Wed, Oct 04, 2023


30-Nov-2016 / 84 We're hated, Igbo cry out

We're hated, Igbo cry out

The unending cries over marginalisation have again rented the air. This time, the Igbo are worried about their position in the present dispensation as prominent Nigerians of Igbo extraction, are with the consensus that the Igbo were being unfairly treated in the country.


They also urged the South East people to desist from lamenting over what was described as their plight in the socio-political configuration of the country, noting that it was important they focused on their areas of strength.


These positions were taken in Lagos by most leaders of the Igbo nation at the public presentation of a book entitled: The Land of My Birth authored by a legal practitioner, Abraham Nnadi.


Those at the event include a former Chief of General Staff(Vice President in the military era) Ebitu Ukiwe, ex-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Odein Ajumogobia; Ndubuisi Kanu, founding Chairman of Nigeria Economic Summit Group, Anya Anya; former President of Nigerian Bar Association,NBA, Olisa Agbakoba; Alex Oti; Pat Utomi, and Onyeka Onwenu among others.


It was unanimously stated that Nigeria was overdue for restructuring in order to put an end to the alleged marginalisation of most ethnic groupings in the country. In his remarks, Ukiwe said: ‘’Igbo people are great people, it is unfortunate that they are being hated. But I am urging them to stop lamenting. This is not the time for lamentation. Igbo people should get up and move on because hatred is not always a bad thing. Ndigbo have good manners. Let them practice good manners and move on. We are not known for being idle. Igbo people will succeed in this country.”


For his part, Anya said: ‘’Ndigbo should stop lamenting over their position in the country. Nigeria needs restructuring. Ndigbo should assist in building the reputation of Nigeria by being united. It is only with unity that Ndigbo would achieve their goals in Nigeria. But Ndigbo must stop the habit of lamentation.”


Onwenu said: ‘’Ndigbo have done well despite the civil war. We like to work hard. At the end of the war, we had nothing but we are everywhere today. That shows that we would have done well with Biafra. Biafra was producing and refining petroleum and weapons. But since the war ended, none of them were sustained by the Federal Government. The government destroyed the capacity of the Igbo people to produce the things they were producing then. We lost everything and the Igbo were downgraded. Igbo women are also being downgraded. You can never waste money training a girl. Igbo women should stand tall in their Igboness. We have Igbo women who are holding political positions but when they contest for positions, they find it difficult excelling. I contested for local government chairmanship for eight years but never won because I was not supported.”


06-Feb-2020 / 3446 Pay Increase: You are a loving and caring father, NYSC members tell Buhari

Pay Increase: You are a loving and caring father, NYSC members tell Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday received members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme, who were in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on a ‘thank-you’ mission over their new allowances.

The four members representing others countrywide came to convey their “deepest gratitude” to the President over the recent increase in their monthly allowances from N19,800 to N33,000.

The NYSC members were led to the State House by the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare and the Director General of the scheme, Ibrahim Shehu.

Speaking at the event, President Buhari described the NYSC scheme as a “laudable one that needs to be sustained as it affords the opportunity for Nigerian youths to understand the country better”.

He said: “People come from far and wide; some from Victoria Island in Lagos have not even been to Ikeja.

“They now find themselves in Daura and other parts of the country. Whenever I go to my town, I get in touch with members; some of them from Lagos, some from Port Harcourt.”

President Buhari, who praised Yakubu Gowon for the initiative, said: “Whenever I meet Gowon up till today, I thank him for initiating the NYSC.

“It is a nationalist and patriotic thinking that led to the development of the scheme.”

Earlier, the NYSC members had showered praises on the President, saying “the implementation in January, when we least expected it brought tears of joy to us as we had doubts of the promises earlier made.

“You have demonstrated that you are a loving and caring father committed to the welfare of his children.”

They also reiterated their commitment to do their best during their period in the scheme.

“The increase is a wake-up call to us to show more commitment to the affairs of our fatherland.

“We are great stakeholders in our collective determination of building a prosperous and united Nigeria, the future belongs to us,” they said.

11-Feb-2020 / 3838 Buhari to Nigerians in Ethiopia: I am fully determined to defeat banditry, terrorism in Nigeria

Buhari to Nigerians in Ethiopia: I am fully determined to defeat banditry, terrorism in Nigeria

President Muhammadu Buhari said his Administration is fully determined to combat and defeat all acts of criminality, banditry and terrorism in the country.

Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday, said the President was speaking at a meeting with the Executive Committee members of the Nigerian Community in Ethiopia (NICE), in Addis Ababa.

The President appealed to all Nigerians to support and cooperate with Security Agencies who were ready to defend and preserve the unity of the country.

The meeting, moderated by Chairman/CEO of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa, had observed a minute silence in honour of Nigerians brutally killed by Boko Haram terrorists on Monday in Borno.

