Friday, August 17, 2018

Opinion: This badly broken Nigeria is in urgent need of a surgeon

Nigeria is badly broken and damaged and in dire need of a surgical operation. Political commentator, Jude Ndukwe, writes that Nigeria needs a surgical operation to take back its place in the community of nations. Ndukwe also has an idea about the kind of surgeon ready made for the task.His opinion piece is reproduced below, unedited: ________It is now globally known that Nigeria is broken! Since 2015, under the current presidency of Muhammadu Buhari, the nation has managed to trudge on, not forward as would ordinarily have been expected, but backwards. Her condition, which probably needed mild analgesics to properly guide her track on the continued path of progress, has been made worse since the All Progressives Congress, APC took over power in 2015, and she is in a very serious state of coma that it would take a highly qualified surgeon with the humanness of a mother, heart for the people, and a verifiable track record, to reverse, stabilize and put back on the path of recovery, growth and development.It has never been this bad in Nigeria! From grave security lapses to the economy, flagrant disobedience of court orders and disrespect for citizens’ rights, to unemployment, fall in standard of education, health, infrastructure and such other key indices of human and societal development, the nation is simply in shambles under the Buhari government.Mutiny in the armyJust the other day, specifically on Sunday August 12, 2018, soldiers had cause to openly protest against their superiors in Maiduguri, threatening to shoot them over redeployment matters. They were frustrated with the way security situations are being handled as it relates to their postings.Ordinarily, soldiers would not have been so riotous as they were in Maiduguri on that day but for the reality of the grim picture of a completely broken down security architecture that has allowed Boko Haram insurgents regroup and become more daring and deadlier as they kept sacking military formations with relative ease, killing many of the soldiers with some of the survivors re-echoing what Nigerians already know, that is, that the troops are ill-equipped and exposed to the superior firepower of the terrorists.On Monday, July 2, 2018, a similar protest was also embarked upon, only this time by police officers posted to Maiduguri, over unpaid allowances, lack of accommodation, among other issues bordering on their welfare. Just like their counterparts in the military, the protesting police officers shot sporadically into the air causing passersby to scamper for safety.Ugly developments as these are incontrovertible proofs that our security architecture and situation have both degenerated to a near-irredeemable state. Little wonder, for a long time, some terrorists operating under the guise of herdsmen have freely unleashed terror on Nigerians across the country without let or hindrance, leaving behind them tears, sorrow and blood, as our security forces look on helplessly and powerlessly as if under a spell. It is even most alarming that despite the claims of responsibilities for these attacks even on national television, no one seems to be prosecuted today for those multiple heinous crimes committed against our people including hapless women and children, some of whom were ripped open from their mothers’ wombs as they awaited their days of birth oblivious of the dire security situation that would cut short their expectations!Rather than adequately equip our security forces so that they can perform their constitutional roles, the ruling party’s preoccupation seems to be the use of these security forces to achieve selfish and sinister political motives and unleash them against innocent civilians who dare speak against them or hold a divergent view from theirs as witnessed in the illegal and barbaric invasion of both the National Assembly and the Benue State House of Assembly by some security forces almost simultaneously.A suffering health sectorOn health front, while cases of polio have resurfaced, Lassa Fever has killed more people than it ordinarily should have done if we had a more focused and coordinated government in place. A majority of Nigerians have wondered what would have happened if it was the Buhari administration that was in place when the Ebola virus hit the country few years ago. It is almost certain that with the events of today, a good number of Nigerians would have died from it.An economy in crisisThe economy has not fared any better. Despite the claims that Nigeria has exited recession which the country was plunged into under the Buhari administration, the reality on ground proves otherwise as the hardship in the land is so palpable it can never be mistaken for prosperity as claimed by the spin doctors of the ruling party. The prices of food stuff have skyrocketed and have refused to come down; cost of transportation has remained so high; basic household items have also gone out of the reach of the masses as prices have increased astronomically as a result of the combined effects of fuel price increase from N87 to N141 and deep fall in the value of the Naira from about N190/$ in 2015 to about N360/$ today, all under the Buhari presidency!A report released by the National Bureau of Statistics, NBS, in January, shows that a whopping 7.9 million Nigerians became unemployed between January 2016 and September 30, 2017. At an average of 6 persons per family, it means that about 47.4 million Nigerians have lost their sources of livelihood, a population far more than that of The Netherlands, Belgium, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina put together! Factories are closing down in droves and the stock market keeps crashing on a regular basis as investors’ confidence in the nation’s polity and economy keeps waning radically due to the lack of focus and obvious ineptitude of government. Still under Buhari, Nigeria just officially overtook India as the world headquarters of extreme poverty.Upon all these, and apart from the civil war era, Nigerians have never been so divided in their history as they are now having been led by the president’s unfortunate division of the country into 97% vs 5% sides. Rather than heal the situation, President Muhammadu Buhari has made it worse with his highly nepotistic appointments, statements and policies which many see as favouring a section of the country against the others.As it stands today, Nigeria is grounded! She is pauperized, broken and wounded! She is in urgent need of a surgeon who knows how to resuscitate a dying patient to bring her back to life, bandage her wounds and give her hope that, in spite of all she has gone through, hers is not a completely hopeless one as long as she is conscious enough not to repeat her mistake of 2015 but move away from her oppressors who have been busy maligning and blackmailing others rather than face the urgent needs of State.The surgeonNo doubt, with what he has been able to achieve as president of the 8th Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, a medical doctor by profession and an astute politician who has proved to have more than the ability needed to work with people from different backgrounds, diverse affiliations and protect all interests no matter how divergent they are, fits the bill of the surgeon that Nigeria needs at a time like this.Having suffered gruesome political assaults himself, Saraki understands the need for Nigerians to be allowed to enjoy their freedom as enshrined in our constitution. He sure knows the importance of obeying court orders, and he is one man who has used his office to sound several warnings about the dangers of allowing the nation to drift as it has done today.However, his admonitions were mistaken for inimical dissent and he was made to suffer for it, marked for destruction. But events of today have proven him right as Nigeria grapples for life. Having defeated his traducers at the courts even up to the Supreme Court level, and emerged victorious against all their shenanigans, Saraki suddenly became the beautiful bride of his oppressors who were believed to have induced him with mouthwatering juicy offers.However, Saraki had concluded that he had had enough of sharing the same table with a party that has supervised the killings of Nigerians in droves, a majority of the survivors who go to bed hungry on a daily basis and left to the whimsical and capricious dictates of their murderers despite the billions of dollars the presidency earmarks for security on a regular basis.No amount of inducement would stop him. Saraki’s mind was made up. He had to leave and wash his hands clean of all the evils the APC has brought upon the land. And in collaboration with other Nigerians of good conscience and spirit, he is one man, one trained surgeon that a battered Nigeria needs to better and restore her back to succor!__________ *Mr Jude Ndukwe wrote this piece from Lagos . He can be reached on jrndukwe@yahoo.co.uk; Twitter: @stjudendukwe. The views expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Pulse.

