government of the country by force and then the internal struggle amongst the soldiers led this country into a crazy civil war that was fought for three good years. During this period, a lot of destruction was done, a lot of lives were lost. When the war ended in 1970, a year after that, there was oil explosion.

    Nigeria became a very important and big exporter of crude oil. There was oil-well explosion in the country. Then, the soldiers who were ruling saw plenty of money and did not know how to manage the money because they were not trained to manage the economy. And the military remained in government for 38 years. And these 38 years of the military government apart from the three years of Obasanjo, were controlled by Northern soldiers. So, the North retained the seat of power for 35 years out of the 38 years.

    Shagari took over in 1979. Shagari got people who were experts in managing the economy but after one term in office, the military struck again and took over the government from him and continued to rule until 1999 when they handed over to another military man. Though the 1999 election was a democratic election, they elected the same military man that was in uniform and transformed to a civilian. So, indirectly, its the same military man that continued and the military government continued.

    So, for a long period, Nigeria witnessed a government by people who did not want to plan, who did not bother to plan and who saw so much money and did not know how to manage the money and how to save for rainy day. They squandered the money.

    Instead of saving and investing this money in industries and other economic activities to create employment for the people, for the country and development of the country, they kept squandering this money and stealing this money and stashing this money in foreign banks. This continued until after Obasanjo and Yar ‘Adua came in. Yar’ Adua was there for three years and died.

    Then Goodluck Jonathan found himself as president of the country. Whether he was prepared for that or not, I’m not in a position to say, because somebody who was elected going to listen to MASSOB, that you will mow them down., Well, you will continue to mow down and mow down, until there is nobody to mow down, until the whole building collapses.


    What we are advocating is dialogue and secondly, Nigeria gathered 500 distinguished delegates for a national conference in 2014. This conference made some recommendations, made some suggestions on the basis of amalgamation and the problem plaguing the country. Do you say because it was under the presidency of another person, you don’t want to use it.

    Why not appoint a small committee of people who were not members of that particular national conference to study its recommendations and see what you can do about it. But to say you wont use it because it was under the presidency of another person and therefore, you’d throw it away is not right. Or, you say because the report did not favour the North.

    If it did not favour the North, but the North was there in the conference and their recommendation was unanimous. So, how can you sustain a situation where somebody stubbornly insists, I’ll do it alone, I know it alone. Okay, let him stay there until the house collapses on his head because Nigeria is heading towards a total collapse.

    *This ethnicity problem, was it always there from the beginning or did it just crop up along the line?


    Ethnicity has always been there but in our own time, when it comes to national interest, we come together. But now, they are using it and religion to divide the country. Nigeria has managed to hold on because there were the oil wells but now that the oil wells are drying up, all the bad sides are appearing. When you see the judiciary no hope, the police no hope, the military no hope, the legislature no hope, then I don’t know where we are going.


    So, the recent United Nations report that Nigeria is deeply divided is true?


    Of course, Nigeria is deeply divided and that is why people like us are calling for discussions, dialogue. The division is manifesting more and more now, more than at any time in the history of Nigeria. That is why true patriotic Nigerians are calling for dialogue.

    Look at our economy. The Naira has become a worthless sheet of paper. In 1983, I had two of my children studying overseas. Dollar was exchanged for 68 kobo in 1983. But when the military came, Babangida introduced what he called SAP. The thing dropped to N21 per dollar, then N30 and so son, until it rose up to N173 and N197 per dollar in the time of Goodluck Jonathan.


    Now, it has hit the roof. Even the N400 per dollar you are talking about is for today, maybe tomorrow, it can become N500 per dollar. Our economy has become worthless and people are suffering. Alright, tell me when a bag of rice costs N20,000, how can a civil servant whose salary is N30,000 and N40,000 survive? And then, the salary is not even coming regularly. Governors get federal allocation every month and at the end of it, they take away half of the money in what they call security votes and pass it into a separate bank account. What kind of country is this?

    So, you think dialogue is a way out but what happens when it is not forthcoming?


