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Former Governor of Jigawa State, Sule Lamido has described the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as a rented house filled with big thieves, whose roof is about to collapse.

“When they say we’re thieves, it is the smaller thieves that remained in the PDP; the bigger thieves are in the APC,” the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential aspirant told Daily Trust in an interview.

He advised all APC members to go back to their former parties 'because no sane person would stay in a house about to collapse'.

“Anybody who is sane should leave the APC because it is a contraption. They are all coming from their own homes into a rented house and it is collapsing. So, run away before the house falls on your heads. Those who came from the AC, PDP and even Buhari who came from the CPC should move out and go back to their homes, because this house is caving in. Nobody is safe in that house.”

Lamido said the ruling party has failed to deliver good governance two years after it used propaganda to win an election.

"Two years after we were blackmailed, terrorized, harassed, demonized out of power with these lies upon lies upon lies by people who are least qualified to be in government, I said, ‘look, what’s Nigeria today?" he said.

"I mean a party of propagandists has taken over and today in Nigeria, the way we’re being fought, the way we’re being demonized, the way we’re being harassed and maligned is simply beyond what you imagine because this is a party

"Here’s a government in Nigeria which is fond of mocking its own citizens. Anything you say, they mock you. They call you wailing-wailer. But government should give me comfort; government should inspire me; it should motivate me so that if I’m wailing, it should say, ‘look, what’s your problem?’ And then cure my problems; you don’t mock me."

 

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Former President Goodluck Jonathan has asked the former National Spokesperson of PDP, Olisa Metuh to pay him N1 billion traveling expenses before he can appear as a witness in his ongoing trial at the Federal High court, Abuja. Metuh through his lawyer had asked the court to summon the former president to appear as his witness. Metuh is standing trial for collecting N400 million from the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki. The money is allegedly from the arms funds that were squandered by the past administration.

Last week, Justice Okon Abang signed the summons written to him by Metuh's lawyer for Jonathan to appear in court. However, Jonathan did not appear in court last week Wednesday as expected. The judge in his wisdom ordered the court bailiff to ensure that the summons gets to Jonathan within 5 days.

In an application filed before the high court by his counsel, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), ex-president Jonathan asked Metuh to deposit with the court for and on his behalf the sum of N1bn to cover travelling expenses for himself and his security personnel from his home town, Otuoke, in Bayelsa State, to Abuja. The money, according to the former President is also to cover the time that he might spend appearing before the court as President of Nigeria between 2010 and 2015.

He stated that the evidence sought to be obtained from him would amount to an invasion of his privacy, and family life as provided for in Section 37 of the Constitution. In addition, the ex-President contended that the evidence sought to be obtained from him was likely to expose him to a criminal charge, penalty or forfeiture. He further argued that the summons was vague and obtained on frivolous ground. According to the former president, Metuh was not his personal aide or an appointee and so could not have dealt with him directly under any circumstance to warrant the invitation of the applicant to testify in the charge. He also submitted that there was no nexus between him and Metuh and the charge for which Metuh is standing trial.

The application in part reads “That he (Jonathan) as the then President of the Federal Republic (2010-2015), appointed ministers and different persons to carry out the day-to-day running of the government activities and such appointees are those who directly related with the President and not third parties, such as the 2nd respondent. That it is such appointees that can explain daily government’s transactions which they directly supervised and not the President who was the overall boss. That the 2nd respondent, Olisa Metuh, was never at any time a personal aide or appointee of the applicant. That he (Jonathan) knows nothing about the seven charges for which the 1st defendant/ 2nd respondent is standing trial before this court and has absolutely nothing to testify about before this court. The he, as a former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in the event that this honourable court refuses prayer one on the motion paper, shall require the sum of N1,000,000,000 (one billion naira) only, to cover travelling expenses for himself and his security personnel, from his home town Otuoke, in Bayelsa State, to Abuja, and also for logistics, and provision of tight security to cover any period of time that he might spend appearing before this court as President of Nigeria between 2010 and 2015. That Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, OFR, the lead counsel in this matter, informed me under the same circumstances stated in paragraph 4 above, and I verily believe him, that by virtue of the provisions of section 241(2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, the applicant is not bound to attend to court except the 2nd respondent herein (Olisa Metuh), who applied for the issuance of subpoena ad testificandum on him, pays for his travelling expenses.”

