The Federal Government says recent allegations of monumental corruption in a number of government agencies is not a sign that the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration’s fight against corruption is waning.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed gave the position on Tuesday in Abuja at a media briefing on the state of the nation.
The minister reiterated that the fight against corruption, a cardinal programme of the Administration, is alive and well.
“As you are all aware, Nigerians have recently been inundated with allegations of monumental corruption in a number of government agencies, including the NDDC, NSITF and the anti-corruption agency, EFCC.
“Many, especially naysayers, have misinterpreted these developments as a sign that the Administration’s fight against Corruption is waning.
“In fact, the main opposition PDP has latched onto the developments to call for the resignation of Mr. President, a call that is nothing but infantile!,” he said.
The minister noted that the revelations, especially the investigation of the nation’s anti-corruption Czar, have shown that the Administration is not ready to sweep any allegation of corruption under the carpet.
He said the revelations have equally shown that there is no sacred cow in the fight against corruption by the government.
“Unlike the PDP, we will not cover up for anyone, including the members of our party and government, who faces corruption allegations.
“Our fight against corruption is blind to party affiliation, position in government and any other consideration.
“ If the nation’s anti-corruption Czar can be investigated, then the fight against corruption cannot be deemed to be fake, neither can it be said to be waning,” he said.
The minister added: “President Buhari, the African Union’s Anti-Corruption Champion, who also has an impeccable reputation globally, remains the driver of the fight.
“No one, not the least the PDP under whose watch Nigeria was looted dry, can taint his image or reverse the gains of the fight.
“Anyone who disagrees that the anti-corruption fight is alive and well is free to dare us.”
The minister noted that the corruption allegations in some of the agencies predated the administration but they came to public knowledge because of the seriousness and speed with which the government is handling the cases.
He reiterated that the Administration’s fight against corruption was as strong as ever, with records of over 1,400 convictions, including recovered funds in excess of N800 billion.
He said the government is equally putting in place enduring institutional reforms that will deter acts of corruption.
Edited By: Felix Ajide (NAN)
Labour Party dissociates self from CUPP lawsuit against FG
The Labour Party (LP) has dissociated itself from the lawsuit instituted against the Federal Government by the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP).
The National Chairman of LP, Alhaji Abdulsalam Abdulkadir, at a news conference on Monday in Abuja, said he and his party, which was a stakeholder in the organisation of the opposition parties, were not in support of the action.
“I have been forced to address this news conference by the recent media controversy as well as the action taken by an individual to sue service chiefs in the name of CUPP, an organisation that I am a relevant and senior member of.
“This decision, as well as many others taken by this individual, has not been one borne out of consultations among members but a decision exclusively his.
“This habit, therefore, brings the question of why he did not use his own Political Party, rather than an organisation comprising other political entities.
“An individual should not and cannot continue to act in the interest of the whole without due consultation and approvals.
“I want to state categorically, as a formidable stakeholder in CUPP, that I am against the action of suing the Federal Government on the issue of the continuous stay of the service chiefs.
“Let me also state that I and the Labour Party, do not support the federal government’s decision to continue to retain the Service Chiefs in the face of rising insecurity in the North East and other parts of the country.
“However, we would not also allow ourselves to be dragged or become a party to a circus suit aimed primarily at promoting an individual’s quest for popularity and misplaced political relevance rather than at exacting justice for the Nigerian people,” he said.
Abdulkadir added that the law suit, no matter how pleasing it sounds, is not geared towards yielding a decisively positive result in the Courts but is geared towards making mockery of our judicial processes.
According to him, the Labour Party and I, will not be a party to reducing our national institutions into a mere circus and I therefore distance myself from the law suit.
“We cannot embark on a ludicrous journey aimed at taking undue advantage of our judicial process.
“Even though, we are an opposition Party and a standing member of the CUPP, we cannot continue be a part of an individual’s quest to weaken our national institutions and systems, when we are striving and hoping to take control of them in the future.”
Abdulkadir said that other executive members had watched with dismay how some persons who were not members of the Steering Committee had ran away with the organisation meant to represent a coalition of over seventy individual political interests, without recourse to the Steering Committee or the sensibilities of other partners.
“This has gone on for a long time in spite of concerted and concerned calls from all and sundry.
“The CUPP is made up of mature, respectable and responsible individuals and entities, which may explain why a lot of restraint have been exercised and members have been refrained from having a public showdown,” he said.
Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Felix Ajide (NAN)
Gov. AbdulRazak constitutes visitation panels to Kwara Poly, Aviation College
Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara State has approved the constitution of visitation Panel for the Kwara State Polytechnic and International Aviation College, Ilorin.
