Buhari Sues For Peace As Talks Hold With Benue Stakeholders

President Muhammadu Buhari has made a passionate appeal to the government and people of Benue State to exercise restraint following the recent attacks by herdsmen on some of their communities, assuring that all the perpetrators of violence in the state will be made to face the wrath of the law including any illegally armed militia in the state.

President Buhari stated this while receiving a delegation of political leaders, traditional rulers and elders of the state led by Governor Samuel Ortom at the Presidential Villa.

“Your Excellency, the governor, and all the leaders here, I am appealing to you to try to restrain your people. I assure you that the Police, the Department of State Security and other security agencies had been directed to ensure that all those behind the mayhem get punished.

I ask you in the name of God to accommodate your country men. You can also be assured that I am just as worried, and concerned with the situation,” he said.

The president commiserated with all the victims of the attacks, and the families who lost loved ones and properties, saying that the government would make efforts to ameliorate the situation of all the victims.

Buhari said relevant agencies had been directed to start catering for the humanitarian needs in the state.

The president told the delegation that his administration had already begun a process of finding lasting solution to the perennial challenge of herdsmen conflict with farmers and communities around the country.

He said the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, had been directed to relocate to the state to provide security for lives and properties, urging all Benue indigenes to trust the security agencies and report all suspicious cases of movements in the state.

In his remarks, Governor Ortom said the tension would be reduced with the Federal Government’s intervention to find a lasting solution to the herdsmen attacks.

“We will leave here to rebuild confidence in our people,’’ he said.

The Tor Tiv, James Ortese Iorzua Ayatse, said his entire domain had been thrown into mourning due to the incessant attacks.

“We want you to put an end to the gruesome situation,’’ he added.

Present at the meeting were Benue State Deputy Governor, Benson Abounu; former Senate President, David Mark; former Benue State Governor, George Akume and Sen. Barnabas Gemade.

Others include Sen. J.K Waku, General Lawrence Onoja, John Atom Kpera, former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Michael Aondoakaa, Speaker of Benue State House of Assembly, Terkimbir Kyambe, and other members of the National and State Assembly from the State.

On the proposed cattle colonies, Ortom told journalists after the meeting that his state will not accept the proposed colonies.

Buhari Will Restructure Nigeria In Second Term, Says VON DG

Ahead of tomorrow’s parley between the leaderships of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and Afenifere in Enugu State, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the South-east, Osita Okechukwu, on Tuesday assured the southern leaders that the much talked about political restructuring would be addressed during President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term.

Okechukwu who described the proposed parley as ‘handshake across the Niger,’ congratulated the President General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief John Nnia Nwodo, for convening the meeting of the southern leaders.

In a statement made available to journalists, Okechukwu who is also the Director General of Voice of Nigeria (VON) however, appealed to Igbo and Yoruba leadership to support the Rails, Roads, and Power (RRP) projects, the economic restructuring initiated by President Buhari.

He said the meeting provides an opportunity for Igbo delegates to lobby their Yoruba counterparts to support the creation of additional states in the South-east and a President of Igbo extraction in 2023 after Buhari’s second tenure.

“To be candid, I’m one of those, who view the two as competing brothers rather than adversaries as some have internalised. I also share the view that the unity of the two will in no small measure enhance the unity of our dear country.

“Before one suggests or proposes possible take-aways, from the meeting, let me without being immodest state that I only read about the meeting in one of the major national newspapers, the Vanguard to be specific. From the story one of the cardinal agenda is restructuring, if this is the case, one therefore may humbly seek permission to propose a way forward.

“That delegates should take serious and deep analysis of President Muhammadu Buhari’s economic restructuring captured in RRP – Rails, Roads and Power projects, as enunciated in his 2018 New Year Speech.

“This to me is important because Mr. President has in the midst of competing options elected to first embark on massive critical infrastructure renewal, after which he will embark on political restructuring. The infrastructure renewal is an urgent programme in the face of huge infrastructural deficit.

“I agree that some may argue, why not both together or no, we can do better infrastructural development in regional units. Those who argue the regional option born out of devolution of power, easily forget that our governors control about 48 per cent of monies accruing to the Federation Account and nobody queries them like the federal government,” Okechukwu quipped.

