INEC Releases Date For General Elections For The Next 36 Years

The Independent National Electoral Commission on Wednesday announced dates for general elections in the country for the next 36 years , starting from 2019 to 2055

Chairman of the commission, Prof . Mamood Yakubu , made the announcement at a consultative meeting with leaders of political parties in Abuja .
“ In 2019 , the dates are February 16 and March 2 ; in 2023 , the dates are February 18 and March 4 .
“ In 2027 , the dates are February 20 and March 6 ; in 2031 , it is February 15 and March 1 .
“ In 2035 , it is February 17 and March 3 ; in 2039 , it is February 19 and March 5 and in 2043 , it will hold on February 21 and March 7 .
“ In 2047 , it is February 15 and March 2 ; in 2051 , it is February 18 and March 1 ; in 2055 , it is February 20 and March 6 , ” Yakubu said.
He pointed out that in other democracies of the world, periods of elections are generally known and are not topics for speculation .
Yakubu explained that the aim was to engender certainty in the election calendar and also to allow for long- term planning by the commission and all stakeholders .
He said that certainty in election calendar was necessary to match Nigeria’s democratic system with global best practices .
The chairman said that in the last one week , INEC had received 108 applications from associations seeking to be registered as political parties .
He said that 66 of the applications did not meet the initial requirements , while 33 passed and had proceeded to the next stage .
He said that nine others were at the final stage of registration .
The INEC boss commended political parties for the roles they played in the governorship and National Assembly by -elections in Anambra , which ensured that the exercises were crisis -free .
He urged all existing political parties yet to comply with all relevant sections of the constitutional requirements necessary for their existence , to do so.
He advised the parties to ensure rancour -free conventions and congresses ahead of 2019 and the Ekiti and Osun governorship elections later in the year .

“ Internal party democracy is critical to the overall success of the elections and it helps to eliminate some protracted litigations .
“ Less than a year to the 2019 general elections , there are still cases in courts challenging the nomination of candidates in the 2015 elections , ’’ he said.
Yakubu urged the parties to support the commission in its quest to sanitise the voter register by drawing the attention of the umpire to any irregularity.
In his remarks, the Chairman , Inter Party Advisory Council , Mohammed Nalado, commended INEC for recognising political parties as partners.
He said with little or no financial support, political parties have been at the forefront of voter sensitisation to the need to conduct themselves responsibly at polling units.
Nalado commended the commission for creating an enabling environment for free and fair elections by rolling out election calendar in good time .
He added that the political parties were happy with the position of INEC on the sequence of elections , saying the commission acted on the existing law.
He welcomed the newly -registered political parties to IPAC and urged INEC to support the council ’s plan to amend its code of conduct .
According to Nalado, the amendment will address issues of internal democracy and conflict resolution system , among other issues affecting political parties in the country .

Proceedings Of The Nigerian Senate For 28/02/2018

PROCEEDINGS OF THE NIGERIAN SENATE OF WEDNESDAY, 28TH FEBRUARY, 2018.

Welcome to a new Legislative Day in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria!
Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, led the Principal Officers into the chambers; took the official prayers; and began the day’s proceedings at 10:50am.
Senator Barnabas Gemade moved for the approval of votes and proceedings of Tuesday, 27th February, 2018. Senator Fatimat Raji-Rasaki seconded.
EXECUTIVE COMMUNICATION

Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki read a letter from Mr. President on the declination of assent on the Peace Corp establishment Bill recently passed by National Assembly.
Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki read a letter from Ghana Parliament, inviting the Nigerian Senate to Ghana Parliament on the 5th of March, 2018.
ANNOUNCEMENT

Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki asked Deputy Chairman Senate Committee on Appropriation, Senator Sonni Ogbuoji where we are on the budget?
Senator Sonni Ogbuoji said: “we do not have any comprehensive budget report, the MDA’s are not really ready and do not want to comply. After various budget defense, the MDA’s were asked to come back but never did”
“This is unacceptable, the head of these ministries are holding this country to ransom.”- Senator Philip Aduda.
“You know the intention is to complete the process as early as possible.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.

“Unfortunately, the perception is this that sometimes it is parliament that delays these things. So I appeal to all the ministers and MDAs that keep on traveling: this is the time for you to sit down and ensure that you can finish this report.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.
“As we all know, it is our intention this year to pass the general budget along with the parastatals budget and as such, parastatals must ensure that they do not cause any delay because we are not going to pass the general budget without the parastatals. Because we gave them a deadline to make sure that they submit their budget on time.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.
“Distinguished colleagues our general consensus is, we give these agencies until the end of next week. Anything that hasn’t come in by end of next week, the sub-committee should just complete the exercise and work with whatever they have.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.
PETITIONS

Senator Aliyu Sabi raised a petition on behalf of members of his constituency who worked in Kainji hydro-Power station Niger State, 440 staff have been owed since it was privatized in 2013.

