Buhari Cautions Influential Leaders on Choice of Words

The Presidency, on Saturday, cautioned leaders in the country against making inflammatory statements that could threaten it’s unity.

Shehu In an apparent reference to the recent call by a one time Minister of Defence and Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma, rtd, where he alleged that the military was on the side of the terrorist group to wipe out some of the minority groups in the country and advised citizens to defend themselves, the presidency warned against any act that could bring the Somalia experience to Nigeria.

The statement, signed by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, said such public declaration could instigate people of ethnic groups against one another. The statement read, “The Presidency wishes to appeal to prominent Nigerians, who have national influence, to use their influence wisely and not continue to engage in public declarations that are likely to inflame emotional passions and threaten National Security.

“The Presidency is very worried that criminal gangs will feel justified in defying legal governing and democratic institutions, and authority of legitimately elected democratic government if unrestrained pronouncements are made.

“Silence can be dignified, but sometimes it can be misinterpreted and exploited. It is both shocking and scary to hear the recent comments by a senior citizen calling for Nigerians to defend themselves.

“The Presidency commends the Nigerian military’s efforts to maintain peace and stability, despite being pulled in various directions by elements determined to destabilize the country and government for their selfish reasons. “What country would survive if its citizens rise against the country’s organized, trained and equipped military?

“We advise former leaders to take advantage of the various fora where people with a history of national security can offer advice to the government without resorting to the exploitation of emotional sentiments. “The civil war motto: “TO KEEP NIGERIA ONE IS A TASK THAT MUST BE DONE” rings very timely at this time in our nation’s history. We must be careful to avoid the mess that destroyed other African countries like Somalia.”

“I Did Not Commission (sic) or Launch Eko Atlantic City”, Says President

The Presidency and the Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, have disagreed over what President Muhammadu Buhari went to do at the Eko Atlantic City during his two-day working visit to the state.

Governor Ambode said in his official Twitter handle that the President went there to inaugurate the project.

The tweet read, “We took a tour of the Eko Atlantic City with Mr. President as he officially commissioned (sic) the project. Eko Atlantic is a good example of what Public and Private Partnership can do to the Nigerian economy.”

However, Twitter went wild with many users pointing out that it was former President Goodluck Jonathan who in company with the then Governor, Babatunde Fashola, and former United States President, Bill Clinton, that inaugurated the project in 2013.

The pictures of Jonathan inaugurating the project were also shared multiple times on the micro-blogging site.

In his response on Twitter, however, Buhari disagreed with Ambode, insisting that he only went to inspect the project.

Using the handle, @NGRPresident, he said, “The President did not commission (sic) or launch Eko Atlantic City. His visit was a tour as part of a two-day offical visit to Lagos State and the plaque he unveiled was to commemorate his visit to the site.”

Bill Gates, Dangote Meet Buhari In Aso Rock

Shortly after the release of the Dapchi school girls, President Muhammadu Buhari met with billionaires, Bill Gates and Aliko Dangote in Aso-rock on Wednesday night.

According to reports the billionaires were hosted to a private dinner by Buhari. The reason or outcome of the meeting has not been disclosed.

Details Later..

 

Be Prepared  For Ultimate Sacrifices Buhari Implores Nigerians

President Muhammadu Buhari has called on all Nigerians, particularly the elite, to be prepared to make sacrifices as a foundation for national growth and development.

He said in the life of a nation, there are times when the people have to “forgo personal pleasures or pay the ultimate price” for the progress and unity of the nation.

According to a statement on Monday by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President said this  at a meeting he had on Sunday in Daura with senior states men in Katsina.

‘‘The Nigeria of our time is in need of sacrifices by all citizens to free it from corruption, poverty, crime and underdevelopment,’’ Shehu qouted the President as telling members of the forum led by the Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari.

While commending members of the forum for complementing his administration’s efforts at national development, the President assured them that the security of lives, property and prosperity of all Nigerians will continue to receive priority attention.

In his remarks, Masari said the delegation was in the President’s country home to condole with him on the death of two members of his extended family.

The governor also extended the forum’s commiseration with the President over the recent auto-accident involving his son, Yusuf, and thanked God for his survival and subsequent discharge from the hospital.

The Emir of Daura, Alhaji Umar Faruk, the Galadima of Katsina and retired former President of Court of Appeal, Justice Mamman Nasir were among those who attended the meeting.

