Thousands More Pour Into Austria As EU Migrant Crisis Deepens!


Thousands more pour into Austria as EU migrant crisis deepens http://www.ngrguardiannews.com/2015/09/thousands-more-pour-into-austria-as-eu-migrant-crisis-deepens/

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Uneasy Calm In Senate, As Saraki Plot Survival…


Uneasy Calm In Senate, As Saraki Plots
Survival
By Azimazi Momoh Jimoh and Karls Tsokar
(Abuja), Abiodun Fagbemi (Ilorin) and Kamal
Tayo Oropo (Lagos) on September 20, 2015 2:10
am

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• Nation Sliding Into Fascism, PDP Warns
• No Order To Arrest Yet, Say Police
NOT a single senator from the ‘Unity
Forum’, known to have expressed
disappointment over the emergence of
Abubakar Bukola Saraki as Senate
President has spoken out against him,
since the Code of Conduct Bureau filed a
13-count corruption charge against the
embattled legislator at the Code of
Conduct Tribunal (CCT), last week.
The only story extracted from few
senators in the camp who didn’t want to
speak on record was: “We are watching.”
But a few from the ‘Like Minds’ senators
decried the trial of Saraki by the CCT,
describing it as political persecution
aimed at weakening the Senate and
setting the stage for a “rubber stamp”
National Assembly.
The ‘Like Minds’ were responsible for
the emergence of Saraki as Senate
President on June 9, 2015.
Dismissing as untrue, rumour making
the rounds that Saraki might resign as a
way of ending his travails, the group of
senators said they believed Saraki could
even win more support from his
colleagues, as a result of the trial.
Senator Sabi Aliyu Abdullahi (APC, Niger
North) said all the allegations raised
against Saraki by the CCB were
politically motivated and would not in
anyway derail the 8th Senate from its
objective of bringing about positive
change to Nigerians.
He said: “I want to believe an allegation
remains an allegation; and our laws are
very clear. It is an allegation until it is
proven; I want to believe it remains an
allegation.
“However, let’s take a closer look at what
the allegations are, dating back to 2003
to date. I think, as far as I am
concerned, there is something fishy
about it. It is very obvious. Of course, we
know what has happened since the
inauguration of the 8th Senate on June
9.”
Senator Abdullahi added: “We will stand
by our leader because leadership is from
God. And as far as I am concerned, I
didn’t come here because I am the best;
it is just the will of God that we will be
here. And based on the fact that we are
here, we shall try as much as possible to
deliver very good legislations that will
move this country forward. Nigeria is
great and we want to make it greater.
And I assure you; we will definitely not
be distracted. The entire Senate is
behind our leadership.”
Also condemning the trial, Senator
Hussain Salihu (APC, Nasarawa South)
said: “The charges against Saraki, as far
as I am concerned, are just distractive,
in the sense that we are talking about an
issue of 13 years ago and people are
bringing it now. I think Nigerians should
disregard such issues because they are
distracting the National Assembly from
doing its constitutional work. I don’t
think that it is going to help us.
What we are talking about now is how
we are going to get power supply; how
the ordinary man can send his children
to school and the sick get to hospitals. So,
the allegations are non-issues. I think the
people who are doing this are not
helping the country; they are not helping
the President and they are not helping
anybody, because as far as the National
Assembly is concerned, we are going to
move on from all these distractions.
Senator Mao Ohuabunwa (PDP Abia
North) was of the notion that Saraki has
led the Senate credibly in the last 100
days and they will continue to give him
total support, irrespective of
distractions from any quarters.
Saraki, however, is said to be embarking
on intense consultations with his support
base within and outside the Senate on
how to survive the present travails.
A few senators who have not
travelled out of Abuja were said to have
visited his Maitama residence in Abuja
in a show of solidarity.
Sequel to the 13-count charge slammed
by the CCB, Saraki approached a Federal
High Court in Abuja to restrain the CCB,
CCT and Federal Ministry of Justice from
proceeding on his trial.
The Senate President prayed the court to
declare that the Ministry of Justice has
not complied with the provision of the
3rd Schedule of Section 24(1) of the Code
of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act
before proffering a charge against him.
But the Court ordered the Federal
Ministry of Justice, chairmen of the CCB,
CCT and M. S Hassan (1st to 4th
respondents) to appear before him on
Monday to show cause why they should
not be stopped from arraigning Saraki.
The judge ordered that the respondents
in the motion should be served with all
the court processes, including the motion
of notice for the interim order or
injunction, motion ex-parte, adding that
hearing notice should be served on all
the respondents.
Based on this, Saraki refused to appear
before the CCT for arraignment on
Friday. And angered by this absence, the
CCT ordered that a warrant of arrest be
issued by the Inspector General of Police
to bring Saraki to the Tribunal
tomorrow.
Saraki was, however, swift to announce
his decision to appeal the ruling of the
CCT.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),
meanwhile, said yesterday, “It is no
longer in doubt that the nation is on a
quick slide into fascism and official
terrorism.”
The PDP, in a statement by its National
Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh,
said the President Buhari-led regime has
exhibited the trappings of despotism,
including “ruling without a
constitutional component of a cabinet,
persistent abuse of power, undermining
of democratic institutions, invasion of
state government and personal houses,
injection of confusion into the judiciary
and hounding of individuals perceived
to be against its interests.”
The party expressed worry over the
“relentless onslaught against democratic
institutions, especially the growing
tension trailing the quest to annex the
National Assembly.
The statement reads in part: “Ordinarily,
