The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha yesterday affirmed that President Muhammadu Buhari will seek re-election in 2019.
He stated that there is no alternative to Buhari, stressing that other presidential aspirants have nothing to offer.
The SGF spoke at the Unity Fountain in Abuja, while addressing a rally organised by the Democratic Youth Congress led by its National Chairman, Kassim Mohammed.
The group had urged President Muhammadu Buhari to declare his intention to contest in the 2019 elections.
Mustapha said, “We do not have an alternative to President Muhammadu Buhari for now. I will present your entire message to him. I congratulate you for your support for President Muhammadu Buhari to run in 2019.”
The SGF, who was represented by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Political Matters, Gideon Sammani, said Buhari was widely known for his stance against corruption and indiscipline, noting that many people feared him because of his uncompromising position on graft.
Mustapha argued that it was the corrupt individuals that were against the President because they were apprehensive they may be brought to book.
He added, “We all know that Buhari is transparent, honest. He has come with the change philosophy. He has lived for this, to bring change to this nation. Since his military days, he stood to fight corruption, indiscipline.
“Many people fear him because he does not compromise corruption and corrupt people are afraid that they will be brought to book. And those who have already looted the treasury of this nation are followed by the security agencies. By the grace of God Buhari will not relent in this fight.”
”He will continue; The politics of this nation is no more the politics of money or do-or-die politics. Anybody who wants to lead this nation must make sacrifices. Buhari has already transformed and changed the image of leadership and that of our leaders this country, both locally and internationally,” the SGF noted.
The convener of the rally, in his remarks, stated that his team was ready to work for Buhari’s re-election in 2019, adding that they were working with over 15 state governors to actualise the goal.
Meanwhile, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Satumari Kudla has declared that President Muhammadu Buhari will not get any vote in the North, come 2019.
Kudla, who gave reasons for his declaration said Buhari’s government has been tested and has failed, adding that Nigerians have come to the understanding that the former ruling party is the “strongest party”.
Speaking with newsmen, the APC chieftain said, “Everything that is happening today is to the advantage of the PDP. The party respects the rule of law and gave an opportunity for freedom of expression.
“Just like someone said, ‘you are free to say what you want to say and you are also free after you have said it’. We cannot say the same of this present government. There is the freedom of speech. But it depends on what speech that is made and by whom. Freedom after your speech is no longer guaranteed in this government. PDP is the only party that is national in character and composition.
“Just like the issue you raised on statements made, they may not have understood the complicity when they were making those statements. Otherwise, someone would not say that if there is no electricity after certain period of time ‘you should stone them.’ That it is only a bad government that won’t be able to provide electricity in six months. We are running to almost 25 months and nothing is being done differently. So, the lack of appreciation may have made those people to say that, and it was out of bitterness and anger over certain things. We are only talking to Nigerians to weigh the difference.
“Most of those people may not return to the position they are occupying because the election of the president was predicated on three major things in 2015. The first is that he was not tested. He was only tested when he was military Head of State. Two, people experienced PDP and not APC. Another issue is that of tribalism. The North felt short-changed following President Umaru Yar’Adua’s death, whom they saw as an extension of former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, who was responsible for the victory. The last issue is religion. Buhari is a Muslim. So, in 2015 election, there was no sentiment that was not thrown into the election to the extent that some of the Muslims in the North were seeing him as their candidate. I am not going to blame him also. Even some Christians saw Dr Goodluck Jonathan as theirs. The issues led him to get those votes.
“2019 may be different in the sense that we have tested his (Buhari) governance, and we know how it is. Again, the PDP, which is the strongest party, has announced that their candidate would emerge from the North. It is going to be North versus North, and not South versus North. The last is that the candidate that will emerge on the platform of the PDP, from the North will also be a Muslim. All the states in the North that gave him (Buhari) high votes will not return the same thing next year.
“For instance, in Kano, where Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, comes from, the votes are likely going to be divided into two. Also, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau is also a factor in Kano. So, if they come together, there might not be two million votes coming from Kano for one party.
