•Ex–govs, ministers intensify lobby
•Ambode may head Ministry of Finance
Almost three weeks after President Muhammadu Buhari was inauguration for second term in office and almost one week after the 9th National Assembly (NASS) came into being; Buhari is yet to make his ministerial list public, even as the pressure for him to do so is mounting. However, the waiting game continues, as the Senate is on recess and will reconvene only on Tuesday, July 2 for plenary.
Those who should know said since he won election in February, the President has not discussed with anyone the shape or what the cabinet would look like. “He is keeping the list close to his chest.
He has not discussed it with anyone,” volunteered a two-term law national maker from the South-west. Our source said: “Only Buhari knows those he will appoint. He has refused to discuss it with anybody. He has remained inaccessible. He is shopping for radicals from the South-west, who have influence and people listen to.
Their job would be to check mate critics who may not like his policies.” But this notwithstanding politicians, ex-governors, especially those who lost elections in to the NASS, Sunday Telegraph learnt are leaving no stone unturned in trying to get the ears of the President.
“They have intensified their lobbying in order to make the list,” said another source who also did not want his name in print because he was not permitted to speak to the media. In some states, the party hierarchy has been up in arms against one another.
For instance in Kwara State, some members want Gbemisola Saraki to replace Lai Mohammed, the immediate past Minister of Information and Culture. However, a senior presidency official, who pleaded anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the issue, told Sunday Telegraph that now that the ninth National Assembly has been inaugurated, the President has come under more pressure to forward names of his cabinet to the assembly for confirmation. Both chambers of the National Assembly have expressed readiness to receive communication from President Buhari.
According to the presidency source, although party stakeholders and close associates of the President want prompt action from Buhari the list of his cabinet, he is taking time to select competent individuals as members of the Federal Executive Council. Buhari in his Democracy Day address last Wednesday promised to assemble a team of competent Nigerians in his second term to help implement reform programs that will improve the lives of citizens.
He said: “Over the next four years, we are committed to assembling a strong team of Nigerians, and allies, to implement our transformative plans and proposals.” Shortly after returning from the United Kingdom early May this year, Buhari told reporters at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja that contrary to speculations that he had gone to compile the list of his ministers in London, he was yet to discuss the issue with anyone. He said: “I didn’t discuss with anybody. So, I don’t know how they knew about it. I didn’t discuss it with anybody.’’
However, the presidency aide told our correspondent that despite pressure from stakeholders: “The President is not in a hurry. He wants to bring in board a credible team that understands his aspirations and policy direction.”
The source admitted that some aspects of the pressure is coming from past members of the executive who want to stage a comeback. A few members of the former cabinet, including the then Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, Minister of State for Transportation (Aviation), Hadi Sirika and Minister of Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah have attended a number of functions at the Presidential Villa after the dissolution of the cabinet in May.
What then should be the criteria Buhari should look out for in appointing ministers for his second term which will be three weeks old on Wednesday, June 19?
“Let him appoint smart ones who will do a better job than the ones he appointed in his first term,” former head, Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) Maj-General Isola Williams (rtd), said in an earlier interview. Former presidential candidate, National Action Council (NAC) Olapade Agoro shares the same view. Agoro, who commended Buhari’s June 12 Democracy Day address at the Eagle Square, gives the criteria he should look in appointing ministers from the Southwest.
“He has already said that he wants to make it all inclusive. It is a different thing to win an election and it is another thing to win the nation. He has won the election; he should win the nation with him. What he did on the June 12 was to win the Yoruba nation’s interest to his side with the recognition of June 12 as Democracy day and the renaming of the Abuja National Stadium after Moshood Kasimawo Olawale Abiola. “He should follow it up with appointing people with track records in human development, technocrats who have worked and have done well with what they did, people with unblemished records, idealists, those who can think, creative people. “Appointing somebody a minister is one thing and appointing someone with ideas and thinking outside the box is another.