INEC Presents Certificate Of Return To Cross River Bye-Election Winner

Cross River REC, Dr Frankland Briyai, presenting the Certificate of Return to Mrs Abbey Ukpukpen, winner of Obudu State Constituency bye-election, at the INEC Headquarters in Calabar on August 16, 2018.
 
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has presented the Certificate of Return to the winner of the just concluded Obudu State Constituency bye-election in Cross River State.
The Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Dr Frankland Briyai, presented the certificate to Mrs Abbey Ukpukpen at the INEC Headquarters in Calabar, the state Capital.
He urged her to exhibit a high sense of responsibility in the discharge of her duties while in office and uphold the confidence reposed in her by the electorate.
The REC also used the opportunity of the event to remind all stakeholders present and the people of Cross River that the electoral umpire has extended the period of the Continuous Voter Registration exercise.
He urged them to mobilise those who have yet to register to take advantage of the extension and do so in order to participate in the coming general elections.
In her response, the new member of the Cross River State House of Assembly thanked the PDP and her constituents for their support and assured them of effective representation.
Mrs Ukpukpen contested the bye-election held on Saturday last week on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
She was declared the winner of the poll after scoring 12,712 votes to defeat her opponent from the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adah Ishamali, with 4,345 votes.
The lawmaker is the widow of Mr Steven Ukpukpen, whose death led to the declaration of the seat vacant.
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Sowore’s party gets INEC nod

A new political party, the African Action Congress (ACC), has been registered by the electoral commission.
Its director, Dr. Malcolm Fabiyi, said in a statement: “Our movement’s political platform was announced as one of the newly registered political parties by INEC.”
He added: “With our own dedicated party platform, we are now able to match up a pace setting movement with a transformative political platform.
“We call on progressives and youth everywhere to embrace the AAC. Our party is the authentic platform for political transformation in Nigeria.”
Our party’s slogan will be – Take it Back – Action.

