It’s Unlawful For Military To Arrest Hate Speech Offenders – Falana

Human Rights Lawyer, Femi Falana, says it is unlawful for the military to arrest perpetrators of hate speech in the country.
Falana said this while reacting to the purported directive of the federal government to the military to clamp down on purveyors of hate speech.

Earlier this week, the military had announced that it will be on the lookout for comments and utterances that could threaten the nation’s peaceful co-existence.

In a statement, Falana said it is only the Nigerian police force that is empowered to carry out such a directive in line with their responsibility of maintaining law and order.

The senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN) also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to also respect the rights of those seeking the negotiation of Nigeria’s unity “within the ambits of the law”.

“While the federal government is entitled to continue to defend the corporate existence of Nigeria, the right of any group to disagree with the official stand within the ambit of the law should be respected,” he said.

“Therefore, the purported presidential directive authorizing armed soldiers to arrest civilians involved in ‘subversive activities’ should be withdrawn. More so, that it cannot be justified under any law in Nigeria.

“Since it is the constitutional responsibility of the police to maintain law and order in our democratic society, members of the armed forces should not be permitted to arrest alleged purveyors of hate speeches.

“For the avoidance of doubt, section 4 of the Police Act has empowered the Nigeria Police Force to arrest and prosecute criminal suspects in the country.

“However, section 47 (1) of the CyberCrimes (prohibition, prevention etc) Act provides that law enforcement agencies shall have power to prosecute offences under this act while section 58 thereof defines law enforcement agencies to include ‘any agency for the time being responsible for the implementation and enforcement of the provisions of this act.’

“As the Nigerian Army is not one of the law enforcement agencies envisaged by the Act and other penal laws it should not be permitted to enforce any of the laws against hate speeches.”

Falana also said what Nigeria needs is the political will to enforce pre-existing laws targeted at dealing with hate speech and not establishing new ones.


The Speech President Buhari Failed To Deliver

By Dele Momodu


Fellow Nigerians, congratulations on the arrival of our dear President Muhammadu Buhari from a prolonged medical vacation. Let’s all raise our voices and thank God for performing what the President himself described as a miracle. “I’ve never been this sick,” the President had repeatedly told well-wishers. Before his sudden departure from Abuja House, the official residence of Nigeria’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, events were getting rough and embarrassing as some aggrieved Nigerians had started making a willow cabin at his gate, raking and ranting about the President’s decision to seek medical succour abroad while the state of healthcare back home remains pitiably scandalous.

It was a great relief to most Nigerians when news came from the Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, that his boss was finally on his way home. To some, it sounded too good to be true. Such tales had turned into disappointment on several occasions in the past. Something unusual happened on the eve of the President’s departure from England. President Buhari was seen sitting with the General Overseer of The Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, and had apparently received a gift of some Christian literature. It seemed the General Overseer had come to sanctify the President’s journey and it was good to see this symbolic gesture of religious tolerance.

The arrival of President Buhari in Abuja was triumphant! The giddiness on display by family, friends, associates and fans was remarkable. Everybody was excited, joyous and relieved to have him back at home after what seemed an eternity. 

It had been announced that the President would make a national broadcast two days after his return. This generated a lot of interest and expectation and elicited speculations ranging from the sublime to the mundane. Many expected the President to give an American style, State of the Nation, address while others thought he was going to take a bow by resigning and retiring to his home town of Daura, Katsina State, after handing the baton to his Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo. That latter permutation was far from reality and dead on arrival for one major reason. Whilst the President and his Vice President may have formed a perfect synergy and a reasonable bond exists between them, members of the President’s inner cabinet do not subscribe to this unity of purpose and it reflects clearly in their body language.