the intra-party squabbles within the
APC, regarding leadership positions in
the Senate is not necessarily our
concern. Also, we are not interested in
whether Senate President Bukola Saraki
ran for the APC Presidential ticket
against President Muhammadu Buhari;
or whether he ran for the Senate
Presidency against the advice of the
President and his party. Our concerns
here are the prevailing executive
intolerance, the undermining of the
institution of the National Assembly and
the overall threat to the survival of our
democracy.
Whereas the PDP totally supports the
fight against corruption, while reposing
confidence in the judiciary to protect
and preserve its sanctity, we note with
grave concern, the politically induced
controversies within the judiciary, as a
result of the part being played by agents
of the executive, especially the question
of due process with respect to the roles
statutorily vested on the person of an
Attorney-General, who is yet to be
appointed, regarding proceedings in the
Code of Conduct Tribunal.
We note this dangerous trend because
the Presidency and the APC have not
hidden their aversion to the election of
Bukola Saraki and Ike Ekweremadu as
Senate President and Deputy Senate
President, respectively, even as the fact
of various moves to oust them from
office, including the recent
unsubstantiated allegations of forgery
and harassments by the federal
controlled security agencies are in the
public domain.
We call on Nigerians to be aware that
the fixation on the leadership of the
National Assembly is part of a major step
towards the appropriation of the federal
legislature, so as to undermine its
statutory role of checks and balances
and set the stage for dictatorship in the
land.
It is therefore a mockery of reasoning
for President Buhari to use choice words
to condemn the coup in Burkina Faso
while his government engages in brazen
contravention of our own constitution, a
development
that is clearly derailing Nigeria from the
path of order, democracy and
constitutionalism.”
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has
distanced itself from the ordeal of Senate
President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, saying
there is no way it could have been
involved in the matter.
Speaking to The Guardian, yesterday,
APC National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji
Lai Mohammed, expressed deep
reservation over “dragging the party”
into the matter.
He said: “If at all the party will get
involve in this situation, officials would
meet and communicate their position to
the public. But it would be highly
mischievous for anyone to insinuate that
the party is behind this ordeal. This is
absolutely false. There is no truth,
whatsoever, in this. The party cannot, of
course, be working against itself. Or
have you suddenly forget that the
distinguished Senate President is our
member?”
Mohammed also noted that it is improper
to discuss matters of the court in public.
While Nigerians watch to see which way
the storm confronting Saraki would
blow, the Police insist they have not yet
received orders to arrest the Senate
President.
Spokesperson for the Force, Acting
Assistant Commissioner of Police Olabisi
Kolawole told The Guardian, yesterday:
“The Inspector General of Police,
Solomon Arase, has not received such
orders. There is no order to the effect
that the police should arrest him.”
A source at Police Headquarters,
however, said: “It would be grossly
insensitive to arrest someone like that
for whatever reason. This time, the
situation is different. Anybody can be
arrested. But this case is too sensitive. So,
it is safe to say we have not received a
formal notice to the effect.”
Asked if the Police were shying away
from carrying out the directive, the
Police spokesperson said: “Directive by
whom? We are yet to receive any
directive to that effect.”
The Ile-loke Ilorin, Kwara State,
residence of the Senate President,
yesterday, was a ghost of its former self,
as many of his supporters were absent
when The Guardian visited the place at
13.30pm.
Security guards were spotted at their
posts and the free flow of traffic along
the popular Ilofa Street gave the
impression that all was well with the
people and their political leader.
Meanwhile, there are divergent reactions
in Ilorin over the Saraki orderal.
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Olusola
Bayeshea, said: “I believe that nobody
should be above the law. We have to
start this from somewhere. It is the right
time for our leaders to be ready for the
scrutiny of their private and public
affairs. I have to say this because I am
more concerned with the survival of our
legal system.”
In his view, the Publicity Secretary of the
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in
Kwara, Chief Rex Olawoye, said, if Saraki
had identified his present ordeal as a
political vendetta, “then he should
equally look for the solution. I hope he
will be able to wriggle his way out of the
vendetta, as claimed. Otherwise, he
knows the best way out.”
For Mogaji Nda of Ilorin Salihu Woru-
Mohammed, a retired Police Officer, the
police should obey the decision of the
Federal High Court rather than effect the
arrest of Saraki via the warrant of arrest
issued by the Code of Conduct Bureau.
Mohammed said: “When we were at the
Police College and Staff College, we were
warned and trained not to obey
unlawful orders.”
A political movement in Ilorin, Maja
Elders Forum (MEF), urged the prompt
intervention of President Buhari on the
matter.
The MEF in a statement yesterday in
Ilorin, signed by its coordinator, Alhaji
Kayode Yusuf, said the alleged witch-
hunting of Saraki, since he emerged, as
Senate President should be halted in the
interest of peace in the polity.
“We are taken aback by recent
developments in the nation’s political
circle where Saraki seems to be the only
politician that should be investigated by
anti-graft agencies in Nigeria. We are
not opposed to anti corruption crusades
of President Buhari but what we don’t
understand is why the searchlight should
be beamed only on our leader, to the
exclusion of others? We want Mr.
President to use his good offices to call
the operators of these anti-graft bodies
to order, in the interest of peace,” the
group said.