 

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The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on Thursday described the comment of former Military Head of State, Yakubu Gowon as a “bouquet of falsehood.” They reacted to his claim that lies by the late warlord, Odumegwu Ojukwu led to Nigerian Civil war.

 


The group insisted that history has it “documented on granite that Gowon reneged on Aburi Agreements” because he was allegedly “assured by a certain colonial power that Ojukwu’s people should be crushed militarily.”

 

The statement signed by its spokesperson, Emma Powerful, reads:


“It’s a tragedy, that at the ripe old age of 83 and with the little window God still has left open to him to repent and show remorse, Yakubu Gowon, the man who supervised the genocide of 3 million people, mostly as a result of blockade and starvation, the man who seized all minerals from the regions and vested all in the central government, the man who proscribed the regions and created states by military fiat, the man who led the bloodiest war on African soil, has chosen to continue to deceive himself with his bouquet of falsehood.”


“Gowon acknowledged in over a dozen published works, long before now, that super permanent secretaries and two foreign powers persuaded him to reject and renege on the Aburi Accord. He had previously admitted that implementing the agreed Aburi Accord would wittle down his powers as head of state, as all the regions will have to agree before any major decision is affected, now wants to heap lies on Ojukwu, because Ojukwu is no more.”


“Shame on Gowon, shame. History has it documented on granite that Gowon reneged on Aburi Agreements because he has been assured by a certain colonial power that Ojukwu’s people should be crushed militarily, so that same colonial power would have unrestricted access to mindlessly exploit the oil in Biafra land.”


“Shell and BP acting through Harold Wilson the then British Prime Minister did want Aburi Accord implemented. It was the Labour Party government of Britain that cleverly convinced the Arewa North to put pressure on Gowon to feign illness, thereby making it difficult for him to tell the country what was agreed in Aburi.”


“Today, Gowon whom we are led to believe is a prayerful Christian have said he wasn’t able to speak when he returned from Aburi because he was ill. Question is: Was his information minister also ill? Were all Government spokesmen in Lagos also down with illness at the same time, which made it difficult for Lagos to make a pronouncement on Aburi Agreement several weeks after the meeting?”



“Gowon’s unintelligent decision to go to his grave while holding on to self-evident falsehood is shocking. Gowon’s choice, of insisting on deception, even at the age 83 while heading a prayer club is unfortunate and sad.”


 “Gowon slaughtered over 3 million Biafrans to unite Nigeria because of crude oil and gas not out of patriotism. Had his motive been altruistic, he would have been honourable enough to publicly announce, upon his return to Lagos, what he agreed with Ojukwu in Aburi Ghana. The question we must ask is, five decades later, is Nigeria united? Gowon dismantled regional structure and created states, are the states viable?”


“Gowon’s pathetic attempt to rewrite history would have worked had IPOB not been in existence. This day and age, any attempt to rewrite the history of Biafra-Nigeria war will be intellectually resisted and objectively dismantled. Fake history is at the core of why Nigeria will never be united.”


“Gowon must come clean, apologise and make atonement. He is not only a man of blood; he is also the father of lies. His ignoble place in history is secure and unchallenged. He should check the list of the most brutal mass murderers of all time in history, he will discover that he is among the top 5.”


“We are IPOB, we won’t allow distortion of historical facts, neither will we allow the denigration of the revered memory of our all-time hero Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu. He remains till date, the only man that tried to bring genuine independence, not mere flag independence, to an African nation.”

 

 

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The Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa has presented a budget estimate of N298.078 billion for the 2018 fiscal year.

The budget which is comprising N147.5bn or 49.48 percent for recurrent expenditure, and N150.5 or 50.52 percent for capital expenditure to the state House of Assembly, assuring of his administration’s commitment to building a state anchored on inclusive economic growth and sustainable development.

