LATEST ARTICLES

THE MUHAMMADU BUHARI MOTHER AND CHILD HOSPITAL IN MAKURDI, BENUE STATE

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In continuation of the fulfilment of his campaign promise of affordable healthcare for Nigerians, do you know that a 120-bed Mother and Child Hospital has been built by the Buhari administration in Makurdi the Benue State capital?

The well-furnished and equipped facility, which has been named as Muhammadu Buhari Mother and Child Hospital, will soon be commissioned by the President himself after which it will commence operations.

Very importantly, it is gratifying to know that this new hospital will not only restrict itself to Mothers and Children but will treat other adults with health issues that can be treated there. And it is also remarkable that the administration is building similar hospitals across all the states.

About yesterday…Friday August 2019

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By Malam Ibrahim sheme

Malam Nasiru El-Rufai has shown tremendous leadership values in his intervention in the traffic gridlock yesterday. I said exactly that to my friend who was travelling to Kaduna with me after the governor walked past my car window acknowledging cheers from victims of the gridlock, scores of whom followed him enthusiastically. Even if he did not help clear the jam (but he did!), his presence alone – as the leader of the state – was enough balm on the bruised psyche of the commuters. He boosted our morale, raised our hopes, and assured us about the future. At that material time, that’s all what matters. I immediately saw in him a presidential material, i.e. if they don’t hand it over to Tinubu on a platter of gold!

What amazed me most was the distance the big man (I insist he is not a diminutive person as some insinuate) covered on foot. The beginning of the gridlock and its end were very long, maybe 30km, and Malam covered them all on foot! And his walk was brisk, energetic, jaunty even though he wore a babbar riga, as if he was enjoying it. I wondered how healthy he was physically and emotionally as to do that. Even younger elements like us would have to think thrice before daring to trek that long. He must have been inspired by the passion to bring comfort and solace to us, the stranded citizens. And he did so, selflessly. Some other Excellency would have turned back from the beginning of the gridlock or ordered for a helicopter to come and pick him. Some would even pretend that their tooth was suddenly aching again. But Malam was there from evening to morning, offering sympathy, smilingly reassuring everyone. He must have melted the hearts of many, including those that disagree with him on the political scene.

But then it is his style to be there just when it matters. Malam has always virtually walked into trouble – I mean trouble spots. Any time there is a crisis somewhere in his state, more so the recurring communal type, he will quickly dash there and be physically involved with the effort to solve it. He wouldn’t stay back in his cozy, air-conditioned offices receiving updates from minders. Somehow this works; it helps douse the tension. And it actually did so last night as admirers kept hooting, “Sai Malam! Sai Malam!” I heard several people, in spite of the debilitating situation in which they were caught, saying loudly that after Buhari it should be El-Rufai’s turn to become president. I laughed at the Nigerian’s propensity to mix politics with hardship and still enjoy the admixture.

It is a style other leaders, especially President Buhari, would do well to emulate. I remember that as Zamfara burnt with all those terrorist killings by bandits, the issue of the President needing to be there on ground (or even to go for commiseration) was tops in many people’s analysis of the incident.

Call it populism or whatever. Malam Nasiru is THAT type of leader the people want. He wouldn’t be sipping green tea as his Rome burns!

Kudos to Malam. I doff my hat to him multiple times!
Sheme is a successful journalist and author. Publisher of Fim magazine, Director communication, National open university. Abuja

Press Briefing By South West Peoples Alliance: Don’t Just Probe Obasanjo On Power Sector Malfeasance, Prosecute Him Too

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Date: Friday, 9th August, 2019.

I warmly welcome everyone who has found it necessary to be here with us today. I most especially welcome the esteemed members of the press to this briefing.

Gentlemen of the press, I should start by stating that this conference has become necessary due to the conversation on probing the power sector started by the Young Nigerian Professionals who delivered a Press Conference on Sunday last week in the nation’s capital, Abuja, about the decision of the House of Representatives to probe the power sector spending in the country.

The group had called for unrelenting efforts by the House in that probe, while noting the necessity of accountability as a nation if we were to make any progress.

At their very auspicious conference, the YNP called on Nigerians to monitor the planned probe of all power contracts from 1999 to date, which the House of Representatives is about to kick-start, and ensure that the process is thorough and that all those culpable in the mismanagement of the funds earmarked for power in Nigeria are brought to justice.

Let me start by saying that we agree wholeheartedly with the body of young professionals on this issue. But we will like to take the discussion further by demanding for specific interrogation of key individuals in the whole power mismanagement saga.

It’s our belief that there are known actors that were responsible for overseeing the sleaze that took place in the power sector spending since 1999.

The most prominent, as every Nigerian possibly knows, is former President Olusegun Obasanjo – who is reported to have spent a whopping sum of about 16 Billion Dollars on power, with nothing worthy or credible to show for it.

We would like to commend the House of Representatives for its decision to again re-investigate the power sector spending. It is our belief that what the House is set to do represents justice for the people of Nigeria who have had to bear the burden and pain associated with the poor power situation in the country.

Until this investigation and other related efforts that ensure transparency and openness are undertaken, Nigeria cannot really move forward or record any significant progress.

The unearthing of the sleaze that took place in the power sector is key if we want to start a new footing that ensures proper accountability going forward.

