The Voice Newsmagazine
President Muhammadu Buhari praised the contributions of Nigerian youths to the outcome of the 2015 elections.
President Buhari, who was speaking on the occasion of the 2015 International Youth Day, commended Nigerian youths for the significant role they played in making the 2015 elections “a model for democratic governance in Africa.”
The President said that he was very concerned, however, that economic growth in Nigeria has not translated into “commensurate and improved social outcomes, especially for our 60 million young people who make up the majority of the population".
President Buhari noted that “although educational attainment by Nigerian youth has increased significantly in the last decade, the relevance of curricula, quality of education and skills required to meet the demands of the job market still remains a challenge for the country".
The President assured Nigerian youth that his administration “is poised to provide an enabling environment for the private sector to thrive so as to ensure greater opportunities for jobs to be created for our young people.”
He said that his government was also determined to provide adequate infrastructure to boost the ability of “our job creation institutions to increase opportunities for our young people.”
Apart from paying special attention to the growth of small and medium scale enterprises, the President said that his administration will also explore the option of boosting intervention funds to encourage domestic industrialization and manufacturing.
President Buhari reaffirmed the commitment of the APC administration to fulfilling its campaign promises to Nigerian youth.
“Change for us is not a mere political slogan, but the beginning of a new era desired by the majority of Nigerians," the President concluded.
SSA to the President
(Media & Publicity)
President Muhammadu Buhari said that the prosecution of persons who have stolen national resources will begin in a matter of weeks.
Speaking at a meeting with members of the National Peace Committee led by Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar in the Presidential Villa, President Buhari declared that his administration was irrevocably committed to doing all within its powers to break the vicious cycle of corruption, unemployment and insecurity in Nigeria.
"Nigeria has to break this vicious cycle before we can make progress," the President said, adding that his administration was diligently getting facts and figures pertaining to the nation's stolen funds, before proceeding to the prosecution of identified culprits.
President Buhari told General Abdulsalami and members of his committee that the Federal Government, under his leadership, will not only ask for the return of stolen funds that have been stashed in foreign banks, but will also ensure that those who stole the funds are put on trial in Nigeria.
The President also said that as part of its actions to address the national problems it inherited, his administration was reorganising Nigeria's revenue generating institutions.
The President explained that a single treasury account had been established for all Federal revenue to ensure greater probity, transparency and accountability in the collection, disbursement and utilisation of national funds.
"We have really degenerated as a country. Our national institutions, including the military, which did wonderfully on foreign missions in the past, have been compromised. But we are doing something about it. The military is now retraining and morale has been resuscitated.
"As Petroleum Minister under Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo in the 1970s, I could not travel abroad until I had taken a memo to the Federal Executive Council asking for estacode. Now, everybody does what he wants.
"That is why security-wise and economically, we're in trouble," President Buhari told his guests, adding that those who have stolen the national wealth "will be in court in a matter of weeks and Nigerians will know those who have short-changed them."
Gen. Abubakar and members of his committee urged the Federal Government to be guided by the rule of law in its fight against corruption.
Members of the National Peace Committee who accompanied Gen Abubakar on the visit were Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah, His Eminence, Alhaji Sa'ad Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto, Cardinal John Onaiyekan, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, Primate of the Anglican Church of Nigeria.
Others were Justice Rose Ukeje (rtd), Prof Ameze Guobadia, Vanguard Newspaper Publisher, Sam Amuka, Dame Priscilla Kuye, Senator Ben Obi, Dr. Yunusa Tanko, and Dr Arthur-Martin Aginam.
The National Peace Committee, formed before the 2015 general elections, was granted permission by the President to transform to a National Peace Council
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
President Muhammed Buhari called for an explanation from the Ministry of Finance on the foreign loans obtained for rail projects but diverted to other purposes.
Speaking at the end of a presentation on the Ministry of Transport by the Permanent Secretary, Alhaji Mohammed Bashar at the Presidential Villa, President Buhari said that it was disappointing to find that foreign loans obtained in line with signed agreements were moved from one project to another.
“I hope that due process was followed before such diversions were carried out. Taking money from one project to another has to be done properly,” the President warned.
President Buhari was reacting to the specific instance of the diversion of a substantial part of the loan of USD1.005 billion from the Chinese Exim Bank, obtained for the construction of a standard gauge rail line linking Lagos to Kano but which was moved elsewhere.
The Permanent Secretary had informed the President that only USD 400 million of that loan remained with the Ministry of Finance.
The President regretted that government had, over the years, failed to meet its counter-part funding obligation on some projects, leading to such projects being left uncompleted or abandoned.