    It’s only people in the high echelon of government that are living normal life now. These ones don’t buy fuel or foodstuffs with their money. They have everything provided for them and their family with tax payers money and so they don’t care. The people in government civil service and other employees of private organisations are living in hell. But the people in government services are more comfortable than the other people in private employment.


    There is a captain in charge of the ship of the nation. It is for that captain to call people together. That captain should forget that he was a soldier yesterday where the language was dictatorship. He should realise he is running a community of two hundred million people and millions of people are crying. If he doesn’t take care, I can’t imagine what will happen.


    Prof. Ango Abdullahi suggested we go our separate ways if we cannot work together as one entity?


    Even if we have to go our separate ways, let us go it in a peaceful way. It could be all part of the negotiation, part of the dialogue and part of coming together. We could say, any people who want to go their separate ways, lets vote for or against it. If 60%-70% says let’s go our separate ways, at least, the relationship between the two countries could remain cordial.


    But if the separation is done in a circumstance of violence, hatred and bitterness, the two nations can never be friendly. But nations need the cooperation of the others to succeed, particularly neighbouring nations.

    To solve the hunger problem, going back to agriculture could only be part of the solution, but not the final solution. How many people can go into agriculture, and when they plant and its time to harvest, how many people who are not in farming can buy?


    The whole thing requires cool economic calculation. I advise that the president should involve everybody, not just his APC people but people who belong to other parties and people who don’t belong to any political party who have something to offer, experts in different fields. And now, in government, the stealing is still going on. It’s not only in Jonathan’s era or Obasanjo’s era that there was stealing. There is stealing going on now too, a lot of stealing. - Vanguard


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  • Nigeria @ 56: We are disappointed, we are not on track at all - AFENIFERE, EKWEREMADU, Others

    01/Oct/2016 // 3010 Viewers

     

    The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, has called for sober reflection as Nigeria marks its 56th Independence anniversary.

    He said there is the need to return to the path of true federalism as envisioned by the country’s founding fathers in order to move it forward.

    Ekweremadu — who said these in his message to Nigerians on the occasion of the Independence anniversary, stressed the need for justice, peace and unity, urging the Federal Government to mobilise “all capable hands” to salvage the country’s ailing economy.

    He said, “This 56th Independence anniversary calls for sober reflection. No people can make progress unless they retrace their steps back to where the rain started beating them. Nigeria, at formation, had a building plan, which was based on true federalism as covenanted by our founding fathers at various conferences leading up to Independence.

    “For as long as we followed that plan, we prospered. But, once we discarded the building plan, dissembled the inherited structures and legacies and began to undermine the fabrics of equity, justice, balance, healthy competition and economic prosperity that was ingrained therein, we charted our route to the current perdition.”

    Ekweremadu, however, assured Nigerians that the country would bounce back if immediate steps were taken to unite the country, getting the best hands on deck, irrespective of who they are.

    The leader of Afenifere, a socio-cultural group, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, expressed disappointment at the pace of development in the country despite its abundant human and natural resources.

    Fasoranti, who spoke in Osogbo on the sidelines of the 91st birthday ceremony of Senator Ayo Fasanmi, said the country was not on track even as it marks its 56th Independence anniversary, while he decried the lack of creativity by the country’s leaders, who he said had always depended on oil money to run the country.

    He said, “We are disappointed. We are not on track at all. For instance, the sale of national assets should not happen at all because that is going to be a sad loss. The best thing for our leaders is to think well and look inward on how to maximise what we have.

    “Our leaders only like easy option instead of exerting themselves. They should think well. What they are planning to do is a very easy option. The executives need to think again.”

    A former President of the Nigeria Bar Association, Wole Olanipekun, described the current system of government in Nigeria as “hydra-headed unitarism,” which negates all known principles of federalism as practised in other countries of the world.

    Olanipekun said this at the opening of an ultra-modern Vice Chancellor’s lodge which he donated to Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo, Oyo State.

    He said, “Nigeria must be governed properly and I am saying that today, Nigeria is not being governed properly. Leadership is rudderless at the federal, state and local government levels.