Senator Sam Egwu also raised a petition on behalf of a member of his constituency against the Nigerian Army for unlawful dismissal and requests reinstatement.
Senator Jeremiah Useni raised a petition on behalf of a member of his constituency against Nigerian Export, Import Bank.

Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki referred all petitions to the committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions to report back in 2 weeks.
POINT OF ORDER

Senator Mohammed Hassan cited order 43 and said the Governor of Kogi State was involved in double registration and had 3 members of INEC sacked, got another voters card from another ward and claims he cannot be prosecuted because he has immunity.
“Stability of our democracy lies on the stability of the electoral processes and as such we must ensure the processes are always fair such that we can be proud of. The Chairman committee on INEC should look into this.”-Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.
Senator Dino Melaye cited order 14 and drew the attention of the Senate to the publication on ThisDay newspaper that said the AGF dares the Senate over the resumption of the DG of NHRC without Senate confirmation. He said it is against the rule of the land.

PRESENTATION OF BILLS-First Reading

JAMB Act CAP J1, LFN, 2004 (Amendment) Bill, 2018 (SB. 625) by Senator Barau Jibrin.
JAMB Act CAP J1, LFN, 2004 (Amendment) Bill, 2018 (SB. 625) was read the First Time.
National Institute of Construction Technology and Management (Establishment, etc) Bill, 2018 (SB. 628) by Senator Clifford Ordia.

National Institute of Construction Technology and Management (Establishment, etc) Bill, 2018 (SB. 628) was read the First Time.

Government Performance and Accountability Bill, 2018 (SB. 629) by Senator Stella Oduah.
Government Performance and Accountability Bill, 2018 (SB. 629) was read the First Time.
Independent National Commission for Hate Speeches (Establishment, etc) Bill, 2018 (SB. 631) by Senator Abdullahi Sabi.

Independent National Commission for Hate Speeches (Establishment, etc) Bill, 2018 (SB. 631) was read the First Time.

CONSIDERATION OF BILLS- Second Reading
A Bill for an Act to provide for the establishment of the Federal Co-operative Colleges and for other matters connected therewith, 2018 (SB. 418) by Senator Ike Ekweremadu.
Senator Philip Aduda seconded and supported the Bill for an Act to provide for the establishment of the Federal Co-operative Colleges and for other matters connected therewith, 2018 (SB. 418).

A Bill for an Act to provide for the establishment of the Federal Co-operative Colleges and for other matters connected therewith, 2018 (SB. 418) was read the Second Time.
Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki referred the Bill to the committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND to report back in 4 weeks.
A Bill for an Act to provide for the establishment of the Federal College of Education Ila- Orangun, Osun State and for other matters connected therewith, 2019 (SB. 616) by Senator Olusola Adeyeye.

“I hereby support this Bill as a matter of urgency.”- Senator Ademola Adeleke.
“I support the establishment of the Federal College of Education Ila-Oragun, Osun State.”- Senator Barnabas Gemade.
A Bill for an Act to provide for the establishment of the Federal College of Education Ila- Orangun, Osun State and for other matters connected therewith, 2019 (SB. 616) was read the Second Time.

Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki referred the Bill to the committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND to report back in 4 weeks.
A Bill for an Act to repeal the trademarks Act CAP T13 laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and enact a comprehensive law relating to trademarks and other related matters, 2018 (SB. 357) by Senator Umaru Kurfi.
“I support the Bill on trademark because it will enable those going into self sufficient business.”-Senator Aliyu Sabi.

