Mr Adebayo Shittu, the immediate-past Minister of Communication, said that he was shocked when his name was not included on President Muhammadu Buhari’s ministerial list.
Shittu, who made the disclosure in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Abuja, said although he did not expect that he would not be reappointed, as a Muslim, he took it as his fate.
The ex-minister said: “I took it the way it came.”
reports that Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, had, on July 23, read out the names of 43 ministerial nominees sent by President Buhari to the lawmakers for confirmation at the upper house.
While the list contained 14 former ministers, 29 new names and seven females, 18 ex-ministers did not make the list, including Mr Shittu.
“Of course, I expected that I will be reappointed (as minister) but when it didn’t happen, as a Muslim, it didn’t take me five minutes before I accepted that what has come, it’s the will of God.
“And I have also found comfort in a Quranic verse when God promised that what is to come later is better than what is with you now.
“So for me, it says we must accept that there is always something better with God which he gives to his beloved.
“I see myself as a beloved of God.
“I have come a long way and I have served at the state and national levels and the experience that I have garnered over the last three and half years cannot be purchased from the stores or from the market,” he said.
He said as public officer, one must always have it in one’s mind that “whatever has a beginning will necessarily have an end.”
“And it is not how long one stays in public office but how well you are able to distinguished yourself,” he said.
The ex-minister, who is a legal practitioner, said he had decided to fallback to his profession.
“I want to thank God that I am one politician who has a second address in the sense that, if I am not a minister, I will be doing some other productive things which will also contribute to national development.
“Of course, I would have wished that I have other opportunities to serve. I believe the chapter of my public service is not closed.
“By the grace of God, I will continue to be relevant in national development.
“As a lawyer of about 40 years, I now have my chambers opened in Abuja. So now, I am back in practice,” he said.
Shittu, who thanked God for the opportunity to serve as minister, also thanked the president for the appointment.
“I have been a local politicians for almost 40 years before the opportunity to serve at the national level.
“I really appreciate it and I want to say that I am eternally grateful to Mr President.
“So for me to have been in office for three and half years, I think it is a rear privilege for which I will continue to thank God and to continue to thank Mr President,” he said.
reports that Mr Shittu was the youngest lawmaker at the age of 26 to be elected a member of the Oyo State House of Assembly in 1979.
The former minister, who skipped the mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), had aspired for the governorship seat of Oyo State in the last election but was disqualified by his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
edited by Sadiya Hamza
Buhari mourns ex-Governor Bamidele Olumilua
The President’s condolence message was conveyed in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Thursday.
The President sympathised with family members, friends and associates of the former governor, who worked very hard to improve infrastructure and livelihood of people in the state.
He affirmed that Olumilua played an active role in the return of democracy in the country, and served as Chairman, Christian Pilgrims Board.
The President prayed that the almighty God would receive the soul of the departed and comfort his family.
edited by Sadiya Hamza
Buhari’s agricultural revolution to create 5m jobs, inject $10bn into economy
The President Muhammadu Buhari’s agriculture revolution programme tagged “The Green Imperative’’ will create about five million jobs and inject over 10 billion US Dollar (about N3.8 trillion) into the economy within 10 years.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, disclosed this on Thursday at a media briefing to set the stage for the implementation of the mechanised farming programme.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the briefing was jointly addressed by Mohammed and the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Alhaji Sabo Nanono.
He said funding for the programme would come from the Development Bank of Brazil (BNDES) and Deutsche Bank.
The minister added that insurance was provided by Brazilian Guarantees and Fund Managements Agency (ABGF) and the Islamic Corporation for Insurance of Export Credit (ICIEC) of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), and coordinated by Getúlio Vargas Foundation (FGV).
Explaining how the programme would revolutionise agriculture, the minister said six motor assembly plants would be reactivated in the six-geopolitical zones of the country for assemblying of tractors and other implements.
He said 632 mechanisation service centres would also be established to support primary production in the 774 Local Government Areas and the Federal Capital Territory.
“This will create 774 service centers nationwide to mechanise our farming methods and process or add value to farm produce locally.
