BUHARI IN A CLOSED SESSION WITH MASARI, SERVICE CHIEFS

President Muhammadu Buhari has just held a closed-door meeting with the governor of his Katsina home state, Hon. Aminu Masari, in the State House.

Masari’s visit to the State House came a few hours after news broke that President Buhari
tested negative for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) on Monday.

Unconfirmed reports had it that the President tested negative to the virus, while his Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, was said to have tested positive to it.

The Nation reports that the Katsina State governor, after meeting with the President, did not speak to State House Correspondents.

President Buhari entered into another meeting with some of the nation’s security handlers almost immediately after Masari left.

The National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (retd.); Director-General, Department of State Services (DSS), Yusuf Bichi; and the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, were seen entering the President’s office.

ZAMFARA: PDP RAISES ALARM OVER SUPREME COURT DECISION

THE Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has inflated the alarm over the decision of the Supreme Court to reserve judgment in Zamfara State governorship election review case.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) had approached the apex court for the second time, praying the court to overturn its earlier judgment that voided the party’s victory in all state elections and awarded same to the PDP.

At the hearing yesterday, the apex court reserved judgment in the case, a development that has stirred up apprehension in the main opposition party.

At an emergency media briefing late yesterday, spokesman for the PDP Kola Ologbondiyan alerted of “another plot by the APC to once again manipulate the judicial process and secure judgment through the back door.”

He said: “Nigerians will recall that the Supreme Court had consistently decided on the finality of judgments reached at the court. As such, all issues bordering on review were never reserved for judgment because of its belief in the infallibility of its own judgment.

“Our party is concerned that the surprising decision to reserve this judgment is not in tandem with the established practice of the highest court, which was reaffirmed in its judgments on the Bayelsa and Imo state governorship elections, where it dismissed the applications for review on the grounds that it lacked jurisdiction to review its own judgment.”

KANO HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY SUSPENDS KWANKWASIYA LAWMAKERS FOR OPPOSING DETHRONEMENT

The Kano State House of Assembly have on Monday suspended five of it members for six months in connection with last week donnybrook in the house.

The Speaker, Abdulazeez Gafasa who announced the suspension of the members at the resumption of today’s sitting of the Assembly, said the members were suspended for misconduct and violation of the rules of the house.

Members suspended include, Garba Yau Gwarmai representing Kunchi/Tsanyawa Constituency, Labaran Abdul Madari representing Warawa Constituency, Isyaku Ali Danja representing Gezawa Constituency, Mohammed Bello representing Rimingado/Tofa constituency and Salisu Ahmed Gwamgwazo representing Kano Municipal respectively.

According to the Speaker, “the five members were suspended for violating the rules of the house especially Order IV Sub 4 a, b, d and e disrupted the sittings of the house and prevented proceedings from going on.

“They behave violently and even attempted to snatch away the mace in a clear attempt to sabotage the sitting of the house,” Gafasa said.

LOCAL GANDUJE TOP AIDE INVOLVED IN ALLEGED FRAUD

Barely one month after operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, arrested Governor Abdullahi Ganduje’s Commissioner for Special Duties, Mukhtar Ishaq for alleged N86 million fraud, 11 other aides of the governor have also been involved in assets declaration mess.

A painstaking investigation by PRNigeria revealed that huge sums of money in local and foreign currency accounts, as well as physical assets by Governor Ganduje’s aides, were not properly declared to the statutory body, apart from defaulting and non-compliance with the statutes of the Code of Conduct Bureau.

In a document sighted by PRNigeria, the Director-General, Media to Governor Ganduje, Salihu Tanko Yakasai is number one on the list of non-compliance in the list in the whole of Kano State Cabinet Office.

Other non-complying aides to Governor Ganduje include Uba Tanko Mijinyawa, Special Assistant on New Media in the cabinet office; Engr. Mansur Ahmed, Special Assistant on Critical Infrastructure; Tanko Indi Sarki who is the Special Assistant on Intelligence; Ado Abba T/Wada, the Director-General in charge of Youth, and Kabiru Baita, the Special Assistant Sports.