“I support this Bill because trademark serves as a currency for all business owners in the society. I hereby Second this Bill.”- Senator Ben Murray Bruce.
A Bill for an Act to repeal the trademarks Act CAP T13 laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and enact a comprehensive law relating to trademarks and other related matters, 2018 (SB. 357) was read the Second Time.
Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki referred the Bill to the committee on Trade and Investment to report back in 4 weeks.
“I commend Senator Umaru Kurfi. This trademark Act would bring value to intellectual Act. This should be passed in order to have an impact in our economy.”- Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki.
A Bill for an Act to establish the Federal Polytechnic Aba, Abia State to provide full time courses in technology, applied science management and other fields of studies and to make provisions for the general administration of the polytechnic, 2018 (SB. 602) by Senator Theodore Orji.
“Aba is a creative and innovative technological centre of Nigeria, I believe this will create a lot of employment and empower our youths.”- Senator Godswill Akpabio.
A Bill for an Act to establish the Federal Polytechnic Aba, Abia State to provide full time courses in technology, applied science management and other fields of studies and to make provisions for the general administration of the polytechnic, 2018 (SB. 602) was read the Second Time.
Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki referred the Bill to the committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND to report back in 4 weeks.
A Bill for an Act to establish the Federal Polytechnic Langtang, Plateau State, to provide full time courses in technology, applied science management and other fields of studies and to make provisions for the general administration of the polytechnics, 2018 (SB. 627) by Senator Jeremiah Useni.
“I rise to support this Bill. I so second that the Bill be read the second time.”- Senator Ibrahim Gobir.
A Bill for an Act to establish the Federal Polytechnic Langtang, Plateau State, to provide full time courses in technology, applied science management and other fields of studies and to make provisions for the general administration of the polytechnics, 2018 (SB. 627) was read the Second Time.
Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki referred the Bill to the committee on Tertiary Institutions and TETFUND to report back in 4 weeks.
A Bill for an Act to establish the National endowment for arts and literature to provide financial and institutional support for first rate notable and exceptional remarkable works of art and literature also serve as an established fund and permanent pecuniary provisions for the purpose and for other related matters, 2018 (SB. 76) by Senator Shehu Sani.
“There is no better place to promote art than Africa. This endowment will be a lot of achievement for Nigeria.”- Senator Oluremi Tinubu.
“There is need to encourage our youths to adopt creative writing and art, I urgently support this Bill.”- Senator Joshua Lidani.
A Bill for an Act to establish the National endowment for arts and literature to provide financial and institutional support for first rate notable and exceptional remarkable works of art and literature also serve as an established fund and permanent pecuniary provisions for the purpose and for other related matters, 2018 (SB. 76) was read the Second Time.
Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki referred the Bill to the committee on Culture and Tourism to report back in 4 weeks.

ADJOURNMENT
Senate Leader moved that all other items on the order paper be stood down to another Legislative day. Minority Leader seconded.

Plenary is adjourned to Thursday, 1st March, 2018.
#GavelBangs.

“From What I Am Seeing, There Is A Conspiracy Against The Nigerian Youths” – Amb Dickson Akoh

What Peace Corps Commandant, Akoh Said After Buhari Rejected Signing Peace Corps Bill

Following President Muhammadu Buhari’s rejection of the proposed Peace Corps of Nigeria establishment bill, Dickson Akoh, commandant of the Corps has reacted.

 

Speaking while addressing journalists after a house of representatives committee meeting on Tuesday, commandant of Peace Corps of Nigeria, Dickson Akoh, said the rejection of the Peace Corps bill shows there is “conspiracy against the Nigerian youth”.
The source had reported earlier yesterday day that in a letter which speaker of the house of representatives, Yakubu Dogara, read during the plenary session at the National Assembly on Tuesday, President Muhammadu Buhari rejected the proposed Peace Corps of Nigeria establishment bill, citing security concerns, duplication of roles and lack of funds as his reasons.
In a swift reaction, Akoh accused the nation’s security agencies of working against the bill, adding that the same persons who “fought” the Peace Corps bill prior to its passage advised Buhari against giving assent to the bill.
He said: “The same people that opposed the bill with the same content during the national assembly’s public hearing, took the matter before the president, telling him that instead of voting money for a new establishment, they should use it to boost money for their own activities.
“They had said it is a duplication of their functions but we made an advertorial in some newspapers to show the differences in the functions. Whatever they have done has not brought the situation to an end. The national assembly may still take it up.”
Akoh said the organisation is in the interest of the vast majority of the youth, adding that “from what I am seeing, there is a conspiracy against the youth.”
“Let them (the youth) be jobless and be committing crimes and let these people have more money and jail them. I think that is the conspiracy,” he said.
He also alleged that some persons had sworn that they will do “everything possible” to see that the president does not give assent to the bill.
“We have the tape that immediately after the passage of the bill by the national assembly, it was conspired and sworn to God Almighty to forestall the passage of the bill.
“We have bills that have suffered similar fate and resistance and was later passed. So we have hope that one day, propped attention will be given to the bill,” he said.

Air Force Deploys 100 Jets In Search Of Missing Dapchi School Girls

AIR FORCE DEPLOYS 100 JETS IN SEARCH OF 110 SCHOOLGIRLS

The Air Force has deployed 100 fighter jets in the search for the 110 schoolgirls abducted on February 19, the Federal Government said yesterday.


