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  1. Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari hold meeting with Prime Minister, Theresa May, on Nigeria-British relations at 10, Downing Street, London. The Personal Assistant to the President on new media, Bashir Ahmad disclosed this via his Twitter handle on Monday, April 16. He further disclosed that at the end of his bilateral meeting with the British prime minister, President Buhari thanked her for Britain’s efforts at the training of the Nigerian Armed forces in fighting Boko Haram. President Buhari’s meeting with the prime minister was scheduled to discuss Nigeria-British relations ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings scheduled to hold between April 18 to 20. President Buhari, who is on an official leave in London, had met with the national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on Sunday, April 15.
  2. Former FBI Director James Comey has accused US President Donald Trump of being “m0rally unfit” for the presidency and treating women like “pieces of meat” in his first television interview since being fired last year. Speaking to ABC’s 20/20, Comey said “the challenge of this president is that he will stain everyone around him”. The television interview on Sunday comes ahead of the release of Comey’s book, A Higher Loyalty, on Tuesday. According to the transcript of the four-hour interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Comey said he does not think Trump is “medically unfit to be president”, but rather “m0rally unfit to be president”. “A person who sees m0ral equivalence in Charlottesville, who talks about and treats women like they’re pieces of meat, who lies constantly about matters big and small and insists the American people believe it, that person’s not fit to be president of the United States, on m0ral grounds,” Comey said. The former FBI director was referring to last August’s “Unite the Right” rally that turned deadly when a white supremacist allegedly rammed his car into a group of anti-racist protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer. Trump blamed “both sides” for the violence. ‘Some evidence of obstruction of justice’ Comey has been embroiled in controversy since reopening an investigation into whether Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email serve while US secretary of state during Barack Obama’s first term as president compromised national security. Clinton said the release of a letter stating the FBI had uncovered new emails just days before the elections helped hand the election to Trump. Once Trump took office, the president and Comey feuded over the FBI’s investigation into allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign. Comey said there is “certainly some evidence” when asked whether the US president committed obstruction of justice when Trump allegedly asked top aides to leave the Oval Office to privately ask Comey to drop his investigation into then-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Flynn was fired from his post last year. Comey added that the prosecutor would need to evaluate if “other things reflected on [Trump’s] intent”. ‘Impeachment would let Americans off the hook’ Comey said he does not hope for Trump’s impeachment because “impeaching and removing Donald Trump from office would let the American people off the hook and have something happen indirectly that I believe they’re duty bound to do directly”. He added: “People in this country need to stand up and go to the voting booth and vote their values.” ‘Trump doesn’t value the truth’ Comey repeatedly pointed to how he feels like the president does not value the truth and how he has lied to the American people. “There’s something more important than that that should unite all of us, and that is our president must embody respect and adhere to the values that are at the core of this country,” Comey said. “The most important being truth. This president is not able to do that. He is m0rally unfit to be president.” Prior to Sunday’s interview, Trump took to Twitter, calling the former FBI director “not smart” and saying he “will go down as the WORST FBI Director in history”. The White House has not commented on the interview, but the Republican National Committee did respond on Twitter saying Comey “isn’t credible”. What else did Comey say? On Clinton’s assertion the letter about the investigation into her use of a private email server help cost her the election: “I hope not…I honestly don’t know. I sure hope not. But – the honest answer is, it wouldn’t change the way I think about it.” On whether he would send the letter on Clinton’s emails again knowing Trump would win the election: “I would…In fact, that was a question asked by one of my best people – a deputy general counsel in the FBI who is a very thoughtful and quiet person, who didn’t speak a lot. And that – that morning we were making that decision, she asked, ‘Should you consider that what you’re about do to may help elect Donald Trump president?’ “And I paused, and then I said, ‘Thank you for asking that question. That’s a great question.’ But the answer is not for a moment because down that path lies the death of the FBI as an independent force in American life. If I ever start considering whose political fortunes will be affected by a decision, we’re done.” On finding out about his firing from television: “One of the many great things about the FBI is we have some hilarious pranksters in that organisation, and so I thought it was a scam by someone on my staff. So I turn to them and I said, ‘Someone put a lotta work into that.’ And then I continued talking. “And then that changed on the screens, which showed the different networks, changed to, ‘Comey fired.’”