Providence: HID Dies Saturday, As Awo. Mrs HID Awolowo!..


Providence: HID Dies Saturday, As Awo
By Our Reporters on September 20, 2015 2:03
am

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THE awe surrounding the late sage,
Obafemi Awolowo, received another
boost, yesterday, as his widow, Hannah
Idowu Dideola, went to be with her
heartthrob, also on a Saturday.
The Mother of Yoruba Nation and Jewel
of Inestimable Value passed on 28 years
after her husband died, and two months
to her 100th birthday.
Tributes have continued to pour in with
Nigerians extolling the virtues of the
departed and how greatly she would be
missed.
Though she never contested any office,
she was politically active, participating
in caucus meetings when her husband
was the political head of the South West,
and following his death, heading forums
where decisions affecting the South West
were being taken.
An era recedes. As solace, it leaves in its
wake a treasured privilege for those who
knew her, who experienced her
indomitable spirit at first hand, and
drank from her depthless fount of family
embrace. — Soyinka
Born into a modest family in Ikenne,
Ogun State, she was a successful
businesswoman, recording a series of
firsts in trading. She was said to be the
first Nigerian distributor of the Nigerian
Tobacco Company (NTC) in 1957, just as
she was the first to import lace materials
and other textiles into Nigeria.
President Muhammadu Buhari described
the death of Chief (Mrs.) Hannah Dideolu
Awolowo as a loss of immense
proportion, saying he received the
passage with profound sadness.
In a statement, his spokesman, Femi
Adesina, said the President, on behalf of
the Federal Government and people of
Nigeria, extends sincere commiserations
to the children, grand children and great
grand children of the ‘Jewel of
Inestimable Value’ on the death of their
famed matriarch, just a few weeks
before her hundredth birthday.
The President also condoled with the Vice
President, Osinbajo, who is an in-law to
the Awos.
According to the statement, “The
President joins them and millions of
admirers of her late, revered husband,
Chief Obafemi Awolowo in mourning
Chief (Mrs.) Awolowo who will long be
remembered and celebrated as the
famous spouse and pillar of strength of
the late nationalist, political leader and
sage.
President Buhari believes that Chief
(Mrs.) Awolowo will always be honoured
too for the indelible legacy of very
significant, behind-the-scene
contributions to communal, state,
regional and national development
which she has left behind.“The President
prays that God will comfort Chief (Mrs.)
Awolowo’s family, relatives, friends,
associates and admirers, and grant them
the fortitude to bear her irreparable
loss.”
Last Woman Standing,
Says Saraki
PRESIDENT of the Senate, Abubakar
Bukola Saraki, has described the death of
Mama H.I. D. Awolowo, just two months
from her birthday as sad, saying she
was the last woman standing among the
wives and mothers who truly contributed
by supporting their spouses in laying the
foundation for nation building.
He said: “I have been enthusiastically
looking forward to making a big but
surprise visit to Ikenne, Ogun State to be
part of the centenary birthday
celebration of Mama H.I. D. Awolowo,
knowing that she is the last woman
standing among wives and mothers who
truly contributed by supporting their
spouses in laying the foundation for our
nation building. To think that she will
not be there during the period of the
celebration, which is just about two
months away, makes me sad, in spite of
her ripe age filled with achievements.”
Saraki also stated: “Mama Awolowo truly
distinguished herself among her
contemporaries and not only because she
lived longer but because she served God
and humanity to the end. Even as a
nonagenarian, she kept on hosting
different fora and contributing to ideas
on the unity of the Yoruba people in
particular and Nigeria in general.
“On behalf of my family and the Senate
of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I
commiserate with the Awolowo family,
the government and people of Ogun
State and Nigeria in general on the
death of this great woman.”
Also, immediate past President of the
Senate, David Mark sent a message of
condolence to the late sage Chief
Obafemi Awolowo’s family, the
government and people of Ogun State
and Nigerians at large on the passage of
Mrs. Awolowo.
Senator Mark in the condolence message
described the matriarch as a dependable
pillar who stood to be counted when it
mattered.
“Unarguably, we shall miss her wise
counsel, honesty, unwavering
commitment to the ideals of nation hood,
sense of wisdom and humour. She has
left a big shoe that would be difficult to
fill.”
She Was A Loyal Wife -Osoba