The students of the Government Girls Science and Technical College (GGSTC), Dapchi, Yobe State were abducted from their hostels by terrorists.
Twenty of the jets have flown 200 hours as at Monday evening, according to a fact sheet on the search released by Minister of Information, Culture and National Orientation Lai Mohammed.
Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar relocated yesterday to Yobe State “to personally superintend the search for the girls”, the minister said.
He also released the details of the missing girls. Eight are in JSS1, 17 in JSS2, 12 in JSS3, 40 in SS1, 19 in SS2 and 14 in SS3. The girls’ ages range from 11 to 19 years.
“The list, which also contains the contact address and phone number of each missing girl, was verified by a 26-member Screening Committee that include the Executive Secretary, State Teaching Service Board, Musa Abdulsalam; Director, Schools’ Management, Ministry of Education, Shuaibu Bulama; Principal of GGSTC, Adama Abdulkarim; the two Vice Principals, Ali Musa Mabu and Abdullahi Sule Lampo; Admission Officer Bashir Ali Yerima, and the Form Masters for all the classes,” Mohammed said.
National Security Adviser (NSA) Babagana Monguno, who constituted a 12-member committee “to unravel the circumstances surrounding the abduction”, gave the committee March 15 deadline to submit a report.
Gen. Munguno, who visited Governor Ibrahim Gaidam in Damaturu, the Yobe State capital, yesterday announced that 80 other planes would join the search for the girls.
He told the governor: “The Nigerian Air Force has deployed 20 aircraft in Maiduguri and 80 others on their way. So far, 200 hours have been utilised in flying sorties looking for these girls.
“We have also been made aware of the fact that the Nigerian Air Force will step up its operation regardless of the very hard and severe weather condition.”

DAPCHI 110, THE TRAGEDY OF A NATION -DR REUBEN ABATI

DAPCHI 110: THE TRAGEDY OF A NATION

 

 

Karma is a bitch. Poetic justice is a bastard. Both have combined to wrong-foot the incumbent Buhari administration to make it look like a big mistake and an act of misjudgment by the Nigerian electorate.  If Buhari had been disallowed from taking power in 2015, and those who advised President Goodluck Jonathan not to give a damn had their way, and Jonathan had remained in power and all the current problems had surfaced, it would have been said by Nigerians that Goodluck Jonathan truncated Nigeria’s destiny.

 

In 2015, the refrain, which was reaffirmed recently by those who authored it, was that Nigeria could only move forward with anybody but Jonathan. If Buhari was prevented from taking over power, Nigerians would have been very aggressive towards the Jonathan administration. It would have been said that the messiah was robbed of victory. It would have been argued that the man who would have saved Nigeria was prevented from doing so. It might have even been argued that under General Buhari, Nigeria could have become the greatest country on the surface of the earth.

 

Such was the impact of the propaganda. Such was the nature of the politics of the time. The Buharideens would never have allowed a post-2015 Jonathan government to work. Even if it did, the opposition would have imagined a greater possibility. But here we are, three years down the line: the messianic propaganda has failed. Their Saviour is not the Jesus Christ they imagined him to be. The country remains unsaved. Their promise of change has been no more than scaremongering. When the question is asked: are you better today than you were three years ago?, no ordinary Nigerian can answer that question positively: change has brought him or her nothing but agony and anguish.

 

Should they offer an answer, it would be a response marked by regret. The biggest tragedy that has occurred therefore is the demystification, the unmasking, the unveiling of a man who was thought to be a god but who has since danced naked and is dancing naked in the market-place. Strikingly, the Emperor is without clothes. Some of the most vociferous critics of old have also been exposed. Nasir el-Rufai deployed all the heights of his intelligence to demonise the Jonathan government on social media. No one else has been able to match the quality of his vitriol. Today, the same Nasir is busy demolishing the houses of anyone who dares to make a negative comment about him, or he takes them to court and threatens them with Armageddon. The same rights that he demanded for the Nigerian people, he now tramples upon.

 

There was also our beloved kinsman, Alhaji Lai Mohammed. He was the scourge of the Jonathan administration. He could issue five anti-establishment press statements in a day. There has been no one like him in Nigerian history doing the job of opposition spokesman. He was ruthlessly efficient. Nobody in the current opposition parties has demonstrated his capacity as an opposition figure, in part because all the opposition spokesmen have been harassed, blackmailed, dehumanized, and intimidated, but called to do the job, on the other side of the fence as Minister of Information, Alhaji Mohammed remains a study in self-contradiction. His five minutes of fame in the Nigerian political sphere has since ended.

