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Sunday, July 14, 2024

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We’re Deploying More Resources To Combat Insecurity – PMB [Leadership]

Apparently miffed by the growing spate of killings and other forms of insecurity in the country, President Muhammadu Buhari announced yesterday that the federal government was providing more resources for the military, Police and other security agencies to deal with the unwarranted security situation in parts of the country.

Assessing the state of security in the country, the president described the situation, particularly in the North West and the North Central geopolitical zones of the country as “very disturbing.”

Speaking shortly after performing the Eid prayers with his family and aides at the forecourt of the presidential villa, President Buhari said that while much had been achieved security-wise, from the situation he inherited in 2015, more still needed to be done.

A statement by presidential spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, quoted the president as saying considering the security situation on ground when he came into office, it was clear that his administration had tried its best.

“Nigerians know that we have done our best. However, what is coming out of the North West and the North Central is very disturbing”, Buhari noted.


Simhen Is Nigeria’s Most Expensive Player With €50m Napoli Deal [Leadership]

Super Eagles striker, Victor Osimhen, has officially become Nigeria’s most expensive player after completing a big-money move from Lille to Napoli.

Osimhen, who had been linked to several top European clubs following his impressive goal-scoring season for French Lique 1 side, signed a five-year deal worth €50m in up-front plus another potential €20m in bonuses with Napoli.

The Serie A side announced the signing in a statement via its website and Twitter page on Friday, saying: ‘SSC Napoli are delighted to announce the signing of Victor Osimhen from Lille on a permanent transfer.’

The big-money move also makes Osimhen the most expensive signing in Napoli’s history, a record that was set last summer by Hirving Lozano when he signed from PSV Eindhoven for €38m plus bonuses.

He is also expected to be handed the No.9 jersey and will be presented to the media in Naples after his summer vacation.

The 10-cap international – who has scored four goals for his country – first moved to Europe in 2017 with Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga, before moving to Charleroi in Belgium, initially on loan and then in a permanent transfer.

He hugely impressed in Belgium with 36 goals in 37 appearances, earning him a €14m (£12.5m/$16.5m) move to Ligue 1, where his impressive scoring form continued.

Meanwhile, world football governing body, FIFA, has congratulated Super Eagles striker following his move to Serie A club.

Reacting to Osimhen’s Napoli move, FIFA, along with a picture of the striker at the 2015 U-17 World Cup in Chile, wrote on their verified Twitter handle: ”From starring at the U- 17WC with Nigeria in 2015 to becoming @en_sscnapoli’s marquee signing “All the best in this next chapter of your career, Victor!”


Nigeria Did Not Cede Sovereignty To China – FG [Leadership]

The federal government yesterday debunked claims that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration is giving part of Nigeria’s sovereignty to China in exchange for loans.

It was reacting to allegations made by chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Treaties and Agreements, Ossai Nicholas Ossai, that the Nigerian government may have ceded the nation’s sovereignty to China in the event of a default in loan agreements signed with the Asian country on Tuesday.

Ossai had raised the alarm over lethal clauses in Article 8 (1) of the commercial loan agreement signed between Nigeria and Export-Import Bank of China which indirectly “wills the sovereignty of Nigeria” in the $400 million loan for the Nigeria National Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Infrastructure Backbone Phase II Project signed in 2018.

But refuting the claim, the federal government said members of the National Assembly were aware of the $5.3billion loan and all the clauses currently under scrutiny by the transport committee, as the loan proposal was actually approved by them.

Stating the government position during a television programme yesterday, minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, denied the assertion that the loan amounts to giving Nigeria’s sovereignty to China.

The minister explained that the clause under scrutiny simply gives China the right to take over the property that the loan was used to construct.

He said, “I have told the House of Reps; the clause is a simple one. For example, the loan to construct Ibadan to Kano rail is $5.3billion. The implication is that if by the end of the day you don’t pay back our money, whatever we need to take from you, we will take from you.

“But what the Chinese normally do is that they go after the same asset to recover their money. So what is wrong with that? You are asking for $5.3billion. The sovereignty you give to them is to allow them to take over a property in your country. It is not a personal thing but something of national interest.