“It will lead to efficiency and eliminate post-harvest losses, thereby cutting down cost of food all year round.
The minister disclosed that private sector operators would operate and manage all the service centres and the assembly plants.
He said no fewer than 100,000 extension workers would be trained within three years and the programme would impact over 35 million persons nutritionally and economically.
The minister said The Green Imperative dated back to June 6, 2016, when the country decided to enrol in Brazil’s Government-to-Government More Food International Programme (MFIP).
He recalled that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo launched the programme officially on January 17, 2019, in the presence of the representatives of Brazil, Deutsche Bank as well as Brazilian and Nigerian private sector.
For his part, Nanono gave the assurance that the programme would not be hijacked by politicians and that it would be private sector driven while government would only provide the policy framework.
He said participation would be through limited liability companies, cooperative societies and farmers’ associations.
“People must take this programme very serious; they should take the opportunity by beginning to form cooperative societies and farmers’ associations,’’ he said.
The minister said that the youths would be the major target of the mechanised farming programme and would-be participants should not be discouraged by the challenge of insecurity, now being addressed by government.
Buhari greets former Gov. Alao Akala at 70
In a congratulatory message released by his spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Wednesday, the President saluted the Ogbomoso-born grassroots politician.
He lauded him for ability to blend with all classes of society, and touching lives positively.
Appoint Dongban-Mensem substantive Appeal Court President-Plateau House of Assembly begs Buhari
Members of the Plateau House of Assembly have appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint Acting President, Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, in a substantive capacity.
Buhari on May 29, extended her acting appointment for another three months.
The Plateau lawmakers during plenary on Tuesday, appealed to the President to appoint her in substantive capacity stating that she eminently qualified to be so appointed.
Mr Philip Dasun (APC, Pankshin North) who moved the motion of urgent public importance, said,”Mr Speaker, it is expected that she would be appointed in substantive capacity after three months in acting capacity.
“We are calling on other authorised bodies to lend their voice to this call,” he said.
Group petitions Buhari over lopsidedness in siting of educational institutions in Ebonyi
The Ebonyi North Elders Consultative Assembly has petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari against the siting of the newly approved Federal College of Education in Isu community in Ebonyi South Senatorial District.
In the petition, the group stated that the decision by the Federal Ministry of Education (FME) to site the college in the area defeated the principle of fairness, equity and justice.
It argued that two of the three federal tertiary educational institutions in the state had already been sited in Ebonyi south, hence the district did not deserve to have more.
It was captioned, “An Open Letter To President Muhammadu Buhari, President, Federal Republic of Nigeria: Petition against the siting of the Federal College of Education (allocated to Ebonyi) at Isu, Onitcha LGA in Ebonyi South Senatorial District.”
It demanded that the institution be sited in any area in Ebonyi North Senatorial Distric, comprising Izzi, Ohaukwu, Ebonyi and Abakaliki LGAs, in line with the nation’s Federal Character principle.
The assembly, which comprises leaders of thought from the district, commended the president and the National Assembly for approving the establishment of the college in the state.
It said: “We believe that the selection of Ebonyi, alongside four others, was meant to ensure that states that hitherto had no federal tertiary educational institutions were accommodated in line with federal character principle.
“This is in contradiction to the principle of fairness, equity and justice, considering the indisputable fact that the district has two of the three federal tertiary institutions in the state, namely Akanu Ibiam Federal Polytechnic and Federal College of Agriculture, Ishiagu.
“Despite far-reaching representations made by various groups, the FME went ahead to approve the siting of the college at Isu community in Ebonyi South, thereby making the district to have three federal educational institutions.”
The group stated that the development could worsen the already skewed distribution of federal tertiary institutions in the state, if not reversed.
The petition was signed by 15 members of the assembly, including Prof. Richard Idike, former Vice Chancellor of Ebonyi State University, Sen. Chris Nwankwo, Sen. Sylvester Ngele, Rt. Rev Monday Nkwoegu, the Bishop of Abakaliki Anglican Communion.
