My Decision for Re-election is Borne of Deep Passion for Nigeria- Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday said his quest for second term was not borne out of personal gain.

Rather, he said his decision to seek re-election was as a result of a deep passion to serve Nigerians.

According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President spoke at the All Progressives Party’s Ward Congress held at Bayagida Model Primary School, Daura, Katsina.

He said the driving force for seeking public office should be to serve the people, and see their lives improved, not for frivolity or personal ambition.

Buhari said the passion to serve and see real changes in the lives of Nigerians informed his choice to join partisan politics in the first place.

This, he said, further inspired him to contest elections in 2003, 2007, 2011 and 2015.

Buhari noted that his administration had already started the process of ensuring fairness, justice and equity, in spite of challenges, and would work hard to consolidate on the gains.

“I am not in politics for fun, frivolity or to amass wealth, I have always been driven by a deep sense of commitment to make a difference to the lives of our people.

“After my retirement from the army, or forceful retirement, I sat back and watched as events unfolded on the political turf, and realised the country needed an intervention for fairness, justice and inclusion of Nigerians in the issues that affect their lives,’’ he said.

The President called for patience, maturity and orderliness as the 2019 elections’ calendar begins to unfold.

President Buhari Attends APC’s Ward Congresses

As the nationwide ward congresses of All Progressives Congress (APC) kicks off, President Muhammadu Buhari, was on Saturday at the Bayajidda Model Nursery and Primary school, Daura in Kastina state venue of the exercise in his ward.

The President was in the company of the State Governor, Mr. Aminu Masari, stakeholders of Sarkin Yara, a ward he belongs to.

Contestants, delegates, officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other dignitaries are also on the ground to participate in the process.

The incumbent chairman of the Sarkin Yara A ward, Aliyu Mani and 25 other officials were returned unopposed following a consensus reached under a voice voting system.

The voting was facilitated by the Ward’s Elders Forum.

Buhari has urged the party executives elected in his sarkin Yara A electoral ward to discharge their responsibilities with fear of God and in accordance with the party constitution.

He said throughout his political career he has been a loyal party member who respect the rules and the regulations of his political party, stressing I called on you to fear God in whatever you do as we would transit to the next world and account for our deeds before our creator.

“I have contested for this office and lost three times consecutively but eventually I won glory be to God.

He said his administration was determined to upholding constitutional provisions and the rule of law, stressing we need to play politics with decency and decorum.

Earlier in his remarks Gov Aminu Masari,commended the president for finding time to attend the congress in spite of his tight schedule.

He described the presence of the president was a clear demonstration of his commitments to party rules and the regulations, “adding we would continue to emulate this examplary attitude of yours sir .

He called on Nigerians to continue to pray for peace and stability of the nation as well as respect the constituted athourities for socioeconomic progress of the nation.

Alhaji Ahmad El-Marzuq, the commissioner and Attorney -General Katsina state said the congress was adopted by a unanimous consensus without hitches.

He said the constitution of the all progressive congress APC has adopted conduct of congresses either by direct election or consensus stressing ours had always being rancour free.

Marzuq, lauded the efforts of the president in ensuring strict adherence to party rules, “adding we expect the remaining wards to borrow a leaf from us.

Malam Aliyu Mani the incumbent ward chairman was returned as the chairman, Ibrahim Halilu as deputy chairman, and Rufai Aliyu as secretary.

The presidential ward of sarkin Yara A comprise of 15 polling units and 26 party executives who returned elected by consensus.

Buhari arrived in Daura, his hometown, on Friday to participate in his party’s congress.

In Ebonyi state, Chief Eze Nwachukwu, the Ebonyi Acting Chairman, APC, assured party faithful that conduct of the party’s wards congresses would be open, peaceful and credible.

The chairman spoke on Saturday morning in Abakaliki at a meeting with party faithful, stakeholders and the electoral committee team from the APC national secretariat, Abuja .

Nwachukwu promised that the exercise would be open, peaceful and devoid of manipulation.