Okechukwu said because the state governors were not held accountable like the president at the federal government, the state Houses of Assembly act like Rubber-Stamp Assembly; leading to democracy recession compounded by lack of free and fair local government council election and no anti-graft agency at the local unit. While arguing that until will grow democracy at the state level and hold the state governors, chairmen and councillors accountable, we will never appreciate the critical infrastructural foundation being laid by President Buhari. It is in this connection that a large spectrum of Buhari’s supporters nationwide have agreed with him to first embark on RRP and to embark on political restructuring during his second term.

“Mr. President I know, is aware that one of the cardinal programmes in our great party’s manifesto is devolution of powers from the center to the units. He has this on his cards. And therefore no political party, at least, not All Progressives Congress (APC) for sure will hold on ad infinitum to 68 items in the Exclusive List of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria without amendment.” he said.

He reminded the Igbo delegates to the meeting the demand of President Buhari from our leaders in the last meeting at Aso Presidential Villa, where in response to their demand for an additional state to par the South-east with other geopolitical regions with six states, demanded that we should name the particular state of our choice, which has not been done.

Okechukwu maintained that the meeting provides a golden opportunity for Igbo delegates to lobby their Yoruba brothers to buy into redressing this equity and justice placebo, of South-east region. Which some have dubbed shortchange or as some cynics posit, punishment because of the civil war.

He noted that the rigorous process of state creation requires lobbying for buy in of this nature, adding that the buy-in of Yorubas will strengthen the hands of Mr. President in lobbying his brothers in the North to create additional state in the South east.

Okekwukwu appealed to Ndigbo not to work out of the conference hitting the table, out of lamentation,
without tangible take-away of items like state creation.

To Say Buhari Is Not Concerned About Benue Killings Is Unfair – Shehu

The Presidency on Tuesday said it was unfair and unkind for anybody or group to keep insinuating that President Muhammadu Buhari is condoning killings in Benue State and other parts of the country.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, stated this in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja.

Shehu said the President was conscious of his duty to Nigerians, not least because he is held accountable for everything that goes wrong.

He said Buhari was also worried about public pronouncements and finger-pointing which he described as unhelpful to peaceful coexistence in the country.

The presidential spokesman said, “President Muhammadu Buhari has been concerned about these conflicts each time he received those very gruesome pictures of mayhem from several parts of the country, especially as it affected Benue and neighbouring states.

“He is equally worried about some public pronouncements and finger-pointing that are, in most cases very unhelpful to peaceful coexistence of our diverse peoples.

“The President is conscious of his duty to Nigerians, not least because he is held accountable for everything that goes wrong. He deeply sympathises with the families and all the other direct and indirect victims of this violence. He is determined to bring it to a permanent end.

“While there are many Nigerians who see the conflict between the nomadic herdsmen and peasant farmers as an ethnic problem, others point to religious differences and agenda. The President does not subscribe to such simplistic reductionism.

“President Buhari holds the view, as do many experts, that these conflicts are more often than not, as a result of major demographic changes in Nigeria. When Nigeria attained independence, the population of the country was estimated at about 63,000,000.

“Today the population is estimated at close to 200,000,000; while the land size has not changed and will not change. Urban sprawl and development have simply reduced land area both for peasant farming and cattle grazing.

“It is therefore both unfair and unkind, for anyone to keep insinuating that the President is condoning the spate of killings in Benue and other neighbouring states.

“President Buhari has publicly condemned the violence at every turn. He is prepared to permit every possible step that can lead to the stoppage of the killings.”

Buhari Meets IGP Over Benue, Rivers Killings

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday met with the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, over the security situation across the country particularly the killings recorded in Benue, Rivers and Kaduna states.

At the end of the meeting held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Idris confirmed to State House correspondents that the meeting centered on how to effectively secure the country.

He said the President gave him a directive to tighten up the nation’s security.

“Every time we meet with the President, he gives a charge. He said that we should go and take care and ensure that we tighten our security,” Idris said.

On Benue crisis, the police boss said he would deploy more units to support the efforts policemen are making in the state to ensure adequate protection for the people.