We debated these wild speculations in our editorial meeting at Arise News last Sunday. By the way, please find time to watch us on DSTV 416, every Sunday from 6-7pm. Our team of Reuben Abati, Wale Olaleye, Prisca Ndu, Yemi Adamolekun and yours truly was carefully assembled by the Chairman of Leaders & Company, Nduka Obaigbena.  We are always ready to take you through the labyrinth of political and economic affairs globally. Our take was that President Buhari would seize the occasion of that broadcast to make monumental pronouncements about his reform plans for our long-suffering country. We hoped he would lay bare his plans for moving Nigeria forward positively. We slept only after setting our alarms to wake us up just before 7am to monitor the Presidential broadcast. What did we get eventually? The speech was scanty and short on concrete plans. In fact, it would be right to call it an anti-climax. Many people were disappointed that they woke up early to watch a badly packaged broadcast. The President’s speech-writers could have done much better with a short but crisp message to Nigerians. Instead, they prepared a mumbo-jumbo. I was not impressed. But, I didn’t know who to blame. Who supplied the content and who manufactured the script that President Buhari read? The content and the art-form should have blended well but this was not the case. 

I thought the President should have exposed it all. At his age, there is nothing more to fear or hide. He should have told his captive audience everything about his unfortunate ill-health. The main reason most Nigerians were upset or angry was the fact that the President did not think it fit to tell Nigerians what was wrong with him and the treatment he was receiving from UK Doctors which, necessitated his endless sojourn in the Queen’s land.

As if this was not bad enough, we were informed by the Villa that the President was going to be operating from home in the meantime. Fair enough. I never expected someone who has been that sick to return to work instantly. It would be tantamount to callousness for anyone to shove the President back to office without proper recuperation. But it seemed some people were desperately anxious to do just that. As early as 9am, a letter was transmitted to the National Assembly announcing the President’s return to Nigeria and his immediate resumption of full Presidential duties. Fine. If the President felt strong enough and ready to take on the herculean task of running one of the largest and most complicated nations in Africa, so be it.

But it wasn’t going to be that simple! Before I went to bed that fateful night, news reached me in Ghana of a press release offering a spurious explanation for the President working from home, a totally unnecessary thing to do. At this day and age, anyone has the freedom to work from anywhere, home or abroad. Technology has changed the way we do things. A lot is now done and achieved at the touch of a button. The President did not need to dignify the busybodies who were prying into his affairs with any response. The bazooka released by a key member of his media team was a total faux pas.  Lord have mercy, the statement that rodents sacked the President from his office is the worst public relations nightmarish blunder I have ever witnessed. As a foreign friend told me, “even if it was true that such happened, it was not in the place of any Presidential aide to disclose such so brazenly.” Anyway. It happened, life must move on even though we now have to live with the attendant jokes.

I promised some friends I will try to write the speech I thought the President should have read in case of similar future recurrence. It is also our responsibility to teach our leaders about modern ways of governance instead of lamenting without showing the way. We can’t blame them if we think they don’t know, keeping mute, instead of acting and transferring our own experience and exposure to them. I now produce my speech had I been in President Buhari’s shoes. Let me warn that the speech is fictional and only a figment of my imagination. Any similarity or resemblance to any real life situation is merely coincidental:

“Fellow Nigerians, good morning. It gives me great pleasure to be alive to address you again. What I went through in the past few months was so terrible that I thought I would die but your kind prayers brought me back alive. I sincerely thank God Almighty for giving me a new lease of life and another chance to serve you better. I unreservedly offer my sincere apologies for my long absences but I’m sure you will agree that it was due to circumstances beyond my control. 

I must explain my sad predicament once and for all. There is a Yoruba proverb which says, “a man cannot hide his body from those who will bury him.” As your President, I’m your leader and also your servant at the same time. A true leader must see himself as a servant of the people. It is therefore incumbent on me to let you know and appreciate the health challenges I have suffered lately. Trouble started years back when I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Although deeply troubled initially, I was soon reassured by my doctors that mine had been detected early and was not malignant. I tried to follow the prescribed medical regime with rigid discipline I am reputed for, and this has kept me going since then.

My fellow Nigerians, permit me to say that when it rains, it pours. I did not bargain for what unfolded after I miraculously won the Presidential election of 2015. I was fully ready to work full blast knowing the extent of havoc the previous PDP government had wreaked on our country. However, what I met was far worse than what I ever imagined. Nigeria was in a bigger mess and the job required total strength, physical and psychological. Unfortunately, I soon relapsed into another bout of ill-health which deprived me of my full stamina to tackle the menace and scourge foisted on our country by previous administrations. I was quite alarmed when my doctors said that my sugar level had risen due to my abysmal diabetic history and now needed to be managed and controlled very delicately. I was told there were few experts in the world to deal with my virulent type of diabetes and I had no choice but to bow to the wish of God.

