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Nigeria, Sinking Ship Being Navigated ?By Pirates – Okogie

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The former Catholic archbishop of Lagos, His Eminence, Cardinal Anthony Okogie, has decried the current level of corruption under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, lamenting that Nigeria was now a sinking ship being navigated by pirates.
According to him, “Nigeria is a sinking ship being navigated by pirates. There is need to take urgent steps to rescue Nigeria from the hands of brigands. Not to do so would amount to flirting with violence. The current level of corruption is dangerous. The anger of the people may lead to a violent uprising whose consequences we cannot foresee. Let us step back from the road to bloodshed.”
Okogie, in a statement, titled: “Corruption and Nigeria’s Uncertain Future,” said at this point in time, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to differentiate between politics and criminality in Nigeria, as politics in Nigeria is divorced from morality.
“That is why we hear of huge sums of money getting into wrong hands. What we have is not politics of the common good but politics of selfish interests. And its agents in every government are going scotch free. The constitution we operate provides incentives for corruption, and where there is corruption there will be poverty and insecurity.
“Our constitution is just a formula for sharing Nigeria’s wealth placed in the hands of politicians. It provides for so many offices, so many parastatals and ministries, and the bureaucracy it creates is consuming Nigeria’s money. The size of government has depleted Nigeria’s wealth. Politics is the largest industry in Nigeria. It is no longer news that many people go into politics because of the opportunity to enrich themselves at the people’s expense,” he lamented.
According to him, democracy is being assaulted by Nigerian politicians, saying this could not continue without destroying Nigeria.
He said there was no wisdom in spending so much money on political office holders who were not acting in the interest of the people, stressing that “we ought to have utilized the wealth of Nigeria to develop the people. But we have witnessed successive regimes of politicians in military and civilian garbs who enrich themselves by impoverishing the people.
“The sad consequences confront us: no good roads, no good schools, no good hospitals, no good airports, no electricity, no security, no comfort. The average Nigerian has nothing to enjoy while members of the political oligarchy are living extravagantly. But for Covid-19, they would have been in Dubai. Fela Anikulapo Kuti once asked: ‘How country go dey make money when country people no dey see money?’ The question is yet to receive an answer.”
The cleric decried that the beautiful “country that God gave us is raped and robbed with impunity by those who should be working for the common good. The future of Nigeria is jeopardized in the present by politicians who show symptoms of kleptomania, an irresistible tendency to take what belong to all of us. Many of our leaders are getting away with daylight robbery and murder.
“We are deceived into believing that a war is being waged on corruption. But we witness a circus, a shameless show of brigandage in government, where we hear of billions of naira being spent on frivolous projects that are of no advantage to the Nigerian people. We have been told that looted money is being returned. Yet, government is borrowing. There is a big contradiction here. If looted money is being returned, why does Nigeria have to borrow so much?
“There is an urgent need to restructure government in Nigeria. Concrete steps will have to be taken. First, the constitution must change. The current constitution provides a recipe and a licence for theft in government, for poverty of the populace, and for insecurity in the land.”
Okogie added that as a matter of urgency, the size of government needed to be drastically reduced, saying that this is not a step to be taken tomorrow but a step to be taken today and that the current political arrangement legitimized by the current constitution provided for a big government, but that a big government is, by nature, corrupt and inefficient.
He proffered that the new constitution Nigeria urgently needed must introduce new term limits, saying that considering the acrimony and breach of peace that go with every re-election bid in Nigeria, its attendant temptation to use the people’s money as campaign funds, it would be advisable to limit the President and governors to one term in office.
“Each President and each governor should consider his single term in office to be a penalty kick. A player chosen to take a penalty kick has only one opportunity to put the ball in the net.
“Nigeria does not need a bicameral legislature of 109 senators and 375 members of the House of Representatives. She can do well with just one federal parliament. The current bicameral legislature is wasteful and should be abolished by the new constitution.
“The military origin of this constitution shows that it was conceived by people who thought Nigeria’s oil wealth would flow endlessly to the advantage of political officeholders. Now, we know better. The oil is not dry. But it is not being bought. This will have severe consequences on the standard of living of the Nigerian. Post-COVID-19 Nigeria cannot survive on a bicameral legislature.

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Buhari Succumbs To Pressure, Appoints New Service Chiefs …Wike, PDP, Afenifere, Others Hail President’s Action