He said senior police officers deployed in the state were putting their heads together to see how they can address the crisis which he described as “community problems.”

Despite the killings in Benue, Rivers and Kaduna States, however, Idris said the country was “well secured.”

“Let’s use the example of Benue, you know most of these states where you have several languages, you know is an issue of communal misunderstanding.

“I think what we should be praying for is for Nigerians to learn to live in peace with one another. I think is very important,” he added.

While assuring Nigerians that there will not be a repeat of the crisis, he also debunked insinuations that the country is under-policed.

When asked if his men were overwhelmed, Idris replied, “We cannot be overwhelmed.”

He added, “Obviously, it (Benue crisis) is a communal crisis. Herdsmen are part of the community. They are Nigerians and are part of the community. Are they not?”

On the arrest of an online publisher, the police boss said, “I don’t need to send anybody but whenever you commit an offence it is our duty to ensure that we respond.”

Okada Accidents And A Wailing President, By Tunde Odesola

Lightning shone into the black night, forewarning about the fast-approaching downpour. Then thunder bellowed from behind the ominous clouds, forearming mortals to scamper to safety for the gods of the sky were about to embrace their earthly counterparts in a seasonal relationship that multiplies the toil of the farmer.

To be caught outside your home in this type of an unkind weather is ‘baba nla’ bad luck. Atmospheric commotion; dust replaced air, swishing and filling all mortal crevices; eyes, ears, noses, mouths, all. With my index finger, I rubbed dust out of my eyes and also blew my nose. Ah! Thank God, I didn’t have my laptop with me. Oh, wait! I have my phone! My phone of inestimable contacts! I grabbed a piece of black cellophane the angry wind blew my way. What kind of ‘lylon’ is this, I muttered. It was even wet. Could the wetness be urine? I was past caring. I switched off my phone and wrapped it with the ‘lylon’, tucked it into my black suit.

‘Agbotikuyo!’ ‘Agbotikuyo!’ I shouted to the oncoming rickety, noisy and dangerous looking okada, which braked temporarily to hear the destination I was calling out. ‘Agbotikuyo!’ I raced up to the commercial motorcyclist, who had sped a few meters past me. The lanky rider, who did not cut the engine, winced on hearing my destination, engaged the gear, and revved off, saying ‘Agbotikuyo ko, mortuary ni’.

Luckily, another rickety okada soon pulled up, bearing a passenger. ‘Agbotikuyo!’ I shouted. “Na N200 o, I no get change o,” the okada rider said. “I have change,” I said, struggling to sit in the little space left by the passenger on the okada, who cared less if I sat on needles. The passenger, on whose T-shirt, ‘Call me Emeka’, was boldly written, just wouldn’t budge despite entreaties for him to ‘shift’ for me. I clambered up the iron rack adjoining the seat, and off we zoomed. The okada tore into the night like an accursed arrow shot from hell. Despite the dust and dirt, I opened my eyes to the squinting wind while the teary journey lasted. To take your eyes off the road is to walk into your grave. The wind got colder, bearing with it a drizzle. The okada man asked if he could park somewhere while we wait for the gentle shower to subside. As we all were discussing this, a lightless tricycle, as if being pursued by the anti-Christ, whizzed through the dark and came headlong at us from the opposite direction. There are times when fate cages freewill; this was one of such times. There was nothing I could do; I only braced myself up, opened my eyes in horror and was waiting to hear gbooaaa!!! I didn’t hear gbooaa!!! I heard tyres screeching. I heard curses. I saw the marwa tricycle suddenly switch on its light, giving our okada rider a nail-biting nanosecond to swerve. Vrooooooowwmmm gbaaa!!!! We, the two passengers and the rider, all ended in a gutter – with the okada. Luckily, none of us sustained any life-threatening injury except the other passenger who had some bruises on his legs.

“Sorry o, sorry o, shey una no injure o,” sympathizers rushed to the scene, cursing the marwa and offering thanks to God for our miraculous escape.

“Make una wait make rain stop before una go continue una journey nah, no be house una dey go?” a sympathizer said. Our okada man, referred to as Adamu by his fellow okada riders, who came to our rescue, advised we go to an aboki’s ‘mai tea’ shop by the side of the road – to wait for the rain to subside.

