The spokesperson of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Prof Ango Abdullahi has described as corrupt act the recent endorsement of President Muhammadu Buhari for a second term by the All Progressives Congress governors.
He also described as corrupt, the adoption of delegate system by political parties in primary elections.
According to the former special adviser to ex-president, the system allows the aspirants to buy votes of the delegates.
Abdullahi, who fielded questions from newsmen at the weekend, said, “On the issue of endorsement of President Buhari by APC governors, I see this as corruption, and it’s sad that we are fighting against corruption and we render ourselves to it.
“In fact, this the first place to fight against corruption. With this endorsement, people are afraid of contesting elections in their states.
“Some governors are promoting this. A governor pays some people money to endorse him as governor and Buhari as president.
“It’ll be unfortunate if, in 2019, elections end up with this ugly system that will throw in corrupt leaders in government.
“We have complained about the corrupt practice of stealing billions of naira by some ex-governors, ministers and DGs from government, and we are trying to repeat same,” he argued.
Meanwhile, An international business mogul and key-note speaker at the recent gathering of the South-East, South-South and Middle Belt, tagged “Handshake across the Niger”, Alban Ofili-Okonkwo, has told President Muhammadu Buhari to present his son as a presidential aspirant in 2019 and resign.
Okonkwo, the chairman of Autobahn, noted that Buhari was in his 30s when he started leading Nigeria, and was still controlling the affairs of the country, adding that it was time to say no to the development.
While fielding questions from newsmen, the business mogul said it was time for Buhari to present his son to Nigerians and go home.
He said, “I am not concerned. The people, who know me and my antecedents, know that for me to have been invited, it showed that the event was not ethnic in any way.
“My first grandson is Yoruba, my first granddaughter is Yoruba. If I am an entrepreneur, what defines me is what I do, and how I do it, not my tribe or my tongue.
“I have never run a company where everybody in the company comes from my geopolitical zone, it is not possible. Competence is what we are looking for because we live in an international highway of knowledge.
“No matter anybody’s pigmentation, height, size or where he comes from, if a company is looking for someone to be employed, a competent person will be the one to be employed no matter where the person comes from.
“That is tomorrow’s world, and the world that Nigeria needs to join. Unfortunately, our leaders till now are giving us what they can.
“I think it is time for this generation to say no to that. President Muhammadu Buhari was in his 30s when he started handling the affairs of Nigeria, and in his late 70s, he is still handling the affairs of Nigeria.
“For God’s sake, he should give us his son and go home. Whether his son is Fulani does not matter, what matters is competence.
“If he has trained a son to the extent that he understands, and can connect with my children and convince them to come to Nigeria to build a new nation, he should give him to us.
“We need a new nation where we can get more money than our oil wealth can give us through quality leadership. The new Nigeria should not be a nation where we will depend on what we dig out from the ground to survive.
“If at their own time it was good for a 36-year old boy to become a leader, why can’t it be possible now? I am in my 60s, and I am in retirement.
“The minimum I can do is to make sure that those in their 30s and 40s take their turn by saying enough is enough. That will enable people, who can create value to multiply.
“It is easy to build network in value creation. On the social media, there is high breed of interaction on account of knowledge by Nigerian professionals.
“When Buhari went abroad for treatment because he could not get better treatment in Nigeria, was it a Fulani person that treated him there?
“He came back different and happy because he was treated well as a result of knowledge and a good infrastructure. We need a President who would understand the importance of knowledge and infrastructure, who will no longer look at tribe, tongue, and faith, who will understand the landscape of Nigeria, and seek inspiration from the wonders of nature. And I think the time for that has come,” Ofili-Okonkwo added.
Minister Blames Judiciary For Prisons’ Congestion
The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has blamed the congestion in Nigeria’s correctional facilities on the country’s Judiciary, explaining that the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCOS) was not allowed by law to reject inmates sentenced to correctional centres or to release them.
Aregbesola, represented by Special Adviser on Nigerian Correctional Service, Suleiman Tala, stated this while delivering a paper at a policy advocacy conference entitled, “Decongestion of Correctional Centres: Status Quo”, organised as part of the 60th-anniversary celebration of the Order of The Knights of St Mulumba, Nigeria, Lagos Metropolitan Council, which was held in Lagos, adding that the primary responsibility of NCOS is to hold offenders pending the adjudication of their cases before a law court.