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President Muhammadu Buhari has finally succumbed to public pressure to dispense with his service chiefs, who have overstayed their tenure for several years.
In an announcement, yesterday, Special Adviser on Media, Chief Femi Adesina, said Buhari has accepted the immediate resignation of the service chiefs, and their retirement from service.
Those involved are the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.
Buhari thanked the old service chiefs for what he called their “overwhelming achievements in our efforts at bringing enduring peace to our dear country.”
He also wished them well in their future endeavours.
The new service chiefs are: Major-General Leo Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff; Major-General Ibrahim Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff; and Air Vice Marshal Isiaka Amao, Chief of Air Staff.
Buhari also congratulated the new service chiefs, and urged them to be loyal and dedicated in the discharge of their responsibilities.
Reacting to the new development, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing new service chiefs for the country.
Wike noted that even though the appointments came late; the President should be commended for listening to the voice of the people.
He challenged the new appointees to see their appointments as an opportunity to re-engineer the nation’s security architecture which has suffered tremendous setback in the last five years.
“The new service chiefs should not politicise security by aligning with politicians.
“What the country needs now is competence and professionalism that will reduce insecurity to the barest minimum,” he stated.
Wike noted that Nigerians who lost confidence in the former service chiefs are looking up to the new appointees to make the desired change.
He called on all levels of government to give the service chiefs the needed support they would require to execute their assignments.
“This is an opportunity to serve the nation and I believe that the service chiefs will be focused and dedicated,” he added.
Also reacting, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stressed that the senior security officers listened to the party’s voice.
The PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the service chiefs outlived their usefulness, hence their resignation, and said the incoming service chiefs should put an end to the spate of insecurity in the country.
The spokesman of the opposition party insisted that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari was ineffective.
Further reacting, the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) challenged the newly appointed service chiefs to see their appointments as a call to revitalize the weakened security architecture to ensure the country is secured for all.
The CUPP, which said this via a statement issued by its National Secretary, High Chief Peter Ameh, while reacting to the appointment of the new military helmsmen in Abuja, said although, the sack of service chiefs was long overdue but still a welcome development..
Ameh charged that, “The new service chiefs must now go to work to make sure that Nigeria is secured for our people to travel across state lines to do business and prosper the nation without the fear of being kidnapped.”
According to him, “The sack of the service chiefs is a great relief to the officers and men of the Nigerian Armed Forces and the Nigerian people as a whole.
“I have no doubt in my mind that those appointed to lead the new and successful onslaught against those who have boldly taken over our ungoverned spaces have been tested and trusted to do the job.”
Similarly, the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organization, Afenifere described the sack of service chiefs by President Muhammadu Buhari as a belated exercise.
Reacting to the development, National Publicity Secretary, Afenifere, Mr Yinka Odumakin, said the sack was belated as the service chiefs should have been sacked before now.
He said Afenifere was not impressed with the sack as it was long overdue.
Odumakin stated that Afenifere did not believe that the agenda that made Buhari to keep the service chiefs had been dropped.
He said the Buhari’s government had not changed its agenda of nepotism and managing the country in a sectional manner.
Odumakin also faulted appointment of the new service chiefs, as there was nobody appointed from the South-East part of the country.
Still reacting, the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) called on the newly appointed service chiefs to immediately disband all armed groups and militias in the country.
It also urged the security heads to work in harmony with the civil society to ensure that no group has the capacity to challenge the state.
The group in a statement by its spokesman, Abulazeez Sulaiman, also asked President Muhammadu Buhari to “reassert himself by taking direct control of the fight to secure the nation and to finally reclaim the nation’s forests, highways and sea that have been lost to insurgents, other armed criminals.”
The statement reads, “The Coalition of Northern Groups has noted the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari has finally acceded to the huge demands made by Nigerians for the replacement of the nation’s service chiefs as a step towards addressing the serious shortfalls in our policing and security institutions.
“The CNG sincerely welcomes the development in the hope that the hundreds of thousands of people in Northern communities that have been at the mercy of insurgents, bandits, kidnappers, rustlers and rapists without any form of security protection would now get respite.
“CNG advices President Buhari as a military General to reassert himself by taking direct control of the fight to secure the nation and to finally reclaim the nation’s forests, highways and sea that have been lost to insurgents, other armed criminals and assortment of militants in various guises.
“We also advise the new service chiefs on the imperative of involving responsible opinion from community leaders and the civil society for civic contributions in initiatives that will address the manner the nation is designed to be policed and secured.
“We expect them to work in direct harmony with all components of the Nigerian society for action to immediately disband all militias and armed groups in Nigeria to ensure that no group in future has the capacity to challenge the state in its prerogative to maintain law and order, and protect citizens’ lives and properties.
“The acceptable position remains that only legally constituted outfits and lawfully sanctioned organizations under the direct control of the Federal Government, as recognized by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, can be so organized, armed and fitted.
“We expect a renewed commitment by our gallant troops and a stronger will from President Buhari in the fight against Boko Haram, bandits and other forms of criminality without the need for floating victory in the media.
“We urge them to fight this insecurity with resolve and awareness of their obligations under the law, as well as the knowledge that victory will only be pronounced when the nation achieves full cessation of hostilities, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration in the entire region.
“We appeal to fellow Nigerians to show the highest levels of cooperation, restraint and maturity in the manner we relate with the new security chiefs to ensure our defence. Under no circumstances should we as citizens encourage or harbour acts that will increase our exposure to crime, lawlessness and insecurity.”
It would be recalled that Major General Leo Irabor is from Agbor in Delta State, and was a member of the Regular Course 39 of the NDA.
He served as a Commander Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) of the Nigerian Army, Minna; Chief of Training and Operations (CTOP) Defence Headquarters; the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, and headed the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) as the Field Commander.
The trained engineer also served as Chief of Staff to the Chief of Army Staff.
Major General Attahiru Ibrahim, until his appointment as the Chief of Army Staff, was the General Officer Commanding 82 Division, Nigerian Army.
He was appointed to lead the offensive against Boko Haram in the North-East in May, 2017.
He was, however, redeployed by the then Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen Tukur Buratai after a string of attacks by the insurgents, including after giving him a deadline in July to deliver Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau dead or alive within 40 days.
Air Vice Marshal Isiaka Amao was born on September 14, 1965 at Enugu but hails from Oshogbo LGA of Osun State.
He enlisted into the Nigerian Air Force on January 19, 1984 as a member of the 35 Regular Course of the Nigerian Defence Academy.
He had previously served as Trainee/Squadron Pilot, NAF Unit 99 ACTG Kainji (1993-2004), Instructor Pilot/Squadron Pilot, 301 FTS Kaduna (2004-2007), Air Assistance to Chief of Air Staff, Deputy Defence Adviser, Nigerian High Commission London, Assistant Director of Operation Defence Headquarters, Director of Policy and Plans, Nigerian Air Force.
Until his appointment as the Chief of Air Staff by the President, Amao was the Commandant, Armed Forces Resettlement Centre, Lagos.
Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo was born on April 22, 1966, and hails from Nasarawa LGA in Kano State.
He enlisted into the Nigerian Navy on September 24, 1984 as a member of Regular Course 36 and was commissioned Sub-Lieutenant on September 24, 1988.
He is an Underwater Warfare specialist with a subspecialisation in Intelligence.
The senior officer has attended several military courses which include, Sub-Technical course and Officers Long course both at NNS QUORRA.
He also attended Junior Division 48/89 and Senior Course 26 both at AFCSC Jaji.
Other courses attended include the National Defence Course at the South African National Defence College.
Until his recent appointment as the CNS, he was the Director of Procurement at the Defence Space Administration.