Giving account of how the 2017 budget was executed, from January to September, Governor Okowa says the expenditure profile shows that the total sum of N127.0 billion was spent; out of which, the sum of N104.2 billion was incurred on recurrent items, as against a proportionate approved budget of N118.5 billion, representing a budget performance of 87.97 percent.

The 2018 budget proposal shows an increase of N3.62 billion or 1.21 percent, compared to the 2017 approved budget of N294.4billion with expectations that the sum of N71.3 billion would be generated internally (IGR), statutory allocation including mineral revenue derivable at N178.1 billion, value-added tax at N10.7 billion, other capital receipts at N37.8 billion totaling N298.0878 billion to finance the projected budget for 2018 fiscal year.

From the budget proposal, road infrastructure will gulp the greater chunk of the money as in line with growth aspirations of the state.

“The proposed 2018 budget is formulated within the context of the successes – and challenges – of the past two years. It seeks to essentially consolidate the gains of the past as we strive to build an economy that works for everyone.

“As I did say in my inaugural address, people have very high expectations from this government that has sometimes exerted serious pressure on political office holders and other top government functionaries”

“We are determined to make good our commitments to the people of Delta State, they should never be in doubt.

“However, we can only do that within the limits of available resources. Therefore, not being swayed by sentiments or emotion, the proposed 2018 budget is derived from the fiscal strategy paper projections for years 2018 to 2020 and in compliance with International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS).

“It is a budget of hope and consolidation. I am confident that in the unlikely event of any internal or external shocks, we will be fine as long as we continue our tradition of fiscal discipline, prudence and accountability.

 

 

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A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered President Goodluck Jonathan to appear before it to testify as a witness in defence of a former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olisa Metuh. Here is the request earlier made by Mentuh

Justice Okon Abang has therefore issued a subpoena compelling Jonathan to appear before the court tomorrow, October 25. 

Jonathan is to appear as a defence witness in the suit filed by the Federal Government against Metuh.

Metuh is facing trial for allegedly receiving N400 million out of the $2.1 billion dollars arms fund from the former National Security Adviser to Doctor Jonathan, Colonel Sambo Dasuki.

Metuh’s lawyer, Onyechi Ikpeazu had earlier told the court that he would subpoena the former President as his defence witness during a session at the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday.

Ikpeazu said further that a letter has already been written to the former President Jonathan but he was yet to respond.

 

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Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha, has spoken again on the 2019 election and President Muhammadu Buhari’s rumored ambition. He disclosed that he would support the president if he declared ambition to re-contest.

“I have so many windows open in 2019 as I wait for Mr. President to make his declaration, I want to be politically relevant and I have made the decision never to watch my country sink”, Okorocha told Sun. If President Buhari declares to run for the office again in 2019, I will support him, because the man has a character to develop Nigeria. He has a thick skin that we need. We have a faulty foundation and I see President Buhari as that man who can build the foundation that we need. But I don’t see him as someone who will build this nation with a fantastic finishing with nice furniture. He’s just going to build a solid foundation upon which success and prosperity for the land shall be accomplished. And that’s where people like me would come in.”

On agitation for Biafra by Igbo youths, Okorocha said it was unfortunate that they allowed themselves to be used by Nnamdi Kanu, whom he described as a ‘mad man’.

“These young men seeking relevance as a livelihood and to tell you how daft some people can be, any mad man can just rise one day and lead a senseless agitation and he’d get followers. Even the way IPOB was handled by the government wasn’t right. I kept telling the government that this young man, Kanu Nnamdi, is inconsequential in the matter- treat him like whom he really is. But now he’d been given some national attention branding the whole Igbo as IPOB members and it’s the reason for the quit notice some gave our people in the North. The matter is laughable. You cannot imagine me, Rochas being asked by IPOB to go to war and I follow. That’s the greatest insult to people of the east. Even if you come today and start a church you name ‘Kill Every Human Being Church’, some people will still join you. There are always people for everything you do. I would have handled it differently.”

