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Senate approves N215.8bn budget for FIRS


By Sylvanus Tyoakaa, Abuja
The Senate on Wednesday approved the sum of N215.8 billion as budget for the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) for the 2022 fiscal year.
The approval followed the consideration of a report by the Committee on Finance during plenary.
Chairman of the Committee, Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola (APC Lagos West), in said the budget is made up of N119. 6 billion for personnel cost, N60.1 billion for overhead cost; and N36.6 for capital expenditure.
He stated that the 2022 projected Cost of Collection of N215.81 billion was slightly lower than the 2021 approved revenue which stood at N216.65bn.
According to him, the difference represents a Cost of Collection (CoC) decrease of N840 million on the overall projected non-oil revenue.
Adeola disclosed that personnel cost was based on staff strength on the payroll including social benefits such as NHIS, Pension contribution among others, and anticipated performance bonus for the year.
He attributed the increase in overhead projection to the need for more robust operational activities which has a direct relationship with overhead budget lines such as electricity tariff, generator fuel cost, legal services due to tax disputes, local travels and transport and critical ones that relate directly to tax collection and administration.
The lawmaker added that capital cost estimates reported include on-going and new projects which are to be executed during the 2022 financial year.
“These are a result of expected completion of projects, payment of retention on completed projects and some new projects for effective revenue drive”, he said.
Giving a review of the 2021 budget performance of the FIRS, Adeola said, “the Service collected N4.53 trillion as at 31st October, 2021 out of the total projected revenue target of N7.61 trillion which represents 60 percent achievement.
“The performance based on the target for the period of N6.34 trillion represents 71 percent achievement.
“The Non-Oil component of the tax collected stands at N3.5 trillion and represents 63% achievement of total non-oil revenue target of N5.6 trillion.”

Making laws for parties weakens democracy, says Kwewum


A member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Rimamnde Shawulu Kwewum has said that writing laws for political parties does not strengthen democracy.
Speaking in an interview with the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) on Tuesday, Kwewum said the political parties are democratic institutions and should be allow to make laws for themselves.
Speaking on the ongoing Electoral Act Amendment Bill before the National Assembly, he argued that political parties are meant to be self governing entities.
The lawmaker who represents
Donga/Ussa/Takum/Special Area Federal Constituency, maintained that political parties in Nigeria are so much restricted by law that there is no difference between the All Progressives Congress (APC ) and the Peoples Democratic Part (PDP) in terms of ideology, principles and procedures.
He said since the 6th assembly or so, the National Assembly has been trying to write rules for political parties.
“If you look at other systems where we copied our democracy from, political parties are meant to be self governing entities.
“They are meant to be different in their ideologies and the way they do things, but we had a situation before, where the military formed political parties, gave political parties constitutions and the political parties were uniform.
“They were like robots doing exactly the same thing in the same way. That doesn’t strengthen our democracy, it weakens it”, Kwewum said.
According to him, “What ought to happen would have been for the National Assembly to put a clause, that all the parties can adopt whatever method they want to use to select their candidates.
“What the parties must abide by is their rules and the rules ought to be registered or domicile with INEC and the public before the primaries and whatever rules they chose, whether it is by consensus or voting by all members or delegates or whatever, those rules must be well known ahead of time.”
He said in the United Kingdom for instance, their laws makes it explicit for political parties to determine the ways they conduct their primaries.
He argued further that, “the National Assembly going to write rules for the parties is an over reach. It didn’t start with the 9th assembly.
“The National Assembly amended the constitution that it could make rules for parties. It doesn’t strengthen democracy.
“The Nation Assembly is an institutions of democracy, the political parties are institutions of democracy, so the parties should write their rules.
“If the parties chose to produce candidates that are objectionable to the people, then they will simply vote for other candidates.
“I would have love to, if we have the courage in the National Assembly, to go ahead to provide for independent candidacy, so that anyone that is not happy with his political party can contest the election as an independent candidate.”
Kwewum said, “In the United States, independent candidates contest elections. In several countries around the world, independent candidates contest elections.
“But we have restricted to political parties and we are writing rules for political parties so much that you don’t know the difference between APC and PDP in terms of ideology, in terms of principles of war and in terms of procedures. It is not supposed to be that way.”