As you may recollect, I had problems with my ears after suffering an infection which badly affected my hearing. This was quickly corrected by specialists but I was constrained to wear hearing aids. However, that turned out to be the simplest of my problems. My battle with hypotension was soon to almost consume me. Unlike most people with hypertension, I had issues with low blood pressure, not high. Combining diabetes with hypotension can be very deadly. Simply put, that was my case. You now know what I was dealing with and why I’ve been away. It was never a fancy trip but a serious war to stay alive. I’m grateful to God that I’m alive to tell the story. Those who specialise in spreading rumours have concocted their own fake stories but this is the whole truth!      

My dear Brothers and Sisters, it is heart-warming to be back home after crossing the valley of the shadow of death. Whilst away, I followed events at home very closely. I must thank my able Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo and our entire team for their sense of dedication and acts of loyalty. I’m gladdened that they kept the country together despite threats from different sections and segments of our society. I was deeply troubled to see how some people tried to cause disaffection and set our nation ablaze when dialogue, meaningful dialogue, can resolve most of our differences. I intend to engage every part of Nigeria in dialogue and will encourage everyone to join hands with me in the process of reconciling every one of our people. We stand to gain more in unity than in strife.

Permit me to reveal a secret I had kept for a long time. The former leader of Biafra, Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, visited me once in Daura to discuss the unity of Nigeria. He was clearly troubled and remorseful that Nigeria had to go through one of the deadliest internecine wars in Africa at his behest. We both prayed at the end of our meeting that such tragedy will never befall our country again. Some of those beating the drums of war and fanning the embers of disunity may not have been born at that time or they were too young to comprehend the devastation suffered by innocent people, usually the poor of the earth, during wars. My government will do everything possible to appease the aggrieved and make sure we all continue to live in harmony.

The clamour for restructuring has reached an all-time high. I agree that the time has come to do something about it.  With the co-operation of the National Assembly, I will soon set the machinery in motion to deal with this all-important national issue. We can no longer afford to pretend that our present structures are perfectly in order. No Nigerian should feel like an alien in his own country. It is natural for people to get angry and violent when they feel marginalised. This anomalous situation must be addressed and corrected. 

I will work closely with my Vice President in the days ahead to fine-tune our economy. Without a strong economy, we cannot get out of the doldrums. We have challenges on several fronts but they are all surmountable. As a retired army General, it is my wish to secure lives and properties by empowering and inspiring our men and women of the security forces. Our robust plans in this regard will be unfolded soon.

May God bless Nigeria…”

Hmmm, seems my imagination ran riot for a bit!!!

Ekiti Indigenes Rally In Support Of Buhari’s Return

The Ekiti Chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC and a coalition of civil society groups, on Monday marched through the streets of Ado Ekiti, the state capital, to celebrate the return of President Muhammadu Buhari to Nigeria after 103 days of medical vacation in London.

The coalition also knocked the state governor, Ayodele Fayose, over his attacks on the president since he left the country on May 7.

Mr. Fayose had alleged that the president was on life support since June 6, insinuating that the reports of his recovery were false.

The APC supporters, civil society groups, artisans and commercial motorcyclists, formed a huge crowd with marched from Oke Iyinmi to the party secretariat, chanting various songs to deride Mr. Fayose and the Peoples Democratic Party.

The procession also created traffic along Ijigbo and Ajilosun area, making vehicular movements difficult.

Addressing the rally, the party’s Acting Chairman in the state, Kemi Olaleye, said God had shamed those wishing the president dead. He said Mr. Buhari’s return would rekindle the war against corruption, insurgency and secession.

Mrs. Olaleye appealed to Mr. Fayose to make good a threat he reportedly made that he would commit suicide if President Buhari returns to Nigeria hale and hearty.

“Mr. Fayose has turned himself to propaganda-in-chief, but we are happy that God has shamed those who thought President Buhari won’t return alive. With this rally, the end has come to Governor Fayose’s reign in Ekiti,” she said.