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Olisa Metuh, Ex-PDP Spokesman, requests to call former president Goodluck Jonathan as a witness.

A former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh has requested that former President Goodluck Jonathan be invited as one of his defense witnesses. The former party spokesperson is standing trial for receiving over N400 million from the embattled former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki. 

At the resumed hearing of the case at the Federal High Court in Abuja today, Metuh’s lawyer, Onyechi Ikpeazu, requested Jonathan's appearance as a witness.  

He told the court that, “We have another witness on a subpoena, and at the end of the evidence of this another witness, we will take a decision on whether or not the first defendant (Metuh) will testify. The other witness we want to subpoena is Goodluck Jonathan, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

Ikpeazu told the court that the former President had been sent a letter but has not yet responded. 

“We wrote him a letter but he did not respond and our plan will be to apply for the subpoena after the first application (for a subpoena to be issued on Dasuki).”

Recall that the EFCC had in January 2016, arraigned Metuh and his company, Destra Investments Limited, on counts of money laundering involving in an alleged cash transaction of $2million and fraudulent receipt of N400million meant for procurement of arms from the NSA office on November 22nd 2014.

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Recall that former president Goodluck Jonathan last week accused the Buhari-led government of engaging in lies and hi-tech propaganda. In his words, he said: 

Those who are giving us some kind of names, what have they done? They spread propaganda and lies to professional level. Sometimes, people come to write off the 16 years of PDP, but PDP did well from May 1999 to May 2015. The PDP administration for 16 years did well, but this administration has done nothing; the administration is full lies and propaganda. “In the power sector, we did well to revive it. A state governor (then) said any serious government should be able to fix the power within six months.

President Buhari replied to these statements, stating that his government’s achievements are real and have no lies or propaganda.

President Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, made the assertion at the opening of the two-day Nigeria Governors' Forum Conference for Media Handlers of States' Chief Executives in Abuja today October 23rd.

''For our Administration, our achievements are there for all to see. We are delivering in the broad areas that formed the plank of our policies: Security, fight against corruption and the economy, which includes the massive provision of infrastructure, ease of doing business and agriculture, just to mention a few,'' he said.

Providing facts and figures, the President listed the Administration's achievements in ending subsidy and yet ensuring the availability of petroleum products; in raising power generation, transmission and distribution, in the massive provision of infrastructure; in tackling insecurity and making a success of the agriculture revolution, among others.

''Those who accused this Administration of 'propaganda and lies' in the fuel supply sector, for example, did not tell Nigerians that whereas they paid between 800 billion and 1.3 trillion Naira as 'subsidy' yearly in their time, without making the products available even at regulated prices, this Administration is not paying any subsidy, yet all products are currently available at competitive prices and fuel queues are now history. In their time, they paid the subsidy of 3.7 billion Naira daily in 2011, 2.2 billion Naira daily in 2012 and 2013 and 2.5 billion Naira daily in 2014, all for products that were never available.

''Those who accused this government of 'propaganda and lies' also said we have not achieved anything in the power sector. Comment is free; facts are sacred, as they say. When this Administration assumed office on 29 May 2015, available power on the grid totalled 2,690MW, transmission capacity was around 5,000MW and distribution capacity was 4,000MW.

''As at 4 September 2017, the available power that can be put on the grid was 6,619MW; the transmission capacity was simulated at 6,700 MW (up from 5,000 MW in 2015) but the distribution capacity was 4,600 MW, which was what was put on the grid. On September 12, 2017, production of power reached an all-time level of 7,001MW,'' he said

President Buhari said it is an irony that those who presided over a budget of 18 billion Naira for roads, 5 billion Naira for power and 1.8 billion Naira for Housing in 2015 are now accusing those who spent 198.25 billion Naira on roads, 91.2 billion Naira on power and 71.559 billion Naira on housing in the following year of non-achievement?