President Buhari also assured Nigerians, at home and abroad, that their protection would continue to remain a key priority of his Administration, in addition to the war against corruption and economic growth.

On economic matters and doing business in Ethiopia, the Nigerian leader said he had been briefed on the challenges faced by some Nigerian companies with investments in the country, especially the Dangote Group and Lubcon.

“I have directed the relevant Ministries to take up these issue with a view to resolving all complaints amicably with the Ethiopian Authorities,” he said.

On the issue of Diaspora voting, the President while responding to a request by the leader of NICE, David Omozuafoh, said he was in support of it, but legislation was required to make it a reality.

“I have said it severally that I am not against it. However, you will need to convince National Assembly to amend the relevant laws to make Diaspora voting a reality,” he said.

On the conduct of Nigerians living in the Diaspora, the President expressed concern that some of their actions had not projected the country in good light, urging them to change their ways and obey the laws of their countries of residence.

He, however, commended Nigerians in Ethiopia, noting that they had the highest concentration of professionals working in International Organisations such as the African Union, United Nations Agencies.

”This is a correct representation of the Nigerian spirit of excellence and high achievement,” he stressed.

President Buhari told the meeting that his government is committed to supporting and protecting all law-abiding Nigerians, at home and abroad, to prosper, urging all in the Diaspora to help achieve this by being good citizens and worthy Ambassadors of Nigeria.

The President also encouraged them to be the best in all their legitimate engagements in their host country, saying that, “while you are out in the Diaspora, do not forget home as you represent some of the best human assets that Nigeria possesses.”

He, therefore, urged them to use their resources, skills and talents to help the development of Nigeria.

In his remarks at the meeting, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the AU, Bankole Adeoye, extolled the huge investments of the Federal Government of Nigeria in Ethiopia since independence through the Embassy.

He described the Nigerian Embassy in Addis Ababa as one of the Nigerian Missions in the whole of Africa with the largest diplomatic and residential premises.

“Nigeria has continued to live the saying that Africa is the centerpiece of her foreign policy especially with the many impacts in the AU, the United Nations Economic Community for Africa (UNECA) and Ethiopia as whole,” he said.

The Ambassador commended President Buhari for reciprocating the visit to Abuja of the former Prime Minister of Ethiopia given the country’s zeal to develop stronger ties with Nigeria.

He further extolled the President as one who has appointed the highest number of Career Ambassadors and attributed it to his flair for professionalism.

Also speaking , the President of NICE commended the President for the establishment of NiDCOM and his continuous leadership and contributions which have cemented Nigeria’s role as a central player in strengthening the AU.

Omozuafoh appealed to the Nigerian government to fast-track the implementation of the MoU with the United Nations on the Junior Professionals Programme allowing young Nigerians access to opportunities in International Organisations.

“Similar opportunities should be explored with the UN Volunteers Programme, the AU Volunteers Corps as well as the ECOWAS Youth Volunteer Programme, ” he said.

17-Feb-2020 / 3348 Information that Buhari is travelling to Austria, Saudi Arabia, UK fake news, says Presidency

Information that Buhari is travelling to Austria, Saudi Arabia, UK fake news, says Presidency

The Presidency on Monday in Abuja raised the alarm over the increasing cases of fake news being propagated against President Muhammadu Buhari, Cabinet Ministers, Government Officials and Institutions in the country.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, raised the alarm while reacting to the social media reports that President Buhari would be embarking on 20-day foreign trip to London, Austria and Saudi Arabia.

An unfounded information has been making the rounds that President Buhari is billed to travel to the United Kingdom for 20 days, and from there proceed to Saudi Arabia, and then Austria.

However, Adesina described the information as fake, saying “it is nothing but falsehood from mischievous minds.’’

He said: In the past couple of days there is this trend that shows that there is an orchestration of fake news, the most violence, the most evil and pernicious that is capable of generating restiveness and throwing the country into total confusion.

“Since about yesterday (Sunday) the fake news has been trending that President Buhari would travel to London for 20 days and from there he would go to Riyadh in Saudi Arabia and from there he would go to Austria and then he would be away from the country till April 4, 2020.

“We have got many calls, many inquiries whether this was true or not. Of course, there is no truth to it at all. It is just handiwork of mischievous people who want to cause disaffection, dissatisfaction in the country.

“We know that Nigeria has been passing through challenging times in the past couple of weeks, particularly due to security challenges, now they have added disinformation to it.

“Transportation Minister was said to have been attacked at Rigasa in Kaduna – he has denied it; the Air Force was alleged to have killed 250 insurgents – they have denied it; Zahra, the daughter of the President was said to have got a job through the backdoor at the Petroleum Products Pricing and Regulatory Agency – is not true.

“And now they said the President is traveling and he would be away for 20 days, and from there to Saudi Arabia, and from there to Austria – not truth to it.’’

