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Donation To Niger Republic: CNPP, SERAP, Others Seek Buhari’s Impeachment

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The Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) has berated the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government for donating vehicles worth N1.14billion to neighbouring Niger Republic, and requested the National Assembly to impeach the president without further delay.
This is even as the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to demand the refund of the N1.4billion given to the Niger Republic for the purchase of official vehicles.
The Nigerian government, through the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, confirmed that Buhari approved the purchase and donation of vehicles worth N1.14billion to Niger Republic to address its security challenges
Ahmed confirmed this to reporters shortly after last Wednesday’s Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.
According to her, it was to aid Niger in the acquisition of some operational vehicles.
She argued that even though Nigerians have the right to question the rationale for such donation, Buhari, who approved the purchase, also has the right to make his own assessment of situations and act accordingly.
Reacting to the development, the CNPP, in a statement signed by its Secretary-General, Willy Ezugwu, and made available to newsmen, yesterday, called for Buhari’s immediate impeachment.
The CNPP urged “the National Assembly to waste no time in impeaching the president for funding a foreign country under the guise of improvements in her security logistics but failed to tackle insecurity at home, seeing that the vehicles in question were not security patrol vans but executive SUV jeeps.”
“The six weeks ultimatum issued to Mr. President to tackle internal security should be cut short immediately as the Senate must now reconvene as a matter of urgency to commence the impeachment proceedings without further delay,” the CNPP demanded.
“Secondly, at the height of insecurity in the country, a contract to supply the 10 units of Toyota Land Cruisers was awarded while the Nigerian police lack operational vehicles and other necessary equipment to carry out internal security operations.
“Today, the military, which traditionally has no business with internal security, has been drafted to deal with ordinary unarmed protesters when we have police units that were trained to manage riotous crowds in a civil manner.
“Despite the harsh economic realities in Nigeria, the president is also funding the economic interests of the same foreign entity through the $1.96billion 284km rail project connecting Kano in Nigeria to Maradi in Niger Republic.
“The CNPP, therefore, calls on all Nigerians to take note of the level of insensitivity and maladministration of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government and do the needful in 2023 as the country cannot survive another eight years of an APC government from next year”, the statement added.
ASUU, on February 14, had embarked on strike to press home its demands for a better welfare package, revamping of the nation’s education sector, among others, a situation that has forced many Nigerian students to be at home.
Worried by the lingering industrial dispute, Buhari had, on July 19, instructed the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, to proffer a solution to the challenge and report back to him in two weeks.
Similarly, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) demanded urged President Muhammadu Buhari to demand a refund of the N1.4billion given to the Niger Republic for the purchase of official vehicles.
SERAP made the demand on its verified Twitter handle, last Wednesday.
Reacting to this, SERAP tweeted, “The Buhari administration must immediately ask Niger Republic authorities to refund the N1.4billion approved for them to buy vehicles, and use the money to offset the funding for ASUU, so those poor children can go back to school”.
Also, a chieftain of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in Kauru Local Government Area of Kaduna State, Prof Mustapha Rabo, berated the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government for donating vehicles worth N1.14billion to neighbouring Niger Republic.
He said the blood of innocent Nigerians killed by bandits and those being held in captivity would never forgive the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Reacting, Rabo, who was a former lecturer at the Department of Political Science, Bayero University, Kano, wondered why the President could not “quench fire in his bedroom but ran to use all available means to stop fire in his neighbour’s apartment.”
According to him, several Nigerians are being held in kidnappers’ den, yet the Nigerian Government could not find a lasting solution to it.
“Nigerians are mourning several people killed, held captive, made slaves, in kidnappers’ den. Nigerians are frustrated due to security challenges, Nigerians could no longer go to their farms, because of bandits, and we can no longer sleep at night because of attacks and killings by these criminals, who have become war lords in Nigeria.
“Yet, our president approved a whopping sum of N1.14billion to a neighbouring country to tackle their security challenges,” he said.
He described the decision as wicked, devastating and uncalled for.
“Kidnappers of the Abuja-Kaduna train victims are demanding N100million on each of the remaining 43 victims who are languishing in the forest.
“Their families have cried severally for help, but the Federal Government is keeping a sealed mouth,” he lamented.

