Buhari’s Health: Aide Dismisses Insinuation Of Constitutional Crisis

The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, Monday faulted an article written by a Nigerian historian, Max Siollun, titled: ‘The Gentleman’s Agreement that Could Break Apart Nigeria,’ published in the United States-based Foreign Policy magazine.

The article had stated that Nigeria faced imminent political and constitutional crises on account of Buhari’s absence from the country owing to his ill health and consequent medical vacation in London.

Shehu who described the article as “needlessly sensational and exaggerated speculation by conspiracy theorists,” said it was misleading to compare Buhari’s case with that of the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua in 2009, insisting that the two circumstances are not the same.

He said unlike Yar’Adua, Buhari duly complied with constitutional provisions by formally notifying the National Assembly of his intention to go for medical treatment and consequently handing over to his deputy, Professor Yemi Osinbajo as acting president.

“While Yar’Adua was too severely ill to transmit a letter formally to the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, President Buhari is not in such medical state, and therefore, the country is not currently facing any complications on account of his absence,” he stated.

He also argued that in the case of Yar’Adua, there was uncertainty about the role of the then vice-president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, following the inability of the former to transfer power to the latter, a situation he said necessitated the adoption of the doctrine of necessity to enable Jonathan act in his absence.

Arguing that none of such circumstances is currently at play on account of Buhari’s absence, having transferred power formally to Osinbajo, Shehu said Buhari did not leave Nigeria with any power vacuum, adding that any insinuation of uncertainty or constitutional crisis is both imaginary and exaggerated.

Furthermore, he said with Osinbajo smoothly running the affairs of the country in the absence of Buhari, creating needless fears of crisis or uncertainty, should be avoided as he appealed “to conspiracy theorists not to pollute the polity by needlessly seeking to create an atmosphere of fear, uncertainty and suspicions in the country,” moreso that Buhari publicly admitted that he was sick and taking treatment.

Buhari’s Enemies Have Learnt Nothing, Forgot Nothing, By Femi Adesina

They showed their pernicious hands again last Sunday, and have been on the prowl since then, roaring like a lion, seeking who to devour. Purveyors of death they are, and they have killed President Muhammadu Buhari many times over, cloned the websites of international media houses to announce the hoax, but their wishes did not become horses, so they remain stranded, with nothing to ride.

Between January 19, this year, when the President first proceeded on vacation, and March 10, when he returned, they had announced his demise many times. They even created apocryphal images and footages to back up their inhuman claims, but God showed them He was the ultimate. The Real Deal, the Special One. President Buhari came back alive, and disclosed that he would still return to London at a later date for medical follow-up. He eventually left on the night of Sunday, May 7.

They saw the Deux ex machina, the Invisible Hands of God, between January and March, but they are so steeped and marooned in unbelief, evil wishes and malediction, that they have started all over again. Last Sunday, they cloned popular websites for the umpteenth time, using them to announce the figment of their diseased imagination. They learnt nothing, and forgot nothing from the immediate past experience. And you begin to ask yourself, just as the Good Book also asked:”Why do the heathens rage, and the people imagine vain things?” Why do they arrogate to themselves the power that belongs only to God? “I can kill, and I can make alive,” says God in His word. But these purveyors of hate possibly don’t know God. That is why they declare a man dead, when God has not said so. Once has God spoken, and twice have I heard it, that power belongs to God.

Millions upon millions of Nigerians love President Muhammadu Buhari. They love his simplicity, his forthrightness, incorruptibility, love of country, and many other virtues. And they are praying. Bombarding Heaven with petitions. Baba o, Baba o, Baba o. Olorun da Baba si fun wa, Baba o, Baba o, Baba o. Olorun da Baba si fun wa. Oh God, spare our Baba, the father of the country. Spare him for us, O Lord we pray. And Heaven is listening to the supplications. We await the full manifestation.