“Person wey dey smoke among una should just buy cigarette smoke o, maybe una for don dey knock for heaven gate by now. Person wey sabi shack ‘mai tea’, make e drink o,’ another customer of the aboki said. “The way wey okada accidents dey happen nowadays sef, e be like say God dey vex for Nigeria. You no hear say Buhari son too get okada accident?”

“Why you dey call a motorbike an okada, idiot? The cost of that Buhari son motorbike fit buy five Tokunbo o,” one of the aboki’s customers remarked.

Emeka, who had been listening to the conversation, quipped, “Buhari dey blame im pikin for riding motorbike, abi; where the boy get money to buy the costly okada? If you buy toy for your pikin, no be for him to ride am?”

I expressed concern over Yusuf Buhari’s friend, who was also involved in the accident. Adamu said, “Oga, nobody mind if anything happen to that one o. You see any of our big men wey dey greet Buhari since this accident happen, greet the family of the other boy? Dis country na Eye Service PLC o. Half of those greeting Buhari go dey talk for back say na God catch am. You think say dem like am? Sai Baba too stubborn.”

A bald man sipping hot tea from a big jug cleared his throat and blamed Buhari for openly condemning the Aso Rock security operatives for letting Yusuf out by that time of the night, saying as President, Buhari cannot claim not to know that his son owns ‘several motorbikes’. “The President should have just kept quiet. What if Yusuf locked his bike in a vehicle and drove the vehicle to his friend’s place? Buhari should just accept that children can beat any form of scrutiny. He shouldn’t try to shift the blame. If the kidnapped Boko Haram girls got a fraction of attention this accident is getting, the girls would have been rescued by now. When the whole country didn’t have fuel, your son filled up a motorbike with fuel and went racing.”

“The lesson wey me I see for this whole matter be say the rich also cry. As we lay our bed, na so we go sleep on top of am. If to say we develop our country well, if we get accident emergency units for our expressways, dem for rush to the scene of the accident and give Yusuf and im friend first aid treatment. Na God save the boy nah, if to say e lose too much blood, na another thing we for dey talk now o, God forbid. Can you count how many of our big men and their families die for abroad this year alone? Why dem no build good hospitals here, shebi we get good doctors?” Wale, a customer who wore an Arsenal team jersey, said.

“Nigeria no go ever get better if our leaders no dey feel wetin we poor people dey feel. Make dem make law banning our leaders from travelling abroad for treatment, make dem ban dem from sending their children to school abroad; ban dem from spending holiday abroad, buying houses abroad or going abroad to born. Make dem ban dem from having more than two cars, and building more than one house. If dem do so, Nigeria go better,” another customer said amid a mouthful of bread, egg and tea.

The song of Fela Anikulapo Kuti – ‘Shuffering and Shmiling’ – blared from the transistor radio of Adamu, further fueling the conversation on Nigeria.

“Wetin Fela no sing? He sing ITT, Zombie, Original Sufferhead, Teacher, Sorrow, Tears and Blood, Mr Follow Follow, Palaver, Coffin for Head of State, dem listen? Gani Fawehinmi no talk? Ken Saro-Wiwa no talk? Tai Solarin no talk? Awolowo no talk? Ojukwu no talk? Bamidele Aturu nko? Una listen to Aminu Kano? No be kill una dey kill people wey dey talk true? God never vex for us o, God still dey sandpaper the cane wey he go take wipe our yansh,” Wale said.

The man with the big jug said he did not understand why ‘bad things’ were happening around the Presidency, recalling the President throwing a blanket of doubt over his age, fuel scarcity, the ill-timed presidential human side PR and the resurrection of the dead in federal board appointments – all in one month!

“When I tell una say Buhari too stubborn, una listen? Why you go draw up list of federal board members since 2015 and you no announce am? Why we come vote for you nah? To dey do smeh, smeh? Adamu hissed.

As the rain stopped, we left the mai tea’s shop for our okada, bending our heads against the moist wind. I have had enough for the night. All I need now is a bottle of beer, a prayer and sleep.

Agbotikuyo dey o!