 

He used to be creative and dynamic, but now faced with the challenges of the real thing, the only thing that comes out of his mouth is the dumb argument that Goodluck Jonathan is the source of all the problems of Nigeria or similar inanities. When the matter is not so phrased, we are told that the Jonathan administration stole the country blind. And yet whereas the government of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) borrowed the sum of N6 trillion over a period of 16 years, the APC government has borrowed more than N11 trillion in 3 years! Is it possible all the oil wells have dried up and Nigeria no longer makes money? What has happened to the country’s revenue stream? The absurdity of the situation is further explained by the fact that when a gas cylinder malfunctions in the house of an APC member or there is a crisis in their other room, the man that is blamed is Goodluck Jonathan or the previous administration. They defend the impossible and the unintelligible. But that trick is no longer working. The other tragedy of the Buhari administration is how it has allowed itself to get involved in a Nigerian version of the popular “one-corner-dance”, a downward, self-denigrating choreographic exertion. The result is that right now, people have now moved from the anything but Jonathan corner to the anything but Buhari corner in Nigerian politics. Karma is a bitch. Poetic justice is a bastard.

 

Nothing illustrates this better than the title of this essay, the entry into which has been deliberately delayed, to prepare a setting and a mood for the crisis that Nigeria faces. One of the reasons the Nigerian electorate voted out the previous administration was because of its perceived inability to rescue the abducted Chibok girls. There was an international outcry about this. Bring Back the Chibok girls even became the most popular hashtag on international social media, and Jonathan, who had also signed the anti-same-sex bill into law became a villain in the eyes of the international community. The various interested forces, local and global joined hands together to pull down his government.

 

During the 2015 political campaigns, General Muhammadu Buhari was packaged as a morally upright statesman who would put an end to the impunity of the insurgents and terrorists. Jonathan was considered weak. Buhari was regarded as strong. And so on and so forth- let me just put it like that in order not to be accused of comparison given my own antecedents. But here is where the rub lies: President Buhari has failed the people in their expectations. He has frittered away their goodwill.  

 

He promised Nigerians that Boko Haram will be defeated, and somewhere down the line, we were told the Boko Haram had in fact been “technically defeated.” The President even received a captured flag of the insurgents, together with the personal Quoran of Ibrahim Shekau, the leader of the group. Today, the Boko Haram gang continues to show that they have not been defeated. The Federal Government negotiated with these same insurgents and gave them money to secure the release of over 100 girls, some Boko Haram leaders were released, but the other Monday, Boko Haram abducted over 100 girls in Dapchi in Yobe state. This is sad and tragic. Whatever the government may have gained has been lost. The girls that have been released have been replaced. The fight against Boko Haram is back to square one.

 

The clay feet of those who thought they knew better than everyone else has thus been exposed. For President Buhari, this must be a personal tragedy. His strongest promoters indeed believed that under his watch, the problem of insecurity will be solved. But under him, more money has been spent on national security, with poor results, and the security situation has only worsened. The previous government had the Boko Haram to deal with, this government has its cup full: the herdsmen-farmers conflict, the low level insurgency in the Niger Delta, the crisis of self-determination in the Eastern region, the nationwide proliferation of small arms and ammunition, the notorious Boko Haram and the angst of a disappointed public. On all fronts, the government is found wanting.

 

Yes, it has been found wanting and in a suspicious manner too.  It is in fact curious that security forces were withdrawn in volatile areas of Benue state, just a week before the criminal herdsmen struck. Who ordered that withdrawal? The Inspector-General of Police has also reportedly withdrawn the Special Forces sent to secure the same areas. The Benue Governor, Samuel Ortom is so incensed he is now saying he is willing and ready to pay the supreme sacrifice for his people.  In Yobe state, soldiers were also withdrawn from high-risk areas just before the Dapchi 110 were abducted. The military has since defended itself. It has no capacity its spokesman says, to protect all schools in the Northern part of the country. And we can’t blame the military, can we? It is a sign of the calamity that the country faces that soldiers are the ones now protecting virtually every inch of the Nigerian space, internally and externally. Our soldiers are tired and overstretched, over-used and over-abused. The police are also similarly overwhelmed. It has never been this bad. Fact: the government of the day has been humbled. I once argued that Nigeria is a very difficult country to govern but when you claim to know it all, you are bound to face the contradictions. Every problem solved generates other problems.

 

People choose their governments and leaders because they believe they can lead and protect them. When that trust is betrayed, the legitimacy of the government is in question. In more than 20 states, salaries have not been paid for months.  And it is a stupid point to say that the previous government stole all the money.  How about all the money that has been earned and borrowed since then? Missing? What is responsible really for this drift, this cluelessness, this self-abuse, from a know-it-all team that took over Nigeria in 2015? My other concern is that beyond all the propaganda and the hypocrisy and blackmail, President Buhari’s team may not really love him at all; they may in fact have truly, set him up for his downfall.  Buhari’s biggest stake is the legacy he leaves behind. The little I see of that legacy is not good at all. I once published a piece in which I alleged that Nigerians had hopped into a one-chance bus; I want to modify that and add that it is actually President Buhari who boarded a one-chance bus, and for that he has my heartfelt sympathy. Whatever bus brought him to power is a one-chance bus.