  3. “We will do our best to justify your trust in us, and that confidence won’t be abused,”President Muhammadu Buhari has assured Nigerians. The President spoke in London Sunday while receiving the Buhari Diaspora Support Organization, led by Mr Charles Efe Sylvester. “I am happy that people like you are here, on your own, defending the country. You have shown courage and sacrifice. I assure you that your confidence in us won’t be abused, we will do our best to justify it,” President Buhari said. He noted that Nigeria was gifted with tremendous human and natural resources, but regretted that, “failure of some of the leadership we had in the past led to our not being able to capitalize on resources to improve the lot of the people.” Saying wicked people plundered the country, “and kept Nigerians poor,” the President added that looking at the condition in which the current administration met the country, without savings and the economy badly vandalized, “we have not done too badly.” President Buhari said the damage done to the Nigerian economy in the years of plunder was massive, and that government was doing its best to recover some of the loot, but noted that it was impossible to identify and recover all. “If they had used 50% of the money we made, when oil prices went as high as $143 dollars per barrel, and stabilized at $100 dollars with production at 2.1 million barrels per day for many years, Nigerians would have minded their businesses. “You could almost grow food on our roads, as they were abandoned. The stealing was so much, and they were so inept that they could not even cover the stealing properly. I wonder how all those things could have happened to our country.” the President said. He commended the Buhari Diaspora Support Organization for deciding to identify with the country, “when you could have stayed here, and being comfortable.” The Coordinator of the organization, Mr Sylvester, said the group was happy with the achievements of the Buhari administration so far, noting: “You met a difficult situation, but you have overcome most of them. We are happy with the agriculture revolution, the ease of doing business, the anti-corruption war, the employment of youths through the N-Power programme, and the blockage of leakages in the public sector through the Treasury Single Account (TSA). “We are proud of the speed with which you recovered the abducted Dapchi schoolgirls. It shows you as a worthy general. We are happy that you have declared for 2019. Majority of Nigerians are happy, but agents of corruption and darkness are unhappy. The same God, who healed you when you were ill, will grant you victory in the 2019 elections. “You are a General who does not fear combat, either with Generals or non-Generals. We declare our love and support for you. You are fixing the faulty foundations of our country and second term is when you will build the enduring structure.” FEMI ADESINA Special Adviser to the President (Media and Publicity) April 15, 2018.
  4. President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria will meet Donald Trump in Washington on April 30 to discuss issues including “fighting terrorism” and economic growth, the White House announced Sunday. “President Trump looks forward to discussing ways to enhance our strategic partnership and advance our shared priorities: promoting economic growth and reforms, fighting terrorism and other threats to peace and security, and building on Nigeria’s role as a democratic leader in the region,” the White House said in a statement. “The relationship of the United States with Nigeria is deep and strong, and Nigeria’s economic growth, security, and leadership in Africa will advance our mutual prosperity.” Nigeria, West Africa’s largest economy, is among the countries combatting Islamist extremism with help from the United States. The nation is battling an array of security threats across its territory, from Boko Haram jihadists in the northeast to oil militants in the south. The announcement of the visit comes one day after the fourth anniversary of the Chibok schoolgirls abduction, which saw Boko Haram kidnap 276 girls. Fifty-seven escaped in the immediate aftermath and four years on, 112 are still being held — a global symbol of the Islamist insurgency that has devastated the region. The Nigerian president’s White House visit also follows a scandal that erupted in January when Trump allegedly branded African nations “Sh!thole countries.” The reported remark triggered global outrage and forced the US president to pen a letter reaffirming his commitment to the continent. Nigeria was among the countries included on Trump’s ex-secretary of state Rex Tillerson’s Africa tour last month — though the former Texas oilman truncated the trip just before the US president brutally sacked him. Before returning to Washington, Tillerson had notably promised Nigeria’s support ranging from equipment to intelligence to helping secure the swift release of kidnapped schoolgirls. – ‘Baba Go Slow’ – Buhari, a 75-year-old former general and one-time military head of state, announced earlier this month he would seek re-election next year — a move that laid to rest months of speculation over his health. Nicknamed “Baba Go Slow” for his lethargic pace in office, Buhari spent months in London last year seeking medical treatment for an undisclosed illness. If nominated, he faces the Herculean task of convincing Nigerians he is the best candidate to steer the country out of its worst recession in 25 years, after implementing a series of unorthodox policies blamed for worsening the economic crisis. He was voted into power in 2015 on a platform vowing to crack down on endemic graft and stamp out Boko Haram. Boko Haram still stages deadly attacks on military and civilian targets despite Buhari’s insistence that the group is “technically” defeated. In February, the Islamists embarrassed the government by driving unopposed into the northeastern town of Dapchi and kidnapping over 100 schoolgirls.
  5. ISIS has threatened that Russian President Vladimir Putin will ‘pay the price for killing Muslims’, in the diminishing terror group’s latest poster targeting the World Cup. The poster shows a jihadist emerging from an explosion and holding an AK-47 aloft, with a packed football arena in the background. President Putin can be seen on the left of the image with a black and orange target aiming straight at him. Across the poster is written; ‘Russia 2018. Putin you disbeliever. You will pay the price for killing Muslims.’ The threat is likely to be linked to Putin’s support for Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in his government’s fight against ISIS – a battle also fought by U.S.-backed Kurdish forces and other rebel factions in Syria. The poster was picked up by terror monitoring groups on Twitter after it made the rounds on encrypted messaging app Telegram. This is only the latest in a series of posters published by the pro-ISIS ‘Wafa Media Foundation’ threatening terror attacks on the World Cup. Last month, ISIS supporters targeted Argentinian footballer Lionel Messi in a poster showing him kneeling next to a jihadist. Messi is seen in the orange jumpsuit, often worn by victims in ISIS’s execution videos, kneeling on the grass of Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium – the venue for the World Cup final. Previous posters have shown a rifle-carrying ISIS fighter and a bomb baring the infamous black ISIS flag in front of a football stadium with the 2018 World Cup logo. The 2018 FIFA World Cup will be played across 11 cities in Russia from June 14 to July 15, when the final will be played at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. Tens of thousands of England fans are expected to base themselves in St Petersburg for the month-long finals St Petersburg, Russia’s second largest city, was the scene of an horrific ISIS attack when a briefcase bomb detonated on the underground in April, killing 14 people. The blast was in retaliation to Russia’s airstrikes in Syria that have helped bring the regime to its knees. Thousands of Russians from mainly central Asia have travelled to the Middle East to fight for ISIS. Experts in Moscow believe around 2,400 joined the regime in 2015 alone. England’s involvement in the tournament has been questioned in the wake of the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury which the government has blamed on Russia. Some politicians have called for the national team to boycott the tournament.
