Connect with us

News

Aisha, Aides Bicker Over Access To Buhari

Published

on

Wife of the President, Mrs Aisha Buhari is not happy with presidential aides working with President Muhammadu Buhari in London.
Our correspondent  reports that family members, friends and senior government officials who attempted to call or pay visits to President Muhammadu Buhari in the United Kingdom are having a difficult time getting access.
The paper said four aides of the President control access to President Buhari, who is on extended medical vacation in the United Kingdom.
The aides are the President’s nephew, Mamman Daura; the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Domestic Affairs, Sarki Aba; Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari; and Personal Assistant to the President; Tunde Sabiu.
Anyone who wants to telephone or see the President in London, it was learnt, must get the approval of one or more of the four aides. The only two individuals who are exempted from seeking permission to visit Buhari or call him are Acting President Yemi Osinbajo and First Lady, Aisha Buhari.
Aisha Buhari is said not to be happy with the way the aides have been managing access to her husband. The first lady’s relationship with the president’s aides has not always been cordial. In October last year, Aisha granted a highly controversial interview to the British Broadcasting Corporation, in which she alleged that a cabal had hijacked her husband’s government.
According to a source in government, who spoke on condition of anonymity, Buhari’s wife had voiced her displeasure to close friends and associates that the cabal she complained about were still the ones in charge of her husband in London.
“The First Lady is not with him permanently in London, which should normally not be the case. She has had a few clashes with the cabal and she is not happy that they are also firmly in control in London. That’s why she goes and comes. She is not happy with the atmosphere over there.”
Our correspondent gathered that these individuals have turned down numerous requests from the President’s friends, associates and members of his cabinet to see him.
Since Buhari extended his medical vacation on February 19, those who have visited him in his Abuja House residence in London include the Senate President, Bukola Saraki; Senate Leader, Ahmad Lawan; Speaker, House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, Deputy Speaker, Yusuf Lasun; Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu; Chief Bisi Akande; Ogun State Governor,  Ibikunle Amosun.
It was gathered that the visits were initiated by the guests who made requests which had to be reviewed by the President’s aides. Daura was present during the Tinubu and Akande’s visit. Daura, who holds no political office in the present dispensation, has repeatedly been touted as the most powerful person in the present government, prompting Buhari to publicly declare late October 2016 that, “I’m in charge, not Mamman Daura.”
Daura travels with the President and is often seen with him. Daura is believed to belong to the legendary ‘Kaduna Mafia’, an influential group of young Northern Nigerian intellectuals, civil servants, business tycoons and military officers residing or conducting business in the former Northern capital city of Kaduna.
The group reportedly influenced government policies during the military era and previous civilian administrations. Other famous members of the group were Adamu Ciroma, Ibrahim Tahir, Mahmud Tukur, and former Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Adamu Ciroma; former Minister of Internal Affairs, Ibrahim Tahir; former Minister of Commerce and Industry during the Buhari-Idiagbon regime, Dr. Mahmud Tukur; former Sultan of Sokoto, Ibrahim Dasuki; former Head of the Technical Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation, Hamza Zayyad; a former minister, Umaru Mutallab; former presidential aspirant and number-two man, General Shehu Yar’Adua; a former Vice Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University, Professor Ango Abdullahi; Professor Jibril Aminu and others.
Kyari is known to be one of the President’s closest aides. He plans Buhari’s schedules while ministers are said to queue in his office to see the President. Kyari’s influence became clear to many during a retreat organised by the Presidency for the then ministers-designate.
While declaring the retreat open on November 5, 2015, Buhari said, “in addition, all communications and appointments from you (ministers) to the Presidency should be routed through the Office of the Chief of Staff as it is the normal (procedure) in this presidential system.”
While much is not known about Sabiu, who was appointed shortly after Buhari’s election, he is reportedly related to Daura. Sources in government told our correspondent that the President ‘feels relaxed’ around him and has a lot of trust in him. The same was said of Aba, who was described as ‘quiet but one of the few people that can make anyone see the President.”
Presented with the names of the aides controlling access to the president, a source in the Presidency confirmed the list. The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the subject, said, “The names you have are accurate and they are the ones controlling access to the President in London, even in Nigeria. Some Ministers, Aides and Service Chiefs tried to talk to the President on the phone, but they turned them down.
“The few people that have seen the President only saw him because they agreed to it. If they didn’t, it would never have happened, apart from Governor Amosun, who everyone knows is one of Buhari’s best friends.”
The source refused to give the names of those whose requests to see Buhari were turned down.

