FG Cancels Wednesday’s FEC Meeting

The Presidency has announced the cancellation of Wednesday’s weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in the State House, Abuja.

A statement by President Muhammadu Buhari’s Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said the meeting was cancelled because the president would be participating in an international conference on Lake Chad Basin in Abuja for the better part of the day.

The statement read: “The meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) will not hold on Wednesday, February 28, 2018.

“This is due to the participation of President Muhammadu Buhari and a significant number of ministers at the High-Level Meeting of the International Conference on Lake Chad Basin, at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, for the better part of that day.”

Presidency Queries IGP Over Unlawful Detention Of Elombah Brothers

The Presidency has queried the Inspector General of Police IGP, Ibrahim Idris for unlawfully arresting Tim and Dan Elombah on New Year’s Day.

In a letter signed and addressed to Festus Keyamo SAN, the solicitor to the Elombah brothers, the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Vice President, Ade Ipaye assured Keyamo that Osinbajo has asked the IGP to submit his own response to the petition.

In the letter with the identification number, SH/OVP/DCOS/Misc/0022, Ipaye also said that the Vice President is aware of the matter and concerned about the issue.

The Elombah brothers were arrested on Jan 1, 2018 at their family house in Nnewi, Anambra State allegedly for publishing an article that maligned the personality of the IGP.

The article was said to have been published on Elombah.com.

The matter is still in an Abuja High Court.

Here is a copy of Ipaye’s letter

Presidency Reacts To Soyinka’s Comments, Insists Security Not Failing

The Presidency has reacted to comments made by Professor Wole Soyinka in which called on Nigerians to defend themselves in the heat of prevailing security challenges.

Speaking about the call during his appearance on Politics Today, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, noted that the Federal Government would review the suggestion from the Nobel Laureate.

“What Professor Soyinka has said can just be one of the proffered solutions which will be looked out,” he said on Tuesday. “I have spoken about the nine governors’ committee headed by Professor (Yemi) Osinbajo who is the Vice President of the country.”

Adesina said this a few hours after Professor Soyinka decried the spate of killings in parts of the country.

The revered scholar had told journalists in Lagos that the phenomenon of herdsmen and farmers clashes was not new, but an issue that has graduated to an alarming state in the last eight years.

He then called for an organised resistance to the menace, describing the herdsmen as a new breed of Boko Haram and internal colonialists.

Reacting to some of the issues raised by the Nobel Laureate, Adesina refuted claims that the security apparatus was in a near comatose, insisting that the security agencies were rising up to the challenges.

According to him, the issue of herdsmen and farmers crisis is a national emergency that “determines to be interrogated from different sides.”

“There is a security apparatus in the country which is working to secure the country,” Adesina insisted.

“Yes, there are challenges, but that apparatus is rising to those challenges. I would not agree with you that it is failing.”

The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has come under severe criticisms in recent times over Nigeria’s security among other issues.

The President was also accused by some people of not being sensitive to the killings that have led to the death of many innocent Nigerians since the beginning of the year.

In his reaction, President Buhari said it would be dishonest to say he was enjoying himself and not doing anything to stop the killings.

Presidency Confirms Death Of Two Members Of President Buhari’s Extended Family

The Presidency on Saturday confirmed the death of two members of President Muhammadu Buhari’s extended family in Daura, Katsina state.
A statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja, said the two senior members of the family died within a few hours of one another.

According to Shehu, one of the deceased persons, Hajiya Halima Dauda, was the President’s niece and younger sister to his close associate and nephew Malam Mamman Daura.

Halima Dauda, aged 56, who has since been buried in Daura, left behind 10 children, including one of President Buhari’s Personal Assistants, Mohammed Sabi’u Tunde.

The presidential aide revealed that the burial was attended by a federal government delegation led by the Chief of Staff to the President, Malam Abba Kyari.

Others on the team were the Minister of State, Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika; three Senior Special Assistants to the President, Sarki Abba, Ya’u Darazo and Garba Shehu; the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Amb. Ahmed Abubakar.

Others included the State Chief of Protocol, Amb. Lawal Kazaure, the Permanent Secretary, State House Jalal Arabi, Alhaji Isma’ila Isa and Sayyu Dantata both of them businessmen.

The Buhari family had earlier on buried Hajiya Ai’sha Alhaji Mamman on Friday. She was the wife of the President’s older brother, Alhaji Mamman.