“It is important for the public to be aware that the NCOS and the Ministry of Interior are trying their best to tackle the issue from different angles as the length of time the inmates stay at the custodian centre is not determined by NCOS but by the justice system. I may not be able to reiterate exactly what the challenges are with the judiciary, however, as it affects the NCOS we are doing all we can not to compromise the traditional responsibility of the NCOS,” he stated.
Representing the Inspector General of Police, Baba Usman, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, accepted that the police contribute to the congestion but gave his reasons.
“Inconsistence of the appearance of police officers to give evidence at trials has been identified as one of the alleged causes of prolonging trial but the IGP has mandated officers must attend court cases as at when due. The police are being hampered by a high level of distrust between the citizens and their police institution,” he stated.
Also at the conference, Lagos State Catholic Archbishop, Alfred Adewale Martins, who was represented by Rev. Paschal Uwaezeapu, stated that decongestion of the prisons would continue to be a matter as long as the government has refused to fix the country.
“The prison would continue to be congested if we don’t fix the society. As long as our society is a place where everybody takes for himself without considering the neighbour then our prison would continue to be congested. If we need to fix the prison we need to fix the family. These prisoners come from a family. We need to fix the education system also. We need to promote justice, without all these, the prison will soon overflow,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the Lagos Metropolitan Grand Knight, KSM William Adebisi, urged the government to declare a state of emergency on the congestion of prisons.
“The government needs to take the matter seriously as it affects the health of the inmates, economy of the company and behavioural change of the inmates,” he stated.
FG Seeks $3bn With Eurobond Offer
The Federal Government has announced plans for a Eurobond issuance in the International Capital Market (ICM) to raise $3billion.
The Debt Management Office (DMO) said, yesterday, that Virtual meetings with investors have been scheduled for today, and September 20, 2021.
It said, “In order to avail local investors the opportunity to invest in the Eurobonds, meetings will also be held with local investors.
“This is the first time local investors will be included in the Roadshows, and this is one of the reasons why a Nigerian Bookrunner (Chapel Hill Denham Advisory Services Ltd) was appointed as one of the Transaction Advisers.
“Through the Eurobond issuance, Nigeria is expected to raise up to $3billion but no more than $6.2billion.”
According to the DMO, the issuance for which all statutory approvals have been received, would be to implement the New External Borrowing in the 2021 Appropriation Act and that “Proceeds are for the financing of various projects in the Act.”
The agency gave further insight, saying, “In addition to providing funding to part-finance the deficit in the 2021 Appropriation Act, the issuance of Eurobonds by Nigeria benefits the country in many other strategic ways; amongst which are: 1. It is an inflow of foreign exchange, leading to an increase in External Reserves.
“External Reserves help support the Naira Exchange Rate, and Nigeria’s sovereign rating.
“When Nigeria raises funds externally, through Eurobonds, it frees up space in the domestic market for private sector and sub-national borrowers. In effect, it helps the sovereign not to crowd out other borrowers in the domestic market.
“The issuance of Eurobonds by Nigeria has opened up opportunities for Nigeria’s corporate sector notably banks, to issue Eurobonds to raise capital in the ICM.
“By so doing, their capital base has been strengthened to provide banking services whilst also meeting regulatory requirements. Nigeria has a sovereign yield curve in the ICM, extending up to 30 years.
“The local listing of Nigeria’s Eurobonds on the Nigerian Exchange Ltd. and the FMDQ Securities Exchange Ltd., have increased the range of products on these two (2) exchanges and their respective market capitalization.
“Overall, Eurobond issuances by Nigeria and the investor meetings that precede the pricing have provided a strong global platform for Nigeria to tell its own story and opportunities available in Nigeria for investors.”
The Transaction Advisers appointed by Nigeria for the issuance were: International Bookrunners – JP Morgan, Citigroup Global Markets Limited; Joint Lead Managers -Standard Chartered Bank and Goldman Sachs; Nigerian Bookrunner – Chapel Hill Denham Advisory Services Ltd; Financial Adviser – FSDH Merchant Bank Ltd; while White & Case LLP, was appointed International Legal Adviser; and Banwo&Ighodalo would serve as Nigerian Legal Adviser.