While we are confident that the investigation by the House of Representatives would unmask the fraud that was committed by former President Olusegun Obasanjo and his cronies in the power sector; we demand that the House should, upon the completion of its investigation, endeavor to submit the name of the former President and his conspirators to the country’s anti-corruption agencies, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), for full prosecution.

The ultimate goal is not to undertake a futile ‘name and shame exercise’, rather we want to see a situation where all those involved would face punishment for their crimes against the country.

While he and his co-travelers must be made to return all stolen monies, we demand that Chief Olusegun Obasanjo live up to his avowed commitment to transparency by coming forward to explain his role in the alleged mismanagement of power funds; without directing all those who seek to hold him to account to a self-serving and delusional book whose account has not exonerated him of active involvement in the sleaze.

No doubt, only a comprehensive prosecution that is in tandem with justice will send a strong message to all those who have either managed or still managing our resources that Nigerians will no longer tolerate any corrupt act by anyone, no matter how highly placed. This is the only way we can sanitize the power sector and begin to reset the country.

Thank you.

Signed:
Oseni Owolabi Ajimomuya (Chairman)
Ismael Lanre Oguntoyinbo (Secretary)

Jonathan never won any election, even in Bayelsa — Nabena

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By chibueke obigidi 9/8/2019

The Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Yekini Nabena, has said former President Goodluck Jonathan never contested and won any election even in his home state of Bayelsa.

Yekini said no amount of “falsehood and rigging” of the November 16, governorship election in Bayelsa State could stop PDP’s defeat at the poll, adding that the PDP had become very unpopular and stood rejected in the state.

Addressing a press conference yesterday in Abuja, Nabena cautioned Jonathan to be mindful of making misguided comments so as not to ridicule his personality.

Jonathan was quoted a few days ago as saying during the PDP Elders’ Advisory Council meeting at Government House, Yenagoa, that the APC was not on ground in Bayelsa and could not win the forth coming governorship election.

Jonathan added that the large number of aspirants on PDP’s platform indicated the dominance of the party as the preferred platform for election.

But the deputy image maker of the APC said, “Former President Jonathan has never contested any election and won. Even that of 2015, he contested as a sitting President, he lost woefully. The recent 2019 senatorial election in Bayelsa State, APC defeated Jonathan’s candidate in his senatorial district.

“Jonathan is attempting to rewrite history on presidential elections conducted under his watch in Bayelsa State while he was president. He never won, as votes never counted. Aided by security agents, election results were simply announced by the election body in favour of the PDP.”

The Hard Facts! Ahmadu Bello Sardaunan Sokoto

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Complied by an unknown writer
1. Ahmadu Bello was born on June 12, 1909 in Rabbah, present day, Sokoto State.
2. He was the son of a concubine.
3. His father died when he was 6 years old.
4. He was the only surviving son of his father and mother, Mariyamu.
5. He was a great grand-son of Shehu Uthman dan Fodio, the great Fulani jihadist.
6. He got his Islamic and Arabic education as a teenager from Mallam Garba who was the Imam of Rabbah village.
7. He finished at the age of 16 top of his class.
8. He attended the Teacher’s Training College, Katsina (later Barewa College) where he was a School Prefect and Class Captain.
9. Thereafter, he graduated as a Teacher in 1931 with a credit equivalent Grade III result.
10. He was appointed by the Sultan of Sokoto to work as a teacher at the Sokoto Middle School, where he was once a student and taught from 1931-1934.
11. He was appointed a rural administrator (District Head) at the age 25 in 1934.
12. He gave birth to a daughter after his death (posthumously).
13. He became a candidate for the succession to the throne of the Sultan of Sokoto at the age of 29.
14. He made attempts to become the Sultan of Sokoto but was not successful, losing to Sir Siddiq Abubakar III who reigned for 50 years until his death in 1988.
15. The new Sultan immediately made Sir Ahmadu Bello the Sardauna (Warlord) of Sokoto, a honourary title and promoted him to the Sokoto Native Authority Council, these titles automatically made him the Chief Political Adviser to the Sultan.
16. Later, he was put in charge of the Sokoto Province to oversee 47 districts.
17. In 1943, a drama played out when he was thrown before the Sultan’s court for misappropriating jangali (cattle) tax for the Gusau region where he was the Councillor.
18. He was sentenced to 1 year in prison, but spent 3 months in jail.
19. By 1944, he was back at the Sultan’s Palace to work as the Chief Secretary of the State Native Administration.
20. In 1949, at the age of 40, he was nominated for a seat in the Regional House of Assembly.
21. He spoke impeccable English, and respected many European values.
22. Sir Ahmadu Bello keenly encouraged female education.
23. In 1954, Sir Ahmadu Bello became the first Premier of Northern Nigeria.
24. He never had material accumulation instincts, did not accumulate wealth and gave out whatever came into his possession. He was scrupulous and prudent with public finance but generous with his own money.
25. In 1955, he made his first pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
26. The ‘Work and Worship’ motto on the Northern Nigerian crest was adopted by him.
27. He chose to remain the Premier of Northern Nigeria and gave the position of Prime Minister to his hand-picked candidate, the late Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, who was then the Deputy President of the NPC.
28. Sir Ahmadu Bello never sought the leadership of Nigeria.
29. He once stated that he would rather be the Sultan of Sokoto than to be the leader of Nigeria.
30. At various times, he made inflammatory statements about the Ibos as He once referred to them as the ‘Jews of Nigeria’ whose sole purpose is to dominate wherever they find themselves.
31. In 1959, Queen Elizabeth II (b.1926) made him a Knight of the British Empire (KBE), and that explains the ‘’Sir’’ in his title.
32. In 1962, he became Pioneer Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University, ABU, Zaria.
33. He founded the Bank of the North (now Unity Bank).
34. He founded the Northern Nigerian Development Company.
35. He established the 16,000-seater Ahmadu Bello Stadium, Kaduna.
36. He established the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna (the only military university in Nigeria).
37. He established the University of Northern Nigeria, which stretched from Samaru in Kaduna State to Funtua in Katsina State, on the 4th of October, 1962 now known as Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria.
38. By the beginning of 1966, it was quite clear that the Sardauna was one of the most powerful figures in the country, and many believed that he was actually the most powerful, even much more powerful than the Prime Minister, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa.
39. His party, Northern People Congress (NPC), held sway over 29 million out of 55 million Nigerians.
40. On his way to Umrah (the Muslim lesser pilgrimage), he received a letter with threats to kill him.
41. The letter was said to have stated: “We have arranged to kill you and the Prime Minister (Alhaji Tafawa Balewa).”
42. As a devout Muslim, the Sardauna believed that giving his life in the service of Northern Nigeria was worth the sacrifice and that death was a certain end.
43. He later said of the threat: “Don’t worry, continue to get useful information. I know what to do.”
44. On the evening of 14th January, 1966, armed soldiers, led by Major Patrick Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu, arrived at his residence at Lugard House, Kaduna, with the message of death.
45. He told his family to stay away in safety but they would have none of that. They all trooped behind him as he came out of the family quarters and in a matter of seconds, he was surrounded by the soldiers led by Nzeogwu who fired at his babban riga . And immediately, blood sputtered from the point of impact through the beard on his face.
46. At that point, his first and eldest wife, Hafsatu, threw herself at him in a final embrace. They were both shot.
47. He was believed to have been killed instantly when a bullet penetrated his spinal cord.
48. Brave till the very end, he had faced the soldiers and introduced himself as the Sardauna of Sokoto and Premier of the Northern Region.
49. He once referred to Nigeria as the ‘mistake of 1914′ but he later worked for and gave his best for the new nation of Nigeria.
50. He died leaving £10 in his bank account. Equivalent of 5,000 naira in tod. May he soul continue to rest in perfect peace. Allahumma Amin Reply Forward