Now for me, if the National Assembly in their wisdom, going by the constitution, think that it is wrong, then they should tell us how to get the money to build these infrastructure because if the infrastructure was built before we came, we are not mad, we will go to something else.

“Remember that the Goodluck Jonathan government took some loans to do the Abuja-Kaduna rail service and the current administration decided to do the Lagos-Ibadan and now, we are seeking for the loan to link it to Kano so that we can have Lagos to Kano and move our containers.

“I have also told the National Assembly that there is nothing wrong with the investigation. It is part of their responsibilities but for now they will jeopardize the ability of the government to raise money if we continue to ask questions that will make China raise an eyebrow and start wondering what is wrong.

“This means that we may lose the loan for the Port Harcourt-Aba, Umuahia, Enugu, Markurdi, Gombe, Jos, Damaturu, then Maidugurri project. We will also lose the money you are asking for the Ibadan-Kano project which includes Ilorin, Minna and Kano.

“And then the loan for Lagos to Calabar being pursued with the Russians may also be lost and the areas covered include Ore, Bennin to Asaba, Onitsha, Warri, Uyo, Calabar. Do they want us to lose these loans because they are afraid of losing sovereignty? It is not ceding sovereignty in the technical sense of it, but giving them power to cease their assets in other to recover their money, so there is nothing wrong with that.”

On the mapped out plans for the repayment of the loans, the minister said the ministry of Finance handles part of that aspect as the job of the ministry of Transportation was to implement government policies.

He however noted that Nigeria was not defaulting on the payment plans yet, even as he urged successive governments to continue with the payment plans.

The minister explained: “We have already opened an escrow account to pay in the money. The minister of Finance sent me the account details for the NRC to start paying in the money.

“So if we are making N100million and we are running with N90million we can start paying N20-30million monthly and before we know it, we can raise $1million that we can send to the minister of Finance to pay as our contribution. The idea is to open an escrow account, remove the running cost and the profit can go into the loan repayment”.


Revelations from EFCC, NDDC probes, abuse of public trust –Buhari [Sun]

■ Security challenges in North East, N’Central very disturbing

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday in Abuja spoke for the first time on the allegations of corruption leveled against the leadership of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

The president, who spoke after observing his Eid prayers at the fore court of the presidential villa, observed that some appointees of the government in both his administration and the previous one have abused public trust.

He, however, expressed delight that some stolen assets are being recovered, sold and proceeds put into the Single Treasury Account (TSA), which is inaccessible to the corrupt persons involved. When asked how he felt about recent revelations coming out from the EFCC and the NDDC, President Buhari said:

“There has been abuse of trust by people trusted by previous administration and this administration. A number of assets have been recovered and some money.

“But we have introduced TSA where all the monies are taken and I said assets should be sold and the money be put through TSA so that it can be identified at any level and I will see who will come after us and take it back again to those who misappropriated public funds.”

While assuring that all past and present cases would be fully investigated, he said: “This is why we put the commission (the Justice Ayo Salami probe panel) in place.” He stressed that all of such cases would be uncovered and firmly dealt with by his government.

The Senate and House of Representatives are currently investigating how the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) allegedly squandered N40 billion in five months.

The Presidency also instituted a presidential probe panel headed by retired Justice Ayo Salami to investigate allegations of gross misconduct against the suspended acting Chairman of the EFCC,

Meanwhile, President Buhari, has described the recent security challenges in the north east and north central as very disturbing, saying the security agencies can do better.

The President spoke barely 24 hours after mortar attacks by Boko Haram insurgents in Maiduguri, capital of Borno state, killed six persons and wounded 27 others.


If I ever have another chance I’ll marry MKO again –Doyin Abiola [Sun]

Dr. Doyinsola Hamidat Abiola (Nee Aboaba) is the first Nigerian woman to be an editor of a Nigerian daily newspaper and later became the Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief of National Concord Newspaper. She started her career in journalism at the Daily Sketch Newspaper in 1969 after her graduation from the University of Ibadan, where she earned a degree in English and Drama same year. She also worked in Daily Times from where she joined the then newly formed National Concord Newspaper as its pioneer daily editor and became the newspaper’s Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief in 1986. She got married to Chief MKO Abiola in 1981.