He added that there was a clear need to streamline, harmonize, and prioritize on-going projects in the transportation sector.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry also briefed the President on other challenges facing the transport and maritime sectors such as encroachment on railway land, lack of security on inland waterways and the confused nature of agreements between the Nigeria Ports Authority and ports concessionaires.
SSA to the President
(Media & Publicity)
President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday in Niamey, Niger Republic, expressed confidence in ability of the Nigerian military to overcome and eradicate Boko Haram.
President Buhari talk tough on Boko Haram
Speaking at an interactive session with journalists after talks with President Issoufou Mahamadou of Niger, President Buhari declared that the Nigerian Army which has earned a good reputation across the world, remains a virile fighting force.
"I am four days in office today and we have already started the process of ending the insurgency," the President said.
He disclosed that in the course of the over five hours meeting he held with heads of Nigeria's Armed Forces and Security Agencies yesterday, on-going operations against Boko Haram were reviewed for better results.
President Buhari said that because of the peculiarities of terrorism, the movement of terrorists across borders and the unconventional nature of the war against terror, Nigeria will continue to seek the support of neighbouring countries in its bid to overcome Boko Haram.
The President said that his visit to Niger was to seek more support from the country in bringing a quick end to the atrocities of Boko Haram.
President Buhari said he would hold similar meetings on security and the war against terrorism with the Chadian authorities after leaving Niamey on Thursday.
The President said Nigeria would also require the assistance of other nations and multi-lateral institutions to rebuild areas that have been adversely affected by the Boko Haram insurgency and rehabilitate displaced persons.
In his remarks, the President of Niger commended President Buhari for making Niger the first country he will visit after his inauguration.
"Your decision to move the military command of Nigeria to the North East has further strengthened our conviction that the war against terrorism will soon come to an end," he told President Buhari, while assuring him that Niger will continue to support Nigeria in the fight against Boko Haram.
At the opening of bilateral talks between Nigeria and Niger earlier, President Buhari praised his hosts' contributions to the on-going multi-national effort against terrorism, insurgency and cross-border crimes.
"Permit me also to acknowledge the consistency with which the government and people of Niger Republic have stood beside Nigeria under all circumstances. I would like to convey the appreciation of Nigeria for the sacrifices by Niger in the on-going efforts to counter the menace of the Boko Haram insurgency.
"Niger Republic has over the years, proven to be a reliable ally to Nigeria both at bilateral and multilateral levels. It is our hope and aspiration that this special relationship would be further consolidated during my administration.
"My administration will bring new impetus and a renewed commitment to the efforts to wipe out the menace of the Boko Haram insurgents. As a first step, we have directed the relocation of the command post of the counter-insurgency operations to Maiduguri until such a time that the insurgency is completely defeated.
"Another issue of concern to us which is closely associated with the insurgency in the region is the influx of refugees and other displaced persons. We are aware that currently, there are over one hundred and fifty thousand displaced persons comprising refugees and returnees taking refuge in various parts of Niger.
"Our administration will work closely with governments of the affected States to continue to provide humanitarian assistance to the displaced persons and their host communities.
"The ultimate objective however, remains to end the insurgency and facilitate their return to their homes," President Buhari said.
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media and Publicity)
Inaugural Speech of President Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on 29th May, 2015
I am immensely grateful to God Who Has preserved us to witness this day and this occasion. Today marks a triumph for Nigeria and an occasion to celebrate her freedom and cherish her democracy. Nigerians have shown their commitment to democracy and are determined to entrench its culture. Our journey has not been easy but thanks to the determination of our people and strong support from friends abroad we have today a truly democratically elected government in place.
President Goodluck Jonathan has presented his handover notes to the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari. The presentation was done inside the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja shortly after President Jonathan conducted Buhari round the seat.
Jonathan also presented an executive summary of his handover notes and a copy of the National Conference to the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari.
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One of the principal organizers, Mercedes Monden
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News filtering in from Nigeria have it that Kabiru, son of Gov. Aregbesola of Osun State was swooped on by men of the Nigerian Immigration Service at Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos while trying to cart away with $177 million in suitcases to the Arab Emirates.
The Scramble for Africa began about 131 years ago. Thirteen countries in the euro zone and the United States took part and met in Berlin. Here the rules of the game - colonization were agreed on before tutelage and subjugation of the continent commenced. These were not without challenges because of resistance from territories and powers. Ultimately, they were conquered and the colonial powers firmly established control.