Osun Election: This 23 political parties won’t participate in governorship elections

Prof Yakubu, announced that the 23 political parties will not be allowed to participate in the governorship election in Osun State. 23 political parties won’t be fielding candidates nor participating in the Osun state governorship elections scheduled for September 22, 2018.The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, made this known on Thursday, August 16, 2018.INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, announced that the 23 newly registered political parties will not be allowed to participate in the governorship election in Osun State.Reasons for stopping 23 parties from participatingProf. Yakubu explained why the 23 political parties won’t be participating in the Osun state governorship election.The INEC chairman said the though the political parties have been registered, their registration didn’t meet the deadline for submission of candidates for the governorship election.ALSO READ: INEC issues Certificate of Registration to new parties”Since the commission has closed nomination for the Osun State governorship election holding on September 22, 2018, none of you can sponsor a candidate for that election,” Yakubu said.The INEC Chairman, however, congratulated the leaders of the 23 new political parties after handing certificates to the newly registered parties. He said, “The 23 political parties emerged out of 144 applications received by the commission so far from associations seeking registration as political parties.“I wish to congratulate the chairmen and leaders of the new political parties for meeting the criteria enshrined in the constitution for your registration as political parties.”“Needless to add, from today, you are recognised as political parties under the law.“From today also, you have equal status with any political party in Nigeria. This means you can sponsor candidates for elections including the 2019 general elections.“From today, you are also members of the Inter-Party Advisory Council.

Released Dapchi Girls: UN reports claims government paid ‘huge ransom’

A report by the United Nations (UN) has claimed that the federal government paid huge ransom for the release of Dapchi school girls kidnapped in February.
Titled “Letter dated 16 July 2018 from the Chair of the Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1989 (2011) and 2253 (2015) concerning Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Da’esh), Al-Qaida and associated individuals, groups,  undertakings and entities addressed to the President of the  Security Council,” was obtained from the UN’s official website on Thursday.
Signed by the Coordinator, Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team, Edmund Fitton-Brown, and the Chair, Security Council Committee, it stated that Boko Haram and the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) have had similar impact in their areas of control, including the Lake Chad basin.
In paragraph 43 of the 25-page report, the UN said: “The predominance in the region of the cash economy, without controls, is conducive to terrorist groups funded by extortion, charitable donations, smuggling, remittances and kidnapping.
“In Nigeria, 111 schoolgirls from the town of Dapchi were kidnapped on 18 February 2018 and released by ISWAP on 21 March 2018 in exchange for a large ransom payment.”
Read Also: Jubilation as Dapchi girls return
This is coming months after the federal government refuted reports that ransom was paid to the extremist sect for the release of the student hostages.
According to the report, the number of doctrinally based non-governmental organizations sending funds to local terrorist groups was growing, and Member States were concerned that radicalization was increasing the threat level in the Sahel region and Lake Chad Basin.
It said Jama‘at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM) successfully combined regional terrorist groups in an Al-Qaida-affiliated coalition in West Africa,  which increased attacks and propaganda against French, United States of America and others.
In Lybia, the report said the numerical strength of ISIL was estimated to vary between 3,000 and 4,000 individuals dispersed across the country.
“Its central command in Libya may lie in the triangle between Bani Walid, southern Sirte and Jufrah district. The leadership structure is headed by Abu Moaz Al-Tikriti (not listed), an Iraqi national who is reportedly still alive despite reports of his death in an airstrike.
“Al-Qaida continues to resurge in Libya, its ranks composed of elements of its historical component, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, as well as Shura councils in Darnah, Benghazi and Ajdabiya.
“AQIM in the Sahel, led by Yahya Abu al-Hamam (not listed), maintains networks of mutual financial support and arms supply with Al-Qaida in Libya. The mountainous areas in the west of Tunisia continue to harbour elements of ISIL and Al-Qaida. The country is affected by the fluid situation in Libya.
“In April 2018, the Tunisian Armed Forces began counter-terrorism operations around Kasserine against the AQIM affiliate Uqba Ibn Nafi Battalion and Jund al-Khilafah  in Tunisia, during which it dismantled several ISIL sleeper cells in the region.
“In Egypt, military operations, which began in Sinai in February 2018, continue against Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis (ABM). The group pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in November 2014. Some Member States assess that the group may consist of up to 1,000 fighters and are concerned that it continues to exhibit signs of resilience.
“Member States assess that returning foreign terrorist fighters, particularly those of North African origin, continue to pose a threat to the region. One Member State in the region noted that those returnees buoyed the ranks of Jund al-Khilafa in Algeria and Al Mourabitoun, renewing the ability of those organizations to carry out operations.