“I also heard that Senator Ahmed Makarfi has closed ranks with former Vice President, Namadi Sambo in State, and the reaction of southern Kaduna to the way issues of insurgency and attacks on their people was handled by Governor Nasir el-Rufai is not going down well with them, and they form a major block of votes. So, Kaduna may not give Buhari the kind of votes he got in 2015.
“In Bauchi, we hear ‘8 o’clock’, what that means is that on Election Day, the party would be voted out because they don’t like their Governor, Mohammed Abubakar, and it is rubbing off on their love for the president. Going to Sokoto, we do not know where Governor Aminu Tambuwal is at the moment. But his name is being featured as a likely candidate that may come to PDP or form the ‘third force.’ We hear story about him being tipped as a possible presidential candidate. Recall that when Buhari was in London, the members of the cabal saw him as a disloyal member of the party. He is seen as not being loyal to Buhari. Should he move, he is most likely to move to the PDP. And Attahiru Bafarawa, whether you like it or not, is a factor.”
In another development, the Action Democratic Party (ADP) has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to emulate the immediate past President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, who resigned over his recall by his country’s governing party, the African National Congress (ANC).
In a statement, yesterday, the Lagos spokesperson for ADP, Prince Adelaja Adeoye, noted that Buhari should go because Nigerians are tired of under-development under him.
ADP said, “ANC is a party of notable politicians who cannot be intimidated by their president or other elective leaders, unlike Nigeria’s governing All Progressives Congress (APC) filled with sycophants.
“Party leaders have turned themselves to “yes men” for a president they are supposed to hold accountable, make sure he delivers and ensure that he does not derail the country’s democracy,” Adeoye said.
The party recalled that it had made several calls, counselling the president to quietly step down and allow another Nigerian with the capacity to govern.
Adeoye stressed further that the widespread violence, ethnic clashes, and unabated spread of poverty due to the bad economy in the country is alarming.
ADP hailed South Africans “for speaking in one voice and not allowing politicians to divide them with religion or ethnicity because no matter where a bad leader comes from, all citizens suffer the misrule.”
It said Nigerians have a lot to learn from Zimbabwe, South Africa and other countries who changed leaders that have disappointed them.
“President Buhari should see his position as a privilege to serve; it is not his birth right. If the same people who shouted “Sai Baba” and elected him are saying enough is enough, he should heed their calls and not turn himself into a sit tight leader.”
ADP charged credible and competent Nigerians to begin to show interest in 2019 election, and warned INEC that any conduct below free and fair polls in 2019 would be resisted.
Rivers LG To Give Grants To 80 Post-Graduate Candidates
The Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, has concluded process of giving grants to 80 indigenes of the area to pursue Masters and Doctorate degree programmes in universities in the state.
The council Chairman, Barrister George Ariolu, disclosed this, yesterday, when the leadership of the Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) visited him in his office at Rumuodomaya, near Port Harcourt.
Ariolu stated that grants will be given to 50 candidates to pursue Masters degree programme and another 30 to those pursuing Doctorate degree programmes in University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State University and the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education.
He said: “Our main focus as we promised our people is the area of human capacity development. Not that we don’t have interest in infrastructures, we do.
“As it stands today, we are giving grants to our people, those who are interested in advancing their academic qualifications by taking up Ph.D and Masters degree programmes.
“For Masters degree, we have grants for 50 while Ph.D is 30 for now. But because of pressure, we will likely take it up to 50. We set up a committee made up three professors, an academic doctor, who is a senior lecturer and a lawyer. Today, they are conducting interviews for the applicants at the Rivers State University, Port Harcourt.
“Our catchment areas are University of Port Harcourt, the Rivers State University and the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education. Those are universities in Rivers State so that little money we will give will be of immense benefit to them.”
Earlier in his remarks, Chairman of the Correspondents’ Chapel of the NUJ, Amaechi Okonkwo, assured the Council Chairman of the support of journalists throughout duration of his tenure in office.
Okonkwo said: “We have had a relationship with you before now and we are happy with that relationship because we were getting quality service and advise from you.
“So, we deemed it fit and necessary to come to say congratulations to you and to assure you of our support through your stay as Chairman of Council.”