Millions of us can follow Baba blindfolded into battle. We love him that much, and it is within our rights. But have you seen a man ever loved by everybody? Show me. Even if you feed an entire city daily, some people still won’t like your guts. So, those who are not Buharists have a right to their convictions. But must any human being be hateful to the point of wishing another person dead, and indeed broadcasting a death that never happened? Shame. Shame upon evil wishers, purveyors of lies and wickedness. Do they have blood running in their veins at all? Do they realize that wishing another person dead, is sin before God? Yet they go to churches, mosques, and other worship houses. Who are they worshiping? The Unknown God.

Why do some people, a tiny but vocal minority, wish the President dead? Do they know that if God wills, the man they wish dead could outlive them by many years? There was a lady who was very active on social media in 2015, before the presidential election of that year. She was in the league of anti-Buhari elements. Oh, he was too old. Oh, he was sickly. Yes, he would soon die. The lady was rabidly pontifical in her convictions, parading herself as someone with a charmed life, who would live forever. And then, it happened! Sometime last year, she died! When I saw the news online, I just shook my head, and prayed for the repose of her soul. I did not gloat. No need to. Not in her wildest imagination could she have thought that she would pre-decease President Buhari. But who has the final say? Jehovah has the final say. The breath of man is in his nostrils, and God can decide to extinguish his candle at anytime. Jehovah has the final say. It is not by age, not by how healthy you seem, or how sickly you are. It’s a lesson some people have not learnt. They learn nothing, and forget nothing.

Back to the earlier question. Why do some people want their own President dead? Why do they want the eclipse of a man who is actuated by nothing other than love for his country? Why have they constituted themselves into enemies of national progress, haters of all that is good? Why do they prefer the dark jungle of infamy to the light of a clear and bright day, signposted by freedom from rapacity and lootocracy? Who then are these enemies?

“Our enemies are the political profiteers, the swindlers, the men in high and low places that seek bribes and demand 10 percent, those that seek to keep the country divided permanently so that they can remain in office as Ministers or VIPs at least, the tribalists, the nepotists, those that make the country look big for nothing before international circles, those that have corrupted our society and put the Nigerian political calendar back by their words and deeds.”

Those were the words of Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu, after the country’s first military coup in 1966. You may like Nzeogwu, or you may not, depending on how you view his actions and inactions. But you can hardly deny the veracity of what he said. And 51 years later, the words still ring true.

The enemies of Buhari are the political profiteers. To them, political office is not about service, but about making profit. Ordinary people can go to hell, and stay there. Personal profit is the name of the game.

The swindlers, too. Enemies of righteousness and transparency. They swindle man, and even try to swindle God. Of course, they wouldn’t want a new sheriff in town. They’d rather shoot him, and sing the reggae song:”I shot the sheriff…”

Those that seek bribe and demand 10 percent. Enemies. Only that they are not satiated by 10 percent again. They take the entire 100 percent, and leave the country prostrate. But when a Daniel comes to judgment, and hurls them before the law, knowing neither friend nor foe, they wish that he dies. Gerrout, so that business as usual continues, they shout.

Those that seek to keep the country divided permanently. Evil souls. They use all the fault lines. Religion. Ethnicity.

Language. Everything. We saw it all in the 2015 elections. They cashed in on all things that divide us as a people. But Nigerians were resolute for change, and they got it. But did those people give up? Did Pharaoh desist from pursuing the people of Israel? Hell, no! Till he ended in a watery grave. The stubborn fly follows the corpse into the grave.

For the greater part of this year, President Buhari has been away from home. But whether present or absent, he still looms large. The mere fact that his shadow hovers over the land riles evil workers to no end. But what can anybody do? Jehovah has the final say.

The old order is giving way for a new one in Nigeria. In just two years, the back of insurgency has been broken, corruption is taking a shellacking, and the comatose economy is turning round. Despite it all, some people still wish the President dead. Sad and sorry. But thankfully, they don’t have the final say.

However, if they refuse to repent, we can repent on their behalf, lest judgment comes speedily on them. How dreadful it would be.