He called for support and cooperation of members to make the exercise hitch – free, noting that the success of the local government and state congresses were largely dependant on the outcome of the wards congresses.

In Kano State, the party said the congresses would hold in the 484 wards.

Malam Ibrahim Sarina, Secretary of APC said that all necessary arrangements had been concluded for the successful conduct of the exercise.

“We are very ready. Everything has been put in place and members of the party’s National Election Committee are already in Kano,’’ he said.

Sarina said that each ward would produce 26 executive members from the position of Chairman to Ex-officio at the end of the exercise.

The secretary said the party had resolved to conduct the congress through consensus.

“We have decided that the congress be conducted through consensus but where it is not possible, people are free to do it through open ballot system,’’ he explained.

The Gombe State Police Command deployed enough police men to monitor and ensure a hitch free congresses.

PSP Mary Malum, the command Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), on Saturday said that the deployment was part of measures put in place to provide security during the exercise.

She advised the party officials and members to play the game according to the rules and not to take law in to their hands.

“All measures have been put in place and currently our men were deployed to ensure a hitch free exercise.

“I am advising the public to be law abiding and be good citizens, the politicians should also play the game according to the rules so that there will be a hitch free exercise”, she said.

Unnecessary Legislative Brouhaha Over Withdrawal Of $496M

The ongoing legislative threat to impeach Mr. President over his recent withdrawal of the sum of $496m from the country’s Excess Crude Account (ECA) to purchase 12 Fighter Jets for the purpose of combating the ceaseless population decimating insurgency currently ravaging the country, is what we see as absolutely unnecessary, unwarranted and uncalled for. 

Since the withdrawal of that money which was done without recourse to the National Assembly – due to the exigent need to do so – some members of the NA majorly lawmakers of PDP extraction have been making a mountain out of a mole hill by calling for the impeachment of President Muhammadu Buhari for not obtaining legislative approval before withdrawing such amount of money; a move they see as a constitutional breach.

This call for the impeachment of Mr. President by this set of disgruntled lawmakers poses two fundamental questions and answers to these questions basically determine the justification or otherwise of Mr. President’s action. If the answers are in the affirmative, then, it simply means that the withdrawal is justified and therefore the whole shout by the lawmakers calling for Mr. President’s head, is needless but just only politically-motivated. 

The two critical questions which the call for Mr. President’s impeachment demands are: ‘Was there truly urgent need for the withdrawal of that money and was the money used for the purpose for which it was meant? To each of these two questions, the incontrovertible answer is capital YES. Thus, since the answers are yes and yes then the withdrawal of the money by the executive arm of government is highly justifiable and we do not see any need for calling for the impeachment of President Buhari. 

It is instructive to note that putting an end to all the senseless massacre going on in the country is the primary concern of everybody now, for everyone is weary of this wicked and unnecessary shedding of innocent people’s blood. Thus, at this stage, we need highly sophisticated weapons to be able to successfully fight the kind of insurgency currently facing the country. The legislators that are crying wolf know this. And given that the purchase of the aircrafts was time bound, there was no need for all the accompanying hue and cry from these legislators. Or, is it in their interest that the country continues to be handicapped in the face of this insurgency? If that’s their interest, that would of course be highly preposterous! 

Finally, even if there was any constitutional infraction on the part of Mr. President for withdrawing that money, we sincerely hold the view that it was not enough to call for his impeachment as what he did was done in the national interest, and since there is no any proof of selfish interest on his part, this call can only be mischievous, puerile and unpatriotic. It’s nothing but a move simply calculated to score cheap political gains on the part of the PDP. It’s high time our legislators stopped playing politics with critical issues affecting Nigerians’ lives. 

 

 

Buhari On The Way Back To Nigeria From US – Presidency

The Senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, Malam Garba Shehu says President Muhammadu Buhari is on his way back to Nigeria from United States of America.

The presidential aide said the delay in the president’s return to the country was because the jet had to take a quick break to refuel and do some checks in London.