FORMER Governor of Ogun State, Aremo
Olusegun Osoba, described her as loyal
wife who never argued with her
husband.
Osoba said the death would leave a huge
vacuum, because she often played a very
crucial role in stabilising things in
conflict zones, particularly among
Awolowo followers.
“And you dare not say no to her. She
was highly respected. And to say she
would be dearly missed would be an
understatement. The best way to
immortalise her is for the followers of
Awolowo to come together and resolve
whatever differences in their midst for
the unity of Yoruba people. Everyone
would be in agreement that Mama
Awolowo indeed played her part
creditably well. She was a symbol status;
she knew what the rallying points were
and she was the only one who could
sanction any of us who are Awolowo’s
followers.”
A Role Model Of Distinction, Says
Amosun
OGUN State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun,
in a statement by the Secretary to the
State Government, Taiwo Adeoluwa,
described the death of the matriarch as a
great loss.
He said Mama’s exit deserved
celebration because her life and times
were noble and golden.
“This was an exemplary life that truly
ran its full course. Mama stood by her
husband like the Rock of Gibraltar
throughout the tough political career of
the foremost nationalist and leader of
the Action Group and Unity Party of
Nigeria. She was indeed a ‘jewel of
inestimable value’ as was fondly
described by Chief Obafemi Awolowo,”
the statement said.
According to Amosun, “Nigeria has lost a
role model of distinction, a highly
disciplined and principled woman, a
trustworthy ally and dependable
politician who equally made her mark in
the business world.”
The governor urged the younger
generation of women to follow in the
footsteps of Mama HID.
An Irreparable Loss
— Bode George
FORMER Deputy National Chairman,
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), South
West zone, Chief Olabode George, has
described the transition of Chief Mrs.
Awolowo as an irreparable loss to
Nigeria and a collective diminution of
the Yoruba race.
George said she was a mother-in-Israel,
a superlative patriot, a shining gem and
an authentic jewel of inestimable value
“who walked through the valleys and
mountains of life with dignity and with
unshakable faith in the will of God.”
He also described her as a virtuous
woman that stood with her husband,
with poise and defiant consistency. “She
never buckled or faltered even in the
face of the harshest challenges of life.
She has now entered the pantheon of
unforgettable icons like Moremi, Queen
Amina, Efunsetan Aniwura and Madam
Tinubu.
“She has paid her dues. Her cause is
fulfilled. She will never be forgotten
where courage, decency, humility, and
firmness of purpose are acknowledged
and celebrated. Goodbye and goodnight
Yeye Oodua.”
Conscience of Oodua Nation Is Gone –
Fayose
EKITI State Governor, Ayo Fayose, has
described the death of the matriarch as
loss of the real conscience of the Oodua
nation, noting her untiring efforts at
building and sustaining the unity of the
Yoruba nation. He also described the
death as the end of an era.
In a condolence message in Ado-Ekiti,
the Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Idowu
Adelusi, stated that the governor said
Mama Awolowo not only wrote her
name in gold in the history of the
Yoruba race and Nigeria at large, but
also proved truly that behind a
successful man, there must be a good
woman.
“The Holy Bible says he who finds a wife
finds a good thing and obtains favour
from the Lord. That was true and real in
the life of the late sage Baba Obafemi
Awolowo who found a good thing in our
dear Mama and called her ‘My jewel of
inestimable value’.
“On behalf of my family, government
and people of Ekiti State, I wish the
entire Awolowo family the continued
support and guidance of the Almighty
God and the fortitude to bear this
irreparable loss.”
Uduaghan: She Was
A Rallying Point
THE immediate past Governor of Delta
State, Emmanuel Uduaghan extended his
condolences to the Awolowo family over
the death of Mama Awolowo describing
her death as a big loss.
He said her death, which came as a
shock, would definitely create a vacuum
that will be hard to fill socially and
politically.
“Mama has been a rallying point for all.
A void has been created by her demise
and that source of unity for all, be it
political, social or at the family level has
gone. We cannot help but recall her
ability to keep together and sustain the
family and business of the late sage,
Chief Obafemi Awolowo. She was a rare
courage and mother,” he stated.
Uduaghan prayed God Almighty to grant
the family and Nigerians in general the
fortitude to bear the loss.
THE Speaker of the House of
Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has
said the late Mrs. Awolowo was a mother
to the nation. He said the late Awolowo
would continue to be remembered for
her humanitarian and philanthropic
deeds, calling on both the Federal and
Ogun State governments to honour her.
Dogara said she was a pious woman who
was a pillar of support to her husband,
the late sage Awolowo, since the days of
struggle for independence up to the
eighties when he died.
“Although we would have loved that she
remain with us, as mortals, we all must
taste death, but our joy is that she has
gone to rest. I pray God to give the
Awolowo family the fortitude to bear the
irreparable loss.”
HID Lived A life Of Love And Service,
Says Oyinlola
FORMER Osun State governor, Prince
Olagunsoye Oyinlola, has said that Chief
HID Awolowo lived a life of love and
service and described her death as the
end of an era.
In a statement, yesterday, Prince
Oyinlola, who described HID Awolowo as
mother of the nation, said her death has
made the nation poorer.
The exit of Mama HID Awolowo at almost
100 years old is a great blow to all of us
who took her as our mother. It, in
significant terms, effectively ended an
era in the politics of Nigeria and, in
particular, of Yorubaland.
“She lived a life of love and of
commitment to the ideals of service to
God and humanity. We were all looking
forward to her centenary celebrations in
two months time but God had other
plans. At almost 100 years, she remained
mentally alert throughout. The gift of
longevity is not given to many. Only
very few are so blessed. The Lord said if
you walk in His ways, He would carry
you to gray hairs gracefully. She was
blessed. Mama’s life was a lesson to all
that when you build your foundation on
God, you will “mount up with wings like
eagles.”
Also, the leader of the Yoruba Obas
Conflicts Resolution Committee, Olugbo
of Ugboland, Oba Obateru Akinruntan
commiserated with the Awolowo family
on the transition of Mama. He said her
transition marks the end of a rich era of
perseverance, industry, service to God
and humanity.
A Huge Loss — Wada
KOGI State Governor, Capt Idris Wada,
has condoled with the Awolowo family
over the death of Mama Awolowo,
describing her death as a great loss.
A Grand Lady — Soyinka
AN era recedes. As solace, it leaves in its
wake a treasured privilege for those who
knew her, who experienced her
indomitable spirit at first hand, and
drank from her depthless fount of family
embrace.
An Epochal Event,
Says Anyaoku
THE passing of Mama Hannah Awolowo
so close to her 100th birthday is an
epochal event. It marks the end of a
historical phase in the evolution of our
country, Nigeria. Mama Awolowo was
not only the partner of one of Nigeria’s
most illustrious founding fathers, the late
Chief Obafemi Awolowo, but also
remained a huge source of inspiration to
many national political leaders who
endeavoured to follow in the footsteps of
the Sage. Mama Awolowo lived an
outstandingly fulfilled life becoming a
true matriarch of both the Awolowo
family and the wider national circle of
the “Awoists.”
My wife joins me in conveying our
condolence to the Awolowo family and
in prayer that her soul will rest in
perfect peace.
Seriake Dickson Mourns
GOVERNOR of Bayelsa State, Henry
Seriake Dickson, said: “On behalf of the
Government and good people of Bayelsa
State, I sincerely commiserate with the
immediate and extended families on the
death of Mama, who was the matriarch
of the great Awolowo family. It is
unfortunate that Mama died at a time
when she was just getting ready to
celebrate her hundredth birthday”.
He said she left a worthy legacy behind,
as she will continue to be remembered
and celebrated as a woman of
uncommon strength and virtue, who
stood by her late husband and was able
to sustain Pa Awolowo’s incredible
political legacies and values, many years
after his passage.
Gbenga Daniel: She Was An Inimitable,
Superwoman
IN his condolence message, Otunba
Gbenga Daniel said she was a woman of
charm, humility, generosity, courage,
resilience, industry and vision.
According to former governor of Ogun
State, she was so strong a personality
and so magnetic, impressing herself
indelibly on the minds of not only her
family and kinsmen but also her race
and the nation in general.
He said: “Kind, compassionate, strict but
loving, caring and sensitive, Mama was a
great humanitarian and strong believer
in service to the community.
Undoubtedly, she was born into a man’s
world, arguably to play a man’s role.
“Mama’s support ignited the flame of
Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s long held
visions as she was ready to spend her
life side by side her husband in their
patriotic, humanitarian and political
dreams.”