NLC suspends planned protest against removal of petrol subsidy


The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has suspended its planned nationwide protest over petrol subsidy removal.
The NLC president, Mr. Ayuba Wabba, announced at a news conference on Tuesday in Abuja.
The protests was scheduled to hold on January 27 and February 2.
Wabba said the union took the to suspend the protest at its national executive council meeting on Tuesday morning following the federal government’s decision to halt subsidy removal on petroleum.
The federal had on Tuesday suspended the planned subsidy removal and proposed 18-month extension for the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
The NLC President said, “Following the reversal and reapproach by government, the National Executive Council of the Nigeria Labour Congress met this morning (Tuesday) virtually to consider the new position of the government.
”The NEC after vigorous debates took a decision to suspend the planned nationwide protest scheduled for January 27, 2022, and the national protest scheduled for February 2, 2022.”

Reps concur with senate on consensus candidate


The House Representatives has resolved to concur with the Senate on the inclusion of consensus in the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill as one of the modes political parties can
select candidates for election into public offices.
The Speaker of the house, Femi Gbajabiamila, disclosed this after an executive (closed-door) session on Tuesday.
According to him, the leadership reached the agreement at its meeting on Monday.
He said the amendment process would be completed on Tuesday for speedy transmission to the President for assent.
Gbajabiamila, however said the conditions set for parties which opt for consensus would allow a level playing field for all aspirants.
“I think we need to speedily address our electoral law and pass it today and send it to the Executive for assent.
“You will recall that this House, last week, as soon as we returned (from break), looked into the complaints (made by the President) and added the provision of indirect primaries to our law.
“Unfortunately on the other side, the Senate added both indirect and consensus, which necessitated the possible need for a conference committee of both houses.
“The leadership of the House met yesterday and decided that in the interest of speedy passage and to deepen our democracy, the house and senate have decided to add the consensus provision.”

Dogara accuses Bauchi governor for allegedly masterminding suspension of title


A former speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogora, has accused  the Bauchi state governor, Mr. Bala Mohammed, for allegedly masterminding the suspension of his traditional title, “Jakadan Bauchi” by the Bauchi emirate council.
The suspension of the traditional title was announced in a statement on Monday jointly signed by Ibrahim Saidu Jahun the Galadiman Bauchi and District head of Zungur and Shehu Mudi Mohammed, Secretary of the emirate council.
The suspension of the traditional title, according to the emirate council was in connection with the attack on the convoy of the emirs of Bauchi, Alhaji Rilwanu Adamu and that of Dass, Alhaji Bilyaminu Othman on December 31, 2021, while on their way to Bogoro to grace the 21st Baba Gonto memorial lecture and book launch.
However, in a statement, on Tuesday, the former speaker who represents Dass/Bogoro/ Tafawa Balewa federal constituency, Bauchi state, said he was yet to be officially informed about the purported suspension of the title.
He said if the action of the emirate council is true, it is very unfair as he was never given fair hearing.
Dogara also dismissed claims that he did not sympathise with the traditional rulers over the attack, accusing the Bauchi state government for a smear campaign aimed at tarnishing his image.
According to him, “suspension of traditional titles of political opponents at the behest of the governor has become routine now.”
“I am aware that both His Royal Highness and members of the Council have been under tremendous pressure from the Bauchi State Government to withdraw the traditional title conferred on me for quite some time now.
“It is all part of a smear campaign to portray me as insensitive and convict me in the court of public opinion for the political gains of some desperate characters.
“The phrase; “Goje uban Kaura” torments the Governor and rents his sleep. Since I dropped like a bag of weed, in order to get at me, he procured the services of a money bag lackey in Zaar land who is also a victim of the same delusions of grandeur about destroying my political career as if they, not God, made me who I am”, Dogara said.
He said further that, “It is a pity that they have failed to learn the hard lessons from others who have tried doing so before them.
“It is more tragic for them to imagine that they cannot see what others before them saw by doing what they did. Is there any wise person out there who believes that he can unmake what God has made?
“For their sadistic entertainment, the Governor had before now illegally revoked two titles to my land just as he did to my colleague and namesake, Hon Yakubu Shehu Abdullahi and a former Governor of the State who also doubles as his mentor and benefactor.
“Suspension of traditional titles of political opponents at the behest of the governor has become routine now.
“Before mine came, our father, the Wazirin Bauchi, had been suspended. Likewise, my comrade in the APC, the Wakilin Birni, had been also been suspended.
“The Emir of Misau was also suspended by the Governor. “The question is who is next? This has become the brand of infantile politics of the kleptocracy in Bauchi State. “We are not only witnessing the brazen decimation of our State resources, of which hard evidence abounds, but our revered traditional institutions and culture.”