The information further revealed that four of Ganduje’s aides allegedly refused to comply with the Assets Declaration processes and they include Habibu Saleh, Special Assistant on Revenue; Saleh Shehu K, Special Assistant on IGR; Zulyadawi Sidi Mustapha, Senior Special Assistant on SDGs and Haruna D. Zago Special Assistant on Food Security.

Meanwhile, PRNigeria gathered that top officials of State government are mounting serious pressure on the Code of Conduct Bureau not to submit the list of the defaulters to the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, a development that would ensure a safe landing for the alleged corrupt officials.

But sources within the CCB said that the document has already been prepared for despatch to CCT, stressing that any document in the hands of the CCT is as good as in the hands of the no-nonsense chairman of the tribunal, Justice Danladi Umar.

The Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, is the first anti-corruption agency that was set up in Nigeria to battle corruption in the Nigerian public service.

It was established alongside the Code of Conduct Tribunal which serves as a special court to prosecute public servants that are found guilty of public funds embezzlement among other crimes.

STAY OR LEAVE

IT all seemed surreal. We had just come from a drama of the courts. Now, we were back there. Something startled where we thought we were safest. We were trying to murder the court. We were trying to turn it to a toy, a diabolical trump card of our body politic.

Enter Imo. Enter Bayelsa. Enter the courts. Exit the people. Is it the new way out of logjams now? If Imo and Bayelsa states fell because the courts say so, are we now a conclave of technicalities? The APC is trying to show us a new tapestry of justice. We saw that last week in a tussle to oust its warrior chairman, Adams Oshiomhole.
For less than 24 hours, a coup boiled over. An Abuja court gave its order, its national secretariat yielded to a military-era barricade, and Adams’ foes could not rein in their ecstasy of celebration.

They want Adams’ apple. Like Tantalus in the Greek myth, the fruit has eluded the groping hands. It has been a game of tease.

Adams responded like a lone and martial fashionista with grenades hanging like beads all over his body, a sort of political Schwarzenegger with a flaw. His roar was at once beaten and defiant.

Meanwhile, many wondered why Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, promptly had the president’s audience. To make it a fait accompli or to plead the president should stay out of the fray?

Then came a counter-punch. Outside Abuja, the court noted that the Fayemi crowd, clever as they thought, did not have lawyers who thought deeply enough about a basic Nigerian law.

Abuja court did not have federal powers. So, the Kano court struck for Adams, and we returned to the status quo ante, as lawyers say glibly.

It was Adams’ turn to meet with the president. In a self-deprecatory moment, Adams quipped at reporters, asking them if they felt sorry for him.

The two faces that have shown prominence in this drive to oust Adams are Adams and Governor Fayemi. This essayist had reported earlier of those who had hands in this plot to unseat Adams, and a prominent name was Governor Fayemi.

The other coupists included the Abacha sympathiser and money man, Governor Bagudu of Kebbi State, who never stays at home to govern but he is like the pathetic and peripatetic Mai Sunsaye of Cyprian Ekwensi’s Burning Grass.

The other is the fellow from Jigawa State, who many say does not know how to say thank you to a party that has done so much for him. All he thinks is to subvert its leadership.

Strangely, the squat fellow from Kaduna who just turned 60 has been uncharacteristically quiet. Does it indicate a turn towards remorse, or an unobtrusive recalibrating of his position?

As for Fayemi, he has not blushed about his fear and loathing of Adams. During former Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi’s 70th birthday in Ibadan, I was just ruminating over a text message he had sent me objecting to my column reporting his dig at Adams.

He saw me at Ajimobi’s party and waved me over, and I sat beside him for a moment. Other governors were at the table, including the BOS of Lagos, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu and Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State.