Meanwhile, the Emir of Maradun in Zamfara, Alhaji Garba Tambari, who also paid a condolence visit to the President pledged the unflinching support of the traditional institution to Federal government policies and programmes geared toward improving the welfare of Nigerians.

Tinubu, APC Chiefs Visit Buhari In Daura Today

President Muhammadu Buhari is billed to meet Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and other leaders of the All Progressives Congress at his country home in Daura, Katsina state today, a day after he received the party’s governors.

NAN reliably gathered that the APC leadership and top chieftains of the party would be converging in Daura to commiserate with the President who recently lost two members of his extended family.

Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Chief Bisi Akande had on Feb. 13 met with President Buhari behind closed doors at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Akande, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria after the Tuesday meeting with the president, dismissed the speculation that they met with the president over 2019 presidential election, adding that they came to condole the president.

Tinubu, who also spoke to newsmen after the meeting, expressed his commitment towards ensuring electoral victory for all APC candidates in the forthcoming 2019 general election.

He commended Buhari for appointing him to lead the consultation, reconciliation and confidence building efforts toward improving cohesion within the APC.

However, a source confided in NAN that the second meeting of Tinubu with the president in Daura on Saturday might go beyond mere condolence visit.

“Look, in the next few weeks and months the president will continue to receive different groups and organisations whose sole aim is to put much pressure on him to declare his intention for re-election in 2019.

“So, those Nigerians calling on him to seek reelection would continue to seek audience with the president with hope that he will finally agree with them to sustain continuity in APC-led administration, come 2019,’’ the source said.

According to the source, which preferred to remain anonymous, the meeting between the president and the APC chieftains might also deliberate on some socio-political matters affecting the country.

The APC governors who met with President Buhari on Friday in Daura included the Chairman of the Governors’ Forum and Zamfara Governor, Alhaji Abdulaziz Yari; Rochas Okorocha (Imo); Abubakar Muhammed (Bauchi); Kashim Shettima (Borno); Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo); Aminu Masari (Katsina) and Malam Nasir El-Rufa’I of Kaduna State.

Others are Gov. Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa, Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano); Godwin Obaseki of Edo; Yahaya Bello (Kogi); Atiku Bagudu (Kebbi); Abubakar Sani-Bello (Niger) and Tanko Al-Makura of Nasarawa State, while the governors of Benue, Osun and Ogun were represented by their deputies.

The governors of Benue, Ogun and Osun were represented by their deputies while Yobe and Plateau were also represented by top government officials at the meeting.

NAN observed that the meeting of the APC Governors’ Forum with President Buhari was first of its kind outside the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

NAN

Obasanjo Writes Open Letter To President Buhari

Former President of the country Olusegun Obasanjo has written a letter to his successor President Muhammadu Buhari about the situation of the country and Buhari’s intentions to run for second term.

Read the statement below:

The Way Out: A Clarion Call For Coalition For Nigeria Movement

Special Press Statement By President Olusegun Obasanjo

Since we are still in the month of January, it is appropriate to wish all Nigerians Happy 2018. I am constrained to issue this special statement at this time considering the situation of the country. Some of you may be asking, “What has brought about this special occasion of Obasanjo issuing a Special Statement?” You will be right to ask such a question. But there is a Yoruba saying that ‘when lice abound in your clothes, your fingernails will never be dried of blood’. When I was in the village, to make sure that lice die, you put them between two fingernails and press hard to ensure they die and they always leave blood stains on the fingernails. To ensure you do not have blood on your fingernails, you have to ensure that lice are not harboured anywhere within your vicinity.

The lice of poor performance in government – poverty, insecurity, poor economic management, nepotism, gross dereliction of duty, condonation of misdeed – if not outright encouragement of it, lack of progress and hope for the future, lack of national cohesion and poor management of internal political dynamics and widening inequality – are very much with us today. With such lice of general and specific poor performance and crying poverty with us, our fingers will not be dry of ‘blood’.