Insecurity: Address Nigeria’s Descent Into Chaos, Nigerians Tell UN Assembly
The Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance (NINAS), yesterday, urged the United Nations General Assembly to take urgent steps to address the country’s alleged descent into chaos, saying that Nigeria has failed as a state.
This was contained in a letter addressed to United Nations Security Council, the Trusteeship Council and the General Assembly by NINAS at the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly in New York.
The letter was signed by Chairman of NINAS and Ilana Omo Oodua, Prof Banji Akintoye; Prof Yusuf Turaki of Middle-Belt Movement; and Secretary-General, NINAS and Lower Niger Congress, Tony Nnadi.
The letter reads, “We, the Indigenous Peoples of Nigeria at the Headquarters of the United Nations in New York to alert the United Nations, and the rest of the global community that the union of Nigeria has failed irredeemably; and is now at the verge of a violent disintegration with catastrophic consequences for global peace, and security as our population of over 200million would become an instant global refugee nightmare.
“Amidst the extraordinary difficulties inflicted by the imposition and enforcement of Sharia by a section of Nigeria in a supposedly secular union, the immediate reason for this looming catastrophe is the cocktail of mass killing, kidnapping and general banditry being orchestrated against the indigenous peoples of Nigeria by an invading Fulani militia masquerading as herdsmen in an undisguised ethnic cleansing campaign that progressively demonstrate the complicity of the Federal Government of Nigeria headed by President Muhammadu Buhari, a Fulani man, who as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria is also the Life Grand Patron of the notorious Miyetti-Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), that proudly takes responsibility for the murderous exploits of the Fulani herdsmen militia designated the fourth most deadly terror group.
“Compounding their impunity, the same Miyetti-Allah Cattle Breeders Association at a recent press conference organised to mock the planned NINAS million-man freedom march to the UN boasted to be in control of the UN through their daughter, the Deputy Secretary-General at the UN, Amina Mohammed.
“An indication that (Amina Mohammed) nominated to that exalted UN position by President of Buhari, is in some way a part of the grand protection design for the Fulani herdsmen in their bloody, onslaught against the indigenous peoples of Nigeria.
“It will be recalled that following widespread extrajudicial killings in Nigeria, the UN in August of 2019, dispatched a Special Rapporteur Mission to Nigeria led by Agnes Callamard. The damning verdict of that Rapporteur Mission was that the widespread extrajudicial killings were flowing from the unitary constitutional arrangements of Nigeria, which operates as a pressure-cooker for injustice and that Nigeria under that Constitution is a danger to global peace and security.
“The report warned that unless something is done urgently, Nigeria would snap, plunging its 200million population into turmoil that will trigger a large-scale refugee crisis of unprecedented magnitude at a time the global terror networks, ISIS, ISWAP and AL-Qaeda are already converging in Nigeria.
“That Nigeria has failed as a State is no longer a subject for debate, having emerged the global poverty capital, and playing host to two of the world’s top four most deadly terrorists’ organisation, with three-quarters of the constituent components (South and Middle-Belt), seeking urgent extrication by way of referendums from what has become a union of death.
“Looking back at the recent turn of events in Afghanistan, this freedom march to the United Nations Headquarters in New York, is to alert the global community of the rapidly degenerating situation of Nigeria, and to invite United Nations, particularly the Security Council, and Trusteeship Council, to initiate urgent steps to arrest Nigeria’s descent into chaos, as besieged communities drift dangerously to self-help.”
Power Sector Revenue Declines By 4.54% In Q2’21
Gross revenue of Nigeria’s electricity market declined by 4.45per cent in the second quarter of 2021, Q2’21, to N176.27billion against N184.27billion generated in the first quarter, Q1’21, latest data from the sector has shown.
The data from the Power Sector Working Group, however, showed that the N360.54billion generated in the first half of this year was 24.57per cent higher than the N271.96billion generated in the last six months of 2020.
A monthly analysis of the power sector financials in the first six months of 2021 showed that revenue has been fluctuating month-on-month.
A total of N64.98billion was generated in January, but revenue, however, fell by 13.30per cent in February to N57.35billion.
Further analysis showed that revenue in March rose by 7.41 per cent to N61.94billion but declined again in April by 8.76 per cent to N56.955billion.