Below is the full text of Dogara’s statement titled:

The Bauchi Emirate Council purportedly announced my suspension as Jakadan Bauchi. As of today, I am yet to be served with any letter of suspension and more tenuously, I was never informed that there was an allegation of wrong doing against me pending before the Emirate Council.
Ordinarily, I wouldn’t join issues with the Emirate Council because of the respect I have for both His Royal Highness and the Emirate Council. But because there is a ludicrous and legally inchoate criminal complaint filed against me and others by the Governor of Bauchi State and his money bag lackey who are at the centre of it all, I have decided to state my own side of the story as several well wishers and even the press have inundated me with request to respond to events of yesterday so that I am not convicted in the court of public opinion.
Firstly, on close examination, I noticed that the letter of suspension as seen on social media is not contained in the real letter head of Bauchi Emirate Council.
That speaks volumes. More so, the reason for the suspension, if true, was that my “name was mentioned,” which clearly is hearsay. Bauchi Emirate is one of the oldest in the country and I doubt they would take a decision based on hearsay, especially when I am available and can be invited to appear before the Emirate council to face any allegations of wrongdoing against me.
This, if true, is no doubt a violation of my constitutionally guaranteed right to fair hearing.
It is additionally alleged in the letter under reference that I didn’t sympathise with the two Emirs over the unfortunate incident involving them, which is totally untrue.
I therefore reproduce below the message I sent to the two Emirs in the aftermath of the incident for all to see:
“Allah ya taimaki mai Martaba,
I wish to write and extend my sympathies to you over the unfortunate incident involving your entourage while making your way from Bauchi to Bogoro earlier today.
It is a huge embarrassment to all of us in my Constituency and the entire State which I totally condemn and disavow.
It is worth noting that I would have loved to personally visit to extend my apologies on behalf of my constituents but I know that such a visit would be misconstrued as was the case in the past when the gates of some palaces were shut anytime I visited as Speaker.
It is pointless to emphasise that the incident was totally avoidable as I had already requested the security agencies to obtain security guarantees from the organisers of the event failing which they should advise them to postpone the event in the interest of peace.
It was therefore mindless in the first place, for anyone to have encouraged you to put yourself in harms way, especially when it was obvious that security breach was more probable than likely granted the tension generated by the recklessness of those who were supposed to show leadership.”
This message is sent through a proxy for obvious reasons.
“Allah ya ja zamanin Mai Martaba cikin koshin lafiya da arziki.”
Thankfully, I have witnesses that this message were delivered and acknowledged.
It was also said in the letter under reference that I did not show remorse over the incident.
As we all know, remorse comes as a consequence of guilt. The Emirate council cannot convict me over hearsay, without investigation and without inviting me to face any allegations against me.
I maintain a clear conscience before God that I have nothing to do with any mayhem in Zaar land, not least the incident involving the two Emirs as I had no inkling whatsoever that they would be attending an event that was already marred by crisis before it began.
I make bold to say, without any equivocation, that I did not know the emirs have been invited to attend the event and even if invited, that they would indeed attend because none of the two emirs is accustomed to attending any such event in Zaar land.
Therefore, how could I have been responsible for any incident involving them? Those who should show remorse are those who insisted on going on with the event and unconstitutionally flooded the area with soldiers whose actions led to the breakdown of law and order in the area.
Even if it turns out to be true that the emirate council did what they must do, it would be no surprise to keen watchers of events in Bauchi state.
I am aware that both His Royal Highness and members of the Council have been under tremendous pressure from the Bauchi State Government to withdraw the traditional title conferred on me for quite some time now. It is all part of a smear campaign to portray me as insensitive and convict me in the court of public opinion for the political gains of some desperate characters.