Four years ago when my PDP card was torn, I made it abundantly clear that I quit partisan politics for aye but my concern and interest in Nigeria, Africa and indeed in humanity would not wane. Ever since, I have adhered strictly to that position. Since that time, I have devoted quality time to the issue of zero hunger as contained in Goal No. 2 of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN. We have set the target that Nigeria with the participating States in the Zero Hunger Forum should reach Zero Hunger goal by 2025 – five years earlier than the UN target date. I am involved in the issue of education in some States and generally in the issue of youth empowerment and employment. I am involved in all these domestically and altruistically to give hope and future to the seemingly hopeless and those in despair. I believe strongly that God has endowed Nigeria so adequately that no Nigerian should be either in want or in despair.

I believe in team work and collaborative efforts. At the international level, we have worked with other world leaders to domicile the apparatus for monitoring and encouraging socio-economic progress in Africa in our Presidential Library. The purpose of Africa Progress Group, which is the new name assumed by Africa Progress Panel (APP), is to point out where, when and what works need to be done for the progress of Africa separately and collectively by African leaders and their development partners. I have also gladly accepted the invitation of the UN Secretary-General to be a member of his eighteen-member High-Level Board of Advisers on Mediation. There are other assignments I take up in other fora for Africa and for the international community. For Africa to move forward, Nigeria must be one of the anchor countries, if not the leading anchor country. It means that Nigeria must be good at home to be good outside. No doubt, our situation in the last decade or so had shown that we are not good enough at home; hence we are invariably absent at the table that we should be abroad.

All these led me to take the unusual step of going against my own political Party, PDP, in the last general election to support the opposite side. I saw that action as the best option for Nigeria. As it has been revealed in the last three years or so, that decision and the subsequent collective decision of Nigerians to vote for a change was the right decision for the nation. For me, there was nothing personal, it was all in the best interest of Nigeria and, indeed, in the best interest of Africa and humanity at large. Even the horse rider then, with whom I maintain very cordial, happy and social relationship today has come to realise his mistakes and regretted it publicly and I admire his courage and forthrightness in this regard. He has a role to play on the side line for the good of Nigeria, Africa and humanity and I will see him as a partner in playing such a role nationally and internationally, but not as a horse rider in Nigeria again.

The situation that made Nigerians to vote massively to get my brother Jonathan off the horse is playing itself out again. First, I thought I knew the point where President Buhari is weak and I spoke and wrote about it even before Nigerians voted for him and I also did vote for him because at that time it was a matter of “any option but Jonathan” (aobj). But my letter to President Jonathan titled: “Before It Is Too Late” was meant for him to act before it was too late. He ignored it and it was too late for him and those who goaded him into ignoring the voice of caution. I know that praise-singers and hired attackers may be raised up against me for verbal or even physical attack but if I can withstand undeserved imprisonment and was ready to shed my blood by standing for Nigeria, I will consider no sacrifice too great to make for the good of Nigeria at any time. No human leader is expected to be personally strong or self-sufficient in all aspects of governance.

I knew President Buhari before he became President and said that he is weak in the knowledge and understanding of the economy but I thought that he could make use of good Nigerians in that area that could help. Although, I know that you cannot give what you don’t have and that economy does not obey military order. You have to give it what it takes in the short-, medium- and long-term. Then, it would move. I know his weakness in understanding and playing in the foreign affairs sector and again, there are many Nigerians that could be used in that area as well. They have knowledge and experience that could be deployed for the good of Nigeria. There were serious allegations of round-tripping against some inner caucus of the Presidency which would seem to have been condoned. I wonder if such actions do not amount to corruption and financial crime, then what is it? Culture of condonation and turning blind eye will cover up rather than clean up. And going to justice must be with clean hands.

I thought President Buhari would fight corruption and insurgency and he must be given some credit for his achievement so far in these two areas although it is not yet uhuru!

The herdsmen/crop farmers issue is being wittingly or unwittingly allowed to turn sour and messy. It is no credit to the Federal Government that the herdsmen rampage continues with careless abandon and without finding an effective solution to it. And it is a sad symptom of insensitivity and callousness that some Governors, a day after 73 victims were being buried in a mass grave in Benue State without condolence, were jubilantly endorsing President Buhari for a second term! The timing was most unfortunate. The issue of herdsmen/crop farmers dichotomy should not be left on the political platform of blame game; the Federal Government must take the lead in bringing about solution that protects life and properties of herdsmen and crop farmers alike and for them to live amicably in the same community.