2019 Election Budget: Senate invites INEC Chairman again for clarifications

The Chairman of the Senate committee on INEC, Sen. Suleiman Nazif, who made this known to newsmen after the joint committee meeting, said Yakubu was expected to be at the meeting by 11:00 a.m. The National Assembly Joint Committee on Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has again invited the Chairman of the commission, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, to give further clarifications on the 2019 General Elections Budget.The Chairman of the Senate committee on INEC, Sen. Suleiman Nazif, who made this known to newsmen after the joint committee meeting, said Yakubu was expected to be at the meeting by 11:00 a.m.He said the joint committee, having met to harmonise their reports, following Yakubu’s visit to both chambers on Wednesday, came to a conclusion that more clarifications needed to be made on the budget.“Yesterday (Wednesday), we invited the chairman of INEC, who addressed the senate and House of Representatives and we met today to harmonise what transpired yesterday between both chambers.“The meeting was convened consequent upon the letter of President Muhammadu Buhari, requesting for supplementary and virement for the 2019 general elections.“We have done what we needed to do and we have realised there are differences.“In view of that, we decided to invite the chairman of INEC for further clarifications tomorrow at 11 O’clock and from there we will issue a statement to inform Nigerians of our position,” Nazif said.He assured Nigerians that the joint committee would endeavour to make sure that the elections did not suffer any setback as a result of the president’s request to the National Assembly.He said, “We want to use this opportunity to assure Nigerians that the committee is committed to ensuring effective, credible, free and fair elections in 2019.”The lawmaker commended his colleagues for cutting short their holiday to meet and consider the president’s letter in effort to ensure the success of the elections.News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Senate Committee on INEC on Monday queried the commission for presenting a budgetary proposal that was at variance with the one presented by the president for the polls.The INEC chairman had presented a proposal of N189 million to the Senate Committee on INECNAN recalls that President Muhammadu Buhari had requested the Senate’s approval of N242.45 billion to commence preparations for 2019 general elections.Part of the funds, according to the President’s request, will also be given to the Department of State Service and other security agencies for the same purpose.The request was contained in a letter addressed to President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, dated July 11 and personally signed by Buhari.Buhari requested that out of the needed figure, N164.10 billion should be provided through virement or supplementation of 2018 Budget.It also requested that the balance of N78.34 billion, mostly related to personnel allowances, fuelling and other costs not required until election proper, be provided for in the 2019 budget.The sum of N189.21 billion was earmarked for INEC, N4.3 billion for Office of the Security Adviser, N12.21 billion for DSS and N3.6 billion for Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.The Nigeria Police Force got a proposal of N30.5 billion while N2.6 billion was earmarked for Nigeria Immigration Service.Specifically, the president requested that N164.10 billion of total funds proposed for the elections should be funded from the N578.

Saraki: How Senate President withdrew his Presidential ambition for Jonathan and Buhari