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NIMASA Delivers Marine, Transport Building To Port Harcourt Varsity

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The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), has handed over the complex housing the Institute of Marine and Transport Technology to the University of Port Harcourt, in Rivers State.
A statement from the agency indicated that the building was initiated by its previous leadership.
“The initiative dated back to 2012/2013 when the former Director-General of the agency, Dr Dakuku Peterside, decided to build a maritime training institute.
“The initiative is not peculiar to the University of Port Harcourt. It is present in all the six geopolitical zones of the country.
“Any investment in education is definitely worthwhile. Research has shown that lack of education is relatively responsible for maritime crimes in the Niger Delta Region.
“We hope beneficiaries of this Maritime institute will be instrumental in making Nigeria a major maritime nation,” the statement said.
It quoted the Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Abraham Georgewill, who was represented by the VC Administration, Prof. Clifford Ofurum, as thanking NIMASA for selecting the university as the location for the maritime institute.
Ofurum assured NIMASA that the university would provide adequate faculty to ensure courses were accredited and recognised globally.

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Wigwe’s Family Announces Burial Plan

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The family of Herbert Wigwe has announced the burial plans for the Wigwes.
Wigwe, alongside his wife, Chizoba, and son, Chizi, died in an helicopter crash in the United States on February 9.
The crash also claimed the lives of a former Chairman of the Nigerian Exchange Group Plc, Abimbola Ogunbanjo, and two crew members.
According to the plan, the funeral ceremony will commence on Monday, March 4, 2024.
Meanwhile, the Redeemed Christian Church of God, City of David, where Herbert used to be a staunch member before his demise, was conspicuously missing from the list of churches scheduled to host two of the programmes.
According to the funeral plans, on Thursday, March 7, a combined Service of Songs will take place at RCCG, Ressurection Parish at Jakande Estate, Lekki, Lagos State while a combined funeral service will be held on Saturday, March 9, at RCCG, Lion of Judah Parish, Isiokpo, Rivers State.
The absence of the City of David parish on the list has, however, raised concerns despite the acknowledgement of the late Wigwe’s immense contribution to the parish while he was alive.
The Pastor in Charge of the parish, Idowu Iluyomade, had paid glowing tributes to the late bank chief while reacting to his sudden demise.
Iluyomade, who described the deceased as God’s general, added that he donated generously to the church.
Speaking during a service titled: “Barrier Shattering Thanksgiving (Sunshine Service)” on Sunday, February 11, the clergyman recalled how Wigwe spent about N500m for God Children’s Great Talent Project and how he adopted some children.
He said, “Wigwe was the Chairman of the Finance Committee with Pastor Siju, and I remember when we wanted to start the fundraising, he took us to Eko Atlantic, he put a marquee there, he brought people from America to come and see, and in that event, we raised about N600m. One would have thought he would sit back; he kept going. He told me we’ll do it.
“When this place was ground zero, he paid five years rent for a branch when there was nothing, just to assist. Then later, he said ‘I’ll give you two branches – one on the left, one on the right,’ and he paid five years each (10 years). Nobody would support a Greenfield, if you’ve built, yes, you can go. One of his purposes was to assist us.”
However, while friends and families of the deceased were still mourning, Iluyomade’s wife, Siju, threw a lavish 60th birthday party.
The lawyer, pastor and founder of the Arise Women Foundation held the birthday on Sunday, February 18, 2024.
Distinguished guests, including billionaires and monarchs, were on hand to rejoice with her at the party, which took place at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island Lagos. Also present at the event was popular singer, Chinedu Okoli, better known by his stage name Flavour N’abania.
Some Nigerians, however, expressed their displeasure at the celebrant for holding a party barely weeks after the tragic deaths of prominent members of the church.
This also fuelled insinuations about a seeming connection between the development and the decision of the family not to have considered the parish in the burial plans.

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Economy: I Take Full Responsibility, Nigeria ’ll Recover-Tinubu