Fayemi pointed out that in my earlier piece, I had rightly indicated that he was with Adams in a meeting to reconcile him (Adams) with his successor Godwin Obaseki, who remains a gubernatorial drag and nettle on this democracy. Then he referred to my piece about his (Fayemi) plot to dethrone Adams.

He raised his voice and said, “Adams does not have the temperament to run a party.” I poked back, “Is this not about a 2023 ambition?” He denied it was about 2023, adding that he knew that was what some people are insinuating.

I wanted to roll out what Adams had done for his party and wondered why anyone wanted him removed. But the chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum was getting a little agitated, and I told him I had to leave, because we were in a party mood, so it was not a forum for polemical exchanges.

I suspected the other governors were paying attention to our conversation. I shook hands with Sanwo-Olu and Abiodun and had a no-contact fist-pump with Aketi(Akeredolu) because his seat was far away, and left.

In a meeting held over a year ago for Southwest party mavens, Fayemi had openly opposed the characterisation of him as a budding Akintola of this era.

He must be conscious of that image, and that mystifies me why he still decides to hold positions that portray him as a politician who loves power play for personal aggrandisement.

Especially the view that he wants to be president or vice president, and that he is ready to play Judas to his fellow Southwest politicians in order to swaddle a second-tier place for a northern politician.

It is the buzz out there, and it is in his interest to tackle this viewpoint that is gaining increasing traction, especially now that he has railed against the choice of his former governor colleague Ajimobi for the deputy chairman of the APC.

Right now, nothing seems clear about the future of the party because of what started as an effort by the upstart Obaseki to turn his new-found privilege into a tapestry of betrayal against his anointer, Adams.

This is the man who took over a party under the inept Oyegun, worked it to win the presidency in a fraught election, won more governors than the opposition, secured the legislative chambers, including the positions of Senate president, speaker and deputy senate president.

Did he make mistakes? Of course, we cannot forget Zamfara State, Bayelsa State and the juvenile rumbles in Rivers State.

They say he governs without recourse to governors. There is no evidence that Fayemi and Obaseki have most governors beside them. The APC, including the President, must be wary of the party crumbling under the aggressive hubris of a few.

Not when Obaseki has turned himself into an emperor with contempt for the constitution, banning rallies and meetings, growling and perspiring over an Adams, who routinely ignores him. He even hounded a fellow who wrote an article for a newspaper against his infantilism in office. A tear for Godwin!!

The president should watch out or else the party will crumble in his hands. His opponent, the PDP, are only gloating in silence. For an APC fall means a PDP takes advantage.

Or maybe, a new party is in the offing, and we don’t know it? Already, even within his cabinet there are charges of fifth columnists, some of them taking cases in disguises to court to challenge the government actions of Muhammadu Buhari.

From the start, the party has been a hodgepodge of interests and egos. It takes a perceptive leader to harness them. It worked twice in 2015 and 2019. The question is, how long will it last?

CREDIT: THE NATION

ADAMS OSHIOMHOLE REMAINS SUSPENDED

Victor Giadom the Deputy National Secretary of the APC, Chief , on Sunday, insisted that Adams Oshiomhole who was the party’s National Chairman remains suspended.

He said this in a statement he signed and made available to the media in Abuja.

Victor said a court of competent jurisdiction suspended the chairman and that decision still subsists.

Giadom maintained the scheduled National Executive Council meeting which is slated for March 17th will go ahead as planned noting that a notice to the contrary jointly signed by the party’s National Legal Adviser, Babatunde Ogala, its National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu and “one Waziri Bulama” to the contrary should be ignored.

He said his attention was drawn to the notice which was aimed at discrediting his powers to convene an emergency NEC as Acting National Secretary.

“Notice is not only aimed at creating mischief but it is aimed at misleading the esteemed members of the National Executive Committee and the general public at large.

“For the purpose of clarity and putting the issue in proper perspective. I wish to state that the decision to call for an emergency National Executive Committee Meeting for March 17. 2020 was taken in strict compliance with the Constitution of the Party.

