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Just In: I am tired of this country, we are all lost — Soyinka blows hot

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Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has said those depending on the Buhari government for solutions are lost, because problem can't solve problem. 

Soyinka, who stated this on Thursday at a press conference in Lagos to share his harrowing experience trying to come back to Nigeria from France, said the Buhari government has messed up the country through its lack of wholistic solution to the problems in the nation.

He called on the Federal Government to stop treating Nigerians like criminals, illegal immigrants, and suggest that a national tribal conference be convened with full representation of all enthic Nationalities in the country.

“We are in a mess. This country is in a mess. It is disintegrating before our very eyes. The government is floundering. It is not only that the government is devoid of a wholistic solution, the problem really is that this government does not have a wholistic grasp of the problems in the nation and the environment in which we live; and the time also in which we live in.

“Look at Sudan, it is in turmoil simply because some people got up one day and decided that an arrangement for the governance of that nation should be abrogated by the use of guns. And of course, the people have responded in a marvelous way; doctors, workers, students, market people, they all got out and said no. part of the problems which we have and which has plagued us, except for a few times, is this ability to act in concert,” he said.

“From time to time, we have a section of the nation come together and say enough; we are human beings, we will not be treated like beasts. Like #EndSARS, for instance, was one such movement that unfortunately, ended up somewhat tragically. But it doesn’t matter, it was a step in the right direction.

“What I am trying to say to you is that if we’re still looking to this government for solution, then I think we really are lost. We better find a way of pilling up pressure to enable us to meet as equal beings across the entire nation; a national movement involving the various professions, the various interest groups, ethnic groups. Any sector, productive sector of this nation should be encouraged to come together and really debate the future of this nation. We are going along piecemeal solutions all the time.

“One way or the other, we one misses that sense of a grasp of the totality and understanding of the connection of one part of governance, one part civic societies, to the others, ethnic nationality to other, given the posibility of evolving an ideology, and trajectory which enable this large piece of real estate with its people to hold together in a productive and dignified and egalitarian manner.

“This, at the moment, is what is missing.”

Buhari escapes plane crash

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President Muhammadu buhari 

President Muhammadu Buhari and the delegation that recently travelled with him to the United States escaped an air mishap after the presidential jet marked 5N-FGT suddenly developed a fault while they were returning to Nigeria. 

Buhari had on Sunday, September 19, 2021, travelled to New York for the 76th United Nations General Assembly.

According to SaharaReporters, the aircraft, a Boeing Business Jet (Boeing 737-700) developed a fault while the President and his entourage were returning to Abuja on Saturday, September 25.

It was gathered that the aircraft left the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York at 12:08 pm, landed at Sable Island Airport around 5:24 pm and had a 3-hour stopover.

The Nigeria Air Force 1 then departed the airport for Santa Maria where it landed around 9:10 pm. From Santa Maria, it flew to Nigeria and landed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on Sunday, September 26 at 5:01 am.

Sources said the aircraft was subsequently moved to Euro Airport in Germany on September 29 and arrived at 4.15pm after leaving the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport at 9.48am, with the Nigerian government paying €5,000 (Euros) (N2,385,000 at official rate of N477 to €1) per night as parking fee. 

This means by Thursday, October 28, the Muhammadu Buhari-led government has paid €145,000 (N69,165,000) as parking fee for the aircraft. 

“The Presidential Boeing Business Jet registration number 5N-FGT developed a fault during his trip from New York. He travelled to Saudi Arabia with a smaller jet. A Falcon 7X jet with registration number 5N-FGV. No picture of his departure to Saudi Arabia was released to avoid the public knowing about the jet he travelled with,” a presidential source revealed

“The one that developed fault has been moved to EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freiburg, Germany for repairs since September. It is registered and operated under another name AMACGND. They intentionally hid it and parked it under another name because it cost €5,000 (Euros) for parking per night.”

Jos: Lalong has sold Christians to Sokoto Caliphate — HURIWA alleges

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The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has expressed disappointment over Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong's betrayal of Christians whom it says are the 'bonafide owners of Plateau State', by colluding with powers in Sokoto to further the agenda Fulani terrorists in the State.

HURIWA who made the statement while reacting to the impeachment of the Plateau State Assembly Speaker, Honorable Ayuba Abok, whom it says is a defender of Christians, said Lalong is afraid of being held accountable by a man who has been "very effective in checkmating the failures" of his government.