“It is a smaller plane. The BBJ is away on repairs. The technical crew decided to break the long distance journey, to refuel and do routine checks. This is normal. They are flying back to Abuja now,” he said

Buhari Returns Today – Adesina

President Muhammadu Buhari will arrive in Abuja from his Washington, D.C. official visit on Thursday (today) evening.
This was made known by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, via his Twitter handle on Thursday afternoon.

He wrote, “MB arrives Abuja this evening. The good work of rebuilding Nigeria continues.”

The President had visited the United States of America for three days, during which he had met President Donald Trump at the White House.

Earlier on Thursday, another presidential aide, Garba Shehu, had volunteered that President Buhari, who reportedly left Washington, D.C. two days ago, is currently on “technical stopover” in London, without elaborating what he meant.

It may, however, be recalled that the President sees his doctors in the British capital, where had spent 107 days after which he confessed to having been seriously sick.

See Adesina’s tweet below:

Femi Adesina

@FemAdesina

PMB arrives Abuja this evening. The good work of rebuilding Nigeria continues.

U.S. Finalises Repatriation Of Over $500m To Nigeria –Malami

The visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to U.S. President Donald Trump has led to the finalisation of negotiations to repatriate more than $500m (about N190bn) of Nigeria’s looted money traced to the U.S.

Nigeria’s Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, told the News Agency of Nigeria  in Washington, DC, that he and the Attorney-General of the U.S. would be meeting last Tuesday to finalise the agreement.

Malami explained that the technicalities involved were being taken care of by both officials of the Nigerian government and also from the U.S. side.

He said: “On the part of assets recovery, we have made considerable progress through this visit.

“There’s goodwill by the two presidents to have a road map for the repatriation of illicit funds and assets traced to the U.S. as proceeds of illicit transactions.

“This illicit funds and assets are to the tune of $500m and above for immediate repatriation. We are looking at the shortest practicable time for it to be repatriated.

“There is political commitment demonstrated by the two presidents.

“The over $500m is not all the recovery, it is only for the immediate repatriation while we continue with our efforts to recover more.”

 

 

(NAN)

Why Senate Cannot Impeach Buhari – Leader

The Senate Majority Leader, Ahmed Lawan, says the issue of impeaching President Muhammadu Buhari has been laid to rest.

Lawan said the United States, US, President, Donald Trump’s confirmation that his country received $496m from Nigeria for fighter jets, has put the issue of impeaching Buhari to rest.

Speaking with Daily Trust, the Senator noted that impeaching the president holds no weight because “we didn’t lose money as a country.”

The lawmaker insisted that Buhari cannot be impeached for taking an “action to save Nigerians.”

According to Lawan, “I don’t know what the committee will report. I will rather guess but this committee is a representative of the senate and indeed the national assembly. So, since it has been confirmed that the money has been paid to the US treasury and President Trump has also confirmed it, I think this has laid the matter to rest.

“I’m not sure there was any serious motion for the impeachment of the President. If anybody did that, I’m sure the person misunderstood the entire process of parliamentary scrutiny

“My understanding of parliamentary scrutiny is to ensure that no public resources and money are lost. The release of $496m for the purchase of Super Tucano by the President has shown that no money was lost; more especially when the President of the US, Donald Trump, in discussion with the president said the American government is in receipt of the money. That goes further to confirm that we didn’t lose money as a country.

“So we really have not lost anything and I think this should give consolation to everybody because the fear will always be that someone took advantage and money was lost.

“How can we impeach the president for taking action to save Nigerians? It has been confirmed that the money has been paid to the US government.”

Buhari, Trump To Address Joint Press Conference After Meeting

President Muhammadu Buhari and the United States’ President Donald Trump will address a joint press conference today after their meeting at the White House.

The press conference is scheduled to hold at 6.30pm Nigerian time at the Rose Garden in the White House.

It is expected to be broadcast live.

The meeting of the two leaders is expected to centre on the fight against terrorism and economic development among others.