“The good people of this state are not in support of Fayose’s action, because we are cultured and compassionate people.

“Look at the Governor of Rivers State, Mr. Nyesom Wike, he went to Abuja to welcome the president back to Nigeria. That was a show of maturity, why was our governor not learning from this?

“We are solidly behind President Buhari even beyond 2019. And we are pleading with Nigerians to discountenance whatever Fayose has been saying against the president. He was not speaking for us, he only spoke for himself.”

Mrs. Olaleye added that Ekiti was tired of ‘one day, one trouble’ under Mr. Fayose, saying the next poll would mark the end of the governor’s dominance in the state.

The state chairman of the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties, Tunji Ogunlola, speaking on behalf of the civil society groups, praised Nigerians for praying for Mr. Buhari’s quick recovery.

He said prayers by Nigerians helped the medical team to achieve success in the treatment of the president.

“Nigeria’s collective destiny cannot be aborted by a tiny group of crooks whose survival depend on the looting of our commonwealth,” he said.

“It is on this strength that we believe the President’s return presents a fresh hope for the accomplishment of our collective dream for a great nation as hr settles down to work.

“Our hope to tackle corruption and grown the nation’s through economic transformation that will create jobs for our teeming youths have been rekindled with Buhari’s return.

“It was gratifying that those who wanted Buhari dead has been put to shame and we warn that this new sheriff that just returned to town will as usual has no patience for looters and conmen in government.”

Also, the APC in Ondo State, in a statement by the Director of Publicity, Steve Otaloro, rejoiced with Nigerians on the return of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“You shall live to see part of your elaborate, long-term, prosperous plans and solid foundation for national growth,” he said.

“Our hearts are gladdened, our hopes are heightened, our fears are smoothened, our thoughts are sharpened, our beliefs are strengthened and our future is brightened. Nigeria has a destiny which is success and development.

“We thank God that you are back to our motherland. Nigerians are overwhelmingly happy. There were wild jubilations across Nigeria, In cities and villages across the country.

“With the return of Mr President, certainly, many will be frightened. Some would be traumatised. Many would be shamed. Others will surely but secretly apportion blames.

“Some will overtly trade blames and excuses because of their stance and statements of playing God over your health. We (APC) however, have been vindicated. Ultimately, our country will be redirected, refocused and revived.”

Welcoming Buhari Back To Lugard’s Country, By Lasisi Olagunju

Ruling Nigeria from abroad did not start yesterday. Not with Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and certainly not with Muhammadu Buhari. The nation heaved a sigh of relief on Saturday as the president touched the soil of his nation of birth. Staying and governing from London was the manure with which the farmer who sowed the seed of Nigeria nurtured it. Lord Lugard resigned as governor of Northern Nigeria in December 1905 because he failed to arm-twist his employers to allow him administer his colony from London. And his reason was a mixture of romantic craziness and the need to stay alive. The health of Mrs Lugard could no longer stand the Nigerian weather, so, the ingenious soup of “Continuous Administration” was cooked. Lugard would stay half year in London, taking up a desk right inside the colonial office, the other half of the year in the insufferable environment of northern Nigeria. But the colonial government said no, you cannot be absent and be present at the same time. That would be a slap on the face of governmental sanity. You are either there or you are not. A frustrated, disappointed Lugard got angry. He resigned.

But some people are so good at their desk that the system cannot contemplate a future without them. Even when they are old, tired, ill and weak, their subjects would insist that they rule from their bed of infirmity. Buhari and Olusegun Obasanjo were not the first to be begged to come back and rule Nigeria like Abiku, “calling for the first and the repeated time.” Lugard got appointed as governor of Hong Kong almost immediately after resigning his Nigerian job. He accepted the offer without demanding to be ruling Hong Kong from London. But the indispensable Lugard soon came back to Nigeria in 1912 as Governor General of soon to be amalgamated Nigeria. He was begged to come because only one person could do the job and he was that person. That was what the British government told him. Again, he held out the condition to govern from London for six out of twelve months in a year. Back and forth, the Big Man could not be persuaded to drop the demand. “As the driving and controlling force of the administration,” he was toasted that he shouldn’t be outside Nigeria, “a country where the unexpected is constantly happening.” But Lugard won’t stay and be lost in the heat of Nigeria. Staying in Nigeria could make the strongest General old and ill. Sometimes, governments are like ladies, they cave in to that persistent dude who won’t take no for answer. Col. Lugard got what he wanted in January 1914 after the amalgamation – he would stay six months in Nigeria, four and a half in London, one and a half months in transit. He enjoyed it. His wife liked it and she wrote about it. It is novel, noble and good. Wherever they went, like the snail, they moved with the fortress of power. The absentee governing system remained operative until a new Secretary of State, Walter Long, ended it in April 1917.