But there are three other areas where President Buhari has come out more glaringly than most of us thought we knew about him. One is nepotic deployment bordering on clannishness and inability to bring discipline to bear on errant members of his nepotic court. This has grave consequences on performance of his government to the detriment of the nation. It would appear that national interest was being sacrificed on the altar of nepotic interest. What does one make of a case like that of Maina: collusion, condonation, ineptitude, incompetence, dereliction of responsibility or kinship and friendship on the part of those who should have taken visible and deterrent disciplinary action? How many similar cases are buried, ignored or covered up and not yet in the glare of the media and the public? The second is his poor understanding of the dynamics of internal politics. This has led to wittingly or unwittingly making the nation more divided and inequality has widened and become more pronounced. It also has effect on general national security. The third is passing the buck. For instance, blaming the Governor of the Central Bank for devaluation of the naira by 70% or so and blaming past governments for it, is to say the least, not accepting one’s own responsibility. Let nobody deceive us, economy feeds on politics and because our politics is depressing, our economy is even more depressing today. If things were good, President Buhari would not need to come in. He was voted to fix things that were bad and not engage in the blame game. Our Constitution is very clear, one of the cardinal responsibilities of the President is the management of the economy of which the value of the naira forms an integral part. Kinship and friendship that place responsibility for governance in the hands of the unelected can only be deleterious to good government and to the nation.

President Buhari’s illness called for the sympathy, understanding, prayer and patience from every sane Nigerian. It is part of our culture. Most Nigerians prayed for him while he was away sick in London for over hundred days and he gave his Deputy sufficient leeway to carry on in his absence. We all thanked God for President Buhari for coming back reasonably hale and hearty and progressing well in his recovery. But whatever may be the state of President Buhari’s health today, he should neither over-push his luck nor over-tax the patience and tolerance of Nigerians for him, no matter what his self-serving, so-called advisers, who would claim that they love him more than God loves him and that without him, there would be no Nigeria say. President Buhari needs a dignified and honourable dismount from the horse. He needs to have time to reflect, refurbish physically and recoup and after appropriate rest, once again, join the stock of Nigerian leaders whose experience, influence, wisdom and outreach can be deployed on the side line for the good of the country. His place in history is already assured. Without impaired health and strain of age, running the affairs of Nigeria is a 25/7 affair, not 24/7.

I only appeal to brother Buhari to consider a deserved rest at this point in time and at this age. I continue to wish him robust health to enjoy his retirement from active public service. President Buhari does not necessarily need to heed my advice. But whether or not he heeds it, Nigeria needs to move on and move forward.

I have had occasion in the past to say that the two main political parties – APC and PDP – were wobbling. I must reiterate that nothing has happened to convince me otherwise. If anything, I am reinforced in my conviction. The recent show of PDP must give grave and great concern to lovers of Nigeria. To claim, as has been credited to the chief kingmaker of PDP, that for procuring the Supreme Court judgement for his faction of the Party, he must dictate the tune all the way and this is indeed fraught with danger. If neither APC nor PDP is a worthy horse to ride to lead Nigeria at this crucial and critical time, what then do we do? Remember Farooq Kperogi, an Associate Professor at the Kennesaw State University, Georgia, United States, calls it “a cruel Hobson’s choice; it’s like a choice between six and half a dozen, between evil and evil. Any selection or deflection would be a distinction without a difference.” We cannot just sit down lamenting and wringing our hands desperately and hopelessly.

I believe the situation we are in today is akin to what and where we were in at the beginning of this democratic dispensation in 1999. The nation was tottering. People became hopeless and saw no bright future in the horizon. It was all a dark cloud politically, economically and socially. The price of oil at that time was nine dollars per barrel and we had a debt overhang of about $35 billion. Most people were confused with lack of direction in the country. One of the factors that saved the situation was a near government of national unity that was put in place to navigate us through the dark cloud. We had almost all hands on deck. We used people at home and from the diaspora and we navigated through the dark cloud of those days. At that time, most people were hopelessly groping in the dark. They saw no choice, neither in the left nor in the right, and yet we were not bereft of people at home and from the diaspora that could come together to make Nigeria truly a land flowing with milk and honey. Where we are is a matter of choice but we can choose differently to make a necessary and desirable change, once again.