Others were Rev. Emmanuel Nshii, State Overseer, Assemblies of God Church; Chief Austin Edeze, Chairman, Governing Council, Federal Polytechnic, Ado Ekiti; and Eze Fidelis Nwaonumara, Chairman, Izzi/Nnodo Traditional Rulers Council, among others.
Buhari greets Otunba Oyin Jolayemi at 80
The President, in a congratulatory message released by his spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Wednesday, congratulated the elder statesman for ”investments that have transformed the economy of the country, and greatly impacted on the citizenry.”
President Buhari affirmed that Otunba Jolayemi’s entrepreneurial spirit, which spurred investments in banking, consumer goods, pharmaceuticals and personal care products, deserved commendation, especially the growing profile of his companies and training of many to start their own businesses.
He acknowledged the visionary role Jolayemi had played as an industrialist for more than 40 years in the financial sector of the country, particularly raising infrastructure that served his businesses and community, and building confidence in the economy through international exhibition of his products.
The President believed the ”industrialist can joyfully look back, with three of his scions already involved in the family business, and be thankful to God for the grace of a good lineage.”
President Buhari joined family, friends and business associates of the philanthropist in celebrating the milestone, praying that the almighty God would grant him longer life and more strength.
Ministry of Defence, others make presentations as Buhari presides over virtual FEC
President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday presided over the third virtual meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) at the Council Chamber of the State House, Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the Ministries of Defence, Environment, Works and Housing as well as Finance, Budget and National Planning are expected to make presentations during the meeting.
Others Ministers present along side with the President at the chamber, and are expected to make presentations include those of Water Resources, Justice, and Aviation while the remaining ministers would be participating in the meeting from their respective offices.
Those in attendance of the meeting included Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, Secretary to Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, Chief of Staff to the President and Prof. Ibrahim Gambari.
edited by Sadiya Hamza
Buhari condemns killing of UNIBEN student, Omozuwa
The president on his verified twitter page: @MBuhari on Tuesday directed the police to speedily and diligently investigate the case and ”ensure that all the culprits responsible for this barbaric act are brought to justice.
”I would like to offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Uwaila Omozuwa.
”I expect the Nigeria Police Force to speedily and diligently investigate this case and ensure that all the culprits responsible for this barbaric act are brought to justice,” the president stated.
Omozuwa, a 22-year-old microbiology student, believed to be a virgin, was raped and killed in a church where she went to conduct academic activities.
The killing of the university student has horrified many people across the country with human rights groups, public figures and government officials demanding justice for the deceased.
The Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, had on her twitter handle: @abikedabiri disclosed that one person had been apprehended in connection with the killing of Omozuwa.
She said the arrest was facilitated through the thumbprint of the suspect on the fire extinguisher used in attacking the victim.
Buhari commiserates with Delta fire victims
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday commiserated with victims of the Ogbogonogo fire disaster in Delta, assuring them that they would not bear the burden of the incident alone.
The president spoke through the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Farouq, who led a team to visit Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa at Government House, Asaba.
The team, accompanied by the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Mr Festus Keyamo, conveyed the feelings of Buhari to the governor.
Buhari commended the measures taken by Okowa to curb the spread of the fire and also reducing its effects on traders.
“The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) is with the State Emergency Management Agency to assist these hard working Nigerians, whose sources of livelihood were affected by fire.
“We need to let them know that once there is life, there is hope.
“We are also commending you and your team for the quick response which gave hope to the people.
“Immediately, we got wind of the incident, we sent relief materials to the state to cushion the effect of the fire on the people,” the president said.
Okowa expressed delight that Buhari was quick to respond to the fire incident.
He noted that only the creation of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development could have made that prompt response possible.
“We want to express our gratitude to you and through you (minister) to our president.
“This visit is a thoughtful visit concerning the fire at Ogbogonogo Market.
“We have a warm relationship with NEMA and we are supporting the activities of your Ministry as it concerns assisting the needy in society.
“As a State Government, our youths are participating in different skill acquisition and wealth creation programmes.
“We have different programmes to support widows. We also have programmes for the less-privileged and the vulnerable.
“We appreciate this visit,” the governor said.
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