Alhaji Baraje has revealed how Saraki withdrew his presidential ambition for ex-President Jonathan and President Buhari. Senate President Bukola Saraki withdrew his presidential ambition twice – for ex-President Goodluck Jonathan and President Muhammadu Buhari – Alhaji Abubakar Baraje has revealed.In a recent chat with journalists, Baraje, who is the leader of the Reformed All Progressives Congress (R-APC), said the Senate President has every right to vie for the presidential seat.”Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has been trying his luck on being the President of this country since 2011. He withdrew for the then candidate Goodluck Jonathan. In 2015, he also withdrew for the present President Muhammadu Buhari. So for somebody who has been nursing that kind of ambition, is it not right for such person to come forward again?” he said.Explaining further, Baraje said he believes in the candidacy of Saraki because he has in him whatever Nigeria needs to unite the country. “This present President came forward four times before clinching it. Did anybody ask whether he was right or wrong? Totally, I am in his support. Whatever Nigeria is looking for is in him and what we are looking for is only a candidate that will unite Nigeria, because with the current situation in the country, Nigeria is further divided and unless we get a candidate that will unite Nigeria, it is going to be a very serious jeopardy for this country,” he said.ALSO READ: Saraki says he’s actively considering running against BuhariSaraki has every right to run for president of Nigeria – Baraje Expressing his support for the presidential ambition of the Senate President, Baraje said Saraki is constitutionally qualified to aspire and become the president of Nigeria.Baraje also expressed that he has supported several presidential candidates who aren’t from Kwara state and he would stand solidly behind the Senate President.He said,“He has the right. The fact that he is the Senate President does not stop him from aspiring to become the president. Constitutionally, of course, I have not seen that a Senate President cannot aspire to become president. Being one of the strong supporters of the Senate President, this is the time I will show the entire world that I am solidly behind him. We have been supporting others, this is the time to support our own.

Vote Buying Is Cancer To Our Elections – INEC Chairman

INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu (File)
 
The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Mahmood Yakubu,  has described votes buying as “cancer” to Nigeria’s electoral process.
Yakubu stated this on Thursday at the presentation of certificates to 21 out of the 23 newly registered political parties in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
“Votes buying is cancer to our elections that we must work together collectively to stamp out,” he said.
According to the INEC boss, the commission is deeply worried about a situation whereby political agents woo voters with cash during elections; a development local observers said characterised the Ekiti Governorship polls on July 14.
In view of its negative effect of vote buying on the electoral process, Professor Yakubu said he was committed to curbing it.
He vowed that INEC would not tolerate vote buying in the forthcoming Osun State governorship exercise slated for September 22, 2018.
In doing this, the electoral umpire will collaborate with security agencies in identifying, arresting and prosecuting both givers and receivers of cash inducement in the election.
He said, “On the part of the commission, starting with the Osun State governorship election coming up on September 22. We will change the way our polling units are administered such that there will be no room for voters to expose their marked ballot papers between the voting cubicles and the ballot boxes.
“We shall further strategise with the security agencies for a more robust response to the arrest and prosecution of vote buyers. We will also engage with all well-meaning groups for more effective voter education and voter sensitisation.”
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Atiku: Ex-VP says Buhari’s government is filled with liars

Atiku told members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Enugu that Buhari’s government is filled with liars. President Muhammadu Buhari led government has been described as an administration filled with liars by ex-Vice-President Atiku Abubakar.Atiku, who was in Enugu State on Thursday, August 16, 2018, told members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state that Buhari’s government is filled with liars.“This government is a government of liars. They promised three million jobs per annum but Nigeria has been losing three million jobs every year,” he said.Atiku has continued to throw jibes at the All Progressive Congress-led government after he dumped the party in 2017.Continuing, he said, “This job loss has brought the worst form of insecurity in the country. We are facing challenging times in Nigeria. Today, economy is at its lowest ebb and the greatest challenge is unemployment.”ALSO READ: I will rule for only one term – Atiku AbubakarThe former VP claimed he was neglected by the party and government he worked for in 2015.I am not desperate to be President, Atiku saysPresidential aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, recently said that he is not desperate to be President of the country.Atiku stated this while fielding questions from newsmen in Benin on Tuesday.He, however, pledged not to leave the PDP even if he fails to secure the presidential ticket of the party.Atiku who was the nation’s Vice President to Olusegun Obasanjo, between 1999 and 2007, said he would have become President in 2003 if he were desperate.