Lord, we are sorry,
We’ve turned around and gone astray,
Your trust for us we have betrayed,
Your power we don’t recognize
Your Lordship we have all despised,
We cannot pretend
We all now repent
Forgive us Lord we pray
Bring down your glory…

May God bless Panam Percy Paul, who sang the song. May God accept our repentance on behalf of evil wishers.

May God spare our President, and restore him to full health.

Baba o, Baba o, Baba o, Oluwa da Baba si fun wa.

Lord, please spare our President. Spare him for us, to the glory of your name. Let those who learn nothing, and forget nothing, be purged of all evil. Let them turn new leaf.
Ame

Zamfara Assembles 500 Quranic Reciters To Pray For Buhari

The Zamfara Government said on Tuesday it had assembled 500 reciters of the Holy Qur’an to offer special prayers for the well-being of President Muhammadu Buhari and the country.
Alhaji Lawal Liman, the state’s Commissioner for Rural and Community Development, said in Gusau that the Islamic scholars were drawn from the 14 local government areas of the state.

According to Liman, the reciters were brought together as part of activities lined up for the 2017 Democracy Day celebration in the state.

The commissioner said “all hands must be joined in prayers for the betterment of our nation.

“If the President, as the leader of Nigeria, is not well, then it becomes the concern of all Nigerians to know that his recovery is highly important to us as a people and as a nation.

“We have organised different prayer sessions throughout the state and we believe as Hafeez (memorizers of the Holy Qur’an) their prayers will be of immense benefit for our state, its leaders and people and the nation, especially the President, who is now on medical treatment in London.’’

He said the 500 Qur’an reciters who were hosted at the Gusau Central Mosque, recited the Holy Qur’an 100 times from Sunday night to Monday morning.

“Special prayers were also offered for God to continue to give him the wisdom he needs to take this nation to greater heights,’’ he added.

Activities to mark this year’s Democracy Day include the opening of Juma’at mosques in different parts of the state where prayers were offered for the nation and its leaders.

The events were set in motion early in May to allow people of the state to concentrate on preparations for the forthcoming Ramadan.

Buhari’s Mid-term Report: So Far, so Good By Louis Okoroma

As President Muhammadu Buhari clocks two years in office, it is pertinent to take an X-ray of the regime in terms of its performance in the critical areas of its campaign promises and in those areas that Nigerians wanted action taken.

The three critical areas where the nation had problems which needed fixing, were in the areas of national security, fight against corruption and revitalising a non-performing economy whose future was hanging in the balance because of the twin problems of dependence on one revenue-earning product, crude oil and the more important fact that the price of that commodity, crude oil, had fallen very low in the world market.

The task before President Buhari was daunting and he even confessed to the media that when he realised the enormity of the problems confronting the nation notably the paucity of revenue to pursue much-needed development programmes, he considered at times to throw in the towel!

Buhari, however, only thought of throwing in the towel. The soldier in him of course made giving up, a non-option and he moved on doggedly, confronting the national problems head-on assisted by a cabinet in which he had confidence and a supportive Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Though Nigeria is still battling economic difficulties, the time for applause is coming slowly but surely as the nation commences the laborious march out of recession.

The administration of PMB has performed fairly well in dealing with the insecurity problem that once loomed large on the national horizon. PMB got the nation’s armed forces to rout the Boko Haram, degrading the latter from a confident and rampaging band of insurgents to a rag-tag nuisance that now seek to ambush and throw bombs at the gallant soldiers of the Nigeria Army. Boko Haram can no longer stand and fight as in the days when they held sway. Today, they have lost the nerve and initiative to stand in battle and life in general is coming back to the troubled North east zone of the country.

The icing on the cake in the area of security, which is a good anniversary package for millions of Nigerians and the people of the troubled North east, is the release into freedom of 82 additional girls hitherto kidnapped from the Government Secondary School, Chibok in Borno State. Freedom for this large number of girls is a source of great joy to anyone who comes from a family or community bearing in mind the long period of their captivity.