He, therefore, urged Nigerians to be careful with what they consume as news, and also share with others, particularly from the social media.

“Members of the First Family, Ministers, top Government Officials, the Military, and other key Institutions, are equally objects of this orchestrated falsehood, coming from enemies of national cohesion.

“We urge Nigerians to be discriminatory about what they accept as credible information, and restrain from sharing what they have not authenticated as genuine.

“That is how we can all collectively beat the malevolent minds at their pernicious games,’’ he added.

18-Feb-2020 / 31171 I did not punch Agbowu of Ogbaagba, though we almost had altercation, says Iwo monarch

I did not punch Agbowu of Ogbaagba, though we almost had altercation, says Iwo monarch

The Oluwo of Iwo in Osun, Abdulrosheed Akanbi, has denied allegation that he assaulted the Agbowu of Ogbaagba, Dhikrulahi Akinropo, during a peace meeting in the state.

Akanbi, at a press conference on Tuesday in Osogbo, said the allegation was a desperate gang up against him.

The monarch, who denied the trending report of physically assaulting Akinropo, said what happened was a ‘mere altercation and not physical combat’ .

Akanbi said what transpired between him and the Ogbaagba monarch was a fallout of a courageous move on his part to put a stop to economic oppression against the downtrodden by kings in his domain.

“I did not punch Agbowu of Ogbaagba, although there was altercation that almost resulted to exchange of blows, but that didn’t happen at all.

“I brought him and other Obas to the Police to talk to them on the need to stop selling land that did not belong to them.

“I am fighting corruption in a traditional way.

“They are selling a hectares of land at the rate of N60,000, which I’m kicking against.

“I did not touch Agbowu of Ogbaagba, although he was aggressive and we almost had altercation but I did not punch him,” the Iwo monarch said.

The Iwo monarch added he was a peace loving personality.

“If I am that boxing king you people are calling me, I should have done that in Iwo and not in Osogbo.

“I personally initiated the peace meeting in which I involved the AIG when those kings refused to desist from land grabbing despite my several warnings and advice,” Akanbi said.

It would be recalled that Akanbi was alleged to have assaulted Akinropo during a peace meeting at the Office of the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 2, Bashir Makama, in Osogbo on Friday.

The state government, however, condemned the incident, describing it as unfortunate and avoidable.

The government in a statement by Funke Egbemode, the Commissioner for Information and Civic Orientation, said a situation where monarchs engaged in public display of temperament did not edify the revered stools of “our forebears.”

18-Feb-2020 / 34328 Senate President panics over security threat, says National Assembly under invasion

Senate President panics over security threat, says National Assembly under invasion

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan on Tuesday tasked top Security Officials to beef up security measures at the National Assembly.

Lawan, who is also the Chairman of the National Assembly, said that he had received reports of security threat to the National Assembly.

A statement by Ola Awoniyi, his Media Adviser, said Lawan spoke at an emergency closed door meeting which the leadership of the Senate had with top Security Officials.

“Many unknown and uninvited people came or are coming into the National Assembly complex and we felt we shouldn’t take this lightly.

“From today, we have to find temporary solution to support the security arrangement here.

“We will find a more permanent solution by the time the entire environment is remodeled,” Lawan said.

In attendance were the Director General of the Department of Security Service (DSS) and representatives of the Defence, Police, Civil Defence, Fire Service and other security agencies.

Lawan said the responsibility for ensuring security for all Nigerians is a collective responsibility for both the Legislative and Executive arms of government.

“We are working hard, we are working round the clock. We have a very active ad hoc Committee that is already engaging with the Security Agencies.

The Senate President said plans were underway for a better and permanent security architecture for the National Assembly

The Senate President, however, clarified that nobody was  advocating a blanket ban on the people with genuine reasons from visiting the National Assembly.

The Senate President also said any Security Official found wanting in the line of duty will not be spared

“We believe now we have to work together if it means the Agencies talking to their people who are supposed to work here, they should do so because truly, we are under invasion.

“Anytime you come to the National Assembly, it’s full like market with all manners of people,” Lawan said.

20-Feb-2020 / 19288 Buhari going no where, he has the backing of Nigerians, says Minister

Buhari going no where, he has the backing of Nigerians, says Minister

The Federal Government said President Muhammadu Buhari will not resign because he has the overwhelming mandate of Nigerians to preside over the affairs of the country until the expiration of his tenure in May 2023.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed stated this at a media briefing in Abuja,

Mohammed was reacting to “diversionary statements by some commentators , especially political and religious leaders” calling for Buhari’s resignation over purported spate of insecurity.

The Minister conceded that the country was facing security challenges but they were being tackled headlong.

“There have been some red herrings in recent times, including those calling for the resignation of Mr President or the sack of the Security Chiefs.