Repressive rule has only just begun. We do not need a soothsayer to restate the obvious under the existing circumstances. I have often heard Buhari's apologists say he is a turned democrat and this often makes me laugh preferably in Swahili because I remain firm and unshaken in my conviction that try as the leopard might it could never change its spots.
It would be recalled, however, that Buhari on December 31, 1983 overthrew a democratically elected civilian government. No sooner had he done that than the junta under him embarked on remorseless repression that gave many Nigerians agonizing sleepless nights. It was one vast empire characterized by reign of terror. Many Nigerians were thrown in stir on trumped up charges and in the process Nigeria's best brains were killed among whom were Prof. Ambrose Alli, the first executive Governor of the defunct Bendel State. Pa Adekunle Ajasin , Dr. Alex Ekwueme Sam Mbakwe and many others were unduly incarcerated for crimes they did not commit while his kinsmen of northern extraction save Dr. Dikko were briefly detained and left off the hook. These are verifiable facts and may Heaven bear me witness this day!
The promulgation of Decree Number 4 empowered him to gag the press and press freedom was withdrawn and the likes of Tunde Thompson and Nduka Irabor became victims. This took place about three decades ago and the wound inflicted on the minds of Nigerians is gradually being reopened by his recent pronouncements barring Nigeria's premier private television station, African Independent Television (AIT), a media organization characterized by enlightened personnel practices from covering his activities. This is blunder NO 1 - a clear depiction of a brainless doll who knows next to nothing about governance.
One question that agitates the mind of the writer is: What moral justification has Buhari got to ever rule Nigeria again when he ought to be standing trial for being liable to a number of offences? Is Buhari not guilty after the accessory of fact for murdering three young men of Nigerian extraction by retroactive laws at Bar Beach firing range? Bartholomew Owoh, Bernard Ogedengbe and Lawal Ojuolape trafficked in drugs which was a bailable offence as of the time the crime was committed but Buhari went ahead and promulgated Decree Number 20 had it backdated and executed the above-named. Ay, these three young men were executed. This is MURDER in capital letters and Buhari ought to have stood trial and faced the dire consequences of this irredeemable mortal sin!
Buhari: He denies the AIT ban
This is one impunity enjoyed by military dictators implicated in civilian killings. Nigeria as a country where impunity apparently thrives, Buhari rose from behind to contest Nigeria's plum job and amid deception and lies the gullible electorates were again bamboozled by an evil cabal who do not mean well for Nigeria. As the incumbent President foresees danger again hanging over our heads like the ancient sword of Damocles he was left with no option but to concede defeat and relinquish his hold on power in the interest of peace. There is doubtless a long road to peace as his behaviour is becoming bizarre following his recent pronouncement barring AIT from covering his activities which has attracted widespread criticisms from the civil populace.
Realizing his folly or out of rude awakening or probably after a deep, soul-searching introspection how things could go wrong we see the charging bull reversing the threat which is being widely reported but fortunately or unfortunately this does not make any difference. The pronouncement has been made and Nigerians have been told what to expect in the coming years; in fact the Rubicon , if I dare say, is crossed! Be that as it may, Buhari must be reminded of tyrant's places in history and more so that the world has gone past the era tsarist's repressions.
If Buhari feels aggrieved that the attack on him is libelous the best thing is to seek redress. He is no more a private but a public figure. Here in Western Europe and probably in the rest of the world private lives of public office holders are dug into by the press. Against this background AIT has not erred. If he spotted any falsehood in the purported documentary, the best thing is to sue them for libel and that is better done in a competent court of law in stead of breathing out threats that would further drag his name in the mud. Like I did say treading the infamous path of repression is no longer tenable in today's world, in fact the incoming Abuja regime must take particular note of this.
By Iyoha John Darlington, aka Lington Donovan
He is a social activist, political analyst and public commentator on national and global events. He writes from Turin, Italy.
President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has made new appointments barely one month to his hand over of government to a new administration.
In a similar faction, he has relieved the Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Dr. Femi Thomas of his appointment with immediate effect. In his place, the President has approved the appointment of Mr. Olufemi A. Akingbade as Acting Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer of the NHIS.
Mr. Akingbade who hails from Ekiti State and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science as well as a Master’s in Business Administration was the General Manager, ICT in the NHIS until his new appointment which also takes immediate effect
President Jonathan has also approved the confirmation of Mr. Mounir Haliru Gwarzo as Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Mr. Gwarzo who has been acting as Director-General of the Commission, was appointed to the Board of the Securities and Exchange Commission as Executive Commissioner in January, 2013.
Also the list of new appointees by the President is the former Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi as Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. His appointment is with immediate effect.