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‘Wike Not Behind Campaign Posters’

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The Rivers State Government has dismissed insinuations in some quarters that the state Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, is making moves to launch political campaigns for the office of the Presidency in 2023, saying that the governor has no such intention, for now.
The clarification comes on the heels of the emergence of political campaign posters carrying the picture of Wike in the nation’s capital, ostensibly engineered by some political jobbers and mischief makers, at the weekend.
A statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, last Monday, dissociated the state government, and indeed, the governor from the clandestine moves, and warned those behind the devilish act to retrace their steps.
The statement read, “The attention of Governor Nyesom Wike has been drawn to campaign posters bearing his name which flooded some major streets of Abuja, today.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Governor Wike has not informed anyone that he is interested in the Presidency of this country.
“This is certainly the handiwork of mischief makers who are threatened by the governor’s rising political profile.
“We are amused that political detractors will stop at nothing to see how they can distract Governor Wike’s visionary leadership.
“For the umpteenth time, we wish to restate that Governor Wike is presently preoccupied with his mission to make Rivers State a better place and destination of choice.
“All the puerile antics of political jobbers aimed at heating up the polity will surely fail.
“Members of the public are therefore advised to discountenance the misinformation that is currently circulating in Abuja”, the statement added.

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Buhari Appoints Aghughu As Auditor-General

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President Muhammadu Buhari has nominated Mr. Aghughu Arhotomhenla Adolphus for appointment as the Auditor-General of the Federation.
The President forwarded the letter of nomination to the Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan pursuant to Section 86(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
In a statement, yesterday, in Abuja, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Babajide Omoworare, said that Aghughu has been acting as the Auditor-General since the voluntary retirement of Mr. Anthony Mkpe Ayine from service upon attainment of the mandatory retirement age of 60 years on October 25, 2020.
The Auditor-General designate hails from Edo State and, holds a master’s degree in economics; he is a fellow of the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria, member of the Nigerian Institute of Management and associate member of Chartered Institute of Taxation.
He became an auditor in the Office of the Auditor-General in 1992, and was promoted to the rank of director of Audit in January, 2016.
It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had in December, 2016, forwarded the name of Ayine to fill the post that was held then by Florence Anyanwu in acting capacity.
Ayine’s name was then forwarded six months after the then former Auditor-General of the Federation (AuGF), Samuel Ukuru proceeded on terminal leave.
In a related development, President Buhari has nominated Barrister Victor Chinemerem Muruako for appointment as chairman of the Fiscal Responsibility Commission in accordance with the provisions of Section 5(3) of the Fiscal Responsibility Act 2007.
Muruako, a legal practitioner, had served as the secretary to the Fiscal Responsibility Commission and currently acts as the chairman of the commission.
He hails from Imo State.
The nomination letter was forwarded to the Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan for confirmation by the Senate.

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