Wherever I go, I hear Nigerians complaining, murmuring in anguish and anger. But our anger should not be like the anger of the cripple. We can collectively save ourselves from the position we find ourselves. It will not come through self-pity, fruitless complaint or protest but through constructive and positive engagement and collective action for the good of our nation and ourselves and our children and their children. We need moral re-armament and engaging togetherness of people of like-mind and goodwill to come solidly together to lift Nigeria up. This is no time for trading blames or embarking on futile argument and neither should we accept untenable excuses for non-performance. Let us accept that the present administration has done what it can do to the limit of its ability, aptitude and understanding. Let the administration and its political party platform agree with the rest of us that what they have done and what they are capable of doing is not good enough for us. They have given as best as they have and as best as they can give. Nigeria deserves and urgently needs better than what they have given or what we know they are capable of giving. To ask them to give more will be unrealistic and will only sentence Nigeria to a prison term of four years if not destroy it beyond the possibility of an early recovery and substantial growth. Einstein made it clear to us that doing the same thing and expecting a different result is the height of folly. Already, Nigerians are committing suicide for the unbearable socio-economic situation they find themselves in. And yet Nigerians love life. We must not continue to reinforce failure and hope that all will be well. It is self-deceit and self-defeat and another aspect of folly.

What has emerged from the opposition has shown no better promise from their antecedents. As the leader of that Party for eight years as President of Nigeria, I can categorically say there is nothing to write home about in their new team. We have only one choice left to take us out of Egypt to the promised land. And that is the coalition of the concerned and the willing – ready for positive and drastic change, progress and involvement. Change that will give hope and future to all our youth and dignity and full participation to all our women. Our youth should be empowered to deploy their ability to learn, innovate and work energetically at ideas and concepts in which they can make their own original inputs. Youth must be part of the action today and not relegated to leadership of tomorrow which may never come. Change that will mean enhancement of living standard and progress for all. A situation where the elected will accountably govern and every Nigerian will have equal opportunity not based on kinship and friendship but based on free citizenship.

Democracy is sustained and measured not by leaders doing extra-ordinary things, (invariably, leaders fail to do ordinary things very well), but by citizens rising up to do ordinary things extra-ordinarily well. Our democracy, development and progress at this juncture require ordinary citizens of Nigeria to do the extra-ordinary things of changing the course and direction of our lackluster performance and development. If leadership fails, citizens must not fail and there lies the beauty and importance of democracy. We are challenged by the current situation; we must neither adopt spirit of cowardice nor timidity let alone impotence but must be sustained by courage, determination and commitment to say and do and to persist until we achieve upliftment for Nigeria. Nothing ventured, nothing gained and we believe that our venturing will not be in vain. God of Nigeria has endowed this country adequately and our non-performance cannot be blamed on God but on leadership. God, who has given us what we need and which is potentially there, will give us leadership enablement to actualize our potentiality.

The development and modernization of our country and society must be anchored and sustained on dynamic Nigerian culture, enduring values and an enchanting Nigerian dream. We must have abiding faith in our country and its role and place within the comity of nations. Today, Nigeria needs all hands on deck. All hands of men and women of goodwill must be on deck. We need all hands to move our country forward.

We need a Coalition for Nigeria, CN. Such a Movement at this juncture needs not be a political party but one to which all well-meaning Nigerians can belong. That Movement must be a coalition for democracy, good governance, social and economic well-being and progress. Coalition to salvage and redeem our country. You can count me with such a Movement. Last time, we asked, prayed and worked for change and God granted our request. This time, we must ask, pray and work for change with unity, security and progress. And God will again grant us. Of course, nothing should stop such a Movement from satisfying conditions for fielding candidates for elections. But if at any stage the Movement wishes to metamorphose into candidate-sponsoring Movement for elections, I will bow out of the Movement because I will continue to maintain my non-partisan position. Coalition for Nigeria must have its headquarters in Abuja.

This Coalition for Nigeria will be a Movement that will drive Nigeria up and forward. It must have a pride of place for all Nigerians, particularly for our youth and our women. It is a coalition of hope for all Nigerians for speedy, quality and equal development, security, unity, prosperity and progress. It is a coalition to banish poverty, insecurity and despair. Our country must not be oblivious to concomitant danger around, outside and ahead. Coalition for Nigeria must be a Movement to break new ground in building a united country, a socially-cohesive and moderately prosperous society with equity, equality of opportunity, justice and a dynamic and progressive economy that is self-reliant and takes active part in global division of labour and international decision-making.