  6. Emmanuel Macron has claimed he has ‘proof’ that the regime of Bashar al-Assad launched a horrifying gas attack in Syria. The French President suggested chlorine may have been used in the atrocity on Saturday that left at least 40 dead in the rebel-held town of Douma and prompted Donald Trump to consider launching airstrikes. Assad denies carrying out the attack and Russia has accused aid workers of faking the incident. But Macron said today: ‘We have proof that chemical weapons were used last week, at least chlorine, and that they were used by the regime of Bashar al-Assad.’ Macron added that he was in daily contact with US President Donald Trump and that they would decide on their response ‘at a time of our choosing when we judge it to be the most useful and the most effective.’ The French leader, who had made the use of chemical weapons in Syria a ‘red line’, said one of his aims in Syria was to ‘remove the regime’s chemical attack capabilities’. But he repeated that he wanted to also avoid ‘an escalation’. ‘France will in no way allow an escalation or anything that would harm regional stability, but we cannot allow regimes that believe they can act with impunity to violate international law in the worst possible way.’
  7. President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday received Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, at the Abuja House, London.
  8. Presidency has confirmed that Nigerians in the United Kingdom on Monday protested against President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election bid on his arrival in London. A presidential aide, who confirmed this to State House reporters on Tuesday, noted that the protest was staged barely 24 hours after President Buhari declared his intention to seek re-election in 2019. He alleged that looters and corrupt elements within and outside Nigeria had been jolted to push “panic buttons including renting a motley crowd of professional demonstrators to protest against the president on his arrival in the United Kingdom.” He said extremely corrupt Nigerians who are custodians of slush funds stolen from Nigeria, and hiding in UK or are resident cronies of such elements had colluded to form a league of protesters with a singular aim of distracting and disorganising Buhari’s scheduled state visit to England for bilateral talks with Prime Minister Theresa May and other dignitaries. He quoted security sources as revealing that the protesters were bent on embarrassing and humiliating Buhari throughout his stay in the UK. According to him, the protesters have vowed to take their demonstrations to the venue of Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting holding later in the month in Britain which Buhari is attending. “Esteemed Nigerians home and abroad, friends and business investors in Nigeria, should please see through the veil of the motive behind the Abuja House, Kensington London demonstration. It was an orchestrated act of desperation and a ploy to blackmail and hoodwink the President from concentrating on his anti-corruption campaign, which is fast gaining grounds locally and internationally,” the source stated authoritatively. “This unpatriotic act is not unconnected to the Federal government policies to name and shame corrupt citizens and looters; to collate database of Nigerians with homes in UK who are not paying the right taxes, and the hot drive to prosecute all financial defaulters through bilateral and multilateral means.” “It is obvious that this is a clear cut incident of corruption fighting back. Many of the beneficiaries of corruption and slush funds cannot withstand another devastating blow of Buhari’s anti corruption sledge hammer. “Hence, they are resolute to derail the apple cart in order to save their ugly faces and sit back to enjoy the loot in their personal banks. Some of the protesters are not even Nigerians but hired hatchet men paid to do the dirty job.” The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, said Buhari would not be distracted from his mission in London.