The apple does not fall too far from the tree. Those asking President Buhari to return home from London before his doctors released him were simply being lazy. They claimed he had stayed in London cumulatively for over five out of the about eight months we have so far spent this year. They were too idle to know that staying in London did not necessarily mean being out of Nigeria. They were very ignorant of history. They ignored the absentee foundation upon which Nigeria was built. A creation cannot be greater than his chi, we were told. There is a sense in which nations take on the character of humans. The wisdom of the elders tells us that the beginning of any man pre-tells his life. The Ancient Greek and the Romans, in particular, would argue that a person’s life was determined by “the three Fates” which at birth “spun out” a child’s destiny. They believed that whatever happened at birth “spins, measures and ultimately cuts” the person’s thread of life. The idea of absentee governance in Nigeria was planted with the Nigerian tree. It started from the north with Lugard in 1905. Does that not explain why today’s northern governors enjoy ruling their states from Abuja? Does that also not tell why President Buhari laughed at the idle few who were burning valuable energy protesting in Abuja against his London stay?

But the president is back. His enemies would start keeping vigil at the river bank for his crab to blink again. They would want him to keep the Lugard tradition, travel again and stay again so they could mass and protest again. But he won’t travel again, that is what his friends said. His friends have assured us Buhari is fit and well. They say his arrival on Saturday was the coming of the cat with multiple lives.

Buhari is back but his over one hundred days abroad increased the call for a redefinition of the Nigerian nation. His absence, indeed, sharply divided the country and sharpened the axe of those crying for the restructuring of Nigeria. Some felt not seeing the president for 103 days and not knowing what ailed him made mumu of the whole nation. Others felt harassing a sick grandpa in the name of politics was a sin deserving thorough lashing. The protest boundary had colours. The protest vests had sectional and political and even, ethnic lines. But should every conversation be lost under deadly ethnic and political mudslides?

The president watched all the protests and the associated drama and laughed. Laughter heals faster than the magical touch of doctors. But while Buhari was away, Nigerians also laughed at his people. His party and government and governors set up committees on restructuring. His Senate and the House of Representatives rejected a bill for devolution of powers to the federating states. Did the president watch all these too as he watched the idle Abuja protesters? Has he been briefed that his party set up a committee to search for the definition of restructuring? Lugard’s continuous rule over Nigeria isn’t just in the area of absentee governance. His diseased seed was planted to endure for all seasons. He created an abami country that is neither male nor female. A president falling ill would not ordinarily create unnecessary tension in a normal country. But Nigeria is a paranormal entity. It is a country that is not a country. We remind Buhari that before he fell ill, travelled and stayed abroad, critical minds kept asking whether Nigeria was a federal or unitary state.

They still ask that question which was asked over a hundred years ago by critics of Lugard’s policies. A.J. Harding was director of Nigerian affairs at the Colonial Office. He, in those early days, reviewed Lugard’s political arrangements for Nigeria and lamented: “Sir F. Lugard’s proposal contemplates a state which is impossible to classify. It is not a unitary state with local government areas but with one central executive and one legislature. It is not a Federal state with Federal executive, legislature and finances…it is not a confederation of states.” What kind of country then is this? That is the question our fathers asked. It is the question we and our children are asking. Let us pray our grandchildren will get the answer.

Meanwhile, President Buhari, welcome back to your ill-defined country.

Buhari Condemned Hate Speeches Challenging Nigeria Unity On Social Media

By Toba Ajisafe


Upon the return of President Muhammadu Buhari to the country, he has damn hate comments, statements and actions challenging the nation’s harmonious living.