The Movement must work out the path of development and the trajectory of development in speed, quality and equality in the short- medium- and long-term for Nigeria on the basis of sustainability, stability, predictability, credibility, security, cooperation and prosperity with diminishing inequality. What is called for is love, commitment and interest in our country, not in self, friends and kinship alone but particularly love, compassion and interest in the poor, underprivileged and downtrodden. It is our human duty and responsibility so to do. Failure to do this will amount to a sin against God and a crime against humanity.

Some may ask, what does Obasanjo want again? Obasanjo has wanted nothing other than the best for Nigeria and Nigerians and he will continue to want nothing less. And if we have the best, we will be contented whether where we live is described as palaces or huts by others and we will always give thanks to God.

I, therefore, will gladly join such a Movement when one is established as Coalition for Nigeria, CN, taking Nigeria to the height God has created it to be. From now on, the Nigeria eagle must continue to soar and fly high. CN, as a Movement, will be new, green, transparent and must remain clean and always active, selflessly so. Members must be ready to make sacrifice for the nation and pay the price of being pioneers and good Nigerians for our country to play the God-assigned role for itself, for its neighbours, for its sub-region of West Africa, for its continent and for humanity in general. For me, the strength and sustainable success of CN will derive largely from the strong commitment of a population that is constantly mobilized to the rallying platform of the fact that going forward together is our best option for building a nation that will occupy its deserved place in the global community. May God continue to lead, guide and protect us. Amen.

 

Presidency Faults Na’Abba, Lists President Buhari’s Achievements

The Presidency has countered claims by former Speaker of the House of Representatives Ghali Umar Na’Abba that President Muhammadu Buhari has not added value to democracy. Buhari’s media aide Garba Shehu called on Na’Abba, who is a bigwig of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), to rethink his negative opinions about Buhari as, according to him, the President has achieved a lot after three years in office.

Shehu was reacting to Na’Abba’s stance that Buhari’s administration has failed Nigerians based on the promises made by the party in 2015. The former speaker, during a TV show, vowed not to support Buhari if he decided to re-contest in 2019.“Even a beetle-eyed critic cannot pretend not to notice the tremendous progress in the area of security and the war against corruption,” the President’s aide said in a statement.

Speaking on security, Shehu said, “the terrorists were so bold that they could successfully attack the Police Headquarters in Abuja and army barracks in the Northeast, something that was a monumental national disgrace of historic scale.”He said Buhari deserved commendation for demonstrating extraordinary courage by going after former military chiefs for their involvement in corruption.

“Speaker Na-Abba also claimed that the President has not added value to democracy in three years.“The sense we have is that the Honourable Speaker was confusing the political environment as had existed in the past, with this period when the President has shown a total commitment to the independence of the two arms of government, namely the Parliament and the Judiciary.”

Why I Stand With Buhari By Femi Adesina

These are very difficult times in our country. Sad, mournful and dolorous times, as the New Year opened with killings in Rivers, Kaduna, Taraba, and Benue states, among others. Of course, there had been gruesome carnage on the Mambilla plateau mid last year, and bloodletting in Numan, Adamawa State, as well as in other places. Hell suddenly seemed to have enlarged itself against Nigeria. Sincere condolences to those who are grieving and mourning the loss of loved ones.

But instead of finding solutions, and joining to chart the way forward, some people are making political capital out of the killings. They are trying to use the orgy of bloodshed to advance their political interests, wanting to make it appear that it is a failure of the Muhammadu Buhari administration.

Faults are thick where love is thin. There is prejudice in Nigeria. Plenty. There is insularity, in prodigious quantity. There is animus, antipathy against anyone that is not of your ethnic or religious stock, or that belongs to a different political orientation or persuasion. If you meet him, kill him, if you can’t catch him, poison his footsteps, seems to be the singsong among some people. And as the build up to general elections next year gathers momentum, matters are made worse. Everything must be politicized, including wanton killings. There must be spurious handshakes across the Niger, and across the Benue, all for political gains.