  9. President Muhammadu Buhari has made 23 new appointments in agencies in the Federal Ministries of Health, Information and Culture, Education, Power, Works, and Housing, and Resident Elect0ral Commissioners in the Independent National Elect0ral Commission (INEC). Premium Times reports that the president urged them “to reinvigorate the agencies in the delivery on their mandates through a renewed commitment to transparency, accountability, and service delivery with integrity.” The approval also included the appointment of some rectors to some federal polytechnics. See the full list below: Federal Ministry of Health 1. Abdulkareem Jika Yusuf, Medical Director Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital Kaduna, Kaduna State Initial Term Of Four Years With Effect From 8th April 2018 2. Abubakar Musa Medical Director Federal Medical Centre, Nguru Yobe State Renewal Of Appointment Of Four Years With Effect From 3rd July 2017 3. Abdullahi Ibrahim Medical Director Federal Medical Centre Azare Bauchi State Renewal Of Appointment Of Four Years With Effect From 2nd April 2018 4. Nasir Ibrahim Umar Medical Director National Obstetric Fistula Centre, Bauchi Bauchi State Renewal Of Appointment Of Four Years With Effect From 8th April 2018 5. Iliasu Adeagbo Ahmed Medical Director Federal Medical Centre, Owo Ondo State Initial Term Of Four Years With Effect From 8th April 2018 6. Aliyu Muhammad El-Ladan Medical Director National Obstetric Fistula Centre Katsina, Katsina State Renewal Of Appointment Of Four Years With Effect From 8th April 2018 Federal Ministry Of Information And Culture 7. Stella Morounmubo Oyedepo General-Manager, National Theatre, Lagos Initial Term Of Four Years With Effect From 8th April 2018, In Compliance With The Establishment Act, Especially Sections 7 And 8 Of The National Theatre And National Troupe Of Nigeria Act 1991 With This Appointment, The President Has Separated The Leadership Of The National Theater From National Troup Of Nigeria Federal Ministry Of Education 8. Baba David Danjuma Rector, Federal Poyltechnic, Idah Kogi State Initial Term Of Four Years With Effect From 27th December 2017 9. Usman M. Kallamu Rector Federal Poyltechnic, Damaturu Yobe State Initial Term Of Four Years With Effect From 8th April 2018 10. Jimah Momodu Sanusi Rector Federal Poyltechnic, Auchi, Edo State Initial Term Of Four Years With Effect From 23rd February 2018 11. Dayo Hephzibah Oladebeye Rector, Federal Polytechnic, Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State, Initial Term Of Four Years With Effect From 23rd February 2018 12. Sanusi Gumau Rector Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi, Bauchi State Initial Term Of Four Years With Effect From 23rd February 2018 13. Tomunomi M. Abbey Rector Federal Polytechnic, Oil & Gas Bonny, Rivers State, Initial Term Of Four Years With Effect From 23rd February 2018 14. Omokungbe Obafemi Omoseni Rector, Yaba College Of Technology, Lagos Lagos State Initial Term Of Four Years With Effect From 30th January 2018 15. Faruk Rashid Haruna Provost Federal College Of Education, Kontagora, Niger State Initial Term Of Four Years With Effect From 27th March 2018 Power, Works And Housing 16. Usman Gur Mohammed Managing – Director Transmission Company Of Nigeria, (Tcn) Initial Term Of Four Years With Effect From 1st February 2018 Independent National Elect0ral Commission (Inec) 17. Emmanuel Alex Hart Resident Elect0ral Commissioner, Initial Term Of Five Years With Effect From 17th April, 2018 18. Mohammed Magaji Ibrahim Resident Elect0ral Commissioner, Initial Term Of Five Years With Effect From 17th April, 2018 19. Cyril Omorogbe Resident Elect0ral Commissioner, Initial Term Of Five Years With Effect From 17th April, 2018 20. Uthman Abdulrahman Ajidaba Resident Elect0ral Commissioner, Initial Term Of Five Years With Effect From 17th April, 2018 21. Segun Agbaje Resident Elect0ral Commissioner Initial Term Of Five Years With Effect From 17th April, 2018 22. Baba Abba Yusuf Resident Elect0ral Commissioner, Initial Term Of Five Years With Effect From 17th April, 2018 23. Yahaya Bello Resident Elect0ral Commissioner Initial Term Of Five Years With Effect From 17th April, 2018 Meanwhile, President Buhari on Tuesday, April 10, written the Senate to confirm Festus Okoye as National Commissioner for the Independent National Elect0ral Commission (INEC). Premium Times reports that Okoye is among 26 new appointees the president wrote, in separate letters, to the Senate for confirmation. President Buhari’s request on Okoye was contained in a letter read by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, shortly before the Senate adjourned plenary on Tuesday, April 10.
  10. Gradually Sowore is becoming a serious contender for 2019 presidential election. Do You Think He Can Win?
  11. The former governor noted that it was the right of Nigerians to know the level of rot that transpired in former President Goodluck Jonathan’s government. Adams Oshiomhole said:
  12. Kemi Olunloyo has joined the growing number of Nigerians who endorsed Sahara Reporters owner Omoyele Sowore for 2019 presidency. She joined Sowore at Unibadan Conference Center for TakeItBack Sowore2019. See photos below:
  13. Former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, has spoken up on the emergence of Julius Maada Bio as the new President of Sierra Leone. Obasanjo urged Bio to sustain the country’s relationship with Nigeria, which was strengthened during the immediate past President Ernest Bai Koroma’s administration. His message was contained in a congratulatory letter dated April 5, 2018 and made available to newsmen by his media aide, Kehinde Akinyemi, on Friday. Obasanjo said: “No doubt, the good people of Sierra Leone have spoken and have decided to repose their trust and confidence in your leadership. By this clear victory, Sierra Leoneans have not only given you a mandate to lead with the sound policies that will bring much socio-economic progress to the country but also to reassure you of their faith in your leadership, given your experience and background in government which have undoubtedly prepared you for the great responsibility as the leader of Sierra Leone. “I, therefore, wish you God’s guidance as you face, with vision and vigour, the challenges of lifting the nation up to greater heights. “As Your Excellency is aware, Nigeria and Sierra Leone have enjoyed excellent relations, which have been further strengthened under the leadership of your predecessor, President Ernest Bai Koroma. “I hope that the profound traditional bonds of friendship subsisting between Nigeria and Sierra Leone will grow from strength to strength during your administration and under your leadership.”