Wamakko Versus Maccido : Tribunal adjourns for Judgment as Counsels adopt final addresses

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The National Assembly Elections Petitions Tribunal sitting in Sokoto on Thursday adjourned to an undisclosed date for Judgemnt in the Petitions filed by the defeated Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party  ( PDP), Senator Ahmed Mohammed Maccido,  against the winner of the February 23, 2019, Sokoto North Senatorial District Polls , Senator Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko .

The Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Peter Akhimie Akhihiero,  said while adjourning the matter , ” the matter has been adjourned for Judgment.  The date will be communictated in due course .”

The Counsels for the Petitioners and the Respondents had earlier adopted all their final written addresses .

The Lead Counsel of the 1st Respondent,  Dr Hassan Liman, SAN, said ,” in accordance with the Rules of the Court and the Electoral Act, the 1st Respondent has filed his written addresses dated 17/7/2019 and filed on the same date .

” We have also filed a reply to the Petitioners’  written address on 1/8/2019 . We hereby adopt the said two addresses as our final argument in this Petition .

” We are urging the Court to dismiss and strike out the Petition for being Statute -Barred as it was filed out of time, as well as lacking in merit. “

Lead Counsel for the 2nd Respondent,  Chief Jacob Ochidi , also stated that , the 2nd Respondent has filed his final written address on 2/7/2019.

Ochidi explained, ” I herebey adopt the written address as the argument of the 2nd Respondent in this Petition.

” I am also urging the Tribunal to strike out the petition for being Statute – Barred , resolving all the issues of the 2nd Respondent.

” To dismiss same petition for lacking in merit and award substantial cost in favour of the 2nd Respondent, against the Petitioners. “

Similarly, Lead Counsel for the 3rd Respondent,  Barrister Henry Eni-Otu, told the Court that,his Client has filed his final written address on 18/7/2019.

He averred ,” I want to adopt it as the argument of the 3rd and urge the Court to strike out the petition for being Statute-Barred .

” I am also praying the Court to dismiss the Petition in its entirety  for being unmeritorious and speculative ..”

The Lead Counsel of the Petitioners,  Dr Ibrahim Abdullahi said the Petitioners have filed their written address on 25/7/2019.

” We respectively adopt the same written address, making particular reliance on legal arguments.

” I am also urging the Court to resolve all the issues against the Respondents, to hold that , the Petition is not Statute-Barred and to grant the reliefs of the Petitioners. “

Responding, Dr Hassan Liman , SAN, commended the Chairman and menbers of the Tribunal for being diligent and working assiduously to ensure smooth proceedings.

Alleged Bribery: Surrender Yourself To EFCC Now, CUPP Tells Ayu

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The opposition wing of the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), has urged the national chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, to surrender himself to anti-grant agencies for investigation over alleged bribery of party officials and mismanagement of about N10bn realised from the sale of party’s nomination forms.

This is just as the CUPP-opposition wing called on the party’s National Executive Council (NEC) to, as a matter of urgency, reverse its earlier decision on Ayu and consider his immediate replacement.