The group reacted in a statement jointly signed by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko; and National Media Affairs Officer, and Miss Zainab Yusuf. 

According to the statement, the removal of the speaker who had “championed the need for the Ethnic Christians who are the bonafide owners of Plateau State to be protected from persisted Fulani terrorists and genocides, shows that the Plateau State Governor Mr. Simon Lanlong is a puppet of the Sokoto caliphate”.

HURIWA stated that allowing the “kangaroo impeachment” to stand will portray Plateau State’s political class as people with medieval mindsets who lack the genuine interests of their people at heart.

The group asked the former speaker to rush to a court of competent jurisdiction to get the “charade overturned or alternatively run a parallel state house of Assembly representing the majority of the State’s constituencies.”

HURIWA further alleged that the impeachment is not unconnected with the recent ultimatum given to the governor by the hitherto vibrant and pro-people parliament following incessant killings of helpless and defenseless citizens in the state with Bassa local government being the worst hit.

“It has become very obvious that the governor has failed to address the issues of insecurity in the state and the only option left for him to survive inevitable impeachment is to illegally orchestrate a sham impeachment of the speaker of the Assembly,” HURIWA said.

“The National Assembly can as well take over the control of the parliamentary activities for Plateau State if the illegal impeachment is not overturned on time."

Incompetent people occupying vital positions in Buhari's govt — El-Rufai laments

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Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai 

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, says the government of President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigeria’s public service was lacking experienced and competent people to steer the country to economic growth and prosperity.

“We need competent people in political and public services, but this is not the case in Nigeria, and things will not work.

“Unless the best and brightest hands are in the political system, the outcome will be sub-optimal and terrible,” Mr El-Rufai was reported by The Cable to have said during a panel discussion at the Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja on Tuesday.

The Kaduna state governor also berated Nigerian business elites for refusing to get involved with the country’s politics, adding that the economic class were only concerned with doing business, making money and living in highbrow areas.

“This is why I keep appealing to the educated, the experienced, and the accomplished in Nigeria to please come into political parties.

“Let us have a mass of decent people in politics, everything else will follow. But if we allow our political system to be populated by people with nothing to lose, this country will never achieve its potentials,” he added.

His comment comes as president Buhari continues to appoint individuals with questionable characters to head agencies under his administration, an example being the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa.

In February, The Nigerian Senate had confirmed Mr Bawa as the new head of the EFCC, despite a series of corruption allegations against him.

JUST IN: Senate rejects Buhari’s $700m loan request for water project

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Senate President, Ahmad Lawan 

President Muhammadu’s request to borrow $700 million has been kicked against by the Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debt chaired by Senator Uba Sani on Wednesday.

Buhari had earlier requested for approval of the loan to enable his administration embark on Sustainable Urban and Rural Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (SURWASH) under the Ministry of Water Resources in 2022.

The rejection was coming less than 24 hours after a sum of a $200 million loan was requested by the Ministry of Health for procurement of Mosquito nets which was contained in the budget proposal presented to the Senate.

Members of the Committee faulted the idea of seeking loan to fund Sustainable Urban and Rural Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene, noting that there were enough loans which the country has been servicing.

Chairman of the Committee, Senator Clifford Ordia stated that three different loans have been approved for various water projects.

Ordia said: “$450 million for the Ministry for the water project being financed by the Africa Development Bank and another $6 million loan under integrated program for Development also financed by Africa Development Bank and Gurara water project.

“You need to tell us what you are doing with $700 million for water projects.”

The Committee therefore agreed to summon the Minister of Water Resources, Adamu Suleiman to appear to give explanation on the loans and state of loans collected so far.

Another member of the Committee, Senator Obinna Ogba, vehemently kicked, arguing that Nigerians haven’t been enjoying water despite huge loans gotten in the past.

He said,” this loan, I don’t support this one again, enough is enough .”

Also kicking against the loan, Senator Ibrahim Oloriegbe asked what is criteria for selecting benefiting states adding that details provided by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry is not enough to justify the loan.

Oloriegbe asked, “what is the criteria for selecting benefiting states, the details you are providing is not enough, what are the projects you want to do with $640 million and how much water are you going to do?”

Just In: Bakare denies protesting against Jonathan, as Sanusi blows hot

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The serving overseer of the Citadel Global Community Church, formerly known as Latter Rain Assembly, Tunde Bakare, says He only campaigned against oppression in 2012 and not against subsidy removal by the Jonathan administration.

