THE GUARDIAN has disclosed that members of the Biafra Zionists Federation (BZF) made a failed attempt at forcibly taking over the Enugu State government house yesterday. The secessionist group had planned to use the premises to proclaim an independent state of Biafra. About 30 BZF members, including their leader Benjamin Onwuka, were arrested in the process. DAILY INDEPENDENT in its headlines however revealed that two people were killed in the process. The police had told the people to ignore the sit-at-home order on Wednesday, assuring them of safety. The IPOB sit-at-home order was to mark the May 30, 1967 declaration of Biafra by the late Odumegwu Ojukwu who led the Igbos in a civil war between 1967 and 1970 and to honor those who lost their lives within the period. On the 20th of September, 2017, a federal high court had proscribed IPOB and declared it a terrorist organization in Nigeria. NEW TELEGRAPH speaks more about the IPOB situation saying Police, govs moved against the IPOB sit-at-home order.
Moving to the issue of corruption in Nigeria, THE NATION, THE PUNCH, NIGERIAN TRIBUNE and DAILY SUN reveals that Ex-Governor Nyame goes to jail for 28 years over N1.64b fraud. A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Gudu, Abuja sentenced former Taraba State Governor Jolly Nyame to 28 years in prison. He was not given an option of fine. Justice Adebukola Banjoko convicted the ex-governor on 27 out of the 41 counts contained in the charge filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in July 2007. Nyame was governor from 1991 to 1993 and 1999 to 2007. The breakdown of the sentence is as follows: 14 years upon conviction for criminal breach of trust; seven years for receiving gratification; five years for obtaining valuable public properties without consideration, and two years for criminal misappropriation. The judge said the sentences would run concurrently, implying that the ex-governor is to spend 14 years in prison.Justice Banjoko, who said the defendant betrayed his claim to be a clergyman and Reverend, wondered why it was only the ex-governor that was prosecuted in view of the level of impunity displayed while Nyame was in office. The judge, in the over 300-page judgment, which she read for over six hours, said after carefully examining all the evidence tendered by the prosecution, she had no option but to conclude that it was “either Nyame entered into office without a corrupt mind, but later became corrupt or he was corrupt ab-initio”. The judge said: “There was such a crazy level of corruption in the air in Taraba State Ministry of Finance. It is, however, amazing that none of the officials was arraigned.” She said the evidence before the court showed that while officials that served under the defendant were returning their loot to the EFCC after they were questioned, Nyame “was still busy committing more crime”. NEW TELEGRAM further reports that Ex-PDP govs are in trouble.
On the 2019 coming elections, VANGUARD reports Emirs, general back Tanimu, Tambuwal, Kwankwaso, while also reporting that Obasanjo is at odds with other anti-Buhari leaders. Permutations by high-level stakeholders opposed to a second term for President Muhammadu Buhari have gravitated towards three North-West politicians, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Senator Rabiu Kwankwanso and former minister of special duties, Turaki Tanimu. While Governor Tambuwal and Senator Kwankwanso have for long been on the radar, Vanguard has learned of increasing gravitation towards Tanimu by high-level stakeholders who see him as lacking the kind of baggage dogging others, including Tambuwal and Kwakwanso. Despite reports that some influential generals, who had played similar roles in the past, had endorsed him, Vanguard learned that former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo is, however, drawing back, having apparently stuck his neck out for Senator Kwankwanso. Among those said to have endorsed him are also several emirs who were said to have also been moved by an influential North-West traditional ruler. “Obasanjo has been briefed on him, but he is holding back,” a source privy to the development told Vanguard. An associate of Obasanjo’s did not hide the former president’s preference for Kwankwanso. “Even the manner of his (Tanimu’s) entry into the contest inspires suggestions of some high-level influence pushing his candidacy,” another source privy to the development said. Tanimu’s original aspiration was to be governor of Kebbi State, a source close to him told Vanguard. “But you know that Shehu Shagari’s original aspiration was to be a senator, but the principalities were able to nudge him towards the presidency, and that is the same pattern we see with Tanimu,” a Northern Nigeria-based political player who is already enmeshed in the Tanimu campaign told Vanguard.
BUSINESS DAY reports that IMF outlines 3 major reforms needed to boost Nigeria GDP. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has outlined three major reform areas needed to boost growth rates in Africa’s largest economy. In an exclusive interview with BusinessDay yesterday, May 30, Abebe Aemro Selassie, Director, Africa Department of the Fund said he still expects that the country’s economic growth will hit the 2.0 percent mark this year. Without fundamental reforms, the IMF has forecasted that the country’s real GDP per capita, which is already declining, will continue to decline over the next few years, plunging more people into the poverty trap. Selassie listed some of the deliberate policy actions he believes can help sustain economic growth. However, he admitted most of them are already well laid out in the Economic Growth and Recovery Plan (EGRP) prepared by the federal government. “All the measures needed are already captured in the ERGP. What is needed really is to implement them to the fullest degree,” Selassie said. He listed three reforms that he believes will help facilitate growth. “The first is paying attention to and addressing the big resource needs that the government has. The total revenue envelop for the government is about six percent of GDP. That is too, too low. That needs to go closer to 15 percent of GDP or even higher. Finding revenue handles to increase that so that the government can invest in the necessary infrastructure, in schools, in health is the first important requirement. Second, will be dealing with the energy sector. The provision of electricity, I cannot state enough how important that is both for economic diversification and to facilitate higher productivity. So addressing, in a very lasting way, energy sector problems in Nigeria is fundamental. Third, there remains a need to continue to carry out a lot of structural reforms that facilitate economic diversification and address governance and corruption issues. Good progress has been made on this front under this administration but I think there is still more to be done.” Selassie said that though growth in the first quarter was below the fund’s expectations, they do not plan to review their growth projections downwards. “We still expect growth to accelerate to 2.0 percent. So we are holding our forecast,” Selassie said. Explaining the rational for optimism, he cited strong recovery in global economic growth and improved domestic conditions.