“It is on record that the erstwhile National Chairman. Comrade Adams Oshiohmole has been suspended by a Court of Competent Jurisdiction. The two Deputy National Chairmen are no longer in office. The next most senior party office: should be the Secretary-General of the party. But as we all know.

“The erstwhile National Secretary in the person of Hon. Buni Mai Main is now the Executive Governor of Yobe State. Hence. as the Acting National Secretary. I have the Constitutional Power to steer activities of our great party.

“By Article 14.4 (i) of the Constitution of our great party. the Deputy National Secretary is empowered to act as National Secretary in the absence of the National Secretary and all the actions taken since the emergence of Hon. Buni Mai Mala as Executive Governor of Yobe State are taken in my capacity as the acting National Secretary

“By Article [4.3 (ii) of the Constitution of the party. being the acting National Secretary, l have the power to issue Notices of meetings of National Convention, National Executive Committee and the National Working Committee of the party.

“This is the power I exercised on the March 6 and March 7. 2020 calling for an emergency National Executive Committee of our great party in line with Article 25 (B) (ii) of the Constitution of our great Party.”

He further said, “Article 25 (B) (i) of our constitution is very clear and it says. “The National Executive Committee of our great party shall meet every quarter of a year”. It is on record that the last National Executive Committee meeting was held on the 22″, of November 2019 which is about 4 months to 17“ of March fixed for the NEC meeting which itself is a breach of the party’s constitution.

While Article 25 (B) (ii) provides that National Working Committee of our meat party may summon an emergency National Executive Committee meeting at any time provided at least 7 days‘ notice of the meeting is given to those entitled to attend. The Notice given on the March 6. 2020 is in strict compliance with the provision of the Constitution.

“I urge members of the national working committee to attend the meeting slated for 17th day of March. 2020 as it will serve as an avenue to find solutions to the present state of quagmire the party had found itself in.

“The meeting will provide the way forward for the party, knowing that the National Executive Committee is the highest organ of the party after the convention. As such. I cannot be shut out of its responsibilities as provided by the Constitution of our great Party.”

The acting secretary further affirmed that Waziri Bulama who “purportedly signed the document as the party’s National Secretary,” lacked legal footing to do so because he was neither a member of the NWC or the NEC.

OUR NATIONAL CHALLENGES HAS OVERPOWERED NATIONAL INCOME – BUHARI

President Muhammadu Buhari has informed the nation that the challenges faced by the nation is higher than our national income.

He said this is a major challenge that must be overcome as a nation if we are to make progress.

The President added that although the government has been challenged on all fronts from security, absence of critical infrastructure, poverty to unemployment, the essence of the Next Level Agenda is to fuse on the achievements of the last four.

He added that among many challenges governments all over the world face, funding is the major one because it is the life wire of governance, without which, government cannot deliver.

President Buhari stated this yesterday at the National policy and development summit held in Abuja.
The President was represented by the Permanent Secretary, office of the Secretary to the Government the Federation, Mr. Andrew David.

He said that the summit will not only afford us the opportunity to interrogate the strategies adopted by the government to actualize the next level agenda to overcome our national challenges but also to interrogate the prospects and anticipated challenges with the intention to proffer solutions.

He said, “Though the government has been challenged on all fronts – from security, absence of critical infrastructure, poverty to unemployment. The essence of the Next Level Agenda is to consolidate on the achievements of the last four.

“Therefore the summit will not only afford us the opportunity to interrogate the strategies adopted by our government to actualize the next level agenda to overcome our national challenges but also to interrogate the prospects and anticipated challenges with the intention to proffer solutions.

“As we all know, among many challenges governments all over the world face, funding is the major one because it is the life wire of governance. Without it, government cannot deliver.