In Enugu: INEC rolls out hotlines for inquires, complaints

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the 24-hour hotlines are: 08098820020 and 08104066068. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has given out hotlines for inquires and complaints on its activities in Enugu State, in order to carry all the electorate along.The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 24-hour hotlines are: 08098820020 and 08104066068.The Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in the state, Dr Emeka Ononamadu, gave out the numbers during a ‘People and Power Conference’ in Enugu on Thursday.The conference has the theme: “Power of Citizens to Choose Responsible Leaders in a Democracy.’’Ononamadu said that the numbers should be used by anybody having difficulties with the ongoing Continuous Voters Registration (CVR) or collection of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) and any other issues concerning the electoral process.“INEC is adequately prepared for the 2019 general elections because we started preparing for it since 2017.The commission has announced the election timetable and its processes. INEC is making good progress, so far.“For INEC activities in Enugu State, we have been working relentlessly every day, even Sundays, to ensure that the process of the ongoing CVR and PVC collection is not interrupted any day.“We have done far-reaching consultations with all critical stakeholders to ensure that the people buy into, and start taking ownership of the entire electoral process for it to be a great success.“The idea of hotlines is an innovation created by the INEC office when I took over, it has helped to bridge the gap between the people and INEC in the state.“For sometimes now, the hotlines have made the commission to even monitor what its staff in the field are actually doing daily,’’ he said.The REC, however, urged the electorate to be alive to their responsibility of voting and protecting their votes in order to ensure that only credible leaders would be voted.He noted that only credible leaders would give Nigerians good governance and deliver democratic dividends to the people.According to him, credible election is a multi-stakeholders’ business involving everybody assisting INEC to get it better.“I will urge the enlightened among us in the state to educate others against electoral malpractices; which include the shameful vote-buying and selling experienced in recent elections.“The onus is on us, the human actors in the electoral process, to do the right things and set the right examples for others to follow.’’Earlier, the Executive Director of African Heritage Institution (Afri-Heritage), Prof. Ufo Okeke-Uzodike, said Okeke-Uzodike said that Nigerians must get involved in politics and ensure that the right people with people-oriented programmes were elected.He also called on voters to ensure that non-performing politicians were shown the way out.“It is everybody’s responsibility to ensure that only people that are genuinely concerned about developing the nation and must have gathered some level of experience to do that are voted in.“Nigerians must rise above primordial sentiments and begging for money from politicians to ensure result-oriented people get into political offices,’’ he said.The conference which attracted people from all walks of life, is organised by Afri-Heritage and Fled International Leadership Institute, Abuja.NAN reports that the event featured extensive questions session on activities of INEC and other electoral related issues.

Fayemi condemns alleged underhand recruitment of 2,000 new workers

Ekiti State Governor-elect, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has condemned alleged massive recruitment of workers by Governor Ayo Fayose less than two months before leaving office.
Fayemi said “the last-minute employment of workers” was a booby trap to make life difficult for the incoming administration.
Fayose is expected to make way for Fayemi on October 16 when the governor-elect will be sworn in.
A statement on Thursday by the Director of Media and Publicity, Mr. Wole Olujobi, claimed that Fayose had just employed 600 teachers into the Teaching Service Commission, 400 staff into the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and 1,000 into the Ministry of Establishment.
The governor-elect berated Fayose for embarking on a last minute mass recruitment to deceive the unsuspecting victims and set a booby-trap for the incoming administration.
Noting that Fayose  was deliberately creating obstacles for the new administration having not employed one person in nearly four years, the statement wondered why the governor embarked on mass recruitment in the last few days to the end of his term.
Read Also: Fayemi condoles with Ojo’s family
According to him, Fayose was playing on the intelligence of the people to paint a picture of a man of the masses in clear infraction on the law.
He said: “It is a grand deception and sheer wickedness for a governor that has refused to pay workers and pensioners for between six and 10 months to now turn around to recruit about 2,000 workers in a selective manner to favour his supporters only.”
Olujobi described Fayose’s recruitment as an act of desperation by a governor who never cared for the people but would always take advantage of them in a most dehumanising manner.
“Once again, we call on Ekiti people as we did in our recent press release to be wary of Fayose’s last minute illegal deals, transactions and mass recruitment which do not  follow due process.
“Any transaction so done shall be reviewed by the incoming administration.”
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‎Journalists barred from covering Atiku’s visit to Govt. House