Given the fact that there cannot be a hundred per cent situation of security in any human environment, the security situation in the country today, is quite tolerable and is one in which meaningful life can take place. No more is the nation going around cap in hand asking for help from our foreign partners for security assistance and arms. The situation has fairly stabilised and the nation’s military have entered a phase of consolidation of the security situation.

In the area of anti-corruption, it is a boom! Never before have the anti-corruption agencies in the country exposed so much graft, so much greed, so much wickedness and so much lack of compassion among the nation’s elite. It is a sort of bonanza. Everyone, including the ordinary citizen now know those who betrayed them, stole their patrimony, leaving the nation prostrate and incapable of providing them the basic means of existence, jobs, salaries and their meagre pension benefits. The Whistleblower policy activated by the Buhari administration to enable citizen participation in the anti-corruption war, is the single most important catalyst now driving the war against corruption and given it a life of its own.

The issue of concern to many Nigerians are, what kind of sanctions to mete out to the growing list of national robbers and looters so as to discourage others from towing similar path and prevent the poor and desperate citizens including the young, from holding up thieves as role models.

The prevailing position is that forfeiture of stolen assets to the State, is not sufficient punishment for the looters. It is recommended that the government working with the nation’s judiciary, should ensure compulsory jail terms of not less than 20 years for those who contributed to the nation’s adversity, poverty and unemployment of the people through stealing of public funds, as well as banning such dubious persons from seeking for office.

To his credit, the administration of PMB is battling recession and the good news is that the country will come out victorious the time most policies being put in place today, start to germinate.

First, under the Social Investment Programme (SIP) of the PMB government, thousands of indigent Nigerians across the country have been receiving the five thousand naira stipend promised by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) during the campaign for the 2015 elections. While this does not amount to much in view of the high inflation in the economy, at least it gives confidence and promise of better days for these class of Nigerians who were never for once considered by the evil and rapacious former ruling party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Second, thousands of unemployed graduates who would have remained a pain in the neck of their families have been massively employed under the emergency teacher’s programme of the present administration. These class of educated Nigerians would have the self-esteem of earning a salary with the expectation that as the economy improves in the nearest future and the nation exits recession, according to the skills and knowledge of these young and educated, they would be absorbed into other critical areas of the economy. This is the popular N-Power job scheme of PMB which as we are told, would be expanded in 2017, to accommodate a total of 350,000 young and educated persons of different grades.

Perhaps, most revolutionary in the effort to revamp the economy and create employment is the steady and successful diversification of the economy. Agriculture and food production has taken the lead here.

The administration of PMB has put in place the Anchor Borrowers Scheme under which farmers across the country are able to borrow money and improve their activities. So far, millionaires in large numbers have been created in a number of States across the country in the area of rice production. Rice farmers in Nigeria are not only becoming wealthy, they are able to provide employment to willing hands on the farms as they increase the acreage under cultivation. The magic that is happening here is that with the ban on rice imports, national revenue being used in the past to import the commodity are being conserved while steadily Nigerians have started to export the same commodity and earn foreign exchange while millions of Nigerians now eat locally-produced rice, which nutritionists tell us is healthier for the body.
The determination of the government to ensure that Nigerians can feed themselves gives hope. Most States in the country are now going seriously into agricultural production taking cognizance of their comparative advantage in certain areas.

In view of the mess which PMB found in place in May 2015, the government is doing well so far on the economy. As more sectors are brought within the radar of government support, as envisaged under the recently-released economic blueprint, the Economic Reform and Growth Plan (EGRP), the new development agenda for Niger Delta and the new guidelines on ease of doing business, among others, at both the national and state levels, it is certain that by the end of 2017, the present harsh economic climate would to a large degree have run its course, paving way for visible recovery of the economy.

Okoroma is a political Analyst and lives in Abuja.

“How Buhari Is Compelling Appointees To Patronise Made-in-Nigeria Products”

The Federal Government has said it’s institutionalizing the patronage of locally made products starting with Ministries, Departments and agencies.