The president who said this during his address to the country in Abuja on Monday.


Buhari said “In the course of my stay in the United Kingdom, I have been kept in daily touch with events at home. Nigerians are robust and lively in discussing their affairs, but I was distressed to notice that some of the comments, especially in the social media have crossed our national red lines by daring to question our collective existence as a nation. This is a step too far.


Buhari who also gives encounter about the visit of the leader of breakaway Republic of Biafra, he said ” In 2003 after I joined partisan politics, the late Chief Emeka Ojukwu came and stayed as my guest in my hometown Daura. Over two days we discussed in great depth till late into the night and analyzed the problems of Nigeria. We both came to the conclusion that the country must remain one and united.


“Nigeria’s unity is settled and not negotiable. We shall not allow irresponsible elements to start trouble and when things get bad they run away and saddle others with the responsibility of bringing back order, if necessary with their blood.


However, Buhari said every group has a grievance. But the beauty and attraction of a federation is that it allows different groups to air their grievances and work out a mode of co-existence.


Also the he expressed his gratitude towards God and Nigerian for prayer which is part of what make him to return to the country hale and healthy.


Furthermore, Buhari gave a stern warning against any act to threatened the nation peace.


According to him, Terrorists and criminals must be fought and destroyed relentlessly so that the majority of us can live in peace and safety.


He said “we are going to reinforce and reinvigorate the fight not only against Boko Haram which are attempting a new series of attacks on soft target.


Furthermore he admonished Nigerian not to focus in differences but embrace unity and peace to tackle the nation challenges.

Read Full Text of President Buhari’s National Broadcast

AUGUST 21, 2017.
My dear citizens,

I am very grateful to God and to all Nigerians for their prayers. I am pleased to be back on home soil among my brothers and sisters.

2.     In the course of my stay in the United Kingdom, I have been kept in daily touch with events at home. Nigerians are robust and lively in discussing their affairs, but I was distressed to notice that some of the comments, especially in the social media have crossed our national red lines by daring to question our collective existence as a nation. This is a step too far.

3.     In 2003 after I joined partisan politics, the late Chief Emeka Ojukwu came and stayed as my guest in my hometown Daura. Over two days we discussed in great depth till late into the night and analyzed the problems of Nigeria. We both came to the conclusion that the country must remain one and united.

4.     Nigeria’s unity is settled and not negotiable. We shall not allow irresponsible elements to start trouble and when things get bad they run away and saddle others with the responsibility of bringing back order, if necessary with their blood.

5.     Every Nigerian has the right to live and pursue his business anywhere in Nigeria without let or hindrance.

  6.    I believe the very vast majority of Nigerians share this view.

  7.     This is not to deny that there are legitimate concerns. Every group has a grievance. But the beauty and attraction of a federation is that it allows different groups to air their grievances and work out a mode of co-existence.

8.     The National Assembly and the National Council of State are the legitimate and appropriate bodies for national discourse.

9.     The national consensus is that, it is better to live together than to live apart.

10.   Furthermore, I am charging the Security Agencies not to let the successes achieved in the last 18 months be a sign to relax.

11.     Terrorists and criminals must be fought and destroyed relentlessly so that the majority of us can live in peace and safety.

12.     Therefore we are going to reinforce and reinvigorate the fight not only against;

·       elements of Boko Haram which are attempting a new series of attacks on soft targets

·       kidnappings, farmers versus herdsmen clashes,

·       in addition to ethnic violence fuelled by political mischief makers. We shall tackle them all.

13.   Finally, dear Nigerians, our collective interest now is to eschew petty differences and come together to face common challenges of;

·       economic security,

·       political evolution and integration

·       as well as lasting peace among all Nigerians.

14.     I remain resolutely committed to ensuring that these goals are achieved and maintained. I am so glad to be home.

15.    Thank you and may God bless our dear Nation.

Text Of Buhari’s Speech To Nigerians On His Return From London (A Draft) By Rudolf Ogoo Okonkwo

Fellow Nigerians, I am happy to address you all today on my return from medical treatment in the United Kingdom. It is by the grace of Almighty Allah that I am here with you.