Spokesperson of the CUPP-opposition wing, Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere, in a statement on Friday, expressed shock that Ayu and the party’s national secretary, Samuel Anyanwu, were allegedly gradually looting over N10 billion realised by the party from nomination fees paid by aspirants for elective offices in 2023 elections.

“Just recently Ayu was again alleged to have received N1 billion from a presidential aspirant in Lagos, without remitting same to the party, and the money was said to be given to him to in order to influence proceedings ahead of the parties primaries in Abuja back in May.

“We are very worried about the constant allegations trailing the party under Ayu’s leadership. Ayu and Anyanwu continue stay in office is creating more crisis, disunity in the party and will hamper PDP chances in 2023. The duo’s sack including the deputy chair, North who were involved in sharing party funds will not only benefit and unite the party, it will also enable all aggrieved members to come together and work for the party’s victory in 2023,” Ugochinyere said.

He added that, “The two party leaders are carrying out internal anti and divisive activities which have been polarising the party. I call on the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, to press it on chieftains of the party and Ayu on the need to save the party from further polarisation and loss of our base in the South. This can be achieved by ensuring that PDP Chairman, Senator Ayu quits the party now alongside the National Secretary, Anyanwu. Anyanwu is working hard for the Imo State Governor, Uzodinma, on a mission to destroy Imo PDP.”

Tinubu appoints Buni as party reconciliation adviser

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The presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Asíwájú Bola Tinubu, has appointed the Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni, as Adviser on Party Integration and Reconciliation in his Presidential Campaign Council.

Buni’s appointment was contained in a letter signed by the former APC National Leader on August 8, 2022, and made available to journalists in Abuja on Saturday.

In the appointment note, Tinubu disclosed that the choice of Buni as adviser was necessitated by his impressive political achievement and exemplary leadership as governor and party member.

The letter partly read, “By way of this letter, we are pleased to formally convey your appointment as the Adviser on Party Integration & Reconciliation of the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council.

“This appointment is fitting and appropriate given your impressive political achievement and the exemplary leadership you have demonstrated as governor of your state and as a party member.

“We are grateful that you have joined our campaign team. We know you will do your utmost in this new responsibility so we conduct an effective, message-driven campaign, leading us to victory in the 2023 presidential election.

“Together, not only can we ensure victory for our party in the February 2023 elections but we shall also move Nigeria along the path of national greatness by building on the achievements of our party and the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari(retd.) administration in providing progressive good governance to Nigerians.”

While wishing governor Buni God’s guidance, Tinubu congratulated the former Chairman of defunct APC Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee.

TOWN HALL BUILT FOR THE BENDEGHE EKIEM COMMUNITY IN CROSS RIVER STATE

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As requested by the community and as part of the urban development initiative of the Buhari administration, do you know that a town hall has been built and furnished for the Bendeghe Ekiem community in Cross River State?

Built by the Federal Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, the town hall was built, furnished and commissioned in 2021, and it has since then been serving as a centre for hosting social engagements like weddings, cultural events, meetings and so on in the community.

THE ONGOING DUALIZATION OF THE YENAGOA – KOLO – OTUOKE – BAYELSA PALM ROAD IN BAYELSA STATE

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Do you know that the Buhari administration is currently dualizing the Yenagoa – Kolo – Otuoke – Bayelsa Palm road in Bayelsa State, and that the project is even near completion?

The contract was awarded by the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing in 2020, and is partly being funded by the SUKUK Fund to the tune of N2bn. Apart from aiding comfortable travels when completed, this project has currently provided hundreds of jobs for residents of the area.

Yes, Nigeria is on track!

Port terminals concession: NPA concludes lease renewal, awaits FG’s approval

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The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) says it has concluded the renewal of concession agreement with five terminal operators after the expiration of their leases.

The Managing Director of NPA, Mr Mohammed Bello-Koko, noted that the agreement would be submitted to the Federal Ministry of Transportation for final approval before the close of work on Oct. 4.

Bello-Koko said this during the visit of the Minister of Transportation, Mr Mu’azu Sambo, who conducted a familiarisation tour of the agency on Friday in Lagos.

He, however, said discussions among some terminal operators were inconclusive, while others were yet to give necessary feedback to the authority.

The NPA helsman lamented the 100 per cent physical examination of cargoes at the nation’s seaports, saying it affected efficient cargo inspection, and that manual cargo examination was cumbersome and inefficient.

Bello-Koko noted that the terminal operators had expressed the desire to purchase and maintain scanners at the Nigerian seaports, while Customs would operate it.

“If scanners are provided, it will make Nigerian seaports more competitive and the preferred destinations for cargoes in West and Central Africa.

“Manual examination of cargoes in our ports due to the absence of scanners is inefficient, not sustainable, cumbersome and can’t make our ports competitive.

“Terminal operators have, however, expressed readiness to purchase and maintain the scanners but the equipment will be maintained by the service and this will make our ports efficient in the sub-region,” he said.

The NPA MD, in his presentation to the minister, said the nation’s seaports needed to explore alternative sources of power generation to the seaport because of the rising cost of power.

He also called for the reconstruction of the collapsed quay apron at the Tin-Can Island port and collapsed jetty at Continental Shipyard.

“Some matters requiring urgent attention include the reconstruction of the quay apron at Tin Can Island Port complex and collapsed jetty at Continental Shipyard Ltd.