    “What we have in Nigeria today are powerful individuals, not powerful institutions. And the powerful individuals, if care is not taken, will become lions and when lions roar, they will devour. I hope those individuals who are richer than Nigeria don’t devour us. A time will come when Nigeria will start borrowing from them to survive.”

     


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  • Don’t give up on Nigeria – Oyegun, Atiku, others

    01/Oct/2016 // 293 Viewers

     

    The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has appealed to Nigerians to remain hopeful about the future of the country in spite of the current economic challenges.

    While speaking on the occasion of the country’s 56th Independence anniversary, Oyegun said in a statement that adequate steps were being taken to get the economy out of recession and restore it on the path of economic growth.

    He also appeared to Nigerians to support President Muhammadu Buhari with prayers as he works to return the country to its deserved heights among the comity of nations.
     
    He said, “Truly, times are hard, but as a party, we are confident that with the ongoing economic recovery efforts of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration and the continued support of Nigerians, the country will emerge from the current economic recession stronger and better.”

    The APC National Chairman also expressed gratitude to the international community for their cooperation and support for the Buhari administration’s efforts against counter-insurgency.

    Meanwhile, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has said that with the right attitude, Nigeria will overcome despite marking its 56th Independence anniversary during a time of economic crisis.

    In a statement on Friday, Atiku said the current crisis should not be the time for grief, regret or recrimination.

    According to him, the current crisis is an opportunity for all Nigerians to roll up their sleeves and support the government in the task of revitalising the core elements of the national economy.

    He said, “We are witnessing an increasing loss of foreign confidence in the ability of Nigerians to resolve the economic downturn. There has been a slowdown of badly needed foreign investment, which has decelerated economic development that is so essential to the well-being of the ordinary Nigerian.

    “The average Nigerian is worried about the state of things and yearning for a vibrant economy within a peaceful and stable environment so that he/she can carry on with daily endeavours to make ends meet. This time demands that we cut our coat according to our cloth, but more than anything else, it demands that we lend a helping hand to one another and form a formidable coalition to push back the recession. We didn’t come to this state by our own choice.”

    The former Vice President also said that despite the country’s litany of problems and divergent agitations, he remained confident and full of abiding faith that the country would excel.

    He said, “Despicable as this moment may be, it must call to task the creativity of our young people to innovate and create unique opportunities. We must fight back at this recession on our own terms. We must never allow it to defeat our creative prowess or set us back on terms that we are not prepared for,” he said.

    The Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, and the Speaker, Kwara State House of Assembly, Dr. Ali Ahmad, on Friday also expressed optimism that the country would get out of recession soon.

    Ahmed, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Abdulwahab Oba, called on Nigerians to demonstrate patriotism, commitment and dedication to collective goals so that the current challenges would be addressed.

    Ahmad, through his Special Assistant on Media, Shuaib Abdulkadir, also said that with the right leadership, commitment and determination, Nigeria would get to the Promise Land.

    “There is no denying the fact that the nation is still lagging behind in terms of real development. However, the peace and unity of this country is sacrosanct and shouldn’t be traded for anything. We must do whatever it takes to protect our sovereignty,” he said.

    Meanwhile, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has called on Nigerians to build on the factors that unite the country in order to surmount its developmental challenges.

    The governor, in his Independence message, also urged Nigerians to promote love, friendship and peaceful coexistence to create the platform for faster development in the country.


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  • Breaking News: End of the road as 3 Nigerian judges sacked, head for jail

    01/Oct/2016 // 3589 Viewers

     

    The National Judicial Council said on Friday that it had recommended to President Muhammadu Buhari, the compulsory retirement of Justice Mohammed Tsamiya from office- the Ilorin Division of the Court of Appeal.

    Justice Tasmiya was sanctioned over allegations that he met with a party to a case before him, Nnamdi Oji, three times and on each occasion, demanded the sum of N200m to influence the Court of Appeal panel in Owerri, which sat on election cases that arose from the 2015 general elections.