Speaking at a National Media Launch on Thursday in Abuja, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed said the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government was not paying lip service to the issue of made-in-Nigeria products.
According to Mohammed, “The federal government is not just paying lip service to this buy made-in-Nigeria.
“We have taken concrete steps to actualize it.
“It is true that the Federal Executive Council at one of its meetings resolved that the Bureau of Public Procurement Act must be amended in a manner that will give more emphasis and advantage to made in Nigeria products.
“However, we have also realized that less than 30 percent of government spending ever gets to the level of Bureau for Public Procurement, which means that we must start a ‘root and branch’ reform.
“This campaign must go down to the level of permanent secretaries and ministerial approvals so that we can actually be able to encourage Nigerians, because as long as we do not encourage the buying of made-in-Nigeria products, what we are going to do is that we are going to continue exporting jobs to other countries and importing unemployment.”

The Minister noted that the Federal Government was taking advantage of all the digital platforms on the Internet to connect with the youths and convince them to take ownership of the buy Made-in-Nigeria Campaign in order to secure their future.

He stressed that the government was committed to encouraging local manufacturers by enhancing the ease of doing business in Nigeria.

“The federal government is determined to ensure that we move at least 20 steps up the rank of world global standard of doing business and in the last couple of months, we have achieved some milestone.
“We have, for instance, been able to achieve 31 major reforms across 8 major indicators in the area of ‘Ease of Doing Business’, starting from movement of passengers and goods to the time it takes you to register a company,” he said.

We Are All Sick By Babayola M. Toungo

We aare sick in this country. Or how else how can we be debating about phrases in presidential communication to the Senate and not the failure of the Senate to pass a budget laid before it by our “sick” president almost six months ago? In the interim we allowed the Senate to divert our attention from its failure to pass the Appropriation Bill by pretending to be angry that Col. Hameed Ali, the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service refused to wear the Service’s uniform; we permitted the spoilt brats at the National Assembly to entertain us with clowns like Dino Melaye appearing in a ceremonial academic gown in the supposed hallowed Chamber of the Senate. We spent quality time speechifying on the superiority of Section 171 of the Constitution over Section 2 of the EFCC act with regards to Magu’s continued headship of the Commission in an acting capacity. We are sick if we believe the mundane is more important than the substance.

What is our take on the suspension of Babachir David (BD) Lawal? He was suspended because he is a Kilba minority Christian from Adamawa who the Hausa and Fulani Muslims wouldn’t want to see appointed as the Secretary to the Federal Government if not for the benevolence of Tinubu and Akande, forgetting that the man who appointed him in the first place is a Fulani Muslim. He was not suspended because he turned the Presidential Initiative on the North East (PINE) into an initiation into pain by hundreds of thousands of those who lost their loved ones, their economic power and dignity, their households and all worldly material. He forgot the essence of establishing the PINE in the first place.

The essence of establishing the Initiative, in my opinion, is to give an undemanding assistance to the victims of insurgency in the North East; to give them a strong arm and a crutch to stand-on and pick the pieces of their shattered lives. It is also meant to be a vehicle for extending comfort and aid to our unfortunate brethren whose only desire is to get resettled to the monotony of their past lives. The PINE is meant to jump-start economic activity and restore economic dignity in communities that has seen their economy ravaged by mindless insurgency and help reintegrate families who hitherto engaged in one form of business or the other but are now reduced to living in IDP Camps. These are the people the SGF denied the opportunity to live again like him and other fellow human beings – live with dignity and the privacy they have been denied in the recent past. They don’t belong to these camps but the failure of the past government to secure
their lives and properties brought them to this sorry state.