The phrase; “Goje uban Kaura” torments the Governor and rents his sleep. Since I dropped like a bag of weed, in order to get at me, he procured the services of a money bag lackey in Zaar land who is also a victim of the same delusions of grandeur about destroying my political career as if they, not God, made me who I am. It’s a pity that they have failed to learn the hard lessons from others who have tried doing so before them. It is more tragic for them to imagine that they cannot see what others before them saw by doing what they did. Is there any wise person out there who believes that he can unmake what God has made?
For their sadistic entertainment, the Governor had before now illegally revoked two titles to my land just as he did to my colleague and namesake, Hon Yakubu Shehu Abdullahi and a former Governor of the State who also doubles as his mentor and benefactor. Suspension of traditional titles of political opponents at the behest of the Governor has become routine now.
Before mine came, our father, the Wazirin Bauchi, had been suspended. Likewise, my comrade in the APC, the Wakilin Birni, had been also been suspended. The Emir of Misau was also suspended by the Governor.
The question is who is next? This has become the brand of infantile politics of the kleptocracy in Bauchi State. We are not only witnessing the brazen decimation of our State resources, of which hard evidence abounds, but our revered traditional Institutions and culture.
Thankfully, for any Pharaoh there would be a Moses and I am happy to be one of the Moses in Bauchi who will content with this Pharaoh until the reproach that has become our lot is lifted.
This mission cannot be deterred or delayed by all the shenanigans of this modern Pharaoh and all his puppets. Therefore, I rejoiceth as a strong man to run this race. We must not only take back our state from these maniacs but also our traditional institutions so that our people may run to them to obtain justice in times of need as was always the case.
In respect of the event in question, for two solid days leading to the event, there were demonstrations in Tafawa Balewa town.
On the eve of the event, women came out in their numbers in exercise of their constitutional rights to peacefully protest against the hosting of the event but soldiers were unconstitutionally deployed to beat up and maim the women. I am sure the Commander- in -Chief who has the prerogatives under the Constitution did not order the deployment of soldiers into Tafawa Balewa.
The actions of the illegally and unconstitutionally deployed soldiers turned the peaceful protest violent on the eve of the event. The situation was not the same when soldiers had not been unconstitutionally deployed in the area as the protest then was very peaceful.
Those soldiers were procured by the State Governor and his said money bag lackey who must bear the full responsibility for the break down of law and order in the area.
As a leader and elected member representing the area in the National Assembly, I had cleared my conscience by fulfilling my constitutional duty when I alerted security agencies of the undercurrents that may lead to breakdown of law and order if the event is allowed to go on without some guarantees from the organisers of the event that it would proceed peacefully.
But since the state governor and a money bag were the organisers, the spirit of mammon was let loosed, which blinded every operator.
Otherwise how could anyone have ignored the intelligence freely given by someone who has represented the area for about a decade and half? Not only that, they still ignored all the red flags of pre-event protests event after violence had ensued.
How can any reasonable person turn around to put the blame of the direct consequences of the unconstitutional actions of the state governor and a money bag who went to war with their own people in order to host an event; if not politics?
No leader anywhere could have done what they did, not least in a democracy whose culture is consensus and compromise which was what I called for but which regrettably all of them crudely ignored. The million naira question is between me who alerted the security agencies of the threats posed by the event and those who ignored all the red flags, who showed poor judgment and pathetic leadership?
I am happy to confront anyone in court over the rubbish filed against me and my brothers as criminal complaint.
As a lawyer, I am yet to see a criminal complaint filed against anyone without the proof of evidence.
No wonder they have been unable to serve the rubbish on anyone. Why are they so inept in concocting even a proof of evidence but so alive when it comes to lying, stealing and deploying public funds?
I had always seen practice of dictators to charge political opponents with treason and unfortunately, the mini Pharaohs in Bauchi have fallen into that rap but thanks be to God, the Red Sea stands between us.
Very soon, the whole of Bauchi and indeed Zaar land shall sing ; “the horse and its rider He hath thrown into the sea!”
Long live Zaar land
Long live Bauchi State
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, Speaker of the 8th Assembly.