Odesola was a former editor, politics, Punch Newspaper

Buhari Condemns Benue Attacks, Condoles With Residents

President Muhammadu Buhari has commiserated with Governor Samuel Ortom and people of Benue State over the reported killings, injury of several persons and wanton destruction of property in Guma and Logo Local Government Areas of the state in the New Year.

Describing the attack as “wicked and callous” particularly on innocent children, the President in a statement by his senior special assistant media, Garba Shehu assured the governor and people of the state that relevant security agencies have been directed to do everything possible to arrest those behind the regrettable incidents and avert further attacks.

“This is one attack too many, and everything must be done to provide security for the people in our rural communities,” he said. President Buhari also commiserated with families of the victims and wished the injured speedy healin

Nigeria Will Develop When its People Are On ‘Good Terms’ – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has called on Nigerians to be in good spirit with one another in order to allow for the development of the country.

The President said this on Monday when he received a delegation of religious, political, and traditional leaders who paid him a Christmas homage at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

According to him, people living in unity will lead to resources being reserved which will fast-track the development process of the country.

“If you are in good terms with your neighbour, then you can make some savings for development but if you start fighting your neighbour, I’m afraid the resources you have you’ll waste in trying to be very clever.

“So, I try to be very close to my neighbour individually and nationally. I thank you very much for being good neighbours,” said President Buhari.

In his earlier remarks, Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, FCT Chapter, Reverend Jonah Samson, commended the President’s efforts in stabilising Nigeria, especially his anti-corruption drive.

He said: “The (Christian) community has deemed it fit to come and pay this homage to you sir and appreciate your leadership in the entire nation, especially in the aspect of fighting corruption.”

On his part, FCT Minister, Mr Bello Mohammed, commended security personnel in the city for being proactive in keeping the nation’s capital safe.

“I want to place on record our sincere appreciation to the security agencies and the entire security architecture of Abuja, and the FCT at large, which has made the territory very peaceful and conducive.”

Subsequently, the delegation presented President Buhari with cards as a mark of goodwill and support for his administration.

President Buhari was delighted by the gesture and the visit and also made a passionate appeal to the delegation to continue to support his administration.

The delegation was also delighted at the improvement in the President’s health and departed holding unto his optimism that Nigeria and Nigerians would fare better in the coming year.

Support Buhari To Fix Nigeria’s Economic Problems – Tinubu Urges At Christmas

A national leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Ahmed Tinubu, has urged Nigerians to support President Muhammadu Buhari to fix Nigeria’s economic problems.

The APC leader made the call in a Christmas message he signed and circulated through his Media Officer, Tunde Rahman in Lagos.

He urged Nigerians to learn from the example of Jesus Christ “who faced and overcame the greatest evil” by uniting to overcome the country ’s various challenges.

“The challenges facing the country are difficult ones. Let us unite to overcome our challenges and keep the hope alive.

“We must support President Buhari and complement his efforts in his resolve to stimulate the economy and reposition the country.

“The president needs our support , understanding and prayers. We must fully break the terrorism of Boko Haram and completely put down the last vestiges of the terrorists.

“We must continue to pray for the men in uniform who risk their lives to keep us safe and to end this scourge on the nation. I commend our troops battling the terrorists . I thank them again for their courage and bravery.

“Let us remember those who have been dispossessed of their homes and traumatised by the evil of these terrorists and pray that they all will be able to return home soon and begin their lives a new and better.

“Yet, we must do more than pray . We all have something to give, something to contribute to the greater good . As Jesus gave of himself that we may live better, we must give of ourselves that others around us may have a better life.

“Christmas Day , is one of the most precious days of the year for it celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ.

“Be you Christian, Muslim or just a human being with a soul that yearns for peace, compassion and hope, Jesus Christ belongs to all of us . His teachings are universal in application and speak of truth eternal.

“He reached out to all. Jesus fed the poor and healed the sick. He spread compassion and charity and preached love and justice . There are no finer aims than these and we can do no better than to do all we can to follow his example.