We had one in Akinwunmi Adesina. He turned around the agricultural sector all in three years. These are the people we need. He should not appoint politicians. He should not appoint critics in order to shut their mouths. His appointment should not be on political patronage.”
Although the President is keeping mum, feelers we got are indicating that the former Governor of Lagos State, Akinwumi Ambode is being considered for a “juicy” ministerial position. According to highly placed sources, Buhari was not pleased with what his ‘man Friday’; Asiwaju Bola Tinubu did to Ambode in the run up to the primaries for the governorship candidate of the state. He is unhappy because despite his intervention, Ambode was denied the second term ticket. It is because of this that he is considering compensating him.
“Ambode may become the Minister of Finance. This is in view of what he did to manage the finances of Lagos State, when former president Olusegun Obasanjo stopped the monthly federal allocation of Lagos. After the fiasco which attended his second term ambition, he did not go to court.
He showed that he is a loyal party man, and Buhari is pleased with him,” the weekly was told. However, in order to do this and still retain Babatunde Fashola, who headed Power, Works and Housing in Buhari’s first term, the President, who is said to be satisfied with the performance of the former Lagos State helmsman, is considering increasing the number of ministers beyond the constitutionally mandated 36 to 42 by picking six extra persons from the six geopolitical zones. Should he do this, this would allow him pick both former Lagos State governors.
It is also on record that despite his failure to secure his second term bid, Ambode was a frequent face at the Villa in Abuja and all Buhari’s second term campaigns. Sunday Telegraph also reliably learnt that the President is also toying with the idea of splitting the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing thereby not only reducing the work load on whomever heads the ministry; but more importantly spreading the ministries. But the Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) is not optimistic off any radical departure from what the nation saw in Buhari’s first term. Spokesman of the group Yinka Odumakin said in an interview: “There is nothing new that will come out of it.
The South-west is under siege and our people are being killed. No one has been prosecuted or brought to book over it. Which Yoruba son or daughter will bring about solutions to all these killings? What we have now is beyond who will represent us.
The Miyetti Allah is on a killing spree. Even if you go and bring those who have died, there will be no difference from the first term. It may even be worse if care is not taken. “Fashola who had three ministries what came out it? In the next four years, nothing good will come out of this government. We should not deceive ourselves,” he argued.
S’ East warns against ‘super ministers’
Speaking in the same vein, Ndigbo of the South-east, warned against appointing ‘super ministers’, saying that the appointment ran counterproductive in his first term. To this end, they urged the President to consider competence and professional ministerial nominees from the South-east irrespective of political colorations and party loyalty.
According to the former governor of Anambra State, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, despite the fact that the last four years of Buhari’s administration did not fully impact positively on Ndigbo, the next four years can be used to make amendments. “The ministerial appointments in the first term of Buhari’s administration did not favour us as it should and we had non- professionals manning positions that they can handle competently.
“It is our view that this time around he can use the opportunity to make amendments and appoint credible people from the South-east as ministers,” he said. Founding President, Ohaneze Youths, Comrade Tony Uche, who contested for the senatorial seat of Anambra Central District under the platform of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), criticized the appointment of ‘super ministers’.
“In the last four years we had those they call ‘super ministers’ and they were more from the North, the South-south and Southwest. How can you combine three powerful ministers and give it to one person while other geopolitical zones had ministries that did not impact positively on their people? “We do not care if the Igbo ministers are from party A or party B.
It must not be done in line with political party loyalty or membership but on merit and those people should be ministers who are not disconnected from the people. “They should be those who appreciate the problems of Ndigbo who would always interface with the people’s problems and challenges, we are talking of men and women that have the Igbo interest and that would ensure that our peoples interests are protected,” he said.
I dedicate this award to God and Uyo people -Emmanuel Sam
Buhari salutes Joshua over Ruiz Jr. victory
President Muhammadu Buhari has sent a message of congratulations to Anthony Joshua following his victory over Andy Ruiz Jr, which ensured he regained his world boxing titles which he lost to the Mexican six months ago.