Buhari, Trump To Discuss Economy, Security

President Muhammadu Buhari will today be meeting with United States President, Donald Trump in Washington to hold talks on security and the economy.

President Buhari will be the second African leader to be received by Trump’s White House administration, after Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah Sisi.

Buhari’s visit comes after Trump met German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday and French President Emmanuel Macron last week to discuss the contentious Iran nuclear deal and biting trade sanctions.

According to a White House statement, the talks will focus on fighting terrorism and insecurity, economic growth and democratic development in Nigeria, set to hold presidential polls in February next year.

Trump’s relationship with the continent suffered a further setback in March when former secretary of state Rex Tillerson was fired while in Nigeria on his first trip to the continent.

As a result, the visit revealed little about Trump’s Africa policy.

 

Nigeria is entering its ninth year fighting Boko Haram extremists, who have devastated the northeast of the country and killed over 20,000 people in a bloody quest to establish an Islamist state.

Buhari is also battling a so-called herdsmen crisis, a sectarian conflict hardening along religious lines that has claimed scores of lives this year in escalating violence.

“I think both sides have a clear agenda in this meeting and its security and economic issues. They both have something to gain,” J. Peter Pham, director of the Africa Center at the Washington-based Atlantic Council, told AFP.

All eyes will be on Trump after he earlier called African nations “shithole” countries, a damaging remark he has since denied.

“On President Trump’s side, it’s definitely putting that controversy behind him,” Pham said.

“On President Buhari’s side, it’s having the prominence of being the first African leader received at the White House in this administration.”

– Improved relations –
In spite of Trump’s remarks, Nigeria’s relationship with the United States has improved since he came into office, according to Lauren Blanchard, African affairs specialist with the Congressional Research Service.

“(The visit) is intended to signal that the United States continues to see Nigeria as one of its most important partners on the continent,” Blanchard said.

“Cooperation has improved over the course of President Buhari’s tenure but not as fast as both sides would like,” she added.

Buhari, who like Trump has a tendency to make gaffes, had lambasted former President Barack Obama shortly after coming into the office for refusing to sell Nigeria weapons to fight Boko Haram.

“Unwittingly, and I dare say unintentionally, the application of the Leahy Law Amendment by the United States government has aided and abetted the Boko Haram terrorists,” Buhari said during a visit to Washington.

Under the legislation, the US is prevented from offering weapons or training to countries where there is credible information of human rights abuses by authorities.

In contrast, Trump’s administration has gone ahead with the reported $496 million sales of up to a dozen Super Tucano aircraft, a plane with surveillance and attack capabilities, set to be delivered in 2020.

The deal has recently come under scrutiny in Nigeria, a country with endemic corruption, where lawmakers are accusing the president of illegally withdrawing funds to purchase the planes.

– Re-election momentum –
While no major trade announcements are expected, Trump and Buhari will also be talking about ways to deepen economic cooperation.

“There is the security element and the economic element that dovetails with Trump’s agenda to push American business,” said Pham.

Buhari, who is seeking re-election in 2019, is likely to play up his administration’s agriculture reforms and underline his commitment to democracy.

This trip will also be used by his government to underscore that Buhari is fit for office after a series of health scares during his tenure.

“It undercuts the ‘Baba go slow’ narrative,” said Pham, referring to a nickname given to Buhari for his slow pace in office. “It’s a build-up to his re-election campaign.”

The 75-year-old former military ruler was Nigeria’s first opposition challenger to defeat an incumbent in a largely fair poll.

His election as president triggered a wave of optimism for oil-rich Nigeria, which has Africa’s biggest population but wrestles with rampant corruption and poor governance.

Buhari’ll Coast Home In 2019, Insha Allah By Tunde Odesola

In 24 sterling years of military service, Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari participated in three coups and emerged as Head of State. That was hard work! When he lost the swagger stick in 1985, he didn’t relent until he repossessed it 30 years later, entering the record book as the oldest African ex-military general in power, yet seeking more power.