In 2012, former President Goodluck Jonathan announced the removal of subsidy from petroleum products, a move that meant PMS, which at the time sold for N65 a litre – with subsidy – would go for N141, more than a hundred per cent increase.

The decision sparked nationwide protests with Bakare, Buhari and others, storming the streets in protest under the Save Nigeria Group (SNG), with the aim to pressure the Jonathan government into reversing its decision.

But Bakare, while speaking at an annual conference organised by Covenant Christian Centre in Lagos, said the protest he led during the Jonathan administration wasn't actually against fuel subsidy, but to defend millions of “voiceless” Nigerians who were being oppressed by the then government.

“I’m not an activist. I did not campaign against subsidy removal during Jonathan’s time; I campaigned against oppression of the poor. We give voice to the voiceless,” Bakare said.

Bakare also said while the Jonathan administration did oppressed Nigerians with some of its policies, the Buhari government is no different either, describing it as a government where the "blind leads the seeing."

“If you compare our performance with the nations that began this journey with us — nations like Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and South Korea — they’ve left us behind. We are still in the woods and are yet to come out,” he said.

“No nation anywhere can survive or embark on predictable progress when mediocres are in charge.

“I’m not sure and I’m not limiting the Almighty and I hope this will not be seen as blasphemy; I’m not sure the Bible contemplates Nigerian leadership, because the Bible says when the blind leads the blind, they all end up in a ditch. But we’re in a nation where the blind leads the seeing.”

Dethroned emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi, who at the time, served as Governor of the nation's Central Bank, was among those who championed the removal of subsidy, describing it as a practice which only benefits the rich instead of those it was meant for.

Sanusi in a recent statement while speaking virtually as a panelist on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the just concluded Nigerian Economic Summit held in Abuja, maintained his stance against subsidy regime, saying the current government should have been impeached for spending millions of dollars on subsidy without accountability.

“Every year, the government spends millions upon millions of dollars on fuel subsidies without appropriation. Under the constitution, this is enough ground to impeach the President.

“But nobody is holding them to account. The National Assembly is not holding them to account,” he said.

The former CBN governor said the federal government’s populist approach was hurting the nation.

He implored the Buhari-led regime to be courageous enough to take the right decisions, saying the country was running a populist instead of a developmental state.

“Those in government must understand that there are times that you have to make some decisions not because they are popular but because they are right. We have to decide to run a developmental state and not a rental state; not a populist state,” the former emir said.

“We are pursuing a populist policy: we want to have cheap fuel, cheap electricity, a strong Naira. That is populism. At the end of the day, what price are we paying by taking money out of education in order to subsidise petroleum products?” he said.

“This money coming from petrol belongs to the federation account, and the federal government doesn’t have the constitutional right to pay subsidy on behalf of the federation.

“So it is a fundamental constitutional issue because this is money that should go to the federal, states and local governments. Yet money that belongs to the federation is carried out as federal government expenditure. So, there are so many complex issues, legal and economic issues. We need to stop these issues” he said.

“I have said this before even as a CBN Governor under the previous government. What I say is not of a particular government. Take petroleum subsidy. In 2015 or 2016, Minister Ibe Kachukwu said Nigerian was importing 30 million litres of PMS per day after eliminating corruption. In 2019, the NNPC said we are importing 59 million litres per day after oil prices have gone up. And I have been asking the question, what happened between 2015 and 2019 that our oil consumption has almost double?” he asked.

He noted that “this is what also happened under the previous government. When oil prices go up, NNPC said they are importing more because of the arbitrage. Thus, when the oil prices go high, there is an incentive to inflate the number” he noted.

Gumi is worse than Shekau and Al-Barnawi, his father once said a Christian will never rule Nigeria, says Fani-Kayode

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Former minister of aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode 

Former minister of aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, has come hard on Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, a controversial Islamic scholar and leader, describing him as "a venomous snake & a wolf in sheep's clothing" for asking Federal government not to declare bandits as terrorists group. 

Gumi had advised Buhari’s government not to add salt to injury by declaring the killer group who had once shoot down a military jet as a terrorists group, saying such move would lead to the collapse of the country. 

Reacting, Fani-Kayode in a post on his official Facebook page said; "Sheik Ahmad Gumi, the Rasputin of Arewa, whose father once said a Christian must not rule Nigeria & who himself said the FG must not declare the killer bandits as terrorists is worse than Abubakar Shekau & Al Barnawi. He is a venomous snake & a wolf in sheep's clothing.

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