The statement from the Bauchi emigrate council

Despite Buhari’s fight against corruption, Nigeria ranks second most corrupt countries in West Africa


The 2021 Corruption Perception Index released on Tuesday by
Transparency International (CTI) has rated Nigeria as the second most corrupt country in West Africa with Guinea topping the list.
According to the CPI rating Nigeria, scored 24 out of 100 points in the 2021 index, ranking 154 out of 180 countries, going down five steps from the position of 149 in 2020.
The organisation stated this on its official twitter handle -@TransparencITng on Tuesday.
“In the Corruption Perceptions Index 2021, Nigeria ranks 154 out of 180 countries and territories, falling back five places from the rank of 149 in 2020.
“The 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index released by Transparency International today shows corruption is on the increase in Nigeria.
“The country scored 24 out of 100 points in the #CPI2021, which is one point less compared to the score of 2020,” CTI said.
The list has Australia, Belgium, Botswana, Canada, Comoros, Cyprus, Dominica, Eswatini, Honduras, Hungary, Israel, Lebanon, Lesotho, Mongolia, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Philippines, Poland, Serbia, Slovenia, South Sudan, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey and Venezuela.
The CPI is TI’s tool for measuring the levels of corruption in the systems of various countries around the world.
The maximum points a country can score is 100 points, and the least is zero.
In the 2020 index, Nigeria had scored 25 out of 100 points, ranking 149 out of the 180 countries surveyed.
The latest ranking is the worst under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The fight against corruption and insecurity are the main focus of the Buhari administration.
But the government appeared to have failed considering the massive corruption and increasing insecurity in the country.
In 2015, Nigeria was ranked 136th; 136th in 2016; 148th in 2017; 144th in 2018; 146th in 2019, and 149th in 2020.

2023: PDP gladiators jostling for Southern Kaduna senatorial ticket


With about 14 months to the 2023 general elections, chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kaduna South Senatorial District are already warming up to contest for the senatorial seat.
The senatorial zone has been a stronghold for the PDP since 1999.
However, recent political developments in the area, especially the 2021 Local Government polls, has shown that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), is making an inroad to the area.
The PDP’s top contenders for the senatorial ticket are Hon. Sunday Marshall Katung, Hon. Jagaba Adams Jagaba and the incumbent, Senator Danjuma La’ah.

Hon. Katung

Katung, a lawyer and former lawmaker who represented Zangon Kataf/Jaba Federal Constituency in 2015 to 2018, is considered as the most experienced with a large support base across all divides in the area.
This was part of the reasons why he was nominated as the running mate to Hon. Isa Ashiru, the governorship candidate of the PDP in Kaduna state in the 2019 elections.
With his vast experience as a lawyer and politician, observers opined that he is the man cut out for the job.
Katung served as commissioner for finance and later water resources during the administrations of the late governor of Kaduna state, Mr. Patrick Yakowa in 2010 and Muktar Yero who succeeded Yakowa.
Described as “a bridge builder and a politician with an intellectual touch, observers said with his network of connections across the country he has the capacity to persuade and influence developmental programmmes to the senatorial zone.
Besides politics, he is also a philanthropist whose activities have impacted positive on the people at the grassroots.
His foundation, the Sunday Marshall Katung Foundation which he established, is said to have contributed immensely in assisting the less privileged.
Katung was in the forefront for the provision of relief materials to hundreds of victims of banditry attacks in Southern Kaduna communities as well as communities in Kajuru and Chikun Local Government Areas in Kaduna Central Senatorial district.
He also initiated scholarship scheme to assist indigent students acquire education.
During his one term tenure in the House of Representatives Katung was said to have initiated programmes that impacted positively on the people, especially women and unemployed youths.
He was said to be the force behind the rehabilitation of the dilapidated Kachia-Kwoi and Kachia-Zonkwa-Samaru roads by the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) while serving as a lawmaker representing Zangon Kataf/ Jaba federal constituency.
The former lawmaker is said to have set up solid structures and is reaching out to key stakeholders to support his ambition for the PDP senatorial ticket.

Hon. Jagaba

Hon. Jagaba Adams Jagaba, described as a grassroots politician, is another strong contender for the senatorial ticket.
He was elected three times as member of the National Assembly who represented Kachia/Kagarko Federal Constituency at different intervals since 1999.
He had earlier served vice chairman of Kagarko LGA between 1997 and 1998 after which he was appointed Chairman, interim management committee of the council.
Jagaba was also at a time, Kaduna state secretary of the PDP.
This will be the second time he would be running for the senatorial ticket. He contested for seat in 2019 but lost.
During his three – term  tenure in the House of Representatives, he was said to have initiated some welfare programmes for the people as well as employment of about 200 youths across Southern Kaduna in the Federal Civil Service.

