President Muhammadu Buhari says 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.
Malam 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.’’
Edited By: Ismail Abdulaziz
I’ll stand by you, Buhari tells AfDB President Adesina
Mr Femi Adesina, the President’s spokesman, in a statement, quoted the President saying:
“In 2015, when you were to be elected for the first term, I wrote to all African leaders, recommending you for the position.
“I’ll remain consistent with you, because no one has faulted the step I took on behalf of Nigeria.’’
The President pledged that Nigeria would work with all other leaders and stakeholders in AfDB to ensure that Adesina was elected for a second term built on the record of his achievements during his first term.
The African Union had already endorsed the incumbent AfDB President as sole candidate for the continent, but some other stakeholders are trying to ensure that Adesina is re-investigated on some allegations, and rendered ineligible to run.
Giving a background to what was happening in the bank, Adesina, a former Nigerian Minister for Agriculture, said the 16 allegations raised against him were trumped up, “and without facts, evidence, and documents, as required by the rules and regulations of the bank.”
“My defense ran into 250 pages, and not a single line was faulted or questioned.
“That was the end of the matter, according to the rules. It was only if I was culpable that a fresh investigation could be launched.
“I was exonerated, and any other investigation would amount to bending the rules of the bank, to arrive at a predetermined conclusion,’’ Adesina said.
“You helped me to get elected in the first place, and you have supported me robustly all along, and the African Union unanimously endorsed my re-election,” he declared.
Adesina also described the new Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, as “a man of integrity, and of global standing.”
AfDB President visits Aso Villa, meets Buhari
NAN reports that the agenda of the meeting between the president and Adesina was unknown as at the time of filing this report.
Buhari noted that a report dated May 5, 2020, signed by Niale Kaba, Chairman of the Bureau of the Board of Governors, indicated that Dr Adesina had been exonerated of allegations against him by whistleblowers.
The allegations were thoroughly investigated by the Ethics Committee of the Board of Directors, and a recommendation made to Governors of the African Development Bank, and African Development Fund.
“On the basis of the results contained in the report of the committee, I am of the view that we should adopt its conclusions by declaring that the President is totally exonerated of all the allegations made against him,’’ the report by Kaba indicated.
However, the U.S Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, had called for an independent probe into the allegations by a group of whistleblowers against the AfDB President.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, had, in May, written a letter to some former leaders on the African continent to rally their support for Adesina, who has come under severe pressure mounted by the US government as he seeks a second term at the helm of affairs of the bank.
Buhari approves ministry’s request for security of telecoms infrastructure
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved a request by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, for provision of security for telecommunications infrastructure across the country.
Pantami said this in a statement signed by Mrs Uwa Suleiman, the Spokesperson for the Minister, and made available to newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja.
As part of Federal Government policy, the minister had championed efforts to identify telecommunications infrastructure as critical national infrastructure, with a view to protecting them from vandalism and theft.
The minister said also that the president had directed that necessary physical protective measures be put in place to safeguard telecommunications infrastructure across the country.
He explained that the Nigerian telecommunications industry, depended on a number of infrastructure that played critical roles in the smooth delivery of telecoms services in the country.
“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, has led to a massive migration to digital platforms and has increased the level of importance of Critical National Infrastructure to the sustenance of our economy and the security of the nation.”
Pantami, however, said that the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) Defence Headquarters (DHQ) Nigeria Police Force (NPF) Department of State Security Services (DSS) and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) had been notified of the president’s directives.
He thanked the president and commended the security agencies for the commitment they demonstrated in securing the infrastructure.
The minister urged all the Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to ensure that they further reduced the prices of data and calls for the citizens, adding that this was to reciprocate the gesture.
He also requested the MNOs to submit a comprehensive list of their facility locations all over the country.
“We are also working toward the reinforcement of these directives through appropriate regulatory instruments
“The implementation of the National Broadband Plan (NBP) and the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, both unveiled by the president, have repositioned the ICT sector.
“This is evident by the recent Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) which showed that the ICT sector contributed an unprecedented 14.07 per cent to the total GDP in the first quarter of 2020.
“We are confident that this will address the challenge of vandalism of our critical national infrastructure.
It will also go a long way in supporting the implementation of the National Broadband Plan (2020-2025),” the minister said.
Minister, Buhari’s Aide, others react as Majek Fashek dies in New York
The Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr Festus Keyamo and Laurreta Onochie, an Aide to President Muhammadu Buhari have reacted to the death of the legendary Reggae star, Majek Fashek.