I don’t seek to defend President Buhari over his “lazy youth” comment, though I love him. Frustrated is what you become after working ceaselessly for 57 years to change Nigeria, but all you get are some lazy and corrupt lot behaving as if the world exists on their breath. I’m not a bootlicker but I must say the President is the most misunderstood Nigerian leader ever.

You can accuse President Buhari of not possessing a secondary school leaving certificate, but you can’t accuse him of being talkative. Even Nigeria’s senator-on-the-cross, Dino Melaye, cannot. You’re also unlikely to find a member of the opposition that would disagree with the description of the president as being taciturn, uncommunicative, reticent, inarticulate, dumb, withdrawn and antisocial; the English Language has several synonyms for some words, you know. This is why I’m still at sea about the accusation that the President talked too much some days ago while addressing the Commonwealth Business Forum in London, where he described Nigerian youths as lazy.

To his growing multitude of haters, President Buhari’s aridity doesn’t stop at the oral level; they believe it has climbed upstairs. But I consider this assumption by critics as an insult to our simplistic president, whose sole ambition, after being ousted from power in 1985, was to return to power and endure lazy and corrupt Nigerians. Yes, endure Nigerians, who have failed to tolerate the hard work in herdsmen trekking all the way from the North through southern grazing routes, slinging peaceful AK 47 across their innocent necks. In the emerging new Nigeria, herdsmen without education can become president.

A stubborn question still puzzles me, though; if the President failed to bag a secondary school certificate and went on to have other higher certificates, does this failure render his military certificates a nullity? If the answer is yes, does this buttress the trite saying, ‘you can’t build something on nothing’? If yes is your answer again, are you saying President Buhari is nothing, or is he something that nothing can be built upon, or is he something that can build nothing? Please, don’t confuse me. I won’t be part of the Ayo Fayose maddening crowd or the infantile Melaye team or the Femi Fani-Kayode blabbing gang, who all delight in calling Mr President unprintable names.

I’m a well-brought-up Nigerian. As a journalist, I’ll only ask questions: Why can’t the hardworking President present his school leaving certificate publicly to show the horde of lazy Nigerian youths that it’s good to have an education? A President who has 10 children can be anything but lazy because only a hardworking general can give 10 children the best luxuries money can buy with the stipend called military salary.

Our President is a child of destiny. As the 23rd child who was born without blemish to his father, Hardo Adamu, and mother, Zulaihat, Buhari showed early signs of hard work when he enrolled in the Nigerian Army in 1961 at the age of 19 and engaged in a bloody coup five years after! This is how not to be lazy.

When the President calls our youths lazy, he sure knows what he’s saying; who among our youths ever engaged in an ethnic cleansing coup that sent the Head of State, General Agunyi Ironsi, the Military Governor of the Old Western Region, Lt Colonel Adekunle Fajuyi, and a host of other military leaders to early grave? What do our youths do other than watch foreign football leagues, have sex, smoke hemp, drink alcohol, do 419; prostitute and engage in ritualism?

Can they put their lives on the line for their tribes as Buhari and co did to avenge the killings of Prime Minister Tafawa Balewa and Northern Region Premier, Ahmadu Bello? Did you say ethnic killings haven’t stopped in the North ever since? I never said our president is part of those that laid the foundation for vicious killings in the country because as long as dogs and baboons exist in Nigeria, Fulani bullets and daggers would soak blood, walahi. Truth is, British imperialists bequeathed Nigeria to an ethnic tribe when self-rule came knocking on the door of 1960. The tribe won’t lose control of the bequeathal without a bloody fight in 2019. Dogs and baboons beware!

Again, the hardworking Buhari staked his life for the country between 1967 and 1970 when he fought on the side of federal troops against Biafran secessionists and rose, within just 14 years of service, to become the Military Governor, North-Eastern State. The North-Eastern State was later divided into Bauchi, Borno, Gongola, Yobe,Taraba, Adamawa and Gombe states.