“We must commit ourselves to peace and unity . Let us eschew all bitterness and bigotry ,” he said

Buhari Apologizes For Lingering Fuel Scarcity

President Muhammadu Buhari spoke for the first time yesterday on the excruciating nationwide fuel scarcity, expressing his sympathy for Nigerians who are enduring weeks of needless queues at filling stations.

In a statement personally signed by him and posted on his twitter handle, @Mbuhari #FuelScarcity, he said the development was regrettable.

“I am being regularly briefed, especially on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC’s) interventions to ensure that there is enough petrol available during this period and beyond. The fuel scarcity being experienced nationwide is regrettable. I sympathize with all Nigerians on having to endure needless fuel queues,” he said.

The president said he had the NNPC’s assurance that the situation would improve significantly over the next few days, “as new shipments and supplies are distributed across the country.“I have also directed the regulators to step up their surveillance and bring an end to hoarding and price inflation by marketers.

“Let me also assure that the relevant agencies will continue to provide updates on the situation. I thank you all for your patience and understanding.”

Struck by the pains following the fuel scarcity, Nigerians have taken to the social media to call on President Buhari, who is also the Minister of Petroleum, to address the issue.

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and President Buhari yesterday came under attack from the main opposition, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP said the nation’s economic hardship was largely caused by “sheer incompetence, gross insensitivity and shambolic policies of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government.”

The PDP said it was disheartening that Nigerians could not merrily celebrate the yuletide due to the biting economic hardship worsened by an acute fuel shortage.It described the nation’s economic situation as a national embarrassment, which “cannot be glossed over with deceit, lies and propaganda.”

The PDP, however, urged Nigerians to overcome the very sordid situation by rallying around one another in true love as epitomised in the birth and teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.The party said: “Indeed, this is the worst yuletide ever. There is no way one can sugarcoat the fact that the anguish Nigerians face today is because of the incompetence of the APC Government, which has also amply demonstrated that it does not care about the welfare and happiness of the citizens.”

The opposition party lamented that many families are completely stranded while many more could no longer afford basic needs.“Nigerians have become ravaged by economic hardship because the APC-led Federal Government has abandoned them and refused to channel the abundant resources available in the nation for the good of the people. Instead, they are heartlessly diverting such resources for their selfish political purposes while the people suffer.

FG To Spend N155bn On Kaduna-Kano Road Project

The Federal Government on Wednesday approved a sum of N155.7 billion for the construction of Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria to Kano road projects.

The minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola disclosed this while addressing press after a marathon federal executive council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential Villa in Abuja.

The meeting was also adjourned to today, the first time the council meeting will be holding for two consecutive days.

Fashola also said council approved the completion of Police Service Commission headquarters in Abuja.

According to him, the project was approved for variation to enable its completion over the next six months.
He noted that the initial cost was N3.486 billion and it has been increased to 3.925 billion, a variation of N439.113 million.

He said council also approved Nnamdi Azikiwe Mausoleum in Anambra State. The project was started but not completed by previous administration.

“Council approved the additional funding to complete it from N1.496 billion to N1.953 billion”.

Also approved is Efire-Araromi-Aiyede-Aiyela road to connect Ondo and Ogun states at the cost of N14.4 billion.
He said for the Enugu-Onitsha highway, the Amansia section, council approved the variations of the cost of N38.74 billion to enable the contractor progress with the work.

“Council also approved the awarded part at the Umunya at the cost of N23.4 billion. So if you add that N38.74 billion which was the cost of the Amansea section you will get a total approved cost of N62.06 billion.”

“This contract was first awarded for N24 billion in 2014 but the scale of work done is, to say the least, appalling,” he said.

Fashola said council also approved money for intervention in education and healthcare. It approved the provision of independent power plant in nine universities and one Teaching Hospital as the first phase of the pilot programme to cover 37 universities at the cost of N38.965 billion to provide dedicated power to the universities which include street lighting, workshop to train the students post-completion.

During his briefing, the minister of Water Resources, Suliaman Adamu said, council ratified augmentation of funds to complete Adada dam Igbo-etiti LGA in Enugu State, with the aim to provide water to the university town of Nsukka. It comprises of a dam, some kilometers of pipeline, water supply to some communities along the route and water treatment plant.