The SGF believed that the PINE was specifically established for him to satisfy his yearn for money. He cared less for the integrity of the one who appointed him to the office nor the dignity of the supposed beneficiaries, now living in Camps that has been adjudged to be not fit for human habitation, no thanks to BD, who turned the iniative into his chequebook. We have seen the quantum of monies transferred to his company or personal accounts by contractors engaged to execute these palliative projects in the zone. We have seen the crudity and the wickedness; we have witnessed the inhumanity and vulgarity in “chopping” the widow’s mite meant to provide succor to the needy in the SGF’s locality. We are sick if we still believe the SGF’s religion has anything to do with his suspension. We are doubly sick if we believe he should be walking around freely when Dasuki is rotting in jail for almost the same offence. Dasuki is guilty of diverting monies meant for the purchase of arms to fight the insurgents who put these people in the IDP camps in the first place while the SGF is guilty of denying them their humanity by stealing monies meant for their reintegration. Same difference in my opinion.

When big things happen to some people, they go gaga – and I believe nothing bigger has ever happened to our SGF in his entire life than being appointed into this office – occupied by the likes of Alison Ayida, Liman Ciroma, Gray Longe, Shehu Musa and even Yayale Ahmed. He pictured himself as this “big man” in this “big office”, without a dime to his name. And then he got to work to remedy the situation. What then do we tell those among us who are in IDP camps until God-knows when? Those who cannot afford smartphones and tablets to see the primitive defence we are putting up on behalf of their tormentors; or for those who still possess smartphones among them, the cost of data is contrasted with that of a hot meal; or to those whose daily survival is a trauma not knowing where their near and dear ones are; those whose present in hopeless and their future bleak. Where is our humanity?

We have spent the better part of this year talking about Buhari’s health. First he is dead, then he is suffering from dementia, then he is terminally ill and when he came back from his treatment in England and we all saw him walking from the plane to the helicopter we changed the tune. After addressing the nation on how sick he was and even disclosing some of the treatment he underwent and alerting Nigerians on the possibility of going back for further tests and treatment, we still insist he conducts a media chat or should pack out of the Villa. We are so filled with hate that we cannot empathize with a seventy-five-year-old man in his hour of trials.

Who is sick – Nigerians or Buhari?

The recent case of former Taraba state governor James Danbaba readily come to mind. Here was a pharmacist whose love for flying nearly ended his life. His plane crash in late 2012 turned him into a vegetable to be wheeled around by those concerned with maintaining the political status quo in Taraba state, yet not a single voice was raised against the charade that we were treated to in the name of bigotry. Nobody asked Danbaba to be shoved aside for a healthier person to take over. We are truly sick if all we do is harangue an old man facing health challenges and needs our sympathy and prayers.

We have seen how first Andrew Yakubu, erstwhile Group Managing Director of the NNPC, stashed away $9.8million dollars in the ghettoes of Sabon Tasha, in Kaduna and then Ayo Oke, the suspended Director General of the Nigeria Intelligence Agency (NIA) warehoused about $47million in an apartment in Ikoyi Lagos. Monies that have been denied Nigerians because they have been removed from circulation but all we are thinking of is their religious affinity and not their criminality. How did their thieving benefit their religion? Is there any religion that encourages one to steal? Is there anywhere in our holy books that provided for the glorification and protection of thieves? Can you in all honesty and good conscience kill an armed robber and a kidnapper while sparing these two? Common folks, if this is the way you think, then you better consult the next psychiatrist you meet.

The life of the 2016 federal budget came to an end on May 5, 2017 while the 2017 federal budget is bogged down in the National Assembly. The president presented the budget to the National Assembly towards the end of 2016. So what was the National Assembly doing all this while? Nobody is asking them questions because we are occupied with the president’s death or ill health. Knowing our proclivity for the humdrum, they staged plays, which cannot be staged by NTA of years gone by. They picked a fight with Hammed Ali over the issue of uniform because most of them are smugglers whose nefarious business have been affected by his tough guy stance; they refused to confirm Magu on two occasions because most of them live on corruption and are scared of the wooden-face Magu and their poster-boy, Dino Melaye’s academic status remain hazy.

What was our reaction when all this was going-on? We clapped for them and egged them-on. We forgot there is a budget to work-on and pass to the executive for assent and implementation. In less than twenty days (June 5), if the budget is not passed and assented to, we will have a government lockdown and then the blame game will start all over again with the vilest language reserved for the president. That is when we will conveniently forget that the budget was presented to our representatives long before now.