The last time Nigeria accessed the ICM was November 2018.
Insecurity: Put Nigeria First, FG Tells Media
The Federal Government has tasked the media to put Nigeria first in the reportage of the country’s activities, particularly the fight against insecurity.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the call in Abuja during the ceremony of the renaming of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Headquarters Building after the former Managing Director and Board Chairman of NAN, late Wada Maida.
Mohammed said it may seem obvious and trite, but for any professional, including a journalist in Nigeria to be able to carry out his or her responsibility at all, the nation must first exist, in peace.
“In other words, if the country goes down, all professionals and everybody go down. It is that stark, and this is why I want to use this platform to appeal to our media to put Nigeria first”, Mohammed said.
Speaking further, the minister said if one picked up most newspapers, watched most television stations or listened to most radio stations in the country, one will be right to think Nigeria is a country at war.
While acknowledging that there were challenges in the country, especially in the area of security, Mohammed, however, said the Buhari administration had not only acknowledged the challenges, it is earnestly tackling the challenges.
“A good example is the decisive manner in which our gallant troops are tackling the banditry in the North-West or the way they are combating the terrorists in the North-East. Our security agencies have also successfully tackled the separatists in the South-East and South-West and the militants in the South-South. Unfortunately, these efforts have only been perfunctorily reflected in the reportage of the security challenges that we face. This is not only unfair, especially to those who are sacrificing their lives to keep us safe, it is unpatriotic.
“To illustrate the damage this non-acknowledgement of the efforts of the security agencies pose to the country, let me tell you what transpired when I recently hosted some members of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO) UK Chapter, who visited me in my office here in Abuja. They said some of their colleagues who would have come to Nigeria for their programme tagged,‘A Week in and For Nigeria’ during the month of July, did not come out of fear of the security situation in Nigeria. However, those who made the trip said they travelled to their hometowns across the country and returned to Abuja safely. If Nigerians in the diaspora can be afraid to come to their country, imagine how foreigners, including investors and tourists, will feel about coming to the country.
“Whatever image problem Nigeria is suffering from today is mostly due to the unflattering portrayal of the country by the country’s media.
“Even when some media organisations report fake news, they never have the decency to retract such stories and apologise. They simply move on as if nothing has happened.
“We are not saying the media should not report on the security challenges we face. All we are saying is: Be fair and report accurately the efforts being made by the state and federal governments to tackle the challenges. Even if you don’t want to encourage the men and women in uniform fighting to keep us safe, please don’t discourage them with negative reporting. The security challenges we face today will be successfully tackled and Nigeria will not cease to exist, despite the antics of naysayers”, Mohammed added.
Mohammed congratulated the family, friends and associates of the late Maida for the great and much-deserved honour done to him.
He commended the management and staff of the NAN for coming up with the idea to immortalise the late Maida.
“The Federal Government’s decision to approve the proposal was not difficult, upon realising the role played by Alhaji Wada in making NAN the respectable agency that it is today. A man who was everything from Zonal Editor to Foreign Correspondent to Editor-in-Chief to Managing Director to Board Chairman, a man who built this glistening NAN headquarters edifice deserves to be immortalised by the organisation he served so well in his lifetime”, Mohammed stated.
Mohammed prayed that God will continue to comfort and strengthen the family of Maida, even as he prayed that the soul of the departed continues to rest in peace.
- News4 days ago
Shell Trains 40 Imo Youths For ANOS Gas Project
- Business4 days ago
Estate Surveyors Reject Housing Deficit Report
- Business4 days ago
FG To Shut Ikorodu Terminal Over Explosive Overtime Cargoes
- Sports5 days ago
Remo Stars To Appoint Ogunbote Head Coach
- Sports5 days ago
CAF CL: Why Akwa United Struggled Against CR Belouizdad
- Sports5 days ago
NFF, Premier Lotto To Seal Partnership Deal
- Sports5 days ago
Akwa United Can Stun CR Belouizdad In Algeria – Ikpeba
- Business4 days ago
CBN Not Supporting Solid Minerals Dev – Minister