Being the widow of late Chief MKO Abiola,  winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, she told Saturday Sun in this interview that MKO Abiola was the best thing that happened to her and she wouldn’t hesitate to choose him again if there’s a chance of doing so.

 Can you tell us a bit more about M.K.O Abiola?

This may sound too good to be true, I’ve never met any human being like him.   If you are crying, he will first cry with you before asking you what you have been crying about. He has no business in politics that turned against him.  He stood against poverty. There was huge poverty in the land and he believed why should there be so much in Nigeria, yet not enough for everybody.  I have never met any other human being as good, caring , and loving as him. If you ask me, if I have to do it all over again, I will go for him. He was  a good human being. I have never met any other human being like him. I pray he continues to rest in peace.  He has done his bits, you could see that his children are replica of him, so I have hope.

What does June 12 mean to you?

I think it has been bastardized. I call on Nigerians to ensure that democracy is built even though it has been bastardized. Africans must choose the right leaders during election, and it would be unfortunate if Nigerians did not learn lessons from June 12 and allow it to happen again.

Africans don’t know how to choose their leaders and when they stumble on good leaders, they don’t know their worth.  As you can see here today, you cannot see us punishing anybody here . Abiola was  a friend of the masses.  I keep asking  Almighty God, why? Abiola has put everybody in his family to work, because he knew that we are going to serve the people.  He is a man with a large family. He has a large heart with which he accommodates everybody.  Here in the family, everybody has their different assignment.  We are blessed, the children are blessed.  Remember, whatever you are doing, think of the larger group.

Talking about June 12, how do you handle it?

There should also be forgiveness, what has happened has happened, we need to move on, we need to safeguard our democracy above anything else. Democracy, so far is still the best system of government; we need to enhance it, we need to show the world that  with all we have gone through, we are still standing as a country. Democracy is still the best form of government. For me, it is how do we enhance institutions because institutions are the guardrails of any society, something that we all subscribe to.

For 2023 election, how should Nigerians conduct themselves?

We must conduct free and fair elections. The loser must be willing to say congratulations to the winner and the winner must be magnanimous enough to govern with a large heart. Our concern is how to take care of our people, not just ourselves. You are not going there to enrich yourself; you are going there to do good, and show the world that we come from a rich tradition and heritage.

How do you relax?

I read books.  I love reading

Can you compare journalism now and during your time?

We just have to keep hope. People think  journalism is for the never do well.  So journalists should read, and get good education.

How do you advise women on how to keep their husband?

Make sure you marry for the right reason, it starts from there.  If it is money you marry for, it won’t work.  You have to work on your marriage, it just doesn’t happen.


Edo guber: Obaseki, Ize-Iyamu clash over threat of violence [Sun]

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, yesterday, accused the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state of planning violence and importing arms to intimidate and harass his supporters ahead of the September 19 governorship election.

The governor, who made the accusation while receiving Muslim leaders at Government House, in Benin City, expressed his readiness to stand with the people, defend their interests and develop the state.

“I am not afraid of any man but God. I know the gang up is to provoke me and my supporters but we will not fall for their tricks as God will help us. As I speak to you now, you can’t imagine that Police from Abuja are already in the state and have been paid to arrest our supporters. They have been paid by a billionaire to arrest Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) supporters in the state. This billionaire sponsored the attacks on me and other PDP governors at the Palace. This is to tell you the level of corruption and impunity we face.

“They are planning violence, bringing arms, intimidating our supporters as part of their strategy. They know that if we have a free and fair election, they stand no chance. Their strategy is to continue with their propaganda and lies. They know they don’t have a record of performance; their plan is just to intimidate our supporters and ensure they stay off the polling booth.

“They attacked my supporters and wanted me to react to the attacks. I will not attack them back because as the Chief Security Officer of the state, my responsibility is to maintain peace. We would continue to do that at all costs”, the governor said.

He assured Edo people that the developmental strides in the state had just begun as the first four year of his administration were used in laying the foundation which will be built on in the next four years.

“What Edo people have witnessed in the first four years is only the beginning of greater things. The first term is for laying the foundation for greatness. The foundation has been laid; we will build on it to make life better for Edo people.