“Also, the reconstruction of collapsed berth at Federal Lighter Terminal (FLT) and fencing of common user port facility in line with the specification of International Ships and Ports Facility (ISPS), code.

“Also, reconstruction of collapsed breakwater at delta port and rising cost of power generation (electricity) in the port and the need to commence procurement of alternative source of power,” he said.

Responding, Sambo said there were so many issues that the NPA needed to handle, urging the management to priortise and come out with short, medium and long time term goals.

“For the medium and long term, they can lay the foundation and let people that will come after them to conclude.

“The most immediate burning issue for me is evacuation of cargo at the Lekki Deep Seaport.

“We have been talking about encouraging moving cargo by barges, this is the time we walk the talk.

“Happily it is NPA that licenses barge operations; so if they are satisfied with the barges that they license, they should encourage them,” he said.

World rallies in solidarity with Iran protests over Mahsa Amini death

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Iranians based abroad and their supporters gathered in cities around the world Saturday in solidarity with protests sparked by the death of Mahsa Amini in the custody of the country’s notorious morality police.

A wave of street violence has rocked Iran since Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurd, died days after her arrest by the morality police for allegedly failing to observe the Islamic republic’s strict dress code for women.

Protests were held across Iran for a 15th consecutive night on Friday, despite a bloody crackdown that a rights group says has claimed more than 80 lives.

“Woman, life, freedom” and “Death to the dictator”, they chanted in the streets of Amini’s hometown of Saqqez, in Kurdistan province.

Riot police massed Saturday at major intersections in Tehran, amid reports of demonstrations at universities to seek the release of arrested students.

The ‘1500tasvir’ social media channel shared video footage of large demonstrations in the capital, as well as the shrine city of Mashhad and Kermanshah in the west.

Demonstrations in support of the movement are being held meanwhile in 159 cities across the globe — from Auckland to New York and Seoul to Zurich, according to the Iranians for Justice and Human Rights group.

“Be our voice,” was the catchcry of a protest in the eastern Australian city of Brisbane, where organisers said thousands from the Iranian diaspora demanded freedoms in their homeland.

In Tokyo, demonstrators waved pictures of Amini and other women who defiantly burned their headscarves and cut their hair during the Iranian protests.

A half-dozen women in Rome — among around 1,000 who gathered in total, some waving the Iranian national flag — likewise cut their hair in solidarity.

Arrest of foreigners
The protests flared in Iran on September 16, when Amini was pronounced dead three days after falling into a coma following her arrest.

Oslo-based Iran Human Rights group says at least 83 people have been killed in the crackdown. Amnesty International says it has confirmed 52 fatalities, while Iran’s Fars news agency has put the death toll at “around 60”.

It is the bloodiest unrest in Iran since a ruthless crackdown on demonstrations in November 2019 over a sudden hike in fuel prices which killed at least 304 people, according to Amnesty.

Security forces used live ammunition and tear gas on Friday to try to disperse demonstrations in various cities and towns across the country.

Mir Hossein Mousavi, a former prime minister who has been under house arrest for more than a decade, urged security forces to halt the violence, in a message on the Instagram account of opposition group Kaleme.

“I would like to remind all the armed forces of their pledge to protect our land, Iran, and the lives, property, and rights of the people,” he said.

Iran’s intelligence ministry said “nine foreign nationals”, including from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Poland, were arrested “at or behind the scene of riots”, along with 256 members of outlawed opposition groups.

Unrest also erupted on Friday in Iran’s southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan province, which borders Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said two of its colonels were killed, bringing the official toll to 20 dead during the clashes in the province. Three police stations were attacked.

Outside forces
“Several chain stores were looted and set on fire, and a number of banks and government centres were also damaged,” said Sistan-Baluchestan governor Hossein Khiabani.

Poverty-stricken Sistan-Baluchestan is a flashpoint for clashes with drug smuggling gangs, as well as rebels from the Baluchi minority and Sunni Muslim extremist groups.

Iran has blamed outside forces for the nationwide protests.

On Wednesday, the Revolutionary Guards launched cross-border missile and drone strikes that killed 14 people in autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan, accusing rebel groups in the region of fuelling the unrest.

The US said one of its citizens was killed in the strikes.

Amnesty said Iran was intentionally using lethal force to crush the women-led protests.

It said it had obtained a leaked document issued to armed forces commanders in all provinces on September 21 ordering them to “severely confront” protesters.

Another leaked document showed the commander in Mazandaran province told forces to “confront mercilessly, going as far as causing deaths, any unrest by rioters and anti-revolutionaries”.

Fifty-four countries signed a statement “urging Iran to stop using force against peaceful protesters”, the US special envoy for Iran, Robert Malley, tweeted.

The warning comes as Iran presses ahead with an intensifying crackdown that has seen the arrest of many journalists, activists and other prominent figures.

Buhari’s 2022 Independence Day address

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Fellow Nigerians, I address you today, with a deep sense of gratitude to God and a high level of appreciation to all Nigerians whose tremendous goodwill gave me the opportunity to provide leadership for our great country at one of the trying times in her history.

Conscious that today’s address would be my last on an Independence Day as your President; I speak to the millions of Nigerians, who believed in me, propelled and stood by me in my quest to bequeath a country where all citizens have equal opportunities to achieve their lives desires in a peaceful atmosphere.