    In a statement by its Acting Director, Information, Mr. Soji Oye, the NJC said it also recommended the Chief Judge of Enugu State, Justice I. A. Umezulike, for compulsory retirement and Justice Kabiru Auta of Kano State High Court for dismissal.

    The NJC recommended Auta for prosecution over an allegation that he collected N197m from a man, Alhaji Kabiru, who wrote a petition to the NJC against him.

    The NJC said it recommended to Governor Lawrence Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, the compulsory retirement of the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Umezulike, for delivering judgment in a case 126 days after final addresses were adopted by parties, and for other instances of abuse of office.

    Justice Umezulike, during his book launch, allegedly received a donation of N10m from a businessman, Prince Arthur Eze, while two cases in which Eze was said to have had “vested interest”, were in the judge’s court.

    It also recommended to Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, of Kano State, the dismissal of Justice Kabiru Auta.

    Kabiru was accused of collecting about N197m from a man, Alhaji Kabiru Yakassai, under the pretext that he had plans to use the money to help a then newly appointed Chief Justice of Nigeria to secure accommodation and for Yakassai to be later rewarded with a contract by the CJN.

    The NJC recommended that Auta should be handed over to the Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Zone 1, Kano, for prosecution.

    Justice Auta was said to have agreed to refund the sum of N95m to Yakassai, who had petitioned the NJC, but only for him to admit during his probe before the NJC panel that he only agreed to refund N35m.

    The NJC said it made the recommendations at its 78th meeting, chaired by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, and held on September 29, 2016.

    In respect of Justice Tsamiya, the statement read in part, “Hon. Justice Mohammed Ladan Tsamiya of the Court of Appeal was recommended for compulsory retirement from Office to President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, pursuant to the ‘Findings’ by the Council in the petition written by Nnamdi Iro Oji against him and Hon. Justices Husseini Muktar, F. O. Akinbami and J. Y. Tukur, all Justices of Court of Appeal, who sat on Election Appeal Panel in the Owerri Division of the Court during the 2015 general elections.


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  • Ize-Iyamu vindicated as AU, other Int. observers comprising American, British teams say Edo election a sham, results wrong

    01/Oct/2016 // 114417 Viewers

     

    PARIS, OCTOBER 1, 2016: (DGW) *AU, domestic observers fault conduct of Edo governorship election saying the result announced by INEC did not tally with those his group got from the field.

    Foreign and international observers, who monitored Wednesday Edo State governorship election have expressed reservations about the conduct of the election, pointing out that they were denied entry into the collation centre and that security operatives at the polling units looked the other way while politicians and their agents induced voters with money.

    Prof Ahmed Ansari, head of the African Union Observer Team, asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to improve on the functionality of the card readers as he noted that the machine did not work in some polling units.

    He said along with other international observer groups such as the American Observer team, the British Council and others from the Netherlands and Scotland, the full reports of their impression of the election would be submitted to the INEC and other important election stakeholders.
    He said, "The turnout was quite impressive, but there were problems here and there. Another challenge was understaffing. We saw situation whereby only one staff was in a polling unit. That was not good enough.

    There were reports of inducement. Every party complained about inducement which to me mean that all of them were guilty. The electorate are not supposed to sell their consciences. To the politicians, it shouldn't be about money.

    He further stated that "as the head of an international observer team, we were not allowed to go to the collation centres at a particular time. That is something we need to complain about. I asked who gave the instruction; who gave the order? It couldn't be INEC.

    "It Could be, as they call it, order from above? But the security men told me that 'sir, this is the order given to us.' In every situation, one person is allowed to be there. Even when we delegated Victor (his assistant) to go in, he was not allowed to go into the hall.

    He said, "He (Victor) was allowed to come within the compound, but was not inside the nucleus, where the whole the exercise took place, adding that "we should be there; we should get the result sheet. We should have a copy but we don't have copies for now."

    On the rescheduling of collation of results, Prof Ansari said, "it could be for security reasons based on advice, but I didn't know why they had to stop and leave it for a particular time. Off course, there was no call for it."