“We have improved education, healthcare, agriculture, roads, infrastructure, environment, civil service and the economy of Edo State, ensuring that the life of every Edo man is improved for the better”, Obaseki added.

But reacting to the allegation, the State Chairman of APC Media Campign Council, Mr. John Mayaki, said in a statement that “Governor Godwin Obaseki is a confused man merely projecting the criminal plans his divided party, the PDP,is perfecting following the dawning realization that they have been rejected by the people of Edo State.

“The APC is the only party campaigning on its documented manifesto because our sole strategy to win the election is by winning the hearts and goodwill of our people through well-thought-out programs and policies that will bring relief and erase the failures of the past four years.

“Despite spending four years in office, Obaseki has neither achievements nor plans to show. He is campaigning largely on empty rhetorics, revisionism, and shameful blackmail and propaganda.

“Election may be weeks away but the truth has finally dawned on Obaseki. He is on his way to a sound, comprehensive defeat so like all failures, he is already preparing the grounds for his defeat with false, ridiculous accusations.

“He is also trying to deflect attention while himself and his party, already renowned for violence, continue to ferry thugs and cultists into the State to rig the election. But he will be resisted. Together with our people, we are going to keep watch and ensure the votes to return Obaseki to where he came from are protected and made to count”.

The Chief Imam of Benin Central Mosque, Alhaji Fatai Enabulele, who led leaders of the Islamic community drawn from different parts of the state to pay Sallah homage to the governor, said Muslims in the state are proud of Governor Obaseki for the developmental strides recorded in the state.

He said the governor has done well in the last four years of his administration, reassuring that the Muslims in the state will reward him with their votes come September 19, 2020.

Enabulele noted: “You have scored distinction in your first term and we will overwhelmingly reward you with another four years in office by casting our vote for you in the forthcoming governorship election.

“The election is not about religion or tribal sentiments but about understanding the vision and mission of Edo people and Obaseki understand this.”

“Your administration has provided progressive, pragmatic, dynamic policies and programmes to touch the lives of millions of Edo people across the state and beyond,” the cleric added.


Senate probes fresh multi-billion naira fraud in NDDC [Punch]

  • Panel to grill MD Wednesday over funds unaccounted for
  • Buhari decries abuse of trust in EFCC, NDDC

The Senate said it had received fresh fraud allegations against the management of the Niger Delta Development Commission.

The red chamber said the new financial infractions were not captured in the list of the allegation of N40bn reckless spending which a whistle-blower brought against the NDDC to the parliament recently.

The Senate said the fresh probe would be handled by the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions.

The chairman of the panel, Senator Ayo Akinyelure, confirmed the development in an exclusive interview with our correspondent in Abuja.

He explained that the acting Managing Director of the NDDC, Kemebradikumo Pondei, would be summoned after the Senate panel had concluded its public hearing involving the United Bank for Africa Plc and the liquidators of the defunct NITEL/EMTEL, which would take place next Wednesday.


Fasanmi instructed us to bury him in same tomb with mum – Folabi, son [Punch]

Folabi Fasanmi is the last child of late Second Republic Senator and Afenifere leader, Pa Ayo Fasanmi, who died in Osogbo on Wednesday, July 29, 2020 at 94. He tells BOLA BAMIGBOLA about his dad’s last moments

What do you think about your dad’s death?

I see it as a glorious passage. Baba lived well. Life expectancy in Nigeria is 53 years; that is an upward movement from 49. If someone has lived up to 94, it is a good thing and we take solace in the fact that Baba lived a good life. Baba was a councillor, a member of the House of Representatives, a senator and an aspiring governorship candidate in the old Ondo State. We cannot, but give glory to God for his passing, which was very easy. He was not sick for long. He passed on peacefully. I’m sure he will be missed in the religious circle where he held the post of Baba Ijo of Saint John’s Anglican Church, Iye-Ekiti. He was also one of the leaders and elders at Cathedral Church of All Saints, Osogbo.

 What are some of his legacies?