''Because of the increased spending in these areas, the massive debts owed to contractors are being settled so they can recall workers who were laid off and re-open closed work sites. As a matter of fact, during the implementation of the 2016 budget, we paid 103 construction companies executing 192 projects, and they, in turn, employed 17,749 people directly and 52,000 people indirectly in works.

''So far this year, 47.169 billion Naira has been paid to 62
contractors working on 149 projects to continue work on roads and bridges and keep people at work. Similar payments are being made to supervising consultants and to contractors in Housing and Power Sectors of the Ministry,'' he said.

The President also said highlighted the achievements that have been recorded by his Administration in the area of the Economy, wondering whether it is 'propaganda and lies' that headline Inflation has now fallen for the eighth consecutive month; that foreign exchange reserves are up to $32 billion, from $24 billion a year ago: that oil production is at nearly 2 million barrels per day and that Home-grown School Feeding Programme now being implemented in 17 States is benefiting more than 3 million public primary school children and more than 30,000 cooks across 20,000 schools.

He said close to 200,000 youths are now benefiting from the N-Power Programme, which recruits unemployed graduates to work as teachers, agricultural extension workers, and health extension workers; that the Government Enterprise & Empowerment Programme (GEEP), which provides micro-credit to farmers, traders, and artisans, now has in excess of 1 million beneficiaries, with women accounting for 56% of that number, and that at about $1.8 billion, the capital inflows in the second quarter of 2017 were almost double the $908 million in the first quarter.

If our achievements are based on 'propaganda and lies', as they claim, why is our agricultural revolution achieving so much success: We have commissioned the 120,000 MT per annum WACOT Rice Mill in Argungu, Kebbi State. We have commissioned the 60,000 MT per annum Edo State Fertilizer Company Limited. What about the commissioning of OLAM's 750,000 MT per annum Integrated Poultry Facility in Kaduna State? Do you know that 15 moribund Fertilizer Blending Plants have now been revived and in operation across Nigeria, under the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative, creating 50,000 direct jobs and 70,000 indirect jobs?'' the President asked.

He said when the Administration assumed office in 2015, Boko Haram was active in at least 10 states, could stroll into Abuja at a time and target of their own choosing to cause maximum havoc, in addition to holding territories and collecting taxes.

''Today, Boko Haram has been so degraded that it lacks the capacity to carry out any organized attack, while also increasingly losing the capacity to even attack soft targets. Importantly, Boko Haram no longer holds any territory. The same vigour is being used to address the herdsmen-farmers' clash, kidnapping for ransom and other crimes,'' the President said.

He said the biggest challenge facing government information managers is how to project the achievements of their principals against the background of worsening cases of disinformation and fake news, adding that the best way to tackle the problem is to remain focused, refuse to be distracted or intimidated and also to use facts and figures to counter the purveyors of disinformation and fake news.

 

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Fellow Nigerians, I often wonder why an average Nigerian politician is so squeamish. They love and crave power but eventually prove too timid to do the needful. The comfort power provides seems to be what matters most to them, but, certainly not the pain it may attract. God bless all those who fought for the democracy we seem to be bastardising today. It is difficult to pick out the Obafemi Awolowos, the Sir Adesoji Aderemis, the Nnamdi Azikiwes, the Anthony Enahoros, the Funmilayo Ransome-Kutis, the Wole Soyinkas, the Aminu Kanos, Abubakar Rimis,  the Alfred Rewanes, the Waziri Ibrahims, the Fela Anikulapo-Kutis, Gani Fawehinmis, the Moshood Abiolas, the Kudirat Abiolas, the Abraham Adesanyas, the Alani Akinrinades, the Bola Tinubus,  the Bolaji Akinyemis, and such others in the crowd today. These were men and women who were not afraid of tyrants and tyranny.