Journalists were on Thursday shut out from covering the visit of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential aspirant, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku to the Government House, Enugu.
The journalists had accompanied the convoy of the presidential aspirant from the state secretariat of the party after meeting and addressing party stalwarts on his ambition.
On arrival at the Government House gate, Atiku and his entourage were allowed to drive in while all the journalists including Atiku’s media aide, Paul Ibe were stopped from entering.
It took prolonged entreaties from the correspondents before one of the journalists was allowed to drive in Atiku’s media aide.
The stern looking security men, although polite, explained to the journalists that they were acting on instructions from above.
At the party secretariat, Atiku described President Muhammadu Buhari’s government as one replete with lies.
This is as different support groups canvasing for the former Vice President defied control by security agents.
The support groups had in the morning taken over roads leading to Akanu Ibiam International airport Enugu and practically congested traffic from Emene to GRA state office of the PDP where Abubakar addressed party members amid uncontrollable crowd.
Atiku said: “This government is a government of liars. They promised three million Jobs per annum but Nigeria has been losing three million Jobs every year. This job loss has brought the worst form of insecurity in the country.
Read Also: Atiku: I’m not desperate to be president
“We are facing challenging times in Nigeria. Today, economy is at its lowerst ebb and the greatest challenge is unemployment.”
The former Vice President stated that the 2019 general elections would be Nigeria’s most crucial poll which citizens must ensure their votes count.
“This is the most crucial election. Make sure you vote and when you vote, stand to protect your votes,” he urged.
Atiku also stated that experience stands him out from the crowd, noting that he was the only former Vice President running for 2019 Presidency.
He said: “No other government has surpassed our strides in governance. So if you are looking for an experienced person, I am here; if you are looking for a politician that can create jobs and unite Nigeria, I am here.”
Former National Chairman of PDP, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo said Abubakar was the only candidate who would implement restructuring, improve Nigeria’s economy and education standards, create jobs and solve poverty and killing issues in the country.
“Atiku loves Christians same as Muslims. He has the capacity to stop killings and bloodshed. He will turn us round on the path of development. He is the man who will rescue PDP and Nigeria,” Nwodo said.
Responding on behalf of the state party structure, state PDP Vice Chairman, Chief Innocent Ezeoha said Abubakar as an in-law to Ndigbo was at home in Enugu state.
“You’ve seen the crowd starting from the airport which confirms that you are a son of the soil and we will continue to pray for you in Jesus name.”
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Election 2019: 3 Things Saraki says he’ll do when he becomes president

Bukola Saraki shared 3 things he’ll do when he becomes President of Nigeria. On Wednesday, August 15, 2018, Senate President Bukola Saraki told Bloomberg that he is “actively considering” running for the office of president of Nigeria in 2019, and that at the moment, he is still consulting.Which explains why he’s paid visits to former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Ibrahim Babangida in the last couple of weeks.Here are 3 things Saraki says he’s going to do should he become president next year:1. Fuel importation will be private sector driven and the subsidy regime will be maintainedFuel importation will continue in a Saraki presidency, but it will be a transparent process. According to Saraki, “If we are going to have a subsidy, we should have a budget for it. Because once we have a budget for it, the private sector can also play a role in the importation of petroleum products. “And if the private sector plays a role, definitely the cost of the subsidy will go down and there will be more efficiency in the delivery of products. But in the environment we are in today, where it’s only the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. that’s doing that, it’s going to be inefficient, it’s not going to be transparent.”2. Saraki says he’ll be pro-businessThis essentially means, should he become president, Saraki has pledged to allow the private sector drive the economy by providing a conducive environment for businesses to thrive.Here’s how he put it for Bloomberg: “Most of the inflows that have come in are merely hot money, and that is because the oil price has gone up. Investment in the real sector is not seen. “The private sector, in my view, has probably taken a position that the confidence is not there in the government. The country requires a government that is truly pro-business, and a president that sees himself as a chief marketing officer.”3. The PDP and Saraki will fight corruptionIn his discussions with leaders of his new party, PDP, Saraki said “we talked about how to sustain and improve the fight against corruption”.Saraki left the governing APC for the opposition PDP on July 31, 2018. An enraged APC is currently pulling out all the stops to have him impeached as senate president. Saraki was not the APC’s choice for the position of senate president in 2015.