Buhari, speaking through his Special Adviser Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said he was saluting Joshua for bringing joy to millions of Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora, who had rooted for him to regain the titles he lost about six months ago.
In a tweet on the verified Government of Nigeria Twitter handle, the President said: “The downfall of a man is truly not the end of his life. There’s always another, and better day. This is a lesson we must all learn from you as a country.”
Adesina’s tweet concluded by adding: “He wishes @anthonyfjoshua well as he seeks to bring more glory to Nigeria, and to the boxing profession.”
Saturday’s night win meant Joshua became a two-time word heavyweight champion by exacting revenge over Ruiz Jr in dominant fashion with a unanimous points victory in a tense rematch in Saudi Arabia.
Six months on from the night where Ruiz stunned boxing, Joshua risked his career being left in tatters with a second defeat but served up 36 minutes of movement and well-timed punching to take the IBF, WBA and WBO titles back to Britain, reports the BBC.
After cutting his Mexican rival inside the first round he simply never looked back and picked out smart jabs and right hands throughout before being serenaded with chants of “AJ, AJ, AJ” by the 14,000 or so fans in the largely full Diriyah Arena.
Ruiz never looked close to landing a knockdown and when scores of 118-110 118-110 and 119-109 were read out, Joshua jumped up and down in the ring in celebration, just as the man who had wrecked his US debut did in June.
Delhi fire kills 43, injures 56 others
A massive fire which broke out early morning on Sunday in Delhi has claimed 43 lives with over 56 people seriously injured.
The fire broke out inside a four-storey factory in Filmistan area of north Delhi.
Rescue and fire department officials have rescued several people, many of whom are in critical condition.
Delhi Police has confirmed the huge death toll in the early morning fire.
Speaking to India Today TV, fire department officials said they received a call in the morning about a fire and had no information about people trapped in the burning building, which caused delay in the rescue operations.
Police said 59 people were inside the factory operating from a residential area when the blaze broke out.
According to the news medium, authorities from the LNJP hospital have confirmed many of the people who were brought to the hospital had died, while many of the rescued and injured have been rushed to RML, Lady Hardinge and Hindu Rao Hospitals.
2023: Rivers governorship not turn by turn –Wike
ivers State Governor, Nyewom Wike has declared that all Ethnic Nationalities must work together to ensure the emergence of the next governor of the state, stressing that whoever it is will not emerge on turn-by-turn basis.
Wike, who spoke at a grand civic reception organised by the Ogbakor Ikwerre Cultural Organisation Worldwide, in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the state and country, noted that the state needs a governor that will carry everyone in the state along.
“We must work with all Ethnic Nationalities to move Rivers State forward”, he said.
He urged Ikwerre people not to be intimidated, saying that there can be no political position without the Ikwerre people playing prominent roles.
He noted that Rivers State remains one united state, where all ethnic groups are important.
He said: “Rivers State remains one united state, where all ethnic groups are important.
“Rivers State is one. Nobody can divide Rivers State. No outsider can be Governor of Rivers State. Let us not allow anyone to divide us.
“If you must be a Governor of Rivers State, you must carry everyone along. No Ethnic Group can do it alone. Once you say it is your turn, it will not work. When you say it is your turn, you have started failing.
“We will continue the legacy of Odili. Anyone with the interest of Rivers State will be supported. Wherever you are from, you must show that you are a Rivers man.
The chairman of Ikwerre Local Government, recognised Traditional Rulers, Eze Oha Apara Kingdom, Eze Worlu Wodo announced the conferment of the title: “Dike Oha Ikwerre “, covering the entire Ikwerre Ethnic Nationality.
Roughly translated,”Dike Oha Ikwerre” means Hero/Pillar of Ikwerre People.
He said that the title is in recognition of the outstanding contributions of Governor Wike to the Ikwerre Ethnic Nationality and the rest of Rivers State and Nigeria.