Mr. Peter Obi: New Chairman of the Securities & Exchange Commission
Congratulations to all the new appointees, hoping they would help the new administration in their various capacities to advance Nigeria forward.
National broadcast by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan , GCFR on the 2015 General elections on Friday, March 27th 2015
As we prepare to go to the polls tomorrow, I have come before you this morning to express my immense appreciation for the opportunity you gave me to lead this great nation of ours in the past four years.
I also wish to place on record, once again, my sincere gratitude for the support you have given my administration without which the significant progress we have made in recent years would not have been possible.
Musiliu Obanikoro, former minister of state for defence, has been sworn in as the minister of state for foreign affairs II by President Goodluck Jonathan. Obanikoro, who faced a torrid time at the senate during his screening and eventual clearance, was once Nigeria’s ambassador to Ghana.
Obanikoro confirmed as State minister for Defence
Jonathan sworn- in the eight new minsters on today, Wednesday and carried out a minor cabinet reshuffle. Alhassan Khaliru is the new minister of health, replacing Christian Chukwu, a professor who resigned last year and unsuccessfully bid to be governor of Ebonyi state.
Fidelis Nwankwo, an engineer from Ebonyi state, is now the new minister of state for health.
Patricia Akwashiki (Nasarawa) is now minister of information while Nicholas Ada, a professor from Benue, is minister of state foreign affairs I.
Augustine Akobundu, a retired colonel from Abia state, is minister of state for defense. Others are: Hauwa’u Lawan Bappa, now minister of state (Niger Delta affairs); Kenneth Kobani, minister of state for industry, trade and investment; Joel Danlami Ikenya, minister of labour.
In his remarks, Jonathan said: “For the ministers, this is an injury time. It is like bringing a player when you have just five minutes to go in a football match. So everyone wants to know what that player will do, the magic the player will perform within that short period. The player himself will be struggling to be at least kick the ball before the end of the game. “So you are coming in at a quite challenging period and I believe that a number of people will not envy you because government is coming to a close. But sometimes it is even good to come at this time because you are now well exposed to Nigerians.
“Your dancing steps will be watched by everybody and we believe you will dance well.”
The All Progressives Congress (APC) through its campaign Director-General for General Buhari (rtd) and Governor of River State, Rotimi Amaechi is the person behind the signed and delivered petition making round in the Nigerian press as a purported indictment of the Nigeria’s First lady, Dame Patience Jonathan before the international criminal court in The Hague.
Continental European Media Summit was recently held in Hamburg Germany facilitated by Kenneth Gbandi of Heritage Media network Germany, the participants representing various fields of human endeavor particularly in the Nigeria media scene in the Diaspora endorsed the candidature of Goodluck Jonathan as a prefer candidate in the 2015 Presidential elections in Nigeria slated for 28th March 2015 because of its track records in the past five years in office.
The last time Nigerians enjoyed something really close to an exciting Presidential debate was during the 1993 Presidential elections. I recall the colourful and memorable encounter between the late Chief MKO Abiola of the Social Democratic Party and Alhaji Bashir Tofa of the National Republican Convention. At the end of that debate, it was clear who among the duo was better experienced, much more intellectually capable and more endearing to the electorate in terms of readiness for the job being applied for. That is what a debate, under these circumstances, is: it is a job interview.
There is the popular adage that’s says health is wealth and for that simple reason, Stichting Ramaya has put together a series of health education program for enlightening immigrant communities living in the Amsterdam area on their health conditions.
According to the coordinator of the Project, Jerry Sulaiman, Africans form a greater part of the Immigrant group living in Amsterdam, it is estimated that there are more than 10,000 Africans living in the Netherlands and the majority of them resides in Amsterdam particularly Southeast area.
The enormous task of superintending over the electoral affairs of any country, particularly a country where the democratic culture is just beginning to take root and one where elections take on a life of their own, requires, forthrightness, dexterity, diplomacy and above all else, a mega dose of integrity. The electoral umpire must in addition to being imbued with high level of personal integrity also, and equally importantly, be perceived by the generality of the electorate and interested parties as being a person of integrity. The reality and perception of integrity must converge on the electoral umpire. Where such convergence is not found, there is the likelihood that whatsoever outcomes produced by such electoral umpire will be viewed with suspicion by some parties to the election and may eventually lead to unsavory events including violence.
Despite the cold weather in the Netherlands, many Nigerians turned out in front of the International Criminal Court (ICC) under the Dutch police scrutiny to organize a peace, solidarity and support rally in support of the current Nigerian government under President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in ensuring a peaceful, non-violent, free, fair and credible election come 28th March and 11th of April 2015.