    When asked what security operatives could have done upon noticing that money was exchanging hands at the polling units, he said "that depends on the order they gave them."
    Also speaking, Christian Victor from the African Union for Economic, Social and Cultural Council, said many of the things observed in the field on Wednesday were not the kind of things that should happen in an election.

    He said, "One of them is that everywhere we visited was filled with money flying around. Some people were fighting some voters for not voting the political parties they were paid for. It was very disappointing that this kind of thing still happens in the Nigeria political system.
    "I watched the security agencies and it was clear they understood that monies were flying but for reasons best known to them they did not stop it. There were cases of young men, who looked like thugs, driving around during the election.

    "They were never stopped by security agencies. That is wrong where there is a restriction of movement. I also saw wealthy people moving around in SUVs during the election.

    "I have been party of many elections and I have never seen a situation whereby observers and journalists are not allowed into collation centres."
    A local observer, Sadoh Danladi Sunday, states that it was shocking that the results announced by the INEC did not tally with those his group got from the field
    . - NIGERIAN TRIBUNE


    Link to news source: http://tribuneonlineng.com/foreign-observers-fault-conduct-edo-election/


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  • Veteran Nollywood actor is dead!

    01/Oct/2016 // 2886 Viewers

     

    Nigerian Movies – Nollywood Veteran actor Martins Njubigbo popularly known as Elder Maya is dead, he was declared dead on 30th September, 2016 after a long battle with liver problem. You can remember we published earlier this year on his liver problem and a call for help.

    Elder Maya

     
    Money was raised for his treatment but he lost the battle after various treatments to save his life.
    There is a claim that he is over 100 years, this makes him the oldest actor ever in Nollywood and to an extent, on earth.
     
    Painful loss to Nollywood.
    May his soul rest in Peace.


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  • Boko Haram region poised for world’s worst crisis, says UN

    01/Oct/2016 // 218 Viewers

     

    Without more donor support the emergency situation caused by Boko Haram will become the world's worst humanitarian crisis, a top UN official said Friday, as a massive appeal remained just a quarter funded.

    United Nations assistant secretary general Toby Lanzer said the suffering in northeast Nigeria and surrounding areas was the worst he had ever witnessed.

    "I have worked in Darfur," Lanzer told reporters, referring to the war-torn Sudanese region. "The scale and the depth of suffering that I have seen (in Nigeria) is unparalleled in my experience."

    Nigeria-born Islamist group Boko Haram has waged a brutal insurgency in the country's northeast, with violence spreading more recently to western Cameroon as well as the south of Chad and Niger.

    The UN has appealed for a $739 million to cover needs across the entire affected region -- known as the Lake Chad Basin -- but has received commitments for just $197 million (176 million euros).

    "If we don't engage in a much more comprehensive manner, including scaling up our emergency relief programmes, what awaits us down the line is the biggest crisis facing any of us, anywhere," Lanzer said.

    More than nine million people are in "desperate" need of aid, Lanzer said.

    The United Nations had not declared a famine in the Lake Chad Basin, but Lanzer warned that 65,000 people were living in "famine-like conditions".

    The UN has also said that up to 80,000 children in the region could die if they do not get food aid within the next year.

    When Boko Haram violence was at its peak through 2013 and 2014, the UN and other aid groups were unaware of the gravity of needs because access to conflict-ridden areas was largely impossible.

    Nigeria's military has since made gains against the extremists and emergency workers have moved in, unveiling a catastrophe unrivalled "anywhere except that of Syria," Lanzer said, warning the Lake Chad could overtake Syria in terms of the scale of the needs.

    The Boko Haram conflict, which began in northeast Nigeria in 2009, has displaced an estimated 2.6 million people.

    At least 20,000 have died in violence blamed on the Islamists, but the numbers killed by causes linked to the conflict are likely much higher.

    (AFP)

     


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  • World leaders in utter shock as external reserve falls abysmally again, see new figures released by CBN!

    01/Oct/2016 // 675 Viewers


    Nigeria’s foreign exchange reserves fell to $24.59bn by September 28, down 3.37 per cent from the previous month, the latest Central Bank of Nigeria data showed on Friday, as the bank stepped up its intervention to prop up the ailing naira currency.