The reason for the poser on this page this week is simple and straight-forward. I never imagined that a day would come, at this time and age, when supposed democrats would voluntarily throw away their freedom, like many of our leaders seem to be doing at the moment. Less than two years to the next Presidential elections, only three aspirants have demonstrated the guts to come out in the open to express their ambition publicly, former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Ekiti State Governor, Dr Peter Ayodele Fayose and former Jigawa State Governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido. The fourth person who has expressed his intention privately to me is my friend and brother, Mr Alistair Soyode, the Chairman of BEN Television, United Kingdom.

I really don’t care if they win or not but I salute their audacity to challenge the status quo. You can never, and will never, win if you don’t try first. There would have been no President Barack Obama or President Donald Trump if they failed to throw their hats in the ring. I know so many over-qualified Nigerians who want to contest but are being bogged down by trepidation or abject fear. They only express their dreams in hushed tones. I call them jelly, lily-livered beings. I feel sad anytime I read in the newspapers about full-grown men abdicating their God-given inalienable power to demi-gods with feet of clay.

Let me say categorically that Nigeria will never change unless we change our style of doing things. How can we do the same things repeatedly and expect the same failures to evaporate and vamoose? I’m now convinced that we need our whizz-kids to step out and leap forward to grab power as soon as possible. No one would say we have not been patient enough. Our serial experiments have not yielded the desired results. We had our fair share of coups. We fought a most atrocious civil war.

However, despite all this and when given the opportunity, we choose to largely vote for the dregs of society above visibly talented candidates. We have recycled leaders. Former Head of State, General Olusegun Obasanjo departed in 1979 but resurrected in 1999. Now Major General Muhammadu Buhari who was sacked in 1985 catapulted himself back to power in 2015. Even President Ibrahim Babangida who stepped aside in 1993 attempted to sneak back in 2003 but President Obasanjo bullied him into submission and he perished the thought without as much as a whimper.

Recall, that the man who took over from President Obasanjo in 2007, Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, who was already the Governor of Katsina State, was the brother of Major General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, and his emergence was to ostensibly compensate their family for the death of Shehu in prison, under the Abacha regime. In short, it has been a relay race by military Generals and their acolytes and cronies.

I’m happy that Buhari has fulfilled his own dream. I voluntarily supported him and owe him my love and prayers till 2019 when that contract would expire. I pray that God will grant him the wisdom to understand and appreciate the treacherous nature of politics and politicians. I see how Governors are falling over themselves to visit him and pay homage to HE who must be obeyed and worshipped. I wish to admonish Baba not to believe this monumental scam of the highest order.

If and when tomorrow comes, Baba will be stunned at how these same latter day disciples will turn against him 360 degrees. I can place a bet on that. Everyone is afraid today because of the palpable fear of EFCC. No more. No politician wants to be roughened up for any reason. Their strategy is to pretend like rattlesnakes and pounce on the prey without warning. I foresee Buhari as one such quintessential prey. These guys are not going to extend this regime of fear by another four years. Buhari would have to go on a blistering offensive to come back to power in 2019. I’m sure, he’s going to be cajoled into believing that he’s the Messiah Nigerians have waited for all this while, until they pull the rug from under his feet.

I remember one of Chief Moshood Abiola’s favourite wisecracks “aponle ni ‘foreman’, enikan o le se ise eeyan merin” (the appellation of Foreman is a mere exaggeration, no man can do the job of four men). There is a limit to what Buhari can achieve in less than two years to come because time flies at supersonic speed. By this time next year, he must be on the campaign trail if indeed he wants to return to power in 2019 and his Party has nominated him as candidate. 

Since politics is a game of numbers, he would have to travel round Nigeria and plead for votes. You can force people to support your tenure in power but you can’t intimidate people to vote for you because you will never see the minds of voters. According to a popular political song in the First Republic, “boo roju mi, o rinu mi, demo ni mo wa…” (You may be able to see my face but you can’t read my mind, I’m a member of Demo (National Democratic Party) …]. Such is life.

The truth I want to tell today, as a major supporter of Buhari in 2015, is that his goodwill has weakened and waned drastically and dramatically. Minus the favoured members of the inner caucus of this government, things are no longer at ease within the ruling party. Is there anything Baba can do to redeem himself, his party and floundering government? Of course yes, I believe in miracles.