I am honoured to say that my story in the annals of Nigeria’s history is no household secret. My various attempts, failures and eventual success in being elected as a Democratic President in 2015 was made possible by the majority of Nigerians.


When you elected me, I readily acknowledged that the tasks before me were daunting but surmountable because of the growing national consensus that our chosen route to national development was democracy.

This democracy was to be anchored on a clear understanding, application and the principles of separation of powers supported by a reformed public service that is more effective.

I then pledged to Improve the Economy, Tackle Corruption and Fight Insecurity and this was further strengthened by my commitment to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years as the central plank of my second term in 2019.

To the Glory of God and His Grace as well as the commitment and passion displayed by many Nigerian supporters, we have made appreciable progress in these areas but not yet at our destination.

One of the areas where we have made significant progress is in the eradication of deeply entrenched corruption that permeates all facets of our national development.

We strengthened the institutions for tackling corruption and also cultivated international support, which aided the repatriation of huge sums of money illegally kept outside the country.

The increasing number of prosecutions and convictions, with associated refunds of large sums of money is still ongoing. Furthermore, we would continue to block opportunities that encourage corrupt practices.

In order to address insecurity, we worked methodically in reducing Insurgency in the North East, Militancy in the Niger Delta, Ethnic and Religious Tensions in some sections of Nigeria along with other problems threatening our country.

Our efforts in re-setting the economy manifested in Nigeria exiting two economic recessions by the very practical and realistic monetary and fiscal measures to ensure effective public financial management. In addition, the effective implementation of the Treasury Single Account and cutting down on the cost of governance also facilitated early exits from recessions.

Fellow Nigerians, this administration removed several decades uncertainty for potential investors in the Oil & Gas sector with the passage of the Petroleum Industry Act, 2021. This landmark legislation created opportunities for foreign investments in addition to improving transparency in the management of the sector.

Our administration has given the desired priority to the Agricultural Sector through a series of incentives to Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises that resulted in creating millions of jobs. Leading this initiative, the Central Bank of Nigeria’s intervention in a number of areas as well as the Anchor Borrowers Programme had created the required leverages for Nigerians towards self-sufficiency in food and the necessary attraction for farming as a business.

The growing contribution of non-oil exports, especially in agriculture, information and communication technology as well as the performing arts to our national economy will enhance our foreign exchange earning capacity.

We are confronting current economic challenges such as debt burden, growing inflation, living standards and increasing unemployment accentuated by our growing youthful population. These problems are globally induced and we would continue to ensure that their negative effects are addressed in our policies.

This administration will continue to ensure that our fiscal policies are supported by a robust and contemporary monetary policy that recognises our peculiarities in the midst of the growing global economic difficulties.

This is evidenced by the recent Monetary Policy Committee decision to maintain all parameters, especially interest rates and marginally increased the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) from 14 per cent to 15.5 per cent and the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) from 27.5 per cent to 32.5 per cent. It is projected that this would further insulate our economy from over exposure to uncertainties at the international market by restraining growth in core inflation. 

As we continue to de-escalate the security challenges that confronted us at inception of this administration, newer forms alien to our country began to manifest especially in the areas of kidnappings, molestations/killings of innocent citizens, banditry, all of which are being addressed by our security forces.

I share the pains Nigerians are going through and I assure you that your resilience and patience would not be in vain as this administration continues to reposition as well as strengthen the security agencies to enable them to deal with all forms of security challenges.

At the inception of this administration in 2015, I provided the funding requirements of the security agencies which was also improved in my second tenure in 2019 to enable them to surmount security challenges. We will continue on this path until our efforts yield the desired results.

As we put in place all measures to ensure that Nigeria takes her place in the Comity of Nations, we recognise the importance of a well-educated populace as a panacea to most of the challenges we face.

We have, therefore, pursued policies and implemented programmes designed to create a literate and proficient society that ensures that citizens are availed with opportunities for life-long achievements.

I must confess that I am very pained by the recurring disruption to our tertiary education system and I am using this Independence Day celebration to re-iterate my call for the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to return to the classroom while assuring them to deal with their contending issues within the limits of the scarce resources available. This administration has made appreciable progress in redressing these issues that have been lingering for over eleven years.

The Federal Government will continue to mobilise resources both internationally and nationally towards funding education to ensure that our citizens are well educated and skilled in various vocations in view of the fact that education is a leading determinant of economic growth and employment generation.

Fellow Nigerians, we have also improved our health facilities, especially during and after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which attracted commendation of the global community.

As you are aware, Nigeria was one of the countries that defied global predictions of the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic because of our resilience, commitment and passion with which we individually and collectively managed the pandemic. 

This administration embarked on addressing critical ecological challenges across the country in order to mitigate the impact of Climate Change manifesting in the form of flood, soil erosion, desertification, air pollution amongst others

We will continue to ensure that our infrastructure drive remains the key to Nigeria’s economic growth and for which every Nigerian will feel the impact.

The Federal Government is already expanding ports operations to ensure that they provide opportunities for the growth of the Nigerian economy.

We have also continued to accelerate our infrastructure development through serviceable and transparent borrowing, improved capital inflow & increased revenue generation by expanding the tax bases and prudent management of investment proceeds in the Sovereign Wealth Fund.

To further open up our communities to economic activities, we have continued to boost our railway infrastructure with the completion of a good number of critical railways and at the same time rehabilitating as well as upgrading obsolete equipment.