  14. Stormy Daniels’s attorney said on Thursday that President Trump claims he was unaware of the $130,000 payment his attorney made to the P0rn star days before the 2016 election. “He’s effectively thrown, Michael Cohen now under the bus,” Michael Avenatti said. “This is an undisciplined guy, who you know, he finally cracked. We knew he would crack eventually. We’d been patient, I’ve been waiting, and low and behold, who would have thought that it would arrive on this Thursday on this glorious day in New York,” he continued. Avenatti said they he would file a petition to depose the president on Monday. “My understanding is that he denied a couple subsequent questions as to whether he has set up a fund from which this payment would be made or reimbursed. “I find that quite interesting. And I find that certainly a topic that we’re going to explore in connection with his deposition, which we’re going to be making a petition for on Monday,” he said. Trump for the first time publicly acknowledged the scandal regarding Daniels’s claim that the two had an extramarital affair on Thursday, telling reporters on Air Force One that he did not know where his attorney Michael Cohen obtained the funds to pay Daniels, whose legal name is Stephanie Clifford. The money was part of an agreement to stop her from publicly discussing her affair with Trump and was made in the days before the 2016 presidential election. “You’ll have to ask Michael Cohen. Michael is my attorney. You’ll have to ask Michael,” Trump said.
  15. A South Korean court has found former President Park Geun-hye guilty on multiple counts of abuse of power, bribery and coercion and sentenced her to 24 years in prison. Park’s conviction brings to close a corruption scandal which gripped South Korea, upending the country’s politics and implicating some of the country’s most powerful figures. “The President abused the power which was given to her by the citizens,” the judge said, adding a tough sentence was needed to send a firm message to the country’s future leaders. . Prosecutors had asked for Park to receive a 30-year sentence. Park was found guilty of 16 of the 18 charges she faced, related to a massive influence-peddling case that removed her from office last year. As well as the prison sentence she was also fined $17 million.
  16. A presidential aspirant, Mr Adamu Garba II, has said that his decision to run for president on the platform of All Progressives Congress, APC, is not to campaign for President Muhammadu Buhari, noting that he has what it takes to get the party’s ticket. Garba, who is the founder of IPI Solutions, also said he chose the party because of his belief that it is the only platform with prospects for young people. Briefing newsmen at an event in Lagos to announce his decision to contest on the party’s platform, Garba said he had a superior manifesto that would fix Nigeria. His words: “I strongly believe the APC is a party with the right history and structures needed for me to actualise my ambition, which is to become the President of Nigeria. “We need to stay within and change the rot from within. My own candidacy is not just on the premise of becoming the President for the young people. It is not just about youthful ideas. It is more about being capable to fix Nigeria because I have a superior manifesto.” “And I believe very strongly that if APC adopts my manifesto, it is going to transform the entire country, especially under my leadership. That is why this aspiration is not just for the young but for everybody.
  17. The Presidency on Wednesday indirectly accused Nigerians of being ignorant of the many impacts of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration since 2015. In educating Nigerians about the Buhari-led government, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said Nigerians should rather be counting their blessings that the administration has brought about economic emancipation for the country. Shehu, in reeling out some of the gains of the government, noted that last year, the World Bank ranked Nigeria among the top 10 reforming economies in the world. This, he explained, was clearly in recognition of the thorough and rigorous growth and development-oriented economic policies of the Buhari Administration. He said currently, investors and businessmen and women from around the world can arrive in Nigeria and get their visas right at the airport without any hassle. This is just one of the many reasons why Nigeria has advanced 24 steps in the global ‘Ease of Doing Business’ rankings of the World Bank. He said the government is spending more on infrastructure than previous administrations, despite earning barely half of what the country earned from oil between 2011 and 2014 when the product was selling for an average of $110 per barrel. He said the latest GDP figures show continued growth after the Buhari administration successfully brought the country out of recession, with virtually all sectors of the economy now on the rebound, and significant progress recorded in agriculture. “This administration has also ushered in significant progress in agriculture, where output has risen in local production, and Nigeria is now importing 80-90 percent less rice than in previous years. “Fertilizer plants have been resuscitated, prices have dropped. More and more young people are going into agriculture, being able, for the first time, to see farming as a viable endeavour. “Has anyone heard of the Graduates-in-Agriculture Scheme in several states of the federation, a self-driven, government-assisted programme by which our young men and women are stopping their endless wait for white-collar jobs and creating wealth for themselves and the nation? “Power generation and distribution have more than doubled from 2015 when President Buhari took power to the present, “Shehu said in a statement made available to State House correspondents. In a further comment, Shehu said in the address of the Vice President at the 10th Bola Tinubu Colloquium, he reported that the Buhari administration has put in place “an audacious Social Investment Programme to the tune of N500 billion, the largest pro-poor programme in Nigeria’s history. He described it as the largest social safety net, at least in Sub-Saharan Africa. This was despite the fact that by 2015, oil prices fell by over 50 percent and our production also fell from over 2 million barrels a day to less than 700,000 barrels a day, sometimes even 500,000 barrels in 2016. “We have seen today the empirical evidence of the successes of this programme, and all of that is evident for us to see and listen to several testimonies and stories. 200,000 jobs for undergraduates employed under the N-Power programme, 300,000 more waiting to be employed; they have been pre-selected; over 7 million children being fed daily in 22 States so far; beneficiaries of micro-credit loans going to about 300,000; and almost 300,000 households benefiting from conditional cash transfers.” “In line with campaign promises, this administration is spending trillions of Naira to build railways, roads and ramp up power supplies. On this spending on infrastructure the Vice President’s words were: “In 2014, when oil was at between 100 dollars and 114 dollars a barrel, the actual releases for capital for three ministries Power, Works and Housing then they were three separate ministries, was in total N99 billion; while Transportation got 14 billion, and Agriculture got 15 billion. “I am talking about actual releases, not budgeted; what they actually got. Let us compare that with capital releases to the same ministries in 2017, when oil price was between $50 and $60 a barrel, N415 Billion for Power, Works & Housing, N80 Billion for Transportation; N65 Billion for Agriculture; totalling N560 Billion, in a time when we were earning at least 50 percent less than we were earning in 2014.” “We wish, however, to caution that these comments should not be misconstrued as denying that there is more that needs to be done, as the current administration is relentless and determined to continue in its task of continuously improving a lot of Nigerians. “We are only saying that we must learn to pause and count our blessings. The loud voices of critics with selfish ambitions and ulterior motives should not be a veil that keeps Nigerians blind to the many ways God has blessed us and improved our lot through the Buhari administration,” Shehu said in a lengthy statement.