The born-to-rule president, at just 32, was governor of seven states! You see the essence of hard work? A year after he became military governor, 1976 to be precise, Buhari rose to become the Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources and when the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation was formed in 1977, the then military Head of State, General Olusegun Obasanjo, appointed him as its chairman. This was the era when the late Fela Anikulapo sang about a missing N2.8bn ‘Oyel Money’ from NNPC account.

I’m not here to defend the President, though I love him. I read an idiot saying online that the cold weather of the western world affects the President’s mental coordination whenever he travels out, hence his misstatements. I don’t agree with that puerile position. Rather, I think the President deserves our pity for his ceaseless toiling. As a journalist, I’m trained to ask questions: Why won’t the President be frustrated and annoyed when between Tuesday and Wednesday last week alone the stories emanating from Nigeria were nothing but palatable?

Headlines of stories within those two days include: “Senators fault Buhari’s $496m Tucano aircraft purchase without due process,” “CAN calls for nationwide protest against herdsmen killings,” “N323m fraud: Court remands Ibori’s ally, Nwaoboshi, in Ikoyi prison,” “Sex-for-marks: Alleged victim, Monica Osagie, appears before OAU panel,” “N13.5m running cost: SERAP sues Saraki, others,” “Protest in Benue as herdsmen kill two Catholic priests, 17 others inside church,” “Senate, Reps joint committee to probe invasion, mace theft,” “Dino Melaye jumps out of police van, ends in hospital,” “Again, herdsmen kill 11 in Benue,” “Man, 75, remanded in prison for defiling two girls in Niger,” “Suspected herdsmen kill seven in Nasarawa…communal clash death toll hits 30,” “Senate suspends plenary to visit Melaye,” “How Nigerian pupils cheat during WASSCE through websites,” “Benue church killings vile, satanic, Buhari says.”

How can Nigeria be ever great producing this type of stories in just TWO days? While taciturn President Buhari, as usual, spoke through his media aide, Mr Femi Adesina, describing the killing of over 30 people in Benue as ‘vile and satanic’, the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, PERSONALLY addressed his countrymen after a van driver, Alek Minassian, last Tuesday, ran over 10 people on a busy Toronto sidewalk. Trudeau, in a nationwide broadcast, allayed the fears of his compatriots even as the murder suspect was promptly charged to court. In another development in Denmark capital, Copenhagen, last Wednesday, a Danish inventor, Peter Madsen, 47, got a life sentence for killing and sexually assaulting a female Swedish journalist, Kim Wall, 30, on his homemade submarine last year.

While the senate failed to suspend plenary over killings since 2015, it did so in order to visit a senator who attempted to outdo the orangutan. If the mounting disenchantment among the citizenry continues, nothing will stop Buhari from coasting back home to Daura in 2019.

President Muhammadu Buhari Felicitates with Mike Adenuga @65

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Chief Michael Adenuga who turns 65 on Sunday and commended his deep sense of loyalty and patriotism by investing in sectors that have created jobs for many Nigerians.

The president gave the commendation in a congratulatory message addressed to Adenuga which was issued by the president’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Saturday.

President Buhari noted that Adenuga had added strong value in the provision of effective services that make life easier and more comfortable for many in the country, and across the African continent.

The President, therefore, joined family, friends and the business community in congratulating the business magnate, philanthropist and one of Nigeria’s most renowned entrepreneurs.

He observed that Adenuga rose from a modest background, defied many odds, and realized his dream of setting up and grooming successful companies in the oil and gas, banking and telecom sectors.

President Buhari stated that apart from creating jobs through entrepreneurship, Adenuga’s contribution to the development of sports and the entertainment industry had remained remarkable.

He said these sectors of the economy had continued to provide lifelines for many, and inspiring ingenuity and creativity.

The President believed that Adenuga’s exploration and encouragement of youth entrepreneurship in the country would always be remembered, while his penchant for helping the less privileged through scholarships and healthcare financing deserves more commendations.

He prayed that the Almighty God would grant the Otunba of Ijebu land longer life, good health and more wisdom to continue serving the country and humanity. (NAN)