You tell me we are not sick? We are sick, my friend. Buhari may be the only healthy person among us.

See Previous Letters Sent By Buhari To NA Confirming Osinbajo As Acting President

 

 

The first two on top were previous letters and the one below is the latest one that got people talking…

As the choice of words in President Buhari’s recent letter to the National Assembly, informing them of his medical leave to the UK continues to generate controversy, some Nigerians have dug out his past letters to the NASS members where he stated that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo would perform the functions of his office.

“While I am away, the Vice President will perform the functions of my office” President Buhari stated in his letter to the senate on January 18th. Even when he asked for an extension, President Buhari stated clearly that Osinbajo will continue to act on his behalf.
In his recent letter to the senate which was read yesterday, President Buhari said Osinbajo would “coordinate the activities of government”, causing an uproar.

Leave Buhari Alone, Tinubu Slams Critics

A former governor of Lagos State and stalwart of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has charged critics of the Buhari administration to back off, warning that speculations about the president’s health were distractions.

In statement titled: “Stop the hoopla over Buhari’s health, allow the president to do his job as he deems fit”, Tinubu said “Nigeria is a place of numerous challenges and the home of vast human potentials. Our greatest challenge has always been how to best direct our vast potentials so that we overcome the challenges that plague us.

“This cardinal challenge is why the APC was formed and why the party presented then General Muhammadu Buhari as its standard bearer. The people rightly chose him as their president, believing he was the best person to make Nigeria into a better nation.

“His electoral victory was historic. More importantly, like most Nigerians, I believed his presidency represented a historic mission to right many of our nation’s wrongs. I still believe so.

“The previous administration treated Boko Haram softly, appearing to view the terrorists as part of their political equation rather than a lethal threat to national security. President Buhari has gone after Boko Haram without condition and without fear. He has pushed them back, saving lives and giving northern Nigeria a chance to breathe again the air of peace and normalcy.

“My recent visit to Borno State to inaugurate projects opened my eyes to the progress President Buhari has made in the anti-terror war. An enabling environment has been created for Governor Kashim Shettima who has taken advantage of the peaceful space to initiate laudable projects, such as the provision of housing for and rehabilitation of Boko Haram victims.

“The previous administration treated corruption as its co-tenant in office. President Buhari has fought it with tenacity, equal to that with which he has confronted Boko Haram.”

Answering The Resignation Question By Saratu Abiola

Nigeria is a complicated country, isn’t it?

For one thing, nothing is ever as it seems. Here is what we know: we know that our president is sick but we are not quite sure the nature of his illness; if he’s groaning in agony in bed or walking gingerly around the Villa recuperating. The cause of his illness is unknown, but it was serious to have him in the UK for weeks on end and see him looking even skinnier on his return. We know that he has missed Friday prayers at the mosque; that he has not showed up to the past couple of Federal Executive Council meetings; that he has not been seen in public recently. We also know that Aisha Buhari has told us that her husband’s condition is not “that bad”, which obviously means that it is. Besides, according to our constitution, a medical panel assembled by the National Assembly will have to deem the president unfit to continue in office, and that has not happened yet. Given the inability of our National Assembly to do any substantive work on anything these days, it also probably will not happen.

See? Complicated.
It is tempting to draw a neat parallel between what we are currently seeing and what happened under now-late President Yar’Adua, but there are some key differences to keep in mind here. For one thing, Nigerians are a lot more aware of the dangers ahead, and a lot quicker than we were because we sadly have some experience with this kind of thing. Also, this time, when our president travels abroad for treatment, whatever we think of the fact that he is travelling for treatment, he has handed over formally to his deputy. This means that there has been less talk of a power vacuum. Another important difference is that, President Buhari is not the first northern president who has faced dire health issues, and there are political interests who are already working on counter-messaging. The propaganda machinery is already in motion to allege all sorts, even that the President has been poisoned in Aso Villa to make him sick. Such talk will only serve to galvanize regional interests and send the country hurtling towards an even messier, more hate speech-filled election season in 2019.