President-General of Ogbakor Ikwerre Cultural Organization Worldwide, Prof Emenike Wami said the organisation is honouring a worthy and deserving leader.
He said: “He is a man with a heart of service for his people. He has distinguished himself as a performer. “
Present at the event were: Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi, Imo State Governor, Emeka Ihedioha, Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed, Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, Benue State Governor, Dr Samuel Ortom, Adamawa State Governor, Ahmadu Fintiri,Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal and Taraba State Governor, Dairus Ishaku .
Former Rivers State Governor, Dr Peter Odili said Governor Wike has surpassed the achievements of all his predecessors.
Sanusi may lose out under new Kano emirates
ollowing his reiteration of the wisdom behind the creation of four additional emirates in Kano, the state Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje is set to announce the chairman of the State Council of Emirs, as there are fears that the current chairman and Kano Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II, may lose out in the new dispensation.
The fear came into the fore following announcement by the governor that he would announce the composition himself.
He dropped the hint in an interview with a television station monitored in Kano Friday night, adding that the new First Class Emirs of Bichi, Karaye, Rano and Gaya, have come to stay for the overall socio – economic development of the state.
Also, Governor Ganduje said the Law gives a governor prerogative to appoint who becomes the Chairman of the State Council of Emirs, as the central Council for the 5 first class emirs apart from their individual emirate council across the emirate councils.
By way of affirming why the newly Emirates came on board, he restated that “the philosophy behind the creation of 4 more First Class Emirs, as being said in the past, are, among others, it was the people who demanded for it. They are significantly interested in the socio-economic development of their communities.
“There was similar demand during the reign of the late former governor of the old Kano state, Muhammad Abubakar Rimi. But at that time the process for the creation of the then new Emirates didn’t comply with the provision of the constitution then. That made it easy for the succeeding administration in the state to stop that action.
“But, with the strict following of the due process, which stems from the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended, the new Law of the State Emirates is strong that it comes to stay.
As governor assures, “…the newly created Emirate Councils have come to stay. The process that led to their creation is based on due process.”
He then reminded how the first Law was squashed by the law Court, few days back, that created the 4 Emirate Councils, as being faulty, as ruled by the Court, explaining that, “In the first place (referring to the nullified Law recently) the process was faulty and we agreed with the nullification. But now the State Assembly followed all the procedures and we now have Law in place.”
Other reasons given as part of the philosophy, he added that, based on the history of the state traditional institution, people wanted to see that such history, that process, is revisited, according to the governor.
Participation of people in traditional governance for the overall development of the state plays an important role in the new dispensation of Emirate Councils newly assented Law.
Security concern for the state, as people raised and realized, is another fundamental aspect that calls for the creation of more Emirates, emphasising that, with additional Emirates the network of securing the state would be strengthened and more proactive, Ganduje argues.
Ugwuanyi inaugurates committee on conflict resolution
n furtherance of his administration’s commitment to sustainable peace, security and good governance in Enugu State, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, on Friday, inaugurated a 17-man committee on conflict resolution, chaired by Dr. Uchenna Ogbu.
Noting that: “The whole world is steadily embracing Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) as a means of resolving conflict”, Ugwuanyi, while inaugurating the committee, stated that the body is saddled with the responsibility of “reconciling issues between individuals, communities and/or institutions that may be assigned to them by the governor”.
The governor said his administration in the past five years has “strived to build an Enugu State of our dreams where there is peace and common brotherhood”, adding that “we know that Enugu State is one big family, as we have zero tolerance for bitterness and conflict”.
He pointed out that the committee was set up in recognition that “in every human settlement, there are bound to be conflicts because of our unique individual differences”.
Governor Ugwuanyi therefore urged members of the committee “to go out and ensure that conflicts are resolved through dialogue and reconciliation as may be assigned to you, thereby helping government in the discharge of its responsibility”.
Reiterating his administration’s resolve in setting up other institutional and legal frameworks for dispute resolution, the governor further stated that “Enugu State is the first State in the whole of South East Zone to set up the Multidoor Court House in 2018 and the third in the country after Lagos and Abuja.”