The Raggae star a.k.a rain maker, died after battling with cancer for nearly a year.
Omenka said the singer died in New York, where he was receiving treatment, adding that the doctors advised he should be moved close to his family, which informed his being moved to New York where his wife and three sons live.
He said contrary to insinuation that the Raggae legend died in London, he was moved from London to New York in September 2020 on the advice of the doctors that he should stay close to the family.
He said Majek was separated from his family for 10 years until last year when they were reunited on the advice of his doctors that he should be close to his family.
Majek was said to have died at age of 57 as he was born March 7, 1963.
However, the minister in a tweet said, ” R.I.P my big brother, Mr. Majekodunmi Fasheke (aka Majek Fashek), the ‘Rain Maker’ and extraordinarily gifted musician.
Similar, Senator Shehu Sani inrin histhis reaction said, “some years ago I met Majek Fashek near a train station in New York before he returned to Nigeria, he was a shadow of the man many of us loved decades ago.
According to him, Majek rode through a rough and dangerous terrain in life, he tried to pick up and now is gone, he was an unforgettable legend.
Laurreta Onochie, an Aide to President Muhammadu Buhari said ” at last he rests, he escapes the life that held him captive.
According to her, h”escaped a world where talented people are milked till nothing is left; where no vice can touch him.
“But we won’t forget you as younger people, your music moved our feet and gladdened our souls, sleep well,” she said.
Activist says Buhari’s achievements excites opposition
Mr Ebubeagu Ekenulo, a renowned activist in the South East, says the landmark achievements recorded by President Muhammadu Buhari is attracting scores of opposition members and their leaders to the ruling All Progressives Congress APC).
Ekenulo made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Tuesday.
According to him, the opposition being led in the country by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), are excited with the tremendous development strides achieved by Buhari amidst security challenges, economic recession and COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.
He described the defection of Chief Charles Ezekwem, former PDP chairman in Imo together with other PDP stakeholders to the APC, as a testimony of the President’s APC-led administration’s landmark achievements.
Ekenulo, who described Ezekwem as an astute administrator and visionary politician, said his defection was informed by his passion for good leadership.
The activist explained that Ezekwem was moved by the track records of the Buhari-led APC at both the national and state levels.
“He defected to APC with a large chunk of Imo PDP state and many local government executive members, and multitude of stakeholders to show solidarity to President Buhari and Chief Hope Uzodimma,” he said.
Ekunulo called on the remaining PDP members in Imo to support the APC led administration in the state to restore the lost glory of the state and Nigeria “that was battered by PDP’s failed leadership”.
According to him, Ezekwem left PDP for the greater good of Imo in spite of the fact that he built the party all alone.
Ekenulo, who expressed optimism of a future prosperous Imo, called on politicians to shun campaigns of calumny and discord but close ranks for a prosperous country.
COVID-19: Aisha Buhari renovates 15-bed capacity facility in Nasarawa
Buhari also built two sanitary and administrative block in the facility.
Buhari, who was represented by Dr Haji Sani, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Women Affairs and Administration, said the facility was part of her effort towards supporting the state in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.
She urged the management of the centre to ensure proper maintenance of the facility.
The first lady also distributed personal protective equipments (PPEs), food items and other medical equipments.
In his response, the Nasarawa State deputy governor and Chairman, State Taskforce on COVID-19, Dr Emmanuel Akabe, thanked the first lady for the gesture and promised to make judicious use of the facility.
Akabe said the state government was making frantic efforts towards containing the spread of the pandemic in the state.
He said the facility would be used as one of the isolation centres to cater for the COVID-19 patients in the state.
Also speaking, the Chief Medical Director, Nasarawa State Hospitals Management Board, Dr Usman George, expressed appreciation to the first lady for the gesture.
George said that the facility was one of the site identified by the state government to treat COVID-19 patients.
”We want to make proper use of this place to have a unilateral flow where you have donning areas where you have personal protective equipments and areas where you remove the personal protective equipments.
Edo APC Primaries: Obaseki visits Aso Villa, seeks Buhari’s blessing
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday met behind closed door with Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports the meeting which was at the instance of the governor, came ahead of the governorship primary election of the All Progressives Congress (APC), scheduled for June, 2020.