Continue Reading

News

Shell Donates Subsea Training Facilities To UNIPORT

Published

on

The Nigeria deep-water arm of global energy giant, Shell, has donated multimillion naira laboratory equipment and software packages to the Offshore Technology Institute of the University of Port Harcourt as part of the company’s Nigerian content human capital development programme delivered in collaboration with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Speaking at a ceremony to hand over the facilities to the university, last Thursday, Managing Director, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited (SNEPCo), Mrs. Elohor Aiboni, said, “The donations are aimed at strengthening advanced practical teaching and research in subsea engineering to give the students the required skills and competences for entry level jobs in the oil and gas industry”.
The facilities, valued at over $700,000, are in alignment with the Human Capacity Development Guideline of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).
Aiboni, represented by SNEPCo’s Social Investment Manager, Dr. Gloria Udoh, expressed optimism that with the level of investment by NNPC and SNEPCo in deep-water training via the establishment centres of excellence and donation of cutting-edge information and communication technology centres, among others, Nigerian oil and gas industry would surpass its local content aspiration earlier than projected.
“This investment anchored on the maintenance of subsea infrastructure on Nigeria’s pioneer deep offshore field, Bonga, is expected to develop and upskill the cognitive and technical abilities of students who pass through the Offshore Technology Institute for the ultimate benefit of our industry and of our country,” Aiboni added.
With the new laboratory and software packages, according to Aiboni, the Offshore Technology Institute is positioned to deliver effective training in engineering design; construction and installation of offshore and subsea structures; computer simulations; civil and construction tests; 3D printing/engravement capability; Measurement/Metering Technology and Robotics; Alternative Energy Technologies; and Data Acquisition Learning System.
In his remarks, Vice Chancellor, University of Port Harcourt, Prof. Onwunari Georgewill, commended NNPC and SNEPCo with its co-venture partners for their goodwill to the university and particularly to OTI, and canvassed more areas of collaboration between the university and its industry partners.
Georgewell said, “This project’s completion is timely because it latches on to the university’s leadership philosophy, which focuses on advancing education through an integrated learning environment to produce industry-ready university graduates and workforce.
“The current administration of the university places a lot of emphasis on university and industry collaboration and partnership. This donation will therefore enhance the achievement of the postgraduate degree-awarding Offshore Technological Institute in the practical context.”
Also speaking, Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Mr. Simbi Wabote, described the human capital initiatives of SNEPCo as commendable.
Wabote added, “I commend your remarkable and consistent collaboration and partnership with the NCDMB towards the development of in-country capacities and capabilities.”
Represented by NCDMB General Manager, Corporate Service and Logistics, Mr Halilu Abdulmalik, Wabote said, “Your Nigerian content initiatives are consistent with the objectives and aspirations of NCDMB’s 10-year strategic roadmap, and we hope that necessary adjustments will be made to the curriculum to ensure optimal utilization by students in the university community.”