The Enugu State government is expected to take the conveyance system from where we stop from the water treatment plant into Nsukka town and provide the necessary distribution, storage and reservoirs.

“The project was started in 2010. This project has been augmented and council approved that the project be completed now at N5.6 billion by the end of 2018.

“Council also approved the augmentation of phase II Galma Dam and irrigation project in Kaduna Zaria. The purpose of the dam is to provide water in Zaria and environs. The phase I dam has already been completed while phase II involves irrigation and some additional structures. So there was an augmentation to raise the project N16.5 billion in favour of Gilmore Nig. Ltd.

“Council also approved the review of construction fee for Uguashi-Ukwu dam project in Delta State. The project is almost 100 per cent completed but because of the extension of time over the years, we have to ratify the need to pay consultants for staying on site to oversee that project. So council approved the sum of N133.6 million.”
The minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, said council approved production and distribution of core text books for early education classes 1-3 and for primary 4-6 in public schools nationwide.

He pointed out that the federal government felt there is a need to support the funding of education not just the instruction but also the individuals who occupy the institution at the cost of N6.9 billion.

He said council also gave approval for Jos Central Library and the construction of the Faculty of Animal Sciences and Engineering.

For ministry of transport, Amaechi said they had approval for two vessels called pilot cutters to escort vessels into the seaport saying “Prior to this time they were hiring, now we have approval for NPA to buy theirs at the cost of N1.9 billion.”

Also, he said council approved another two vessels of 17 meters in the eastern port that will help monitor and assist vessels into the seaport at the cost of N1.2 billion.

“Council also approved the award of contract for direct procurement of installation and commissioning of Wide Area of multilateration for the Gulf of Guinea at the cost of N3.9 billion. This is to help capture that equipment flying below the radar, for us to be able to pick them because it will be dangerous if we cannot because a lot of them use helicopters.

“There was also an approval for the consultancy services to construct a new terminal building at Mallam Aminu Kano Airport. We just want to complete the payment which is at N621 billion.

“Council also approved the purchase of flight calibration inspection at the cost of N111.6 million.”

He said one other key project that was approved is the engagement of consultants for the project management, monitoring and evaluation including media and public relations services of the UNEP report.

“The president has also directed that immediately remediation should start and so the processes for remediation should come to council within the next six months so that we can commence the activities of reclaiming the land from the disastrous stage that it is now. The president reminded the cabinet that he was in Ogoni during campaign and had promised that the UNEP report will be carried out”, he added.

The FCT minister, Mohammed Bello, said council approved the completion of the Goodluck Jonathan Way in the FCT that links traffic from Keffi-Nyanya into the city. “We got an augmentation of an additional N3.8 billion and with the funding the road will be completed any moment from now.”

He explained, “Council also approved a critical project which is the infrastructure development of Wasa resettlement site sitting on about 695 hectares at the cost of N26 billion. The infrastructure development will include the construction of 198 roads within the settlement area totaling about 88.95 kilometers. The project is meant to move about 13 indigenous communities in the FCT in that area.

Source: Leadership

Buhari Sends 9 Names Of INEC RECs For Senate Confirmation

President Muhammadu Buhari has sent nine names to the senate for screening and confirmation as state Resident Electoral Commissioners, RECs, of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

Senate President, Bukola Saraki on Wednesday read Mr President at the plenary.

The letter reads, “In accordance of the Provisions of section 154 (1) of the 1999 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria. I write to forward here with the names of 9 of resident electoral commissioners appointed for the INEC for the consideration of the senate of the federal republic of Nigeria.

“The curriculum vitae of the nominees are attached here with while thanking you immensely in anticipation of the early consideration and confirmation of the above appointment by the senate.”

The nominees are; Monday Tom, Akwa-Ibom; Baba Yusuf, Borno; Eric Olawale, Osun; Lukman Ajidaba, Kwara; and Segun Agbaje, Ekiti.

Others are; Cyril Omoruyi, Edo; Yahaya Bello, Nasarawa; Emmanuel Alex, Rivers; and Mohammed Ibrahim, Gombe.

The Senate had on November 23 rejected the nominee of Zamfara State, Ahmad Mahmud, as a Resident Electoral Commissioner.