Senator La’ah

Danjuma La’ah, is a force to be reckoned with as an incumbent. La’ah is the Chairman Senate, Committee on Federal Character and Intergovernmental Affairs.
He was elected to the senate in 2015 and was re-elected again in 2019.
He is said to be the first senator to be re-elected for two terms in the history of the senatorial zone.
His predecessors –  Senators Zego Azeez, late Isaiah Balat, Caleb Zegi and Nenadi Usman, were said to have lost in their bids for re-election during their time.
La’ah wants a to retain the seat for a third term.
After retiring as Deputy Director, Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), he went into business before joining politics.
He is said to be the “biggest employer of labour” in the senatorial zone.
As a serving senator, he is also said to have attracted a number of projects to the senatorial zone and facilitated the employment of many job seekers.
La’ah is also said to have intervened  in the education, health and security sectors in the senatorial district by renovating two dilapidated Primary Schools in each of the  eight Local Government Areas in the senatorial district as well as procuring hospital equipment (beds, blankets, microscopes, Generators, Fridges , motorcycles etc) worth over N100 million to 38 primary health centres in the area.
He also assisted in  tackling the security challenges in the area by purchasing 100 motorcycles to vigilantes groups.
He was said to have constructed and furnished an auditorium with over 260 seats as well as some computers which he donated to National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) campus in the area.

Hon. Garba

Also in the race is Hon. Nicholas Garba, a serving member of the House of Representatives for Jema’a/Sanga Federal Constituency. Garba who is the Chairman, House Committee on Anti Corruption is said to be a formidable aspirant with a large support base.
Also eyeing the senatorial seat is,  Mr. Zakariya Suleiman Dauke, a retired manager of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Mr. Dauke

Dauke, though a new entrant in politics, is said to be a man of the people who is not a push over.
More aspirants, especially from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) are expected to declare their interest in the days ahead. Analysts are of the view that the contest would be tough, considering the calibre of the aspirants and the sophisticated political awareness in the senatorial zone.

I will never return to partisan politics, says Obasanjo


Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has declared that he will never return to partisan politics.
Obasanjo stated this on Saturday the National Working Committee ,(NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led by its chairman Dr. Iyorchia Ayu paid him a visit at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) in Abeakuta, Ogun state.
Obasanjo had announced in February 2015 that he was quitting partisan politics and had publicly tored his PDP
membership card.
He however said despite his retirement from politics, he will not retire from the welfare and well being of the people in his community, the state and the country, since politics is about the welfare of the people.
“I have been with the party (PDP) right from inception… I became president on the platform of PDP. PDP will continue to be part of the history of my life,” Obasanjo said.
He said the day that he decided to tear his PDP membership card in his ward was the day he ceased to be a member of the party.
“I vowed that I will not be a member of any political party again, but I will remain a statesman in Nigeria, in West Africa, in Africa and indeed in the world”, Obasanjo said.
Speaking further he said, “But if I retired from partisan politics, if politics is welfare of the people, I must not retire from the welfare and well being of people whether in my own community, in my own state, in my own country, anywhere in Africa or indeed anywhere in the world and that is why I have the type of responsibility that I now have in the horn of Africa which is not an easy responsibility, but it has to be done, but I will say that your own responsibility is not an easy one either, but it has to be done.
“But bear in mind and I want to emphasise that I am no longer in partisan politics and there is nothing that will bring me back to partisan politics, but I will always be interested in what is good for Nigeria and anybody who wants to have my advice, I will distinctingly give it in the best interest of Nigeria and in the best interest of Africa.”
Earlier speaking, Ayu thanked the former president for the
great work he did for the PDP as the first president.
“Your period as president under the platform of PDP was seen as the golden era of the PDP because not only did you grow the economy to be the biggest economy in Africa , you were able to eradicate Nigeria from slavery by negotiating and cancelling so much of our foreign debts that would have made it very difficult to run the country”, Ayu recalled.
He noted that by the time Obasanjo left office, Nigeria was totally set free adding that direct foreign investment was also on the increase on a daily basis and Nigerians were respected around the world.
“I remember I accompanied you as your minister to a number of countries, Germany , India, I saw the respect they accorded you in India and I was very proud to be a Nigerian.
“Today, unfortunately, we don’t have the same recognition because what we have has fell short of leadership that Nigeria deserves”, Ayu lamented.
He said when Obasanjo was in power he treated every Nigerian as one family.
“You didn’t discriminate against the South, the East, the West or the North.
“Even though in your first tenure, the South West didn’t actually support you, but you brought them back on board and they supported you in your second tenure.
“It is our prayer that you will continue to try and support us. In Africa today, I think in all modesty, after the departure of president Mandela ,there is only one person of such stature on the African continent and we are proud that, that person is a Nigerian and that Nigerian is no other than president Olusegun Obasanjo and you have continued to display the leadership because it is wrong to address you Nigerian leader or Yoruba leader or an Owu Chief”, the PDP National chairman said.
Among the delegation were the National Secretary of the PDP, Senator Sam Anyanwun, the Deputy National Chairman, South and former Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Mr Taofeek Arapaja, and the PDP Vice Presidential Candidate in the 2019 Election, Mr. Peter Obi.
Also on the delegation were, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, Sule Lamido, Donald Duke and Liyel Imoke, former governors of Ondo, Jigawa and Cross River states