 

What has happened so far merely vindicates the Olusegun Obasanjo and Oby Ezekwesili groups. The former is asking for a Third Force, a Coalition of powers and forces. The other is wielding a Red Card. Both are united in this regard: they consider the two political parties that have ruled Nigeria since 1999, useless and ineffectual. They want a new dawn for Nigeria. They want a discontinuity of hypocrisy and opportunism. They acknowledge one significant point: that Nigeria has remained at one spot. Nothing has changed, the change agenda has failed, everything remains the same. Whether these groups are able to achieve, or motivate the real change the people desire is another matter, but the honesty with which they have reversed themselves is telling, and good for our democracy. You need not raise the point that both Obasanjo and Ezekwesili belong to the same elite that they now repudiate.

 

I sympathise with the parents of the Dapchi 110.  It is sad that their only hope is in God, and the possibility of a miracle.  Students get killed in the United States, due to gun possession issues in a psychotic society, but to send a child to school and have him or her abducted by terrorists is the grievous pain ever possible in Nigeria. What is clear is that the Nigerian leadership elite has failed the people. This is not a political party matter; it is about capacity, political will, leadership and commitment.  This is probably why a body of opinion has developed to the effect that the two major political parties in the country – the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have both failed the country. But can extant or any political parties, in their present shape, save Nigeria? I doubt, and that is my thoroughly non-partisan opinion.

 

The political party system in Nigeria has to be rebuilt, reformed and reconstructed. Beyond that, we need a new crop of leaders. The solution may not lie with Obasanjo or Ezekwesili or the Nigeria Intervention Movement but they have thrown up ideas about the national dilemma that cannot be ignored. Such ideas cannot be ignored because the biggest victims are not the ten per-centers or the men and women in high places who succeed not through talent or excellence, but mere opportunistic “faith”; the victims are young Nigerians, the same people we call the leaders of tomorrow – that tomorrow is already postponed, because that generation of the future is led by analogue leaders whose glory is trapped in the past. Nigeria needs to rescue tomorrow from the past and the present.
Nigeria needs fresh energy, new ideas and a leadership revolution. Wherever they may be, may God protect the Dapchi 110, who have been failed by the Nigerian state. If Buhari rescues them, he may well succeed in rescuing his government a little from the devastating and ruthless onslaught of poetic justice.

You Have Failed Nigerians, Melaye Tells APC!

…Says ruling party now Public Complaint Commission
…APC, not a political party -Babangida

The lawmaker representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Senator Dino Melaye has taken a swipe at the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for failing to meet the expectations of Nigerians, many of whom he said, defied the odds to vote for Muhammadu Buhari as Nigeria’s President in the 2015 general elections. Sen. Dino Melaye Melaye who spoke after he was conferred with the Legislator of the Year 2017 at the Daily Asset Newspaper maiden annual awards and lecture in Abuja, also charged Nigerians to conquer fear by rising up to ask critical questions on governance and service delivery.

Prefacing his remarks with his usual coinage; “If you speak the truth, you die. If you lie, you die. I, Dino Melaye has decided to speak the truth and die,” the fiery Senator wowed the audience with his vitriolic against his own party, which he likened to the Public Complaint Commission, apparently due to its penchants for blaming past administrations for its inability to deliver on some of its electioneering campaign promises. “The APC government has become Public Complaint Commission. I say this without fear or favour. We have more complains in the APC and even in the Presidency than service rendered. We cannot as a people continue like this. “The President said two days ago we should all embrace peace but I want to say without fear or favour that there can be no peace without justice.

There is hunger in the land, there is poverty in the land, and there is unemployment in the land. A lot of decision has not been taken; yet we say we want peace. The primary objective of government is the security and welfare of the people. There is no security, there is no welfare,” he said. According to the federal lawmaker, “Nigeria is not only sick presently but equally suffers from regretful congenital abnormality. There is therefore a serious need for amelioration, palliation and correction. The question is: are you going to be part of that correction? I want to say that in an unjust society, silence is a crime, and every one of us here today, is the reason why (sic) Nigeria is sick. “It is not about the leadership, it is the inability of the followership to check the leadership. Today Nigerians have become indolent, we are suffering and smiling. We are not reactionary. We are not asking questions and that is why we are where we are.

“Democracy will continue to be government of the people by the people for the people but what we have today is greedocracy which is government of the greedy by the greedy and for the greedy, “he added. While decrying the squalid social conditions in which the people live in, Melaye warned those in positions of authority not to forget that their failure to make the most of their offices in the interest of the people could turn out to hurt them, arguing that not even the rich would be immune from the disaster that looms in the horizon. “2019 is around the corner again.