    The country’s reserves stood at $25.45bn last month, according to Reuters. The reserves had declined 19 per cent from a year ago.

    The CBN has been selling the dollar to support the currency, but the naira hit a fresh all-time low of 490 per dollar on the black market on Friday.

    The country’s external reserves had depleted to $24.8bn in September 21 this year.


    The foreign exchange reserves fell by $600m in two weeks before shedding $1bn in four weeks, the CBN statistics showed then.

    Specifically, the reserves fell from $25.8bn on August 16 to $24.8bn on September 16. It decreased by $600m from $25.4bn recorded on August 31 to $24.8bn on September 16.

    The spate of decline in the external reserves follows the CBN’s almost daily interventions at the interbank/official foreign exchange market in recent weeks, as chronic dollar shortage continues to weigh on the economy.

    In its efforts to defend the naira and prevent it from falling further at the official interbank market, the central bank has been selling dollars there more frequently.

    The naira had fallen to an all-time low of 365.25 to the dollar at the interbank market on August 18 before making a gradual recovery.

     


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  • Nigerians disllusioned as President Buhari breaks their spirit with another distressing message

    01/Oct/2016 // 1012 Viewers

     

    ON the occasion of the 56th Independence Anniversary of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari has assured that his administration was aware of the hardship in the country and was working hard to change the situation.
     
    He has however warned that there are no easy ways out of the nation’s economic problems although solutions could be found.

    In a live radio and television broadcast to mark the occasion on Saturday morning, he said:
    “There are no easy solutions, but there are solutions nonetheless and Government is pursuing them in earnest.”

    President Buhari noted that the day was a day of celebration for us Nigerians as it was the day  56 years ago that “our people achieved the most important of all human desires – freedom and independence.  We should all therefore give thanks and pray for our founding fathers without whose efforts and toil we would not reap the bounties of today.”

    He assured that he knew what was uppermost in the minds of the people was the economic crisis, therefore he said: “The recession for many individuals and families is real. For some It means not being able to pay school fees, for others it’s not being able to afford the high cost of food (rice and millet) or the high cost of local or international travel, and for many of our young people the recession means joblessness, sometimes after graduating from university or polytechnic.

    “I know how difficult things are, and how rough business is. All my adult life I have always earned a salary and I know what it is like when your salary simply is not enough. In every part of our nation people are making incredible sacrifices.

    “But let me say to all Nigerians today, I ran for office four times to make the point that we can rule this nation with honesty and transparency, that we can stop the stealing of Nigeria’s resources so that the resources could be used to provide jobs for our young people, security, infrastructure for commerce, education and healthcare.
     
    “I ran for office because I know that good government is the only way to ensure prosperity and abundance for all. I remain resolutely committed to this objective.

    “I believe that this recession will not last.

    “Temporary problems should not blind or divert us from the corrective course this government has charted for our nation.  We have identified the country’s salient problems and we are working hard at lasting solutions.

    “To re-cap what I have been saying since the inception of this administration, our problems are security, corruption and the economy, especially unemployment and the alarming level of poverty.”

    The president noted that on security, Boko Haram has been defeated but only now carrying out “cowardly attacks on soft targets, killing innocent men, women and children.”

    While noting that situation has improved on the Boko Haram front, Buhari regretted: “A new insurgency has reared up its head in the shape of blowing up gas and oil pipelines by groups of Niger Delta Militants.  This Administration will not allow these mindless groups to hold the country to ransom.

    “What sense is there to damage a gas line as a result of which many towns in the country including their own town or village is put in darkness as a result?  What logic is there in blowing up an export pipeline and as a result income to your state and local governments and consequently their ability to provide services to your own people is reduced?

    “No group can unlawfully challenge the authority of the Federal Government and succeed.  Our Administration is fully sympathetic to the plight of the good people of Niger Delta and we are in touch with the State Governments and leaderships of the region.  It is known that the clean-up of the Ogoniland has started.  Infrastructural projects financed by the Federal Government and post amnesty programme financing will continue.