Speaking to State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, Obaseki said he was in the Presidential Villa to formally intimate the president of his intention to seek re-election as governor of Edo on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC).
The governor, who is believed to be at loggerhead with the APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiohmole, over his second term ambition, presented his Expression of Interest form to the president for blessing.
“I came to see Mr President to formally inform him of my desire and intention to seek re-election as governor of Edo State on the platform of the APC in the forthcoming gubernatorial election.
“As a father of the country, as our president I should not just assume or take things for granted – I have to come to inform him and solicit his support in my gubernatorial bid, and the president was quiet warm and quiet welcoming.
“When I showed him my Expression of Interest form, he looked through it and teased me that he would not have to go through this again and wished me good luck and assured me of his support,’’ he said.
On the political tussle in Edo, the governor stated that the crisis was being instigated from outside the state.
Obaseki also described the political misunderstanding between him and Oshiohmole as very unfortunate, saying however that he was ready to reach a truce with all aggrieved members of the APC.
“It is unfortunate that he (Oshiohmole) is taking the position he has taken. I believe that he was not properly guided.
“I am his Governor and it is my responsibility to seek peace for my State and with all my citizens.
“I will continue to strive for peace, I will continue to pursue peace, seek the interest of our people and I am open, that we should talk about how to move things forward.
“The relationship is still frosty but I am doing all I can to try and make it warm just for the sake of Edo people. I am committed to whatever it will take to have peace and not to lose lives in Edo, within the law, whatever I can do that is constitutional, I will do,’’ he stated.
According to the governor, he has the full support of his counterparts, all the governors elected on the platform of the APC, in line with the principles of the party, which encourages continuity.
Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)
Rep lauds Buhari over appointment of Obioma as NECO Registrar
Rep. Benjamin Kalu (APC-Abia), has lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing Prof. Godswill Obioma as Registrar of the National Examinations Council (NECO).
Kalu, who represents Bende Federal Constituency in Abia said this in a statement on Monday in Abuja.
He said the appointment came at a time, the examination body was confronted with several challenges, which had undermined its operations.
The lawmaker, however, expressed confidence that Obioma’s breadth of experience and wealth of academic achievements would be used to address the challenges.
Kalu disclosed that he had been privileged to preview the registrar’s proposed 11-point roadmap for NECO, which showed a determination to reignite hope in inclusive and quality education for Nigerian children.
“Following the fourth UNESCO COVID-19 Education Webinar, organised on April 9, 2020 to examine the coping strategies currently considered by various countries to manage high-stake exams, it has become clear to me that unique home grown solutions are required for the peculiarities of our own challenges.
“NECO’s leadership must figure out exam delivery modes that are complaint with new public health standards and technological realities while remaining inclusive and accessible to the millions of Nigerian children in rural areas.
“This responsibility is an intricate dance which will require the innovativeness and insight of a leader, possessing extensive local and international experience.
“Obioma’s breadth of experience, academic achievements, as well as his far reaching contributions to education policy reforms in national and global contexts, distinguishes him as the right fit for the job; the square peg in a square hole,” he said.
Edo APC: Former Speaker seeks Buhari intervention
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Edo, Alhaji Kabiru Adjoto, has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to step into the party’s crisis in the state.
Adjoto, who was a former Speaker of the state House of Assembly, made the appeal on Monday in Benin while receiving the party leaders from Edo north.
The APC chieftain said that the president’s intervention would ensure the victory of the party in the September governorship election in the state.
Adjoto, noted that the crisis rocking the party in the state was becoming increasingly embarrassing.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has fixed the primaries for the Edo governorship election for June 22, while the gubernatorial election will hold on Sept. 19.
The development has stoked the battle of supremacy between the two factions of the APC in the state.
Adjoto, however, said that “the resolution of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party empowers state chapters to choose a mode of primaries based on peculiarities.
“Edo state APC stakeholders have met and agreed on an indirect mode of primaries as the most suitable in the face of COVID-19 and for the fact that the state chapter lacks a comprehensive register of members,’’ he said.
He urged the president and other stakeholders to dialogue with the National Chairman of the APC, Adams Oshiomhole, to avert the party being defeated in the September election.
“Obaseki’s victory is certain and he is constant as the Northern star. All those opposing him within and outside the party will eventually bow and vote for him.
“My advice to the National Working Committee (NWC) of APC is to play by the rules to avoid plunging Edo into crisis,’’ Adjoto said.
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