Many of us are lackadaisical about the future. I delivered a lecture recently at the University of Lagos and some students from very wealthy homes, two of them said they didn’t care who the president of the country is and that it was none of their business because their parents were very successful. I said to them that when the poor have nothing to eat, they will start eating the rich. “A time will come when it will be difficult to drive your expensive jeeps and cars on the streets. A time will come when it would be difficult to switch on your generator because everywhere around you is dark. Will you be the only one having light? There was no kidnapping before, and kidnapping is seen as the redistribution of both ill-gotten and legitimate wealth.

People now take from the rich and they now appropriate to themselves,” he noted even as he urged the masses to be wary of the elites whom he accused of polarizing the rest of the populace. “The elites have divided us using tribal sentiments. When you go to the hospital, there is a column for religion on your call card, a column for tribe and local government as if this will in any way facilitate your recovery. We have become too ethnic conscious. I sponsored a bill that is about to go for a second reading. The bill is saying that we should abolish state of origin and in its place; we should have state of residence. This is when we will have a true Nigeria when you will not need a Senator’s note to get job with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN or the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC,” he added.

APC incapable of good leadership – Makarfi

On his part, former Kaduna State governor and Chairman of the defunct National Caretaker Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Ahmed Makarfi who bagged the Man of the Year 2017 award said the APC cannot provide the expected good leadership because the party is made up of strange political bedfellows. While dedicating the prize to the entire PDP family, Makarfi promised Nigerians that the party will restore their hope and deliver on quality governance if given the opportunity again. In a private chat with Vanguard, an elated Makarfi said the award would spur him to do more for Nigeria and her people. “The award will surely encourage me to do much more.

As the chairman of the occasion, Babangida Aliyu mentioned, APC is conglomeration of incompatible political interest groups which Senator Melaye re-echoed. Therefore, they cannot provide good leadership,” he said.

APC, not a political party – Aliyu

Co-chairman of the occasion and former governor of Niger State, Babangida Aliyu also slammed the APC, saying it was never prepared for governance. “Why is APC not doing very well? It is because it has not become a political party. It won election before becoming a political party.

It is a combination of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and one-quarter of PDP,” said Aliyu who also lamented the lack of unity among leaders in the northern part of the country. “Why is it that there is the problem of insecurity more in the North? Why is that we cannot speak with one voice?” he asked noting that while the government of President Buhari claimed to have defeated Boko Haram, herdsmen/farmers ‘clashes birthed leading to the death of many across the country.

Tambuwal, Ishaku, Abubakar, others honoured Also honoured at the event were the trio of Aminu Tambuwal, Darius Ishaku and Mohammed Abubakar, the governors of Sokoto, Taraba and Bauchi States respectively as Governor of the Year 2017. Other awardees included Nnamdi Okonkwo, Managing Director/CEO, Fidelity Bank PLC (Banker of the Year 2017); Luke Onofiok (Young Achiever of the Year 2017); Igho Charles Sanomi (Business Person of the Year 2017 and the Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (University of the Year 2017).

Source: Vanguard.

Prepare For The 2019 General Elections. President Buhari Charges APC Leaders

Outcome of Caucus meeting 


Buhari asks APC leaders to prepare for 2019 elections
 

President Muhammadu Buhari has asked leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to brace up for the 2019 elections.
He said this on Monday when he hosted top members of the party at the presidential villa in Abuja.
Buhari thanked his party men for standing by him despite the “antics of the opposition”.
“I must heartily thank the party officials and members for the successes we have achieved in the 2015 elections in securing majority of the states, majority in the national assembly and majority in the state assemblies,” he said.
“We must remember that this resounding success would not have been achieved without the unity of purpose we exhibited in challenging and defeating an incumbent government.
“Those outstanding successes would not have been possible without your hard work, dedication, and above all, sacrifice. I wish to individually and collectively thank you all sincerely for believing in me and remaining steadfast party members despite distractions and antics of the opposition. This unity and success are needed now more than ever, because elections are now looming.
“Now that INEC has come out with the timetable for elections in 2019, the party should prepare itself for congresses at A. Wards, B. Local Governments, C. States and D. Centre.
“We should strictly follow the constitution of the Party in undertaking these party elections. We should ensure internal democracy and avoid shortcuts and illegal maneuvers which have characterized the opposition party with the consequences that they are now divided.
“The APC has a history of conducting free and fair primaries whenever consensus about any candidacy is not reached. Regardless of the outcomes of the primary processes, it is imperative that we all work together to ensure the victory of our party.”
Buhari said his adminsitration had been able to introduce some reforms, accusing the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) mismanaging the resources of the country.
“I must state at the outset that to succeed we must in all our actions and decisions follow strictly the constitution of our party. It is easy to forget that we succeeded a government with a record of unprecedented theft and systematic mismanagement,” he said.
“Nigeria was fast heading for a state of collapse. It is easy to forget the fuel subsidy fraud, arms fund diversion, depleted excess de Account savings, depleted foreign reserves, massive unpaid debts to contractors and suppliers amidst failure to invest or even maintain our infrastructure namely railways, roads, electricity, inspite of having earned over US$500 billion from Oil & Gas alone, during the 16 years of PDP rule.
“Lest we forget, we must always remind ourselves of the dire situation in which we came to office.
“Therefore we must not be shy in projecting our tremendous achievements from 2015 to date. The territorial integrity of Nigeria longer under threat. A number of security challenges still exist, but they exist in even the most well policed and well-secured countries. I am confident that the measures we are taking will tackle the acts of rural banditry, herdsmen/farmers conflicts, communal clashes, kidnappings and other crimes.”