    “We have however, continued to dialogue with all groups and leaders of thought in the region to bring lasting peace.”

    On  corruption, he observed that it was cancer which must be fought with all the weapons at the nation’s disposal.

    The president added: “It corrodes the very fabric of government and destroys society.  Fighting corruption is Key, not only to restoring the moral health of the nation, but also to freeing our enormous resources for urgent socio-economic development.

    “In fighting corruption, however, the government would adhere strictly by the rule of law.  Not for the first time I am appealing to the judiciary to join the fight against corruption.”

    Also speaking about the economy, President Buhari stressed that his administration’s change agenda was to restructure the economy.

    According to him,”Economies behaviour is cyclical.  All countries face ups and downs.  Our own recession has been brought about by a critical shortage of foreign exchange.  Oil price dropped from an average of hundred USD per barrel over the last decade to an average of forty USD per barrel this year and last.

    “Worse still, the damage perpetrated by Niger Delta thugs on pipelines sometimes reduced Nigeria’s production to below One million barrels per day against the normal two point two million barrels per day.  Consequently, the naira is at its weakest, but the situation will stabilize.

    “But this is only temporary.  Historically about half our dollar export earnings go to importation of petroleum and food products!  Nothing was saved for the rainy days during the periods of prosperity.  We are now reaping the whirlwinds of corruption, recklessness and impunity.”

    He said government will repair the nation’s four refineries so that Nigeria can produce most of its petrol requirements locally, pending the coming on stream of new refineries.

    He assured: “That way we will save ten billion USD yearly in importing fuel.”

    The president spoke on the effort to achieve self-sufficiency in agriculture production, noting that abundant harvest was expected this year as states had increased various crops production capacities.

    “At the same time, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and the Central Bank have been mobilized to encourage local production of rice, maize, sorghum, millet and soya beans.
    Our target is to achieve domestic self-sufficiency in these staples by 2018,” he said.

    The president further assured that “The country should be self-sufficient in basic staples by 2019.  Foreign exchange thus saved can go to industrial revival requirements for retooling, essential raw materials and spare parts.  It is in recognition of the need to re-invigorate agriculture in our rural communities that we are introducing the life programme.”

    Listing some of the capital projects his administration was currently executing, Buhari remarked that government’s objective was to complete all abandoned projects across the country.

    Continuing, he said: “Notwithstanding the budgetary constraints, the current budget allocated two hundred and forty billion naira for highway projects against twelve billion naira in 2015. Many contractors who have not been paid for three years have now remobilized to sites. Seven hundred and twenty point five billion naira has so far been released this budget year to capital projects.

    “The Ministry of Power, Works and Housing has received one hundred and ninety seven point five billion naira.”

    He was confident that the programmes he had  outlined will revive the economy, restore the value of the naira and drive hunger from the country.

    Buhari commended Nigerians for their patience, steadfastness and perseverance., saying: “You know that I am trying to do the right things for our country.”


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  • JUST IN: Easy ride for PDP as Ondo APC gubernatorial candidate finally dumps party!

    01/Oct/2016 // 2718 Viewers

     

    A governorship aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ondo State,has finally dumped the party for the Alliance for Democracy (AD) after months of speculations.
     
     Chief Olusola Oke's declaration laid to rest speculations that the former Legal Adviser of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and governorship candidate of the party in 2012 was planning to dump APC for another party to realise his governorship ambition.

    Speaking with his supporters across the 18 local government areas in the state, in his residence, Oke stated that his defection was necessitated by the injustice perpetrated by some leaders of the party in the primary election of the party.

    He explained that he waited patiently for the leaders to correct the injustice before opting out of the party.

    Oke, who said he took the decision to dump the party after due consultations with some APC leaders and supporters across the country, disclosed that he would contest the November 26 governorship election on the platform of the AD.

    He  said he was contesting for the governorship seat in the forthcoming election to rescue the people of Ondo State from underdevelopment, describing the AD as home of the progressives.

    Oke noted that the PDP in the state “has been celebrating the decision of the APC to field Rotimi  Akeredolu as the party’s candidate in the election.”


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