2019 Elections: Buhari Not Against Use Of PVCs, Card Readers – Presidency

President Muhammadu Buhari (file)
 
President Muhammadu Buhari is not against the use of Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs) and card readers for the general elections in 2019.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, said this in a statement on Wednesday.
He made the comment while reacting to allegations that President Buhari has refused to assent to the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018 because he does not support the use of PVCs and card readers in the forthcoming polls.
Shehu said, “The allegations that the President declined to assent to the bill because of objections to the use of card readers are wild and baseless. President Buhari did not and has never raised any objections to the use of card readers for elections in Nigeria.”
“On the contrary, he has always been a passionate advocate for the use of PVCs and card readers in elections in Nigeria, mindful of the role that card readers and PVCs played in the election that brought him into office; and he has repeatedly made this clear and praised these technologies,” he added.
The presidential aide recalled that President Buhari had, while hosting the judiciary to the customary breaking of the Ramadan Fast in May, said he won the election because of the technology after three attempts.
He quoted the President as saying, “These Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) and Card Readers, they’re fantastic. Those who went to their polling booths in their constituencies, and put in their votes, their votes counted. Before, votes were disregarded, [results] were just written, and there was nothing you could do before the [judiciary] to prove your case.”
Shehu insisted that the President has always supported the use of PVCs for elections, as well as encouraged Nigerians that their PVC was their national card ensure they do not lose them.
On the President’s assent to the bill, he said the National Assembly forwarded the bill to the Presidency at the end of June and after an extensive consideration, the Presidency engaged with the lawmakers to raise concerns regarding some errors in the submitted version.
The President’s spokesman noted that the Senate passed a re-considered bill on July 24 and was received by the Presidency on August 3.
He said the bill is still under consideration by the Presidency and the President has 30 days from the date of receipt, to assent to or decline the bill.
Shehu added, “None of these clauses reviewed and revised by the National Assembly in the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill, 2018 relates to the issue of electronic voting or to the use of card readers.”
“The President also did not raise any objections whatsoever to the use of card readers,” he reiterated.
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Al Mustapha: ‘If Nigerians beg me enough, I’ll run for president in 2019’—Abacha’s ex...

Abacha’s most feared Chief Security Officer, Al Mustapha, says if it is the will of Nigerians, he’ll run for president in 2019. Retired Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, who served as late General Sani Abacha’s dreaded Chief Security Officer (CSO) in the ‘90s, has announced that if it is the wishes of the people, he’ll run for the office of president of Nigeria in 2019.Abacha was Nigeria’s ruler from 1993 to 1998. “I am not going to announce myself contesting for a presidential seat, but if people say so, that is the wishes of the people”, Al-Mustapha said in an interview conducted in Kaduna, shortly after a meeting with the Leaders Eagle Eye Forum, a group begging him to throw his hat into the presidential ring come 2019. Al Mustapha added that: “I am not a power tasty person. If I am, I would have lost my personality long before now, but when people gather to speak and the decision is by them, then it is a call to serve”.Al Mustapha presidency planPresidential campaign posters of Al-Mustapha first hit the streets of Abuja in 2017.  On Thursday, April 20, 2017, Al-Mustapha floated his political party called Green Party of Nigeria.“Finally, the real people’s party has landed. Please give praise to our creator for rare beautiful gift to the people. The future is GPN and GPN is the future,” Al-Mustapha said at the unveiling of his party’s logo.Kudirat Abiola’s murderAl-Mustapha has been credited with most of the atrocities that went down during Abacha’s draconian reign, including assassination attempts and outright murder on the streets.  He stood trial for 15 years for the June 9, 1996, murder of Kudirat Abiola whose husband, MKO, had won the 1993 presidential election annulled by then Head of State Ibrahim Babangida.On Friday, July 12, 2013, the Court of Appeal in Lagos discharged and acquitted Hamza Al-Mustapha on the grounds that there was not enough evidence to lock him up for the murder of Kudirat Abiola.I’m often misrepresented Al-Mustapha had said of his time as Abacha’s chief enforcer: “I am often misrepresented. I discharged my duties as required which was to protect the Head of State, protect the government and the people of the country.“Anything aside that would have made me a traitor and I was never a traitor, I am not a traitor and will never be a traitor.’’Al Mustapha fancies himself a statesman and public speaker these days.During a lecture in Akure in 2016, Al Mustapha said: “My concern is patriotism and true love for the country. Our desire is to invest and allow our institutions to stay rather than forcing them into decay. That is what we should be cautious about.“Those in leadership and those being led; particularly those who have attained statesmanship position should understand there is heavier responsibility on their shoulder and they should realize that this country is too important to be allowed to fail. We must support all those in power.’’Until Abacha’s death in 1998, Al Mustapha was seen as the head of the dictator’s strike force—a loose arrangement of hitmen who were under instructions to gun down supposed enemies of the government.