  18. BOLANLE AMBODE KNEELS DOWN TO GREET PRESIDENT BUHARI(PHOTO) First Lady of Lagos, Bolanle Ambode was photoed going down on both knees to greet the head of states, President Buhari during his visit to the state last week. With her husband, the governor, Akinwumi Ambode by her side, the Lagos state first lady is seen shaking the head of states while kneeling down – a typical Yoruba gesture when showing respect for someone above you. President Muhammadu Buhari arrived at the economic capital of West Africa last Thursday amidst fanfare as his presence met an unprecedented number of his loyalists who showed up to see and cheer the commander-in-chief. The President was received on Thursday by the state governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, as well as the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, among other government officials. Shortly after his arrival, President Buhari inaugurated the Ikeja Bus Terminal which is expected to commute more than 100,000 residents across 23 bus routes in the state.
  19. President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa says Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, the hero of the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa will be given a state funeral. Madikizela-Mandela, who died on Monday aged 81, was one of the few remaining representatives of the generation of activists who led the fight against apartheid. Known as ‘the mother of the nation’, her frequently negative image abroad contrasts with her deep and long-lasting popularity within her homeland. On Monday night, crowds of mourners gathered outside Madikizela-Mandela’s home in the Soweto township, a center of anti-apartheid resistance that remained her base decades after the end of white minority rule. “The nation was ill-prepared for her departure and people are grieving very deeply. “ The death is a great loss on that she has been one of the strongest women in our struggle who suffered immensely … She remained courageous on behalf of the people,” Ramaphosa said. Tributes continued to pour in on Tuesday and many have paid tribute to Madikizela-Mandela’s long fight for women’s rights. Baleka Mbete and Thandi Modise, parliament’s presiding officers and senior officials in the ruling African National Congress (ANC), issued a statement describing Madikizela-Mandela as “a torch-bearer to gender mainstreaming, and an inspiration to millions of downtrodden women across the length and breadth of the country, across the continent and the world”.
  20. Former Super Eagles captain, Nwankwo Kanu has been inspired by Liberian icon George Weah’s feat and has thus announced he will run for President of Nigeria in 2019. Weah, who had a very successful football career in Europe, was elected President of Liberia in the 2017 election, defeating the incumbent Vice President Joseph Boakai, and sworn in on 22 January 2018. “My presence here today is about the future of our country and the happiness of our people,” Kanu said on Goal. “The last 18 years of leadership has witnessed a decline in all critical sectors of life in Nigeria, plus general insecurity in the land. “Also, I’ll do all it takes to wrestle corruption which has become blatant and widespread. The rest of the world looks at Nigeria as the home of corruption,” Kanu, who also had a successful career in Europe, added. “If I get your mandate, I promise to do things differently and restore honour and integrity to public service by keeping the best and attracting the best. “George Weah’s victory in Liberia is a pointer that this dream is very realistic with you all on my side.” Kanu, 41, will be hoping to unseat incumbent president Muhammadu Buhari during the Nigerian general elections which will be held in Nigeria on 16 February 2019.
  21. Senate president, Bukola Saraki has finally opened up over reports that he is planning to contest in the 2019 Presidential elections. The politician while speaking through his special adviser on Media and Publicity, Yusuf Olaniyonun in an interview on Monday with Daily Independent said that the report was not true. In his words: “The report is false. If it is true that he is contesting, you would have seen the report it in major dailies since last week Saturday when the news broke out on social media. But as you can see, there is nothing like that” he said. Recall that ovation publisher and former presidential aspirant, Dele Momodu had last week published a report on his Boss Newspaper that Saraki will be throwing his hat in the ring for the 2019 presidential polls. The report read: “The Boss can exclusively reveal that Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki has joined the 2019 Presidential race. There is no doubt that he would be a formidable force that should not be ignored because only a few politicians in Nigeria today have the pedigree, the experience, the clout and the connection of Senator Saraki. Impeccable sources reveal that as he plots his move for the Presidency, he is said to be considering building alliances with all Nigerians of like minds. He is also considering using the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu as his running mate.”