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President Bola Tinubu, on Wednesday, appealed for patience from Nigerians over the current economic hardship in the country, giving the assurance that there was light at the end of the tunnel.
The President said he was fully aware and took responsibility for the difficulties Nigerians had been subjected to on account of government policies.
He said he would not complain but welcome all criticisms since he was the one who asked to be Nigeria’s President.
The President spoke in Akure, the Ondo State capital, during his visit to the leader of the pan-Yoruba sociopolitical organisation, Afenifere, Pa Reuben Fasoranti.
He also paid a condolence visit to the family of the late former Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, who passed on in December following a protracted battle with cancer.
The fuel subsidy removal and other economic reforms instituted by Tinubu have attracted public censure following the high costs of living, food inflation and other side effects.
The situation compelled the Nigeria Labour Congress to hold a nationwide protest on Tuesday.
The congress also threatened further mass action if the government failed to address the economic crunch within two weeks.
However, addressing public concerns over his economic policies, the President said, “Nigeria will survive the current economic challenges. There is light at the end of the tunnel. I requested the job, and I am not complaining about it. I take full responsibility.”
This was contained in a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, titled, ‘President Tinubu: I take full responsibility for the nation; we are building an efficient Nigeria that is inclusive and fair to all Nigerians.’’
Tinubu emphasised his commitment to leading Nigeria towards economic and social prosperity, saying, “We are meeting our obligations to the international community. To lenders, we have not defaulted, and we are not going to default. We are navigating the twists and bends on the road to Nigeria’s prosperity.”
On reforming Nigeria, the President said his task would be to ensure fiscal and true federalism, as well as the broad-based manifestation of the philosophy of “what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.”
He acknowledged the understanding and support of all Nigerians in the face of the harsh but temporary economic conditions, assuring them that their patience and perseverance will not be fruitless.
“But, through perseverance, Lagos emerged as the fifth largest economy in the entire continent of Africa. We must manage this moment with wisdom and grow Nigeria responsibly.
“I campaigned for this office to serve Nigeria’s interests and I was elected. Some said I would not last in the tribunal and came up with all sorts of predictions, but even when in court, I remained focused.
“We cannot allow Nigeria’s economy to be exploited. We cannot abandon our economy to marauders. I am determined to re-engineer our finances and curb selfish interests permanently,” he stated.
Speaking on behalf of Afenifere, Pa Olu Falae, a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, who read the address of Pa Fasoranti, commended Tinubu for his commitment to Nigeria’s progress and expressed support for his administration’s efforts.
“You have kept your word to return to this place where we all prayed for you, and this shows that you are a man of your word,” the elder statesman stated.
Pa Fasoranti asked President Tinubu to be fair and courageous, declaring that such traits were the hallmark of the Afenifere family.
“Today, you are carrying our flag. We are noted for integrity, competence, fairness, and courage. Your performance so far has shown that you understand the full gravity of your mandate, which is to show the Nigerian people that a good government is possible,” he said.
Fasoranti also charged the President on institutional reforms, saying, “Mr President, please also seek institutional reforms that would strengthen our federation and make Nigeria safer and more prosperous. Try and balance the budget and execute capital projects that would create more employment. We thank you for welcoming the idea of state policing.’’
He added, “We want each of the geopolitical zones to have greater responsibilities for security, food production and infrastructural development. Since the removal of fuel subsidy, which was costing Nigeria $10bn yearly, the state governments have been receiving hefty allocations from the Federation account.
“Mr President should persuade the governors to allow this change of fortune for the states to reflect at the grassroots so that life can be better for our people. They should not just buy rice and yams for the people. They should create employment, improve education and build new infrastructures. Today, life is truly challenging for most people and the state governments have an important role to play to transform society.”
Fasoranti received the President in the company of some Afenifere leaders, who included a former governor of Ondo State, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, Chief Sehinde Arogbofa, Deji of Akure, Oba Aladelusi Aladetoyinbo; Chief Kole Omololu, among others
Earlier, the President had paid a condolence visit to Akeredolu’s family in Owo and also visited the palace of the Olowo of Owo Kingdom, Oba Ajibade Gbadegesin Ogunoye III.
Speaking at the palace of the monarch, Tinubu eulogised the late Akeredolu as a statesman and a distinguished legal luminary who served his people with unwavering dedication.
“We lost an illustrious son. Akeredolu was very close to me and an ally. He was a son of the soil, and I have come to pay homage,” the President said.
He extended his prayers for the good health, progress, and prosperity of the traditional ruler and the community and thanked the people of Owo for their support to the bereaved family.
Accompanied by the Governor of Ondo State, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, Tinubu also commiserated with the Akeredolu’s widow, Betty, the children, and other family members.
Addressing the widow and the family members, Tinubu said, “God will be with you. Your children will do well in life. May you all end well. May God be with you and uphold you,”
The wife of the late governor expressed appreciation for the President’s visit, describing Tinubu as a good friend and brother to her late husband.
She also thanked the South-West governors for their contributions to the burial of the late governor. She particularly thanked Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for single-handedly repatriating the remains of Akeredolu back to Nigeria.
She said, “On behalf of my family, I appreciate Mr. President. We understood he couldn’t attend the burial ceremony due to the dictate of Yoruba culture. He couldn’t have attended the burial of his younger brother.
“Coming today (Wednesday ) is a big deal because we are in a better atmosphere. I also express my profound gratitude to the southern governors for their immense financial contributions to the burial, most especially, Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who singlehandedly brought Aketi’s remains back to Nigeria. We appreciate this huge show of love and we are grateful and forever indebted to him.
“I requested that Mr President see where Aketi has been laid to rest and he followed me. We are deeply grateful to Mr. President for coming. He is indeed Aketi’s brother and friend.
“I told Mr. President, yes, Aketi has left but he lives because he left behind legacies. It is our wish that those legacies continue and are built upon where necessary.”

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