He must listen to the cries of the people. He should concentrate on building institutions instead of pursuing handpicked individuals. He should unleash the talents that abound in every part of Nigeria instead of seeking to please any section. It is always better to be a national hero than a local champion. Nigeria is too divided at the moment and this is not good for national development. I still have faith in Baba’s ability to do the best for this country. It is clear to me that this is the legacy that he wants to leave behind albeit that this has not yet been achieved. 

The government must be restructured before Nigeria itself can be restructured. The recent mess in NNPC was as a result of excessive and unnecessary officialdom and bureaucracy. The President need not be the Minister of Petroleum. The functions of the Minister of State in relation to the Board of NNPC should be clearly delineated if at all there is any role for him. Such ridiculous overlaps we recently saw should never have happened. We should stop over-concentrating power in one man. It has been said that “absolute power corrupts absolutely…” 

Ministers must be allowed to do their constitutional duty, in accordance with the provisions of section 148 of the 1999 Constitution, of meeting regularly with the President and the Vice President to (i) determine the general direction of domestic and foreign policies of the Government (ii) co-ordinate their respective activities in the discharge of their executive responsibilities and (iii) advise the President generally in discharge of his executive functions other than those functions where he must be advised by other persons. The revelations coming from the NNPC debacle where we now know that it is possible for a Minister of State of a crucial ministry such as the Petroleum Resources not to see the President for months on end should never be allowed to happen. Regular meetings with Ministers and the Vice President as envisaged by section 148 is not, cannot and should not be limited to the weekly Federal Executive Council meetings. 

The regular meetings should also include meetings with groups of Ministers and even individual Ministers. That is surely the intendment of the Constitution. As it is with the Federal Government, so it should be with the State Governments, as similar provision for the States exists in section 193 of the 1999 Constitution. The corollary of this is that both at Federal and State level Ministers and Commissioners must be appointed as early as possible into the administration. The situation where President Buhari did not nominate and appoint Ministers until more than 4 months into his administration and Governor Rauf Aregbesola did even worse by waiting almost 3 years to select his cabinet must never happen again. 

The Civil and Public Service must become transparent and accountable again. Civil and public servants are there to serve us as their nomenclature indicates. They are not meant to be overlords creating fiefdoms where the general populace become their serfs or even worshippers in some cases. A truly restructured viable and vibrant civil and public service is the lynchpin for a proper democratic, fair and just society. 

It is insensitive and inappropriate for Government to expect the best of these workers if they are not properly remunerated not to mention, the present scenario, where even the ridiculous wages that they are paid are paid many months in areas. It is the same insensitivity that extends to the illogical policy of no work, no pay! Imagine the chaos and calamity if the workers through the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) also decided that there would be ‘No pay, no work’! A properly structured government would be faced with no such conundrum and the nation can only be better for it.

Courageous Nigerians must step forward and herald the much needed change in governance. They do not have to wait on President Buhari’s decision as to whether he will seek a second term or not before showing their hand. They would be doing the nation a wealth of good if only what they achieve is to provide stiff opposition to the President and an opportunity for the people to truly use their votes. Otherwise, the Nigerian public would simply have been short-changed and disenfranchised as usual by the political class because again they would be limited in their choice of candidates

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Political parties contesting the November 18 governorship election in Anambra State were denied N180 million yesterday by the Independent National Commission, INEC, yesterday because of the allegation which was being described as the figment of imagination of those making it.

Professor Okechukwu Ibeanu, the Supervisory National Commisioner in charge of Anambra State, said there was no money for the commission to give to political parties adding that the National Assembly did not even appropriate such money.

Chairman of one of the political parties in the state had made the allegation, wondering why INEC did not extend the largesse to all the political parties. Ibeanu, who spoke during a stakeholders’ meeting involving political parties, security agencies and the commission, warned politicians against peddling dangerous rumours.

Meanwhile, the commission has stated that 2,154,738 voters had been registered for the November 18 governorship election.

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