It is easy to say that Vice President Osinbajo should take over as president, that he should nominate a deputy and keep things moving. After all, he has somehow managed to retain his aura of ‘capableness’ and while keeping his smile intact, and even crack a joke or two when the camera pans on him. The trouble, however, is the small issue of our recent history. There is no need to rehash here how much trouble it was for our then-Vice President to become our Acting President. I have not forgotten how the country seemed to be at a standstill until then-Acting President Goodluck Jonathan evolved into a presidential candidate then won. Then-Acting President Jonathan was essentially a “lame duck”, to borrow from American political parlance, until he won the presidential election. Moreover, any kind of resignation at this point from President Buhari will lead to jostling for who will be a President Osinbajo’s Vice. One senses that whoever gets selected as Vice President to a President Osinbajo will face fierce political opposition, meaning that we might face a political standstill where almost nothing will be done but political posturing until 2019.
Our experience with recent elections tells us that when the political situation is tenuous, nothing of note happens: not investments, not signing of much needed legislation, nothing. If you think nothing of note is happening now, even less will happen if Osinbajo is to take over as president. A “lame duck” president will only signal political uncertainty. There will be doom and gloom predicted ahead of the 2019 elections, and once again Nigeria will be a hot ticket for international journalists looking for some election-related excitement.

And what will happen if we simply maintain status quo? Well, basically what we are seeing now: A Presidency not operating at full capacity, bobbing and weaving like Anthony Joshua, away from the electorates’ reasonable questions as to the health of its president, with the determination to remain opaque.
This political calculation is tiring, because Nigeria has entirely too much work to do. Our economy is a shambles, our internal security leaves a lot to be desired, our healthcare and education are in dire straits, we have a humanitarian crisis that has created mass displacement of millions of Nigerians, and that is just a short list of what currently ails us. Ensuring clear leadership at the top is key for the country and it seems obvious that the President should resign if he needs to. But as usual, there will be no clean sailing if those clamouring for resignation get what they want.

Zimbabwe More Developed Than Nigeria – Mugabe

President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, has said that his country is the “most highly developed country in Africa” after South Africa, even ahead of Nigeria and Egypt.

Mugabe stated this at the World Economic Forum on Africa in Durban, South Africa.
“After South Africa, I want to see what country has the level of development that you see in Zimbabwe.”
“We have over 14 universities and our literacy rate is over 90 [%] – is the highest in Africa.
“Yes, we have our problems… but we have resources, perhaps more than the average country in the world, is it gold, diamond, coal… and our agriculture is very viable and this year we will have a bumper harvest,” he said.

Zimbabwe is ranked 24th on the UNDP’s Human Development Index for Africa, and 154th in the world. Nigeria is in 152nd place.

Civil Society Leaders Urge Buhari to Take Medical Leave

Nigeria’s ailing President Muhammadu Buhari, who had nearly two month’s medical treatment in Britain earlier this year, should take medical leave immediately, civil society leaders have said in an open letter.

The 74-year-old president returned home in March and said he would need more rest and health tests. Details of his medical condition were not disclosed.

In a letter titled “President Buhari should take medical leave immediately”, a group of political activists noted his absence from the last two weekly cabinet meetings and speculation about his ability to run Africa’s most populous nation and biggest economy.

“We are compelled to advise him to heed the advice of his personal physicians by taking a rest to attend to his health without any further delay,” they said in the letter dated May 1.

The letter was signed by 13 civil society leaders including human rights lawyer Femi Falana and Jibrin Ibrahim, an academic at a think-tank based in the capital Abuja.

Femi Adesina, one of Buhari’s spokesmen, declined to comment on the letter. Garba Shehu, another presidency spokesman, last week said Buhari received daily briefings on activities of government and met his vice president regularly.

He also said Buhari was spending most of his time in his private residence, which is equipped as an office, adding that he had gone through the worst period of his recovery in London.

Reuters