But I stand with Buhari, and will always do. Why won’t you? Your snout is in the honeypot, licking the nectars of office, some cynics would say. Really? My bank balances do not indicate so. It is not just about money. It is about conviction. It is about believing in a man who can bring enduring change to our country, if we allow God to have His way through him.
Standing with Buhari through thick and thin is not about money, or the spoils of office, which are not even available in these lean times. In or out of my present position, I stand with Buhari. Sir Walter Scott wrote: “Other people’s resolutions may fluctuate on the wild and changeful billows of human opinion. Ours, now and forever, are anchored on the Rock of Ages.” In or out of government, I stand with Buhari. Why? You will get to know shortly.

There is strident attempt to defame, demean and de-market the Buhari government today. Who are those behind it? The crooks, thieves, freeloaders, who want business as usual. They hate probity. Their souls abhor accountability. They prefer the plunder of the past years, and can’t wait to see that epoch return. They engage in all sorts of misinformation and disinformation. Hate speeches. Fake news. Under us, you had leeks, onions and garlic to eat. You were fed manna till you wanted no more. When you were tired of the fluffy stuff, we gave you meat, you gorged yourself so much, till meat began to come out of your noses. They wouldn’t tell you about what William Shakespeare calls “the goodly apple, but rotten at the cheek.”

They won’t tell you about humongous amounts of money made from oil, which stood at over $100 dollars per barrel for about six years, and which they looted to the last cent. Foreign reserves; depleted. Excess Crude Account; looted. Federation Account; plundered. They turned the country to a wasteland, leaving an economy primed for recession. But deftly and sure-footed, the Buhari administration is building a new foundation for the economy, erecting an edifice that will stand the test of time, not a bubble that collapses with just a pinprick, not a will-o-the-wisp that vanishes in the midday sun.

That is why I stand with Buhari, and have stood with him since he was a military leader in the 1980s. I can trust this President. I can go to bed, knowing that my leader is not striking deals to fleece the country in the dead of night. I can trust that every money that comes into the coffers of Nigeria, will be used for the good of Nigerians. Am I saying it is a perfect administration? Such has not been forged from the smithy of the divine powers.

Every human enterprise will have its shortcomings, but on Buhari I still stand. I stand with him, and by him, any day.

Some people ask themselves: can we afford to be outside government for another four years from 2019? We would be dead! No access to the public treasury, which we know how well to abuse and plunder? To ravage and savage. They have spat into the sky, and collected the spittle with their faces. Rather than let Buhari be, we would employ all the tricks in the books. Defame, demean, de-market him. Is he not Fulani? He is supporting herdsmen causing murder and mayhem round the country. Trumpet it from the rooftops, even without a scintilla of evidence. He is sectional, and bent on Islamizing the country. He is fighting a one sided anti-corruption war. His war against insurgency is a fluke, not winnable.

They refuse to see massive investments in infrastructure, which would burst into full bloom in another year or two. Roads, rail, power. They refuse to see the rebounding economy, strides in agriculture and mining, all with good auguries for the future. They refuse to acknowledge the stock market, which recently recorded N15.78 trillion, the highest in the history of the country. What of N1.3 trillion spent on capital projects in 2016? And almost the same amount for 2017? No, they rather imagine how much of that amount they would have pocketed if they were in power, living in obscene luxury, while the rest of the country went to hell, if it wanted. They refuse to see the good things happening to the country. And none is as blind as those who deliberately refuse to see. All these and more are the reasons I stand with Buhari, and will always do. So that Nigeria can have a future and a hope. Our own Canaan, flowing with milk and honey.

After primitive fury was unleashed in Benue, and about 73 people were left dead, a sitting President eyeing reelection could also play politics with it, visiting and muttering the right words to impress the people. Nothing wrong. But for President Buhari, action speaks louder than words. Action stations, he told the security agencies. The Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Operations was first despatched, then the Minister of Interior, the Inspector General of Police himself, and then the Nigerian Army. Consultations were held with the governor of the state, with Benue elders, and now, a committee headed by the Vice President, made up of nine governors, has been set up to proffer solutions to farmers/herdsmen clashes. Action truly speaks louder than words.

President Buhari has not thrown his hat officially into the ring for a second term in office. But they are in mortal fear of him running. Therefore, they do all they can to dissuade him. Malign him, paint him black, devalue him before the electorate. But they don’t know that there are many devices in the hearts of men, but only the counsel of God shall stand. If God has ordained President Buhari to be in power beyond 2019, human effort to stop it can only end in futility.