TWO RESCUED WOMEN AND THE CHILDREN!..


62 Rescued, As Eight Boko Haram
Terrorists Surrender
By Editor on September 20, 2015 2:35 am

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• As Military Continues Offensive
As the military continues its offensive
for the final defeat of Boko Haram
terrorists, the fight in the northeast is
gaining successful momentum with most
of the camps falling to the Federal might.
The advancing troops have captured the
villages of Jerre and Dipchari and have
destroyed the terrorists camps located in
those areas just as eight suspected Boko
Haram terrorists surrendered themselves
to troops of 21 Brigade Nigerian Army.
In a statement, the Acting Director, Army
Public Relations, Colonel ani Kukasheka
Usman, disclosed that the advancing
troops in the Bama axis rescued another
62 people fleeing from Bitti and Pulka.
He added that the troops are also
combing all known enclaves of the
terrorists within Bama, Banki and Pulka
general area stressing that due to the
offensive action of the military,
another fleeing 22 women 15 men and
40 children arrived Bama yesterday.
The rescued persons looking haggard,
dejected and obviously malnourished are
being catered for by the troops pending
the intervention of the National
Emergency Management Agency,
(NEMA),” Colonel Usman stated.
He disclosed that the persons have been
cooperating with the military saying that
they have been giving useful
information for the offensive operations.
Another fleeing person, Bulama Bukar
whose right hand was amputated by the
terrorists in Sambisa about a year ago
based on allegation of stealing a bag of
beans, was intercepted by the troops at
Jebra bridge alongside his family,”
Colonel Usman stated adding that the
military Engineers are making
tremendous progress in the repairs of
the bridge linking Maiduguri and
Gamboru Ngala that was blown by Boko
Haram terrorists.

BUHARI AND OSINBAJO….. IN SEARCH OF WISH MAN TO DRIVE THE ECONOMY, POLITY!!!…


The Task Awaiting Buhari’s ‘Wise Men’