My father’s legacies are profoundly gratifying because he lived his life for the masses. For someone of Baba’s stature, he lived a moderate life. He did not live an ostentatious lifestyle that would involve having mansions in Canada, US, UK, and Abuja or Lagos. Though he was the Executive Director of Housing Corporation in defunct Western Region, he never acquired a plot of land for himself (through the corporation). One of the family members who used his name to acquire a plot of land in Akure was disowned and was not reunited into the family until he gave up the land he acquired using my father’s name. He started an anti-corruption crusade in the early 60s. He stood in the gap to fight corruption before we had the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission by arresting policemen that were collecting bribes on the roads. That action put them on their toes. We thank God because we could not have asked for a better father.

What was your last moment with him?

I had my last moment with him at the hospital. He was excited to see me. He was being fed by the nurses. He took his medications graciously and asked about my welfare. He had just taken his bath and was to be discharged two days later. We were supposed to come home to prepare the house for his return. He said he would like to eat pounded yam and we had the pounded yam ready, only for us to be told by one of the nurses that his condition had worsened and that they would need to do a further evaluation. We had faith that he would be discharged soon but unfortunately due to his old age, he answered the call of his creator when it came. He fought gallantly but when one’s time is up, you have to answer the call; nothing can change it.

 What kind of father was he?

He was everything we wanted in a father. He was compassionate, loving and caring. I had a terrible accident last year in my car; it was a complete write-off. My dad sympathised with me. He did not only sympathise with me; few weeks after the accident, he gave me the key of a brand new car. My father would never allow his children to suffer or go through any form of hardship. He lived his life for the masses by making sure that everything he did was channelled towards the common man and the good of the people.

How many children did he have?

He had six children; one is dead. Incidentally, the one who died was Ayo Fasanmi Jnr. Out of the five children left, three are women and they are all resident in the United States. I’m a geoscientist and my brother is a judge in Ekiti State.

 Senator Fasanmi spent the better part of his life in Osogbo, Osun State; did he tell you why?

He came to do what some of our medical personnel call ‘House Job’ in Osogbo in 1951 and he found it to be a very peaceful place – serene and quiet. So, he settled her and got married. Osogbo has been our home and not many people believe that we are not from here. We have been well received and integrated here and the governor, who is amiable, Mr Adegboyega Oyetola, was very gracious in making available medical services to try to save Baba.

Did your father leave any instruction as to how he should be buried?

Yes, he said he should be buried almost immediately and he had a tomb constructed for him and our mother. Our mother was buried in 2014 and is in the lower deck while our father is going to be buried in the upper chamber of the tomb. He wanted it that way because of the love and affection they shared. Baba has gone to join Mama. With the good life he lived, I know he’s been ushered to the right-hand corner in heaven.

What did he tell you about his childhood?

His dad was a bricklayer and he made personal efforts to attain greatness in life. As a person, I learnt a lot from him. I learnt to be selfless and interestingly, I’m his only child that is in politics. I was a Special Adviser to Ahmed Bola Tinubu on Mineral Resources in Lagos State between 2003 and 2007. My father’s shoes are too big to step into and I believe that even if I cannot surpass his legacies, I should be able to sustain them. We are very proud of him and very proud to be his children and we know he is happy wherever he is now. The angels have ushered him into paradise because he was a man who was always thinking about heaven, the gospel and spiritual things.

What are important life lessons you learnt from him?

He never allowed earthly and worldly things to corrupt his mind and I can say he was the first person to champion the fight against corruption in Nigeria in the early 60s. I remember vividly that he arrested police officers who were taking bribes during that period. He was a dogged fighter; he fought till the end. He was supposed to be discharged when he suddenly suffered a relapse. The doctor had said he could go home, but complications set in as a result of his old age However, I can tell you that we are happy that he had a peaceful ending. He didn’t suffer and was not ill for long so we appreciate God for his life. We also want to appreciate the government of Osun State for making medical services available to him in his dying moment.

 He lost his wife in the year 2014, how much did that affect him?

My mum was his soul mate. She was very critical to my father’s life because they were inseparable. They were an example of how Christian couples should be. They won so many awards and good lessons that should be learnt in marriage were what they exemplified – pure love, true love, companionship, and friendship. Those things set them apart from others. Baba has gone to be with his darling wife; no wonder they decided to share the same tomb. Mama was buried in 2014 and Baba will be buried next Tuesday.

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