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.”

Fuel Scarcity: Presidency Gets Situation Report From Twitter

Nigerians have continued to lament what most of them describe as the ‘lingering’ challenges they face in getting the Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly known as petrol.

The Issue of fuel scarcity has been the major discourse in the country as the people go through untold hardships to get the product amid the yuletide celebrations.

This has, however, generated blames from the critics of President Muhammadu Buhari while the Presidency has assured Nigerians that the issue would be resolved as soon as possible.

Following the reports that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has begun distribution of the product, the Presidency created a Twitter hashtag on Tuesday to monitor the situation across the country.

In their various briefs, some citizens said the product is still not available in their location while others alleged that oil marketers in their locality were selling above government approved pump price.

See reactions below;

Presidency Offers Truce to President Buhari’s Critics

The Presidency says it has forgiven those who made unpleasant remarks about the health of President Muhammadu Buhari while he was away in London on a medical vacation.

Senior Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu disclosed this in an exclusive interview with Voice of Nigeria shortly after the return of President Buhari on Saturday.

Shehu called on such people to join hands with government in order to take the country to the next level.

“We don’t want say that they should feel ashamed of themselves. We don’t want to drag this thing. The fact that they had made predictions that have now turned out not to be true, spreading falsehood in the process, we still forgive them, they are Nigerians like ourselves. Let them join the train and lets continue the journey. This country does not need bickering and bitterness over such issues, so we look forward to their joining hands with the government so that whatever objectives we have set for the country would be realized,” he said.

Garba Shehu said things still went well even in the absence of the President because the Acting President did very well.

“The situation where the President is not on his seat is not normal. We haven’t had him for quite some time now but things went very well for the country because the Acting President, ministers and heads of agencies he left behind, all did their job very well,” the Presidential Spokesperson said.

He said he was extremely happy at the return of the President and wished him well as he continues to direct the affairs of the nation.


Presidency to Sign Budget Next Week

Nigeria’s presidency is expected to sign the 2017 budget into law next week, the speaker of the lower chamber of parliament said on Friday, in an effort to pull Africa’s biggest economy out of its first recession in 25 years.

The OPEC member’s recession was largely caused by low oil prices and militant attacks on Niger Delta energy facilities in 2016. Oil sales make up two-thirds of government revenue.

The budget must be signed by the president to become law. President Muhammadu Buhari has been on medical leave in Britain since May 7 and handed over power to his deputy, Yemi Osinbajo, in his absence.

“The 2017 Appropriations Bill … will be signed into law early next week,” said Yakubu Dogara, speaker of the House of Representatives, at an event to mark two years since parliament was convened after elections in 2015.

Two presidency sources, who did not want to be named, also said the budget would be signed next week.

The record 7.44 trillion naira budget passed by parliament’s upper chamber on May 11 was bigger than the 7.298 trillion naira draft spending plan submitted by Buhari in December. A government official last week said the presidency and lawmakers were still in talks over the spending plan.

Last year’s budget, passed in May 2016, was delayed for months due to disagreements between lawmakers and the presidency over spending plans that cut the supply of government money and deepened the economic crisis.

Donald Duke Takes Another Shot At Presidency

The former governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke, speaking at a programme titled ” The Nigerian Symposium For Emerging Leaders” held in Lagos on Tuesday said he would still take another shot at the presidency if the opportunity presented itself.
He said though he once aspired to the position but did not emerge the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), he would still contest for the highest office in the country at the appropriate time.

Duke explained that it was because of his preference for the presidency that he did not vie for any federal legislative seat after serving out his terms as governor.

“I do not have the flair for the legislature; standing up and sitting down at the chambers to raise a point. That was why I did not contest for the Senate but the presidency, after serving out my term as governor.
“I have contested the presidency before; I will still give it a shot when the opportunity presents itself. I believe I still have the energy in me,” he said.

The former governor canvassed for the reform of the country’s political system to accommodate wider participation and good governance.
He suggested the review of the electoral law to allow for an independent candidacy.
Duke said the country’s democracy would fare better if young people, who form the larger portion of the population, took a more active part in its political process, reported the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

He said most developed countries have had young people as their leaders at one point or the other in their democratic history.
The former governor, however, said power was never given easily, urging young people to participate in the political process and use the prime of their lives to add value to the country.