ACF wants government to take urgent action against criminality in schools


The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has called on governments at all levels to take urgent against the menace of anti social behaviour and criminal acts going on in schools across the country.
The forum made the call in a statement on Saturday, while condemning the killing of a five year old school girl, Hanifa Abubakar by her teacher, Abdulmalik Muhammed, at a private school in Kano.
The statement signed by Emmanuel Yawe, spokesman of the forum expressed shock and revulsion over the anti social and criminal acts going on in Nigerian schools.
The forum also recalled the death in December 2021, of Sylvester Oromoni, a 12 year old student of Dowen College, Lagos, who was allegedly bullied and tutured to death by his fellow students, saying that
the epidemic of drugs addiction, cultism and death are endangering the lives of children in schools across the country.
The statement said, “The Arewa Consultative Forum wishes to express its shock and revulsion over the anti social and criminal acts going on in Nigerian schools.
“These border on bullying, murder, kidnappings, homosexuality, cultism etc.
The latest of these cases of horror is the alleged kidnap and murder of five year old pupil, Hanifa Abubakar by her teacher Abdulmalik Muhammed at a private school in Kwanar Dakatar in Kano state.”
According to the forum, “Hanifa was said to have been kidnapped by her teacher and proprietor of the school who took her to his house and demanded for a N6 million ransom before killing her.
“This is a horror story comparable to what happened in December last year when Sylvester Oromoni a 12 year old student of Dowen College was bullied and then tutured to death by his fellow students because he refused to join them in their cult actvities.”
Yawe said, “The Arewa Consultative Forum would like to call the attention of the authorities to this new epidemic of drugs, brutality, cults and death which is taking over all schools across the country and endangering the lives of our daughters and sons and the future of our country.
“These horrors are not limited to private schools. But we are particularly concerned about what goes on in private schools because they take their students as commodoties which should be traded for money.
“This is a horrible trend that will not only destroy the future of these innocent children but that of our Nigeria.
“Will call on our governments to step in forcelly and nip this trend in the bud.
“The governments have to look into schools they also own. Our children have reported to us similiar acts of bullying in government and even in military schools where they are being bullied to join cult groups or indulge in homosexual acts or adopt homosexuality as a way of time.
“This press release serves as a warming to the government to save the Nigerian children who have been trapped in this web of inhumanity created by school teachers, proprietors, administrators.”

Don’t allow GCK to “die”, Unongo urges KOBA


An elder statesman and a prominent member of the Keffi Old Boys Association (KOBA) an umbrella body for old students of the famous Government College, Keffi, Wantaregh Paul Iyorpuu Unongo, has urged members of the association to save the college from collapse.
Unongo, a former minister of Power and Steel during the Second Republic, graduated from the school in 1958.
He was speaking when the National Executive Committee of KOBA, represented by officials of the Plateau state chapter of the association, paid him a condolence visit on Friday at his residence in Jos over the death of his wife.
Unongo urged members of KOBA to “unite and save the college from dying as that is our pride for it is the spirit of Keffi that made us what we are today.”
He expressed gratitude to the association for the show of love and solidarity in his moments of grief.
He described the visit as uplifting, stressing that he will never forget such demonstration of love by KOBA.
Unongo who was nostalgic about the school told the delegation that his doors would always be opened for members of the association.
Earlier, the President of the Plateau chapter of KOBA Mr. David Nanyak who spoke on behalf of the President General, Chief Edward Ujege, said the association was saddened by the death of Mrs. Unongo.
He prayed God to comfort the elder statesman and his family over the painful loss and grant the soul of the departed eternal rest.
Nanyak presented a letter of condolence from the President General to Unongo.