He revealed that his administration has also established mediation centres in all the local government area headquarters of the state and enjoined the committee, which comprises professionals and former members of the state and national assemblies, representatives of the security agencies as well as the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), to take advantage of the existing government’s mechanisms for dispute resolution in the discharge of their duties.
Responding on behalf of others, Dr. Ogbu thanked the governor for finding them worthy to serve in the committee and assured him of their commitment to full actualization of his noble vision towards the maintenance of peace and stability in the state.
The chairman, who described the committee as “the first of its kind in the history of Enugu State”, said that it is “another hallmark of creative, trend-setting and innovative disposition of His Excellency ever since he assumed office as the Chief Servant of the people of the state”.
Members of the committee also include Hon. Donatus Okechukwu Uzogbado, Hon. Dr. Emeka Ogbuabor, Hon. Mrs. Dame Lydia Nkechi Omeje-Ogbu, Hon. Matthew Erochukwu Ugwueze, Hon. John Kevin Ukuta, Hon. Nelson Uduji, Hon. Agbo Joseph Ugwumba, Hon. Johnbull Nwagu and Hon. Philip Nnamani, among others.
Spain attack: IPOB lied –Amaechi
he Media Office of the Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, yesterday, said that the claim that Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) members in Madrid, Spain physically assaulted the Minister was a lie.
According to the media office, the timely intervention of the Spanish police in Madrid repelled them.
The statement from the Media Office reads: “We read with utter disgust and disdain the sickening propagandist lies credited to one Emma Powerful, who claims to be the Spokesman of IPOB, that IPOB members in Madrid, Spain “beat” (physically assaulted) Amaechi. That is not true.
“We must clarify that in the incident of the attack yesterday on the Minister in Madrid, where Amaechi was part of the official Nigerian government delegation to the United Nations (UN) climate change conference (COP25), IPOB members did not “beat”, physically assault or cause any bodily harm to the honourable Minister.
“As they charged towards and at the minister during the attack, it was apparent that their plan was to “beat” (quoting Emma Powerful) him, hurt him, cause bodily harm or even do worse! But their violent evil plot failed woefully due to the dexterity of Amaechi to resist them, protect and defend himself, and the prompt intervention of the Spanish police who repelled the motley crowd of misguided attackers.
“Even the video circulated online by the attackers confirmed this much. Everyone could clearly hear one of them shouting, “we didn’t get him…” expressing his frustrations of their inability to get and “beat” the Minister.
“We must commend the Spanish police in Madrid for their timely intervention to protect Amaechi and their investigation of the attack and attempt on the life of the honourable minister in Spanish territory.
“The honourable minister of Transportation is immensely grateful to all for the outpour of love, support and prayers. He acknowledges God’s hand in the foiling of the attack and reassures all and sundry that he’s well, unhurt and okay; and will continue to dedicate himself in service to God, Nigeria and humanity.”
Sowore’s detention: US Senator pushes for sanctions on Nigeria
United States Senator, Bob Menendez, a ranking member of the United States Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee, unhappy with the goings on in Nigeria, especially the recent re-arrest of rights activist, Omoyele Sowore, has signalled his intention to press his government to impose sanctions of the West African nation.
Sowore was re-arrested on Friday at the Federal High Court, Abuja, by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) right in the presence of a judge.
However, reacting to the latest arrest, the 65-year-old from New Jersey, condemned in very strong terms what happened to the convenor of #RevolutionNow and other events in Africa’s most populous country and even questioned if President Muhammadu Buhari was aware of what is going on.
In a statement on Friday, Menendez, who admitted he had been involved in attempts to pressure the Federal Government, promised US intervention in the matter over Sowore’s case.
He said: “I am outraged by the blatant harassment of Omoyele Sowore, an activist and journalist whose only crime appears to be exercising his right to free expression.