I want to begin by thanking every Nigerian who prayed for my quick recovery. I also wish to thank those who lost patience with me. I understand your feeling. We have so much work to do in this country that every minute lost is a disservice to our people.

My special thanks goes to the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo. He held the fort in my absence. I’m very pleased with his performance despite the difficulties our political structure imposed on him. He did the job of leading this nation so well that I have a renewed confidence in our leaders of tomorrow.

I also thank the National Assembly, my ministers, the members of the judiciary, our security forces and civil servants across this nation who go to work everyday and look up at the picture of their leader who had been absent for long and still dedicate themselves to the task of the day.

Being sick is a human condition. While we pray that sickness does not befall even our worst enemies, it is one of those life experiences that ‘will come when it will come’. For those concerned about the financial burden my illness must have exerted on our nation, I want to dispel your fears.

Though as your president I am entitled to receive medical treatment anywhere that my doctors deemed best, I’m waiving that right. My family and friends will take care of my medical bills.

As leaders, we must lead by example. I promised to end medical tourism if elected president of Nigeria. Two years after, it has not happened. You do not have to go far to know that it has not happened. My absence from Nigeria for 103 days makes it evident. It is my personal failure. I own up to it, the same way I own up to all that we promised but have not accomplished.

As part of my renewed commitment to this country, in my remaining days as your president, I will make sure that no president of Nigeria will again have the need to travel abroad to receive medical treatment. We have done greater things in the past. We can do this.

In the last two years, we have opened the window of opportunities for tens of thousands of our young people through the N-Power entrepreneur scheme. We have school children in 13 states of Nigeria receiving free lunch at school as part of our Homegrown School Feeding Programme. In 9 states, over 26,000 are receiving N5,000 stipend a month from Conditional Cash Transfer Programme. We have stabilized the Naira and the economy. No matter how raw and uneven it may have been, we have taken a stab at the fight against corruption. Though it is still with us, its wings of impunity have been clipped. And instead of unrelenting on this fight, we are reloading and refocusing.

We have made strides here and there, but for many, the change that we promised has not materialized. In some cases, the change has taken many of our people two or three steps backwards. To them, it is hard to preach that stepping back is part of the process needed for a forward push. They may have seen the rams do it, but that does not mean that they will understand it and embrace it when it means doing with less meat in their pot of soup.

For me, this period of ailment has been an opportunity for great reflection. If I had an illusion that I would always be with you, that illusion is gone now. I will not always be with you. But I know that Nigeria will always be with you. I, therefore, come back with a renewed commitment to leave a better nation for you all. In the little time that I have left in this role as your president, I want to see a more united Nigeria for all.

Our unity can only come if we create an equitable and just nation.

I have had time to look at Nigeria from outside. I have watched with great interest how the wheels of the nation work from afar. They are not working well. All that we were afraid of are happening now.

We shall confront them. But more importantly, we shall confront the nursery where the anomalies are bred.

In re-committing myself to the Nigerian project, I am determined to listen to, and understand, the people at the fringe of our society. More often than not, we fail to give them our ears and assume that what they have to offer has little or nothing to do with our lofty dream for the nation. That, I have come to understand, is a false premise. All voices are needed in the negotiation for the advancement of the Nigerian project.

Moving forward, balancing the Nigerian project to give it a solid sense of equity and justice is paramount to me. I want all those who are committed to come to us. I want those at the forefront of the fight for restructuring Nigeria to bring to me proposals and blueprints on how to make things better.

I want to balance the seats in the House of Representative to make it fair to all. I want the number of states in each geo-political zones balanced. I want to see the resources of this nation shared in such a way that those from the areas where these resources come from do not feel cheated by the rest. I want to devolve power from the center. I want to free the regions to stand on their own. I want the geopolitical zones enshrined in our constitution. I want the presidency to rotate amongst the zones. The number of local government in each zone should be fair so that local government allocations to each zone would not be lopsided.

We need to sit down and articulate the blue print of how to make Nigeria great. I want a master plan of what should be done on my desk in six months. We need them in specific terms.

We have to radically transform this country if we want it to survive. I’m looking for a holistic treatment of all that ails us.