“After funding, comes strategies and human resource needed to succeed. The strategies and human resource needed for our government to succeed are all there. Funding is always the challenge and corruption. This explains the governance strategy of our government that combines anticorruption and critical interventions delivery.

“Another challenge is the absorptive capacity of our national economy to support our developmental needs and plan at the movement. On a balance, our national challenges are more than our national income. It is a major challenge that must be overcome as a nation if we are to make progress.

“As a government we, are interested in solutions that will help propel Nigeria to the next level we envisaged. As you deliberate on these issues and many more therefore, it is hoped you would proffer solutions that would enable government to overcome these challenges.

“Although, as a government, we have been striving to prioritize and balance between the welfare of Nigerians and infrastructural needs of the country. This we have been doing through pragmatism that enable our government to simultaneously concentrate on social investment and infrastructure provisioning.

“The Reports of the Monthly Policy Dialogue Series is hereby acknowledged, especially the one that dealt succinctly on funding the Next Level Agenda. The challenges and prospects as documented are well noted. This will further enable government to tackle funding challenges as highlighted by stakeholders at the Dialogue

“We appreciate the contribution of Hon. Ibrahim Bapetel and his hard working team to the governance process. Their contributions have assisted in a much significant way to rejigging retreat for government ministers.

“The retreat now includes training, deliverables and targets amongst others. This is one of the major milestones the first summit that interrogated the change Agenda achieved.

“Today, as a result of the recommendation of the summit, the opaque nature of the NNPC as noted by the report of the first summit is being gradually overcome. We now have an NNPC that is declaring profit and has also gone ahead to collaborate with the National Assembly to enact the Deep Shore Act 2019 that gives us more leverage over our oil resources. It is the first of its kind in our recent history.

“Ladies and gentlemen, let me assure you at this juncture that the report of this commit will not go to waste. Recommendations contained therein would be implemented to the betterment of the hard working people of Nigeria. A lot needed to be done to pull Nigeria and Nigerian out of poverty. This we are committed to.”

Source: The Nation

ARE YOU HAVING PITY FOR ME – OSHIOMHOLE ASKS

Despite passing through trying times, Adams Oshiomhole looked unperturbed and serene on Thursday.

Oshiomhole who was in his usual rollicking mood told a team of reporters in his Aso Drive Office, Abuja that there was no need for him to be troubled or pitied over development in the party.

It what could be referred to as Oshiomhole’s first public appearance after the Abuja High Court suspended him from, the APC leader decked in his usual khaki attire asked reporters: “Are you looking at me with pity?”

Before the reporters could reply, he dashed out smiling into a waiting car.

BREAKING: SENATE IN EMERGENCY CLOSED SESSION

Tension is rising on the floor of the Senate on Thursday following the demand of the opposition senators to know details of the $22.7bn foreign loan request from the President, Muhammadu Buhari.

Buhari had asked the eighth National Assembly to approve $29.96bn for his administration but Senator Bukola Saraki’s leadership of the Senate threw the document away then because no detail accompanied the request.

The request was presented again by the Buhari administration last December but was reduced to $22.7bn, claiming that the eighth National Assembly actually approved about $6bn out of the money.

Trouble started on Wednesday when the Chairman of the Local and Foreign Loans Committee, Senator Clifford Ordia, submitted the report without the details of the projects to be funded with the money.

The Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, drew the attention of the Senate to the anomaly and requested the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, to allow a clause by clause consideration of the loan request.

His suggestion was turned down by Lawan who said the report of the panel should not be subjected to debate, based on the rules of the Senate.

Obviously uncomfortable with the position of Lawan, Abaribe warned the presiding officer that going ahead to hoodwink the Senate into passing the multi-billion dollar loan request without the details would spell doom for the country.

The matter degenerated into a serious tension with the senators viewing the development along partisan lines.

The leader of the Senate, Yahaya Abdullahi, then heeded the suggestion of Senator Gabriel Suswan that the Senate go into executive session for 15 minutes to enable the red chamber to resolve the confusion.