“In a concerted effort to secure his release on behalf of the Sowore family living in New Jersey, my office has been working closely with the State Department as Mr Sowore’s case languished following his arbitrary arrest back in August.
“While we continue to seek immediate answers about Sowore’s treatment and conditions in jail, I will be further engaging directly with US Ambassador, Mary Beth Leonard, in Abuja to raise this case at the highest levels of the Nigerian Government so that the Buhari administration gets the message that we are committed to defending Sowore’s rights and securing his release.
“This blatant miscarriage of justice is symptomatic of closing political and media space in Nigeria.”
Menendez said it seems President Buhari is not aware of what the secret police is “doing in his name”.
“The United States is watching and the world is watching. I fear that the blatant harassment of Mr Omoyele Sowore, an activist and journalist whose only crime appears to be exercising his right to free expression, is becoming symptomatic of increasingly closing political and civic space in Nigeria.
“The Nigerian court has twice ordered his release on bail. And the state security agencies openly defied the court order each time leaving me to conclude that either Nigeria no longer respects the rule of law or President Buhari is woefully out of touch with what agents of his governments are doing in his name.
“This is unacceptable in a country that calls itself a democracy. Journalists who risk their lives to expose the truth should be celebrated, not incarcerated.
“It is unacceptable to that the husband and father of a US citizen with such blatant cruelty. Today, my office contacted our ambassador in Nigeria in an effort to obtain answers on what actions the United States is taking on the Sowore family’s behalf.
“In the next several days, I’ll continue to engage with the State Department in Washington to ascertain the impact of what the arrest of Mr Sowore and other activists and journalists will have on our relationship with Nigeria.
“My hope is that the bilateral relationship we have with Nigeria will be reassessed in light of these events,” Menendez said in the statement.
Sowore, who was first arrested on August 3, 2019 by operatives of the DSS for calling on Nigerians to take to the streets in peaceful demonstrations but only released on Thursday evening despite two court orders directing his freedom much earlier, was rearrested on Friday by the DSS, which only a day earlier had said it had complied with the court’s directive to release him and had even paid the N100,000 fine imposed for flouting earlier orders to release the former University of Lagos Student Union President.
Sunday Telegraph sought the views of the Presidency and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) on the video and the pronouncements of Senator Menendez but no response was received as at the time of filing this report.
In the meantime, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has called for the arrest and prosecution of all the security operatives who invaded the hollowed chambers of the Federal High Court Abuja in a desperate attempt to arrest Sowore and his colleague who are standing trial before the court.
Reacting to the incident, which caused disruption in the proceedings of the court, Executive Secretary of the Commission Tony Ojukwu cautioned that “Law enforcement officials must not be above the law”.
“The National Human Rights Commission has watched with dismay the conduct of law enforcement officers in facie curie Friday 6th December 2019 at the Federal High court Abuja and reiterates its earlier statement emphasising the need for law enforcement officials to understand that to qualify as law enforcement agents, they must first of all be law abiding and not be above the law,” Ojukwu said.
According to Ojukwu, officials paid with tax payers money, cannot indulge in impunity and utter disregard for the constitution.
“Our democracy is founded on the principle of separation of powers and all citizens including law enforcement officials must understand the implications of that and are enjoined to respect the law and the constitution in the enforcement of the law.
“Accordingly, the Commission directs all the relevant agencies of government to arrest and try all law enforcement officers involved in the desecration of the hallowed chambers of the Federal High Court, Abujafor contempt in the face of the court.
“They should be tried and this should serve as a reminder to all law enforcement agents that they must obey the law in carrying out their law enforcement duties,” he added.
The Commission reiterated that law enforcement officers must enforce the law within the ambits of the law.
“Impunity by law enforcement officials cannot be indulged in our democracy because impunity uproots the very foundation of our constitution and our democracy,” he said.
Reacting to the US Senator’s stand, Spokesman of the pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere said it was instructive that President Buhari’s government’s wanton disregard for rule of law is receiving the attention of world leaders.