With the remaining time that we have, we want to set things right to make it easy for those coming behind us. We cannot wait. All along, the military has been the one putting in place constitutions and structures. Our democracy is mature enough that we can do them ourselves in tune with the desires and goals of our peoples. If we can accomplish that, the rest of the task of governing this beautiful country should be a lot easier, not just for this generation but for generations to come.

You won’t always have Buhari with you, but my job is to make sure that you will always have a Nigeria, an equitable and just country for all.

Political defeat of one section of the country only leads to progressive defeat of the whole nation.

I am ready to defend this vision of a new Nigeria with the last breath in me.

It is very unfortunate that we have been programmed to believe that in a family, injustice to one does not impact the cohesion and commitment of the other to the family. But it does. It is the reason for all the rumblings we hear in our dear country today.

To ensure my commitment to this, in a few weeks, we will convene a meeting in Aso Rock with all the young people who are so dissatisfied with the Nigerian project that they have decided to opt out of it. We want to listen to them and forge a way to regain their trust. The youths of this nation are the most important resource that we have. That should not be just a mantra to be given mere lip service. It is a statement of fact that we need to hold sacrosanct.

My generation has played its part. We must have the courage to begin a systematic disengagement so that the next generation can take the lead. I have seen them in technology hubs across Nigeria, on the streets hustling, in schools and in markets. I am confident that they can take this nation to glorious places.

If this our present malaise is a spell, it has run its course. Our mumu don do.

Thank you for listening and may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

APC Hails Buhari’s Return, Thank Nigerians For Their Prayers

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has welcomed President Muhammadu Buhari back to Nigeria after his medical vacation to the United Kingdom.

A statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Bolaji Abdullahi, said, “The Party thanks the Vice President, His Excellency Prof. Yemi Osinbajo for his competent leadership in the absence of President Buhari and especially commends him for his effort to unite the country and drive the recovery of the national economy.

“The APC also thanks all Nigerians who had prayed ceaselessly for the speedy recovery and safe return of the President, assuring them that the APC-led Federal Government is poised to fulfill all the electoral promises the Party made to Nigerians.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, had announced Saturday morning that President Buhari would return to the country later today after receiving medical attention in London for over 100 days.

He left the country on May 7 after handing over power to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who has functioned as Acting President since then.

Mr. Buhari will speak to Nigerians in a broadcast by 7 a.m. on Monday, Mr. Adesina said.

The presidential spokesperson quoted Mr. Buhari as thanking “all Nigerians who have prayed ceaselessly for his recovery and well-being since the beginning of the health challenge.”

BREAKING: President Buhari Arrives Nigeria After 103 Days In London

Nigeria’s president Muhammadu Buhari has returned to the country after more than 100 days in the United Kingdom, where he received treatment for an undisclosed ailment.

The presidential jet that brought him touched down at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja, where he was received by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, some state governors, police boss Ibrahim Idris and his chief of staff Abba Kyari.

The president is expected to speak to “Nigerians in a broadcast by 7 am on Monday, August 21, 2017,” his media
adviser Femi Adesina said in a statement on Saturday.

The president left Nigeria on May 7 for London for a second of treatment for an undisclosed ailment, transferring power to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to lead
the most populous African country.

He had earlier left Nigeria on January 19 for London to “undergo routine medical check-ups” during a short holiday.

He only returned on March 10 after an extended period of medical treatment.

He tacitly acknowledged that he was very ill, telling his cabinet members that “I couldn’t recall being so sick since I
was a young man.”

He also said he had “blood transfusions, going to the laboratories and so on and so forth”.

His absence in Nigeria since May 7 has birthed rounds of protests and calls for him to resign. But much like his aides,
Buhari has consistently said he would only return to Nigeria on the instruction of his doctors.

“I feel I could go home, but the doctors are in charge. I’ve now learnt to obey orders, rather than be obeyed,” he told his aides on Saturday, his spokesman Femi Adesina said in an earlier statement.

JUST IN: RCCG General Overseer, Adeboye Visits President Buhari In London

The general overseer and founder of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye on Friday visited President Muhammadu Buhari at the Abuja House, London.

President Buhari has been in London for the past 100 days for medical vacation.

See photos…..