  22. While Speaking at his 66th birthday colloquium, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, blast the former President of Nigeria “Olusegun Obasanjo” over the letters he wrote to the president of Nigeria “Muhammadu Buhari” “Somebody who is writing letter these days, a letter of politics. As if they’ve never been there before. Bad belle letters …don’t worry. I don’t want to address that today” He says. Watch The Video Below:
  23. Rivers State chapter of All Progressives Congress, APC, has described as laughable the recent call by the state governor, Nyesom Ezebunwo Wike, on Nigerians to vote against the APC-led Federal Government during the 2019 general elections. This claim was part of a statement issued by Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, media consultant to the Rivers APC chairman, Dr Davies Ibiamu Ikanya in Port Harcourt on Thursday. The party also claimed that Governor Wike is planning to impose himself as Vice President of Nigeria having been rejected by the people of Rivers state. The APC stated that Wike seems to have forgotten that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has been formally pronounced dead due to recent activities of Wike, who has arrogated to himself the sole administrator-ship and sole determinant force of who flies the presidential flag of the party in the 2019 general elections. According to the APC, the announcement made by the national chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus that Nigerians should forgive the party “for its notoriety in impunity and undemocratic principles particularly during the period of the ill-fated administration of Dr Goodluck Jonathan where looting of our common patrimony was the common trait”, tells it all about the opposition party. The party wondered how Nigerians will forgive a party that not only ruined Nigeria’s economy but made the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, its ATM. The statement read, “How do Nigerians forget or forgive a party that killed hundreds of our people in order to get to power in Rivers State? “How do Nigerians forgive a party that ensured that our children are out of school because Wike wants to distort the future of the children of Rivers State youths? “How will PDP pleads for forgiveness from those that lost their dear ones so that Wike will become the Governor of Rivers State? “The PDP leadership should not think that Nigerians are fools and if they are truly serious in their quest for forgiveness, they should compile the names of those that they killed and burnt alive during the 2015 general elections and visit their families in order to takeover the responsibility of their children education before we can pray to God to forgive them for their wicked acts against this country. “We have compiled all the fraudulent financial acts and sinister plots of Gov. Nyesom Wike including sponsorship of inciting video tapes against the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and inflammatory speeches at any given fora. “Wike’s recent call on Nigerians to rise against the APC-led administration is not based on any patriotism act but on how he will protect his looted public funds in the Ministry of Education and also by his unpatriotic call scuttles the efforts of this administration to unravel those behind most of the looted funds by the immediate past administration of PDP at the centre. “At the appropriate time, we will make public how Chief Nyesom Wike milked the Ministry of Education dry. “Instead of dreaming of the ouster of the APC-led government come 2019, Wike should be preparing on how to account for the public funds he looted both as the State Minister of Education and as the most corrupt Governor of Rivers State as the APC Government by the grace of God will surely be in power beyond 2023 both at the centre and Brick House from 2019. “Not minding all the falsehoods, propaganda against the administration of APC, Nigerians are not deceived as they are very aware of the good intentions of the APC Governments both at the centre and the States it is currently holding sway. “Neither APC or any agent is ready nor preparing to rig any election come 2019 as Wike has already rigged himself out by destroying the future of our youths through his wicked plots against the education sector and ensuring that no employment opportunity exist in Rivers State. “We therefore plead with the Rivers State indigenes and Nigerians as a whole not to despair as we are well prepared and set to disgrace Wike come 2019 if he dare contests the 2019 gubernatorial election in Rivers State, though we are fully aware of his plot to impose himself as the Vice Presidential candidate of PDP knowing very well that he has been rejected by the Rivers State people.”