According to him, Nigeria has descended into anarchy with current spate of events in the country, stating that Senator Menendez, by his action is writing his name in gold, like for Ambassador Walter Carrington who spoke vehemently against Sani Abacha’s dictatorial rule more than two decades ago.
2023: Forget Igbo presidency, go for restructuring, Ozoanekwe tells Ndigbo
Chieftain of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and a former president general of Onitsha Amalgamated Traders Association (OMATA), Chief Pius Ozoanekwe has asked Ndigbo, to forget about the Igbo presidency in 2023 and instead go for the restructuring of Nigeria which he said without it would make an Igbo presidency counterproductive.
Ozoanakwe, who made this known in Onitsha while addressing journalists, also said that such Presidency would be controlled by the Hausa/Fulani oligarchy. He cited the 9th National Assembly as an example which he described as a “rubber stamp” of the executive.
“They all want to be in the good books of the Northern power block in order to have a better bargain another time. Such struggle will be an exercise in futility and unless Ndigbo resists the attempt they would be heading for doom,” he added.
The former market leader said none of the senators nor their counterparts in the House of Representatives are making any impute because they don’t want to risk their chances like M.i Okpala Senator Chuba Okadigbo, former governor Sam Mbakwe and Francis Ibiam did in their own time.
He said only through restructuring those institutions like INEC, judiciary, Nigeria Security and National Assembly could work as an independent body devoid of external control.
He called on the Ohaneze, Afenifere and other socio-cultural organisations in Nigeria to save this country from total collapse.
He said: “They should let the world know Nigeria’s predicament by sending delegates to the United Nations and tell them that Nigeria is tired of the present military democracy.”
On Ndigbo’s demand for the presidency, he said: “Let the Igbo lead a delegation to the North and dialogue with them on way forward and forget 2023.”
Chief Ozoanekwe contended that Nigerian cannot get it right now because the present democratic dispensation was founded by the military and the constitution took its root from the military decree which is incompatible with the conventional democratic principles and ideals.
“We must re-write the Nigerians constitution to bring back the country to the part of growth and development if we are sincere in building a better Nigeria for our children and children yet unborn.
“I have no confidence in the 9th Assembly. A situation where an elected member of the National Assembly could change his Religion for political position is a source of concern for every Nigerian, and not only to his constituency.”
Kogi govt to NBS: Your Corruption Report is dubious, horrendous
he Kogi State Government has carpeted the recent National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) report claiming the state is the most corrupt in Nigeria as a “dubious attempt to blackmail and blacklist the state by those scared by her rising economic profile and opportunities”.
The Director General of Media and Publicity to the State Governor, Kingsley Fanwo raised the allegation while briefing newsmen in Abuja on Saturday, saying the Bureau has lost the “little credibility left in it”.
He said the state government will soon come with facts to challenge the false report by the NBS.
“How can we be the most corrupt state when we have institutionalized strong mechanisms to check fraud in the system? It is unfortunate that the Bureau just looked through its office windows to cook the discredited report.
“In the last 47 months, we have strengthened our internal mechanisms to combat corruption in the system. We undertook a strenuous Staff Verification Exercise to exorcise corruption from our civil service.
“The state government has since digitalized the Civil Service. We granted autonomy to the tax administrative board, changing the name from the Board of Internal Revenue to the Kogi State Internal Revenue Service. Today, the Service is led by one of the most respected hands in the industry, leading to opening new vistas for higher revenue as a result of managerial innovations and blockage of leakages in the system.
“Our accounting and auditing administration have been digitalized and made to be more effective, efficient and dynamic.
“Sitting in their offices at the Central Business District in the FCT to write fiction will not be accepted by the Kogi State Government. We are the most transparent state in the federation and deserves an award for that.”
Fanwo questioned the indices leading to the unfortunate conclusions, saying nobody came to ask questions from relevant authorities in the state.
He said if NBS fails to provide the parameters for the rating, the state government may have no choice than to seek legal redress to save the name of the state.
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