“I just want to say that the government, which has provided and continues to provide the Military and the Security Agencies with the wherewithal, believes in their ability to tackle insecurity.

“These challenges will be successfully tackled. I will however advise all commentators, especially political and religious leaders, to be very careful at this time not to aggravate the situation with incendiary comments.

“These are comments that cash in on our religious, ethnic and political fault lines to further divide us,” he said.

Mohammed stressed that the kind of comments that have been attributed to some leaders, especially religious leaders, are incendiary and reckless.

“Leaders should be part of solutions to problems, rather than aggravating situations. To those asking Mr. President to resign,

“I wish to say this: Mr President will not resign. He has the overwhelming mandate of Nigerians to preside over the affairs of the country till the expiration of his tenure in May 2023,” he said.

20-Feb-2020 / 11496 Minister clarifies $500m Chinese loan, says money not for NTA alone

Minister clarifies $500m Chinese loan, says money not for NTA alone

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has clarified that the 500 million dollar loan being sought from China is not for the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) alone.

At a media briefing on Thursday in Abuja, the Minister said the loan was for three major projects contrary to the hysteria created over it in a section of the Media.

A section of the Media had reported that the Minister, while defending the loan before the National Assembly, said it was for the upgrades of facilities to enable NTA compete with the likes of America’s Cable Network News, CNN.

“In an era of social media, the real news is usually sacrificed on the altar of sensationalism and disinformation.

“That’s how I will describe the hysteria, in a section of the Media, over the reportage of the 500 million dollars loan being sought from China,” he said.

The Minister said the loan would be used to construct a Headquarters complex and transmission network for Integrated Television  Services (ITS), the Federal Government-owned signal distributor and a major component of the country’s Digital Switch Over (DSO)

He said the fund would also be used to build an ultra-modern Media City in Ikorodu to have, Indoor/Outdoor shooting area, Animation Production Facility and Digital Media Training Centre.

He said other facilities in the city would include World Class Cinema, Four-Star Hotel, an Amusement Park and Amphi-theatre.

The Minister said the loan would also be used for acquisition of digital movie production equipment for rental as well as power system

He disclosed that the Media City Training Academy was only the second of its type in Africa and the first is in Egypt.

He said the facilities would be used to train Nigerian Broadcasters and Filmmakers in the production of high quality media content programmes and make Nigeria a hub for digital movie production in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Minister also disclosed that the loan would be used for digitisation of all NTA Stations at the Headquarters, 12 zonal stations, the 36 states and FCT as well as 78 community stations.

He said the fund would also be used to upgrade, purchase and install relevant digital TV broadcasting equipment compatible with DSO products and accessories.

Mohammed stressed that the equipment were necessary for the production and broadcast of digital programme contents in addition to provision of power system and manpower training.

21-Feb-2020 / 5232 Why Nigeria's land borders remain closed, Buhari explains to Burkina Faso's leader

Why Nigeria's land borders remain closed, Buhari explains to Burkina Faso's leader

President Muhammadu Buhari said the issue of partial closure of Nigeria’s land border to goods from neighbouring countries will be determined by report of tripartite Committee made up of Nigeria, Benin and Niger Republic.

Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, said the Nigerian leader stated this when he received President Roch Marc Christian Kabore of Burkina Faso at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Friday.

He explained that Nigeria’s decision to partially close the border was purely to safeguard national security.

The President of Burkina Faso is the Chairman of the ECOWAS Committee mandated to resolve the issue of border closure.

Buhari said: “Our major problem is security; the inflow of weapons, ammunition and drugs.

“We have witnessed a decline in banditry using such weapons since the partial closure of the border.

“Also, our farmers are now able to sell their rice since we stopped the inflow of foreign rice, usually dumped in the country.’’

Buhari said Nigeria was very much mindful of the concerns of neighbouring countries on the issue, assuring that his Administration will find an early and enduring solution.

“I will work as fast as I can as soon as I receive the report,’’ the President added.

Earlier, the President of Burkina Faso told Buhari that he came on the visit following the mandate of ECOWAS to resolve the issues that culminated in the partial closure of the border.

He added that some of the challenges had been discussed and agreed on, urging the Nigerian leader to reconsider the position of the country.

Also speaking to State House correspondents after the meeting, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, said Buhari was asked to consider possible interim measures on the border closure by allowing the import of perishable goods.

He said: “One of the issues that came up, some of the ware houses along the borders and the request that as part of the solution to the problem that these ware houses should be dismantled.

“So, President Kabore was looking at the possibility of interim measures of allowing perishable products/goods to start coming in immediately.

“More essentially, Mr President (Buhari) pointed out that we have certain challenges, certain reasons why these borders were closed and this has to do with illegal import of rice, weapons, small arms – light weapons and also drugs.

“These are major threats and major challenges and with this we have to balance the security interest of the country and also the ECOWAS Protocol on free movement.’’