I am pleased to inform my fellow citizens that besides our emphasis on infrastructural development with its attendant opportunities for job creation, employment generation and subsequent poverty reduction, our focused intervention directly to Nigerians through the National Social Investment Programme is also yielding benefits.

There is hardly any ward, village or local government in Nigeria today that has not benefited from one of the following: N-Power, trader-moni, market moni, subsidized loans, business grants or Conditional Cash Transfers.

All the aforementioned programmes along with various interventions by the National Social Investment programme, direct support to victims of flooding and other forms of disasters have provided succor to the affected Nigerians.

Fellow Nigerians, no matter what gains we make, without a good governance system anchored on electing credible leaders on the basis of free, fair, credible and transparent elections, our efforts would not be enough.

It is for this reason that I have resolved to bequeath a sustainable democratic culture, which will remain lasting. The signing of the Electoral Act 2021 as amended with landmark provisions further assures us of a more transparent and inclusive Electoral Process.

Having witnessed at close quarters, the pains, anguish and disappointment of being a victim of an unfair electoral process, the pursuit of an electoral system and processes that guarantee election of leaders by citizens remains the guiding light as I prepare to wind down our administration.

You would all agree that the recent elections in the past two years in some states (notably Anambra, Ekiti and Osun) and a few federal constituencies have shown a high degree of credibility, transparency and freedom of choice with the people’s votes actually counting. This I promise would be improved upon as we move towards the 2023 General Elections.

As we begin the transition process to another democratically elected government, I want to implore all aspirants to conduct issues-based campaigns devoid of hate speeches as well as other negative and divisive tendencies.

I also want to express my wish that we see more female and youth participation in the forth-coming electoral cycle. I am sure that our teeming and energetic youths now realise that violence generally mar elections and so should desist from being used by politicians for this purpose.

Reforms in the public sector are already yielding results especially in the delivery of services.  On this note, I urge the general public to demand for citizen-centred services from the relevant authorities.  

On the international front, we have continued to take advantage of our bilateral and multilateral platforms to explore cooperation with friendly countries and partners whenever these areas of cooperation are to the advantage of Nigeria.

Fellow Nigerians, in the past few years we have witnessed and overcome a good number of challenges that would ordinarily have destroyed our Nation. However, the indefatigable spirit of the Nigerian people has ensured that we overcome our challenges.

It is in this spirit that I call on all of us to individually and collectively bring to the fore in dealing with all our development issues.

I was called to serve, along with my team, I saw an opportunity to create a better Nigeria which we have done with the support of Nigerians. Almighty God and the good people of Nigeria supported us in laying a solid foundation for the Nigeria of our dreams.

I thank you all and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

2023 election: INEC bars Peter Obi, Tinubu, Atiku, others from receiving abroad donations

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said political parties in Nigeria are not allowed to receive campaign and electioneering donations from abroad.

“Section 225 of the Nigerian constitution makes it clear that no registered political party in Nigeria shall possess any funds outside the country,” INEC national commissioner Festus Okoye said during Channels Television’s Politics Today on Friday.

Okoye’s statement means leading candidates in the Nigeria 2023 presidential election – Bola Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Labour Party candidate Peter Obi and other candidates will not receive donations from their supporters outside Nigeria.

He explained that “a political party cannot open an account and have monies remitted into that particular account outside the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Secondly it makes it clear that no political party shall under any circumstance retain any funds remitted to it outside the country.

“And if such funds are remitted to the political party from outside the country, that particular political party has a constitutional and legal obligation to turn in such funds to INEC within a period of 21 days from the date of receipt of such funds.”

INEC’s stance on foreign donations comes two days after political parties officially began campaigns for their candidates contesting seats in the National Assembly and persons aspiring to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in the presidential election.

Over 2295 Teachers Killed, 19000 Displaced In North East – TRCN

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The registrar of the Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN), Professor Josiah Olusegun Ajiboye, has said attacks on schools by insurgents have claimed the lives of more than 2,295 teachers in the North East between 2009 and 2022.

Prof Ajiboye, who said this while delivering a paper at the 2022 National Delegates Conference of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), in Ibadan, called for the full implementation of the  Safe  Schools Declarations guidelines endorsed by Nigeria in 2015 and ratified by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.

He further said that over 1,500 schools were forced to close due to insurgency and more than 600,000 children have lost access to education.

The TRCN boss, therefore, called on the federal government to review its security architecture to address the deteriorating security situation because of terrorism and violent attacks on education.

He noted that as a way forward, federal, state and local education authorities should facilitate the immediate implementation of the National Policy on Safety, Security and Violence Free Schools (NPSSVFS) by making budgetary provisions.

Prof Ajiboye called for an increase in domestic education expenditure of 50 per cent over the next two years as committed at the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) Education Summit.

He said a school was considered to be safe if it is located in a violence-free environment.

In Last Independence Speech: Buhari Scores Self High

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President Muhammadu Buhari has scored the performance of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) administration high. 

Buhari in his last Independence Day Address this morning said the efforts in re-setting the economy manifested in Nigeria as it exited two economic recessions by the very practical and realistic monetary and fiscal measures to ensure effective public financial management. 

He added that the effective implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) and cutting down on the cost of governance facilitated early exits from recessions.

President Buhari said his administration had given the desired priority to the agricultural sector through a series of incentives to micro, small and medium-scale enterprises that resulted in creating millions of jobs.