In May, revenue rose by 8.24 per cent to N62.07billion.
It, however fell in June to N57.25billion, a drop of 8.42 per cent.
The Power Sector Working Group blamed poor power supply as well as glitches for the fall in revenue in the second quarter, especially in the month of June.
“June is a bit short due to glitches in the sweep mechanism and a low energy supply (there were gas payment challenges we have been working on).
“Through the collection discipline via CBN there is full visibility to DisCos collections. Collections over the past six months have stabilized at between N57billion to N65billion.
“The regulator and policymakers are focusing in the second half of the year on boosting electricity and rolling out phase 1 of Mass Metering to boost supply to reduce tariff and increase collections.
“Procurement is being completed for most of the CAPEX interventions that will help boost supply”, the group added.
Earlier, the group disclosed that the Federal Government has concluded arrangements for the commencement of the second phase of its metering program tagged National Mass Metering Program which it expects to drastically reduce estimated billing by DisCos, that will ensure consumers are billed appropriately for the electricity they consume by installing meters free of charge in household and business premises that are currently unmetered.
The Federal Government provided funding for the program through loans from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to DisCos.
“Meters are provided to customers free of charge. This is indeed unprecedented and has so far led to the tremendous success recorded so far”.
Speaking on how to grow the electricity market, a leading power sector expert and Managing Director of Target Energy Ltd, Abdullahi Umar, harped on the need to review some of the policies that may be hampering growth and development in the power sector.
Umar said at the weekend that the new Minister of Power, Engr. Abubakar Aliyu, needs to conduct a thorough review of the sector.
“I am part of those stakeholders who are of the view that the declaration of the transitional electricity market (TEM) in February 2015 was too ambitious and premature.
“What should have been was a phased transition into TEM or at the minimum a testing of the market before the full declaration of TEM.
“The errors of such declaration have continued to plague the power sector with a heightened liquidity crisis in 2016 and 2017, that saw a drastic decline of the revenue flows in the power sector, DisCos remittance went from 70 per cent to a sharp decline averaging about 28 per cent – 30 per cent for that period,” he said.
He pointed out that July, 2021, saw the end of Eligible Customer Regulation in the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry (NESI), adding that the decision by the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), to rescind the ECR, has sent mixed signals across the board.
Umar further stated that “we have seen the accusations and counter-accusations between the generating companies (GenCos) and distribution companies on the issue. The action by NERC has signalled the lack of preparedness of the market to accommodate direct sale between market players.
“It is a case of willing seller, willing buyer and an unwilling infrastructure; the market cannot accommodate any distortion at this time especially as the grid still operates at average capacity.”
The ECR allows GenCos and Independent Power Producers to bypass the Bulk Trader for excess un-contracted capacity within their portfolio and sell directly to eligible customers who can take a minimum of 2MW of power monthly.
“The ECR was issued on the 6th of November, 2017 by the then Minister of Power, Works, and Housing, Barrister Babatunde Fashola”, Umar also averred that the “recent repeal of the ECR further demonstrates the weakness in the NESI and the need for more effective and consistent regulation.”
He further advised, “With a new Minister of Power in the saddle, I suggest that a cue is borrowed from the former Minister of Power, Work, and Housing; who commenced his tenure with sector-wide stakeholder consultation and monthly review meetings, it is important that new Minister of Power gets a proper briefing with all market participants in the same room to curtail self-serving suggestions and recommendations.”
“The frequent policy conflict is fast eroding the little gains of the NESI since the declaration of TEM and plunging the sector deeper into uncertainty.
“The new Minister of Power must pursue sector-wide collaboration and effective corporate governance to move the sector forward.
“It is time to go back to the drawing board,” he concluded.
The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has, however, denied that it has ended or suspended the Eligible Customer Regulations which allowed power generation companies, GenCos, to supply electricity directly to large demand customers.
NERC, in a statement by its General Manager, Public Affairs Department, Dr. Usman Abba Arabi, stated that the Eligible Customer Regulations has not been suspended and at no time has the commission issued a directive for discontinuation of service to any customer.
The commission explained that what it suspended was the unauthorized direct supply by GenCos to big consumers.
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