In a statement, Hajiya Sa’adatu Modibbo-Kawu, Kwara Commissioner for Tertiary Education, Science and Technology said on Monday that the visitation panel will be chaired by Dr. Fatai Bello.
She stated that Bello was Country Representative of the Global Fund, a United Nations’ agency in Nigeria and former Council member of the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin.
According to her, other members of the panel include Mr Suleiman Talban Lafiagi; AbdulGaniyu Sani, a Chartered Accountant/ forensic audit expert; Muyideen Aliyu, Rtd Director of SSS; Mrs. Yetunde Adekeye, former Principal, School of Midwifery; and Hajiya Asmau Yusuf Saka, Rtd Banker/Accountant.
She disclosed that the Assistant Director of the Kwara State Ministry of Tertiary Education, Science and Technology, Ayansola Justina, will act as the secretary of the visitation panel.
Kawu-Modibbo also said the governor has also accepted the appointment of Prof. AbdulGaniyu Alabi, former Dean, College of Engineering, Kwara State University (KWASU), as chairman of International Aviation College Visitation Panel.
She noted that other members of the visitation panel are: Mr AbdulFatai Olajide, Private Chartered Accountant and Auditor as member, and Mrs Christina Amudipe, a Primary Health Consultant ad member, among others.
Edited By: Felix Ajide (NAN)
SS 3 students resume Wednesday in Kwara
All Senior Secondary 3 students in Kwara would resume on Wednesday as the state government had distributed 65, 000 face masks to schools ahead of the resumption.
Kayode Alabi, the Deputy Governor and Chairman of the State Technical Committee on COVID-19, said this on Monday in Ilorin while handing over the face masks to the Commissioner for Education and Human Capital Development, Hajia Bisola Ahmed.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Federal Government had directed that exit classes should resume on Tuesday for their final examinations.
The deputy governor said the face masks were to be distributed to SS3 students as part of the government’s efforts to flatten the curve of COVID-19 transmission in the state.
“On behalf of the Kwara State Government and His Excellency, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, I present these face masks for onward distribution to our SS3 students as they prepare to resume academic activities.
“This is just the beginning as they will get more and more of our support.
“This is the first phase as we are also giving out sanitisers while the Ministry of Education, working with the committee and stakeholders in the sector, has been mandated to ensure that safety rules are adhered to,” Alabi said.
Responding, the commissioner said the government was making efforts to adhere strictly to the preventive measures as directed by the Federal Ministry of Education.
“Our SS3 students will resume this week, precisely on Wednesday.
“We have 65,000 face masks here which will be distributed to schools across the three senatorial districts of the state.
“The face masks are now being distributed through the All Nigeria Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools (ANCOPSS).
” This is the first phase of what will be provided to schools.
“We have spoken with the principals of the schools and they are ready to support the state government and we assure you that all the preventive measures as directed by the Federal Ministry of Education will be provided as the schools resume,” Ahmed added.
She assured the people of the state that the face masks would get to the affected students across the state.
The commissioner said only the SS 3 students were to resume on Wednesday, adding that other exit students would be informed of their date of resumption ahead of their own examinations.
ANCOPSS President in Kwara, Toyin Abdullahi commended the government for the proactive steps, saying they would transmit the materials as directed by the government.
“I want to assure the government that the face masks will be distributed to the SS 3 students while ANCOPSS will complement the efforts of the government to ensure safety in our schools,” he added.
Edited By: Mufutau Ojo) (NAN)
Attack: Governors express solidarity with Gov. Zulum
The Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF, on Monday expressed solidarity with Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno and the people of the state over Wednesday’s attack by suspected Boko Haram insurgents in Baga.
The governors expressed the solidarity in a letter issued by the Chairman of the forum and Gov. Kayode Fayemi In Abuja.
Fayemi, while condemning the attack, expressed the forum’s solidarity to the governor to tackle the menance of insecurity.
“This is one unwarranted attack too many. It epitomizes our collective vulnerability and the fragility of the country’s security architecture.
“Although you emerged from this incident unscathed, we note with regret the injuries sustained by two members of the Civilian Joint Task Force and a Police Officer attached to your convoy and do accordingly pray for their quick recovery.
“Mr Governor, Forum members are resolutely behind you in your effort to rid Borno State of these dastardly and wicked agents of evil.”
Fayemi said that the governors were appalled by the worsening security situation in the country generally, in spite of all the efforts of government to end it.
“On our part, the NEC Sub-Committee on Security will be meeting tomorrow and rising from the resolutions thereof soon dialogue with Mr. President and the nation’s Security Chiefs to discuss this worrisome and rapidly degenerating situation.
“On a final note, Mr Governor, we thank God for always being merciful.”
Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)