“I want to urge young people in the country not to see leadership as if it belongs to some people and do nothing positive to be part of it.
“You can only make a difference in the prime of your life. You can actually add value now, not when you are above 50.
“So, you need to be part of the political process and play your part. It is your right to be there; nobody is doing you a favour.
“You represent more than 60 percent of the population, you don’t have to beg for it.

“Just make the effort to make that change and contribute your quota to nation building,” he said.
Duke also took a swipe at former President Olusegun Obasanjo, saying as president, the latter was disconnected from reality.
The former governor, who urged his audience to always consider the age of those that presented themselves to serve, said: “Old people in government are usually disconnected from the realities on ground.”


PUNCH Saga: The Guardian Newspaper’s Portrayal of President Buhari ‘Uncharitable’ –Presidency

The presidency has dismissed as sheer mischief, the attribution of the unfortunate expulsion of the Punch reporter Mr. Lekan Adetayo from the Villa to the person of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Reacting to the Guardian Newspaper’s headline report entitled “Memories of Decree 4” the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, said it was wrong and improper to use the isolated incident to judge the character of the President as if he was responsible for what happened.

According to him, the President has not and would never approve the oppression and humiliation of any journalist in the course of carrying out their legitimate duties.

He explained that the Guardian was behaving like someone waiting eagerly to attack the President at the slightest opportunity in order to portray the incident as evidence of his alleged dislike of the media.

Mr. Shehu added that despite the President dissociating himself from the unfortunate incident and the affected journalist being recalled, the Guardian still chose to go for the President’s jugular, holding him personally responsible for an action he knew nothing about.

The Presidential Aide noted that such headline was misleading and mischievous because it was seeking to portray the President personally in bad light, with the sinister purpose of making him look like an enemy of the media.

According to Shehu, since he was sworn into office, President Buhari has not oppressed any media house or journalist on account of writing unfavourable reports about him or his government.

He reiterated the President’s respect for the freedom of the press and his commitment to protect their liberties at all times.

News Diary

Presidency Condemns Media Attack on Corruption War

The Presidency has warned it will not succumb to media attacks nor be deterred by false accusations by disgruntled elements to quenched its anti-graft war.

“The war against corruption is here to stay. As long as President Muhammadu Buhari is in power, Nigerians can rest assured of that.

“It will not succumb to media attacks. It will not be deterred by false accusations. It will not be quenched by disgruntled elements.’’

The Presidency was reacting to retired Col. Dangiwa Umar’s media attacks against the ongoing anti-corruption campaign.

Umar had accused the government of being unfair in the war against corruption.

But presidential spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement issued in Abuja on Monday, condemned Umar’s media attack

Shehu said that by now, President Buhari’s administration was quite familiar with the barrage of verbal attacks that have accompanied the determination to fight corruption.

“A number of Nigerian elite who are uncomfortable with the disruption of business as usual, have fought viciously, usually via the media.

“However, this comment, coming from Umar, is highly disappointing because he is not in a position to label accusations. He should, instead, allow other to do this.

“Curiously, despite the various accusations and media attacks, no one has so far come forth with any evidence of President Buhari’s selective approach to the war against corruption,’’ he said.

Shehu challenged anyone or organization with any evidence of bias or partiality in the fight against corruption to make it public

He stated that all the agencies involved in the war against corruption were allowed freedom to carry out their responsibilities, without any interference whatsoever from the Presidency.

“If Umar or anyone else feels that they have any evidence to the contrary, they are encouraged to make this public.

“Ultimately, the final frontier of the war against corruption is the judiciary.

“After the anti-graft agencies have gathered proof of corruption and made arrests, they present the accused before competent courts of the land, who have the final say on who is guilty of corruption and who is not.’’

Shehu maintained that President Buhari had never interfered with the judicial process, despite publicly expressing his frustration with how slowly corruption cases were handled.

“A number of Nigerian elite have over the years benefitted from various forms of corruption, including monthly payouts from the office of previous National Security Advisers.

“Let me clarify that this is not in reference to Col. Umar in particular.

“The Buhari’s administration has offended so many of our greedy elite by putting a stop to this, plugging many of the holes through which our country’s resources, belonging to each and every one of us, were looted by a few.“

He explained that these elite who have been benefitting from corruption have been frustrated, but the government would not allow allow them to frustrate the war against corruption.