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On September 20, 2015 4:48 am
MORE than three months into the life of
the current administration led by
President Muhammadu Buhari, it is yet
to formally unveil its economic blue
print for the next four years.
In fact, a former Deputy Governor of the
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr.
Obadiah Mailafia, in the frenzy,
following the recent JP Morgan’s
announcement of the delisting plan of
Nigeria from its Bond Index for
Emerging Markets, declared that beyond
the lack of liquidity excuse tendered by
JP. Morgan, the real reason behind the
action may be the seeming lack of
economic policy direction that Mr.
Buhari wants to thread.
As an institution which is guiding
foreign investors on investment decision,
it wants to be sure beyond doubt what
economic agenda a country has, so as to
ascertain whether it would be favourable
or not. Therefore, the earlier the
government comes up with an economic
blueprint, the better for it, because this,
to a large extent, drives foreign direct
investments,” Mailafia said, while giving
a perspective to a television debate in
Abuja few days ago.
Again, a development economist and
former Diasporan Nigerian, Mr. Odilim
Enwegbara, has warned President
Buhari to be very proactive to ward off
the looming economic recession by
ensuring that his economic management
team pursues a pro-growth, investment
and jobs fiscal policy direction.
This, according to the economist, should
be the team’s first step, adding: “The
team’s comprehensive fiscal stimulus
package should focus on an
unprecedented infrastructure
investment. Here, the target should be on
power sector with an ambition to
generate not less than 100,000MW
within the next 10 years.”
All these assertions, somewhat, go to
support the claims by President Buhari
and Vice President Osibajo, on
assumption of duties when they painted
the picture of a bad situation of the
economy, as they told Nigerians that
they met an empty treasury, with a
burgeoning debt portfolio, which has
spiraled to over $60 billion.
All the claims seemed plausible as
governments, in all tiers then, were
battling with meeting their basic
commitments of paying workers salaries,
until the new administration had to
intervene with some stimulus packages,
which saw the holding of two Federation
Accounts Allocation Committee (RAAC)
meetings in one month, where
Federation revenue was distributed, as
well as a N338 billion life line for states,
which were still cash strapped after the
two FAAC meetings to meet up with
payment of their workers’ salaries.
Experts say the President needs to do
more than just resorting to ordering the
CBN to print Naira as bail-out for states
or the Federal Government, because
these measures would send out wrong
messages to Nigeria’s global partners
and investors’ confidence in the country.
That is why he needs to ensure that the
team expected to be unveiled soon must
be men and women with capacities to
provide solutions to 21st century
challenges.
For instance, it is absurd to know that
nine moths into a fiscal year, not a
single penny has been released to
Ministries Departments and Agencies
(MDAs) for the purpose of executing
capital projects, which are the only
source from where the citizenry can
benefit from government.
Again, the tardy nature of capital budget
implementation by the MDAs, even when
funds are released to them, leaves so
much to be desired. As such, who ever is
going to be assigned the role of the
Finance Minister, must be someone with
a mind of his or her own, who cannot be
easily dissuaded from insisting on the
right things being done.
One area that the President needs to
confront in the budget administration in
Nigeria is the appetite for MDAs to hide
projects that could be done on a Public
Private Partnership (PPP) basis to save
government huge resources from the
treasury.
The Director General of the
Infrastructure Concession and
Regulatory Commission, Mallam Aminu
Dikko, attested to this fact in a chat with
The Guardian.
He said: “Whereas, the Federal
Government has developed a robust
World Bank, AFDB backed public private
partnership (PPP) model for project
financing in Nigeria, where private
funds could be deplored to fund public
utilities, some MDAs would prefer to take
the projects for government financing,
because of the pecuniary gains they
derive from government funding, which
most times is always prohibitive to
carter for various interests in the award
of the contract.”
Still expected to pose a great challenge to
the change plan of the President will be
how he confronts the fraud in the import
waivers granted by the Federal Ministry
of Finance and tax concessions for
investors recommended by the Nigerian
Investment Promotion Council to the
Federal Inland Revenue Service, which is
robbing the country of several billions of
Naira. How the in-coming President
tackles this menace would go a long way
in mitigating the paucity of funds in the
economy.
Some of the perceived challenges may
have provoked Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, last
May, to declare that the Nigerian
economy had reached its worst moment
in history.
Giving a perspective to the situation, a
development economist and public
affairs commentator, Mr. Odilim
Enweagbara, described it, as ‘Nigeria at
a crossroads’ because of the myriad of
challenges seeking equal urgent
attention. He then advised the new
President to immediately hit the ground
running before Nigeria becomes a
laughing stock amongst the comity of
nation.
Enweagbara also said government should
seek “alternative sources of revenues.”
He added, “besides high import tariffs
and increasing value added tax (VAT),
government should also seek other novel
sources of raising its revenues to meet
its growing budgetary needs. This has
become inevitable in an era oil revenues
are no longer enough to meet
government’s increasing needs to invest
in the country’s economic
diversification, which is needed should
be hope to diversify government
revenues too.”

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