  24. The political romance between President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu, which has been rekindled by the 2019 presidential election, waxed stronger yesterday when both men in separate speeches assured Nigerians that the country was being rescued from the wreckage of past administrations. Buhari, who is in Lagos for a two-day official visit, spoke at the 10th Bola Tinubu Colloquium held in Nigeria’s commercial capital to mark the APC leader’s 66th birthday. Buhari at the event, restated his commitment to implementing people-oriented programmes, saying: “Our goal is to bring everybody together for mutually beneficial ethnic, economic, social, religion, political and cultural relationships. “We are determined to invest in people because we depend on people to govern.” Buhari, who also commissioned the Ikeja Bus Terminal in Lagos designed to handle 200,000 passengers daily, said his administration would continue to invest in social programmes, including school feeding and agriculture. He said: “We have set Nigeria on an irreversible path of growth and development. We are resolute to uplift our people and make Nigeria a better place.” The president described Tinubu as his friend saying, he was happy to be in Lagos “to celebrate the birthday of my friend and political partner”. According to him, Tinubu is a well-known political strategist who has elevated politics above self. He said: “I have come to see him as a man who cares about people, who is a fountain of ideas, for the common good of the common man and woman. He has played an appreciative contribution to Nigeria and Africa’s progress. “We seek a change in the ways and means of our collective existence. We seek to construct a nation where people are no longer ruled by whims, but according to the law and for the betterment of the people. “We seek to replace corruption with correctness, insecurity with safety, and poverty with prosperity.” The president called on Nigerians to join him to celebrate “Asiwaju”, a man whom he said was widely known as a political strategist, a caregiver and a man with a vision. Also speaking at the colloquium attended by several APC governors, party stalwarts, officials from the federal and Lagos State governments and captains of industry, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo said the administration would not stop talking about the corruption perpetrated by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), wondering why the party does not want people to “talk about the monumental corruption it inflicted on Nigeria”. According to him, “Upon all I had seen in government in the past three years, the corruption of the five years of the Jonathan government is what destroyed the Nigerian economy.” He insisted that the money withdrawn from the treasury before the election could have been used to develop infrastructure across the country. Osinbajo said there was no country in the world that would allow its resources to be plundered in the way Nigeria’s resources were looted and shared and was still expected to be economically viable. “Every time we talk about corruption, our opponents say don’t talk about it. Just do your own. But we must talk about it. The reason why we must talk about it is that we must let our people know that we can’t afford to go this way again. “Never again should we allow a system where people take the resources of this country and steal the resources, use the resources against the people and at the same time they want to continue to rule the people. “We as a party, as your government, must show the difference between us and the government and the party that impoverished our nation. Let me give you an example, in 2014 when oil was between $100 and $114 a barrel, the actual releases for capital expenditure to the three major Ministries of Power, Works and Housing – then they were three separate ministries – in total, was N99 billion. Transportation got N14 billion and agriculture N15 billion. “Now let us compare that with capital releases to the same ministries in 2017 when oil prices were between $50 and $60 per barrel – N415 billion for power, works and housing, N80 billion for transportation and N65 billion for agriculture, totalling N560 billion at a time when we were earning at least 50 per cent less,” he pointed out. Osinbajo said it was possible to get this much money to spend on developmental projects because the present government was not stealing public funds. The vice-president thanked the president for giving him a free hand in the government’s social investment programme, noting that when the APC began its campaign in 2014, the party was determined to change the dominant narrative of Nigeria. “We were determined to change the narrative on the country which is rich in natural resources and even richer in human capital but was being destroyed daily by the grand corruption and impunity through the looting of public resources. “We saw a nation where a few had privatised the commonwealth while the majority of the people remained extremely poor. On one of our campaign trips to Zamfara State, Mr. President said look at the eyes of these people; of course, we saw poverty and desperation in their eyes. “Then he said, ‘They expect us to fix the problem of their poverty as soon as we get into office’.” This, he said, informed the decision to put N500 billion into the social investment programme. “We have seen today the empirical evidence of that success story,” he added. Osinbajo also said that when the government enforced the implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA), it discovered that there was a lot of money in the system. He also expressed regret that the PDP government that refused to budget for infrastructure development suddenly released and spent N100 billion in cash during the 2015 election, promising that the Buhari administration would continue to defend the rights of the poor people. Osinbajo also said that those who benefited from corruption were fighting back, but vowed: “This government will not give up. We will continue to fight corruption.” He restated that $3 billion was lost to the Strategic Alliance Agreement between a local oil and gas firm, Atlantic Energy Drilling Concept and the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), the upstream subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), noting that the $3 billion was the equivalent of the money spent by this government on road construction across the country.‎ Supporting the position of the vice-president that the administration must continue to expose the magnitude of corruption under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led government, Tinubu said the APC-led administration must continue to talk about corruption. He said: “They said that we should not talk about it. Seriously, what should we then talk about? After we came into office, we discovered the looting. “After assuming office, did you expect us to join you in the act and encourage such acts. We are not just talking about the needs of Nigerians. “Please forget those parties. They will not come back to power. There is no nation that is not facing challenges. Even America is facing its own. So, who are we? How many years of democracy have we practised? “We did not say that Nigerians would not enjoy. But we have to report back to the millions of Nigerians that elected us into office that this is what we found when we assumed office.” Tinubu acknowledged that the task of running the country in the last three years has not been easy but enjoined Nigerians not to accept the apology tendered by the PDP for their past mistakes. “It is not an easy task at all, but dear Nigerians, do not take their apology. They lied, they falsified, they even changed figures. For 16 years, they made fake promises and gave us fake figures. “And they said we should not talk about it. It is like saying, ‘After all, they did wrong, so do not look at me. Just steal your own.’ But we have a nation to rescue. We have hope to build Nigeria. We have the lead. We have the people to invest in,” he said. While acknowledging the challenges the APC has had to contend with, Tinubu said: “Life is not without challenges. As a political party, we showed everyone our logo… Our logo with a united Nigeria, we focused on the fight against terrorism, corruption and the promotion of the economic revival of the country. “I can see what the government is doing with so little resources. But the idea and the fact that they are doing it with beneficiaries and the fact that it is demonstrated in practical terms is what we need to get our country from the tentacles of corrupt officials.”
  25. Last night, the Lagos state government hosted President Buhari to a banquet that was attended by governors, APC chieftains and others. SEE MORE PHOTOS BELOW:

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