“Leading this initiative, the Central Bank of Nigeria’s intervention in a number of areas as well as the Anchor Borrowers Programme had created the required leverages for Nigerians towards self-sufficiency in food and the necessary attraction for farming as a business,” he said.

ASUU must have a rethink

On the industrial action embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), he said: “I must confess that I am very pained by the recurring disruption to our tertiary education system and I am using this Independence Day celebration to reiterate my call for the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities to return to the classroom while assuring them to deal with their contending issues within the limits of the scarce resources available.

“This administration has made appreciable progress in redressing these issues that have been lingering for over eleven years.”

‘Only credible elections’

On the significance of credible leadership, the president said: “No matter what gains we make, without a good governance system anchored on electing credible leaders on the basis of free, fair, credible and transparent elections, our efforts would not be enough.”

While speaking on the country’s challenges, he said: “In the past few years, we have witnessed and overcome a good number of challenges that would ordinarily have destroyed our nation. However, the indefatigable spirit of the Nigerian people has ensured that we overcome our challenges.

“It is in this spirit that I call on all of us to individually and collectively bring to the fore in dealing with all our development issues.

“I was called to serve, along with my team, I saw an opportunity to create a better Nigeria which we have done with the support of Nigerians. Almighty God and the good people of Nigeria supported us in laying a solid foundation for the Nigeria of our dreams.”

‘All shall be well’

Meanwhile, prominent leaders have congratulated Nigerians on the occasion of the country’s 62nd Independence Day celebration, urging them to remain hopeful, resilient, united and patriotic despite challenges bedevilling the country.

Senate President Ahmad Lawan urged Nigerians to remain resolute in the defence of national unity and promote fairness, justice and peace.

Lawan, in his message to Nigerians on the country’s 62nd independence anniversary, said the National Assembly would “continue to work for good governance and to strengthen our bond as a nation.”

“The Almighty God in His infinite wisdom brought us together in our diversities. He has also preserved our union despite the challenges that we have encountered in nation-building and socio-economic development since our Independence in 1960.

“I salute fellow Nigerians for the resilience of our faith in our country in the face of those challenges,” Lawan was quoted in a statement by his media aide, Ola Awoniyi.

On his part, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, while rejoicing with Nigerians, said the country has come a long way and made tremendous progress in the 62 years of her independence, noting that the citizens have a lot to celebrate despite the challenges facing them.

He said as a nation, Nigeria remains a force to reckon with in the comity of nations, calling on both the leaders and followers to remain steadfast.

In a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Lanre Lasisi, the Speaker expressed optimism that Nigeria and Nigerians would come out stronger in the face of daunting challenges, including insecurity.

Also, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has cautioned against violence and politics of bitterness in the 2023 general polls.

In a statement he personally signed to mark Nigeria’s 62nd independence anniversary, Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State, asked Nigerians to be patriotic and work for the unity of the country.

He also urged Nigerians to do their best for the country regardless of partisan affiliation, adding there is no need to undermine the national purpose in pursuit of narrow gain.

On his part, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former vice president of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, has congratulated Nigerians on the celebration of the 62nd Independence Day anniversary assuring that the nation will rise again.

Atiku in a statement by his media office in Abuja yesterday said the celebration of Nigeria’s Independence Day was an event that should reawaken citizens’ consciousness towards the consolidation of unity amongst the diverse people of the country.

The PDP presidential candidate, who said Nigeria has come a long way after her independence 62 years ago passing through different phases of challenges, noted, however, that “the democracy that we have is the requisite antidote to the current challenges that we face.”

Atiku said as the election approaches, “Nigerians should elect leaders who are individuals with proven track records of being protagonists of unity and peace.

The main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on its part has urged Nigerians not to lose hope as the misrule of the “vicious, corrupt and anti-people All Progressives Congress (APC) would soon come to an end.”

PDP in a statement by Debo Ologunagba, National Publicity Secretary of the party, said it is regrettable that “Nigerians are celebrating yet another Independence Anniversary under bondage and the harrowing stranglehold of the suppressive, cold-hearted, insensitive and inhumane APC which relishes in inflicting pain and anguish on the citizens.”

The PDP noted that in the last seven years, the APC “has balkanized and dislocated the unity of our country, promoted mutual distrust among the once happy and harmonious people; created a mass of internally displaced persons; the worst since the Civil War in our country.”

In the midst of all this, the party said it is mindful of the confidence Nigerians repose in it and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, “to rescue, rebuild and redirect our nation and return her to the path of peace, national cohesion and economic prosperity.”

Ahead of today’s Independence Day celebration, the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, has ordered the personnel of the force to protect all critical assets in the country and prevent any untoward situation throughout the period of the celebration and beyond.

Baba specifically directed the Strategic Police Managers comprising AIGs and Commissioners of Police in all the zonal and state commands including the FCT to ensure high visibility and confidence-boosting patrols around the venues of the celebrations.

The police chief, who spoke through the Force spokesman, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, in a statement issued in Abuja, said they should ensure the safety of residential areas and other public places to prevent infiltration by hostile elements.

He explained that the deployment of adequate personnel of the force has become imperative in order to ensure the success of all activities lined up for the country’s 62nd Independence Anniversary.

Muideen Olaniyi, Abdullateef Salau, Itodo Daniel Sule, Saawua Terzungwe, Baba Martins & Idowu Isamotu