The Campaigner Online News Headlines 

Wednesday, 28th February, 2018.


Good Morning To Our Cherished Readers At Home.
Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s reconciliation move will enhance APC victory In 2019
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Fulani Herdsmen allegedly invade Benue community, order villagers to vacate homes
Dapchi abduction: Stop blame game, Dogara tells army, police
President Buhari withholds assent on Peace Corps Bill
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    Thanks For Reading, God Bless You and Happy Mid – Week.

President BUHARI’S Remark At The APC NEC Meeting 

PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI’S REMARKS AT THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE (NEC) OF ALL PROGRESSIVES CONGRESS (APC), HELD AT THE NATIONAL SECRETARIAT, ABUJA     


TUESDAY 27TH FEBRUARY 2018
Protocols:
I welcome all of you dear party members to this year’s NEC meeting.
2.     Let me first record my appreciation to the party leadership in Abuja and the States for their stewardship of the Party Affairs. In particular, may I commend our Chairman, His Excellency Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, for steering the Party from success to success.
3.     From our resounding victory in 2015, to gubernatorial elections in Kogi, Edo and Ondo as well as much improved showing in Anambra Elections. APC is the Party of Government and now the Party of the Nigerian people.
4.     Mr Chairman, Members of NEC, great credit is due to our APC State Governors for stabilizing the country and to our Armed Forces, Police and other Security Agencies for stopping Boko Haram in its tracks and driving them from their bases. No country, however well secured, can prevent isolated acts of terror as we have seen in America, Europe, Asia and here in Africa.
5.     We must support our Security Agencies to safeguard our country so that the job of development as outlined in our Manifesto can proceed without too much interruption.
 
7.     Mr Chairman, Members of the National Executive Committee, we cannot afford to fail to remind Nigerians where we came from in 2015. I am happy to report that slowly and steadily we have managed to stabilize the country and re-direct the ship of the State.
8.     We have restored prudence to the management of public finances. Confidence in Nigeria has been restored. On February 23rd, Nigeria issued 12 year and 20 year Eurobond on the international market, which were both oversubscribed. The 12 year bond was within days subscribed by 332%. The 20 year bond was subscribed by 372%.
9.     We have stabilized the Naira, increased our foreign reserves from US$20 billion to US$40 billion. Inflation rate is down. With considerably less resources available to the country, we have improved all indices towards a stronger economy.
10.   Above all, we must pay tribute to the Nigerian people. They still massively support the government in spite of distractions from exponents of “business-as-usual”.
11.   Nevertheless, I am not asking us to relax and take things easy. As we all know, elections are looming on the horizon, we must therefore get our act together. Accordingly, I implore all members of the Party to give the Asiwaju Committee full cooperation to resolve differences existing amongst our members in the States affected. It is perhaps inevitable that there would be differences of opinion within the Party. If we didn’t have differences we wouldn’t be a genuinely democratic Party.
12.   But we must not lose sight of our common purpose as a new Party to break the mould of Nigerian politics and take the country to new heights. Therefore, we have asked our respected Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to lead this process of restoring order to the ranks, manage differences and strengthen the Party.
13.   Mr Chairman, members of the National Executive Committee, I must acknowledge that the pace of government has not met the expectations of many within our Party. But few of us knew or appreciated the depth of the hole when we took office. Thus we spent the last two years digging the country out of the mess we met.
14.   Furthermore, the stand-off between the Executive and the National Assembly slowed the process of government. We are working hard to resolve the differences so that the country can move forward.
15.   Soon, primaries for;
a.  Wards,

b.  Local Governments,

c.  State and

d.  Centre will be due.
16.   I urge all members to take account of the fact that APC has a history of conducting free and fair primaries whenever consensus about any position is not reached. Regardless of the outcomes of the primary processes, it is imperative that we all work together to ensure victory for our Party.