I stand with Buhari, because it is solid ground for Nigeria. All other ground I see, at least for now, is sinking sand. For us, for our children, for generations yet unborn, Buhari is engendering a new country, whose builder and maker is God. Let the wailers wail; endlessly. Let the heathens rage; till they render themselves hoarse. Let them throw even the kitchen sink at him, they did worse in the build up to 2015. I stand with Buhari. I know his heart for Nigeria, and for Nigerians. Let people shed their prejudices. Let them eschew hate, and purge themselves of all malice. The future can only then be written in gold.

Adesina is Special Adviser to President Buhari on Media and Publicity

Delegated Leaders From Benue State Meet With President Buhari

Benue State Leaders are currently in a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Aso Rock, Abuja over incessant killings by herdsmen in the state.

According to reports, the leaders were led to the presidential villa by the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom.

Delegates at the meeting are former Senate President, David Mark; former governor George Akume; the Tor Tiv, Prof. James Ayatse,; Senator Barnabas Gemade, former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Michael Aondoakaa; Senator Joseph Wayas; and Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Terkimbir Kyamb and others.

There were also the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali; Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh; Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazzau and other government officials.

Critical issues to be discussed at the meeting included how to bring an end to the current herdsmen crisis in Benue State.

 

2019: APC South East Caucus Adopts Buhari

The All Progressives Congress (APC), South East zonal caucus on Sunday at Uburu, Ohaozara Local Government Area of Ebonyi adopted President Muhammadu Buhari for second term.

The adoption was the high point of the outcome of the South East zonal caucus meeting held at the home town of the Minister for Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu in Uburu.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting was attended by top party chieftains from across the South-East geopolitical zone.

The decision to adopt Buhari for a second term was contained in a five-point communique issued at the end of the caucus meeting.

The communique was jointly signed by National Vice Chairman of the party South East and zonal publicity Secretary, Mr Emmanuel Enukwu and Mr Hyacinth Ngwu respectively.

The document commended the President for infrastructural development of the South East zone, job creation and empowerment programmes.

The communique also lauded Buhari for appointing people from the zone as chairmen and board members of federal boards and parastatals.

“We appreciate the Igbo’s growing support and interest in the ruling All Progressives Congress.

“It is our unshakable belief that the quest of the Igbos for the Presidency is achievable in the shortest time only in APC and that time is 2023.

“We pledge our unalloyed loyalty to APC led Federal Government under Buhari and we hereby unequivocally and unconditionally assure the President of our support for his reelection for a second term in office in the 2019 general elections.

“The party in South-East commends the President for all the projects the government is executing in South-East particularly the abandoned Enugu-Onitsha and Enugu-Port-Harcourt high-ways, modernised second Niger Bridge, coastal and in land rail lines among others,”

The caucus in the communique further commended the leadership of the APC and maintained its unalloyed support and confidence in the leadership.

 

We Are Not Doing Bad In The Agricultural Sector- Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has assured Nigerians that his administration would not rest in continually reviewing and strengthening ongoing reforms in the agricultural sector until Nigeria regains its pride of place as a food exporting country.

In a statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, yesterday in Abuja, said the President spoke while receiving a delegation of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from Kebbi State at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Buhari said the country’s huge rice import bill had dropped significantly by over 90 per cent, a development he noted was not good enough by his expectation.

“Beyond self-sufficiency, we must strive to become net exporters of food commodities.

“We are not doing badly in the agricultural sector and Nigerians and the world are beginning to appreciate our efforts. We will not be satisfied; we will work harder until we start exporting food.

“We are happy that rice and beans importation into the country has gone down by over 90 per cent, and visibly everyone can see how productive states, like Kebbi, have turned out to be, and states like Lagos, Ogun and Ebonyi are following the example,” he said.

He said Kaduna, Katsina, Kano and Sokoto states had already made remarkable turn-around in the sector, with more youths taking interest in entrepreneurship.

The President said he disagreed with the astronomical food import bill presented by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from the inception of the administration, pointing out that it was later discovered to be “fraudulent practices” by some of the elites to deplete the foreign reserves.

“When I was told that the CBN had no savings after the windfall of selling oil for more than $100 dollars per barrel for many years, and the production was 2.1 billion barrel per day, I did not believe them, because majority of Nigerians cannot afford imported food; they rely on what is locally grown.