Continue Reading

News

Obasanjo, Osinbajo, Wike, Others Bag CAN Awards

Published

on

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Senator Rochas Okorocha, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, Emeritus Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, and Mummy Esther Ajayi, were among prominent Nigerians who received awards at the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Sapphire awards in Abuja, last weekend.
Others, including Pastor Enoch Adeboye, Cardinal Olubunmi Okogie, and Chief Arthur Eze, also received awards at the event; while the kidnapped Dapchi school, Leah Sharibu, won in the Young Christian Achiever award category.
Former Head of State, Yakubu Gowon, and Goodluck Jonathan, Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustafa, and some Christian governors, serving and past National Assembly members bagged awards.
The awards were part of activities for CAN’s 45th Anniversary Sapphire Celebration Dinner and Award Night.
Earlier in his welcome address, CAN National President, Rev. Samson Ayokunle, had said that the gathering was to celebrate 45 years of the church in Nigeria.
He said that Governance Category awards were for Christians in politics who had shown excellent and remarkable services.
“These include past presidents, serving governors and senators in our assessment that deserve such award.
“An award ceremony is applause of vision, personal discipline and determination; it is an event like this that makes people feel that their works are valued.
“The award is a catalyst that is expected to reinforce the awardees to serve humanity more and more,’’ he said.
The CAN president said it was heart breaking that majority of those in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps were Christians who were displaced by religious fanatics, bandits and gunmen in their territories.
He solicited the awardees’ financial support in fulfilling some of CAN’s obligations to fellow Christians and bringing to fruition the association’s projects.
Obasanjo, who was represented by the Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha, was the special guest of honour at the awards.
Obasanjo said that the award was significant in that it would encourage other citizens to serve humanity, adding “I will continue to do the best I can to uphold the principles of justice, love, equity, mutual respect, industry and the fear of God which epitomise the church of Christ until there’s no breath left in me.”
While showing appreciation to CAN on behalf of all the award recipients, VP Osinbajo said Nigerians needed to be more tolerant of other people’s views.
The vice president dedicated the award to those who, daily in different locations, distant and near, propagated the message of the love and reconciliation of the gospel of Jesus Christ, sometimes in difficult and life-threatening situations.
He said that the awardees were not necessarily the most deserving of Christians to be given any recognition but by the special grace of God which placed them in the high capacity they served.
He said, “As we have seen in the past few years, there’s a growing ethnic and religious chauvinism, and almost intemperate, vehement and violent dismissal of the views of people of other persuasions and faith without adequate consideration.
“At the same time, there is also the rise of cultural and identity politics. The answer to hate and intolerance and conflicts is the gospel of Jesus Christ. We must believe enough in it, to live it out as our article of faith.
“The gospel commands consideration of the views of others, treating them we would wish to be treated. Our words must be of grace, seasoned with salt.
“We must remain constant and relentless advocates of freedom of worship, respect for human rights, fairness, justice, rule of law because they are fundamental to peace and security. We cannot talk of peace and security without fairness and justice, and compliance with the rule of law.
“We are in the advantageous position that our contribution will be more easily noticed.
“So, this award is dedicated to the men who, daily in different locations, distant and near propagate this message of the love and reconciliation of the gospel of Jesus Christ in sometimes even difficult and life-threatening situations.
“And to many who have suffered deprivations, the families of those who have lost their lives by reason of their belief.
“And we are deeply grateful to the Almighty God for the opportunity and enablement to serve in the positions to which we have been referred.
“I bring, also, the very warm felicitations of the President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Government of Nigeria on the 45th anniversary of the birth of this foremost association of Nigerian Christians.
“CAN was formed to, among other objectives, nurture the unity of the church in Nigeria and to work with the leaders of other faith and persuasions to build bridges and forge understanding, peace and unity among the various people and faith in our nation.
“CAN has not only been continually faithful to its founding vision, it has become a veritable force for peace, for unity and for social justice.
“Pursuant to the gospel, CAN has consistently spoken up on behalf of the least of those in our society,’’ he said.
He said that the current and past leaderships of CAN had acted in full realiasation and recognition of their roles as pivotal stakeholders alongside the government and private sector in nation building.
Earlier, Senator Rochas Okorocha, who noted the dire financial condition of the umbrella Christian organisation in the country, advised clerics to tone down their criticism of those in authority.
He said, “I just want to caution some Christian pastors concerning the way we use our pulpit and the kind of fire of insults and abuses that comes from there. When you abuse those who will give you money where will you get the money.
“The Bible says to pray for those in authority. You need to draw your leaders close. When you draw us closer and tell us what your problems are, it will energise us to help. Money will flow more than you need.”
Also, Imam Abubakar Abdullahi, who sheltered no fewer than 200 Christians in Barkin Ladi, Plateau, during an attack, was presented with the Special Recognition award.
The late Obadiah Mailafia, former CBN Deputy Governor, was given a post-humous award of Spokesperson for Oppressed alongside Matthew Kukah, Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Sokoto and Human Rights Lawyer, Femi Falana.
Awards were also given to best candidates in the 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination and Senior School Certificate Examination.
Highlight of the event was the cutting of the anniversary cake.

Continue Reading

News

Bandits Free 10 More Kaduna Baptist Students, Keep 11

Published

on

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), yesterday, confirmed that 10 more students of Bethel Baptist School in Kaduna State have been released.
The Vice President of CAN (19 Northern States and Abuja) and its Chairman in Kaduna State, Rev. Joseph John Hayab, said this in a short WhatsApp message to newsmen.
He said, “Ten more students of Baptist High School were released this afternoon. We have 11 now with bandits.
“We are thanking all Nigerians for their prayers and support.
“We are trusting God that the rest will be released very soon. All have been reunited with their parents.”
Earlier, 10 students of Bethel Baptist School in Kaduna were released on Saturday, September 18, after spending 74 days captivity of terrorists, with 22 others still being held.
Hayab had said, “10 students were released this (Saturday) evening and have reunited with their parents. We are now hoping for the remaining 21 who are still with the bandits.”

Continue Reading

Trending